Pandemic Blues and Personal Needs

In a recent article published in the October JAMA Network Open, compared to a year ago alcohol consumption in United States increased 14%, including 17% for women. Many bars are closed for the most part but it’s important to remember isolation causes addictions to flourish. Without distractions our brightest but also our darkest instincts tend to surface. Chronic stress will trigger the brain to express its deepest unconscious material. A wise soul accepts challenges and addresses their illusions, while others act out and wonder why they struggle.  This article will address self-care and offer five suggestions designed to meet your needs in order to become a more effective person and/or leader. 

Loyalty to oneself is the cornerstone of understanding our divine nature. The fierceness to which we listen to our needs, comfort ourselves when we are distraught, and follow through with our core needs is the degree we love ourselves. Meeting our core needs ought to be the highest priority in our life since we are an eternal soul having a human experience. If the most beloved person on the planet asked you to do a favor, would you do it? If God appeared to you in all his/her glory, would you do what was asked? The real question becomes…are we willing to do ourselves any favors?

If we want something, we should go get it. Many people put others before themselves claiming love is their motivation. There is a problem with this idea because they are spiritual being creating their experience. However, we need to meet our needs first before moving onto others. We need to give from joy and generosity comes from a full heart. Giving to others when it goes against our own needs means we must abandon our self to give to others. Rescuing another, dishonors their opportunity to self-nurture, if they fail to meet their own needs. 

First and foremost, love needs to have a home in our hearts. When we truly love our self and love resides inside our home, a wonderful transformation occurs. This transformation reminds our physical body of its divine origins and helps us embody love. Remembering our worthiness enables us to realize we are lovable. When we accept this truth beyond a shadow of a doubt, then the belief we deserve to have our needs met starts to makes sense. The courage to fight for our needs follows because it feels natural. This is how dreams manifest. Soon, respecting other’s rights and the environment around us becomes normal. 

Today, some people refuse to social distance or wear a mask during this pandemic. Unfortunately, self-care has become a political statement. They claim risking their and their neighbor’s health is their first amendment right. Unfortunately, they forget that the universe is only interested in the highest good for everyone. The social distancing/mask debate can be boiled down to policies designed to benefit the collective versus self-centered and/or destructive individuals.  

Everyone has needs-based on fear and unconscious belief systems designed to prevent fear. An unexamined intellect will create mental constructs that know fear and were created from fear. Immature aspects of our personality try to solve problems and have good intentions, but often lack the wisdom of our heart and soul’s guidance. This lack of participation of our heart and soul’s participation leads to suffering if unchecked and unexamined. Problems occur if our frightened or stubborn inner child grabs the microphone and leads the band.

Unconscious aspects of our personality were created to protect wounded inner children. Often immature and shortsighted, fear-based protection solutions exist without supervision by our heart and soul. Unfortunately, they are frequently out of balance with others and the global community. Our unconscious motivations can and will harm others. We see this during our country’s disjointed pandemic response, which is spiraling up in the wrong direction. There are three challenges laid before each and every one of us during this pandemic as we collectively struggle with establishing safe solutions:

  1. Can we surrender to divine wisdom, which always supports the highest good for everyone involved? 
  2. Will I consult with my heart and soul and treat others as I would myself, which some call The Golden Rule
  3. Do I possess the courage to examine and confront my illusions if I fail to do so? 

Narcissism and exploitation stem from those who fail to self-examine or explore their deeper motivations. When we are cut off from our self, it’s easy to cut off others. The desire to uncover the truth of our unconscious material, which was created to protect wounded inner children, is the stuff of legends. Mythological tales that speak of heroes and heroines slaying nasty dragons are really speaking metaphorically of the courage to seek and slay our unconscious illusions, which remain unconnected to our heart and soul. These fables do not promote slaying in a real sense but suggest we confront, love and possess a passion to embody our internal personal truth.

 

The enlightened path requires a true desire to love oneself without conditions. Embodying the love that originates from our heart and soul is the next challenge. If we surrender to our soul’s agenda and express the joy of our soul’s expression, many good things happen. When we live at this level, we send out a frequency to the universe, which will reach the other side of the veil. Through the mirroring principles within quantum physics, the law of attraction and karma (cause and effect) our efforts to embody love for the highest good of all are often reflected back to us…sometimes stronger. 

 

The universe also mirrors love to those who embody The Golden Rule. This helps generous souls give more love to themselves and others. People tend to love them more because those that pay love forward are truly present in their joy. Becoming a shining example of living a joyful life draws people to you…like ants to a picnic. When we know how to nurture ourselves, we will always have an unlimited source of food.  Everyone needs food but also love, so they will want to learn from our success. 

 

When we pay love forward our self-esteem rises and then more positives happen. We become more generous with our giving because it is our joy to pass love on. When we give at this level, everyone loves us more and the process accelerates in a positive spiral. Give from this place and everyone benefits because other people will want to emulate us. If we give while depleting our self, people will take what we give but will not be inspired to copy us. These individuals frequently fall into patterns of seeking what they need outside themselves or continue a long cycle of using others. Patterns of quick fixes and addictions can result. These dysfunctional behaviors are an attempt to use other’s love and energy and ignore their own ability to connect to their own energy within their heart and soul. The soul will never let this happen and the cycles of pain, struggle and strife come in to help them learn another way. 

This article offers a gentle reminder to…love yourself, love your heart and listen to your soul. Recognize your needs and address them regularly. Remember your divine home and your absolute birthright of happiness, joy and fulfillment. When we live through our heart and soul, we will never stray from our path home.

If your mind is disconnected from your heart and soul, self-responsibility is required to examine all of your unconscious parts with love. Pain, struggle and obstacles to your dreams will come and suggest another way by staying around until we learn to live from our heart and soul. Perhaps this is the collective lesson United States is struggling to learn. The universe always provides reflections of whatever truth is present through its loving mirrors.

Here are five suggestions to meet your needs in order to become a more effective leader or person. 

  1. Give from your heart.
  2. Listen to your heart and do what it wants to do from joy, passion and love.
  3. Healthy forms of love require a total alignment with your truth and then fierceness. Be relentless in your expression. Hold the awareness in your heart and mind to constantly look for opportunities to meet your needs and express your truth.
  4. And of course, remember to do so in a loving manner. Be gentle, kind and ruthless in your kindness as you give to others.
  5. However, never lose sight of your needs, while doing the four previous suggestions. The fierceness to which you honor your needs will automatically spill over to a compassionate understanding of other’s needs.

November 2020 Eric Ehrke LCSW, LMFT is a psychotherapist at Ommani.  He sees clients on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Zoom, Skype, or telephonic services are offered.  Call our office at 262.695.5311 to schedule an appointment.

 

You Can Disagree Without Being Disagreeable

America will be mourning the passing of the legendary Chief Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who spent her life championing equal rights for all for a long time. Throughout her lifetime Ruth Bader Ginsberg fought for democracy, justice and gender equality. As mourners sang Kaddish prayers on the steps of the Supreme Court, politicians found a replacement with their conservative agenda against her dying wish. It’s hard not to feel hatred, bitterness, and despair in response to their naked, blatant hypocrisy. In 2016 Republication senators refused to vote on a Supreme Court nominee, when Justice Scalia died unexpectedly. They claimed the next president should make that decision even though it was nine months before the upcoming election.

The traditional Jewish response to a death is Baruch Dayan HaEmet, which translates to “Blessed is the true judge.” When someone dies on Rosh Hashanah as she did, this person is a tzaddik, a person of great righteousness. So how do we respond when Ruth Badger Ginsburg said, “reacting in anger or annoyance will not advance one’s ability to persuade.” 

During challenging times like we are experiencing during this pandemic and political upheaval, negativity, feeling victimized, and fantasizing about retaliation feels natural. Protestors on the streets believe activism will lead America to a path to redemption, peace, and prosperity. Pointing aggressive fingers towards others feel natural and provide temporary relief. Unfortunately, it never quite works that way in the long run. Ruth Bader Ginsberg dissented with her scathing intellect with moderation and respect. When she found herself in the minority, she focused her energies upon influencing the future. This article explores the problems associated with hatred, bitterness, and despair.

Focused negative intent to cause harm leads to hatred. It is the product of a dark, negative cycle of repetitive anger that is churned, marinated, and fermented into a paste, which is toxic and poisonous to everyone it touches. Of course, the receiver becomes embroiled in a firestorm of destructive energy but the real, significant damage comes from hatred and its long-term effects that clogs the heart of the emotional sender. One must marinate negative thoughts and focus on one’s anger for months and years to let it ferment into hatred. It will seep into the pores of the infected individual and operates on the cellular level. 

Hatred instructs and informs every cell in our body we are at war. Life and death survival instincts and adrenal glands take over our fight or flight response in relation to the object, person or people of our focused hatred. Bitterness is a descriptive word for focused hatred that has become brittle with age. Rage is its active form and despair is its passive form. Everyone has their natural preferences to express hatred but it is a passion killer for life and joy for sure.

Why do people hate one another? How is it that so many ethnic and political groups partake in this bitter drink and pass it off to their offspring? Many people call it fate in their defense, but they would learn that they were lying to themselves if they took responsibility for their actions. Hatred is a misguided concept that many immature communities and political groups engage in to help bind and cement clans together. They think they can achieve productive goals by developing a sense of identity and mission-based upon a “we versus them” mentality. 

Some nationalities and ethnic groups mistakenly think that to honor their ancestors, they need to right the wrongs from the past by fueling hatred in themselves, cultivating it in their children, and acting it out in the present time. Partisan purity helps create unity, purpose, and a mission for their clan and people. Unfortunately, hatred, bitterness, and despair are the most negative emotions on the planet, which fosters pain and suffering for everyone who traffics it. 

This is the reason why some ethnic groups have such a long history of a perpetrator/victim cycle legacy attached to their identity. It gives them a purpose forged in hell, which allows them to co-create it with other groups locked in the same crazy cycle within themselves. Many times, soul-groups incarnate just to experience perpetual hatred this way so that they can learn to master the illusions this chronic anger cycle offers everyone. Now the United States is caging immigrant children, building a border wall, and fighting about Confederate Statues of those who fought for slavery. The 17-year old from Illinois, who gunned down three peaceful marchers with an automatic weapon in Kenosha, Wisconsin has collected over 2 million dollars for his criminal defense from people that are easy to judge.

 

Being a Jewish mother and a lawyer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg couldn’t get a job in any firm in New York even though she was valedictorian of her Columbia Law School. She believed anger, resentment, envy, and self-pity were wasteful reactions. Ruth said, “They greatly drain one’s time. They sap energy better devoted to productive endeavors.” Her perspective about partisan politics follows:

 

“I wish there was a way I could wave a magic wand and put back when people were respectful of each other and the Congress was working for the good of the country and not just along party lines. Someday there will be great people, great elected representatives who will say, ‘Enough of this nonsense, let’s be the kind of legislature the United States should have.’ I hope that day will come when I’m still alive.” —Stanford Law School, 2017

People paid their respects to Ruth Bader Ginsberg immediately after her death in front of the Supreme Court. 

The trick Ruth learned early is to not engage in any behavior that cycles and churns anger like a hunter, who rotates a dead animal on a spit over a fire pit. The longer anyone cooks and turns the animal over the fire, the blacker and more charred it gets. Life doesn’t grow in these fires, only death, and destruction. When negativity hits us, our family, or our people, the challenge for all of us is to learn to bring light, love and consciousness to the problem. The following questions are useful to consider when suffering comes to our door from the hands of others:

  • Is there something I need to learn? 
  • Am I being challenged to raise myself out of victimization thinking to a higher level of consciousness? 
  • Do I need to “turn the other cheek” metaphorically speaking and learn a new solution to deal with my adversary? 
  • What areas of responsibility do I need to examine for co-creating an extremely negative situation? 

When we can ask ourselves these questions with clarity of purpose, a willingness to grow, and follow through with positively intended solutions, a wonderful series of events occurs. On this topic Ruth Bader Ginsburg said:

 The label ‘liberal’ or ‘conservative,’ any – every time I hear that I think of the great Gilbert and Sullivan song from ‘Iolanthe.’ It goes, ‘Every gal and every boy that’s born alive is a little liberal or else a little conservative.’ What do those labels mean? It depends on whose ox is being gored.’

By taking responsibility for finding an enlightened response to any problem, the wheels of the universe begin to reverse and start to move in a positive direction. Our heart opens up to new possibilities. Our roasting, dead animal now can jump out of the fire, slide itself off the spit and start the process of healing and living again. Basking by the fires of hell fueled by our focused anger broadcasts a tone to the universe to bring hatred to our door. Everyone suffers when this monster is unleashed. It isn’t a friend, has no loyalty, or picks sides. It knows only death, destruction, and takes no prisoners unless it intends to torture us as long as possible. 

Do not entertain hatred for it is a guest that will foul your nest, rape your soul, and take your wealth. When it is running through your house or people, the solution requires the consciousness and the responsibility embodied in the old War on Drugs Dare motto which states, “Just say, No!” So help yourself by considering the following suggestions. 

Pray for your enemy’s enlightenment. Lick your wounds as well as other’s wounds with love. It will help everyone heal faster. Bless the “heathen” for their ignorance gives us an opportunity to teach others and embody the qualities they lack. Show compassion and restraint when hatred is pointed in our direction. Love is stronger than any force in the universe, especially hatred. It feeds off our soul and erodes our connection to the light, happiness, and joy we all deserve. Let hatred go. 

“Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth,” is not a prescription to be a milquetoast in the face of trouble. It is a recommendation to show compassion, the strength of will, and dedication to the loving truth of our inspired connection in the face of illusion’s temptation. Meekness in this form requires a significant character to adhere to these qualities when lashing out with hatred would be the easy thing to do. 

The definition of meek in this context is expressed by the steel-will of a warrior whose will was tempered by the strong fires of love and wielded by a spiritual master. Meek defined in this manner is not for the faint of heart. It is far easier to succumb to blood feuds, vendettas and hatred to combat one’s suffering. It is only the weak of spirit that thinks it illustrates strength to fight fire with fire and roast dead animals in their soul. The tragedy is even more profound when they call it bonding, tradition, and loyalty as they infuse their children with the same pain.  

So consider letting anger go. Resist the temptation to let it become an internal, hatred paste that acts like an acid burning within without relief. Come to the loving wells of forgiveness, healing, and growth. Leave the battlefields of hatred, bitterness, and despair. Hatred was the bitter fruit in the Garden of Eden. Love is the only fruit for any of us to eat in any circumstance to find sweetness in the universe.   

October 2020 Eric Ehrke LCSW, LMFT is a psychotherapist at Ommani.  He sees clients on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Zoom, Skype, or telephonic services are offered.  Call our office at 262.695.5311 to schedule an appointment.

   

Heart and Soul Maintenance

This pandemic has provided unique problems for everyone. Every mother, father and lover worries about friends and family during trying times. Many hearts have been broken due to the death, gut-wrenching violence on our streets, and financial ruin. Poets, authors, and singers like Janis Joplin describe tragedy as losing a piece of their heart. It’s an accurate description of a real dilemma. Who hasn’t felt his or her heart hurt this past year? On the spiritual level, our heart and soul is essentially who we are. Our heart expresses love while we are alive, while a soul is essentially pure love. This article will provide suggestions for heart and soul maintenance. 

Hearts pump love within our body and can caress others with elegance. Souls also express love, but on another level. A soul will not diminish itself to address different agendas like a heart frequently does. Soul will partition its whole self into each piece of the pie. Unlike our heart, it has the ability to place it’s entire self in each piece to address multiple tasks. Since a soul has an unbreakable connection to divinity, it knows it will always survive. Sustained by source, it will wait forever until we collect all of our soul parts when we decide to return home again. Trauma can cause aspects of our soul to remain frozen in time, which is why therapists and many other spiritual traditions have soul retrieval practices for this very purpose. When we get frozen, what is really happening is that our soul holds the pure loving essence of who we are in place until our heart is strong enough to release the illusions our intellect created in its attempt to survive the trauma. 

A human heart often gets snookered and is a different animal than our soul. The phrases such as  “a piece of my heart” and “a broken heart” are often used to describe a very real process. Hearts break and can be given away. They are mortal and fear death. A loving heart has the same courage as our soul, however. People run into trouble if their heart tries to copy a soul’s imperviousness to suffering. Have you ever suffered after giving your heart away or allowed others or life drain you dry? 

The heart is a finite organ, which will die. In an average lifetime it will beat 2.5 billion times but often gets overwhelmed serving and trying to heal others. Trauma creates challenges to heart and soul maintenance. A heart can get frozen in time and get obsessive and compulsive. One way to know if you are running into addictive problems is when you intuitively know you are obsessing or compulsively engaging in behaviors too often, but can’t stop. Rigid minds and addicted hearts will attempt to pump life and blood into situations or relationships that are dead and need to be buried. On a positive note, our heart can remember the power of love’s source and our divine roots. Many hearts beat with this same courage and possess an absolute fearlessness as they help and heal others. We see this in our first responders and hospital staff around the world during this pandemic.

Heart and soul maintenance presents many challenges to overcome. Our challenge is to learn to nurture our own heart as much as our heart wants to nurture us, and everyone else. The following questions are worth considering:

  • Where and how do I express love? 
  • Who do I love and do I do it responsibly?
  • How well do I take care of myself?
  • Do I love too much…or not enough?

The heart is a vehicle of love and an incarnate expression of our soul’s pure essence. They need to work together. Here is a list of do’s and don’ts.

  1. Love yourself, as you would want the divine to love you.
  2. Learn how to love yourself as you are without any conditions.
  3. Love your heart and nurture yourself as your heart nurtures you.

The heart beats in rhythm and varies under stress, loving conditions, etc. We need to listen to its’ rhythms. It is always beating out messages to let us know how it feels. Listen to your heart and give it what it wants and needs. Notice its feedback and what speaks to your heart. Indulge your passions. Recognize how your frequency rises, when your soul starts dancing with you. Whenever your heart and soul work together, a powerful loving combination forms. 

 

When hearts and souls dance together miracles happen and happiness follows. This is how to embody your divinity. A heart will always let our biology know when we are on the right track. When we embody our dreams and heartfelt passion, our soul listens. When our body, heart and soul work together for our highest good…true power enters the picture. This is how love activates the mirrors of the universe to manifest the fruits of our joyful creation.  

 

Loving others invites others to love us in return. They frequently reflect our love back to us like a mirror, which awakens our heart and soul to the frequency of love. Being reminded of our loving origins is always a good thing. The mistake that people make is thinking is that the source of love is from the other individual. Many people believe they can’t or don’t know how to do it for themselves. I invite you to consider that a good heart and soul connection is all anyone needs to meet one’s goals, find happiness, embrace your divine nature and remember your spiritual home. Other people’s love is nice but not necessary. You are a divine being and this is all you need to know.

 

In summary, listen to your heart. Its’ rhythms are designed to register, detect and provide feedback about the true nature of love’s frequencies. This helps us discern what feels loving or is an illusion. A human heart can’t be divided too often. It will attempt to copy the soul and split its love into many places. It always fails and we will suffer. Our energy diminishes if we are split in too many pieces for very long. We need to learn, what our heart really needs and go for it with a singular purpose. 

 

Parents, lovers and healers frequently make the same mistake. Problems occur if our heart has too many masters or mouths to feed. An exhausted heart will let you know when to let others learn to fish for love themselves. It is not healthy to give our fish away to everyone around us and starve in the process. Please consider the following suggestions for heart and soul maintenance:

 

  1. Take care of yourself.
  2. Everyone has a heart.
  3. Teach others to use their heart.
  4. Never forget to take care of your own heart.
  5. Source will provide heart energy for everyone and fill the cracks.
  6. Take time for your heart, listen to it, and love it.

These suggestions will help your heart stay strong and serve you throughout your lifetime. Wisdom and pain are masterful teachers. Some people learn through wisdom, but most of us grow from pain. When fishing for love, trial and error are frequent companions. This is why taking another’s pain away when pain might eventually teach them how to fish for her or himself will always be a dicey proposition inviting a painful lesson. 

Lessons about Leadership, Mistakes and Transformation from Gilgamesh

Gilgamesh and Huwawa is a four-thousand-year-old Sumerian epic that teaches us about heroism and the wisdom evil can birth. Universal and timeless, it’s a story about the importance of moderation and the eternal tension between our lower nature and mature self-awareness. Chiseled into Mesopotamian clay, this mythological poem offers insights about narcissistic impulses, emotional growth, and eventually, spiritual transformation.

Gilgamesh was a powerful demigod, a ruler who was quite immature in his youth. He fought constantly and fed his arrogance by thoroughly dominating others. Initially, when Gilgamesh was in a position of leadership over the ancient city of Uruk, he did just about everything wrong. 

~ Gilgamesh and uwawa (Version A), Sumerian cuneiform tablet, Third Dynasty of Ur (2150-2000BC) 

He killed the divinely protected environmental guardian, ransacked the precious Cedar Forest, 

insulted the goddess of love, and slew a mighty bull deity. He found the key to eternal youth but quickly lost it to a snake, who started shedding its skin immediately afterward. Eventually, he consulted with Siduri (the goddess of beer), who suggested he stop trying to extend his life and enjoy life’s simple pleasures. 

Prior to meeting a human remotely his equal, Gilgamesh indulged his insatiable appetites and sought immortality. When he finally met his match in a man named Enkidu, who was deeply in touch with his instinctive, emotional nature, Gilgamesh tried to subdue him. They eventually became close friends, worked together as a team, and learned about the love that grows from the companionship of equals. Facing fear, death and the terrors of war together deepened their bonds throughout this classic epic. Intuition, instinct, and even dreams guided Gilgamesh and Enkidu on their heroic quests. 

During his misguided efforts to find fame and immortality, he eventually found love with his companion, Enkidu, and developed a deeper understanding of heart connection and the importance of his global community. However, both were young and still immature, fame from conquering a terrifying demon-god named Huwawa became their ultimate goal.  The embodiment of evil and guile, Huwawa begged for mercy after his defeat. Gilgamesh wavered but killed the beast after consulting with Enkidu. Both were enflamed with hubris immediately afterward, but Enkidu became ill upon their return home and eventually perished. 

Prior to his friend’s death, Gilgamesh thought he was immortal. Humbled, he eventually recognized his human fate. Grief provided the opportunity for him to grow and master his interior demons. When he considered himself unique and superior to everyone, he was prideful. Gilgamesh eventually recognized that the evil and terror he tried to conquer in others were merely mirrors of his own reflection. Eventually from Huwawa’s spilled blood, empathy, love, and the importance of human connection matured like cedar trees within Gilgamesh’s heart. Lessons learned about companionship, community, and camaraderie from his time with Enkidu became the nurturing soil that matured his heart. Ultimately, the spiritual wisdom gleaned from his mistakes completed his transformation.

Gilgamesh terrorized others in his youth, healed his heart and spiritually transformed during this epic. He discovered he was never alone while he was in the company of friends. It’s a beautiful story of transformation and the acute awareness birthed from suffering. Gilgamesh ultimately realized love is connection and the secret of immortality is interconnection to all that is. The Iranian philosopher, Omar Khayyam (1048-1131) summarized his timeless lesson in the following way.

“Make the most of what yet may spend.

Before we too into the Dust descend.”

Gilgamesh during his legendary journeys and heroic battles with deities and monsters found lost and eventually discovered the secret to eternal youth. Despite the mythic nature of the story, Gilgamesh remains a very human character. He is narcissistic, has heartbreaks and experiences the same limitations and simple pleasures that every one of us does. During his epic journeys, Gilgamesh explores the nature and meaning of being human. Like all philosophers, he asks…what is love? Why is life so short? How do I deal with loss? What is the meaning of life? And, am I doing it right?    

The story of Gilgamesh is revered mythological epic in the Middle East and has lessons about leadership, mistakes and provides the keys to transformation. In the Eastern wisdom tradition darkness and light lie on a continuum. Sometimes darkness and loss can look like it is winning only to slingshot us to an enlightened way of being as Gilgamesh learned. Similarly, Germany, Italy, and Japan transformed exponentially since the mistakes their leaders made during WWII. 

Wisdom and pain are powerful teachers. When wisdom is lacking, pain rushes in to complete our education. Our soul uses suffering like a carpenter uses sandpaper on wood to smooth out the illusion. Pandemics force us to suffer or find wise, loving solutions. Maintaining the illusion that we are immortal and immune from destruction like Gilgamesh did in his youth isn’t sustainable. Old habits are hard to change. Many of us need to be brought to our knees before real change is considered.

Today, the United States is in the midst of a global pandemic. Many of our leaders are acting like a youthful Gilgamesh. Our Covid-19 death rates, unemployment figures, and incoherent national response to multiple crises are not sustainable solutions. In the past few years, aspects of what many in the United States think are foundational qualities and trustworthy institutions of our country have suffered. Like phoenixes rising out of our despair, the Me Too Movement, Black Lives Matter, LBGTQ support, and a national cry for a science-based pandemic response have exploded in America. United States as a whole is changing and remembering we live in a global community. Change is in the air and pain happens to be America’s primary teacher. Death and loss bring everyone to his or her knees before real change occurs. Now, many more of our leaders are opening their eyes to see what works around the world. Like Gilgamesh, America may learn that heart connection and the importance of a global community where every life matters will eventually solve this pandemic.  

 

“How long does a building stand before it falls?

How long does a contract last? How long will brothers

share the inheritance before they quarrel?

How long does hatred, for that matter, last?

Time after time the river has risen and flooded.

The insect leaves the cocoon to live but a minute.

How long is the eye able to look at the sun?

From the very beginning nothing at all has lasted.”

David Ferry, The Epic of Gilgamesh 

August 2020 Eric Ehrke LCSW, LMFT is a psychotherapist at Ommani.  He sees clients on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Zoom, Skype, or telephonic services are offered.  Call our office at 262.695.5311 to schedule an appointment.

 

Self-Actualization is the Third Pillar of Self-Mastery

Self-love is the first pillar of self-mastery and is archived in the Ommani Jewel’s February 2020 edition. That article suggests, when we learn to truly love ourselves without conditions, we can start believing are worthy of a bountiful life. Recognizing it’s our responsibility to align our body, heart, and mind to consciously create our reality is the challenge of the second pillar, which is archived in the Jewel’s March 2020 edition. Once we learn to love ourselves and become responsible then sovereignty and actualizing dreams take priority. Due to the pandemic, I wrote articles about COVID-19 during the past three months. Now we have Black Lives Matter protests and No Justice, No Peace discussions. So, the time is ripe to describe the third pillar of self-mastery. Self-actualization is the ability to become empowered and self-understanding creates the foundation of personal power. It could be said that the inscription of the self-actualizing cornerstone reads: “In order to know who we are, we must learn to walk in the shoes of many people.” You may wonder why, when the operative word of each pillar is self, we must walk on many roads and navigate family footpaths? 

Self-actualization is a lifelong process of advocacy through opposites initially. Choices let us explore what we are not before realizing what we are. Exploring another’s opinion helps us learn about our self and grow backbones. Children are easily infected with other’s agendas, parental injunctions and religious attitudes that do not represent their eventual attitude about life. Developing a sense of self by exploring what we are not is the path adolescents typically walk. Autonomy, power and sense of identity are the driving forces of adolescents. This is the reason they have rebelled from parental authority throughout history. 

Toddlers want power. The first step on this long path is rejecting anything adults say…just because they can. Opposition mirrors an infant’s initial attempt to refuse anything from their mother. This is one of the ways a baby knows it is alive and separate from mother. The parent’s ability to understand this and champion individualization attempts gives the infant permission to grow and helps the child’s decision-making ability. If the mother is crushed by any attempt of the child to individuate, the baby may impede its own growth to help the mother feel better and fail to self-actualize. 

Rules need to be bent and boundaries explored so unique solutions can be developed to help us adapt to changing situations. This is why it’s important to let children’s minds grow without rigid boundaries. We need to give our children and ourselves permission to test boundaries in order to discover what’s possible and what’s not. This instills a mechanism to develop fresh ideas as the old ones cease to be effective. We all need avenues to express our creative impulses to the outside world so that the mirrors of the universe can reflect the results of our efforts back to us. This is how dreams actualize. The Internet is a great example of how unlimited opportunities provide a creative outlet and instantaneous feedback about humanity’s dreams.

Another important building block of self-actualization occurs as self-esteem improves and empowerment occurs, then a longing for spiritual connection grows. Since our soul is our self in its highest form, it knows what to do to meet our personal desires, needs, and internal instincts. After walking in the shoes of many people in our youth, healthy adults recognize outside guides aren’t necessary. For example, people of every color are walking together in the Black Lives Matter protests worldwide. Mature people are uniting and putting their bodies, hearts, minds and souls together to actualize their dreams of racial equality. Self-actualization breaks barriers and is a gift that keeps on giving.

People don’t need to be or should be clones of one another. Unfortunately, many cultures and religious traditions preserve ancient customs that stifle unique expressions and contrary ideas. Self-actualization inspires us to test boundaries, feed our creativity and individuate from the masses. A healthy nation advances through the self-actualization of its citizenry. One of the core reasons individual freedom, human rights, and democratic principles are so important around the world is that they promote self-actualization. The most advanced civilizations use these principles to succeed, evolve, and develop mastery. 

        Forcing conformity or punishing the impulse to foster independent ideas is a fear-based activity from small-minded individuals, cultures, and nations. It’s amazing how fear has motivated various cultures to become very ingenious in their attempts to prevent people, especially women and minorities from becoming empowered. If an idea takes away one’s instinct to thrive, or the motivation to empower oneself, or one’s free will to bring joy to life, there is a problem embedded in the idea.

         The fear of losing power and control runs deep in many areas of the world. We see this daily during the protests and pandemic responses around the world. Many illusions are being laid bare worldwide at this time in history. The reality on the street is that everyone knows all men, women and minorities are NOT treated equally. Without justice, there is no peace. Yet we say, All Men are Created Equal in our constitution and prayers. On a smaller scale, preachers say selfishness is the root of all “evil” and the “devil’s playground.” “Giving is better than receiving” is another one. Resist the temptation to believe myths that promote inequality, injustice and sacrifice are next to godliness. When myths, like white privilege remain embedded in our collective unconscious, everyone loses something dear in the process.  

         Don’t believe the baloney that repressive cultures have been preaching for centuries to enslave their masses. The process of self-actualization allows us to shed illusions and any misguided notions of what works for us and what doesn’t—from our parents, cultural heritage, and worldwide myths in general. Spontaneously create what you want without everyone else’s dysfunctional baggage dragging you down. 

         Our strength, success, and personal power attract people to us. It’s much more efficient to become powerful, happy, and whole than to put our light under a basket so other people aren’t blinded by our brightest qualities. People will listen more attentively when we already possess the qualities others desire. The most effective way to offer help and provide resources to others is from this place. People learn from us by what we do and who we are. It matters little what we say, want, or dream about. This is how life works. We see living examples of this in our first responders and protestors daily.

         Self-actualization is the new paradigm of our new millennium challenged by climate change, partisan politics and shortsighted thinking. Will enough people eventually realize everyone is a divine being living in a human body with an eternal soul just like us? This concept lives at the heart of the Black Lives Matter, the Me Too and the No Justice, No Peace Movements. With this knowledge, we can create from the pure joy from our soul, access the wisdom of the sages, and use our manifestation powers to create a better world for not only ourselves but all of humanity. 

         Realistically, improving the quality of our lives is basically changing one idea or rule and replacing it with another. When we walk into our power by unifying the physical, emotional, and mental aspects of ourselves, we can start accessing universal wisdom with the strength of our soul connection. Our heart, mind, and soul provide a powerful force to be reckoned with when we combine them with pure passion and intent. Nothing can stop us when we all work together in pure harmony. We see this on our streets and in our first responders every day.

         Some people get scared and feel guilty when our friends and family continue to remain mired in illusion’s clutches. Remaining small can be an overpowering seduction. But we’re not doing anyone any favors if we hide our light. Help them by becoming a living example of how focused power can manifest dreams and create success. By our example, we inspire and teach what needs to be done. Who hasn’t been touched by the videos of health responders and protestors worldwide?  Like the girl pictured below, someday we will all learn how to laugh with a lion.

         In conclusion, rules are meant to be broken, and tests of courage always create new possibilities. Every major achievement, individually or collectively, that has ever occurred on earth has been accomplished through this process. Give yourself permission to grow and thrive in this world. Let the creative impulse beating in your heart and shining from your soul manifest your dreams. This is how your soul actualizes itself on earth. Self-actualization is the only game in town worth playing to achieve any goal worth accomplishing. Anything less is small potatoes in a little world filled with old ideas weighted down with tiny possibilities. So have fun, play to your heart’s content and let love direct your spirit to joyful creations.

 

Faith, Trust and Pixie Dust

So why would a soul like us leave the divine’s embrace to experience COVID-19 and craziness on earth? Creating love in the physical world, mastering illusions, and returning home again with the wisdom gained from the experience holds our attraction. Leaving Oneness to experience a physical body and duality demonstrates a significant amount of trust on many levels. Perhaps Peter Pan, the leader of the Lost Boys in J.M. Barrie’s wonderful play said it best, “All the world is made of faith, trust and pixie dust.

Infants instinctually trust their caregivers at birth. If the family home is safe and secure, children will develop trust in themselves and the world around them. Trust is earned through time and behavior. If they experience betrayals, traumas or security violations, trust is quickly withdrawn. Lady Gaga, a victim of early trauma, describes trust toward perpetrators in her unique way, “Trust is like a mirror, you can fix it if it’s broken, but you can still see the crack in that mother fucker’s reflection.” “Once bitten, twice shy” is a more polite way to say the same thing, but it doesn’t quite address endured suffering as powerfully. On a positive note, when we outgrow our reliance on others, heal wounds, and consistently manifest a satisfactory lifestyle, trust can return. So how does trust return during a crisis like COVID-19?

On Tuesday, May 5th according to the 2020 Edelman Trust Barometer spring update, which surveyed eleven countries in late April…trust in government globally is at an all-time high during the pandemic. At 65% this percentage made government the most trusted institution for the first time, ahead of businesses, non-profits, and the media. Usually, the least trusted of the four, the rapid shutdowns eased safety concerns, while businesses were slow to react and partisan media cried, “fake news.” Richard Edelman, CEO of Edelman said, “This is really like World War II. This is a different time to 2001 after 9/11, and 2008 after the Great Recession. This is a global pandemic, it is across industries, it is having an economic and a health effect, and therefore the government becomes the last bastion of trust.” In this survey Americans trusted their state versus federal government 66% to 46% respectfully. 

Trust operates like ballast stabilizing a ship during stormy seas. Successfully navigating through life’s difficult challenges deepens its calming effects. Many people make the mistake of trusting illusions that by definition are temporary in nature. Trust is the quality that gets us through the temporary earth storms of hardship and resistance. People who trust are more free, dynamic, and powerful in the truest sense. They tend to thrive in the world because all the forces of the universe often unite to help create a trusted dream. Trust invites support. Happiness and freedom are the results. The universe will always assist an honest and sincere man or woman who embodies integrity, love, and trust. Trust the divine, others, and yourself before addressing any additional ideals on your plate. Prioritize your needs and your soul’s guidance first. Trust the universe secondarily. No matter how difficult the obstacle, trust that the divine supports your efforts to manifest your dreams. Once the first two steps are accomplished, you can never go wrong if you trust in others as your third step. During these trying times, many people are praying.

Unfortunately, many of the prayers people are offering in the wake of the current events have no effect on their desired intention. In order to pray properly, one must know that we an aspect of the divine ourselves. With that in mind prayers of supplication, adoring, and begging for some desired event or outcome do not carry the punch people desire. Here are five steps for powerful prayer.

 

  1. We need to focus our intention clearly in our mind, while our emotions send the prayer bursting out into the universe from our passionate heart. The universe hears all prayers. Visualize the desire approaching, gathering energy and momentum to arrive. Imagine the optimal outcome and feel the positive feelings of the desired event manifesting just in the way we want it. We aren’t manipulating events, we’re reprogramming our belief system and sending a message to the universe that we wish to hold a new vision or focused desire. Give up planning the method, timing and avenue of the desired manifestation. This allows the universe more room to work. The creative spark of the prayer can fit into more places never dreamt of in our mind and do more good this way. 
  2. Calmly hold the knowing that the universe heard us. Let go of wanting to thank the divine before the prayer is answered since this smacks of manipulation. Surrender to the understanding that we may not know our soul’s plan or the soul path of others. A prayer can never override someone’s soul directive or a group soul agenda. They will always take priority over personal prayer.
  3. Trust that earth and the universe will respond to our prayer. Watching water boil doesn’t make it happen any quicker. Vigilance engenders fear and doubt which causes your result to move away. Fear sends the following message to the universe and can undo a prayer, “I now wish to manifest fear.” The universe will match the core energies of your heart, mind and soul in the moment we feel it. By preparing and expecting positive results from our prayer, our seeds of passion and intention grow quickly.

 

The universe provides the sun, water, the pixie dust within synchronicity and the power of creative thought to mirror the creative impulse of our heart, mind and soul. The intensity and sincerity of our prayer is paramount. If we are confused, the universe will match our confusion and return more confusion to us as if our prayer was a request for more confusion.  The universe doesn’t react to our intention, it responds to our whole being. Powerful prayer is one of absolute, heartfelt, passionate desire. We need to let go of any attachment to the perfect way our prayer should be answered. Know that whatever happens will be appropriate spiritually even though our personality may think otherwise.

  1. Sending energy to others needs to be done carefully if they are ill or need help. Visualize the individual or group solving health issues, finding strength and achieving security. We are in effect sending them a vision to stimulate the health, wisdom and wholeness already inherent inside themselves. We are all perfect at the soul level. Pray for the individual’s personality or group to remember perfect health. Hold the vision of serenity and security located in their soul’s individual or collective template. 

When praying for individuals or groups in other parts of the world hold the image of infinite wisdom and compassion filling the hearts of others less wise or full of hatred. Do not assume they are empty and we or the universe must fill them up. Remember, they are divine beings experimenting in illusion just like everyone else.

Earth is a free-will planet and some individuals and groups experiment in pain and suffering to blow up rigid belief systems. Love requires we don’t take lessons away from others. If the painful lesson is removed prematurely, the soul will be drawn to manifest it again. There are no exceptions to this truth. This is why it is tricky to pray for another with our vision in mind as well as our pixie dusted outcome. 

All souls want peace, love and security needs met. This is why connecting to these positive images are empowering prayers. There are individuals and groups with wonderful agendas but pain, suffering, and pandemics are the tools to get the job done. Thus surrendering our personality’s sense of timing to another’s soul timing is critical. Prayers designed to steer them away from their agenda would dishonor them. 

  1. When we pray for ourselves, focus your awareness on good health, happiness and inner peace to remember these desired states. If this doesn’t work, it would be wise to meditate deeply to discern our soul’s spiritual agenda around the problem we want changed. We and/or humanity collectively have beliefs buried deep in our subconscious manifesting these undesirable series of events. If this is true our soul will assist the negative outcomes until we are motivated to revisit our core beliefs so we and/or humanity can change them.

Since this pandemic is so pervasive and affects all of us, this questionnaire may be helpful to explore trust more deeply to help everyone looks at possible solutions. The following set of questions come from the Trust Alliance Principles (TAP) Assessment from M.C. Bligh’s book, Leadership Today: Practices for Personal and Professional Performance (21–42), Springer International Publishing. I adapted some of the sentences to include personal relationships.

*Which principles do you believe are a strength or weakness in your personal relationships, organization or workplace? 
(Select as many as apply)

__ Truth – We are honest and humble – We put the truth ahead of personal or professional gain.

__ Accountability – We hold one another accountable – we each take responsibility without regard to level or role.

__ Purpose – We engage others and our stakeholders to build shared purpose – we avoid short terms “wins” that undermine future success.

__ Integrity – We do what we say – our everyday actions and talk are consistent.

__ Notice – We seek out and listen to diverse perspectives – every voice can matter.

__ Talent – We reward moral character – we seek friendships, hire and promote in alignment with our purpose and values.

__ Openness – We are open and ready to learn – we can be vulnerable and not have all the answers.

__ Transparency – We reject hidden agendas – we are transparent wherever and whenever possible.

__ Respect – We respect each other – we encourage questioning and create a “zero fear” environment where innovation can thrive.

__ Understanding – We celebrate our successes – we acknowledge and examine our failures with empathy, and learn from both.

__ Safety – We call out unethical behavior or corrupt practices – we make it safe to be honest with no fear of reprisal.

__ Tracking – We define and scorecard our performance against our value and values – we measure both.

 

 

June2020 Eric Ehrke LCSW, LMFT is a psychotherapist at Ommani.  He sees clients on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Telephonic services are available during this period of COVID19 physical distancing for new and existing clients.  Call our office at 262.695.5311 to schedule an appointment.

 

COVID-19 Is A Gateway

The crisis that is COVID-19 is a scourge, but also a gateway. In a short few months, fear and uncertainty have swept into the collective human heart the world over. This article will focus on the perspective Viktor Frankl used to survive and eventually thrive after he endured the Holocaust in World War II. In his famous book “Man’s Search for Meaning,” Viktor said when worldwide events sweep away core freedoms; our response is what really matters and ultimately the only effective solution. Similarly, Thich Nhat Hahn after witnessing Viet Nam suffer through an endless war said in his book, Living Buddha, Living Christ, said, “The best way to take care of the future is to take care of the present moment.” Unfortunately, greed, pride, fear, possessiveness, and hatred are hard habits to break. The temptation to hoard, protect our clan at the expense of others less fortunate is very tempting. We versus them mindsets are as old as time. People have killed, enslaved and generally used their neighbor as cannon fodder throughout history. 

 

Alienation, isolation, greed, and a chronic sense of not belonging have caused mass migrations, immigration crisis and unprecedented wealth disparity in recent times. Partisan politics, religious dogma and border walls have replaced compassion, compromise and humanistic solutions. When fear rules and our leaders lack vision, eternal principles and core values become disposable like toilet paper. Since toilet paper is now in short supply, we can all buy stock in Depends. Humanistic polices designed for the good of all have always been abhorrent to the rich and entitled. Socrates was killed for challenging powerful leaders in Athens, when they ignored what he considered core Greek democratic principles. When truth, imagination and dreams collapse, people consciously and unconsciously want to check out. I suspect when chronic despair and hopelessness reach a nadir, worldwide events like plagues, wars and pandemics occur to shake us up.

 

Due to unconscious fear, resistance to change and sloth, humanity needs a dramatic kick in the butt occasionally. Buddhist monks immolated themselves during the Viet Nam war not only to get attention but more importantly to activate worldwide compassion to wartime suffering. Addictions to habitual ways to look and act in the world are locked away with very secure locks. It takes worldwide events like the COVID-19 pandemic and financial markets crashing to get humanity’s full attention. Now that commerce is slowed down and social distancing is in full swing, our toolbox of trusted habits is turned over and spilled on the floor. Everyone is suffering or will feel the pandemic’s effects shortly. 

Our current challenge is to become mindful to discern what matters to us and choose which activities truly make sense. Then chart a productive course of action. We are entering a time where every core belief system we hold dear needs to be examined, assessed and thrown out if it isn’t a viable solution. This global crisis is creating the space to explore unexamined mysteries. It is a gateway that provides an opportunity to create anew. Trauma creates urgency. And the unknown challenges us to sharpen our creative tools of imagination, desire and an expectation to generate more joy, happiness, and trust in our lives. Tragedy invites us to re-examine core values. 

The following three sets of questions will help you stay awake and take care of the present moment. 

  1. The following COVID-19 questions may be helpful to explore:
  • What is COVID-19 doing to me?
  • What does COVID-19 take away, impede and/or give me?
  • Does COVID-19 fuel my resistance to change or motivate?
  • What new permissions does this pandemic give me?
  1. Assess what really matters to you going forward: 
  • Ask, who am I, then evaluate how I live my life?
  • What matters to me… why do they matter?
  • Which values matter…does beauty matter? 
  • What worth do I place on what matters to me?
  • Do I embody my principles and what matters to me?
  • How do I prioritize my answers to these questions? 
  1. Now it’s time to decide which habits, emotional attachments and mindsets:
  • Want to stay? 
  • Need to go?
  • What unconscious desires need to end?
  • What will I miss…what do I treasure?
  • Going forward, what do I need to do?

This is an auspicious time in human history where every one of us is challenged to become greater than we were before. Or will we fall back into recycling ancient patterns of exclusion, class warfare and genocide like the generations before us. This is the challenge I believe CCOVID-19 puts before each and every one of us. The challenge is to become greater than division, derision, fear, greed, and protectionism. Manipulating the weak is an ancient illusion that always leads to wars, hatred and perpetual suffering. The attempt to gain some advantage over another is a timeless seduction. Practicing the belief that we are all one requires policies designed for the greater good of everyone. We are all one and policies that benefit the world as a whole are challenging. I suspect this is why we are collectively brought to our knees sometimes. Can humanity eventually develop global policies where love, compassion and the pursuit of happiness are available to everyone?

Here are some suggestions to close the gateway that is COVID-19. 

The previous three sets of questions explored what matters to you and why you might have wanted to leave or check out. Now explore your purpose for existence:

  • What needs to happen for you to want to stay and stand tall? 
  • Can you replace dogma and addictions with honest dialogue, love and compassion?
  • How can you create love, joy and happiness in your world to heal your wounds and envision a hopeful, vibrant future?
  • Are you willing to protect yourself with appropriate sanitization protocols and social distance with a loving attitude?

Consider truly embodying what matters to you. Embrace your dreams and envision successful outcomes. Create beauty around you that touches your heart and soul. Be what matters, own your values and live your principles. Flow nurturing love and compassion to hot spots around the world where people are suffering. Envision empowered humans the world over overcoming obstacles with love and compassion. Image a new world where love and compassion closes the gateway because all of humanity chooses to create a world where everyone wants to stay. Love and compassion will close the gateway, not more of the same old tired we versus them mentality. In the Eastern wisdom traditions, good and bad and right and wrong are seen as left and right poles on a continuum. Each pole can’t exist without the other. Similarly, a beautiful lotus flower can’t exist without mud. COVID-19 is mud and let’s plant fertile seeds that grow beautiful flowers from tragedy. The following four-step mantra from Thich Nhat Hahn might help us develop more compassion not only with our lover, but more importantly, with everyone. 

  • Darling, I’m here for you.
  • Darling, I know you are here and I’m so happy you are truly there.
  • Darling, I know you suffer; this is why I am here for you.
  • Darling, I suffer. I am trying my best to practice. Please help me.

May2020 Eric Ehrke LCSW, LMFT is a psychotherapist at Ommani.  He sees clients on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Telephonic services are available during this period of COVID19 physical distancing for new and existing clients.  Call our office at 262.695.5311 to schedule an appointment.

The Frog Prince

“The Frog Prince” is a fairy tale that endures because it holds an eternal spiritual truth during these troubling times. This heart-warming story describes the mythological transformation of a frog into a prince. It teaches us to look beyond initial appearances, be true to our heart and above all, always do the right thing. This wonderful tale invites us to remember that if a frog can become a prince, then pearls of wisdom are placed near every scary snake. These are just a few of the rich mysteries we all have come on earth to explore.

Our purpose on earth includes mastering illusion and manifesting our heart’s desire. Birth lets us create love, hatred and everything in between. Earth has many life forms existing in many dimensions. Plants, animals, clouds, and wind are all sentient energies seeking expression. We always need to consider nothing is higher or lower in the eyes of the divine.

Due to the nature of duality, most of us struggle with the illusion that some beings have a greater or lesser importance in some mysterious universal pecking order. Watching death counts around the world as COVID-19 takes its toll may fuel this illusion. I invite you to consider that every life form has a unique connection to source just as every human has his or her own mysterious agenda. Since no one knows the full story on our side of the veil, surrender is key to becoming one with creation. This means we are part of and not superior to every other life form. When we accept we are all one, frogs can transform into a prince or princess and we can start looking for the pearls near snakes.

Everyone has attachments, desires and mental constructs as to how we want things to be. Surrender let us release limiting thought forms and opens us up to possibilities our mind never considered. However, our soul dreamt we might find these pearls of wisdom long ago. Healthy creations occur when we listen to our heart and soul in concert with our mind. This is how to break mental paradigms, shatter illusions and consider options we never thought possible.

Surrendering to the pearls of wisdom deep within our heart and soul will help us acknowledge our co-creative relationship with the divine now that most of has more spare time due to social distancing. Partnering with our higher self stimulates more conscious creations. This is how frogs transform into princes and pearls of wisdom spring up near snakes and viruses. We co-create the world we live in, but most people do it unconsciously. Many of us don’t have the quality control we would prefer.

Manifesting is accomplished through a metaphorical three legged-stool, which includes heartfelt passion, consistent actions and focused mental attention. Our willingness to express our heart’s desire, follow through with behaviors that ground dreams on earth and clear troublesome mental saboteurs has a direct relationship with our ability to manifest intention. When our three-legged stool consistently sings the same song while wanting a positive outcome designed for our or another’s highest good, then our soul will and perhaps the universe may join the chorus.

We are all creators, but we need to surrender any illusions we may possess blocking the manifestation of our dream. When a particularly nasty snake that the COVID-19 virus frightens our world, we need to be looking for collective illusions humanity has ignored. Our collective spiritual gyroscope knows the truth, remains connected to divinity and can steer us back to oneness. Consider the possibility that there is a loving divine and everything put before us, even this virus, has a purpose. The challenge is to look for the potential pearl of wisdom hidden somewhere in every new situation that looks like a slimy frog or scary snake.

When we stop buying the archaic pecking-order mentality, surrender our will and accept a loving possibility near this tragedy, then treasure and transformation can be found. All we have to do is look for pearls of wisdom like a beloved child on an Easter egg hunt. Children know there are wonderful treasures and beautiful eggs hidden in the yard or house by loving parents.

Discerning if this global pandemic is in reality not only a vicious snake but also an ocean of unpolished pearls of wisdom is our collective challenge to overcome. It is important to remember that what appears to be a scary pandemic could be the answer to our prayer for a more enlightened humanity. We incarnate on this planet to become more conscious and avoid dangerous snake pits so we can survive. Interestingly enough, some people love snakes and consider reptiles a treasure. The nature of earth is that one man or woman’s treasure is another’s torture. Although it seems unattainable to most of us, people on their spiritual path rise up after they fall, dust themselves off and see it all as the same stuff.

Trust that there is a loving universe making sure that there are pearls of wisdom hidden near every snake. One man can see a snake, perceive it as a treasure and feel satisfied. Another man can see a snake, move away and stumble on a pearl of wisdom. Those on the spiritual path know this is the order of life. I invite everyone to consider the lessons from The Frog Prince fairy tale. Let go of pecking orders and superiority illusions. Consider looking for the pearls of wisdom hidden behind and underneath your fear.

The secret of happiness on earth occurs when we realize we are all one and part of the all that is. Earth is a funhouse of mirrors showing us aspects of ourselves in a maze of joy, pain, and illusion. It is important to trust the following suggestion: When you fall into a proverbial snake pit like we all have with the worldwide pandemic, look for pearls of wisdom while you social distance. Do not get caught up with the drama, the pain or the fear.

Consider there is a loving divine and your soul has a hand in everything. Trust what can’t be seen initially. Walk the path of a mystic with his/her eyes blindfolded looking for pearls of wisdom along the path of enlightenment. Surrender your previous sightlines and knowing and open your mind to new possibilities you never would have considered with your eyes wide open a few months ago.

Access your inner prince/princess manifest within to help you navigate through these dark times. Trust that there is a loving divine placing pearls of wisdom along the path we can’t see. Watch your heart explode with delight and let you know what feels right. Treasure is assured if you incorporate the lessons from The Frog Prince. Seek and ye shall find. Pearls of wisdom are always found in the company of both love and agony on the path of enlightenment.

Link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Frog_Prince

April 2020 Eric Ehrke LCSW, LMFT is a psychotherapist at Ommani.  He sees clients on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Telephonic services are recommended and available during this period of COVID19 social distancing for new and existing clients.  Call our office at 262.695.5311 to schedule an appointment.

Self-Responsibility…. Step Two of the Three Pillars of Self-Mastery

The second pillar of self-mastery requires self-responsibility. One of the most important ways to physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually grow into a more mature and conscious individual is recognizing our part of the creative process. Meeting our needs lovingly, staying present without dissociating and avoiding addictive/illusionary activities, are three proactive habits that mystics mastered on their path towards enlightenment. By aligning our behavior, heart, and mind so eloquently that these three habits become a consistent, conscious vibration in every cell in our being, we too state to the universe, “This is who I am.” 

Most people believe the following statement “we create our reality.” Unfortunately, only a precious few truly understand how manifestation principles work. Here is a very brief review. When our behavior, passion, intellect truly work together for a greater good, our unified message become the base or stabilized legs of a three-legged stool. Once harmonized these three legs attract our soul, activate quantum mirroring principles and eventually matching energy from the universe. This is why we can’t talk or think one way and live another way. It won’t take very long before karmic law, which some call the laws of cause and effect, will “invite” us to steer our ship in another direction due to negative outcomes. Many get confused and unhappy when our mixed messages to the universe attract painful mirrors. When negativity knocks at our door, we frequently begin to think dark thoughts about ourselves, the divine and the reality we experience. 

Pleasure and pain are strong motivators. The universe provides mirrors designed to reflect who and what we are back to us for our review. Major problems would occur if we couldn’t figure out why positive or negative outcomes occurred in our lives. Thus the laws of cause and effect and self-responsibility help us understand our role in the creative process. Pain is a scouring pad life provides to motivate us to explore our unconscious material that may be driving our behavior, emotional reactions and/or psyche. Negative outcomes are the effect and self-responsibility explores causes to help us find our illusions. Accurate feedback allows our body, heart, and mind to link our creations with our behavior, passion and thought processes. These universal mirrors are our friends because they provide reliable feedback that enables us to replicate success or discover our illusions. 

The laws of cause and effect or karmic law is the how universe mirrors our image to us so we can see our reflection. They are the only tools in our spiritual toolbox that consistently help us navigate in the dark on the mystical path. We would be lost in earth’s illusionary mazes without the mirroring aspect of the universe, self-responsibility, and our desire to re-unify with the divine. The laws of cause and effect, self-responsibility and our re-unification goal are three reliable friends of our soul guiding us to the promised land of peace, love, and harmony.

While exploring the nature of true happiness, everyone looks for love in the wrong places. Some people seek quick fixes from addictive activities, material possessions, and passionate relationships to feel better. Many mistakenly believe that love originates from the outside world, other people, or a mountain of material possessions. Addictions, for example, and short-term pleasures often outlast their usefulness pretty quickly and turn into long-term sources of pain. Short-term fixes often make us feel better temporarily in our daily lives, but it’s important to remember that we are really manifesting our exterior reality from within ourselves. Following through with consistent behaviors that support a long-term healthy lifestyle is where the rubber meets the road.

Becoming conscious and taking ownership of our creations is as important an activity as one can accomplish on earth. Self-love, balanced play, positive motivation toward work or school, and maintaining loving relationships with others are included in the definition of self-responsibility. Unfortunately, not enough of us are true living examples of enlightened behavior patterns and ways of being. In fact, developing a conscious lifestyle is so little recognized that it has been regulated to an afterthought in the education of our youth, our professional workplace, and life in general. 

         When we truly take responsibility for ourselves, the pursuit of happiness can be taken on as a loving pleasure, just like the many other tasks of life. Fully embodying love in every aspect of our being is a spectacular way to approach life.

        Imagine for a moment how a perfected human being would answer the following questions: 

  • What would be the proper balance of exercise, good nutrition, self-care, professionally responsible behaviors, and spiritual practices for him or her? 
  • How would they interact with their loved ones, friends, and neighbors? 
  • Would they nurture their own dreams and the dreams of everyone around them? 
  • What would be the proper balance of play and work in their life?
  • How much time would they spend taking responsibility for their part of any problem?

             Everybody wants many things from their neighbors, fate, and the universe. The real test comes when and if we are willing to take responsibility to provide these same things for ourselves. The universe and the laws of cause and effect in general always match the personal frequency that we’ve achieved within ourselves. If we want self-love but lack self-responsibility, we won’t be able to manifest the love we want. The only way to bring more love into our lives is to raise our frequencies of self-love and self-responsibility. Self-responsibility is a topic frequently avoided. It’s very attractive to focus on other people, their mistakes, and the world’s problems in general. But the onus is really on us, the creators to create something new. 

In summary, self- responsibility the second pillar of self-mastery include the following concepts:

  • Our physical and/or spiritual nature has a hand in creating our circumstances
  • We are responsible not only for our creations but enlightened solutions. 
  • Discover not only the cause and effect, but the how and why we manifested our reality.
  • Once we find the initial positive intention or impulse that started a negative outcome, then choose a new solution.

Mar2020 Eric Ehrke LCSW, LMFT is a psychotherapist at Ommani.  He sees clients on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays. Call our office at 262.695.5311 to schedule an appointment.

 

Self-Love…Step One of the Three Pillars of Self Mastery

The secret of true happiness lies in our ability to love ourselves so gracefully that self-regard becomes as natural as breathing. If everyone loved himself or herself so completely that every breath was consciously drawn to enrich and facilitate wholeness in their life, the world wouldn’t be such a cruel place. When people develop the rhythm of giving and receiving love in proper balance, thriving and surviving in this world become easy.

Have you ever wondered why so many people struggle to love themselves, when the essence of our soul and every cell of our body have a divine imprint of pure love infused into each atom? Many people think self-love, self-esteem, and self-care are difficult tasks that require a great amount of work and diligence to maintain. Since we physically co-exist with our soul’s loving nature, these abilities are already encoded in our biological cellular structure. One of the first steps to stop self-sabotage is to awaken your instinctual loving nature, consider yourself as divine being worthy of love and deserving of success.

Love is a confusing word to many people because everyone has their own definition or interpretation as to how to manifest, demonstrate, or propagate it. When people have had negative or at least confusing childhood experiences with love, their relationship with spiritual concepts about love can become contaminated. Many people think that the divine will turn away from them because the god of their religion promotes conditional love and everlasting damnation. Unfortunately, these well-intended illusions convince some people they deserve a problematic life, which makes self-love more difficult.

Life on earth is confusing, cruel, and downright torturous for many people. But it’s important to remember that some souls incarnate with troubles on their plate and the intention to spend their lifetime trying to transcend them. Sometimes group plans even override our individual plans and propel us into global or countrywide struggles to overcome. Despite these challenges, self-love is the secret to overcoming any negative mirror or event from the outside world.

Once we can believe we’re an aspect of divinity worthy of love, taking time to provide self-care and attentive behaviors for our mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual bodies becomes easier. When our focus in these areas is strong, earth’s illusions can’t take us off course in our efforts to embrace the highest good for neighbors, humanity, and ourselves. These aspects create a vortex of positive creative energy, which in turn manifests our world around us.

The initial step in maintaining self-love requires a heartfelt belief in our worthiness. Many religions mistakenly have thought that the sin of hubris is so deadly that they overemphasize how insignificant and small a human being is in the natural order of the world. They promote the belief that the smaller the self-image (especially the spiritual self-image), the better and more acceptable it is to the god of their religion. Of course, this is all baloney since we are all aspects of divinity and have powerful creative forces within us to manifest our dreams in this world.

We don’t need to deserve, pray, or beg for an outstanding life. It is ours for the taking by having enough self-esteem to expect good outcomes by planning for and allowing them to enter our lives. We can do this by awakening spiritual aspects within us that already know about this lifestyle and know how to create it.

The creative spark of divinity is located in every cell of our being and completely imbues us with all the positive aspects of love’s purest forms. This profound wisdom embraces humanity so powerfully that our behavior on earth could never reduce the divine’s love for us. Once we truly understand how deeply we are loved and learn to love ourselves this way, then we can feel empowered to love others unconditionally too.

Everyone wants to receive love from another but consistent self-nurturing behavior is a struggle. Are you interested to discover how many habits you maintain that would pass a self-love test? Look at what actually works in your life, let go of anything that isn’t nurturing, and commit to behaviors that enhance a healthy, balanced lifestyle.

Then consider the following suggestions to improve your sense of worthiness:

* Love your self, as you would want others to love you.

* Love other people as much as you love the divine.

* Love yourself as your neighbors love their loved ones.

* Love yourself as all mothers in nature nurture their young.

I am

Remember who you are, where you came from, and where you’re going. Take the time to heal from your wounds and believe you are worthy of healing them. A healthy diet, exercise, and spiritual practices are ways to honor your self each day. Dedication to truth, love of spirit, and generosity of heart are essential qualities to embody. When problems occur and you forget who you are, self-love is how to remember.

Self-love is a state of being requiring such subtle effort, and its nature is so gentle, a good goal is to let your practice be unperceivable to the naked eye. Dedicate every breath toward pursuing happiness and sustaining positive nurturing behavior. Let every rise and fall of your lungs become a prayer to learn how to become your best effort to express love each moment.

Crises are opportunities to solve a mystery unfolding in front of you. When problems occur, just stop, look, and listen. Assume love is knocking on the door, trying to remind you how to find the right path to return to love again. Accept what happens, meditate for wisdom, and allow enlightened messages from your heart or soul teach you what you need to know to return home.

Our ability to heal ourselves and evolve is why we incarnated on earth. Love has the power to conquer all of earth’s illusions and loves a good fight. Many times it looks like life challenges us to learn to love others more, but it is usually a challenge for ourselves to develop self-love. We won’t grow when we pretend that our problems don’t exist, so embrace challenges and the opportunities to grow they provide.

When praying for peace and looking for love, consider the answers must also originate from within. Connecting our mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual aspects to love ourselves will assist our ability to manifest peace, love, and harmony in the outside world. Rest assured these qualities already exist in every cell of our body. Each cell knows what to do when pure love visits because they are made of the same stuff.

We are all aspects of divinity disguised as friends and strangers on this planet. Treat everyone as an equal and extend compassion without judgment. Contemplate this message carefully and feel truth’s vibration located within its words. Self-love prepares us to consciously create love in the world by experiencing this truth within ourselves. What we create in our internal world will quickly manifest in our outer world. This is how love begets love.

Feb2020 Eric Ehrke LCSW, LMFT is a psychotherapist at Ommani. He sees clients on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Call our office at 262.695.5311 to schedule an appointment.