Shame: Befriending the Inner Dragon

“Evoke the fire within” by Kamjar Fadai

Shame feels like such a dirty word. No one wants to talk about it and many people experience it. It shows up as the inner critical voice brought on by years of the social conditioning of self-hate.

During Presencing Tuesdays, our twice monthly time of meditation, connection and seeing one another for the all of who we are, the word “shame” emerged a number of times amongst other emotions of sadness, anger, and fear. What became clear is that, not only do many people live with shame, most people feel shame about feeling shame. Shame about shame makes it difficult to acknowledge and heal as many are reluctant to share their feelings of shame with themselves, much less others. Yet, shame marinates in our socialized beings and inflames, exacerbates and evokes other painful emotions–anger, sadness, rage, uncertainty, despair and feelings of isolation, alienation and unworthiness.

The word shame is thought to be derived from the proto-indo-european word skem or kem, meaning “to cover”, which makes sense, as a common reaction when we feel ashamed is to try and cover ourselves physically, emotionally or spiritually. We’re so busy covering or hiding our shame and the shame of our shame, that it leaves little time or energy to feel creativity, joy, love and self-confidence. Shame, unlike guilt that has more do with remorse over our actions, has to do with one’s sense of self, one’s identity. This makes shame particularly intractable and persnickety. We can change our actions. Actions exist outside of us. Shame cuts to the core of who we are ARE. It is painful and sometimes unbearable, leading some even to violence or suicide.

Like a dragon hiding in a dark cave in the depths of our being, much of the power of shame comes from the lack of clarity of and unfamiliarity we have with shame–shame when we’re being unkind, shame when we’re being dishonorable or disgraceful, shame when we’re sad or angry or upset, shame when we’re not being our highest selves.

What if we acknowledged those times when we felt shame? What if we got to know shame, when it shows up, what’s the root of shame, what are the needs and wants of shame? What if we befriended this dragon and met its fiery roars with love?

I watched How To Train Your Dragon at a slumber party with heart people recently. What if we approached our shame, like Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III approached The Night Fury, with curiosity, courage and love? We may just find ourselves an unlikely ally.


Stillness in the Eye of the Storm

“Centering” from The Power Deck by Lynn V. Andrews, paintings by Rob Schouten

If you have a meditation practice or you imagine yourself meditating, often what emerges is a quiet, peaceful place, possibly in nature, at a retreat, far from the rat race or hum drum of life. Certainly, when opportunities arise to step away from routine, it can be nourishing and rejuvenating to step, to ground, to center.

Yet, what if the whole of your life became a meditation?

I was meditating earlier in the traditional style of sitting meditation and the scene was much different than the peaceful, out-in-nature picture I painted above. Like the Buddha in the card, I live in an urban neighborhood on the flight path to many arriving and departing planes with an ear-deafening power deck washer across the street, dogs barking, a leaf blower shouting, trucks rumbling by, bus brakes squealing–a veritable storm of noise, a symphony of sound. I settled in, found my breath, connected with my center and merged with the all of it–timeless time, soundless noise, Source manifest, God incarnate. I felt and have experienced this stillness in the eye of the storm in other activities as well, when I’m running, when I’m walking, when I’m deep in conversation with someone in the middle of a noisy gathering and all the other voices fall away.

Breathing, walking, eating, typing, what if it’s all part of the meditation? What if it’s all part of the dance, the Stillness playing in the movement while still sitting in Stillness?

“When you are eating, eat totally-
chew totally, taste totally, smell totally.
Touch your bread, feel the texture.
Smell the bread, smell the flavor.
Chew it, let it dissolve into your being,
and remain conscious – and you are meditating.
And then meditation is not separate from life.”
~ Osho

Expand your experience of meditation. Bring awareness to the here and now. Turn your attention to the mundane and see the profound in it all.  Sit in the eye of the storm in each moment and experience the stillness in the movement in the stillness. Much love, Jodi

Eye of the Storm by Golf Punk

The Eye-of-the-Storm.

Surrounded by the winds and the rain,
yet peaceful in its own unworldly way –
an unnatural ruddy-cloudy misty-bright kind of way.
Whatever comes next, the eye of the storm is
a moment of serenity among the challenge –
a time for repose and contemplation.
~ Jonathan Lockwood Huie

Spiritual Puttering

“We must see that consciousness is neither an isolated soul nor the mere function of a single nervous system, but of that totality of interrelated stars and galaxies which makes a nervous system possible.”
Alan Watts (1915 – 1973)

One of my favorite things in the world is puttering in my little home — laundry, sweeping, organizing, laundry, sweeping, organizing, meditating, writing, eating, meditating, writing, eating. I get into a flow that feels nourishing to my very soul, following the river of movement, attraction and impulse. Just as the body is the shelter for the soul, so the home is the shelter for the body. The putterings I do in my home feel meditative, calming and inspired. There’s no hard-and-fast rule of where I go next, what I do next, the order of the tasks. I listen to the calling of my heart. I listen to the calling of my home.

“You have begun to hearken to that call, but for most people it is an unnoticed voice in the innermost recesses of their hearts.” ~ Shaykh Nazim Adil Al-Haqqani, Book: In the Mystic Footsteps of Saints

My spiritual experiences seem to mimic these movements. I follow the energy of my spirit. Is meditation calling me in this moment? Is reading the works of spiritual teachers calling to me in this moment? Is writing from Source calling to me in this moment? When I pause for just a moment and listen, I can hear the yearnings of my heart, the longings of my soul and when I follow this river, it leads to pure delight, alignment, resonance.

“When many voices are speaking at once, listen to the one most quiet and gentle. That’s the one worth listening to. ~ Miranda Linda Weisz

Imagine a world where everyone flowed in their own soul’s river, where everyone listened to their heart, where everyone followed their bliss. It would be a peaceful, joyful place with everyone’s hearts being filled up and cared for in a powerful and transformative way. Let’s co-create that world together, shall we?  Much love, Jodi

“When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy.” ~Rumi

Shift Happens

Envision the Future

An airline attendant once said when we were landing, “Please be careful when opening overhead compartments with the contents inside because as we all know, shift happens”.  He got many a chuckle from the passengers & he spoke the truth about life.

The shift is happening, even as I type, & what I am very interested in is how can we contribute to the direction of the shift?  If you were to envision the future & see exactly what you would want to see, what would be included in that vision?

Raising the Frequency

We connected this past Tuesday at Presencing Tuesdays & as a community, began to answer the question, “What do we want to bring more of to our planet?”.  What was said was powerful — Love, connection, community, acceptance, trust, fun, creativity, equality, friendship, organic food, cats, ease.

What do you want to cultivate now in your life, in your community, in your work spaces, in your country for this planet?

Much love,


Inelia Benz: Interview with an Alien

This is an extraordinarily ordinary woman with a singular mission:  to raise the vibration on this planet.  There is much inspiration to experience from this video & the main thing I implore you do is look inside your self, converse with your Higher Self or God or the Universe, & be curious about what role you are meant to play in this world.  What contribution are you meant to offer to the planet?

We all are blessed with extraordinary gifts.  There is tremendous power within each one of us.  The low vibration of fear stops many of us though.  What are you afraid of?  Fear of being alone?  Fear of being mocked?  Fear of rejection?  Fear of financial ruin?  Fear of abandonment?  When we fully process & sit with our fear, we are able to raise the overall average of our vibrational level significantly.  Inelia offers an exercise on her website to process the fear.  Then we can step into our full power with all the tools available to us as sentient beings & begin living the dream of peace, creativity & full self-expression here & now.

Much love,


Thomas Hubl: The Dance of Silence & Movement


Presencing a new "we"

Thomas Hubl: A Whole Spirituality

I had the immense pleasure & privilege of being in the presence of this great spiritual master this past Tuesday afternoon & evening, April 3, 2012.  It is difficult to describe in words what was transmitted in that space & I will do my best.

He spoke of many things & two themes, in particular, emerged, what I will call the Levels of Existence & the Dance of Silence & Movement.  I will share both.

Levels of Existence

Hubl spoke of three levels of existence — 1. Personal, 2. Patterns, & 3. Principle.  Oftentimes, we are embroiled in the personal, the stories, the details — big, small & in between — that appear to make up the fabric of our lives.  If our lives were a play, the personal would be the plot.  Most people rarely look past the plot.  Most people only see, only hear, only feel the plot.

However, if one were to step back from the personal, from the plot, from the play, one might catch a glimpse of the patterns that inform the personal details.  Or said another way, the patterns are the code from which the programs, the games, the play is written & this code dates back to thousands of years, thousands of lifetimes to the beginning of manifestation.  These patterns, this code, offer an opportunity to not take things so personally, to recognize the mechanical conditioning that has been set in place long before your soul was born into this body into this lifetime.  Yet, there’s another level that informs even the patterns, which, in turn, inform the personal, & that is the principle.

The principle is God, the Universe, The Architect in The Matrix, the unformed Source, that which has never been nor never will be, that which is neither that nor this, infinite possibilities — the list goes on in our human attempts to describe, categorize, & try to understand that which is incomprehensible to the limits of the human mind.  This principle offers the raw no-thing from which everything is born.

The Dance of Silence & Movement

Just as most people are fully engrossed in the person; so too, most people are often in constant movement of life.  This movement is in the literal gross physical sense of moving from work to play, from being awake to being asleep.  This movement also occurs on a more subtle realm of feelings, thoughts, energy, being.  This movement is often following in the grooves of all the years & lifetimes of conditioning in an automatic, mechanical way.  Rarely, here in the States, do we take the time from our busy days, our hectic, harried lives, to be still, to be silent, to be space.

Thomas described this silence as the white space on the page.  People often don’t notice the white space on the page.  They are too focused on the letters, the words, the sentences & the meaning of the letters, the words, the sentences.  The letters & the pictures are the movement; the white space is the silence & the space.  Many fill our pages, our lives, with so many words, so many pictures, the white space is completely covered.  You’ve seen pages like that, jam-packed with stuff.  How do you feel looking at such pages?  Tired?  Overwhelmed?  Stressed?  This is the way many of us live our lives — jam-packed with stuff, appointments, activities, work, people, things.  There’s no balance.

When we balance movement with silence, when we allow our movements to be informed by the silence, by the space, we allow for all the Divine offers — creativity, resonance, peace, joy & a deep sense of purpose & being in flow.  Begin with 5 minutes of quiet time, meditation time, time in prayer a day.  See what that small space offers.  What would our world look like, if we all took time to BE, if we all took time to meditate, if we all took time listen to that still, small, wise & powerful voice within?  We would have a world flowing with a river of joy, a world playing in the ocean of creativity, a world being immersed in a sense of deep peace.

To that, I say, “Heck yeah!”

Much much love,