uealse Spirituality - Dr. Dina Evan's Columns

Archive for the ‘Spirituality’ Category

A Potpourri of Light: Yours. Mine and Ours

True spirituality comes in as many forms as there are people. If you want to see Spirit in color, you look at a flower.  If you want to see Spirit in flight, look at a bird. If you want to see Spirit with power, you stand beside the ocean. Your greatest spirituality can be nestled in a desire for soul deep connecting with your beloved. We all perceive Divine energy in different ways.  The more conscious you are, the more you are able to see Divine energy in all things – even in a partner who believes differently than you do.  In fact, a person who professes no belief in God at all may still be very spiritual because he or she is highly principled or is someone who loves and respects the inherent beauty of the earth.

Religious leaders and masters who are truly evolved understand there are threads of truth in every belief system and each of us gets to choose the one to which we most relate for ourselves.  Truly evolved, spiritual people don’t judge each other’s beliefs.  Neither do they attempt to control each other by recruiting,  shaming or attempting to frighten others into believing their way. When we are afraid, we want those around us to believe as we do.  After all, we think, if you believe as I do, then I must be right!  If you believe differently than I do, then perhaps I am wrong.  Not necessarily.

In a relationship where two people believe differently there are great opportunities to learn about ones self.  Partners get to learn about your level of tolerance for difference and your level of safety with letting each other be whomever he or she is, and believe however  he or she wants to believe. While standing in the differences, you have an opportunity to open your heart and experience the joy or grace that your partner may be experiencing from his or her perspective or belief system.

It could be great fun to take turns in sharing these experiences and knowledge.  I know a number of couples that celebrate the Winter solstice with both Hanukkah  candelabrum or menorah and a Christmas tree. When your love for someone is sincere and not based upon your need for sameness, you find that it is easy to support your partner in activities that are soul enriching because they bring your partner closer to the Divine. It doesn’t really matter what they are because you still benefit from this character building belief system.

If you are with someone who professes no belief in religion or spirituality, you still have a place for growth. Emmet Fox in THE SERMON ON THE MOUNT says,” The quickest way to spread your truth to those you love is by living it yourself. The most important commitment is the one you make to your own soul’s evolvement.  Therefore, as you continue to walk your path, each step you take toward enriching your own relationship with your spirituality will result in deepening your relationship with your partner.

Relationships are inherently a classroom for the work of the soul.  In the space between where two people meet, in the center of difference, there is an opportunity for learning a great deal about yourself.  Although you may truly long for your partner to join you in the special ways you worship or practice your faith, not having them do so allows for the opportunity to let your self connect deeply with others who share your faith.  It gives you a chance to broaden your support group and test your willingness to be vulnerable and connected at a soul level with someone with whom you are not in an intimate relationship.  Too often we expect that our partner should be the sole source for all of our support and learning.  In this circumstance where you must learn to reach out beyond your mate relationship, you may find the world is filled with others who can enrich your life and align with you in your beliefs.

Think about what a gift you will give yourself and your partner when you are able to look across the table at your mate, beyond the form of their belief system or lack of it, and see the spiritual nature and true essence of your beloved. There is a spirit in there and when you are able to connect to it, the form it takes will become irrelevant. Love is all that is left and that is the highest form of spirituality.

© Dr. Dina Bachelor Evan 2013

All rights reserved. No part of the intellectual property of Dr. Dina Evan may be reproduced, placed on mechanical retrieval system, transmitted in any form by electronic, video, laser, mechanical photocopy, recording means or otherwise in part or in whole, without written permission of the author. Contents are fully copyrighted and may not be owned by any other individual or organization.

It’s Your Choice

One of the greatest gifts in the Universe is free will. Amazingly, we still don’t understand the impact of the reality that we each, individually, get to create our lives exactly the way we want them to be – through choice.

We have all experienced that odd sensation in the pit of our stomach when we are about to take a step or make a decision that will bring negative consequences. The Universe, having been designed in such a way that allows us to learn from our experiences, does not interfere with these choices. No punishment. No reward. Only consequences to each choice. The Universe simply responds as directed and as it was designed to respond. If reason, intuition, moral convictions or our emotions are not taken into account in our decision making process, the ensuing results may not be pleasant. Having ignored how the Universe works, we may then stand around scratching our head, wondering why it appears the world is out to get us. It’s not. We simply are not listening.

There is an internal voice inside each of us that knows exactly what is right and what is aligned with our spirit and what is not. Taking the time to examine our choices and the consequences of each one is part of the planetary curriculum. If we refuse to do that we will continue to repeat the same mistakes. Clearly every choice is a teacher in service to our soul, however we can, when acting from path and not past pain or pathology, reduce the level of pain and chaos in our lives by making more enlightened choices. The decision to listen to one’s inner wisdom or higher guidance and surrender to process is not an act of passive giving up, but rather, a powerful act of consciousness.

It’s time to stop playing small or dumb and pretending that we don’t know and life is doing it to us. We are doing life exactly as we choose. That’s called taking personal responsibility. If you stop right now and review that last painful choice you made. I will bet you that you can trace back to the exact moment when something inside you said, Don’t go here, but you did it anyway. That is your ego working over time. He’ll ultimate fall in love with me even though he says he does not feel that way right now. She’ll leave her partner and be with me. I hate this job but I’ll make the best of it. I know I can’t afford this but I’ll work it out. I deserve to eat this chocolate cake. Yada. Yada. Yada. You get the point.

When we learn how to trust the deep wisdom of our being, life loosens up, gets exciting and you start to see the possibilities in a whole new light. Whether you call this living intentionally, or higher consciousness, what you are really doing is aligning your heart and mind with the way the Universe actually works. In other words you are reading and using the directions for increasing the quality of your life.

Everyone has an idea of how your life ought to look and what he or she wants from you. Learning to trust that your inner wisdom is the highest authority – no, the only authority and it is a great gift to yourself. It’s stops the chaos and drama. It cleans up ethical issues and it provides you with the greatest possibility of success in every area of your life. We have been taught that we are victims to our circumstances and on the periphery of our reality only responding to life as it happens to us. Now we are beginning to understand that we are the center of our own universe, creating everything that happens in it. You are not separate from your choices! You are your choices and you are living the consequences of every one of them.

So, take a deep breath and the next time that wee small or loud resounding voice inside says, Wait a minute, stop and listen. Make a decision from the center of your own being and save yourself the countless hours of cleaning up the mess. And, if you are in a circumstance from some bad past decision, remember that it is never too late to respect yourself with a new decision that is more honoring. Take the risk of finding out you are your own best master.

© Dr. Dina Bachelor Evan 2013

All rights reserved. No part of the intellectual property of Dr. Dina Evan may be reproduced, placed on mechanical retrieval system, transmitted in any form by electronic, video, laser, mechanical photocopy, recording means or otherwise in part or in whole, without written permission of the author. Contents are fully copyrighted and may not be owned by any other individual or organization.

Was God Wrong?

I think God got it backwards. By the time you have all the tools and start to understand how this wondrous system called life works, your body starts to fall apart. What was She thinking?

When you are young you have so many ideas about how life works and what it all means. And then it changes and you wake up about the time you hit 40 something. In my youth, we disciplined children and set reasonable limits, now we indulge them and set no limits in order to build self-esteem. Of course, since the world does not function in that way, once these kids arrive in the world as adults who expect to be pampered, they fail.

We have pushed out the limits of our sexuality so far that there is no longer anything special, exclusive and sacred about what we can offer our beloved. The same thing gets offered to everyone.

We have abused our power and called it leadership. We have closed our minds and called it discipline. We have lost value for human beings and called it productivity. We have disconnected from nature and called it progress. We have fallen into dogma and doctrine and called it religious freedom. We proclaim a love for humanity and freedom and attempt to achieve it through execution and war – all the while refusing to let those who suffer from terminal illnesses end their pain. We’ve traded soul work for stock portfolios. We create a billon dollar industry abusing children, women and men with pornography and called it freedom of expression. We beat ourselves up unmercifully for where ever we are in life and push and prod ourselves beyond reasonable limits and call it ambition. And then suddenly, it hits you at about age 40. None of this feels very good. None of this really seems to fit the truth of who we are. None of this is very satisfying.

Then, in some unexpected statement out of some innocent’s mouth, in some timbering flash of awareness, in some comic jolt to the psyche – a window to the mind gets opened and fresh new sunlight starts to filter in and somehow new priorities creep through in a way that is so refreshing to your soul. You begin to breathe deeper and a new understanding creeps into your cells that makes you aware that everything is really fine somehow. Everything is, in fact, exactly as it should be. All that limited thinking and self-induced writhing, all that batting at and bumping up against the world like a blind child with outstretched arms had a purpose. This whole damn exercise was about you getting to this point in life where things begin to make sense.

You suddenly realize in some bitter-sweet euphony, that you have been the one who created every thought, every action – every reality in your whole life through your own choices and thoughts. You suddenly get that every experience and every individual in your life, whether perceived as good or bad, was a master teacher in service to your own soul. All those people you thought did you in – wrong! You did yourself in when you called them into your life and chose to dance with them. It was all perfect because of everything you learned. You find an awareness creeping slowly into your body at a cellular level that says, Wait a minute, if you created the past, you can now create the future differently with different choices – more loving and self-respecting ones. And then and there you have it. You are finally awake – at about age 40 something. Freedom has finally and truly arrived. It is an exquisite, mind-boggling, spine-tingling awareness – with one exception – there are no more excuses!

So what do we do with it? Nothing – everything – just be it. I guess the truth is that if I had come to this when I was in my twenties, I would not have appreciated it so much. I would not have felt such compassion and love both for myself or others. I would not have that certain sense of pride and self-respect from making different choices.

I guess the exquisite wisdom is after all, that until you get to some place near the end, it is impossible to know that the whole point, is the journey itself.

© Dr. Dina Bachelor Evan 2013

All rights reserved. No part of the intellectual property of Dr. Dina Evan may be reproduced, placed on mechanical retrieval system, transmitted in any form by electronic, video, laser, mechanical photocopy, recording means or otherwise in part or in whole, without written permission of the author. Contents are fully copyrighted and may not be owned by any other individual or organization.

Just the Three of Us

Relationships are my specialty. I get to watch them as they fall apart in order to fall back into place in my office. I have a very high success rate but it’s not necessarily about me. It is about the couples who come to the understanding that relationships, any relationships, are about sacred contracts and how we deal with them. The people who heal and hold it all together are the ones that know every response they have is about them personally and solely, their integrity, level of honesty and presence. No matter how many tools couples may accumulate, without understanding that simple principle, relationships don’t work. Relationships are a sacred trust. So, one could say that without an element of spirituality in our relationships, they are not complete.

Spirituality doesn’t necessarily mean religion, dogma or doctrine although those things may serve us on our path to getting to true consciousness. Spirituality, I think we can all agree, means having integrity. A spiritual person may be one who simply loves the earth and is dedicated to caring for her. It may be someone who has an uncommon love for mankind or an intention to deliberately live life in a conscious way. In relationships, being spiritual means being real and truthful. It means being present and committed to mutually agreed upon stated contacts and agreements. It means having compassion and a sense of the sacred about this person who has committed to you.

We are often act cavalier about each other’s feelings. We say things that are meant to intentionally hurt. We do things that are intentionally meant to cause mistrust and uncertainty. We talk about each other to other people not caring about the impact it has on the perception of the person listening. We break confidences. We break contracts. We break hearts. We lose a sense of civility. We act in ways that display total disregard for the tenderness of the spirit inside our beloved. And, all of that is about us…not the other person.

Partners who are willing to take personal responsibility for every response they have in a relationship find relationships to be the greatest soul school on the planet. It tests our integrity, our compassion, our honesty and our level of presence. When partners take ownership of their own feelings and responses, the real work of relationship begins and the result is profound growth and deeper intimacy. Partners need to lay their problems out on the table and talk openly about why they respond in certain ways to circumstances and issues. They need to identify and articulate the emotions behind these behaviors in order to understand and change them. Very often this understanding alone creates healing and stops the cycle of abusive behavior. Very few people want to be deliberately hurtful. Most of the time the behaviors that create separation originate out of fear and a lack of faith in ourselves.

When we are able to communicate openly about issues, partners are able to create new solutions. The most important element to creating this kind of deeper dialog is trust. These conversations must be dealt with honorably and not discussed outside the relationship unless with a professional or by mutual agreement.

In my books Break Up or Break Through (for non-traditional relationships) and The Trouble with Marriage (for traditional relationships) it became clear as I interviewed couples that the basic principles of successful relationships were simple. Be honest. Stay present. Act out of love. With these three principles any issues about money, sex or life challenges were easily resolved.

The greatest gift you can give your partner and your relationship is to understand the sacred value of both and to treat your partner and the relationship as a gift that deserves open on-going communication. Couples who commit even one hour week to just listening to their partner and understanding how their partner feels found their relationships deepened and grew. In today’s society with all the pressures of success, this kind of commitment seldom happens unless it is actually booked in the day planner and treated and a sacred trust and priority. Couples need to understand that they are not responsible for each other’s feeling, nor do they have to fix these feelings or provide solutions. The finest gift one can give is to simply listen and understand how your partner’s truth is true for him or her. You can download a communication exercise off my site http://www.In-Two-One.com if you do not have one of the books and begin this process today. After 25 years of practice, I can honestly say the couples who do this stay together and resolve their issues and the ones who never find time are often back in my office rehashing the same problems.

Do yourself a favor and bring the element of sacred connection back to your relationship though ethical communication. The gifts you will receive are amazing.

© Dr. Dina Bachelor Evan 2013

All rights reserved. No part of the intellectual property of Dr. Dina Evan may be reproduced, placed on mechanical retrieval system, transmitted in any form by electronic, video, laser, mechanical photocopy, recording means or otherwise in part or in whole, without written permission of the author. Contents are fully copyrighted and may not be owned by any other individual or organization.

Eclectic Spirits

Do you think it is possible to create a successful relationship when one individual is of one faith or religious belief and the other follows another type of belief – or perhaps isn’t in to spirituality of any kind? Not only is it possible to create successful relationships under these circumstances, but, you may also discover great opportunities for broadening your understanding, releasing judgment and increasing your compassion. True spirituality, after all, comes in as many forms as there are people.

Last Easter morning, three of the people in my spirituality group gathered at my dining room table each with a special reading, gift of poetry or message from their individual faith. One woman practices Wicca white magic, another brought a reading from her last twelve step meeting, another shared from her past experience as a nun and I brought my metaphysical experience. We each sat for a moment in silence, then lit a candle as we shared a message or ritual close to our hearts about rebirth, spring and beginning all things new. At the end of our process the energy in the room was alive with love. The confluence of our energy had brought us into such a united space that no one wanted to move. We just quietly let ourselves be filled up with the joy and blessing in our diversity. Though we each had come from different disciplines, each person’s offering had a special impact that was positive and timely for us individually.

God as we perceive Him/Her, or The Universal Energy is not limited. If you want to see Spirit in color you look at a flower. If you want to see Spirit in flight look at a bird. If you want to see Spirit with power, you stand beside the ocean. One’s spirituality can be evident in a desire for soul deep connecting with a beloved. We all perceive Divine energy in different ways. The more conscious you are, the more you are able to see Divine energy in all things, even in a partner who believes differently than you do. In fact, a person who professes no belief in God at all may still be very spiritual because he or she is highly principled, or is someone who loves and respects the inherent beauty of the earth.

Religious leaders and masters who are truly evolved understand there are threads of truth in every belief system and each of us must choose that which we most relate to for ourselves. Truly evolved, spiritual people do not judge each other’s beliefs. Neither do they attempt to control each other by recruiting them, shaming them or attempting to frighten them into believing their way. Judgment comes from a base of fear and a need for control. When we are afraid, we want those around us to believe as we do. After all, we think, if you believe as I do, then I must be right. If you believe differently than I do, then perhaps I am wrong. Not necessarily.

In a relationship where two people believe differently there are great opportunities to learn about yourselves. You get to learn about your level of tolerance for difference and your level of safety with letting your partner be who ever he or she is, and believe however he or she wants to believe. While standing in the differences, you have an opportunity to open your heart and experience the joy or grace your partners may be experiencing from their perspective. When your love for someone is sincere, and not based upon your need for sameness, you find that it is easy to support your partner in activities that are soul enriching and bring your partner closer to the Divine, regardless of the form.

Relationships are inherently a classroom for the work of the soul. In the space between where two people meet there is an opportunity for learning a great deal about yourself. Although you may truly long for your partner to join you in the special ways you worship or practice your faith, not having them do so, allows for the opportunity to let your self connect deeply with others who share your faith. It gives you a chance to broaden your support group and test your willingness to be vulnerable and connected at a soul level with someone with whom you are not in an intimate relationship. Too often we expect that our partner should be the sole source for all of our support and learning. In this circumstance where you must learn to reach out beyond your mate relationship, you may find the world is filled with others who can enrich your life and align with you in your beliefs.

Think about what a gift you will give yourself and your partner when you are able to look across the table at your mate, beyond the form of their belief system or lack of it, and see the spiritual nature and true essence of your beloved. There is a spirit in there, and when you are able to connect to it, the form it takes will become irrelevant. Love is all that is left and that is the highest form of spirituality.

© Dr. Dina Bachelor Evan 2013

All rights reserved. No part of the intellectual property of Dr. Dina Evan may be reproduced, placed on mechanical retrieval system, transmitted in any form by electronic, video, laser, mechanical photocopy, recording means or otherwise in part or in whole, without written permission of the author. Contents are fully copyrighted and may not be owned by any other individual or organization.