Discovering Your Shadow in Dreamtime

 

Image result for shadow images

Discovering Your Shadow in Dreamtime

Dreams offer special gifts which help you with every issue you are facing in waking life and one of the most significant is discovering and reclaiming your Shadow.

Your shadow contains aspects of you that are unconscious or that you may have judged as “negative” or “bad.” (And also include positive traits that you have not yet acknowledged or accepted.) Discovering your shadow allows you to become aware of all aspects of self which leads to integration, wholeness, and individuation.  Jung viewed the individuation process as our ultimate goal. Individuation requires becoming conscious of our prima materia—the unconscious material that has been repressed so we may experience the alchemical process of transformation. Dreams provide the opportunity to witness the prima materia in ways that we are unable to experience during waking life. People who advance towards individuation tend to become harmonious, mature, responsible, and are aware of their connectedness to all things.

A personal example of prima materia entails a series of “snake” dreams I began having when I immersed myself in a doctoral program grounded in depth psychology and somatic studies. As I delved into the hidden realms of the unconscious, childhood trauma and attachment theory, “snake” dreams began to emerge. Having been terrified of snakes my entire life, I was confused about why they were showing up now? Were they trying to convey some aspect of me, (a thought that horrified me), or were they representing someone in my life, (almost as frightening)?

I sought advice from an instructor I deeply respected who advised, “Snakes sometime appear in dreams when there’s a misalignment in psyche. You’re on a new path that is triggering some old stuff, so write down your dreams and notice if they shift as you work through the course material.” So I did. His advice was spot on because the more I delved into the realm of the unconscious, the more snake surfaced during dreamtime. The more I remembered and re-witnessed childhood trauma, a myriad of snakes showed up—from black snakes with long red tongues to green diamond back rattlers. Somatic memories surfaced from the abuse and neglect I experienced during my developing years. This was the prima materia that had been buried and needed to surface so it could be re-experienced in a safe environment and transformed. Remaining dedicated to understanding my dreams and working with a somatic trauma therapist helped my snake dreams shift. As I moved through the trauma, “snake” evolved from something painful and frightening to an image that became my most powerful guide.

The body remembers everything you have ever experienced and carries the burden of stress, disease, and trauma. Dream images, like my myriad snakes, live in the blood cells, skin, muscles and organs of the body. By working with the images, the snakes became my personal daimon to the point that even the “poison” that flooded my body after one snake decided to sink his fangs into my left hand became a form of “medicine.” After the initial shock wore off, I was able to tap into the venom and receive the strength that I needed to confront the past and transform some painful experiences.  This ancient, reptilian image led me to a deeper understanding about my reactions, behaviors, fears, and desire for love, and in alchemical terms, was akin to turning base metal into radiant gold. Using dream images to transform old wounds leads us to individuation, wholeness, and greater aliveness. You may be wondering, what happened to the snake dreams? Well, two weeks before finishing my final doctoral course and writing my last term paper, the Wise Snake exited the realm of my dreams and hasn’t made an appearance since. Powerful, yes?

For more information on how to work with your dreams including practical ways to approach them, please check out my newest book, Dreams: Soul-Centered Living in the 21st Century at Amazon.

https://www.amazon.com/Dreams-Soul-Centered-Psychological-Achieving-Transformation/dp/198503493X/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1526418154&sr=8-3&keywords=laura+v+grace

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Numinous Nature of Your Nighttime Dreams

THE NUMINOUS NATURE OF YOUR NIGHTTIME DREAMS

Dreams are a sacred gift presented to us in the midst of our sleeping consciousness. Remember your dreams. Honor your dreams. Learn from your dreams.  Norman Bradford

Dreams are alive. Rich with symbols, archetypes, alchemical images and metaphors, dreams are an invaluable transformational instrument. When understood, dreams are a pathway to higher consciousness, evolved relationships, meaningful work, informed physical health and a clear awareness of your soul’s blueprint.

But the growth that dreams provide is not always an easy process, it sometimes requires digging into unconscious muck which makes things appear messy. Also, unhealed trauma rears its head during dreamtime as do addictions, fears, unrequited love, grief, disappointment, anger, and physical, psychological, and spiritual imbalances. The unconscious does its best to grab your attention so you can recognize and integrate aspects of yourself that are hidden and may have gotten repressed along the way.

Further, dreams possess the power to free you from programmed beliefs, status quo thinking and false personas. They provide ideas, solutions and insights. Edgar Cayce taught, “Dreams work to solve problems of the dreamer’s conscious waking life, and they work to quicken in the dreamer new potentials which are his/hers to claim.”

Dreams are considered to be the oldest language known to man and some are numinous in nature, a term Jung used frequently when referring to their “divine command” (derived from the Latin word numen). These watershed experiences encompass significant health related issues, profound relationship matters, vocational and career crossroads, and spiritually defining moments. Dreams emerge from the point of contact between spirit and matter, human and divine, male and female, ego and Self. Carl Jung calls this point of contact the soul. Since your dreams provide ideas, solutions and insights, I encourage you to use this book as your own personal compass for navigating through every area of your life. Literally, they are jackpots of information and will enhance your awakening process, or what Jung called the pathway to individuation.

Dreams are sacred gifts; no matter how confusing, nonsensical, frightening, or perverse they may seem, dreams emerge from the unconscious to help you. We often avoid facing a disturbing or puzzling dream but in truth it is your own personal daimon, the Greek word for “inspired guide.”

While working with your dreams, it is helpful to keep in mind some of the basic dream principles developed by Carl Jung:

  • Almost every dream come to us in the service of health and wholeness.
  • Dreams have multiple and simultaneous meanings.
  • Only the dreamer knows for sure what the meaning of the dream is at a particular time.
  • Dreams bring information from the unconscious into consciousness, a huge gift for healing our lives, relationships and sense of purpose.

Sleep Deeply, Dream Big!

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

USING NIGHTTIME DREAMS TO AWAKEN YOUR GREATEST POTENTIAL

Aboriginal pic for blog

USING NIGHTTIME DREAMS TO AWAKEN YOUR GREATEST POTENTIAL

Did you know that your nighttime dreams and your daytime desires are completely interconnected? They seem to exist at opposite ends of the continuum which is why we tend to discount or ignore them. But indigenous people like the Aboriginal Australians embody a term called The Dreaming or Dreamtime which describes the web of life between the spiritual and natural world. In essence, there is no difference between being asleep versus being awake; it’s all one big dream. Similarly, Shamans believe the dream world and the spirit world are exactly the same and that we are dreaming the world into being. This is why for thousands of years indigenous people knew they could count on receiving wisdom from their ancestors, guidance from spiritual realms and valuable answers to mystifying questions.

Let me share a personal example of how dreams provide specific direction and awaken your greatest potential. Many years ago, I was a Human Resource Director for a CPA and consulting firm. Everything was about chargeable hours, money and power, leaving very little room for valuing people. As time unfolded, it felt like the life-force was being sucked out of my soul and I finally mustered up the courage to resign. I was newly divorced and had a ten year old daughter to raise. Instead of immediately putting myself back on the executive market, I decided to take a year off and do some significant soul-searching. So I withdrew my 401(k) and spent the next twelve months delving into spiritual teachings, journaling my thoughts and feelings, and working extensively with my nighttime dreams.

One night, before falling asleep, I asked my dreams for guidance, specifically: What was the best way I could harness my gifts, strengths and talents, create the work I truly loved and be of service? That night, I had a powerful dream:

I am sitting in the driver’s seat of my red Toyota which is sitting 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 written 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. Then the following dream occurred:

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

These dreams affirmed that the work I was meant to experience would take me deeper into my authentic self while providing abundance. The fact that the diamonds were shaped like crystals revealed the multi-faceted potentials within me. Now, looking back over the past couple of decades, I can see how prophetic the dream truly was. The articles I began writing were published which led to my first book Gifts of the Soul. The book and articles inspired ideas for creating a successful course called The Self-Mastery Program which supported individuals in accessing their inner gifts and creating a soulful life. I taught The Self-Mastery program for ten years and in the meantime, I penned my second book, The Intimate Soul. I also created several other programs, began teaching courses on dreams and coaching people how to understand and utilize them. Further, I attended an interfaith seminary program and provided spiritual counseling. The “multi-faceted” diamonds represented skills I never knew I had, and didn’t have, until I began using them: writing, speaking, teaching and counseling.

Dreams provide inordinate amounts of intelligence. Where does the wisdom come from? Worldly knowledge flows from multiple sources including advisability from your ancestors, illumination from the spiritual realm, sagacity from your soul and significant insight from the natural world. All of this adds up to one major source of infinite wisdom!

Dreams may very well be the purest form of knowledge since they are not clouded by our conscious thinking and programmed beliefs. Being willing to remember them is the first step. Tapping into their goldmine of information is the second step. And the more you pay attention to your dreams, the better your recall will be. Tonight, before going to sleep practice the following steps:

1. Think about one situation you would like to create, change or improve in your life.

2. Ask your dreams for guidance and be specific about the situation and your question.

3. Set your intention before going to bed and affirm your willingness to remember your dreams and receive guidance.

4. Write down (or record) any dreams immediately upon waking, even “snippets” of a dream. Pay attention to the landscape, dream images, character and how write down how you feel about them. Also try to capture the “theme” of the dream.

5. Conclude by letting go of attachment to outcome so ideas, images and inspiration can emerge. Dreams communicate in myriad ways, so reflect on your dream gently throughout the day and watch what bubbles up from psyche’s cauldron.

If you are ready to explore your dreams and see how they are an invaluable tool for growth, please check out any one or all three of the dream programs I’m offering the beginning of 2016:
1. LIVE SIX WEEK DREAM COURSE AT CAL POLY, SAN LUIS OBISPO, CA, Dates: Thursdays, 1/28/16-3/3/16, Time: 6:00 p.m. — 8:00 p.m. For more information or to register, CLICK HERE

2. LIVE DREAM RETREAT, Dancing Deer, Templeton, CA, Date: 2/20, Time: 10 A.M. – 4 P.M. For more information, CLICK HERE

3. E-DREAM COURSE: “Dreams for Healing: Using Dreams as a Pathway to the Soul” at SelfHealingExpressions.com. Dream course lessons are sent directly to your in-box and you may complete them at your convenience. For more information, CLICK HERE

Part Two of the Heroine’s Journey: Evolving Partnerships

BE THE HEROINE OF YOUR OWN JOURNEY (Part Two)
EVOLVING PARTNERSHIPS: THE CORNERSTONE OF THE HEROINE’S JOURNEY 5410985156_e1162028ed_m

In Part One of “Be the Heroine of Your Own Journey,” we discussed what the American journalist and playwright, Nora Ephron, meant when she declared: “Above all, be the heroine of your life, not the victim.” We explored how the hero strikes out on a solo mission to conquer his demons, while the heroine recognizes that stepping into her feminine power entails aligning with a collective field of support. She is not meant to trek solo as empowered support is vital when she travels.

In this article, we are going to examine the power of partnerships—not just any partnership—but an evolving partnership.

In her groundbreaking book Sacred Pleasure, *Riane Eisler—an internationally known human rights activist, best-selling author, social scientist, women’s advocate and macro-historian—shares a historical perspective on what men and women have gone through for centuries as a result of religious dogma and scientific jargon. She reveals how brutal patriarchal beliefs have been to the psyche and soul of both women and men. Eisler takes the reader through the “pain to pleasure shift” which is a blueprint for the future of authentic, loving, spiritual partnerships.

I refer to these more enlightened connections as “Evolving Partnerships.” It’s one of the core principles of the **Relationship Wisdom™ workshops my husband and I teach. Women are inherently relational beings. We want connections that are fulfilling; emotionally, intellectually, physically and spiritually. Having a social network is vital to many of us and we thrive in relationships where we feel validated and supported. Of course, there are men who flourish from these types of connections as well.

However women identify with their relationships in different ways than men. For example, women are more apt to conform in social circles in order to avoid losing the connection, or, women may feel compelled to agree and validate someone’s feelings without challenging the underlying perceptions. While our intention is good, this type of conformity weakens and disempowers us.

How many times have you validated a close friend’s reactions without challenging her assumptions? How often have you made yourself “shrink” in order to fit in with others? How frequently do you avoid the difficult conversations? How many times have you, or someone you know, used humor to divert the attention away from something that may feel awkward or uncomfortable yet needs to be addressed?

Too often, we dim down our light to keep the peace. Instead of inviting someone we care about to rise to our level of awareness, we drop down to their playing field. This is because women identify so strongly with our relationships.

The old paradigm for relationships is based on the belief that: “You take care of me, watch my back and agree with me and I will hang in there with you, no matter what.” We often see this behavior exhibited in our family systems. This is outdated tribal thinking based on loyalty to the tribe versus empowerment and authenticity.

Things are changing.

Strong women need strong partnerships; partnerships that are real, where both people have the courage to speak their truth with kindness and respect, where the commitment is not to comfort, but to holding each other accountable.

If a close friend or partner has the inner strength to be honest with you, to challenge some of your assumptions, thank her! It demonstrates she cares enough about you and the integrity of the relationship to speak her truth.

In my own life, when I’m willing to have a difficult conversation with someone, I know it’s because I really care about the evolution of our connection. There have been times that the truth was more than she or he wanted to hear. And those connections drop out. But I’d rather be honest than conforming which inevitably leads to resentment. There’s nothing authentic about validating everything someone feels. That’s called the “Destructive Cheerleader” syndrome; we say “Rah, rah!” to what someone believes just so we don’t lose that person’s support.

Below is a model of the old relationship structure versus evolutionary partnerships.

OLD RELATIONSHIP PARADIGM

  • Motivation is to feel safe, secure and comfortable
  • Dependent and/or Co-Dependent
  • Conforms to protect the security of the relationship
  • Bond is based on colluding and a sense of victimhood
  • Agreeing with the other person shows loyalty
  • Support negative or limiting behavior
  • Avoid conflict and difficult conversations
  • Validates emotions without questioning assumptions
  • Masculine approaches to decision making is valued more highly than those considered “feminine” (i.e., intuitive, perceptive, nurturing)

EVOLVING PARTNERSHIPS

  • Motivation is growth
  • Interdependence and equality is key
  • Authenticity and being true to one’s deeper self is essential and the relationship adjusts accordingly out of mutual respect
  • Bond is based on true empowerment
  • Able to see and discuss things from multiple viewpoints supports growth
  • Hold each other accountable for creating a future based on integrity and evolution
  • Commitment to honesty and openness based on the intention to deepen the connection
  • Looks at possible meaning and challenges perceptions
  • A feminine approach to decision making is valued equally both personally and professionally

Steps for activating evolving partnerships:

1. Notice the looking glass through which you relate to others.

2. Practice connecting with others without an agenda.

3. Commit to cultivating relationships based on a mutual commitment to growth and that have a shared “agreement” to this commitment. (Note: The people in your life who are not interested in growth are not candidates for this kind of agreement. There are people for whom we shift our expectations accordingly and learn to accept and love them the way they are.)

What kind of advice might a true heroine give to you about fulfilling your destiny? She would invite you to share your highest vision for your life with those who will join you in an evolving partnership. She would ask you to let them know what you are committed to and invite them to share their potentials and future they wish to create. Finally, she would encourage you to give them permission to hold you accountable as you become the heroine of your own journey.

Enjoy the journey!

Namaste,

Laurasig

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*Riane Eisler will be our keynote speaker at the Central Coast Annual Women’s Symposium in San Luis Obispo, CA, on March 14, 2015. www.spiritualcircle.org/symposium

**Relationship Wisdom™ is offering a workshop on The Five Pillars of Successful Relationships on October 18th & 25th in Arroyo Grande, CA. www.spiritualcircle.org/events

Gratitude: A State of Grace

If the only prayer you ever say in your whole life is ‘thank you’, that would suffice. — Meister Eckhart

The word gratitude is derived from the Latin word gratia, which means grace, graciousness, or gratefulness. In some ways gratitude encompasses all of these meanings. November is a special time to dig deep within our hearts and express gratitude for all the blessings in our lives. To be grateful is to accept the “Great Fullness.” The more we are grateful, the more we have to be grateful for.

Recent research has shown gratitude to:

  • Relieve Stress (and keep in mind that stress is the number one cause of illness in our culture)
  • Boost the Immune System
  • Increase Alertness, Enthusiasm, Optimism, and Energy
  • Reduce Depression
  • Improve Overall Health and Well-Being
  • Increase Spiritual Awareness, Regardless of “Religion”
  • Enhance Sleep Quality
  • Improve the Quality of Relationships

And, the really good news is that further research has shown that it only takes 60 seconds a day for gratitude to improve our lives.

Despite my belief in the power of gratitude, unfortunately, there are days I neglect to express it. Needless to say, those are not my best days. Yet the days I do take a few minutes to express my gratitude, no matter what happens, I feel more content, peaceful and optimistic.

I am blessed to have a gratitude teacher (she doesn’t know she’s my teacher). Most mornings, I begin my day along the shoreline of the Pacific Ocean. While sitting on the sand, I watch my teacher as she and her yellow lab move down the beach. They move very, very slowly. The woman appears to have had a stroke. Yet every day she rides her electric wheelchair down to the beach, while carefully holding onto the leash of her beloved dog. Then, with great effort, she lifts herself out of the wheelchair and forces herself to take one itty-bitty step at a time. It sometimes takes her an hour just to walk a few yards.

One particularly dreary morning, which matched my mood, I began observing my gratitude teacher walking with her dog. I watched closely as the woman made a herculean effort down the sand. Her dog, unlike most dogs that sprint and chase after the gulls, waited ever so patiently as the woman painstakingly took baby-steps. About thirty minutes later, noticing they had only covered a few feet, I realized I had never witnessed such loving patience. My heart swelled with profound gratitude for the dog’s love for his owner and for the woman’s persistence and tenacity. Suddenly there wasn’t room in my heart for both gratitude and gloom. Something had to give. So I took out my phone and snapped a photo of the amazing couple. Although they were hard to see from where I was sitting, their silhouettes stood proud and strong. To this day, the picture reminds me that gratitude is all encompassing and is a state of grace.

Here are some ways to allow gratitude to become a state of grace:

  1. Keep a gratitude journal. I know you’ve heard this advice before, but it really does work. At the beginning of each day, write down 3-5 things you are grateful for. Then “book end” the day by writing 3-5 things you are thankful for from that same day. Simplicity is key; your baby’s smile, a gentle breeze, a colorful sunset or your best friend’s laughter. Relish the feeling you get when remembering and writing it down.
  2. Express your gratitude. Take the time to share your feelings. Not the simple, polite “thank you,” but the heartfelt emotions. Tell your friend how her support and sense of humor helps you get through tough times, how much it means to you. Don’t take your loved ones for granted. Let them know how much you love them and why.
  3. Look for what is right about a situation, not what’s wrong. You may be frustrated by your spouse’s clothes on the floor, but thankfully you have a lot of love in your life. The environment is being over developed at alarming rates, but there is still beauty in every living tree, flower and bird.
  4. Practice gratitude with your family and friends. At dinner, encourage each family member to report one thing that happened that day, something they feel grateful for. Send a “gratitude text” to a friend, and while you’re at it, send one to yourself—writing what you appreciate about yourself will give you an immediate and positive boost!

 

The Power of Your Night-Time Dreams

Dreams are alive. Rich with symbols, archetypes and metaphoric meaning, dreams are an invaluable healing instrument. When understood, dreams can be a pathway to higher consciousness, healed relationships and understanding your soul’s blueprint.

Dreams possess the power to free you from programmed beliefs, status quo thinking and false personas. They provide ideas, insights and solutions. Edgar Cayce taught, “Dreams work to solve problems of the dreamer’s conscious waking life, and they work to quicken in the dreamer new potentials which are his/hers to claim.”

Dreams cover the physical, emotional and spiritual aspects of your life. They emerge from the point of contact between spirit and matter, human and divine, male and female, ego and Self.  Carl Jung calls this point of contact the soul.

Whose Life Are You Living?

Each life is unique. Each soul has its own destiny. Unfortunately, we often lose sight of this truth amidst the myriad programming we have received. Our soul’s voice gets buried beneath the countless ideas and beliefs that have been handed to us over the years, and then are reaffirmed over and over again by society.

For many years, I’ve seen myself as an independent thinker. In fact, my husband and I used to joke that as long as we’re not living life in accordance with societal beliefs, we’re probably on the right track. As we have walked our spiritual path together, we have learned to take our cues not from the world, but from within. Following the rhythm of our own soul took years of practice. It meant unplugging from the fear-based thoughts that dominate this world and tuning in to the love within.

So a couple of months ago, when we made a decision that would dramatically shift our lives, I was surprised to discover that I was concerned about what others might think. I’ve made numerous choices over the years that were boat-rocking, unconcerned about the opinions of others. It’s what has allowed me to leave a traditional career and life path, blaze my own trail, and cultivate a purposeful path that feeds my soul.

So when my inner critic surfaced several weeks ago, I began challenging it: “Whose life am I living anyway?” Just because this particular decision may not be understood or supported by some, doesn’t mean it’s not the right decision for me and my loved ones. Posing this question became my spiritual practice. Every time a fear surfaced, I would repeat the question. It may have taken a hundred times, but finally, my inner critic took me seriously and began to quiet down.

In his best-selling book Wishes Fulfilled, Dr. Wayne Dyer reminds us of what our souls most desire:

“The ideal of your soul, the thing that it yearns for, is not more knowledge. It is not interested in comparison, nor winning, nor light, nor ownership, nor even happiness. The ideal of your soul is space, expansion, and immensity, and the one thing it needs more than anything else is to be free to expand…”

Whose life are you living? Your soul is infinity itself. The greatness, that on some level you know you’re capable of, comes from within your soul. So to limit yourself, in any way, squelches your greatness. And being concerned with the opinions of others, is perhaps, the quickest way to limit yourself.

As I write this, I’m about to announce the momentous decision I’ve made. My hope is that it will be received with open arms. But if not, I am embracing my choice with all the love and courage I possess.

As you make choices that may or may not be boat-rocking, may you live a life that allows your soul complete freedom. After all, it’s your life.