To All The #RealMen, Thank You!

I am always impressed by men who are interested in sitting down with women to have a two-way conversation about changing social constructs, gender roles, and female empowerment, to find a better way to relate to us. They are few, but these men are #RealMen. They can empathize with us. They may not always understand what we want, but are willing to listen. They are not perfect, but they are eager to step up and learn. They know that there is no war on men. Women are growing, stepping into their own power, taking charge of themselves, and these men are not threatened by it at all. They don’t react to our demands for equality, safety and respect with derogatory comments, private jokes, or bashing our experiences, they sit down, open their ears and listen. Some men actually are waking up.

 

Keep in mind that like women, men too have been conditioned by society, culture and religion, and they too have decades of social programming to unlearn. But, they are willing to engage in conversation to figure out what the humans of the opposite gender need in order to thrive. I see that we give these men very little credit. I see that they are the ones who are the most supportive of women’s empowerment, are the first to be ridiculed and bashed by males who are threatened by anyone who dares to feel equal. No wonder many sympathetic men are quiet. They see what we are going through, but every time they stand up for us, their masculinity is challenged and ridiculed by those who think that empowered women are the death of manhood. They understand that we have no interest in bringing manhood down, that men and women will always need each other, we are simply looking for a healthier partnership. Women don’t exist to serve manhood, or be subordinate to it. We are here to be human, equal, respected, and like all humans, we are here to enjoy life on our own terms, experience freedom, and create the best version of ourselves that we possibly can.

 

As a woman, I don’t want a man to permit me these things, I want to enjoy what is mine. I don’t want to depend on someone to dole out meager symbols of freedom, and equality when I can out-earn, outpace, and out-grow on my own merit. I am not looking to compete with men, I compete with myself. When I succeed, I don’t want to apologize for it.

 

Yes, there will be males whose roles are diminished when women take their power and when the open-minded men we deem as real benefit from partnerships with us. That is because their positions were based on our subordination. When we stand up and are their height, they can no longer feel superior. Their manhood was rooted in our passivity and submission all along. But there are #RealMen out there whose positions are not based on ego, but on their own healthy self-worth. They don’t mind us standing next to them and feeling equal. They are not threatened at all. They don’t want women to take a step back so they can be in the lead, they want an healthy, working, thriving partner.

 

Let’s thank the #RealMen out there. The ones who don’t need us to stay small. I know a few awesome men who have done their parts.  Some have marched for us, some have stood up for us, some encourage us, and many are speaking up despite the attacks on their own manhood. Today, let’s find the awesome men, and directly say thank you.

 

This is really important for women to do. This movement is not just about us.  Opponents of women’s equality are counting on our fear that once we step into our power, there will be no men willing to engage us, that if we take charge of ourselves we will obliterate institutions like marriage, kill femininity, hurt children, destroy family life. No, in fact once we are thriving in our own success and competence, we will be better partners, mothers, executives, and leaders.

 

We have to be willing to engage those men who are striving to understand us and work with us as equals. They possess the level-headedness, empathy and humanity to partner in this movement. These are the men who should be engaged in a two-way conversation. The others, who are threatened by us, cannot be counted on to act in our best interest, only their own.

 

As the owner of this blog, I receive e-mail from amazing men all the time. In fact, when I first started making these posts, my readers were mostly men. I was writing about subjects that very few women could agree with, and when they could agree, they spoke from a place of self-defeat, as if full empowerment and self-possession would never be possible. It was the men who kept encouraging me to find my voice, to keep writing, to stand my ground and not tone down my words. I had to be heard despite the fact that my views lost me many friends, and personal relationships.  I am glad I had their encouragement, and thanks to them I kept speaking anyway.

 

We all are surrounded by amazing men. Contrary to what the media says, we do have strong, confident, supportive partners. In what the media refers to the war on manhood, they have not backed down in their support of us. Instead of screaming at the toxic males who won’t listen, let us thank, and engage the real men who do. It is the men who are willing too listen, who make the best partners in business, marriage, parenthood, or life.

 

So, to all the men who supported this blog from it’s first post, Thank You. To all the men who encouraged me to talk about hard subjects that weren’t always easy to address, Thank You. To all my male friends who are not threatened by women in power, Thank You. To the ones who stood up for us with the #metoo movement and believe us, Thank You. To the ones who believe in our choices, voices, and power, Thank You. To the men who freely and unapologetically speak up in our support via social media, in the workplace, or via their own blogs Thank You. To the ones who are often accused of not being real men because you refuse to dominate, have more liberal views about gender, who are shedding your own social programming, please know that you are #RealMen and we will always appreciate you. Let’s talk.

 

S

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The Higher Purpose Of This Relationship

Why are we in this relationship?  Have you ever met someone really nice who qualifies on all levels, yet you already know before he/she utters ‘I like you’, this one is friend material? This person is perfect, but not for me. Sometimes we meet the most wonderful, shiniest, most spotless specimen of humanity, and we set him aside ‘Nah, I don’t need that’. Friend zoned. Automatically.

 

I’ll start by saying that I don’t believe in giving people chances, not even those nice guys in your friend zone. They are in that zone for a very good reason. They are either unsleepable or we can’t learn anything from them. They may be good people, even beyond our wildest expectations, but we don’t need them.

 

My theory is that the reason we sometimes put people automatically in the friend zone is because we don’t need them on our path toward personal growth and evolution. I have been accused plenty of times of not giving the nice guy a chance, but being attracted to a moron instead. It’s true, I openly admit it. In my previous post I wrote about my history of dating monsters and the valuable lessons I learned from each. I wasn’t a glutton for punishment, I wasn’t sadistically craving mistreatment, I was on a path to becoming ME, and had to get in touch with every single aspect of me, especially those darkest shadows I’d never show to the world. Who was capable of showing me that deepest, darkest, most vulnerable me, that deeply flawed, self-hating, perpetually failing at life me? The nice guy? No. He could never have taught me that.

 

Experts claim that some women are conditioned to be attracted to abusers. I can give them that. What no one thought is that there are a lot of self-possessed, free, vulnerable women out there who crave life, self-discovery, experience, rawness, and are deeply committed to discovering themselves. Humans cringe at the thought of getting in touch with their dark side, it is to be avoided at all costs. But light cannot exist without darkness, and to know ourselves means owning both.

 

This may be a hard pill to swallow by the establishment, but not all women are looking to marry, have babies, settle down, and coddle men. Some of us think, feel, crave freedom, exploration, sex, novelty, not because these experiences will lead us to settling down, but because they won’t. Settling is death, and some of us came here to live.

 

What was I looking for in relationships for all these years? As humans grow we need different things from different people. It is small-minded to think that one person can satisfy all our needs. At various stages of life I needed different lessons. Each lesson was about myself, and I had to learn it all. In my younger years I had to discover different types of manhood. Some suited me, most didn’t. I had to accept, reject, overcome, defeat, abuse, adore all different kinds of men to find out what manhood really is. I learned that above all, a man must be human, humane and humble to be anything at all.

 

I learned my toughest lessons from the worst men. My father was one of the most insecure, narcissistic, egotistical, assholes I ever met in my life. Who would I be had I not learned how to make him cry by the time I turned fourteen. The day I realized how small this big-mouth really was, I learned that when it comes to men, I have nothing to fear. He was my first teacher.

 

Later, when I realized I was getting into repeated patterns with narcissists, I had to discover what is it about me that was available to them? That aspect of me had to change, so one lesson, after another, and then another. I was black and blue, crawling on my hands an knees begging for mercy. Could that nice guy with a halo over his head have taught me how to outmaneuver a narcissist every time? Nope, he had no chance.

 

It wasn’t enough to know how to spot and avoid narcs, I had to learn how to bring one to his knees, make him run for his life when he sees me. I succeeded during my stint on Wall Street, where I worked with the most bloated bunch of male egos. These Neanderthals were so puffed up on their own gas, grunting and thumping themselves on the chest every time they got a whiff of a female walking by. The younger ones were harmless, too busy putting in the hours to notice me panic every time one of the older starving males wanted to see if I would acknowledge his manhood. Sorry grandpa, I don’t think much of your manhood at all. I can’t tell you how many times I almost got fired because I refused to stroke his ego. I could have worked with so many tame guys, the respectful ones, the upstanding humans. But what would I have learned about myself?

 

The best lesson I learned is where is the seat of my power. Who am I, what are my most significant qualities?  I learned that my ability to put up a good fight was not a weakness that I should hide, it was something for me to use to my best advantage. I learned that my willingness to unmask a narcissist, is that which narcissists fear most. They know I will do it, they no longer come near me. I learned that a nice, educated, classy girl from a good family won’t get far in life if she bows down to manhood. By not being afraid to piss men off, say exactly what I think, and not back down, I learned how to command respect. I had no interest in being a nice guy’s wife, I had an interest in experiencing me.

 

I know so many wonderful men who any woman would be proud to date. I fix them up with quality women, but I only dated a few. A psychologist might conclude that something must be wrong with me to pass up so many opportunities for love, marriage and relationships. Every woman dreams of getting married, right? I dream of so much more.

 

Love is easy. I know how to love. While most humans have had only the kind of love they miserly allowed themselves to experience, I experienced it all in the raw.  Nice guys love gently. They back down to easily. They don’t put up much of a fight. They call their mom, and their mom tells them what a man they are. It’s true, most of them really are good. Some day I will need that.

 

I am sure that a lot of men experience the same. Why settle down when life keeps giving me more, and more, and more? Why settle down, when I can still climb higher? Why settle for the good girl, when the bad girl has so much more to teach me? There are no bad girls or bad guys, there are just teachers. We all need them.

 

While experts claim that a lot of women’s dating instincts point to deep, emotional flaws, I insist that our instincts are just right. Some of us are starving for life and starving to find ourselves. We won’t be satisfied with domesticity, motherhood or matrimony, we want to discover our passions, develop our inner selves, build empires, achieve balance, and we aren’t terrified of being lonely. We never are.

 

So, in relationships we don’t seek what is stable, what is safe, what is everlasting. People who crave life seek the opposite. We are not empty thrill-seekers looking for fulfillment outside ourselves, blame that on the people who need a spouse. We are whole, we are giving, we are too alive to succumb to tradition. We are looking to grow, experience, experiment, change ourselves over and over again, and keep reinventing ourselves until there is nothing more to learn.

 

When I am tired and exhausted from learning, I might settle down with a nice guy. I have been in a couple of relationships with angels, and sometimes I wish for a warm, loving, kind, affectionate, uncomplicated human. For now they are all in my friend zone. If they get taken by better women, I’ll love them anyway. But they are not for me now.

 

S

 

 

 

 

 

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Monsters Laying At My Feet

MONSTERS.  We have all dated one, two, or if you’re a slow learner like me, a few 🙂 I used to ask myself, what is wrong with me if I am always attracting the crazy ones? Am I crazy?  The short answer is yes, I was. As difficult as it was to admit at the time, the men I dated were simply a reflection of my own level of emotional development, my own level of self-respect, my own level of understanding of what a good human and a healthy relationship were, my own level of consciousness.

 

As most of my readers know, my dating experiences were an open project in self-discovery, exploration, figuring out my limits, crashing, growing, and rising. I really was willing to experience it all in order to figure out how low will I stoop, and how high can I rise from this. Though the process was painful, sometimes even degrading, it also came with a lot of international adventures, sexual escapades most women dream of, and a lifetime of experiences I’ll take to my grave with a smile.

 

Then came a tipping point in my life, when I stopped attracting the monsters. Now, I scare them J  It was the point where I developed an understanding of who I am, why I repeat certain emotional programs and behaviors, what I am programmed to react to, how and why those patterns were formed, and the realization that I no longer need them. Once the lessons were learned, the realizations alone were enough to help me clear the programming and move on.

 

But, could I have resolved these issues without the monsters in my life? No way. Had I been dating angels, I never would have known my own emotional triggers, how easily I could be manipulated, why manipulation and control are a sickness, how to recognize them, how to avoid men who are sick. All those lessons came through experience. I always say that experience is the best teacher, and that women who are totally free of social and cultural programming, are very experienced at love and life. They are no longer affected, they no longer take the bait, they no longer confuse toxicity and codependence with relationships nor love, and once liberated from social constructs are free to create love in ways that suit them.

 

You can’t learn these lessons from a book.  Your well-meaning parents can’t teach you how to battle the monsters or win. And pop-psychology, modern-day dating manuals and media feed women a lot of bullshit about their emotional limitations and handicaps, then spoon-feed them techniques about how to attract those very monsters we are trying to free ourselves from. Life’s greatest lessons have to be learned on our own through failure, self-knowledge, and the only way to sharpen those skills is practice, practice, practice. Don’t protect yourself from experience, embrace it and live it.

 

Talking to some of the most free-thinking, independent and knowledgeable Goddesses I know, I see that they all have a closet-full of monsters. It is how they sharpened their skills and brought them to their knees. The monsters now sit obediently at their feet. These women were not afraid to learn, no matter how excruciating the lessons.

 

It is true, I no longer play with monsters. They bore me to tears.  I learned that monsters are the most insecure people in the world. When the most self-doubting, self-loathing men are looking for love, they aren’t actually looking to relate to a healthy person who  expects an equal energetic exchange, and has clearly defined boundaries. What they are looking for is someone to reflect to them that fictitious person they pretend to be. A healthy woman will hold up a mirror, and expose the insecurity right away. She won’t validate his false self, in fact she will expose it.

 

A narcissist or the glass man can’t stand that true version of himself so he retaliates with insults, rejection, anger, emotional outbursts and runs. But when he meets a woman who is willing to prop him up by reflecting back the false mask he wishes the world would see, he is immediately attracted. He might hide his level of need for her, because he knows how badly he is starving for the validation only a blind woman could give him. A monster cannot relate, so he is unable to earn any praise or admiration from her. He must extract it from her, ensure a continuous supply of validation, condition her with rewards for the kind of attention he craves, punish her for any violation of challenge to his ego,  hence the manipulation and control. For him its an act of extreme desperation to hang onto the woman who reflects back his false self, for her its an addiction to the tiny morsels of affection or attention she earns for holding up his mask.

 

What I learned from all this is that there isn’t just one monster in this equation. There are two. It would be narcissistic of me to think that I wasn’t complicit in these mind-games. I wasn’t an innocent victim, but always an eager participant, knee-deep in the toxic pool of negative emotions.

 

The only way out of this unhealthy pattern of toxic relationships is to recognize our role in this. We aren’t victims of monsters and we aren’t entirely innocent. We are their food, we are their sustenance, we give meaning to their empty lives. We bolster their confidence by sweeping their deep emotional insecurities under the rug, so the world could see and so that they can believe in their own false self. We are their security, and we must provide the constant supply of ego, because they know that without the validation we provide, they are totally exposed.

 

At a certain point in my life I realized how badly the monsters need me. I used to believe that I was powerless against them, always flailing and struggling to regain my footing. I used to run as far as me feet would carry me, because I had no clue how to fight them off. A man starving for his false ego will do anything, give anything, say anything, in order to secure his narcissistic supply.  Unfortunately a lot of women are taught to believe that when a man is willing to give anything he is truly in love.

 

A healthy man wouldn’t trade self-respect for love.  I found my power in the realization that it is he who is starving and that it is I who choose whether or not to feed him. I stopped feeding the monsters. I carry no special treats in my pockets that they can smell from across a crowded room.

 

Monsters don’t enter a room looking for a healthy soul to relate to, they enter a room looking for food. Who is their food? To a monster, the woman who responds to his false self is the only “real woman” there is. He will always select the one who treats him like a real man, responds to subtle queues of his grandiosity, responds positively and with interest to material offers, drinks, vacations, and invitations where he can display his manhood, and who eats up his false stories about his successes, accomplishments and grandstanding.

 

What kind of women do monsters run away from? The ones who don’t acknowledge them, the ones who cannot be engaged, the ones who won’t feed them with admiration, the ones who question their reality, their fantastical claims, their false self. Monsters don’t stand up well to questioning. In fact they will not be challenged. They are desperate to avoid any situations where their false mask could fall off, their desperation revealed. Monsters always have to be perceived as in charge, on top, having an advantage, they cannot tolerate standing next to an equal. They are friends with followers, admirers, people who are easily impressed. Pretty much anyone who buys into their delusion can be their friend, anyone who challenges it is quickly deleted.

 

With a little experience, monsters are easy to expose. Treat them like the insecure little weasels that they are, and they’ll run and hide. Their emotional wounds will be all your fault, they might even rally their followers against you. Don’t be afraid. Your goal isn’t to win back the approval of his followers, the goal is to free yourself from the monster. The only food the monster needs is your approval, your attention, your support, your validation. Cut that off, and they’ll find it elsewhere.

 

Every experienced woman has monsters in her closet. Don’t be ashamed of them, be proud. After all you beat them, exposed them, cut them down to size. Your experience expanded your consciousness, and helped you discover yourself. Without those monsters you wouldn’t be as fierce as you are now.

 

Remember, naive girls play with monsters. Mortal women run away from them. Goddesses keep them laying at their feet.

 

S

 

 

 

 

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Passion Lost and Found

Did you ever lose your passion or your purpose? Everybody says you have to love what you do, but what if your career no longer turns you on? I always loved every job I took, only to quickly become disenchanted once I faced the reality of dealing with disgruntled customers, backstabbing co-workers, or as soon as I had to face the stress and anxiety which I carried with me from job to job. We have this false belief that we will find our purpose and passion by waiting for something to turn us on. But if we wait for the excitement to fall into our lap, how long can that project remain exciting? Passion lasts only as long as we are in a state of discovery, learning and appreciating.

 

How many of us have paid for expensive degrees to discover that the actual job is just plain drudgery? A few years ago I discovered that the drudgery is all me. I am the one carrying the stress and anxiety and blaming my coworkers for it. It’s not the job that is wrong, it is my mindset. If I am no longer turned on by my role in a company, it is because I either have not fully stepped into that role, I am not owning it. I am projecting my own dissatisfaction with myself onto the job, and my work situation.

 

Sixteen years ago I earned the title of Vice President at a mid-sized financial company in Boston. I was 30 and the youngest VP they ever had. The company was about to go public, and they listed me in its first annual report as an officer of the company. I was proud of myself for about 15 minutes. I never expected this, never vied for the title, didn’t even apply for it because I didn’t think I was qualified to be VP, and when my manager offered me a tiny raise to go with the title I took it without negotiating because I really felt the title was too much.

 

Quickly, my infatuation with my new title faded. My dad joked that I was too young to be VP, they must have made a mistake. My ex said that I don’t have the experience for that title. Though I argued for my position, I was still deflated when I heard his opinion. Pretty soon I started to feel like I am no VP at all. I felt duped by my manager, I thought he only gave me the title so he wouldn’t have to pay me a bigger raise. All I could see is greater and unfair responsibility with very little compensation. My life sucked. After then, I took many jobs in the same field. Some jobs had impressive titles that felt like a big deal, and other jobs had amazing salaries, that should have made me feel like a tycoon. But I never felt like a tycoon.

 

I read that I need a passion for what I do to become self-actualized, but always my passion faded as soon as I got accustomed to the routine. Is something wrong with my job? My stupid boss? My salary? My co-workers? Nope, something was wrong with my attitude. I killed my own passion every time, and shot myself in my own foot, by not owning my title, by not feeling like I deserve it, by not appreciating and being proud of my big salary. I always swept my accomplishments under the carpet, then wondered why I always feel so unimpressive.

 

My ex, however, would take any tiny accomplishment and blast to anyone who would listen. He would proudly toot his own horn, act important, congratulate himself, and truly act like the title. No wonder his passion for his job always lasted, while mine quickly faded. I am certifiably smarter than him, better educated, and having worked in 3 companies together, I can state with full confidence that what I brought to the company were quantifiable results, but what he brought was just a big ego. Yet he remained at the top of his industry, while I kept fading and making comebacks. Our passions for our jobs lasted only as our commitment to our individual selves.

 

There are still times when I lose all my passion and my fire. But the job is not to blame, my attitude toward it is to blame. I have so much to be grateful and proud of yet I never talk about it. Friends who have known me for years are surprised to find out that I have done so much. Nobody knows because I never toot my own horn professionally.

 

So, what is your passion? If you don’t know it is not because you are not passionate about your career, it is because you are not passionate about yourself. You can change jobs, industries, bosses and titles, and remain dissatisfied. No one can be as passionate about your purpose as you. So why do we wait for others to validate our positions? You could wait for a passion to fall into your lap. Or you can decide to own whatever title you’ve got.

 

What is the most that you can make out of and enjoy in your current role? Are you sweeping your awards, commendations, and praise under the rug as I have? Many of us come from cultures where accepting praise is considered egotistical and we are conditioned to minimize or dismiss it. We create passion by saying YES I AM! Whatever your job, wear it proudly. Show it off! Talk about it more. Toot your own horn. The most successful people in the world are proud of every penny they earned and make no apologies for it.

 

Here I am in Cairo, enjoying a life altering vacation with amazing friends and clients. I have the job I always dreamt of. I quit a well paid job in the financial industry so I can enjoy a couple of years exploring myself and traveling around the world. I have everything.  Yet, my passion has been fading for a year now and I could not understand why. The job is easy, the travel I exciting, the company is excellent. What’s is wrong now? How did I become so disenchanted with this so quickly? I am doing what most people dream of. As I searched within, it dawned on me. Once again, my passion is fading because I have allowed my appreciation for myself and my life to fade. I receive complements from clients, and friends, all the time. I say thank you, then I sweep it under the rug. When was the last time I commended myself?

 

Note to self, appreciate myself more often. Write down all the accomplishments I made in the last year, and ruminate on each one. I did it, I changed someone’s life. I made a client very happy and gave them a life altering experience. I’ll read all the letters and compliments people sent me, and truly appreciate every word. I’ve been told multiple times that they never enjoyed themselves as much as they enjoyed their time with me, and how much they love working with me. I need to absorb that. And that tiny little “award” a client recently gave me to show me his appreciation, I have to dig it out of my junk drawer, and hang it on the wall.

 

 

When I do things to appreciate myself, my job, my projects, my passion starts flowing back to me. I feel better about who I am, and the choices I make every day. Remember, there is nothing wrong with the job, or the people you work with. We can all adjust our attitudes, and find ways to honor ourselves and appreciate those things that we do.

 

Our passion comes from our attitude about who we are now, and the work we do now. It is not something we have to wait for until an amazing job is offered to us, it is something that is within us. We have to become turned on by our own existence. We have to own our careers, titles, salaries, and be proud of whatever we have now. This point in your career may be a mere stepping stone, but you have to be passionate about this point now.

 

It takes just a little work on myself to help me snap out of my passionless doldrums. That work involves appreciating even the tiniest of my accomplishments, saying ‘Thanks for the compliment, I really feel great that I made your day’ and wearing those commendations on my lapel like a badge of honor. On the flight back to USA, while practicing appreciation for who I am and the work I do, I started to feel excited. The ennui was fading and the stronger more passionate me was waking up.  I went out and bought fancy thank you notes and sent “love letters” to each of my clients. They were heartfelt thank yous for their appreciation and encouragement.  And just like that, my passion was back. Try it!

 

S

 

 

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Lack of Identity Destroys Relationships

Do love and relationships feel like a drug to you? When you have someone to be with, you feel fulfilled. You’d do anything to keep them happy, even sacrifice your own beliefs, integrity, peace to keep them around. Do you find yourself forgetting your hobbies, ambitions, friends? Are you cancelling solo trips, girls nights out, me time, because now you have someone more interesting to focus on?

 

One of the signature traits of a Goddess is her strong personal identity. She derives her happiness from her own intellectual, career, and personal pursuits, not from other people. She loves men and relationships, but doesn’t pour all her attention into them, rather she maintains a strong focus on her own interests. She is capable of maintaining her focus on herself, and if she finds herself in relationship or friendship drama, she knows how to disengage, step away, evaluate if the person is healthy, if he propels her forward or brings her down to make himself feel more secure.

 

A Goddess has healthy boundaries. Her favorite word is No. She makes no apologies for using the word. Contrary to popular myth, a Goddess is never a cold, heartless bitch, instead she is very warm, loving and kind towards people who have earned her respect, her time and her friendship. She has a strong filter on people she allows into her life because the life she has created is valuable and she is committed to cultivating healthy, positive relationships to thrive in, not ones to wallow in.

 

Because I say no very often, and turn people away from my door, I am often accused of being mean. I assure you I am not- the people in my life have truly earned their place in it, and once they are here, I shower them with love and healthy amounts of attention.  I simply enforce my boundaries, so that drama never seeps in.

 

A lot of unhealthy people would like a piece of this. And if you are positive, self-reliant, self-aware, and cultivate a life that you love, you will find a lot of people knocking on your door. Does that mean you have to let them in? No, always ask who it is, and check their identity. I am very social, so I meet a lot of people everywhere I go. I also project a ton of positive energy, share it with everyone around me freely, and as a result many try to latch onto me. I am often aware of this, but like all people, sometimes I end up with a stalker, a follower, a beggar who just wants my time and energy.

 

People are attracted to those who have something they want. People are attracted to others who have a beautiful lifestyle. People want to be a part of other people’s lives when they don’t have one of their own. People are constantly seeking, when they should be finding what they want within. People are highly attracted to peace, your peacefulness and serenity looks so good to them, so they want to be in your presence. People who see in others what they can’t find in themselves will too quickly offer you their devotion, commitment and loyalty because they know that your presence gives them much more in return. But are these people healthy?

 

It took me decades to create the life I want. I didn’t do that by taking from others, demanding they share, stealing their peace. I might not have much in terms of assets, but I am rich in peace, happiness, energy, love, adventure, amazing friendships, I create beautiful experiences for myself and those I love. So, I am a magnet for people, both healthy and unhealthy ones.

 

I have a very strong identity. I built that by getting in touch with myself, accepting those traits people were insisting were flaws. I became okay with them, and learned how to let them shine, despite what everyone said. We all try to suppress our true nature to be more acceptable to others. But the price we pay for congeniality, is allowing others to test and cross our boundaries. People who are constantly looking to test boundaries to see where and how they will jump the fence tend to be very unhealthy. In fact there are psychiatric terms for that. They derive their identity from yours. They derive their peace and tranquility from yours. They see you as what you have to offer, rather than your soul. And naturally, they want to move in.

 

These are people who don’t have a strong identity of their own. And because they are looking toward their significant other to let them in so they can share his/her identity, they tend to destroy relationships. Without an identity of their own, they look very unappetizing to the other. There is nothing to look at, no personhood to interact with, no one to learn from, no depths to explore. All of these people are “nice guys” and “nice girls”. They are giving, sacrificing, catering, affectionate, devoted, loyal, but never to themselves, always to the other. They will rarely defend their own honor, but always defend the honor of the object of their desire. They rarely stick their neck out to protect and uphold their own beliefs, but when their loved one is outnumbered by critics, they will protect that person’s belief system. And so, they devote themselves to protecting their relationships with people who can give them an identity, a reason to be, or whatever they lack personally.

 

It is no wonder that their relationships often fail. While it may appear that they are giving too much, the truth is what they give is of no value at all. Of what value is their time, when they fill our time with mindless chatter, crossing boundaries, neediness, and merely their presence? I’d rather be alone.  I value time of friends who think, debate, experience, explore, contribute to society. I value time from friends who have high energy, infectious laughter, strong personalities, unpopular opinions they can actually defend- they are the ones whose presence is highly appreciated.

 

If you find your self bouncing from relationship to relationship, chasing, people losing interest in you too quickly, it sure is tempting to believe popular media and declare that there is something wrong with people who are constantly moving, not answering phone calls, ignoring your texts. Those ideas only serve those who perceive themselves as victims of modern society. I assure you, there is nothing wrong with the world. People choose to be available to those whose company they prefer, and unavailable to those who bring nothing to their table. Rather than buy into that nonsense, why not embark on a journey of self-development? Yes, you can develop a healthy self-image and a personality of your own. It takes years of work on the self, and much devotion to the self, and is far more rewarding than begging people to give you a relationship.

 

One positive consequence of having a strong identity is that you become a magnet for people and a magnet for amazing opportunities. There are so many people in my life, that now I have to filter them out, and I am offered so many work and social opportunities that I often get overwhelmed and sidetracked if I am not diligent about saying No.  Wouldn’t you rather be in this situation, than constantly knocking on other people’s doors?

 

So, how to develop a strong identity?  You were born with one, you just decided to be a good girl, make nice with everyone, keep your mouth shut to spare other people their feelings, suppressed your emotions to appear congenial, allowed friends to cross your boundaries so they would feel welcome, said yes to lovers so they wouldn’t leave you, and learned that to keep a man you must make him happy. Understand that if you are making other people feel happy, and are accepting responsibility for making them like you, you are sacrificing your identity for their sake. That always ends badly.

 

How do you get in touch with your true self? How to remember who you were before you gave yourself away? Remember yourself as a little girl? What did you want, what were your demands, what were you fighting for?  I was always fighting for my own freedom from suffocating and controlling parents, I was fighting for my sister because she was always afraid to fight for herself, I was fighting my dad who was always trying to train me to be more congenial, I was beating up all the boys in the street because they were picking on the smaller kids, I was fighting, I was fighting, I was fighting. You see, I was born a fighter, but I squashed that.

 

I was always super logical, and excellent at debate. I won every high school and college debate and oratory contest that ever was. As a child I could out-argue my bully father every time. I was more logical and had better reasoning skills as a child than he ever did as an adult, and he possessed a law degree.  Eventually I learned to stay quiet, because at a certain age I began to infuriate him.  His rage became uncontrollable and he would threaten my mother, if I did not shut up. So, I gave up my super-logical mind and arguments to keep peace in the family. I remember a college boyfriend asked me why I play chess, and why can’t I look more like a girl? Why is your hair always messy, and why are you running for president of the debate team? Why don’t you join a sorority like the other girls? I don’t blame other people for persuading me to suppress my opinions and my arguments to be more congenial. That was my own fault, but that is how I learned to tone down my true self. I gave that away of my own free will, as do most women. We love to blame society and men, but we are the ones making that decision.

 

Years later, I married and had to learn to get along in a marriage. I gave up my job multiple times so that he could take a better one in another city. I gave up my opinion of his abusive parents so they can feel more welcome in our home. After 12 years of marriage, I realized I gave up everything. I was a zero in every department of my life and had to figure out a way to find myself. It was a daunting task, but that’s why I am telling you that it can be done.

 

With zero self, you have no identity, no personality, nothing to give, you can only take. To healthy people, relationships with codependents feel like a burden. They ask for time, they demand attention, they sulk, they are convinced they are giving too much but, what they are giving isn’t wanted- what codependents are giving is empty. People leave, they stop texting, it’s not their fault, they have to preserve their own energy. They have to preserve their own self because unhealthy codependents feed off their time, attention, and identity.

 

Finding myself involved a ton of introspection- much more than most people are comfortable with. It involved testing myself and my limits in crazy relationships, crashing over and over again, to learn to enforce my own boundaries.

 

People who lack their own identity destroy their own relationships. They blame the other person for disconnecting, for not trying hard enough, for not giving them what they want, for not sharing his/her life.  Without an identity they suck the life and identity out of the other person, they live off their life force. They offer their time, but their time is empty. They offer their devotion, but their devotion is a drain. They offer their loyalty which quickly becomes a burden. When there is nothing left to give them, their lovers disappear. Often, they have to be peeled off the other person, because the more the runner wants to be free, the more the chaser needs them to live.

 

We all know that neither running nor chasing is healthy. The runners need stronger boundaries, and have to learn how to spot unhealthy partners, say No more often, and not enter those relationships. The chasers need to stop using their “nice guy”, “nice girl” persona to gain sympathy when they want and need more than others are willing to give them. They have to learn that chasing is desperation, pure and simple. What they chase will always run away.

 

People who have a strong identity are highly attractive to us all. They don’t have to be flashy, nor glamorous, instead they can often be nerdy, intellectual, artsy, highly creative or non-creative at all, they have focus, interests, opinions, charisma, something to stand for, strong reasons to be. They attract attention, followers, devotees, friends, business, criticism, lovers, haters so, to remain sane they absolutely must defend their boundaries.

 

If you think you might lack an identity, your best bet is to invest in yourself. Find a qualified therapist, learn how to create your own energy, spend time alone, develop interests and hobbies that mean something only to you. Learn to shift your focus away from other people and keep it on your self. Learn to stop leaning on others, seeking counseling from friends, using others as your crutch, instead, answer your own prayers, solve your own problems, become your own best companion. The more you practice, the more others will appreciate you. Everyone loves the company of people who derive happiness from their own life.

 

S

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Do You Qualify For The One You Desire?

Are you the person that the person you want is looking for? How do you know if you qualify to be with the person you are interested in?  I know there are a lot of people out there who don’t believe that they should have to qualify for anyone, I talk to them every day. Many believe think they should be able to have that one they have their eye on. Almost always, as I talk to them I find out that they have egotistical views of themselves and feel entitled to that one who wants nothing to do with them.  Men and women do this to themselves all the time- they set their eyes on that perfect mate, and when he or she has absolutely no interest, they commit themselves to arguing their way into a relationship.  “What do you mean you are not attracted to me? Why do you have to be attracted, can’t you see how awesome I am? Don’t you know a real man when you see one? I’m entitled to a chance.”

 

As far as I know, no one ever succeeded in arguing their way into a relationship. Healthy people can respect that attraction must flow both ways, incomplete people cannot. If only he knew how amazing I am? There must be something wrong with her if she won’t give me a chance.

 

But, most often we simply do not match the person we are interested in. Our view of ourselves is drastically different from their perception of us. I see myself as the most loving, kind, fair, strong, intelligent, intuitive, empathetic woman of high integrity. Friends who actually know me on a deeper level might agree. But, very often, and this I have verified countless times, people who only know me through social media have a drastically different opinion of me. Yes, The One is not interested in me at all.  Painful? Yes. But I have to accept the fact that I probably don’t qualify for him at all. Do I suffer from low self-esteem, that I don’t think I have anything to offer? No. I am a grown up, a healthy person can accept that they may not measure up.

 

A wise man once said “We don’t get the person we desire, we don’t get the person we want, instead we get the person we already are”. So who am I? I have written about this topic so many times, and by now you know I have always dated people who match me on some level. Externally and superficially, they look drastically different from me. But on a deeper, internal level, this person has always matched me, mirrored me, reflected back who I am on an inner level. I admit, I may not be happy with the people I dated in the past, because they didn’t always meet my lofty expectations, nor did I meet theirs. However, we were a perfect match at the time, because all those issues that I still have with myself, yes, the ones I never reveal to any human being, were always reflected by the other. My ugly, was always their ugly. And once we got close enough to discover that within each other, we started to have a problem. And this is why some relationships combust. A lot of people who are not self-aware explode in anger when they see the other matches them perfectly, just not on a positive level. The other person shows them their inner demons, their own self-loathing, and suddenly this other person is no longer acceptable. But, if we are healthy adults, and have a shred of self-awareness, we can actually learn from studying our reflection in the other person.

 

Regardless of who we envisioned for ourselves, the person we actually qualify for, the one we perfectly match, is likely to be drastically different than who we have our eye on. Many of us think with our egos, rather than our hearts. And when we fantasize about our perfect human, we egotistically paint a picture of a person who meets our highest ideals. That’s quite lovely, until we actually meet someone who possesses those qualities, and we are shocked when this person sees no value in us at all. I get this all the time. Some man out there has identified me as his perfect wife, and now he is messaging, arguing, demanding to be given a chance. I am watching this scenario play out for the thousandth time and am wondering how in the world this person fathom that I am his match? He doesn’t even know me, and he doesn’t even care. In his head, I look just like the one he picked out for himself, and he is angry that I refuse to see how amazing he is.

 

I know, the word ‘qualify’ sounds egotistical and arrogant. People are often dismayed when asked how well they qualify for the person they want? How well do they even know that person on an inner level? Most often they know nothing at all, because the person looks and acts like their target mate, but they don’t even accept that this human has a soul, they have a heart, and that their wants and needs are drastically different.

 

Our relationships, every single one of them, are a reflection of what is right within us, and what is wrong with us. Recall every single ex, and objectively analyze what was right about this person and what was wrong. Every single time you will see that what was wrong, was also wrong within us. Not many people can bear to see this, so they ignore this painful lesson and keep dating the same person over and over again. The same person in a different body.

 

But I am a big fan of self-reflection, and am constantly working on my inner identity. My goal is not to find someone to settle down with, my goal is to meet the most loving, open, self-aware person of high integrity and strong character, who reflects back all I have learned, and all the work I have done on myself. Yes, I have a high perception of myself. I know the hell I walked through many times, I know who I am inside and out, and can only take seriously a man who has also done the work. It very much helps if he is tall, young and exceptionally handsome 🙂  But I want someone who is deep, emotionally stable and whole, psychologically healthy, an independent thinker with unique perspectives on a wide range of topics. I want someone who understands the inner me, so how can I possibly be a match to that goon who looked me up online, saw what he wanted, and is now knocking on my door demanding consideration. No.

 

One of my closest male friends is probably one of the hottest men in town. And women are always messaging me, asking for an introduction. He may be impressive on paper, and that is all they see- they see the perfect husband. Each has identified him as The One. Yet not a single woman has a clue who he is on an emotional level. Not one of these women has asked me Who is he on the inside? What is his heart like? Where does he bleed?

 

One of these ladies is his age, also gorgeous, highly educated, she has the credentials to match. She keeps harping on the fact that she is more qualified to be with him than all the other candidates, if only he would be impressed with her PhD, and notice that she is his equal. He met her, and he walked away. She is confused. Did he hear that she has the same degree that he has? He must not have, because if he did he would know that she is better for him than all the rest. Because she keeps asking me to introduce her to men, I asked her what she is looking for in a mate. And of course she has a list of a dozen superficial qualities and deal breakers, none of which reflect who my friend is at all. Does she qualify to be with him? Not one bit. But she doesn’t care that his heart is much stronger, she doesn’t care about his own battle with his inner demons, and his own fight for survival. She doesn’t consider his wounds, his scars, his fears, his terrors, nor that he is still bleeding, because she is sure she can become whoever he needs her to be.  If I set them up on a date, he would leave in 5 minutes and I wouldn’t blame him. She would harp on her credentials as a good girlfriend with an M.R.S degree, and he would be very much turned off.

 

We have to qualify for the person we desire in our life. If we are truly looking for someone who matches our soul, then how can we evaluate people by their resumes and their degrees? How can we evaluate people by their social media profiles, their hip to waist ratios, their real-estate assets, their social prominence, their job titles? These are all external characteristics that have nothing to do with the actual human.

 

So how do we qualify for the one we desire? So often, we humans attain MBA’s, we buy fancy degrees, yet we flunk at relationships over and over again. We may be highly accomplished in all areas of life, but are failing at connecting on a deeper level. We make relationship choices prematurely, based on superficial facts, people’s willingness to give us what we want, but have yet to begin to do the inner analysis of ourselves to truly understand how we stack up to the other person. We think because we have reached a certain stage in our lives that we are ready, yet on an emotional level we are still kindergarteners. I can’t tell you how many grown adults who are seeking a spouse seriously, have the emotional intelligence of a child, and simply demand that the person they envisioned for themselves gives them a chance. But they are not a match on an inner level at all.

 

Very often a pigeon wants to marry an eagle. This is the case for both men and women. We see the other flying very high, we have always wanted to do the same, but we just never got around to doing the work on ourselves. We never got over that fear of heights, never strengthened our wings, never sharpened our talons, never went in for the kill, in fact, we have no clue how to hunt at all because we have been feeding on free bird seed. Very often a pigeon sees an eagle and says to himself, That’s for me!  I can be with an eagle. I have wings, I know how to fly, so what if I can’t hunt? When the eagle falls in love with me, he will hunt for me. The eagle will be for me, what I never was for myself. The eagle will take me to new heights, I’ll see the world from a whole new perspective, and people will admire me because I am riding on the back of an eagle.

 

The pigeon doesn’t see that to the eagle, he is just an unsavory snack.  Even rats have more meat on their bones. There’s juicier meat out there, and eagles love to hunt. In fact pigeons are fairly common, so common that most eagles ignore them in favor of wilder prey. The pigeon fails to notice that no high-flyer wants a pigeon on its back.

 

To be equal to me, you have to be of the same frequency.  Intellectually, you must be able to quantify your beliefs. Spiritually, you must have walked through hell and back multiple times, and found your true self in that hell.  You must be okay with that. To be my equal, you must know yourself inside and out, so well that when I reflect back your ugly, you must respect that our monsters are the same.  You must respect and absolutely match my level of personal development. You can’t claim to understand me, you must actually know and be me. You’ll never fool me, I can smell you a mile away. It’s in your eyes, its in your presence or lack thereof, it’s in your posture, it’s in your frequency.

 

Many people out there are forcing themselves to enter relationships when they themselves have not even embarked on that painful path of personal development. You cannot assume that just because you are of a certain age, you are wise enough to be my match. Wisdom is a matter of life experience, failure, pain, agony, loss, suffering, freedom, rebellion, brushes with death, elation, developing fearlessness, earth-shattering orgasms, brazenness, multiple crashes. Have you freed yourself from your chains yet? No? Then how can you qualify for someone who has?

 

You must be complete. You must have a life’s mission, and wanting to find the one is not a mission at all. You have to be happy with yourself. You have to be consistently reaching your goals. If you are still failing at hitting your goals, you should be more focused on that. If you are so hungry for a mate, you are not ready to even look for one. You will repel every complete person in sight. A complete person will not date someone who is starving. People who are emotionally starving for a mate, are like zombies ready to take a bite out of your soul. Been there, done that, and they ate me alive.

 

A solid match is a person who matches you on the level of work you have done on yourself. Your process must be complete for a healthy person to see something in you. Whatever you don’t like about yourself will be matched by every person you date, over and over again, until you realize that you haven’t done the work, you are still incomplete, and the other person has nothing to do with that.

 

Qualifications go far beyond a resume. Show me your battle wounds, your scars, your poorly sewn stitches, your hemmorhage. Boo-hoo you had your heart broken multiple times by a mean men. Show me what you learned, how you recovered, how you survived, and then sky-rocketed. ‘Oh, I have yet to sky-rocket, I am waiting for the one, and we will sky-rocket together.’ No you won’t. Unless you have learned how to turbo-boost your way from your inner abyss to exceptionalism, he or she has nothing to learn from you. You can do nothing for a complete person unless you are complete yourself.

 

I know only a handful of complete people, who I can truly say are exceptional humans. Not one of them is waiting nor looking for The One. They often turn away suitors and infuriate prospects because eagles have no desire for a pigeon. No matter how he fluffs his feathers, the pigeon can do nothing for the eagle. An eagle can only respect someone as fierce, as tough, as prideful, as focused, as fearless, as limitless as he is, and the rest of us must respect that.

 

So how do you stack up compared to the person you desire? Is he or she an eagle? You will never fool an eagle making him believe you are his equal. If the eagle won’t give you a chance, it’s because from miles away he smells that you are a pigeon.

 

Life is rough and we all must learn to survive. Beggars can’t be choosers, so if you are unfinished, you have a lot more work do, and much more respect to earn.

 

The best people in the world are not looking for a wife or a husband. The best people, the ones everyone desires, the eagles, are not looking for anyone at all. Eagles know how high they fly, and that at those heights only a few can survive the cold, thin air. They know what it takes to reach the sky, they are not looking at the earth below to find a mate. They fly high, knowing in full confidence that the one they mate with will fly on their level.

 

S

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My Walk In The White Light

Why does religion have a monopoly on the afterlife? What if the death experience is not a religious experience at all? For me death was a natural experience, a physical or energetic transformation, a choice between the physical me and the non-physical me, a space of non-judgment.

Today’s post was inspired by social media hysteria about the suicides of two celebrities. My immediate reaction was this:

Suicide. What if it is not a crisis to be prevented, what if it is not a moral crime, what if it is a perfectly respectable way to go? The way I see it is if a person is in emotional pain and death is the only way to find relief, why not be understanding and wish them the best? And if a person has accomplished whatever they came here to accomplish and have no additional lessons to learn, why not respect that decision? Why the outrage, why the public debate, why the judgment, why the horror? Death is a natural part of life. Religious and spiritual people believe that the other side is better and more peaceful than here. So why not allow our friends to go, wish them a safe journey, and congratulate them on a job well done? Life isn’t easy, but they did the best they could. What’s best is that they faced death on their own terms. They chose not to suffer more, they didn’t struggle through old age, they didn’t leave it to chance. I think that dying with dignity means dying on one’s own terms.

I knew my post would be unacceptable to some, who saw suicide as selfish. I received a lot of hateful comments on that post. Both celebs had children and families and the general sentiment was that because their loved ones will now suffer, it was cruel and immoral of them to leave. Having had a near-death experience of my own, and having stood in that doorway between life and death, I have a drastically different perspective.

It has been ten years since that experience, and I never shared it with anyone. When I came back from the other side, I returned to my 35 year old body. Life was good. I had a happy marriage, a growing business, a beautiful house, I was in love, earning boatloads of money, I had nothing to complain about. I forgot about the experience because as cool as it was, my physical life was even more cool, and I had a lot more to experience.

A decade later, life gave me more extreme experiences. Shortly after my return from the other side, I lost everything I own, my business, my marriage, my money, my home. Not a big deal, it was just one glitch in my matrix, and something to learn from. Like any adult, I got a big slap in the face from the universe, then another one, and then another one. The slaps turned into punches, and ten years later my body is deeply scarred, all black and blue. I have been through it all, life’s ups and downs, incredible highs and crashes into the abyss that were so painful I wished I had died many times over.

From my 46 year old perspective, that near death experience has new meaning. Ten years ago, it was cool, and quite intriguing to stand in that doorway and be able to see the other side. But my perspective was limited, not because I was too young to understand, for I believe that even a young child understands perfectly when faced with the same choice. In the near-death space we all understand. Why is there so much clarity, even for a young child who is crossing over? A child is not as old as his/her physical age, nor as the body we perceive as a 5 year old. His energy, his being, his soul is thousnads of years old. It has lived many many lives, as you have, and so he is making that decision to pass from that greater perspective of who he has been for all eternity.

My perspective about death broadened when I learned how to meditate, and discovered that I can access that same doorway, stand in the white light, and bliss there at will. I don’t have to die to see, I can see it within this physical body, experience it with all my senses, and here that white light is much more blissful than it is over there without the physical sensations our bodies can interpret.

To describe the experience in more detail, and what was happening to my physical body as it went through the process, I’ll take you back to 2007. I had a terrible flu, much stronger than any flu I had ever experienced. My fever was 105F, and my doctor had sent me home and told me to get some rest. I got a second opinion, and the second doctor also told me to go home, drink plenty of fluids and call if anything changes.

It was late afternoon, when physically I started to transform. My fever was rising and I knew this was no flu. I was feeling weaker, but not in the way I had felt weakness before. The weaknes was not of the physical body, it was weakness of presence. This weakness was me fading out of my own body. As I was shuffling around my living room, I noticed that all my physical sensations felt different. My body was still operating, but I was less in it. I was starting to separate from my body. The I that I am, was now shifting from physicality to non-physicality. I said to myself “So this is what it’s like to be dying”. I had always wondered how people feel when they are dying, and how do they know they are about to go. I was always fascinated by the human mind, and it’s awareness, and now I was having the experience I had always been curious about.

For me this was the ultimate moment because all my questions about awareness were being answered. As a kid, long before I was old enough to comprehend, I was fascinated by the human mind. In college, though I had no intention of practicing, I majored in psychology simply because I needed to know what else can the mind do. I was sorely disappointed in the field when I realized there was not a single textbook nor professor who could answer the questions I had about awareness, so I dropped the subject entirely. Here I was standing in my living room, watching myself leave my body, completely aware that I was transforming from life to death, and I was perfectly okay with it. Cool, very cool.

With my fever now at 106, I got dressed and went straight to ER. A few tests later, they confirmed I had viral meningitis, a brain infection, told me that I had waited too long, and that though my chances were slim, they admitted me into the hospital. My ex was with me that night, and he wanted to call my parents to tell them I may not make it through the night. I remember arguing with him that I didn’t want my parents to know, that I did not want them at the hospital. If I am going to die, I wanted to die in peace, alone, without them or their drama. Now, people ask me how could you not call your parents? Didn’t you want to say your final good-bye? No. My death was not about them at all. I was already separate from them.

I however knew I wasn’t going to go. When the doctor told me that I may not make it, I remember thinking ‘you don’t know what you’re talking about’. I just shrugged because I already knew I’m choosing to live. Even though I could feel myself leaving my body, I somehow knew I’m going to be just fine.

Hours later I was laying in my private hospital room. It was 2 am, I was hooked up to an IV, getting tons of drugs pumped into my system. I felt calm, comfortable, peaceful, whatever happens happens. I fell asleep. I woke up and somehow I was at the top of the room, looking down at myself, I was laying in bed, looking like a mess. I think I was drooling. The room was quiet, my ex was sleeping spread across two chairs in my room. Oddly, I was in the room, but somehow I could see and hear the two nurses chatting outside my door. One was annoyed. Her shift was over, she wanted to go home, but now that she had me to deal with, she was going to have to stay longer. The other nurse consoled her “Go home. They said she won’t make it through the night”. Were they talking about me? Here I am hanging out on the ceiling of my hospital room, but I still know I have no intention of dying.

What does it feel like to be dead?  Slightly different than being alive. Looking down at my monitor, my heart was still beating and the machine said I have a pulse, so technically I was not dead. But, floating above my body I was just as conscious, just as much as me as I ever was, just not physical.

Without the physical body I had no physical senses like touch or smell, and I had no emotions at all. There I was staring at my ex, who was sleeping by the side of my bed, and I had no feelings for him. Before I floated out of my body, I loved him and felt afraid for him. How would he make it in this world without me? Up here, I had no sadness nor ego at all. I knew that was just my ego imagining he could not do without me. Up there I knew my death would be a part of his life experience, that was all human experience, and he will heal from it. He would experience loss of a loved one whether I died or somebody else did. Like all humans, he is meant to experience loss, and up there I knew he would do well, even succeed without me. And so would my parents, and so would my sister, and so would all my loved ones, I understood they will all be well without me. Life goes on.

As I started to get comfortable in my disembodied self I noticed a white light above me. The white light wasn’t calling me, it was just there as an option. I started to move toward it. As I got close, it got brighter, it was almost blinding. It was peaceful, it was beautiful, in fact, it was gorgeous. I saw my grandmother, or her image. She was smiling. She was not calling me, nor asking me to join her, nor stay. She was a familiar signpost,  just there to show me it’s okay. I can come in her direction or I could go back. It was all the same to her.

What else did I see? That life goes on. But I could also see that life is a much richer experience here on earth in 3D. Why? Because we have a physical body which allows us to experience physical sensations. We do not value them much, but they actually help us create our experience, and that’s why we are here to create, to sense, to enjoy, to bliss, to live the reality we choose. Each of us is here to design and live according to our will. Life is whatever we want it to be. The other side seems like a resting place. It’s beautiful, it’s peaceful, it’s calming, and it is assuring that there is such a space for us if we chose to exit. But it is limiting and freeing at the same time. Over there we cannot love or hate, we cannot hurt nor experience life. Life is here. Sorry to disappoint those of you who are hoping your loved ones are agonizing without you. They aren’t hurting at all. They cannot miss you because they are in fact very much here, and because in their experience nothing is missing at all. They are hanging out in all there is, and they are very much content.

The best way to describe this space is like another dimension. I am not religious so I don’t describe this as heaven, even though it is beautiful. We are simply in a different form there with no need of a body. For the brief moment that I was there I knew that this space was just an option to me, but like I said I had no intention of staying. I was 35 and I had a good life to go back to. It’s good to know that if my life sucked, if I had backed myself into a rough corner, if I wanted to escape, death would not be scary.

I’m happy to report that there was no judgment on the other side. I did not meet god, but then again I am not religious so I wasn’t expecting him to greet me. I saw no angels, no golden gates, and there was no spiritual welcoming committee. No one was waiting at the door with a clipboard to evaluate my good deeds, nor judge my life. The judgment was all mine. It was for me to judge whether I was happy with my life and who I had become, and whether I wanted to work on it some more. It was for me to judge myself, and how satisfied I was with my creation of my own life.  I was ready to go back and live some more. Somehow my earthly existence seemed richer than this.

I am not sure how I got back down into my body. But I woke up the next morning when my fever broke, a whole team of confused med students came to poke me and confirm that I am very much alive, and then someone concluded “she’s going to live”. I chuckled to myself, who the fuck are you to decide?

I never thought much of that experience until now. A lot has changed in the last ten years and I am a different person. Having gone through heaven and hell multiple times, it is reassuring to know that there is always a safe place to go to. I have no fear of dying.

Since then I have been meditating a lot. It is a part of my daily life. I discovered that in meditation, I have partial access to that space I called the white light. When meditators bliss, that’s exactly the space they access. I visit it frequently. In my physical body, that space feels different. Here I have five physical senses, a full set of emotions, plus a lot of other senses available to me in the meditative state. The experience with all my senses is much richer. I don’t know how to describe it, except that when I meditate in that space (there are millions of other spaces and types of experiences) I feel all powerful, absolutely aligned. I have the ability to see, feel, hear a 1000 times more powerfully then when outside of meditation. But when I crossed over, without the physical body, the space was beautiful, peaceful, yet the richness of the experience was missing. We need the body to experience life fully.  In the grand scheme of things, death was a fascinating experience, but in meditation with my physical and non-physical senses, I have seen much bigger things than that. So I choose to stay.

I have compared notes with other people who have had near death experiences. In general, we all saw the same thing. The only differences in perception could be attributed to our religions, personal belief systems and conditioning. We all saw what we expected to see. Friends who had religious expectations claimed that the beings they saw were angels. I, who always believed in science more than religion saw what I saw. I saw beings that I perceived as energies. It seemed that we are all one at their end, while here, we seem separate. Einstein once said that energy never dies, it only changes form. I saw us in energetic form.

Was it a religious experience? Not to me. But my friends who are religious perceived this as spiritually enlightening. For me it was just plain enlightening. Now I know, now I understand, but I don’t feel in any way special or blessed to be here. I decided to remain here with my own free will. Our will is a very important factor in this existence, and we don’t worship it enough. It is the driving force of our lives, except most of us are too afraid to drive. Our will is what takes us from one situation to the next, and most people choose to stay in the same situations over and over again. If you only knew how far your free will can take you, and if you weren’t afraid to drive, life would be an exhilarating experience. In fact, if our civilization was truly conscious, we would worship free will. There is no greater driving force on earth.

I realized that all world religions have claimed the afterlife as their own experience. As if all the world’s religions are the gatekeepers who get to decide if we are good enough to enter the other side. Actually, we decide. We all have equal access and we will all pass through the portal no matter what. There’s nothing to worry about, we are all good enough. We all qualify.

Getting back to the celebrities who committed suicide, I do not fault them for anything nor do I judge them. In fact, recently I lost a friend to suicide, and while others struggled to forgive him for doing something so horrifying and leaving us behind, I totally understood. He found peace. He had a little daughter, and most of the outrage was about leaving the child behind. I understood how he felt. Yes, in his physical body he was able to feel the agony of leaving her behind. In his physical existence I am sure he judged himself, he felt as guilty as they all wished he felt. But in this physical body we also have the ability to corner ourselves into those darkest places of our minds from which there is no escape. Why didn’t he medicate, why didn’t he try to get better? Why didn’t he seek help, counseling, why didn’t he try to live for her? Isn’t he selfish? No. Maybe he just wanted to be free.

We are the ones who are selfish. It is selfish on our part to insist that they live and put up with pain for our benefit, so we wouldn’t have to deal with the loss. He didn’t seek help because he did not want any. I know it’s hard to believe, but some of us don’t want anyone’s help, we don’t want to be talked out of dying. The experience is our own and our own decision. And his daughter will be as fine as any other human who has lost a parent. No human is leaving this earth having not experienced deep loss, and no one can be spared from it. Pain, like any other extreme emotion is part of this existence and it is experienced in equal doses by all of us.

We humans are egotistical beings. We would like others to feel more responsible for our emotional wellbeing, so when an unexpected death happens we get angry. How could he/she do this to me? We like to judge those who left us too soon, wanting to make sure they feel at least a bit guilty, hoping they miss us, wanting to believe they regret leaving us behind. They can have all those regrets while they are still here, but they feel quite good with the decision once they have one foot in the other side. Death is a perfectly rational experience. In fact, there is no greater clarity than at the brink of death. It is that moment when life becomes perfectly clear.

In fact, death begins long before our hearts stop beating. For me the experience started at least six hours before I got admitted to the hospital. I could feel myself leaving my body that afternoon, and it was then that I became totally cool with death. As soon as I accepted that I was dying, pain, terror and emotions disappeared. I decided I will live, so I checked into a hospital. On that brink, some of us, whose time is not up have a choice.

When my father was dying I observed the same changes in him as well. He was dying of both old age and a giant tumor. Yes there is a point where the physical body can no longer function, and we can no longer decide to stay. But even then we are aware that we are going, and that we have some options. In the last six years of his life he had multiple opportunities to go. He had strokes, a heart attack, lots of surgeries when he went under, and though his body was exhausted he kept coming back. He still had work to do here and more things to learn. But on his last day in 3D, I was not anywhere near him. Yet I could definitely feel he was leaving his body from a hundred miles away.

Mom was with him and his day was pretty much routine. He wasn’t feeling great but he wasn’t complaining. The whole day I could feel his energy leave his body, slowly, like he was teetering. He even said in the weeks before his death that he could see his mother, that he could see the other side, and that death was near. Nobody wanted to believe him. He was fully aware and totally okay with it. When the crossover starts to happen, we are totally calm, in a state of acceptance. It no longer hurts. Life’s regrets have already passed at that point. We all know we are leaving loved ones behind, but we now see them from a higher perspective, so we know they will be fine.

At 9:30 pm my mom checked in with him, and he was falling asleep. Roughly around the same time, though a 100 miles away, I felt him hold my hand. I was wearing a glass bracelet, and in the moment he grabbed my wrist the bracelet broke and shattered on the ground. I knew he crossed, and I was happy for him. I knew he was fine.

That’s another side effect of meditation. Our minds are able to filter through this reality which is just energetic noise, and see beyond that. We can see what is beyond this 3D projection, hear, feel, and know much more than this. We have many more senses which we never learned to use. So far, I have experienced dozens of senses which have no name because no one has ever documented them. With those senses, I can still communicate with my father. He is better than ever. While he was alive, he was a mean, old narcissist. He was angry with everyone,  quite unpleasant to be around. He couldn’t take those burdensome emotions with him. He left all that behind him on earth, and is now fully in a state of peace.  There is more to our senses than we are taught to perceive.

I don’t attribute any of these experiences to any religion, simply because what I see is nature, it is physics, and the universe is nothing but energy. In fact, energy is all there is, we simply interpret energies in many different concepts and forms. All religions describe this space and try to claim the crossover as theirs. They can neither guide us through the process, nor make us feel at ease. In fact they do a good job scaring us, making us fear our entire physical existence, so that we cannot accept the crossing without their help.

There are no answers on the other side. While our 3D existence makes more sense from their higher perspective, our life is still our own interpretation. When you get to the other side, no one explains things to you, informs you how you screwed up, punishes you, nor do they give you a guilt trip. Guilting is an ugly human affliction.  You are still you, but a lot more. In the physical world you are your current existence, and what you made of it. On the other side you are that plus all your other physical existences, forms and experiences, and we all had many. Once the energy is released from the body, we join all there is. We are no longer separate beings, we are all one like drops of water in the ocean. Up there, we can see our existence and the lives of others from a higher perspective. We have an understanding of our place in the grand scheme of the universe in respect to other lives that we lead.

But our experience is exponentially richer down here. This is why people who come back from the other side, return exhilarated and more appreciative of this life. Here, energy is more dense. Our experience is more tactile, more visually stimulating, more audible, more everything. This earthly existence is where all creation happens. It is all in our hands, and people who return are exited to take advantage of every single moment, and experience all there is. Our free will (and it really is freer than you believe) is the tool that makes everything happen, so use it.

While the other side is nice, peaceful, safe and accepting, it is just a place to rest. Yes, there are other types of experiences and dimensions, but for the most part life happens here. So if you are doing generally well, or even if your life is unexciting, you are pretty much staring at a blank canvas. Whether you transform your life into an exhilirating experience or just a mediocre one is totally up to you.

And for those friends whose lives were unbearably painful, the other side is a more peaceful place.  Is the other side better? That’s a matter of perspective. If you are alive and your life is pretty good, the other side has nothing to offer you. But if your existence is agony, then the other side feels like relief.  In fact, the crossing can be a euphoric experience, because as we leave our earthly burdens behind, we experience a lightening of energy.

I believe that everyone deserves the right to die with dignity.  That means having the opportunity to die on one’s own terms., without guilt, without shame, without judgement. If we are as conscious as we claim to be, we would take our own egotistic beliefs out of their experience, and allow our loved ones to cross in peace.

 

S

 

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