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    Empowerment

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    burgundia

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    Re: Empowerment

    Post  burgundia on Sun Sep 19, 2010 1:21 pm

    starninja:There is so much negative programming we were exposed to that relates to our body or sex.

    And religions play a major part here...
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    starninja
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    Re: Empowerment

    Post  starninja on Sun Sep 19, 2010 1:35 pm

    Burgundia wrote:

    And religions play a major part here...

    That is so true. And it takes a considerable time and effort to release all dysfunctional beliefs we have regarding our body ans sex.

    I need my dose of laughter.


    After just a few years of marriage, filled with constant arguments, a young man and his wife decided the only way to save their marriage was to try counseling. They had been at each other's throat for some time and felt that this was their last straw. When they arrived at the counselor's office, the counselor jumped right in and opened the floor for discussion.

    "What seems to be the problem?"

    Immediately, the husband held his long face down without anything to say. On the other hand, the wife began talking 90 miles an hour describing all the wrongs within their marriage.

    After 5 - - 10 - - 15 minutes of listening to the wife, the counselor went over to her, picked her up by her shoulders, kissed her passionately for several minutes, and sat her back down.

    Afterwards, the wife sat there speechless.

    He looked over at the husband who was staring in disbelief at what had happened.

    The counselor spoke to the husband, "Your wife NEEDS that at least twice a week!"

    The husband scratched his head and replied, "I can have her here on Tuesdays and Thursdays."
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    starninja
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    Re: Empowerment

    Post  starninja on Mon Sep 20, 2010 12:07 am

    Opening the heart

    An open heart is the foundation of Emotional literacy. We interact with each other to get strokes and by act of exchanging positive strokes we allow our heart to flourish. Strokes can be physical or verbal. Verbal strokes are statements that acknowledge feature of another person in a positive way. For example, verbal strokes can be about the person looks, clothing, intelligence, generosity, creativity, emotional literacy, kindness, integrity, work ethics, practical skills, dignity, leadership, ability, artistic talents, sexual responsiveness, honesty, playfulness, practical wisdom, elegance, tact, or any other attribute the person possesses. Listening carefully as someone speaks can be a powerful stroke as well.

    Strokes can vary in their intensity and some strokes can be “superstrokes” because they are wanted. On the other hand, there are negative strokes that are extremely damaging to a person’s psyche such as toxic insults, or subtle, hurtful remarks couched as jokes. Sometimes, negative stroke can be disgusted as compliment. For example, " you have all the looks in the family, Jane has all of the brains”

    Finally, there are strokes that are given insincerely.

    We want to receive positive strokes, however, they don’t always flow freely even among people who love each other. Few of us feel truly free to love openly, allowing a full and honest expression of emotion. We are inhibited about giving, asking for, or accepting strokes. We are uptight about giving strokes to ourselves.

    There are unwritten rules about strokes and prohibitions not only come from outsiders who disapproves but also from our inner Critical Parent.

    Producing positive strokes is hard, while producing negative one is easy. People are not only inhabited about giving strokes, but about asking for them, or accepting them.
    Giving oneself stroke is a big NO.

    Have you ever felt a great desire to tell someone that you liked or loved and found yourself unable to do so?
    Have you thought of asking a friend, family member, lover if they love you or like you, and if so, in what way?


    Our Critical Parent, that critical voice we hear inside keeps us from giving and accepting positive strokes.

    • Don’t give strokes you want to give.


    • Don't ask for strokes you want.


    • Don’t accept strokes you want.


    • Don’t reject strokes you don’t want.


    • Don’t give yourself strokes.


    If we do follow those rules, we become stroke-starved. We may even accept negative strokes because we don’t get a positive one. Providing people with a steady diet of positive strokes opens automatically people’s hearts.

    Next, I will discuss steps of giving, receiving, and accepting strokes.
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    burgundia

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    Re: Empowerment

    Post  burgundia on Mon Sep 20, 2010 2:09 am

    Starninja..about the strokes..it is so true...OMG!! Please continue...

    I think that a thread devoted totally to strokes would be nice and needed here....we could give one another strokes from time to time... I love you
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    starninja
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    Re: Empowerment

    Post  starninja on Tue Sep 21, 2010 9:16 am

    Burgundia wrote:

    Starninja..about the strokes..it is so true...OMG!! Please continue...

    I think that a thread devoted totally to strokes would be nice and needed here....we could give one another strokes from time to time...


    I will continue because there are more steps to achieve emotional literacy that leads to building deep and intimate relationships with people and with ourselves.

    It would be good to have a tread devoted to strokes. People really need to open their hearts since both Eastern spirituality and New Age focus on cutting our feelings from our souls. People need to feel again, to understand feelings, and to trust them.
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    starninja
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    Re: Empowerment

    Post  starninja on Tue Sep 21, 2010 2:10 pm

    Before I go back to emotional literacy I want to share some thoughts about empowerment.

    Since our childhood we were influenced and programmed how we see ourselves. Unfortunately, we were all affected on way or another. Nobody is free from conditioning. Even if we had healthy relationship with parents, we might have been negatively affected at school, or affected by cultural beliefs how we should behave and think.
    Our personal power was taken away from us. As we get older we slowly reclaim our power back by questioning every single belief and only accepting those beliefs that feel right. There is such a deep truth what Jidu Krishnamutri said: A conditioned mind cannot discover truth. Freedom is not an abstraction, but it comes into being with virtue.
    We have to become aware of our conditioning to free ourselves. But it is not easy because we have to go against society norms and become authentic. As we become true to ourselves, we will accept others for who they are without having the need to influence them with our set of beliefs how they should think or behave.

    Well, it takes inner strengths to discover our authentic self. I agree what C. Jung said that when we look into unconsciousness it may be a source of rejuvenation or total distraction. I have always experienced a sense of rejuvenation. Some people may disintegrate during this process as they may not have the ability to contain painful feelings and emotions. But they can learn how to do it.


    Allan Watts expressed with such simplicity what I try so hard say! LOL.





    Allan Watts or Jiddu Krishnamurti in Total freedom beautifully expressed the essence of our insecurities. To summarize, the more people feel insecure and detached from their feelings, intuition, and inner knowing, the more they look outside of themselves for protection, guidance, or help. In other words, they need teachers, Guru’s, or other authority. It was a goal of those who controlled us for thousands of years. You can’t control people who are secure within themselves! People who are secure within themselves developed internal locus of control and everybody can do it. I deeply believe it!
    Goethe was right when he said, “If you trust yourself, you will be happy”
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    starninja
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    Re: Empowerment

    Post  starninja on Wed Sep 22, 2010 12:42 am

    GIVING STROKES

    ASK FOR PERMISSION

    It is not uncommon to see people cry when they received a much desire stroke, asked a particular question, or given a needed apology. Therefore, asking for permission to give the stroke or speaking about any other emotional issues protects others boundaries and feelings.
    Furthermore, asking for permission gives the other person a warning that a difficult communication is coming so that the other person may have a chance to prepare and to be ready to listen or decide if she or he wants to discuss the issue at this time.

    In summery, by asking for permission every time we want to address emotionally charged issue we are avoiding possible shock, defensives, fear, or anger in the other person.

    For example, we may ask:

    There is something going on between us that I feel uncomfortable. May I explain?

    Can I tell you something I like about you?

    I would like to apologize for something I did?

    Many people feel that those questions are awkward. In fact, they may be afraid that others may ridicule them. People who are uncomfortable with their emotions can dismiss or laugh. However, this step is important if we want to make changes in our interactions with others. But eventually, as we become emotionally literate, we will know when to ask for permission and when we can give stroke without asking.

    BE HONEST

    We need to make a commitment to truthfulness and honesty. We can’t build deep relationships if we don’t trust each other. So, a stroke has to be honest, not manufactured.
    In other words, we need to be sure that it is authentic. For people who know how they truly feel, honesty is easy. For others, that is where the learning begins as they will need to learn how they truly feel.

    There are people who were trained to say nice things to others but they never consider if it was true to them or not. They don’t know how they feel abut others or what they like about them. It is important to emphasize that unless we are true to ourselves, we can’t be true to others.

    BE AWARE OF YOUR CRITICAL PARENT

    Our Critical Parent keeps us from getting in touch with our true feelings.
    Critical Parent may say:

    If the stroke is not wanted by the other person, I will look foolish.

    It may look like a sexual advance.

    People may think that I am desperate for friendship.

    People may laugh at me and I will feel embarrassed.

    Our Critical Parent is very creative and we need to recognize CP voice. We need to address those feelings and take a stance against our Critical Parent by giving strokes.
    When we see the appreciation for our strokes, we will begin to get strokes. Our heart will open and our intuition will increase. With practice, it will become easer and easer.

    Stroke that is expressed in one word or one paragraph but always from the heart is an act of kindness and love extended to another person. To open our hearts we need to examine our lives and ask ourselves a hard question how many times a day we, in fact, extend our love to others. As we may discover that we deprive others of our love, we have to something about it.


    ASKING FOR STROKES

    Asking for strokes is riskier than giving them. The other person may not honestly be able to tell us what we would like to hear. People expect each other to lie out of politeness.
    Therefore, it is important to find good friends, lover or spouse, someone who is honest and gentle. To find someone to learn with is the most important step toward Emotional Literacy.

    ACCEPTING AND REJECTING STROKES

    As we get stroke-starved, we may become confused what stroke to take or to reject.
    We may refuse to take the strokes that are available or accept strokes that are toxic but attractive to us.
    We may discount strokes by saying;

    Quickly reciprocate with another stroke, not taking in the stroke.

    Say thank you but shrug the stroke of with a smile.

    Minimize by arguing with the stroke. (Oh, it was easy, everybody could do it)

    Strokes are rejected internally, while people appear to accept it. But their body language shows rejection- nervous smile, doubtful look, a shrug, or shaking a head. While they reject strokes, they listen to their Critical Parent.

    For example their Critical parent may say:

    The person doesn’t know me so I can’t take him seriously,

    Even if the person knows us, we will think that something abut is dark and hidden, therefore, we don’t deserve stroke.

    The stroke is just an attempt to be polite to make us feel better.

    We will embarrass ourselves if we accept the stroke.


    The list can be long, as we have own Critical Parent.
    It is important to investigate if we suspect that the stroke hasn’t been fully accepted by asking: Do you accept it? Do you believe me?
    Giving a stroke that is rejected or discounted may be embarrassing and disappointing for both parties. So, we need gently ask: Please take the compliment. I really mean it. Didn’t you like what I said? Is there some other way I can phrase it?

    It is so important to watch people as we give them strokes as their body language will tell if the stroke was taken in or rejected. A deep breath and smile indicate that the stroke was accepted.


    REJECTING UNWANTED STROKES

    Learning to reject unwanted stroke is an important skills as we need to stop the unwanted stroke to avoid a more uncomfortable situation.
    The most obvious example of unwanted strokes is sexual strokes from someone we are not interested in. A woman may be unable to reject a sexual comment because she fells that it would be impolite to ask the person to stop.
    Furthermore, there are strokes that may limit us. For example beautiful women may be tire of being told that she is beautiful as she may feel that it makes her feel one-dimensional. She may feel trapped into playing the part of the pretty woman. Similarly, a hard working man may be tired of being praised for his hard work and responsibility. He may want to have fun or he has other talents that no one notices.

    When people resent a stroke they often receive, they may think that they must play the same old role to be appreciated. Furthermore, rejecting an unwanted stroke can be uncomfortable and even may damage your relationship with the other person. However, if we decline the stroke gracefully, but in open hearted manner explain why and state what we would rather hear, our relationship can be intact.

    When we reject stroke we need to ask ourselves: Do I reject this stroke because it is bad for me or it is a good stroke by my Critical Parent doesn’t want me to have?

    GIVING OURSELVES STROKES

    Most of us have been conditioned to think of “patting ourselves on the back” as immodest, needy, foolish, or humiliating. It is perfectly all right to give ourselves strokes, in fact.

    FIGHTING CRITICAL PARENT

    We need to be able to stroke ourselves to counteract the negative strokes we get from Critical Parent who tells us that we are stupid, bad, crazy, etc. We need to be able to contradict the negative talk with positive. In Transactional Analysis the positive talk is called “Nurturing Parent”. In fact, we need to build compassion toward ourselves and learn to develop our Nurturing Parent by giving ourselves strokes that build our self confidence.






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    rhythm

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    Re: Empowerment

    Post  rhythm on Wed Sep 22, 2010 3:27 am

    just to let you know i appreciate all your writngs ... sheess ... i have trouble stringin a sentence together
    but thats just me and well were all have diferent gifts Nutbar me im the cosmic fool clown
    so i keep readi your wise words ..ninja girl Hugs
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    starninja
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    Re: Empowerment

    Post  starninja on Sun Oct 03, 2010 4:21 pm

    I was sitting quietly and contemplating upon the words I read about unconditional love.
    It is a very though provoking book that explains how our feelings and emotions as well as our core beliefs are manifested in our physical body giving us a sense of well being or sickness.

    Excerpt from Your Body Speaks Your Mind by Debbie Shapiro

    “We give love to receive love, we suffer when there is a lack of love, we put condition on form the form love should take. Healing requires us to go beyond such conditions and limitations, beyond self-centered needs, and to awaken into the heart- into fearlessness, forgiveness, mercy, compassion, and unconditional love………We spend so much time focusing on difficulties and pain. We need to bring love alive: to think love, talk love, read love, act love, breath love, sing love, touch love, eat love, and sleep love. This is the opening the heart. Fear contracts and pushes away, it holds tight and denies change and movement. Love is expansive and all embracing; it welcomes change as an expression of all life. Opening the heart to ourselves and others is coming home, a rejoicing in the love we have always long for. Through the open heart we find healing of our whole being”

    I have reflected upon opening our heart. Our society teaches us to look for love outside of ourselves. As a result we hold a belief that if we find a true love, we will be happy. According to research, 99% of people are not lucky to find that kind of fulfillment.
    Many people are afraid of emotional intimacy and their relationships display a pattern of distancing and pursuing. When one person is pursuing wanting to have closeness in relationship, another is distancing. When the person who wanted closeness feels hurt as a result of distancing behavior and distances himself or herself, another person begins pursuing. It is a very dysfunctional pattern that indicates a low level of emotional awareness. If people don’t have a high level of emotional awareness and the ability to express their feelings, they can not have deep and fulfilling relationships.

    But there is another aspect that is at the core of the problem. When people look outside of themselves for love, they, in fact, give away their power. Another person holds a key to their happiness. If they feel loved, they are happy. On the other hand, if somebody withholds love, they feel hurt. The key is to find self-love and self-acceptance. In Bowen’s Family System, it is moving up on the scale of differentiation. People on the lower level on the scale of differentiation have a poorly defined self. The more people have a clearly defined sense of self the healthier relationship they have.
    There is no unconditional love without being a fully functioning being who doesn’t look outside of himself or herself for love, happiness, and fulfillment.
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    mudra

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    Re: Empowerment

    Post  mudra on Sun Oct 03, 2010 6:56 pm

    I Have posted these a few months ago on Raven's unconditional love thread .
    But I feel they fit well on your thread too as they so well highlight your own words Starninja .

    Part 1 of 3

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YHclEBBiwnI&feature=player_embedded


    Love from me
    mudra
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    starninja
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    Re: Empowerment

    Post  starninja on Sun Oct 03, 2010 9:07 pm

    Thank you Mudra,

    I listened to video very carefully and I can’t agree with everything what Silva said. I agree that our challenge is to free ourselves from the need of being accepted and approved. When we need others approval and acceptance we give our power away and others hold a key to our well being. We need to free ourselves from fear of judgment and rejection. We may reflect upon times when we were not true to ourselves and didn’t speak our truth because we didn’t want to be rejected. Yes, the key is self-love as we are totally responsible for our happiness and fulfillment. But it is not that simple as Silva said. I would even go further that it is damaging to our psyche and relationships to believe that when we focus on giving others love we will achieve happiness.

    Today, 20 millions of people in USA suffer from major depression, 12 millions suffer from anxiety. When we add different forms of addictions and stress related illness, we can see how big problem we have. We may try to tell somebody who suffers from major depression or is incapacitated by intense anxiety to forget about their problems but focus on giving love to others. People need tools to bring all feelings into conscious awareness, to understand their feelings, and to learn how to work and process their feelings. I have witnessed so many people who can’t identify their needs, read bodily signals and understand how their body communicates about unresolved issues or suppressed feelings. Women particularly have problems to identify their needs as women are programmed to put others needs first. In most marriages women are expected to suppress their needs, wants, or dreams. As women follow this programming, they loose their sense of self but men gain pseudo-self.
    Yes, we can tell women to give more but I have witnessed so many women who gave and gave and nothing left for them. Well, they developed serious illness. We are talking about codependency that is as serious as addiction. Focusing on giving love to others only deepens problems so many people have, leaving them more powerless and hopeless. It doesn’t work in a long run.
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    burgundia

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    Re: Empowerment

    Post  burgundia on Sun Oct 03, 2010 10:14 pm

    This thrrad is getting better and better...thank you star(ninja)...lol
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    starninja
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    Re: Empowerment

    Post  starninja on Mon Oct 04, 2010 1:41 am


    There is so much misunderstanding what love means. There is a popular idea that in love one should be there for the other person. But this makes the relationship one of serving rather than of sharing. Love is not a matter of giving but being open. In other words, to surrender to love involves the ability to share one’s self fully with one’s partner. But the openness has to be first with one’s self, then with another. It involves being in touch with one’s deepest feelings and then being able to express those feelings appropriately. So, love is sharing, not a giving.

    Love is a vital connection to a source of life and joy, whether that source is an individual, a community, nature, the universe or God. Many people are afraid to open up and reach out for love. A longing for love persists in the heart but it can’t be fulfilled as long as the fear of loss or rejection persists. For many people love is a search for security as much as search for pleasure and joy. As long as person is needy, insecure or frightened, his reaching out for love is contaminated by unfulfilled infantile desire and is not full-hearted sharing of pleasure of life. Those people don’t find the fulfillment that love promises because the surrender is to another person, not to the self. Without an ego, the person becomes a child who sees the other as a parent who can satisfy his or her needs, that is, who can provide fulfillment. It happens in many marriages and love relationships where the need to be fulfilled by the other is a dominant aspect of attachment. Such relationships are described as dependent or codependent since each person needs the other. People in such relationship get hooked like an addict, believing the he or she holds a key to their fulfillment. And despite the pain or humiliation they may suffer in relationship, it is very difficult for them to get free. They give up their independence in the hope that the other person will take care of them. It is normal pattern because the average love relationship is insecure and uncertain. Trying to find joy through someone else never works, in spite of love songs which hold out this dream.

    So, what is mature love? Mature love is not a surrender of the self but surrender to the self. It is impossible to have a mature love relationship unless one is a mature person, able to stand on his or her own feet, alone if necessary, and able to express feelings freely and fully. It is self- centered, but this makes for an exciting relationship because each person is an individual with a unique self that they share with their partner.

    The biggest problem so many people face is not falling in love but being in love is, that is, being open. Just as one falls in love, one can fall out of love, and that happens too often because people are disappointed by the fact that the other person doesn’t fulfill them. We do not realize that no one can fulfill us but ourselves and that our fulfillment stems from being fully open to ourselves and to life. In other words, we know our fears, weakness and we accept them. Acceptance also means that we don’t carry shame or guilt about our problems or difficulties. We can fully surrender to the body and its feelings that is the surrender to love.

    We may understand how Eastern beliefs and a version of New Age beliefs that focuses on getting rid of the ego sets us up for life full of pain and disappointment, life without having a deep and intimate relationship and without love.
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    superhero

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    empower me and I will be free

    Post  superhero on Mon Oct 04, 2010 1:18 pm

    This is a great thread and very close to my heart. sunny

    Here is one of the questions of the ages placed within a song - and one I have asked many times:

    I Want To Know What Love Is, by Foreigner

    I gotta take a little time
    A little time to think things over
    I better read between the lines
    In case I need it when I'm older
    Aaaah woah-ah-aah

    Now this mountain I must climb
    Feels like a world upon my shoulders
    And through the clouds I see love shine
    It keeps me warm as life grows colder

    In my life there's been heartache and pain
    I don't know if I can face it again
    Can't stop now, I've traveled so far
    To change this lonely life

    I wanna know what love is
    I want you to show me
    I wanna feel what love is
    I know you can show me
    Aaaah woah-oh-ooh

    I'm gonna take a little time
    A little time to look around me, oooh ooh-ooh ooh-ooh oooh
    I've got nowhere left to hide
    It looks like love has finally found me

    In my life there's been heartache and pain
    I don't know if I can face it again
    I can't stop now, I've traveled so far
    To change this lonely life

    I wanna know what love is
    I want you to show me
    I wanna feel what love is
    I know you can show me
    I wanna know what love is
    I want you to show me
    And I wanna feel, I want to feel what love is
    And I know, I know you can show me

    Let's talk about love
    (I wanna know what love is) the love that you feel inside
    (I want you to show me) I'm feeling so much love
    (I wanna feel what love is) no, you just cannot hide
    (I know you can show me) yeah, woah-oh-ooh
    I wanna know what love is, let's talk about love
    (I want you to show me) I wanna feel it too
    (I wanna feel what love is) I wanna feel it too
    And I know, and I know, I know you can show me
    Show me what is real, woah (woah), yeah I know
    (I wanna know what love is) hey I wanna know what love
    (I want you to show me), I wanna know, I wanna know, want know
    (I wanna feel what love is), hey I wanna feel, love
    I know you can show me, yeah


    More lyrics: http://www.lyricsfreak.com/f/foreigner/#share

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    burgundia

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    Re: Empowerment

    Post  burgundia on Mon Oct 04, 2010 1:25 pm

    "Many people are afraid of emotional intimacy and their relationships display a pattern of distancing and pursuing. When one person is pursuing wanting to have closeness in relationship, another is distancing. When the person who wanted closeness feels hurt as a result of distancing behavior and distances himself or herself, another person begins pursuing"

    I bet we all know that...
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    Oliver

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    Re: Empowerment

    Post  Oliver on Mon Oct 04, 2010 2:53 pm

    Hey, Ninja Heart,

    I am learning lots from your threads.
    Thank you.
    You are in such a deep contact with your inner knowledge.
    Please, continue this way.
    Your contribution is precious here.

    Love&Respect
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    starninja
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    Re: Empowerment

    Post  starninja on Mon Oct 04, 2010 10:27 pm

    Superhero wrote:
    This is a great thread and very close to my heart.

    Here is one of the questions of the ages placed within a song - and one I have asked many times:

    I Want To Know What Love Is, by Foreigner

    Thank you , Superhero. The song asks a question so many people are looking for.
    Life without love is meaningless. Many people are looking for love but only a few can find it. Emotional awareness is the key to our happiness, love, and fulfillment. We have been programmed to look for love in wrong places. So, let's all together learn to have our heart open. Love is not outside of us but everything starts with us and within us.


    Last edited by starninja on Tue Oct 05, 2010 12:05 am; edited 1 time in total
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    starninja
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    Re: Empowerment

    Post  starninja on Mon Oct 04, 2010 11:10 pm

    "Many people are afraid of emotional intimacy and their relationships display a pattern of distancing and pursuing. When one person is pursuing wanting to have closeness in relationship, another is distancing. When the person who wanted closeness feels hurt as a result of distancing behavior and distances himself or herself, another person begins pursuing"

    I bet we all know that...

    Burgundia,
    Hehehe.......it flows in our blood. It is painful and nobody likes it but we play this game being afraid of real intimacy. The true intimacy requires that we need to show our vulnerabilities and it can be the most scary for many people. When we take a risk and show our vulnerable places, we may get hurt. We have developed many defenses such as denial, distrust, blaming, projection, rationalization and intelectualizations to protect our hearts against pain and hurt. As a result our heart can't be easily touched and we don't respond to the world from our heart. These defenses become elaborated in the course of life, until finally they form a powerful barrier against any attempts to reach our hearts. On the physical body, this process is manifested as chronic muscular tensions that protect the person against underlying layer of suppressed feelings the person doesn't dare to express. Those feelings include panic, terror, rage, despair, sadness, and pain.Unless we move trough defense layer, muscular tensions, and feel all deep and suppressed feelings, we can't feel the depth of love. In other words, until we feel all feelings, understand them, and express them, our hearts will be closed and we will not feel love. The tools that Stiener offers are very helpful in the process of understanding and expressing all our feelings. We will not need to play our game any more.
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    starninja
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    Re: Empowerment

    Post  starninja on Tue Oct 05, 2010 12:37 am

    Oliver wrote:

    Hey, Ninja Heart,

    I am learning lots from your threads.
    Thank you.
    You are in such a deep contact with your inner knowledge.
    Please, continue this way.
    Your contribution is precious here.



    Thank you, Oliver. Ninja Heart. LOL. You are right; I have to come back from the stars to learn about opening the heart. My soul can be quite gruel if I need to learn the lessons I was successfully avoiding in my life. Hmm… there is no free lunch in our universe. But in the end of the day, we want to be whole and complete where we trust our feelings and intuition and are not afraid to express who we really are. sunny
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    starninja
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    Re: Empowerment

    Post  starninja on Tue Oct 05, 2010 2:39 am

    A great deal of energy in close friendship and, particularly, in close relationship is wasted due to one or more persons trying to keep feelings hidden. Human beings have a rich variety of deep feelings. There are only a handful of primary emotions: fear, anger, sadness, joy But there are infinite mixture and variations. Opening up to our feelings is a lifetime process: it is essential that we befriend ourselves on the emotional level.

    Much of pain and distortion is created in relationships by not telling the truth. The real skill is in telling the microscopic truth that is speaking about internal experience as we currently perceive.

    Why people don’t tell the truth?

    First, many people withhold the truth because they don’t want other people to feel bad.
    For example, you don’t tell your partner about your affair because you don’t want to hurt him or her. But in fact, you don’t the truth because you don’t want to feel the consequences of your partner’s bad feelings. If you are not telling the truth because you don’t want to hurt other person, you are also likely protecting yourself from the other sadness, wrath, or revenge.

    Sometimes we don’t tell the truth because we have seldom witnessed the truth being spoken. Some people just haven’t had the opportunity to learn how to access and communicate the truth. Learning to perceive the truth within ourselves and speak it clearly to others is a delicate skill.

    Withholding truth always creates distance and telling truth always brings us closer.
    In close friendship or relationship we face tiny moments of choice. Choosing to tell the truth. Noticing that we are projecting, and finding the courage to take responsibility. Choosing to feel rather than go numb. Choosing to support your partner as she or he goes through deep feelings. Once these skills are practiced and internalized, the relationship flow effortlessly. Once our nervous system learns to stay at a high level of aliveness and does not need to numb itself by lying or hiding feelings, the creativity starts to flow.
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    starninja
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    Re: Empowerment

    Post  starninja on Thu Oct 07, 2010 12:36 am

    The ability to laugh is one of the signs of emotional health. The more emotional blockages people carry, the less they are able to laugh freely. In other words, the more shame and guilt they carry, the less they experience joy. They display judgmental and critical attitude. According to Transactional Analysis, they have undeveloped Free Child Ego state which is sign of psychological imbalance.What is a cure? To bring unconscious shame and guilt into conscious awareness. There is no shortcut but to feel shame and guilt to heal it. I avoid people who are judgmental and critical as my body sends me strong signals that manifest themselves as physical sensations experienced as tensions in my shoulders and upper back. Our body tell us all but we need to learn how to read the language of our bodies.On the contrary, when I am around people who are loving and accepting, I feel very energized. I sleep less and my energy is high. We need to go toward whatever feels light, and avoid whatever feels dense. Light energy is fire energy, the source of transformation. Judgement and criticism carry very dense energy.



    Laughter is the Best Medicine
    THE HEALTH BENEFITS OF HUMOR AND LAUGHTER

    http://helpguide.org/life/humor_laughter_health.htm


    Humor is infectious. The sound of roaring laughter is far more contagious than any cough, sniffle, or sneeze. When laughter is shared, it binds people together and increases happiness and intimacy. In addition to the domino effect of joy and amusement, laughter also triggers healthy physical changes in the body. Humor and laughter strengthen your immune system, boost your energy, diminish pain, and protect you from the damaging effects of stress. Best of all, this priceless medicine is fun, free, and easy to use.
    IN THIS ARTICLE:

    • Laughter is strong medicine

    • Laughter and emotional health

    • Social benefits of laughter

    • Bringing more laughter into your life

    • developing your sense of humor

    • Using humor to overcome challenges



    Laughter is strong medicine for mind and body

    “Your sense of humor is one of the most powerful tools you have to make certain that your daily mood and emotional state support good health.”
    ~ Paul E. McGhee, Ph.D.

    Laughter is a powerful antidote to stress, pain, and conflict. Nothing works faster or more dependably to bring your mind and body back into balance than a good laugh. Humor lightens your burdens, inspires hopes, connects you to others, and keeps you grounded, focused, and alert.

    With so much power to heal and renew, the ability to laugh easily and frequently is a tremendous resource for surmounting problems, enhancing your relationships, and supporting both physical and emotional health.

    Laughter is good for your health

    • Laughter relaxes the whole body. A good, hearty laugh relieves physical
      tension and stress, leaving your muscles relaxed for up to 45 minutes
      after.


    • Laughter boosts the immune system. Laughter decreases stress hormones and
      increases immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies, thus improving
      your resistance to disease.


    • Laughter triggers the release of endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good
      chemicals. Endorphins promote an overall sense of well-being and can even
      temporarily relieve pain.


    • Laughter protects the heart. Laughter improves the function of blood
      vessels and increases blood flow, which can help protect you against a
      heart attack and other cardiovascular problems.


    The Benefits of Laughter
    Physical Health Benefits:

    • Boosts immunity

    • Lowers stress hormones

    • Decreases pain

    • Relaxes your muscles

    • Prevents heart disease Mental Health Benefits:

    • Adds joy and zest to life

    • Eases anxiety and fear

    • Relieves stress

    • Improves mood

    • Enhances resilience


    Social Benefits:

    • Strengthens relationships

    • Attracts others to us

    • Enhances teamwork

    • Helps defuse conflict

    • Promotes group bonding

    Laughter and humor help you stay emotionally healthy
    Laughter makes you feel good. And the good feeling that you get when you laugh remains with you even after the laughter subsides. Humor helps you keep a positive, optimistic outlook through difficult situations, disappointments, and loss.

    More than just a respite from sadness and pain, laughter gives you the courage and strength to find new sources of meaning and hope. Even in the most difficult of times, a laugh–or even simply a smile–can go a long way toward making you feel better. And laughter really is contagious—just hearing laughter primes your brain and readies you to smile and join in on the fun.

    The link between laughter and mental health

    • Laughter dissolves distressing emotions. You can’t feel anxious, angry, or
      sad when you’re laughing.


    • Laughter helps you relax and recharge. It reduces stress and increases
      energy, enabling you to stay focused and accomplish more.

    • Humor shifts perspective, allowing you to see situations in a more
      realistic, less threatening light. A humorous perspective creates
      psychological distance, which can help you avoid feeling overwhelmed
    .

    The social benefits of humor and laughter

    Humor and playful communication strengthen our relationships by triggering positive feelings and fostering emotional connection. When we laugh with one another, a positive bond is created. This bond acts as a strong buffer against stress, disagreements, and disappointment.
    Laughing with others is more powerful than laughing alone
    Shared laughter is one of the most effective tools for keeping relationships fresh and exciting. All emotional sharing builds strong and lasting relationship bonds, but sharing laughter and play adds joy, vitality, and resilience. And humor is a powerful and effective way to heal resentments, disagreements, and hurts. Laughter unites people during difficult times.

    Using humor and laughter in relationships allows you to:

    • Be more spontaneous. Humor gets you out of your head and away from your
      troubles.

    • Let go of defensiveness. Laughter helps you forget judgments, criticisms,
      and doubts.

    • Release inhibitions. Your fear of holding back and holding on are set
      aside.

    • Express your true feelings. Deeply felt emotions are allowed to rise to
      the surface.


    Laughter and Relationships

    Mutual laughter and play are an essential component of strong, healthy relationships. By making a conscious effort to incorporate more humor and play into your daily interactions, you can improve the quality of your love relationships— as well as your connections with co-workers, family members, and friends.
    Read: Playful Communication in Relationships: The Power of Laughter, Humor, and Play
    Bringing more humor and laughter into your life
    Laughter is your birthright, a natural part of life that is innate and inborn. Infants begin smiling during the first weeks of life and laugh out loud within months of being born. Even if you did not grow up in a household where laughter was a common sound, you can learn to laugh at any stage of life.
    Begin by setting aside special times to seek out humor and laughter, as you might with working out, and build from there. Eventually, you’ll want to incorporate humor and laughter into the fabric of your life, finding it naturally in everything you do.

    Here are some ways to start:

    Smile. Smiling is the beginning of laughter. Like laughter, it’s
    contagious. Pioneers in “laugh therapy,” find it’s possible to laugh
    without even experiencing a funny event. The same holds for smiling. When
    you look at someone or see something even mildly pleasing, practice
    smiling.

    Count your blessings. Literally make a list. The simple act of considering
    the good things in your life will distance you from negative thoughts that
    are a barrier to humor and laughter. When in a state of sadness, we have
    further to travel to get to humor and laughter.

    When you hear laughter, move toward it. Sometimes humor and laughter are
    private, a shared joke among a small group, but usually not. More often,
    people are very happy to share something funny because it gives them an
    opportunity to laugh again and feed off the humor you find in it. When you
    hear laughter, seek it out and ask, “What’s funny?”

    Spend time with fun, playful people. These are people who laugh easily–
    both at themselves and at life’s absurdities–and who routinely find the
    humor in everyday events. Their playful point of view and laughter are
    contagious.

    Bring humor into conversations. Ask people, “What’s the funniest thing
    that happened to you today? This week? In your life?”

    Creating opportunities to laugh

    • Watch a funny movie or TV show.

    • Go to a comedy club.

    • Read the funny pages.

    • Seek out funny people.

    • Share a good joke or a funny story.

    • Check out your bookstore’s humor section.
    • Host game night with friends.

    • Play with a pet.

    • Go to a “laughter yoga” class.

    • Goof around with children.

    • Do something silly.

    • Make time for fun activities (e.g. bowling, miniature golfing, karaoke).



    Developing your sense of humor:

    Take yourself less seriously
    One essential characteristic that helps us laugh is not taking ourselves too seriously. We’ve all known the classic tight-jawed sourpuss who takes everything with deathly seriousness and never laughs at anything. No fun there!
    Some events are clearly sad and not occasions for laughter. But most events in life don’t carry an overwhelming sense of either sadness or delight. They fall into the gray zone of ordinary life–giving you the choice to laugh or not.

    Ways to help yourself see the lighter side of life:

    • Laugh at yourself. Share your embarrassing moments. The best way to take
      ourselves less seriously is talk about times when we took ourselves too
      seriously.


    • Attempt to laugh at situations rather than bemoan them. Look for the humor
      in a bad situation, the irony and absurdity of life. This will help
      improve your mood and the mood of those around you.


    • Surround yourself with reminders to lighten up. Keep a toy on your desk or
      in your car. Put up a funny poster in your office. Choose a computer
      screensaver that makes you laugh. Frame photos of you and your family or
      friends having fun.


    • Keep things in perspective. Many things in life are beyond our control—
      particularly the behavior of other people. While you might think taking
      the weight of the world on your shoulders is admirable, in the long run
      it’s unrealistic, unproductive, unhealthy, and even egotistical.


    • Deal with your stress. Stress is a major impediment to humor and laughter.


    • Pay attention to children and emulate them. They are the experts on
      playing, taking life lightly, and laughing.


    Checklist for lightening up

    When you find yourself taken over by what seems to be a horrible problem, ask these questions:

    • Is it really worth getting upset over?

    • Is it worth upsetting others?

    • Is it that important?

    • Is it that bad?

    • Is the situation irreparable?

    • Is it really your problem?



    Using humor and play to overcome challenges and enhance your life
    The ability to laugh, play, and have fun with others not only makes life more enjoyable–it also helps you solve problems, connect with others, and be more creative. People who incorporate humor and play into their daily lives find that it renews them and all of their relationships.

    Life brings challenges that can either get the best of you or become playthings for your imagination. When you “become the problem” and take yourself too seriously, it can be hard to think outside the box and find new solutions. But when you play with the problem, you can often transform it into an opportunity for creative learning.

    Playing with problems seems to come naturally to children. When they are confused or afraid, they make their problems into a game, giving them a sense of control and an opportunity to experiment with new solutions. Interacting with others in playful ways helps you retain this creative ability.

    Here are two examples of people who took everyday problems and turned them around through laughter and play:

    Roy, a semi-retired businessman, was excited to finally have time to devote to golf, his favorite sport. But the more he played, the less he enjoyed himself. Although his game had improved dramatically, he got angry with himself over every mistake. Roy wisely realized that his golfing buddies affected his attitude, so he stopped playing with people who took the game too seriously. When he played with friends who focused more on having fun than on their scores, he was less critical of himself. Now golfing was as enjoyable as Roy hoped it would be. He scored better without working harder. And the brighter outlook he was getting from his companions and the game spread to other parts of his life, including his work.

    Jane worked at home in her apartment complex designing greeting cards, a job she used to love but now felt routine. Two little girls who loved to draw and paint lived next door. Eventually, Jane invited the girls in to play with all the art supplies she had. At first, she just watched, but in time she joined in. Laughing, coloring, and playing pretend with the little girls transformed Jane’s life. Not only did playing with them end her loneliness and mild boredom, it sparked her imagination and helped her artwork flourish. Best of all, it rekindled the playfulness and spark in Jane’s relationship with her husband.

    As laughter, humor, and play become an integrated part of your life, your creativity will flourish and new discoveries for playing with friends, coworkers, acquaintances, and loved ones will occur to you daily. Humor takes you to a higher place where you can view the world from a more relaxed, positive, creative, joyful, and balanced perspective.

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    starninja
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    Re: Empowerment

    Post  starninja on Sat Oct 09, 2010 3:40 pm

    One of the most important things in getting our power back is facing our fears of speaking our truth. We may reflect upon times we didn’t speak our truth. We didn’t want to hurt others, but in fact, we didn’t want to face consequences of speaking our truth. So, we have learned to hide our feelings and disappointments under the carpet. It requires enormous energy to suppress feelings, the energy that it could be used for living a creative life. It is a hard work, no doubt about it, when we face our fears but speak our truth no matter what. Yes, people may reject us or criticize us. We may face cruel or abusive behaviors from others. It is like opening a Pandora Box with feelings as we pay attention to our feelings and observe how we have not been honest about our feelings. But if we deny our feelings and don’t speak our truth, we betray ourselves. We will feel very uncomfortable around people who are honest. On a deep level, we know that we have betrayed ourselves and we will condemn ourselves for it.
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    superhero

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    Re: Empowerment

    Post  superhero on Sat Oct 09, 2010 5:10 pm

    starninja wrote:One of the most important things in getting our power back is facing our fears of speaking our truth. We may reflect upon times we didn’t speak our truth. We didn’t want to hurt others, but in fact, we didn’t want to face consequences of speaking our truth. So, we have learned to hide our feelings and disappointments under the carpet. It requires enormous energy to suppress feelings, the energy that it could be used for living a creative life. It is a hard work, no doubt about it, when we face our fears but speak our truth no matter what. Yes, people may reject us or criticize us. We may face cruel or abusive behaviors from others. It is like opening a Pandora Box with feelings as we pay attention to our feelings and observe how we have not been honest about our feelings. But if we deny our feelings and don’t speak our truth, we betray ourselves. We will feel very uncomfortable around people who are honest. On a deep level, we know that we have betrayed ourselves and we will condemn ourselves for it.

    Starnija - This is a great post! Brilliantly stated!!!

    Thank you for speaking your truth -
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    Vidya Moksha

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    Re: Empowerment

    Post  Vidya Moksha on Sat Oct 09, 2010 10:35 pm

    Hey ninjalady, my first date in 10 years tongue im sooo excited Very Happy ..

    i have skimmed this thread, I really have very limited time in here these days, though when online i do try and pop into the mists.. and like you i was on SDA's forum for a while till I also dropped out, couldnt resonate with the Asha Deane material despite my curiosity..

    I am not sure I can add much to what you have written so far, (didnt I read you claim you found it hard to write in one thread, and yet you produce this tongue what was that about honesty Wink )

    wow where to start? Tolle would be a good place. I can understand your views about him... however I would dare to suggest that he speaking from an experiential view point that few have seen, and this may explain why you dont 'get him'. I would hesitantly venture that I was in a similar space to him once, for about a week, and in fact from that viewpoint he is spot on in what he says, but its something beyond the intellect and only possible to understand through direct experience. But IF you can be REALLY in the moment, 100%, then in my experience there is just bliss, happiness, and a complete empathy and compassion for all of existence, people and everything...

    now in that state in the moment, there is also a lack of attachment to how you perceive yourself, i was actually naked around people for some of my time in that week, and didnt have the slightest notion that i should be embarrassed (If i were to do so again, it would maybe be with awareness that i was naked, and maybe i wouldnt be completely uncomfortable? its hard to say, i dont usually go around naked, but these days (and age helps) i dont care so much - at all? - what others think about me).. i dont want to use the word 'ego' as it is so misunderstood and abused... but i did wonder if this state of nowness sheds light on the buddhist concept of losing the ego, losing attachment to the self, to what others think about you.

    This is also in keeping with my understanding of unconditional love and losing attachment, it doesnt mean lack of empathy of loving, it means loving and being compassionate to all things.. again a concept that is hard to realise in reality.

    As for emotion..mmmm.. im not the best person to comment, except again by anecdote. I was born in northern england, in yorkshire, where men dont cry or even show emotions. As a you boy i played cricket with the men, the ball was hard, it hurt a lot when it hit you and you were told NEVER to show your pain, it was part of the sport, but also part of life in that environment. It took into my 30's and in india to start to to understand my own emotional state, i had always been sensitive to others and to energies, and to do that inside a suit of plate mail armour to protect my sensitivities took its toll.. my reiki master is a lady with heightened energetic awareness and she could see what she described as a solid crystalline energy structure over my heart - what i probably referred to as my plate armour. At the same time perhaps i wasnt armoured enough in my solar plexus region and took on far too much energy that i had no business in taking on. It took several sessions with various healers to put my emotional body back in shape.. I have no idea where it is at now, but i feel much better in this regard, though hardly in 'tune' with my emotions as many people (especially women?) seem to be.

    as to the title of the thread.. empowerment... isnt that just taking control of your own power? I have just been fasting for a week. I wasnt really prepared when i came off and needed some food, and had a craving for some beans.. but hadnt soaked them and had to go to town anyway so went into the... whisper.... supermarket, i hardly ever buy food in a supermarket... it took me AGES to find a tin of kidney beans that didnt contain sugar and all sorts of other XXXX...and when i got home i found it was in a cancer tin lol (lined with the nasty plastic)...i give up.. to me, that's empowerment. dont buy into 'their' games, dont buy what they want me to, watch what they want me to, give them my money or any of my energy, dont eat their poisoned food and dont drink their poisoned water.. ok so the radio waves and HAARP etc i cant avoid (but i have my tin foil hat geek ) but i chose to step out of their system, i chose not to fight it, as that gives them my energy and an excuse to come after me - i simply chose to walk away and do what i want to - isnt that empowerment? And i still believe the journey needs to be inwards as much as outwards....

    ..however... is this a journey I should be taking alone? i was solitary for 5 years in india and sri lanka, and then with a partner for a few years before we went our separate paths (in a very nice way) .. and its certainly a little easier being on your own, but now I am not sure anymore, i think there is merit in having someone around to share life and the spiritual journey with, and maybe, just maybe, this is actually important from a spiritual perspective anyway? Certainly on an emotional level this is a nice path.

    ramble over... sunny
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    starninja
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    Re: Empowerment

    Post  starninja on Sun Oct 10, 2010 12:33 am

    Vidya Moksha,

    You made me laugh again. Thanks. Oh, you need to date again. You can't waste your great sense of humor. sunny
    BTW, I hate writing. My writing is so dry like a desert. Heh heh And I only write longer posts when I need to clarify my thoughts and feelings. Well, English is my second language which makes it harder.

    It is not a good title for this tread as I focus on emotional awareness. But again, we can not be empowered if we don't reclaim all our feelings. We were programmed to suppressed and hide our feelings since we were children. Men struggle more as they were trained not to show their feelings. As you said, boys were trained not to cry. Women , on the other hand, could to be "emotional" but not to show anger. Many people still don't accept assertive women. So,both women and men have challenges to overcome.

    I don't like Tolle. He is totally out of touch with his feelings that is evident in his body language and emotionless face. I would never wanted to loose my emotions, feelings, and intuition in the name of that kind of spirituality.
    I believe and my beliefs are supported by a vast psychological research that loosing our ego is the most dangerous for our well being. Fully functioning people (sorry, this is psychological term) have a strong sense of self. As you said, they don't care what others think about them and opinions of others don't control the course of their lives. Yet, they are very tolerant and accepting as they don't control others. On the contrary, people who have a poorly defined sense of self, are very insecure, defensive, judgmental, and controlling. I think that for those people it is more dangerous to follow Eastern spirituality or Tolle teachings.

    In relationship, all our unresolved issues come to the surface.It is hard sometimes, especially, for people who don't have emotional awareness and the ability to work through feelings as well as the ability to express them. I personally believe that life without deep and intimate relationship is not lived fully. Most people know how to fall in love which is short lived. The key is being in love.

    You have said that on an emotional level is a nice path. Yes, because it emotionless. But we are only fully alive, creative, and passionate when we can feel our deepest feelings. This is a price people pay for Eastern spirituality.
    Don't we all want to feel a deep love that reaches the sky? Don't we all want to passionately create? I certainly do. cheers

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