Create the Life You Imagine ~ November 2019
The Three Triangle Model: Making Connections
“A conscious relationship is one that calls forth who you really are.”
~ John Welwood, Buddhist Psychologist
So far this year we have been building this three triangle spiritual model to help us understand the relationship between the different levels of our being. We can refer to these three levels of consciousness as body, mind and spirit, or as Personality, Soul and Spirit. As we have been working inside this model, we have focused on activating our higher operating system by using our deeper awareness to remember who we really are, and to stabilize our consciousness more consistently at the level of our “True Self” or Soul. We have also been working with the awareness that the purpose of life is to offer us the opportunity to learn and evolve through our experiences, and to gradually shed the limiting patterns of our personality in order to become more and more aligned with the truth of who we are. We have used the metaphor of a high-tech, self-driving vehicle to think about our Soul as the invisible navigator of our life journey, and we might imagine that our Soul is arranging each turn and each life experience as an opportunity for us to learn the next lesson we need in order to reach our destination. The destination is simply to evolve to the place where we can live in deep alignment with our Soul in a joyful and authentic expression of Spirit.
From our personality’s perspective, some of the roads and life experiences our Soul may choose for us will feel positive and uplifting, and some of them will feel darn right difficult and discouraging. If we are living inside this new awareness, however, we won’t judge our experiences by the pleasure or the pain, we will simply ask, “What am I to learn from this experience about who I really am?” In this model of unfolding awareness, we must remember that our outer experiences are simply a reflection of our current inner state of consciousness, because our thoughts create our reality. If the experiences we are having in a particular chapter of life are especially intense or challenging, we might think of these chapters as times of intense alchemy of old and restrictive life patterns, and as potent opportunities for deep transformation and real growth in the work of our Soul.
Some of the most powerful learning experiences we will have during this life journey will come through our relationships with other people. We will have many varieties of relationships in life and all of them hold the potential to help us expand our awareness. Sometimes we can learn a critical life lesson in a fleeting encounter with a seeming stranger, and sometimes we will learn our most important lessons as we struggle and grow through the grit of deeper life relationships with family members, spouses, close friends or mentors. If we continue to work with the notion that nothing in our life experience is accidental or coincidental, then we will also learn to ask ourselves in every relationship or encounter with another person, “What am I to learn from this experience about who I really am?” From this perspective, the people we encounter in our relationships will become our best mirrors and our most powerful teachers.
In the image above, you see the familiar image of our spiritual self-system side-by-side with a mirror image, to represent our Self in relationship to another person. In every encounter with another person we can use our deeper awareness to notice the level of being from which we are operating, and the level of being from which the other person is operating. Let’s imagine this image represents you and a close family member or significant other. That relationship has the potential to exist on a Soul level or on a personality level, and in deep relationships both are often happening at the same time. When we feel wildly in sync, alive and free inside a significant relationship, we are likely meeting each other at the Upper Triangle level of our Souls, where each person sees the incredible beauty and presence of the other person and reflects that light back to the other through the lens of the relationship. When we are struggling with each other inside that relationship, we are likely engaging each other through the Lower Triangle level of our personalities, and then we often find our two small-self personalities battling through our own shadow patterns and fighting for a feeling of power and control to protect our fragile ego needs and desires.
In our most significant life relationships we often share some common wounds in our lower triangle personalities and our relationship presents the opportunity to become mirrors for each other as we try to bring those wounds and the limiting patterns that go with them to the forefront of our awareness so that they might be transformed and healed. Too often, however, we get so caught up inside the small self patterns that we just engage in reoccurring battles based in our wounded histories, and end up just battering and bruising each other as we fight to get our small self needs met. But if we can engage the spiritual awareness of our higher operating system, we can begin to watch our patterns in the relationship and get curious about what is happening. If we can watch the relationship patterns from the perspective of our Soul, we can notice the ways our small self personalities are getting caught in old destructive patterns and open up the possibility for something new to happen.
The greatest opportunity in any relationship is to meet each other at the level of the Soul. If we catch our small self personalities struggling, we have the choice to shift our experience by moving our awareness to the level of our Soul and engaging from there. If we make that shift, we may notice that the other person moves with us and the quality of the interaction changes quickly. If we make that shift and the other person doesn’t, at least we can choose to disengage our personality and to take down our defenses and resistance, so that we minimize the likelihood of inflicting additional harm on each other. When we breathe into our relationships from the level of our Soul, we take responsibility for our own part of the pattern and let go of our small self need to win the argument, or to prove our point, or to control the other person, and new possibilities emerge.
So if you want to use your relationships in service to your higher possibilities, you have to shift your own state of awareness up to the level of your Soul, and we always open that channel by engaging our heart center with love and compassion for the struggle. From your Upper Triangle awareness, you can first surround your small self with compassion and notice the old wounds or patterns that keep re-emerging for you. You might notice that whatever is happening in this relationship has probably shown up in various ways in other relationships as well, and you may recognize something in yourself that has to heal and grow for you to move forward in your own spiritual journey. Once you have looked deeply at your own patterns, you can then do the same thing for your partner and see with compassion the ways in which your partner is needing love or understanding to heal and grow. If you can work with each other in this way from the level of the Soul, without the judgment or resentment that comes from the level of your personality, knowing that the healing of these patterns is perhaps an important purpose of the relationship, you will have unlocked the shackles of the old patterns and created the conditions for each of you to get free.
When we engage in our relationships from the level of our Soul, we will find our relationships transforming to support our Soul journey. This means that some relationships will fall away as they were reflections of old personality patterns that no longer serve us, and some relationships will become deeper and richer as we engage more authentically as true Soul friends. As we raise our vibration to the Soul level of our being, we will attract partners and friends that reflect that level of being, and we will have less struggle with people operating at the personality level of being because we won’t feel inclined to use our precious life energy to get involved in the drama. At the end of the day, we don’t have any control over other people or their choices, but we can choose the level where we hold ourselves, and the Soul level of being always presents the most life-fulfilling opportunities.
Relationships are at the heart of our second chakra work. We enter the healthy power of our second chakra when we use our Soul awareness to build a community of relationships that support our growth and our ability to stand in the light and truth of who we really are. As we engage more intentionally in relationships that are true reflections of who we really are, we will find a growing sense of real community with others and lessen our feelings of loneliness and isolation. One of my favorite spiritual teachers is the Irish poet and philosopher John O’Donohue, author of the book Anam Cara. “Anam Cara” is translated from the Celtic language as “Soul Friend,” and O’Donohue said that “your soul friend is the truest mirror to reflect your soul.” When we anchor our awareness at the level of our Soul, we will find Soul friends in our family, in our workplaces, and in other random places where they show up to touch our Soul. A relationship with a Soul friend is an experience of deep recognition and acceptance. Soul friends will remind us of our beauty and light, offer us grace and forgiveness when we struggle, and cheer us on as we live into the truth and authenticity of who we really are. As we enter this season of gratitude and celebration, may you be drawn to the light of the Soul in yourself and in others, and may you offer the grace and kindness of that light to all that you meet.
Wishing you the blessings and light of the Soul, as you create the life you imagine.
As you prepare for your meditation practice this week, spend a few minutes looking at the image below. This week, instead of visualizing the three triangles stacked on top of each other, notice the convergence of the Upper and Lower Triangle below as the triangles and chakras come into balance and alignment with the center at the heart. Notice also the energy at the crown of the image as the energy of the Third Triangle, represented as the spray of fuchsia and violet light above the blue line of energy. Now with this image in mind, begin by simply noticing your breath. Take three deep breaths and as you breathe in and as you breathe out, let your mind grow still, remembering that its only job for the next few moments is to follow your breath with awareness and attention. As other thoughts move in, simply return your attention to your breath, and with each breath in, and each breath out, let every part of your body relax just a little more deeply.
After a few minutes, as your mind and your breathing steadies and slows, use your inner vision to picture the Third Triangle of Spirit right above your head. This Third Triangle is glowing with brilliant white light and you can feel the warmth and energy of that light flowing over your body. Now let’s imagine that you take a cord from the top of your head and plug it into that Third Triangle of Spirit. As you make that connection with the Source Energy, your Upper Triangle Soul starts to light up and the chakra lights of the upper triangle come on and start to spin and vibrate with energy. The light energy starts with the violet chakra at the crown of your head, then moves down into the indigo chakra in the middle of your forehead, and then down to the light blue chakra in your throat center. The light of these three chakras fills your head and upper body like a funnel of multi colored light, and that energy flows through the bottom of that funnel and into your chest, activating the brilliant green light of your fourth chakra. The energy of your heart chakra expands throughout your chest and lungs growing more brilliant with every breath as your heart center fills with that emerald green light. Let that emerald green light start to descend into your Lower Triangle. As it moves into your upper abdomen it activates the luminous golden yellow energy of the third chakra, and then the radiant orange energy of your second chakra in your lower back and pelvis, and then moves down into the red energy of your first chakra, as that warm red light moves from the base of your spine down through your legs and feet and down into the earth.
Now imagine that rather than three stacked triangles, the energy of the upper triangle has descended into the lower triangle with the center of each triangle resting at your heart center, enveloping your body with a six-pointed star of light. Continue breathing from the emerald green center of this star and feel your energy system radiating and expanding with each breath, energizingevery cell, tissue, tendon, muscle, organ and system of your body. Feel your energy body like a star of brilliant light in the universe, and let your body, mind and spirit rest in a gentle state of peace and love.
After ten or fifteen minutes, slowly return your awareness to your body and to the room in which you are sitting, and bless the universe for providing all the connection, support and power you need for your life experience. Place your hands over your heart and let yourself smile as you receive this powerful stream of energy into your body. Do this meditation exercise several times this week to open this channel and notice what you feel in your body, mind and spirit. See the images above and below to open your imagination for the meditation.