Pure Curiosity: Real Talk with Iris McAlpine on Grief, Loss and Spiritual Narcissism

Pure Curiosity: Real Talk with Iris McAlpine on Grief, Loss and Spiritual Narcissism

When Iris McAlpine asked me to do this podcast interview for her new podcast Pure Curiosity, I was onboard immediately. Iris and I have only met once, but we connected because of our similar backgrounds in the “positive psychology vortex,” and because she and I both agree self-love and personal transformation are more nuanced experiences then is often purported in the soundbites of the self-help world.

Listen in as Iris McAlpin and I compassionately offer up more complete understandings of what a healing journey often looks like. Tough topics like how to deal with grief and loss, why most women struggle with identifying their needs, using self-help as spiritual bypassing, and the pain of having so much love to give while having nowhere to “put it” just to name a few.

For anyone who has been “working on themselves,” or trying to have more meaningful human and life experiences — Iris and I will give you a loving dose of reality as well as some practical tools.

 

You can find Iris McAlpin on Facebook and Instagram and her podcast, Pure Curiosity, here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Megyn Blanchard

Megyn Blanchard

Truth teller, Spiritual myth buster, Inner Relationship coach

My commitment is to be as human with you, as is humanly possible over the internet while I break down overly simplistic, reductive, self-help and spiritual teachings. Join me for monthly updates, stock my Instagram meanderings, and get access to the Wholehuman™ tribe, a soulful support tribe for real life healing, relationships, and self-love –– with a side of you’re a bad ass, we won’t let you forget it, and maybe some virtual booty dancing.

Why “choosing happy” is making you miserable

Why “choosing happy” is making you miserable

 

I have never met anyone who would “choose unhappy.” Most of the people I interact with are looking for inner peace, happiness, and general feelings of ease and trust, and most of these people are STEEPED in personal empowerment and self-help.

Perception is a choice.

And even then, a miracle of “perception shift” must address the underlying, conditional, and relational wounding which has people feeling “safe” or more “significant” within their victim stories and perceptions.

“Happiness is a choice” is one of those reductive, overly simplistic self-help-spiritual platitudes that I have seen people use to create a more “enlightened” sense of self; to spiritually bypass core discomfort, which essentially creates more of what we are trying to heal: the disconnect between our mind, body, heart, and spirit.

Yes it is true, some people will use their negative emotions as an excuse to live in that space of “victimhood” or “inaction” but most often I find when you help the “seeker” find out what they are really feeling, underneath their persistent thoughts and emotions, then teach them how they can acknowledge, feel, and heal these beliefs and STILL love themselves, happiness usually has space to naturally flow in and out of one’s life without all the grasping, chasing, denying, and “shoulding” and all over one’s self.

Please, let’s not create more shame in people’s lives by over simplifying the #wholehuman experience.

All Love. All Truth

 

Megyn Blanchard

Megyn Blanchard

Truth teller, Spiritual myth buster, Inner Relationship coach

My commitment is to be as human with you as is humanly possible, over the internet as I breakdown overly simplistic, reductive, self-help, and empowerment teachings. Join me for monthly updates, stock my social meanderings, and come be a part of the most bad ass, non-new-agey, real-life, private Facebook group as I give weekly sermons on realtionships, self-love, and self-awareness. I believe in original goodness, the simplicity and clarity of truth, the liberation of personal respsonsibility, and the endless healing of love. I can’t wait to see you.

 

Is the obsession with your thoughts really helping you?

Is the obsession with your thoughts really helping you?

The idea that our thoughts are just something we don’t have to “believe” in order to alleviate suffering is one of those self-help axioms which have become so pervasive that no one dares to question it. It’s been espoused as a high-minded ideal by “thought leaders” for so long as an “enlightened” way of dealing with our humanity, that it is swallowed hook line and sinker by every first-time seeker taking sips of the proverbial self-help Koolaid.

Our thoughts are not THE PROBLEM, they are a symptom of an underlying disconnection with ourselves: an old trauma or wound or feeling we are trying to avoid.

The truth is, our thoughts, our minds, our egos, are an amazing survival and coping mechanism our humanity relies on for protection: to guarantee us safety, security, and love. True this can be dysfunctional, but only to the point that we don’t understand where our thoughts come from or what they are trying to show us.

We have between 50,0000 and 70,000 thoughts a day. Most of them you don’t even notice or believe.

For the sake of our discussion here, I am talking about the thoughts that have emotional juice, that hold you hostage, that repetitively show up in your life.

Notice, in all the thoughts that you’ve ever had, that you didn’t want to be having, that could be qualified as “limiting” or “negative,” you never once thought about having the disempowering thought first.

So who decided that thoughts were a purely rational or logical problem? That the simple decision to call a thought “not true”, “not real”, “just a story”, “limiting”, or “negative” would be so utterly profound that the whole layered, nuanced, and complex network of human conditioning, cellular memory, stored trauma, feelings, beliefs, and subconscious imprints would all rally behind the rational mind’s attempts to muscle our whole being into believing what we think we should feel or think or deeply believe?

Anyone who has spent years in the self-help world working on “mastering their mind,” or “reframing their thoughts” or “observing their ego” knows we might get short bouts of reprieve before we are caught up in an old loop or reactive trigger or disempowering mind-stream again. It also requires a massive amount of effort and energy.

The reason wrestling our “negative” thoughts into oblivion is so catchy and popular is twofold.

A simple shifting of thoughts serves the masculine dominated, control and predict, plug in A get B, quick fix paradigm that sees life through a linear lens: “Just do this, and viola! You get that.” And it is more comfortable than doing the honest, self-reflection and heavy lifting of emotional integration, where we have to address and sift through disowned shame, grief and fear, making “change your thoughts change your life” a sellable solution, readily heralded by people who are already disconnected from themselves, allowing them to remain comfortable through dissociating more, only now more “enlightened” dissociation.

Forget “mastering your mind”, it’s not possible anyway. The mind is a tool; a portal, and an access point into deeper healing, self-connection, and renewal.

Thoughts aren’t problems to be logically talked away. Ever met someone in therapy working on the same stuff for 10 years? The mind’s outpourings are a byproduct of the fracture between our mind, body, heart and soul. They are a result of the imprinting and belief systems that were set up in early childhood trauma.

We all have trauma, it’s how we internalize fear.

So we might as well make friends with our thoughts and egos and limiting beliefs and allow them to take us to our underlying, disowned, pain, shame, and fear. Perhaps get curious about the feelings they are directing us away from for our “survival,” but truly for what they can lead us to for deep, healing, integration and renewal.

This re-connection, through our humanity as opposed to dismissing it, allows us to reclaim our hearts and bring us back to life. It opens the door to self-love and self-compassion and helps us develop a new relationship with our basic vulnerability and openness. This starts to restore what has been lost through self-abandonment and spiritual bypassing. We get more authentic vulnerability, self-intimacy, and self-trust. We experience more profound feelings of warmth and caring for the pain in our lives.

As we stop denying, dismissing, and repressing parts of ourselves, we integrate what has been disowned and the thoughts naturally become more loving, peaceful, and creative without having to go to war with ourselves, or be under constant observation.

Real compassion can only arise out of being willing to feel pain. As long as we refuse to recognize our thoughts for what they are: an access point to the undigested, stored grief material of our psyche, we won’t be able to feel any real compassion for ourselves or for others.

Compassion literally means “suffering with” — being a friend and companion to the pain that’s involved in being human.

Your thoughts don’t create your reality. Your ability to be with your wholehuman experience creates your reality.

All Love. All Truth.

Can changing your thoughts really help you?

Megyn Blanchard

Megyn Blanchard

Truth teller, Spiritual myth buster, Inner Relationship coach

My commitment is to be as human with you as is humanly possible over the internet while I breakdown overly simplistic, reductive, self-help, and empowerment teachings. Get exclusive love notes and private updates, stock my Instagram, and come be a part of the most bad ass, non-new-agey, real-life, private Facebook group as I give weekly sermons on relationships, self-love, and self-awareness.

How to forgive when you don’t want to.

How to forgive when you don’t want to.

When the guru waving his spiritual wand says “Choose to forgive someone in order to set yourself free,” Does the decision to engage in forgiveness miraculously take the emotional juice away? No, not hardly.

When self-help authors espouse language like: “Who is more hurtful, the person who wronged you once, or you for reliving it over and over in your head?” Do you immediately stop thinking about the transgression or logically let it go without any feelings arising ever again? Probably not.

Unfortunately, the commodification of personal “empowerment” has portrayed forgiveness as something you simply choose to “set yourself free” or even worse, something that you “already are.”

But what most self-help and spiritual axioms are talking about when they speak of forgiveness, is actually releasing.

True forgiveness is a process of acceptance, love, and even gratitude for the transgression, either perpetrated by another or by ourselves.

Therefore, forgiveness is not a thought or an idea that we can just implement because we decide to; because we decide we want to “free ourselves,” or because we want to move on.

Forgiveness is a process of healing, whereby we honor, acknowledge, and release all the emotions, feelings, and beliefs brought up in the present moment that has more to do with stored grief material, and wounding from our conditioning (think childhood).

Forgiveness is a “greater understanding” that does not occur instantaneously. It is the end result of a choice to NOT be held hostage by self-judgment, or resentment towards another, and to begin a healing process so we can transcend lessons and grow.

True forgiveness, therefore, requires intention, attention, and time.

Just like the other high-minded spiritual abuses ideals: “you are already love, compassion, peace, and abundance. . . don’t you get it?” these concepts are true on a high-level, but the way in which they are presented is oversimplified, reductive, and does not represent the whole, complicated, messy, multidimensional truth of the human experience.

Humans are relational beings.

Like it or not the conditional, limited, dual-reality of our being here, gifts us with the vehicle to experience the experience of our eternal, love-based Self. Therefore, if we are wounded (we all are) the wounding is on the relational level, and as a result must be addressed and healed within relationship, primarily with ourselves.

The problem with this kind of language, is it dismisses the fact that the person sincerely wanting to create more fulfilling and peaceful lives, has an unconscious map of their world that prevents them from connecting to the compassionate, love-based, “eternal truths” of their nature so they can forgive, understand, and move on easily.

Blindly accessing love or forgiveness, or even simply engaging in a new belief without first reconnecting to and releasing the un-grieved debris or trauma that is re-opened up and festering in the current situation, has a consequence: the spiritual intellectual gets jammed up into his head further, dissociates more, and compartmentalizes away another layer of trauma only to relive the pain over and over again.

The unconscious patterns of recreation show up in our lives when we learn how to take the spiritual “high road,” before we learn how to truly address the core wound or belief.

Without first taking the time to honor, understand and build a bridge back to the fractured, wounded, hurt parts of our humanity, the genuine seeker will at best be muscling his way into feeling what he “thinks” he should believe, and eventually he will be confronted by his own shame, and sense of loneliness from the spiritual self-abandonment inherent in “choosing forgiveness.”

Important side-note, postscript, codicil: I say all of this as someone who forgave a person who I once thought was “unforgivable” and deeply believe that the restorative powers we are all looking for reside not in choosing forgiveness, but in the healing process of self-exploration and self-connection we take to get to forgiveness. For what most deeply lies beneath all of our resentments, hurts, wounds and traumas is essentially shame, therefore the person who is in most need of your forgiveness and compassion is YOU.

All Love

Megyn

Read: How to forgive and move on without an apology

Megyn Blanchard

Megyn Blanchard

Truth teller, Spiritual myth buster, Inner Relationship coach

My commitment is to be as human with you as is humanly possible, over the internet as I breakdown overly simplistic, reductive, self-help, and empowerment teachings. Join me for monthly updates, stock my social meanderings, and come be a part of the most bad ass, non-new-agey, real-life, private Facebook group as I give weekly sermons on realtionships, self-love, and self-awareness. I believe in original goodness, the simplicity and clarity of truth, the liberation of personal respsonsibility, and the endless healing of love. I can’t wait to see you.

 

For the love of all things spiritual and self aware, please, have expectations.

For the love of all things spiritual and self aware, please, have expectations.

The original quote I saw was: “Sometimes we create our own heartbreaks through our expectations.”

Sounds enlightened? New-agey-consciously-correct? Right?

But I wholeheartedly disagree with this jargon language. And it’s at the root of most of the confusion within unhealthy relationship dynamics.

All kinds of codependent and abusive relationship dynamics among “spiritual” or “aware” people are perpetuated because this language gets passed around in spiritual memes like it’s above board, and like it makes sense.

And it doesn’t. So why are we pretending it does?

I understand first hand why there is so much misunderstanding. In a past life, I was in a toxic relationship with a “spiritual” man who couldn’t be faithful. When I told him it was a problem for me he said, “your problem is you have expectations. You want things on your timeline”

Yup! No lie!

I get it. EXTREME example. But there is a tendency in this space of “self-help” and “empowerment” for the spiritual intellectual to use concepts like positive thinking, unconditional love, non-resistance, and “no expectations” in order to feel like they are “towing a spiritual line” or to dismiss what is seriously OFF in their relationship dynamics, or to bypass dealing with the feelings of disappointment, or to avoid accountability for the energy they bring into their spaces.

Until we are rooted in our own worth and knowing; until we really trust our Truth and our standards, this kind of language, for the new seeker or someone looking for answers to their relationship difficulties, is a sure fire way to create massive amounts of confusion.

Tell me how long your relationships would last if your partner consistently avoided telling the truth? Wasn’t respectful? Had a hard time with being considerate? Didn’t make time for you? Called their exes and flirted with other people? Told you, your problem is: “you don’t feel loved because it’s your problem.” Seriously, I’ve heard this one gets used a lot.

I am making a point, that sometimes we use spiritual concepts to avoid being accountable and responsible; to avoid dealing with the relational qualities of being in healthy intimacy.

We have to learn how to be healthy, whole, resourced humans, before we learn how to implement high level woo-woo.

Have healthy expectations of reciprocal respect, and love, and generosity, and kindness, and consideration.

This is called boundaries, self-love, self-respect, and self-worth, and oh, just basic human decency.

All love. All Truth.

Meg

sometimes we create our own heartbreaks through ignoring our intution
Megyn Blanchard

Megyn Blanchard

Truth teller, Spiritual myth buster, Inner Relationship coach

My commitment is to be as human with you as is humanly possible, over the internet as I breakdown overly simplistic, reductive, self-help, and empowerment teachings. Join me for monthly updates, stock my social meanderings, and come be a part of the most bad ass, non-new-agey, real-life, private Facebook group as I give weekly sermons on realtionships, self-love, and self-awareness. I believe in original goodness, the simplicity and clarity of truth, the liberation of personal respsonsibility, and the endless healing of love. I can’t wait to see you.

Why too much self-help actually creates suffering

Why too much self-help actually creates suffering

For 17 years I was a good spiritual student and self-help junkie. I was well versed in concepts like self-love and self-worth. Concepts like “our thoughts create our reality” and “happiness is a choice” permeated much of my thinking. I had accepted everyone for where they were at, at their level of consciousness. I believed unconditional love, forgiveness, and gratitude would deliver landslides of peace, joy, and abundance.

I worked on my chakras. I had taken my inventory, “my stories” were not real, and I knew none of this physical experience mattered anyway.

But what I learned the hard way was that none of this had anything to do with Love; that this was a backward way of trying to live from my heart. I was working on the connection to myself, and ultimately something larger than Self, through my mind.

As a result, I had all the right intentions and concepts, but none of the right feelings. Good intentions + wrong feelings = spiritual junk-food.

What is this journey about?

In spiritual circles it is well known that we are not just humans, but that we are souls having a human experience. We are unlimited beings here in manifestation having a temporary physical experience, and while all that is true, it’s just incomplete.

We are souls, creative life force energy who CHOSE to come here and have a human experience, which translates as this: none of this is an accident, including our criminal egos and broken hearts. There is not one part of being human that is flawed.

If we had only wanted a “true nature experience,” we would never have left or given up our true nature to come here.

But we did. And even if you believe that this was somehow just a Big-Bang accident and that the intricacies of our humanity and our planet are completely random, wouldn’t it feel more nourishing to be of service to Love through the gift of our humanity as opposed to resisting?

In order to connect with that which we are – which is love, the illusion of separation is essential.

Without physical form, we are just Universe or Source energy that can’t experience herself.

Human reality is one glorious hodgepodge of magnificent, heartbreaking, heart-opening, messiness and chaos for a reason – to gift us the opportunity to open our hearts in the most impossible and heartbreaking situations – especially with ourselves.

As people who are “waking up,” it’s easy to get caught up in the madness of chasing empowerment, escaping our denser energetic bodies and battling the craziness of our minds. All more ego – just spiritually acceptable ego and a way to stand in further judgment and dissociation of our natural processes.

As intelligent, bright and masterful women, we’ve been jammed up into our headspace with more education at the expense of learning how to be vulnerable and more loving with ourselves. Which is in fact, the only way to heal and access deep, abiding, soulful, love and compassion.

We’ve put an extraordinary amount of focus on our egos and limiting beliefs, which are actually messengers for our broken hearts. We’ve placed high-minded ideals above understanding the relational, developmental and conditional aspects of being human, which creates more shame and frustration because we are constantly striving to achieve another level of “I have to stop something or muscle through something or be something to get somewhere” which the ego loves.

But what if we could start creating our lives through learning how to open our hearts more?

What if our wounds and pain-points and triggers were the only way to be vulnerable and access compassion?

The limiting “stories” we tell ourselves, our “ways of being” that aren’t working for us are really just a tender, unhealed part of us waiting to finally be seen, loved and integrated.

The rumination of the mind is a distraction technique to keep us from sinking down into our bodies and allowing the uncomfortable messages from our disowned beliefs and feelings to come up and guide us to internal release and healing.

We can “master our mind” and re-frame all day, but it doesn’t always address the core imprint or experience of not feeling safe to show up fully, not feeling chosen or not feeling supported.

If we want to learn to trust ourselves and connect with our heart and soul, we have to learn to communicate the way our heart and soul speaks. We need to learn how to make peace with our broken, wounded, humanity ––  this is the breeding ground for true vulnerability, trust, and compassion with ourselves.

A little powerfully true but overlooked law: What you resist persists but what you love rises above.

The only way to experience life through the purity of our spirit is through the demonstration and reception of what we are, which is Love. Which translates as truth, compassion, patience, honesty and acceptance of all aspects of the wholehuman experience.

The sooner we can learn to love it all, the sooner you will start to experience the Love you are made of, the sooner you will start to feel connected to yourself and something larger than Self in a way that has you crying tears of bliss “It’s so freaking simple and so obvious, I love it all. I get it. I am love because I love.”

Where are you going to love yourself more today??

Light and Love

Megyn

Megyn Blanchard

Megyn Blanchard

Truth teller, Spiritual myth buster, Inner Relationship coach

My commitment is to be as human with you, as is humanly possible over the internet while I break down overly simplistic, reductive, self-help and spiritual teachings. Join me for monthly updates, stock my Instagram meanderings, and get access to the Wholehuman™ tribe, a soulful support tribe for real life healing, relationships, and self-love –– with a side of you’re a bad ass, we won’t let you forget it, and maybe some virtual booty dancing.

 

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