Even the nicest people can struggle with kindness sometimes, especially if they’re having a bad day.
Especially those moments when someone doesn’t seem ‘worthy’ of kindness…
Sound familiar? When it’s been a rough couple of days or even just a tough few hours, in the heat of the moment it’s easy to be horrible to ‘horrible’ people.
(Notice, horrible is in quotes!)
In the past, when I lived behind my ‘walls’, I usually came across as cold:
• If a stranger said hello, I would ignore them. I wasn’t meaning to be off-putting or make them feel ignored; it was a defense mechanism.
• If someone was rude to me, I would react immediately and almost viciously. It made me feel safe.
I’ve since learned a lot about myself, and about others.
When someone is treating others cruelly, it’s usually because they don’t feel good about themselves and/or they are having a bad day.
And when I reacted in a spiteful way when someone was rude to me, it was not out of pride… It was because I didn’t like myself.
I was subconsciously creating a cycle of negativity by reflecting someone else’s poor behavior back at them.
Now that I am aware of my own behavior and WHY I behaved that way, I find being kind on a regular basis not just easier than always being in ‘fight mode,’ but also healthier, less stressful. Plus, it makes me feel good.
Allowing myself to be present in the moment allows me to respond rather than react.
I recently had an experience at the pharmacy where there was a computer error regarding my prescriptions.
Before figuring out what the problem was, the pharmacist was quick to blame me, going so far as to raise her voice at me. Instead of reacting defensively, I was able to stay present and could see her frustration. I realized I had never seen her behave this way before and that maybe she was having a bad day.
Now, I’m not saying that makes it okay to treat someone badly BUT was she really aware of how she was treating me?
I stayed calm, and it all got figured out. I even wished her a good day with a smile when the transaction was complete.
Before leaving the store, she found me to apologize and to express her appreciation for my patience.
I still have days when I’m triggered.
We all will.
We’re beautifully human.
The next time you’re feeling defensive, ask yourself: what am I afraid of?
Remember that, just like you, everyone has their own story, their own pain, and their own fears.
When we act out of kindness, even when it doesn’t seem earned or deserved, everybody wins.
Feeling ready to dive into your own dose of vulnerability with a deeper sense of wonder and joy? Join us (& Tara) for our LIVE Embrace Your Darkness Challenge, starting February 13, 2017!
Here are just a few things Embracing Your Darkness can do for you:
• Improve relationships and communication
• Strengthen your leadership skills
• Overcome self-sabotage
• Increase authenticity to impact everything from your career to your love life
• Bring together your overly-brilliant mind and your deep feels so they can finally chill out and become one
Join our Embrace Your Darkness Challenge >>
How do we review our growth from one year into another when things often stray far from the plan?
When we go into a new year, we may hold the hope or expectation that the intentions we set for the year will wrap up certain areas of growth or external fruition into neat little bows. “Okay, I got there.”
But life has a way of waiting to reveal things to us only when the timing is perfect — and that timing is usually meant to get us more in touch with the present moment. Meaning that even when we can see or “just know” aspects of the future (and that knowing IS what’s real — so we must follow that), we aren’t able to know how it’s all going to go down until we get there… until it’s all going down.
Still, we keep setting intentions. Because our intentions have their own creative energy, and when they’re set with a firmness of choice and trust in the divine, our intentions always come true.
We may get to the end of the year and wonder, “What happened?! Did they really come true?”
Oh, they did… just maybe not as you envisioned they would.
Intentions are a form of co-creation — and co-creation cannot come from the expectations of the mind or the ego, but only from our soul’s truest desires.
In fact, when we allow it, we’ll usually find that the imagination of co-creation itself holds far greater awareness of what we truly need.
And because of the age-old personal growth cliché, “you can ask for what you want, but not for how,” each year will always have room for subjectivity in how we choose to view both our internal growth and our external accomplishments.
Rarely will the outcome of your intentions from a specific year look exactly like you expected them when the year began. (Of course, it might be doable if you’re hell-bent on controlling your world, but this will likely result in a state of misery that won’t be worth it in the end, goals accomplished or not.)
This doesn’t mean that by letting go of the “how” or the outcome we don’t get everything we desire. In fact, just the opposite.
It’s by letting go of our expectations while they’re in the process of taking form that they’re able to take form.
Let me explain…
Three years ago, on the eve of greeting 2014, I set a solid intention for new levels of self-love that went beyond the “self” and had me feeling connected to myself as Source more consistently.
In my mind, I both assumed and imagined it would also be a year of alone-ness. When I set the intention, I was with a group of close girlfriends, all of whom had set intentions involving romantic love and partnership. I, instead, proclaimed “This will not be the year of partnership for me, because this is the year of new levels of connectedness to myself. And I need to find that before I’m ready for a partner, so I’m going to have to go it alone.”
But because life knows what we need better than we do, after the first 4 months of solo-adventure, very much out of the blue, I fell in love. And not the kind of love where it takes time to figure out what will be — we’re talking the kind of instantaneous “every cell in your body tells you this person is what you were waiting for, even when you didn’t know you were waiting for them” kind of love. Not infatuation, but soul-resonance that must be played out in this lifetime to help you grow.
Though I knew I was doing what was right, I feared telling my girlfriends who had been there the night I proclaimed my intentions.
It took me a couple of weeks to get over the confusion around forfeiting my alone time. It was only when I began to see how this man showed up with me that I realized I had been wrong about one thing.
That year was the year of finding new levels of connectedness to myself as Source, of that deepened self-love. But my proclamation that I was going to go it alone wasn’t actually part of the intention. It was my assumption of how I believed the intention was going to have to come to fruition.
Once I realized this and surrendered to the partnership I had been guided to, I discovered that it was through this man that I would find what I desired.
And I did. I found it through his example, through how he pushed me to become even more self-sourced, and through the many dynamics of our love that led me back home to myself.
When we get to the end of a year and evaluate, is it really that the year’s chapter isn’t complete? Or, rather, could it be that the chapter simply didn’t go down as you expected it would — as you actually needed it to?
This year has been an interesting year for both myself and MDS. It’s been one of those years where calculating how much has been accomplished is dependent upon perception more than an ability to crunch a bunch of numbers or outcomes.
Because, again, life had its own plan beyond my human imagination. In order to grow in the kind of achievement I had envisioned (my word for 2016), MDS showed #TeamMDS that it required more structure, more preparation. It showed us that achievement must be prepared for.
And I know by now that when I choose something, Source will guide me to become it, first. Because through the becoming lies the automatic and effortless fulfillment of it.
So for me, achievement wound up looking not like getting my book on the shelves — but instead it looked like spending the entire year deep-diving into the manuscript. I wrote voraciously, but for the sake of how the manuscript wanted to grow me, not now I wanted to grow it.
And for MDS, achievement in 2016 looked like developing an even happier Sorcerer School with even happier participants, Sorcerer School becoming an accredited institution, and growing all sorts of foundations within MDS to be a company of fulfillment and success in order for future achievement to happen.
What about your life? Though the start of a new year is less about needing to wrap things up in perfect bows and more about new beginnings from wherever you stand, I’m still willing to bet you’ll find more pretty bows of “ohhhh that actually DID happen!” from your previous year’s intentions than you may have thought.
And in taking stock of how those intentions came to fruition, you’ll likely find increased trust in just how much the “co” in “co-creation” actually knows what it’s doing.
I’d love to hear from you: How did the fruition of your intentions show you what you truly needed this year? Share in the comments below!
P.S. – If you’ve been interested in Sorcerer School but haven’t been sure if the yearlong commitment is right for you, then we have a treat for you!
For January, we’re offering a trial month in Sorcerer School! That means you get to enjoy a month full of Sorcerer School goodness and magic without the yearlong commitment. (If, at the end of the month, you’d like to stay on, we’ll let you know how. If not, no worries!) Sign up here for this special offer!
Did you know that #teamMDS has a resident Pleasure Sorceress? If you’ve been reading our blog for a while, you already know – that’s me!
The team bestowed that title on me because of my commitment to learning from pleasure, finding the pleasure in the painful moments, and allowing others to recognize and emphasize how pleasure plays a role in their own growth.
All of this means I’m constantly exploring the edges of my own relationship with pleasure and how I prioritize it on my personal growth journey. (I call this the Pleasured Path.)
We’re used to learning from pain. Life is so full of difficult, painful moments that we immediately try to find the meaning: “There must be a lesson in here. There must be something I can do with this pain.” The pain has to be “worth it.”
There is tremendous power in pleasure, and the potential for growth and healing within it is almost inconceivable.
I know this because I’ve spent the last two or three years exploring the depth, breadth, and potential of choosing the pleasured path through conversations, observing my own experiences, and even looking into scientific research.
It turns out that learning from pleasure is tricky because it’s so outside of what we’re used to.
When something amazing and magical happens to us, we don’t think, “There must be a lesson here. There must be something I can do with this pleasure.” Not only do we not think the pleasure has to be “worth it,” we rarely think it’s worth much of anything at all.
Instead, there are so many ways we ignore or bypass the pleasure. We don’t even stick around long enough to ask what the pleasurable experience taught us because we’ve moved on to gratitude or calm or finding the meaning in the next painful moment.
It’s also uncommon for us to do something simply because it feels good. And this, I realized recently, is where my current edge is.
Even knowing how much value there is in choosing pleasure, even with all the research and anecdotal evidence – I was still afraid of fully trusting pleasure, exploring, and deepening pleasure in my own life.
I was still getting caught up in the old stories I had about pleasure being frivolous, play being pointless, and success being meaningless if it did not come from suffering and sacrifice.
Given how much darkness has surfaced recently all around us, I suppose it was natural for me to reconnect with those stories in such a big way. And yet, moving through all this darkness requires an even stronger commitment to the light. How can we return to the light if we forget or refuse to acknowledge that it’s there?
So now what? What can we do when we see that we’re pushing against a personal edge in our growth and development?
Usually we know we’re at an edge because things start to feel uncomfortable around that particular area of our life. Perhaps it’s earning more money, receiving more love and attention in a relationship, or simply how we experience something in our lives – like me with pleasure.
These are often the areas where we do the most “work” in our personal development, and while they can leave us feeling frustrated (“Didn’t I do this already? Haven’t I been here before?”), there’s usually pure magic on the other side of it. I’ve started to think of it as the calm before the pleasure explosion, because, why not?
I’ve identified three key things I love turning to when I’m pushing against an edge. These three steps keep me feeling empowered along my pleasured path.
- Get to the core of what’s happening – no matter how ugly or painful it might be. In order to grow through any edge, you need to become clear about what’s going on. Why is it an edge? Where is the opportunity to connect more deeply with yourself and your truth? What stories have you wrapped up in this area of your life? For me, freewriting and EFT/Tapping are the most powerful tools to get to the bottom of all of this. Both of these have the ability to provide an easy access point to reveal all the crap festering inside of you. Once you’re clear on what’s going on, you can move on with more confidence and clarity.
- Say yes to any opportunity that gently pushes against that edge. Usually, once you’ve come up against an edge, opportunities that push you even more into it start to pop up naturally. This is happening so that we can choose a new way forward and grow through whatever that edge is. So, if earning more money is the edge, a new opportunity might manifest that causes you to say, “This feels amazing and so fun! But how on earth will this work?!” In my experience, saying yes provides the opening you need to explore the “how.”
- Stay curious and open… and keep choosing pleasure. Everything happens in layers, of course, so it’s not as simple as, “Well, I learned that lesson forever. Go me, I’m done!” I’ve found that if we approach every experience as a learning opportunity and approach things with childlike curiosity rather than judgment, we open ourselves up to a more pleasurable and impactful experience. In that way, we can honor our growth and continue to expand as easily and naturally as possible.
Is there an edge you’ve been coming up against lately? I’d love to hear how you deal with these growth opportunities.
And, if one of your edges has been affected by all the tumult of this year, be sure to check out our upcoming online event, Turning Darkness to Light: Shifting the Pain & Suffering of the World When You’re Only One Person. It’s going to open you up to the magic and power within you in a beautiful, supportive, and pleasurable way. 😉
This week we wanted to share a Sorcerer School worksheet with you about Human Interaction – as a portion of the world heads into the holiday season to spend time with family …it’s common that our “shit” can come up during this time!
Human interaction is never one sided. We’re always coming into every communication we have with others, with our own perspective, awareness, perceptions, and background; and the person/people on the other end are always coming in with theirs.
When a disagreement is had, no matter how conscious we may be, our ego’s tendency to protect against threat (which can be as small as a fear of not being liked) can put up invisible walls and shift both our perceptions and the way we communicate things.
So even when the communication issue at hand feels like it was created or perpetuated by someone else, there is always room for you to soften just a little more; to release yet another (if even very subtle) layer of ego, and to surrender even more into the ultimate oneness waiting in your connection with another (yes, even if you’re feeling a giant disconnect in the moment!).
Below we’re sharing our Sorcerer School journal exercise to help you with this shift.
DOWNLOAD JOURNAL EXERCISE
If you follow me (Jordanna!) on social media, you’ve probably heard by now that I am writing my very first book. (If not, now you know!)
It’s funny how when you have a dream to do something – like write a book – you cannot wait to get there.
Yet it’s so easy to get lost in the details or in the process of completing the journey that we forget to take in each moment of the journey.
As a thank you to you, in gratitude for witnessing every moment I experience, I wanted to share an excerpt from the book with you. Just in time for American Thanksgiving, this excerpt touches on the sensations and experience of duality – one of our favorite topics here at MDS.
Whether you’re getting ready to cook homemade turkey and mashed potatoes or heading into a normal day of work – this will help you lean into your experience with a little more gratitude and love for each step along the way!
Grab your favorite hot beverage (or cold, if it’s warm where you are) and enjoy!
We live in a world where there is extreme joy and extreme pain at our fingertips in practically every moment. The light and the dark intermingle in ways that our minds can’t always fathom.
It wasn’t long before I was confronted with the beliefs of others that bad people existed, and that the pain and fear I could see in the world was simply a “fact of life” that you had to “suck up and deal with.”
But to me, it wasn’t a fact of life, but rather the way life was showing up that I knew all along didn’t have to be that way. And the thought of sucking it up was one I couldn’t bring myself to do — because to ignore my deep knowing meant death inside myself; a death of what moved me, a death of what felt right. So I held strong to my insistence that life was not that mean, and none of us deserved to be labeled as “bad.”
On a certain level I always knew it was not that simple, and that it could be more simple than that.
The biggest aspects of our deep knowing hold both a simplicity within us that is the feeling, and a complexity within it that are the plethora of thoughts that make up the feeling. On one level we know it just is, and on another level we know the vastness of dynamics that must change in order to create that “isness” on our planet today.
And then the planet, as it is and appears today, overtakes what we know and feel, and we are shown a further complexity than we can even fathom.
For me that looked like an appearance that pain is something that comes from an existence of evil in this world. That evil exists and no matter what we do we can’t avoid its pain. For a child who knew better, that only led to confusion that wouldn’t let up, and a confusion that led to a pushing down and away of what she knew to be true, so that she could live within the confines of society.
Feelings of extreme joy always seemed to be followed by extreme sadness and pain – sometimes long after, other times more immediate. In fact, the more I’ve gotten to know this thing, the more the presence of polarities has shown itself within minutes of each other. I can be on the “light” side of the spectrum one moment, and witness or experience the “dark” the next.
The more I’ve been able to experience it all as a feeling, the easier it has become. In the simplicity of the feeling itself, darkness is just an experience, no better or worse than any other. It is something we get to experience in our bodies in visceral sensation.
When it comes down to the core of our experience, if we weren’t able to experience sensation in our body, imagine how blah and boring that would be. If sensation were taken away, it would rip the juice out of the human experience.
And yet we are so fearful of “negative” sensation and darkness. We avoid the pain and seek pleasure.
Even from a young age I was both fascinated and troubled by this.
Duality haunted me. Because I already knew subconsciously that the more of one end of the spectrum of polarity I could experience, the more access to the other end of the experience I had, as well.
This wasn’t something I could describe, but the feeling of the vastness within the pain and the joy haunted me.
Each side felt so big. The pain, when I allowed myself to truly feel it, was as big as the pain of the world. And the joy, when I allowed myself to truly feel it, was also as big as the pain of the world.
Like all humans, I craved the joy. But I feared it, as well. Because I knew intuitively, deep down, that the more I allowed myself to experience it, the closer I got to the pain.
And I would do anything to avoid the pain.
Consciously I thought I could handle it. I was “strong,” and I was courageous. In fact, no one would have disputed my courage. It’s because of my signature courage I’ve made it through to the other side to be writing about the depths of the experience in pain and joy today.
Our natural inclination to run from it all still runs rampant in our society — even amongst the courageous.
Because it’s in our blood. It’s in our instinct. Humans are wired to avoid death — and therefore, we are also wired to avoid pain. That’s why we have fear.
And yet, from the day I could remember, I had a fascination with duality that had me knowing deep down that none of this was bad. My instincts may have been to avoid fear and pain (and boy did they still have their hold on me — numbing with food, holding myself back from some of the adventure I craved from a very young age, not acting on some of the things I yearned to do for no real reason except that I never “got around to it) but that knowing deep inside of me kept peeking in and showing itself.
The more I allowed the knowing beyond the instinct to guide me – the true courage that would pull me deeper into the experience and beyond the traditional realm of expectation and “normal” experience – the more I would get to experience the vastness of the “happy” end of duality, and the expansiveness of possibility in my veins, my heart, and the finite realm of my human experience.
In a way, it was like a drug. I wanted to expand. I wanted to know and experience and BE more. But every time I delved into the more, I found myself accessing and sometimes drowning in the other end of the spectrum — the inevitable darkness of duality.
There are those things that you can feel in your bones, but take years of exploration in the human realm to put your finger on what that thing you can feel actually is. For all of us, those things themselves are our biggest gifts. And because they are our biggest gifts, that’s also where the vastness is — when we delve into the knowing that is ours to access, explore, and use in this life we find a wide open space of everything-ness that will both bring us home, and get us lost if we’re not cautious.
For me, duality was one of those things. The more I went in, the more I got lost in the abyss of darkness. But for some reason I kept going. I knew I had to, even if it hurt.
Until something began to shift…
I did something today that I’ve taken countless tries at, but could never seem to get right. Something I’ve tried in three different countries, with various people, and with plenty of “tips” from experts that simply didn’t seem to work.
I did it for myself. I did it for my business. I did it for the well-being of the world.
I stood up surfing. Finally, I caught a wave and rode it in standing.
As fun as it was to ride that wave, the exhilaration in my body came even more from knowing why I caught that wave.
Often, the need to know “why” only stops us from surrendering, from letting things work their magic.
But today the “why” was where the growth was. I needed to see what had been stopping me from doing something that always felt like it was supposed to be easy, but never was.
So what was my secret to suddenly catching waves?
I slowed the f#@% down.
Truly. That’s all I did. My instructor (who, in my defense, was only the second “real” instructor I’ve ever had try to teach me) pointed out how quickly I was trying to stand up… and how much more time I had than I thought to get up on the wave.
In that moment, everything changed. It became simple. Easy.
But one minute before, it wasn’t easy. I was running on only three hours of sleep and extreme jet lag, on the second day of my moon cycle (a day I would normally devote to internal practices involving plenty of stillness).
One minute before, I had a story made up that today must not be the day and that the circumstances just weren’t right.
And then I caught myself. I stopped and asked myself what I really desired to create. And I mustered up the courage to supersede my exhaustion and move forward, letting mother ocean guide me. I even said to myself out loud, “Okay mama ocean. Let’s do this.”
Before I knew it, I was riding a wave — and realizing that mama ocean had been trying to guide me the entire time. I just hadn’t been willing to slow down for long enough to realize it.
Before that, I wanted to believe I was listening. I could feel the wave rise up beneath me, and would immediately pop up, expecting it to be the right time because I’d felt it.
But our feelings aren’t necessarily meant to be acted upon instantly.
Yes, our feelings are our truth. Yes, they are a perfectly messy and beautiful guidance system to everything we truly desire.
But we forget we have time to go from a state of feeling to a state of action, and so as a society we’ve learned to act instantly.
Scarcity, fear, worry, insecurity, doubt, mistrust… the list goes on.
We have so many reasons we perceive deep down that we must act now.
But what if we never needed to act until we felt ready?
What if every time a feeling came on, we were to allow ourselves time to ride that feeling out until it brings the inspiration we had been thinking we’d found when we jumped at it?
The inspiration we think we’re acting on when we act before it’s time is a false sense of creation.
We become so dependent upon believing our enoughness relies on our perceived accomplishments, that we don’t even stop to ask what the milestone for that accomplishment is.
In the scheme of things, done is not actually done if the desired result isn’t reached. But for our fears, our doubts, our scarcity, our worries, our insecurities, and our mistrust, the result is reached when the thing we think comes next gets checked off of the list.
But checking things off a list never promises results. It’s aligning them with the inspiration, the desires, and the feeling of the moment that does.
Mama ocean taught me today that even when I think I am already doing that, I can always benefit from waiting that extra moment to feel whether it’s the right time to act. She taught me that in that moment I’m waiting, I’m actually creating.
Our creations don’t actually come from the tangible. We create the tangible through connecting to the intangible. That’s the joy of creation — and where the fulfillment comes from.
If I asked you to sit down and create something tangible with an exact prototype in front of you, and all of the physical pieces already in hand, would it ultimately be as fulfilling as creating it from scratch? As going through the journey of inspiration, trial and error, and, ultimately, making something amazing out of what looked like nothing?
For me it wouldn’t. Not one bit.
My joy in creating comes in my increasing relationship to how much of the intangible I can take from my heart, my mind, my soul, and turn into the tangible in the physical reality of my life and the world around me.
For the sake of my creations, for the sake of fulfillment, and for the sake of the world, I’m choosing to pause and listen for that extra moment.
Will you choose the courage to do the same?