Inviting Love into Your Intentions

I want love to be present in everything I do.

I'm going to go out on a limb and say you do, too, as one of my readers. Wanting my life and my energy to be infused with love, is an intention I use liberally in the energy work I do for myself and for others, "Mastery over transformation in the vibration of love." Whether the ultimate desire is about right work, relationships to self or others or the state of the world, I want to let love heal and transform on all levels. Now I read that intention and I sigh, feeling the deep support and love of the divine clearing the way.

However, until recently, it didn't feel that way. I would feel hesitation but I didn't know why. 

I began exploring my relationship to Divine Love.

For the last year and a half, I have invited divine love to show me her face. To help me embody love, to know and experience true love, as well as to support me in expressing love clearly: in my work, in my family, in my community and the world. I asked to be held in a sacred container of love so that everything that stands between myself and a deep knowing of divine love would reveal itself to be healed in right timing.  

One surprising (and exciting) aspect of this exploration has been a deeper understanding of the intention I love so dearly and how expectations play a part in the experience of how an intention takes hold in our lives -- not only expectation, but the impact that unconscious beliefs about love (or any higher energy) will have on an intentional choice to invite healing, growth and transformation. 

The impact of bringing love into the equation.

When I started using this intention in my energy work, I noticed that I felt like I was being punished -- I experienced physical pain and emotional upheaval in ways that honestly made me hesitate to use energy work at all. I couldn't understand why the clearing was so brutal. The surface explanation was that when old patterns, karma and energies are cleared, that it can be chaotic and painful. Of course that's true -- anyone who has ever undertaken learning a new skill or changing a behavior knows that it's uncomfortable. But this was beyond that level of discomfort. 

I accepted the explanation as truth.

But I used the energy work much less frequently because I didn't want to throw myself into chaos even though I loved the results and the outcomes of the energy work, the pain I would experience during the healing was too much. 

However, in the midst of energy work for myself related to my explorations of love, I had an epiphany about asking love to be part of our healing and our energy work that changed everything -- literally providing understanding and healing on the spot. 

Many people (myself included) grew up with flawed, conditional, punishing experiences of love from the first "divine" beings in our lives, our parents (because they are human, not because they are bad people). Then, many people were introduced to a vengeful and punishing God. Love was not a gentle force and it was not a supportive energy - in fact, love, as I understood it, was something to be feared. The theme being, "I'm punishing you because I love you. It's for your own good." 

My experience of inviting change and transformation was a reflection of my unconscious belief that love hurts. I didn't understand love as anything but a conditional force with no investment in being supportive of who I am and what I want to create. If your first experience of love bears any resemblance to mine, then this intention, "Transformation in the vibration of love." may bring you healing/growth experiences that will likely be painful while you are on the way to your desires. 

And yet, love is one of the most powerful forces in the Universe and in any endeavor, I certainly want love present and so the first order of business is healing our understanding of, and experience of, love. 

Heal Your Relationship to Love Itself. 

Now, when I am asked for energy medicine, I affirm and intend that every person's healing on the way to transformation is attuned to the support of divine love, bypassing and dissolving any distorted unconscious patterns and beliefs related to the incredible power of love. 

  1. Explore this for yourself, because it's certainly not true for everyone. If you identify as a person who loves energy work or you are in relationship to others who do any kind of energy work on your behalf or if you are a practitioner, look closely at your relationship to healing. In any energy medicine modality there is a clearing/healing phase -- do you experience this as painful? If so, I would invite you do you own energy medicine and/or ritual that witnesses this pattern and affirms it's dissolution from all realms of your being. 
  2. Follow that up by looking for true expressions of divine love here on earth: the sun that shines and warms your face, the flowers and plants and edibles that are available as a result of a generous and abundant earth, the smiling face of a child, the acceptance and care of someone who deeply loves you, the body you live in that pulses with life, the synchonicities that arrive out of nowhere. I experience all of this as divine love. How about you?  
  3. Affirm a new relationship to divine love not only by looking for the evidence (above) but also embodying love by breathing it in, envisioning the breath infusing your entire being with divine love. Affirm that Divine Love is your true home. 

This is not only completely life-changing work, but it has long legs and big ripples, which will transform your relationship to yourself and the world around you. 

Explore your relationship to love and commit to inviting love into your intentions. Not distorted love but true, supportive, divine love. 


The Only Way Through

Let's begin with a fundamental truth. 

No one escapes the discomfort of uncertainty. That's the truth. The wisest course of action is slow down and lean towards it, peer into it's depths and soften your whole body. To welcome the waves of emotion as they crash on the shores of your being. The quickest way through (which may not be fast at all) is all the way through.

Change, new beginnings -- they are uncomfortable.

Knotted together with the wonder and consciousness-expanding experience is the inevitable discomfort. The death of something old and outdated. Uncertainty abounds. In the middle of transformation, we live in the question. And a question that always comes up for me, "How do I get away from this discomfort, this not-knowing?" (Usually repeated like a desperate mantra at one point or another.)

Humans are tender beings. 

The tendency is to protect, to create distance, when we are in the middle of change -- be it internal or external. I'm struck by knowing that there is no solid ground. We are always in a state of uncertainty, but there are large swaths of life that FEEL certain most of the time. 

And when the discomfort of change sets in, we all have ways of distancing ourselves.

Rightfully so -- we are tender beings. We have endless means to distract and numb in today's world. Some people whistle in the dark and want to stay endlessly upbeat. Others numb up in ways that are relatively benign to wildly destructive: eating all the ice cream to shooting up with heroine and everything in between. Some people try to control everyone and everything in an attempt to make things comfortable again. 

I used to drink it away, many years ago. Then I tried to transcend the human experience through becoming enlightened (so funny, right?). Now? Now I tend to vacillate between welcoming the full spectrum of experience and compulsively seeking clarity before I hunker down with cupcakes to create some space between myself and the uncertainty.  We all have our ways to soften the edges where our capacity for upheaval dwindles.

But time and again, more quickly I circle back to the pulse of my desire -- the desire behind all others that drives and inspires me moment to moment. 

I want to live with my heart wide open. 

The full catastrophe is what I want. Adventure, truth, joy, connection, love, beauty and authenticity and all the heartbreak and failure it takes to get there. This has been growing in me since I stopped drinking 14 years ago, the seed of this desire was likely the root of my sobriety. Now I want what life offers, I long to know the world and to let it change me, but I still fight against my conditioning. My desire for safety and my fear of being hurt. 

Honestly, if it were all bad and I knew I was going to be suffering in the next act, it might be easier -- pain and suffering are celebrated, respected and revered and I'm a skilled navigator in those choppy waters. However, learning to open myself just as fully to joy and beauty and love challenges me and teaches me in a way that suffering has not.  

I am committed. I stay the course with compassion for my failings and keep opening, nudging my edges, expanding my heart's capacity for contentment, if not joy, in any and all circumstances. I'm so much closer to trusting life and trusting myself to be okay with not only the choices I make, but what's offered to me.

And with this growing trust? I don't need to know anything else because the journey is going to show me what I need to know.

What is life bringing you?   

When you are in the middle of change, wanted or unwanted, no one can make your choices for you. No one knows you, and your circumstances, better than you. It's wise to be fierce in your commitment to know your own heart. 

Others can walk with you, hold you hand and light your path -- perhaps even offer you glimmers of inspiration as to how you wish to ride the waves of change.  I offer you these aspirations for your journey: may you find yourself inspired to slow down and to lean in. May you have the courage to peer into the depths and soften your whole body in a gesture of welcoming. May you savor the path and know that the quickest way through (which may not be fast at all) is all the way through. May you trust that the journey will show you exactly what you need to open your heart, moment to sacred moment. 


Beginning with a Heart Wide Open

4:30 am. Darkness. 

I wake up with questions. Questions I know will become prayers that pave the path of my journey. The quality of the questions, I know now, determines so much of the experience. 

I've struggled with new beginnings. 

Do I need to recite every catalyst, big and small, like it's own form of prayer, rubbing the mala beads smooth as I mutter under my breath? Is it necessary to mark the countless ways life has held out her hand and asked me to dance and I've either abandoned myself to the dance floor or (most often) I've pulled back, clinging to the wall -- desperately wishing for a song I know by heart.

Change is the most constant companion I've known, outside of the skin I live in. I haven't been a gracious companion to change, as I mentioned. I've wanted solid ground, asked for life to stay fixed in one spot -- you know the one. That one day where your jeans fit perfectly, everyone you care about loves you, your business is prosperous and meaningful, your energy is up, the weather is just the way you like it, your children are at 'that magical age' and you and your beloved are at your unmessy best with each other. And, of course, your hair is perfect.

Hold it. That's it. Just the way I want it. 

I have such compassion for this desire to arrange life just so. It reminds me of the way my daughter and her friends used to set up the Playmobil sets and beg and plead, "Please can we leave it set up? It's perfect just the way it is!" Inevitably a little brother or an animal or parental impatience with small plastic figurines would intervene and the perfectly arranged scene would go back in the box, in a jumble, while my daughter would wail in protest. 

This urge is adorable and confounding in equal measure. 

"Honey, you can set it up again.... why don't you PLAY with it?" and her perfect response, "It won't be the same, " and, "I don't want to mess it up!" I would cluck and nod (I know it's hard honey) and then assure her it would be just as good next time as I scooped her up and kissed her tear-stained cheeks. 

I was staring in a small, curly-haired, olive-complected mirror and I barely saw the reflection in that moment, but hindsight is so clear, isn't it? Moving my fingers over the beads, I've completed my prayers honoring the past. Heart open, the hand of change catches mine, again and again as I look to the future. 

New beginnings start in darkness

Birth of babies, birth of plants, animals, birth of new projects, ideas, lives, communities, eco-systems and nations. From the personal to the collective, beginnings have their roots in darkness. I am in awe of how a seed, frozen into the cold winter earth, surrounded by dark soil, follows instinct and (as a human I imagine) faith, to sprout and shoot in the right direction -- toward the sun, toward warmth, toward life above ground. Toward fruition. 

We, as humans, we have that same instinct to move in the right direction, toward the growth that is ours to live into -- whether we choose the circumstance or whether it's chosen us. The more deliberately we honor this instinct, the more enlivened and joyful life can be, no matter what change offers us.  

I'm in the thick of darkness right now, the first light of the sun at the horizon -- that liminal space where change and growth and new life is stirring - within me, in our life and in the world. It feels delicious. Anticipatory, despite the challenges that we will most certainly face. Today, like the seed, I say yes because I embrace change and my instinct is to grow. 

My prayer is just beginning to take shape

I ask to listen. May my questions lead me toward living fully.
I ask for presence. May I live with my heart and mind wide open. 
I ask for adventure. May I be changed by my experience and be a force for good.
I ask to be a blessing. May I offer grace to those I meet along the way.

I ask for authenticity. May I listen to my own heart and speak wisely.
I ask to connect. May I attune to the heartbeat of Zambia and her people.
I ask for courage. May I walk in beauty and truth and wonder.
I ask to feel roots. May I feel the first threads of belonging and honor them accordingly.

These are my questions, my prayers, spoken into the future on behalf of what has begun. Your questions, too, become the prayers that pave the path of your journey. The quality of the questions will shape and mold so much of the experience. What will your prayer for new beginnings be?