All posts tagged painful emotions

Reclaiming the Divine Feminine: Feeling Safe as a Woman

RECLAIMING THE DIVINE FEMININE (Continued from The Power of the Divine Feminine in a Dark Time) I had already moved from Montreal in 1989 when the Polytechnique shootings happened. I remember thinking from my Toronto home that it could have been me that was shot and killed that day. I was like those 14 young women, ambitious engineering students who had followed their path to higher education. But unlike them, I had chosen to study at the University of Waterloo. I was in the school of Architecture, which was at that time, and may still be (I honestly don’t know), very much an old boys club. I allowed the energy of that clan to deeply affect the way I felt about myself. Fed up with being a topic of conversation for my long blonde hair and bold attitude, I found myself soon with a shaved head, flirting with the idea of same sex relationships and unconsciously desiring to be more like a man. Needless to say, I became sick every month as an unexplored rage at being was pumping through my body in the form of extremely dysfunctional menstrual cycles. I hated being a woman. For much of my life, being a woman has felt unsafe. I have been subject to two overt physical assaults, one…

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Finding Compassion For Those Who Hate

When you put yourself out there, share your heart and voice with the world, there will inevitably be those who love you, those who hate you and those who just don’t care. Being on the spiritual path, I find this to be an excellent teacher and a perfect ego grinder, because whatever people think of me, it does not matter. Of course, my ego says, I would love everyone to like me. But I have no control over what people think and do, or how people judge. I can only do my best, love as best I can and humbly continue to open to each moment and learn the lessons each one brings. In the end, what matters most is my relationship with the divine, which affects how I treat others and myself. What is essential, lasting and true is that I practice seeing the divine in all, even in those who may not like me. It is hard to understand the motivation of hate, but in essence, we all have the capacity for it. No one is immune to its seduction. When I am lucidly honest with myself, I can openly say that I have felt it rise in me and take me over. I have felt its burn singe my heart. I have fallen…

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From Resentment to Forgiveness – Part 3: Painful Experiences As An Opportunity

We have been exploring the topic of resentment and how we can begin to heal deeply held emotions. Last week we touched upon the idea that we tend to project onto others what we want to see in them, rather than see actually what is. When we feel hurt by another person’s actions, in some way we have not seen them clearly, and have lost sight of our connection to the divine.   The great news is, another person’s actions are their choice. Our response to their actions is our own choice. Through my meditation practice, I saw how I lost myself in taking another person’s choices personally and in wanting them to be other than they are. There is tremendous power in these realizations. In seeing them, we reclaim the energy we have lost in being attached to incorrect perceptions of reality.   Rather than seeing painful happenings as a punishment that could build resentment, what my quiet meditation sit showed me was that a hurtful experience was an opportunity to recalibrate around deeper truths, greater clarity and fuller wisdom. It was the universe’s love showing me to be bigger, to let go of wanting, to let go of hoping someone would be the way I wanted them to be and that they would be…

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Ask Parvati 37: Feeling Under Attack – Part 1: The Power of Patience

Dear Parvati, I am having difficulty managing angry feelings toward one of my supervisors. He criticized me harshly during a presentation I was giving in front of a crowd. I know that it was meant to be personal. What made me even more angry than the slag was that I couldn’t fight back or defend myself in that moment. I felt powerless, and I had to swallow the anger that came up. I have been fuming over it for days. In my less angry moments, I absolutely recognize my role in this conflict and the attachments and distorted boundaries that I helped to build, which have led to this. I also know that what feels rooted, vital and expansive is if I were able to let go of these attachments, and with that, the anger and hurt. But my ego is still fuming, and I can’t “get over it”. I also feel some anxiety about having to work with him again, which I will have to do regularly. Help! I think I need to re-build boundaries that were violated, but I feel so vulnerable right now. No doubt this kind of attack brings up feelings of being attacked by my mother when I was a child and feeling powerless and afraid. My question relates to handling these…

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Ask Parvati 31: Relationship Complications – Part 4, Letting Go Of Wounds

PART FOUR: LETTING GO OF WOUNDS (Continued from Transcending Anger and Low Self-Esteem) Question: How can I heal past relationships wounds and let go to start living my life?  My answer: Everything in life has a cycle. There are seasons for flowers and season for snow. Everything plays a part of the greater whole. There is a time in our healing process for anger and a time for grief. Then there is a time for forgiveness. Only when you have had the humility to be honest with your feelings and see your part in the situation, only when you can see yourself in the other person and cultivate understanding, will you be able to let go. Letting go happens when you feel ready. When you become tired of holding on to the anger and hurt, you will let go. The other person, the situation, nothing but yourself is holding on to the hurt and anger. No one is choosing that, other than you. You cannot blame anyone. There are no victims here. When you feel you have had enough of ultimately hurting yourself and creating the feeling of hurt, will you let go. There is no judgement in what I say. It is totally natural to feel dark, painful emotions. Everything has its place and season.…

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Ask Parvati 31: Relationship Complications – Part 1, Jealousy and the Ego

RELATIONSHIP COMPLICATIONS Dear Parvati: I know jealous thoughts and feelings come from our ego but why, if I know that, do they hurt so badly? What part of my ego is in resistance? What relation is there between unfaithful and cheated on past experiences? How can I transcend anger, lack of confidence and self esteem when I know is ego playing tricks in my mind and these situation is unresolved? How can I heal past relationships wounds and let go to start living my life? It seems I have this pending topic 12 years ago and I fell on a depression state but in that moment I didn’t follow a therapy or anything. How can I deal with that and start trusting myself and a possible future partner, from a difference perspective out of ego?? It hurts so bad and I feel blackened… Thanks for your kind advice. Thank you very much for your question this week, which really is a series of many questions! I will be answering them over the course of this week. I answered in a more conversational tone, like a question answer discussion, due to the many questions that were sent in here. I also reference other blog posts I wrote as this question touches upon many topics I have looked…

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Ask Parvati 27: Addiction – Part 4: Getting Help

PART 4: GETTING HELP (Continued from Hitting Bottom) In the case of people who have not yet hit bottom, such as Amy Winehouse, it is very hard to help them at all. An example of resistance to admitting you have a problem are her famous lyrics, “They tried to make me go to rehab but I said ‘no, no, no’”. Sadly, she did not hit her personal bottom before she died. This is tragically the case with many addicts. The disease that is about consumption, insatiable wanting, consumes its host. It does not have to be that way. Step one in an addiction recovery program is to admit that you are powerless over your addiction and that your life has become unmanageable. It takes humility to get to step one, because the addict must come to see that the choices her or she is making are in fact not working. No one wants to admit that their life is a mess. Whether you are an addict or not, you need to admit things are not working as they are if you are going to make changes. For some, bottom can be very ugly. It can involve losing absolutely everything, loved ones, friends, family, possessions, career, and reputation. For some, it involves even losing your life. But…

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Ask Parvati 27: Addiction – Part 1: Where Is Addiction?

ADDICTION Dear Parvati, I have recently been coming to terms with the fact that my parents were alcoholics and I have many tendencies that are typical for adult children of alcoholics. As I come to grips with this, I’m also beginning to see that my partner behaves like someone with an addiction – yet he does not use alcohol or drugs. What is addiction? Is it the inability to stop using something known to be addictive, like alcohol, drugs or cigarettes? Is it addiction if I spend a lot of money on clothes? How can I best support my partner and myself if I am in relationship with an addict? Or if I am one myself? PART 1: WHERE IS ADDICTION? Thank you for these important questions. Addiction is very prevalent in our society, I believe far more so than most of us realize. We live in a society with many contradictions. We can praise behavior and habits that may in fact support addiction, and also publicly acknowledge the harmful affects caused by addiction. We consciously speak of the harmful effects of addiction, yet we often bury our heads in the sand when faced with its painful expressions, root and ramifications. Years ago, there was an excellent article in the Yoga Journal (Nov-Dec 1996) exposing the…

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Ask Parvati 25: Depression And Despair – Part 5: The Power Of Perception And Core Beliefs

PART 5: THE POWER OF PERCEPTION AND CORE BELIEFS (Continued from Depression And Anger) We are what we think ourselves to be. We are what we perceive. We are what we believe. I am not suggesting that life can be summed up by “you think, therefore you become”. We are part of a vast whole within which we co-create. We are not a singular, linear system that has absolute control. We have the power of free will and the ability to choose how we think, act and react. What we think, believe, perceive and feel deeply affects the quality of our life. In the cave of depression and when we witness despair, we can feel safe to look within and challenge our core beliefs. We may be holding on to outdated beliefs about ourselves, about others and about the world that keep us small and hidden. The cave of depression can become an incubator for newness, just as when we were in the womb. In the practice of witnessing, we become open to the field of possibility and learn to see things as they are, allowing ourselves to flourish in the fullness of the whole. We live in a world that still does not quite value the feminine qualities of receptivity, introspection, emotional fluidity, and intuition…

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Ask Parvati 25: Depression and Despair – Part 3: Beyond The Veil And Into The Cave

PART 3: DEPRESSION: BEYOND THE VEIL AND INTO THE CAVE (Continued from Witnessing Despair) Depression is like a dark, heavy veil that masks our ability to see the light. Whether or not it is clinical, it is due to a change in the chemistry in our brain. But what is the source of that chemical change? There is nothing in this life that is purely physical that is not also connected to the unseen in some way. We are not strictly physical beings that are unaffected by emotions, thoughts and spiritual laws. The field of pure consciousness always is. We may see ourselves as separate, but we are always held within the whole. When we are depressed, unlike despair, we have temporarily lost our desire to engage the world. But perhaps that is ok. Unlike despair that calls for understanding and release, depression can be a cue to go deeper. When we meet depression with a sense of attention and kindness, without judgment, we may find that we are being invited by our soul to go within, to enter the cave of our hidden mysteries. We live busy and often disconnected lives. Easily caught up in what others think, how we appear in society, how others look in the media, we can lose touch with our…

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