The Prostitute Archetype & How Archetypes Appear in Your Dreams

James Hillman, the father of archetypal psychology, focused on the enormous value of archetypes. Archetypes are primal patterns of the psyche and arise from the collective unconscious. Potent and numerous, archetypes influence every area of our lives. For example, why did you choose that partner? What attracts you to a specific profession? Why do you react in certain ways? The answer is: because of your archetypes. All of us have multiple archetypes and they unconsciously run our lives until we wake up and recognize them. Your nighttime dreams help you to awaken to your archetypes which is why understanding your dreams is so crucial to your soul’s evolution.

How do you recognize an archetype in dreamtime?

When an archetype appears in your dream you will feel it. There is a degree of emotional intensity that surfaces causing you to react strongly. It may be a positive or negative reaction, but either way, your emotions will be a significant part of the dream. So, notice the dream scene and pay close attention to it. Where are you? Who is present? What is happening? How are you feeling?

From working with archetypes while providing intuitive and empathic counseling to my clients, I believe archetypes are sacred. When fully understood, they can lead to great transformation. When an archetype visits you in dreamtime, welcome it as you would a treasured friend for this visit is coming to you from the depths of psyche and soul.

Here is a dream a client shared where the “prostitute” archetype makes an important appearance:

My wife and I are in a night club.  There’s music and entertainment and there’s
a sexual vibe in the air.  Some men come over to talk to us. They ask
my wife to star in a pornographic movie. There’s some reluctance but she
agrees to do it.  Although I’m not totally behind the idea there is an
element of sexual excitement that I feel and like. The men leave and I
excuse myself from the table. When I return it looks like my wife has been
crying.  I sense that she’s having second thoughts and  say to her, “You
don’t want to do this, do you?”  She shakes her head, no, and adds, “But
I told them I would.” 

“It doesn’t matter,” I say.  “We can say you’ve changed walk right out of here. 

In fact, there’s the door.”  I hug her, put my coat over her shoulders and with my arm
around her, lead her to the door. We leave. I awake feeling deeply relieved.

You may be wondering: What on earth does this dream have to do with archetypes? It sounds like a dream about this couple’s sexual relationship, or perhaps some kind of fantasy or rescue dream. Yet if you understand that every character in your dream is an aspect of you, and that the woman is portraying this man’s “anima”—his feminine aspect—than the dream begins to make more sense.

In waking life, this man explained how much he had been reading about archetypes. He desired to understand why he was sacrificing himself for the sake of his career. Though he was good at what he did, he felt he was working far too many hours. Rather than doing what he most loved, he was spending countless hours in front of his computer. As we explored this issue and looked at some of his dreams, he was able to identify the archetype of the prostitute lurking in the shadows.

Carolyn Myss explains this archetype as a “lesson in integrity and the sale or negotiation of one’s integrity or spirit due to fears of physical and financial survival or for financial gain. This archetype activates the aspects of the unconscious that are related to seduction and control….”

In the dream, the man is excited by the prospect of his wife making pornography for some strange men. These strangers represent unfamiliar aspects of the dreamer. However, he is protective of his wife, his feminine aspect, and doesn’t want her to feel exploited. As anima, she represents the man’s soul. In waking life, he was trying to connect more deeply with his soul and disconnect from his ego-identity that was driving him to work far more than he truly desired. He discovered he was “prostituting” his soul for money and validation. His soul was suffering from societal conditioning that teaches a good provider must sacrifice his happiness for the sake of financial security.  

The prostitute archetype appeared and revealed the progress he was making by diving deeply into archetypes and understanding old patterns that were living in the unconscious and driving him. Now that he had gotten to the core of this archetypal pattern, he was able to liberate himself from a vicious cycle that had been running his life for decades. He was now free to create a completely different work schedule and truly achieve balance for the first time in his adult life. Making these changes positively impacted his relationship with his soul, mind, body, spirit and those around him that he loved.

Some archetypes you were born with and some you have developed along the way. Certain archetypes will prevent you from fulfilling your full potential while others will grace your life in positive ways. Your nighttime dreams will guide you to discover these ancient patterns that are personal to no one yet affect everyone.   

Dreaming about Lions: Fearless Self-Expression

Has lion made an appearance in your dreams? What comes to mind when you think about a lion? Its powerful jaws and paws? The majestic way it walks, or the fearless leadership it exudes over other animals?   This king and queen of the jungle represents harnessing your passions and expressing them.  In dreams, wild animals often symbolize emotions, self-expression, and the response of your inner ‘wild’ yet natural self. Lion reflects the part of your nature that can be at odds with the inner critic who coaxes you toward conformity.

The lioness suggests avoiding domestication or conformity. Both the male and female possess the power that comes from fearless expression. We tend to perceive animals as acting spontaneously from their instincts without social restrictions. From this lens we see how animals often represent normal urges that are breaking through conscious controls. If lion appears in your dreams and is biting you, some part of your emotions and/or behavior–often sexual or anger—may be cutting through your skin of awareness to express itself. These dreams, which are often frightening, are merely revealing your inner conflict between acting ‘good’ and following the status quo. Keep in mind, all dream characters personify aspects of you and the lion in your dreams is no different.

Lions portrays the need to express your innermost feelings in an uninhibited manner. Here is a lion dream a client shared while working through some intimacy issues with her long-term partner:

I am in an older house with a dark-haired man and my partner and son are in the front living area. I have been sexual with the man in the back bedroom and hiding it from my partner. He is a holistic chef.

He gives me a shopping list so he can make a healthy meal and I am getting the salad ingredients which are for a harvest/bountiful salad and I notice how healthy the ingredients are.

Before my partner, son and I set out to buy the ingredients, I am in the front of the house, looking at a room with an arch doorway and as I notice the paint and mural on its wall, I realize how much potential the house has and say, if we re-did the walls, added some new flooring, a sky light, this house would be gorgeous!

We head out and it’s dark outside. We’re walking to the store and in a residential area and I notice how hilly the streets are, like San Francisco.  My partner and son are ahead of me and I am walking by myself when out of the corner of my left eye I spot a female lion. She is quite large and I am startled to see a lion in a residential section. She looks right at me and I am afraid and am trying to discern if she is going to attack me out of fear or not and I hope she is not hungry.

We look at each other, eye-to-eye and I begin talking to her, telling her not to be afraid. She gives me a long look and begins slowly walking toward me and realize she is hungry. “Oh god, oh no.” I realize if she’s hungry I am in real danger because she will eat me. I see my partner at the bottom of the hilly street and begin calling for him. As I yell for him, I see that he is looking up and is moving toward me and doesn’t yet see the lion.  She is coming closer and gets on top of me, she is incredibly strong and I know I am going to be eaten. My partner now sees her and is walking toward me but she has her mouth on me and I can feel her teeth sinking into two places on me body: upper thigh and around my abdomen. As her teeth sink into my flesh, I realize I am going to die by being eaten alive by this lion and say to God, “Okay, I need to surrender” but I am resisting. I keep yelling out for my partner but he cannot save me. I am moaning from the pain of her teeth mauling me and I awaken from my moans. As the dream ends, the lion’s eyes are remarkably close together and yellow and she is looking at me with fierce intensity, I am mesmerized by her eyes. I wake-up, moaning from the pain in my body as she mauls me in the dream. My thighs and abdomen ache as I awaken from the dream.

Backstory in Waking Life

This dreamer was tempted by another man she found attractive and who was interested in seeing her. She and her partner had been struggling with sexual intimacy issues after having been together for 15 years. She didn’t want to harm the relationship but was feeling emotionally and sexually frustrated.

Unpacking the Dream

  • Son: Inner child, Divine Child Archetype.
  • Man in back bedroom: Masculine Shadow aspect, secret inner lover, Eros, cook, foodie, nutritionist.
  • Dark outside: Unconscious about a current life issue.
  • Hilly Streets: Emotional ups and downs about the issue.
  • Lion = Homonym or Play on words “lying”, animal instincts (leadership, fearless, strength).
  • Lion’s Hunger: What am I HUNGRY for? Eros, passion, new experiences, spontaneity, non-conformity.
  • Surrender: Trying to let go but unable to, experiencing physical pain about an emotional issue.
  • yes: Yellow =  Fun, playful, lightness of being.
  • Partner: Inner male, rescuer/empowering, companion, conservative, predictable. 

This dream is a somatic dream, meaning the dreamer had a physical experience from the lion getting on top of her and biting her abdomen and upper thigh.

Somatic Inquiry: Where in my body do I feel the dream image or character?

Sacral Chakra Image
  • Thighs: Movement, carries our bodies forward, power, strength.
  • Abdomen: Sacral Chakra
  • Sacral Chakra/Abdomen = Emotions, feelings, relationships, relating, expression of sexuality, sensual pleasure, feeling the outer and inner worlds, creativity, fantasies. Imbalance: numbing out, feeling  repressed, stuck in emotions or rigid patterns.

After we worked through this dream, the dreamer and her partner committed to more discussions, to share openly–fearlessly–and doing whatever it took to re-establish their intimacy. A couple of weeks later, her dreams began shifting and the upsetting dreams stopped.  But the work wasn’t over; the couple began talking about what their individuals needs were sexually and began “negotiating” what would work for each of them. Relationship and intimacy expert, Esther Perel, wisely said:  “We are most intensely excited when we are a little off-balance, uncertain.” This dreamer realized her relationship had become too predictable and was lacking the spontaneity and mystery that fuels passion. The dream helped her begin to break out of the box created by her need to conform to old programming and societal norms.

Keep in mind that your dreams are a gift, even the ones that upon first blush appear confusing, disturbing, or nonsensical.   

Namaste,

Laura Grace, PhD

Seven Reasons You May Be Dreaming About the Corona Virus Pandemic

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Seven Reasons You May Be Dreaming About the Corona Virus Pandemic

Vivid, intense, and “busy” dreams are occurring as the corona virus pandemic continues to unfold. There are several reasons contributing to this fact: (1) changes in sleeping habits, (2) taking care of others in need, (3) financial pressure, (4) anger about how the virus is being handled by our leaders, (5) underlying physical issues (which means escalated fear of catching the virus), (6) feeling isolated and lonely from social distancing, and (7) increased stress at work from having to wear a mask.

One client shared how his surge of dreams stems from feeling disconnected from others: “Because I am not spending time hanging out with my friends, I’m alone far more than I’ve ever been. I think this is amping up my inner world and dreaming state. My dreams have never been so intense. I decided this was a good time to write them down and really work with them.”

Are your dreams pertaining to the current pandemic?

Lately, I have witnessed several clients’ dreams pointing to the personal effect the virus is having on our psychological state, such as this one:

I’m in a black Jeep and my husband is driving. We are coming to an end of a road and we dive image to useboth know we are about to go over a cliff and into a deep body of water. As we get closer to the edge, I feel frightened, but I’m also aware that we are going to be okay. As the Jeep goes over the cliff and down toward the water, I think we need to roll down the windows so we don’t get trapped. As we hit the water, I am now out of the Jeep and descending toward the ocean floor, feet first. My toes are pointed downward, and I realize I am going down so deep that I will run out of oxygen. I decide to make myself stop descending and hope I have enough air to make it to back up. I awoke feeling very anxious.

This dreamer was in the process of taking care of her husband who was ill. Also, she was dealing with some of  her own health issues and very worried about contracting the virus. Since this was the third anxiety-related dream she had had in the past few weeks, she got tested for the corona virus and tested negative. However, she did not notice any decrease in her stress levels or upsetting dreams. Together, we began using active imagination to better understand her dreams. She also realized she needed to re-implement her daily self-care routine of listening to meditative music, spending more time outdoors with her dogs, and hiking alone. A few weeks later, her anxious dreams began to decrease.

Most dreams are personal, but not all. Sometimes, our dreams are uprising from the collective unconscious. These dreams are revealing the overall concerns we are experiencing as a “whole”. Some are even prophetic. But most dreams tend to be highly personal. Pay particular attention to your dreams during this time and notice “themes” which may be arising.

Right now is an important time to reflect and pay attention to your internal world. It is tempting to become distracted from the cacophony of the external world. But what matters most, is the wisdom surfacing from deep within you. Your dreams will lead you to making healthy, life-generating choices that feed your mental, emotional and physical well-being.

To watch the video that accompanies this blog, please click this link: https://youtu.be/lj3xXWFKIhk

Namaste,

Laura Grace, PhD

Using Your Nighttime Dreams to Understand Your Physical Health

dreams

Using Your Night Time Dreams to Understand Your Physical Health

Hello Dreamer!

It’s been a long time since I blogged about dreams, a topic I have been passionate about since I was sixteen. And since I have a new book being published (available Nov. 2020), I am going to be sharing soulful wisdom each month about your nighttime dreams.

Let’s begin with knowing that you are the best interpreter of your dreams.  Dreams emerge from your unconscious which means the meaning of your dream exists within you.

And the better you understand their messages, the better you will understand yourself and every area of your life. Why? Because dreams are actually metaphoric stories unfolding from the unconscious. They often appear complicated because we do not understand the language of our unconscious. So here are some keys to understanding the stories being told to you while you’re asleep.

First and foremost, do not judge your dreams—all dreams are significant and have much to tell you. Secondly, focus on feelings first, then dream symbols, then the theme of the dream. Third, there are different types of dreams so notice what realm of your life the dream is addressing:

  • Physical
  • Mental/Issue-Related
  • Emotional
  • Somatic
  • Spiritual Dreams

Because of the corona virus pandemic, it’s no surprise that people are more worried about their health and their dreams are pointing to this fact. Therefore, in this blog, we’re going to start with physical dreams. Since dreams are rich with metaphor, dreams about the virus are not going to shout “corona virus!”  The dreaming mind uses specific symbols unique to the dreamer to get its point across, so dreams about the health of the body will show up differently for each person.

That being said, some typical physical symptoms are fairly easy to recognize. For example, the buzzing of your alarm clock interferes with your sleep and you begin dreaming of a ringing telephone. Or, you’re dreaming about having to go to the bathroom and in truth, you really need to get up and go.  Some physical dreams reveal the need to change your diet, release sexual energy, exercise and receive medical attention. Other physical dreams are often caused by physical noises and may also be prompted by physical environments: wind blowing on you, pets jumping on you, covers being pulled away from you leaving you cold. illness image

When working with health related dreams, first look for a possible physical interpretation. There are times when certain dream symbols appear which are pointing to a physical meaning. For example, dreams of cars or other vehicles and buildings often represent your body. If you dream of your car needing an overhaul, look to see if this applies to your body. Perhaps you are in need of a respite and the dream is warning you that one is needed or an illness may result.

This reminds me of a client who had three recurring dreams of “broken plumbing” within her house. After having the second dream, she had her pipes checked out by a local contractor. Upon a thorough investigation she was told the plumbing in her house was fine. Then after the third recurring dream, she visited her physician and discovered that she had polyps in her colon which if left untreated, could lead to colon cancer. After taking steps toward healing her colon, the dreams stopped and never returned. To this day, she is in excellent health and regularly uses her dream journal as her own “internal physician.”

Physical dreams may appear in symbolic forms such as the examples with the plumbing and air filter, but the meaning directly relates to the condition of the body.  They usually begin as “warning” signs and should not be ignored. This is especially true if you dream of your current car, or “rescue” vehicles such as a fire truck or ambulance.  For example, if your car battery is dead, engine light is on, and so forth. This also pertains to dreams of hospitals, doctors, medical treatment or any symbol or scene that is “physically” related.

Physical Dreams of Death

Dreams of death often symbolize the “ending” of something; relationship, attitude, job, behavior, talent. However, there are certain symbols that represent a physical death and these include a stopped clock (“time has run out”), river that has stopped flowing (“river of life”), casket, your funeral, your will, your tombstone, or a hearst.

A client who once had a drinking problem was courageous enough to share a dream of impending death with me: she saw a tombstone with her name on it and an empty vodka bottle on top of it. The symbolism was impossible to miss! This very short and succinct dream motivated her to seek counseling for some issues at the root of her alcohol abuse. Through therapy she was able to experience healing on all levels: physical, emotional, mental and spiritual. Because of her commitment to healing she was able to transform her life and is now a successful healer who has helped countless people with her wisdom. Her willingness to understand her dreams was the springboard for a remarkable life.

Physical dreams vary and some may seem irrelevant, and, some are. However, always take a few minutes to notice if there is a “physical warning” within the dream. If you’re unsure, ask your dreams for guidance and trust any messages with a repeated dream theme. Physical dreams can be a powerful way to receive information about every part of your body.

To watch the video that accompanies this blog, please click this link: https://youtu.be/lmvYz3gp5Yk 

Namaste,

Laura V. Grace, PhD

Using Dreams to Create Abundance

Creating Abundance in Every Area of Your Life through Your Nighttime Dreams download

When was the last time you found money or jewelry on the ground in a parking lot or on a sidewalk? Was it a penny, nickel, quarter, a dollar or a twenty dollar bill? Did you pick it up and keep it, or walk away from it?  Finding (or losing) valuables in dreams is symbolic of discovering (or losing) something of value in you. Locating valuables implies that you may be discovering something new within yourself, such as a new attitude, a new form of work, a new relationship, new prosperity, new creativity and so forth.

Here is a personal example of how your dreams can provide specific direction for accessing your life’s work and creating abundance. Years ago, I was a human resource director for a CPA and consulting firm in the Midwest. The majority of my time was spent firing managers and partners as the firm underwent a series of mergers. As a highly sensitive person and empath, this was excruciatingly painful and I experienced immense burn-out in only a few short years. The life-force had been sucked out of my soul and I resigned. Instead of immediately putting myself back on the executive market, I felt guided to take a year off and do some significant soul-searching. So I withdrew my 401(k), bought a house on small lake in the Midwest, and took my ten year old daughter, Alexis, and our cat, Buttercup, and moved in with my beloved partner, Thomas. It was a new beginning, both emotionally and financially challenging, yet I spent the next twelve months delving into spiritual teachings, journaling about my thoughts and feelings, and delving into my nighttime dreams. At thirty-two years old, it may have been one of the best years of my life.

Daily, I asked for guidance from my dreams and how best to use my gifts, strengths and talents. During this time, I had a powerful dream:

I am sitting in the driver’s seat of my red Toyota which is parked in a parking lot. Next to me in the passenger’s seat I see a dark blue book with “Bhagavad Gita” scrolled in gold across the cover. I open the car door and see several brochures that I have created lying on the ground and next to them are various silver and gold coins.

This dream was showing me that writing combined with spirituality were a definite part of my life’s work. As I followed my dream’s cues I began writing articles for spiritual and personal growth publications, something I had never done before. As a result, I had the following dream:

I am guided to look under my bed and discover enormous diamonds in the shape of crystals. I am amazed by their beauty.  After looking under the bed I look to the floor and see two or three similar stones, not quite as large as the one under my bed. I awake feeling happy and inspired.

abundanceThese dreams affirmed the work that carried me deeper into my authentic self while providing abundance, not just financially, but emotionally, intellectually, creatively, and spiritually. The fact that the diamonds were shaped like crystals revealed the multi-faceted potentials within me. Looking back over the past couple of decades, I can see how telling the dream truly was. I became inspired to write a series of articles that were published throughout the country and eventually morphed into my first book, Gifts of the Soul. Next, the book and articles inspired the creation of The Self-Mastery Program, an intensive that supported individuals in accessing their inner gifts. I taught The Self-Mastery program for ten years and in the meantime, penned my second book, The Intimate Soul. (Both books were written and self-published under my former name, Laura V. Hyde.)

Unlimited ideas continued to spring forth and I developed a series of additional programs, workshops and retreats. During this creative era, I generated a course on dreams and coached people on understanding and utilizing them. Desiring to deepen my spiritual growth, I attended an interfaith seminary program and began providing spiritual counseling.

The “multi-faceted” diamonds represented skills I never knew I had, and didn’t have, until I began working with my nighttime dreams and stretching beyond my comfort zone. Edgar Cayce wisely affirms, “Dreams are today’s answers to tomorrow’s questions.”  Listen to your dreams. Like a diamond, they possess marvelous, mystical, multi-faceted brilliance.

Laurasig

For a deeper exploration into your dreams, please click HERE.

ebook book cover

Join me in my upcoming webinar on “dreams” check it out HERE

anthony-clavien-inner-compass

Embodying a World-Centric Vision

Eckhart Tolle posed our predicament clearly when he wrote: “Humanity is faced with a stark choice, and the choice is this: Evolve or Die”. I believe what he meant is if we’re not stretching our minds to think outside the limiting thoughts we think day in and day out, and if we’re not stretching our hearts to encompass those we judge, then we’re shrinking, and in essence, dying.

It’s not just the muscles in our bodies that atrophy when we’re not using them, our minds can experience atrophy, our hearts can experience atrophy, even our souls can experience atrophy. It’s impossible to expand and contract, to evolve and die at the same time.

So the question becomes: If we’re committed to evolving, what are we evolving toward?

Expanding our consciousness requires a vision. The greatest leaders of our time led with great visions; Martin Luther King, Jr.’s dream inspired people into action, Mahatma Gandhi’s vision called people into passive resistance. Action without vision can keep us stuck at the level of the problem; the vision is the beacon of light in the lighthouse guiding our boat into a safe harbor.

Within the Interspiritual movement the vision is a future global civilization based on the heart. In the Baha’i faith the vision is the Earth being one country.

Do you believe this is achievable?

It’s hard to imagine given the deep divisions, political fractions and prejudices we’re currently witnessing in our country. But skepticism and cynicism leads to apathy, and apathy leads to death. From an interspiritual perspective, these visions are not a pipe dream. If they were, then all of the spiritual experiences you and I have experienced and know to be true in our bones, would mean nothing. There is evidence of a transcultural, transnational, world-centric spirituality emerging worldwide.

Using the power of the imaginal realm, we call forth a vision into reality by imagining and feeling the vision as though we are living from it now.

Gently close your eyes and let your mind, your heart and your soul imagine a peaceful, unified world. Envision a civilization where our plans and decisions are heart-based…imagine a world without war; without heavily-militarized borders; without hatred or prejudice…conceptualize the immense resources we have put into new weapons being funneled into building new schools, where respect, kindness and compassion are important subjects being taught to our children…imagine using money spent on new wars being spent on cleaning up our environment and providing food and clean water to those in need…envision the fear and doubt we experience in our daily lives being transformed into love that is being spread across the globe. And finally, imagine children growing up in a world without trauma or fear, of being so loved, cherished and protected that they are inspired to share their gifts and talents with the world in remarkable ways.

Embodying a world-centric vision is attainable and holding to this vision is the first step. The second step is clearing the blockages preventing us from living in our heart. The Baha’i Faith states, “Acceptance of the oneness of humanity demands that prejudice—whether racial, religious, or gender-related—is the greatest contributor to humanity’s present afflictions. Prejudice is a false perception, or preconception, of others based on ignorance, blinding us to the fact that every person is essentially a spiritual being with unique talents and capacities, a mine rich in gems of inestimable value.”

Our job is to scour our minds for prejudices, not an easy task. No one wants to believe that he or she is prejudice or a bigot. The problem with prejudices is that they are frequently hidden in the shadows of the unconscious, but we all have them. Often we inherit them from our families and environment and they are alive and kicking in the collective unconscious. Becoming cognizant of our judgements and prejudices is a necessary step in evolving toward a peaceful, respectful, compassionate and loving civilization.

Third, sharing our highest vision with others is vital. We know a shared idea grows in intensity. Like seeds scattering from the wind, it spreads across the masses and shifts the collective consciousness. Sharing your vision of a world-centric experience with someone you trust, someone who can hold the space, is incredibly important to manifesting it into a reality.

Despite the unloving, selfish and prejudicial behavior we’re seeing in some of our nation’s leaders, let us remember that love is the most healing force in the world. Osho wrote, “Nothing goes deeper than love. It heals not only the body, not only the mind, but also the soul.”

May we evolve toward a vision of oneness and harmony fueled by love, the one true power that can heal all things, the life force energy that keeps us moving toward a heart-based humanity.

Namaste.

Now is the Time to Stay Awake and Not Fall Back to Sleep

2017 continues to be a year of great upheaval and change. For many, it has been fraught with anxiety and uncertainty and people are emboldened to speak out with conviction.  The core message that summons us right now is: Stay Awake, Do Not Fall Back To Sleep! 

This is one of the reasons I have founded Love in Flight Interspiritual Society (LĪFĬS for short pronounced “LIFE IS”) which is being birthed into existence on December 31st, 2017 in San Luis Obispo, CA.  And if you live in another part of the country or unable to attend, we invite you to listen to our podcast sessions which will be available through our website.

LĪFĬS embodies a profound way of working toward the goal of global understanding, respect, and peace by elucidating the common themes, methodologies and truths of the world’s religions while respecting the unique gifts and particularities of each tradition. Our interspiritual teachings honors the spiritual experience available to us in every area of our lives. Brother Wayne Teasdale, an active force of the Interspiritual movement wrote:

            Everything is an avenue leading to the experience of Ultimate Reality. The divine communicates itself in all things. There are infinite ways to encounter the source, the Ultimate Reality which may be experienced in virtually anything. There is no place, no activity  that restricts the divine. It is everywhere

As 2017 unfolds and 2018 beckons us—amidst much turmoil—may we be open to receiving the divine in our lives, to believing in each other and to sustaining an open heart and mind.

And to honor the divine we are having a very special service at  LĪFĬS on December 31st at 10A.M. in San Luis Obispo. Our New Year’s Theme is INITIATING the CONSCIOUSNESS of the SACRED in 2018. This experiential celebration will invoke the spiritual qualities we most deeply revere as individuals, and, as a community. Live music, heart-felt connection and open-minded creativity will be an integral part of the reverence as we create a brand new year together.   For more information please visit us at: www.lifisslo.org.

Namaste,

Laura V. Grace

 

The Interspiritual Revolution

“Interspirituality points to the realization that although there are many spiritual paths, a universal commonality underlies them all.” ~~Wayne Teasdale, The Mystic Heart

There can be little doubt that traditional religious frameworks are no longer speaking to new generations as they have in the past, especially in the West. People are waking up, recognizing that what was the norm just a few years or even months ago is not that anymore, and feeling as if life is more uncertain than ever. Here’s where Interspirituality—a rapidly expanding, emerging global understanding—comes into the picture.

What is Interspirituality? Interspirituality is the appreciation and practice of spirituality centered on humanity’s most deeply shared values of the heart: interconnectedness, love, kindness, compassion, and service. “Interspirituality is at the heart space of all religions and spiritual traditions—of humanity itself.” It is an exploration of ourselves so deeply grounded in compassion and unconditional love that it dissolves any separation between human beings that stems from differences in beliefs, values, background or creed.

What is not Interspirituality?

Interspirituality is not about spiritual by-passing, a “head-buried-in-the-sand” approach to spiritual awakening. It acknowledges the reality of the numerous global threats surrounding us—resource scarcity and competition, climate change, environmental degradation, wars based on national and ethnic adherences, and economic and social disparities of various kinds. In fact, the environment and all living creatures are tended to with the utmost respect and important in interspiritual practices. As the next step in our evolution, Interspirituality embodies the ultimate understanding that we are simultaneously interconnected, independent and interdependent.

Finally, Interspirituality recognizes at the heart of every genuine spiritual path, there is a commitment to core values which honor peace, compassionate service, and love for all creation.

This December, we invite you to a new interspiritual experience in Central Coast California: Love in Flight Interspiritual Society (“LĪFĬS” for short). LĪFĬS is based on blending Interfaith teachings with Interspiritual core values and practices. Our vision and purpose is rooted in six core values: Authentic Connection, Consciousness of the Sacred, Inclusivity, Integrity, Lifelong Learning and Sacred Service.

Our Sunday services are bi-monthly: first and third Sundays of each month at 10 A.M., at the San Luis Obispo Library Community Room, 995 Palm St., San Luis Obispo. We are activating the connection and fellowship at LĪFĬS with a very special service on Sunday, New Year’s Eve, December 31, 2017! www.lifisslo.org

With Infinite Love,

Laura Grace, rev.lauragrace@gmail.com

A Woman’s Depth: The Greatest Force of Nature

Greetings! woman-speaking-out

It is a brand new year, a brand new beginning. Yet, many of us are still trying to find our center, politically, emotionally and spiritually since the 2016 election. I believe it is the lack of expression of our depth that led to this precarious moment in time. “Precarious” because many of the things we least wished would happen within our democracy is now happening.  It is interesting that our Constitution did not mention political parties, and that George Washington warned against them, yet we now live in the clutches of two major political parties who are driven by money. Over the years, as a liberal, I have sadly witnessed corporate Democrats attempt to gain power for the party, but at the cost of its soul. We will continue to witness this strangle-hold until we have the courage to speak our deepest truth and give voice to those things we most cherish and love.

Hate is an interesting force which screams volumes in our culture.  Hate brings adrenaline with it. Hate brings conviction with it. Hate declares: “I’m not going to take being treated unfairly!” Yet hate, and its first cousin fear, are not as effective, nor as powerful, as audacious-love. As women, we tend to connect deeply with that which we love. Be it family, the environment, friends, we’re naturally wired to protect what we hold dear. And caring about something we love demands fierce audacity and the radical courage to use our voices as instruments for truth.

As we move forward, I invite you to ask yourself: “At this point in my life, what do I most cherish? What do I hold so sacred that I am willing to speak my deepest truth, no matter how much resistance I feel from others? What am I will to be a guardian for during this critical time on our planet?”

For me, it is our beloved environment and all the animals which dwell thereon. In 2017 and beyond, being a guardian—via donations, public speaking, volunteering—is essential for my soul growth.  Also, this month I begin writing my dissertation on “cultivating resilience” which entails interviewing internationally-known women who developed resilience while witnessing environmental destruction firsthand (e.g., Chernobyl, Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, etc.).  These kinds of activities are grounding and enable me to contribute my energy to something I love deeply.

This is a brand new year. Now is the time to access our dspeak-out-circleepth and give it a clear, strong voice.  There is the belief in certain social and spiritual circles that politics should not be discussed. This is a very dangerous myth. If those of us with mind and heart fail to speak up, we give our power away to angry, psychotic voices like we are now hearing.

Let us be grounded and strategic as we oppose what does not ring true to our hearts, while whole-heartedly supporting what we treasure. Let our frustration and apathy be transformed into conscious activism. Let us avoid low level energy and increase mindful practices: meditation, gratitude practices, time in Nature—any activity that keeps us moving forward with grace and conviction. And finally, let us remain open to possibilities as we stay focused on intentions and actions which honor our deepest truth.

Laura V. Grace, Ph.D. (c) is a spiritual activist and producer of the Central Coast Women’s Symposium. http://www.lauragrace.net

The Cycle of LIFE-DEATH-LIFE and the Wild Woman Archetype

Greetings Friend:women arms raised

Life is a series of cycles, a continuous unfolding pattern of Life-Death-Life spirals that possess the power to carry us deeper into the female soul and feminine spirit. In her unforgettable creation Women Who Run with the Wolves, Clarissa Pinkola Estes beautifully illustrates this dynamic playing out in the Wild Woman archetype. She is the Life-Death-Life force, the female soul and source of the feminine. As we learn to embrace the Life-Death-Life nature we are able to hold the space for the necessary deaths and surprising births with grace rather than resistance. In our culture, the Life part of living is supported, however, the Death part of living is too often misunderstood and feared. And yet, unless we accepting the dying embers from each passage of life, we cannot create sufficient space for new initiations to commence.

Presently, I am experiencing both a significant death and a new life. In August, I will complete the final year of graduate coursework in a depth psychology and somatic program. It is a big Death. I am saying farewell to some amazing people who have bravely traveled this road with me for three years, a road fraught with shadow, unexpected psychological potholes and startling bursts of transformation.

On the other side of the same coin, I am entering a new phase of Life. Having passed all of the requirements, I have received my Master’s degree and am now entering the realm of dissertation as scholar and Ph.D. Candidate.  And as with so many other former beginnings, I am filled with much excitement, anxiety and hope.

If you can relate and would like to share a piece of your current Life-Death-Life journey, I would love to hear from you. Sharing stories from the soul is healing and cultivates the fertile soil for the Wild Woman to rise up and regenerate her qualities of connectedness, creativity and passion.

In honor of the feminine spirit within us all, may your LIFE-DEATH-LIFE journey be authentically soulful.

Namaste,

Laurasig