Patriarchy and Codependency

by , on
Oct 26, 2017

I have stood against the concept of patriarchy for a while now.  I have been aware of how insidious codependency was for a time as well.  However, it was not until yesterday, I realized as a man, patriarchy and codependency go hand in hand.  Codependency is one of the tools of a patriarch.  Ruling and subjugation needn’t be physically violent, it can be elusive, subconscious and even thought to be normal.

My Journey so far

Anyone who has followed my journey knows I have put a lot of effort into correcting my behavior towards women.  If you haven’t followed my journey thus far, now you know I had a lot of work that needed to be tended to in that area.  Sometimes we can’t figure out what is broken until we can see all the moving parts.  Having begun dating and fixing other elements that were more obvious, I was recently able to gain awareness into the depths of issues I thought I had resolved.  Not only were they unresolved, they were rampant, pervasive in my life, destructive to those I loved and destructive to my healing.  I posit that for men, patriarchy and codependency go hand in hand.

Patriarchy

A simple definition of a Patriarch is a man who rules a family, clan or tribe.  Therefore patriarchy would be the rule of men.  To be clear, I’m not a man who is against healthy masculinity or views men as less than women.  On a conscious level, I know both sexes have their assets and that for the overall wellbeing of both sexes the equality of those assets needs to be appreciated.  I don’t view those assets through the western cultural lens of males being the physically strong breadwinners and women being superior in emotional intelligence and housework.  So when I am consciously aware of the equality of sexes I couldn’t be participating in patriarchy or male dominance, could I? Yes, now let me explain codependency.

Codependency

A simple definition of codependence is the mutual dependence of two people, especially when one partner emotionally relies on supporting and caring for the other.  Let me be clear, I am not talking about the healthy act of supporting someone through difficult times or caring for another individual when they are in need.  I mean the pervasive action of offering support when it’s not needed and caretaking for the individual when they are capable of resolving whatever issue they face.  Codependency has two sides and therefore two ways that it can further enmesh itself with patriarchy.  A man can either seek to be the one constantly receiving attention, constantly being looked over, pampered, addressed at the expense of the caretaker or the man can be the caretaker and constantly seek to control the other by offering unwarranted advice, concealed contracts, reminding, begging, etc.  Let’s be honest no side of co-dependency is factually based in love, even if that is the intent.  patriarchy and codependency are both laden with fear and control.

Patriarchy and Codependency

Patriarchy and codependency go together like bread and butter.  What better way to trap a victim than either pulling at their heartstrings or doing actions that cause them to either lose faith in their own ability to cope with or handle situations or to let all the coping and handling of situations fall to another so they can enjoy life with no worries.  Often times codependency isn’t a physical form of violence either so it’s elusive.  It’s the prolonged mental and emotional violence.  That can often leave both the recipient and caretaker, feeling crazy and all shook up at times throughout the exchange.  Don’t worry there is hope, there is a solution, however, it rests with you.

Healing Codependency

I want to be clear, if it isn’t obvious already, women can be codependent as well, this isn’t an exclusively male problem.  I linked patriarchy and codependency because, in my personal life, I usually seek out women for these roles and want to raise awareness for other men to heal this behavior, treat women they love better and also treat themselves better as well.  So regardless of sex, these solutions will help.  The first thing you can do is further educate yourself on what codependency is and isn’t.  I recently got a book by Melody Beattie called Codependent No More and it has been illuminating.  It has revealed to me how destructive and pervasive this set of behaviors, thoughts, actions, and reactions are in my life.  After we become aware of how we personally participate in codependency, in either role, the next step is loving ourselves but also recognizing we can’t continue our participation in codependency for the sake of our loved ones and most importantly ourselves.  Next, we move into awareness and vigilance in regards to those behaviors.  That means taking responsibility for our actions by either pulling our own weight or by letting others pull their own weight.  Codependency is usually based in fear, I fear they can’t do it, I fear what they will face, I fear to be without them, I fear I am not worthy unless I always put them first, I fear to tell my truth, I fear to be myself or on the other hand, I fear I am incapable, I fear to hurt their feelings and say I don’t need help, I fear to say no.  So what we really need in order to heal from codependency is simple.  Honest self-assessment of the behaviors, after awareness, comes vigilant action in correcting the behavior, honest compassionate communication with everyone, taking responsibility for ourselves, letting go of controlling behavior, trust, faith and above all else love. At the end of the day, you can’t correct your codependency for the other involved, you have to correct it for you.

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I am on a spiritual journey of involution by loving the pieces of me fractured by past actions into the alchemical gold needed to fill the cracks.

The Knot

by , on
Oct 7, 2017
The Knot

The Knot

Have you ever felt like your life was tied in an emotional knot? That if you had to unravel it, you wouldn’t know where to begin?  Every strand is interwoven so intricately that pulling one part to loosen it only tightens it in another.

I’ve spent the last year untangling a life sized knot that has been holding me back in the present. In its intricate threads are anger, resentment, and guilt that have been tightly wound way down to its center since I was in my early teens. I was pretending to be fine all along with a giggle and a smile.  Partying in my teens and 20’s lead to self medicating with alcohol in my 30’s.  Yet, I raised children, provided for my family while my husband was dealing with health issues, and from the outside appeared normal. I was still smiling.

In the midst of pushing away my old issues, I was dealing with new ones.  My husband suffered a back injury which lead to two surgeries, and left him with a debilitating condition that ultimately caused him to lose his job.  With the loss of his job came the loss of our house, bankruptcy, and several moves.  We were stressed, depressed and feeling pretty out of control.  At that time, I wasn’t even trying to untie the knot.  It was firmly in place and as long as I didn’t have to look at it, it didn’t bother me that much.  

When not facing the knot I was able to improve things on the surface.  I secured a good job and worked my way up to a higher paying position. We were able to buy another house and, with support from our family, we got back on our feet.  In spite of this, there was still a seething pain underneath. A clenching tightness.  My past was catching up to me. The knot was woven so tight, I couldn’t ignore it anymore. It was at that point that I turned my attention to it and started to pull at the many strands.

As expected, it was not easy. It required taking a really good look at myself. I didn’t like what I saw. I didn’t recognize her. In fact, I began to wonder if I had ever really known her. She was wound in the knot to the point of suffocation. I had to unravel it if I was going to bring her back to life.

At the center of the knot were issues in my past surrounding my father’s mental illness and eventual death when I was in my teens. I learned of my father’s battle with manic depression, or bipolar disorder, when I was 12 or 13. I was confused by the changes in his personality, because he was always jovial and fun to be around. He was a joker who loved to make people laugh.  He was always laughing himself.  He had a big heart. He was the kind of man who even as he struggled to keep his business afloat, would help someone else get on their feet again. He practiced random acts of kindness by going out of his way to buy lunch for homeless people when he came across them. He played the saxophone to old records. He sang silly songs with me and made up games we’d play together. I was his only child and he doted on me.  So, when I found myself forcing him into a vehicle while my mom was trying to drive him to the hospital, it was disorienting and scary.  He wasn’t acting like himself, he didn’t even look like himself. This was the first time I had witnessed him being out of control.  

In the years leading up to his death, it was a constant stream of ups and downs for him. He had outbursts of emotion in public places.  He paced the hallway of our house at night with insomnia. At times he was completely unresponsive.  Instead of having compassion for what he was going through, I was embarrassed and treated him with disrespect. To save face, I went about my life at school acting as if nothing was wrong at home.  I spent a lot of time with friends.  If I didn’t have to be at home, I didn’t have to face the problems there. I acted out with my black clothes and purple hair.  I stole his cigarettes and snuck out at night to meet up with friends and get drunk or high.  All typical teen behavior, except I know it affected him. It hurt him to see me like that, and I didn’t care. Though I didn’t realize it at the time, I was doing to him exactly what I felt he was doing to me.  Becoming unrecognizable.

He died suddenly of a heart attack when I was 17. I had managed to have one promising conversation with him prior to this, but in his passing, I was left with guilt that was too painful to fully look at. The first layer of the knot was in place.

From that point on the knot continued to grow.  I was convinced I would be fine and rejected the idea of counseling.  I managed to graduate from college, get married and have a family. I piled on the responsibility as fast as I could, doing all of those heavy life changing things in quick succession.  I was too busy to recognize the pain. When I had free time, my husband and I would go out with friends and drink.  It was the perfect way to ignore the growing knot.  By the time we were going through the financial struggles in my 30’s, the knot was dragging heavily behind me slowing my pace to sluggish limp.

I found myself staring into an abyss. I no longer knew where my life was heading. Nothing was satisfying, not even being with my children, which always kept me going even through the hardest times. The good paying job was unsatisfying and stressful. I had no clear career path.  Writing had always been a way for me to release stress, but I had no energy to focus on it.   Anxiety crept in and I felt like I was losing my grip on reality.  I managed to go through the motions of  work and caring for my children, but I was a shell. I imagined I might have an inkling of what my dad had felt through his battles with depression.  

We had made it through all that struggle, and we were in a good place financially. It was as if that new found stability gave me the foundation to allow myself to fall apart, even just a little. It was in letting myself feel that instability that the knot started to loosen.

I got myself into counseling and brought the knot along with me. It was time to dissect the knot.  The strand that was tightest had to do with the guilt and self loathing I felt from the way I treated my father. I had to forgive myself. From there I needed to accept myself and the choices I had made which brought me to this point.  The choices were not all bad, and finding gratitude in the best parts of my life was a healing process.  Some of those strands were releasing and dissolving through that gratitude and acceptance.

The knot is still there. It still tightens from time to time in those areas that involve self love and taking responsibility for my emotions and how I express them. It is my intention to unravel the knot as best as I can. To keep working at those strands and feeling the release as they dissolve.  It is my hope that in doing that, that I find the lost version of myself who is locked in the middle.  I want to release her and allow her to reach her full potential.  To be the model for my children to do the same. That they may not create their own knots by looking up to mine.   

The Tortured Warrior

by , on
Sep 27, 2017
Tortured Warrior

Not all wars are waged on the physical plane, within the soul of the creative wages a war the seeks to extinguish all hope, love, and beauty. This is the path of the tortured warrior.

When I was younger I was always struck with a profound fascination for tribal cultures. An inherent beauty in exists in their aesthetics that seeks to lure in all those that wish to experience their mysteries.  While the fascination never left directly, the eyes of wonder and mystery that perceived them quickly became dulled by a world that was difficult to understand and substances used to escape.  I had spent much energy feeding the wrong wolf, the wolf of evil, and was consumed by anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, self-doubt, and ego.

My battle as a tortured warrior began early in life by my own thoughts, actions and doing. The other wolf, the wolf of good, suffered many defeats, injuries and was on the brink of death many times.  However, some divine force kept that wolf alive, nurtured him at his weakest, healed his wounds, mended his bones and fortified his spirit.  This is what allowed me to combat the darkness inside of myself.

It is said that it always seems darkest before the dawn and it was in the abyss that the torch of my soul was ignited from the divine spark. The tortured warrior within was cornered by my own actions, thoughts, and beliefs.  Paraphrasing Sun Tzu in the Art of War, you must leave the enemy a path to retreat otherwise they will fight to the death.  This is where the wolf of evil made its mistake, it sought to exterminate the good that was left within me.

Pressed against the wall, with defeat and death the only option available in the chasm of my mind I was forced to fight.  Spiritually bruised, mentally broken, physically weak, I managed to muster up the courage and the insanity to fight a losing battle for the sake of honor.  The tortured warrior within me let out an inaudible battle cry for its rally and blindly pushed back against insurmountable odds.  The wolf of evil, drunk off of ego and victory was blind to the force that still existed within the shattered spirit of the wolf of good.  Unable to maintain its ground the wolf of evil was slowly pushed back out of the chasm of mind until it rested on an open plain.

The wolf of good no longer stands cornered in the chasm by the wolf of evil, it stands in front of that chasm as a guardian.  The wolf of evil has many options of escape now and as such flees like a rat from a sinking ship.  The tortured warrior within me has healed and stands with the wolf of good.  They nurture and support each other as they are confident the wolf of evil and the evil sorcerer that is its master will return for more battles.

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I am on a spiritual journey of involution by loving the pieces of me fractured by past actions into the alchemical gold needed to fill the cracks.

Orpheus and Eurydice

by , on
Aug 30, 2017
Orpheus and Eurydice

What wisdom does the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice hold?

Here is a brief snippet of the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice. This story picks up after Eurydice was taken to the underworld and Oprheus came to rescue her. 

Orpheus played his lyre, melting even Hades’ cold heart. Hades told Orpheus that he could take Eurydice with him but under one condition; Eurydice would follow him while walking out to the light from the caves of the Underworld, but he should not look at her before coming out to the light because he would lose her forever and ever. If Orpheus was patient enough he would have Eurydice as a normal woman again by his side.

Orpheus was delighted; he thanked the gods and left to ascend to the world. Orpheus thought It was a simple task as he considered himself a patient man. He was trying to hear Eurydice’s steps, but he could not hear anything and he started believing that the gods had fooled him. Of course, Eurydice was behind him, but as a shadow, waiting to come to light to become a full woman again. Only a few feet away from the exit, Orpheus lost his faith and turned to see; Eurydice was behind him, but her shadow was whisked back among the dead. Eurydice was gone forever. ( From this article on Wikipedia)

The Philosophical Meaning of Orpheus and Eurydice

For most ancient myths, are just that myths, there exists no actual meaning or real life lessons to be gleaned from them.  However, if viewed with the right set of eyes there can be profound depth inherent within them.  The myth of Orpheus and Eurydice is no different. While I can’t say for certain that the following is what should be taken from the tale, I can say that I find real world application for this as a truth.

How often do we love someone and want to be with them but can’t let go of the past hurt they have caused us?  If we look at the underworld as pain, the symbolizing of looking back as an example of looking back on the past and the concept of being on the surface as seeing them with our highest thoughts of them, we have a clear metaphor for a truth.  In order to have healthy relationships platonic or romantic, we have to let go of the things which have hurt us, that are buried underneath the weight of time.  It is only till we are in the sunlight of our highest understanding of the person in that they are safe and not prone to rot. In my own life, I have made the mistake of looking back at the women I loved before reaching the surface of how I actually feel and having them rematerialize.

There is an underworld within all of us, it is dark, treacherous and full of all the pain and misery we have felt.  We sometimes end up casting those we love into the depths of our painful experiences not because we mean to but because we are human.  When we attempt to bring them back into our lives, often we rush, we want so badly for things to be back as they were, we peek at them, not trusting that they will rematerialize.  It is this looking back, while still in the darkness of our own souls, that we see them “die” before us.

The lesson to be gained from Orpheus and Eurydice is that in order for some things to heal and to have the people we want in our lives, sometimes we have to heal without them, move past the negative emotions they have stirred within us, enter into the sunlight of self-love and respect, then look at them when we are whole, to see them as whole.  When we can do this, we may even realize, it was actually them who was leading us out of our own underworld, not looking at us, until they were whole as well.

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To see my most recent video, read articles, free tarot readings, poetry and more visit my website at

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I’ve launched a side project podcast that is focused on 1 minute or less spoken word poetry or inspiration.  You can subscribe here on itunes https://itun.es/i6dq5gw and follow me on instagram @phoenixpoetrypodcast


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The Spiritual Phoenix Podcast Logo is made from images from http://game-icons.net/

 

I am on a spiritual journey of involution by loving the pieces of me fractured by past actions into the alchemical gold needed to fill the cracks.

Embracing the Unknown

by , on
Aug 28, 2017
Embracing the Unknown

We exist in a world of illusion, our sense of self, understanding of others, even our deepest thoughts aren’t real.  The concept of reality is itself an illusion, it is merely a word we have built a conceptual framework around.  As humans we tend to fluctuate our beliefs between two fractals of extremes, these being the best and worst case scenarios. This is where most of our disappointment and suffering lies.  To be truly liberated we must begin embracing the unknown.

Let’s assume that we focus on the worst possible outcome of a situation.  What do we gain?  One might debate that we can prepare for the inevitable fallout.  Better to have an umbrella and not need it than to need an umbrella and not have it. Is that statement really true though?  If we expend our energy, our thoughts and minds preparing for a situation that never occurs are we really better off?  If we train ourselves to always expect rain won’t we be disappointed when it doesn’t?

On the opposite end of the spectrum let’s assume we always anticipate the best possible scenario to occur.  We can frivolously rush into situations unprepared and then we can be caught in a snowstorm in swim trunks.  This leaves us open to being disappointed with what could have been an otherwise pleasant set of circumstances.  We can miss the beauty of the present by reflecting on the past we imagined.

The least common approach to life in my experience and opinion is Embracing the Unknown.  Embracing the Unknown is packing the umbrella, the swim trunks, and a snow suit.  This is more work than outright belief in one possible outcome.  We equally prepare for all possible outcomes, we expect the unexpected.  This approach allows the experience to unfold as it is, rather than how we think it should or will be.

Embracing the unknown isn’t the solution in every instance obviously.  Some things have proven time and time again to be true, If I touch fire, I will get burned, if I drink, I will get drunk ( which is something I choose to abstain from).  Embracing the unknown isn’t the practice of blindly walking into any situation, it is the ability to pull ourselves out of our standard perception of reality, evaluate all conceivable options and walk into uncharted territory.  It is the most difficult practice to begin to incorporate, I can assure you with some degree of certainty, it will have unpleasant moments, pleasant moments and more.  Life will be different for you after you realize you can’t know most of the outcomes you are so certain of in the moment.  Embracing the unknown is a trust fall with your higher power, one where if you have enough faith, open-mindedness and honesty you will see you are caught everytime.


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I am on a spiritual journey of involution by loving the pieces of me fractured by past actions into the alchemical gold needed to fill the cracks.

Walking our Path

by , on
Aug 19, 2017
Walking our Path

“Difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations.” – Zig Ziglar

So often in life, we caught up in the destination, we actually miss the beauty of now.  It’s the endless chase for the gold at the end of the rainbow, failing to realize the rainbow is the true reward,  much like the path, is the true destination.  It’s the endless greed for the horizon that spoils what is now.  When we are walking our path we must not become so focused on attaining one end point that we fail to miss the multitude of destinations along the way.

When walking our path most of us fall into the belief that the end goal is the only thing that matters, failing to take in the beauty of the now.  Even when our situations are less than beautiful we can still absorb the atmosphere as a reference point on our own internal maps.  We have a thirst for the horizon and fail to recognize there are limitless horizons.  As we approach one, the next is already clearly being displayed before us.

We must not become so enamored with walking our path that we never stop to smell roses of where we are.  Being present with our path is one of the most crucial elements of a happy life.  We should learn to celebrate the starkest and arduous parts of our journies as well as the beautiful and easy elements.  Time can transform the difficult parts of our path into a paradise and it can wither a paradise into a wasteland.

The path is the destination.  Walking our path is the treasure at the end of the rainbow and the goal on the horizon.  It continually develops more value the further we travel it.  The loss, the dust, the scrapes, the bruises and tears we attain along the way can become priceless jewels while some of our most prized treasures wither to dust.  Walking our path is about being present in this moment, this breath, this action and cherishing it for what it is, recognizing the value of where we have been and leaving behind what is no longer worth the burden of carrying with us.

To see my most recent video, read articles, free tarot readings, poetry and more visit my website at

https://thespiritualphoenix.com/

I’ve launched a side project podcast that is focused on 1 minute or less spoken word poetry or inspiration.  You can subscribe here on itunes https://itun.es/i6dq5gw and follow me on instagram @phoenixpoetrypodcast


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I am on a spiritual journey of involution by loving the pieces of me fractured by past actions into the alchemical gold needed to fill the cracks.

Healing our past

by , on
Jun 29, 2017
Healing our past

“No. No. No. That ruins a child”

Healing our past can be one of the most difficult and often overlook paths to a peaceful present.  Modern culture has enabled us to either be more willing to suppress our past or to victimize ourselves with it.  Rarely are we shown how to actually heal those broken parts and love ourselves to adulthood.   The result is the current culture of either emotionless automatons or over reactive live wires. Both of these mindsets limit our chances of healing our past.  Having been both extremes in the recent past I am well equipped to dive into this somewhat tricky topic.

 

My experience

The majority of our emotional composition and how we respond to situations is obviously largely developed by our parents.  Most parenting styles fall into the nature vs. nurture model both of which have their downfalls when over emphasized.  In my personal story, I had an odd amalgam of both styles each one being exemplified by one parent.  My dad was essentially the emotionless authoritarian type who usually only a  expressed simmering anger.  My mother was very nurture-oriented, however, when crossed she would then ramp up to boiling over anger.  Both of them were very stringent on using the word no, actively teaching me to suppress emotions by never listening to what was behind my emotions, and essentially teaching me unless I acted, felt and did what everyone else wanted I would be bad, punished, etc.  To be clear, this is just how I remember it and I’m not naive enough to assume my memory is 100 percent accurate.  I’d like to also note, that I love my parents and realize they both did the best they could.  There is no owners manual for a child, especially one who had some of the issues I did.

 

What I learned

When we are taught to suppress who we are, those negative emotions fester, we accrue defense mechanisms, poor coping skills and revert into ourselves. , For me, this internalization and isolation were furthered by my use of drugs at around the age of 12 or 13.  By being told no all the time, by not being allowed to feel my emotions, by being punished for who I was, by infallible rule and subject to the concept of I wasn’t good enough.  I learned to hide my emotions, not speak my mind, sneak around to do what I wanted, lie if I was questioned, deny who I was and people please.  This type of behavior was further exacerbated by being an addict which further perpetuates these types of behaviors as well as having developed borderline personality disorder which is caused by the emotional environment in our youth.

 

What I did

After running the gamut of self-destructive choices and reaping the repercussions of toxic relationships, homelessness, jails, psych wards I reached a point of absolute stagnation.  I reached a tipping point when I came to place where it seemed my only option was to have things go worse than they ever were before or to get better.  This eventually led me to quit the use of all mind and mood altering substances, face my past and consciously change my life in the present.  I set forth on a path that required a great amount of effort, diligence, honesty, introspection, dedication and above all else love.  I had to honestly admit that I was at the center of all my problems and that my perception and participation was what mutated them into the putrid puddle of misery I ended up in.  This was the point of liberation.

 

Healing our past

Not everyone has an addiction issue but most of us could benefit from owning our part in our problems.  We can do this by making a list of resentments and seeing what part we played in the actions that created the resentments.  Some of them may not have had our participation prior to them resentment but after the fact, we participate in the resentment by maintaining it.  We need to forgive others, not necessarily for them but for ourselves.  Nelson Mandela is quoted as saying, “As I walked out the door toward the gate that would lead to my freedom, I knew if I didn’t leave my bitterness and hatred behind, I’d still be in prison.”  One of our greatest prison guards is ourselves.  The next way we have to heal our past is, to be honest about our destructive behaviors, the ones that create problems for us.  After that, we have to make a list of all the wrongs we have done.  Finally, we have to make amends to the people we harmed, a simple sorry won’t cut it, we have to change those behaviors, it doesn’t matter if they wronged us, this is for us, not them.  After we have taken care of everyone else and neutralized our past, we have to work towards keeping it neutral.  Healing our past is not only possible, it is necessary for a happier, fuller life.

To see my most recent video, read articles, free tarot readings, poetry and more visit my website at

https://thespiritualphoenix.com/

I’ve launched a side project podcast that is focused on 1 minute or less spoken word poetry or inspiration.  You can subscribe here on itunes https://itun.es/i6dq5gw and follow me on instagram @phoenixpoetrypodcast


Follow me on all social media @spiritualfoenix

Listen to the Spiritual Phoenix Podcast on Itunes, Google Play, Stitcher, TuneIn, Soundcloud, and Blubrry


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If you like the Podcast please leave a review as it will help reach new listeners

 

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For Intro and Outro Credits visit http://bit.ly/SPS2Credits

 

The Spiritual Phoenix Podcast Logo is made from images from http://game-icons.net/

I am on a spiritual journey of involution by loving the pieces of me fractured by past actions into the alchemical gold needed to fill the cracks.

Be the Change

by , on
Jun 19, 2017
Be The Change

“If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change.” – Gandhi

Be the change you wish to see in the world, is the paraphrased, misquoted statement falsely attributed to Gandhi many are familiar with.  Are most of us being that change though?  I’d say the answer is a resounding NO, the majority of people, myself included, tend to want to change others to conform to their beliefs.  In the U.S. it seems that those who preach tolerance, myself included, most of the time only have tolerance for what they believe though.  This is problematic because it makes us hypocrites and actually has our participation in what our against.  You can’t logically, philosophically or realistically rally around tolerance with intolerance.

In the current politically charged society of the U.S. there is this incredibly polarizing US VS. THEM mentality. While I highly doubt this is new, it is the most apparent in my life and is further exacerbated by the echo chamber of social media and internet algorithms which deepen the resonance of the feedback loop.  We, by and large, can’t have civil discussions about politics, because we have such volatile opinions of others and overly inflated opinions of ourselves.

I have family on both sides of political leanings and I fall in the center, which I’ve heard some state,  “the middle of the road of the road is the most dangerous place to be”. This position doesn’t absolve me of intolerance either, actually, it gives me more work as the majority of those who are passionate about politics fall on one side or the other, leaving me with few allies and many opposed to my position, as well as me being opposed to the majority of others positions.  Fighting a metaphorical war on both fronts is exhausting because not only are you dug in against two sides, you are in the crossfire of both.  On any given day, I could be labeled whatever insult is thrown by either side.

Although exhausting, overwhelming, at times, infuriating, this process and practice has not been futile.  You see, through all of this, I am learning to practice what I preach, which is tolerance.  I am learning, although no way close to perfect at accepting others beliefs without viewing them as (Insert Insult Here).  I am learning to not cast a whole swath of people on either side as entirely good, or entirely bad, they are people, just like me, and are a mixture of all traits, just like me.  I am actually learning to be the change I wish to see.

I think others on all sides of the political argument are learning to accept and respect the opposition positions, without agreeing with them and without insulting them.  I believe we just don’t see or hear it that often because of fear they will be fed to the wolves of the more entrenched opinions within their own political leanings.

If you want change, you must be the change.  If you want tolerance, practice tolerance, even with the intolerant.  If you want peace, practice peace even with the unpeaceful, if you want love, practice love with the unloving.  I am not perfect at this by any stretch of the imagination, I have a lot of room for improvement but today I put in the effort to be the change I wish to see.

I’ve launched a side project podcast that is focused on 1 minute or less spoken word poetry or inspiration.  You can subscribe here on itunes https://itun.es/i6dq5gw and follow me on instagram @phoenixpoetrypodcast

To see my most recent video, read articles, free tarot readings, poetry and more visit my website at

https://thespiritualphoenix.com/


Follow me on all social media @spiritualfoenix

Listen to the Spiritual Phoenix Podcast on Itunes, Google Play, Stitcher, TuneIn, Soundcloud, and Blubrry


Please subscribe and review Itunes

http://apple.co/2fKufKP

If you like the Podcast please leave a review as it will help reach new listeners

 

For daily tarot cards like @spiritualfoenixtarot on FB

And follow @SpiritualFoenixTarot on Instagram

I am on a spiritual journey of involution by loving the pieces of me fractured by past actions into the alchemical gold needed to fill the cracks.

Visions

by , on
May 17, 2017

“Neither drug induced or self-induced visions:

Pierce all visions to see, to see the void.”

 

I’m no stranger to altered states whether chemically induced, self-induced or organically induced through mental illness.  I have tread the shifting landscape of my mind many times only to arrive at the same location with different a perspective. When I was using substances, I was sure that the visions and thoughts I witnessed were the ultimate reality.  When I was mentally ill I quite literally thought I had pierced the veil to ultimate reality.  When I became mentally healthy and clean from all substances I was sure the visions I saw then, were it.  The reality is they all held different elements of the truth and also different illusions.

 

Drug Induced visions

I became enamored with altered states at an early age.  Through the use of various substances, often entheogenic, I was able to explore my thoughts from angles previously unavailable to me.  I can’t in, all honesty, state that there is no value in altered states, as there can be. A large portion of my philosophy is based upon some of those experiences.  The caveat is that there is also, pun intended, a lot of smoke and mirrors in trying to connect to the ultimate nature of reality through the use of substances. While we can perceive other truths that may not be accessible through standard consciousness, there is a lot of fallacies and false ideologies we can get lost in.  Some of us never escape the medicinal “middle man” to our spirituality and ultimately find it the only path.

 

Psychotic Phantasmic Visions

Through the active pursuit of drug-induced tranquility, I eventually ended up at a place many active users of substances have an invincibility complex towards or complete ignorance about, drug induced psychosis.  This will sound like a crazy thing to say and I honestly admit had I not experienced the validity of what I am about to say first hand, I would say yes it is, it may still be even though I find it to be true. As frightening, as beautiful, as horrible and as amazing as psychosis was, it was one of the best gifts I was ever given.  Through having this shifting concept of reality I was to see the world through multiple “lenses”, perceiving each to be the ultimate nature of reality.   In this state of exploring the visions that lay before me, there were also many traps and truths. From someone who has experienced extreme mental disturbances and entheogenic voyages, I can honestly say while drugs may be close to replicating states of mental illness, drug-induced visions have a shorter life span and can be far less convincing.  When you experience a mental illness induced vision that lasts, days, weeks, months, it becomes easier to accept as a reality.

 

Self Induced Visions of Sanity

I said that my mental illness was one of the greatest gifts I had ever received and I firmly believe that.  However, the best gift I have received was the ability to make it back to sanity and clear my mind of all substances.  That being said, it can also be one of the most dangerous places to be blindsided by false visions in many different ways.  You see when one is on drugs, we can say ok maybe that was the drugs and maybe what I thought wasn’t entirely true.  Even in prolonged mental illness, there is a point where you can begin to question why everyone else is on a different “wavelength” about different topics.  If you are viewed as mentally healthy and free of any substances it can become a lot easier to be misled by the ultimate deceiver, yourself.  The trade-off for this is that through introspection, honesty, humility and philosophy you can come to a better understanding of reality.

 

Knowing you can’t know

After running the gamut of altered states and returning back to a state of reasonable mental well being free from mind or mood altering substances my understanding of reality is this.  Regardless of what mental state we are in drug induced, mentally ill, or mentally well free from drugs, there is always a layer of illusion.  Using substances can give us a better understanding of what the normal state of mind is.  By stepping outside of this normal state we are able to see it as a whole.  After direct experience with drug use and mental illness, I am better able to understand them from a state of mental well-being and clean living.  We learn real things in all these different layers of consciousness about the nature of reality and we are able to peek through different parts of the veil.  In the end, we usually end up standing in our own way and filtering the world through our own lens.  For me personally, I have explored drugs to the end of the knowledge they hold for me or as far as I am willing to go. Mental illness opened up doors that are usually shut for many people and for good reason it can be terrifying and dangerous territory to navigate. Being mentally well and free from all substances and searching for truth can be a difficult hurdle to overcome because of this conscious or unconscious narcissism of the “pristine state of mind”.  For me, clean living and mental health is the final frontier because through the other experiences I am equipped with the assets of all those realms to aid in dissolving illusion. What I have found from taking the fools journey and returning to where I am is the ultimate knowledge. Ultimately knowing we can’t know.  The biggest barrier to knowing the ultimate nature of anything is thinking you can. Through this, I am able to keep exploring further and reflecting back on past experiences in all of those states, to compare notes, highlight underlying truths in them all and attempt the fool’s errand of pulling those threads to unravel the veil.

*The quote at the beginning of this article is from “365 Tao – Daily Meditations by Deng Ming-Dao

To see my most recent video, read articles, free tarot readings, poetry and more visit my website at

https://thespiritualphoenix.com/

Follow me on all social media @spiritualfoenix

Listen to the Spiritual Phoenix Podcast on Itunes, Google Play, Stitcher, TuneIn, Soundcloud, and Blubrry


Please subscribe and review Itunes

http://apple.co/2fKufKP

If you like the Podcast please leave a review as it will help reach new listeners

 

For daily tarot cards like @spiritualfoenixtarot on FB

And follow @SpiritualFoenixTarot on Instagram

 

For Intro and Outro Credits visit http://bit.ly/SPS2Credits
The Spiritual Phoenix Podcast Logo is made from images from http://game-icons.net/

I am on a spiritual journey of involution by loving the pieces of me fractured by past actions into the alchemical gold needed to fill the cracks.

Finding Ourselves – Breaking the Wall

by , on
Mar 31, 2017
Finding Ourselves

Finding ourselves in a world intent on making us conform to its standards can be a tricky task.  It seems that for many of us, the only way to be who we are is to build a wall between us and those who won’t or cannot understand us.  The inherent irony of all of this is that we are also unwilling or unable to understand those who do the same to us.  We may fall into the tar pit of judging those who we perceive to be judging us.  I say this from personal experience.

We don’t need no education

Actually, we do.  Not the traditional sense of education but in the sense of compassion, community, life skills, etc.  I have no animosity towards teachers, as they more often than not, only want what is best for their students.  I have an issue with what is mandatory curriculum they are required to teach.  It isn’t that I don’t find some of this information useful but the majority of that knowledge is somewhat useless unless it is tempered with the ability to form a thought rather than regurgitate the required response. Another key ingredient missing from education is respect, self-confidence, how to act as an independent part of a group, how to respectfully disagree and emotional intelligence. We need to be taught the tools for finding ourselves.

We don’t need no thought control

Again, yep, we do. This too is also not in the traditional sense.  We need to learn to control our own thoughts. It has been said, the mind is a cruel master and a beautiful servant. The issue that plagues much of the modern world is the dominance of the ego, the need to irrationally feel superior, the apathy associated with convenience culture, the ignorance of seeing ourselves as separate from the whole of the world, and the blindness of recognizing our relationship to the planet.  We need to control our thoughts and become more conscious of our own actions. One of the reasons for our wall is we are afraid of finding ourselves. We should understand our anger, our hate, our judgment, our sadness are all internal.  We can take back our own power and stop freely giving it to situations.

All and all you’re just another brick in the wall

Yep, you are.  You are basically the biggest brick and the foundation of the wall that keeps you separated from the rest of the world, your joy, and your ultimate potential.  To some that may seem disheartening, frightening, and largely untrue.  Think of this from a structural standpoint and you can realize how powerful and beautiful being your own biggest barrier is.  If you remove the foundation from a wall, the rest of the wall falls over. So when you can remove the things that block you, and isolate you from everything else all of the other barriers topple.

Finding Ourselves Again

Where you are at today is fine, the walls we have all built around ourselves at some point or another did not get built in a day and may not be torn down that quickly either.  They can be dismantled slowly and we can persistently erode the things that separate us from the rest of the world.  It is ok to have your wall up as you rebuild strength, but I suggest slowly make “peep” holes in your wall.  Change your outlooks on situations, other people and yourself on a trial basis.  They say if nothing changes, nothing changes. Make little changes and see if you like the changes.  Growth occurs outside of our comfort zones and diversity is a healthy element for growth as well as for expanding our minds.  We can all find ourselves and then we can create ourselves and find who we are, who we want to be and who we will become.

 

A tool in my wall smashing kit has been

The Positive Head Podcast on Itunes and on Google Play

I’ve received help and support tearing down my wall from

Positive Heads Facebook Group

To follow my efforts on social media and listen to my podcast

follow me on all social media @spiritualfoenix

Listen to the Podcast on Itunes, Google Play, Stitcher, TuneIn, Soundcloud, and Blubrry

Subscribe on and review Itunes

If you like the Podcast please leave a review as it will help reach new listeners

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I am on a spiritual journey of involution by loving the pieces of me fractured by past actions into the alchemical gold needed to fill the cracks.