By Lori Lines
The purpose of the first installment of our deep dive into the Dark Night was to help you understand how this spiritual transformation can lead you down into the depths of despair, worthlessness, and emotionality. (Visit my here to see Part 1, if you've not read it yet.)
The Dark Night of the Soul can kick up trauma, insecurities and fears that have long been repressed, causing some to have to face the stark, often jarring, reality of their own mortality as the ego-self dies. To encapsulate my own deep Dark Night, it was an enduring period of a process relinquishing many created limiting beliefs, traumas, insecurities, wounds, behavioral and thinking patterns that no longer served where I was meant to go in life. In looking back and bringing what I've learned to the fore, it was indeed a rite of passage of sorts - A holy experience that is difficult to explain with mere words but is real nonetheless.
Socially and individually, the Dark Night causes upheaval as our mental schemas and social constructs become askew, turning life into a chilling house of mirrors. Life loses its meaning, making everything seem unfamiliar and foreboding. Yet, as grim as things may look, this is a story of hope. As we suffer every night, the darkness will recede at dawn, a time of re-birth and illumination.
The question is, how does one get through the Dark Night, with nary a flicker to lead the way?
Knowledge is Power
The best way to cope with this soul journey is to learn about the process and its purpose. Unfortunately, when I went through this journey, I had no frame of reference and I didn't know what to call it. So, luckily, you get to benefit from my experience here. :)
Awareness of what it is, is as vital as why it is to endure the ego-death, loss of identity, and fear of the unknown throughout this spiritual transition. Knowing what you are going through, there is a peace and tranquility in knowing your trials and challenges can serve your greatest good and the good of society.
Don't Try to Steer the River
Like turbulent waters, swimming in the murky depths, during the Dark Night, can be profoundly confusing, tiring and draining. To prevent exhaustion, it is essential to swim with the current, not against it. To know when to stop and rest and to start paddling again is part of the lesson of the Dark Night.
I have found many try to distract themselves and go into their addictions. Addictions can be anything from substance abuse, shopping, work, to sex or even serial dating, anything to distract the mind from the enduring discomfort with this process. If one loses a significant relationship, one may attempt to soothe the ego by fervently looking for a new person to fill the void. This can be construed as resistance to WHAT IS. Unfortunately, trying to fill the void with distractions is a trauma-based tactic that usually backfires.
Acceptance, surrender and release are necessary for growth from this time period. Understand that the Dark Night of the Soul will take us down whatever paths, stir whatever memories, and rid us of whatever aspects of our identity and society need to facilitate spiritual awakening to be reborn.
Grief is Tremendous, but Love is Bigger
This is a grieving process. You are grieving the loss of who you were, what life was, and the meaning you assigned to things like your career, your education, and your relationships. Socially we must accept the dying away of old constructs and mores that once gave us comfort, complacency, not because they served us well, but because they were familiar.
During the mourning period, treat yourself as you would a dear friend or loved one. If you need more sleep, less sleep, time alone, time with friends, more physical activity, less physical activity, as long as you are caring for yourself first with consideration, compassion, and love, honor your needs.
One of the lessons I learned from my Dark Night is how much time I spent allowing friends and loved ones to complain to me or to dump their problems when I wasn't prepared to receive this type of energy. My old self would jump into "fix-it" or "healer" mode, continuously enabling the others' dysfunction, and I realized I was teaching others how to treat me and, more importantly, why I allowed it. It wasn't their fault if I was not asserting appropriate boundaries.
As I began to set limits with certain people in my life (caring for myself), I felt less drained and more empowered to be who I am, without apology, all the while remaining compassionate for myself and others. Some friends showed me who they were by leaving, when they didn't get what they wanted from me, any longer, and some friends showed me who they were by sticking by me and honoring my boundaries with love and care.
Boundaries with others is crucial, during the Dark Night because, although you cannot physically see it, your higher self is diligently working on your soul's accelerated healing. Believe me when I say, boundaries are an act of love, not only for yourself but for others who are not yet aware of themselves and their actions.
Stay tuned for my article on Boundaries in the near future.
Meditation....The Language of the Spirit
This is the time to make space for the voice of Spirit and Your Higher Self, even if you designate 10 minutes every day to simply being still, observing your thoughts, sitting with your Spirit, and the wisdom of the higher consciousness. Allowing yourself to be lovingly embraced by the Universe not only provides guidance, but also serves as a comfort and solace from the turmoil you are experiencing during the Dark Night.
One of the things my higher self taught me, during my Dark Night, was to begin a mindfulness meditation practice, which I did. This practice was the antidote to leading me out of my dark night, which is why I added a mindfulness meditation to strengthen awareness coaching service to my business repertoire, to help clients navigate through their Dark Night of the Soul.
However, it is understood that this is not for everyone. Sometimes just talking through the process will suffice, another service I offer at the end of this article.
The Cure for the Pain is in the Pain
At times you may go day-to-day, hour-to-hour, and during the darkest times, moment-to-moment, but there is purpose in the pain and the social upheaval. I always tell my clients to stay the course and to allow whatever emotions and thoughts surface. Each trauma you uncover, aspect of your ego that dies, and uncomfortable reality you face takes you deeper into the dawn of awakening. Socially, this phase of storm and stress brings us closer to the all after the storm. When we are willing to go through the pain, rather than to go around it or above it, we find profound healing and we reveal deep spiritual truths.
I find this is a time when one may find the pain so unbearable, they resort to spiritual bypassing. When we bypass the pain of the spiritual lesson, the lesson comes in a bigger way later. Best to face it now.
The Greater the Storm, the Brighter the Rainbow
During the Dark Night of the Soul, there is panic, sadness, neediness, and turmoil because so much is lost. Individually, we may lose ourselves, socially, we can lose our way altogether. Yet, in reality, we are deprived of nothing significant in these temporary losses. Because of all that is lost, so many valuable things are gained. It is here when you realize how the Universe has had your back all along, even if you couldn't feel it.
From a higher perspective awakening within you, you relinquish your false sense of self. You know yourself to be a completely different person on the inside, which energetically radiates on the outside. It's like a cleansing of a deep-rooted sickness: your past perception of your true nature and your inadequate, often wrong opinion of who you think you are. As the inner conflict ceases, your spirit comes into alignment with your true self and you have been delivered of the intolerable bondage to your ego.
As the sun rises on your Dark Night of the Soul, you will experience a freedom like you never have before, you will experience truth, awakening, and connection, which will radiate into the Universe. In a world where everyone who is called to realize their higher purpose through the Dark Night of the Soul achieves rebirth, society can come to know the unity, peace, and love our souls are destined for. Have faith that being committed and dedicated to healing yourself first is the most selfless gift you can give to the world. You are that powerful.
In love and truth,
If you feel you are going through a Dark Night of the Soul and want support from someone who has authentically gone through it and now can offer real compassion and insights into your process, I am offering a 6, one hour session package for $600 (a savings of $300) to help you navigate through this process of awakening. Just contact me at email@example.com for more details. Find out more about my services at higherselfaccess.com
By Lori Lines
"Dark Night of the Soul" sounds ominous, doesn't it? In many ways, it is, yet, like your first real heartbreak or significant failure, many believe it is a standard part of spiritual growth and development - a major growing pain as seekers on the road to higher consciousness will pass through this rite of passage, an initiation of sorts, before the seeker is admitted into a regular connection with higher consciousness.
The Dark Night of the Soul is described by some as similar to mild depression or general sense of malaise. You feel lost, stuck in a rut, wistful, and sleeping and eating are disrupted. Others describe it as a soul-crushing deeply depressed state, at times so profound people may believe they are truly dying. Having gone through this journey myself, it felt deeper than a depression and most certainly, "soul-crushing." To me, it felt as if my light had been extinguished and all hope was lost.
Interestingly, we can undergo similar times of storms and stress socially. During these times, life can feel bleak, the inequity and hate paints a dystopian society, and the current social structures lose their meaning. The sense of meaninglessness is a feature of the dark night. On the communal or personal level, nothing seems to make much sense, including life itself.
Many things can trigger a Dark Night, a loss, a death, a disaster, an injustice, an ego-assault, and an ego-death. Socially or individually, it can come when we can no longer explain maladaptive systems and structures, dysfunctional perceptions and thought patterns, and low vibrational automatic behaviors. By profoundly examining the frameworks of life, those that govern society, and those that shape our values become so askew that they collapse.
On a personal level, this collapse may cause you to lose touch with who you are. This is called ego-death. It is symptomatic of the Dark Night. As your world loses meaning, so does your place in it. You can't fit in as you had before. You know on some level the reality of higher consciousness and yearn to be more deeply in communion with this part of yourself, yet you somehow can't fit in or feel at home in the company of those who you usually relate to, let alone yourself. The ego thrives on comparison and judgment, when existing measures are no longer sustainable, the ego's voice dies away.
This can lead to feeling lost. During the Dark Night, the veil is lifted, and you begin to see what an illusion your old reality was. It is here we find ourselves in a state of suspended animation with no 'new' reality to cling to. At this stage, people often feel as though they live in a void of emptiness in which nothing is real. Days, weeks, months and years can drone on and the part that's so difficult to accept is there's no finite time we can cling as to the duration of this experience.
Your motivation may plummet. Work, education, success, esteem, and popularity no longer drives you. Some people experience the need to rid themselves of material possessions, relationships, and pursuits that no longer fulfill them. Initially, this cleansing may seem like just what you need. In the end, it can trigger feelings of worthlessness. Your ego may start to press you, "who are you without your things or your people?"
At some point during your Dark Night, memories and old traumas may rise to the surface. From your current realm of emptiness, these flashbacks can elicit an intense emotional reaction. In fact, everything you encounter may garner a more visceral response. This results from the ego falling back, and the subconscious (higher self) taking the helm, reactivating parts of yourself that have been long denied and repressed.
As your subconscious awareness rises, you may feel like you are thinking with two brains. The subconscious mind sitting back with pen and paper jotting down notes as the conscious mind darts back and forth from one fearful thought to the next. When you are aware of your thoughts, this state of higher consciousness can be unsettling, to say the least. At worst, some people believe they are losing touch with their sanity. But, in reality, one going through this process is gaining their sanity.
Another symptom of the subconscious taking the lead is the ego will wave a distress signal. "I'm dying! SOS!" Many who walk their path during the Dark Night of the Soul start to become profoundly aware of their mortality. This awareness can be so stark, some even believe it is they, themselves, who are dying, not the ego.
The Dark Night can be a lonely time of isolation regardless of who may be around you. During this phase you must confront the fears and insecurities that emerge from the shadows. At times people's sleep is dysregulated, causing one to sleep too much or not enough. The same can happen with food and physical activity.
Similarly, when we experience a Dark Night in the social context, we can be afraid to challenge old detrimental perspectives and social mores. Our daily foundations become dysregulated, and so can the unity we extend to all members of humanity.
So, why must we endure it, for some more than once, this long, dark, difficult night of suffering? Because, as with most nights, when it is complete, we awaken. Awaken into a higher state of consciousness, if we will just allow ourselves to do so. In this transformed state of consciousness, we are set free to ascend to merge with our higher self.
It is important to point out that not everyone goes through the above mentioned intensity of the Dark Night of the Soul. But, if you are, understand that this is YOUR way. And, once on the other side of it, it is a rite of passage that should be honored, as you will be completely transformed.
This experience of being reborn is one of greater unity, love, peace and understanding of one's self and others on a very intimate level. Yes, it is a very dark night, but the sunrise is breathtaking.
Stay tuned for Part 2. The Night is What Makes the Dawn So Bright.
In love and truth,
PS: If you feel you are going through a Dark Night of the Soul and want support from someone who has authentically gone through it and now can offer real compassion and insights into your process, I am offering a 6, one hour session package for $600 (a savings of $300). Just contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org for more details. Find out more about my services at www.higherselfaccess.com.
By Lori Lines
What an organ the brain is! All its wrinkles and folds, nuances and enigmas, powers and abilities, working in perfect alignment and synergy…until it doesn't! The brain can be separated into different lobes, functions, and systems. The primary distinction is that of the right and left brain. Sometimes referred to as brains, these two hemispheres are meant to work together, making up for what the other lacks. The left brain is responsible for logic, analytical thought, scientific and mathematical reasoning, and processing what we have been taught to believe is factual evidence.
The right brain processes holistic perceptions, creativity, imagination, art, music, and insightful reasoning. When the two hemispheres are balanced, together they give us a grounded perspective in which we can function in our day to day lives yet aspire, envision, and manifest a more fulfilling, high vibrational future.
Unfortunately, some people are out of balance, listening solely to their left brain. This can be referred to as literalism. Defined as "adherence to a meaning in an exact sense, or an exact representation or portrayal without idealization or inference." In simple terms, understanding and judging everything at "evidence or face value,"…but is it really evidential face value?
From an early age, based on our culture, society, and family values, we are all taught what to attend to, who to trust, how to perceive information, what is "fundamentally" true, and what is "fundamentally false." This is called social conditioning. Social conditioning is how we have been taught to function and think, somewhat like a default state for an electronic device.
When we rely solely on the left brain, or literalist perceptions, we limit ourselves, our consciousness, and our opportunities. We give our power away to social, religious, political constructs and people, we've idealized and over identified with, to determine what we see and how we see it. In this way, literalism is taking everything at face value or basing our perceptions on factual evidence. Instead, it conforms to what we have been socialized to believe is accurate, proven, and apparent.
Spoiler Alert: Knowledge, grounded in literalism, always comes to a stop. There's nowhere else to go to expand on ideas to grow! Repressing our natural tendency to question, to think beyond what appears to be physically present, and to grow as the spiritual beings that we are, stifles our true expression.
In my opinion, this has been the crux of a trickle down effect and why our generation suffers from systemic depression and that people, collectively, are suffering the Dark Night of the Soul.
All that we perceive and experience is transient, except for the experiences that change our soul. The soul or spirit is the entity that exists and bridges us from one life to the next. It never dies. We explore the universal consciousness through our soul, commune with the higher consciousness, and reach the higher dimensions. Locked within the soul is a template of our life path, all that came before and will come after. Alignment with this map or template is how we self-actualize, awaken, and achieve enlightenment through connection to the universe and Spiritual consciousness.
When we rely too heavily on the left brain's literalism, we tie ourselves too tightly to the physical realm's perceptions, experiences, and fleeting events. We lose touch with our higher selves, the universal unconscious, and the realm of the soul. Quickly we can become locked into the functioning of the day to day, observing the rules and regulations we have been conditioned to. A divide grows between who we are and who we are meant to be. We are not meant to follow, but to do the soul's work, honoring the template we come to this world with and the higher purpose we are destined to achieve.
As the division between who we are portraying and who we are meant to be, grows, life becomes challenging. We can lose our way, lose our sense of purpose, and life can lose all meaning. When we lose our "why," by habitually conforming to what we think we KNOW, we also lose our how and when.
There has never been a time where it is crucial for individuals to begin their self-actualizing, integrative process by whatever means is necessary than now.
Trusting the left brain too much can lead to not trusting ourselves at all! Our intuition and inner knowing repeatedly takes a backseat to what we have been conditioned to believe is right, even if it goes against what we want or what we feel. Like any other relationship, when we lose our own trust, it is difficult to regain it.
This state of feeling conflicted towards the answers "out there" and having the answers within withheld can render us powerless. This powerlessness can lead to depression, anxiety, and general apathy towards the very life we are living. If you have experienced this or are experiencing it, you understand how difficult a cycle it can be to break. Yet, nothing can change within your spirit or in your outer world until you do the spiritual work it takes to amplify and hear your inner truth again.
By bypassing social conditioning and the left brain's reasoning, the Quantum Healing Hypnosis Technique can access the part of yourself that can hear and feel your inner knowing again. QHHT can help you reconnect with answers that you have lost along the way regarding your everyday life and your spiritual calling. QHHT accesses the higher self and the collective unconscious through your spirit, your everlasting nature, and eternal awareness, rendering the confines of social conditioning and literalism powerless. In turn, returning your mental, spiritual and emotional balance and restoring your power!
I have spoken to many of you who are afraid of the QHHT process, those of you who know, on a deeper level, that you've clung to your literalism for far too long and believe you would not be successful at this practice. My answer to this is my Mindfulness Meditation and Awareness Series of coaching sessions that can help prepare you for a QHHT session. Practicing mindfulness to strengthen awareness naturally opens up the mind to balance and trust in your inner knowing rather than just accepting evidential proof, "out there" that may or may not be true.
When you can once again perceive the bigger picture, you will start to realize how "small" your physical existence truly is. Through connection to your higher self and your countless lifetimes, you can once again appreciate how infinite your options and opportunities are. You can begin to realize yourself and your exponential gifts and visualize unlimited new ways of living, and it takes trusting yourself to do so.
In love and truth,
By Lori Lines
The late great Dolores Cannon used to ask her ailing clients, "are you willing to give up what is making you sick?" She would ask this question in the wake of a QHHT® hypnosis session. While this question may seem harsh to some, it's simplicity gives rise to our own empowerment as more of us awaken to our responsibility tending to our thoughts, actions and emotions that block us and make our lives...well..."sick."
The majority of the people in the world are living mechanical lives based on social conditionings and false beliefs instilled in us since childhood and beyond.
Our inharmonious thoughts and feelings, our desires and our compulsive behaviors create major blocks which densify our bodies and lower our vibrational frequency so that we become vulnerable to the negativity (or our created negative energy) around us. Consequently, individuals attract situations and people of similar energies based on the cosmic principle of "like attracts like."
Mental blocks are nothing but dark energies stagnated in our consciousness over long periods of time. These blocks can unconsciously be held within parts of our bodies, too. When we cling to our negativity and appropriate our woes and sadness, we unwittingly trap them into our subconscious being, where they gradually crystallize into mental, physical and emotional blocks that affect us adversely at all levels. These blocks obstruct the divine flow of energy into our being and can shift us out of alignment with our Source, so that all our thoughts and emotions are tainted with pessimism.
Our conscious-awareness is a sentry that guards our thoughts and feelings from straying away from the Source Light of Love and Peace. When some outside situation provokes us to anger, fear, hatred and the like, we must be aware of our emotions and our inner dialogue that expresses those emotions. It's important for us to be in control of our emotions before they overwhelm us.
How to take control? Take a pause, watch your negative emotions as a passive spectator. Acknowledge each emotion that comes up, with: I am feeling "anger"...or I am feeling "fear" and so on. Observe your emotions without allowing them to ruffle your feelings. Your quiet vigilance prevents the discordant emotions to take possession of your heart, mind, even your body, and keeps them under control. Do not be tempted to resist and analyze them or reason with them, but simply be with them until they subdue and dissolve into stillness.
With the power of presence we can get rid ourselves of mental/emotional blocks and choose to lead a wholesome life, free from the compulsions of our negative thoughts.
It's helpful to challenge our fears that pose as obstructions to our success and well-being, and dare to break free from our comfort zone for a more enterprising life. Know that fears are illusory by nature, and appear real only as long as we give it our energy to dominate over us. Fears enfeeble the mind and cripple the spirit.
Similarly, it helps to be conscious of our mental activity at any given time. It is typical of the mind to drift off to its shady haunts of dismal memories, bringing with it the dark remnants of pain and sorrow which cloud our present moment of sunshine and happiness and steep us into our own misery. Your conscious-awareness repels untoward thought, allowing only those which are in keeping with our health and well-being.
When you catch yourself drifting down the bleak memory-lane, stop your thoughts right dead in their tracks and immediately replace it with that which uplifts your spirit and evokes joy in your heart. If the thought hangs on, I affirm, "I nullify this thought so that it does not enter into my subjective mind." It is helpful to engage in constructive activities that are instrumental in increasing mental cheerfulness and better concentration.
Life is not meant to be taken so seriously. If we learn to laugh in the face of our trials and tribulations, we can understand that hardships are merely the lessons of life that we need to go through for our own spiritual progress. These are transient - here, one minute and gone the next.
If we refuse to internalize other people's aggressive behavior towards us, we rise to the understanding it is nothing personal - it is just their way of releasing their inner turmoil and pent-up frustrations.
So, go ahead and dare to laugh when ordeals compel you to cry; dare to love and forgive your enemies when they provoke you to anger and hatred; dare to be resilient when the blows of life bear down on you so that you are able to bounce back good and strong once they are through with you; dare to remain anchored in the Light of Peace when fears threaten to close in on you and jeopardize your happiness.
Shadows and sunshine are a part of one's spiritual journey. You have to allow yourself to move on and enjoy the ride. Keep moving onward and upward, and look forward to new changes that bring with them surprises and opportunities.
Cast burdens onto your Higher Power and live free like a child who is filled with hope and wonderment. Find joys in the simple things in life. A happy heart is a healthy heart. Afflictions and maladies can cease to exist in a body that resonates with true peace and joy.
Though easier said than done, practicing presence and vigilance over our hearts and minds requires persistent effort and a sense of responsibility on our parts. It is a pre-requisite in order to gain mastery over self and to live by the power of our souls so that we become a source of attraction for Universal Peace, Abundance, Health, and Prosperity.
In love and truth,
To Schedule an appointment click here:
By Lori Lines
In our present-day society, we are modern people. Lately, due to governmental mandates, many of us have had time to pause and reflect, whether we wanted to or not. We realize we have become very used to being stimulated regularly. Our minds are addicted to all kinds of buzz and frenzy.
Technology has only exacerbated this buzz as our minds hunger for more. When faced with the notion to be in the present moment, this may make many recoil in panic. In fact we expend a great deal of our money, our energy and our time doing our best to avoid boredom because, to some, this state of being commensurates death.
Seriously! Many of us can remember using phrases like "bored to death" and "bored stiff."
Consider the vast expanse of entertainment, amusements and diversions that we create and indulge in just to keep from feeling bored. And yet, the complaint of boredom still exists.
I once read a story where, ages ago, there was this Zen trainee who complained to his master that he didn't enjoy meditation because he found the practice of focusing on his breath to be boring. "Oh you don't find breathing interesting, huh?" Said the Zen master. "Well, come with me." The trainee followed the master outside stopping at a stream. At the edge of the water, the master told his trainee to gaze at his reflection in the water. As soon as the student bent over to look at his reflection, the Zen master thrust his head deep into the water and forcibly held it there as the poor student struggled not to drown. "Sooo," said the Zen master, "do you still find breathing boring?"
Most of us believe that our boredom is because of our outward circumstances. We think the situation we find ourselves in is simply not interesting. Those who practice presence, on the other hand, regard boredom as a product of inattention. We get bored, in other words, when we withdraw our full awareness to whatever we are experiencing at the moment.
Boredom is not caused by what we perceive as not happening, it is caused by our own mind. The cure for boredom is paying complete attention with focused awareness. Rather than paying attention, though, most of us are inclined to seek out more mental and physical stimulation to keep our minds occupied with trivial matters that just take up useless space in our heads.
The meditative practice of presence encourages us to let go of the craving for stimulation and simply be attentive to what is, in the present moment.
To digress a moment, I recall a time when I was new at practicing presence. My, then, 8 year old daughter came to me complaining, "I'm bored!" Instead of jumping into my usual response to engage her in something entertaining, I said to her, "Many brilliant ideas and works of art were created out of boredom." Then, I left it at that. Reluctantly, she decided to pull out her art supplies and, voila!, she created a masterpiece. A work of art I will treasure for the rest of my life.
When I asked her what she learned about herself when she was bored, her 8 year old self thoughtfully replied, "That I don't have to be bored when I'm bored." Indeed.
When we discipline our minds, we can take something that we perceive to be boring and make it into something that's profoundly interesting. Just as a submerged head can become fascinated with the breath, boredom, itself, can become interesting if we simply observe it without judgment.
When we can let go of our fear of being bored and direct our full attention to our breath, one might be amazed at what discoveries can be made. One might notice the pleasant sensation that relaxed breathing brings to our body. It may be very mild and barely perceptible, but it's there. When we can be wholly engaged with the simple pleasure of breathing, we find ourselves with a refined sense of completeness in that moment. All we need to know is the joy of the breath. In that moment, we know that simply breathing is enough and we want nothing else.
The benefits of practicing presence are immeasurable. When we learn how to be in a state of presence, we develop our intuition, we get to know who we really are, and we find focus in our lives, just to name a few.
I offer 1:1 sessions coaching clients on how to practice presence in their everyday lives. If this sounds like something you would like to do, just let me know and we can discuss it.
In love and truth,
For an appointment or for more information click here:
By Lori Lines
Social stigmatization is a symptom of our divisive culture. In our society, people frequently face discrimination and are ostracized due to perceivable and imperceivable differences alike. This alienation is often due to factors people cannot change or are very hard to change such as race, intelligence, culture, physical ability, socioeconomic status, and gender.
Stigmatization has detrimental effects. For example, the stigma that those with mental illness face can lead to isolation, inability to seek appropriate care, and an overall decline in well-being. Of course the effects one may face when they carry the burden of social stigma varies broadly. Nevertheless, the result is typically very damaging for the ostracized, damaging for judgmental individuals, and damaging for society, as the foundation for these distorted belief systems.
Social stigmas result from judgment. Judging others is the lifeblood of the ego-self. The ego feels more empowered when we are critical of others. It is strengthened when we believe we are smarter, richer, more attractive, and more able-bodied than those around us. The ego is also strengthened when we perceive we are less-smart, poorer, less attractive and less able-bodied than those around us. Judging others elicits a false sense of ego-control and security. Regardless of whether we feel we are besting or not besting our neighbors, colleagues, friends, or strangers.
The ego-self thrives on the misplaced belief that our worth, or lack of worth, stems from these judgments. This process can become so automatic that it goes unchecked. When we say, "I am smart," the ego may whisper, "compared to your coworkers that bungle presentations." When the ego is in control, "I am enlightened" can also be accompanied by an automatic, subconscious thought like "more than that narrow-minded person." Conversely, the ego is in control when we have the reverse thoughts, "I am NOT smart," or "I am not as good as...", or "I'm less enlightened compared to...."
These judgements and ego-centric comparisons remain as long as we refuse to recognize the universal interconnectedness throughout humanity and the Divine. Yet again, the sneaky ego-self whispers more distorted realities in our ear, that we are special, or less-special, and unique only as long as we uphold our separateness from others. We are misled to believe that our magic and majesty is lost when we are one of many, a single droplet in the sea of humanity. So, we default to otherness, isolation, and loneliness from those who are stigmatized.
This can be construed as a very low-vibrational state that keeps us from enlightenment. The truth is, we are all connected, and the means to achieve individual, societal, and eventually, global awakening is through unity, compassion, and love. We challenge and ultimately transcend the ego with a perspective of neutral togetherness, thereby reaching our highest potential individually and universally.
To get there we must learn to forgive and just trust. Once again, this is contrary to our ego-impulses. The ego-driven view is that forgiveness and trust is weakness and vulnerability. Picture the ego as a little red imp on your shoulder, trying to convince you when you forgive, you submit, and when you trust, you expose yourself to danger. It is yet another ego defense that twists our perception to retain control. When the ego is in control, we fear surrender and avoid it at the expense of harming others and ourselves.
The inability to trust and forgive keeps us tethered, limited, constricted, and even depressed, perpetually seeking new ways to appease the insecure ego. Surrender is the only release from the exhausting cycle that diminishes us and others. Yield to the universe, the Divine, and uncertainty, break free of conditioned fears, beliefs, and limitations, relinquish the ego-driven need for control, and have faith that whatever the universe has in store for you will help you grow and achieve your highest potential.
In a state of surrender, there is no need for comparison or stigma. We understand that each of us has unique purposes, gifts, and paths to pursue. In that light, there is no need for distinguishing ourselves from others because we each have an individual journey to uphold. Yet, we share a collective goal of alignment with our higher-selves and enlightenment of the collective unconscious. It is because of this shared mission that we must uplift each other with love and support.
As we turn down the volume of the petulant ego perched upon our shoulder, thank it for protecting us when we have needed it, and begin surrender, we become more observant of harmful behaviors, words, and perspectives. Leading us to challenging, and ultimately, overcoming distorted belief systems.
As the wave of surrender begins to swell within our individual psyches, our neighborhoods, our states, and our countries, we will come to know the joy of releasing negativity to allow humanity's beauty and goodness to be reflected and celebrated in every one of us.
In love and truth,
By Lori Lines
The mind can be construed as a double-edged sword. It is capable of providing us great benefit as well as great injury. Naturally, we want to cultivate our inner processes in such a way that we maximize or minds' capacity for doing good and to minimize its tendencies for causing pain and suffering.
It is important, in this juncture in our evolution, to nurture our minds in a way that will bring us greater joy. The mind tends to operate in a rather haphazard way, bounding from thought to thought with little or no apparent prompting of direction. Our minds seem to have a mind of their own. It might appear that our minds are thoroughly out of our control as if we have no choice of the kinds of things that drift across our minds.
Although thoughts seem to come out of the blue, they are, in fact, conditioned
by previous patterns of thought. The thoughts that our mind produces now have been shaped by its history of thinking. This history can connect all the way back to previous lives we have lived as well as our current life history of thinking.
Neuro-scientific research has shown that routine patterns of thought make incremental but substantial changes in the way the brain is structured and the way the mind functions. These alterations make the brain more effective at doing what it is asked to do. If we habitually think in certain ways, then our minds become more adept at these patterns of thought. Patterns of thought becomes belief. Beliefs manifest patterns of behavior and circumstances that can benefit us or injure us.
Thus, as the concept of conditioning suggests, positive or wholesome thoughts create a propensity for more positive or wholesome thoughts. Fortunately, we can use this dynamic principle to our advantage. While we may not be in conscious control of each and every thought, a meditation practice can show us that we can choose which thoughts to entertain and to develop and which to observe and release. In this manner, we can influence the kinds of thoughts we are more likely to produce in the future.
Knowing this, we can use our power to select and foster or relinquish thoughts that can help us to cultivate a skillful and clear mind that serves us well.
I invite you to become aware and observe your thoughts as they arise, but also identify the kinds of thoughts you are having. Once identified, we can make conscious choices about how we will handle them.
What can occur in a QHHT session or in a Mindfulness Coaching session is when one begins to wake up to the types of thoughts they habituate, one comes to an understanding of how these habitual thoughts have manifested problematic patterns in one's life. And, with this self-knowledge, one can begin to shift and change the trajectory of ones life altogether.
In love and truth,
Author Lori Lines
Disclaimer: Lori is a high-level channel. The information contained on this site is intended for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for advice, diagnosis or treatment by a licensed physician. You should seek prompt medical care for any health issues and consult your doctor before using alternative medicine or making a change to your regimen.