Brand New: The Power of Vow

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12-Step Buddhist GEAR

Tibetan Incense

This is where I get mine. For some reason just the scent of this amazing incense puts me right into a meditation space.

shamanic healing
Today I had another healing session with my shaman, Rosemary Beam. She asked me to speak from the voice of the part of me is unforgiving to other parts. What I learned is that one side is powerful and strong and unwilling or unable to feel much else besides anger. This side can be harsh and rigid and keeps the “self” from having full, healthy relationships. Another side is open, intuitive and vulnerable. He feels the pain of others and even seeks to find certain types of people to heal in some way. But that vulnerable, empathetic part is so open to other people’s pain that he gets too much of it and confuses it with his own. He also identifies himself in such a way that if the person he’s in relationship with doesn’t respond fully, he feels rejected and hurt. The other side then desperately tries to control the deep feelings but overcompensates.

The notion that came out of this session is that I need to do some self-forgiveness for my faults and weaknesses. The tougher side can come into play with a strength that enables the energy of compassion to flow, but doesn’t bring the hammer down if the feelings become too strong. This is like practicing something I’ll call Emotional Yoga.

In a yoga pose, such as standing splits, we often put all the weight on one leg while lifting the other as high as we can. There’s strength in the standing leg, and a lot of pressure to lift and keep balance and focus. We keep our breath long and deep and somehow bring single pointed concentration to the pose. The opposing forces of the two legs, the resistance our mind spits out and our breath all work separately, yet together. This creates a sense of union between body, breath and mind. It’s this same sense of balance and strength that I’m finding in my inner, emotional life. The side that is strong can be overly powerful, causing negative experience and a cutting off from self and others. The side that is open can be too open, without good boundaries, connecting too much and too fast and vulnerable to distorted expectations. There must be a balance between these two seemingly opposite aspects of self. I’m thankful to Rosemary for helping me deepen my awareness of this dynamic.

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New book release: The Power of Vow: Everyday Tools for Healing - http://thepowerofvow.com Also read The 12 Step Buddhist by Darren Littlejohn (Atria\Beyond Words 2009).