Monthly Archives: December 2017


809 words // 10 min. read


I want to talk about being a highly sensitive person.

I want to talk about this a LOT actually. It has been difficult for me all of my life to feel and see so deeply – most of my social memories until a certain point are quite negative, with me being blatantly outcast, rejected, shamed, shunned, and/or misunderstood. It was only recently when I learned about high sensitivity as a scientifically-researched phenomenon that I came to see it for what it is – a superpower.

A friend turned me onto this book by Elaine Aron. You know those books that when you read them you reframe your entire existence in the context of their insights? This one has been one of those for me. It’s about the growing body of research on this topic where Highly Sensitive People (or “HSPs”, though I call them simply “sensitives”) are defined as a portion of the population with a gene predisposing them to heightened sensitivity, making up only about 15-20% of the population, equal for males and females. Interestingly this same gene is also present in over 100 different species.

The implications are enormous!!!

Sensitivity, the author explains, pertains to both a heightened reactiveness to stimuli as well as certain cognitive tendencies such as processing information more deeply and picking up on subtler information underneath the surface of events. Thus if you were an HSP you would be unable to avoid reading into situations more deeply than others – indeed more deeply than would 80% of the population – as perhaps seeing the depression hanging behind someone’s smile or sensing the discomfort someone has with your success or picking up on the subtlest of cues such as a raised eyebrow or a furtive glance or a nervous tapping of someone’s foot – all which give away certain things about the person’s emotional or psychological state.

I have felt this sensitivity all my life. And I have become so painfully aware of how few people understand it! Well the author makes this overarching point about the western world denigrating and devaluing sensitivity, citing a study wherein school kids were surveyed – “What makes the popular kids so well liked?” And in the west, the common descriptors were “outgoing”, “talkative”, “energetic” whereas in the east the descriptors were “reserved”, “composed,” “mature”….

Well this devaluation pervades our culture, including Western psychology. Sensitivity has been negatively attributed to people under various terms (“neurotic”, “introverted”, “shy”, etc) since our imperialist origins require the “superior” paradigm to be externally oriented – fighting and screaming and competing, essentially penetrating outwards. Well sensitive people tend to lean toward the inner worlds. As Carl Jung put it, sensitive people are “educators and promoters of culture”… they live “the other possibility of the interior life which is so incredibly wanting in our civilization.”

For even more sociological context, Aron also suggests that throughout history, HSPs were known as members of the “royal advisory class” which cultivated power in the esoteric realms for survival, as opposed to the “warrior-king class” which cultivated power by brute force. This “royal advisory class” pertains to such archetypes as the shamans, witches, healers, priests, etc which have influenced every society in various roles since the Neolithic revolution (the point at which humans began agricultural practices and thus developing settlements).

I could write for days about this and I’m sure I will in time, but for now I will bullet point the key points as I see them:

  • The author makes an overarching point about the negative bias the imperialist West places on sensitivity which programs HSPs to have low self-esteem from the get go
  • There is no spectrum of sensitivity – you either have the gene or you do not
  • The parts of the brain more active in HSPs are the insula, known as “the seat of consciousness” (moment to moment processing center) and the mirror neuron system which is how empathy works
  • HSPs have a greater capacity for both sadness and joy, a concept called “vantage sensitivity”
  • Trauma has a much more devastating effect on HSPs than others, especially childhood trauma
  • As a survival strategy we process so thoroughly the implications of what occurs and we are thus less likely to make the same mistake again
  • HSPs are extremely affected by their environment, called “differential susceptibility”
  • HSPs have a hard time displaying their competence when being evaluated or watched (they are keenly aware of the judgment & scrutiny)
  • Sensitivity is inherited, and if two HSPs reproduce their child is even more sensitive (studied in dogs)
  • She also gives concrete techniques for managing the trait and its downsides
  • The spiritual term for it is “empath”

To take the simple self-test to determine if you are sensitive, go here.
To get the book, go here.

Basically, if you feel misunderstood, constantly deeper than most you meet, often tired for no apparent reason, read this book!

Holy moly what a gem!!!

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713 words // 10 min. read

yugasIn our modern world we are told that time is a linear concept. That ancient people were primitive and unsophisticated, and that we have slowly evolved over time in a linear pathway to become the “most advanced civilization in history.”

Gah! Even just typing that made me cringe for its arrogance. This is what we are taught, as the official “story” of how we got to the point where we currently are. From point A to point B folks, and that’s IT!

Well before our modern paradigm of relative separatism, due to lack of energetic connection with the earth and thus the whole, there were certainly civilizations more advanced than ours. All ancient megalithic structures in the world came from civilizations more advanced than ours, as many of them we could not replicate today.

So the idea of the Yugas is that we have gone through many cycles of greatness and relative darkness – as a species. It’s an ancient Hindu concept of time where, instead of a linear model, it operates more like a wheel, and so humanity goes through cycles of sleep and awakening, just like everything else in nature. We move through Golden Ages, living in extremely high vibration and spiritual communion, and then slowly descend through the Silver Age, the Bronze Age, eventually “bottoming out” in the Dark or Iron Age – when all of humanity is “asleep,” or otherwise unaware of our true spiritual reality. The hallmark is living in total materialism without knowledge that there is more to life. Sound familiar?

The last Kali Yuga/Dark Age correlates from about 700 B.C. to ~1700 A.D. and as you may recall, we had the Middle Ages during that time, experiencing widespread issues with disease, illiteracy and ignorance, state-funded murder and torture, and intolerance such as against Pagans, or witches/healers/shamans etc. (i.e., those who carried the knowledge of higher worlds within them which threatened the materialist state’s control regime).

One cycle of the Yugas lasts about 25,000 years. This is also known as the “Precession of the Equinoxes” in astrology & astronomy, and Plato called one of these cycles “The Great Year”. This is the amount of time it takes for the rising sun on the Spring Equinox to fully traverse one whole pass around the Zodiac cycle (in which currently we are leaving the Age of Pisces and coming into the Age of Aquarius, which each last ~2100 years). To better understand this, watch the video here.

The corresponding names and durations of the ages are as follows (see diagrams also):

• Golden Age – Satya Yuga – 4800 years
• Silver Age – Treta Yuga – 3600 years
• Bronze Age – Dwapara Yuga – 2400 years
• Iron or “Dark” Age – Kali Yuga – 1200 years

You can also look at this information in a line wave:

yugas w: wave

So as of now we have just left the last Kali Yuga, as of about the time when the Enlightenment began in the west ~1700 A.D., which is when we started to learn about atoms and other quantum realities through the promise of science and innovation. We are officially in the “upswing,” leaving the descending cycle and again coming back “up” as we make our way through the current Bronze Age, or Dwapara Yuga. The Bronze Age on the ascending cycle corresponds with a rapid rediscovery of spiritual truths, as well as an increase in understanding of universal laws as humanity transcends the dogma and restriction that goes with the preceding Kali Yuga or Dark Age.

I don’t know about you, but learning about this made me experience a sense of nostalgia and listlessness for those long-lost Golden Ages. I can feel it in my being that this Yuga system is a more “true” model of our history on this planet, and that we have experienced unimaginable heights as a species during those times.

For more info on the Yugas, and how they correspond to the Mayan calendar (it’s uncanny how much they do!), see this blog post here.

I hope that this system gets you thinking in new terms about our history, and critically analyzing what you’ve been told about how we arrived where we are. There is sooooo much more than the history books tell us, and in my research, knowledge of this alternate system of time has been a key piece of understanding to it all!

Happy deep diving friends!

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512 words // 7 min. read

paradox of mastery peak

I often think about the idea of mastery, and what it actually is, and how it fits in to goals that most people have in some area of their life. You know – like how some people want to master chess, some people want to master fishing, I want to master my ego…. This is the quintessential journey of life, the long trip between “who knows what the f*ck I’m even doing here” & “what is even going on??!” all the way to “oh wow, I actually have a handle on this shizz!”

I see it like a mountain peak. You spend your whole life meandering up the mountain, finding your way through challenges and tragedies, through triumphs and amazing new views. Some people go straight up the mountain and stick to the trail, i.e. practicing every single day, disciplined and steady, a linear path to the top… And others take a more scenic route, stopping at various lookout points, maybe retracing some steps or taking a lateral route for a bit to see another great view. The right-brain path. Going where their intuition and creativity decide to take them.

And most people are a mix in between, of course. There is no wrong or right in this great trip we call life… Everything is just expression and discovery. And that is a beautiful thing because you can’t mess it up, since even “mess ups” are still just expression and discovery. (And while we’re on the topic of mistakes, I will say, that for me, the biggest mistakes of my life turned into the greatest of wins…)

Well on the topic of mastery – I see it as a paradox, because everyone who has ever stuck with something long enough to actually master it knows, that immediately upon reaching the so-called “peak,” you look out from that high perspective which you spent all that time climbing to, and you think, wow, there are sooooo many other peaks! I am hardly 5% of the way done!

In other words, any true master knows that there is no such thing as “mastery”! You get to the point where you have a good enough handle on things, but then you realize with humility– there are sooooo many other things to learn, and really, you will never actually “ARRIVE”! That is the great joke, thinking you’ll “get there” at some future point in time.

And thus the paradox of mastery, as I call it, is the unexpected truth that there are no masters, only students, and being the eternal student is actually what is meant by “mastery.” Because even young children, homeless people, “crazy” people, old people, hurting people, ignorant people – they all can be your teacher if you remain the ever humble eternal student.

So really. We’re all just learning how to do things even if we’ve been doing this a long time. And nobody is actually very clear on what the heck is going on at any given time and we’re all just figuring it out. Doesn’t that comfort you a little to think about?

Wild world!

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891 words // 12 min. read


Back in the day – and by that I mean like, 5,000 years ago – humans placed great emphasis on their shrines. Having a shrine or altar meant that one could access God in the daily human experience. It was understood as a central part of one’s daily life, as the foundation of one’s prayer or spiritual practice. In Feng Shui, altars are considered the place where God force comes in to your home. So if you have no altar? God hesitates to come in!

On the individual level, this common custom meant they had altars (or “courtyards”) at the heart of every home, often with sacred items representing their ancestors, deities, and perhaps energy of different forces like love or money or health. On the collective level, this manifested as temples at the heart of every city, often with a sacred “inner sanctum” at the core (a shrine within a shrine if you will).

I mean think about it. What if, instead of TVs being what our “living” rooms are centered around, what if every home in America had an altar to their spirituality at the center?

My blood boils when I think of how cities are built now, with everything so jarring and grimy and soulless. Very little is sacred in big cities, with the only nature being in parks which are (typically) not well maintained. This extreme lack of intention in our environment sets us up for confusion, scatteredness, and self-fractioning as we pass through these spaces with energetic difficulty.

A classic book on the topic I have yet to read all of but which has profoundly affected me nonetheless is one called A Pattern Language. It’s written by an architect with a divine understanding of the subtler implications of buildings, and the arrangement of buildings, in terms of how it affects our human experience. This is a field called “environmental psychology” which is FASCINATING. But my point in bringing up this book is that in one chapter he talks about the effects of a city with a courtyard in the middle, in stark contrast to a city with a dump in the middle. You can imagine the dynamic differences in energy these scenarios generate for the whole.

On a more practical level, I think of my altar as an anchor of my spiritual and psychic energy. Every day, I wake up and sit down and make an offering there, which connects me to my source. It is a centralization of my spiritual force – my willpower, creativity, passion, and divinity accumulate there into a reverberating orb of energy that envelops my whole house in a glorious state of nurturing and upliftment. This makes it easier for me to maintain higher vibrations.

With a well-loved and well-tended altar, your home can become a temple.

And besides the obvious benefits of accumulating high-vibrational energy in one place, it also encourages a habit of prayer or meditation practice, as it is designed for engagement and relishment as one gazes over their most sacred objects.

As simple as it is, I believe this is a huge way to shift consciousness quickly, for not only individuals but whole societies! And it’s really simple to start one. Most people have everything already lying around.

✧・° ✧. ・°: * ✧・° .* ✧・°: *✧ ・°.*✧. ・°: * ✧・° .* ✧・°: *✧ ・°.*✧. ・°: * ✧・° .* ✧・°: *✧ ・°.*✧. ・°: * ✧

First, designate the place and form it will take – this can be with a piece of furniture such as a small shelf or table, or it can be more simple such as a cloth on the floor. Next, find or purchase some sort of pillow/rug/blanket to place before the altar. This will be what invites you to the practice so make it enticing – fluffy & cushioned – go PLUSH on this! Luxuriate!

Then the fun part – you get to go all over your house collecting the most sacred things you can find. Crystals or stones, musical instruments, photos, representations of deities, objects representing something sacred for you, anything goes. Ideally you cleanse and “bless” everything you choose with concentrated attention (and sage or holy water). Typically you want to include at least one candle, an incense or oil burner, a bell or chime if you have one, and some kind of plate and bowl (one to hold sage bundles etc, and the bowl for giving offerings).

Activities you can participate in at your altar: lighting incense, anointing yourself with oils, charging your crystals with Love, chanting, singing, and/or playing music, lighting candles, giving offerings to deities (wine, fruit, coins, etc), expressing gratitude, setting intentions (or using EFT aka “tapping” with affirmations)… often you’ll end up just plain meditating no matter where you start out.

✧・° ✧. ・°: * ✧・° .* ✧・°: *✧ ・°.*✧. ・°: * ✧・° .* ✧・°: *✧ ・°.*✧. ・°: * ✧・° .* ✧・°: *✧ ・°.*✧. ・°: * ✧・° 

The creativity is up to you. There is no right or wrong! (Unless you spell it “alter.” That is WRONG.) I like to have several altars around my house, all working out or “holding” different things. Most of the time I am working with a deity or two in particular (see the picture above for my current!). Of course, I always emphasize the central altar though, as the “hearth” of your home and centerpoint to your practice, and ultimately, the place where God force is invited in.

I hope you take this as seriously as I do and MAKE ONE! And then you can make one for your parents and your friends and your gatherings….

Life will never be the same. And why should it, anyway?  😉

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