The Gay Soul: Starting the Journey to Healing

gay flagOver the past few weeks, my soul has been guiding me to direct energy and time to addressing many of the wounds in our community.  After meditating on this, I thought it would be great to begin a series of blog posts to address what I feel are topics that need attention in our community.  My soul has been nudging me, and here we begin the journey.  I thought I’d take a bit of time to address what this journey is going to look like, and some of the topics that I’ll be giving attention to.

 

There are deep wounds in our community.  Some of them are more overt, and many of them are subtle.  I hope that these posts will create dialog, and community conversation.  I am going to be addressing this a bit differently than I’ve seen in other blogs, books, and media.  Most of what I will be addressing will be channeled directly from my higher self.  I will post questions, and allow for the transmission of that information to be captured in the responses in these posts.  That being said, if you feel there are questions you’d like me to address in this blog, feel free to email them to me directly at Michael@michaelbrazell.com.

As a community we are making many changes, and those changes are happening at lightening speed.  Equality is at the forefront of many of our conversations and this is a beautiful thing.  As we move forward, we need to take a moment to address the deeper healing that is needed within ourselves and in our community at large.  We cannot let our move to gain acceptance cause us to lose that beautiful thing that makes us different.  Much of what I will address in these blog posts will pertain to men who love men.  I can only speak with honesty to the issues that I face as a gay man and the way that impacts my spiritual journey and vice versa.  This is not to minimize the fact that healing is needed in the other areas of LGBTQ culture, it is my hope that this series inspires others to also begin looking at their spiritual walks, and how those walks feed their spirituality as individuals and community.

I also intend to offer resources, and practical spiritual methods to address the various issues we come face to face with as men who love men.  Too often we get caught up in talking about our traumas, vices, and wounds without action steps to generate healing.  I am also going to offer book reviews, and resource lists to help move the conversation forward.

Some of the issues that I’ll be addressing in the coming weeks in relation to men who love men and our community:

  • shame
  • vulnerability
  • sex
  • homophobia
  • masculine and feminine polarities
  • community wounds and traumas
  • individual wounds and traumas
  • leadership
  • love

These are just a few topics, and my soul has been clear on the necessity of getting this information out.  I am also going to be starting an online discussion group to facilitate community dialog regarding the topics I’ll be addressing.  If you’d like to join the group, feel free to send me a message via facebook: www.facebook.com/soulintuitive

 

You are all Loved.  You are all Beautiful. You are all Divine!

 

Michael A. Brazell

www.michaelbrazell.com

 

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108 Day Challenge

I finally made it down to South Carolina.

New starts, new changes, and coming into new alignments can always bring struggle.  One of the things that I like to do when I get to a new area is a cleanse and detox.  Upheaval can bring a lot of stress thorough our entire system.  For me, cleansing the body, mind and spirit helps to harmonize me into my new experience.   Since this time I am also in a process of building a new life, I thought I would take this cleanse a bit deeper and also offer myself some challenges.  The challenges help to re-align my system, and well… keeps things from getting stagnant.  Getting into a new routine is always a good thing when leaving an old one.

I’ll post the details here, and will do a daily post as I move through the cleanse.   This is my personal challenge, but if you are finding yourself in a rut, why not do something to help move you deeper into your experience.  Before I start a cleanse, detox or challenge like this

My challenge:

  1. Food and nutritional detox: no sugar, gluten, processed foods
  2. Reading 1-2 books/week.
  3. Writing, writing, writing…. one blog post a day, one poem a day, and daily journaling
  4. Daily mediation and yoga practice
  5. and some other things that I am keeping personal 😉

The challenge should be something that is out of the ordinary for you, it should allow you the opportunity to step into something “new” as far as a routine, or spiritual experience.  Taking you a bit out of the norm, or bringing deeper awareness to something that is more routine.  If you meditate already, challenge yourself to shift it up a bit.  Do something a bit differently.  Breaking up stagnation helps us to keep our practice fresh, and we also get to take a deeper look at ourselves in the process.  The path is about learning to grow through engaging the process, rather than just going through the motions.

Do you have questions on setting up a cleanse, detox, or personal challenge?  Feel free to write them in the comments section below and I’ll answer them.

You are Loved.

You are Beautiful.

You are Divine.

Michael A Brazell CFT CSN MAT PAT

www.michaelbrazell.com

www.facebook.com/soulintuitive

Distractions

ModernDistractionsCOMICWe live in a fast paced world.  It seems that the more advanced we become the less time we have.  There are so many things around us constantly calling for our attention, and it can be a bit hard to keep up.

Distractions can come in many forms, and at times we allow our distractions to become limitation.  When we give energy to one thing, we are choosing not to give energy to something else.

How much time do you spend on facebook a day?  Do you spend an equal amount of time making actual friends, new connections?  Instead of spending time in Farmville, go out to a farm and actually engage the earth.

Identifying our distractions can be easy, changing the patterns that keep us bound to them can take a bit more work.  If you do not currently keep a journal, I suggest you start one sooner than later.  One way to see where you are surrendering time is to keep a log of how long you spend in meditation, on the computer, working, reading, etc.  Keeping a time log is much like keeping a calorie log.  Until you know where your calories are coming from it is difficult to balance your diet.

One thing that I also encourage is setting spiritual goals.  What is it that you want to create, do, or experience spiritually?  Giving yourself things to work towards allows you the ability to move, but it also allows you to better identify the distractions along the road.  An example of distraction impeding spiritual practice is often seen in mediation.  We decide we want to meditate.  Then we have to go out and buy the meditation books, cushions, just the right meditation music, and all the while we could just start meditating.  Now, I understand it is important to expand knowledge, to get fun tools to assist in our practice, but if the search for “just the right” tools is keeping us from starting our practice, then it becomes a distraction.

Being able to take conscious steps to engage our distractions, moving away from things that are limiting you.  Decide on a place to move towards, and then start moving.

What are your distractions?

What keeps you from showing up to your practice?  What can you do to remove those limitations?

You are loved.  You are Beautiful.  You are Divine

Embracing the New Year: Gratitude and Possibility

gratitudeSo, it seems we made it through the Mayan prophesy, and we are moving towards year that is filled with possibility.   This past year has not been easy for many.  2012 was an energy that really shook many of us up, and for better or worse we are here.  We are entering a time where possibility is unlimited, but we have to begin focusing on what is important–what is it that you truly want from the experience and what are you willing to create?

As we move into this new year it is important to not set resolutions but to set intentions.

I did feel the rocking that this year gave.   Things came into fruition that I never thought would be possible, and things also have started to fall away.  The ending of this year for me was filled with accomplishment and alignment.  New beginnings are a daily thing, and each day brings new breath.

I have a lot that I want to do this coming year, and finishing up my writing projects is going to be a big priority.  I am also evolving not only my client practice, but my personal practice.   Stagnation is not something that needs to be embraced this year, and holding oneself back from a fully embodied spiritual practice is not something we are going to be allowed to do.

This is the year of the embodied warrior.  The spirit of movement, flow, transition and owning our many parts.   The shadow elements will still be there, but it is important to recognize that they are there to help nudge us along on our journey to self discovery.   Breaking free of expectations and letting your life unfold as you want it to.

What are you holding yourself back from completing, accomplishing, or doing?   Where is your resistance, invite to the table… work through it.

My commitment to this year is going to be to get his blog up and active in a new way.   I want to take my personal writing to new heights.  I was able to finish a manuscript for the Nanowrimo (National Novel Writing Month) challenge and now have to edit and organize it.  I am also working on a new book on Yogic Witchcraft, and have a new blog  www.yogawitch.com and a wonderful radio show on blogtalk that is really picking up steam (www.blogtalkradio.com/michaelbrazell).

I am also taking my personal practice to a new level and am claiming my many parts.  I am a student of BlackHeart Feri and recently had the opportunity to ground new energy at the Between the Worlds conference.  I am excited to begin this new path of study, and it has already had a profound effect on my life.

Yoga is going to be taking a forefront in my journey this year.  I am deepening my personal practice but am also going to be offering new classes, workshops, and events geared towards helping others tap into their unlimited potential through yoga, ecstatic practice, and magick.  Stay tuned!

My partner David and I have done a lot of joint projects this past year, and I am thankful that I have had such a wonderful partner standing beside me through the ups and downs of the spiritual journey.  Living a spiritual life is not often an easy one, but having someone who you can share this life with is an absolute gift.  He has inspired me to finish my book this coming year and submit it to publishing.  He has also inspired me through his tireless work with community to deepen my roots here in the area.  I am working on creating and re-launching several of my meetups so that we can create the sacred space needed for touching the sphere of possibility in 2013.

There are lots of things that I neglected in 2012, and some things that I did not complete, that I will take into 2013 with renewed energy.

I thank all of my teachers, my friends, my clients, my students, my colleagues, spirit, and I thank the breath for keeping me moving–even when it seemed like giving up would have been an easier option.

Be ready to see new stuff!

What is in your sphere of possibility this coming year?  What are you leaving behind in 2012, what are you carrying forward?   What are you most grateful for?

“Trust yourself. Create the kind of self that you will be happy to live with all your life. Make the most of yourself by fanning the tiny, inner sparks of possibility into flames of achievement.”- Golda Meir

You are Loved.  You are Beautiful. You are Divine!

Namaste!

Michael A. Brazell CFT CSN MAT PAT

www.michaelbrazell.com 

www.yogawitch.com

www.blogtalkradio.com/michaelbrazell

Soul Satsang: Spirituality as an Escape

I was recently listening to a wonderful podcast by Swami Ramakrishnananda on the subject of spiritual escapism.

Working in the spiritual domain I often hear people say “I am so thankful for my meditation, it helps me to escape reality for a few moments.”

I am so thankful for my “spiritual group” they help me to escape the mundane nature of my life

… and this is just a few of the avenues that many of us use to escape what is presented.  We often forget that what is presented (even if it is not what we want to face) is also part of the divine experience.  Escaping into spirituality takes away from the sacredness.  When we use our spirituality as a game of hide and seek, eventually the other stuff catches up to us…. Which is why I also hear “every time I try and meditate my brain is flooded with thoughts”… Just because you hide from reality it does not mean that she wont keep looking for you.

When we engage our spiritual outlets as spaces to just be present.  To just be whole for a few moments it allows alignment instead of disconnection.

Instead of running from– Run into.   When you run from something it only will chase you faster.  Run into each moment as a divine experience.  Let your spiritual outlets be moments of transcendence instead of avenues of escape.

What do you feel the need to escape from?

What are you running from?

What do you find yourself running towards in times of stress, chaos, or disconnect?

Does escaping into the spiritual lessen the sacredness of the experience, or does it facilitate a release… define release.

Here are some questions for you to sit with

Love and Light.

M.

http://www.michaelbrazell.com

http://www.yogawitch.com

The Expansion of the Spiritual Self

What are your limitations to living a spiritual life?

Where do you find divinity?   Do you see the divine when you look in the mirror?

What is God/dess?

What inspires you to breathe?

Can you feel the spark in your heart center keeping perfect time with the flow of your life?

Where do you let go?

What does freedom feel like?

How often do you say “I love you” to your own heart center?

How often do you laugh?

How free do you feel right now?

When is the last time you looked at the tops of the trees?

When’s the last time you gave from your soul?

 

Expansion of the spiritual self happens through the space of contemplation.  Sitting with our various “life questions” and letting them sit with us.  We spend so much time looking for answers, but often we don’t remember the question… and well, sometimes the question is the answer.  We have to take time to take account of our many pieces.

Alignment is something we work at.  Where do you feel off-balance?  Take that deeper… do you feel spiritually, emotionally, or energetically off-balance?   What do you need right now to come back to center?  We have to take life in slices of “now”.  What do you need in this moment to expand and let go?

Sit with these questions, ponder your existence, and live not just the answers, but the questions… Don’t be complacent–

Seek and ye shall find….

 

Namaste

Michael A Brazell

 

Mastering the Master Cleanse

Ahhh.. delicious… Lemons, cayenne pepper, molasses and water.

 

This is the basis for the Master Cleanse.  I’m not going to go into a bunch of history on why this cleanse is in existence, but I will share my own personal dealing with it so that you can have a new perspective on an old technique.

The energy this year has been heavy and in many ways chaotic.  Many of us are feeling this shifting force hitting us in magnitude.  We are experience a variety of new emotions, changes (both external and internal), and energies as we align with our higher purpose.  Taking charge of what we are putting into our bodies is vital as we come into this new alignment.

The Master Cleanse is an easy reset button.  Sometimes we come to a point where we know we are not in alignment.  We’ve reached out for the wrong foods, or we might be more aware of the foods that are limiting us.  I do not however follow the traditional mixture.  I have found a concoction that works for me, and it does the trick.

I usually get one of the large bottles (1.5L) of smart water or Whole Foods Brand H2O.  I use 3 Lemons, and I prefer agave nectar over molasses.  Molasses costs a lot more, and agave nectar has a bit few calories and sugar.  I do a couple of pinches of cayenne  pepper, and Ta-Da a delicious drink for the day.  I get up early so that I have time to make my drink, and it typically lasts me through the day.

Leading up to “Lemonade Only”
So, being the realist that I am, I know that if I jump straight into the mixture on its own right away that I’ll throw my body into “Craving every piece of cake in a 50 mile radius” mode.  I typically do not change my diet for a few days, but add the lemonade mixture.  This gives your stomach a chance to get use to the pepper and lemons, and it also provides a mild detox.  The idea is also introduced into your consciousness that a cleanse is on the way.  It’s like buying the cleaning supplies and keeping them in your messy room.  I usually do this for a couple of days, and then slowly begin cutting out different food items, until it’s just me and the lemonade. 

I typically do the cleanse for 3-7 days, and the go into a raw food eating mode for about a week (or longer).   Set a timeline that you know will work for you.

Set an intention for your cleanse.

“As I take in this cleansing liquid so does clarity flow through me”.

Personalize the cleanse and make it yours.  Allow yourself to be fluid with it.  If you feel like doing the lemonade along with raw foods– Great.  If you feel like just adding the lemonade and changing nothing–Great.  The idea here is that you are also including the intention that you are cleansing.  Cleaning happens and a multitude of levels.

Just a quick breakdown of the ingredients.  You want to use purified water if possible.  The agave nectar gives you calories to burn.  The cayenne pepper ups your metabolism and immune system, and the lemons are great cleansers.  Lemon is a natural diuretic, which will help you flush your system

I recommend light activity during the cleansing cycle.  Yoga is a perfect match for the master cleanse.  Yoga allows you to dive deep into the muscles and joints to facilitate release of toxins and limitations.

Trust yourself, and give the body what it needs.  If you need calories, eat.  If you need to modify, modify.

Have fun with the cleanse, open up to intention, and share the journey with those around you.
Michael A. Brazell CFT CSN MAT PAT

www.michaelbrazell.com

www.blogtalkradio.com/michaelbrazell

Michael@michaelbrazell.com

 

 

Creating Sacred Space

There are times when I feel that I need to escape the world around me.  The busy energy of the year, the technology that expands and binds, the hurried energy of time.  Having a place to breathe is just as important as the action of breathing.

What is sacred space?

Sacred space can be any place where you decide to meet the divine.  Sacred space can also be that place deep within your being that holds your energy and light.  Sacred space is the rest stop on our busy highways.

Sacred space can be a room, a park, a bench, etc.  I typically have a few different places that I can duck into around my work place that I can retreat to for a bit to find balance.  There is a wonderful fountain, and I sit and watch the water.  Just being present in that space makes it sacred.

If you are at home, you can make your space sacred by adding statues, incense, or whatever else connects you to your divine self.  Invite the divine into this space with you.  Allow yourself to be creative, even if you don’t have a lot of space you can still created a sacred corner.  When I first started connecting to my higher vibrations, I used an old shoe box with a bandana on it as my altar.  I had a few candles, a couple of stones, and my tarot deck.  Sacred space is uniquely yours.

Mentally you can also create sacred spaces.  Visualizing a harmonious environment, seeing temple, or entering into the void can bring peace both internally and externally.

Where do you find sacred space?  What is sacred space to you?

Michael A. Brazell CFT CSN MAT PAT

www.michaelbrazell.com

www.blogtalkradio.com/michaelbrazell

Coming into alignment: Purpose, Self, Breath

This seems to be the year of integration.  Many of us are hearing the call to come into being, to begin showing up, to be the divine light we were meant to always be.  For some the process will be an easy one, for others this means making radical shifts.  Being in the present is an action of surrender.  So many of us spend so much time in the past, even exploring past lives to find some tidbit of knowledge that can unbind us from some future karma that has not yet been actualized.

Breathe!

Breathing is one of the most important things we do.  It is spirituality stripped down.  It is our common bond to all things in life.  Breathing is the religion of life.  It is the divine mother birthing a new moment, it is father god bringing us connection, light.

I see too many people living on the inhale, life catching them off guard.  Then they forget to exhale.  It is in the out breath that we inspire new life, new connection, and expansion.  We have to break living in a state of waking apnea.  When we breathe we move, and this brings us into alignment.

The physical body is where we meet the breath.  We must take care of the temple.  The physical body is the temple of the soul, where we congregate with life herself.  We often speak of alignment in our spiritual practice, but how can we align with purpose if our bodies are held out of alignment due to neglect?  Take a moment to breath deeply.  Then exhale.  Where do you feel the breath stopping?  Where do you feel resistance?  Sit for a moment with that energy, be in that space of deep listening and ask what is needed in this moment.

Purpose is an unfolding lotus.

It changes as we breathe.  The road bends, it turns, as do we.

I love yoga as it is a constant action of surrender.  It is a unification of mind, body, spirit, breath, and purpose.  It is action coupled with intention.  Desire and will holding my space as I move around the mat.  This is how I am choosing to live my life in this moment.

What is calling you in this moment?   Where do you need movement?  Are you restricted in physical mobility, can you improve on this?  If not, find the smallest level possible and breathe into that space… The body is constantly moving, even if we are not.. Let’s join her in this eternal dance.

Engaging the Shift

Where are the waters of this life taking you?  What do you feel your purpose is within this divine experience?   Where are you within your body in this moment?

This is a year of engagement and integration.  Who we “were” is now changing into who we have always supposed to be.  Our greater purpose is coming to alignment, and more importantly we are being called to show up to our divine experience.

Most of us will go joyfully, others will go kicking and screaming.  Those that find themselves in struggle need to see where their anchors are located and being the work of deep release.  It is time to continue to see the shadow, to release our limitations, and to move into the breath.

There is work to be done.  We have to engage life and spirit daily.  This shift, this movement in consciousness requires us to show up.

Where do you feel the need to show up in your life?  What is calling you in this moment?