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Stories of Power Tools and Tips

Leaving the cult

Carlos Castaneda would often talk, and even joke about the cult of “me, me, me”—the self-centered, human, ego-driven obsession of self-importance.

In my years of training with him, I had the opportunity to observe myself worry and be obsessed with my “self-presentation”—taking extra time to fix the way I looked, which I judged harshly. I spent so much energy in seeking external approval, and in trying to “fit in” with friends and people at work. The self-presentation, the idea I created about myself, was a heavy load to carry around. I could never feel fully satisfied. In fact, it made me feel joyless, worried and stressed out.

out of this,” Castaneda told me one day, smiling at me, aware of my misery. “You need to leave the cult of Me, Me and create a new reference point for yourself, a new way of being by thinking of yourself as a mystery, as something to be discovered, unfolded.”

He taught me endlessly about dropping off the mask that I used to wear and to dream a new mask for myself, a new mask that would make me feel lighter, joyful, and more open. “You need to build your personal power,” he said, “and that is something that you intend, that you call upon, that you dream about.”

It has been almost 20 years since that conversation. I have been practicing tools and recapitulation to free myself from ideas of unworthiness and feeling unlovable—slowly releasing my “idea of myself,” the “me, me, me” inside me. Then something special happened to me just a few weeks ago.

Recently, I have been taking my son to the ocean for daily swims. He loves the water, and I get great pleasure watching him swim. However, every time my son asked me to join him, I resisted getting my head under the water.

I made the decision to look deeper into what was preventing me from submerging myself in the water. I immediately started remembering a time in childhood when I really enjoyed swimming. Then a memory came up about an experience in the ocean: One afternoon when I was 14, vacationing with my family, I got in the ocean and got paralyzed. I remember standing on my tippy toes, with the water just below my nose, being completely unable to move. After 20 minutes of struggling, I was able to wave my arms and was rescued by a lifeguard. It was scary, embarrassing and traumatic. I knew how to swim, but I got paralyzed by fear.

Since then, my relationship with water had somehow been frozen in time. I realize now that I’ve always found excuses for NOT going swimming. “Too cold,” “too hot,” “my hair is done,” “I don’t look good in a bathing suit,” etc, etc. It turns out that I was numbed by fear, not able to enjoy the water for more than 30 years.

So this is what I did last Friday: I went into the ocean, and I recapitulated right there in that spot, my experience as a 14-year-old. I called on my “personal power”—the part of myself connected to Spirit—and I cried (and didn’t care about people watching me). I prayed to Mother Ocean and I released a big chunk of self-defensiveness and stress. I’d been holding fear deep down in my bones without even being consciously aware of it. After that experience, which lasted around an hour, my body completely changed. I felt much more relaxed and my belly was softer. I have been sleepier and have allowed myself to take naps (something unthinkable to me just a few months ago!). I am still processing, but something fundamental shifted in a very deep way.

Getting out of the cult of “me” and awakening to my higher self has been a journey. It’s a process. It doesn’t get done in one weekend. But I can say that thanks to the consistent practice of movements and knowledge given to me by Carols Castaneda and inherited from his teacher, and to the Path with Heart classes that I have been guiding with my husband for the last five years, I have been able to release this thing that was so old and deep.

Our Path with Heart series has been especially effective in supporting this process and sustaining my energy levels and my commitment to transformation, growth and expansion of awareness.

I am a happy fish again, free from the obsession of the Me, Me, Me.

Love,
Aerin

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Community Stories of Power

One BE Precept in Real Life: Death as an Advisor

Dear Community,

This is a story of the unexpected. It is about how the tools and practical wisdom from people of Mexico and Mesoamerica, as transmitted and enriched now by Being Energy, have helped me meet difficulties.

There was a turning point for me back in February 2000. I was headed from my home city of San Luis Potosi to Málaga Spain to get a PhD in ​​education. At the same time, my mother’s health had been deteriorating. She’d suffered from diabetes for 30 years—a disease that is often very aggressive and devastating in its later stages.

What should I do? I felt that going abroad would mean leaving her alone. I had been living with her and caring for things. My brother and sister were each married, and my father was older. So I talked with my brother, sister and father so that we could all decide together what was best. They agreed that it was best for me to go to Spain, and that they would help care for my mom.

So it was decided, and it was also set that I would return to Mexico on a certain date for a few days for reasons connected to my work with the University of San Luis Potosi

Once in Málaga, when the date arrived for my brief return to Mexico, I phoned home to tell my family that I was preparing for the trip. My father answered the call, and gave me the news that my mom’s health had entered a critical state and she had to be hospitalized. I was worried and also somewhat amazed and grateful at how this event was coinciding with the trip that had been planned some time ago. The trip involved my picking up some money for work from the University, which would also allow me to deal with the hospital expenses.

By that time, I had practiced the teachings of Carlos Castaneda for five years. I think I had already redistributed and accumulated enough energy to allow me to realize the truth of what at another time I would have called coincidence. It really was a magical gesture that spirit had given to me, because everything was flowing to favor my being able to travel home to Mexico so that I could say goodbye to my mother.

I recognized then how important it is to live in a purposeful and disciplined way—to make way for our bond with the Spirit. Far from a mythical tale, I now knew that now it was a clear and tangible reality.

I can say without a doubt that it was the gift of the Spirit to be able to be there with my family just, as it turned out, three days before the death of my mother. Being there also allowed me to participate in one of the most important decisions I’ve ever faced.

Shortly after I arrived, the doctor told our family that biological and clinically, my mom and had no chance of improvement, and asked us to decide whether or not to prolong her life artificially. The doctor told us this and then stayed in silence, watching us and waiting for an answer. My siblings and my dad, turned and looked at me, and I had the sense to say, “All we want for my mother is for her not to suffer.”

There can be no worse suffering than to see a loved one suffer, and it feels so powerless to know there is little if anything you can do about it.

In my imagination, I had thought of such a moment with great concern and anguish. However, in the moment of the reality of it, I felt different about death, more clear and grounded, thanks to trying to live the premises of the ancient seers and learning about death as an advisor. I also drew upon a memory of having heard years earlier that with the death of a member of a Chinese family, far from being a drama or tragedy, it is treated as a loving if solemn farewell serene.

To my surprise, I found that I was facing losing my mother with much serenity. Of course I experienced pain and sorrow. But I can say that I was privileged to mourn my mother, in time, place and form of my predilection, and without suppressing my emotions and feelings.

I also know that this was a magical moment because I realized and fully understood why it is important to gather and redistribute our energy to our vital centers. In this case, specially the center for feeling located on the right side of our body, consisting of the liver and gallbladder. I am sure that maintaining my energy levels and awareness was what allowed me to get sober in managing my emotions in this process.

But the story is not over.

A year after my mother’s death, another significant event occurred. One afternoon I was taking a nap, and I had a dream of my mother. She was standing in my living room—clearly there—and without words, she gestured and pointed to the right, where my sister was sitting on a chair. My mother wore an expression of concern and sadness.

I woke up startled by the vividness of the dream. No sooner had I finished waking up, than the phone rang. A lady called me to tell me that my sister and her husband had had an accident on the road. The vehicle they were in had crashed against a rock wall on a curved slope.

My sister came away from the crash with severe injuries and blows to her head. I’m still impressed by the way my mother—or the image of my mother—told me of the accident in the dream, almost at the same moment that it happened.

This event with my sister left me with more questions than answers. One of these questions is: Why did I choose this story to share?

Thank you very much for reading my story,
Javier Guerra Ruiz – Esparza

P.S.  I’ve included pictures here of being with animals because they represent moments of great happiness. Since I was a child, I always wanted to be able to connect with and touch these creatures, and being able to be with them is a dream come true. Such a blessing. It’s something I pursued after my mother died—her death inspired me to go for my dreams and follow deep desires for connection and love.

In daily life awareness, we may consider pain and happiness as contrasting and contradictory feelings. However, from a higher state of consciousness, I appreciate pain and happiness as part of a same process, as Octavio Paz said, “The darker the night, the closer the dawn.”

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Stories of Power

How Did My Heart Open?

What does it mean to have an open heart, and how do you get there? Here is how it happened for me, and why I’m inspired to help others open their hearts and lives.

I have almost always been connected to my emotions. It started in childhood as a survival mechanism: I was tuned to the emotions of those around me so that I would know when to approach them, or when to run! Emotions were my guides for making decisions, for taking action, for almost everything I did.

What I didn’t realize was that being aware of my emotions didn’t mean that my heart was open.

From the age of seven, I was a spiritual seeker. Back then, I didn’t feel connected to my mother or the rest of my family, and so I began a journey of seeking some greater connection and meaning. I explored the abstract ideas of God, Universe, and so on. When I was around 15 years old, my search brought me to the writings of Nietzsche and Carlos Castaneda, and to an examination of Zen Buddhism. At 19, I joined a Sufi dance group and then, finally, a few years later I actually met Castaneda and became one of his students.

Deep spiritual practice opened my whole being to a different way of thinking and seeing the world and myself. It expanded my idea of who I was, and of the possibilities in my life; it awoke my inner resources. I learned to speak a new language, earned a University degree, committed to my practice, became enthusiastic about my work, and started to learn what it means and how to love someone.

Castaneda was the most loving human being I have ever met. He was filled with energy, and was AWAKE. He was not only charismatic, incredibly funny and a true thinker, but he was also a very loving being. He truly cared for his students; he cared for others. He suggested to me that I get out of the “Cult of me, me, me” as he used to sing it, and truly care for another human being.

The “me, me, and me” fixed me to my “old news” story, and tied me to feeling sorry for myself. “Pobrecita,” I thought—no one loves me.

The proposition was, “Can you love someone, truly, unconditionally?” So I made the decision, 20 years ago, to truly open my heart and love unconditionally. That was the first step on a long process that continues unfolding today.
I fell—or actually, stood up—in Love with my dear partner, Miles. At the beginning, it was not easy. I didn’t want to date an Argentine guy, and was filled with so many opinions, judgments, fears an suspicions about his feelings towards me. I have many funny stories about how much I resisted being in partnership with him. The one thing that helped me to stay with it and with him was his unbending presence, which later on I experienced as his unbending love.

When my son was born, I experienced a blast of love, as if a dam that had held so much love suddenly burst open. Through the first years of raising our child and the related challenges, my heart has been continually opening. Opening, opening, opening. Every day gives me the chance to go deeply into my loving.

When someone I love says something that “I don’t like,” I know that I have the choice to “feel hurt and go on the me, me, me path” or to “go deeply into my loving.”

Lately, I have been choosing to go deeply into my ability to love everyone and everything: the parking ticket, the mistake I made at the bank when signing a check, forgiving my “forgettings” and loving each precious moment as it comes, as it flows inside and outside me.

It surprised me at first to discover how much easier it is to be with my heart wide open than to resist love. To keep the heart closed takes tons of energy!

Yes, it is a practice, and it is much more fun to do with other people. We’re so lucky to be with people to share the practice. Thank you to our lovely Path with Heart community for gathering every Sunday so that we can help each other open our hearts!

Are you interested in walking a Path with Heart? I invite you to join our classes, and wish you an open heart in whatever journey you undertake.

I love you all,
Aerin

Categories
Stories of Power Tools and Tips

Energy for Real Changes in Our Lives

Dear Being Energy Community,

In 1996, Carlos Castaneda urged me to make real long lasting changes in my life. He told me that true change comes from a place of energy. If you have no energy, you cannot make changes.

It’s so cool to me that even though he told this to me almost 20 yeas ago, it is still as important and relevant to our lives as ever. In fact, it seems that our own energy is really the most important resource we need to live a meaningful life.

Here is what he helped me formulate about my own story and I want to share with you: (oh, and by the way, this is the very thing that we will be practicing and expanding on at our upcoming workshop in the magical, powerful Chichén-Itzá, in Mexico!)

“The first thing that I could tell you is that a total change of personality, expectations, goals and purpose is what shamans look for as the basic principle of their lives. Unfortunately, this is something impossible to attain in the world of everyday life.

I have friends my age who have already had to go through several therapies in search of help, in search of solace. They want to change more than anything else in this world, but they cannot. There is something that doesn’t allow them to do it. And their best efforts fade into mere promises of change.

They construct lists of possible ways to change. They tell themselves that the coming year is the year in which their necessary changes will take place. They call all this ‘New Year’s Resolutions.’ They say, ‘This year will be different.’

When I was ten years old, I was already involved in making lists of changes that never took place.

Shamans ask why these resolutions to change are never fulfilled. If one is willing to change so sincerely, why don’t these changes ever take place? We don’t even come close to change; it seems to run away from us.

Shamans say that the reason for all of this is our lack of energy. They say that something stops us by dispersing our vital energy. Shamans are very emphatic about this point. They assert that there is something that leaves us with only sufficient energy for self-reflection. Therefore, we are never, ever able to go beyond our lists of promises. Our lists are the ultimate expression of self-reflection. This self-reflection is, of course, the cult of me, I and myself.

Castaneda, every time he wants to point out my vice of self-reflection, sings to me a song that the old nagual, Don Juan, used to sing to him: ‘Me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me.’

But it is impossible to talk about a genuine change of behavior unless we have sufficient energy to carry it out. The only way to acquire sufficient energy is by saving it. And by learning how to gather it. One way to gather energy is through movements.”

Gathering energy through movements is what we practice in our daily Being Energy classes and in all our workshops and events. Movement is life and there is no life without movement. Physical movement leads to states of well-being not only as a physiological response, but also as a shift in perception, in our consciousness. Our ordinary interpretation of the world around us, shifts, and we get a glimpse to new possibilities for thinking, feeling and acting.

Consistent systematic practice and shifts, leads to enhance consciousness: we are not just what/who we think we are, our identifications can be broadened and acknowledged. Here is where we have CHOICE. And there is no possibility of choice without energy.

Go for a walk, clean your house, join our daily classes, move!

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Community Stories of Power Tools and Tips

NOW-ing: Journeying into the Present Moment

Dear Worldwide Community,

What blew my mind?

Realizing that the present moment is not a physical place, or a time zone; it is not found or lost; it is not a “thing,” I cannot google it; it is not tangible, yet I can embody it.

Most spiritual practices talk about the importance of living in the present moment in the here and the now. I have not yet found a way of understanding what do we mean by “here” and by “now.” Until Now.

The theme of our two latest workshops in Moscow and Tuscany was transformation and it was based on the myth of “The Plumed Serpent.” We presented, with the help of our BE teachers, Valentina, Sergey, Oksana, and Barbara, key aspects of Being Energy® work, key movement sequences, like “Gathering Energy for Silence,” “Intending Presence” and “Flow” to revitalize the body and mind, to invigorate our spirits. And we did a journey into the plumed serpent through movements and story telling.

The effect of the movements and the mass of practitioners practicing them was sublime. All of us entered into non-local states of keen awareness and silence after our first workshop session.

On the second day we had other BE teachers sharing their personal stories of transformation, as a way to illustrate the journey of the plumed serpent that represents the journey of our consciousness. Their stories depicted where we may find ourselves at different stages of becoming, in different facets of our lives.

Now, what we didn’t plan, and what BLEW our minds, was that the stories themselves had such power that they brought us to a new experience and understanding of what it is to be in the PRESENT MOMENT. For the first time I got a glimpse of what is “NOW.”

Pavel told us the story of losing all his savings on a bad investment last year and how he is trying to recuperate from it. What he found out is that he had a deep fear of rejection and wanted to please his associates in the business. He pushed his personal needs to the side for their sake, betraying some how, his own heart. That brought him to connect to an early memory of childhood where that habit/pattern began. It is with admiration for Pavel, for having the courage to put this on the table and start his healing process, that we share parts of his story with you!

Guido shared his experience of working with Doctors Without Borders, an international organization that aids victims of war. That was a dream of his for more than 15 years. He waited for the perfect moment in his life and left his family to work in Jordan on the border with Syria for 7 months. He shared the traumas and the suffering that people go through every day, and how that opened his heart. We all witnessed how Guido changed, his eyes shined brightly, his sweetness unfolded a new knowledge.

Roberta shared with us where she is in this moment of her life: searching for her “power spot,” a new direction, a new job, a new way of thinking and perceiving herself. She was so honest and so open, we all held space for her tears to roll and sweep over us.

Finally, Inge told us her story of how she raised her child by herself. After years of feeling shame, she now realizes what a heroic act she has done. She has turned the wheel of time: she has a completely new view and perception of her life and herself. She embodies strength, impeccability, courage, and, most importantly, immense love. She lives her quest for becoming.

All these stories carried a force beyond our comprehension. We were transported into our own stories of fear, power, shame and curiosity, entering into an unfolding process where past, present and future were happening in the NOW.

We experience NOW, as a NOW-ing, taking place in our minds, bodies and spirits.

A big aha was and is realizing that the PRESENT moment is not a noun, is a Verb. It is not pre-established, pre-existing. It exists as I exist WITH it.

I remember what my dance teacher told me long ago, “Your core is not a physical place in your body. Your core is something you need to find in movement, in the unfolding of your breath.”

The NOW unfolds within me, you, us, with our breath, with our movement, in the co-creation of what we call “reality.”

Thanks to all who joined us in person and in spirit in these two events; thank you to our brave teachers for daring to become in the NOW-ing. Aerin

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Community Events Stories of Power

A Crack Between Worlds – Returning Home

We just arrived in Los Angeles after a week in Chichén Itzá, the most enigmatic City legacy of the Mayas where we taught our workshop and training called “A Crack Between Worlds”. We are truly honored and thankful. We are filled with colorful images and sounds from the jungle around us, and we are experiencing “the crack between worlds”. As Javier, a professor and psychologist participant of the workshop said it last Monday: “I feel energetic and at the same time fluid, allowing daily events to show up and flowing with them. I am quiet and at the same time enjoying all”

We mentioned in our announcement that “the crack between the worlds” is an opening in our consciousness that makes way for new experiences of being and states of heightened awareness. And that is what we all experienced there and still vibrating right now.

Chichén Itzá welcomed our offerings and received us with love and respect. From the hotel staff to personal at the archeological site, all greeted us with delight. Our venue, a “palapa” (dwelling without walls), was surrounded by tress and vegetation, brimming with crickets and birds. The food, the large rooms, the carved wood furniture, details in the windows, vivid paintings, musicians playing rancheras, everything seemed orchestrated by the universe to come to enhance our experience of spiritual growth and heart opening. We even enjoyed swimming in the fresh water pools!

We meditated on the Observatory, also called “el Caracol” , where a large black bird sat at the very top expanding its wings. This temple, aligned with the movements of the planet Venus, inspired us to see our lives as cycles. We identified and wrote about cycles from before we were born all the way after death. It helped us to see the trajectory of our lives, our path with heart, and our legacy.

On Sunday evening, we sat at the pyramid of Kukulcan, the feathered serpent, astonished by an indescribable sunset in silence and awe.

We felt alive by the beauty we could see with our eyes and the presence of the temples buried under the ground. We breathed in knowledge described not only on its monuments and buildings by also on its mystery and unknown layers of existence.

We saw the butterfly resting on the Chacmol’s chest, and felt in our foreheads a band of stars. Thank you to our ancestors for allowing this event to happen. Thank you to all our teachers, students and friends walking on the Toltec paths with us.

With infinite love,

Aerin and Miles