Healing Journeys: Become your ‘merciful mother’ as way to heal
Every once in a while you meet someone who feels and sounds lively, creative, open and full of inquiry. That describes my feelings about Barbara Azzara, a minister, teacher, educator, spiritual mentor, therapist, BRETH and Pathwork practitioner, and most importantly, “Diva of the Divine”! Barbara knows her path, practices and teaches it daily and helps many people find the truth of love.
Here is her story:
What triggered your interest in spiritual seeking?
I was going to a luncheon, after playing in a wonderful tennis match, and on the car radio, I heard Peggy Lee singing: “Is this all there is?” I began to cry. I was not sure why, but I finally connected with how unhappy I was. This was 1973. Yet, how could I be unhappy? I had everything anyone could want.
I was married to an internationally renowned physician. I lived in a beautiful home, and birthed three incredible children. I had never questioned my “happiness” until my partner of 23 years of marriage said: “I do not want to be married anymore.” Now, I had something to cry about!
During this period, my mother had a stroke from which she never recovered. When she died, I gave up my child’s dream (perhaps my mother’s) of living until death “do us part, and happily ever after.” Is there life after divorce? I began to search for something that helped me to go beyond my fear, my humiliation, my broken heart and broken dream.
What was your first step to finding yourself?
The first step is to find your heart and follow it. I went back to school to get my graduate degree in sexuality at New York University. I became a patient of Dr. John Pierakos, the founder of CoreÐEnergetic Therapy. John was married to Eva, a trance medium who channeled information from the “spirit” world. The first lecture I read was “The Spiritual Meaning of Sexuality.”
The idea that there was more to sex and to love than what I was being taught held such excitement for me. This was the beginning of my love affair with spiritual teachings and my love affair with myself. Within the lectures, there is a map of consciousness that is profound and life changing. These teachings are the Pathwork of Transformation, and there are centers throughout the world.
I became a student of both John and Eva’s work. I threw myself into the possibility that I was the creator of my world and not the victim of it. I was also a full-time student at NYU, The Institute of Core Energetics, and The Center for the Pathwork of Transformation.
I had no time to feel sorry for myself. I had found my passion and my way. I was going to teach and bridge the gap between our humanness and our spirituality. Love is my curriculum.
What words of advice can you offer someone who is considering changing his or her life?
To change, you must:
1. Find something you love to do, and do it with all your heart. The object of my passion became “ME,” and my new life was about discovering not who I pretended to be, but who I was, moment to moment.
2. Consider that you are more than your history and that you are not who your parents told you that you needed to be to get their love.
3. Fall in love with yourself, because if you do not, no one else will. Become your own best friend and lover.
4. Fear is the only addiction on the planet. Get to know your fear, embrace it, and do not let it tyrannize you. Make it your teacher and your friend.
5. Know what thoughts demoralize you, be clear, and be willing to give up your attachment to your self-denying thoughts.
6. Become your own Merciful Mother. Without compassion and self-acceptance, nothing can change.
You have many tools you can choose from when you work with individuals or teach – can you tell us of some?
The Breath: (Sacred Journeys through the BRETH is a class I teach) Breathe and you inspire yourself. Breathe and focus on your breath and you bring yourself into the NOW moment. Breathing in and breathing out with focused attention brings you into the essence of who you are. The Daily Review: Observe your emotional reactions to an incident. Track what you feel in your body. What has fear just whispered to you? See what misconception you are attached to, and what thought of self-denial and disregard trigged your emotional reaction. Breathe, and ask yourself: “Is this true?” Where is the love?” Do this for 30 days, write your observations down. You are breaking your habituation to self-loathing.
The Rev. Barbara Azzara teaches locally and in San Francisco. She can be reached at 530-432-3887.
Suzie Daggett is the publisher of the INSIGHT Directory of Healing Arts Practitioners; she can be reached at (530) 265-9255 or http://www.insightdirectory.com
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