Ascending with Both Feet on the Ground: A philosophy of grounded spirituality. We grow by coming down into our body and our personhood and learning the lessons necessary for our expansion (“You have to grow down to grow up”). Ascending with both feet on the ground suggests that unfolding to a more expansive consciousness can only be sustained if it is an embodied unfolding from the ground up (from Sole to Soul). We begin with the root chakra—the quest for Om begins at home—and we work our way up from there. It is not enough for our feet to merely skim the ground. The mythic life begins with our feet planted on Mother Earth. With our soles firmly planted, our soul has a leg to stand on in its efforts to go higher. Once the root chakra is integrated we proceed to the next chakras, healthily integrating each one. As we heal, there emerges a natural and sustainable movement upward, toward God. While at the same time, keeping our feet firmly planted, while our roots grow deeper. This philosophy bridges the Eastern quest for the eternal with the Western quest for emotional health. Sole meets Soul on sacred footpaths.
Authentications: Intentional efforts to explore the value of those pathways that have called out to us. When the soulular phone rings, we answer the call by trying it on for size. We test how the potential path or new way of being feels in our body, using our inner “authenticity-mometer”. As we explore this new way of being, we check its authenticity against our soul-scriptures to see if it is true to form.
Barking Dog Yoga (BDY): A new form of yoga developed by Jeff Brown in his personal practice, that invites practitioners to use the asanas to open parts of the body and excavate repressed memories and emotions. Think of BDY as the complete yoga experience—encompassing not just the physical body, but the emotional body and the material held within our subconscious. Practitioners are invited to cry, act out, and safely express a range of emotions, in whatever way is authentic, without judgment or discomfort. They are encouraged to express specific sounds and words that come up in the process. BDY bares some similarity to a Bioenergetics exercise class. The physical exercises serve to both open and strengthen the body, and as a practice to release and heal emotional material held within the body.
Body Masks: The physical armor we wear in order to adapt to and protect ourselves from painful, vulnerable, traumatic or uncomfortable realities. They can come in myriad forms, i.e. shallow breath, rigid musculature, limited range of motion. A direct contrast to a state of embodiment that more genuinely reflects our essential self and its manifold aspects.
Cell Your Soul: The idea that the physical body is the karmic field where the soul’s lessons are harvested. In order to grow spiritually, we must bring our suffering and our joy through the cells of the body until our spiritual lessons are brought forth. Repressed emotions are unactualized spiritual lessons. Until we go back down the path and claim them, they are still in their holding locker, growing in intensity, blocking our capacity for authentic presence. And they don’t just obstruct the path—the congealed remnants of our stuff actually eat us alive from the inside out, turning against us in the form of illness and even death. To “cell your soul” is to make your essence alive and real—at a cellular level—by embodying it fully, here in this life. To grow, we have to see our feelings through to the lessons at their heart. Once they make it all the way through the conversion tunnel, the lesson is revealed and the soul evolves to the next stage. The soul, and the emotional and physical bodies align as they were intended—as intertwined threads of the same sacred weave. Emotional maturation and spiritual maturation are synonymous.
Cerebral Bypass: The tendency to seek refuge in the mind, to live in and through thoughts alone, to over-intellectualize the moment. Often manifested as a tremendous capacity to articulate, with little capacity to hearticulate felt experience. Head-tripping in an effort to detach from the world of feeling. Frequently utilized in spiritual circles in the form of a witnessing consciousness that invites the seeker to watch, rather than to embody, their experience. Those who engage in this form of bypass often fail to realize that detachment is a tool—it’s not a life.
Conscious Adaptation: Intentionally choosing specific adaptations and disguises for a limited time and clearly defined purpose. We know who we really are, we know what specific masks to put on to deal with the circumstances before us, and we consciously remove them as soon as reasonably possible. In this way, masks can be an asset and an ally on our path, serving an important function.
Conscious Armoring: One form of conscious adaptation. The shedding of emotional and energetic armor without putting yourself in harm’s way. And then putting it back on again, when it’s needed. It requires moving away from the tendency to armor your consciousness as an automatic defense, making the process entirely conscious. Putting on armor becomes a conscious function, not a knee-jerk reaction. So, for example, when going into the marketplace to focus on your job, you assume the particular suit of armor needed to accomplish your goals. Or when spending time with difficult family members, you layer on emotional armor to the degree necessary. The key is remembering to take it back off at the end of the day, so that armor doesn’t become an embedded way of being. In other words, you always remain connected to your vulnerable heart, and you armor up for a limited time and clearly defined purpose. And not a moment longer. Learning to consciously armor is a delicate process of experimentation that may take some trial and error to get right. It’s like learning a new language.
Depth Avoidant Behavior (DAB): Any behavior done with the intention of avoiding our true self and authentic emotional or spiritual experience. We engage in DAB for a spectrum of reasons: resistance to the unknown, reluctance to make life changes, fear of great responsibility, buffering the pain that is buried within, etc. Living an authentic life requires that we confront our depth avoidant behaviors, consciously shedding our comfort zones and relinquishing our escape hatches.
Depth Charges: In the context of psychological issues, depth charges are deliberate actions with the intention of triggering unacknowledged issues and repressed emotions into awareness. In the context of sacred purpose, depth charges are intentional efforts to excavate our soul-scriptures from beneath our emotional and energetic armor. They are efforts to bring us into contact with that which calls us and longs to be lived.
Enrealment: The idea that a more ‘heightened’ consciousness is not all about the light (as enlightenment often implies), but is about becoming more authentically human—flaws and all, and more genuinely here in all respects: shadow and light, earth and sky, grocery list and unity consciousness. Enrealment is about living in all aspects of reality simultaneously rather than only those realms that feel the most comfortable. Our expansion is directly linked to our capacity to experience our spirituality in inclusive and authentic terms. We are not just the light, or the mind, or the emptiness, or eternal positivity. We are the everything. It’s all God, even the dust that falls off our awakening hearts.
In tangible terms, an enrealed human-being has a wider energetic girth. She recognizes that sustainable transformation requires a turning toward all elements of reality, and not a turning away from them. Her consciousness may be focused on a single realm at times, but all the other gateways are ajar, accessible, and close at heart. He is alive to his feelings and attuned to his psycho-emotional state. He is aware of and actively works on his unresolved patterns and issues. She is relationally connective. She is aware of her sociological context, her ancestral roots, the family of humans that support her. Her feet are firmly grounded on the earth plane, while at the same time being attuned to subtler intangible states of awareness. He feels connected to his body temple—both its open and closed places. He is healthily boundaried but not closed off—fluid, not fixed. He is aware of the world around him, including the natural world. She is conscious of her localized reality and aware of her practical needs and responsibilities—things to do, obligations, commitments to honor—and yet is also aware of her place in the vaster field. She sees the bigger picture, not from a bird’s eye view, but from the depths of her being. She sees spirituality everywhere. Be real now.
Enrealed Love Relationship: A grounded and balanced relationship that honors the three entities at the heart of each connection: the individual world of each participant, and the world that they co-create together—encompassing the triad of developmental aspects of healthy coupledom: soulmates, solemates, and wholemates. An enrealed love relationship is not bound by survivalist principles of duty, role, function and adaptation. Instead, it moves from an ever more authentic source-spring, growing through many transformative stages, before arriving here, together, in every regard. It is grounded in reality, and simultaneously rooted in sacred purpose and the principles of healthy relatedness.
False-path: Any path that is not true to our sacred purpose for this lifetime. We often receive indications that we are on our false path: a sense of nagging discomfort, dreamscapes and nightmares, a little voice inside, and a wide spectrum of other cues. We should be more afraid of avoiding our path than walking it.
Forgiveness Bypass: The tendency to avoid unresolved memories and emotions by forgiving prematurely, or through a mental/cerebral process alone. This is not a genuine full-bodied forgiveness—it is a feigned forgiveness. This is not only an ungrounded tendency—because you cannot actually will yourself into a feeling of forgiveness—it’s also a dangerous one. The unhealed emotional material will come back to assert itself and haunt us in various forms: internal splitting and confusion, passive aggressive behavior, and the toxic impact of held emotions. In the process, we become another step removed from our authentic presence. Because at some level—we are not living our truth. Forgiveness is not a mental construct. It is not something that can be forced—or willed. True forgiveness can only arise organically, after a genuine healing process. Only then is it authentic.
Godjectification: The tendency to project God onto others. In its healthier forms, the projections are reflections of our sacred humanness. We don’t have expectations of perfection. We see ourselves, and others, as Godseeds in the making, carriers of divine possibility, invaluable seekers of wholeness. We Godjectify in an effort to honor and support each other, particularly when we lose our way. We Godjectify as a reminder to hold each other in our truest light. In its unhealthiest forms, the projections are laden with unrealistic expectations and fantastical imaginings. Unhealthy Godjectification ultimately leads to disappointment and to all manner of abuse, particularly in spiritual and religious communities. The key is to remember that these leaders aren’t God—they’re human. We can certainly respect and learn from them, but the moment we begin to project perfection or spiritual mastery onto them, we have undermined our own empowerment. Nothing will disable you more on the path than perpetually projecting God’s wisdom onto others. It is true that others may have valuable wisdom, but when it comes to your own path, only you can know what specific soul-steps to take. Others can provide you with tools that help you to remove the blockages to clear seeing, but they cannot tell you which path to walk. You are the only person who can know the true-path you are here to walk. You are the sculptor of your own reality—don’t hand your tools to anyone else.
Grounded Spirituality: An all-encompassing experience of spirituality that is rooted in, and threads throughout, all aspects of our humanity and earthly experience. We begin and end our spiritual quest within the ground of our being—our embodied humanness—as both interpreter of experience and as our individuated portal to divinity. We don’t look outside our human form for spirituality, we look deeper within name and form, cultivating a more refined understanding of the divine reflection that exists right in the heart of our selfhood. We honor its sacred qualities and transformative properties, celebrating it as the perfectly constructed laboratory of expansion that it is. With our feet rooted firmly on Mother Earth, and in daily life, we become grounded in reality in all its identifiable forms. We expand outward, and inward, from there.
In essence, Grounded and Spirituality are synonyms. They both mean reality. The more deeply grounded you are in your body and selfhood, the more fully you are here. The more fully you are here, the more spiritual your experience. It is from the depths of your being that you have the greatest access to the everything. What this means, in concrete terms, is that we stop stepping away from the uncomfortable elements of our humanness, and we fully incorporate and live deeper within the often-maligned self, understanding and appreciating that the more developed the self is, the more profound our connection to the spiritual realms. Rather than identifying the self as the enemy of the sacred, we recognize that it is indistinguishable from it, and we embrace, honor, and live through every aspect of the self. Your selfhood: the only thing you can truly stand in. The only thing that is truly yours. And the only way you can connect with the world at large and sense, feel, penetrate, this awake universe.
Habitual Range of E-motion: Our emotional comfort zone. It is the range of feeling between armor and vulnerability that we return to time and time again because it feels familiar, comfortable, and safe. Unfortunately, for many of us, it is a very narrow range—one that doesn’t reflect our potential, or a life fully lived. It doesn’t reflect the true-paths we are here to walk. It’s a step back from our growing edge. This is perfectly appropriate considering our range has been determined and prescribed by our trauma history. Most people enter this world deeply vulnerable and open. Yet uncomfortable, jarring, and traumatic life experiences compel a tightening of the range. The tighter the range, the less vulnerable we are to disappointment and pain. At the same time, the less capable we are of feeling joy and liberation. And the less likely we are to step out into the purposeful life that awaits us. Our transformation depends on our willingness to move beyond our habitual range.
Healthy Anger: Anger that is honestly felt and healthily expressed. In a mad dash to escape from anger’s perils, we went too far and lost a key piece of the emotional integrity and expression cycle. By discouraging and shaming our organic expression of anger, we disrupt our natural emotional rhythms and encourage inauthentic ways of being. This is not to deny the perils of anger turned to rage, but we have forgotten its fiery wisdom, its contribution to positive change, its connection to a passionate life, its profoundly revealing and healing nature. Anger is a productive force that will propel you to take care of business, right wrongs, correct injustices, and bring positive change into form. When we repress it with premature forgiveness, block it with false positivity, repress it in the name of pseudo-peace, we dam(n) our natural flow. The river then turns inward, against the self in the form of illness, or explodes outward, against innocents. Better we express it when it is in our awareness—not in a way that is destructive to humanity (the important thing is to be true to the emotions, without doing needless harm), but in a way that is authentic and that restores the integrity of our being. Anger isn’t the enemy. Misplaced anger is. Let the river flow…
Healthy Ego: The vital and balanced self-concept. The enlivened and boundaried sense of individual self. One that celebrates our intrinsic value, without imagining itself as “all that.” One that honors all that we are, without a need to dishonor others. The unhealthy ego is grasping, inauthentic, disproportionate, bloated, and disconnected from reality. The healthy ego is sturdy, supportive, and congruent with reality. It knows our limits, and it also knows our magnificence. It is not the enemy of the sacred. It’s the foundation that the sacred stands upon. It helps to give the sacred—form. It’s the integrative landing pad for the much-more of us—for our sublime nature. It does our soul’s bidding, supporting our efforts to create a life congruent with our true-path. The healthy ego helps us to manage reality and honor our sacred purpose.
Hearticulation: The language of the heart. A new love-lexicon of longing and union that flows from the tides and rhythms of the receptive heart. You don’t learn this grammarless language through your mind. You learn it by letting your most vulnerable heart open and speak its truth. There are no guidelines, no limitations, no reference points for hearticulation. The more you open, the more your love dictionary expands. Soundings and utterances of an ever-deepening nature. Heartspeak.
Innate Image: A term defined by James Hillman in The Soul’s Code. The idea that we come into this lifetime with a particular soulshape that we are here to step into if we are willing to do the work to excavate and embody our sacred purpose. Our innate image is our authentic face and our true human potential, in-waiting. See also Soul-scriptures, True-path, Soulshaping.
Inner Daimon: The presence that accompanies us on our life journey with the intention of reminding us of our true-path. This presence whispers ‘sweet somethings’ in our ear, and even trips us up when necessary, in its determined efforts to bring us to the feet of our true-path. Also referred to as guiding angel, genius, deity, higher self, white shadow, and guiding light. Jeff referred to his daimon as “Little Missy” throughout his book, Soulshaping.
Invironmentalism: At the heart of the Enrealment philosophy is an emphasis on the state of our inner world. We recognize that our relationship to the outer world directly reflects the condition of our inner terrain. We recognize that the emotional body is the karmic field where the soul’s lessons are harvested. Invironmentalism emphasizes the use of practical, emotional, and spiritual practices to heal, nourish, and enliven our inner world, and to excavate our sacred purpose from the (unhealthily) egoic ties that bind. Without healthy interior processes and a more spacious inner landscape, it is very difficult to recognize and humanifest our reasons for being. Invironmentalism nourishes a fertile inner life, one that glows with vibrant possibility.
JAB: The Jealousy, Abandonment, and Betrayal emotional trigger. A term developed in Soulshaping, this powerful and often unhealed wound nexus obstructs many individuals who are attempting to move forward on their life path. When we are flooded with JAB related triggers, we are often unable to ground ourselves and move from an adult consciousness. A deeper healing is required.
Karmastry: Sexual and/or energetic chemistry between two people that is sourced in a karmic contract of a sacred, universal order. Traditional chemistry between two people often originates in physical attraction, or mutual interests and compatibility. Karmastry is chemistry that emerges from a vaster karmic backdrop—two souls drawn to each other because of a karmic, cosmic, and soulular pull. This may be the first time their souls have encountered each other, or, the karmastry between them may thread forward from prior lifetimes, rippling into this present space and time. Those with karmic contracts come together to work through past material, and integrate new lessons—serving their evolution. Karmastry can reflect any side of the human spectrum—from horror to bliss, gory to glory, shadow to light and back again. Although we are led to believe that connections of this powerful a nature are intended to last a lifetime, they often are not. They may exist for the blink of an eye, lasting only as long as necessary to actualize their encoded intent. Not always a joyous visitor, karmastry often enters our lives for challenging reasons—to teach us an essential lesson, to crack through our emotional armor, to awaken us from our perpetual slumber.
The Law of Averse Possession: The idea that we assume ownership of someone else’s emotional material if we hold onto it for too long. When someone directs their stuff at us, it often transfers from them to us. It remains ours until we choose to give it back, which entails fully expressing rather than repressing the feelings that arise from the experience(s).
Leap of Fate: A courageous jump onto the growing edge of our soul. A stepping out into our innate image, a jumping beyond our habitual range of e-motion into the next stages of our expansion. When we make a leap of fate, we are honoring an innate part of our soul-scriptures that was destined to be. But often we don’t see the full picture. We see just a little ahead, and have to trust our intuition. We have to step first, and then the ground appears…
Lego my Ego: A play on the LEGO building toys. Lego my Ego speaks to the importance of building the healthy aspects of the ego—those elements that are essential to our spiritual journey. Rather than dismissing the ego altogether, it is important to construct a well-boundaried, healthy, and strong sense of self so that we always have someone to come home to on our spiritual journeys. The healthier our sense of self, the more profound and sustainable our spiritual experiences. The healthy ego clears the debris and manages the world so that the soul’s light can shine. The healthy ego works in tandem with the soul in an effort to honor its sacred purpose and bring us one step closer to wholeness. The healthy ego is beautifully essential to healthy functioning.
Lite-dimmers: Individuals who have a tendency to undermine positive intentionality and life achievements in others. Those who (consciously or unconsciously) seek to prevent others from humanifesting their sacred purpose and growing into wholeness. Lite-dimmers are often driven by their own sense of inadequacy, fear of embracing their innate magnificence, their unresolved emotional issues—which they target at others. When encountering lite-dimmers, it is essential to retain healthy boundaries. It is particularly critical in the early stages of a new pathway to hold it safe and protected.
Love Elders: Individuals who have traveled love’s highways and weathered a vast array of relational experiences. They have explored the heights of ecstasy and the depths of suffering, and, rather than turning away from the teachings at the core of their experiences, they chose to remain in the fire until wisdom was birthed. At the heart of their wisdom is the belief that love relationship is an enrealed spiritual practice, a portal to divinity that must be nurtured with compassion and attunement if it is to bear fruit. In sharp contrast to the individual consciousness models long advocated by patriarchal thinkers, Love Elders advocate for the development of relational consciousness models that will serve humanity going forward. They move from the belief that we are not just here together to keep each other company—we are here together to show each other God. The portal is each other. Their work is to support others as they navigate the difficulties and storms that arise in all forms of soul-based love connection. They help guide couples over challenging terrain—making it to the other side with their relationship intact. They illuminate some of the particularly complex dynamics that can infuse soul-based relationships—providing a clearer backdrop and context, and a warm ray of hope during dark times. They support couples in achieving and sustaining Enrealed Love Relationships. Hearticulators extraordinaire, they also help individuals to find healing and closure around relationships that cannot be sustained.
Masterybation: The misguided belief that mastery is a supreme goal of spiritual and life pursuits. Although it can appear virtuous, the single-pointed drive to achieve mastery is often based on a persistent and determined effort to bypass elements of reality. Masterybation is very common in the patriarchal spiritual traditions, where individuals have conveniently characterized ‘enlightenment’ as little more than the perfecting of a single-threaded consciousness. Individuals become effective at one state or practice—skilled witnessers, expert meditators, head-tripping masterminds, Olympic champions of story reframe and premature forgiveness—and they deem that limited state ‘enlightened.’ Yet, it isn’t truly evolved because they have failed to develop many other aspects of their consciousness. It’s not the wholly weave. They have developed one thread, at the expense of myriad others. We are not striving to become perfect. We are striving to become authentically human, to show up for our life in every respect, flaws and all.
Monkey Heart: The state of inner turbulence and agitation that emanates from an unclear heart. Often misinterpreted as a ‘monkey mind’ (which is often merely a symptom of a monkey heart), the monkey heart is reflected in repetitive thinking, perpetual anxiety, and negative imaginings. Flooded with unresolved emotions and unexpressed truths, the monkey heart jumps from tree-top to tree-top, emoting without grounding, dancing in its confusion. These tendencies are not localized to the mind, they actually emanate from the emotional body. The mind is not the enemy—unhealed pain is. Shifting out of unhappiness is not a cerebral process—that’s just another ineffective band-aid. It is a visceral full-body experience. To calm and clarify the monkey heart, one may benefit from heartfulness practices: emotional release, armor-melters, depth charges, heart-openers. Through the gateway to the clarified heart, one’s consciousness nestles into the moment, inviting our other aspects into sacred balance. If you want to change your thinking, heal your heart. That’s the best meditation of all.
Nervous Breakthrough: A profound and courageous emotional cleansing, a collapse of the false structures that have ruled our life, a breaking-through to a more genuine state of consciousness. Often mischaracterized as a nervous breakdown (as though we are machines that stopped working), we need to up-frame these experiences and see them for what they are: break-throughs for inner freedom. Pivotal points of our life. So many breakdown because they cannot carry the weight of falsity any longer. At some point, we just can’t carry the bullshit anymore and long to be real. A nervous breakthrough is a life-changing gift in disguise.
The New Cage Movement: A term to describe the more ungrounded, dangerous, and simplistic elements of the New Age movement, including but not limited to: wishful thinking mantras, spiritual bypassing, premature forgiveness practices, superficial healing techniques, the perpetual denial of common sense realities, and the insistence on inflated and fantastical perspectives—i.e. “Everything is an illusion,” “It’s all good,” “There are no victims,” “Everything that happens is a gift,” “All judgments are bad,” “Suffering doesn’t exist,” “You are responsible for everything that happens to you,” “Just ask the universe for what you want and you will get it…,” “Everything you see and feel is a reflection of you,” “Change your thinking, change your life,” etc. Those extreme New Age principles that—under the guise of liberation—end up imprisoning people in a limiting framework of perception. These perspectives have their place in certain circumstances, but taken too far, they actually become a prison, a ‘cage’ of their own making, locking humanity in with its unprocessed pain and patterns, obstructed from doing the real work by their avoidant flights of fancy. Individuals who go too far into this way of thinking may alleviate their issues for a brief period of time, but invariably come crashing back to earth, even less prepared to deal with reality than before. The key to escaping New Cage prison is developing a willingness to do the required work to ground, embody, and heal in authentic terms. There are no substitutes for genuine, hard-earned transformation.
Open-Bless-A-Me: A play on the term “Open Sesame”, Open-Bless-A-Me refers to the relationship between the opening of the heart and the blessings that enter. Closing the heart is a self-fulfilling prophecy. When we close it, we attract more reasons to keep it closed. Opening the heart is a soul-fulfilling prophecy. When we keep our heart open, we attract blessings—Open-Bless-A-Me! Finally blessings have a way in, and a way out to touch others.
Ourgasm: A climactic merging of beloveds during lovemaking, that catapults them both into God. Not limited to the genitals, an ourgasm permeates every cell of the body… and then, expands far beyond that, as the couple touches heaven and beyond on their love-loomed magic carpet. This is not an ordinary orgasm based predominantly on pleasure. An ourgasm is an essence-sourced liquid love climax that illuminates and celebrates God’s face. It is a love-making so perfect in oneness and unity—a merging so total—that it ultimately consumes itself by exploding straight into divinity. An energetic love-burst that both includes and transcends the body itself. A coming together that eclipses any notion of a distinct “you” and “me” and morphs into OURS.
Patriarchal Spirituality: Those ungrounded and unintegrated ‘spiritual’ models that have been fostered by emotionally armored, self-avoidant men. These models share some or all of the following beliefs: the ego is the enemy of a spiritual life, the ‘monkey mind’ is the origin of suffering, your feelings are an illusion, your personal identifications and stories are necessarily false, witnessing your pain transforms it, the only real consciousness is an ‘absolute’ and ‘transcendent’ one, stillness and silence are THE path, isolation is the best way to access ‘higher states’, meditation is THE royal road to enlightenment, enlightenment actually exists and is the goal of human existence, the ultimate path is vertical and formless, real spirituality exists independent of our humanness, etc. Now is the time for models that lead us back into our hearts, back into our bodies, into relatedness, into a deep and reverential regard for the self. Those models may invite us to detach in an effort to see ourselves through a different lens, but they will not leave us out there, floating into the eternal emptiness and calling that a life. Detachment is a tool—it’s NOT a life. We don’t need more ‘enlightened’ masters sitting in caves while the women of the village bring them food. If you can’t find your transformation in the village, it’s not the real thing. This new horizontal paradigm will invite us to integrate what we find ‘out there’ with who we are ‘in here’. It will invite us to embody the now, rather than to pretend we have found it in the heart of our dissociation. It’s time to co-create spiritual models that begin, and end, within our wondrous humanness. It’s not ‘out there’. It’s right here, deep inside these aging body temples.
Perpetual Positivity Syndrome (PPS): The addictive need to default to positivity under any and all circumstances. One of the most common obstructions to awakening on the healing path, PPS prevents a maturation in the deep within because sufferers refuse to be present for all that genuinely is. Symptoms include: a constant need to find the light in every situation, a tendency to ignore or ‘rise above’ the negative aspects of their partners, an inability to fully support and hold the space for another’s suffering, and a turning away from the painstaking work demanded by life’s challenges. Instead of forging a grounded, discerning positivity in the heart of all that is, they jump to the light, while averting the shadows that inform it. They habitually bliss-trip, when lessons are waiting in the wings to be learned. Those who suffer from PPS are often of the illusory view that they had idyllic childhoods or that they have moved beyond the shadow. But they are sadly mistaken. If anything, their obsessive clinging to the ‘positive’ is rooted in their unresolved emotional material: pain and anger that will only come back to haunt them. At the end of the day (when the darkness settles in…), there can be no light without shadow. And no substitute for hard-earned transformation.
The Power of Then: The effects the past has on our present consciousness. Although the physical body travels forward chronologically, one’s emotional consciousness always lingers at any unresolved point of departure. To move forward on the path, we have to go back and heal the wounds and memories that obstruct us. We have to be there then, before we can be here now.
Realeyesation: A fully embodied, inclusive, and authentic awakening. Not merely a realization that arises through the mind, but one that arises from an integration of all of our aspects. Awakening as an enrealed, whole-being experience.
Relational Dexterity: The ability to relate with human beings from all different backgrounds and walks of life—with skill, grace, and ease. To be able to connect and communicate to others skillfully, flexibly, and inclusively. At its heart, relational dexterity develops from knowing there is a common thread that connects all of us—we are all vulnerably human. Those with relational dexterity learn how to find a tiny platform of common ground to stand on together, in any human interaction.
Sacred Grumbles: Building on Maslow’s “grumble theory,” sacred grumbles are frustrations that emanate from the soul itself, indications that the soul longs to grow to the next stage of its evolution, and that something is obstructing its expansion. Frustrations serving as the harbinger of change that is ready to break through to the next developmental stage. See also truth aches.
Sacred Purpose: That unique combination of callings, gifts, offerings, archetypes, lessons, significant relationships, and key emotional issues that each of us is here to clarify, to embody, to transform, to actualize, and to grow through. Because of the gripping nature of survivalist codes that exist in our DNA and cultural conditioning, we have the tendency to define ourselves in linear, practical terms—but we are actually multi-dimensional. We glimpse this in our dreamscapes and in our nightmares—there is a much richer world within us than the one we encounter in our waking consciousness. That sublime world is a reflection of our sacred purpose—the profound significance of each birth, the deeper currents and rhythms that thread through us, the real why we are here. Far from being one-trick ponies, each of us is a “polyphrenic soul,” entering this world with a sacred purpose to uncover: a multitude of treasures, pathways, potentialities and brilliant shades of possibility that both reflect our soul’s growing edge, and our unique contribution to the world. We honor our purpose both because it grows us individually, and also because it grows us forward as a humanity. When we each live our sacred purpose, stitch by tiny stitch, we weave together an unseen tapestry that grows the collective. See also soul-scriptures, true-path, innate image, soulshaping.
The School of Heart Knocks: The idea that Life itself is our most valuable Guru. We are here to learn, and life itself is brilliantly designed to bring us the essential lessons our soul requires. Often these lessons come in the form of challenges or hardships. Contrary to New Cage thinking, life is not meant to be limited to mainly positive experiences. The challenges we face are the grit we need to grow us forward. We don’t need to go looking for these challenges. Life often brings them to us organically.
Selective Attachment: The process of sifting everything through an essential filter, connecting only to those experiences and relationships that support our true-path. If something fits, we bring it on. If it doesn’t, we turn away. Selective attachment requires selective boundarying. The recognition that setting healthy boundaries is an essential and meaningful human ability. Boundaries, boundaries, boundaries, don’t leave home without them.
Self-distractive Behavior: Any behavior conducted with the intention of avoiding our true self and our authentic felt experience. Also called DAB (Depth Avoidant Behavior). A normal human tendency that can arise for a variety of reasons: reluctance to feel our unresolved pain, distress at the state of the world, fear of the responsibility of walking our true path. Self-distractive behavior often keeps us (un)comfortably numb.
Solemates: A love-connection that originates in the heights of soul connection, with feet firmly planted here on Mother Earth. Solemates are the embodied, grounded counterpart of soulmates, the other side of the coin; the yang nested within the yin. They don’t live their love as an ecstatic flight of fancy—they make a determined effort to bridge their timeless soul-deep connection to their everyday life in human form. They move and relate from the ground up, rather than from the sky downward. When a connection is restricted to a vertical trajectory, it can’t even begin to glimpse the fertile possibilities that arise when it also moves downward, celebrating and exploring the self and its connection to earthly matters, spreading its tentacles deeper and wider into the world. Solemates put a strong emphasis on integrating their relationship into daily life, ensuring its groundedness and sustainability. They continue to work on their psycho-emotional issues and reinforce their boundaries. They don’t see their psychological issues as unreal, in contrast to their ecstatic experience—they see it as all-real. Solemates aren’t interested in a rarefied connection. They are interested in a realified connection. They are committed to finding the love everywhere they can, going deeper and higher into the regions of the heart. They don’t only pray to their union when it tastes sweet. They also pray to it when it tastes bitter, because they recognize that it has the capacity to grow them to the next level of awareness. They maintain a disciplined embodiment practice to keep them here on earth, planted in their bodies. They don’t just work the body. They live the body. They engage it with feeling, cultivating it as an instrument of acute sensitivity. They also cultivate a genuine integration with practical life—staying on top of chores and obligations, remaining reliably connected to emotionally significant friends and family, leaving their love bubble and spending real time in the culture at large. They prioritize financial responsibility and societal structure building. They don’t camouflage the state of the world with positive affirmations—they are both citizens of the beyond, and citizens of the here and now. They stay aware of politics and policies. They vote, they educate themselves, they tune into their media of choice. And, as they solidify as solemates, they are better able to impact this earth plane, touching and affecting humanity.
Soulebrity: A spiritual celebrity. The West’s corporatized and image-obsessed variation of the Eastern guru trip. Just as the guru was often elevated as the one who knows, the soulebrity is imagined as the one who holds the key to spiritual success. There is one significant difference, though: where the Eastern guru trip was sometimes rooted in substantive teachings and philosophies, the soulebrity movement is focused more on the teacher’s image and the flawlessly marketed presentation of a life well-lived, than on any qualitative offering. In the soulebrity realm, the precious opportunity to bring forth a heartfelt message of real substance to a starving world—is often buried under the weight of personal ambition. When someone actually sits down to read a soulebrity’s work, they quickly realize that their message is neither unique, nor rooted in any kind of dedicated inner work. They instead offer hyped-up generic marketing platitudes—a tasteless brew of popularized spirituality and narcissistic imaginings.
Soul-scriptures: The encoded transcript of our sacred purpose. The karmic blueprint that grounds us, expands us, and injects meaning into our lives. They are the imprinted lessons we came here to learn, the “true-path” we are here to walk, the soulshape we are here to grow into. Think of your scriptures as a library that resides within you, waiting to be read and lived. If the library is neglected, if the books remain untouched, you walk a false-path and delay your expansion. It’s one of the most beautiful things about this human trip: the Divine blessed each of us with our own secret lexicon, a unique sacred code that will never be replicated again. We are here to fulfill the book of our life. Our soul-scriptures may be difficult to discern, they may be covered in dirt, but they are always inside us, gleaming with profound possibility. See also True-path, Innate image, and Soulshaping.
Soul-traces: Images of individual or collective soul history that infiltrate our consciousness. For better or for worse. Our Soul-traces can represent evolutionary steps of humankind—“passing the torch” through our intrinsic soul-codes. Or, they can represent the shadow material that has not yet been processed, resolved, and integrated. It takes discernment to recognize the origin of our soul-traces: if they belong to us individually, or if they are imprints from the collective. This material can serve as a leap forward on our journey. Or, it can be a burden, unless it is converted into an opportunity to heal and integrate the echoes of past collective wounds.
Soulendipity: The inter-weave of foretellings, clues, dreams, visions, signs, and symbols that demonstrate Divine Orchestration is at work. This orchestration can serve many purposes, not always visible to the naked eye. Regarding personal relationships, soulendipity is an indicator that two souls are destined to cross paths—ready to journey together here on earth. Various hints nudge them in each other’s direction—a divine treasure hunt. Once the souls do come together, their journey often continues to be framed by these signs and sightings. The challenge is clarifying why they are being magnetically drawn in each other’s direction. That is, what is the learning, the growth, the expansion at the heart of the connection? Is it to love one another eternally, or are there other lessons waiting in the wings? It is seldom difficult to recognize soulendipity when encountered on our individual and relational path. The challenge is learning how to interpret its intentions.
Soulitude: Undistracted time alone with your soul-self. In an often overwhelming world, soulitude is essential to our interior processes and expansion. This form of invironmentalism provides the opportunity to listen to ‘little voice that knows’, seek guidance from our inner Daimon, clarify our true-path, bust out a depth charge, cell our soul, and authenticate.
Soulmates: A love relationship that is sourced in essence and the call of the soul. Quite often, soulmates recognize each other instantly, overcome by a sense of familiarity and shared karmic lineage in each other’s presence. They sense that the other holds an essential key to their transformation. Although they compliment one another on the higher levels, they have yet to master a grounded, balanced, practical relationship here on earth. And some may never. This may be due to their developmental spiritual-emotional maturity—they don’t yet have the mutual foundation to ground the relationship on earth. Or some connections may not be meant to “land” in every day life. They are simply meant to travel into higher realms together, for however long and deep. Soulmates are the sky-based counterparts of earth-based Solemates, and when a couple can master both realms (Wholemates), they become an Enrealed Love Relationship.
Soulnami: The tidal wave of energy that arises when our soul-scriptures break into our consciousness, determined to be seen and lived. Also, the benevolent energy that arises when members of the same soulpod gather together to support one another’s expansion, united in their intention to inspire each other to walk their true-path. Once it begins, the soulnami of goodness cannot be stopped, over-flowing at the banks, spreading its message of truth from one village to the next.
Soulpod: That person or group of people whom our soul finds the most resonance with at any given point in time. It can include anyone that appears on our path to inform and catalyze our expansion—our biological family, significant figures, door-openers (or way-showers), strangers with a lesson. Figures of soulnificance, you bond together on the basis of shared resonance. You support each other in becoming all that you are meant to become. You have no agenda for each other, beyond celebrating one another’s uniquely unfolding sacred purpose.
Soulshaping: The idea that our soul comes into each lifetime in a particular form, with a natural inclination to evolve beyond it. Our soul-scriptures represent the next shape in its evolution. It is the form we are here to embody and humanifest, the next steps in our movement toward wholeness. Soulshaping is an endless process of bursting through new boundaries, expanding, stretching to accommodate our next form, like a snake shedding skin after skin. A perpetual deepening into all that is.
Soulular phone: Your pipeline to divinity, the soulular phone connects your individual path to Universal Consciousness. When it rings, be sure to answer it. It speaks messages critical to your next stage of expansion. The more inner work you have done to clear the static, the clearer the connection. Be sure to regularly check your (inner) voicemails! ?
Spiritual Bypass: A term first coined by author John Welwood, the spiritual bypass is the tendency to jump to spirit prematurely, usually in an effort to avoid various aspects of earthly reality (practical challenges, unresolved emotions and memories). It can come in countless forms, and is a defining tendency of Patriarchal Spiritualities and the New Cage movement.
Spiritual Emergingcy: The state of confusion and inner tumult that one experiences when a break-through path is pushing its way into consciousness, prior to its full emergence and integration. Also referred to as spiritual emergency, elaborated on in depth by Stanislav and Christina Grof. When the next tides of our true self rise to the surface, it can make for tumultuous waters. A soulnami of epic proportions. An emerging-sea of purpose and possibility.
Spirituality: Synonymous with Reality. Both the form and the formless. The transcendent and the immanent—or material—world. The whole human experience. Our popularized definition of ‘spirituality’ has often meant the bypassing of the challenges of the human experience. They have been severed, abandoned, and transcended in the name of a ‘higher,’ or ‘stiller,’ or ‘emptier,’ or ‘more evolved’ path. Through this lens, spirituality is a shadowless and formless skyscape, one where the sun never stops shining and we float—peaceful, silent, and still—far above the messy complexity of the human experience. It has meant seeing God only when the sun is out. Love and light and everything nice. In fact, spirituality is not a hide-away from life’s inherent challenges. It’s not somewhere you go when the mundane tasks of the day are completed. It is not a foray into fantasy and fragmentation. It doesn’t bypass the uncomfortable, the muddled, the chaotic, the mortal, the dualities. It does not shun the core constituents of our humanness: our egoic structures, our feelings and emotions, our personal story and identifications, our body itself. They are not sub-spiritual fragments—they are the very lens through which you know reality. All elements are fundamental to—and encompassing of—a truly spiritual life. Because spirituality is reality, in and of itself, in all its myriad forms. It is an inclusive consciousness, one that threads through and honors every aspect of our lived experience. In other words, the more aware of and connected we are to every element of reality, the more spiritual our life is. A genuinely spiritual person is not the one who masters only one thread of consciousness. (S)he is the one who is the most intimately connected to all aspects of the human experience at the same time. In other words, a “jack of all trades, master of none”, is actually living a more spiritual life than the revered master. All one experience. Here for ALL of it. The path of entirety. With great reverence for the everything, everything is welcomed into consciousness. Nothing real gets thrown out—everything comes along for the ride. (True) Spirituality is seeing the world through every available frame of reference. SpiritReality.
Survivalism: A state of being that is oriented around our survival and the satisfaction of our basic needs. Often an anxiety-driven way of being. To be distinguished from an authentic way of being. Survivalism relies on adaptations and disguises in order to function in life. It is more concerned with putting food on the table and protecting its own interests, than exploring an authentic way of being and walking a sacred path.
Survivalist guilt: The guilt we may experience when we shift from survivalism as our primary orientation, into a more subtle and essential way of being. Masks, adaptations, and disguises have been part of our conditioning for centuries. They served a vital purpose in preserving our species in earlier evolutionary stages. When we shift our loyalty away from these structures, into a more soul-sourced way of being, we experience an inner backlash. We feel guilty about moving beyond our family-of-origin and particular friends. This is completely normal—pay it no heed, and just keep stepping forward. It comes with the territory.
Transcendence Bypass: The tendency to bypass reality through ‘transcendent’ means: a rising above, a ‘heightened’ quest, an ungrounded flight of fancy. Common amongst those who identify themselves as “spiritual,” the transcendence bypasser has gone far beyond healthy forms of detachment, floating off into the dissociative abyss until reality brings them back to the ground. The great irony is that transcendence bypassers are actually the ones most governed by earthly matters. Their addiction to the above is driven by their unresolved issues down below. They have actually trance-ended nothing. It’s all still waiting for them here —in their every day lives—on Mother Earth.
True-path: Any path that is true to our sacred purpose for this lifetime. The direction that embodies and actualizes our soul-scriptures. In the same way our body gives us cues when we are not walking our path, our body also responds when we are walking our true-path. We may feel a feeling of familiarity, the sense that we are fulfilling an encoded oath, a warmth inside, an exuberance, a deep sigh of relief like coming home. See also sacred purpose, innate image, soulshaping, and soul-scriptures.
Truth Ache: A persistent nudge from within, a symptom of our alienation from true-path, a sign that we are not honoring the sacred purpose encoded in the bones of our being. It can arise in many forms, in its earnest efforts to call us into alignment: physical illness, emotional issues, self-distractive behaviors, a nagging sense of falsity, ceaseless dissatisfaction, a sense of hopelessness, a voice that wakes us up at night fraught with worry. When we don’t adhere, the more persistent the voice will become, and in its extreme forms, may urgently demand change. Although uncomfortable, it is a blessing in disguise, an echo of essence, a call to a deeper and more bona fide path. Better we face it while we still can.
Truth Chills: The physical and energetic sensations we experience when we are living our truth. The moment we own and embody our truths, we get little sighs of delight from our body temple—as the veils of protection fall away. The body is a source of wisdom and intelligence, that innately knows why we are here. It may respond with shivers of delight all over when we have the courage, and the good sense, to walk our true-path, and live it. An inner YES, these shivers, chills, or goose-bumps (“truth-bumps”) actually bolster us immunologically. This is the state of the new consciousness—woven from the inside out. Not descending upon, but being stitched from within our cells, our neurons, our neurological pathways, even rewiring our hormones.
Uh-Oh! Moments: Those moments when we are stepping onto an unhealthy path that is calling to us. May manifest as a sense of dread, fear, or any range of discomfort, as we walk into trouble, fall down an existential rabbit hole, stand at the center of a firestorm we have created. Although these paths are perilous, they often contain the ripest seeds of transformation—if only we can learn the lessons at their heart. After all, not every rite of passage is a pleasant one. Some are more like ‘frights of passage’—scary moments of transition from an unhealthy pattern to a healthier way of being. Opportunities for soul-deep transformation. Where before you would have continued to walk into suffering, now you have the good sense to step back and protect yourself. You have finally learned from your mistakes and can heed the warning. Lesson learned.
Uncommon Bond: A term crafted by author Jeanne Achterberg, arising from her own studies, coupled with the work of cultural anthropologist Virginia (Ginny) Hine. Uncommon Bonds are love connections that are sourced in the transcendent and transpersonal realms. The couple feels destined to have met: their connection is sourced in grace. This often leads to an experience of parapsychological or paranormal events, such as synchronicities, soulendipities, and non-local communications that defy known laws of time and space. There’s a knowing of pure recognition of the other—a feeling of being cut from the same cloth, a sense of having occupied the same body in a previous life, or perhaps one soul residing in two bodies. The lovers experience a prayer of gratitude and a sigh of relief as though coming home after decades of wandering: “Ahhh, there you are.” A transpersonal energy dances within and between the couple. Spiritual practice is important to them, since the relationship is often experienced as the premier spiritual engagement, an outgrowth of a relationship with the Absolute. Sexuality is also experienced as a spiritual practice, holy and sacramental, a doorway leading to expanded consciousness and even touching pure consciousness. The union feels as though it transcends personal neurosis, addictions, affairs, impotencies, inadequacies, great sorrows, and the pure and inevitable facts of growing old. A soul-crafted dynamic, the relationship polishes the rough diamond of the soul, our very essence. For this reason, the relationship is sometimes arduous, complex, and often accompanied by many dark nights of the soul. During times of separation, the tether to life seems to be violently and forcibly torn apart, often experienced as a kind of abyss in the absence of the other. There’s a sense that the soul work could not happen in any other way than through the relationship. There’s also incredible bliss and profound ecstasy during the course of the transformative process, along with a sense of wholeness and completeness. Holding simultaneously to a recognition of distinct self and connection to the bond at times feels overwhelming. Repeated dancing back and forth—now self, now disappearing, wave to particle and back—characterizes the growing, changing, polishing, and refining process. Whether experiencing separateness or union, the couple is always passionately alive. Additionally, the couple feels bonded on all levels—body, mind, and spirit. When they remain together, physical attraction and erotic cohesion last a lifetime. The couples often share in mutual life’s work, or they long to work together one day. They are aware that they cannot grow to the next level without each other. Finally, many uncommon bonds do not have a sexual or intimate component. Some are linked as friends, others as teacher and student, parent and child, co-workers, or siblings.
V-Passiona Meditation: A term to describe intimacy as a spiritual practice, one where impassioned, heart-centered lovemaking is an excavator of deeper truths, a clarifier of consciousness, and a portal to divinity. With hearts weaving and hips heaving, the lovers ride their mutual bodyship into God. Not to be confused with Vipassana Meditation (or Insight Meditation)—a solitary meditation practice that uses mindful breathing and contemplation to gain insight into the true essence of reality. V-passiona focuses on human connection as the doorway into authentic insight, revelation, inner peace, and truth. Lovers explore the universe on their meditation cushion built for two.
Weastern Consciousness: A fusion of paths that bridges and integrates the wisdom of the East with that of the West. Rather than advocating one way of being over the other, we construct a map of consciousness that is inclusive and that honors both their respective merits. We make a conscious effort—in our daily lives, in our spiritual practices—to bridge the quest for the eternal that is fundamental to many Eastern traditions with the Western quest for self-development and emotional health. Neem Karoli Baba meets Alexander Lowen, Archetypal wave meets Localized lens, Unity Consciousness meets Healthy Self-Concept, on a bridge across forever. A soul-ego fusion, if you will. The point of integration between transcendence and immanence. If we go too far in either direction—transcending the self and swimming in unity, or affixing to the self with no awareness of our collective nature—we end up lost in translation. We ascend so high in the sky that we are no longer living a human life, or so crouched down within the self that we can no longer feel our connection to the everything. It’s like spending your whole life looking up, or spending your whole life looking in the mirror. It’s only half the picture. Weastern Consciousness is the sacred balance between these polarities. It is that place where the oceans of essence meet the individual droplet of meaning.
Wholemates: A love relationship that spans all realms and ways of being. No longer caught in the polarizing transcendence-immanence construct, the couple experiences themselves as both solemates and soulmates. The connection is mutually sourced in essence, and grounded in the earth dimension, in daily life, in real time. Rather than restricting their orientation to higher states, the couple ascends with both feet on the ground, penetrating the everything in their daily travels: shadow and light, gory and glory, shopping list and unity consciousness. Holding to a harmonized and mutually inclusive consciousness, the partners endeavor to marry all archetypes and ways of being, bridging body and soul in love’s cosmic kiln. Soul-to-Solemates, they have mastered sky (the higher, deeper, soulful levels) and earth (the healthy, grounded, personality, and practical life levels). They have finally become a complete ‘Realationship.’ There is still an innocence in the field between them, but it’s an informed innocence, as their previously naïve understanding of love alchemizes into a maturely integrated understanding of the ways of the heart. Wholemates experience love relationship as a spiritual practice—not one that is fixated on the heavens above—but one that is grounded in the everything. On the river of essence, everything flows in the same direction—toward the ocean of wholeness. The path of the Wholly Holy.
Woundmates: Relationships that are sourced in unresolved emotional patterns, issues, and holdings. The pull between the two individuals is driven by the unhealed shadow material that each of them carries, often in ways that reflect and trigger the other’s wounds perfectly. The material may have arisen in this lifetime or prior lifetimes, and may reflect their individual history as well as that of the collective. Many woundmate connections are difficult to identify because they often have an intensely melded or enmeshed quality, lacking in boundaries and codependent in form. The wounds call out to one another in such a way that the individuals cannot distinguish themselves from the other. They are also difficult to identify because they often masquerade as heightened and expansive, as the intensity of the wound material catapults the couple into seemingly transcendent terrain. But they always come crashing back to earth with their wounds in tow. Woundmates are not to be confused with soulmates, which can also trigger shadowy material to the surface of consciousness, but are sourced in a more promising and fertile wellspring, one that fosters real growth and progress. Soulmates are drawn to one another by a call to essence. At the heart of their connection is the opportunity to grow in karmic stature, while woundmates often just flounder in the mud, trigger after trigger, downward spiral after downward spiral, attached at the waste. They are not soulmates. They are toxic connections masquerading as something more heightened. They are destructive battlegrounds with very little possibility for expansion. If they don’t help you grow, then let them go.
Yoniverse: A term that reflects the sacred, universal nature of the yoni (vagina) as the (w)hole of creation. Properly seen and honored, the yoni is a powerful and sacred pipeline to divinity. God’s love canal—the tunnel from possibility to humanifestation. The Divine Feminine as portal to the universe, the source of Life, the first wonder of the world, indistinguishable from the Godself, Itself. When we explore the yoniverse with presence and reverence, we are catapulted to a meaning-based landscape that is intertwined with the divine. The yoniverse of meaning.