By Joan Heartfield, Ph.D.
Liz Gilbert inspired me in her talk at the TED conference. She spoke about the root of genius not being something we are or aren’t—but something more ethereal. When I looked up the word genius on the Online Etymology Dictionary, sure enough, the late 14th century Latin translation of genius is a “guardian deity or spirit which watches over each person from birth; spirit, incarnation, with talent,” If we use this definition, we see that even if we don’t think of ourselves as a genius, we may be able to entice a genius into our lives.
This is an exciting possibility since I know we all have experienced moments of genius when a new thought, new idea, new possibility has suddenly seem to come out of nowhere. Literally jump into our awareness. But what if we could cultivate, entice or romance more of those moments?
Often those fleeting moments seem to come when my mind has been relatively empty (like upon awakening). It would emerge before one of my repetitive thought patterns would seize me. Before a habit pattern would just jump in and start the day in some automatic way. In those moments of serenity when I would be thought-less, almost empty, new thoughts would emerge. Thoughts I’d never thunk before. I’d feel a rush in those moments; creative moments, exciting moments, moments where I would seize a pen to write down the words and ideas that were forming in my mind.
I’d always received this as a gift, but never knew how to bring it about more of the time. Now I know it’s my genius at work bringing jewels of new thoughts that seem to come from the creative part of me. I’m beginning to watch for them in those moments where my mind is empty of it’s usual drivel of endless to do lists and chatter about anything and everything past, present and future. Perhaps because I am recognizing, appreciating and asking for it, these moments of insight and brilliance come more frequently.
Getting grounded, which happens when we are barefoot on the ground, seems to help. Interestingly, we can also get grounded where we are in the bath or shower. This is because, as David Wolfe points out, the plumbing is connected to the earth, which provides instant grounding. I’ve noticed Tomas frequently gets creative downloads the moment he steps into our nighttime shared bath.
Genius downloads seem to come in cycles. When your genius knows you are paying attention, more material may come whizzing through. As you begin to get these random snippets, write them down in a genius notebook to find what they are pointing to. Who knows? You may be on the edge of writing a new book, creating solutions for world peace, or inventing the next free energy technology!
This appears to be a particularly good time to ask for and receive New Awareness. Goddess knows, we need it. And because of that, it is coming in from all sides. Beautiful, powerful, uplifting, supportive information is streaming in from all over the world. Genius at work!
I am convinced Genius is here with us all the time just waiting to be called in. Try it. “Come sweet genius, come and think me. Lift my mind from the mundane. Give me thoughts that can support not only my highest options, but can support my connection to effortless creativity.”
May you feed your genius well, and reap the sublime fruits of inspiration, imagination and vision.
Boosting a Flagging Sex Life After Birth
By Joan Heartfield, Ph.D. and Tomas Heartfield, Certified Tantric Educator.
What can be done to give a couple’s love life a lift after having a baby?
The most important thing a couple can do to enhance their desire for one another post birth is to treat each other with respect and understanding.
The father needs to understand it is natural for the mother to need rest for a while after giving birth. Although it is completely natural it takes a great deal of energy to grow a baby, go through the intensity of labor and delivery, and then care for the infant after it is born.
When a woman feels understood and honored, she feels cherished. Hug her and let her know how precious she is to you; touch her body with healing intention; massage her and help her relax deeply into her true nature; see the beauty of the Divine Mother radiating through her and beam that beauty back to her through your own eyes; show your appreciation for her in your thoughts, words and deeds.
When you do make love the first time after the birth, create a sacred ceremony. Be conscious and conscientious in the way you re-establish your sexual relationship. Know that her yoni, her sacred space, needs to be touched slowly and tenderly. Make this a precious time to remember!
The mother needs to understand that the father of her child wants to know he is loved. Caring for a baby is so absorbing that a woman sometimes forgets her man needs quality time and attention from her.
When a man feels deeply respected and appreciated for what he is able to give, he relaxes. Men need to know they are needed and valued, not only for the protection and support they give, but also for their sexual energy. Touch him and tell him how sexy he is; thank him for understanding your need to take a break and let him know that as soon as you feel up to it, you want to make love again; realize that this child will be with you for a relatively brief time while your husband is your lifetime companion; give him the time and attention he needs, and let him know how special he is to you.
Energy runs differently in men and women. A man feels love through his lingam, his “wand of light”. A woman feels love through her heart. When a man communicates his love in a way that opens a woman’s heart, it opens her to the possibility of a sexual connection. When a woman lets her desire for her man show through her touch and her smile, she endears him to her.
A communication technology such as Compassionate Communication, developed by Marshall Rosenberg, is a wonderful tool to help bring the passion back. The more simply we can communicate our feelings and needs, without blame or judgment, the easier and more joyful life becomes.
Learning to listen with empathy is the other side of communication. Being heard and understood is a turn on for both men and women.
It all boils down to consideration. When we really care about another, we want to understand their feelings and needs, and we want to be understood as well. When we feel understood, we can relax. Sexual energy flows best when we are in a peaceful state. Plus, you will be healthier, happier and passionately harmonious!
Cultivating our sexual energy
Is there a practical reason to cultivate our sexual energy other than to have sex?
Absolutely, I mean definitely cultivating our sexual energy in order to, let’s say, enjoy more of that sexual energy in all of the ways in which we use it because, sexual energy is a life energy, it is a life force energy, and so all the ways in which we might use our life-force energy, in our creative endeavors, in our conversations with people when we really feel passionate about something.
Passion is an energy, we want to be able to bring it up and be able to use it in the world to get things done, whatever it is we want to get done and to feel loved, being able to bring passion into the way which we love so that we can, really make a difference in the world in a way which we communicate, to have a passionate communication, to have a passionate understanding or awareness, to have a passionate connection with the Divine.
So the more of this life-force energy that we have, the more we can bring to all aspects of our life including of course having maybe more fun making love.
What is Enlightened Relationship?
We have been asking this question since we first met in the steamy jungles of Ecuador where we came face to face with the most divine archetypal God and Goddess we had ever known. We literally saw and felt this energy as it came through us mirrored in each other’s faces. In honoring this energy, it has directed us as our relationship has continued to unfold over the years with care and consciousness. This spiritual directive has taught us how to access the most enlightened response to every situation life has brought us.
We had both played out our reactive patterns in other relationships and the difference of relating with this consciousness and creativity delighted and amazed us. It was as though the archetypal energies were entering our lives on a personal level. We were literally “shown” how to “do relationship correctly”, thereby honoring the bigger matrix of the divine within us.
This involves accessing the clearest pathway for communication in each moment without sacrificing our individuality or integrity. Our awareness showed us ten steps for bringing enlightenment to relationship.
1. Acknowledge the Divine (God in whatever form you choose) in your lives.
2. Pray, Ask, Decree that you be shown the Divine will for your lives.
3. Recognize and treat each other as Divine.
4. Take responsibility for everything that happens and own your contribution in every situation.
5. Choose the highest possible interaction in each moment.
6. Listen and communicate attentively and respectfully.
7. Tell the truth without blame or judgement.
8. Find the perfect response that uplifts, supports, nurtures, inspires and delights you and others.
9. Know that in every experience lies the possibility for transformation.
10. Always be kind to each other.
Freeing the trans-formative power in love is enormous. By releasing our patterned responses and moving into the inquiry of “what is the highest, most creative option for this moment”, an energetic shift is created which propels us beyond our previous identities and lets us live in the extraordinary magic of the new. In every moment is the potential for joyful loving interaction that makes life a playground full of wonderful discoveries. We go beyond technique into genuine creativity in relationship, where we choose to be aware in the moment.. By simply showing up and paying attention to what has heart and meaning, we can access a mode of communication of vast transformative potential.
In addition to paying rewarding dividends, these attitudes create a vortex of active participation with Universal proportions. This focus begins to activate your Divine potential by creating a spaciousness that can only be described as sacred. Perhaps the most unique thing about this “new” terrain is its haunting familiarity. It allows you to be supported as you surrender ever deeper to its deliciousness. The sacred domain of relationship recognizes the value of everything. As you place value on all aspects of your life, more value begins to be felt in every aspect of life. You have now created an upward spiraling vortex that begins to take you and place you in never before imagined experiences that resonate with the deepest part of your heart and soul.
You now begin anticipating the needs of your lover and beloved’s in the same proportion as you recognize and honor your own needs. At this point you are not the doer. You are the receiver of your reality. You are now in the state Rumi was in, at one with love. In a sense, everyone becomes your beloved, because you have the ability to see that aspect in everyone around you.
Our intentional imagining can hold the vision of a world where we treat each other with a quality of respect and recognition of the most sacred and familiar. The Hawaiian culture has a word for awakening this process within us. Makala ee ahh. Say this word out loud and decree your awakening to transformative relationship.
Advice for Newlyweds
By Tomas and Joan Heartfield, Ph.D.
You’ve found the perfect person to share a life together. Jerome finds Sally the most enticing, beautiful, witty, sexy, creative woman he has ever known. Sally finds Jerome to be the most handsome, loving, considerate, sensitive and perfect man she has ever known. When they look at each other the stars in the sky seem to brighten considerably. When they make love their passion consumes any doubts that this will be a marriage made in heaven. The wedding bells ring, the wine is drunk, the pictures capture the timeless moment. The cake is eaten and those beautiful wedding gifts are opened and the lovers ride off into the sunset to live happily ever after. Right? We hope so.
The truth is maintaining love and passion is a practice. In the art of love it is very important to realize you have signed up for a very important job. Keeping love alive requires more than a few blessings. It requires an awareness of how very fragile love is in the beginning. Every thought, word and gesture either makes love grow or dims its brightness. In the language of love there are five (at least) ways of expressing it. They are:
2. Quality time
3. Words of acknowledgement
4. Acts of service
Learn your partners primary and secondary love language and make it a practice to give love in a way they can feel and receive it. A woman who needs quality time to feel appreciated will not do very well with a workaholic husband who showers her with gifts to make up for his lack of attention. A man who needs acts of service and physical touch will deeply feel appreciated with that steaming cup of coffee in the morning and some snuggles before he goes to work in the morning. To take the love profile test email email@example.com for a free copy. It’s worth the effort and will get your relationship off to a flying start.
Communicate lovingly from your hearts. Practice the art of listening deeply to each other. Nothing keeps romance alive like being heard. Cultivate the art of conversation. Explore each other’s minds. Appreciate your partner’s point of view. When s/he shares with you let her/him know what s/he has to say is important enough to you to turn the TV off. If you are in a hurry and something important wants to be shared, make a date for uninterrupted sharing.
Take care of yourself. Be responsible for your health, attitudes and positive energy. This is vital to a healthy relationship. Eat well, get some exercise daily and connect with nature. If you have emotional baggage from the past, take responsibility to clear it.
Go Vertical. Find a way that feels comfortable for both of you to recognize a higher power in your life and use prayer, meditation, ceremony and sacred intentioning to align yourselves with something greater than your personal needs.
Most of all choose to enjoy your life together. Love is a journey. Explore it fully!
Embody Your Ecstasy
by Caroline Muir and Joan Heartfield, Ph.D.
Sounds great, but what exactly does it mean? Working for a living and the demands of life hardly seem to leave time or energy for ecstatic states of being, and in this culture, people don’t seem to be naturally good at being happy. It’s almost more in style to complain or focus on what isn’t working in our life rather than what is a source of joy.
How many conversations do you have in one day in which you ask someone how they are, and then you are a sounding board for all of their problems? Where does this tendency to complain come from? It appears to be culturally inherited. We hear it all around us. Fortunately, it’s in our ‘software’ rather than our ‘hardware’.
Ecstasy, or joy, is in our ‘hardware’—it is our birthright. As babies, we smile and laugh at apparently nothing. Joy bubbles up from a well within our own hearts. Have you ever caught yourself walking down the street or into the market being aware of a smile on your face for no particular reason from an authentic place inside yourself? We all have the capacity to tap into this place of “happy for no reason”.
Each moment of ‘right now’ can be thoroughly claimed– with the intention to do so. It requires us to notice when we find ourselves in unconscious patterns of worry, complaining, or anxiety. We must bring our attention into our bodies, connect to our breath, and have in mind what it is we wish to affirm in the now.
Caroline says, “I have a volume control inside of my heart just like the one on your stereo. When I notice that I am getting too serious or too rushed or too intense, I drop into an image of that volume control and turn it up! The smile returns to my face, my pace slows into an easy glide from a hurried push, and the moment is all there is.”
Joan suggests, “I’ve noticed the difference between what I call “real feelings” which help me discover what I need in this moment, and “static patterns” such as anxiety or worry. When I notice I’ve dropped into the latter, I use an affirmation to replace the “static pattern”. Currently I’m using, ‘I am radiantly healthy, happy, and peaceful.’ That simple sentence brings me back to the present and I feel my natural joy once again.”
We are the only ones who can truly make ourselves happy. Our attitude is the secret behind our thoughts. Fear and worry are like jealous lovers, always competing for our attention. The news and newspapers will immediately give us something to worry about. Other people’s mental diarrhea is so easy to hook into and make it our own. There truly are countless things every minute that can steal us away from our joy and ecstasy. With so much coming at us in each moment—from the radio, the news, and the constant stream of media now on our computers, we are the only ones in charge of how we deal with this ever-growing wave of information.
It boils down to where I put my attention—internally and externally. I am the one who can change the channel (unless I hand over that control to someone else). Even if I have to listen, at times, to information that I’d rather not—I am still the only one in charge of what I think, say, and do.
The choice to embody our ecstasy is life affirming—and we may need to discover how we can be this joyful. We may wish to look at unwanted habit patterns of thinking that do not serve us and train our mind to think positively. We may want to discover our feelings and needs and find ways to communicate them more effectively. We may decide to put time into caring for our bodies in order to embody anything. We may wish to put more time into nurturing our spiritual sexual self so we amp up our pleasure potential.
We want to discover what brings us joy—and move toward that. It could include the simple joy of walking or stretching or breathing deeply. It might be catching the light in another’s eyes and smiling –or buying coffee for the next person in line as a random act of kindness. It may be planning a sensual session for our lover or mate.
There are many things that can put a smile on our face. Caroline reminisces, “I remember a moment twenty-five years ago when I was leaving a little-known Caribbean island after a week of blissful vacation. Climbing the steps of a small plane I turned one last time to look at the sky and palm trees that were the background for a shanty they called a bar at this miniature airport. The hand-painted sign over the entrance to the bar read, Love your enemies… it will drive them crazy. That message caused my natural ecstasy to rise as I laughed my way onto the little plane. My whole body grinned from ear to ear if you can imagine how that feels. I felt as though I were hovering above the masses, drinking in the heavenly love that was mine for the asking. I could have found ten reasons to not be ecstatic at that moment as others around me were grumbling about one thing or the other.”
Joan notices that the more time she spends appreciating the people around her, the happier they are—and the more joyful she is. “This is my spiritual practice,” says Joan. “I especially notice this with Tomas, my husband, since he is the person I spend the most time with. The more I focus on all the things I appreciate about him, the more loving he is and the more fun we have together. I have learned to tell him what I want, rather than what I don’t want—and it has made a huge difference in the quantity and quality of our enjoyment of life.”
If you have not yet done so, make a choice to replace the habit of complaining and worry with a choice to move toward what you want in life—toward your joy. Claim ecstasy right now for yourself. It is the pleasure of being alive… the delight we can have in the moment… the enjoyment of co-creating with life.
We at Divine Feminine-Awakened Masculine Institute are deeply grateful we have discovered how we can embody our ecstasy. Our joy now is teaching others how to give themselves this gift of aliveness. When the DFAMI team bantered about slogans, we knew when we heard “Embody Your Ecstasy” that this was the ultimate gift we could bring to those who study with us. It is the fuel for aliveness into an awakened state. We believe it is the ultimate choice for life.
Calling All Love
Other than putting out an all points bulletin for someone to call our own, how do we attract that quality of energy and connection to us? Is there some mysterious secret that, if we know what it was, could manifest a beloved with a wink of an eye?
The secret is this: the beloved radiates through us as an attractor for the experience of love to be known. As we take on the role of beloved and feel the beloved as us, we open to the love that is all around us. What we find is that it is us that is keeping love and beloved at bay.
There is a direct connection between our external and internal experience. If we are vibrating at the frequency of love it brings us more loving opportunities and experiences. Opening to love is an inside job that starts with ourselves. If we believe we are unlovable this will send out signals that prevent true love from coming to us.
One man we worked with for two years did everything he could to attract women and love to him. He would find women who were exactly the wrong type for him because his mind would tell him that was what he wanted. The more he tried to make it work, the angrier and more frustrated he got. He finally revealed that he felt himself unlovable and undeserving of love. Once this was resolved, and he really got how loveable he is, within weeks he attracted to him the perfect person—someone who was beyond his wildest dreams. Once he dissolved his “unlovable” thought form, the beloved immediately showed up. In fact she found him!
How love emerges and takes us into its mysteries is every bit as amazing as how universes are created and what gives flimsy little butterflies the capacity to fly thousands of miles. Love and its messenger the beloved is here to reveal more of who we really are, show us what needs healing and give us a dependable source of support through the journey of life.
We feel loved when our need for connection is met so completely that merging into the field of oneness becomes effortless. We stay in love when we can identify accurately what encourages this state for ourselves and have another being willing to support it. Love stays alive and grows when both people agree to listen attentively to what has heart and meaning and celebrate it as fuel for loves fire.
Opening as love accelerates the possibility of entering loves domain here and now. As love is eternal, it is us who must accommodate and make room for what is already here.
Here is an activity that activates the energy of the beloved.
Sit quietly in a place where you feel comfortable and will be undisturbed.
1. Put your left hand on your heart, your right hand on your belly.
2. Breathe quietly for five minutes. Just let your breath rise and fall. Feel you heart beating, expanding with each breath. Imagine the beloved lives in your heart. Speak to the beloved in your heart as you would a precious lover. Share your deepest desires for the quality of love you wish to cultivate and your appreciation that you can now have a relationship with this beloved that lives in you, as you.
The Art of Asking: Conscious Dating
By Joan Heartfield, Ph.D.
Asking for what we want can difficult. As regards relationship, historically in Western society men have been the askers and pursuers. They are the gender that is expected to take the first step. This is challenging for many men and women. It is not easy for a man to ask when he does not know if he will be turned down and for many women it is not easy to receive the attention of a man they would rather not have pursuing them.
Some people think that in an ideal world the women would choose the men thereby relieving the men of the need for “hunting” for a partner. This tactic could allow women to take responsibility for their desire to connect and empower them to ask specifically for what they want in each situation. Men would know that this particular woman wants to get to know him further, and if he feels the same way, graciously accept the invitation.
But men should also have the right to ask for what they want, and many women prefer a man asking.
It seems some aspect of the feminine would like to find balance with pursuit, sometimes choosing the age-old desire to be pursued, and sometimes seeking to pursue. This requires men to drop into their yin essence and be more relaxed around what women want and it requires women to step into their yang essence and be clear in sharing their desires.
The challenge is always around the feelings and style of both the person asking and the person being asked.
How we ask is important. Neither women nor men like pressure, a come-on, hype, or any type of demand in the asking process. Neither do men or women like games. Be real. Ask with warmth from a neutral, open place. Be open to but not attached to the outcome. The more centered you are, the easier it is for the other person to feel you, rather than feeling their reaction to a strategy you might be using.
Once we are asked to join someone for a “date”, how do we know whether to say yes or no? Sometimes it is obvious. At those times we feel it in every cell of our bodies. When we get a definitive YES or NO, choosing is easy.
What about when we don’t know? Do we check it out and say ‘yes’? Or do we say no and wait for the big YES?
It depends on what is alive in us. If we value adventure and like to share our minds and hearts in an exploratory way–and we feel the person has some merit, say yes. It can be useful getting to know various people. Each person is unique and has something to offer. A person you decide to date may not turn out to “the person” you want to spend your life with, but they may bring a fresh perspective or become a friend. And sometimes as we get to know someone, friendship blossoms into love.
How do you know if a person has “merit”? First see how you feel when you are with this person. Do you feel respected, appreciated and acknowledged for whom you are? Do you feel trusting of this person? Does this person exude kindness and consideration? All of these things are more important than the initial “chemistry”—your attraction to them sexually.
In making your choice, ask questions such as, “What is most alive in you these days?” “What makes you feel really connected to life?” “What is important to you?” “What do you value in your life?”
Real questions invite an open honesty and depth right away. Asking from a genuine desire to know a person invites their vulnerability. We have to feel safe to open up, and vulnerability, while sometimes scary to reveal, is nonetheless quite seductive too.
How this person answers your questions will let you know if you want to spend more time with them or not. If you appreciate this person’s energy and answers, yes is a natural outcome. If something is missing or you do not feel “right” with them, you will say no.
How you say yes or no is important. Yes is easy. No can be easy if done with love. First be present with the person asking. Look at them and take a breath. Focus your gaze on their left (receptive) eye. Always start with “thank you for asking me.” Acknowledgment is very important. If you know it is a yes, say something like, “I’d be happy to spend some time with you. I’d like to get to know you better too.” If you do not know, you might say, “I’m not getting an immediate yes or no. Let me reflect on it and I will let you know later today. I appreciate your willingness to ask.”
If you know it is a no, you might say, “Thank you for asking me. I know how challenging asking can be. I am not available to go out with you and I do appreciate your willingness to ask.”
Trust your intuition. Honor your own and everyone’s right to say NO.
The truth is, we are all being guided in our lives. We know what is true for us and we are receiving new information all the time. We must tune into and trust our own guidance. This starts with the art of asking and being honest with yourself and one another.
For the men: Imagine you are a Divine Masculine man being asked by a Divine Feminine woman for a date. This is your opportunity to step into your High Self with the women who invite you to share time with them. Let go of expectations and simply be present to the moment. Honor your own boundaries and those of your partner. Listen to what this woman wants, and share with her your hearts desires. During your date time honor her wishes. Let the woman lead. She may decide she only wants closeness and talking. Celebrate her honesty. Encourage her to trust her intuition.
For the women: Imagine you are a Divine Feminine woman being asked by a Divine Masculine man for a date. This is your opportunity to step into your High Self and be gently forthright and honest. Check in with yourself first. Discard old programs of teasing or keeping the man guessing. Do not manipulate through the unconscious use or your sexual energy. Honor your own boundaries and those of your partner.
We can create a new paradigm of giving and receiving love through conscious dating. We can create more fullness in our capacity to generate more presence in our relationship to one other through honest and respectful interactions.
This is where our conscious kindness adds more depth to our personal interactions. We can come together with true curiosity and consideration, have fun and trustworthy interactions and part from one another feeling happy. We ultimately want to leave friends and lovers better than we found them!
Joan Heartfield, Ph.D., director of Divine Feminine, A Modern Mystery School, has been teaching with Caroline Muir since 1994. A counselor, writer, and guide for over 25 years, Joan is passionate about intimacy and sacred sexuality, radically authentic communication, and the health and vitality we can cultivate in our bodies. She and her husband, Tomas, facilitate retreats for singles and couples www-divine-feminine.com and www.talkinghearts.com.