Managing Your Emotions – 3 Things NOT To Do


by Barry Kerr and Kristine Gay

How good are you at managing your emotions? Pretty good? That might be a problem. In western culture, most of us have been handicapped by a profound misunderstanding of the function of emotions. In fact, emotional dysfunction is epidemic, even among the mentally bright and materially abundant.

Try this quiz:

  1. Which emotions are good and which are bad?

It’s a trick question. The truth is that emotions are neither good nor bad. They are really just energy moving through your body. Emotions give you information. Their ‘goodness” or “badness” are judgments you make, based on your beliefs. Emotional strength grows with a willingness to experience emotions in a non-judgmental way, free from the mental stories you attach to them.

  1. What’s the best way to get rid of undesired emotions?

It’s another trick question. Don’t “get rid” of any emotion. Emotions have a purpose and your attention to them is a natural requirement to your well being. It’s sort of like a sore ankle. You don’t just ignore it or wish it away. You pay attention, adjust your actions and let it heal.

By trying to get rid of certain emotions, you actually prolong them. Yes, it may seem that you manage your feelings successfully, avoiding pain, and it may get you through the current moment with some sense of stability, but unless you allow yourself to experience the energy of the emotion while it is actually running through your body, you will miss the opportunity of awareness that the emotion is inviting you to discover. Instead, the energy gets stored in your body in some pathological way, feeding a storyline or set of beliefs that can become a theme of negativity in your life. If the pattern is continued long enough, the otherwise natural and temporary bodily sensations associated with that emotional experience could evolve into chronic, mental and/or physical illness.

  1. What’s the best way to analyze emotions?

Trick, again. Analyzing emotions is not usually helpful and can actually perpetuate the emotional patterns. The path to emotional healing and resolution is not through the mind. Your mind only gives you what you already believe to be true, the same old stories you’ve been telling yourself all along, which recreate the same emotional experience over and over again.

Rather, the way to discovering the “truth” in your emotional experience is through your body. By relaxing your mind’s need for analysis and abstract, logical conclusions, you can bring your awareness to the visceral sensations that are actually happening in your body, here and now. Your body does not lie. It will always tell you the truth, not the “ultimate truth”, but the truth you live from, which may be very different than what you believe in your head. In fact, it is typically the unattended dissonance between your head truth and body truth that creates layers of additional emotional complications over time.

By the time people come to us for energy healing or transformational life coaching, they’ve already created decades of storylines, beliefs and layers upon layers of dissonance within themselves. This is normal in our society. Typically, clients are far removed from the events and conditions that originally precipitated their inner emotional patterns. The memories, if available at all, are clouded by the stories they’ve been telling themselves and others over the years. When emotions arise, they’ve trained themselves to neatly file each one into one of their stories or beliefs, thus avoiding the deeper experience that might allow healing.

In mind-body work, the aim is always to bring awareness and attention to the discomfort, to that which is out of sorts. It starts with bodily sensations like tightness, numbness, or pain. Modern medicine tends to encourage solutions that deaden or dull pain and bodily discomfort. Though at times this is often appropriate and even life saving, as a general approach to life, it is counterproductive. We need to feel that which our inner self is calling our attention to, that which hurts. It is useful information. Trying to get rid of it with anesthetic drugs or denial does not allow for deep and lasting healing, much less authentic living. A good coach can teach you a better way.

Barry Kerr, an evolutionary astrologer and certified life and relationship coach, and Kristine Gay, a licensed psychotherapist, own Choose Conscious Living in Madison. Both have extensive training in soul-guided, transformational healing of mind, body, heart and spiritual systems. They offer healing, coaching, therapy, mindfulness and astrology services for singles, couples and groups. For more information, visit http://www.ChooseConsciousLiving.com. Call or email for a free consultation and questions.

 

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3 Ways Successful Couples Do Better


When Good Communication Skills Aren’t Enough

By Barry Kerr and Kristine Gay

All kinds of wonderful books and workshops teach good communication skills and tools. How many of these do you practice?

  • Respect timing. Ask permission or schedule a time.
  • Talk in turns. Give your partner chance to speak.
  • Use “I” statements. Using the word “you” tends to sound like blame, accusation and judgment.
  • Listen without anticipating, judging or constructing your next reply.
  • Be able to repeat what your partner says so he/she feels heard.
  • Listen to understand and negotiate an answer that works for both of you.
  • If necessary, take a break and come back to it later

Do you feel that you know and have tried these, yet somehow, you and your partner keep looping through old arguments, never quite resolving anything? Why?

The above are great skills and without them, things can often go awry. However, by themselves, they don’t necessarily get down to the real issues causing the tensions between you. If you both aren’t able to become aware of and bring forward the deeper feelings of your experience, you’ll just keep sliding past them, continuing to believe in the surface story of your symptoms.

So, how do successful couples get past this common problem?

  1. By accepting that when two people share their lives, their bodies, their fortunes, it’s unavoidable that they will experience many, many conflicts. Compatibility is important, but the goal cannot be to eliminate conflict.
  2. Conscious couples recognize that each partner will react to conflicts in their own way, feeling emotional triggers unique to each of their life histories.
  3. The goal becomes to discover why you are fighting, what’s underneath the surface dispute, and then take responsibility for your part in it.

In working with couples that come to us for help, it’s this deeper level of commitment that makes the difference in outcome. Without each being willing to explore and share their own inner experiences of emotional reactions and psychological habits, they will never understand how they trigger each other, subconsciously, in ways that have less to do with the current situation and more to do with experiences from earlier in life, often childhood. For example, that resentment over the TV remote control may actually reflect a life pattern of people pleasing that started in childhood, nothing to do with your partner.

When couples begin to act as allies, rather than as opponents, they learn how to turn conflicts into explorations of self. This is when relationship gets awesome. Partners can search together for clues and pieces of the past to heal and transform so that the present can be liberated from habitual reactions and reframed.

Without this, relationships can become tiring, stale, or broken. Repeated disputes can become “silent” standoffs, played out sometimes in seconds, but affecting every part of a couple’s existence, including their sex life. It’s deadening. And after a while, they can become blind to its affects.

So why do people resist getting help? Well, people tend to have “good” reasons. They don’t want to hurt their partner with the real truth or upset the apple cart and risk more instability or feel out of control or lose what little good they have. They may think they’ve communicated as best they can.

In our work, we help couples discover their blind spots. Each time it happens is an incredible, liberating and energizing breakthrough for both people. It takes so much energy to stay blind and repressed. When couples renew their willingness to be emotionally honest with each other, as conscious partners, not only do they typically find more authentic resolution to their conflicts, but they can also create a more vibrant bond of attraction and excitement. Each feels the synergy of the relationship affecting their own sense of personal growth and fulfillment. There is gratitude and love, even though more conflicts are inevitably on the horizon. Vulnerability and honesty is a strong aphrodisiac.

Families and society have not done a good job of modeling this for most of us. The good news is that it can be learned from couples that have done the deeper work and know how to teach and coach in safe and nurturing ways.

Barry Kerr, an evolutionary astrologer and certified life and relationship coach, and Kristine Gay, a licensed psychotherapist, own Choose Conscious Living in Madison. Both have extensive training in soul-guided, transformational healing of mind, body, heart and spiritual systems. They offer healing, coaching, therapy, mindfulness and astrology services for singles, couples and groups. For more information, visit http://www.ChooseConsciousLiving.com. Call or email for a free consultation and questions.

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Owning Stuff – How much is enough?


by Barry Kerr and Kristine Gay

Ever stop to consider just how materially wealthy you really are? Think of all the things you own. Compared to most humans alive today and virtually everyone in history, you probably have more material comforts and possessions. Most royalty went with less. So how come we often just can’t get enough?

Our relationship to the physical world dominates our senses. Experiencing ourselves physically is what we are here to do. Why else come into this world? The question is to what degree do we live consciously, remembering that, on an eternal plane, we are spirit, beyond form, time and space.

Ancient and modern wisdom has taught that we are individual rays of the one creator, incarnating into physical form. Why? Well, to put it simply …because we can. Do you know that part of you that just delights in exploring something new, something novel, something challenging? That is an aspect of spirit. It’s your fiery soul wanting to explore being in human form, wanting to learn how to manifest in this dimension.

It starts at the beginning of life with an intense awareness and relationship with the physical body and grows outward toward relationship with all things physical. Forgetting that you are spirit, over time, your physical senses dominate your mind with the illusions of separation and limits. Your mind begins to categorize everything into “me” and “other”. In spirit world, we experience ourselves as one with all others, with everything, no separation. In the physical world, this knowing is sublimated into attractions, desires, and longings. That which we passionately desire, we forget, is really an extension of our greater self. It just shows up looking separate in this tricky world. So, as humans, we go about trying to “attain” it so that we can “relate” to it. This applies to people as well as things.

Now here’s the thing: just as in spirit world, we are infinite and without end, in this physical world, there is no end to what we could desire, to what we could want to relate to, to what we could want to experience. It’s all us, longing to experience the fullness of who we are, but in the physical world. What we choose to attract, create, relate to at any time is driven by our values. Our values are determined by our experience and awareness. With less awareness, our values form around the illusions of separation and fear. With more experience and awareness, we begin to remember what we truly are…spirit, love, eternal beings without separation, without fear.

When our values form from this awareness, it no longer matters what form life takes. We attract, create, see and appreciate the love and beauty in all forms. Our desires spring less from the tangible and more from the experiences that the physical form allows. It becomes less about owning things and more about having experiences. The fixedness and quantity of our possessions no longer guarantee security of well-being. We discover that it is in the fluxuations of our relationship to things and people that we find FULL-filment.

As more and more of us are awakening to our spiritual selves, the tendencies toward consumerism and accumulation of wealth are changing. As people begin to value experience over material ownership, addictions to shopping and hording give way to longings for deeper, more meaningful experiential connections to self and others. Experiences with travel, adventure, creativity, romance, parenting, emotional growth, education and spiritual learning and more begin to be more appealing. Experiences have an eternal quality to them. They become part and parcel to who we are, part of our individualized and unique expression of spirit. Experiences build the bonds of recognition between souls and reconnect us to the oneness of love and beauty that we are.

If you are beginning to feel the fatigue and emptiness of buying and having more things in your life, perhaps it’s time to reconsider your values. Perhaps it’s time to spend your time and money on experiences that will bring you deeper connection to self and others. Personal growth work, coaching, healing, workshops and retreats could be part of the answer. What you keep and take home may not fill a space, but it will fill your soul.

Barry Kerr, an evolutionary astrologer and certified life and relationship coach, and Kristine Gay, a licensed psychotherapist, own Choose Conscious Living in Madison. Both have extensive training in soul-guided, transformational healing of mind, body, heart and spiritual systems. They offer healing, coaching, therapy, mindfulness and astrology services for singles, couples and groups. For more information, visit http://www.ChooseConsciousLiving.com. Call or email for a free consultation and questions.

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Initiation in The Great Pyramid! – a personal story.


by Barry J KerrPyramids-Wonder-Egypt

(This story really happened to me in August of 1984, exactly as told. I wrote this back then.)

Prelude

There it was, before me, rising majestically out of the infinite white sands of the Sahara desert, towering over the green foliage of the narrow Nile valley, as it has for probably over twelve and a half thousand years. Behind it, appearing even higher, was the pyramid of Cheops’ successor, Kephren. And behind that, the lesser, but still impressive mass of Kephren’s successor, Mykerinos. Awesome. Beautiful. Though I had seen a hundred pictures of this view, none had caused my heart to pound as it now did.

Within minutes our tour bus would be swallowed into this complex of giants and I would step fourth and manifest one of my dearest and, I had thought, remotest fantasies.

But what was this? The bus was not stopping. We had passed the Great Pyramid, and the second, and now we were heading out into the desert. I looked in panic to my traveling companion, Jerry. We were seated in the rear of the bus and watching through the back window as the picture of our dreams slowly shrank. We prepared to give way to outrage. “Stop!” Our hearts screamed silently. To our relief, our guide explained that the bus would stop at the approaching high mound of sand where we could capture some photos of the excellent view there, and then proceed back down to the Great Pyramid. “Patience,” I considered.   “Perhaps this was best – to pause at a distance and reflect.”

Stepping off the bus, Jerry and I were immediately confronted with a wall of local Arab men, in full dress, offering camel rides, post cards and distilled water. We tried to move around them so as to see the view, but they merely moved along side of us, blocking that view. That was their strategy. They would talk and talk and prevent us from seeing anything until we either gave in to their soliciting or got back on the bus. Few of us had ventured off the bus anyway, and I was about to give up in frustration when one of the younger Arab men cornered me and insisted I should mount his camel so he could take my picture. He had his camel kneel down for mounting and I could see there in the distance, the three pyramids lined up in near ecliptic fashion. A classic view! I had to have a picture of me in it.

“How much?” I asked.

“Oh, it ‘s not important, ” the young man enthusiastically assured me, grinning from ear to ear.

“You’ll want something, no?” I bargained.

“Don’t worry, ” he insisted, “you get on my camel. I just want you to be happy.” He continued to smile happily. “I take your picture.”

“But you’ll want some money.   How much?” I was getting impatient.

“The money is not important. Really. I just want you to be happy.”

“You don’t care about the money?” I asked, knowing better.

“It’s not important. I just want you to be happy. Really.” He was so convincing and so happy himself.

“Not important?” I asked uneasily.

“No. No. You get on. I take your picture. Then you give what you feel.   I know you will be happy. Ok?”

“I pay you what I feel?” I tested him.

“Yes, yes. Come. You will be happy.”

“Ok.”

I handed him my camera and mounted the camel.   Wearing an Arab headdress, which I had purchased earlier, I raised the camel drive stick into the air and when the camel stood up I became Lawrence of Arabia, above the crowd, stalking the Great Pyramids. What a picture that would be to show the folks back home.

I dismounted and reached into my pocket, pulling out two Egyptian pounds, all the money I had left on me. I felt happy, so I handed it to the still-smiling young man. He took it in his hands and looked at it. His happy face now turned serious, his lip slightly pouting. His eyes turned to me and he asked, “You’re not happy?”

His delivery was perfect. I had to admire his style.

“Yes I’m happy. Very,” I assured him and headed for the bus. He followed me all the way, repeating, “You’re not happy. You’re not happy.” Finally, as I reached the door, I convinced him my pockets were empty. His sour face turned back to its former happy grin and slapping my back, he wished me a good trip.

As I stepped up into the bus, a few of my fellow passengers were applauding. I had become sort of a hero, venturing out into the throng of hustlers. One lady commented that I had looked like Jesus up there, with my beard and flowing, long hair. Our guide asked me how much I had paid the man.

“Two pounds,” I said

“Huh,” he sighed, “they usually get only a pound.”

“That guy”, I thought, “he knew I was happy.”

The Initiation

Now the bus headed back to the Great Pyramid and as it circled around in the parking area, we could see an even larger throng of locals and camels converging toward us. “Oh god, not again!” The passengers sat frozen, debating in their minds whether it was worth the trouble. Our guide then announced that the bus would be leaving in half an hour.

Again I looked to Jerry in panic. “No way!” His eyes assured mine. We knew we would have to hold up the bus.

It took some maneuvering to get through all the Arab hustlers. They were like flies. Postcards, water, camels, photos, and now guides. We didn’t need a guide – – just room to move.

We ran to the base of the Pyramid. It was so huge. Thirteen acres across its base, 201 stepped tiers to the height. Two and a half million blocks of limestone and granite weighing from two to seventy tons each. The ratio of its circumference to its height exactly equals the mathematical Pi (3.14)

We climbed up the carved-out stairway to the entrance. Two older men in Arab dress were taking tickets. We didn’t have tickets. We had to go back down the opposite side of the parking lot, a long way, and purchase our tickets at the booth there. Again we waded through the hustlers, time slipping by quickly in the great heat of this late summer afternoon.

The tickets cost thee Egyptian pounds. Neither of us had any pounds left. Jerry had a travelers check in US dollars. They didn’t take dollars, just pounds. It was unbelievable. Everywhere in Egypt everyone was eager to take US dollars. Everywhere but this ticket booth. A half-hour was almost gone.

Well it just happened that there were local Arabs hanging around the parking lot willing to do a little illegal trading of currency, at various exchange rates. So we started asking.

Now, Jerry is one of those people who really enjoys haggling for a good deal. I’d seen him do it several times in Israel, in Hebrew even. So, I shouldn’t have been surprised when he started roaming from vendor to vendor wasting precious time over a few nickels. Here we were, the Great Pyramid, looming over us, beckoning our approach, and he’s haggling. Finally he found a deal he could live with and we went and got our tickets. Now the half-hour was surely gone.

We ran back up to the pyramid entrance but once again two old guys stopped us. What now?

“No pictures.” One said assertively. We both had cameras in our pockets. I assured him we would not use our cameras.

“No cameras” said the other.

I promised. They shook their heads. I wanted to scream.

“Wait here,” I said to Jerry, and taking his camera, I ran back to the bus, the only safe place to put them. When I reached the bus, over half of the people were already waiting to go. I wondered if they had even gotten off the bus, as I ran back to the entrance, my heart was pounding in the heat of the sun. This time they waved us through, and then we stepped into the Great Pyramid interior passageways.

The passageways were steep, narrow and low so that we had to stoop and make room for the steady stream of tourists descending the steep incline in the opposite direction. A long and narrow plank with evenly spaced footholds had been placed over the otherwise smooth and slippery stone floor. The climb was cramped and clumsy amidst the dank interior and humid perspiration of our bodies. After some time the passageway opened up into the Grand Gallery, the ceiling rising to nearly 30 feet, the sides widening out so that there was room for two separate paths, one up and own down.

I was eager to reach our goal at the top, the King’s Chamber, the most powerful place in the pyramid. My studies had told me this had been more that a tomb for a dead king. It had been a mysterious temple, a secret temple, used by adepts for initiation into the mystic knowledge to which few humans had ever aspired. Many of the great and inspiring figures of human history had given hints of participating in this mystery during their lives. The pyramid had watched the lives of Mohammed, Plato, Jesus, David, Buddha, and even Moses, come and go. Moses had been raised among the pharaohs, who themselves were the keepers of the priestly secrets of Egypt. This pyramid in some way, no doubt, influenced him.

And now, here I was. Climbing toward the central chamber of this greatest of pyramids, built at the exact center of all the land masses of the earth, by people who had realized the roundness of the planet and established the circumference of this globe and embedded it into the dimensions of this structure long before our written history even began. And no doubt they were fully familiar with the mysterious energy producing geometry of these monuments, an effect, which modern scientists are only beginning to explore, but which could possibly have been a key to legendary initiation rites in the king’s chamber. It was in that chamber that the initiate might have experienced the ritualistic crucifixion and resurrection symbolized in the mythical phoenix bird.

I lowered my eyes, and before me was a horizontal passage, small and narrow like one we had just ascended. It led to the Queens Chamber. Just before proceeding to the final King’s Chamber, it is believed that initiates would come into the presence of the nurturing energy of the Great Mother, or feminine side of god. I had wanted to go there first, just to keep things in the proper order, but a metal gate blocked the passage. I was briefly disappointed, but Jerry hurried me on upward, so I followed in eager anticipation.

Arriving at the top we found a low and narrow opening to another chamber, so we stooped and went through. This was the small antechamber preceding the very large King’s Chamber. We paused here, and I took the opportunity to center myself and be open to any blessing that might be in store for me ahead. With high hopes for some personal experience, I stooped again to enter the King’s Chamber.

I’m not sure what hit me first. Probably the stench. It was the urine, strong, like a neglected men’s room at a gas station. It was repulsive.

Next, I was confronted by more local hustlers, asking my name, my language. Did I need a guide? There were five of them, young, and they spread out amongst Jerry, me and a couple of other tourists. They talked constantly, filling the room with their chattering echoes. One clung to me. He wouldn’t leave me alone just to look around and absorb the room, the experience.

It was a large empty room with one piece of stone at one end, an empty granite sarcophagus, chipped at the corners. I walked toward it hoping to shake off the hustler, but he stuck with me, chattering always.

The other two tourists left. They, like most, had climbed all this way to find a large, humid, stinking, empty room, filled with hustlers who hounded them ’til they either forked up money or left. Most left quickly, but a few, as these young Arab men counted on, were naive enough to pay out money for their amateurish tour of the room.

Now, three of them had me trapped behind the sarcophagus, up against the wall, my hands out to my sides. All three were chattering at me.

I was bummed out. Disillusioned. Deflated. I had come expecting, perhaps, some small mystical phenomenon to happen to me, and instead three hustlers were crucifying me against the wall. Their eyes, hungry for my submission, betrayed their seemingly friendly demeanor, as they chattered on and on.

I was about to cave in, to leave in complete disgust and rejection of any respect for this pyramid, or Egypt for that matter, when the thought of Christ entered my mind. I seized on it, and closing my eyes, asked Spirit: “What can I do?”

Immediately the answer came.

I glared at the three ‘guides’ and dramatically announced: “You know what I want? You know what I really want?!”

They went silent, ready to answer any question, do any service, for a price. I lowered my voice to a whisper, “I just want to be left alone to meditate.” Then I closed my eyes, leaned back against the wall and tried to drift inward.

They were silent. After one minute I wasn’t sure if they were there anymore. I opened my left eye to look. Immediately they began to chatter again. I snapped my eye shut. Silence.

This time they must have given up, because it stayed quiet near me, but I heard their voices added to those that had been pestering Jerry across the room.

Again, I asked Spirit for help, and as I became centered inside and relaxed, my breathing slowed. I felt an impulse to sound out a clear and lengthy AUM or Aaaooouuummm.

Now, this chamber had to be designed with chanting in mind because the walls reverberated my rounded vowel note so perfectly that I was immediately caught up in it, and continuing to chant, began to lose awareness of the other voices and people. My heart started to lift.

Then more tourists entered the room, babbling and stirring around so that I was distracted. Immediately, the smell or urine reentered my awareness and when I opened my eyes I was looking down into the sarcophagus with a now clear view of the urine inside. I was bummed again. “I’m only kidding myself,” I thought. “I’m trying to make something of nothing. I might as well leave.”

I headed toward the entranceway, figuring Jerry would follow, but as I crossed the room, so did he, in the opposite direction, not seeing me leaving. The Arabs followed him. So I leaned up against the wall again. This time facing the opposite side where I had been. I left my eyes open, staring at Jerry, and began to breathe again. The other tourists had left now, leaving us to the hustlers.

Jerry had found his way to the sarcophagus, his weight leaning on his arms, his eyes looking down into it. He had found the urine and I could guess his thoughts.

Again the impulse to chant came through me, and I let out a nice long AUM followed be a deep inhale and another AUM. Again the room filled with the sound.

Now I focused on sending Jerry a thought. “Chant,” I said to him through my mind, “Join me. Chant, join me, chant…”

Within a minute, without looking up at me, he backed up against the wall, directed his eyes into mine and began matching my chant.

The Arabs stood silent, gazing back and fourth at us, as our chanting dominated the room with a clear vibration. And after a minute or two, to our delight, they left the chamber, all of them. Jerry and I were beaming at each other. We had done it. We had raised the vibrations and taken the room to ourselves. The King’s Chamber was ours.

Suddenly the Arabs returned, silently watching us, curios look on their faces. Their unexpected reappearance threw off our chanting and we stopped. Jerry and I signaled to each other that perhaps we had better head for the waiting bus and be glad that we had at least a small experience to remember. We felt high.

As I headed for the entrance, one of the Arabs approached as if to hustle me again. I raised my hands, open palmed, to my shoulders and said: “I have nothing to give you, but love.” Then I stooped down and left. Jerry followed.

I started to climb down the Gallery, and realized that I didn’t feel right. I wanted to go back. I stopped and turned around and saw that Jerry had stopped, too. He said to me; “We’re not finished,” implying that I had already had the same thought. So we climbed back up and re-entered the King’s Chamber.

To our amazement, the five men were applauding our return enthusiastically, their faces no longer as hustlers, but like children, pleased to continue a fun game. The two older ones approached me and asked what we had been doing. I explained a little about the origin of the AUM sound and its basic vibratory effect as a calling of God’s presence.

They were sincerely interested, and so open to knowing that I was inspired to open my arms and ask them to join me in trying it out. Without hesitation, they took my hands and we stood in a circle, the six of us. Jerry decided to stand outside the circle against the wall. I let out a good long AUM and soon the others joined me. Jerry, too. The younger men giggled a little, feeling awkward but soon we had all found our breath and a natural pitch and the chamber was filled with a strong harmonic AUMing.

We heard someone approaching outside. I prepared myself for the interruption of tourists. Soon a head popped in. It was an American man. He looked like he had just come from India, wearing a robe with Hindu/Buddhist beads around his neck. To my surprise, and probably to his, when he realized what was happening, he stepped right into the circle and began chanting with us, his face revealing the astonished pleasure of this dream.

Our spirits soared like eagles, circling around with the rhythm of the chanting. It was glorious! The perfectness of that moment became crystal clear in my consciousness. There we were: Muslim, Christian, Jew, Buddhist and perhaps more, in an ancient room that had preceded the birth of all these religions and felt their conflicts for centuries outside its walls. Yes, there we were, joined in fellowship; each aware that some holy spirit had joined us together in a symbolic experience of brotherhood that none of us would likely forget.

When we landed, when our chanting had found a natural conclusion, the two older men stepped toward me, our hands folded in one another’s, their eyes soft, their brows reverent and said: “Thank you, thank you” with deep appreciation.

I answered, “No, thank YOU, thank YOU.” Together we raised our eyes upward, acknowledging that our real praise belonged to the Creator, and we dropped our hands knowing it was complete, knowing that it was perfect.

I looked at Jerry and we both knew it was time to go to our waiting bus. So we dashed down the passageways, ran out of the Great Pyramid, across the parking lot and into the bus which had been full and waiting with engine running for I don’t know how long. Everyone was obviously angry and as I went to my seat the lady who had earlier compared me to Jesus on the camel now icily scolded, “A lot of people have been waiting for you!” It didn’t matter. We were too high and they had missed it all.

Epilogue

I can’t say, definitely, that the ‘energy’ of the pyramid played an integral role in what happened that day. I am certain, however, that the ‘energy’ intensifies or enhances whatever is created, serves as an amplifier. I have only this small first hand experience to go by.

And the following: The next day, I broke away from Jerry and my tour bus group and returned to the Great Pyramid alone. I climbed to the King’s Chamber and found no hustlers there. I sat down in the lotus position in the very center of the room and began to meditate and chant.

Normally, when I sat in lotus position, legs crossed and spine erect, my back would begin to ache within ten minutes, twenty at the most. I would start to slump, my hands falling behind me and my legs stretching out. Usually I’d move against the wall.

This time however, the acoustics were so perfect, that I was swept up into them, with no thought of my back, and hardly aware of the steams of tourists who now remained mostly quiet and reverent as they wandered through the room. In fact, by the end of the day, when the flow of tourists had slowed to a trickle, allowing me long periods of solitude and deep concentration, I lost nearly all sensation of my body.

At last, during one of these periods, flashes of lightning streaked across my minds field of vision. My heart skipped with sudden excitement. Thoughts returned. “Was this the beginning of some transcending experience? Would I now be separated out of my body and projected through the apex of the pyramid? Could it really be possible that some how initiation was going to be given to me?”

Drunken by these thoughts, I determined to clear them from my mind, but to no avail. Anxiety had grabbed hold and I opened my eyes. What disillusionment! The ceiling lights were being flickered off and on by the old guys down at the entrance to let me know that it was closing time. I remained chanting and laughing at myself until one of them finally came up, clapped his hands, and ordered me to leave. So I left, knowing that the real transcending had occurred the day before.

It was only later that I realized I had sat erect in lotus position for three and a half hours, feeling no ache at all. If I hadn’t been told to leave, I would have continued to sit there, lifting my voice to the Heavens, in the King’s Chamber of the Great Pyramid of Cheops.

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Time alone — A love story


By Barry Kerr and Kristine Gay

Ever notice how sometimes, when alone, you long to be with someone and sometimes, with someone, you can’t wait to be alone? It’s a natural rhythm we all feel, and as with most things, requires balance. Yet, there are times in life when you can experience such a prolonged imbalance that you feel stuck.

Perhaps you are in a relationship that started well, with plenty of quality togetherness, and now togetherness has grown stale or smothering. When your partner announces a trip out of town or a trip to the store, you exhale a breath of relief, wishing it could be a longer trip. Or perhaps you’ve been living alone for a long time, and what started out feeling like refreshing freedom has now become an empty aloneness, a feeling of isolation with an endless aching for connection.

Neither of these extremes feels good and both seem to be conditioned on relationships. Yet, in the end, you are left with yourself to decide what to do about it. If you need more time alone, ultimately it is up to you to value yourself, assert your need and create time to be alone. In a relationship, you have enough control to do that — even when your partner resists.

But what if you’re already alone and feeling you have had enough? Merely asserting your need for a relationship isn’t really going to get you one. Another person has to agree to that. And lacking that other person, what then? What control and power do you have in it?

Well, there are thousands of books, seminars and websites that offer help finding a lover or partner. Some are very smart and helpful, if (and that’s a big if) you are ready. But that raises a very important question: does the aching desire for a relationship indicate readiness?

In a culture that presents relationships as the end-all and be-all in life, being alone can certainly seem like a form of poverty in which we may receive handouts of attention and affection from passersby, but are never able to feel at home with a full belly and a warm bed. Our eyes are always looking outward, searching for that one soul who will invite us in. This cultural bias actually distracts us from recognizing the positive value and inherent opportunities in being alone. The truth is, time alone, both short and prolonged, is necessary for relationship and spiritual fulfillment. But it’s not automatic. What we do with our alone time is what empowers us or not.

It’s easy to feel sorry for yourself. It’s just as easy to give up and swear off relationships, all the while secretly harboring that familiar longing for love.

A more conscious way to be alone, for an hour or for a decade, is to embrace it as a time to “know thyself.” If you haven’t been alone much this can mean exploring life so as to literally discover what you like, your values, your needs and desires. From this self-awareness, you can begin to build an honest, authentic expression of your ego and your unique, intuitive guidance system that will serve to keep you true to yourself, even in relationships.

Just as important is how to care for yourself. For fulfillment in life or relationships, you must value yourself enough to give yourself what you need and want, not dependent on others. It starts with healing and loving you. Learning how to do this well can take time — years, lifetimes. Ultimately, it’s about knowing yourself as a soul, the divine, unconditional source of love that you are.

A transformational life coach can accelerate the learning process. An experienced guide can help discern the ways you already love yourself from the ways you continue to block the flow of love and teach you tools of mindfulness and self-care.

As you feel a richness and contentment in being alone with yourself, then you are empowered and ready to follow your natural instinct to share that self with others. The more you know yourself, the more you have to share.

Barry Kerr, an evolutionary astrologer and certified life and relationship coach, and Kristine Gay, a licensed psychotherapist, own Choose Conscious Living in Madison. Both have extensive training in soul-guided, transformational healing of mind, body, heart and spiritual systems. They offer healing, coaching, therapy, mindfulness and astrology services for singles, couples and groups. For more information, visit http://www.ChooseConsciousLiving.com. Call or email for a free consultation and questions.

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Experiencing the Divine – We are all Mystics


by Barry Kerr and Kristine Gay

In everyone, there is a mystic who is longing to return to the essence and oneness of divine, unconditional love, or to put it in religious terms, come home to God. Some people experience temporary moments of such bliss. Some maintain it day to day. Some only feel the longing, not realizing the actual experience. And then there are those who deny even feeling the longing or dismiss it as a mere biological phenomenon.

Entire religions have been built around this longing, offering doctrines of belief, rules of behavior, and devotional practices to ensure one attains eternal peace. Yet, even though millions of people have submitted to such religious authority over millennia, experiences of mystical transcendence and conscious unification with spirit have been fleeting for most. Many have an awakening, followed by occasional moments of holy presence. Yet, it seems only a small minority of humans have gained the ability to incorporate this transcendent reality into their daily, moment-to-moment existence. Some consider them saints, gurus and mystic heroes.

Why is this? Why so difficult? In this physical world of time and space, we are overwhelmed with illusions of separateness: from each other, from spirit, from our own soul. This creates fear in us, and it is the fear that turns into greed, prejudice, hate, war, jealousy, envy, etc. We forget that this world is an illusion, and that death is an illusion. When we can remember that, then we can begin to access our goodness, our compassion, our generosity and our unconditional love and bring it to the forefront of our daily life perceptions and choices. It is by doing so that we create inner peace and joy and increasingly experience ourselves as spiritual beings, souls, unified as one with each other and with all that is.

When one studies the history of religions and the experiences of mystics, a few common beliefs emerge that have played a powerful role in suppressing humanity’s spiritual progress.

  • Believing that the divine (God) is out there somewhere, above us, apart from us or different than us directs our attention away from the most easily accessible avenue to it: within ourselves. This creates the ultimate illusion of separation in this physical world of illusions, and thus magnifies our fears of judgment and abandonment. Death becomes a fearful threat instead of the loving passage from one divine existence to another.
  • Believing that we are dependent on outer authorities to determine our relationship with the divine disempowers us from using our inherent and innate abilities to establish our own relationship with the divine. Such beliefs have worked pretty well for those who’ve wanted to manipulate and control us through shame, guilt and fear.
  • Believing we are inherently evil sinners or being punished by bad karma generally blocks our ability to embrace our internal expression of divine essence, as if we are unworthy. In truth, we are all inherently good. We are love. We are the divine. We are part of God, the creator, or whatever term works for you.

Getting past these old beliefs is not as easy as it sounds. We hold our beliefs at many levels of our being, not just mentally. That is why so many people who think they are beyond these limiting ideas still struggle to find real, ongoing joy in their lives. It requires healing or releasing of deep emotional patterns and energies. Historically, few have had access to teachers and tools to do this. Instead, most people have turned to alcohol, drugs, dogmas and other addictions that substitute for real spiritual joy or repress the pain of the longing.

Fortunately, we live in a time of freedom, when masses of people have learned to heal and grow in self-empowered ways and can teach others to do the same. It’s become a worldwide phenomenon. Many psychotherapists have joined with energy healers, astrologers, yogis, transformational coaches and others in offering services to those who are ready to learn, heal and grow. It’s what we are all here to do. It’s what we’ve always been longing for, even when we didn’t know it. Mystical union with the divine while still in human form is not only real; it’s our destiny. We need only let go of the illusions. Are you ready?

Barry Kerr, an evolutionary astrologer and certified life and relationship coach, and Kristine Gay, a licensed psychotherapist, own Choose Conscious Living in Madison. Both have extensive training in soul-guided healing of mind, body, heart and spiritual systems. They offer healing, coaching, therapy, mindfulness and astrology services for singles, couples and groups. For more information, visit www.ChooseConsciousLiving.com.  Call for a free consultation and questions.

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The Art of Belonging


by Barry Kerr and Kristine Gay

Do you ever feel like a “stranger in a strange land”? Given all the craziness on planet Earth, it might be comforting to know you don’t belong here, like maybe you come from a more functional alien planet. That would explain everything, right? Yet, even if that were true, you’d still be feeling a bit alone, like an outsider who doesn’t belong.

It’s a common feeling for most of us, one that comes and goes. Even surrounded by friends and family we can feel alienated and alone. The goodhearted intentions of those around us just don’t seem to meet the deep and meaningful connections for which we long. This can show up in any number of ways. A political conversation can feel flat and go awry because the other people seem to lack a vision for what is possible and become pessimistic. We might share a deep and personal spiritual insight with a close friend or family member, only to find they cannot comprehend it, or perhaps even dismiss it. It typically involves choosing to keep a positive mood and conscious outlook when those around you fall into cynicism, blame and complaint.

For those of us striving to spiritually grow and evolve and apply our life lessons to change the day-to-day quality of our lives, the above experiences can happen frequently; it’s inherent to being in this world. However, there comes a time to notice whether these types of life flattening non-connections with those around us have become the dominant norm in our life. Do our dear old, lifelong friends and family really “see” us anymore? Or do we have to sort of step down the frequency of our thoughts and feelings in order to maintain some kind of familiar bond? Would they tolerate us if we expressed who we really authentically are?

It’s a basic principle of human energy dynamics that people who think more positive thoughts and choose more self-responsible feelings tend to unintentionally provoke discomfort in less positive people around them. Misery loves company, they say. And one of the ways our culture buys into that notion is by confusing compassion and empathy with collusion and commiseration. Most of us were taught that to be a good friend or loved one means that when our friend is whining and complaining, our role is to join in. Try offering an enlightened and consciousness-raising perspective at such a time and we’re likely to be accused of not caring or worse, being a traitor. We’ve probably all been on either side of that equation and an occasional lapse can be harmless. However, when it becomes an ongoing pattern that defines the relationship(s), perhaps it’s time to question the relationship. Does it serve either party anymore?

Virtually everyone who journeys toward living more consciously is going to reach one or more times in life when we have to question all of our closest relationships. If we are to take charge of the quality of our life, we must be willing to let go of or diminish all of our closest relationships. Family may require some contact, but we must redefine and create new boundaries. Friends, on the other hand, are our family of choice, so it’s up to us to choose. It doesn’t require an absolute end. We can continue to love and care about our people, just not give them as much time and attention. If we still spend some time with them, but remain true to our self, they may lose interest in spending more time with us. Happily, sometimes old friends and family grow in the same direction as we do, and the relationship evolves.

Making these powerful choices is really the best way to love and respect others. Sometimes it feels sad to end relationships, but when we do it, we open ourselves to new ones, and if we are then living our lives more authentically, more consciously, we attract similar souls. With these news friends, we share a common vision and thus feel more seen, more understood. As we surround ourselves with kindred spirits, we begin to feel once again that we belong, perhaps still in a strange world, but not as a stranger.

Barry Kerr, an evolutionary astrologer and certified life and relationship coach, and Kristine Gay, a licensed psychotherapist, own Choose Conscious Living in Madison. Both have extensive training in soul-guided healing of mind, body, heart and spiritual systems. They offer healing, coaching, therapy, mindfulness and astrology services for singles, couples and groups. For more information, visit http://www.ChooseConsciousLiving.com. Call for a free consultation and questions.

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