A personal reflection: grieving losses, letting go and loving self

Over two years ago, I separated from my beloved husband of five years while we were living in a remote, mountainous region in southern Mexico. Devastated and suddenly left to travel alone in a notoriously dangerous country, I was faced with terrifying choices, all of which I knew would be painful, no matter which choice I made: stay put in Central America and continue what we’d started (building a tiny house on an acre of land), commit suicide, find a rebound relationship so I wouldn’t have to be alone, or return to the U.S. (the country of my birth)…. Although I thought at the time that I had a choice, I really didn’t.

The universe had its own way of making my path clear, and I had the sense enough to follow the path laid out before me, kind of like Dorothy following the yellow brick road.

A few months before my husband left me, I had arranged to facilitate an intensive, month-long workshop at a local healing center for a group of 15 people who were from Mexico; therefore, I would lead the workshop in Spanish. The workshop, “21-Day Personal Yoga Challenge” gave everyone the opportunity to attend 21 days of daily morning meditation followed by a rigorous yoga practice while maintaining a personal journal with reflections and insights and to keep track of personal goals.

At the end of the 21 days, we would climb up to the top of the nearest mountain, where we would participate in an intensive, day-long workshop with live music that concluded with a special ceremony in which we would “let go” of whatever we were ready to let go of.

I was apparently ready to let go of my marriage of five years.

When I turned to friends and asked for advice about what I should do: Should I stay or should I go? … The most commonly suggested solution to my situation was to pack my bags, forget about my unconventional life south of the border and go live with my family back up in the states. I spent many days hiking by myself, crying out to the birds and the trees, asking the universe, “What do you want me to do?”

Thankfully, the right path was clearly revealed by reality, and I “chose” to stay put, to continue what I’d started and to follow through on my offer to facilitate the workshop. Despite being devastated. Despite being all alone for the first time in seven years. Despite having limited resources.

One thing I learned about myself through this experience is that I have tremendous inner strength, willpower and capacity to overcome challenges. I suppose that’s why it was appropriate for me to lead a workshop entitled “21-Day Personal Challenge” … The timing, at least in my own life, couldn’t have been more perfect.

Instead of spending my days crying, moping around, pining for my long-lost partner and generally feeling sorry for myself, I was called to meaningful service and invited to step up to the plate, to access my own strength and assist others in discovering their own inner strength.

I am proud of everyone who participated: All 15 of us, plus myself, courageously completed our 21-day challenge. I fulfilled my role as a facilitator, showing up on time every morning to guide, to share, and to lead … despite all the odds against my success. I think I learned more from everyone else than they learned from me. I can confidently say that all of us let go of something significant that had been holding us back from moving forward meaningfully in our lives. I know I certainly did.

The timing of this blog entry couldn’t be more perfect. As I am faced with a similar set of challenges at this time in my life, now living in a remote area of southern Belize, I must make some difficult decisions. I have access to more resources now than I did when I lived in Mexico, but the loneliness and isolation are still palpable and sometimes debilitating. I long for the companionship of a loving partner.

Even so, I question whether or not a partner is what is best for me at this time. I am building my house. I am writing my novel. I am working and earning my own money. I am taking care of a wonderful dog who relies on me for food, water and companionship. For the most part, I enjoy myself and my alone time immensely. I ask myself and reflect, Why do I think I need a partner?

Aristotle said, “Whosoever is delighted in solitude is either a wild beast or a god.” I would put myself in the category of wild beast. After all, I live in a tropical jungle and awaken every day to the resounding, guttural call of howler monkeys.

When I was feeling most devastated while living alone in Chiapas, Mexico, I consulted with a psychotherapist who became a dear friend and confidant during my year-long residency there. She is a talented painter, humanitarian and overall a delightful, generous woman who is well-loved and respected in the community. Beside the door to her psychotherapy office hangs a picture she painted with the caption, “A woman without a man is like a fish without a bicycle.”

At the time, suddenly abandoned by my partner and feeling the pain of our separation, reading this message on a weekly basis filled me with renewed strength to forge ahead. To know that I am whole. I am complete. I am strong. Maybe I don’t need a man to be okay.

Maybe it’s okay for me to be alone for a while. For a long while. While I finish my novel. While I earn money and support myself. While I build my house. While I have a wonderful dog to take on long walks.

There was a time in the past when I attempted to practice celibacy, but I was too swayed by my raging 30-something-year-old hormones and dismayed by loneliness to persevere in doing so.

Now might be a good time to reconsider the option of being celibate for a while. After all, engaging in sexual relations with people who are not committed partners only seems to complicate my life, lead to hurt feelings, and put myself at risk for diseases that I otherwise wouldn’t be exposing myself to. The benefits of self-imposed celibacy appear to far outweigh the fleeting pleasure of an occasional orgasm culled from a one-night stand or a weekend fling.

Perhaps now might be an appropriate time in my life to experiment with being celibate— and following through on it—instead of experimenting with sex and all its thrills and consequences.

At forty years of age, I may be single, available, attractive and in robust health, but what I want even more than sex is a companion who loves me for who I am and wants to share a life with me. I’m not interested in compromising what I really want. Despite being lonely. Despite all the odds against finding a suitable mate (besides a howler monkey) while living in a remote tropical jungle.

I’m not living in a third world country to enjoy some kind of vacation or to have an easy life. Every day is downright challenging and at times frightening. Every day I’ve got to pull myself up by my bootstraps, grab a machete and go foraging in the jungle for whatever I would like to eat. Yes, I have friends and neighbors who help me, but at the end of the day, I’m alone out here, braving a world that’s foreign to me, unfamiliar and always dangerous. It’s a path I’m consciously choosing because I see no better alternative, at least not right now.

I don’t like to socialize because it usually involves spending money, listening to bad music and tolerating conversations I’d rather not participate in. I prefer the company of like-minded weirdos who are a rare breed in this world. I prefer to fly my freak flag high and deal with the reality of having a few quality friends who can join me in what I most love to do.

I’m not interested in a dull, conventional life. There are plenty of other people living mediocre lives and wishing they could do something more interesting. I think I have the strength and tenacity to try something unprecedented. I think I’ve proven that to myself time and time again. I’ve no doubt that I have the willpower and determination.

I hereby declare to myself that I am practicing one year of celibacy as of the date of this publication. Who knows? We might all be dead by then, anyway…. What better way to go out of this world than blazing my own trail of impassioned determination and conviction?

Besides, disciplining myself to want less from others and to expect more from myself seems like a good idea, to me.

I’m making the declaration of my one-year vow of celibacy publicly in this blog for the same reason that couples get married in a public ceremony: I want witnesses. I know at times it won’t be easy. I can look back at this publication and remind myself. I hereby hold myself accountable, knowing that I’ve failed before.

“A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new.” ―Albert Einstein

Before I was married, during my marriage and during the two years since our separation, I’ve experienced enough sexual pleasure to last a lifetime. Many lifetimes. Like Eve in her garden of bliss, I continue to gather the succulent fruits from what my partners and I have sown together.

And, like Eve with her garden, I’ve been a playful nymph. I’ve tried everything. Believe me. All the positions. They’re overrated. Regardless of where some of my talents lie, I know that much deeper, longer-lasting satisfaction and fulfillment can be derived from other pursuits.

I will do what my spirit calls me to do. I will go where my heart calls me to go. I will live fully, in alignment with my highest potential. Regardless of the naysayers who think I may be incapable of reaching my lofty or otherwise worldly goals. I’ve learned it’s not worth worrying what other people think about me. Worrying about pleasing anyone other than myself has never gotten me anywhere I want to go. Besides, I consider everyone my teacher: this includes the people I am most challenged by.

I’m interested in living unconventionally. These days, it’s more unconventional to not have sex than to have sex, at least in the Americas. I’ve made a deliberate, conscious choice not to be a breeder in this lifetime, thereby placing me in the vast minority as a single woman at age forty. I’ve chosen this path for many reasons, one of which is to have time and freedom to travel, among other things.

When all is said and done, what I want most is to live a life of service—first and foremost, to myself—and what naturally follows is that I can truly be of service to others.

At this time, serving myself means asserting that my private parts are not open for business. They’re private. I don’t really need anyone else’s anatomy rubbing against mine to be okay with who I am. What I really want is loving companionship. My mind and my heart are open to share. Open to explore. Open to love.

I hereby declare to the universe my intention to love myself. To be happy. To smile every day. To dance. To sing. To live my life fully every day. And so it is. Thank you.

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For business success, be a shining example of your mission and vision

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In this Life Reading, a client asked the following questions: 

I was in an abusive marriage and left my marital home. A few years later I got divorced. My eldest son, who is now an adult, still holds this against me. His anger at me is now causing problems in his own marriage. He and his wife are currently separated.

Is there any chance of them getting back together? I started a travel company a few years ago organizing tours to India, but it is not going well. I feel blocked at every attempt I make to progress. There is always something that comes up to block my success.

Could you give me some guidance, please? I am not employed and have no other source of income, so my life has been very stressful. I do have a very good man in my life; however, I don’t like being a burden to him, and right now, we survive on his income only. It has been difficult!

Parama received the following information for this Life Reading:

  • a large desk
  • sunlight streaming into your room
  • computer equipment
  • a red wall hanging
  • a vacation with your son
  • reorganizing your office space and getting rid of clutter
  • candlelight and fire, especially within a ceremonial context

The block you have been experiencing in your business venture is related to unresolved shame and guilt that is leftover from your previous abusive relationship. You would benefit from taking more time to meditate – Is there a tiger skin rug or some kind of special rug you can spread on the floor for your meditation time?

By meditating more regularly, you will be able to connect with what this “shame” and “guilt” means to you. Be honest with yourself: reflect on how guilt and shame are still operating in your life today, especially in the context of your business. Have you been denying yourself something out of a sense of guilt? Do you feel that you are undeserving? In your meditation, pray and ask for help to clear the energy of guilt and shame from your life.

Give yourself time to feel into where these emotions may be coming from, and recognize the origin. Realize that you do not have to hold onto these negative energies, and you don’t have to be limited by them. Identify the mission and vision of your business. Then, ask yourself, “Am I a living example of the mission and vision of my business?” In other words, are you living your life in a way that would inspire your would-be customers to seek out your services? If not, then enlist the help of a trusted friend to identify ways that you can start to exemplify your company’s mission and vision. This is important for the success of your business.

It seems that you have been feeling a lack of inspiration in your life in general, and dwelling too much on the past, on what could-have-been, or should-have-been. This is blocking your creativity. Use your meditation to work on releasing this blockage, pray and ask for assistance, and affirm that you are free from guilt and shame.

Affirm that you are a living, breathing example of inspiration for your customers! Is there some kind of creative art that you have been reluctant to do, for some reason? Let this creative expression find its way into your business. Feel the inspiration of your own creativity as it enhances and ignites sparks of life and light into your business activity.

You would benefit from a larger workspace – a desk – for spreading out brochures and organizing papers that seem to have become disorganized. You might consider reorganizing your office space and clearing away unnecessary clutter. Toss old papers that you have no use for anymore. It is important for you to keep your private/personal life separate from your work life as much as possible. This means that you should organize and store work-related papers, files, and materials in a separate room from your personal things. This will help you stay focused, keep your mental thoughts clear, and maintain organization.

Keeping your work life separate from your personal life will also help your current relationship: When you are with your partner at home, try not to discuss your business activities. Stay focused on the everyday, ordinary, enjoyable aspects of life at home with your loving partner. Appreciate the “little things” about the life that you share.

Consider entering into a business partnership with a trusted friend who can help you boost your web marketing. A business partner will take pressure off your romantic partner, because you will have someone else to talk to and strategize about your business.

Take your business to the next level with an upgrade in computer equipment. You and your friend will be able to do this together, but alone, you seem to be lacking certain needed skills in the area of online marketing and promotion of your services.

Eat more fresh fruits. You will benefit from letting more sunlight into your home and exposing your skin to sunlight more often. This will energize you and spark your creativity.

Have you been yearning to take a trip somewhere? Invite your son to accompany you on this special trip. Take the time off from work and other obligations to go on this trip, and be sure to spend quality time alone with your son. It seems that he is dealing with unresolved anger towards you because he has not been able to express it to you or anyone else constructively. Be prepared to engage your son in somewhat emotionally trying dialogues about your past and how your decisions affected him when he was young.

Give him all the time he needs to be honest with you, even if his words are painful for you to hear. Be open and honest with him about your own process – Have you had the opportunity to talk with your son about how the abuse affected you when you were married to your previous partner? Take time to explain to your son how you took his safety and wellness into consideration when you decided to divorce your ex-husband.

Be patient with your son; it may take some time for him to forgive you. Do not pressure him with your own expectations or desires for his life. You must be honest with him about how you feel, but he must make his own decisions.

There is a bold, red-colored wall hanging or decoration that you could gift to your son. Ask him to place it somewhere in his home – on the wall or on a table – where he will see it daily. The color red will help him externalize and express his anger appropriately and constructively.

Consider the benefits of candlelight and fire in your life, especially within a ceremonial context. Look to your community for how and where to do this.

-End of reading-

I wish you the best on your life’s journey. Thank you for writing. —Parama

Why we suffer and how to stop it

Photo credit: ascensionearth2012.org

Photo credit: ascensionearth2012.org

Earth is a well loved place. Ascended beings send beams of light from all directions onto the planet to create a shield of protection and a constant source of loving, healing energy.

It is well known that Earth is a difficult place to be. Humans have chosen to come here to “experience themselves”, to individuate, and in so doing, to forget their inherent oneness with all of creation. Under the illusion of separation, humans are subjected to lifetimes of suffering, until finally they once again realize their oneness with all of creation.

It is no small feat to have incarnated as a human on Earth. To be human is a post that is highly respected by beings of light and coveted by beings of darkness who would seek to enjoy the worldly pleasures that only humans can experience.

The ascended beings respect and love us because they recognize our suffering. They see how we are trapped in a world of duality and must struggle through lifetimes of incarnations before we can enter the heavenly realms. They know that although we once made the choice to come here, we are now lost in amnesia. This is why they have such deep love, respect and compassion for us.

The beings of light know that humans are limited by their own forgetfulness and are forced to enjoy only what worldly pleasures can bring. Yet the ascended masters know that there is so much more to be experienced and that material enjoyment is but a drop in the eternal sea of endless bliss that is all of creation.

We truly are made in the image of God. In other words, we have the potential for perfection: perfect love, perfect knowledge, perfect bodies, a perfect world. Yet in our state of drunken stupor with temporary material pleasures, we are forced to experience all manner of suffering, so long as we keep choosing to lord it over this material world. We suffer because we seek to enjoy only for ourselves. We forget about others – all the other beings who are also made in the image of God. We are forced to see all those other people as a reflection of how we see ourselves, which is a projection based on what we have done, what we have said, and what we have thought about up till now.

And so we go on planting the seeds for how we perceive ourselves, how we perceive others, and how we perceive the world around us by our very actions, words and thoughts. As humans, we can choose to plant seeds of our own suffering, or we can choose to plant seeds of our own happiness.

That we have access to such a myriad of choices and a range of dualistic experiences commands great respect and deep compassion from beings of light who watch over us. They are a constant loving presence to bear witness to our activities.

To awaken is to remember and reconnect with our inherent potential for divine perfection. To awaken is to remember that we did not come here for selfish enjoyment: We are here to help each other stop suffering.

Imagine a world where each person’s only concern is to make the other person happy, where everyone goes out of their way to provide for the needs of the people around them. Wouldn’t that be something we could call paradise? Heaven: a place where only God would live. Precisely.

To awaken is to realize oneself to be such a perfect reflection of God that there is no difference between oneself and God. In a perfect world, how could there be any separation of perfect oneness into parts of a whole?