Welcome to Day Twenty-Two of this series!
It is a delight to introduce you to Jodi Aman.
Here is an excerpt from Jodi’s about page:
I have been practicing as a counselor for 20 years working full time with all ages of people; helping them navigate through many emotional, physical and spiritual problems. I studied Ayurveda and mindfulness extensively and trained with Francois Raoult to become a certified yoga teacher in 2003. I spent ten years studying, and then teaching narrative therapy in such countries as Norway, China, Mexico, Australia, Canada and the US for the Dulwich Centre.
Being a spiritual environmentalist all my life, I turned to the The Course In Miracles in 2007 and shamanism in 2006, to deepen my understanding of myself, relationships, and the world. I studied with Patti Fields, John Perkins, Llyn Roberts, Cecile Carson, Marcie Seidel, Lewis Mahl Madrona, and Paula Denham to do spiritual direction and hands on energy healing.
Completing an apprenticeship in 2011 with John and Llyn, I learned the healing with the elements of the Quechua Shaman in Ecuador and received a certification as a Master Healer and Shapeshifter, accrediting me to lead clients in shamanic journeys. Because I am so in love with plants and their role in healing, in 2013, I begun my dream by being initiated as an herbalist apprentice with Susun Weed.
Along with my husband, Ted, three kids (Cal, Leo and Lily), a fish and 13 chickens, I live in Irondequoit where I built an environmentally friendly sacred space and designed a multiplying herb garden.
I met Jodi through the blogosphere. I had experienced abuse from childhood on – including stranger rape and domestic abuse – and I now focus on continuing to heal myself and re-pattern any residual conditioning to experience the depth of peace and possibility I had given to my children and others (as a heart healer and intuitive guide). Jodi’s message and skill set is around *healing* and I really like her energy and the way she presents and shares her resources and reflections. She is not “preachy” and is a wonderful guide. Jodi has participated in previous Facets projects. It is with delight that I share her message here, within this series!
Here are Jodi’s answers:
1. What is your definition of love?
Love can be defined so many different ways, and I don’t believe any of those ways are wrong. They are simply…ways.
Love is always defined to the extent a person understands it. In that way, it is different for everyone.
And, love is ever changing as we develop, grow, and relate to the world around us. So, then, what is “real” love? “Real”, like “beauty,” is in the eye of the beholder. There is no “real” real, so how can there be “real” love? I can only answer what love is from my own perspective.
I see love as the answer to everything. Love is how we heal. Love is pure selfishness and selflessness at the same time, since love is oneness with another. Love is knowing we are not separate. Love is forgiveness and trust. Love is inclusive.
2. What does it feel like when you are connected with love?
It feels calm. It feels like filled up nothingness. It feels like all the opposites are included but it’s simple instead of complicated. There is no fear or judgement. It just feels right.
I feel a sense of floating and usually a sparkly feeling under my skin. I’m not worried. I don’t even worry if the objects of my love are hurting, since I can see who they are–that invulnerable part of them. I learn to trust from seeing that and feel comforted in knowing it will all be OK.
I feel happy and light. The joy of the present moment opens my heart. No fear. It is startling to have no fear. But I’m so in the present that I do not notice it.
3. In your opinion, why would one choose to close to love? From that closed space, what is one practice or step a person could take to open to love again?
Fear closes people to love. Fear of vulnerability. They are afraid to lose their loved one or be abandoned.
People are afraid for others to really see them because they feel there is a darkness inside and if people saw it, they would leave them. There is no darkness but their feelings. In their fear, they push people away. It is easier that way.
People often ask: “Why does love hurt so much?” I say, “Love doesn’t hurt. Fear, loss, betrayal, longing, confusion, and manipulation hurt.” These things are not love. Not even close. Absent in the expression, but implicit in the meaning of them, is love.
So love is the deepest pain, and the greatest joy. Both are the same when looked at–love is at their center. The self-same center. When pain is touched, the love is revealed. We can feel the pain, but stand in the love if we chose to. And, we keep choosing to.
Love is endlessly complicated, but comes back around to the simplest notion: Oneness. There is nothing to fear when everything is divine. Love is divine, and everything is love.
4. How do you choose to cultivate love?
Generosity and kindness. Giving of yourself from consciousness instead of victimhood.
I had a dream that a friend was visiting and for the first day she was visibly distressed and antsy. We tried to offer her space to be comfortable, talk, get a break or whatever she needed.
By the second day, she finally pulled me in a corner. I was ready to open my heart to whatever distress she needed to get out. I did not expect what she said next.
She was worried about me. She said that she saw me sacrificing myself and trying to please people. She worried that I was not taking care of myself. I smiled at her lovingly, touched by the love implicit behind her worry.
I said, “You can sacrifice and be a victim of it, and you can sacrifice and not be a victim of it. I am not a victim of it.”
Whatever I do for someone else, I know I do it for me and if I do for me, I do for someone else, too. We are all connected, so “sacrifice” can not exist. I am not valuing other people over me, nor am I valuing myself over others. Neither has value over the other.
I give to myself, I give to others, I do not see a difference. Here love is cultivated in all directions.
5. May you share an experience of receiving unconditional love?
My partner has unconditional love for me. Don’t get me wrong our relationship has conditions. It’s not like he never gets angry at me, but he sees me like no one else does. He sees my power in the world, and knows that even though I doubt myself sometimes, my intentions are pure. He trusts me fully and gives me the space to be me.
It helps me be more me than I ever thought possible.
6. What would you like us to know about love?
It’s worth the risk. Always. That pain of a broken heart is not love, it is fear and doubt and hurt. Love is not painful. Loss is painful.
Kindness is how to show love. You are only vulnerable unless you think you are.
At jodiaman.com, Jodi has declared this the year of love! Join her in spreading love in and around your life. First stop on the path to whole peace is getting rid of fears! Jodi’s Map to Whole Peace is changing the world: get your free copy here: http:// jodiaman.com/freemap
Thank you, Jodi!
Dear Reader, Jodi mentions “*generosity and kindness*; giving of yourself from consciousness”. May you share an experience and/or a practice in which you intentionally turn generosity inward, to give to self? (when you share, you inspire)
Thank you for your presence!
Much peace and abundant love,
If you would like to join us for the full 28 Days of Connection series – you may register here anytime during the month of February.
Personal peace and possibility sessions offer the opportunity to shift from doubt to trust, tension to peace, in this moment. For more information, and to schedule your session, please click the title link.