Episode 33: DIVINE DESIRE: PRESENCE & COMPASSION with Lasara Firefox
DIVINE DESIRE: PRESENCE & COMPASSION with Lasara Firefox, author of "Sexy Witch," founder of 2 international companies: "The Ecstatic Presence Project," and " Global Family Awakening," NLP Trainer & Master Practioner, Life coach, Educator, Activist, and mother of 2 wonderful daughters.
In this episode LaSara will provide practical and personal tips empowering old relationship patterns into new passionate possibilities. Using her skills in Neuro-Linguistic Programming and practices of Mysticism, she guides us to release separation and open to full presence. Deepen your ability to cultivate connective compassion. Create breakthrough states of being everywhere in your life.
Woman: This program is intended for mature audiences only.
Francesca Gentille: Welcome to “Sex: Tantra & Kama Sutra, bringing you the soul of sex”. I'm your host, Francesca Gentille, and with me today is Lasara Firefox.
Lasara Firefox: One of the things that I'd like to say about NLP is that NLP is about patterning, it's about looking at the patterns that already exist and learning how to be more effective in them. So one of the things that I want to say about creating the divine relationship is that it's not something that we need to create, it's something that’s already there. So I'm seeing the government through my eyes and through my friends, that’s my relationship with the government, that’s me. I'm saying something about me constantly, and there's a fine line though between becoming overinflated our own identity, our own ego identity, our own sense of self, and finding the place where we're taking responsibility.
Does that make sense that differentiate?
Francesca Gentille: Lasara is an amazing woman who I've had the pleasure of knowing for years, and she is an author of this fabulous book called “Sexy Witch”. She's an educator, an activist, a mother of two completely wonderful daughters, an NLP trainer and master practitioner and a life coach as well as the founder of two international companies the Ecstatic Presence Project and Global Family Awakening.
Lasara Firefox: Thank you, Francesca. It's a total delight to be here.
Francesca Gentille: Lasara, you and I wanted to talk about the divine relationship and more about what that means, and a concept that you told me about called “encountering the divine other”. Now, what does that mean to encounter? You've a very special way of looking at that concept.
Lasara Firefox: Absolutely. The concept of encountering is to really come into the experience of becoming present in our interaction. So it's a subject that’s been written about by many people, Martin Guber [sp] is one of my favorites who writes about this. He talks about the relationship of stepping out of subject-object which means to not objectify basically but to show up fully in the encounter of the other as an opportunity to encounter the divine.
Francesca Gentille: Now, you're talking to us about it, it sounds simple to be present and to not objectify a person, but I have to admit it for myself that I'm constantly judging and criticizing myself, other people. What can our listeners do, what can I do to help open up the pathway to present?
Lasara Firefox: Well, the fact that you brought up the self as well as an important part, too, because that is one of those areas where we do tend to objectify in a way that disallows us from showing up in other relationships as well. So I'd say, step one is to become present in our relationships with ourselves as divine. That’s one thing I educate about a bit is the concept of our relationship with ourselves as our primary relationship or even our relationship with God or the Divine--or whatever where do you want to use for that--that thing beyond us all that includes us all in my view that looking at that as the primary relationship and then allowing other relationships to be modeled on that primary.
Francesca Gentille: So what I hear you saying is that--our listeners, everyone--is that relationship that I have with myself that’s really going to reflect back out to how I relate to other people. In us, could you give us a little bit of information about that because the concept of myself as divine, for a lot of us, that can be a big leap because we all know that we make mistakes, that we withhold truth, that we pick up poop in the morning. So how do we come in to that sense of ourselves as divine?
Lasara Firefox: Yes. One of the things that I'd like to say about NLP is that NLP is about patterning, it's about looking at the patterns that already exist and learning how to be more effective in them. So one of the things that I want to say about creating the divine relationship is that it's not something that we need to create, it's something that’s already there. We already are embodiments of spirit. Our body is our energy incarnate, there's nothing more miraculous as far as I'm concerned than the beingness of self-awareness. And I think I can [xx] 5:10, so a lot of what I'll be talking about as far as the divine and interaction with the divine goes is from that mystical orientation.
Now, what mysticism is, is that personal relationship with the divine. It's about claiming that relationship for ourselves. And, I want to say, too, that even saying relationship steps it out of the reality of it because relationship indicates self and other. I think at that highest level that when the rest of it falls away, and you can think about this and our listeners can think about times where the world has ceased around them. That sacred moment of encounter, whether it's lovemaking or the birth of a child or the death of a loved one even or a near death experience or waking up in the morning and realizing how good your life can have that impact sometimes, or moments of tragedy also. All of these breakthrough states allow us to become fully present in the moment, and when we're fully present in the moment, we aren’t something other than the all that is, we’re completely integrated.
Does that make sense?
Francesca Gentille: Yes. Let me just reflect that back. What I hear you saying is that those breakthrough states where we experience in a moment that I think what they call “the zone” that we're just at one, we're not thinking, we're not ahead or behind. There's almost an expansion of everything we're feeling and sensing. What I hear you saying is that those breakthrough states could become one more the way we live.
Lasara Firefox: Absolutely, absolutely, and there are a lot of practices that can allow us to cultivate that state. Now, one of things I think that gets in the way of us being into that state of what in mysticism is called the “state of the nondual” is that thing that you were talking about of self-judgment, of driving ourselves out of the moment, of extrapolating from the moment. I actually have a book that I'm working on this topic which is called “Encounter the Divine Other”, that’s the title at this point, it may change. But I talk about the awareness of attachment versus presence. Presence is that breakthrough state that we're talking about. Now, one of the things I think one of the main things that gets in the way of us being present is our idea of what being present is supposed to be.
Francesca Gentille: I want to talk more about this, what gets in the way of this mystical connection with all that is and what step we can do--oh this is good--after a break and a word from our fabulous sponsors who are absolutely beautifully handpicked for this show. I just wanted to let our listening audience to support our sponsors they get a 20% discount in the process and sometimes guests and this helps shows like this coming into the world.
So we’ll be back in just a moment.
Francesca Gentille: Welcome back to “Sex: Tantra & Kama Sutra, bringing you the soul of sex”. We're talking today with Lasara Firefox, master practitioner of NLP and trainer, a great author of “Sexy Witch”, and the founder of two international companies, the Ecstatic Presence Project and Global Family Awakening.
We were just talking about how presence is an opening into a level of connection that I think that we all really long to live in and that it's possible to live in it. There's some things in the way and there's some things that we can do can make this more of our daily life. Tell us more about that.
Lasara Firefox: Well, what I was saying is that one of the main things that gets in the way of us being present in our lives is the idea of what presence is supposed to be. So some of us have had moments where we're like, we can look back and we say, “Now, that was being present.” Whether it's a really hot sex where you're kissing someone and nothing else exists, it's the only thing happening. Or, like I said, some other examples a child being born that those big, big moments--I know that when I got married, my first marriage, the moment that I'm taking my vows, nothing else was happening for me.
So those breakthrough states can actually become attachments that make it more difficult for us to become present in our lives when they aren’t as grand, those moments that are grand that easily show up and be fully present for and in and with. But the key I think is cultivating the willingness and ability to show up even when life isn’t huge and grand and [xx], showing up for taking a shower, showing up for getting our kids out the door for school in the morning, showing up for the conversations about the relationship as well as the great sex.
When I say showing up, I don’t mean just, “OK, here I am”. I mean actually becoming present in that interaction. Now, one of the shifts that I think is really, really amazing that we can do for ourselves is we can start breaking down in our own perception the separation, that sort of dualistic separation between what's holy and sacred and what's daily life for or what might be called “Monday” in life or whatever language in you want to use around it. The more that we break things into that categorization, the last available we are to encountering the divine in every moment.
Francesca Gentille: So what you're saying is that the separation between church and state in a way where we say, “Oh, the holy is in church, it's on an altar. It's only something I do on Sunday, or the holy are only certain things or even presence is only certain things.”
Lasara Firefox: Right.
Francesca Gentille: It actually keeps it from us and I love it, you're talking about, this is a very tantric perspective to say that the divine is found in all things, and when we open to that, something really amazing happens.
Lasara Firefox: Right, and the thing to remember when we say that the divine is in all things is that I am one of those things, and which leads us back to that question of how do we cultivate that, and that’s how we cultivate it. We cultivate it by achieving practices that help us to stay present in that awareness. That I'm divine, that my children are divine, that my friends and mother are divine, that my partner is divine, that doing my work is divine, that what I'm choosing to spend my lifetime on this planet, in this body doing these thing, what I'm choosing to do is divine. And I think our culture isn’t super big on responsibility.
Francesca Gentille: I think I know what you mean by that, but what do you mean by that?
Lasara Firefox: Well, there's a lot. OK, so we can blame the government, we can blame our parents, we can blame our ex-lovers, we can blame the media, we can blame politics, we can blame culture, we can blame television, and a lot of us do. A lot of us blame a lot of things and a lot of people and a lot of elements for us being where we are. And as long as we're putting the responsibility outside of ourselves, we have absolutely no recourse. So this is where it becomes a political conversation for me, there's very little differentiation between the two. As far as I'm concerned, taking our relationships with what it means to be alive, what it means to be invested and experiencing life on our own terms basically is a political act, it's a revolutionary act. I don’t want to sound crazy but it's called for, it's time, it's time for us to show up and claim exactly what it is that’s going to make us the most happy. By happy, I don’t mean sedated, I don’t mean satisfied, I don’t mean held at bay. I mean joyous and exuberant and ecstatic, what are we here for?
You know what I'm saying?
Francesca Gentille: Yes, yes. I'm really enjoying this because as you were talking about the divine found when taking the kids to school or eating Cheerios for breakfast, to bring up a question is how is this divine? I was just thinking that as you were talking and feeling something shift in me just as I was asking the question. How is this interview divine? How is listening to this interview divine? And something starts to open and when you talk about responsibility, I can be a complainer myself and I can forget that complaining doesn’t solve anything, that when I take it in and I say, “OK, yes, the government is whatever the government is and TV is whatever TV is, but what can I do today? What can I do in this moment?
Lasara Firefox: Well, can I also add one thing to that? One thing that we can do is we can say, “I am that. Everything is me. There's no separation between myself and all that is.”
Francesca Gentille: So I am the government?
Lasara Firefox: What I'm going to say about the government is my own noticing, it's not separate from me. There's no basic truth about what the government is. My perception of what the government is is going to be different from John Smith in Iowa. Is anyone less true than the other? Not on an abstract level, no. So I'm seeing the government through my eyes and through my friends, that’s my relationship with the government, that’s me. I'm saying something about me constantly. And there's a fine line though between becoming overinflated in our own identity, our own ego identity, our own sense of self, and finding the place where we're taking responsibility.
Does that make sense, I differentiated?
Francesca Gentille: Yes, I think I could use and I'm imagining our listeners could use a little help in that distinction because like for example if I say, “My government and leader, here she is is a jerk and they're power hungry and they're not listening to the needs of the people.” Now, I've had this spot, and I noticed that I've had this spot. Where do I go from there, into that power and to shift something, to transform it in some way from just that usual complaint?”
Lasara Firefox: Yes, yes, and this is a super basic thing. OK, I'm just going to go for it, cultivate compassion, and there are a lot of practices that can be used to achieve that. There are meditations that can be done, one is called “taking refuge” as a Tibetan Buddhist meditation, and the idea is that you do a mantra which is about cultivating compassion, opening the heart and you can start with--when I do it I start with myself and then I move out to the people who are easiest for me to love. Or if I'm feeling a lack of self-love, I'll start with my kids. I'll start with my kids because I can always find the love for them, and the compassion.
Then I'll move on layer by layer into those who it's more difficult for me to cultivate compassion for like for instance, George Bush. They can be historical figures, too. Cultivating compassion for Hitler is something that is a healing thing for me because if I can cultivate compassion for the person who we think basically a monster, then there's nothing in me that I can't love, it creates a larger field of love and acceptance.
Now, to say cultivate compassion, that doesn’t mean accept the outcome of a person’s actions. One of the presuppositions that we have in NLP is that all people, all behaviors, all patterns, all choices, all decisions, all actions are founded in positive intent. So every single person in every single situation does the best they can with the tools that they have from their own perspective. Now, this is taking it to a very abstract level. It's a very interesting exercise to get beyond the sort of implications and limitations of cultural thinking. But when we do step out of that and realize that there is again no basic abstract subjectively reality, reality is a process of encountering, and we can't take ourselves out of that equation.
Francesca Gentille: I want to talk more about this when we come back from our sponsor, and more about how does this practice of compassion and even for Hitler or for someone that maybe we think of as the evil in our own lives, how does that give us personal power? How does that give us this divine connection with other human beings, when we come back from a break and a word from our fabulous sponsors.
Francesca Gentille: Welcome back to “Sex: Tantra & Kama Sutra, bringing you the soul of sex”. We're talking with Lasara Firefox, amazing educator-activist, world transformer, author. We were just, before we went into the break, talking about how does accepting responsibility and cultivating compassion really bring us this empowerment and deep connection that we're longing for. Is there something like that that you can give us an example of maybe in your own life? How does that work in a day-to-day?
Lasara Firefox: Definitely. So one of the things I've been working with, I'm working on a new book right now and it's called “Sustainable Family Values”. So I'm doing a lot of values-based work with my coaching clans and in my own life, it's been shifting my relationship with my kids and my extended family members. I'm just coming in to a relationship with a man, we're building a life together and it's very exciting. One of the things that has been really great is I've been a single mom for the last year and some and my relationship with my kids has been just so instructive for me. I was doing some values myself recently, and I had this experience where there are these two different things of interacting with my kids where I'm seeing the divine child and the hunger that we all have for being nourished and being taken cared of and being treated with complete love and presence as the divine element of what my children are asking me for and what we're all asking for from God, from our parents, from the government, from everyone. But seeing it in my children makes it easy for me.
Then the other image I had was little birds in a nest waiting to be fed and noisy and clamoring and the sense of annoyance that I have around their basic mundane needs. When I'm on the writing, when I'm in the zone, when I'm in my computer and I'm in the flow, and my kids come in and they say, “I'm hungry.” I have to get out of my flow and come present in that interaction and that sense of “Oh! That can happen.” I had this sense of the two merging together because they aren’t separate, that when my child comes to me needing to be fed, that is the divine child showing up for that total presence.
Francesca Gentille: So that’s an example of seeing the divine in something.
Lasara Firefox: Absolutely.
Francesca Gentille: Using it is kind of a muscle to see divine.
Lasara Firefox: The amazing thing about it is that what I've found and what I know is true is when we take that--you know when someone’s like poking you and poking you and poking you--your kid, your lover, whoever—either poking you figuratively or literally, “Hey, hey, I need your attention. Hey, hey” and it gets totally annoying.
Francesca Gentille: Yes.
Lasara Firefox: You know how when somebody’s going, “Hey, hey” and then you go, “Yes? I'm here, what do you want from me right now? What is the thing that you show up for me to explain?” They stop poking you.
Francesca Gentille: Isn’t that incredible?
Lasara Firefox: It is, it is.
Francesca Gentille: For those people who have children out there listening I'm sure you know this and for those of you who don’t, there's always you can think of and experience in your life where someone is clamoring for you, and it could even be a pet, and when you turn instead of pushing them away, you finally turn and give them your attention, they all just calm down.
Lasara Firefox: And that is encountering. That’s it, right there.
Francesca Gentille: Letting go of that which pushes us away from other people that whatever that judgment is in us in that moment that says, “I can't connect.”
Lasara Firefox: Right, which brings me to another--I was talking about presence earlier and one thing that I want to leave the listeners with is this idea that presence is everything that attachment is not. An attachment is everything that presence is not, they're two mutually exclusive states. So when we're in the past or the future, we're not in the present, and showing up in the present is what encountering the divine is about. Showing up with ourselves, showing up with our children, showing up in the moment fully with our whole selves as part of the all that is.
Francesca Gentille: And as you're saying that, I'm just recognizing that whether we're single and looking for someone to date, whether we're in a relationship and with someone who we've known for a short time or a long time, there's a tendency to be thinking about what do we want to get from that person or what do they want to get from us and either like you said, going in to the future to think “Oh, strategize, manipulate. How can I get these things from them?” Or, going into the future thinking “What do they want to get from me and how can I defend against it?”
Lasara Firefox: Or, going into the past and saying, “The last time this happened, I got my heart broken” or “The last time this happened, I got laid” or [xx].
Francesca Gentille: Whatever it's positive or negative, either way, we're not just fully turning our attention right there, right now to that person and allowing whatever they're saying to really get in, and whatever we're truly feeling versus thinking to just be there.
Lasara Firefox: Yes, or even when they're not saying, just to show up fully in the present and in the presence of the divine. So I want to ground it in a few steps for our listeners. So some of the things that we went over today are the idea of cultivating compassion. Now what this does for us is it allows more room for us all being perfectly divine and perfectly human at the same time. That cultivating compassion on an abstract level is also about cultivating compassion for ourselves because we are part of the all that is, so we are deserving of our compassion just like everyone else. As we cultivate that sense, then it lead into being able to become proactively responsible for our choices, that I can look at the choices that I've made even if they haven’t ended with the yield that I might have desired in a moment, I don’t judge them the way that I might have if I weren’t able to be in compassionate in loving grace with myself.
Then taking that compassion and that sense of pure responsibility for our own choices in our own lives and grounding these practices in a relational sense with our relationship with God however we might see or experience the divine. Our relationship with our children, with our lovers, with our partners, with our parents, with our associates, with the people that we work with, with the people we meet on the street. We can walk down the street, holding this grace and compassion, being responsible for what we're willing to take on, seeing ourselves in the world around us because this world is a projection of our own reality, we're seeing that as we walk down the street as we walk through our lives and being willing to fully show up beyond the illusion of separation.
Francesca Gentille: Well, it sounds like a prayer, it sounds like a blessing to show up with one another beyond the illusion of separation and to realize that we are connected, we are reflective, we are part of the one.
You have an offer for our listeners, a special offer for us of something that you're creating.
Lasara Firefox: I do. I'm writing a little ebook on this topic of “Encountering the Divine Other”, and as people email me, listeners email me personally at Firefox@Lasara.us, and drop me a note and just say that they heard this show and I will send them the first section of that ebook for free.
Francesca Gentille: Thank you, and thank you so much for taking the time to be with us on the show today and to bring us closer to the divine and in ourselves and in one another and all that is. I wanted to say to our listeners, if you want to find out more about Lasara, her bio, her pictures, more about at her website and everything, you can find that out at www.PersonalLifeMedia.com. Thank you for being with us today on “Sex: Tantra & Kama Sutra, bringing you the soul of sex.”
Lasara Firefox: Thank you, Francesca.
Woman: Find more great shows like this on PersonalLifeMedia.com.