Navigating The Spaces Between (NatPoWriMo)

How confusing it can be

When nothing is as it seems

Traveling along seams

Between what was, what could be,

& what is yet to be…

Navigating the spaces between.

~~

Betwixt

One may feel tricked

Yet it is here

We can choose differently.

Seeds in spring sprout

Some seedlings become great trees

While others give in to rot

~~

Navigating the spaces between

New seeds planted and sprout

What are we watering?

Navigating the spaces between.

Allowing Through Heartache to Let Go

 

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Heartaches make us through breaking us, for in breaking apart the beliefs that we hold dear, we rebuild ourselves in better and better ways. This can be hard to understand when in the midst of heartbreak, for often we hold onto the pain, or we hold onto the good things that we “lost,” that we fail to see the full picture.

While heartbreak is a painful process to go through, there are ways in which we can make it easier for ourselves. Just as we cannot force a paper cut to heal, we cannot force our broken hearts to heal. In fact, by forcing the process, we end up delaying it further. It is through allowing the healing process that we arrive more quickly at our destination.

The first step here is awareness: seeing and hearing what we are thinking. When we see the process as a classroom in which we learn about ourselves, we become witnesses to our own rebirth. By becoming aware of our thoughts, we become present with what is happening within us.

The next step is being willing to see our thoughts, almost as if written on a chalkboard, while we sit back in our seats – witnessing them without punishing ourselves, or judging our thoughts. This can be a challenge, as we have usually spent our entire lives putting “good and bad” labels on e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g that we think or do. So here we put down the scorecards and allow our thoughts to flow (see, we’re allowing again). It is in this witness seat where we begin to see the bigger picture. Just as a student sees the lesson best when 1. in the classroom and 2. from the desk/not with a nose on the chalkboard, we must be willing to both be present as well as sit back some so that we can see.

The third step is to see the patterns that emerge. This is done by “rinsing and repeating” the first two steps: being aware and witnessing. With time, the patterns begin to emerge when we see our thoughts in the witness seat.

The next step is to allow the patterns to shift. Often, we want to force a shift as soon as we have a thought we don’t desire by forcing the change. However, this is like peeling the scab off of the papercut; we actually keep the undesirable thought energy in place.

When the pain feels too much to bear, it is important to keep breathing, to feel where we feel supported (the bed, floor, chair, etc), and to keep being aware. If we slowly count to 10, we can begin to feel the wave crest and then fall.

When I get stuck mentally, I find that my body also gets stuck. It is during these times that I begin to journal, stretch, walk/move, be grateful, or by taking a salt bath. Most of all: the most important thing is to KEEP BREATHING! The more areas of our bodies we can breathe into, the easier it is for the emotions to keep moving, too. For it is when we hold our breaths that the energy and thoughts get stuck, too.

Allowing to let go. It can be both more challenging and also easier than we may think. So please allow yourself to heal, to shift and to be moved.

Namaste

Becoming The Love You’ve Been Looking For

Fantasies about knights in shining armor started at a young age for me. I wanted a man to save me from my miseries; to whisk me away on his stead into the sunset. Fairytales, it seems, were a vast part of my psyche.

Then in my late thirties when my marriage dissolved and I was left to face my life, with my miseries and messes, I turned away by looking for the knight in shining armor again; and to no avail. In seeking, I upped my misery. Yet while I sought, I also began to look inward. This blog, in all of its iterations, reflects a good part of that journey.

Today, I am seeing that the love and acceptance I’ve sought in others was quietly waiting…right here, inside of me. Yes, I’ve read in books this concept of self-love. Yet, it was only recently that I began to experience it as a regular part of my daily life and reality.

How has this come to be, you may be wondering? It really is more simple than you may want to believe. If you’ve been following my story, you may see the pattern. It is about the consistent application of self-love and self-compassion in the face of e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g.

To be more specific: The places where we have built walls must be torn down. Those walls are the thoughts and beliefs that block us from our own light, our own love and in maintaining those walls, it eats up our energy.

This place of self-love is behind those walls. It can feel scary to “walk into” those blockades, for each brick is a thought we have taken the time to place and mortar together to form these walls. Then we take to painting our beliefs of who we are, like murals, on these walls. So to look closely at any of the murals or walls is to question our very own self-concept. It can feel like death to question who we are. In a way it is: it is the death of who we believed we were.

Furthermore, we feel vulnerable when we take those walls down. As each of those bricks was formed in the belief that life or love hurts us. Yet the reality is that those very walls keep us locked in with the pain, while the love we seek remains on the other side of the keep.

The very thing we seek is within us. It is up to us to break down the walls that separate us from ourselves and hence from others. We can be so busy blaming others for our pain that we avoid seeing how we are hurting ourselves and creating the very things that keep us locked in that hell.

So go to those walls. Breathe through the fear, the heartache. Write, cry, dance and be moved by the emotions that you’ve been keeping locked up. In freeing them, you free yourself. With each wall you break down, you will find another measure of love for yourself.

It is in “feeling the rainbow” of human emotions that we become who we are here to be: ourselves unlimited, ourselves being free.

Namaste

Becoming a Best Friend

Everyone needs a best friend, someone to turn to when life gets tough and someone with whom to celebrate the good stuff. Friends can come and go, moving to new places, having their own life changes or even passing on. The one person we know that is with us from birth to death is our own selves. Yet, how many of us are friends with ourselves, much less our own best friends?

It can be a challenge to see ourselves in this light, as we can see into our own depths. We know our own darkest secrets and thoughts. And we judge ourselves for it to no end. However, if our own best friend were to confess to us their own “sins,” we would most likely forgive them. Yet we often hold ourselves to the highest standards and repeatedly beat ourselves down for not meeting them.

It is time to break these habits of self-reprisal. It is time to put down the arms and begin to give ourselves the grace, compassion and love that we so easily dispense to others. Perhaps one of the easiest ways to do this is to see ourselves as innocent babies, ones who are here to love and to be loved.

Love didn’t hurt you. Someone who didn’t know how to love hurt you. Don’t confuse the two. ~ Tony Gaskins, Jr.

We can continue this practice into present day by forgiving ourselves for how we have trespassed against ourselves. We can then become aware of what ways in which we punish ourselves. Then we can choose differently by granting ourselves just a little bit more grace, love and compassion.

By feeling into the places where we don’t feel loved, we can begin to heal the wounds within. It is here that we are learning to become our own best friends.

Heart Meditations to Heal Thyself

Namaste

Radiating Love: A Meditation

This is a daily mediation that I started about 3 weeks ago. It has been very helpful in keeping me from becoming overwhelmed when things gets tough. Some of my friends and coworkers have mentioned the differences they’ve seen, even without my telling anyone what I’ve been up to.

At least once a day for 5-10 minutes:

  • Sit upright with feet flat on the floor or ly down on your back.
  • See your body as a vase or vessel, imagine emptying it in the way that feels best for you.
  • Usually I visualize the wind emptying out the vessel, and when it’s been “real bad,” I imagine I “flush” the toilet. Yet without water filling back in.
  • After emptying out as much as possible, then visualize golden light like liquid sunshine filling your body, pouring in from the top of your head.
  • When the vessel is full, begin to see the light radiating outwards from you. Allow the rays to expand as far out from you as you can.
  • Call upon this image of a radiating you as you go through your day, especially when things get tough.

Consistency with this exercise increases its effectiveness. There are some days where you may notice it is easier than others.

Go forth and radiate!

Namaste

Losing the Illusion: Facing Disappointment

Branching into new territories brings about the need to clear out the old thoughts and beliefs that crowd the paths. Facing fears, outdated beliefs of “what ought to be,” and stored up emotions (reminds me of “lions, tigers and bears, oh, my!”) allows us to clear the way for further exploration and opening into bigger and better opportunities for ourselves. Today, many of those illusions, those thoughts of “what ought to be,” smacked me in the face, much like a wayward branch on a hike.

The unwanted thoughts and feelings have been gnawing at the pit of my stomach. Like a boomerang they fly out, only to come right back again. “By 42, I should be in a better place: secure with myself, my finances and living as a “whole” family. What is this: changing my name post-divorce, not having full custody of my kids and figuring out “how to get out of debt?” And I should be “solid” by now in who I am, not still trying to “find my voice.”” These thoughts cycle like an un-merry, merry-go-round. No wonder I feel dizzy and my insides feel turned upside down.

Acknowledging these feelings, putting them “on paper,” even saying them out loud via this blog, helps me to see them differently, to put them into perspective. “Who is saying this?”

These thoughts are not me, yet I have been listening to them. Today, I choose to rewrite my story, to see something new, to see something different and open into a new reality. Today, I am putting pen to paper and allowing the ink and new ideas to flow. Those old thoughts? I am letting them to keep going down the path they are on, while I choose a new one. Today, I’m creating a new map, and calibrating my compass; my sense of where I am and where I am going.

Digging deeper: What do you want to do differently, starting today? To get to a new place, it’s important to start exactly where we are – not where we “ought to be”… for to navigate from the wrong place, just gets us further away from obtaining our dreams.

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

In the Openness We Create

I have recently been experiencing a writer’s block. In keeping myself filled with “to do” lists and increasing my self-care regimen – mostly filling my time and space with “good things,” I have not felt the same call to write for some time.

I really could make excuses all day. There are mornings and nights where I have had the time, yet when the time was available it seemed writing was the last thing on my mind.

Recently, in a Life Coaching Session with Sam at Peacock Poetry, she helped me to see where I had built a shell around myself. Being walled-in was protective and helped me feel secure in the ever changing landscape of my life, yet it was also shielding me from my writing process.

Part of my post-session assignment was to write about my experience from the closed shell to the open, majestic meadow, the place where I found my balance through a visualization Sam led me through.

Here is the poem that I wrote in response to my experience:

“From Turtle Shell to Majestic Meadow”

Claws gripping soil in futility,

the dizzying spin continuing,

Infinitely.

~~

Drawing back into her domed shell,

Escaping what felt like pure

hell.

~~

Protective pod of security

After a while gets

Lonely.

~~

Thoughts warp and take

Away the breath,

Each deficient of oxygen and

truth.

~~

Weary of her isolation,

Cautiously peering outwards

Into the world,

Eyes beseeching anything harmful.

~~

A sigh releases

Vulnerability reveals then

Creativity expresses

A smaller shell

~~

Sliding into a babbling brook

Gliding along the pebbles,

Pushing off.

~~

She’s glad she came out

From under her own rock.

~~

Riding the flume

Until seeing a new view

Through the meadow,

To see what she can do.

~~

Standing on hind legs

She peeks over rocks.

At the majestic mountains

Ahead, she looks.

~~

Too many steps ahead,

She knows, back to the

Present she goes.

~~

Wind like soft

Velvet on her cheeks

Brings her attention

To tall reeds

~~

Of grass growing

In deep hues of green

yellow at the tips turned

Translucent from sun shining

~~

Closing her eyes,

Her face to the sun

Oh, she feels, it’s time for

A good run!

~~

Legs growing longer,

Her determination stronger,

She presses forward

~~

Grasses part as a trail

She blazes,

Energy raised then drained.

~~

Time to return to the shell

From whence she came?

No, it was time to reframe.

~~

Resting, instead, in a fresh

Laid bed of orange pine needles,

She kept her shell small

And her thoughts on the big

Image of the majesty of this moment

That went beyond her head.

~~

To dance such a fine dance

Of security and vulnerability,

Yes, there were even better

Days ahead

Now just to keep the balance

Between heart and head!

Namaste

drawings to the theme:

Loving Ourselves in Spite of Ourselves

It is ultimately each of our own responsibilities to love ourselves. Too often we look to others, to our possessions and to our accomplishments to “fill our cups.” These are only temporary and are not fixes, instead when the time has past or the others are long gone, we still stand there holding an empty cup.

Looking outward, we compare our insides to the “film reels” of others. We believe that having “this or that” will make us happy, as we flip through the external lives of others. Yet we never really stop and ask ourselves, “Are The Joneses happy?”

Furthermore, happiness is an emotion. It is not a state of being. As such, happiness is fleeting and fragile. So why do we expect it 24/7?

The path to peace is an inward journey. We find it by learning to love ourselves completely and unconditionally. Our lives bring to us the mirrors in which we see our “not Love” so that we can choose to heal and accept those unloved places with our own Love for ourselves.

It really is that simple. The complexity is the one we give it when we fight and struggle against our desire to love ourselves. The question then becomes: for how long do we fight against loving ourselves?

It is in loving and having greater compassion for ourselves that we can give more to others. In opening ourselves to greater love, we can experience a greater sense of peace and trust. It is also here that we can more fully experience our connection with The Creator.

Namaste

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