THE AWAKENING WOMAN: A PORTRAIT OF POSSIBILITY FOR HUMANKIND
The Awakening Woman is consciously aware of herself and strives to be intimate with all facets of her being. She is her own person as well as relational. She nurtures and honors the relationship with herself as well as with others. She is actively awakening and supports the awakening of those around her. Her devotion to herself allows her devotion to others to be genuine and nourishing. She is sincere, authentic, vulnerable and strong. She is protective, and accepts and values protection from others when appropriate. She establishes healthy boundaries while keeping an open heart.
The Awakening Woman is intimate with her painbody and the feminine wound. She does not deny her pain, but turns towards it for healing. She knows that the dysfunctional views and oppression of females/femaleness is nothing she caused, but acknowledges the ways in which she has participated or was complacent in the unjust treatment of women and the roles that support it, and chooses to no longer participate.
The Awakening Woman does not objectify herself. She stands against the objectification of girls and women. She does not support or consent to those things that degrade or exploit what is female or feminine as well as what is male or masculine.
The Awakening Woman fights for equality at every turn and asks people to take a stand for woman’s issues and gender equality, knowing that this is foundational to all other forms of equality. She will not allow deflection or take the blame for her own victimhood, but will not over-identify with it or over-dramatize it to where it immobilizes her or stunts her own growth.
The Awakening Woman does not use sex or her femininity to manipulate or get what she wants. She ceases to engage in love-making without heart, but rather chooses love-making that is connected, organic, fully mutual, and from the healthy ego. She will not allow sex to be used as a substitute for true intimacy, or a distraction from unresolved wounds. She is not afraid to be called a prude or a slut for making her own conscious decisions around sex. She does not let patriarchy, religion, politics, the media, or the unhealthy male ego define sex, beauty, or relationship for her. Her relationship to sex is her own and comes from within, not from what has been dictated to her all her life by a culture that doesn’t value healthy sexuality. She does not placate or sell herself out to gain male approval, nor does she compete with or sell her sisters out for male attention.
The Awakening Woman speaks her truth. She speaks up when things don’t feel good to her. She values her intuition over others’ intellect. She seeks to be empowered through the divine essence of her being coupled with the cultivation of a healthy ego, and not from external sources and adoration. She uses direct communication and knows how to ask for what she needs. She does not let the good qualities in another overshadow what isn’t working in a relationship. She knows when to walk away and gives up control of trying to change people who do not meet her where she is. The Awakening Woman moves on.
The Awakening Woman distinguishes between the healthy masculine and unhealthy masculine. She has compassion and empathy for the masculine wound and reverence for the healthy masculine. She seeks union and equality with the masculine and acknowledges and expresses gratitude for those times she’s had to call on the male warrior or masculine energies in her life. She sees the masculine and feminine energies as complimentary and necessary to the co-creative force that will bring balance to herself, her relationships and to the planet.
The Awakening Woman is self-parenting and protects the little girl inside. She does not tolerate emotional or physical abuse. She knows how to openly give and receive love, without losing herself in another. She is moving away from the ‘people pleaser’ model. She uses NO as a complete sentence and doesn’t feel the need to over-justify herself or pacify others for the sake of being ‘comfortable.’
The Awakening Woman knows her value even when she’s not giving to or doing for others. She does not let outside influences overshadow or dominate her inner voice and knowing. She does not dim herself down to be liked and accepted. She is willing to be alone in truth over being in dishonest company, and accepts that being alone may be a part of her awakening journey.
The Awakening Woman acknowledges and learns from her past mistakes, patterns and unhealthy behaviors. Instead of letting guilt and shame keep her from actualizing her highest self, she makes a conscious and concerted effort to not repeat these things that have caused her and others discord. She works at shedding the parts of her ego that are no longer serving her or others, while developing the parts that do serve.
The Awakening Woman loves and honors her body and is endlessly grateful for it and how it provides for her. She smiles at the lines in her face, knowing that’s how they got there to begin with. She embraces her humor and laughs from her belly. She also cries and rages from her belly. She lets her belly expand naturally. She puts self care before self image and looks deeply at her conditioning around her external image.
The Awakening Woman is emotionally literate. She can identify and process her feelings and takes responsibility for her emotions. She does not apologize for her feelings and expresses them healthily towards herself and others. She refrains from displacing her anger or other emotions. She walks her talk and admits and corrects it when she falters. She knows how to give a healthy apology for any misstep. She is actively identifying and integrating the disowned parts of herself and does not project her happiness or discontent, positive or negative qualities, onto others.
The Awakening Woman does not carry others’ emotions for them, but holds a loving, compassionate space for them when possible. She asks for others to be responsible with and for their emotions so as to not engender co-dependency. The Awakening Woman will not settle for a love partner who is not her equal and him/herself awakening.
The Awakening Woman works to come from a place of abundance rather than scarcity. She is intimate with her fear, knowing when to let it guide her and when to confront and move through it; she uses it and other emotions as sacred keys to unlock the depths of her soul. She goes to her edge, yet honors her limitations without judgment or shame. She makes it a priority to find some refuge in a world that can feel unsafe to her.
The Awakening Woman is connected to nature and knows her own wonder. She knows how to DO and how to BE. She does not succumb to materialism and unconscious consumerism. She creates more than she consumes; and does both responsibly – mindfully choosing what is nourishing and not harmful.
The Awakening Woman has integrity within herself and with others. She is accountable, self actualizing and above all, works to cultivate a loving relationship with herself instead of relying on others to define her value or worth. She is finding ways to answer the callings of her life’s purpose and continues to expand into it.
The Awakening Woman is enough.
The Awakening Woman is a role model for humanity; the embodied potential of the divine as expressed through human form. She is here, right now; and though she often goes unnoticed, she is helping to guide us home.
© Jessica Bahr. Author in process. She can be reached at: Relationshifting@gmail.com
*This piece is a companion piece to a blog Jeff Brown wrote in 2011 called ‘The Awakening Man: A Portrait of Possibility for Humankind, which you can read at http://www.spiritofmaat.com/jul11/the_awakening_man.html
APOLOGIES TO MY (SWEET) BODY (from a head-tripper in transition)
I apologize for hiding from you in my mind. I was a head-tripper extraordinaire, preferring the seeming safety of my thoughts to the often savage world of feeling. Although I was frequently called ‘absent-minded’, I was actually ‘absent-bodied’, living far outside the walls of the body temple. I grew up in a hateful family, and feeling into my body meant feeling into the horrible memories held in my tissues. Surviving by my wits allowed me to think my way through challenging circumstances and shielded me from pain. But my headiness came at a price- excessive analysis perpetuates emotional paralysis. My coping strategy became my blueprint for reality, alienating me from my real life. But I want to stop watching you from afar. I want to open the gate and come back in now.
I apologize for abusing you with toxic food, over-eating, workaholism. I wanted you drained and deadened so that I couldn’t feel you. If I enlivened you, I felt my emotions more strongly and my pain emerged. If I numbed you, my memories remained buried. Yet another self-distraction technique. I am sorry for those acts of misplaced aggression. I couldn’t hold you safe because I had never been held safe. I had to first forge self-love in the fires of life.
I apologize for shaming you, loathing you, hiding you, feeling embarrassed about you. I am sorry that I judged your seeming imperfections as oddities rather than reflections of the Godself. My attitude was a direct reflection of my own self-hatred, the internalized remnants of a shamed and vilified inner world. They told me I was ugly and I believed them. Characterized as the black sheep throughout my childhood, I took that message to heart, often perpetuating the shameathon at my own expense. As I work to bring my light out from under its bushel of shame, I see the wonder that is you shining through. Such a majestic temple, a living prayer to the Godself. If we don’t honour the temple, there will be no place to pray.
I apologize for looking for my spiritual life independent from you, as though God is a disembodied construct and not a felt experience. Like a good little head-tripper, I wanted to think God, rather than feel God. And so I looked for God on the skyways of detachment, mistaking self-avoidance for enlightenment itself. I went down this path for some time, seemingly calm on the outside, but a bubbling cauldron of unresolved feelings in the deep within. In truth, the closest I ever came to an inclusive consciousness were in those moments when I surrendered to you completely, blemishes and all. It is no accident that we are here in physical form- God is IN the people. I apologize for looking for God outside the temple walls.
I apologize for weighing you down with physical and emotional armour: rigid musculature, congealed rage, shallowed breath, a hardened heart. Perfectly conditioned as a lone-wolf male warrior, I preferred solidity to fluidity, weaponry to warmth. A slave to survival, I was built to move along the path like a machine, postponing rest and pleasure for a day that seldom came. With my armour intact, nothing and no one could touch me. But I was borrowing energy from my future. I was killing myself. Even now, I am under no illusion that I will shift this way of being easily. It is deep in me, deep in my memories of overcoming. But I will try, one shedding at a time. I will try.
I apologize for subjecting you to objectified, heart-severed sexuality. You are built for intimacy that is depth-full, unifying, indistinguishable from the God-self. Anything less is a perversion of your divine nature. But I all too often wanted it shallow and Godless. I wanted no bridge between my heart and genitals, my heart and hers. Even when I was going through my ‘tantra’ phases, I was still abusing you, because I was using my genitals as a bliss seeking missile and not a bridge to the divine. I was using sexuality to escape the moment rather than to deepen in connection. I am sorry that I abused you in this way. I am committed to enheartening my sexuality. I am committed to building the heart-genital highway within.
I am grateful for the so many ways that you kept me going even when my waking consciousness was completely alienated from you. If I had been ruled by my thoughts alone, I would be long dead, bouncing as I was from one heady tree-top to another. But you never failed me, never forgot me, never lost sight of where I really lived. You kept breathing me when I acted against you, when I shamed you, when I disowned you. You kept loving me, calling me back, keeping me afloat until I could meet myself. Such devotion. Deep bows..
I am particularly grateful that you carried me through the most destructive life stages. You healed the wounds and broken bones of early life. You shielded me from violence with your fists and feet. You got me out of bed when grief was immobilizing my spirit. You pulled me out of the fires of childhood hell, even when I re-created them throughout adulthood. You warmed me up, as I knocked on thousands of doors to sell windows in Canadian winters. You kept me awake through a sleepless trial law apprenticeship. You endured 3 decades of workaholism and over-compensation, with little rest. Dearest friend, how can I best honour you?
Thank you for being my authenticity-mometer, my temple of truth. How beautifully you carried my sacred purpose until I was ready for the hand-off. You reminded me with truth-chills whenever I walked in the right direction. You tripped me up with truth-aches whenever I dared to walk in someone else’s shoes. What is so remarkable is that you never failed to communicate with me when I was living a lie. I may not have been ready to listen, but you never abandoned your faith in my possibilities. I now know that my true-path is encoded in the bones of my being. Not a temple that I visit, but one that I am.
I look forward to the day when humanity fully embraces your divinity and recognizes the unity at the heart of creation. A unified consciousness still exists outside of our habitual awareness, but it sings to us from deep within, a symphony of God-music that is calling us home. Where body, mind and spirit appear to be flowing in disparate directions, they will soon be revealed as inextricable branches of the same waterway. On the river of Essence, everything flows in the same direction —towards the ocean of wholeness.
As we move closer to a unified consciousness, may we recognize the heart of the matter- our enheartened body temple. Enlightenment is not a head trip- it’s a heart trip, gusts of God blowing through the portal of the heart, the aortic love valve merging with the love that courses through the universal vein. As it turns out, it isn’t beginner’s mind we seek. Its’ beginner’s heart- the freshness of appreciation that flows through the open heart. If we want to expand our spiritual consciousness, we have to shake our heart tree often. Opening the heart unlocks the heart of the universe, and we see what is always before us. May we be committed to shedding the armour around our heart a little more with every breath.
I am writing you by the banks of a small river, watching Canadian Geese land, resting and readying for the next leg of their journey south. I watch them, settling into a body they never left, truly here. Time to surrender, sing the birds of pray. Then, when their body is ready, they rise again, rising on the wings of their love. I hear them, calling out to each other. Surrender! they cry, as they fly God home for the winter.
One day, I won’t write you as though you are independent of my waking consciousness. One day, I will pray to you, as you. One day, I too will fly to God without leaving the temple. Until then, please continue to hold me safe.
A former criminal lawyer and psychotherapist, Jeff Brown is the author of “Soulshaping: A Journey of Self-Creation,” recently published by North Atlantic Books. Endorsed by authors Elizabeth Lesser and Ram Dass, “Soulshaping” is Brown’s autobiography — an inner travelogue of his journey from archetypal male warrior to a more surrendered path. He is also the author of “Apologies to the Divine Feminine (from a warrior in transition).” You can connect with his work at www.soulshaping.com
As the battle between the authentic and the inauthentic intensifies, we need to be mindful of where we focus our gaze. This is a key moment in the burgeoning battle for truth, and we must be grounded and clear in our focus, lest we fall prey to misguided reactivities and manipulations that do not serve our ultimate destination- an awakened, enheartened society.
As protestors rightfully gather around unconscionable corporations and stock markets, I want to also focus our gaze on the unconscious elements of the media. I appreciate that these systems all work together to serve their selfish ends, but media trickery often seems to fly under the radar, almost too obvious to be detected. And it is devastating in its impact. I am not speaking of the members of the media who are kind and benevolent in their intentions. We applaud their efforts.I am talking about those media outlets and individuals who work our anxiety for their own economic benefit. Enemies of the sacred, their effectiveness at stoking our fears, panic buttons and survivalist energies is so brilliant that they can cause stock markets to crash, tremendous anxiety and suffering, illness and death. We the people need to gather together to fight against them, and legislation needs to be enacted that assertively contains their manipulations.
On the morning of 9-1-1, my grandmother called me to share her experience. She knew she should turn the television off, but she couldn’t. She was hooked into the repeated images of the planes hitting the buildings, the people falling to their death, the alarmism and terror. Like so many of us on this planet, she had grown up with perpetual anxiety around safety and survival, and it didn’t take much to trigger her back into a state of terror. She was getting severe palpitations, but she couldn’t turn it off, as the images of horror triggered her root chakra anxieties back to the surface. She could easily have died watching those images. I wonder how many people did.
The unconscious elements in the media prey on the vulnerable. They are concerned with nothing more than advertising revenues, and understand, deeply, that the best way to hook people into them is through negative imagery and alarmism. Imagine waking up every day, excited at the possibility of sharing horrifying things with humanity. Thats their gig. They recognize that most of the collective consciousness is still vibrating around survivalism and fear, and that the best way to get us addicted to their news is to trigger our root chakra anxieties. Though my grandmother had no real economic worries in her senior years, childhood memories of poverty and war resided in the bones of her being. Most of us carry survivalist anxieties, in form or another.
I cannot even begin to imagine how many people have gotten ill, and died, because of the immunological and economic effects of the unconscious media. How many have suffered emotional and psychological problems. How many who struggle to find a reason to believe in life have been discouraged and derailed. There are studies that need to be done.
In service of their ends, the unconscious media work the dark side. They exaggerate negative weather reports, overwhelm us with negative business news, startle us with images of terror, unnerve us with that alarmist music that accompanies quick news flashes. They work the panic button time and time again until we have nothing left to buffer us. It is my view that the now ridiculously over-reactive stock markets were largely caused by the unconscious media’s effectiveness during the economic crisis in 2008. They hit our panic button so hard that we are now interpreting reality through the lens of our root-chakra anxiety, so sure that the world is falling apart that it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you tell a nervous public that there is a recession often enough, it becomes a recession. It is that simple. They have us by the genitals now, and they know it. We have to get our genitals back.
And what is worse is that they now have more ways to get to us. It is not just the newspapers, or the 11 p.m. news. It’s on the television screens at the bars, airport luggage racks, shopping malls. It is right there when we open the internet. It is everywhere we look.
We will never get away from anxiety as our organizing principle, if we don’t fight back. I suggest 5 steps in particular:
(1) Conscious, legal, non-violent protests at all unconscious media outlets world-wide. This means at any newspaper, radio or television station, or news source that uses the principles of fear-mongering and exaggerated negativity to draw our attention. It is one thing to report tragedies and injustices, but it is quite another to misrepresent the reality of world events. There are far more positive things happening in the world every day than negative. We must protest until the news becomes more representative of reality. We want it to reach a stage where every journalist knows to check in with themselves to ensure that they are propagating information that will actually enhance humanity. The minimum standard must be world betterment and the promotion of human connectiveness.
(2) Civil litigation (law-suits) against media individuals and outlets whose negative news presentation has caused undue suffering and harm to the physical, psychological and economic well-being of humanity. Class-action suits would be most effective, as they will strike at the heart of their economic power and may cause the unconscious media to re-think their approach. They, are, after all, primarily motivated by economic considerations.
(3) Make real efforts to have criminal charges laid against the unconscious media. In law, an act is deemed criminal if two elements are present at one time: (1) Mens rea- guilty mind; that is an intention to do harm, or an intention that is so reckless or negligent as to the harm caused that it is still deemed culpable; (2) actus reas- guilty act; that is, an act that causes harm to others. It is my view that the unconscious media- individuals and corporations- demonstrate both mens rea and actus reas when they misrepresent the news in an effort to trigger our alarm button and get our attention. They surely have an unconscionable intention, and they do real physical harm- stress hormones are triggered into action, immunological and physical damage results etc. It is an assault, one that only appears inobvious until we open our eyes and see the depth of the damage caused.
(4) Do your best to not watch, listen to or read the unconscious media. They are motivated by money, so if we stop colluding, they will get the message and make the shift. Some call it a “news fast”. Only support those media individuals and outlets that are in integrity and in balance in their presentation of the news.
(5) In depth and firmly backed legislation must be put into place to ensure that the media is moving from benevolence and not exploiting our anxieties to serve their own ends. There should be legislation in every jurisdiction, with watchdogs in place who will act vigilantly to protect humanity. There are those that say that the free market should work this out on its own terms, but I do not agree with that. Perhaps that will one day be the case in the world as it ought to be, but not in the world as it currently is. Again, the collective unconscious still holds a tremendous degree of fear. Survivalist anxieties are so close to the surface of everyday consciousness. Until we reach a stage where the collective has been far removed from these anxieties for many generations, we need systemic protection against those misery mongers and purveyors of doom who seek to perpetuate our fears. They truly are enemies of the sacred.
We're on the cusp of a Revolution of the Receptive, a time when we welcome the heart to open, when surrender and sensitivity are honoured as gateways to the moment, when those who have the courage to live from their hearts are recognized as the true warriors on Mother Earth. The era of the malevolent warrior is coming to a close. It is time for the Benevolent Warrior, for the ones who allow their hearts to speak its truth. The benevolent warrior has shifted his focus from a localized and ethnocentric perspective to a world-centric framework of perception. Her community is humanity. Rooted in the relational, his sense of responsibility extends well beyond his localized self and community. Where possible, her choice-making is fuelled by an expansive vision of possibility for all of humankind. Not every man for himself, but every man for humanity. As we move toward a more enheartened world, we must stand our ground against those individuals and systems that seek to imprison us behind constricting walls of fear. We must fight for our right to the light.
I hear all the doomsayers, but I believe we've entered into a time of great promise. Although things appear to be falling apart, they are actually coming together as false structures are tumbling down, melting in the face of truth and genuine self-revealing. I don't believe the world will dissolve in 2012 or that we're facing ultimate financial collapse. We'll have challenges, but we'll work them out. I believe that sacred activists are more necessary now, not because tragedy is upon us, but because we're moving beyond survivalism as a guiding principle. We are moving, side by side, heart in heart, towards authenticity as our shared way of being. Of course it is going to get noisy as egoic walls come tumbling down, of course the energy is going to intensify and frighten us. It comes with the territory. This is a time of radical change, an up-draft of heartfelt proportions. But we will make it through, we just will. We're brilliantly adaptive, and on the deepest truest levels, we all want to lay down our arms, and move through life from the heart outward. We may be able to endure most anything, but we are built to love. That is where we are headed. We just have to fight a few more battles on the road home. The Unconscious Media is one of them.
© Jeff Brown, Author- Soulshaping: A Journey of Self-Creation (www.soulshaping.com)
You are Sacred Purpose.
You are not your shame, your fears, your addictions, your games, your guilt, the internalized remnants of negative messaging… You are not your resistance to your true path … You are not your self-doubt… You are not your self-distraction patterns. You are not your escape hatches… you are not your pessimism about a life of meaning and purpose. You are not here merely to survive and endure.
You are Sacred Purpose.
No matter what others have mistakenly told you about who you are, no matter what mistakes you may have made in the past, you are here with a sacred purpose living at the core of your being. If that weren’t true you never would have made it down the birth canal. You never would have overcome what you have already overcome in your life.
You are Sacred Purpose.
Whatever your ways of distracting, postponing, delaying, armouring, avoiding, altering, feigning, artificializing, externalizing, superficializing your life… I encourage you to STOP IT NOW. This really is no game, this is completely real, this sacred purpose that courses through your soul veins crying out to be heard from below the surface of our avoidance. I cannot say this with enough assertiveness… To the extent that you identify and honour your true path in this lifetime, you will know genuine satisfaction, real peace in your skin.. You will be infused with vitality and a clarified focus, new pathways of possibility appear where before there were obstacles. You will know a peace that will buffer you against the madness of the world, a clarity of direction that will carry you from one satisfaction to another… Life will still have its challenges, but you will interface with them differently, coated in an authenticity of purpose that sees through the veils to what really matters. To the extent, that you avoid the quest for purpose, you will live frustrated, a half-life.. your avoidance manifest in all manner of illness, perpetual dissatisfaction, emotional problems, depression, addictive patterns, ALL REFLECTIONS OF YOUR own alienation from the purposeful root of your being.. You see, there really is no escape from reality, all there is, is postponement. you should be more afraid of avoiding your path than walking it.
You are Sacred Purpose.
AND It doesn’t matter what anyone tells you about who you are. There is so much of that. This is your journey. Even those with the best of intentions, cannot know the path you are here to walk. The REAL journey is not one of adapting ourselves to someone elses vision, but instead, shaping who we are with our own two hands. The unique clay we work with lives deep inside our soul bones, awaiting our own detection & expression. You are the sculptor of your own reality- don’t hand your tools to anyone else. Only you can know the path u r here to walk.. it’s a personal decision, and it doesn’t have to be grandiose. Your purpose can be as simple as learning how to listen better, how to enjoy the moment without getting in your own way.. wherever the growing is, wherever you find genuine peace with path, wherever you feel unmasked and genuinely real.. in the survivalist world that we are coming from, we defined ourselves by what GOT US through the day, whatever masks got food on the table, whatever way of being endured this challenging life.. but we are at the beginning of a new way, a way of being that is sourced in who we REALLY ARE, not our egoic face, not our survivalist face, not the false face of our hidden power, but the real face, the real path, the no bullshit no hype no pretence expression of WHO u REALLY ARE and a life that fully and deeply expresses the magnificence that lives within you.. Your sacred purpose may be covered in dust, it may be HIDDEN FROM VIEW, but its still in there, sparkling with infinite possibility..
You are Sacred Purpose.
This is a call to action. A call to authenticity. A call to dig yourself out from below the bushel of shame and self-doubt that has plagued humanity. A call to get off the dime and do the real work to call yourself on your distraction patterns and excavate your own purpose in this lifetime. What are you here to learn? What are you here to overcome? What are you here to express? What does your authentic face look like? Who are you, above and beyond all the noise and haste.. this is not about money, or bullshit ideas of abundance, or gratifying your ego, this is about the real thing, the real deal, the vulnerable and courageous truth about who you are and why you are here. I ENCOURAGE you to take the question of sacred purpose seriously… to not postpone it for another hour, or week, or till you retire, until the next lifetime, til you finish school, or end your relationship, but to take it seriously now… To work like a dog to find out what lives inside of you, what you are here to express, what you are here to manifest and express, what you are here to give, to share, to learn, to create, to dance, to art, to walk…. You don’t know how long you have, it may be 60 years, it may be 60 seconds, you may not make it to retirement, you may not make it to tomorrow morning, atleast if you are questing for your purpose, living your truth, you will not suffer when its time to leave your body in this lifetime, you will be living in your authenticity, this is no small achievement in this distracted world, where the unconscious media and manipulative marketers try to turn us generic and frightened so we will be locked into their script., fuck that. You are already have a script and it lives deep inside you…that script is your purpose, what you are here to express, to learn, to embody, to humanifest… So u decide which script to read- the fictional novel written by those who do not SEE u, or the HOLY BOOK written by your glorious spirit. When you walk through the gateway of purpose, you walk into yourself. You are sacred purpose, you are sacred purpose, you are sacred purpose. Don’t stop until you find it.
Jeff Brown, author of ‘Soulshaping: A Journey of Self-Creation’ (www.soulshaping.com)
Throughout my mainstream education, I often wondered when my real education would begin. They taught me geography, when it was my inner geography that concerned me. They taught me Canadian history, but nothing about karmic lineage. They taught me foreign languages, but we spent no time on the language that mattered most- the language of the heart. By the time I graduated from University, I had 3 degrees and no idea who I was. Whatever tools I had acquired seemed ill-equipped to deal with the fundamental questions of meaning, purpose, how to construct a heartfelt life.
As I look back on my life, I realized that my real education happened from the inside out. While diligently attending the School of Heart Knocks (the school of life), I somehow stumbled upon a clarified vision of path. Interestingly, my purpose did not reveal itself in the head-tripping caverns of academia, nor did it arise through my egoic forays into career as identity. It rose into awareness through the gateway to my heart, a vision of possibility that was encoded in my cells from time immemorial, an unstoppable wave of purpose that was indistinguishable from my authentic self. Excavating it from the burial ground within demanded a multitude of stages, stages that seemed to exist entirely distinct from my university curriculum. In my private life, in my apartment, in my difficult relationships, in workshops and therapy, in those quiet moments when we inwardly decide how deep we will dig, this is where I learned what I needed to know. The real school, the true core-iculum….lived in my own bones and in the heart of daily life.
As I embarked on my journey, I began to imagine the courses that I longed to attend on my journey of self-creation: Befriending Confusion, Clearing Emotional Debris, Living in the Question, Having an effective nervous breakthrough, Identifying and Honouring Sacred Purpose, Conscious Relationship, Self-distractive behaviour, Truth Aches and Sacred Grumbles, The art of Enrealment, Bypassing the Spiritual Bypass, Truth telling, De-shaming and De-masking, In-viromentalism, Ascending with both feet on the ground, Finding your soulpod etc. There was no limit to things I needed help with, and no limit to the challenges I experienced in finding the support I needed. It was almost as though the whole world was deciding who it was based on the principles of survivalism- adapting its consciousness to whatever got food on the table- and I was actually wanting to know who I really was, who lived below the masks and personas of daily life, what path best reflected my inherent divinity. Of course many had quested for their authenticity before, but I didn’t know where to find them, or, perhaps, I was too unsure of my quest to share its contours and textures with confidence.
Throughout the writing of Soulshaping, I had a vision of a Soulshaping Institute, one that would dare to inquire into the core questions of path without hesitation. In recent months, that longing grew stronger, as I became more deeply aware of the value of this work. In the heart of a burgeoning consciousness revolution, there is a greater willingness to tackle these fundamental questions of path- Who am I, really? What is my encoded purpose? Why am I here in this incarnation? How can I stop avoiding true-path?
With this in heart, I have opened Soulshaping Institute, an in-credited institution of truer learning. This is not a place you come to get a meaning-less degree, or to get graded for your efforts. No one can grade your relationship to path, because only soul knows the path it is here to walk. You are the only one who can know whether you are walking your unique true-path. Soulshaping I will endeavour to support your path and process, reminding you of steps you may have forgotten, encouraging you towards the path that is encoded within you, inviting a dialogue that takes you deeper into the realm of your own divine possibilities.
The first course- Excavating and Honouring Sacred Purpose- begins June 26/2011. Here is the link, in case you are interested in checking it out.…Soulshaping Institute . Other courses will follow, as the core-iculum takes shape… Apologies to the Divine Feminine (Bridging the Gender Gap), Adventures in Soulshaping (Depth Charges and Excavations), Cell your Soul- Interpreting the Emotional Body, Relationship as path, The Power of Then- healing the past and expanding our habitual range of e-motion, the Universal Broadcasting system- The real Learning Channel (interpreting serendipity) etc. It is my hope that we will work deeply, exploring the crevices, plumbing the depths, truly calling ourselves on any resistance to true-path. In many ways, it is a little safer to be a seeker than a finder. I want us all to find what we are looking for, to find an authenticity of purpose that ignites our spirit and buffers us from the madness of the world. To wake up every morning knowing what we are here to learn, share and humanifest. To wake up purposeful and at peace with path.
In addition, I am working to develop a scholarship program so that individuals who are economically challenged can participate. It is an odd and ironic thing that until we find our sacred purpose, it is often difficult for us to flourish economically, but it is difficult to explore and identify our path when we cannot afford to study and explore pathways of possibility. It is often those with a profound path living inside of them who are having the most difficulty dealing with the economic world, because they cannot adapt to the inauthentic nature of the marketplace. I am endeavouring to create a structure that will be inclusive of all of humanity.
My assistant, Tarini, made a beautiful, 90 second video to introduce Soulshaping Institute to all of you. Please take a look if you get a moment.. Youtube.
In gratitude, Jeff Brown
APOLOGIES TO THE SACRED MASCULINE (The letter this warrior-in-transition would like to receive)
I apologize for those moments when I couldn’t see beyond my projections to your true nature. With so much relational trauma in the rear view mirror, I couldn’t distinguish the heartless from the benevolent warrior. With my lens blurred by unhealed emotions, I was unable to see you in your wholeness. I unknowingly projected my negative expectations without recognizing those moments when you were moving from love. Please forgive me my projections, and know that below my pain was a heart that genuinely longed to merge with yours.
I apologize for pushing you to open your heart when you weren’t ready. I longed to be met in my openness, and I couldn’t bear the disconnect between us. I am nourished by direct communication, and I took your silence personally. I didn’t understand the relationship between your detachment and your warrior conditioning. I do see this now. From the beginning, you have been cast in the role of warrior protector and your emotional armour was fundamental to your task. Without it, you would not have been able to remain vigilant on the battlefield, nor succeed in the competitive marketplace. As our world moves away from survivalism as a way of being, I am hopeful that you will feel safe enough to live from an open heart. Such beautiful light comes through that opening.
I apologize for not always seeing your limitations and struggles. There were times when I could not see past my expectations and fantasies. I had grown up with a fairy tale of a great knight that would save me, and I clung to that vision, preferring the perfection projection to the reality of humanness. As a result, I didn’t always see how much stress you carried, how difficult things were, how hard it was to hold it all together. Of course, we perpetuated the projection together- you hid your humanness from view while I chose not to look for it. I look forward to the day when our relationships are not predicated on illusions, but on a deep recognition of each other’s authenticity.
I apologize for giving you mixed messages about how I wanted you to manifest. At times, I wanted you to be soft and tender. At other times, dominant and protective. How confusing this must have been for you, how challenging to go back and forth between such differing feeling states. It has been so confusing for all of us, trying to straddle the line between our needs for both safety and vulnerability. One day, the perversions of polarity will fall away and we will arrive at a sacred balance between all healthy ways of being. Women will feel safe to assert their voice and embody their wholeness, and men will feel equally safe disarming and speaking from their vulnerability. On the rivers of essence, everything flows in the same direction- towards the ocean of wholeness.
I apologize for being passive aggressive towards you. I was not taught to express anger directly, and I was frightened of your aggressiveness. I know that you have had similar challenges with experiencing your sadness and releasing your tears. In the world we are moving towards, I am hopeful that both genders will have seamless access to all emotional states and healthy forms of expression.
I am sorry that I expected you to fill my emptiness, when the only one who can fill it is me. I have often looked for answers in relationship, somehow imagining that another could complete me. After so many centuries of disempowerment, I didn’t realize that I had the tools for my own self-creation. But I am recognizing it now. Where before we met as two fragmented beings, we will soon meet as two whole beings- each of us healthily boundaried, well-integrated and intrinsically complete. Two soulitudes.
I am grateful for all those moments when you held me safe and operated within the heart of compassion. The backlash of recent decades was a necessary response to generations of suffering, but many of your contributions got lost in the shuffle. In my efforts to find my voice and stand my ground, I have not always given credit where it is due. I encourage you to re-claim anything you have lost along the way, and to proudly embody the sacred masculine as you once did. I apologize for those moments when I discouraged your power. I could not distinguish it from its historical misuses.
I am grateful for the many positive contributions you have made to my reality. I realize that you often communicated your love for me and the village with deeds, not words. I thank you for helping to construct the structures that my expansion relies upon. I thank you for labouring long and hard to establish rule of law. I honour the warrior spirit that built the railroads, the cities, the bridges that bring us into contact with one another. I honour those warriors who fought and died on battlefields in an effort to protect us. You have sacrificed so much in order to hold us safe. Praise to those benevolent warriors who came before.
I am grateful for GrandFather, for holding the space for my expansion with patience and wisdom. I am grateful for Father, for defending and sheltering me. I am grateful for Father Sky, for showing me a vision of possibility that transcended my circumstances. I am grateful for the Divine Father, the real Father of us all. I now feel his divine presence, so close. Fiercely compassionate, he was always right here, holding me safe.
There has been so much blame between us, so much hatred and name-calling. To be sure, it is essential that we express our anger and heal our hearts. Nothing should be swept under the rug in that process, everything should be exposed. But it is also important that we have compassion for each other and endeavour to understand the context for our actions. We have all been victims of a sociological landscape that impacted on our identifications and behaviours. Like two different species in the same bed, we were compelled by circumstances to inhabit roles that kept us miles apart. Those roles have caused us great suffering, each gender suffering in its own way. To the extent that one gender was denied wholeness, the other was denied it as well. Women were denied the right to basic protections and pathways of expression, men were denied access to a tender, receptive way of being. No one got off easy, despite appearances.
As we move towards a more enheartened interface, may we create space for new visions of possibility. We must begin the process by healing the genderation gap that exists between us. We must soften the edges perpetuated by our reactivities. We must heal the rifts along the gender continuum that keep us apart. In my most clarified imaginings, I envision a world that fully celebrates the healthy feminine and the healthy masculine. Instead of throwing all gender differences out with the bath water, we make a conscious distinction between benevolent and destructive identifications. We craft a sacred balance of our healthiest aspects. Each of us identifies the unique fusion of feminine and masculine energies that aligns with our essential nature. And we openly learn from one another -men teach healthy manifestation, women teach healthy womanifestation- and we come to humanifestation together. We meet each other in our entirety.
May we never forget the relational and co-transformative nature of human expansion. Although the ultimate romance is with your own soul, it is our experiences together that give birth to the essential lessons. We are each here to participate in this dance of sacred imagination, stepping on each other’s toes and turning each other toward God one clumsy step after another. We trip, and then we get back up with greater awareness. With this in heart, I am hopeful that we can learn to accept one another in our humanness. We are going to continue to make mistakes, but there is grace in that if we see our errors through to the lessons they contain.
I look forward to the day when we can meet one another in our true nakedness, stripped free of unresolved emotions, pain-induced projections, the distortions of duality. For too long we have been on opposite sides of the river, the bridge between our hearts washed away by a flood of pain. But the time has come to construct a new bridge, one that comes into being with each step we take, one that is fortified with benevolent intentions and authentic self-revealing. As we walk toward one another, our emotional armour falls to the ground, transforming into the light at its source. And when we are ready, we walk right into the Godself at the centre of the bridge, puzzled that we ever imagined ourselves separate.
May you feel the presence of the Divine Mother close at heart, inviting you to rest deeply on the tender shores of your own essence, nestling you in the grateful arms of those you have protected. Those who have received your blessings may not always acknowledge it, but your acts of love have landed within us, growing us stronger and infusing us with love’s light. Rest dear warrior, rest. I hold your heart safe.
© Jeff Brown, 2011 (Author of ‘Soulshaping- A Journey of Self-Creation’; www.soulshaping.com)
*’Apologies to the Sacred Masculine’ is the second in this apology series. The first piece ‘Apologies to the Divine Feminine (from a warrior- in-transition)’ can be read at http://soulshaping.com/?p=782