Faith in Receiving

It is very easy for me to give, ’tis much harder to receive. I give of my time, patience, efforts and knowledge to others everyday. Sometimes I get paid for it and sometimes I don’t.

Religious dogma and society support giving more than receiving. “It’s better to give than to receive,” Acts 20:35 (KJV). Welfare recipients are shamed for being “needy.” Yet I wonder if there are deeper reasons…

Receptivity means having faith and surrendering. It also means being vulnerable and “accepting” what we receive. Receiving is also being, which is actively “doing nothing.” (that was triggering to state). Receiving is very much a divine feminine trait; where being feminine is often associated with being weak. Again, where religious dogma and society can play a role in how we perceive things. 

In sitting with my discomfort today around being receptive, I saw several “forces” at play. Being receptive means “getting what I deserve.” There is still part of me that wrestles with that aspect of my personality where I believe there is “an irredeemable deficiency” about myself. With that in mind, to get what I deserve could mean more discomfort for me. This belief also discounts Agape or unconditional love. 

Being receptive also means being vulnerable and feeling unprotected. In service to others, I have repeatedly “put myself out there” and have often felt used, abused, taken for granted and unappreciated. I see where I have done this to myself, to make up for my “irredeemable deficiency” where I feel I must “go above and beyond” to prove my worth… I call this trait “super size me,” where I must “give more,” to make up for my deficiencies. Which again, discounts Agape. 

Yet staying in this place of “keeping a lid” on who I am here to be, I feel as if I’m wearing a shirt several sizes too small. It restricts my movements, my breathing and keeps me from being the person I am here to be. There is great sadness in feeling my own suppression. So I’ve resolved to reach up to the stars and have faith in receiving the greatness that supports who I am here to be; this is vulnerability. 

May we each find new freedom and faith in receiving and in being vulnerable; it takes more strength to be vulnerable than it does to power through everything. May we find peace in our own vulnerability, receptivity and femininity. (sounds much like sea anemone, and with that in mind, may we also laugh at ourselves more!) 

Namaste

Seizing the Moment

How often do we miss fully immersing ourselves in the beauty of the present moment because our minds or our bodies are elsewhere?

Today, I am literally composing this post while my toes are dipping into the calm waters near the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay. Yet, my mind is dwelling on the past or looking to the future. While I am more present now in my mind and body than I have ever been, I see where I’m holding tension in areas such as my neck and solar plexus.

Allowing this tension the space to breathe, I see where I fear being fully present. Somewhere I’ve told myself that being alive and being right here, right now, is unsafe. I block my gut with my muscles as if to armor up against the “other shoe dropping.” I concern myself with silly things such as trying to be sure I have the right saying.

This awareness brings a new softening. As it is in allowing the fears to have light shed upon them that they begin to abate. Once we see that what we’ve been thinking subconsciously is not the truth then we set ourselves free. We are free to enjoy life the way it is meant to be: more and more fully.

So I’ll sit here for a few moments more as the waves lick at my feet, taking away what is no longer meant to be…and bringing to me exactly what I need in this moment: a new sense of peace.

May we each find more of the gifts meant for us by being more fully present. May we shed the old beliefs which no longer serve us so that we may more fully receive exactly what we’re meant to receive: joy, peace and abundance beyond our wildest dreams.

Namaste

The Heart’s Desire for Connection

We run away from it. We chase it. We deny it. We make fun of it and we deny or destroy it. Yet underneath all of the layers, what we really long for is connection with ourselves, with others, and with Our Higher Power.

Connection scares us. It leaves us vulnerable to our basic fears: abandonment, rejection, being misunderstood and on and on.

Yet we are social beings. Spiritually, we are connected to everyone and everything; whether we want to admit it or not.

It is in facing each of our fears, head on, that we are able to see these are just beliefs formed when we were young and that we’ve carried forward; beliefs that cannot hold weight when the light of our awareness shines down upon them.

Despite our fears, the longing to connect, to share, to be part of something greater than ourselves persists. To reconnect to your truth, give to your fear what it really seeks: comforting, acknowledgment, gratitude, love, acceptance, or whatever else comes up. It is in allowing the fear, seeing what it needs and giving it just that, allows us to see it was just a blip on our radar – and not the truth of who we are.

May we each give ourselves what we need, so that we can build stronger connections with others, allowing our hearts to be free. For with each disconnection we reconnect, we all become brighter and better for it.

Namaste

It’s Okay to be Okay

This lesson may be just as, if not more, difficult to understand than “being okay with not being okay.” When things are going well for me, I find that I look for the “bad things” on the horizon. Why can I not be okay with what’s happening?

When life is going well, it’s as if I’m constantly waiting for the other shoe to drop. I find that my eyes are on the horizon, searching for any potential storms, pirates, tsunamis or other “dangers” that could threaten my happiness. What?! How does this even make sense? Instead of being grateful for where I am and enjoying what I do have, my eyes focus on the potential negatives.

We get what we look for. I’m searching for issues so guess what? Then I’m going to get more issues. Those potential issues then become my focus instead of enjoying the calm waters and sunny skies that surround me now.

So here today, I choose to redirect the focus to where I am now, and away from seeking threats that are outside of my safe harbor; that are also outside of my control. Putting down the binoculars, I can now focus on the present. Even if the present is impermanent.

I extend this wish out to each of you: May we each find the peace and comfort in where we are, even if it’s rough sometimes, even when it’s easy sometimes. Knowing that it is all transient: it will change, so let’s be okay with where we are today.

Note: This is different from complacency, this is about acceptance of what is. Only then can we choose to change course. ❤️

Namaste

The Rise After The Fall: Having Fun While Overcoming Fears Part II

Last weekend, I went “surfing” again. This time I took along a friend who was inspired by my surfing story because she, too, had had a fear of “deep water.” She said that she would try surfing if she had a friend to go with her. So we gave it a go!

While the waves were somewhat small, we were having to fight rather hard to get past the “white water” to the surf line. There was a storm off the coast and the waves were fair to choppy and the sets were close together to where we were hit by another wave just after recovering from the wave before – it was as if we were treading water on surfboards!

The storm system was also creating “rogue” waves from time to time that would break much earlier than the others. Well, one grabbed hold of me and took me straight to the sandbar. Once I hit the bottom, the wave tumbled me much like a pebble.

What was amazing for me? Instead of feeling any sense of danger or fear for my life, I felt a sense of peace that everything was going to be alright. This is really, really huge for me. I feel I need to restate it: this is really, really huge for me. I had an inner knowing of peace, calm and that all would be okay. It was. When the Atlantic Ocean released her grip, I was literally on my feet without any real effort to get there.

The fighting to get past the whitewater had worn me out, especially since I was still recovering from feeling quiet worn out from my workweek. So I did not feel like fighting the waves anymore. Instead, I retrieved my board (via the leash) and caught a wave that safely took me all the way to the shoreline.

This surfing adventure was a new level to my understanding of Spirituality. Sometimes life takes us down to the bottom, yet by surrendering and being in trust, we can quickly rise back up. When we stop fighting the forces, we can easily get back to our peace. 

This analogy also works emotionally and physically. It was in fighting that I wore myself out. It was in allowing that I was set free of my fears. It was in faith that I knew all would be okay, and I’ve used that analogy of being the pebble when a “life wave” takes me under and threatens to overwhelm me. Then it is in allowing that I was given rest, reprieve and the greatest leap forward.

Namaste

Emotional Freedom Begins With You

Emotional freedom comes from repeatedly choosing to observe our emotions and thoughts objectively; as a witness would. Otherwise, our thoughts and emotions rule us or we attempt to rule and suppress them (and then they eventually pop up again, either in obvious or secretive ways).

The phrase ‘repeatedly choosing’ is also important here. Just as we require routine activities to keep our homes and bodies in order, our emotional landscape requires continual upkeep. Also, it is our will to do the work or to ignore it and allow the emotional or thought “weeds” to grow; hence our need to choose.

It is when we decide that the pain of holding on is greater than the fear of letting go that we can grow; when we can allow life and healing to truly unfold. It is our will that keeps us from letting go. When we hold onto what has past, we cannot open our hands to allow the present to fully unfold. 

In these ways, emotional freedom is ours to choose. Witness what you think, what you feel, as if you were watching a movie. You will find that the more you practice this, the easier it becomes to detach and move forward into acceptance, into allowing and recognizing the impermanence of what we think, feel and even do. These are the keys to emotional freedom.

Namaste

PS Fear not! You will still have emotions! They just will cease to consume, overwhelm and “control” you.

Facing Fears While Having Fun

Last summer, I faced my fear of heights by doing a high ropes course. This past weekend I faced my fears of deep water by taking surf lessons. Both experiences were life-changing for me. Instead of being limited by my fears, I became invigorated and more free by facing them, head on. I also had fun while doing it!

There was some prep work for me. Last year I used visualizations a lot in the week before climbing to “see” myself successfully stepping and zipping. The experience was exhilarating and my most feared part, the zips, were also the most fun! My hunger and need for a meal was what lead me to leave…something I hadn’t prepared for!

With the deep water fear, I used EFT tapping more than the visualizations, at least at first. Once I tapped away the bulk of the fear, I was able to use the visualization strategies.

Surfing was also more fun than scary for me. In fact, I’m going back for round 2 in a few weeks when my schedule frees up. A friend even wants to go, as she’s been inspired by my tackling my fear of deep water. Hoping she’s receptive to trying the tapping.

In both instances I was in a somewhat controlled environment. A surf board is a flotation device and there was an instructor there to guide and help me if I had run into trouble. The high ropes course had harnesses and safety features, also with help if I needed it. So while I was facing my fears, I was doing so in a way that helped me to feel somewhat safe.

What are some fears that you have?

What are some fun ways you can face them and free yourself from their grip and enjoy new experiences?

Your confidence and self-respect will thank you!

Namaste

PS It might be helpful to come up with a reasonable goal for yourself. For instance, my main goal with the surfing was to get over my fear of deep water. If I rode in on a wave or two, that was icing on the cake. So let’s just say my next surfing lessons will have a higher bar! 😉

Tapping Out on Emotional Overload

Last week a good friend reminded me about the benefits of EFT or “tapping” to help with difficult emotions. Her reminder was perfect timing for me as I was in the throes of coping with a mother load of anger. While I meditate multiple times a times and have other stress-reducing self-care routines, the erupting volcano required more than my “usual” self-care and meditation to manage.

I’ve had used EFT in the past and each time I’ve found it to be incredibly transformative. It is my hope that you will find some use to this technique, as it really helps to gain freedom from overwhelming emotions. EFT can also be used to support both the development and reinforcement of positive thoughts and habits, too.

Please see the YouTube video below, which has both the following written description as well as a walk-through of the EFT technique.

Before beginning, identify and then rate the intensity level of the emotion you are wanting to change on a scale of 0-10. Then think of how you want to phrase what you are feeling. In the video, my feelings were on anxiety and nervousness.

Here is the initial phrase you use while rubbing your chest:

Even though I feel this _________________, I deeply and completely love and accept myself.

Repeat this 3 times before the next step.

Then repeat “this __________” on each area while tapping with your index and middle fingers about 7 times each on the:

crown of your head (1 hand)

Inside eyebrow

Outside eyebrow

Under your eyes

Under your nose

On your chin

Under your collarbones

On the bottom of your ribcage

(Personally, I run through the tapping part 3 -4 times before I reassess.)

Now, assess the emotional level and determine if you need to repeat the tapping sequence from the top.

Feel free to experiment and see what unwanted feelings you can tap away. Sometimes being more specific can help clear more thoroughly.

May this technique help you to find a greater sense of peace within.

Namaste & Happy Tapping

(I’m still working on the thumbnail frames. Mobile app isn’t as friendly lol)

Shift Happens: What do you do?

Just as the tides ebb and flow, life is meant to move so that we can grow. When the sands beneath your feet begin to shift, what do you do?

Do you tighten your grip?

Do you let go and trust?

If you’re like me, the first thing you want to do is to dig in, deep. However, with time, I’m learning to relax my grip sooner rather than later; allowing the tides to shift without getting all bent.

What I’m beginning to see, again and again, is that regardless of my fear and gripping that changes unfold accordingly. So what is the purpose of holding on to something I cannot truly influence, anyway?!

Being grounded and being present are helpful when sudden shifts hit. Feeling into the body, any physical sensations can help you to be more present.

Ongoing resilience can be built through meditation and allowing of emotions. While these strategies do not change the life circumstances per se, they can help us to be more flexible when the shifts occur. With greater resilience, we learn to gain trust and grip less.

Just as light, sound and water travel in waves, in life we have ups and downs as a natural ebb and flow of our energies. We will move or be moved. The sands beneath our feet will shift. How we choose to respond can affect how well we shift into the emerging energies. So will you fight it or allow it?

Namaste

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