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Habits for a luminous life, part 2

Hi dear one, my friend

Ready for part 2?

{If you missed ‘em here are Habits for a luminous life, Part 1}

I’m still musing on whether to call these habits …

Maybe signposts. Those waymarkings that let you know which direction to point yourself to get where you want to go and experience what would be most precious along the way.

Maybe guardrails. That hug you to your unique path and help you from free-falling over the precipice as you risk and try and reach and stretch.

Maybe reminders, tickling you back to what you know is most true and helping you gather the most wisdom in your berry basket of life.

Either way, here are habits #6-11 …

6. To feel better, get better at feeling.

As I see it, the Olympic-level training that most of us received from culture, family, movies, ad slogans, and motivational speakers to “just do it” — to push through pain, to triumph over weakness, and to look good even if you feel like crap — might work in some situations some of the time, but is actually pretty sh!tty advice for life.

For the most part, running from painful feelings, whether emotional, physical, or spiritual, doesn’t only not work that well, it usually makes things worse. 

Here’s an alternative to avoiding, pathologizing, or numbing to pain: listen.

Listen, when you previously stuck your fingers in your ears. Let pain wash over you, when you previously ran for cover. Open to vulnerability, when you previously armored up. 

All of which requires of you its own kind of badass strength.

When we get better at feeling our feelings, then especially in the places in our lives and bodies/hearts/minds/souls where we’ve felt the worst, we feel better.

{Read full article about feeling all of it.} 

7. What goes down must come up.

Leaves fall down, sprouts spring up.

What we bury in the basements of our psyches, can grow beautiful in the light of our understanding.

We ourselves fall down — or life falls down around us — and we too will rise up.

We are forever connected to the fertile, regenerative cycle of death and rebirth that confronts us, strips us, and composts us, and then inevitably germinates us, grows us, and births us anew.

Sometimes, time-passing or teeth-gritting, is enough: the ordeal eventually lets up and you can get up.

But sometimes, just enduring just isn’t enough.

Often, the part of you that goes down into a dark time is not the same part that gets you out.

Sometimes, it is your relationship to the ordeal, it is your attitude toward the pain, it is who you are required to become while you are down, that allows you to rise up.

Dear one, we go up, we go down. Repeat. Rinse. Repeat.

Going down isn’t a failing; it’s a turn of the wheel, inviting us again and again to shed outdated ideas of ourselves and then to rise up again into the next fertile version of ourselves and our lives.

{Read more about falling down & getting up.

8. Your hunger is holy.

My friend, you may be wary about lifting the lid of your hunger and letting your longing loose in the world. Aren’t your desires the very things that limit your awareness, dumb down your human potential, lead you astray, and propel you compulsively toward pleasure one moment and away from pain the next? 

Not necessarily. 

Heeding your hunger is not the same thing as compulsion, addiction, or unconscious consumption, though many people mistakenly confuse them.

It is not your hungers themselves that are the problem. It is the restrictions, cages, and taboos that are assigned to our hungers that cause the problems.

Steward your desires, yes. Learn their powers, yes. Wield those powers with care, most certainly. 

But the very things you may have assumed will ruin you — your impulses, urges, longings — are actually designed to reconnect you with your life-force and holy fire.

{Read the full article on holy hungers}

9. Know yourself.

How about you quit assuming everyone else knows better than you what direction you should go? 

How about instead assuming that you are a wise creature, designed with an internal, intelligent, intuitive compass that points always toward your personal true north?

Take your rightful seat as your own inner authority. Ordain yourself.

You do not need an interpreter to know what’s right for you. You yourself can know.

Because ultimately no one else has more knowing about what’s best for you, than you. 

{Read more about knowing your knowing

10. Your devotion runs deeper than your doubts.

Here’s something I galvanized while writing my first book, Feminine Genius. Doubts aren’t an indication that something’s wrong with you; they are an intrinsic part of any creative process.

As I was writing that book, all manner of very convincing doubts would come up and taunt me. Who was I to write this? Hasn’t it already been said by better writers than me? Would anyone even care?

However, instead of letting them unseat me, I chose to see those doubts as allies to my creative process, rather than impediments to it.

Doubts (or any kind of resistance, worry, fear) are tricksters. They love us and they truly want us to succeed, but they show it in a tough-love kind of way, by turning up the heat of challenge.

My doubts wanted me to write my book for you, but they tested me — hard — in essence asking me:

Will you believe these fears or will you stay focused on what you’re making?

Will you get stopped by resistance or will you stay committed to what you’re doing?

Are you more devoted to your doubts or to what you’re creating?

So next time resistance, worry, or fear comes up for you, you know that the question to ask isn’t some version of, “are these doubts true?” but rather …

To what are you more devoted, than your doubts?

{More related musings on doubts

11. Your body is the temple. 

It seems so many of us have internalized, in one way or another, the idea that body and spirit are separate, and that actually our earthy bodies are an impediment to spirituality.

But what if each of us took seriously the invitation to reclaim our bodies as a special space in which divine encounters divine? What if we assumed that when anyone looked at our bodies, they are gazing upon a god/dess? What if we used the same intention when putting on clothes as we would lighting incense on an altar? What if we knew our voice — in its clarity, confusion, passion, and love — was making a joyful noise unto the heavens?

Then we would know that the sacred isn’t just out there, it’s in us. We could resurrect trust in our bodies. We could forge a deeper, newer, truer connection to the sacred. Know that our hungers are holy. Know that our bodies are innocent. Renew our sensual vitality. Respect our intuition as much as our logic. Trust ourselves and our bodies. 

Then we could remember that to incarnate into flesh and blood and bone isn’t a fall from grace, but rather is the embodiment of grace. 

{Read whole article on the temple of the body

There we go, friend, 11 habits to make life more luminous.

Let me know which of the 11 is your favorite, will you? I always love hearing from you.

And you can show me the greatest flattery by sharing this blog with a beloved. Have them sign up for this Fresh From The Fire newsletter too! I can’t wait to welcome them.

To your luminous life,

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