Jun 212013

I write these blogs not just because I’m an educator, but because I also need to remind myself what I already know. We don’t live in a world that cultivates awareness, mindfulness, gratitude and a whole host of other qualities that remind us that we are whole human beings with loving hearts and growing spirits. We live in a world that cultivates consumerism, hyper-individualism that leads to isolation, the sacrificing of ethics to what is legal, fear, etc. I’ve  been thinking about the  last blog I posted in which I talked about the reason why we often don’t accomplish our goals is that we haven’t actually decided to do so – we wish, hope, dream, intend – but none of those are equivalent to deciding. I have become aware that although I am accomplishing many goals, there are two I’ve been stuck around. It has become clear to me it’s because I really haven’t decided to do them – I’ve intended, fantasized and hoped, but not decided. When I decided to do something, the doing of it naturally follows. My understanding of ‘deciding’ is not new to me, but I’d forgotten it a bit somewhere along the way.

Learning is often like that. We learn something. We incorporate it, then it softens over time.  We then have to relearn it again, and again, on a deeper level each time around. Our relationship to ourselves and our relationship to our spouses/partners are really similar. In the first stage of marriage, love is more emotional in nature. Then we go through a rough patch, come out on the other side, and the love we feel is deeper and more based in reality than our fantasy of who we believe our partner to be. Every year we have ups and downs that deepen the way we love our partners so that at year 10 our love is more deeply grounded. ,While there is still emotion, it is rooted more in a life built together, deeper understanding, and greater knowingness. So it is with our own relationship with ourselves. Self-awareness and self-growth are not linear paths. We never fully arrive at perfection; We are an ever evolving species. Self-growth has been compared to an onion. We learn, we grow, we think we’re done with the lesson, but a year or two or ten later, we seem to be working on the same issue that we thought we were complete with. Each time around we work through another layer; We deepen our experience and build upon the knowledge and wisdom previously gained.

I’ve been absent from blogging these last few days as I’ve been simplifying –  including cleaning out my ridiculous amount of books and in that weeding out came across The Four Agreements. The Four Agreements is one truth system that I lived and breathed for a good while, and it’s still an undercurrent. But, perhaps another layer of the onion is called for. Perhaps you’ll join me on this journey. Stay tuned for the next four blogs as we unwrap the four agreements needed to have more love and happiness in your life:

  • Be Impeccable with your word.
  • Don’t take anything personally.
  • Don’t make assumptions.
  • Always do your best.

May you remember the deep wisdom and learning that is already yours. May that wisdom soften your own suffering and the suffering of others.

clip 4-agreements

Sabrina Santa Clara ~ Authentic Alchemy x3
Spiritual Counseling ~ Temecula, CA

Jun 142013

What if everyone was my teacher? What if not only those I respect, but everyone had something to teach me? What if the lover who just left me, the person who cut me off while driving, the people who irritate me, the ones who make my face crunch up and cuss words stream from my mouth…What if I looked at everyone as my teacher? It would mean that I would have to sit into the humility required to be the student.

I am not, by nature, a humble person. I jokingly refer to myself as an ‘Alpha Bitch‘ – and I’m one of those people who can do a lot of things well…unfortunately, what this often looks like is a conviction that I can do things better than others. I know – it’s an annoying monster ego. And while taking this position shores up my ego, it also disconnects me from others. It elevates me into a kind of hard over-confidence, rather than surrendering me into the yielding place where learning can actually occur.

There is a Buddhist adage that says, “When the student is ready, the teacher appears.” If I am perpetually a student, then there will always be a teacher nearby. I tend to orient towards a practical spirituality, and Buddhism carries with it a lot of practical tools for living that make sense. It also carries within it the guru principle, as do many religions, which I always find disturbing. I’ve seen far too many people relinquish their own wisdom for some supposed Guru/teacher. I’ve seen far too many Gurus become corrupted with power. But, if everyone is my teacher, then I am not raising one person above me or abnegating my own wisdom, instead, I am willfully softening my reactivity to other people, so that I may learn. Perhaps I need to learn patience, well then, of course it makes sense that someone will come into my life that I find frustrating. Perhaps I need to value myself more, then perhaps someone will come into my life who will not treat me well and I will have to learn to be an advocate for myself.

Of course, being the student does not mean that people are no longer responsible for bad behavior. It just means that I have a choice in how I receive that bad behavior and what effect it has on me. I can become righteously incensed, or I can soften into the humility of student, and ask myself, what is the lesson here for me? Everyday we are given at least a handful of opportunities to deepen, grow, learn. It is up to us to decide what to do with those opportunities.

May we find humility to enter into the role of perpetual student. May our learning be of service to others. May we be worthy and humble teachers.

clip every person teacher

Sabrina Santa Clara ~ Authentic Alchemy x3
Spiritual Counseling, San Diego & Riverside County, CA

Jun 052013

We’ve all had people who’ve walked away from us. Sometimes the leaving was painful, sometimes a relief, and sometimes, both. How we digest that Outer World experiences  into our Inner World experience can be the difference between growth and stagnation.

The Greater Something, ultimately, always works towards our greater good. Sometimes, it is only through the fire of our painful experiences that the husks of our lesser selves can be burned away so that the beautiful essence of our Deeper Selves may live more fully. This means that if you have a childhood history of abandonment, it is likely that you will have more experiences of abandonment in adulthood. Each time anew that abandonment wound gets reactivated, so that the person who has just walked-away carries the flavor of your mother or father, or whoever it was that created the original injury. Like having a wound that is scabbed over but still festering inside, the new experience removes that scab so that the wound has an opportunity to release the infection underneath.

When people leave us – when we digest that Outer World experience and feel the Inner World experience of ‘I’m not enough’ or ‘something is wrong with me’ or any version of ‘I’m bad’ – we can begin to shift the translation from Outer World to Inner World, reminding ourselves of those people who do love us and know how to stay. We can remember that a person who leaves and who doesn’t hold loyalty as a character trait, might not be the person we want in our lives. Holding compassion towards our own suffering, we become become tender with the part of us that believes that we are somehow unloveable. We can draw upon the Metaphysical World to sustain us – Releasing the ties we have into the person who walked away, handing them back to the Something Greater, while we also reconnecting to the Something Greater ourselves. Remembering that we are born of GodSpirit, we let them choose the fork in the road, and know with certainty, that God always walks our path with us. We are not alone. We are not abandoned, for the Great Spirit is always with us.

Sabrina Santa Clara / Authentic Alchemy x3

clip let_them_go