Monday, 28 August 2017

Spiritual Perspective on Modern Female Singlehood

There is nothing more irritating than being preached at by ‘experts’ who have it all good in their own lives. So, I will talk from direct experience: Having survived singlehood in a country that judges and fears female singlehood so much that the social exclusion, prejudice and stigma become a much bigger problem than the actual singlehood itself, I have grown to see the dangers, but also the rewards of being without a relationship for long periods of time. My perspective is entirely spiritual, as I have found that this is the only approach that works, but also perhaps one of the strongest reasons behind singlehood.

This does not mean the God wants women to suffer through aloneness, nor that partnered women are missing out on the spiritual path. It depends on how well one has mastered singlehood in previous lives. It depends on one’s spiritual karma: Just as we carry karma in our human relationships, we carry karma with our relationship with Father God and Mother Goddess. If we neglected or betrayed this relationship before, it may take an extra amount of commitment in this life to set it right. And very often, the spiritual path requires a great amount of introspection, autonomy and devotion that are not compatible with a close partnership. Sometimes it requires the testing of complete dependence on Spirit, especially when single women often have to deal with many practical issues around survival as well.

Although modern female singlehood encompasses enormous potential for spiritual growth, this is a subject that brings misery to hundreds of millions of women around the world, especially in cultures where conditions for single women are far harder than in open-minded Northern European, Northern American societies. This is also a much neglected topic: there is a surprisingly small amount of books written on the subject and the media hardly bother. Once again, women’s needs are put last.

It’s important to realize the pressure under which so many women are finding themselves. Not just in traditional societies like mine, where a woman’s sole reason of existence is often considered to be marriage and motherhood, but in modern age obsessions about finding/attracting a soulmate, often through misleading manifestation techniques, which miss the whole point. Unless we understand the spiritual reason behind singlehood, what our soul is trying to achieve, we are wasting a massive opportunity for self growth and spiritual development. In fact, the entire planet does, as humanity so badly needs whole, strong women who bring with them some of the energy of the Mother Goddess wherever they go.

Singlehood is the Mother Goddess’s calling for introspection and healing work. This is partly the reason non-evolved women fear the female spiritual worker, especially if the latter is unattached: It is not just fear of stealing their partner (however unfounded it is), it is not just the fear of singlehood being ‘infectious’. It is also the fear of the memory of the Mother Goddess, whom all humans, in different ways and times, have betrayed and abandoned. The more of us dare the independence path, the spiritual growth path, the healing path, the more we find companions we can relate to as equals.

In societies where women are kept stuck in powerlessness, it is interesting to see how single, independent women get excluded, exacerbating an already present fear of loneliness, creating more urgency about getting and keeping a partner. The more disempowered women are, the more spiritually unaware they are, they more likely they are to let the opportunities of singlehood go unrecognized and instead, try to ‘get’ a partner at whatever cost (f.e. an abusive man). What a waste! If only these women were educated, encouraged and helped by other women, they wouldn’t be so afraid of aloneness. There is a real lack of mutual bonding and support here, that even the New Age teachings -being too obsessed with ‘attracting the soulmate’- have often failed to address. If we are to help bring more of the Mother Goddess energy to Earth though, it is imperative that we connect and support other women- including the single ones.

It is very interesting to see how women’s attitudes to partnership have changed during the economic crisis here in Greece. Over the past decade, the number of available men has significantly reduced, as many have died due to the crisis, hundreds of thousands have migrated and a significant part of the male population has been married to foreign women. The number of available men is therefore widely imbalanced and women seem to go into two different directions: Those who react with panic and do anything and everything to find a partner to meet their needs (including survival needs). And those who bravely keep their dignity, accept what is meant to be and trust Spirit entirely to help them survive and create a meaningful and fulfilling life. The former, if they succeed, become recognized, acceptable members of society.

If they don’t succeed, they struggle on the borderline between overcoming the loss and resigning to bitterness, cynicism and depression. I see many women struggling like that. The latter, open the way, open the path, a very important one, but a very difficult one. In some societies, single women are completely alienated, seen almost as the enemy. In some others, they are far more accepted. It is important for all women to understand that as life becomes more and more changeable, almost everywhere on Earth, they too may be called to tread this path: to prepare for it, not to fear it and to remember that they too will be treated as they treat other single women now…

If you find yourself in long term singlehood, it is very important to interpret it wisely. It is not a punishment. It is not a failure. It is not a threat. In many cultures, where there is intense competition over finding a husband, singlehood is often seen as the woman’s (of her family’s) failure to ‘get’ one. Maybe she was too demanding. Maybe she was too fussy. Maybe she was just not clever enough or quick enough or didn’t say the right words (some of the ‘how to get a partner’ handbooks around are shockingly blatant about teaching psychological manipulation techniques). You don’t need that. There is a higher spiritual reason for everything, including this. Try to find what it is trying to teach you or develop in you.

Try to avoid all kinds of comparisons with other women. Each and everyone’s path is different and a time of solitary reflection and introspection is necessary for all. Maybe you have chosen yours sooner than others. See what you can do with it. If motherhood is also a loss, don’t forget that there are millions of abandoned children in the world today, who long to be mothered. It is the energy of motherly nurturing that we crave, but it got distorted into yet another obsession about perpetrating our own genes at whatever cost. It need not be. Motherly energy is desperately needed in our world and maybe this is partly the reason why so many women are liberated from marriage commitments.

Remember also that the main challenges of our times are of spiritual nature and with spiritual awareness should they be seen: as energies degenerate more and more, relationships, become an arena of some of the greatest pain and staleness. So, again, don’t compare. Accept that maybe, for now, you are exactly as you should be. Socialize, do what you can to meet a partner if you want one, but don’t get stressed or mad about it. Don’t obsess on it. Don’t buy into the media brainwashing that without sex you will somehow become handicapped. Don’t even believe those therapy gurus who tell you that not manifesting a partner means that you are not really ready for one. No. There may simply be other things for you to do.

The energies of sex addiction and codependency are so widespread that they now correspond to more than sheer thoughtforms. Put the highest psychic protection around yourself and avoid being dragged down by other people’s fears and criticisms. In fact, try to avoid all negative talk about the lack of suitable partners and the like. Such talk links you to the collective womanhood’s fear of lack coming down from countless generations. It will take time and effort for this mass thoughtform to shift, so for now, avoid linking to it, as well as several other energies attached to it. Support scared women whenever you can, but avoid getting dragged into the lack-fear-pity scenario.

Devote yourself to your spiritual practice as much as you can: it is the best means to get you stronger and happier. Our relationship to Spirit is in some ways analogous to our relationship to a beloved person: the more time and attention and dedication we give, the more the relationship grows. Spirit’s Love is always unconditional of course, but our conscious relationship grows. Spiritual practice relieves the aching existential question: ‘Who am I? What have I come here to do?’ For centuries, we have been taught that we are here to walk by the side of a man and to fulfill our duty by giving birth and raising children. For those of us who have chosen not to follow the easy path of a compromising marriage, we have to answer the relentless existential question ‘why am I here’ amidst the hostility of a culture that sees no place for single women… Only the spiritual life can effectively answer this.

A lack of partnership allows plenty of free time, so, again, use this time for spiritual development. It is the best investment in you, an investment that is long lasting, effective, well beyond the boundaries of short-lived relationships, well beyond this life actually. Whenever you can, use this time to develop like-minded, loyal friendships. A large network of friends can partly overcome the need for that one perfect partner, while making the risk of a detrimental abandonment smaller. However, in cultures where single women are socially excluded, finding such friendships becomes very tricky indeed, resulting in double isolation. I have found that the best way to deal with double isolation is a double commitment to Spirit.

Once again, Spirit is the source of support, stability, inspiration, strength and comfort. Also, take the social exclusion as a compliment. Remember that pioneering individuals were never ‘mainstream’ or popular. See yourself as a pioneering woman, who refuses to settle down for less and allows more time and space in her life to do the work of the Mother Goddess- which is far beyond the ‘being a good wife and mother’ confining stereotype.

I understand this is not always easy. In my culture, single women have traditionally been seen as a misfortune of nature to be pitied, a menacing threat to be feared, an anomaly of ‘female rebelliousness’ (to be punished through exclusion), a convenient help to other ‘proper’ families (to be used). A strong, intelligent, successful, capable, independent, beautiful AND content single woman is a very threatening concept for many men also. They may try to woo her (even if they are attached, assuming that she would be desperate for anyone), but they get angry if she is not interested: What would happen if women stopped needing men, not just financially, but emotionally and spiritually too?

What would happen if relationships were about mutual co-creation rather than compulsion driven by fear? Such attitudes, although no longer vocal, are still subtly persistent and hard to wipe out. I have heard the stories of so many women, who, when they suddenly found themselves single, were immediately and totally cut out from all former female ‘friends’. Exactly when in greatest need of support and comfort, these women (and I have been one of them at some point) were completely rejected. The way men have treated us dims compared to the way we have sometimes treated each other- and this has to change.

The societal condemnation of female singlehood not only puts huge pressure to stay in abusive relationships, but also has deeply conservative repercussions in people’s attitudes and behaviors. It makes women go ruthless over acquiring a man, even to the point of using very unethical (and karmic) energy manipulations to get him. It would be a shock, if we were to discover the extent of the use of black magic for example, especially by women, in order to capture the targeted man (and possibly also ‘annihilate’ any female competitors).

Lack of available men, millennia of disempowerment, separation from the Light and the Mother Goddess, fear about survival, cruelty from other women, lack of opportunities for self growth and a whole hidden culture that goes quietly down from mother to daughter, means that in many places of the world, such dark work is still being practiced, including by those modern-minded ones, who declare they don’t believe in such silly things (yet try it nevertheless just in case… ). In some places, it is so widespread, almost a second hidden tradition of ‘marriage’ customs. Such work is disastrous for users and those affected, as well as entire families. The woman, apart from marrying the man of her dreams, also marries the negative entities that did the work for her, and the massive disempowerment that this separation from the Light entails. It is indeed a vicious circle affecting millions of women for lifetimes to come. Women have to be helped to stop it.

Even nowadays, in my country, getting a daughter married is called ‘rehabilitation’ (!), so single women who have not been ‘rehabilitated’ are a grave cause of concern for their parents and families. There is another expression still used for the slightly older single woman: “She is left on the shelf” -like a commodity that no one cared to buy… I find it amazing that such abusive language is still used in the so-called Western world in the 21st century, but it shows the amount of female disempowerment still present. It shows how the so-called feminist movement failed to instill true inner power in women.

True inner power can only come through Spirit and in this case, the Mother Goddess (or any deity you envision as the Feminine expression of Light). It is a spiritual feminism that we need, if we are ever going to get away from the vicious cycle of objectification- disempowerment-competition- further objectification. Financial and professional empowerment is important, but not enough. I have seen some highly achieved female professionals behaving as weak, codependent, jealous teenagers around male partners not even half their worth. It is only through the Goddess energy that we can truly reclaim our true place on Earth and have our hearts filled with contentment at last.

Some practical points to give attention to, during times of singlehood, include first and foremost, taking care of the body. The fact that there is no partner to honor it does not mean that you neglect it. Femininity and beauty are energy emanations, not just appearances. They affect, not just the perfect man (who may or may not have the eyes to see it), but everyone, including nature. It is a gift to the world, and one that we better take good care of.

Volunteer for people in need- the group of your choice- and this will help your nurturing energy flow outwards. Choose the kind of activity that you feel joyful doing and it will automatically nurture you too. I remember many years ago, during a period of my life when I was young, immature and painfully single (as I kept comparing myself to others), an incident as a volunteer at a children’s hospital changed my views. Having done creative art with terminally ill children, I was so fulfilled with the experience that upon exiting the hospital, I literally felt like flying. Despite the challenge of the situation I was working on, giving this kind of nurturing really felt meaningful and worthwhile.

On my way out, very much still touched and transformed by the experience, a roofless limo drove by. A handsome young man on the driver’s seat and an attractive young woman next to him were arguing so loud and ugly, that their screams covered all street noise, a cacophony disturbing the beautiful space of caring we had built with the children and the Mother. Brainwashed by my culture to see well-off partnered women as queens and single women as pitiful, the labels instantly swapped. In that moment, I literally felt being the queen- and the limo woman was the one to be pitied. It was an eye-opening experience.

Engage in as many meaningful activities as you can. It may be hard work, but worthwhile in the end. You may have to try again and again, but in the end, you will keep the contacts and occupations that are fulfilling for you. Don’t take what you do for granted-appreciate it! Prejudiced people may even attempt to discount your efforts, as ‘a second-best attempt to fill your time having failed at the most important task -marriage’ (oh yes, we have heard that too). Don’t buy into it. Your contribution is valuable and there is a reason why you are where you are, doing what you do. The singular path of the Goddess is not a second-best! It is a unique stage of spiritual development, filled with its own riches and meanings, necessary for the evolution of our collective womanhood, of our humanity, of our planet. Priestesses of the ancient years were single too and it was a title of honor. Today, there are the modern priestesses too.

Let us not forget that female spiritual Masters also had long periods of aloneness. In this day and age, when romantic relationships and sex are almost deified, it is important to put things in perspective. Not necessarily go the other end, of repressed seclusion, but put things in perspective. Rather than an almost religious dependency upon a man, choose spiritual dependency upon Father-Mother God, our One and Only source. It is a time for true female empowerment, which, in its essence, is a necessary part to our spiritual progress.

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Sunday, 27 August 2017

7 Tips for a Successful Psychic Reading

A Psychic Reading is an open channel of energies between yourself and your psychic. Consequently, your attitude and approach to the reading is as important as the psychic reader’s intention.

1. Have a list of questions ready for your psychic reading. You can ask questions about all areas of your life. It helps to write them down so you don’t forget them during your reading. If there are some general areas you want to focus on, like relationship, career, health etc, make sure you let the psychic know.

2. Try not to ask Yes/No questions. These questions tend to limit the flow of the psychic reading in the same way they would limit the flow of any conversation. Make your questions specific but open-ended. This will encourage the psychic to give you more quality psychic guidance.

3. Ask the psychic how they connect with their psychic ability. Are they a clairvoyant ie. do they see images? Do they see past lives? Are they a medium with a channel to those who have passed. This will help you appreciate the way the psychic information flows and is being expressed.

4. Don’t try to test the psychic by withholding information as this is the best way to create the worst atmosphere in a psychic reading. Were you relaxed when you did exams? Perhaps being under pressure may have helped you work out exam problems more quickly, but in a psychic reading, it just makes the experience unnecessarily difficult and stressful for the psychic.

5. Be open to a different way of thinking about yourself and your problems. It is likely your psychic will be able to help you to create a totally different and empowering perspective about your problems and life. Don’t come to a psychic reading thinking you have it all figured out. Be open to change.

6. Validate your psychic. If the psychic is saying things that make a lot of sense to you, make sure you tell them. This helps the psychic continue down the right track. If you don’t understand something don’t be afraid to ask.

7. Enjoy your reading. A psychic reading is time to focus on YOU. Look at it as a kind of psychic healing session, helping you to let go of the old hurts and embrace new plans for the future.

When you follow these tips you will have a positive experience, bringing insight and knowledge to help you on your life journey.


Sunday, 20 August 2017

Grace, the Gift of the Right Relationship With God

ONE of the profoundest word-gifts I’ve ever been given was when I was told to ‘enjoy the gift God has given you’.[1] Astoundingly simple, unfathomably deep. The gift.

As Christians, we do not make as much of the concept of grace as truly we should. That is because we cannot wrap our heads and hearts around it. There is too much theology to contain it. Grace is too much to contemplate. The gift is too gargantuan to comprehend. Grace is a gift that gives a spiritual reality of overwhelming eternal abundance.

But indeed, we’re blessed by studies like the one in present focus – that God’s positive work of redeeming humankind has not an iota of recrimination about it. Although we should rightly be condemned, and without Christ we were, our justification at the hand of Christ has now no longer anything to do with our criminality.

We are bequeathed the right relationship with our God, just as if God looks at us and sees Jesus – no spot nor wrinkle of sin, though we’re still spotted and wrinkled; no condemnation, though we know we still deserve it. How irrevocably good is this gift?

For the matter of putting Christ at the head of our lives, to live according to the faith of trust in Jesus, the right relationship with God is the decreed consequence. This is the good news. Not that we’re given easy lives nor are we promised joy at every turn, but, much more meaningful, that we’re ascribed worth as sons and daughters of God.


Thoughts on Saucha

“When many little people, in many little places, do many little things, then the whole world changes-but sometimes, not fast enough for me.” ~ Micheal Franti, Gloria

Recently I had two articles published at elephant on the exact same day, just a few hours apart. One was a simple green smoothie recipe and the other was a reflection on the documentary 5 Broken Cameras that included a short video that highlights how the film is currently being used as a catalyst in creating a movement toward peace and understanding between Palestinians and Israelis.

The first article was simply put together by relaying to the world-my daily breakfast. However, the second article, although not very lengthy, contained carefully chosen words, came from my heart and dealt with subject matter that in my opinion is deserving of our time, attention and above all else-our compassion.

Much to my dismay within the first 24 hours of publication there were several hundred of hits on the green smoothie recipe, yet the article about an experimental pathway towards peace did not even reach 75.

Since I was a child it has been my nature to transmute any feelings of dissatisfaction into something positive, usually via humor as a starting place. So I sent a simple text to my friend explaining my confusion in understanding why the green smoothing article seemed to resonate with people more so than the other article, which I personally viewed as more enlightening. Then, with a grin, I shot off another text joking that “Well, maybe people will be moved to higher states of consciousness after consuming green smoothies, and then they will be more interested in topics dealing with creating a more evolved and enlightened society.”

After sending that text, I realized my comment was much more than simple humor-it was the truth.

Because it is through purifying the body that we can alter our state of mind. When we cleanse our bodies we are allowing for the creation of an optimal foundation that enables us to embark on the spiritual work that leads us down the path of working towards peace between all people and honoring the oneness that unites all of us.

In the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, this niyama, or observance, is referred to as saucha-cleanliness and purity at both the physical and also of the mind. When practicing saucha we aim to keep our bodies clean, maintain good hygiene and are mindful of the quality of food that we are consuming. We also keep our surrounding environment in check. We keep our car clean, our office clean and our home clean.

Once we have made saucha part of our daily life on the physical level we can also be mindful of observing saucha at the level of the mind. To do this we work to free ourselves disturbing emotions that can create disharmony. In addition, we avoid manipulation, hidden agendas and deceit in our relationships. Instead, we live dedicated to selfless service, generosity, compassion and empathy.

The world religions and spiritual paths all speak of the importance of the purification of the body that must take place prior to the greater work that involves the mind and higher levels of consciousness. This process of purification that serves to ritualistically prepare the seeker, is deeply symbolic and shows reverence for that which is sacred.

As we deepen our understanding and observance of saucha, we can be inspired to work toward a more pure body, pure mind and pure heart. With that, we can see the divine in all and honor the interconnectedness of all of humanity.

So let’s drink our green smoothies-the world is waiting for us to make a difference!


Thursday, 3 August 2017

I Am Afraid to Ask, Does Evil Exist?

Emerging from meditation today, I am engulfed with thoughts regarding false God’s. As I begin to write this article I know that I am about to embark on an area that to some of you will be controversial, yet I am compelled to explore where this writing will lead.

I was brought up in the Catholic Christian Religion and chose to raise my children in the same, but I did so with a twist. You see, as a young child I became a seeker and was never satisfied with what I was taught in the Catholic schools or during the homily at Mass. I have attended a wide variety of Christian religious ceremonies and have studied their various doctrines. The one doctrine which had me in bondage for many a year was the concept of False God’s and/or the existence of evil. The inner turmoil that I allowed this bondage to cause me was at times intense and extremely damaging.

As in most of my personal stories it was a battle between fear and love. I am going to attempt to walk you through my evolution to my current internal (eternal) place of peace. It would be impossible to include every grain of sand which has contributed to the return to my original oneness or knowingness of the peace of my creator. This is merely an attempt to demonstrate how far away from knowing the face of God fear had taken me.

My first exposure to meditation was my sophomore year at a Catholic High School. I was taking modern dance and the instructor guided us through meditation and centering techniques at the end of each class. I began to practice this in bed at night before I went to sleep. I loved it and wanted to know more. So I began my quest to seek out more information. I was warned by my community that I needed to stay within the confines of my religion if I was going to pursue meditation techniques.

These inquiries lead me to a book which I believe was titled “Christian Meditation”. The inner peace and gentle relaxation that I had experienced during my dance classes was quickly destroyed by how I interpreted that book. The book had diagrams and warnings about passing through and possibly getting stuck in a void where evil lurked. As I remember it, it was like an evil zone on my way to my center and if I wasn’t trained properly or if the meditation was not done correctly I could be lost. (This was my 15 year old mind’s interpretation). Well, you can see how that could stop any notion of letting go. I soon found it impossible to allow myself to relax into the meditation process. The great fear of the unknown had invaded that peaceful place and it was years before I was able to find it again.

Over the years I had an insatiable desire to find the truth about God. What religion was right, what was the right way to pray, what was the true doctrine, who had interrupted the bible correctly and finally could it be that other beliefs outside of the Christian faith had it right? These were all great questions which were leading me to my current knowing, but there was one question that stopped me in my tracks and seemed to derail my growth. That was the question, does evil reside in us?

This detour took me down a path of darkness and fear. I spent many years exploring what is evil, is it a false god, is it a power or energy and can it posses me? The best and most damaging of all, was the fear of how I could protect myself from being attacked possessed and owned by evil? Sorry kids, those were a few crazy years that had me breaking CDs, throwing away toys, monitoring music, TV and movies. It truly caused a bit of insanity on my part. You see I had believed that seed which was planted back in my sophomore year. “Evil was inside my inner sanctuary and it was to be avoided or you may get stuck there.” I am so very grateful that I am a seeker, because I have been able to find my way back to the main highway of light and love.

It is my current knowing and understanding that all evil and false gods live in the outer experience. Evil resides in the illusion that we are not one with God. The outer is a place where we humans have made up a grandiose story to explain all which we have no tangible answer for. Just as darkness is the void of light, fear is the void of love. I have come to know that my God, my peace, my love comes from within me. There IS a void (sanctuary) within my meditative state; this pristine void is where my source to love resides. Love diminishes all thoughts of fear and fear (evil) cannot exist where love resides.

Today my definition of a false god is: An imaginary creation to explain the unexplained, a diversion from the knowing of love, a separation from my source. Fear

Today my definition of evil is: The resistance to enter into the pristine inner sanctuary of love where my knowing, my source, my perfection exists in Love. Fear

My deepest thank you to my youngest son Gabriel, you were born with my same compulsion to explore. During your High School years, your quests to find your truth lead you down the path of Buddhism. Though you may not practice it now, please know that you were my teacher and my guide back to the practice of meditation.

I can already hear the shouts of injustice. Before everyone gets their undergarments in a knot, let me say. Yes I do know, see, hear and experience the so called evils of this world. Yes there are and have been world leaders who have projected great pain and suffering on to countless beings. I know of incest, child pornography, rape and murder. In my current knowing I see all of the persons who perpetrate these actions as grossly separated from their source.

Fear has engulfed them and their actions. I do not see it as evil prevails. I know it to be an illusion of separation, which at times is pretty graphic. When all of this world is said and done, and we return to the oneness and love of God, the illusion of evil will disappear. Until such time I will travel to the place within my center, I will go to my sanctuary to be reminded of who you and I truly are. We are perfection, we are complete, we are magnificence and we are Love.

I don’t only believe, I know that there is an omni-potent, omni-present, omni-knowing energy that I refer to as God. I have come to know that there is nothing that can amplify or detract from God. God is! So my knowing tells me that it can not be compared to anything not even an opposite. To do so would to deny God’s perfection. Nothing compares! When you try and take away God’s perfection you allow fear to enter. Nothing I or anyone can say or do can change the perfection of God. Not even a scary thing called evil.