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

Being Okay With Not Being Okay

I asked God what it was that I was missing as I was “doing the work” and yet felt so unhappy. My message was “to be okay with not being okay.” I needed to accept that sometimes it really is OKAY to not be okay. This year has had more than its share of heartbreaks, heartaches and tragedy: things I also see as growth – and yet with growth there is also loss for which I had not allowed myself to fully grieve.

Wow! This was a real eye-opener for me. While I could see my desired goal of where I wanted to be “in joy,” it was completely blocked because I was refusing to allow myself to be okay with where I was: NOT okay.

Recovery is about surrendering into the NOW, even if where we are right now feels like a cesspool. We worry that if we allow ourselves to be okay with our misery, that we will stay there – WHAT?! Say that again! If we are okay with our misery, we fear that we will stay there. This fear actually keeps us stuck!

It is in allowing ourselves our misery, our mourning, our grief, our anger, our fears and our sadness that helps us to rise out of the muck! The release is almost instantaneous and is proportional to the amount of freedom we allow ourselves in our wallowing. Acceptance leads to freedom.

It is in denying ourselves our true emotions that we are blocked. Trying to be rosy and cute when we feel blue and ugly serves NO ONE.

Allowing the storm requires support in some form. Trusted friends & family, a good counselor, radical self-care and self-compassion help us to get through these tough spots. We are NOT alone, even when at the lowest points it can feel that way.

May you find peace today in the places where you do not feel okay. May we accept where we are so we can let go and embrace the bliss that is awaiting us when we allow the mess.

Namaste

#NoMudNoLotus

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! 😉

Harnessing Our Anger

Anger is an emotion. Emotions are energy designed to move us, to help us to move forward or to teach us something.

Many of us were taught or learned that anger is dangerous, scary and should be avoided at all costs. Anger is like fire… and yes, we do want to avoid being burned, yet think about what would happen if all fire ceased to exist: how would we warm our homes, cook our food or drive our cars? My point here is that not all fire is bad and the same goes for anger.

Anger feels like fire, and it is part of the matrix of passion. Just as fire burns and transforms fuel into movement, we can use our anger as an internal fire to propel us forward; to change.

When we suppress our anger, our internal fire, we suppress our passion. We prevent ourselves from changing, and we stagnate or stay stuck.

Tapping Out on Emotional Overload offers a helpful strategy to help manage anger, or other emotions, that feel excessive or unhelpful.

Again, not all anger is bad. It is our judgment about the feeling and suppressing it or not channeling it into something creative that can be the danger. What we do with our passion, with our anger, and this with our energy is up to us. We can use it, just like fire, to cook food or to burn things down.

For reflection:

  • What are you using your passion for today? Or are you keeping it locked up?!
  • Or just allowing it to unleash without any creative direction?
  • How can you see your emotions differently, allowing them to lead you to your greatness?

Namaste

Anger’s Lessons

The shifts from this week have lead to me to the awareness of a significant amount of suppressed anger and sadness. While the events that lead to this awareness were seemingly innocuous, they did their job in uncovering the hidden well of emotions. It was in giving myself permission to feel my emotions that the well was tapped.

Sorting through the initial upwelling, I saw patterns emerge. Boundary violations, perceived indiscretions and abandonment were common threads. Digging deeper I found that the Golden thread in each of these scenarios was myself. As I felt this, I literally hit my bed. I gave myself permission to have a good ol’ fashioned temper tantrum.

In round two of my delving, I found that pure emotion rose up. There were not as many memories or images or impressions to go along with the anger, sadness and grief that I felt. It was just plain raw, yet needed to be allowed and felt.

Walking through as much as I could, I was breathing easier once again. And after releasing the feelings to my Higher Power, I slept somewhat restlessly.

The next morning I felt off center and while the horizons within were expanded, the edges still felt serrated. Sitting in meditation helped, where I also prayed and turned things over again. EFT was a tremendous blessing. If you struggle with difficult emotions or health issues I highly recommend learning about tapping!

Lessons learned about anger:

  • My anger is my responsibility. The stories I tell myself about why I’m angry only keep me stuck in it.
  • Judgment about anger can be more damaging than the emotion itself. By judging we often try to suppress what we’re feeling.
  • Suppressing anger is like compressing a spring. It may make the anger seem smaller, and this is only temporary. Eventually it’s going to spring back up.
  • Foods I like to eat when I’m angry are chewy or gummy, like gum or gummy bears. When I’m frustrated I like crunchy, like chips. These are warning signs that I’m suppressing, as is forceful sighing. Oh, and impatience at the littlest things…
  • Anger is the fuel for change. It can transform us into vehicles for positive changes as anger is part of the spark behind our passions. If we were happy about everything we wouldn’t want to change it nor would we be motivated to do so.
  • Anger can show us where a boundary has been violated.
  • The one person for whom I hold the most anger and unforgiveness is myself.
  • Giving ourselves permission to feel angry and being willing to forgive ourselves and any other trespassers will help get us unstuck.
  • Being angry and acting on that anger are two separate things, if we allow it to be.
  • Letting go and letting our Higher Power step in can be a tremendous relief. Asking for the situation or our perspective to change gives our Higher Power permission to act.
  • Holding onto anger only truly hurts the one holding it (meaning it only hurts me when I am holding onto or suppressing it).
  • Suppressed anger can separate and prevent feeling love or compassion for oneself or even another; this keeps us further separated.
  • Forgiveness and gratitude also help to unlock the gripping effects of suppressed anger. They open our hearts and shine light on the situation.

For me, anger was something I saw as scary, overwhelming and dangerous growing up. It was easier to suppress it than to feel or show it. I also believe that I was socialized to believe that anger wasn’t an acceptable emotion. Now I see how much it hurts me to hold it in, and how it keeps me stuck.

By allowing my anger, without judging or suppressing it, I give myself permission to change my perspectives, my life circumstances and to follow the path of my life purpose; my passion.

A good friend shared a fantastic paradigm shift with me today. To see myself as a superhuman who is able to act (and feel) in no set particular way. It’s okay to make mistakes! That’s how we learn…and teach.

May you begin to find some peace today in allowing your anger. Emotions are energy, they are here to help us to move and be moved. When we judge and suppress them, we set ourselves up for dis-ease. Let’s change that, shall we?!

Namaste

Please seek professional help if your inclination is to harm yourself or others.

Are We There Yet?! Hiking at Half-Pace

To force the flower to blossom is to destroy its petals.

IMG_2275.jpgThis is my favorite time of year to hike. I love the lushness and fresh green of everything during spring. It gives me new hope of the things to come. Yet, on this day I noticed something different: the intent of my hike was to de-stress and I was rushing!

It was as if I were on a mission or death march. It was as if my internal cruise control had gotten stuck at 90 mph. The life events of April 2018 were in my rear view and yet they were still driving me, pushing me to keep moving. Don’t stop. Rush. March. Plod forward. Go. Now. 

I had begun to question my need to rush through the hike when I saw two snails on a tree. It was as if they were telling me I was needing to follow their lead…so it was then that I slowed down my pace. I imagined I moved with the grace of nature’s pace.

 

IMG_2279.jpgSoon after, I also chose to be as present as I could, to more fully receive each stimulus of my senses: to drink in with my eyes the beauty of the forest, even of the needle and leaf liter, with my feet to feel the sponginess and give of the ground, and with my ears to hear the song birds belting out tunes. Now as I type, I can remember and feel more than I would have, had I kept up with the death march.

 

 

As I look back, I see where I haven’t wanted to accept my life as it has been. Rushing wasn’t about the hike, it has been about where I am in life. I see where I have been rushing to get to the next level, and in doing so, I’ve been wasting energy on things that cannot be affected nor rushed, much like the blossoming of a flower. Today, I recognize that right now, this is where I am; like it or not. So what is the point of all of this struggle?

IMG_2292.jpg

These are lessons I’ve learned previously and much like the decaying tree, it’s all the same material – just now viewed at a new depth.

 

Namaste’

Detoxing Addictions both Emotional and Chemical

A few weeks ago, I posted a prayer request for a loved one to receive the support s/he needed. This person was not eating regular meals, and instead was drinking a superhuman amount of vodka per day. Since then, s/he has started the detox process and is eating again, returning to human status.

In developing compassion for this individual, I started to look at my own addictions. In doing so, I recognized that on a basic level it doesn’t matter what we’re addicted to: an addiction is an addiction is an addiction.

Each substance or behavior keeps us out of our own control and power. When we are addicted to something we feel powerless to change and so we don’t. Various addicts like to think they are better than others, but I no longer feel this is true… just my humble opinion. Each addiction steals our power.

So with this in mind, I chose to initiate the process of stepping away from addictions (chemically with junk foods, alcohol, coffee/caffeine, and emotionally with unhealthy habits of relating). At first, my biology craved the sugar and the caffeine. Those effects were minimized for me with an herbal detox.

The more challenging aspect has been the emotional response. For it is now that I am recognizing that the emotions I was suppressing with my addictions have begun to surface. To stay on top of these emotions, it has been important for me to keep centered and grounded. Meditation and self-care have been saving graces. Prayer and support of friends have also been tremendous in getting me through.

For several days, I have felt like I’ve been surfing in a bad storm. There have been periods of grace, yet overall it’s been tumultuous. To keep on my surfboard through the emotional waves, I have dropped into my center and grounded by imagining my consciousness being in the “bowl” of my pelvis. At times I have also imagined my tailbone sprouting roots that go downwards into the center of the earth, which takes away all that no longer serves me.

Furthermore, softening into the emotions allows for grace. Journaling has also helped. The big move, however, has been finding my willingness to forgive and send love to any others involved; including myself. At times it has felt like every trespass and each grievance had bubbled up. In finally seeing each item as a part of me that had not healed, I have become more compassionate towards myself…and others.

This detox and getting away from my addictions has helped me to see all of the emotions I was tucking away for another day. All of these chemical distractions were what I used to avoid feeling my emotions. To avoid feeling myself.

I also recognized during this time that my focus on others has kept me from taking responsibility for myself. In blaming others, I failed to see where I was failing myself.

Change takes effort. Yet we are worth the effort. When we can make these changes that support ourselves, we can further support others.

Each light that is lit helps to spark the light in others.

May we each find the solace we seek within ourselves and our Higher Power, instead of the things that are external and uncontrollable.

Namaste

Fading into Infinity

Under rocks

Hidden well

Sheltered from storms

Isolated in a shell

Finite existence

Personal hell.

~~

Budding desires

Something new

Building fires

Clearing out

Impaling spires

Dying to live.

~~

Breaching boundaries

Branching out

Building strength

Confidence renewed

Retreats bidden

From which she grew.

~~

Accepting it all;

What she had to do

Crescendo of momentum

Then blowback from changes made

Old remains laying decayed

Fuel the internal fires

No longer contained

External expression

No longer implosion

Touching upon golden threads

Waking up the living dead.

~~

Merging with The Myriad

The All

Imbued with bliss

Nothing can touch this

An open vessel

No longer lidded

Feels the infinite

Within it

A simple treasure

After clearing

Is given

Welcome it says,

You’re part of the

Infinite

~~

Namaste

Changing Money Strategies

It’s difficult to share that while my income has grown over the past 3 years, I’ve still managed to spend more than I’ve made to the point of being in more debt after 3 years than I was in the prior decade (student loans aside). This was a recent wake up call for me that something needed to change and now!

First, I began to look into the feelings I had surrounding money. It was then that I saw a pattern emerge: I had a healthy fear of money, both of having it and not having it.

As ironic as that may sound, yes, I feared having money. I saw this in how as soon as I received a windfall (or knew one was coming), I immediately made plans to get the money “back out the door.”

The Universe also brought a spotlight to shine on the areas in my life where I did not appreciate nor value myself. It was easy at first to blame the “others” involved, however, if I truly valued myself I would not have put myself in the position to be devalued by others. I knew something needed to change within. And again: Now!

Next, I began to track my spending with a free app called “Spending.” After using it for a month, I saw how I had more money than I thought and I also saw how I misused it in some areas.

From this tracking, I created a budget I could stick to, though it is quite strict. I’ve even created a grocery list that gives a break down of what I can spend in different areas of the store (I created about 5 areas) and gave 2 numbers, each based on if I’m shopping for 1 or 2 weeks at a time.

Since then, I have sought personal loan offers on Lending Tree to help lower my interest rates and to get out of the revolving credit door. This loan has since been applied to my credit card with the highest interest rate being paid off first.

Part of my budget also includes plans for windfalls. 1/2 of any extra money goes into savings and the other 1/2 goes to my highest interest rate loan and my student loan- as extra payments.

On New Year’s Day, I saw and signed up for a 365-day course on healing my relationship with money, with a spiritual focus through Daily Om. It is helping me to see how my relationship with money is a reflection of my relationship with myself. Money is no longer a charged word for me!

It is my hope that in sharing this that one of you will gain a foothold into healing your own relationship with yourself, your self-value and your finances. Until we look within, we cannot heal what is without.

Namaste 🙏

P.S. An integral part of this, which is now a habit for me, is to feel gratitude for what I do have. This has been a tremendous help, as have daily meditations on shame, guilt, forgiveness and healing my inner child (The Insight Timer App has MANY awesome meditations).

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