Stop Defending Yourself!

Do you ever feel attacked?  Do you ever feel defensive?  Have you ever thought of how much energy it takes to protect yourself, to guard against all the bad things that might happen to you?

In this interview, Tatayana first gets a clearer sense of this part of herself and then experiences a way to transform it so that she does not have to take precious energy and time in fear, protecting her heart.  As you read it, think of what it could mean in your life if you could let down your guard and just be you.  Know that if Tatayana can do it, you can too!

What are three fundamental life issues that you are dealing with now in your life?

1 Marriage

2 Financial Stability – Career

3 External Influences

Which issue brings up the strongest feelings for you?


If those feelings had a color (or colors), what would it be?


Imagine that color filling the space in front of you so that it has depth, height, width, and aliveness.

Now watch that color swirl, congeal, and condense into a shape. Don’t make it take a shape, just watch it and say the first thing that you see or that comes to your mind: An animal? Object? Plant? What?


Now remember how as a child you liked to pretend you were a teacher or a doctor?  It’s easy and fun for you to imagine that you are the shape that took form from your color and answer some questions I ask, saying the first thing that comes to your mind.  If you wait too long to answer, that’s not the character answering – that’s YOU trying to figure out the right thing to say!

Shield, would you please tell me about yourself and what you are doing?

I  am standing strong, ready to face anything to protect what I guard.

What do you like most about yourself? What are your strengths?

I like that I am strong, useful, not easily hurt, held by someone strong, and designed to protect people.

What do you dislike most about yourself? Do you have weaknesses?  What are they?

I don’t like that I am attacked.

Shield, you are in Tatayana’s life experience, correct?  She created you, right? What aspect of Tatayana do you represent or most closely personify?

I probably represent that part of her that protects her heart from being hurt.

Shield, if you could be anywhere you wanted to be and take any form you desired, would you change?  If so, how?

I would become a bright, gentle, yet powerful glow. A light that could allow goodness in, and have the strength to keep the darkness out.

(Continue, answering as the transformed object, if it chose to change.)

(Character), how would you score yourself 0-10, in each of the following six qualities:  confidence, compassion, wisdom, acceptance, inner peace, and witnessing?  Why?

Confidence: 10

Compassion: 10

Wisdom: 10


Inner Peace:10

Witnessing: 10

Shield, if you scored tens in all six of these qualities, like Shield does, would you be different?  If so, how?

I would be tremendously different. I have flow and live in ease arriving at each breath in a present state. I don’t look into the future, not the past – I am always present in the here and now.

How would Tatayana’s life be different if she naturally scored like you do in all six of these qualities all the time?

I would be able to spend more time in a state of joy, in gratitude and in love with all things and people.

If you could live Tatayana’s life for her, how would you live it differently?

I would remember to trust that whatever decisions are made will support the process of awakening.

If you could live Tatayana’s waking life for her today, would you handle Tatayana’s three life issues differently?  If so, how?

1. Lighten up and allow the relationship to unfold organically.

2. Start serving people – tuning them in – teaching them how to listen to their self through Dream Yoga.

3. Allow the sensual aspects of self to fully surface to be experienced, embraced and fully felt.

What three life issues would you focus on if you were in charge of Tatayana’s life?

1. Parenting – Harmonious and Empowering Teachings for Aspen

2. Practicing DY/IDL to further develop internal sangha

3. Relationships as a path to awakening

In what life situations would it be most beneficial for Tatayana to imagine that she is you and act as you would?

If a situation arises in which fear is the dominating emotion.

Glow, do you do drama?  If not, why not?

I don’t have drama – I am beyond the mind

What is your secret for staying out of drama?

Remembering that I am not alone, separate, or the actions occurring around me, that I am a witness to them and a part of the Bigger Picture

Why do you think that you are in Tatayana’s life?

I’m here to support her journey

How is Tatayana most likely to ignore what you are saying to her?

By becoming disconnected from her heart, and focused on the chatter of the mind.

What would you recommend that she do about that?

Spend time DAILY remembering, and supporting others to remember too.

Tatayana, what have you heard yourself say?

I have heard myself say that I have a need for daily practice in remembering who I really am; That I am not Drama because the drama is not me. I am present, aware, joyful and can best progress by putting my focus on my family, my relationships and developing my spiritual sangha.

If this experience were a wake-up call from the most central part of yourself, what do you think it would be saying to you?

I think I am saying to stop avoiding the Grace within, hiding in the day to day drama of other peoples life – and to focus on what is really important.

The shield part of Tatayana is defensive because it does not like being attacked. It doesn’t like being attacked because it knows that she been hurt, in this case her heart.  Of course, our hearts can and has been hurt, so it is correct.

It takes a lot of energy to go through life holding up a shield, out of a knowledge that there are parts of yourself that can be hurt and that in fact will be hurt and will die.  However, who you really are does not need defending or protecting because it can’t be hurt.   When we awaken to choosing to experience the parts of our ourselves that do not die then we can give up a defensive posture.  We can give up going through our lives protecting ourselves, not because there aren’t parts that can and do get hurt and not because we don’t care or are foolish, but because a flower can’t grow if it’s always worried that a cow will step on it!  Flowers have better things to do than to worry, like growing!

Sometimes I wonder, “Why are flowers and other growing things so much smarter than we humans are?  When they experience the wind, the cold or the heat, a barrier like a wall, or get trampled or cut, they don’t take it personally. They don’t get defensive.  They don’t feel attacked.  They just keep doing what they do best: they grow. They grow as long as they can as best as they can!

The energy of growth within you, when you are centered in that, allows the goodness of life in, and is sufficient to keep most darkness, most of the time, out.  It can overcome gravity, a good amount of hot and cold weather, and even some stomping by cows!

Would you like to be more like Glow and less like Shield?

Just as you scored yourself 0-10 in the six core qualities, what if you were to give yourself a baseline score, as your habitual average, over the last year, in each of the following:

How light or heavy do you feel in your main life relationship? 0-10

How willing are you typically to allow your relationship to unfold organically? 0-10

How focused have you been on serving people, helping them tune in, by teaching them to listen to themselves?  0-10

How much do you usually allow my sensual aspects to fully surface to be experienced, embraced, and fully felt? 0-10

How good am I at parenting the children in my life with harmonious, empowering teachings? 0-10

How good am I at using my relationships as a path to awakening? 0-10

Now, score yourself 0-10 in the following:

Did any situation arise today in which fear was your dominating emotion? (yes/no)

If so, what was it? (name it):

How much did you become Glow in that situation? 0-10

Did you remember to become Glow at any other times today?  (When?)

When you became Glow, how much life drama did it feel like? 0 (tons)-10 (none):

How connected to your heart did you choose to feel today? 0-10

How identified with mind chatter/clarity were  you today?  0-10

Awareness is key to waking up!  These self-scoring questions are designed to help you to become more self-aware, moment to moment, day to day, and therefore to support and increase your process of awakening. You don’t have to do them every day, but make a game of them! Check in from time to time!  Write down your answers from time to time and let me know what happens!  Let me know what you discover!

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