We are just kicking off this months theme of Gratitude in the Core Alliance Membership. I felt inspired to share with all of you who are not in the membership (yet! 😉) some of what we have been exploring so far.

 

Gratitude is not foreign to any of us, for Gratitude is the hearts code. A direct language of ones true nature. It would be impossible to feel grateful and disconnected at the same time. For the vibration of ‘gratitude’ generally hangs out in the same camp as the generosity of an open heart, a clear mind and a relaxed belly. It reminds me of jumping on a big trampoline and the uncontrollable smile and laughter that rises up through the body. You can’t jump on a trampoline and not feel some natural joy bubble up! Similarly you can’t get lost for too long in the negative bias of the brain, that tends to reflex into ‘complaint mode’ when there is gratitude in your heart.

 

Even though gratitude is the hearts code and we naturally enjoy life when we are seated in this disposition —we all have our moments (or months!) when those hard wired, tight fisted tendencies to close the heart, withhold our love and fervently engage in our argument with reality seem to take over. The internal narrative insisting that the moment (aka ourselves, our body, another, the world, politics, the weather or our dog!) should be different than it is, damn it!

 

We all know who wins that argument!

 

Only reality, every time.

 

But we are also not just passive bystanders who have no agency in creating the ways in which reality serves itself up.

 

Of course there are laws of nature, that when trespassed will have karmic consequences. But what we call, ‘reality’ in terms of how we experience it is actually quite morph-able and not rigid or fixed at all.

 

We may not be in direct control of another, the world, politics, the weather or our dog— but we always have agency in regards to how we perceive and respond to the present conditions.

 

Unless of course unconsciously we do not want this agency.

“Who wouldn’t want agency, the ability to respond and to be empowered”,  asks your conscious mind.

“Plenty of people.” Says the collective unconscious. “Just look at the display of our world.”

 

Now— this is a very interesting phenomena. What I observe pretty much every day in the world are people displaying in various ways that they do not want to take responsibility for their perception, experience or creation of reality. I’m sure you have observed this as well?

 

Many would prefer to blame their parents, their upbringing, their ancestry, inflation, their 3rd grade teacher, their husband, their wife, the world at large, (their God – opps Freudian slip …I mean their dog). Many would rather be victims of a cruel, unfair, fu**ed up world that is personally out to get them! Many would prefer to believe that they are doomed to some cruel fate or circumstance. Which somehow gives one license to be an entitled and pissed off ass**** who truly thinks its okay to cut people off on the freeway at 70 miles an hour. Or that person who takes up all of the space in the room by incessantly complaining about the same unresolved story year after year as a thwarted attempt at connection. Or fill in the blank version of unconscious entitled behavior.

 

These are very gross level examples— that are pretty easy to not take personally. For it is obvious that for this individual in this moment, this expression may be their best attempt at empowering themselves from just how dis-empowered they feel inside. So when it comes to getting underneath the more subtle and insidious versions of these dynamics, we need to see with compassion that underneath the bravado of such behavior (your own version- fill in the blank) is an unconscious attempt to heal ourselves. Healing simply means to reclaim wholeness where there is an experience of brokenness. To receive the purpose or the blessing inside of any experience in which we feel broken or disconnected.

 

In truth we are never intrinsically ‘broken’, defiled or defined by any experience. We are all simply learning and evolving and often it is through the messy, ‘imperfect’, broken aspects of our experience that we call, ‘mistakes’ that are the deepest opportunities for our growth.

 

Often the unconscious underlying perception or belief that I have unearthed with countless clients and certainly met in my own psyche as well is this: “all of the unwanted, horrible things that have happened to me are indicative that something is wrong with me — that I am inherently ‘lacking’ and that I must on some level deserve to be so ill treated. If I were to take responsibility for my life, my experience and my creations— then am I validating that something truly is wrong with me— that it is my fault?” The externalized blame can quickly shift to an internalized shame when one starts to touch the vulnerable feelings here.

 

In my private practice, when my clients are really suffering — it is usually right here in this crossroads of blame and shame that they are stuck. Somewhere between pointing the finger out there in righteous blame and simultaneously collapsing into the inflammatory response of shame. Neither of these directions to the left or to the right will bring liberation or agency. In neither of these directions are we available to be schooled by our life experience— we are not teachable here. Our arrogance keeps us trapped in a repeating loop that is outside of our own depth. Our convicted ‘knowing’ keeps us caught in a solidified version of reality; a concretized identity. This is often physicalized. Symptomized. Pathologized.

 

As Carl Jung says in this famous quote, “until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate”.

 

Fate: AKA disease processes, ill health, crappy relationships, unexpressed creative purpose, prosperity issues… etc.

 

So how do we make the unconscious, conscious?

 

To continue to use the crossroads analogy; instead of trying harder in our pursuit of the right of the left, we stop at the crossroads and discover how to stay long enough to allow ourselves to become ‘teachable’. We become willing to set down the unnecessary suffering that we are creating in our fixation upon what is not actually working.

 

We begin by leaning in with curiosity and kindness. Admitting that, “I don’t actually know.” The finger relaxing from pointing out or in and allowing ourselves to soften into our innocence. The space where the vulnerability of ‘not knowing’ is. This is the potent space that can begin to reveal with kindness what was unconscious. I call this, ‘practicing the sacred middle’. This is the space in which we can learn and grow inside of innocence.

 

We have to start by getting honest with what we are actually feeling in present time. We can always start here. In fact we must start here.

 

In this case, the shame/blame dis-empowerment cycle are often symptoms of disowned anger vitality buried deep beneath. Before we can honestly open our hearts to anger as pure life force energy and carry this as a teacher of boundaries, self-responsability and right use of ones power— we must first grieve. Grieve without blame or shame for the ways in which we may have innocently misused this power. Grieving is the vulnerable admittance that “I am not in control”. The honest confession that “I don’t know”. Inherent within grief is a dissolution. A washing clean of the false bravado; dissolving the hard, fixed, solidification of the false identifications. A return to ones core self. And then slowly perhaps, the anger vitality underneath can be tapped into without the blame and shame narratives directing it this way and that— but simply, finally opening ones heart to the life force of anger itself— the true empowerment that was being unconsciously sought after all along.

 

Circling back around to gratitude. Often before gratitude can be genuine— we must purge all of the deep, dark secret feelings that we really have about ourselves, another, life— our dog and God. 😉

 

And then, we can look at this axiom from Carolyn Elliot who says, “Having is evidence of wanting.” What ever is displaying as our life, on some level is expressing what we want. Not necessarily what the conscious mind and cherished ego presents— but what the subconscious wants. Because the subconscious is always after our totality. Our wholeness. And it always wins. Now that is True Self empowerment. How trustworthy is that?!!