How To Avoid Spiritual Bypassing

How To Avoid Spiritual Bypassing

I sometimes shy away from using the term Spiritual, because there are so many practices that fall under that moniker which are really spiritual bypass.

Spiritual Bypassing - although it is an unfamiliar concept to some, is incredibly common. It could be considered a shadow side of a lot of spiritual practice.

In essence, it is present whenever we use spirituality to disconnect from - or bypass - things that are challenging, difficult to look at, painful, or that we are ashamed of.

It is in action when our spirituality enables us to disconnect from or gloss over what really matters. And it seems to happen in most spiritual traditions. Many Christians bypass their sexuality, many Buddhists their anger (yes, these are generalizations), and so on.

But why does it matter?

Polyamory, Conscious Monogamy & Knowing Your Heart's Needs

Polyamory, Conscious Monogamy & Knowing Your Heart's Needs

I have a lot to thank Polyamory for.

Let me be clear from the beginning though: I don't actually practice polyamory. However, my one brief foray into it's landscape was the catalyst for a period of deep soul searching that completely changed my life, in more areas than just intimate relationship.

Many years ago, I had been in a relationship with a woman for several months when they made it clear they were not comfortable with the relationship being exclusive. 

The list of things I felt when I found this out was long and intense: Confused, devastated, overwhelmed...

The Art Of Letting Go: Three Ways To Tell When A Relationship Is Over

The Art Of Letting Go: Three Ways To Tell When A Relationship Is Over

How do you know when a relationship has come to the point where the only healthy way forward, is letting go?

In my experience, most people have an incredibly difficult time navigating this question when it counts - and for good reason. Many of us bring to our relationships a rich tapestry of past wounds, needs and relational patterns that can either compel us to stay in the wrong relationships for the wrong reasons - or to jump ship the moment things get into emotional terrain we are uncomfortable with and don't know how to navigate. 

As I have written in the past, I don't personally see the end of a relationship as a failure. I actually feel quite strongly that, when it is in alignment and approached consciously, the end of a relationship can and should be extremely beautiful - it is actually one of the most important, sacred parts of a relationship.

YOUR ONLINE DATING PROFILE IS A SACRED DOCUMENT: How and Why To Write Your Soul Into Your Dating Profile

YOUR ONLINE DATING PROFILE IS A SACRED DOCUMENT: How and Why To Write Your Soul Into Your Dating Profile

Online dating profiles don't get much love. 

As a writer, facilitator, and someone with an appetite for depth, love and authenticity, however, I see the online dating profile as a sacred document. It is an opportunity for us to crystallize who we are, what our heart longs for more than anything in this life, and where we are at in our development as a human learning to relate to our own needs and vulnerability. It allows us to define our current place in the extraordinary dance of love, intimacy, sexuality and relationship. All of this, of course, in the service of drawing in a profound connection.

I mean, from both a writing perspective and a soul development perspective, this is very juicy territory.

Online Dating As A Sacred Practice: How And Why To Use Online Dating As A Tool For Your Soul's Growth

Online Dating As A Sacred Practice: How And Why To Use Online Dating As A Tool For Your Soul's Growth

I LOVE ONLINE DATING.

Not for the reasons you might think, though. I don't love online dating because it's an easy way to get laid. I love online dating because it's an extraordinary tool for exploring love, vulnerability, authenticity, desire and fear. In other words: it is overflowing with potential for us to challenge ourselves and grow. 

And yet, almost everyone I speak to about online dating has a level of cynicism about it. It's often seen as a kind of compromise - part of the sad reality of our modern life.

Recently an acquaintance was bemoaning her online dating experiences, complaining about how hard it is for her (a conscious, independent, self aware and highly sensitive woman) to find a true match. "There's just really not many people out there - and it's so hard to find them" she told me.

I couldn't disagree more.

Forgiveness Redefined: Letting Go By Finding True Accountability

Forgiveness Redefined: Letting Go By Finding True Accountability

In my early twenties, I got into the most serious romantic relationship of my life up to that point. It was the first time I had deeply fallen in love with a woman. Looking back on it now, it was a borderline religious experience, having my heart opened to the profound magic of intimacy. It was as if a certain sense had been missing throughout my life up until that point - and suddenly I uncovered it and discovered that it was possible to experience it on earth, with another person.

I came into that relationship a very wounded person, with a tremendous amount of baggage I had no idea how to navigate or even acknowledge. The relationship ended tumultuously, due to both of our inability to understand, process or communicate our feelings.

Conscious Relationship: Outgrowing The Idea Of 'Forever'

Conscious Relationship: Outgrowing The Idea Of 'Forever'

There is an outdated, archaic way of approaching intimate relationships that goes something like this: Two people meet, fall in love, and dedicate themselves to one another for the rest of their lives. They have found, in one another, the one. It may not be all smooth sailing, and certain parts of themselves will quite likely, over the years, slip into dormancy - parts that are not seen, validated or actualized within their partnership. But at the end of the day, this is just seen as collateral damage - they have still found the one, and there is a sacred contract that binds them together.

There is a beauty to this ideal and the purity of commitment it holds. On paper, it sounds good, but in practice it is incredibly limited, and ultimately a very unhealthy way to approach relationship. Before I go further into how bad this can turn out, though, let's look at an alternative approach instead.

The Most Common Reason The Law Of Attraction Doesn't Work

The Most Common Reason The Law Of Attraction Doesn't Work

I once had a friend who was an almost religious advocate of the power of mind over matter - our ability to consciously create, alter and manifest the reality around us. She had studied countless metaphysical techniques and modalities, and in the process had healed herself of a serious illness - an experience that fuelled her evangelical enthusiasm.

Despite her dedication, discipline and occasional results, however, she would often confide to me her frustration: "I just don't get it," she would say, "I'm doing everything right, but it feels like nothing is changing, and like life is actually laughing in my face and throwing more dysfunction into my world."

She had followed all of the usual new age prescriptions: the vision boards, the visualizations, the meditations, the carefully crafted affirmations, the energy work, the extirpation of 'negative' impulses. And yet none of it was bearing any fruit - in fact her reality more often than not directly contradicted all of her affirmations and visualizations. Something wasn't working.

Is The Sky Falling, Or Was That Just Me? (Penetrating Our Fear Of Catastrophe)

Is The Sky Falling, Or Was That Just Me? (Penetrating Our Fear Of Catastrophe)

I recently met a woman who was very homesick. Almost four years ago, she decided to pack up her life in the pacific northwest and move across the continent to the east coast. Her reason for moving was somewhat unusual: following the devastating tsunami and unprecedented nuclear disaster that occurred in Fukushima, Japan in March of 2011, she had relocated based on her concerns about radioactive fallout travelling across the pacific, potentially contaminating the rain, air, food and land where she lived.

As she explained her decision to relocate, the tension and pain in her voice were palpable. She asked me, as someone who still lives on the west coast, if I'm not worried about the threat of nuclear pollution. My answer was a simple no: through my own experiences I have learned that the fear we cultivate around these phantom threats is typically much more toxic than the threats themselves. As we continued to talk, it became clear to both of us that she was actually proving my theory to be true.