What You Really Choose When You Don’t Choose Love

Energy from the perspective of your soul is very different than energy from the perspective of your five senses. Spiritual growth requires understanding the differences between these two perspectives.

From the perspective of the five senses, energy is the ability to do work, to get things done. The more energy you have, the more things you can accomplish. The important questions from this perspective are: How much energy do you have? Are you getting enough sleep? Worrying too much? Do you need more vitamins? Are your mitochondria healthy? People who worry about these things go to physicians, nutritionists and psychologists to get more energy. They don’t want to be sleepy or tired. The problem is physical or psychological. The cure is medicine or psychotherapy.

Romantic couple relaxing in tropical hammock at sunset, Shallow

From the perspective of your soul, the important question is not how much energy you have, but what kind of energy you have. There are only two kinds of energy. Of course, anger, jealousy, resentment, stress, cravings, addictions and compulsions feellike different energies. Each creates its own kind of physical sensations in your body (they hurt) and acting on each creates a particular kind of consequence (destructive and painful). They appear to be different energies, but they are actually different experiences of one kind of energy: fear.

The other kind of energy is love. Different experiences of love can also feel like different energies, for example, appreciation, gratitude, patience, awe of Life and contentment. Each of these also comes with its own physical sensations in your body (they feel good) and acting on each creates a particular kind of consequence (health and joyfulness). So, even though these experiences feel like different energies, they are actually different experiences of one kind of energy: love.

couple heterosexual in love studio shot

Now the story becomes even more interesting. Some experiences of fear can appear to be experiences of love. For example, romantic love. You long for someone (painful), try to influence this person (painful) and, at last, attract him or her into your life (feels wonderful), but intense pain follows immediately when he or she leaves, dies or falls in love with someone else. The entire drama is created by fear appearing to you as love. This drama is painful and destructive because none of it is love. Love cannot produce pain or destruction.

There are many examples of fear appearing as love. Chaplains, clergy, hospice workers, medical-care professionals and numerous others may appear to be loving, and yet not act consistently from love. Some may act in order to feel better about themselves — to create a desirable self-image, for example, as a caring, patient, philanthropic or altruistic person. When their efforts are not appreciated or are rejected, they feel disappointed (pain), unappreciated (pain) or abused (pain), then resentment (pain) grows until it becomes anger (pain).

xYoung beautiful couple flirting and having fun on beach

When the bottom-line, bedrock, can’t-go-any-deeper reason for an action is to benefit another, the energy beneath your action is love. When the bottom-line, bedrock, can’t-go-any-deeper reason for action is to benefit yourself, the energy beneath your action is fear. Only you can know your real intention, and you may not know it unless you have the courage and commitment to look for it and find it.

There is more energy in love than in fear. You might say it is the highest-octane fuel available. (Not love for this person or that person—love for everyone; love for Life; love for the Earth school and everything in it.) Ram Dass once told me, smiling happily, “I love you. I love her. I love this table. I love the floor. I am in an ocean of love.” Most of us, on the other hand, live in an ocean of fear.

Love is tireless, healing and inexhaustible. It brings people together. It is powerful beyond measure. It is the Great Compassion that Buddhists speak about. It is the “love that surpasses all understanding” that Christians talk about.

Have you thought about energy this way? Have you ever looked at the things you do and say and asked yourself, “Am I doing this from love, or am I doing this from fear?” This is the most important question you can ask yourself because it brings you to the most important choice you can make: the choice between love an fear. Not only is this choice possible, it is the choice you were born to make each moment. Choosing to act with love no matter what is happening inside you (such as painful experiences of fear) and around you (such as a national or international crisis) is creating authentic power. Creating authentic power depends on your choice. Choosing fear almost always happens unconsciously. Choosing love always happens consciously.

Gary Zukav is the author of
The Seat of the Soul and you can find more about his work here.


Curated by Erbe

Original Article

How Standing Rock Showed Me How to Love

In case you haven’t heard, thousands of activists have assembled in Standing Rock, North Dakota.

[Image: @OcetiCampNews]
[Image: @OcetiCampNews]
People from all over the world have joined in solidarity to stop disaster from occurring. Police brutality, illegal arrests and harsh weather have caused extensive damage and heartbreak. In spite of all their obstacles, the people of Standing Rock are more determined than ever to save their water. It’s inspiring, and heartbreaking.

I wanted to help. So, I went. I expected, at the very least, to be depressed by what I found there. But I was very wrong. The circumstances that brought this community together were certainly unfortunate, but the love I found there was unprecedented. Standing Rock has changed my life, in nearly every aspect. The way I organize and lead, how I approach my relationships, and how I see myself – it’s all shifted in a better direction. My goal in going was to give, but in doing so, I received some truly wonderful gifts.

“I’ve rarely seen so much love, gratitude, determination, resilience,” Jane Fonda said after a recent visit.  I agree, wholeheartedly.

Standing Rock taught me more about love than anywhere else I’ve been on Earth. It is with deep gratitude that I share these things with the LoveTV community, and I hope that readers take them to heart.

Here are a few concepts I learned from the elders and community of Standing Rock, that apply directly to love. You can use these ideas to improve your own life, wherever you are – and trust me, the positive effects will be contagious. Feel free to try out one (or all!) of the challenges I’ve shared here. Let us know what happens in the comments, below.

  1. Community is everything. Seek it out.

To “commune” is to participate in intimate communication with another person or group. At Standing Rock, a group of thousands collaborated in creating a conscious community. Coming from Los Angeles, I was initially uncomfortable with trusting a total stranger to help me pitch a tent. In less than a day, however, I was the stranger offering help to countless others.

The difference between isolation and community is simply showing up. At Standing Rock, thousands united with a common goal. This manifested in prayer, discussion, action and co-creation. It’s easier to love yourself when you’re part of something bigger, and community is available wherever you are.

Community challenge:

Find your tribe. Go on a walk with friends once a week. Call your out of state relatives and offer support. Allow yourself to be needed. You’ll be impressed by the results.

  1. Gratitude is love’s strongest muscle. Use it.

At Standing Rock, we were on sacred ground. Prayer was happening everywhere, whether it was chanting around a sacred fire, dancing beneath the stars, meditating in silence, or simply putting in a day’s work. An atmosphere of gratitude penetrated every aspect of life at camp.

Prayer is gratitude, expressed. That’s it! Whether you’re thankful to a higher power, or you’re just glad the world is spinning – express it. Gratitude is as much for your benefit as it is theirs.

For me, saying “thank you” is the quickest shortcut to deeper connection. By looking a friend, partner, or stranger in the eye and offering the gift of gratitude, you’re consciously saying ‘I’m here.’ That’s love, in the purest sense.

Gratitude challenge:

Offer gratitude to someone in your life. Whether it’s a quick text, email, or delivered face-to-face, tell them why you appreciate them. Did a friend send you a note that made your day? Did your doctor give you excellent care a few months back? Tell them! Pay attention to how it makes you feel, and how they respond. Repeat this the next day, and the next – until gratitude comes easily. Notice how your world improves.

  1. The goal of debate should be finding agreement. Argue with this in mind.

Standing Rock is a resistance camp, but their goal is peaceful resolution. At one demonstration, activists thanked the police for their presence, even after some of us had been maced and beaten. This gratitude was genuine, because police had honored us by being present. Even if neither side “won” that day, conflict was diminished by searching for agreement. That, in itself, is a win.

At another gathering, #NoDAPL activists were peacefully protesting with signs in hand. Across the street, an angry mob of #ProDAPL protestors began screaming at the indigenous people gathered there. I approached them, peacefully. It took some time to get them to stop yelling, but once they did, I asked them why they were protesting. Surprisingly, our opposition wanted a lot of the same things we did. If this were a talking circle, where we all tried to find agreement, there would be no need for signs, pepper spray or riot gear.

The truth is, conflict doesn’t always have two sides. People often fight over different versions of the same basic needs. The Standing Rock Sioux (and their Native American allies) have made agreement a priority in resolving conflict. This same tactic can be applied to domestic arguments, family disagreements, and diffusing hostility from opposing views.

Agreement Challenge:

Think of an unresolved conflict in your life. Do you and your partner disagree on a specific issue? Is your family politically split? Try removing your need to be “right” from the equation, and entertain perspectives on both sides. Exploring why people feel the way they do often says more than the feelings themselves. Is there one thing that you can all agree on? That thing might be your one-way ticket to resolving the conflict, once and for all.

  1. Love is more important than anything else in your life. Take good care of it.

At Standing Rock, everyone had one goal in mind: save the water. This goal was aligned with each person’s core values and their love for the planet, themselves, and each other. It was love! That’s what was most important.

In this extreme environment, nobody cared what my day job was. Nobody asked how much money I had. Love required my heart, my focus, and a pair of helping hands. That’s it.

Relationships are as important as you make them. Prioritizing love (for yourself, others, and the world) is more crucial to your mental and spiritual well being than all the money in the world.

Love challenge:

Perform some acts of love today, whenever opportunities present themselves. Open a door for someone, write a thoughtful note, offer a compliment or a thank you. You have no idea how big the impact will be until you try it.

Standing Rock is everywhere. It lives in every act of love, every grateful thought, and every positive action. I will carry these truths with me always.

I hope that you will, too.

Using Goddess Energy…In Bed

Giving zero care about what your body looks like. Game?

No matter where you identify across the gender spectrum, conscious connection with divine feminine energy can be a powerful practice in love and sex. This can be as simple as imagining yourself with goddess-like qualities, invoking the deity herself in loving ritual, or even engaging in full-on role-play with your partner. If the natural order of magic is love…the natural order of love is magic. Your inner goddess is waiting to be freed…so choose your energy wisely!

Here are five tips for using Goddess Energy in bed.

1. Discover the Divine in You.

Which Goddess do you identify with? This can change from day to day, depending on your mood. For myself, there is one multi-dimensional goddess in particular that helps in all occasions. What matters most is how you feel, so find what’s right for you.

Here are a few ancient archetypes that might get your imagination going…but keep in mind: these are only four of thousands of options.

– Aphrodite:

One of the most popular of the ancient love deities, Aphrodite is the Greek goddess of love, beauty, pleasure and sex. The Romans knew her as Venus. Worshippers invoked her for all things seduction. Fine art depicting Aphrodite’s famous curves is everywhere. Even the word “aphrodisiac” was derived from her name. It’s safe to say that Aphrodite is the O.G. of all things love.

Element: Water / Colors: Pink, Red, Gold, Seafoam Green / Mineral: Rose Quartz / Aphrodisiacs: Pomegranates, Chocolate, Roses, Perfume