All posts tagged relationships

WITNESSING AS A PATH TO FREEDOM

Image credit: Hartwig HKD THE GIFT OF WITNESSING (Continued from Willingness to Disarm the Ego) The meditation practice known as witnessing provides powerful insights into the ways in which we are attached to our perceptions. It has shown me the parameters of my active ego with extraordinary clarity. Witnessing has provided lasting shifts in the way I think and perceive. It has helped me move from being attached to painful thoughts, to living with greater freedom and joy. Witnessing is an essential part of any sincere meditator’s practice. It is at the heart of yoga and spiritual development. Witnessing is not the same as observing. Because witnessing is rooted in non-attachment, it flowers from the understanding that our senses are limited and do not contain the full picture of reality. Our perceptions are temporary, as they change with circumstance and are subject to our moods and whims. What and how we perceive is coloured by the ups and downs of our ego’s dramas. Through witnessing practice, we meet the moment as it is, without any overlay of how we want it to be. This occurs when we move beyond our attachments to our perceptions, which happens only once we understand that they are not the whole truth. There is a substratum, a deeper unchanging truth, that…

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How to Succeed at Your New Year’s Resolutions, Part 2: Resolve Rooted in Joy

It has been a busy start for the year for me. Actively working to launch a comprehensive website to embody my work in music, yoga, words and activism early in 2015, I am at the end of a weekend blitz to get the project to completion. You will be seeing the new site very soon! How are you doing with your New Year’s resolutions? Here is the promised conclusion to How To Succeed At Your New Year’s Resolutions. HOW TO SUCCEED AT YOUR NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION (Part 2) Resolve Rooted In Joy In my posting “Wanting Won’t Get You What You Want”, we explored how our ego, which is fuelled by wanting, knows only how to categorize life in likes and dislikes, a bit like permanently judging ourselves and others for what is here right now. We either latch onto something we perceive as good and feel temporarily fulfilled – like “I finally got this perfect boyfriend, so I am now happy” – or we push back at things we don’t like – like “The perfect boyfriend is not being so nice right now, so I am now unhappy”. Is joy happiness? While happiness can come and go depending on circumstances, joy is deeper and more lasting. It is an effervescence that arises like the bubbling…

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Healing Pain Through Love and Acceptance

LOVING MYSELF AND THE WORLD BEYOND CONDITION The choices you make right now, based on how you choose to perceive this moment, are literally creating your future. This month’s Parvati Magazine explores the theme Equilibrium. My article “Finding Balance In Relationships” looks at how our core beliefs affect how we perceive and therefore choose to interact with the world. As often is the case when I share, I get immediate opportunity to put my teachings into practice. I feel this happens because the universe is the ultimate compassionate teacher. It lovingly makes sure that I am walking the talk and serving to my utmost by presenting me with many life lessons that support my growth. This week, I had an encounter with someone through which my feelings were hurt. As I processed my experience, I discovered that some of my core beliefs needed revision. So I went within and took stock of how I choose to perceive life, asking myself if I am living in unattached truthfulness or projecting and validating my assumptions onto the world. I also went back to review my blog posts that celebrate the power of the divine feminine, a five part series written in December 2013 through January 2014. If you have not yet read them, they are pretty juicy and…

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I Am Married!

I am very happy that I am now a married woman. I never thought I would get married. In fact, my long-time partner Rishi had been asking me to marry him for the past ten years. Each time, I kept saying, “I feel like we are already married.” It was not only that Amma, our spiritual teacher, has blessed us in so many ways, showering us with flower petals, holding our hands together and kissing them, giving us our spiritual names at the same time. It was also because as of our first date, I knew he was the one with whom I would spend my life. We have openly spoken about this with each other time and time again. Despite our share of trials and growth, as all couples have, an indescribable bond ties us so that no matter what bumps we experience, a soul-centered groundedness provides us with sobering stability and fuels a love that we feel is greater than each one of us. But last fall, when Amma said “yes!” to marrying us, I realized that I had a golden opportunity to be married by the Divine Mother Herself. Such grace! My wedding was divine. Taking place at the very end of Amma’s North American tour, the marriage was the culmination of Amma’s four-day…

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Sacred Sexuality: Beyond Wanting – Part 3: Wanting Fulfillment or Open to Divine Love

(Continued from Body Language) Sex is part of the cycle of life. It is a sacred thing. When the sacred is confused for the fulfillment of desires, confusion begins. The sacred does not fulfill our desires. It does not give us all we want but gives us what we need. The divine shows us the ways in which we identify with feeling disconnected and shows us a way to return to our more authentic state of wholeness. It is not up to our lovers, husbands, wives and partners to make us whole. It is up to us to turn our attention to the divine and tap into that eternal light. It is our job to focus on and celebrate the divine within our partners, and forgive their shadow, as we too have shadows. When we engage in sexuality, it is a time for heightened consciousness, not the release of such. When we let go of our spiritual attention and engage in sexuality, we amplify our already present tendency to want. Whenever there is wanting, there is interference. When we want through sex, we become downloading stations for interference and amplify our own state of disconnection. Though a momentary feeling of bliss through orgasm feels great, most of us have no idea what really went on in…

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Sacred Sexuality: Beyond Wanting – Part 2: Body Language

(Continued from Sex and Spirituality) Whether we are heterosexual, bisexual, homosexual, a polygamist, a monogamist, or celibate, our physical body is part of a vast, multidimensional whole. What we do, think, feel, taste, smell and touch is never limited in isolation to our immediate sense of self, but has ripple effects throughout the entire universe. When we communicate, we take in and impart information. For most, this is thought of as a verbal exchange. But for those who are sensitive to otherness, we understand that there is no such thing as purely verbal information. In addition to what we speak, we are also sharing our emotional presence, all the contents of our body language, the subtle innuendos, and our vibrational intentions. When we share with someone, we are in contact not just with the physical being that we see, but with all that person’s past thoughts, experiences and actions, as well as all energies with which they have been in contact. We are in touch with the totality of their soul’s evolutionary journey. Even when we are physically alone, we are never truly alone. Whatever we think, feel or do, we are continually in communication with an immense universe that comes home to us through our physical body. The body is literally a channel for unseen…

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Sacred Sexuality: Beyond Wanting – Part 1: Sex and Spirituality

Sex is everywhere in our media. It sells. It builds brands. It feeds consumerism. It is not a surprise that it does, as the energy of sexuality is the very energy that creates life. It is a very powerful force that is best used with conscious understanding. Sex is a powerful vehicle for the divine. As I celebrate in my song Sanctified Skin (which I will officially release early this summer), the light of pure consciousness dances within us. Our body is a temple for divine play. But if we are to play, we must be aware of who or what we are playing with. There are interference patterns in the universe that do not have physical form, but covet our physical bodies. Because a physical body is subject to natural laws, it creates the experience of polarity that provides an opportunity to add jet fuel to the process of evolutionary process. To have form, means having the gift of spiritual alchemy. But we must be aware what base metal we wish to transform into gold, hence the power of free will. We have all been there, freely expressing our wants. Crushes and heartbreaks, great sex, bad sex, the partner we wished we had, the one we once loved but now hate, the one we are…

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Ask Parvati 43: The Present Is The Present – Part 3: Gold Trapped In A Rock

(Continued from Turning Drama Into Fierce Discernment) Being able to see these unlikely opportunities in others’ lives has helped me to find the gifts in my own. It is like finding gold trapped inside of a rock. We can find hidden treasures in the most unlikely places. Today I had an “a-ha” moment. My mind stopped. Life sprang open into technicolour and multiple dimensions. The daily hum-drum spontaneously blossomed into full life-presence. For a moment I felt through my whole being that all, yes, absolutely all is perfection. It seemed as though all that is, is grace, a gift, a perfect teaching, giving me exactly what I need to evolve in this moment. In this moment, the Universe, God, pure consciousness (whatever you want to call it) is reflected back to me through my life situations, perhaps even most powerfully in areas of my life that seem painful. I love my partner. He also can drive me crazy at times. We have a profound, unique connection, one I know without any doubt I could not replicate with another person. In this way, I know he is perfect for me. Despite that knowing, there are times I have been very much challenged. Last night, I was able to see that even his gnarly bits, when I am…

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Ask Parvati 36: Compromise, Acceptance and Getting the Love You Want – Part 5: Getting The Love You Need

GETTING THE LOVE YOU NEED (Continued from Getting The Love You Want)     Relationships are a path for personal growth. In my opinion, they can be a fast track way for spiritual growth. Perhaps some of you have had the experience of feeling great when you are on your own, but when you get into a relationship, all of a sudden you find out all sorts of areas for personal growth as your shadow gets provoked. None of that seemed to exist when you were on your own. So where did it come from? The ego assumes it must be your partner, so you conclude you’re with the wrong partner. Truth is, these vasanas (or negative tendencies) were within you all along and have been simply triggered by the relationship.   Of course, it is healthy to be in a relationship where you find the support and safety you need to explore and ultimately release these vasanas. This is why a healthy relationship is more like a co-creative workshop for spiritual growth than a walk in the park. They amplify our shadow and our potential. They bring out hidden tendencies and show us who we truly are. When we are willing to accept the fuel for growth and let our ego guard down, the workshop…

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Ask Parvati 36: Compromise, Acceptance and Getting the Love You Want – Part 4: Getting The Love You Want

GETTING THE LOVE YOU WANT (Continued from Acceptance and Insight)   Intimate relationships can be complex. We say we want to find love, yet we are often attracted to people from whom we find it hard to get what we feel we need. Some psychotherapists suggest that unconsciously, we seek to fix the wounds of our childhood through our intimate partners. It is like we want our mummy or we want our daddy through them. In fact, certain theories suggest that our unseen wounds help us find our “perfect” match. The problem is, the person we find at first to be “perfect”, turns out to re-enact the very pains we experienced as a child. One morning, we wake up to find that we are not in relationship with our ideal mate, but with a replica of our clingy mother or our aggressive father. Then we ask, how did we get here? Unhappy, we push against what we see and inadvertently move into power struggles, trying to fix the other person, who once seemed to fill us up just the way we needed. We think of breaking up and may even choose to do so. Or we choose silent resignation, because, unwilling to risk change, we sum up that this is just the way relationships are –…

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