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

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

Heart’s Journey

“My heart is at ease knowing that what was meant for me will never miss me,
and that what misses me was never meant for me.”
~Al Shafifi

As I drove to Raleigh Tuesday I could not believe
what I was indeed doing: taking time off of work
to go to a mid-week show in another state.
“Who the f*** is this person inside of me?!,”
I kept thinking, in an inspiring way.

Then, just outside of Raleigh, a Great Blue Heron flew overhead.
For me, they show me that what is meant for me comes to me.

It was not until I arrived in Raleigh
that I had to come to a stop and it truly
dawned on me that I was going this alone.
And while in a little bit of shock, I was mostly in awe.

Here I gave myself a pep talk about going to a concert solo.
Just about a year ago, I nearly panicked when I went out grocery shopping,
knowing I was going to later be home, all alone.
At the time it was scary, I thought, “really, who is this inside of me?!”

Once in Raleigh, I ran into a man not one, not two,
but three times, even eating at the same
restaurant’s upstairs, outdoor bar – without planning it.
After talking for over an hour, I invited him to the show.
That moment was gold!

We didn’t have to pay parking fees, so he bought me a drink.
Soon we were ushered to our seats, just as the show began.
The show was a needed reprieve.

I was glad I invited him. It was nice to have company.
Later, after we shook hands and returned to our  own rooms,
he shared that he was interested in me. I thought, “really?!”
Yet, this was not good timing. I needed to rest for the next
day’s drive and I was already tired and my body was hurting, badly.

The next day was icing on the cake. Being able to meet 2 bloggers!
It was a joy to relate to Dana the beauty of my mid-week
adventures. She showed me where following my joy means
being open to more traveling opportunities – more shows,
meeting more bloggers, thus following my heart, my joy, more & more.

What is meant for me comes to me, it is not something for which I must seek…

Last night, I met a man in a group I hang out with often.
He’s intriguing and I’m curious to see where things lead.
Definitely left me with interesting dreams…big cheesy smile!

Yet, I’m keeping calm as it’s time to start cleaning,
and packing….& breathing!

Image: Google

 

 

Learning to Fly

Osprey with Spade Fish

Soaring.
Rising and falling
gracefully, willingly
with the up and downdrafts
Osprey effortlessly float.

Witness the fledgling
you’ll have a different
perspective.

The large, young
birds hold fast
the mansion,
while flapping furiously
in the updrafts
in their Aeries.

Under parents’
watchful eyes,
they take first flight.
Fear is palpable.
Until they let go,
learning to trust.


The Osprey has called to me for many years. Her amber eyes keen on the horizon, pointing the way to a brighter future. Her presence beckons me to leave the comfort of my own Aeries mansion. “There is so much more for you once you let go and fly,” her eyes say.

I stand on the precipice and I flap my wings. As a fledgling, I test myself in the updrafts, pondering when I will do what I am here to do: fly.

Whoever tries to keep their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life will preserve it. – Luke 17:33

It’s hard to let go of my mansion nest, the comfort of thousands of pounds (and years) of having my feet on something (seemingly) solid.

Now just to let go of fear….

When we resist change, it’s called suffering. But when we can completely let go and not struggle against it, when we can embrace the groundlessness of our situation and relax into it’s dynamic quality, that’s called enlightenment.
– Pema Chödrön, Living Beautifully: with Uncertainty and Change

And fly!

Namaste.

Photo Courtesy of Cindy Shryock Sanderson

What we push away persists

Image courtesy of tiverylucky at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Find your quiet center of life and write from that to the world.
Sarah Orne Jewett

What we push away persists.

Surrender into the feelings with the faith that you will survive this.

It is in your surrender that you find the feelings begin to dissolve.

Hold yourself in this space while you breathe.

Continue to “breathe in the quiet center” until the feelings are gone.

Your next breath is more free.

Rinse and repeat.

Each time you move into your feelings,  instead of away from them,  you develop a greater mastery of your own inner world.

Your outer world is a direct reflection of your inner world.

Peace, love and happiness are yours to hold. It’s your choice,  babe.

Namaste.

PS I have since discovered this great video by Teal Swan, she goes further into this process.

Image courtesy of tiverylucky at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Shadows of Death

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Even though I walk through the valley of the shadows of death, I shall fear no evil.

– Psalm 23

In Buddhism, Shiva, the creator and the destroyer, represents the process of breaking down that needs to occur prior to being able to build back up. Nature is filled with examples of this idea of death and rebirth. A wave breaks on the shore before being pulled back out into the ocean, only to form again. The tree dies, decomposes and becomes the nutrients for the seedlings. This is a natural cycle, yet for some reason in our Western culture we shirk away from the idea of death.

The idea of death can become pervasive for me when moving through the painful aspects of the emotions of change. It is then that I often experience pain in a way that leads me to want to die. (Hang up the phone, there’s no need to call for help.) This is a passive wish for which I do not take harmful actions. Over the years and with learning compassion for myself, I have learned that this “death wish” is only temporary. This is the part of me that no longer works for me; the part of me that needs to be released or transformed. It is the part of me that needs love the most at that moment and it is that part of me that is dying to be loved. Literally.

By being compassionate with myself, by performing my self-care rituals such as meditating, going within, chanting mantras or just being still and honoring the part of myself that is “dying” to be reborn, I find that I can move more quickly through this cycle of death. For this is not a true death; instead it is the shadow, or the threat, of death. It is my belief that this is what is meant in Psalm 23. Death is but a shadow that lurks around us. It is our fear of the shadow that gives it the power to control us. By having faith, we are able to move through the valley (“I shall fear no evil, for thine rod and thy staff, they comfort me.” – Psalm 23).

The challenge comes in releasing attachment to the part of me that is dying. The attachment to “who I thought I was” is where the suffering begins, and if I chose to allow it, to also end. Loving myself into my strength looks like, and sometimes feels like, death.

By honoring the natural cycle of death and rebirth, I can keep moving through the process. By honoring myself, through compassion, I am able to be reborn. I am able to leave behind that which no longer serves me.

Namaste.

Photo Courtesy of Nick Coombs on FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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