Steps to Intimacy: All the World is My Mirror

April 26, 2009

Who’s The Fairest Of Them All?

Who am I in this reflection?

Who am I in this reflection?

When we look out at our world and are disgruntled, find fault, and disparage others, the environment or the situation, that negativity is a reflection of something inside of us that we are judging and disapproving of. We are seeing just one aspect and making it the whole. We are painting the entire canvas with this one dark color. Then we pronounce it not the fairest of them all. In this verdict are we being fair?

Let’s go easy on our self and the other who is only a reflection of who we are. Let’s accept this image of our self right now. This is the reality right now and to resist it only upsets our inner peace. We can choose to be and act differently in the next moment. And in this shift so too does our world shift and offer us a new reflection. We can continue to shift in small steps or in one radical leap until we are happy with the reflection.

When we look out at our world and are pleased, grateful, appreciative, we are reflecting the brilliance of creation and reveling in it. We are extending this light to the whole. Our canvas becomes awash with color. And we pronounce it the fairest of them all. In this verdict we are truly being fair because we are seeing our true self. Looking for the best in our self and others presents us with the gift of a joyful world.

Our creative self loves difference and delights in variety. Consider how many species are present on this planet. Each has its niche and its singular importance in the whole. When we regard each reflection as having its rightful place, we acknowledge its contribution to the whole. Through inclusiveness we experience the closeness of intimacy. And in our acceptance we expand our freedom.

Steps to Intimacy: Transparent Communication

April 12, 2009

What is the impact of your communication?

Are you appreciating or attacking?

Is our communication setting the other up as a target?

Is your communication setting the other up as a target?

Through communication, be it verbal or non-verbal, we express who we are. It is how we share or make common what we think and how we feel. Communication is the opening and passageway between those engaged in a conversation. Will we make clear the way to another’s heart and mind? Or is our communication veiled, or muddy, or deceiving, or defensive?

When we accept that our communication is the response we bring forth from another, then the way in which we communicate enters a whole new arena. With this understanding we can examine the response for what it tells us about our self. Where does that response lie within us and in what and how we communicated? A defensive reaction may point to a belief we are protecting or presenting in an aggressive way. If the response is less than neutral we have an opportunity to choose again. How could we say it more openly? With clarity? With honesty? With greater vulnerability? How could we convey what we want to with kindness?

Transparent communication allows us to be seen, to shine forth. It is the hallmark of intimacy. Without it we have dimmed our light and are not expressing who we truly are. Our message may be contaminated by fear, by a need to please or gain approval, or by a lack of knowledge. We need to get that message out on the table first and look at our fear, our needs, our ignorance. How are we covering them through less than transparent communication? Our vulnerability in revealing these underlying layers will begin to bring clarity to what and how we are presenting. And will allow us greater closeness with those we are communicating with.

Communication that is direct and to the point, timely, easy to understand and take in, and delivered in a respectful way will land softly on the mark. A heart to heart conversation will be able to unfold. Open, honest, and intimate exchange is more certain when we and the way in which we express our self can be seen through.

Steps to Intimacy: Vulnerability

April 6, 2009

What Stands in the Way of Intimacy?

Defensiveness!

Defensiveness is our stance against the world, our resistance to going with “what is”. It is based on our judgement of “what is” and our estimation that “what is” threatens our well being. In our effort to protect who we are and what we think, we establish a defense. The extent of our fear determines the impenetrableness of our defense.

When we are defending our self, we are standing for a cause which we believe in. And we fear it is being threatened. We build a barrier between our self and the other. Behind our suit of armor we are closed in, closed minded and closed hearted. We are alone, limited, and contracted. We have just locked ourselves up in the dungeon.

How do we gain freedom? Through our defenselessness or vulnerability. Here lies our true safety. In our willingness to set aside our defenses we learn what they hide. And in revealing what’s hidden we make ourselves known both to our self and to the other. Self revelation builds a bridge between us.

Opening the door to our heart releases us from the dungeon.

Opening the door to our heart releases us from the dungeon.

Vulnerability is a key attribute of intimacy. When we open the door to our heart, even if only a crack, we begin to create an avenue of expression. We allow a ray of light to shine into our darkness illuminating an aspect of our self that is crying out to be heard and seen. By sharing this piece of our self with another we create a safe and sacred space in which the other is invited in and in so doing make safe their sharing. Through our mutual disclosures we learn how much we are alike – perhaps not in the stories, but in the feelings we each live through. This is the human experience, a life expressed through feeling

When we give our self the opening to expand, we release our limitations, and establish a connection. Our vulnerability brings us closer and paradoxically in this intimacy we realize our freedom.

Steps to Intimacy: Judgement and Discernment

March 29, 2009

Judgement is a Thorny Obstacle

in the Path to Intimacy.

 

Judgement is at the root of power struggle and resistance.

Judgement is at the root of power struggle and resistance.

 

Judgement is forming an opinion of or passing a sentence on another or a situation. It is based on our assumptions, on the story we are projecting onto the other or an event. It often includes criticism or censure as we unilaterally determine whether it is right or wrong, good or bad, advantageous or disadvantageous. The comparisons we draw inevitably lead to a ranking and someone or something ends up at the bottom. This act leads us down a slippery slope to finger pointing and blame. The decisions we make and the choices we elect are colored by our imagination. When we envision the worst we tend to react. And reaction begets resistance and power struggle.

When we are able to be fully present to another or a situation: when we are in this moment now, we are not attached to past memories or making up the future. We are able to discern, to perceive clearly, distinguishing and differentiating features without making them right or wrong. The polarization simply represents a spectrum devoid of a pecking order. We can see people and things for what they are and can assess their fit or alignment with what and where we are. We acknowledge and respect our fellow beings and what they are saying and doing.

When our imagination is used in the service of creativity and inclusion it yields a wonderful living dream of intimacy. A life that is flowing and free of struggle and resistance. When we allow “what is” we loose ourselves and everyone else of the limitations that our beliefs impose. We are freed of judgement. And in that liberation our heart opens.

Steps to Intimacy: Non-resistance to “What Is”

March 23, 2009

What’s in our way of moving forward

or growing a deeper intimacy?

Resistance!

Resistance is our fight against reality or “what is” in this moment. We are unwilling to accept things as they are. We would prefer that it be different. We want it my way. We may withdraw and sulk, burrowing ourselves deeper into the hole of resistance until it seems that there is no way out. We are at an impasse, blocked, stuck.

Resistance is like a logjam obstructing the flow of life

Resistance is like a logjam obstructing the flow of life

Or we may dig in our heels to get it my way. Our resistance provokes counter resistance like a log jam setting up a riff of white water. As the jam gets larger, the run of water may become more restricted until it is dammed up altogether. Life comes to a standstill when its movement is obstructed. Our resistance or “No” to life slows and eventually stops its free flow until a new course is found.

We pay a price for struggling against reality. How much is it costing us? How do we feel? How do our reactions affect us and impact others? Does it bring us closer together or create a wider separation?

What is at the root of resistance? A need that is seemingly threatened and the resulting fear which raises the question

Am I going to be OK?

Am I OK?

Am I doing or being OK for you?

The issues in most cases originated in an early childhood story. They are hidden deep below our conscious mind. It takes courage and honesty to dig for them and bring them to light. We may have to review the story attached to the issue. But ultimately and as soon as we can, we want to feel the feelings without judgement and let the story go. When the feelings are felt right through we are freed of that particular feeling. And we can incrementally move our feelings to a happier place.

Feelings are just a vibrational energy. We can raise this energy consciously by shifting our attention to thoughts that are harmonious with what we want. Our goal is to align our vibrational energy with Source. This is the vibration of Knowing, Joy, Appreciation, Love, Freedom, Empowerment. It is from this place that our dreams come into being. This is the place of non-resistance, of flow and of loving “what is”.

Another approach which avoids going into the memory banks of our past is to bring ourselves Fully Present to This Moment. We can ask of the perceived threat or fear “Is it true?” And in this moment, right here, right now we can notice

I AM a survivor.

I AM OK.

I AM doing/being OK.

All is well in this moment. We can allow “what is” in this moment.

In the interests of intimacy and of joining we might relax our grip on my way and choose again. Being present to our resistance frees us up to make another choice. A choice for non-resistance and for freedom of flow. We might choose to say “YES” to “what is”. And if “what is” isn’t what we want, we can be proactive, marshalling positive feelings to align ourselves with our heart’s desire. In this way we say “YES” to life.

Steps to Intimacy: Intimacy and Power Struggle

March 15, 2009

Did You Think You Could Win?

Power Struggle

Intimacy has the potential to move us from power struggle to peace. When we give intimacy an opportunity to intervene, we create a breathing space, a gap in the struggle through which sanity may enter. And having the willingness and courage to invite intimacy in is all that is needed to begin.

Whenever you are in a power struggle

STOP!                   LOOK!                      LISTEN!

STOP! LOOK! LISTEN!

STOP!

The first step is to STOP the struggle. Don’t give in to the temptation to have the last word. Just stop. Don’t worry. When you follow this protocol, you each will have the opportunity to share what was going on with you. The struggle stops when something new starts. It helps to have some new possibilities waiting in the wings ready to leap into the gap when the struggle stops. Not ready yet or sane enough to talk constructively? Here are some suggestions to assist in the return to sanity. (adapted from Life Coach Mary’s 7 paths to peace)

Take a time out. Shift your focus of attention.

For the body:

Do some movement – yoga, a workout, a run or walk, some physical labor

For the mind/emotions:

Say an affirmation to remind you of who you really are, what you really want.

Ask to be carried back to your center, to be realigned with Source.

Engage in a creative project. Write, paint, make or build something.

Feel the feelings without dramatizing them or obsessing over a story about them.

Get curious about what was really going on in the struggle – shift your perspective and look at it from another angle.

Think about what you were resisting – the assumptions or expectations that your “shoulds” were based on.

For the spirit:

Breathe. Meditate.

Love yourself back to peace and power.

LOOK!

The second step is to LOOK. When you feel able to have a sane conversation with your partner, schedule a time to sit down and have a talk together.

LOOK at what each of you is resisting. Look far and wide and then zoom in to get a close look at the pattern that is playing out. What old memory tape was running that set up assumptions or expectations which you felt weren’t being met. Often the same old patterns are provoked out of a habitual response to a particular action or statement. This repetitive, unconscious act is an automatic reaction triggered by your perception that a button has been pushed

It requires courage and honesty to look deeply for the initial hurt and the response that was created to insure survival. Share your discovery with your partner. Mutual sharing is an act of vulnerability and often brings understanding and compassion. From this vantage point forgiveness of self and other is easier. In the words of Paul Boese “Forgiveness does not change the past, but it does enlarge the future.” And in this place of a widened perspective more possibilities or options are evident and an appropriate choice may be made.

A great way to have this dialogue is to follow the Prather’s structured argument. Go to this link to get the full description.

http://www.bunnyjane.com/structuredargument.html

LISTEN!

The third step is to LISTEN. Deep listening requires that you focus your full attention on the other – that you BE PRESENT to and for them as well as for yourself. Be curious about what they share. Withhold any judgement. Be genuinely interested in them and what they have to say. Hear them out with no interruptions.

And finally, APPRECIATE your partner and the situation as an opportunity to grow. The struggle brings up the areas in your life where you could make a new choice. Be on the alert for those situations where a different choice would smooth the way for a happier more joyful life.

Steps to Intimacy: Presence, the First Step to Intimacy

March 10, 2009

Apollo 11 astronaut Neil Armstrong’s first words from the surface of the moon on July 20, 1969, “That’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.”

A Giant Leap Forward In Exploring

A Giant Leap Forward In Exploring

Are You Ready?

Join us on our journey

exploring the ins and outs of

Intimacy.

We’ll take this journey a step at a time culminating in a leap forward in our ability to nurture intimacy in any relationship.

Presence is our first step. What defines presence? How do we identify when we are being present?

Of vital importance is our commitment to focusing our full attention on the other, being 100% with them – right here, right now in this moment. This is an ongoing recommitment moment by moment to maintain presence.

We detect presence by the feeling we are experiencing. Ester Hicks/Abraham explains that the human form has had an emotional guidance system installed which is a tool or navigational aid for determining our degree of alignment with Source or Presence. When we feel irritation, frustration, anger, resentment, contempt, fear, anxiety, grief, regret, sadness guilt, blame, shame, apathy or despair our attention has been drawn to a memory. We are misaligned with Presence.

We can use our awareness of this feeling as a warning signal to steer clear of danger, to change course, to realign with Presence by coming fully present in this moment. We become present by letting the memory go, releasing or transmuting the story we carry in our subconscious mind. Transmutation happens in an instant. When it doesn’t we can know that we are resisting change. We are wanting to stay our course or make only a slight correction in direction. This is more like moving or rearranging the furniture in a room, rather than moving house altogether.

Our alignment with Presence is felt as the flow of unconditional love, joy, awe or peace through our being. This flow moves through us and out towards those in our environment touching them with Presence. Our presence is felt as Presence, a power greater than our personal being.

Joe Vitale in his book “zero limits” has popularized the Self-Identity Ho’oponopono process of Dr. Ihaleakala Hew Len. You can read Joe’s book or go directly to Dr. Len’s website at http://www.hooponoponotheamericas.org/whos-in-charge-english.htm to learn how we can clear the way for Divine Intelligence to move through us. Joe quotes Dr. Len’s teacher, Marrnah Nalamaku Simeona. “Ho’oponopono is a profound gift that allows one to develop a working relationship with the Divinity within and learn to ask that in each moment, our errors in thought, word, deed, or action be cleansed. The process is essentially about freedom, complete freedom from the past.”

When we are free of the stored memories, we naturally align with Presence and intimacy is appreciated in the flow of love.

Celebration

August 20, 2008

As you can see we have a new header for our blog, a result of designing a header for our website which is being revamped to meet the latest SEO criteria. Bunny is doing extensive research including participating in the 30 Day Challenge. Wow! What a steep learning curve using a new image editing program, GIMP, and website design program, xsitepro2. Really like both programs but still a lot to learn by trial and error. We’re having fun brainstorming, writing and revising copy from our current out of date website. Well, off to birth further transformations to the site.

iTransPlay …. What’s In A Name

July 3, 2008

Residential Intensives

Residential Intensives: Transformational, Process Oriented, Spiritually Based On A Course In Miracles

We have been playing with a new logo for our website or blog and have been exploring symbology. So, what’s in a name? We are actively engaged in iTransPlay. The little i stands for the constructed self or ego and its perception through the body’s eye. By process oriented transformation the Self is remembered and with it the vision of spirit, bringing forgiveness and the grace of innocence. On considering those with whom we have facilitated this transformation, we discovered that most came with a troubled mind and a broken heart, suffering from a lost relationship.

With light hearted play, music, and dance we all come to experience peace of mind and an open heart. Thus the appropriateness of foxglove, the source of digitalis, an herbal heart tonic.

The significance of the mobius strip winding around the words is its similarity to the infinity sign and its continuous unbounded surface with no inside or outside thus dissolving duality in eternal Oneness.

In the Gnostic Gospel of Thomas, Jesus offered a remarkably Mobius-like observation about the Kingdom of Heaven: “When you make the male as the female, and the female as the male, and the up as the down and the inner as the outer, then shall you see the Kingdom of Heaven.”

TS Eliot in Little Gidding also speaks to this continuous journey.

”We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring

Will be to arrive where we started
And know it for the first time.”


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