I’ve been neglecting my love posts recently because I’ve been afraid to reveal where my journey has taken me. I allowed myself to feel some shame about my lovescapade, which is not very loving at all. Make no mistake, I respect and believe the viewpoints of the authors I’ve been reading lately, but I find that people like to make fun of books with titles like Soul Love. I’ve always been a bit sensitive to teasing, so I eased up off the love stuff for a while. Easing done.
A little over a month ago I went book hunting at Forest Books in the Mission where I picked up my very own copy of Foucault’s History of Sexuality: Volume I, Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress by Dai Sijie (the first novel I’ve read in quite sometime), and this book:
I want to start off by saying that this book is amazing. It is more or less a series of guided meditations that are meant to awaken and connect you to your soul and heart centers. Visualizations are a big part of this process, but later chapters delve into specific topics like attracting a soul mate, dissolving obstacles to love, or radiating love. The author, Sanaya Roman, wrote the book with the assistance of a spirit guide who calls himself Orin. She channels him.
From the preface:
Orin tells me he is a Being of Light. He says he is working with us at this time because humanity is going through a major transition and awakening. Orin has lived an earth life and is aware of the many challenges of living on the earth plane. He says that he now “lives” on the soul plane and in even higher realms. One of his purposes is to serve humanity. Part of his service is to offer people a path of spiritual growth and to assist people in reaching their higher self and soul. In this book he is offering you a way to awaken your heart centers and to live in you soul’s rhythm of love, serenity, and oneness.
Orin sounds like a Being I want in my life. And as far out as all of this may sound, Orin and Sanaya’s book helped me further accept that love is our natural state of being as humans. I saw so much of my views and beliefs in these pages: so much wisdom, so much compassion, so much empathy.
Reading this book meant I had to surrender societal beliefs about the visible and the tangible world I’m a part of and imagine, if just for a moment, that there is more to life than my body, my personality, my individual experiences, these walls, this ground, that sky. A bunch of the visualizations encourage soul lovers to imagine their spiritual centers as jewels. From the chapter Awakening your Heart Center, for example:
Like your soul, your heart center has a beautiful, exquisite central jewel surrounded by twelve petals, arranged in four rows of three petals each. Some petals are open, some are partly open, and some are closed like a rosebud. The jewel in the middle is hidden by the unopened petals. When your heart center is fully awakened, all its petals unfold and its central jewel shines out in it’s full beauty.
Your soul and the Being of Love will assist you in viewing this jewel of your heart center. As you look at it with your inner eyes, it is as if you are going to a sacred space within you. Imagine the jewel in the middle of your heart center as a many-faceted diamond with light pouring out from within it. All of the colors of the rainbow shine out from the facets of this jewel. It is so beautiful that you feel more whole and complete just looking at it. Imagine this jewel revolving slowly, with sparkling, shimmering light coming out of it. Sense the essence of love flowing out through this diamond, each facet radiating a different quality of love.
It took me a little while to figure out what my soul’s jewel looks like. Turns out it’s a black diamond.
Mmmm, pretty. From Core Jewels‘ Black Diamond Collection.
Some other nice things from Core Jewels.
One of my favorite excerpts from the chapter Surrendering to Love:
People who love through their unevolved solar plexus center may try to control you. They may use anger, disappointment, guilt, judgement, coldness, indifference, or criticism to get you to do what they want. Or, they may try to control you by withdrawing their love. You may find it challenging to follow your own path instead of doing what someone else wants you to do. You may be so compassionate and loving that you want to please others by fulfilling their wishes. Extend this wonderful compassion to yourself. Your well-being and your life are more important than making other people’s personalities feel good.
As you awaken your heart centers and experience soul love, your love for others and for yourself increases. You will respond to others’ actions with love, firmness, and clarity about how you want to be treated. Soul love offers love to others, yet it does not require you to stay in an environment that is hostile or unsupportive. You may physically remove or distance yourself from someone, yet you will do so with love.
It is interesting to watch people as they try different methods to implement control over other’s bodies and minds. I’ll give an example now. I recently visited my grandmother and step-grandfather, both in their late 80′s, at their assisted living apartment complex. Over dinner, which is actually lunch, my grandfather leaned over and said, “Can I ask you a personal question.” I hesitated, but told him he could proceed. He went on to tell me that he thought I would be more attractive, more polished, if I “cut” my hair. I think this was his way of saying, “your hair is too nappy, girl.”
This isn’t the first time we’ve had this conversation over the years. I told him that I liked my hair the way it was, that it was easy for me to maintain and style, and that I wasn’t interested in spending the time or extra money it would take to make my hair look “polished.” I told him that I kept it this way to please myself and no one else. He seemed a bit taken aback by my response, said some more slightly offensive stuff, and then quickly changed the subject stating, “I brought it up, and I can put it to rest.” Later, as my father and I were leaving, my grandmother grabbed me and started humming a doing a little dance (she was a dancer). I moved along with her. Her eyes lit up, she smiled, and she hugged me and kissed me and told me I was perfect….except for my hair.
I didn’t take their words too personally. It’s obvious to me that my grandparents love me and there is no reason for me to react to their unkind words. On some level, it is hurtful for my eldest family members to reject a part of me, especially a part of me that lots of other people like. Even still, I don’t feel the need to change myself to please them. My hair is amazing and brings so much light to the world. It not only makes me happy, it makes other people happy too. It literally defies gravity, standing on all ends, reaching out to everyone and everything.
I also realize that they are most likely repeating hurtful things that were once said to them. Their thoughts and comments lead me to believe they probably have some not dealt with shame surrounding appearance and how they perceive it relates to opportunity in the world. It’s hard for me to believe that they are still carrying those concepts around, especially cause they don’t have to. They could just accept me, all of me, and in doing so, accept themselves. The wounds must be deep. They are just doing what they know.
So, I refused to accept their poison, and instead I offered a new perspective. I let them know that how I look is up to me (this is a conversation I’ve had with plenty of older folks, specifically on the topic of my hair), and they are free to accept me as I am.
The chapter entitled The Serenity of Love teaches what soul loves feels like:
Soul love is serene because it is unconditional. Your soul loves without needing to receive anything in return. Soul love is a quality of being, a shining light that lifts, soothes, and comforts all who come within it’s sphere of influence. Its love flows out generously and freely. It does not measure how much love to give by how deserving people are. Your soul offers love without needing appreciation, acknowledgement, praise, or reward for it’s love. Soul love does not come and go based on the actions and reactions of others. Your soul gives love to others without caring how they use this love or even if they use it. Feel the serenity that comes from giving love without needing to receive anything in return.
And, from The Oneness of Love a chapter that describes the expansion of consciousness (head centers) that happens with heart awakening:
You can know your head center is awakening by your growing desire to make a difference, to add light to the world, to make a contribution and to serve in some way. The desire to make a contribution does not come because it’s fashionable (What!?), because it will advance you spiritually, or from a desire for personal fame or recognition. It does not come from a sentimental felling of wanting to make people’s circumstances better just because you do now want to feel bad as you think about them. Assisting others does not arise out of pity. It comes as a result of soul contact.
The messages in this book are comforting. They offer a look into worlds that are unseen, and give us a space to love and be, to perceive and interact at a level that’s different from what we’re used to. I have been better and worse at offering unconditional love, but I can say with all truthfulness that times I have been successful at giving it have been some of the happiest in my life.
All I have is my love of love.
Love and Enjoy!