A Summons to Start Acting Like It

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I am so fucking sick of binary conversations. I am fed up with narrow minds and fearful hearts that believe we can’t contain contradictions and find new solutions and outcomes. There is always a third way.

We no longer live in a world where muddling by is enough, where our calling is merely to survive another day. We no longer have the luxury of hiding behind resistance or platitudes as excuses for inaction.

You can fully honor how you feel and still show up in service of raising our collective vibration. You can work through pain and change lives at the same time. You can be spiritual and political. You can look our collective darkness full in the face with the glint of flinty joy in your heart. You can be infinitely powerful and simultaneously soft. You can feel ecstasy and despair in the same breath.

Many years in the past and many years in the future, right here in this moment, your soul made a decision. It heard and heeded a call to touch onto the earth right now at this very time in your exact body, to create change. You are here to create ripples of a new vibration.

As the world seethes with confusion, pain, helplessness, and redemption, you are not here to drawn a line in the sand. You are here to be a line in the sand. You are here to bring heaven to earth. You are the second coming. You are God incarnate. You are a living prayer. You are a revival. You are the Universe’s commitment to grace and light. You are sacred text and holy ground. You are Emmanuel, God with us.

Let’s start acting like it.

A Prayer for When Healing Feels Scary

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We often talk about healing in glowing terms. We invest time, effort, and financial resources into mending ourselves and moving through our blocks so we can live bright, glorious, rich lives. But what about when a wound begins to feel whole and that brings up more angst than celebration?

Wounds often inform so much of who we are. They build our strength, color the lens through which we see the world, and call our gifts out into the light. However, while we diligently (or not so diligently) work on them, they can become excuses or reasons to hold back or play small.

As you begin to feel whole, some questions might rise to surface in the wake of a healed wound. What will I be without this wound? What will I co-create with the Divine as the next iteration of my life? Without this excuse, what is God going to ask of me?

Healing can be so challenging because healing removes the excuse of the wound. We heal to break down the barriers between us and God. We heal to fill our hearts and dance into the life we’re made for.

Sometimes… That’s. Terrifying. It’s one thing to understand the healing journey cognitively. However, to feel that process in our hearts means watching the sun set on one version of ourselves and a new day dawn. It means touching the unknown with brave, trembling fingertips. It means stepping forward without being able to see the path before us or ground beneath us. It means practicing radical trust in ourselves and the Divine. That’s a monumental task and requires all of us, not bits and pieces or divided attention. It requires all of our brokenness and distraction. It demands all of our fear, avoidance, and denial. It asks for the totality of our being to enter into the healing journey and sacrifice the ways we hide.

So today, we pray: “God, may my life be an ever unfolding prophecy of triumph.”

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The Forgotten Practice : How Worship Transforms and Empowers

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I’ve been on the bridge between Catholicism and New Age Spirituality for years now and there’s something missing. There’s a critical piece that few people are talking about.

Worship.

We’ve got gratitude practices on one side, liturgy on another, and still a posture of the heart, an engagement and surrender of our spirit remains in the proverbial toolbox. Perhaps it’s the association with a more evangelical version of Christianity that causes us to shy away. Or perhaps that much power at our disposal, truly a way to step out of our pain, scares the shit out of us. Perhaps we believe that we’ll never have one-up on the darkness around us.

Instead, we prioritize pleasure, we pray, we set intention, we meditate, we create rituals, we draw oracle cards, we say the rosary, we attend mass or moon circles – different practices and forms for the same understanding: we are embodied divinity. We are bearers of Christ-light. We are light workers and change makers.

Amid this profound knowing, we are tasked with addressing darkness within and around us. Resistance, shadows, sin, trauma, excruciating pain or challenge, the devil finds us in the details. Always.

In my experience, our most powerful and underutilized tool for addressing this darkness is worship.

It’s not gratitude (exclusively). It’s not a magnification of ourselves or a basking in our own light. It isn’t dry or regimented or ritualized.

It’s wanton. It’s hot. It’s a love surge from our heart. It’s the wild meeting of surrender to and jubilant awe of the Divine, often at the exact moment when we’re feeling hopeless or terrified. It’s an acknowledgement that we’re human and our sight isn’t perfect, but the path before us is. Worship is the practice of gathering together words, music, and movement as a offering to the One who called us here. It’s like magic. It works an immediate, profound miracle, both in our spirit and our environment.

It fills our hearts.
It washes us in joy.
It turns our weakness into strength.
It turns our strength into cosmic power.
It rings us out.
It changes our perspective.
It reminds us that we have everything on our side.
It elevates us.
It evokes Divine Authority and Sovereignty.
It takes use to the edge of our comfort and discomfort.
It shifts our state.
It comforts and clarifies.
It allows us to see and feel the wide open channel between us and God.
It shakes loose everything that binds us.
It reminds us what we’re here for and what we’re capable of.
It protects us.
It turns and returns us into temples.

 

My Secret Weapon for Releasing the ‘Ick’

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You know what I mean by “ick,” right? Ick is a totally unpleasant cocktail of heavy, hopeless, empty, angry, guilty, overwhelmed, and sad. The ratios might change, but at the end of the day it all feels awful. Maybe there’s something specific bringing on the ick, like a project you’re avoiding or an area of your life that feels stuck.

It’s easy to look at social media lives and think your fellow humans skate along in a cloud of joy, perfectly processing all their negative feelings and energy. Don’t be fooled.

Before I launch something new, face a fear, or accept a challenge, there are often days or weeks of wading through the muck of resistance. The sneakiest characteristic of resistance is it’s ability to put blinders on you. It tricks you into thinking the only possible outcome is eternal paralysis. Again, so not true.

When I get into that funk of resistance and the ick starts creeping in, I turn to The Golden Ocean. It’s a simple visualization really, but it’s rich and vivid enough to expand in my mind, giving me a bright blast radius of spaciousness and room to breathe.

Here’s how it goes:

Stretch out somewhere comfortable and quiet. (Sunlight helps, but it’s not a requirement.)

Close your eyes. Loosen your hold on reality. It’ll still be here when you’re ready.

Imagine yourself on a beach. Smell the salt and sand. Feel a breeze.

Look at the water sprawling out in front of you. It’s reflecting the sunshine.. but there’s something more.

The sun is catching flakes, sparkles, swirls and swaths of golden light.

Wade, then swim out into the water. Let it carry you.

Now float. Trust the elements around you. Let all that golden light surround and remind you of radiance.

Feel the gold-infused water lap at your collar bone and hips.

Allow the light to move closer, slipping around your bones and snuggling up to your muscles,

coating and mingling with the energy of each of your chakras.

As the gold seeps in, notice how your body feels.

Let the light come between you and anything that feels heavy or harsh.

Let the light carry it away through the water.

You are surrounded and permeated by light.

You are the power of light.

Rest in your radiance.

Rest in your power.

Take your time in the golden ocean. Listen to it. Feel it.

Contain it.

Breathe and return.

Bring it with you when you emerge back into your reality.

Do you have any foolproof tools or visualizations for shaking of the ick when it threatens to take over? I’d love to hear them!

photo by Edmund Garman

A Truth of Energetic Boundaries

Energetic Boundaries | Hilarie Mae

During a session, I often close my eyes and slip out of this layer of reality and into another. This happens most often when I’m addressing the spacial aspects of a client’s energy. Their limits, edges, boundaries and pathways come into vivid visibility in my inner sight. The other day, in a session with an Embership participant, I felt into the outermost reaches of her self/field. This is what happened:

My fingertips tingle. It feels like tiny sparks are flying out from beneath my nails.
The pull of her field draws my eyelids closed and my attention deep into another dimension.
I’m standing on a lawn, lush and manicured, surrounded by an 8 foot hedge.
It’s her permeable boundary. It’s the gentle, living edge of her deepest self.
It stands alone. She needs more.
I ask for more on her behalf, feeling into the far reaches of her energy.
Trees materialize beyond the hedges. Massive, ancient oaks and maples.
Their whispers weave an impenetrable web of fortified gossamer threads.
As their whispering grows firmer and more sure, I lift out.
Her field becomes secure and self-contained, its own universe.

Here is a core truth about boundaries: the strength, intensity, elasticity and integrity of your energetic boundaries create and inform your reality. When you take the time to build a safe, sure container for your life, your perception and experience of the world around and within you shifts.

Any situation or experience that makes you feel emotionally unsafe or drained is prompting you to examine your boundaries.

photo by Kosala Bandara

Energetic Boundaries

Almost every client has asked me at one time or another, “Aren’t you exhausted at the end of the day?” or “Do you take on some of my energy when you work?” My answer has always been the same: At the end of the day, I could run a marathon. How am I able to merge with multiple other energy fields in a day, touch some of their deepest darkness and most painful wounds and walk away clear, whole, and energized? Boundaries.

The line between their energy and mine is crisp. And when it’s not, I pause, breathe, and wait for it to come into focus. I imagine the golden edges of our energy fields, separate and distinct. Without that clarity I’m both ineffective and dangerously vulnerable. This applies to all relationships.

My most useful tool for this is a visualization. It’s become a Sunday ritual. I get comfortable and let my body relax while my spirit travels to the outposts, the farthest limits of my boundaries (note: that’s different than the furthest reaches of my energy). That place looks like castle walls. In this realm, I walk the walls. I stalk hooks and intruders, erosion and breakage. I repair and defend. But most importantly, I discern who and what is welcomed in.

During the week I check in with those walls when it feels like someone is closing in on me or siphoning off energy without permission. If I feel watched, tracked, attacked, or off balance, I take to the boundaries and feel into where needs my attention. This is how I find and mend energy leaks.

p.s. here’s a little poem about walking the walls.

A Year In Review

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2015 has been a year of transition for me, of dismantling the structure of my life and rebuilding a reality infused with my truth. I have allowed my power to be strengthened by the Divine, which has in turn stretched my capacity for surrender.

In any transition, up-level, or huge leap forward, there’s inevitably some darkness. While this has been a really exciting year, it’s also been really challenging, full of days and weeks cloaked in doubt, fear, and inertia. I think I’ve cried more in these twelve months than I have in the last twelve years combined.

Through that darkness, some serious light has emerged. First, my beautiful business, which surprises and delights me every single day, has grown into a life of its own. That alone leaves me in awe and gratitude. Second, I’ve released unhealthy relationships and invited in new people that love me as I am and make my life so much richer. Third and most important, my inner life has blossomed in the freedom I’ve afforded it.

I’ve reintegrated the practices of prayer, worship, and spiritual warfare that I grew up with and woven in newer practices like mantras to ancient goddesses, deep lucid dreaming, archetypal exploration, and regular work with spirit animals. Combined, it feels like I have the inner life I’ve always dreamed of but could never quite “achieve.” There were always pieces missing. I always resisted pieces of me, thinking that I couldn’t or shouldn’t bring together all the spiritual practices that I found nourishing because they were from different faith traditions. Now I feel whole.

Bringing together all of my spiritual practices was a game-changer. There’s something explosive and magical that happens when you acknowledge and embrace all of you who you are, even if that means being a living contradiction in the eyes of the world. In a single day, I might offer a mantra to the Goddess Parvati, engage a demon in spiritual warfare, say the rosary, worship God with song, go deep into the prayer of yoga, and play in an enchanted forest with my lioness, dragon, falcon, and wolf. In the same day, I may shift between the warrior, queen, and healer archetypes – my holy trinity. I may address God as my inner flame, my lover, my breath, and my friend.

Here’s the truth of this year: When I devote and surrender to a spiritual practice, no matter what it looks like, it carries me forward through the darkness and deep into the profound nature of my life light.

photo by Chelse Thompson

p.s. here’s my theme for 2016.

Action v Surrender in Get Real Magazine

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When you wake up every morning, you have no idea how your day is going to play out. You have no idea how many miracles could happen or how many tiny tragedies might grace your life. As the wise J.R.R. Tolkien said, “It’s a dangerous business…going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.” Amid this uncertainty we have recourse. We have the ability to practice both action and surrender to keep ourselves centered and sane.

Click here to read the full article in Get Real Magazine (for free)!

Desire and the Divine – Part One

Desire and Divinity | Hilarie Mae

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The first time I read The Desire Map by Danielle LaPorte, it resonated but remained separate from my spiritual practice. Prayer existed in one layer of me and desires in another. As I began practicing core desired feelings (CDFs) and making choices through the lens of my CDFs, my spiritual practice and my desires began to merge. My CDFs became both the prayer and the answer, they were a language through which the Universe could speak to me and offer guidance.

“You are not a human being in search of a spiritual experience. You are a spiritual being immersed in a human experience.” – Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

Here’s what I’ve come to understand: You are a divine being. Therefore, your desires are divine. They are the ardent fingerprint of God in you. Your divinity comes to life in desire. Dwelling in desire, listening to desire, articulating desire is praying. It’s the same for meditation. The practice of listening and self-mastery gives desire a divine voice. Desire anchors you in awakening. Desire carries the voice of God guiding you into truth. Desire provides a place for your divinity and humanity to converge and be expressed in everyday life.

If you haven’t read Danielle LaPorte’s work yet, I highly recommend it. Core Desired Feelings ground you in desire, which lights the way with truth as you adventure through the terrain of your inner life.

This is part one of Desire and the Divine. Check back next week for part two. I’ll reveal the practices and rituals that sustain Divine Desire.

photo by Frontierofficial

Perfect Love Casts Out Fear

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Five years ago I drove from Albany, NY to Hansville, WA. Alone. Those five days in the car broke and rebuilt me. As I white-knuckled it through horrific thunder storms in Wisconsin, ascended impossible inclines on the way into Yellowstone, and drove down miles of completely empty highway in Montana, fear hovered on the edge of every thought. Each time I felt it close in, I said “perfect love casts out fear.” It’s part of the bible verse 1 John 4:18. Dwell in love and fear can’t get a foothold. Dwell in love and you arm yourself against doubt. Dwell in love and you fortify yourself against destruction by your own hands.

I shared these words with a friend a few years ago and she asked what “perfect love” meant, because it sounded impossible. Perfect love is the dance between you and God. Perfect love is the moment you surrender to the desire of the Divine. Stepping into the profundity of your natural light is perfect love. Laying your head upon the blazing heart of the Universe is perfect love. Devotion, however humanly imperfect, is perfect love. You, here, breathing and reading is perfect love. The sacred being that you are at your core and your fingertips is perfect love. The soul life, with it’s honey-like sweetness, is perfect love. Your soul is perfect love. Your bones and blood are permeated by soul. Your mind is wrapped in soul. Your skin whispers of soul. Your whole being is a constellation of perfect love.

When it feels like life is testing my mettle, “perfect love casts out fear” rises in me. It slips into my consciousness with the effortlessness of a muscle memory. It rebuilds my strength. It turns the lights back on. And it often accompanies an image of a beautiful artist selecting a star from the sky, cracking it open ever so delicately, and pouring all that twinkling light right into me. Then I get to walk around all day pretending to be a mere mortal. In reality I’m starlight and fire breathing in a body.
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beautiful photo by Alexey Kljatov