in part 1 of this article, you engaged the ‘elevator exercise,’ where you imagined 8 hours in an elevator with someone in your life you love spending time with, and someone in your world who feels challenging. hopefully, you then calendared a gentle way to either ‘prune’ or ‘nourish’ the relationships you chose, so you can experience the impact of these relationships in your life. beautifully done!
every relationship in your life is sacred, unique, and special – personal and professional – even the ones that feel complex or painful.
one idea to consider is that your spirit may have chosen key relationships to help you heal and grow as you explore evolutionary lessons in ‘earth school’ – especially if you chose a personality that loves looking under mystical rocks for larger meanings (with all the burdens and gifts that entails). you might also have volunteered in the spirit realms before incarnating to help someone else in their own healing and growing.
that’s not to say that every relationship needs to be put under a microscope and examined as a teaching experience – relationships that simply feel great and are a source of deep joy are some of the best gifts of living a magical life.
when there is struggle, frustration, or hurt, it’s possible to bring gentle curiosity to why that relationship as teacher arrived for you in the first place, whether with a friend or family member, or student or client.
a note – I’m not meaning to be flippant and say ‘you can spiritually bypass your way out of what hurt you so deeply by recognizing the teaching in it.’ I’m not saying that. some relationships cause hurts that are grievous, serious, traumatizing, and it’s inappropriate to tend those via reading an article and trying an exercise – please don’t try. if that’s the case, please turn to a healer you trust with skills to help support you around relationships or events with high-level emotional charge. please take good care of your tender heart.
that said, for the purposes of this article, you’re invited to get curious about underlying spiritual teachings and healings that are of light-to-moderate emotional charge, if you feel resourced to right now. you might feel called to examine a personal dynamic, or a professional one in your role as a helper or healer.
finding a relationship to be curious about
here are examples of some kinds of relationships that might come up for curiosity and investigation:
- a friend who has developed a pattern you find hard to be with (complaining, victimhood, overdramatizing, dumps problems on you)
- a business colleague whose actions you’re finding challenging (lack of integrity, poor performance, overcommitment, toxic behavior)
- a family member who challenges you (self-involved, prying, emotionally distant, constantly critical)
let’s say you choose the relationship that you contemplated in the ‘elevator exercise’ in the first half of this article. this might be someone in your life who occurs for you as draining, irritating, or hard to be with, and who is also someone you’re currently choosing to keep in your life because of momentum or circumstance.
if this is a safe-feeling level of charge for you, and you can bring actual curiosity here, let’s dive in.
your way of connecting with spirit may be very different from mine. the way that works for me is by journeying with a rhythmic drumbeat to my spirit helpers, so I can ask questions and receive information directly. your way of connecting with spirit might look like meditation, walking in nature and asking for signs or omens, journaling, formal contemplation, channeling, drawing oracle cards, labyrinth walks, or dreamwork.
lovely. the path you take is less important than the results and insight you gain through your own direct experience.
however you connect with the mystery, you might engage these 3 powerful questions:
- what is my spirit trying to learn from this relationship?
- how am I hiding, people pleasing, or tolerating tension in this relationship?
- what healing do I need to do, so I no longer need this teaching?
the insights that might arise for you, as you entertain these 3 powerful (and often liberating) questions are limitless. it’s amazing to see what information arises when we bring curiosity to what we might be trying to learn or work through in a larger spiritual context, on the road to healing ourselves and living in a state of flow and grace.
here’s an example
from one of my clients: ‘stephanie’ was heavily criticized in front of her peers, on a business project she had spent years bringing together. as she’s a highly sensitive woman with special empathic skills, the critical words wounded her to the core, and she spent years unraveling trauma response after the incident (blessings). after lots of sacred witnessing, soul retrieval, cord healing, power restoration and ceremony in our ongoing sessions together, she journeyed to her helping spirits to ask the 3 powerful questions above.
it was incredible witnessing ‘stephanie’ in action – we’d worked on this together, and thrown every healing modality at hand (and the kitchen sink) at this, and she was feeling ‘stuck’ about it even so. when she took these 3 powerful questions to the spirit world herself, her helping spirits offered her beautiful teachings about why her spirit had chosen that experience to help her get free of patterns she’d been walking with for lifetimes. those are hers to speak, and I’ll say that there were powerful themes around sovereignty, self-love, power, bravery, and forgiveness.
the rest of ‘stephanie’s’ healing journey didn’t complete overnight – but it did find resolution swiftly after engaging these 3 questions. it was beautiful to witness, and I so honor her for doing her work.
after all, when one of us heals, all beings benefit, and we’re all that much closer to fulfilling the missions we came here to complete.
however you decide to engage these 3 questions, I invite you to actually work with them – not just read this article, think ‘that sounds useful’ and go on about your day…but actually practice the practice. I’d love to hear whatever you wish to share about what arises for you, and honor you for getting curious about the relationships you might have chosen as teachers – in your personal or professional life – this time around.
this seemingly ‘simple’ practice is one way to alchemize poison into medicine – I wish you ease and grace with it.
ps – do you know one or two folks who would benefit from receiving the dreaming otter articles? if yes, please encourage them to subscribe to the email list here. I would be so grateful – thanks, and may that kindness return to you a thousandfold.