Tag Archives: philosophy

Soulevolution and the course of time

I am working as a medium for a while now and I would like to say that I learnt from some very good teachers. These teachers were important along my way of understanding myself, my own potential and what it means to develop my psychic abilities.

As a natural process over the time I grew out of my teachers and looked for my own answers to a subject I lived all my life and never understood.

The teaching and training years are very important to build a solid foundation for your psychic development. But also the years of personal practice and experience will lead you into a new direction of understanding and questioning. Not everyone who starts out to explore their own psychic abilities is going to be a medium. Or even should not start with only this intention in mind. Furthermore let it be a journey to discover yourself and your unlimited potential as human and spiritual being. May the truth set you free!

If we look back in time, people with psychic abilities or supernatural powers can be found during the history of mankind. In ancient traditions we can find the shamans, the healers and seers, the spiritual leaders of a tribe. In those times people reached out to those shamans for advise, help, assistance and healing. People believed that spiritual guidance was important for their well-being and the survival of the whole tribe. The shamans words were accepted and their wisdom respected as it came from the highest realms of spirit. Not everyone was allowed or destined to be a shaman only a few were chosen by spirit to take on that enormous responsibility.

Many shamans went through a long period of initiation, spend time alone in caves and forests to strengthen their connection with the spirit world. They learnt about plants and their use, tuned into the wisdom of the universe and created rituals to celebrate their connection.

The more time went by the more the human consciousness developed and went through different stages of self-understanding and expression. But also our lifestyle and our understanding of the world has changed and been shaped over the centuries rapidly. We as human race have gone through periods of abundance and poverty, of huge wars and peaceful times. Passed through logical and rational thinking and exploration as well as times of religious fanaticism and blind belief. Till we reached our modern times with all its technology and a new way of scientific understanding of the world.

Birth of Spiritualism till the modern times

If we take a look at the 1850 where the phenomena of the “Hydesville Rappings”(read whole article about the Hydesville Rappings here) appeared in America as one of the first official recorded psychic/physical phenomena to a wider audience all around the world.

A family in America received strange rappings in their house and found out that it was a murdered pedlar who was buried in the basement of the house.

Spiritualism found its beginnings and spread like fire in the newspapers in the USA and swapped over to Europe within a few years. Suddenly everywhere so-called physical phenomena appeared and more and more people opened up to another kind of reality. All over the country, especially in America and the UK people started to go and visit seances where there was contact made with the spirit world. Tables started to turn, furniture were lifted by ghost hands and mediums demonstrated their abilities to give messages from beyond. The western world seemed curious to explore what else was there that the eyes could not see and the mind too limited to comprehend.

When World War I and II hit, the bereaved longed for validation for a life after death. Mediumship was there to help, assist and prove what so many were looking for. People found comfort in the messages they received from their loved ones from the other side during a sitting with a medium. Especially in England mediums had a famous status and where well-known in the public. More and more scientist also showed interest in the exploration of the so-called spirit world and gathered together to explore the subject on a deeper level.

The outbreaks and suffering of two great world wars left the world with deep shock, sadness and desperation. Especially in those times, mediumship rose to another level in which the need of hearing from loved ones who passed over was desperately needed.

A lot of comfort, understanding and compassion was spread with the work of spiritualist mediums and their continuous efforts bringing messages from beyond.

Sadly even during those times, ignorance joined the table and many mediums suddenly were said to be fraud. Therefore many mediums were jailed or put on the Society Stack. The masses pulled away and believed more in what has been written by people who claimed to prove mediumship non-existence. Rather than following the path of self-exploration and experience. Luckily the Spiritual National Union achieved to release the The Witchcraft Act of 1735 remained in force in Britain well into the 20th century, until its eventual repeal with the enactment of the Fraudulent Mediums Act of 1951.

The Fraudulent Mediums Act 1951 was repealed on 26 May 2008 by new Consumer Protection Regulations following an EU directive targeting unfair sales and marketing practices.

It allowed to give mediumship a legal status as a religious belief and classified the demonstration of mediumship in public for entertaining purposes only.

Even today the SNU (Spiritual National Union) offers quality training and a standard for mediumship with the focus on religious point of view more than self-empowerment or the exploration of the soul as individual.

The 60’s – Another consciousness revolution

Another big impact for the raise of consciousness or Soulevolution took place when the american invasion in Vietnam escalated in 1961. Many students, peace activists and leftist intellectuals protested all around the globe together. Slowly but steady the Hippie Revolution, New Age Movement or the Anti-war Revolution started. The first time after so many years that no longer the people would accept cruelty, disempowerment and the torture that another war could bring with it.

Spirituality reached a new expression and as a natural evolution 20 years after the second world war spirituality and religion were finally disconnected. No longer spirituality was tied to a visit of churches and following dogmatic point of views. Furthermore it reached out to masses, to join together and experience spirituality on a totally new level. A powerful movement that led people into self-exploration, inspired new thoughts about humanity combined with mystical and esoteric traditions.

During those times many new ways of exploring own consciousness with psychoactive drugs, music but also spiritual techniques such as yoga and meditation found a place into society.

 Unity, Humanity and equality were the new values this movement asked for and would do everything to make itself heard.

Social Ignorance, Materialism, Egoistic behaviour no longer should be the driving force for a society that was too blind to see. A social system that was build up on the trauma of two world wars and the idea that material safety and security would be the only answer for a cruel world.

During those times people of these movements were not afraid to experience themselves in other realities, to step over social restrictions, rebellion and finally the idea of another way of living together as one human race was born.

 

While the 50’s still focused on new technologies and the comfort of material possessions as an expression of success in life. The 60’s blew this attitude in the wind. Sharing and caring was the new way of life to bring down the concept of separation and inequality.

After the Vietnam war ended in 1975 much was gained such as the Civil Rights Movement in America which allowed black people the same rights as white ones. But also the American Feminist Movement found a new voice and shouted over traditional boundaries. The world had changed and new ideas still moved at the surface of this new society. Unfortunately slowly the hippie movement was soon replaced by the new hunger for oil and its material potential. People slowly turned their faces towards material security again and the stock market offered once again new possibilities for money investments.

New technology especially the first mass market computer in 1964 once again should change the live of so many and as we know today – the world itself. The hunger for more new technology possibilities grew with every step and was based to bring a new understanding for the outside world.

But on the other hand side Spiritual teachers and gurus had a high demand in the early 1980s which came from the revolutionary area of the 60s. Love and Peace seemed to be the only answer to the way of moving humanity forward into a new generation of compassion and understanding for each other. The 80s finally started to bring this understanding for a new fruition. Yoga, Aloe Vera, Meditation, Alternative Therapies and a holistic approach slowly sneaked into the consciousness of a wider audience as a result of the desire for a better understanding of the world and the self.

The 21rst Century – The urge to return to the roots

Coming now into the 21rst Century I feel our urge to return to our spiritual roots. We are very much a society that is fed by the ideas of what screens have to offer. Our food is processed, the people we call heroes are celebrities and nature is something we might now and again experience if we make it away from the comfort of our couch. Reality is something we mostly perceive through the media and its negative news broadcasting. Therefor we feel the world is a place we should be fearful of and which we try to avoid as much as possible.

The world around us might have changed but deep within us we still are the same. Apart from that looking after our bodies in regards of enough sleep and food to keep them alive our soul slowly is dying from the disconnection we created with our environment.

We experience more mental health issues than ever before. Suicide rates are rising daily and the number burn outs can’t be counted anymore. We got everything on the material level and still suffer, how is that possible?

A new understanding – the power within

The answer to that might lay in the understanding that we are more than our bodies and our brains. That there is something within us that doesn’t care about material possessions because it is aware that they are this is an illusion and wont last forever. This something is called your soul. It is that eternal part of yourself that part of your consciousness which survives physical death. The soul longs for true connection with the world, nature and others. That something within you telling you that even if you achieved all you ever dreamt of you might not be happy or healthy.

That something that reminds you that you are not your body, you are not what you have and how many people will praise you. But that silent voice within you saying: “What is it that you truly love? What is it that you are living for? What is it that really counts?”

Humanity might be at a turning point these days once again. Realizing that we can’t go on living like this. We can’t destroy nature and pretending we are not a part of it. We can’t start wars and then turn our back when people are affected by it do ask for help. We can’t deny our personal and global responsibility. On a more personal level this new age will not allow us to get stuck in the wrong relationship, job or life. No longer we can deny our own psychic abilities which are there to guide us on the right path.

No longer we should deny our personal power – the power from within.

Showing us that there is so much more than meets the eye.

Reminding us that we are here to evolve, that we are a spiritual being having a physical experience. Our psychic abilities that do tell us that there is no limitations. Nor space or time. We are able to heal ourselves and others and raise above the detachment of only a physical and material existence.

The healthy integration of these insights could lead to a new Revolution – The Revolution of the Soul.

May the exploration of our personal psychic abilities be the gateway to a new understanding of the self and its limitless potential. I truly wish that more people will discover their unlimited potential and break free from centuries of brainwash and torture, self-denial and giving away their power.

May the exploration and development our own psychic abilities help us to find the truth.

To understand our limitless potential and followed by the understanding that we came here for a reason. To live, explore, expand our very own consciousness and share it with the world.

Julie Jurgan

Medium-Healer-Soulactivist

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Life Readings & Healing Sessions available.

In person and via distant.

10min FREE Consultation Session 

To book your session get in touch via phone 0750 6032301 (UK) or email to julie@blossomofthesoul.org

If you want to find out what Sessions I offer please look here…

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(featured image – wesannac.com & google.com)

Julie Jurgan – The law of growth ( 42. Universal law)

I want to see you grow – this is the message the universe wants to deliver when it stretches us. It wants us to awaken to our full potential because there is so much more we could do. But growth can be painful and sometimes we are forced to grow out of things if we want or not. But deep down we know that growth is always for the better – no matter what.

Julie Jurgan is a medium, healer and Soulactivist. She offers One-to-One Sessions ( Readings & Meditations) via Skype and in person. Her healing sessions are available in person as well as via distance. Her healing sessions are powerful and transforming.

If you would like to get in touch with Julie about her Readings or Healing work or you have any other questions please send an email to julie@blossomofthesoul.org

(featured image – pastorkinsey.com)

The Healing Power of Women (read)

 

In the heart of every woman beats the longing to sit with her sisters, to crack open, connect deeply and share her vulnerability, her joys, fears and her dreams. In ancient times the unfettered magic of the sacred feminine flowed freely. Her abundant fertility and creative power was in harmony with the principles of nature and flourished.

For over 2000 years, the dominant paradigm in our world has been the masculine impetus. This has caused suppression and wounding of the feminine force in both women and men. With all the advances of today, women are still secondary, in decision making, in influence and in terms of their access to power. Yet, women shape the generations to come, women have tremendous creative power to generate new life, to heal communities, create peace and so much more.

While sisterhood is rising and becoming a powerful healing force, many women are still healing their own wounds. Like most women, I have had my share of feminine wounding. I come from an ancestral heritage of splintered and wounded femininity. Adopted at birth, I have a dual lineage of birth parents and adoptive parents and in both of these families there is the tremendous loss and alienation from giving up children for adoption and the rupture of the primal bond between mother and child, which is so core to wholeness and the feminine mystery.

The primal bond between mother and child is core to wholeness and the feminine mystery.The primal bond between mother and child is core to wholeness and the feminine mystery.

My own journey with sisterhood has been interesting and not always easy. But so much of my healing has been through sisters and learning to receive feminine nurturing and be present to my own femininity and power. Being adopted left me with feelings of abandonment, low self worth and trust issues. I’ve spent years restoring the dislocated feminine in myself, healing my heart and my ability to love myself and others and learning to create strong bonds and relationships. Much of this journey has been through the passage of motherhood. I have four young children, three of them daughters and with each pregnancy and birth I healed more of my own pain and disconnection from myself. I feel a sacred responsibility to initiate my daughters into sistership and to give them a legacy of whole female relationships and feminine power. Healing the female line and freeing my ancestors has been an important initiation in my life and women have been vital in supporting this journey. The more I’ve sat in circle with women over the years, shared my vulnerability and opened my heart in trust, a kind of entrainment has helped heal the wounds of abandonment.

Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much. –  Helen Keller

Women are created to be together, to collaborate, to support each other, and to be a sacred community. These special moments lift the spirit and melt the heart. And science has shown that sisterhood also has wonderful benefits for women’s health.

Women are created to be together, to collaborate, to support each other, and to be a sacred community. Women are created to be together, to collaborate, to support each other, and to be a sacred community.

Ancient Sisterhood Traditions

The magic of sisterhood fills the longing for authenticity, deep connection and the expression of our wildness that was expressed so freely in ancient times. In some indigenous cultures, this tradition is still alive and increasingly it is being revived by women across the world. Traditions like the Red Tent, honouring rites of passage, healing circles, fertility rituals, and other indigenous women’s business nourished women and kept the whole tribe strong.

The Red Tent provided a place for women to recalibrate, incubate, dream, slow down and reconnect, during their moon time. This monthly cycle is far more than just a physical cycle, it is a cycle of transmutation, offering the potential for rebirth each month. It is a time of renewal and letting go.

Spiritual teacher, Eckhart Tolle has long said that the pain body is more active just before a woman menstruates. According to him your pain body is a kind of reservoir of accumulated pain, a field of negative energy. It can be both personal and collective and is made up of all the energetic residues of your pain from childhood. The pain body can either be dormant or active. When it is active it can take you over and feed on pain, which could explain the blues during or just before your period. If you approach this time with awareness you can stay present to emotions that intensify and see it as a healing opportunity to dissolve the pain body and heal past traumas.

At this moon time women would retreat together, as their cycles would be synchronised and they would sit in the tent together, being nurtured and cared for by the other women as they went through the healing process of shedding their womb. A woman is more psychic and the veil is thin between the worlds for her when she is bleeding. Taking the time to be still she can easily open to higher inspiration and dreaming at this time.

The Red Tent provided a place for women to recalibrate, incubate, dream, slow down and reconnect, during their moon time. The Red Tent provided a place for women to recalibrate, incubate, dream, slow down and reconnect, during their moon time.

“Sister, open your heart, fling your hopes high and set your dreams aloft. I am here to hold your hand.” – Maya Angelou

In the old spiritual traditions women were the keepers of the ancient wisdom. They maintained harmony and balance in the natural world and their communities. Due to their emotional openness and connection to their instinctual nature, their vision and ability to tap into higher wisdom was revered and used for the advantage of the whole community. Women’s bodies were seen as sacred alchemical vessels of creation and transformation. And in many traditions, women were the personification of the Goddess on earth, channels who could bridge the worlds with sacred rituals.

Traditional ways women kept their bonds strong were through honouring the rites of passage in a woman’s life, which were linked to her sexuality and fertility. In the Native American Tradition and many others, the onset of menstruation in a young girl was celebrated with a ceremony of huge significance that welcomed her into womanhood. These rites of passage were a major event and  to celebrate a young girl becoming a woman, or when a woman entered motherhood, as well as the passage of a woman into her crone wisdom at menopause, were shared with their sisters.

In the old spiritual traditions women were the keepers of the ancient wisdom.In the old spiritual traditions women were the keepers of the ancient wisdom.

In Indigenous cultures many of the activities of daily life were shared. Women gathered the food and cooked together, while singing and sharing. Women, like the ancient Maya, created textiles, clothes, spinning and weaving together, and were also responsible for tending to the spiritual aspects of day to day life. Australian Indigenous women cared for each other’s children, as if they were their own and the children often didn’t know which woman was their birth mother as these bonds were so close. In today’s fragmented society, some women feel alienated and alone, longing for this connection with other women that was such a natural part of everyday life.

Women also gathered in circles on the Full and New Moon for ceremony and rituals to heal and support one another. Many feminine traditions included the honouring of the earth and the Goddess. In Europe before Biblical times and the suppression of women, these traditions celebrated fertility and the power of the Divine Feminine.

In the temples of India, Egypt, Greece, Rome, Sumeria, and ancient Europe, women were taught to develop their powers of perception, intuition, and how to refine the powerful energy of emotion. They learnt how to awaken nurture and enhance their feminine gifts. Today, women are reclaiming their spiritual power and innate wisdom, creating community and taking up leadership.

Women gathered in circles on the Full and New Moon for ceremony and rituals to heal and support one another.Women gathered in circles on the Full and New Moon to heal and support one another.

So what is sisterhood?

Sisterhood is not an exclusive group, or an anti-men symposium. It is a way of being. It is a celebration of all that is gloriously and potently feminine. It is foremost a choice to be alive and luscious in your female mystery, and it is a path of the heart. There is sisterhood between friends, between a mother and a daughter, a grandmother and her grandchild, a teacher and her student. Sisterhood is a movement of kindness. It encompasses all women, no matter what their shape, nationality or beliefs. It is an energy that encompasses men too and is healing for the planet.

Help one another, is part of the religion of sisterhood.” Louisa May Alcott

The archetypes of the priestess, the crone, and the goddess runs deep in women, but is buried below the crushing responsibilities and daily demands women put on themselves along with the taut dictates of society: to be the perfect mother, or model wife, amazing lover, and career woman. When women come together, this falls away and they create magic, an atmosphere that is potent and transformative, and a field that is magnetic.

Sisterhood is a movement of kindness.Sisterhood is a movement of kindness.

Sacred aspects of True Sistership

Equality

The circle of life and the circle of sisters represents the innate value of each being. There is no elite, no division, but a warm acceptance of all the colours, shapes and sizes of our sisters. Sisters are different flowers from the same garden. Each is unique and important to the whole. As we appreciate and support each other in our individuality, in beauty, body shape, dreams, life choices, or parenting choices, we create incredible freedom in ourselves and others.

Mastery

Sisterhood supports the expression of our full power as women. It is a supportive journey of mastery over our deep instinctual nature, our thoughts and our physicality. As we mould our inner world, we discover the power to manifest our dreams in the world around us.

The circle of life and the circle of sisters represents the innate value of each being.The circle of life and the circle of sisters represents the innate value of each being.

Stillness

The feminine principle is receptive. In stillness we open to inspiration, we connect deeply with ourselves, so that we are able to hold space more deeply for our families, children, and communities.

Honour

Sisterhood is a path of honouring our sensuality, and our beauty as women, of self acceptance of whatever that form of beauty takes, and of loving the unique divine expression of our bodies and faces. We have a responsibility to care for and love ourselves. When we honour ourselves in this way, we can honour our sisters and families in a deeper way. The true nurturing potential and power of love is free to flow to everyone when it comes from a well of potent and integral love for yourself.

When we honour ourselves in this way, we can honour our sisters and families in a deeper way.When we honour ourselves in this way, we can honour our sisters and families in a deeper way.

Fertility

In each womb, there lies the creative potential of the universe. While we have the ability to birth new life, women also have the capacity to bring their dreams to life out in the world. We have a sacred responsibility to express this creativity, be it through creating a family, a connected community, harmony, works of art, dance, music or anything of beauty. When we create we keep our feminine energy balanced and the unfettered flow of creative expression stems the tide of competition, jealousy and comparison with others. It ensures our relationships with our sisters are alive and happy and our creative urges are fulfilled.

Now more than ever these sacred principles are needed if women are to shine and impact the world around us.

Our own family trees are filled with teaching situations and with tragic examples that may have blinded our own Ancestors to the values of truth as it is found in love. Now, the destiny of wholeness of the human race falls to the Sisterhood because all things are born of woman.

When women are no longer lost, asking others to tell them what they should do or how they should live, there will be great changes in our world. This is not to say that the friendships and bonds of women are not to be used; on the contrary, the support of other women who have walked the same path is paramount. – Jami Sams, The Thirteen Original Clan Mothers

For our world to heal, each woman needs to rediscover herself, find her light and shine it out into the world. We need to guide each other home and now is the time.

By Azriel ReShel

(Featured image from upliftconnect.com)

Why is Shamanism becoming so popular? (read)

Why is shamanism in all its varieties becoming increasingly popular? Why is this happening now?  Author Christa MacKinnon explains.

In a nutshell we can say that as human beings we have an innate drive to develop into ‘all that we can become’, and that we have reached a point where a shift in consciousness and a change of our way of life is inevitable if we want to develop further – or even survive – as a species.

Our efforts over the last two millennia have focused increasingly on material reality, economic growth, consumption and scientifically orientated mental development. This has produced materially wealthy societies, but has neglected our inner and spiritual development. We have lost our connection to the Earth, to our souls and to the sacred within and without, and are deprived of deeper meaning and purpose.

The shamanic archetype, that knowing pattern deep within us, reminds us of how it felt when we were still focused on soul and spirit, embedded in a community and experiencing ourselves as an integral part of existence. It reminds us of what we need to come back to on our human journey if we want to become balanced and whole.

 

We have reached a point in human evolution where many of us are beginning to wake up to the fact that our materialistic world-views, the economic structures of our societies and our one-sided development have created a range of very disturbing ecological, economic, social and political problems and, most importantly, ‘soulless’ societies.

The price we have paid is much higher than can be outlined in the context of this book. The environmental devastation, the extinction of species, the destruction and uprooting of almost all indigenous cultures around the world, the cruelty of slavery, the religious crusades, the horrendous world wars and more tell their own story.

Even our much-hailed economic progress has now – in global terms – produced an inequality in wealth distribution on a scale never seen before, where 1 per cent of the world’s population owns 48 per cent of the world’s wealth.

Even in developed countries that have a good share of the created wealth, we still pay a high price. We have reached record levels of so-called ‘mental disorders’, with depression and anxiety disorders leading the field, and loneliness and isolation following on behind.

The pressure to be ‘well adjusted’ to a soul-denying society is taking its toll. For me as a psychologist, it is not surprising that the suffering of the soul, which has not been catered for at best and negated at worst in contemporary society for a long time now, is ending up in the consulting rooms of medical practitioners, therapists and psychiatrists in the form of psychosomatic pains, diffuse emotional disturbances, hopelessness, disenchantment and depletion of energy as well as anxiety and depressive disorders.

 

Jung warned that if we did not explore and nourish the psyche, we would not survive as a civilization. He understood, as many more do now, that we would lose our souls in the process.

The most important understanding we develop when we get involved in shamanism is that there is no ‘wholeness’, no positive human development, no ultimate joy, contentment and fulfilment, without nourishing our souls, expanding our consciousness and experiencing ourselves as an integrated part of the whole.

So the shamanic archetype within the human psyche is stirring, because it represents what we have lost: the connection to the Earth, to nature, to our soul and to the sacred. It represents all that our fragmented psyche longs for. It represents mystery, magic, community. It represents our yearning to break down the limiting cognitive and ego barriers of our minds, to alter our states and to let our consciousness soar, so that we can experience the sacred in all its awe-inspiring ways.

It represents the human quest of going beyond the limits of the ordinary and of experiencing the magical. It represents our power to dream our own life into being.

It is time to begin.

Go deeper into the world of Shamanism in this extract of Christa MacKinnon’s new Hay House Basics introduction to Shamanism, which is out now.

(featured image by trevor cowan www.ShamanicHelp.org)

Julie Jurgan – The law of Self-truth ( 43. Universal law) (video)

This is the 43rd video of Julies Universal Video Blog Project in which she tries to discover the universal laws and their meanings as well as impact on our personal lives.

The law of self truth is a powerful universal law – it invites us to discover who we really are. It inspires us to find a way to live and express our own truth and think about our personal values. This law also reminds us that our truth does not need to be someone elses truth. But also it encourages us to truly be ourselves and let others know if they dont respect our truth. May we find the will to go searching for the truth and may we have the courage to stay flexible and open as the truth is not a fixed term – but maybe a reflection of the universe itself. Always changing and expanding.

Julie Jurgan is a medium, healer and Soulactivist. She offers One-to-One Sessions ( Readings & Meditations) via Skype and in person. Her healing sessions are available in person as well as via distance. Her healing sessions are powerful and transforming.

If you would like to get in touch with Julie about her Readings or Healing work or you have any other questions please send an email to julie@blossomofthesoul.org

 

(featured image – truth-speaks.org)

Julie Jurgan – The law of Selfworth (41. Universal law) (watch)

The 41. Universal law deals with the understanding of self-worth. We need to come to realize our own potential but also our power. What we think about ourselves will find its way into our life. If we limit ourselves we limit life. How do we define self-worth and how can we increase it? Compassion and self-love will lead the way but its up to us to walk the path and no longer hold on to anything that isn’t a reflection of our highest self.

Julie Jurgan is a medium, healer and Soulactivist. She offers One-to-One Sessions ( Readings & Meditations) via Skype and in person. Her healing sessions are available in person as well as via distance. Her healing sessions are powerful and transforming.

If you would like to get in touch with Julie about her Readings or Healing work or you have any other questions please send an email to julie@blossomofthesoul.org

The Four Agreements (read)

Modern Psychology Agrees with Ancient Toltec Wisdom By Tanja Taljaard

 

Most ancient cultures have timeless spiritual wisdom from which we can benefit today. In fact, science and psychology acknowledge the advantages of various age-old practices like meditation, mantra, and yoga, on our overall well being. Many eastern philosophies are incorporated into modern therapies.

There are countless ways to connect with a sense of inner peace and divinity, and the ancient Toltec wisdom embodies many of the universally accepted truths adopted by spiritual traditions around the world.

The Toltecs were a civilisation of Mexico thousands of years ago. They were known as spiritual scientists and artists who explored esoteric knowledge and practices. The Toltec viewed science and spirit as part of the same entity, believing that all energy – material or ethereal – is derived from one source and governed by the same universal laws. The Toltec understood the way the mind functions as dreaming reality. They described the mind as that which controls our dream. With awareness of the source of our dream comes the possibility of changing it.

“Life is nothing but a dream but that dream is alive; you are creating that dream, and that dream working for you is pure magic.” Don Miguel Ruiz

The Toltecs were a civilisation of Mexico thousands of years ago.The Toltec civilisation thrived in Mexico from around 900AD and still informs its spirituality.

The Four Agreements

Almost 20 years ago, Don Miguel Ruiz wrote a book called The Four Agreements. It explores the modern meaning of the Toltec teachings as a way to personal freedom and spiritual empowerment. Many people have found that committing to these four agreements have changed their lives and made them happier, more loving human beings.

Dr John A. Johnson, professor of psychology, believes that most of these ideas are highly similar to concepts used in modern psychology. He claims that Ruiz’s book could be a primer for congnitive-behavioral therapy, which treats problems and increases happiness by modifying dysfunctional emotions, behaviours, and thoughts. It encourages patients to challenge distorted cognitions and change destructive patterns of behaviour.

In his book, Ruiz explains that children do not know any better than to agree with the adult realities into which they are indoctrinated. All children are born perfectly loving, playful, and genuine. Parents, however, teach their children standards of behaviour that they must follow in order to receive love and avoid criticism. These standards eventually become internalized into an unconscious set of instructions for living life. Ruiz says that the reason why people from shamanic traditions in America call themselves ‘warriors’ is because they’re in a war for independence and the right to use their own mind and break free. Dr Johnson agrees that as we mature, we can become warriors breaking free from the shackles of agreements with our fixed, false ideas. We can accept healthier agreements.

Parents teach their children standards of behaviour that they must follow to receive love.Parents teach their children standards of behaviour that they must follow.

Be Impeccable with your Word

Ruiz claims that this is the most important and most difficult agreement to honour. Committing a thought to word brings the thought to life. Being impeccable with your word means to use your energy in the direction of truth and love for yourself and, by extension, others. “Misuse of the word is how we pull each other down and keep each other in a state of fear and doubt.” It’s like poison. We use the word against ourselves through negative self-talk, and we use the word against others through gossip; trying to gain support from others to support our point of view. “Tell yourself how much you love yourself. Use the word to break all those agreements that make you suffer.”

Don’t take anything personally

We all have a unique way of looking at the world. When we say and do things, we are doing so directly through our view of the world. When you take things personally and feel offended, your reaction is to defend your beliefs and create conflict. Those beliefs are a reflection of your own agreements that you’ve made with life. Your point of view is personal to you; it’s no one’s truth but yours. Don’t take anything personally, even if someone tells you how wonderful you are! The opinions you have about yourself are not necessarily true either; therefore, you don’t need to take whatever you hear in your own mind personally. We have a choice of what to believe and agree with.

You don’t need to take whatever you hear in your own mind personally.You don’t need to take whatever you hear in your own mind personally.

Don’t make assumptions

There’s a well know saying that goes with the word assume… Ruiz states, “The problem with making assumptions is that we believe that they are the truth. We could swear that they’re real. We make an assumption, we misunderstand, we take it personally, and we end up creating a whole big drama for nothing.” We often start gossiping about our assumptions. We have agreed that it’s not safe to ask questions, and also that, if people love us, they should know what we want or how we feel. Find the courage to ask questions until you’re as clear as you can be. Also, find your voice to express what you really want. With clear communication, all of your relationships will change.

Always do your Best

“Best” does not mean perfect. Your best is never going to be the same from one moment to the next. Sometimes your best will be high quality, and other times it won’t be as good. Your best will be different when you’re healthy as opposed to sick, feeling happy or upset. Regardless of the quality, keep doing your best. When you overdo, you deplete yourself, and when you do less than your best, you subject yourself to self-judgment, guilt and regrets. Support and encourage yourself.” If you’re doing your best, you will feel good about yourself even if you still make assumptions, take things personally, and still are not impeccable with your word. If you do your best always, you will become a master of transformation.”

“Best” does not mean perfect.“Best” does not mean perfect.

By changing the foundation of your own agreements, you master your own dream.

“Your life is the manifestation of your dream; it is an art. Dream masters create a masterpiece of life; they control the dream by making choices. Everything has consequences and a dream master is aware of the consequences.”

(featured image from upliftconnect.com)

Ikigai – Finding your reason for being

Chip Richards shares a simple method to look deeper into yourself.

What gets you out of bed in the morning?

 

When asked what is the single most powerful contributing factor to one’s health and vitality, integrative medical doctor Oscar Serrallach answered without hesitation: having a sense of purpose. Serrallach went on to describe that while some of his patients have developed great regimes of nutrition, lifestyle activities and movement to support their wellbeing; those without a clear sense of purpose in their life experience continuing struggle with physical health issues. The distinguishing quality of many of his healthiest patients – those who  transcend common health challenges despite not having lived by the book, in terms of healthy lifestyle factors – is that they seem to be the most aligned or ‘called’ towards some primary focus of meaning in their life.

Japanese culture actually has a word which addresses this focus. The word is ikigai and translates simply as, ‘reason for being’.

What is Your ‘Reason for Being’?

According to the Japanese, everyone has an ikigai. To find it often requires deep enquiry and lengthy ‘search of self’ – a search which is highly regarded.

Ikigai diagramFour primary elements of ikigai

The term ikigai is composed of two Japanese words: iki referring to life, and kai, which roughly means “the realisation of what one expects and hopes for”. Unpacking the word and its associated symbol a bit further, ikigai is seen as the convergence of four primary elements:

  • What you Love (your passion)
  • What the World Needs (your mission)
  • What you are Good at (your vocation)
  • What you can get Paid for (your profession)

The word ikigai, that space in the middle of these four elements, is seen as the source of value or what make one’s life truly worthwhile. In Okinawa, Japan, ikigai is thought of as “a reason to get up in the morning”. Interestingly, while certainly incorporating the financial aspects of life, the word is more often used to refer to the mental and spiritual state behind our circumstance as opposed to our current economic status alone. Even if we are moving through a dark or challenging time, if we are moving with purpose, if we are feeling called toward something or have a clear goal in mind, we may still experience ikigai. Often the behaviors that make us feel ikigai are not the ones we are forced to take based on the expectations of the world around us, but rather they are the natural actions and spontaneous responses that emerge from a deep and direct connection to life.

Feeling called to somethingFeeling called to something

The Question of Purpose

Many ancient indigenous cultures took time to honour the question of purpose through ceremony, vision quest and rites of passage in order to help reveal the essential role that each member was born to play in the greater tribe and story of life; though the space and reverence for this question does not always seem to exist today. For many, our decisions around life-focus unfold in a more reactionary way, propelling us into educational, professional and life-directional paths based less on deep inner calling or soul-inspired vision, and more on societal expectations, so-called ‘practical reality’ and what is required to survive in the systems we’ve created to live in.

The truth is, if there was ever a time on our planet where a sense of true purpose was needed, required, or desperately called for, now would be that time. But amidst the multi-layered pressures of our modern world, how do we peel back the layers and discover why we are here and what we are really supposed to be doing?

American mythologist and author Joseph Campbell shared his view on fulfilling our purpose when he said,

My general formula for my students is, ‘Follow your bliss.’ Find where it is, and don’t be afraid to follow it.

Follow your blissFollow your bliss

Sacred Activism, encourages us on the other hand to find our purpose by ‘following our heartbreak’. Andrew Harvey calls us to discover that which is most deeply disturbing in our world and to use this as a catalyst to propel our actions and discover where we can make the biggest difference.

Meanwhile, philosopher and civil rights leader Howard W Thurman said:

Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive and do that… Because what the world really needs is people who have come alive.

While each of these viewpoints are powerfully compelling in their own right, whether we are following our bliss, following our heartbreak, or that which makes us come alive (or a combination of all three!), for many of us there is also an apparent need to follow that which pays the bills each month and allows us to cover the basic necessities of life. So how do we balance all of these factors in the creation of a life which is meaningful, purposeful and aligned with our true calling? Is it possible to have it all? The essence of ikigai gives us a framework to balance these elements into a cohesive whole.

Slam poetAsk what makes you come alive and do that

Passion as a vehicle for change and contribution

As the world moves through massive change on many levels, more and more people are feeling called to align their skills and gifts with a higher cause or sense of contribution. Beautiful examples are emerging in many arenas of social change and activism where people are not abandoning their passion for the cause but rather channeling the thing they most love doing in the direction of positive change – and discovering inspired ways to support themselves along the way.

Sixteen year old rapper, dancer and global youth director of Earth Guardians Xiuhtezcatl Martinez is a living example of ikigai, blending his creative gifts and passion for the Earth in the rise of a world-wide youth-lead revolution in support of future generations.  Poet/rapper/Facebook sensation Prince Ea has woven his love and concern for humanity and Earth with a gift for capturing profound messages into powerfully creative 3-5 minute videos – an expression of ikigai which galvanises the energy and support of millions of people online each week. Visionary art therapist and yoga teacher Atira Tan responded to her “heartbreak” witnessing child sex trafficking in Asia and has discovered incredible passion and aliveness through the sharing of her global foundation Art2Healing, bringing justice and transformational healing and movement arts to those who have suffered from this experience.

Youth Director of Earth Guardians, Xiuhtezcatl Martinez, in hip-hop expression of ikigaiYouth Director of Earth Guardians, Xiuhtezcatl Martinez, in hip-hop expression of ikigai

The truth is many of the challenges we face in today’s world are not simple, technical challenges. They are complex, multi-dimensional issues which will require expansive, multi-dimensional thinking and action. The type of thinking, action and energy that emerges naturally when we are in the throes of creative expression or connection with others. When we are immersed in any endeavor that brings us into our hearts, that makes us come alive – and we are bringing ourselves fully to it – instantly we become more generative, more magnetic and more dynamic in our ability to navigate challenges and discover pathways of breakthrough.

IkigaiWhat is your ikigai?

What is Your Ikigai?

Take a moment to draw your own version of the overlapping circles of the ikigai symbol and consider the following:

  • What do you Love? What aspects of your life bring you into your heart and make you come alive?
  • What are you Great at? What unique skills do you have that come most naturally to you? What talents have you cultivated and what do you excel at even when you aren’t trying?
  • What Cause do you believe in? What breaks your heart or pulls at your gut? What change would you most love to create in the world? What would you give your life for?
  • What do people Value and pay you for? What service, value or offering do you bring, or could you bring, that brings real value to others? Something people need and are happy to pay for or share some value in exchange?

Take a few minutes to write whatever key words, phrases and ideas come up for you in each circle, then look for areas of natural overlap. Reflect on the sum total of these elements and how they may relate to each other. Bring yourself quietly to the centre of the circles and leave space in your mind for whatever impulse or calling may emerge naturally in the coming days… What is one simple thing you could do or be today that would be an expression of your ikigai?

featured image from upliftconnect.com

As I Began to Love Myself (read and watch)

As I Began to Love Myself – Self Love Poem attributed to Charlie Chaplin

As I began to love myself I found that anguish and emotional suffering
are only warning signs that I was living against my own truth.
Today, I know, this is “AUTHENTICITY”.

As I began to love myself I understood how much it can offend somebody
As I try to force my desires on this person, even though I knew the time
was not right and the person was not ready for it, and even though this
person was me. Today I call it “RESPECT”.

As I began to love myself I stopped craving for a different life,
and I could see that everything that surrounded me was inviting me to grow.
Today I call it “MATURITY”.

As I began to love myself I understood that at any circumstance,
I am in the right place at the right time, and everything happens
at the exactly right moment. So I could be calm.
Today I call it “SELF-CONFIDENCE”.

As I began to love myself I quit steeling my own time,
and I stopped designing huge projects for the future.
Today, I only do what brings me joy and happiness, things I love to do
and that make my heart cheer, and I do them in my own way and in
my own rhythm. Today I call it “SIMPLICITY”.

As I began to love myself I freed myself of anything that is no good for
my health – food, people, things, situations, and everything that drew
me down and away from myself. At first I called this attitude
a healthy egoism. Today I know it is “LOVE OF ONESELF”.

As I began to love myself I quit trying to always be right, and ever since
I was wrong less of the time. Today I discovered that is “MODESTY”.

As I began to love myself I refused to go on living in the past and worry
about the future. Now, I only live for the moment, where EVERYTHING
is happening. Today I live each day, day by day, and I call it “FULFILLMENT”.

As I began to love myself I recognized that my mind can disturb me
and it can make me sick. But As I connected it to my heart, my
mind became a valuable ally. Today I call this
connection “WISDOM OF THE HEART”.

We no longer need to fear arguments, confrontations or any kind of problems
with ourselves or others. Even stars collide, and out of their crashing
new worlds are born.Today I know THAT IS “LIFE”!

(featured image from www.locustherapy.com)