Balancing Affirmations for Unlocking Authenticity

For over 5 years I’ve had an on-again-off-again relationship with positive affirmations. The challenge I run into every time is that I feel immediate resistance to the new affirmation. The parts of me that reject the affirmation quickly rise up. Then within a day or so, all of the areas in my life that don’t meet that affirmation all bubble up (like poop in water) to the top. It can be a very unpleasant experience, that feels much like a very restrictive diet; making it very difficult to stick to for very long (if at all). Well, now I have learned a few more balanced approaches to affirmations that I’d like to share with you.

Over a year ago, my trusted life coach, Sam Allen of Peacock Poetry told me about a book whose title caused an immediate wave of resistance to rise up within me (you may be noticing a theme of resistance here). While I immediately put this book in the “to buy later” cart, I ignored it for at least a year until my curiosity got the best of me. Now half-way through the book, I’m recognizing why those “old ways” of positive affirmations didn’t work and it has been life changing. The book? The Dark Side of the Light Chasers by Debbie Ford.

Debbie speaks to reclaiming our authenticity by seeing and accepting the parts of us which we have rejected or repressed. You may be surprised to see that these parts are not just our “bad” or negative parts, either. For instance, I fear being too happy or too joyful for very long!!! The affirmations help in embracing the parts of us that we repress, deny, reject, suppress, avoid, and so on (use whatever other words to describe what keeps us from being our authentic selves). These affirmations help to embrace those rejected pieces within.

Being authentic means embracing and accepting that ALL of our varied parts DO have a purpose: not just the light, shiny, happy, rainbow and unicorn-magical parts either. Each is us has had thoughts or behaviors we have deemed forbidden. Anger, for instance, consistently gets a bad rap. However, when used properly, anger is a fantastic tool for change and protection. Without anger, it would take a lot more effort to fuel things like a social change. Anger also helps us to defend ourselves when it is necessary (and when it is suppressed, we can become either passive-aggressive or explosive when we do express our need for self-protection).

What Debbie teaches is that each part of us has a purpose and when we accept that part of us is indeed purposeful and part of us, then we can use it as a tool as opposed to it ruling us behind-the-scenes!

Debbie also speaks to how we can uncover these hidden gems. It is quite simple to find, yet may be more challenging to redeem… We see these hidden gems in others, yes, we do. However, usually when we see these gems we generally either praise the person (because we don’t believe we have that trait) or we judge them (because we don’t want to believe we have that trait). After seeing the trait it is then up to us to work to embrace the trait. Yet, so many of us have learned to envy and/or hate others for expressing what we cannot or for showing us the parts of ourselves we do not wish to see.

So it is in seeing ourselves in others, in ourselves, and embracing those “undesired” or “desired” and repressed aspects that we begin to heal ourselves. Then we no longer need to “prove” ourselves differently than we are. We can then recognize that those “undesired” aspects can serve us in some way that then gives us control again, as opposed to spending all of our energy proving or repressing ourselves.

Here is an example. When I do not believe myself worthy, then I am continually chasing ahead to prove myself worthy. It’s a continual process of spinning in a hamster wheel. I may prove myself worthy today, but then I’ve got to prove it again tomorrow and so on. When I embrace that part of myself who feels unworthy, then I no longer carry that burden of being unworthy. Capiche?

Another example would be where I, just today, really wanted to write about this experience and yet found myself doing everything but writing. There was part of me that was highly resistant to writing. So I did a balancing affirmation where I allowed myself a mental temper tantrum of “I do not want to write.” Within minutes of affirming that I did not want to write, and allowing myself to not want to write, I was 200 words into this post with minimal effort.

Yet another example is where I recently found myself envious of another writer. I did not feel I could accomplish what she has accomplished. This envy is a sign that I was repressing an aspect of myself that is indeed there…

In the last two examples, I’ve shown how my dualistic mind that is holding me back. I’ve started to see this pattern both in myself and in others; this “push-pull.” So now when I start a new affirmation, I have also begun to immediately affirm the converse. For instance, “I want to write. I do not want to write.” This allows me to recognize and even affirm the divisiveness that I feel within. If things are going well internally and externally then there’s no reason to write an affirmation.

I hope you find this post supportive in your efforts to bring forth more of your authentic self. It’s amazingly freeing to see where we can affirm ourselves; supporting both the “dark” and the “light” aspects. After all, unconditional love moves beyond the duality of right and wrong, and sees the unity of ALL (unconditional means this includes the “dark stuff,” too).

May we each find greater peace, moving beyond duality, so that we can find the ultimate freedom and unity within: Agape. 

Namaste

PS I spent more time resisting this piece than I spent editing and writing it… the “I don’t want to write” affirmation/acknowledgement freed me almost immediately after DAYS, almost weeks, of resistance.

Making Sense of it All

There are times in our lives where events, that are often traumatic, lead us to want to “wrap things up” and put a bow on them. Senseless deaths or murders, such as school shootings or other acts of violence leave us grasping for understanding. Yesterday, I was almost involved in an accident in which there was a fatality. Hours after the Adrenalin wore off, I sat in silence as the various images raced through my mind. The speed at which the images flashed began to crescendo, and it was then that I realized that this was not my mystery to solve. It is not my place to make sense of it all. Instead, it is my place to do what I can to help others out. It is my place to be the best I can be in these situations that test my faith. My “small mind” cannot grasp the big picture here (nor anywhere, it seems). This realization has lead me to re-examine how I am living my own life. I’m asking myself: where am I unhappy? Where do I need to shift my focus to allow more joy? Where do I take life (way, way, way) too seriously? With these new thoughts in mind, I am beginning to mentally redesign how I view my life: it’s time to really appreciate all that I do have and to laugh more. A lot more. May you be well. May you find more joy today in the simple things. 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

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

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 

a dreamer’s dream

“Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding.”

~Khalil Gibran

through the fog
he could see
the beauty bound
within scars.

there was no hiding
nor cajoling.
no shrugging permitted.
simply naked & vulnerable.

able to see straight to the truth
his eyes fixated on the darkest
spots on my soul,
the sadness welling up in sets.

waiting for the 180
instead reaching, touching,
& appreciating the beauty
within the suffering.

wading through the
languid beauty
within the pools of his eyes,
there i heard the magical word:
Namaste’

image: google

The caterpillar comes undone

 completely disintegrates and 

turns into an amorphous goo

within the safety of the Chrysallis.
she completely rebuilds, reforms 

and is born again

as the 

beautiful,

fragile,

yet strong

butterfly.

~~

she spreads her 

wings

and

flies.

Namaste

__/|\__ Metta

2016.02.12

The Answers are Within

When wanting to know the answer to a question, know that the answer is within. When making a choice about what to do, you can find the answer by turning inward.

First do a meditation to still your mind. Then do one of two things: 

1. Imagine yourself in the situation you are inquiring about, then ask yourself how does your body feel? Does it feel good, comfortable or does it feel bad and yucky? Your body will guide you if you can keep your mind and your attachments clear.

2. Or you after the meditation you can go into your heart, just imagine being in the center of your heart….then ask your heart what to do you. 

Personally, I find #1 easier to do initially. If it is a matter of choosing one thing over another, then see the different situations as clearly as possible.

Also, do not try to force the process. You may find that your mind will take over. Or you may find that the answer in your heart is a different option altogether. The challenge, again, can be our attachments to the outcomes.

Your heart and your body know the truth. The answers are within.

(C) 2016tiffanybeingfree 

On The Turning Away from God: A Round Trip

Turning away from God occurred at a young age for me. My father was an atheist and would not take me to “our” church that I was baptized in. So he suggested I attend church with a school friend. I didn’t understand why my United Methodist (UMC) Bible was so different from the Soutern Baptist(SBC) one. I was told at my friend’s SBC that mine was wrong; my God was wrong.

Enter in the Uber-Christian Church of Christ in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, where the Christians are more Christian than Southern Baptists. If you’re hearing “More Human that Human,” be afraid that you’re in my mind, take the first exit out before it’s too late! Ha!

This church was filled with shaming and judging; much like the SBC, yet worse. My grandfather helped to build this church with his own hands. Yet, my family was treated with disdain because of my grandmother’s mental illness. Sitting in the pew behind several of the “church ladies,” all I could hear from their mouths was hatred as they gossiped (isn’t there something in the Bible about NOT gossiping?).

So my early lessons from church were that My God is non-existent, wrong, hateful, judgmental and shameful, maybe even evil. Did I miss anything? I encourage you to write down a few attributes of how you see God before you go further, you’ll see why at the end.

God is a Four-Letter Word
At some point, I could no longer say the word God without feeling choked, even in my mind. I hated God. Why did bad things happen to good people? Why did bad people get away with murder, sexual crimes, financial fleecing, etc.? How could God create Hitlers and Mansons? It just made no sense. I hated God. I felt he hated me, particularly as a woman. Women, it seems according to the Bible were either mothers, liars, cheats or whores.

You can imagine it was a challenge for me when I married a Catholic man in said church (well, technically we eloped first and then got married by a priest in a museum on Fall Equinox. The fireplace that stood behind us was flanked by wooden carvings of witches and Buddha figures were everywhere; my attempt at balance.)

Enter Buddha
In 2002 I began studying the teachings of Buddha through Thich Nhat Hanh, The Dali Lama and Buddhist Nuns. This softened my stance on The Creator with the concept of lovingkindness or Metta. All sentinent beings deserve love and we are all connected. This study was perfectly timed with release Matrix II, too.

Enter Taoism
Encouraged by a good friend to look more into Taoism (I had read The Tao of Pooh by Benjamin Hoff in college after all), I picked up a copy of The Tao Speaks: Lao-Tzu Whisper’s of Wisdom which is a graphic novel format of the Tao Ti Ching. A great way to understand Taoism, IMHO.

Enter the Goddess
While in college I formally and informally studied Ancient Cultures that worshiped Goddesses. I was drawn to the Minoan Snake Goddess with her breasts exposed. Later, Sheela na gig, the Celtic Goddess with a graphically displayed vulva, came into view (some believe she was showing women how to deliver their babies…maybe it’s also about surrendering into the void?).

Then in 2008, I attended a workshop that was centered around awakening our inner Goddess. I was surprised to find Hera was chosen for me. Sometimes, I still resist this. Her equivalents being Shakti and Isis. All lovely strong mother-figure Goddesses. At this point, I could say Goddess to refer to the Divine. God was still a four-letter word.

Jesus Christ – The Son of God was also a “four-letter” word
Jesus Christ was also a name that would trigger me. I had so many misgivings based on the way I felt judged and left out as a woman by HIS religion and his followers.

Following the Goddess workshop, I read Magdalen Manuscript: The Alchemies of Horus and the Sex Magic of Isis by Tom Kenyon & Judi Sion. It helped me to see Yeshua ben Yosef and Mary Magdalena in a way that was appealing and balanced to me. I was beginning to soften my view of God through Christ, because of Magdalena and her relationship with Him. I have since read several other books about Magdalena, all worthwhile reads.

Enter in Meditation
Early in 2014 I began mediating with a group. We called the Divine the Supreme Being so as to not be triggered in the middle of our meditations. This was when I began a daily meditation practice.

A Return to God
Perhaps it was reading A Return to Love by Marianne Williamson, or maybe it was A Course in Miracles work that I did. I do not know. At some point, the word God was no longer triggering a desire to vomit nor a feeling of being choked.

Divine Union
Somewhere in the least year, perhaps even in the work I’ve done here, God began to become appealing to me. Now I can use the word God as all inclusive for both the Divine Feminine and the Divine Masculine. It was interesting when someone said “and Goddess” after I said God this weekend. For me, I had already said it! This was a really cool realization!

God was a Composite of My Parents
This past weekend, I attended a Oneness Blessing Giver initiation. It consisted of many hours of meditations with teachings in between. In the workshop we learned that our vision of God is based on our own parents. So going back to the opening of this piece: My God is non-existent, wrong, hateful, judgmental and shameful, maybe even evil. How do you see God, if at all?

Based on this, I could see where I was blocked. I could also see that truly my vision of God, though this was not said, was how I viewed myself.

Dancing with God
Within the last few hours of the workshop we wrote down the attributes of what we wanted in our new God. Then we went into a guided meditation where we met our Gods by opening the front door to our homes to Him. Here is an abbreviated version of my interactions with my new God. 

His body changed multiple times from the time I opened the door until he sat down on my couch, interestingly where I sit now. My God looked like a hipster Jesus in a sharp black dress suit. My God was flaming hot!

Usually intimated by people who are considerably beautiful, I felt so calm and comfortable in his loving and warm presence. He held my hands and said beautiful things to me that I’ve never accepted from any man. Then he stood up, walked me to the open floor and danced with me while I wore an all white gown. Later I realized it was as if we were just married. I guess in a way we were.

In dancing with My vision of God, he showed me where I have tried to lead; surrendering. He showed me my inherent beauty and my value to Him and the World. Tears of Joy and Gratitude cloud my vision as I type, blindly, yet with a vision I have never had before. He showed me where I can be accepting of man, by accepting myself as a woman.

Without words, he showed me that women wear white to represent their Divine Masculine, while men were black to represent their Divine Feminine when they are married. A question I had recently in doing the work behind Sacred Geometry.

Later, we were instructed to allow God into our bodies. I saw My God move with me into my heart, still dancing. While I do not always know the steps, He is leading me now. I also saw a vision of the heart with the Yin Yang superimposed on it. Divine Balance.

All along I was searching for God on the outside, in books, in workshops. All along He was waiting for me to invite Him in.

For the reader
I encourage you to feel your way through what YOUR God looks like to YOU. I am working on a guided meditation that I was being shown during meditation. God communicates to us everyday through images, through our feelings. Rarely through words. I am seeing this and feeling this now. If we feel God is not listening to us, are we listening to Him?

Metta. __/|\__

(C) 2016 tiffanybeingfree

Image: Google

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