Author Archives: Amy McTear

Who’s Calling?

Screenshot 2016-08-25 19.18.36I was introduced us to the concept of a ‘calling’ by the Catholic Sisters that taught me throughout grade school. God, they informed us small humans, would be calling a certain percentage of us to the religious life, meaning the convent or the priesthood. They let us know that denial was futile. If we were being called, we would eventually have to answer. It was God after all. All of about 8 years old, I could think of nothing worse than a life in the convent. I feared the call and prayed he would not notice me.

I was lead to believe that my calling as an outer voice.

A large part of my recovery from depression, which began for me at a very early age, included redefining defeating beliefs inherent in the religious and cultural myths into which I was born. I believe my depression was a spiritual response to having to diminish the dreamer inside, the imaginal being that I was, the one to whom conforming to an outer authority literally meant death in the most profound sense – the death of my unique purpose and my mission.

Our calling is the voice of authority within us, calling us to wake up to exactly who we are, to create the life that resonates with our most genuine nature. Most of our problems stem from resisting this unfolding.

I reeducated myself and my depression has not returned in over a decade. I have taught my own children this. I have shared this with my young students and my adult clients…

Follow your joy, child, it will lead you to where you are wanting to go. Follow your excitement, child. It is the vibrational resonance telling you that you are on your way to who you came to be. Follow your wonder, child. It wants to show you what you care about and what you have come to caretake and serve. Never dismiss your wildest dreams, as they have efficacy and purpose in showing you who you came to be. Do only what you care about as it is your path of least resistance, activating your native intelligence and creativity. 

 

 

 

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Leaving The Old Story

Photoxpress_9773760153a4-1What stops you from fully owning your Gift?  Why do you hesitate to craft your authentic life and assert your small but epic note into the collective chorus?

You might conjure reasons such as a scarcity of time and/or money.   You might question your authority and whether you truly have anything of value to offer.  You may feel powerless in your ability to change.  It may all seem very risky.

These limiting storylines are strongly rooted in our cosmology; our belief about who we are in relationship to the world.  We are growing up as a species and our collective self-image is in flux.   In many ways, we have viewed ourselves as children in a hostile universe.   As the picture evolves though, the human being is recognizing the potential for a dynamic and interdependent partnership with life.

Here are just three ‘old story’ tenets that could be keeping you from bringing your essential gift to life:

1) We live in a dangerous and punitive world.   When this is the story, we expend a great deal of energy to stay safe.  We do not trust our world will embrace our uniqueness because we believe, from our earliest conditioning, that standing outside the pack is potentially deadly.  Making our way in the world is a battle.  Smarter to run for cover and seek the security of the known path.

2) We do not have authority.  The concept of an outer authority, or God, is deeply lodged in the collective unconscious.  We struggle to own our power, our capacity to effect, our right to choose what we do with our lives.   The story of ‘original sin’ speaks to this sense of being innately flawed and unworthy, like bad kids.  When stepping out and speaking up, we harbor the collective fear and guilt, as if this is a form of disobedience.  We grapple with this question of who is really in charge of our lives.

3) We are not worthy of happiness.  By adulthood most people are more accustomed to, and therefore more at ease with, suffering than happiness.  A client of mine remembers her Aunt rebuking her as a child, “You did not really expect to be happy, did you?!”   Before conditioning, yes, happiness is home base.  The first time this doctrine is reflected, it comes as a shock.  In my late teens, I struggled with depression and my father said,  “Amy, all good McTears are depressed.”    He was hoping to make light of it, but the idea was devastating to me.  I had been expecting happiness.  (Luckily for me, he unknowingly triggered my inner rebel who had a really difficult time accepting this ‘Life sucks and then you die’ precept.  Henceforth, the life work.  Thanks, Dad;)  I love you.)

So how do you see yourself in relation to your world?  What has been your story?  And what story do you choose now?

Stay tuned, I’ll be back to offer you a New Story….

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The Quest of Every Awakening Being

15027435_1328805540485661_3332381999672964717_nI believe each of us holds within something essential for the whole.  I have learned that personal happiness and well being are inextricably tied to this offering.  I have seen that it ultimately becomes the quest of every awakening being to discover their gift and bring it to life.

Notice I said ‘quest’ and not ‘walk in the park’.   Self discovery can be arduous. It requires ruthless determination, fierce dedication and resilience.  Inner work is notoriously messy and you will certainly find yourself going to the mat with the crew inside your head, those internalized voices of cultural and mental conditioning that imprison the heart, entice you to play it safe, go back to sleep or live someone else’ life kinda well.

But the payoff is big.  Nothing compares to this reunion with inner voice.  Nothing will help you navigate your life more clearly or sit more comfortably in yourself.  Nothing leads you to deeper satisfaction or greater fulfillment than reflecting brightly your truest self into the web…

 

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The Crew Inside

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Ever step back and really listen to the voices in your head?  Each of us is host to a cast of characters inside: some grandiose, some diminishing and cruel, some helpless and submissive … but all too often, in discord with one another.  This makes it difficult for us to know who we genuinely are and how we genuinely want to proceed.

In my work with clients, weeding through these alternate selves is vital to embodying a state of well-being.  To break the spell cast by the cacophony of internalized cultural and mind-generated voices, I find it is helpful to have clients step back and begin to accurately personify them.   As you might guess, this often brings comic relief.  I have encountered princes, pirates, tattered children, starving beggars…and my favorite, a fierce gargoyle-gatekeeper with tattoos and nose ring ;-).

Look for these sub-personalities in the troubled arenas of your life and notice the reels and storylines that follow you around money, love, relationships, health and vocation.  You will soon be able to predict with precision precisely who will show up and exactly what they will say.

Once aware of the crew you keep, you break your unconscious identification with them.  You are less persuaded by their urgency and are free to explore other avenues of being.  The crew inside is no longer running the show…

But who is?

Buddhism identifies the ‘5 Aggregates of Being’ that comprise human nature: our physicality, emotions, perceptions, thoughts and the pure consciousness that contains the other four.

As you observe the cacophony of inner voices, ask yourself, who is this one observing?  When we witness with neutrality, we are engaging pure awareness or ‘consciousness’; the aggregate of being that contains all the others.  Through this we encounter the true self and can begin to deeply identify with an inner guidance that leads to genuine fulfillment.

We expand our creative freedom, our capacity to live out of character.   We change the story and dissolve patterns that keep us from our true life.

 

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What We Look For, We See.

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What I look for, I see. Yes, logical. What I focus on grows in my awareness. Makes sense. What I tend to expect, I tend to find. Yes.

Anyone disagree? In the bible it says, “Seek and you shall find.”  The sages of ancient India taught us that what we focus on grows.

So, what if we expected wellness, happiness, support, safety, connection, prosperity…or whatever it is we wish we had?  How would that change what we see in our daily lives?

Experiment with me.  Expect ____________ (fill in the blank with what you think you don’t have, that you wish you did).  Start simple with one thing, and maybe not the thing you feel the greatest lack of…or maybe!

Spend one day.  Remind yourself, condition yourself to expect that.  Act, if you must at first, like someone who has that.  Feel like someone who expects that to be so.  Try it for a couple days, if you can tolerate it.

See how or if it changes anything.  And let me know.  This is one of my favorite spiritual practices:).

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Not Enough

not-enoughMost of our emotional pitfalls have their roots in scarcity, though shrouded in whatever current event or credible outer storyline.  When we pause and examine beneath the surface, a subconscious reel of bad news can be distilled, an alarming headline – ‘NOT ENOUGH’.

The key to unlocking this painful myth is to slow down and retrace frame by frame the pivotal moments leading up to the plunge.

My scarcity headline hit the emotional presses last week after a fairly substantial
hiatus, providing me a chance to really dissect this process.  As is typical, someone close to me innocently did or didn’t do something that triggered an almost imperceptible avalanche of thoughts and feelings firing off at light speed, which suddenly shifted me into a feeling state of lack.

There I was in full character in the most vividly painful portrayal of my life.   I stepped back to observe this one I had suddenly become, wanting to see everything about her, what she believed about herself and who in her life she had cast in what supporting roles.

I dialogue and review with myself like I would with one of my children, careful not to dismiss, band-aid or criticize myself for my feelings.  I address it with sincere empathy like I would with a child.  “What happened?  What was said?  How did I feel when that was said?  What do I fear about that?  Under that what is my fear?  And under that…?”  I move deeper through the emotional layers until I reach the devastating root feeling.

I fully acknowledge how hurtful and intolerable it is to believe this myth of scarcity, when enough love, enough safety, security (or whatever it is) is absolutely necessary to my existence.  How intolerable scarce conditions are to the greater me.

When this process is lived consciously, it can be experienced and moved through.  The adult you is on the scene to question, illuminate, reassure and allow space for fears and feelings, and to then suggest the innate power to move to a different emotional place; the ability to meet one’s own needs by changing one’s emotional state.

If we rehearse or practice feelings and thoughts of lack long enough, we adopt them as a false identity, further strengthening their presence in our reality.  Attempting to get others to behave in a way that will validate our lovableness, worthiness and security is an incredible drain and impossible to sustain.

If we try to improve ourselves, create what we want, or conduct our relationships from a base state of emptiness, we reinforce that base state.  When we are intensely
identifying with not enough, we can never have enough reassurance from someone else.  In short, we cannot resolve the problem at the level of consciousness it was created.

To counteract the feeling state of scarcity, requires that we put everything aside to practice creating the base feeling state of its opposite.  To meditate simply means ‘to become familiar with’.  Carving out the space to focus on what it feels like to have an abundance of love, health, wealth, is ultimately how we create the conditions necessary for that to exist in our lives.

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Trusting the River

trusting-the-riverI had a dream that I was standing at the center of my own huge ship sailing upstream when it came to a complete stop.  Looking over the side of the boat, I discovered the river had nearly dried up.  Only a muddy bed remained.

Suddenly, the boat bucked forward and began moving sluggishly ahead. One of the male crew members had jumped out, forcing the boat into motion.

I yelled for him to stop pushing and confidently declared, “We will wait for the river to fill up again!”   The crew and I then proceeded deep into the belly of the ship, where we gathered  around banquet tables to spend the time nourishing ourselves with wine, bread and intimate conversation.

If we fine tune our awareness, life will guide our movement like the river.  There will be seasons when things have clearly moved on inside us yet nothing rushes in to fill the space. We may have no clear picture of where or how to move next. Life invites a deep bellied pause, a contemplative in-breath and a movement back to the center where we can revise or recommit to our chosen path.

Handling the gap between what has been and what is coming can be unsettling. It requires faith.  I have witnessed myself many times and in many arenas of my life forcibly pushing the boat up an empty river bed, in fear that something was amiss in the stillness.

I have learned to heed the river’s cues and in such times commit to nourishing myself on the deepest levels, while holding council with ‘the crew’ inside me.

My willingness to contend with emptiness, to question everything I know and change course if necessary, strengthens me.  So much can be moved and clarified in the empty space.

 

 

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Becoming

4dpaqftbvka-jeremy-thomasI believe we are at a juncture in human evolution where we have an opportunity to make significant shifts in how we live, move, breathe, relate.  Our cosmology is shifting.  That is to say, we are beginning to view the relationship of the human being to the universe in a new way.  We are redefining our purpose, becoming more conscious of our power, our impact, and our infinite possibility.

There is inherent pressure in change and a medicinal power in our coming together in ways that soothe us in this transformation of human consciousness. So many people are questioning why they do what they do, how they live, who they really are.  We sense there is something more to us, some untapped potential, a possibility for a life more embodied.

While things out there in the world appear to be intensifying, we are inwardly sparked with wonder and a growing compassion.   We have the potential for a golden age and the healing of many of humanity’s wounds.

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The One True Voice Creed

I AM ALIVE for the purpose of serving my individual growth, as well as the growth of the whole.
My wholehearted participation and generosity of spirit in sharing my gifts, is the promise my soul made in taking this life.
I give my highest regard to how I feel, honoring my emotions as the messengers from my Source, that they truly are.
I resolve to live in alignment with my True Self.
I pledge to no longer abstain from Self-love.
With my thoughts, I create my world.  I aim to focus my attention on well being, rather than the absence of it.
I consider my highest achievement and my greatest success, to be a state of Joy.
My inner lover knows I am on a holy mission, a grand treasure hunt of finding out through what I love, what I have come to offer.
Each inhale is an invitation from life, a call to union.
Each exhale is my reply, an acceptance of this invitation and an offering of my spirit.
Before opening my eyes each morning, I aspire to open my heart, awakening and inviting the inner lover to steward my life.
I offer my life, my existence, as a sacred meeting ground for Great Love, the blessed and precious union of Spirit and Matter.

©Amy McTear

We Need You

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The Higher Ground

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It used to be that my thoughts were largely negative, only I was so desensitized to feeling badly that I did not notice.  It began a long time ago as a measure of self-protection… I think.  If I were hard on myself, then I would improve.  If I thought of what could go wrong, then I would be better prepared…

It was faulty logic that exponentially increased my level of misery and vibrationally conditioned me to become the breeding ground for all the things I did not want.

I have become sensitive again.  I dislike the negative reels, replays and play by plays of what might go wrong.  I have little tolerance for my own senseless bad news, fixation on painful images, preoccupation with difficult feelings and thoughts that injure my spirit and lower my esteem and confidence.

Through reeducation, self care, practice and reprogramming, I have noticed that what gets air time in these precious 8″ between my ears, has gradually attuned to uplifted thoughts, flirtation with happiness and downright preoccupation with a healthier, more fulfilled life… Hallelujah!

We are now 12 days into our 40-day practice.  How is it going for you?  Do you care to share what your practice has consisted of and how have you structured it?  Has it been difficult to maintain?  How do you feel?  What do you notice?  Please feel invited to share anything you care to.

The past 12 mornings for me have begun by assessing my mental, physical and emotional state, and noting it in my journal.  Then I ask myself, ‘What is the higher ground that I would prefer?’  Meaning, how would I rather feel?  I name that and record it in my journal.

And then I plunge into some of the most enjoyable moments of my day; the blissful practice of embodying the state of being that I most desire.  How near or far I am from it determines how easy or difficult it is for me to make the shift.

The days when I am most distant, I have learned to be a child again imagining myself as I want to be when I grow up.  I allow the preoccupation with what it would it feel like to be the one I dream of being.

Imagination yields to feeling better, and then feeling better yields to becoming.  It is at that point that I understand that the process is simply recognizing and reclaiming these disowned part of my own nature.

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