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).

What is your self-worth?

Ultimately, I believe our self-worth is immeasurable. Yet, I also believe that each of us has a set of measuring sticks against which we see our own value; whether we are aware of it or not. Easy to choose examples are based on what we do, what we have or how we look. Well, what about the things we do for ourselves?

Do we allow the important things in our lives to take precedence or do we focus, instead, on the things that don’t? Maybe we don’t even know what our true priorities are in life. A great way to find out is to imagine ourselves on our deathbeds; what are the things we wish we had done more of, or paid more attention to?

Do we take care of ourselves more when the demands in our life increase, or do we cease all self-care to run to the rescue of others? When our stress levels increase, our need for self-care also increases. I liken this to Racecars who get more maintenance for one race than many of our family cars receive in a year. The harder we run ourselves, the more TLC we require to keep from breaking down somewhere.

How we allow others to treat us is another area in which our true self-value can be revealed. Do we find that we give and give while our expectations of others diminishes?

Or how much time passes before we pay attention to the things in our lives that need it? Do we keep walking by the pile of unpaid bills, unwashed dishes or unopened mail. Is it time to undo this habit of neglecting our own self-care?

I believe this world would be a much happier place if each of us took just 10% better care of ourselves. For if each of us could love ourselves enough to give ourselves the very best, or at least better, we’d not continue to sell ourselves short in life and we’d each be better stewards, teaching others a better path.

So how, today, right now, can you take action on something that has been nagging at your mind, your soul, to help take care of yourself and make yourself a happier traveler?

Namaste

REleasing during Mercury REtrograde

People have learned to fear Mercury REtrograde. This is a time when all things with communication and technology can go haywire. Recently, I even read an article about how explosive the topic has been this go ‘round on Twitter. I once feared Mercury REtrogrades myself and now I see them as an opportunity for growth and REnewal.

REtrogrades are a time of REflection, RElease and when the first two parts are allowed, REnewal. During this time, we are being pushed to look inwards and backwards at the things that no longer serve us. Our beliefs, thoughts, actions and habits are all on the witness stand, being thoroughly cross-examined. This can feel like death as it can wreak havoc in our lives, particularly when we fight the flow, as we are questioning many aspects of our lives.

When we understand that this is a time to throw away the rubbish that has been stinking up our lives and our minds, then we can see this as what it is: time to take out the trash! This can be literal, figurative or both. It is our choice.

Personally, I find that when I give permission for the things in my mind (particularly those parts that no longer serve me) to exist that they quickly dissolve. Then my physical life demands that I do the same. In the past 2 weeks I have deeply cleaned and cleared the clutter in my kitchen and living room. It feels truly REfreshing now to be at home in my own home.

I encourage each of us to embrace this time of REview/REflection, RElease and REnewal, instead of focusing on the havoc it seems to create. REtrograde CAN be an awesome opportunity, if we allow it.

Namaste

This morning, I burned a card that detailed the child support that my ex owes me. I release the need to worry about it. This or something better will come my way. Mercury REtrograde, for me today, equals RElease.

The Freedom in Breaking Down

Kneeling on the hard concrete patio, there was a chill to the air as dusk began to fall and I quickly scribbled my feelings on dishes using permanent markers. With safety glasses in place, I placed a plate gently inside a small banker’s box. My adrenalin rushed as I tightly gripped the hammer and brought it down, angrily and repeatedly on the fragile dish ware. At first my hits were staccato-like, trying to pulverize the plate into oblivion.

As I moved through the scribbled set of spare plates, at times large chunks of ceramic shrapnel would land on the patio. One large piece jumped up and scraped along my right middle finger where dark red blood soon followed. This did not stop me; using alternate grips with the hammer to avoid more scrapes, as I was beyond the point of stopping to find gloves.

The power I felt was AMAZING. I then began to revel in the amount of destruction I could do with one smooth hit. Soon the weight that I had been carrying around my chest was lifted, the weight on my shoulders soon followed. My prevailing emotions moved from anger and sadness to empowerment.

Originally, I had planned to throw the plates into a dumpster. Yet I wanted to feel the action of the breaking at my own hands. I now see the benefit of really feeling it. Maybe next time I’ll wear gloves… maybe.

There was such a sense of peace after everything was adequately broken. In fact, I was proud of my destruction. There was also beauty in the melodious way the broken pieces chimed as they collided with one another while I cleaned up.

Looking back, I see how I was able to break some of the habits of my thinking patterns just by breaking plates. That night, I broke up with some of my anger. Afterwards, I felt enlivened and relieved of many blockages. Over a week later, I still do. Since then, I’ve learned a few things, too.

Several people have shared with me the Greek tradition of breaking plates as a form of celebration. One Greek friend even gave me pointers on buying the plates from the Dollar Store instead of the thrift store for ease of breakability. She also spoke to the exhilaration felt with breaking plates while shouting “Opa!”

I have also read of how some Buddhist monks break green glass in pillowcases to help relieve the feelings of anger. What’s interesting about this is that my next calling is to nicely decorate a plate before I smash it, which seems akin to the sand mandalas created and then destroyed by Tibetan Monks.

Since following my calling to break stuff, I now realize how ceremonial and freeing this very act can be. If you plan to follow, please do so safely.

Namaste

Breathing Freely Again

Usually my exercise-induced-asthma is triggered with running or higher level cardio. Today it was so bad while I was out for a walk, it made me wish I had used my inhaler beforehand. After thinking through several possible asthma and allergy triggers, I realized that this past month – and this past work week in particular – that I had felt as if I couldn’t “catch my breath.” 

Later, when I settled into meditation and traveled to “my cave,” the place where I speak directly with internal aspects of myself, the “asthmatic” was already there. Her breathing was such that she appeared to be having an asthma attack. She was anxious and afraid to be happy or joyful. In listening to her, she revealed that she was afraid to be happy. For her it meant something bad would happen and it would be just a matter of time before “the other shoe dropped.” 

After listening to her and allowing her to express her fears, without judgment nor denial, I was able to witness her transform. It was amazing that I was then able to breathe freely again. 

My fear of life, fear of joy, and fear that being happy leads to “the other shoe dropping,” were all keeping me from breathing and enjoying life. 

So now I ask: Where are you not fully enjoying life? What thoughts make your chest tighten and your breathing to be restricted? 

Shortness of breath can be a sign of an underlying medical issue. Please be sensible and immediately seek a medical evaluation if you are inexplicably short of breath. 

Namaste 

My inner voices were fighting – Here’s how I Found Peace.

A post I wrote has been accepted by Elephant Journal. Please follow the link below to read it all. Shares are highly appreciated & encouraged 😉

On an ordinary day, waiting for a phone call from a good friend, I noticed an inner battle start to brew.

Stepping back further into observation mode, I noticed a few peculiar inner voices arise. On one side, there was a bratty little voice. She was entitled. She wanted things fixed and done immediately. On the other side, there was a voice I later identified as my martyr. She told me, “You get what you get and you can’t feel upset.”
….Continued 

Image: Google 

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑