Friday, March 21, 2008


Moving forward often demands that we live lost, knowingly surrendering our attachment to who we think we are, voluntarily stumbling around in the dark with little to guide us. Growing is all about leaps into the seeming unknown.

If there was one skill that I could not have done without on the journey of transformation, it was my (learned) capacity to befriend my confusion. As certain parts died, other parts invariably came to life. Before the transition was complete, there was a time, often a long time, when all of these parts were pressing up against me at the same time. In Soulshaping, I refer to this in-between phase as a "spiritual emergingcy"- that state of confusion and inner tumult that arises when a new pathway is forcing its way into consciousness, prior to its full emergence and integration. The bridge from one side to the other is confusion. You have to learn how to hold the space for all of your parts simultaneously and befriend your confusion, until clarity emerges on its own terms.

Unfortunately, befriending our confusion is difficult to hold to in a linear world. Those that walk the path of uncertainty are frequently characterized as flakes, drifters, and, ironically, lost souls. Nowhere in society are we taught to distinguish growth-full from aimless confusion, madness from truth aches, nervous breakdowns from nervous breakthroughs, habitual crisis from spiritual emergingcies. Confusion is sadly stigmatized as the mark of the "loser" without regard for the fact that one cannot come to know anything without first surrendering to the not knowing.

Our state of confusion often arises in the context of careers and relationships: Why do I hate my job? What are my callings? Who do I love? When we begin questioning our choices, many resistant voices float to the surface- the voices of habit and fear, internalized judgments, well-entrenched defenses. These voices reflect the survivalist stage of the collective unconscious and the world. Although progress has been made on many levels, most of us are still making our primary choices as to path through a survivalist lens, with a vigilant eye to what is most practical, safe and materially satisfying.

When we step out of this framework, when we make a move toward a more soul-full idea of success, we are opening the door to confusion, at least at first. The voices of the world arise within us in an effort to sweep away the whispers of a deeper truth. The desire to quit our unfulfilling job and find our callings is met with neurotic images of poverty. The longing to find a genuine soul-mate is overwhelmed with images of eternal aloneness. And then we are confronted with a choice- turn back to familiar harbors, or let the inner battle wage. Play it safe, or see it through...

Seeing it through is no easy feat. You will need support. You will have to be determined. You will need to work hard to identify the voices that are attempting to obstruct your transition. They will come in many difficult and credible forms, often disguised as your friends. You will have to patiently expand your capacity to sit in the 'not knowing' in ways that nobody ever taught you. And you may even have to hold to a state that feels a little mad now and then, as different aspects of your inner world come into conflict. You will have to become an expert at surrender.

But if you can see it all the way through, you will be rewarded. You will know a measure of soul-satisfaction that you will never know on a false path. You will see through different eyes and feel at peace in your soul-skin. You will not have to ask the universe for what you need because the door to humanifestation will open wide as the universe rewards you for your courage. You will know a remarkably enriched reality.

In the words of my dear friend and guide, Little Missy, "Welcome your confusion as a friend who has come from far away to bring you home. Be open to it. Keep it close."

Thursday, March 6, 2008


Bringing our lessons through takes more than awareness. It is an active process that demands a courageous willingess to live our experiences right through to completion. This means staying with our feelings until they are truly done with us, no matter how uncomfortable they are. Although we may not see it at first, there is a method to our sadness.

Oftentimes we distract ourselves out of the learning, particularly when the feelings are painful. We all know people like this. We have all been people like this. We choose not to get the hint. We ignore our grumbles and truth aches at all costs. If we don't break the habit, we just come back the next time with the same lessons waiting in the wings.

The body is far more than a vessel for the soul. It is the field where the soul's lessons are harvested. It is the breeding ground for the soul's emergence. In order to grow forward, we must bring our suffering through our emotional body until our spiritual lessons are birthed. We must cell our soul.

The recipe is simple. Be authentic and true to your felt experience. Feel the heartbreak. Feel the anger. Feel all of your feelings. If you had a cruel father, move your anger and feel into the heartbreak below. If you lose a loved one, go through all the stages of grieving. Don't stop halfway, never stop halfway. Let the feelings tell you if the fire was destructive or benevolent. Some fires are creating the way for new life.

Be careful not to go into your head. Unless your knowing arises from your felt experience, it is meaningless. Stay with the emotional process until your soul food is digested. It will be difficult at times, but the feelings will only hurt until they convert. Repressed emotions are unactualized spiritual lessons. Once they make it all the way through the conversion tunnel, the lesson will be revealed...

Monday, February 18, 2008


I went for a walk today through places I used to know when I was apprenticing with Eddie Greenspan to become a criminal lawyer. As I walked, I remembered the Jeff that existed then. I remembered how he walked (quickly!), how he breathed (barely), how he framed the moment (egoically). I remembered what it felt like to inhabit another way of being.

I sat down near the courthouse to breathe into myself, to connect to who I was now. Such a different inner world, such a different lens. Back then I had no body, or at least no felt experience of it. I knew it was down there, working hard to push my head from one achievement to another, but I couldn't really feel it. I was all mind, all will, all knowing.

Yet now I could feel my heart beating, feel the rain falling on my head, notice when I felt cold and wanted to go inside. "I" was something more than cerebral constructs and brilliant strategies. I-body. I-soul.

I wondered what had carried me from one identity to another. What was the first step on the Soulshaping journey?

I sat with it and I remembered. The first step was the 'little voice that knows.' I called mine Little Missy, but the name didn't matter. The intention is what mattered. This little voice carried a karmic blueprint for my destiny and whispered sweet somethings in my ear whenever I dared to walk a false-path. I heard it when I was planning a law practice, in the wrong relationship, sitting in traffic on the way to work: "No, not that way Jeffrey...walk this way." Although it came through in hints and whispers, it had an odd sense of authority to it. A distant flute with the energy of a symphony.

Of course I didn't want to hear it. I wanted to be a lawyer and make my family proud. I wanted the illusion of economic security. I wanted to join the world after years on the outside. I wanted to eat lunch at the Law Society and get as far away as possible from where I came from, all those nagging memories of poverty and pain. The ego has such a wonderful way of erasing the past (if only for a moment....)

But the little voice persevered- dark nights of the soul, truth aches, agitation and despair. It knew who lived inside of me, and it refused to let me quit on him. It knew everything that mattered.

I would like to begin this blogging journey by honoring the 'little voice that knows'. We all have one, and it is the best friend we will ever have. Only now do I realize how much mine loved me.