The Path to Love – Help a Million vs. Make a Million

October 10, 2011

For decades now people, even those in spiritual circles, have lived according to the notion that the goal in life is to make a million (or even a billion) dollars.  But, as my book BEYOND THE SECRET revealed, this approach leads us far away from the path of love.  It is almost common knowledge that after people get their basic needs met (and I mean basic), their capacity for happiness goes down if they don’t become good stewards of their money for the good of all.  To compensate for their egotistical (and sometimes sociopathic) tendencies they resort to more and more addictive, controlling, and abusive tendencies.  In many ways they are “stomach down people.”  They are people who live from the lower drives of power, pleasure, and security and ignore the higher needs of love, compassion, honesty, integrity, vision, and unity with all.

Yet, before the masses become critical of those with wealth let us remember that there is nothing wrong with wealth per se.  As I have often said, if the 1.250 billionaires in the world gave away only 1 billion of their many billions to the 7 billion people on the planet, we would not have significantly less difficulties in the world today.  Fortunately, a number of wealthy people are good stewards of their wealth, though many are not.  But, here is my point – giving away money from the rich to the poor is not the answer.  Raising consciousness is the answer so that we live according to an ethic of LOVE.

What does an ethic of love look like?  Well, it doesn’t look like what most magazines present to us that glorify excess consumption.  Over and over we see celebrities spending anywhere between $30 million dollars on a wedding to $6000 on a pair of boots.  And, we are supposed to be excited and impressed by this?  Consider then how many lives could have been saved on this planet for this same amount of cash.  $100 can keep a child alive for a year in Africa.  So that is 60 lives that could have been saved for one pair of boots or 300,000 lives that could have been saved for a year for one wedding bash.  Yet, instead of feeling repulsed by this, magazines that show us these excessive lifestyles make a ton of cash.

So, why are we doing this?  And, are YOU doing this?  What are we teaching our children around the world with this kind of unloving ethic?  And, why do we want to glorify making a million over and over again as if excessive consumption, greed, and self-indulgent egotistical excess leads to happiness when over and over again we learn that it doesn’t?

An ethic of love looks much different.  It helps a million over making a million and the magazines would then be full of people who live relatively simply giving most of their cash away to help others once their basic needs are met (which can be done at about 50K a year).  Plus, when you are focused on service and helping others, there is nothing to fear. You can lose your money and your power.  But, you can never lose an opportunity to reach out and love others.   At least that is what my BEYOND THE SECRET book asserted one year before the economic crash happened (which I predicted was coming as early as January 2008).  And, I still assert it now.  HELP A MILLION and insist that those who have a million help a million as well.  That is the path to love and the new ethic that will lead us onto that path in the future.

Blessings,

Lisa

Copyright 2011 by Dr. Lisa Love. All rights reserved.

http://www.doctorlisalove.com/

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Why Am I Full of So Much Joy?

September 20, 2011

Seriously, I’ve been trying to figure it out.  What is this inner shift about?  I’m getting more joyful than I have ever been in my life.  But, it isn’t about external things — having or having not.  I think this is what the spiritual use of the law of attraction is about.  That inner state, joy, and bliss.

So, what is creating it in my life?  One thing that helped, I radically simplified my life so I could live my life from an inner flow.  On my vision board are not images of houses, cars, clothes, walking around town and looking in stores and thinking “I can have this, I can have that” aka “The Secret” style.  No, I’m focued on my own teachings and principles aka BEYOND THE SECRET style.  And, it’s working.

I get up and pretty much think, “Great, I’m still here.”  I practice my main meditation these days, remembering I am Spirit breathing this body, not a body breathing Spirit.  I look around and start to think how lucky I am.  Then, I remember that per every five words I write or speak somewhere on this planet a child is dying due to violence, disease, or hunger.  So, I think, “How can I help?”  Then I get busy trying to help others as much as I can from a state of joy and a real desire to give, instead of through an obligation to do so.

I am also struggling to discipline myself to exercise more and eat as I know I should.  I know everytime I exercise, eat right, and take my vitamins and herbs, I feel super-charged.  This is my main focus regarding my own life.  It is still a bit of a journey as I was raised on cakes, brownies, cookies, candy for desert almost every day of my life.  I’ve cut way back, but I still don’t do fruits and vegetables like I need to.  I am telling myself, “Do it not only for my personal health, but so I can be here longer to contribute to others.”  Then, I rely on the Spirit that I AM to breathe into this body, brain, and nervous system more discipline and determination.

What perplexes me is that technically I “have less” than I have ever had “stuff wise.”  In fact, I would like even less stuff.  One thing I do have is an abundance is books.  I have read a massive number of books in my life.  Several times I have given boxes and boxes of books away to libraries.  I just gave 26 boxes away last year.  Now, I would like to give the rest of my books away as soon as I can afford to get the really essential ones all on a Kindle (which I have yet to buy, but intend to).  Then, I will need even less space to live in (though I live in a small apartment), and be even more free to pack up and travel (like I am doing now on tour) to go out and meet and help people.

Eight years ago when I was losing my home, my marriage, a website (Soul to Spirit) I had spent years creating, and just about everything I owned I was crying up a storm.  I wrote BEYOND THE SECRET as I came out of that period in an attempt to figure out why I had gone through everything I had.  I mean I am one heck of a positive thinker and person.  Believe me, it was NOT due to my “negative thinking.”  Read my book BEYOND THE SECRET to learn more.

I kept meditating, praying, and working through a wide variety of feelings (the insights of doing that process are summarized in my FEELING GOOD & LIVING GREAT book).  I strengthened my spiritual cable to my true spiritual self and did a lot more inner work (and in my life I’ve already done an excessive amount of that, but there is always more to do).  Now, I am almost overjoyed.  And, it isn’t because my external life is perfect (perfect partner, house, health, etc).  It is because I just don’t focus on externals much at all anymore.  I focus on laughter, love, joy, being creative, and giving.

As I am touring these days I am around a lot of people who are struggling as they are losing “things.”  To be honest I actually find this kind of amusing.  The Buddhists say all things are imperment, even this body.  Don’t worry about stuff.  Focus on the part of you that is the REAL YOU.  When you do, you will get it.  We are NOT HERE TO CONSUME, we are here to CONTRIBUTE!

Get into what you have to GIVE, instead of what you want to GET, and your life will be filled with miracles.  Look, I had the pleasure of sitting in the homes of 100’s of people 60 to 103.  All were physically ill.  Learning from them I got it.  I really did!  The ONLY thing that made people happy at the end of their lives was how much they learned to love and give in this world.  Didn’t matter if they had a yacht behind their mansion, or were in a homeless shelter.  The externals didn’t matter.  I met rich people who were terribly unhappy, and rich people were full of love and joy.  I met poor people who were terribly unhappy, and poor people who were full of love and joy.  And, ALL OF THEM WERE SICK.  So forget the health part even.  I kept puzzling over this whole thing.  If externals (rich/poor) didn’t make the difference and health was something none of them had, then how did they pull off the joy?

Here is how…

1) They were full of gratitude.

2) They were full of love.

3) They focused on what they could still give to help others no matter what.

4) They found the humor in life.

5) They laughed.

6) They smiled.

7) They had a spiritual practice.

8) They knew who they really were.

9) Even in the face of death they had no fear.

What an amazing process.  If anyone would have told me years ago when I was losing my home, work, relationship, even my health for a time, that I was going to end up more joyful than I had ever been, I would have thrown them out of my life.  Yet, here I am.  And, I’m still pretty young.  I’m getting it.  I’m living the message of my own teachings.  And, here is the good news…. if the rest of the planet wakes up in the same way…. well, we are in for one glorious time!  No, we may not have as much stuff.  We may even create an economy where we DON’T WANT STUFF!  (Imagine that).  But, we will have so much joy!  Not even happiness (which is mostly based on me getting what I want), but joy (which is based on me contributing all I can whether I get what I personally want or not).  Here in the USA we may even change the constitution to life, liberty, and the pursuit of JOY.  And, as we live from joy we will be shocked we ever wanted to live that other way before.

So, maybe that is it  Maybe that is why I get up and just laugh so much these days.  I don’t take it seriously.  Even my photo here on Facebook.  People tell me I need a “glamour” shot.  You know where I get my teeth fixed, have someone do my hair and makeup.  Put the little hand under the chin, etc.  Honestly, the reason I like the picture I am using is because I was literally laughing at myself.  I was cracking myself up.  For the first time ever I took one of those cell phone shots where you stand in front of a mirror and click the picture.  I thought, “This is pretty hysterical.  Can you imagine using this photo publically?”  Then, when I saw myself, I went, “Wow!  Ok, maybe the hair can be better, and the lighting better, and I still haven’t gotten those crooked teeth fixed, but THERE I AM!  I can see ME!  The real ME!  Not the surface me.  The light inside of me.  The joy inside of me.  The humor and not taking it seriously part of me.”

“Good enough,” I thought.  Up the picture went on Facebook.

Today then, why not do the same?  Just don’t take stuff so seriously anymore.  Let your light shine.  Let your joy shine.  Let your love shine.  Then go out there and see who needs your help.  Even if life sucks around you.  Be there for someone.  In the meantime, I will do my best to be there for you.

Blessings,

Lisa

Copyright 2011 by Dr. Lisa Love. All rights reserved.

http://www.doctorlisalove.com/

http://www.facebook.com/drlisalove

http://www.twitter.com/doctorlisalove

Want help with the above? Check out my website: http://doctorlisalove.com/

Or, call me for a coaching session. Learn more on at this address.

http://doctorlisalove.com/coaching.html

FREE GIFTS ON MY WEBSITE:

http://www.doctorlisalove.com/freegifts.html

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Feel free to Share this post on Facebook. You may also share it on other websites and Ezines provided you include everything above, the article and all the information about how to reach me via my website and pick up free gifts as well. Thank you.

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Meditation as a Major Tool to Expand Your Heart

September 6, 2011

(The following is an excerpt from MEDITATION: THE PATH TO PEACE).

At this level meditation is also less oriented towards expansions of consciousness. These will continually occur.  Rather, meditation is now a process of anchoring your understanding that you live in the eternal by revealing it to others primarily by sustaining yourself in its deep abiding peace. Because of this when you have truly reached this level you rarely, and ideally never, are disrupted mentally, emotionally, and physically by the transitory nature of your outer life.

This awareness so fills you with the reality of love in the Universe you are drenched in this love on a moment by moment basis. Despite all outer appearances of pain and suffering, the reason behind suffering is revealed to you. Suffering is after all, simply ignorance of our true nature as love. Aware of this love, suffering ceases. At the same time out of your ability and desire to love others, you remain sensitive to the suffering around you.  You comprehend how ignorance continues to produce suffering in the world. Out of a need for compassion you do your best to relieve the world of this ignorance, and to awaken others regarding their true identities as spiritual beings. In this way the pain and trauma caused by an illusory separation from spiritual essence diminishes. The nature of Reality is increasingly revealed. That nature being primarily one of LOVE.

Benefit Exercise, Seven. Take some time to consider the following: “What would it mean to you if you were in fact, loved?” “If indeed, despite all outer appearances the Universe around you was a sea of compassion and love? And, that all appearance of suffering, were really manifestations of ignorance as to the existence of this love?” Think of the moments in your life when you felt you “glimpsed” this sense of love. Then ask yourself, “What would your life be like and how would you be if no matter what happened to you in life, this presence of love, always infused you, and surrounded you?” After reflecting for some minutes, affirm to yourself here and now, ”I am One with All. All is Love. This is my only security. This is my only identity.” Stay with this affirmation and as you do so, reflect how it feels to rest within this statement.  Learn more about the book MEDITATION: THE PATH TO PEACE by Dr. Lisa Love.

Love and blessings,

Lisa

Copyright 2011 by Dr. Lisa Love. All rights reserved.

http://www.doctorlisalove.com

http://www.facebook.com/drlisalove

http://www.twitter.com/doctorlisalove

Want help with the above? Check out my website: http://doctorlisalove.com

Or, call me for a coaching session. Learn more on at this address.

http://doctorlisalove.com/coaching.html

 

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Take Back Your Power and Love Yourself

September 6, 2011

As a professional counselor for years I would tell people they needed to learn to love themselves.  But, beyond a platitude, how do you actually do that?  Ironically, one of the ways I discovered how to love yourself, was to consider all the ways people (especially women) were not loving themselves.  And, the more I thought about that, the more I realized that one of the main reasons women were not loving themselves was because of what they were being taught about love (almost all false) especially from movies.  Starting way back as young as when women are girls, they are being taught a variety of false notions about love.  These notions include:

  • Putting yourself last and your man first.
  • Waiting to live your life until a man comes and finds you.
  • Tolerating beastly behaviors.
  • Playing dumb and refusing to see the shadow side of life.
  • Misunderstanding how men learn to love and then confusing sex with love.
  • Settling for half a relationship instead of a whole one.
  • Much, much more!

Ultimately, these false notions were changed into their opposites creating a blueprint for how women (and men) could take back their power, love themselves, and learn to really love each other in the process.  Some of those opposites include:

  • Putting yourself and your dreams first in a healthy way.
  • Getting conscious about what you really want and finding healthy ways to pursue it.
  • Teaching others to treat you well because you know what good treatment looks like and feels like.
  • Knowing how to deal with the light and shadow in an effective way.
  • Discovering how to get a man to really love you.
  • Bringing together love and sex in a playful and healthy way.
  • Learning how to be whole so you can have a whole and truly loving relationship.
  • Settling for half a relationship instead of a whole one.
  • Much, much more!

Now that you know some of the basics why not find out how you can expand on these basics by taking one of the top courses about loving yourself on DailyOM?  Go here and learn to take back your power and love yourself now!

Love and blessings,

Lisa

Copyright 2011 by Dr. Lisa Love. All rights reserved.

http://www.doctorlisalove.com

http://www.facebook.com/drlisalove

http://www.twitter.com/doctorlisalove

Want help with the above? Check out my website: http://doctorlisalove.com

Or, call me for a coaching session. Learn more on at this address.

http://doctorlisalove.com/coaching.html

 

FREE GIFTS ON MY WEBSITE:

http://www.doctorlisalove.com/freegifts.html


Ending the Cycle of Hurt & Entering Into Healing

August 17, 2011

Anytime we have been hurt it is natural to want to lash out. It is also easy to blame others.  And, true some people are more unconscious, wounding, ignorant, even cruel and malicious than others.  This should not be ignored or condoned.  Yet, the main questions are, “How do we break free from hurt?” and “How do we heal once and for all?”

One excellent tool is the use of the Hawaiian Ho’o pono pono prayer, which says simply, “I’m sorry.  Please forgive me.  I love you.  I thank you.”

How in the world you might wonder can you say such a thing to people who are malicious and cruel?  That is where the healing
truly begins.  We live in an imperfect world.  Ideally, we would each be so full of love and wisdom that this would not be the case.  Love and healing would reign all around.  Yet, it does not.  Why?  Because many people are ignorant and resort to hurtful and even cruel behaviors in their attempt to “get even” regarding the wrongs they perceive have been done to them.  Or they may be trying to prove that they are superior to others and therefore deserve to oppress and punish those perceived to be “lower” than they are.

And, true.  You may be able to look at your life and say, “Who me?  What part did I have to play in all of this?  I am innocent.”  True, at some level you may be innocent.  But, one of the gifts of wisdom is growing up and being willing to
clearly see not only the beauty, but the sorrows in the world.  As you see those sorrows with an open heart, you can’t help but acknowledge and feel compassion for your own limitations and lack of awareness, or worse action when you “know better.”

That is where the magic begins.  You say the words, “I am sorry.  Please forgive me.  I love you.  I thank you.”  As you do so you watch the magic begin.  You feel all the ways that you have been blind (even at times deliberately), ignorant, preoccupied with lesser things.   You feel how all of this has contributed to the sorrows of the world.  Then, you love yourself with deep compassion for your own ignorance.

Next, you hear those words, “I am sorry.  Please forgive me.  I love you.  I thank  you” being said to you.  Imagine everyone who has ever hurt you saying these words to you over and over again.

Need help?

Here is a video of the process.  This one works best because there are no distracting images, only the words making it easier to really experience yourself saying this to someone and their saying it back to you.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lil63u-xB70&feature=related

Want a vocal version?  Here is another one, but I for one find it harder to do personal work to this one.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ac5SGwRPv0o&feature=related

And, a final version.  Great visuals and a nice beat to the music, but for me harder to meditate to, though interesting to experience.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mqiCa3wpHC8&sns=fb

Love and blessings,

Lisa


5 Steps to Help Attract Your Lover to You

August 17, 2011

The most frequent question I get when I counsel people on the phone is how do I attract my soul mate.  One of the most powerful things I know of that you can do to attract your lover to you, is to raise your energy to become a more attractive human being.  And, by attractive, I don’t mean necessarily “good looking.”  Plenty of good looking women (and men) still end up with their hearts broken in a state of despair, unhappy with themselves, their partners, and their lives.   So, how do you become more attractive to your partner?   Here are five ways how.

  1. Know Yourself.  I always tell people, the most attractive thing in life is a confident person.  Confident people trust that they can have what they want in life.  So much so, it practically falls right into their laps.  How do you get to that confident place?  Begin by getting really clear about what you want, don’t want, and what you will, and will not tolerate.   Then, trust sooner or later you will get what you want.  So, don’t put up with, or allow for, what you don’t want in your life.
    Only then will you be able to attract what you do want to you.
  2. Love Yourself.   Remember, we teach other people how to treat us.  Too many of us allow for lousy treatment and behavior.  Hey, for a long time in my life, I did that as well.  Until I understood how to get “well-full.”  Well-full is the word I use (instead of wellness), to remember that as a loving person I can’t love others, unless I love myself as well.  Why?  Because if my own “well” isn’t “full” of love, joy, energy, purpose, fun, then I don’t have any of that to give to others.  When I am empty, or near empty, I don’t serve others, by allowing them to further deplete my low reserves.  I deserve love too.
    Along these lines, when it comes to other people, don’t read words, read behaviors!  Actions do speak louder than words.  Put your focus on what a person does, not says, and how he/she is actually treating you.  Then, be confident enough and love yourself enough to let crummy treatment go.  As I have told my clients for decades now, when all you get is crumbs from someone, face it, you are in a crummy relationship.
  3. Love Your Life.   Whether you are in, or out, of a relationship, you need to keep your energy high.  How?  By creating as much as possible an experience of being alive!  Think about it.  Who are you attracted to?  People who are depressed, bored, troubled, angry – or people who are happy, energetic, excited, curious, open, compassionate, full of self-esteem, fun, and joy?  Now, which kind of person are you?  And, if you are not the kind of person you would be attracted to, how can you
    become that person?   Start by thinking of one practical thing you can do to start that process now.  Then, go and do it.  Forget about taking giant leaps.  Most of us get there faster by taking baby steps.  I’ve been known to tell my clients who want to lose weight that the very first step I want them to take is to go to a gym and sit in a parking lot.  It may sound silly, but at least they got the process started.  Remember, I believe in you!  So, get started.  Take the baby steps.   Do
    something each and every day to help you love your life.
  4. Understand Sex Isn’t Love.  One of the biggest mistakes women make is to assume sex equals love.  It doesn’t.  We think sex equals love because when orgasm takes place, oxytocin is released from our brains, and oxytocin is the “love” chemical in our biology.  But, here is the kicker!  When a man has an orgasm, he feels that chemical release for maybe one or two hours.  When a woman gets an oxytocin release, she can experience it for a day or longer.  Thus, a woman feels more attached to a man she is having a sex with.  Biologically even, a man does not!   Men also live in a culture that teaches them they have perceived higher status if they sleep with a lot of women.  Sixty years ago, this wasn’t the case.  Men had more pressure from society to get married and stay married and affairs were more taboo.  Now, they are common place.  Sadly, we women are catering to men with sex thinking it will get us a man’s love.  It won’t.  It will get us sex.  That’s all.  Worse, it can actually biologically age us.  Why?  Because brain research shows when a woman has a break from the bonding she experiences through sex, another chemical is poured into her system, cortisol.  Cortisol is released during stress,and  is responsible for aging us, because research shows women feel stressed when the “love” bond is too rapidly broken.  This
    stress cortisol dump is one reason women get hysterical and depressed.  So, love yourself and your life enough to not fool yourself that sex will get a man’s love.  It won’t.  Enjoy the sex if you want, but keep your wits about you.  You will stay far more attractive and realistic if you don’t get the two confused.
  5. Become a High Status Person.  No, I don’t want you to become a snob, believing you are above everyone else.  And, I am not talking about becoming aloof or unapproachable.  I am talking about knowing you have worth, and not letting other people degrade your worth.  Whatever your unique talents and gifts are, make sure that the people around you are taking the time to see those talents and gifts, and that they are respecting that you have them.   I call this “the auction effect.”  Have you ever been on EBay or at an auction, and noticed that an item that started out only costing $5, suddenly is
    sold for $50?  What has happened here?  The perceived value has gone up.  That is what I want to happen with you.  I want your perceived value to go up.  In terms of relationships, that means allowing other people to help you increase your worth.  Then you don’t get taken for granted (even if you are already in a committed relationship or married).  By becoming more attractive, by staying attractive, the people you are with feel your value.  They may even feel your value going up.  Then, they don’t want to lose you, because you end up meaning that much more to them.  That is the beauty of the auction effect, and what I want you to experience as well.

There are my five most powerful tips.  Having shared them with you, I look forward (as a best-selling author in the Love and the Law of Attraction), to helping you learn them, embody them, and become a more attractive and loving soul.  Then, your lover will not only be more attracted to you, he/she will want to keep you forever, and ever more.

Love and blessings,

Lisa

Copyright 2011 by Dr. Lisa Love. All rights reserved.

 

http://www.doctorlisalove.com

http://www.facebook.com/drlisalove

http://www.twitter.com/doctorlisalove

 

Want help with the above? Check out my website: http://doctorlisalove.com

Or, call me for a coaching session. Learn more on at this address.

http://doctorlisalove.com/coaching.html

 

FREE GIFTS ON MY WEBSITE:

http://www.doctorlisalove.com/freegifts.html

 

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Feel free to Share this post on Facebook. You may also share it on other
websites and Ezines provided you include everything above, the article
and all the information about how to reach me via my website and pick up
free gifts as well. Thank you.

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In the Womb of the Mother — My First Sweat Lodge

August 17, 2011

Many years ago I heard about sweat lodge ceremonies.  I confess at first they seemed creepy.  Bodies rubbing up against each other, while people were dripping in sweat.  Not my idea of a pleasant journey.  Then I had some fellow classmates at one of my Master’s programs go through a sweat lodge ceremony.  They came back raving about how incredible it was.  I couldn’t go at the time because I was a new mother and breast feeding.  But, I wanted to do a sweat lodge ever since.  Yesterday, I did.

To begin with I am blessed to have done it at the Ojai Foundation, one of those miraculous places where Native American
teachings of Council, Vision Quest, and Sweat Lodge regularly occur.  A picture of the lodge is below.  The ceremony is traditional run by a Native American Chumash elder named Paul.  As this was an all women’s sweat lodge he was the fire keeper and his wife Aleesa ran the ceremony.

From the very start something in me began to stir as we began the fire ceremony with Paul as our fire keeper.  As he talked about the “stone people” (the lava rocks put into the fire), the “one legged” (the trees who gave their life for the fire), the connection to the aliveness of everything around us emerged, not just as a theory or a platitude, but a reality for me.  The deep level of respect for the rocks, the earth, the trees, the lodge (also known as the womb of the mother that was going to rebirth us) touched me deeply.

After a Council around the fire where 25 women began to tell their truths to one another (and yes most of us were complete strangers) that lasted three hours, I was already sweating and feeling pretty cooked.  Then it was time to crawl into the “mother’s womb” where there were so many of us we were literally packed in like sardines touching arms and legs with very little room to move.

For five hours we sat in the heat.  Truth be told I have never felt so drenched in my life.  Sure I’ve been in a pool and tub of water, but this was different.  I was not only drenched on the outside, sweat was pouring out of me from the inside.  If I had bothered to weigh in before and after I wouldn’t have been surprised to learn that I had lost five pounds.

As for the details of the ritual in general there were four rounds in the lodge, all held in total darkness.  Each round honored one of the four directions and the work we did was related to the psychological and spiritual teachings each direction holds.  Though I am still processing all that happened there, what I am able to understand so far is that 25 women sat in the dark and told the most raw and real truths about our lives we could tell.

This was far from a “get over it” experience that those who only want to glorify the light and run from the shadow like to espouse in motivational talks and coaching circles.  Rather, this was a “get real” experience.  No hiding from the feminine, from the Great Mother, from the shadow.  It was time to admit the truth, to feel the truth, to tell the truth without varnish.  No hiding, no covering up.  No running into addictive or hedonistic patterns as a means of escape. To be honest it was very, very hard work.  Physically,
mentally, emotionally, spiritually, psychologically — it was exhausting.

At one point after 6 1/2 hours of it I knew I couldn’t take it anymore.  My low blood pressure combined with major dehydration had me nearly passing out.  “All my relations,” I said to my fellow sisters.  “I need help.”  Far from the James Ray macho cover
up the truth and let people pass out, sufficate, and even die approach, this was an environment of total support.  “Yes, sister.  How can we help you?  What do you need at this time?”  I was not the only one who had asked for help in this way.  Four women had exited out the door before me.  Some in panic, some in physical duress, some simply not used to the major catharsis going on.  My sisters tried to talk me through to see if I could stay.  I started to faint.  They let me briefly out the door.  There the other sisters who had left were waiting for me and tended to me.  I was determined to recover and get back in to finish the sweat.  A little bit of water and a few minutes of rest, I did.

In that space we shifted from sharing the deepest wounds of our lives, to praying for the things we were desparately craving to feel healed.  We also prayed for those we loved and attempted deep forgiveness work on those who we felt harmed by.  I said attempted, because none of it was fake.  No fakeness allowed.  If you couldn’t forgive you could rage.  Some women raged so loud I honestly thought I might have broken an eardrum.  Others wailed, moaned, sobbed, cursed.  It was intense.  I’m a psychologist.  I’m used to intense emotions.  But, this?  This was intense.  REAL INTENSE.  Raw.  Real.  Probably the most real a group of
people (let alone strangers) had ever gotten with each other or with themselves.

In between the rounds there was the singing.  Beautiful Native American songs.  I didn’t really understand the meaning, though they were summed up in general before we sang them.  Connecting with the mother, the earth, each other, our hearts, our souls.  Hot.  Wow!  Was it HOT!  One woman apologized for dripping on the woman next to her.  Laughter was heard all around.  Who
wasn’t dripping on the people around them?  Buckets of sweat spilling over.  It was impossible not to.

Then there was the attempt to listen to our hearts beating and to the heart beats of each other.  Then came the drumming trying to sync our heart beats together.  Diving us down into the earth, into the womb of the mother.  Lifting us up into the blackness of space, the mother’s infinite womb.  It became clear we were not only pouring out the toxins from our bodies, we were shedding our skins.  We were rebirthing ourselves.

After three hours around the fire and just over five hours in the lodge those of us who were left slowly crawled out.  Sticky, dripping, coated with dirt, sand, and pebbles.  We were a mess!  Yet, we were changed.  People looked around at each other clearly in altered states.  When we went into the lodge it was day.  Now it was night.  Stars were overhead.  The star people and the moon shined down on us.  We did our best to hose off the dirt, sand, and pebbles.  Then we went into the tent (the teepee was down for now, getting repaired) and changed our clothes.

Once again we were around the fire.  Now it was simply hot coals.  The stone people had been moved into the lodge during our ceremony.  Only the coals remained and had been arranged into a medicine wheel.  Paul was there to greet us.  Normally, he does the sweats.  We sat around the fire again for about an hour and shared a bit our experience.  In part I was also fixated at this time on the leaders of the sweat.  They were clearly an example of a deeply spiritual and loving couple.  They were both so full of compassion.  They had held the space for all of us to do what we needed to do with total acceptance.  No judgment.  Just love.  I
was so moved.

Then the feast began.  Finally, we could eat and drink.  It was already around 11 pm at night.  Some people talked about the sweat.  Most chit chatted trying to finally get to know a little bit about the mundane worlds of each other.  Some sat in silence remaining in altered states.  All agreed.  We were all altered.  Reborn.

Love and blessings,

Lisa

To learn more about the Ojai Foundation visit here.  http://www.ojaifoundation.org

Copyright 2011 by Dr. Lisa Love. All rights reserved.

 

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Sweat Lodge at the Ojai Foundation.