• Bringing Your Whole Being- Not Segmenting

    We tend to adjust who we are and what we say based on people and setting that we are in. We often segment ourselves by allowing some parts of ourselves and excluding others in various interactions. We may dumb ourselves down or become more sarcastic to fit with the folks that we are with. We do things that are out of character. 

    This inevitably causes conflict with ourselves. At some level, we know that we acted outside of our wholeness and integrity.  

    Historically in oppressive cultures, people died for what they believed in. They knew that being true to themselves was a risk and stated their truth anyway. That was how important it was to them. 

    And here we are living in the free world, where you can express almost anything without risking your life. But still, we hold back and present only the parts (or segments) of ourselves that we believe fits in.  

    This segmenting also becomes internalized. We tell ourselves that different parts of ourselves do not go together. My teacher once challenged one his students to smudge and do ceremony in her professional business suit. She had great difficulty with it as she did not see these two vital aspects of herself fitting with each other. She had segmented herself. 

    After a while, we rarely present our whole self to anyone. Our expression gets so filtered and watered down that it rarely carries any punch. It becomes non-threatening, politically-correct, and wishy-washy.  

    So next time someone asks you what you think, why not tell them? Perhaps it will give them permission to express what they really think back. You could have an honest interaction in which whole selves interact with each other. It could be an interaction that actually interacts- not one that plays it safe.  

    Everyone gets the opportunity to affect each other and grow- even if we do feel a bit vulnerable and uncomfortable.

  • Finding your Place on the Medicine Wheel

    Summer Solstice is the time of high ceremony. It offers an opportunity to participate in ceremony and tune back into what is going on inside yourself. Navigating the busyness and demands of everyday life often causes us to become out of sync with ourselves. We begin to identify with the roles that we take on and lose sight of who we are and what we are really about. 

    Another tendency is for your life to stay aligned with how you saw yourself in the past. You set out to create the life you wanted ten or twenty years ago and are still on that track. What you may not have realized is how much you have changed since then. And the world has changed too. Ceremony allows you to experience who and what you are now and how you fit into today's world. It creates the space to give yourself a much needed update. 

    The Medicine Wheel is the wheel of life. It depicts where you are at in your life growth cycle, underneath all the things that you tell yourself. Ceremonies like the Medicine Wheel, Sharing Circle, and Sweat Lodge help you reconnect with your place in your life journey. It helps you to refocus and adjust your life so you can foster the things that you came here to do. 

    There will be two summer solstice ceremony gatherings in the next month. One is in Bend, Oregon and the other in Sumpter, Oregon. You can learn more about these ceremonies at So come and get right with yourself. Find your place on the Medicine Wheel. There may be a whole other dimension to you that is trying to awaken.

  • Breaking Routine

    Memorial Day weekend is here to launch Summer 2016. Summer is a time for vacations. A vacation (root word: vacate) presents an opportunity to step outside of our daily routine. It is interesting to note what is going on underneath the daily routine.

    Our daily routine allows us to take care of business. It provides an interface to manage work, kids, family, bills, etc. It adds structure to our lives. It helps us function and deal.

    But there is also a tendency to for us to go on automatic pilot with a routine. We start to do things without really thinking about it.

    A vacation is an opportunity to take a break from your routine- to give it a rest. Hopefully there is some time to do whatever you feel like doing on your vacation. And, some time to think about whatever you want to think about.

    What are you drawn to? What do you care about? (When you are not in your routine.)

    No, I am not trying to turn your next vacation into a spiritual retreat. Continue to have your umbrella drinks and go paddle boarding.

    It's just that breaking your routine for a week is such an opportunity. And it happens naturally as soon as you cease engaging in your routine, although it may take several days to fully decompress.

    Perhaps you could talk about what it feels like to not have to do anything while you go on your sunset walk on the beach. What do you feel like doing tomorrow? Try starting a sentence with, "You know what would be really fun..."

    Noticing what you are drawn to is a direct window to your soul. It is an opportunity to touch what is going on in your heart underneath the demands and responsibilities of everyday life.

    Just notice it- is all I am suggesting. What is going on in there? What are you passionate about? What is like to have a free thought?

    Then perhaps you may wish to realign your life with what is going on inside. Or not. But at least you got an untarnished view of what is feels like to be you. And that is something of inestimable value.


  • They think their issue is your issue

    People have issues with you. Ironically, the more character you have, the more issues people likely have with you. But never forget whose issues they are. And keep in mind, they really believe they are your issues. Your choice is to take on their issues or let them have them.

    Many people have a preconception and expectation of how you need to be. This is usually based on what role they believe you should take with them. People have unconscious contracts and expectations regarding how you need to be in relation to them.

    Or, the way you are just may be threatening to them. Perhaps you are doing something outside their comfort zone.

    The only way to clearly interact with others is to do what your heart calls you to do. And chances are your heart's call to action may conflict with their expectation. So if you follow your heart, you will likely disappoint some people. They may even feel betrayed.

    But whose life is it, anyway?

    So what you are left with? It is fine to be aware of people’s issues with you. It is even great to have compassion for their issues with you. But never forget whose issues they are.

    And one last thing, it is enough for you to know that it is their issue. I recommend letting go of trying to get them to understand this. They are likely pretty certain that the issue is yours. It is enough that you know and to let them have the issue.

    Besides, if you are at all like me, you have your own issues and choices to work with. We simply do not have the time and energy to take on other people’s. As my friend Steven told my other friend some years ago, “Todd, I have my own problems.”

  • Matching Investment

    Healers, counselors, and teachers generously give to people. It is a beautiful gift, but some recipients do not invest in their own healing. Consequently, your offering to them has a limited effect. If on the other hand, you heal people that are willing to invest in your offering, it completes the circle and makes a huge difference in their lives.

    One technique for effective healing and giving is to match the investment of the person you are giving to. This involves investing with someone rather than investing for him or her. In short, you invest in them to the extent that they invest in themselves.

    So offer them some healing and teaching- and watch what they do with it. If they work with it, integrate it, and make adjustments to their life- continue investing in them. If however, they use what you give them as long as they do not have to invest anything, it is a sign they want you to do it for them. They are likely looking to be fed. Better to offer your precious gift and vital resources to someone that will do something with it.

    I do not quote Jesus often, but I love, "Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace and be healed of your disease." (Revised Standard Version). It was her faith that made her well. Jesus was a vehicle for people to heal themselves. I submit that he did not go around randomly healing leapers, but rather chose to heal people who were willing to invest in themselves.

    So ultimately you have to decide what type of healer or counselor you want to be. Do you want to be a vehicle for people to heal themselves or do you want to do it for them? Do you want to heal and teach people to solve the origination of the disease or do you want to simply heal their current symptoms.

    Deciding the type of healer or counselor you are determines the type of clients you heal. People either willing to invest in themselves at the level you are healing them or they are not.

    Remember, givers and takers often have karmic relationships with each other. Healers often identify as the giver that heals the other person. Takers see themselves as passively receiving the healing and other people doing it for them.

    So be selective of the people you heal, counsel, and teach. I personally choose to teach people as long as they are willing to invest in themselves. Who do you choose to heal?

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