How to Cultivate Holiday Compassion for Your Family and Soul Destinies 2009!
Exciting News for 2009!
Hey Everyone! Wow, it's been a long time since you've heard from me and please accept my apologies. I thought I'd drop you a line of guidance just in time for the Holidays and reconnect with all of you. Things have been very busy here at Ohotto.com as we wrap up 2008 with many exciting things planned for 2009! I'll be back in a week or so to tell you all about the various things we are developing for next year, but for now I'm happy to announce that we are launching Soul Destinies in March of 2009.
Soul Destinies Weekend Intensives
Through this program, based on my work with Intuitive-Archetypal Astrology, you'll discover what it means to perceive your purpose with new coordinates of soul. Using your personal astrological birth chart, we'll unveil your Soul's Agreements as I introduce you to your own personal archetypes of Destiny. I'll also teach you how to perceive the larger cosmic archetypal cycles which direct your purpose. You'll also learn how to access your own intuition, understand the anatomy of your psyche, work with your Shadow, identify and break cultural spells, transform your family legacy and honor your soul's grace. Most important, you'll be empowered to honor that which is most unique about you, that which you came to give to others. Only then can you perceive beyond the purpose your ego would like to live out and glimpse at your soul's true creative task.
This first intensive workshop is open to everyone, but space is limited as are accommodation preferences. I have consciously chosen to keep the number of participants capped at 70 people as I have found the alchemy of such intense inner discovery and transformation is best served in smaller group dynamics. Please enroll early to secure your ideal spot!
The first weekend intensive in March serves as a pre-requisite to the next two consecutive workshops in the three part series. At the end of the Soul Destinies program, not only will you have acquired the personal tools to engage a more satisfying expression of your life's purpose, but you'll also be poised to enroll in my 2010 professional certification program for Intuitive-Archetypal Astrology. Graduating from this subsequent year-long program not only includes my personal endorsement and certification, but also includes a professional link from my website for client referral.
Join us for:
Soul Destinies, Part I on March 12-15, 2009.
Soul Destinies, Part II on May 7-May 10, 2009
Soul Destinies, Part III on October 15th-18th, 2009
This is a three part intensive course I've designed to help you discover a more powerful way to live your life's purpose. Registration is now open and we are already half full for the first weekend in March, so if you're interested in securing a spot right away please visit my website www.ohotto.com for more information or click on the above promo.
Cultivating Holiday Compassion for Your Family
To expand your capacity for Holiday Cheer, I thought it would be great to put something together that speaks to family patterns, compassion, and healthy boundaries with family members. Whether or not you're going home for the holidays, this newsletter is about how you can have compassion in your heart for family members you might not get along with so easily, those you may be estranged from, as well as the ones you love and enjoy. But before we dive in, let's first talk about the family psyche, what it is and how it works.
The Family Psyche
In my work as an intuitive (and also through working with astrology as a tool within that) I've really discovered some fascinating dynamics about family patterning and how we're all connected in a giant matrix of energy that we'll call the family psyche.
At some point in our lives, most of us can relate to experiencing resistance from family members when we've tried to move into a new state of empowerment, get healthier, or even when we've attempted to break bad relationship patterns. Who among us hasn't had someone in our family try to sabotage our evolution toward greater potential in life? For example, have you ever gotten flack from someone else in your family for setting a new boundary or making a decision on your own? Or been sabotaged to keep you from changing? I'm sure we all have and it begs the question: 'Why does that happen?' Furthermore, why do we find that these dynamics are often very pronounced when we go home for the holidays? What brings that on?
To begin answering that, I'd like you to see the family psyche through my eyes for a moment. Intuitively I perceive it as a web of energy or like being connected to the Internet with each family member acting as a satellite computer. And if you shift something in your 'software' program, the change gets transmitted to the other computers on the network and transforms the way you connect to them. Not only that, but it changes your family members as well. This is why they resist our changing, because it also changes them!
Before we're born, we make agreements with the Universe to incarnate into these family systems as a necessity so that we can live out a human journey and explore creation here. So, although it's hard to absorb at times, and even though we all have issues that occasionally come up with family members, we must remember that they actually are in our lives as a Fate we must transform to Destiny.
In other words, once you arrive on the planet, you can't suddenly decide, 'You know what? I don't particularly like this family I've been born into or adopted by. In fact I think I'll redo my Cosmic Contract and get a different one!' It's too late folks, it's a done deal! This is your Family Fate and it comes with both literal DNA and psychic DNA to boot. So, what we get, then, is the option of how we're going to work creatively with family patterns and dynamics - this is our Family Destiny.
Family Roles and Psychic DNA
Right away, as soon as we're born we incarnate into a role for the family psyche and are allotted a function within its energy system. For example, it's very common among my clients that they've been scapegoats to the family, meaning they're the ones that everyone thought was the 'black sheep'.
Being the scapegoat goes deeper than just being the 'bad child'. At the level of a soul contract what is really going on is that everyone else in the family is projecting their shadow onto the scapegoated child who has forged a soul agreement to take on the shadow for the entire family (crazy right?).
Furthermore, I must say that to take on the Scapegoat or Bad Child archetype for the family psyche is an enormous contract because it often means that you are working out the unfinished business of the family legacy that has been generations in the making! What your soul decided when it signed up was, 'I'm going to go into that family, and I'm going to incarnate into the structure of it to shift it because I have the stamina and consciousness as a soul to do it.'
That said, I bet all of you Scapegoats out there are seriously wanting out of your Cosmic Contract especially when it's the Holidays! Believe me, I too feel your pain..lol. But embracing your Family Fate from a soulful perspective of it being a contract can offer just enough detachment such that true compassion for family members can begin.
In addition to the Scapegoat, I've also seen people absorb addictions through family legacies so that the other siblings don't have to work it out for themselves. The study of the family structure, its collective psyche and how these patterns work is very fascinating to me and there's so much more to say because it's through our cosmic contracts that we step into family dynamics as a Fate.
Destiny, on the other hand, begins with creating new patterns through new and choices sourced from greater awareness and empowerment-and you need both! You need empowerment so that you actually have some backbone to stand up for the Self, for your own individual worth. You also have to have awareness, which is the consciousness that enables you to wield that power with any wisdom.
The journey of life calls you to increasingly acquire both of those elements . . . and to reveal them, as far as I'm concerned. Only then do you get the option to make different choices out of the Fate and family patterning that has been given to you as a legacy. And this legacy is just as real as your physical DNA.
What did you inherit from your father? What did you inherit from your mother? We might traditionally call this the sins of the ancestors, and we've had different names for it in the past, but it's the same idea. It's what I call the psychic DNA of the family and it directs the unfolding of your self-concept and your path of Destiny--your purpose--in the same way your physical DNA literally creates your biology and directs your health and wellness. So in addition to compassion, what else do we need to reshape our psychic DNA from our family line?
Acceptance & The Victim Archetype
Acceptance is one of the first tools I mention in my book Transforming Fate into Destiny. You have to accept situations as they are and at the level at which they meet you before you'll be able to do anything with them. It's only through acceptance that you can get enough detachment to see the irony of family dynamics-even when they feel the most brutally personal, from the level of what your soul's doing with them, family dynamics couldn't be more impersonal!
When the soul steps into this family energy field, it's saying, 'I'm going to work through this stuff, so thanks mom and dad. This is going to give me the tools to engage, embrace, and move my life forward in ways that allow me to do what I came to this planet to do, which is to serve other people and, hopefully, to raise the bar of consciousness here.'
So, as we go deeper into these themes regarding the family psyche and compassion, there are other archetypes we must include. First we have to examine the Victim Archetype when it comes to our families. At some point most of us have thought to ourselves that it wasn't fair of the Universe to give us such a crazy family. We might feel victimized by our family and ask: 'What was my soul thinking? Why did I choose an abusive or alcoholic father or a mother who would abandon me or one who would criticize me?'
These sorts of issues have to be engaged through your Victim archetype. And this is where stepping into the soul becomes all the more urgent because the soul doesn't see these concerns in terms of victimization, at least not in my experience of what I know about the soul. The Victim thinks in terms 'fair' and 'unfair' and 'You've done me wrong,' or 'I shouldn't have gotten this lot in life.'
You could certainly stay there and think that way, but it's not going to help anything in your life move forward. It's not going to help you change your path of empowerment or your psychic and relational dynamics with your family. But the Victim isn't the only archetype that holds the key to compassion for family members during the Holidays. After the Victim, we have to look at the Child Archetype.
The Child Archetype
As soon as you begin confronting parents in any shape or form to reconcile a rotten childhood, you are in your Child Archetype. When you're coming from that point of view of whatever's been wounded, whatever's been abandoned and whatever's been done to you, and that's going to evoke your Child too.
If you watch yourself--because here's how archetypes work--you'll hear yourself speaking the language of that archetype. With the Child you'll speak in terms of feeling abandoned, scared, and fearful of not being able to survive. The language starts to manifest through whatever archetype you're working with.
For example, the Victim says, 'This isn't fair,' and the Abandoned Child's going to say, 'I'm scared you're going to abandon me.' So you'll want to watch yourself within family dynamics because the primary fear of the Child Archetype that needs to be embraced when working with family patterns is abandonment. And that's the real key to getting into a compassionate state. (Stick with me here, folks, because I'm soon going to give you a new perspective and definition for compassion.)
Children will lie to Social Services to stay in homes where they are abused most of the time because abandonment is our primal childhood fear. And notably so because, for most of us, the only source of survival we've known as children were our parents. And to a child, parents or primary guardians are mythic; they're huge! So, when you get into a state of negotiating transformation within your family psyche, you're going to have to work with your fear of abandonment and interrogate that fear.
No matter what happens in your life, the fundamental truth of what it means to be a human is that anyone and anything can abandon you. Your job can abandon you, your spouse can abandon you, your belief system can abandon you, and yes your parents can abandon you. But how often do we forget that the one person we can be gauranteed doesn't have to abandon us -- ourselves! Yet, how often do we abandon ourselves, whether it's through our addictions, our negativity or our lack of belief in ourselves? We're constantly abandoning ourselves right, left and center when it's the one thing we have control over.
In terms of empowering yourself first and foremost within family dynamics, the goal is in learning how to self-parent and not abandon yourself. None of us had ideal family backgrounds or perfect parents. It just doesn't exist on the planet. And even if we had wonderful parents, there's still going to be something that didn't quite fit our own personal needs in ways only we are capable of doing. And meeting our own needs requires an immense amount of responsibility that says, 'I'm not going to be a victim and child anymore, I'm going to step into my empowerment and parent myself.'
I've noticed that people who've learned how to self-parent in a way that keeps them from abandoning themselves seem to feel 'at home' and safe anywhere in life. These are the people who can go into any environment and know that, while anything could happen that's outside of their control, what they can control is their ability to not abandon themselves. And because of that, they know they're going to be okay.
You can probably think of a few people who have been able to maintain that level of consciousness; it looks like they've got a calmness and sense of safety around them that acts like an energy field you want to blanket yourself in! You feel at home in their presence. And that's what I'd like to counsel everyone to strive for--especially around the holidays!
It's about being responsible for the soul's agenda and saying, 'You know, my soul chose this family background, this family dynamic, and I've gotta go forward with that awareness and standpoint in place so that I can speak to my folks, not as my parents necessarily, but as human beings with a soul contract and a journey in this life just like me.' When you are able to bridge into that kind of understanding, which is a fantastic place to be, it reshapes the way you relate to your parents. And this is the birthing of authentic compassion within your family dynamic!
Authentic Compassion vs Co-dependent Compassion
So now we must talk about compassion. In my experience most people define compassion as the capacity to say 'yes' all the time to everyone's needs and extend unconditional empathy toward others. I define this as co-dependent compassion because it's about being dependent on and feeling responsible for the emotions of others. Not only is this type of compassion an eclipsing of your own well-being and empowerment, but it's also an addiction to other people. On top of that, when your compassion is co-dependent, it's actually the product of an ego level of narcissism because what you're looking for in that situation is validation outside of yourself...which is never going to make you feel better.
There's a difference between ego narcissism and soul narcissism. Soul narcissism is about being centered in the Self. It's when you're operating from your core and you're realizing your worth without negotiating it away through your relationships-even with family members. But narcissism at the ego level exists when we self-focus through a sense of inadequacy in a way that flares up the negative side of the Child archetype, which also brings in the Victim and these other dynamics. All of these elements matter greatly when we look at how we relate to our families and develop compassion. Authentic compassion stems from empowerment and knowing your worth and actually has within it the capacity to say 'no' to someone if saying 'yes' diminishes your self-regard at the soul level of who you are.
The etymological root of the word compassion means to encompass, so when you think about compassion, think about the act of encompassing things. A perfect illustration of this is demonstrated in Buddhist philosophy. When Buddhists talk about compassion, they're asking, 'How much can you encompass in your consciousness and not judge and yet identify with? How much can you take in? Can you take in the prostitute? Can you truly have compassion for the pedophile? The thief? Yourself?' Furthermore, quite often when we draw that circle of compassion for others, we're not even in it! We stand outside our own circle of non-judgment and love.
When you put yourself outside of your own circle of compassion, you're not standing in your own authenticity. And that's when we enter into co-dependent compassion, and we find ourselves wanting to control our family members and engaging in power struggles when we go back home. When we're not authentic, we fight for validation and a sense of worth. And if you stay at that level of fighting for it--trying to get that sense of validation or trying to make someone change--you're going to be miserable. That's what the Buddhists call the root of suffering.
Constant grasping for control isn't healthy for good family dynamics because you'll never, ever be responsible for changing someone else. That's not the way spiritual laws work. You're responsible for living in congruence and authenticity with your own soul's code.
So, while stepping into your family dynamic can be complicated and complex, remember that having compassion for your loved ones doesn't mean you're always saying 'yes' to enabling their negative behaviors or shadow dancing with them.
What compassion for family members is really about is having the capacity to say yes to you and to them while occupying a space of detachment such that you can see them as individuals who have their own human journey and cosmic contracts to fulfill.
Keep in mind that they've got the same kinds of struggles and fears that we all have. In fact, you're connected to those struggles and fears through the family psyche. Your task is to learn how to work with them in ways that affirm you.
It's my hope that keeping authentic compassion in your awareness as you're home for the holidays will allow you to transform some of that Family Fate into Family Destiny!
I hope you have a fantastic holiday and a great New Year, everybody! Love your family members, be with them and embrace them and yourself in authentic compassion. I will be back next week with a final word for 2008!
In the meantime, feel free to email your comments to me at Robert@ohotto.com, I love hearing from you.
Namaste and Happy Holidays!