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Archive for October, 2009

Women’s Week – The Blind Spot in Martian Psychology

Monday, October 19th, 2009
In This Issue

The Blind Spot in Martian Psychology
How to Face Sexism
Are Mothers To Blame?


The Blind Spot in Martian Psychology

Susan from New York writes:

Dear Spirit, I went to a seminar given by a highly regarded teacher in the spiritual community, and I was disturbed by a central theme in his discussion which sounded sexist to me; and I wonder if You agree. Do you mind if I quote from his workbook?

-Susan O.

Spirit: Please go ahead.

Susan: “I became interested in what it would mean to come together in a higher consciousness beyond ego – beyond narcissistic self-concern. But when I began to encourage my students to explore this potential, I soon realized that men and women responded very differently. The men found it relatively easy, while my women students would not or could not comply.”

I felt confused and dumbfounded. Aren’t men renowned for their ego? and women famous for catering to it?

Spirit: The seminar leader does seem to be focusing on the ‘speck’ in women’s eyes, without noticing the ‘beam’ in men’s.

Susan: Thank you for saying that.

Spirit: The teacher you are referring to is behaving like a typical ‘Martian’ by trying to ‘fix’ women – in this case, by asking them to be more like men. In male culture, self transcendence is often based on a military model that includes the acceptance of rigorous discipline and willing submission to a greater authority; while, in female culture – transcendence is based more on personal experience. It is often expressed as the kind of self sacrifice that is a natural consequence of compassion.

In a positive sense, the teacher in question wants women to learn to integrate the Spiritual Warrior or male strength in them. Yet, he does so without acknowledging that men need to reverse the honor and internalize their Goddess power. That is the blind spot in ‘Martian’ psychology.

Susan: What can women do about it?

Spirit: Learn to speak up – in an enlightened way.


How to Face Sexism in an Enlightened Way

It is often difficult for women to come out of denial when the man/men in their lives behave in a sexist way – either through fear of censure or of being shamed. Yet, it is important to speak up so history can change.

SIX STEPS TO TAKE:

  1. Come out of denial
  2. Set a clear intention to help heal negative sexism
  3. Avoid any temptation to shame the man/men in question
  4. Share the impact that his/their behavior has on you; and, remember to speak from the heart.
  5. If the man/men shame you in response, continue sharing your experience; and
  6. Let go of your attachment to the outcome; trust the universe to take care of that.

Share your experiences below.


Are Mothers To Blame?

Celine from Orlando, FL writes:

Dear Spirit, I just returned home from a seminar I attended for helping professionals. It was led by a well known psychoanalyst who claimed that Mothers are to blame for 80% or more of their children’s neuroses – without mentioning the father’s role. Could he be right? Or is his viewpoint chauvinistic?

-Celine L.

Spirit: Though the psychoanalyst in question is clearly off base – I can account for some of his reasoning. Of course, a child is surrounded by the mother’s womb during the 9 month long gestation process and definitely internalizes her emotions.

In addition, until the child is a year or so – the Mother-Child bond generally serves as the child’s sense of Self or “I am”

Yet the Father’s imprint is as essential in a different way. His presence is generally felt as the child’s first sense of “Other” or I-Thou relationship. The way he treats the Mother during pregnancy will impact his child’s feeling of well being, starting in utero – as well as his attitude about having the child.

Of course, some children take more after their mother, and others after their father’s side of the family. In this sense, genetic inheritance – as well as the child’s soul predisposition play a key role in the child’s development

Pet Week – Unraveling The Mystery of Your Pet’s Behavior

Monday, October 5th, 2009
In This Issue

Sister Cat
Two Faces of Simba
How Suzee Lost Her Standing


Sister Cat

Lena T. from Los Angeles, CA. wrote in:

Dear Spirit, a little stray calico has been coming to my door and seems to want me to take her in. I feel very ambivalent about accepting her in my home. Can you give me some guidance?

- Lena T.

Spirit: Why do you feel ambivalent?

Lena: It is difficult to read her moods. In the beginning, she would come in, jump on my lap, and be very loving; Then, she started coming in only to distance herself from me – or ask to be let out after just a few minutes.

Spirit: Did you do something that hurt her feelings?

Lena: Could it be that in the beginning, I let her in and then asked her to go?

Spirit: Yes. Why did you do that?

Lena: I didn’t have a litter box; and I wasn’t sure I wanted to take on the responsibility of her care.

Spirit: That’s understandable. Yet I pick up a deeper reason.

Lena: Can you tell me what that is?

Spirit: Your underlying ambivalence involves not wanting to fail at another relationship. Your sister cat’s problem is not dissimilar. Both of you feel easily rejected. Now, she would rather be the one to come and go rather than ever be asked to leave your house again.

Lena: You mean, she is giving me some of my own medicine?

Spirit: Yes.

Lena: How can I make it up to her?

Spirit: Start by letting her in each time she asks; and let her know you would like her to stay. If you get her a special litter box and a toy you can play with together – she will know she is home. Then practice avoiding the tendency to reject her when you feel rejected. As you succeed in not taking her slights personally, she will grow to trust you, and your relationship will flourish. Not only that: you will be on a success track in growing your other relationships.

Lena: Thanks to Sister Cat and You.


Two Faces of Simba

Cindy W. from Taos, New Mexico wrote in:

Dear Spirit, I just got a dog from a shelter. Her name is Simba. She looks part coyote and part Samoyed. My guess is that she is about a year old. She is mainly quite loving; and yet, I’m concerned about her tendency to become aggressive around some dogs. Can you tell me more about her?

-Cindy W.

Spirit: I’d be glad to help out. Simba’s mother was a coyote and her father was a Samoyed mix. The father was a genial sex addict and enjoyed conquering wild females. In fact, Simba has several half siblings due to this habit of his. Her mother felt infuriated. Her ancestral experience of dogs was as prey. And, she hated to be conquered by a lesser being. Fortunately for Simba, she enjoys the company of most dogs. Yet, she has inherited her mother’s disdain for large, aggressive males. Of course, the reason for this is subconscious in her, so it is likely to be tricky to train her out of the habit of threatening large males.

Cindy: Thank you for the insight. I would like to ask You two more questions. First, do you think it is possible to train her out of her aggressive tendency? And, second, I have noticed that she has two distinct personalities. One side seems sad and the other is very happy. Can you tell me some more about that?

Spirit: Of course. Her mother tended to be melancholy. She lived as a lone hunter. Otherwise, she would not have been available to Simba’s father. And, the life of an urban coyote is not easy. Many of the males were shot by ranchers in your area. The Samoyed mix who fathered her was a fun-loving cad. It is part of your journey with Simba to help her integrate her two sides. The way to begin is to bond with her as her new mother. She will eventually imprint to your loving kindness as her norm. Her essence is very tender as well. On the other hand, it would also be good to find a top notch trainer who is used to working with feral dogs.


How Suzee Lost Her Standing

Bill T. from Nashville, TN wrote in:

Dear Spirit, why has my bird Suzee started to fly off her perch and destroy my things when I’m out of the house?

-Bill T.

Spirit: Suzee is trying to recover her standing with the other birds by betraying you. Do you know why that is?

Bill: Because they ostracize her?

Spirit: Yes. Why do you suppose they do that?

Bill: Because I favor her?

Spirit: That’s part of it. How do you show her special attention?

Bill: In the evening, she likes to stand on my chest and preen me when I am kicking back and watching T.V.

Spirit: Of course, the other birds consider that mating behavior. How did she earn that special privilege?

Bill: She seems to love me the most and need the most attention.

Spirit: In the beginning, she was showing off to the other birds by courting your favoritism. Her daring do included transcending her merely bird estate and reaching for the status of winning you as her mate. The problem is – the other birds consider the behavior taboo. And instead of earning her top billing, the maneuver cost her her standing in the community. Now she is trying to get back in their good graces by demonstrating she prefers them to you.

Bill: How can I help her regain their acceptance?

Spirit: The best strategy would be to find her an appropriate mate. In the meantime, it would help to relinquish your nightly routine and show her the kind of attention your other birds can accept. Then, you can stop using her affection as a way to avoid meeting a real woman.

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