Last week, we opened the new season of contemplation by diving into the study and practice of Transformative Love.
Sangha is fueled by the cultivation of spiritual friendship where we support one another in developing spiritual faculties such as trust, discernment, skillfulness, compassion, and diligence. These qualities facilitate transformation and healing, and root us in our wholeness and authenticity. With spiritual friendship as the model for skillful relationships, we’ll explore how to bridge gaps existing in our connections outside of sacred space.
Queries for Collective Musing
How do we nourish and sustain authentic and liberating relationships in all areas of our lives?
What are the qualities that constitute “transformative love” and how do we embody and model it?
I had the great honor and joy to spend a beautiful weekend holding space for my Quaker friends to discern how we skillfully engage in practices of justice, liberation, and healing.
Leading with Spirit + Faith, practitioners were guided to focus on “discernment over data” in order to:
GET GROUNDED — Cutting through the noise in order to get clear about one’s intentions and to honestly assess what one feels compelled and equipped to do.
BUILD CAPACITY — Cultivating an intimate understanding of one’s self and one’s values; examining the ways we each embody privilege and risk as well as each individual’s unique relationship to injustice, power and oppression; fortifying one’s self through transformative practices of deep listening and skillful communication. Discerning how each of us shows up, lends our presence and privilege, and can learn to apply our skills without creating more harm.
CENTER OUR WELLNESS + PRACTICE ACCOUNTABILITY — Using sacred tools and skillful strategies to restore, nourish and sustain healing, well-being, and wholeness; and establishing the circles of trust to support our learning and growing toward compassion, connection, and reconciliation.
Last month a highly-intuitive friend sent me this video for releasing ourselves from the karma and burdens of others, and it was a pure revelation!
First and foremost, this meditation arrived divinely-timed at the end of a season when I had discerned a need to reclaim pieces of my soul from those who were incapable of bearing witness to my growth and my wholeness. In that process of reclamation, I had also recognized the importance of leaving the blessing of grace and mercy to stand in for those old impressions/memories of me. And because healing is not one-time event, I was prepared for something more to eventually show up and support this new level of growth.
Second, with one simple metaphor — likening cutting cords to cutting weeds: they’ll grow back if you don’t pull them out — it shifted the paradigm of teachings I’d previously encountered on cutting energetic cords! In the past, I’d used cord-cutting visualizations to unfetter myself from people and situations whenever lingering unresolved issues were unlikely to be fully addressed and transformed, and reconciliation was not possible. I truly found it helpful. Still, as we get equipped with new tools and new understanding, we can go back and dive deeper in order to rectify, amend, clear out and transform the seeds of suffering.
Between the two full and new moon cycles since then, I have pulled it out of my medicine bag nearly a dozen times for myself and in prayer on behalf of others who asked for support with transforming conditions and circumstances that are a source of discord in their lives. And it has indeed been good medicine! So now, under the auspices of the new moon, I offer it to you. Make it your own (as you’ll see below the video that I have done).
May it open the gates to new possibilities for compassion, generosity, skillful understanding, and authentic connection.
May it release you from the exhaustion, worry, guilt and resentment of over-giving.
May it help you discern the difference between duty and obligation so that you are empowered to make skillful choices from a sense of honor instead of acting out of habit and expectation.
May you trust that by centering your wellness and unhooking yourself from those who lack the capacity to offer mutual care, opportunities for healing will deepen and expand.
May you trust that they will be guided to grow into skills, tap into resources, and call upon a larger circle of wise council for support.
May it restore you and fill you up with abundance.
Unhooking Meditation (with my expansions in italics):
I unhook myself from the ancestral burdens and adverse karma of all people, places and things that no longer serve me — sending them into the light with love, grace, and mercy to be healed and resolved as I am/ have been healed and resolved from them — and restore, reconcile, and redeem myself with the Divine Lightnourishing me with love, peace, strength, grace, mercy, good health, free will and the optimum balanced flow of Divine energy. This wound is healed.
I usually tune out during commercials, but when I heard Iyanla drop this gem in a teaser for her new season of Fix My Life, I woke the hell up!
I know what resistance looks, sounds, and feels like (thank the goddess I’ve learned to own mine). And, as an empath, I’ve been admittedly agitated by recent encounters with folks harboring energies of delusion, denial, dissatisfaction and the inability to practice accountability about things that are within their sphere of influence. all of these qualities are manifestations of our resistance to spiritual growth.
If we are truly willing to do the work, then we can develop, expand and strengthen our capacity to change our perceptions — even though we may not have the power to (immediately) change our conditions or circumstances.
Spiritual accounting calls for an honest and loving look inward to:
discern the unresolved areas that are causing disparities between our thoughts, words, and deeds.
see our habit energies and patterns of behavior that keep us stuck in grooves that cause suffering.
tend to our wounds and move toward wholeness and healing.
I’m blessed with a circle of beloveds who hold each other down, lift each other up, and trust each other to lovingly say, “Hey, sis, your shadow is showing!“
It’s okay to not be ready, to have doubts ans fears. Where I’ve learned to draw firm boundaries is with those who wear the armor of unwillingness and who are committed to their stuckness. With them, I call on the tough-love wisdom I grew up hearing: “I can’t want [your wellness/healing/wholeness] more for you than you want it for yourself.”
Uninitiated healers often spend way too much time trying to minister to wounds that aren’t theirs to heal and guide those who aren’t theirs to teach. On this, I speak from hard-won experience.
So I’ll conserve my energy, guard my intuitive spirit, filter out the lesson from the agitation, and step waaay the hell back before the connection becomes toxic.