Seeing Love as if for the Very First Time

Love and compassion are the soft whispers of a heart that is given the permission to fully express its truth. Many of us have learned that love is conditional, and out of fear we believe we have to manipulate others to gain their love. These beliefs are the furthest from the truth.

Much like the air we breathe, Love is ubiquitous and an invisible presence that can easily be taken for granted. Yet Love is vital for our survival, without it we cannot thrive.

Love accepts life and others “as is” and whether others Love us or not. Just as we have compassion for others when they are suffering a loss, we accept them for their range of emotions and sad or angry faces, Love is accepting others for who they are right now, in the present. While we can see the potential of others, our Love for them is not based on who they “could be,” it is based on who they are right now. Today. In sickness and in health.

If we force the process of Love, rushing into it at break neck speeds, then this reveals our fear that we cannot be loved. It is as if we believe we must have someone “fall for us” before they can see “our flaws.” Charming is not Love. Charming is manipulation.

When we believe that we must make ourselves into something or someone different for someone else to Love us, then this reveals where we do not Love ourselves.  When we accept and allow ourselves to be ourselves, then we show ourselves our own Love. It is then that we can begin to accept the Love of another, as we are then strong enough in ourselves to be who we are, to shine our own lights and allow those whose lights match ours to become closer to us.

Simply put. Love is.

Namaste

Overcoming Indecision: A Tool for Path Finding

When unsure which path to take, one of the tools I have found very helpful to gain clarity is quite simple and effective. In fact, this is such a simple tool that it can be easily forgotten or even overlooked. So often we believe that complex situations require complex solutions, which keeps us stuck when we overlook something as simple as this body compass. Really, a compass is a quite simple device when we think about it, yet it can help us to circumnavigate the globe. 

In a relatively quiet space, feel into the soles of your feet. Allow yourself to become more fully present in your body. Feel yourself as you breathe in and breathe out. Place one or two hands on your heart as you simply imagine the various options you have been considering. Allow yourself to fully feel what your body is telling you. Trust what you feel as your body is telling you which path to choose.

Let’s say you’re trying to choose between turning left or right. See yourself in the car turning left. What do I feel when I turn left? Then see yourself in the car turning right. What do I feel when I turn right? Allow the signals from your heart and your body to show you which path is correct for you at this time by which one feels better.

Simply put: Follow your bliss by feeling your True North… and trust yourself to show you what is best for you at this time.

May we each appreciate the truth within our hearts and bodies; trusting that we know how to meet our own needs. 

Namaste

Giving Your Sadness Peacock Feathers

So there I was, no lie, feeling a wave of sadness crest. Tears began to well up in my eyes, and before sadness completely washed over me, I asked the sadness what it needed.

The image of peacock feathers immediately popped into mind. So I gladly gave my sadness peacock feathers, with little hesitation. It wasn’t until later that I began asking, “WTH does the sadness need with these feathers?!”

What I’m finding is that it’s not really my place to ask. Maybe the sadness was a misplaced sense of pride. And it doesn’t really matter, really. For when I gave of the gift that it requested the wave turned to a ripple upon my inner sea. Now I’m sitting here stronger in my happiness. So why ask why, really?

The take home message? When an emotion threatens to take over and roll you under, pause for a moment and acknowledge it, then promptly ask it what it needs. Then, so long as the request does NOT involve harming oneself or others, hand over the goods.

Now I laugh when I think about sadness prancing around with peacock feathers. Who can remain sad with an image of sadness like that?!

May we each give ourselves and our emotions the very things we and they need, trusting ourselves to take care of us and them. For it is in meeting our own internal needs that we create a happier world to live…

Namaste

 

Having What You Choose in Life

Life is a series of choices. Some are big. Some are small. Some may even seem like they don’t matter at all. Yet, each choice we make leads to a path with new choices, much like with driving. Once we choose a right at one intersection, we’ve changed our course and will have different options than had we stayed straight, turned left or made a U-Turn…or even if we stopped completely in the roadway.

Honestly, I believe we will each get there, it just depends on us HOW we’ll get there….

So there is some strategy involved to “level up” to be able to make the big choices we would like. We must ask ourselves, “What would it feel like to have the thing that I desire?” In focusing on the emotions instead of the outcome, we tune our GPS to find that path to our desire. Our emotions are our road map, if we choose to listen.

This is an important part, too! Once we feel the emotions involved, it is imperative that we then look to our current lives and surroundings. We must then begin to see, create  and give gratitude for those feelings in our lives right now; creating even more opportunities for them to be there. This will help us to magnify the energy to attract the things we wish to have.

Here’s an IRL example. In observing and experiencing life, I now have a more clear idea of what it is that I choose in a life partner. I have driven down many streets with many detours. Each road had a lesson. Sometimes I had to travel the same road because I didn’t learn it the first dozen or so times. My biggest hang ups? I did not believe I deserved to be with this person, I could not see myself with him – nor could I believe fully that he existed in real life, nor that he was fully available to me outside of my imagination.

Now that I believe he exists in real life and I also know that I deserve to be with him, I am seeing, appreciating, giving gratitude and thus magnifying the energies of connection and love. Other supportive energies include having fun and feeling happy, abundant, joyful, grateful, young, supported, appreciated, beautiful, worthy, and faithful.

With each moment that I focus on the presence of these feelings in my life, the less I focus on the lack of having a life partner. The presence involves being present. And the more present I am with the presence of these feelings in my life right now, the more accomplished I feel in having what I desire – and he isn’t even sitting next to me – yet.

When I focus on the nagging questions like, “When will we be together? How will it happen? How much longer is this going to freaking take?,” I am creating more lack and putting down barricades along my path. These questions are like opening the oven door to see if the cake has finished baking, or digging up the soil everyday after planting seeds – it ruins the cake and destroys the tender roots and shoots of what we’re choosing to create!

In essence, we are on a continual road trip in our lives. It is our choice which path we’d like to take and along the way, based on which paths we choose, we are given different options. We often choose the hard way and believe it cannot be that easy, much like my old belief that I was not worthy of love. Because of these outdated beliefs in lack we close down options in our minds that would have lead directly to the very things we would like to achieve.

Based on my understanding of the Laws of The Universe, to have what we choose in life we must:

  1. Identify what it is we choose & believe we can have it (we deserve it, it exists, etc)
  2. Identify how we would feel to have it
  3. Appreciate or create opportunities for #2 in our everyday lives
  4. Step back & allow the outcome to happen (without opening the oven or disturbing the soil). 

Now, here’s the grand irony. The more work that we do along these steps, the more at peace we feel and the less attached we become to the outcomes. For instance, the more I feel the emotions related to my desire (#2), the more peace I feel being single. Reminds me of Glinda the Good Witch, “You had the power all along…”

May we each know what we choose, believe that we can have it and have the courage to open ourselves to it, knowing that it is ours to have.  

Namaste

 

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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

Stress Detox & Breathing Easily

In downshifting this past week and being diligent in self-care to detox, I began to notice how much I was struggling to catch my breath. No cold, not an asthma attack, just every breath seemed labored. Remembering comments from a friend and fellow blogger, I began to look into “air hunger.” This lead to the book Self-Help for Hyperventilation Syndrome: Recognizing and Correcting Your Breathing-Pattern Disorder by Dinah Bradley. Since then, I’ve been relearning to breathe easily.

Most of us think of hyperventilating as something that is acute and requires a paper bag to cure (use caution with this, and avoid if having an asthma attack). However, in the book, Bradley discusses at length how hyperventilation can also become a less dramatic and chronic breathing pattern that can cause some potentially serious, or at the least some very bothersome health problems.

Examples of symptoms include: fatigue, anxiety, lethargy, depression, muscle aches, muscle tension, chest pain, numbness/tingling, and shortness of breath. When examined by a physician, having tests performed, and blood drawn patients were left without any answers as to the cause of their suffering.  In the book, Bradley explains the physiology behind hyperventilation syndrome leading to the symptoms. Please seek immediate medical attention if you are having chest pains and/or shortness of breath! It’s better to get any emergency medical conditions ruled out. 

When we breath through our mouths or quickly through our nostrils, it activates the stress response which then reinforces the breathing pattern; one which then becomes difficult to break. Frequent yawning, sighing or feeling like you cannot catch your breath are signs that you may have a hyperventilation breathing pattern. Breath retraining and making some lifestyle changes may be helpful.

Wear clothing that does not restrict your body, particularly your belly and chest from moving. Sitting upright with good posture also supports better breathing, as slouching impairs the movements of respiration. Focus on the exhale, more than breathing in. Be sure to keep your mouth closed, if your nostrils are not congested, with most of your non-exertion activities. Try to make the exhale “low and slow” while slightly pulling in at your belly and keep the breath as quiet as it can be. At the end of the exhale, pause slightly and then allow your belly to relax with the inhale. Keep the muscles of your neck and throat relaxed while you breathe in.

I highly recommend the book, it has many suggestions for ways to help support breathing more easily. There is no need to struggle to breathe.

May we all breathe easier and enjoy life more deeply today and everyday.  

Namaste.

Return to Innocence

There was something inside that I wanted to hide. The true name of what it was that caused my shame was unknown to me. I could see some of the situations from my childhood in which it seemed to be rooted. And I had spent nearly a decade tugging up various “weeds” to get to the root of my shame problem. Yet, the deep rooted shame was still there.

Last week, I started the process of using EFT or emotional freedom technique to systematically begin to return to innocence through the process of forgiveness. Within just a day, I began to feel my shame load lighten. It was even more amazing after five! (The book is Forgiveness: 21 Days to Forgive Everyone for Everything by Iyanla Vanzant.)

Then, while at a party to celebrate my birthday something happened. Well after dark, while surrounded by friends on an outdoor patio of a local bar, a young boy about 7 years old walked up to me and was trying to solicit something. He spoke so softly and the crowd was so loud that I could not here him. My mind, intoxicated by the celebration – not bourbon – was unable to fully process what was happening! He held up a piece of paper in front of his chest with printed lettering, something apparently given to him by an adult to legitimize his solicitation. In my confusion over the juxtaposition, I gently yet firmly said to him, “No thank you.” I turned to my friends and commented how surreal that was for me. Then I quickly moved on. I didn’t even turn around to see if he had left.

Later that night the memory flooded back in. The next morning, the heaviness of guilt-ridden emotions followed. Why had I not done something more? How could I dismiss this child instead of protecting him and asking questions such as where was his parent/guardian? I was absolutely disgusted with myself!

I meditated, breathed into the physical and emotional pains and also used EFT that day on several elements: anger, sadness, and guilt. I sat through the emotional storms and rode some mighty waves. I even did a constellation on the incident (I’ll need another post to explain what this meant!) and sent a prayer request to a friend for myself and the boy. I also sent prayers to his “guardians.” I even tried to talk it out to get it off my chest and also asked a trusted friend who was at the party about the incident.

While each use of a modality helped to move me through something more, there were still some lingering pangs of guilt. The next day, I told a retired social worker about the incident; as if she could grant me absolution. Tears came to my eyes and I still got choked up. It was apparent that I still felt guilty for not doing more. It was also apparent to me at some point that the boy, due to his estimated age, also reminded me of my own son. In some way, I had “taken” responsibility for this boy as if I were his parent!

Through continued mindfulness while allowing the upwelling of all of the emotions, I finally saw the keys to unlock my cage of guilt. One key was that I recognized I was angry with myself for not protecting and honoring his innocence, as I would for my own son. And the skeleton key was seeing how my own childhood innocence had not been protected nor honored by adults who “should have” done so. After this recognition, the tears no longer flowed. The light bulb was now lit: I needed to see, honor and protect my own innocence.

That evening I attended a mini constellation therapy session in which my intention was to replace shame with innocence. Through my ancestors, I was able to receive further support in transmuting the lifelong shame I had felt back into innocence.

While there are still some areas to work through, I feel that a significant amount of shame and its emotional burden has been relieved. I share this story to illustrate that emotional freedom can seem elusive when we are moving through any upwellings. It is unlocked through persisting at allowing the emotions to become our teachers, in spite of what we may be feeling. Had I dismissed my feelings about this incident, as I had the boy in the bar, I would have missed an opportunity to reclaim my own innocence; my own freedom from shame.

Letting go now has a new meaning for me. It wasn’t about letting go of the story, my feelings nor the boy, it was letting go of control of it all to rediscover the innocence I had been missing.

May we each find the roots behind the story, so that we may each be free of our suffering in new ways. We all become more free, even if just by degrees, by each root that is disentangled. This is not just about individual suffering as we each suffer with one another, at least on some level, both directly and indirectly.

Namaste

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)

This Life is Yours, Embrace It

Each detail of your life is yours to live. It was created just for you (maybe even by you), so that you can learn how to love you. Yet we resist this, don’t we? We each want the wheat, on some level, without having to deal with the chaff. Yet it is within the hard shell (and not outside of it) that we find the seeds of our soul.

This life is ours to live. Each detail: the good, the bad, the ugly. So often we grasp onto what was or some ideal of what we want it to be, that we miss that our power is in the now.

In allowing (and even loving) where we are right now, without blocking it, or how we feel about it, or trying to change it, we open ourselves to new and higher levels of being.

What we resist persists. When we block our emotions, they create within us a battle, a civil war. This creates a stress response and we either fight with or flee from our own energy. Wow! Doesn’t that sound completely exhausting? So where are you blocking your own personal sun from shining?

Where do you “kick the can down the street,” saying to yourself you’ll get to it later or another day?  If not now, then when? Please trust that these words I’m saying to you, I’m shouting at myself. 

It takes the sun, the rain, the earth and the wind to make trees mighty. Where are you shirking your duties?

Namaste

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