The Gift Of A Strong-Willed Child

If you’re reading this, it’s likely that you have a strong-willed child, or maybe teach one. Or you might be an aunt or uncle of one, or just know one. I want to let you in on a really big secret: they are here for your benefit.

I know, you’re thinking I’m nuts, I’m crazy. What am I talking about? How in the world could a child that pushes my buttons all day long, driving me berserk, even in a million years be beneficial for me? What the heck? WTF?

All right. I’ll spill it. They are here to show you where you don’t love yourself. They are here to show you all of the places and ways that you are rejecting love from coming to yourself.

By now you’re thinking that I’ve really gone off the deep end. Hang on. I’ll connect the dots that you can’t quite see yet. They’re there, I promise you. But they’re just invisible to you right now. Let’s see if I can help light them up for you, one by one.

When we have parts of us that reject love, they hurt. They live deep within us, often silent, until something causes them to cry out. Those parts of us are parts that became separated from us when we were young. They are pieces of us that got lost or went missing. They became disconnected from us and are sitting, waiting for us to notice them.

They are waiting for us to call them home. To once again reconnect with them. To open our hearts once again to them and accept them back in.

They are waiting for us to go back and love on them with such fierce and unconditionally accepting love that they have no choice but to melt back into our arms and into our hearts. They are waiting for us to remember and reconnect to that part of ourselves that is nothing but love, so all of those hurts, pains, stings and burns can dissolve back into love.

How do we recognize these lost little parts of us? What do they look and sound like? What do they feel like? They feel hurt, disregarded, disrespected, like they’ve been ditched. They feel sad and angry. They feel like fear. And sometimes they feel like fear masquerading as evil.

They sound like thoughts in our head. Thoughts of being bad, of getting caught and getting in trouble. Thoughts of being stupid, and being too fat or too skinny, or being defective. They scream out that they just want to be left alone, to do what they want to do, not what someone else wants them to do. These lost parts have a thousand voices of pain, crying out to be loved.

So how is it that we lost bits and pieces of ourselves? How can this even happen? It happens when our young hearts are broken. They lose faith. They lose trust. And they get stuck and lost without our love.

They tuck themselves into little balls of hopelessness, fear, and distrust, stuck in time and yet still connected to a part of us, just no longer with us in our hearts. They’re connected to us such that we feel them in our children’s pain and difficulties. As our children struggle, push against us and cry out, our lost bits and pieces cry out too.

Our lost little ones see themselves in our children’s feelings, rising up in triggered pain. The lost and separated parts of ourselves resonate with our children. They ring out with our children’s frustration, and with our children’s sadness, with our children’s anger and inability to cope with life. They ring out when our children believe they are stupid, lazy, or ugly. They recognize that feeling and call out, “Yes! That’s me! That’s what I feel like! I’m still here, feeling like crap! And I’ll continue to stay here for as long as it takes.”

We become triggered by our strong-willed children in a thousand ways. And every time it happens it’s because part of ourselves is crying out. It’s calling, begging, screaming out to be heard. To be loved. To be remembered. To be accepted.

When we are triggered by our challenging children, it can feel like a red-hot poker to the eye. But see it more as a neon red arrow pointing directly at the child in you that is screaming out to be accepted.

Awareness is the first step to being able to love them back into your heart.

The next time your strong-willed, high-spirited, or challenging child triggers something in you, take a moment to accept and love that piece of you that is still in pain. It will help you to be more loving towards your child when you know what’s really going on.

 

Posted in Holistic Healing, Spirituality, The Voyage | Tagged , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Love Is The Greatest Power There Is

Love Is

When I say that love is the greatest power there is, some people think of what they would do for someone they love. They would die for someone they love. They would sacrifice their life for someone they love. I was put in a situation once where I thought I would be seriously injured and possibly killed, to save my son. You could call that a fierce mother’s love.

Fortunately, the situation I saw barreling down on my son and me changed at the last moment, as a Suburban suddenly and unexpectedly turned into a driveway mere feet before I was so sure it was going to take out my toddler, who was racing for the road. My plan, that unfurled in my mind as time slowed down, was for me to continue running after my son, pushing him out of the way of the vehicle, which I calculated would be just as he hit the street. This would leave the beast of a vehicle to hit me full on instead of him. (Because of a row of bushes, they wouldn’t be able to see him running for the road until they were right up on him). I never knew until that moment, that I wouldn’t hesitate for a moment to die for my son.

Sacrifice could be seen as love. But the most incredible love I’ve ever experienced is that which has no judgment, is pure compassion, and accepts me just exactly as I am. I’ve seen and felt it in action during healing work I’ve done, and as powerful as fear can be, holding us frozen, making us do things against our will, and be who we really don’t want to be, it can’t hold a candle to love. Love looks at fear and fear just melts.

Love is that thing that tells you even when feel like your world is crumbling, everything’s gonna be alright. Love lets you know that the bad habit you’re trying to kick isn’t really bad. In fact, it’s helping part of you to be ok. And once that part of you finally figures out that it really, truly is ok, that bad habit takes a hike all on its own.

Love takes all forms of judgment, lack, and less than, and embraces them so completely that they literally dissolve. When I believed I was a worthless piece of trash, love told me it’s ok and loved me anyway. When I believed I was damaged goods, love told me it’s ok and loved me anyway. When I believed I was defective, love told me it’s ok and loved me anyway.

Love doesn’t question my beliefs about myself, but envelops and accepts them so utterly completely that my brokenness has no choice but to melt back together. When brokenness has nothing left to push against, it falls down and gives up. Brokenness can only stand when there is resistance, when it has something to prop itself upon.

Love is the absolute most powerful energy that exists. It is what the Source that creates us feels like. In fact, because we are made from Source energy, we actually are walking talking love beings. Just stepped down versions of the love that is our Source.

This was inspired by a recent experience I had of an energy that I know as Archangel Michael. As he stood before me, my mind’s eye looked out at his massive, winged form. And the love that emanated from him left me in tears. It wasn’t just love, it was an extremely powerful love. The sort of unconditional love that a parent feels for their child, and then some.

Love exists outside of good, bad, right and wrong.

Love is what helps us grow our children.

Love looks at fear, and fear instantly dissolves.

Love is the place and the path of no resistance.

Love is the point of Unity.

Love generates creation.

Love is all accepting.

Love heals all.

Love is.

 

 

 

 

Posted in inspiration, Spirituality, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 8 Comments

Keeping The Focus On Love

It’s no mistake that right now our world is being shaken up quite vigorously. It’s quite on purpose that there are a lot of people being activated and rising up in protest at the moment. There is a very big reason behind all of the unrest and discontent of the times.

It is a time of great change, and for great change to happen, great, uncomfortable, reactivity and spinning out of fear, lack, limitation, hate, and intolerance are coming to the party. Chaos and breaking down of systems and institutions abound.

Structures that no longer fit and systems that no longer work for the majority need to change and adapt. It’s never comfortable when changing structures and systems. As long as they work for the majority, they aren’t challenged, and as such, are comfortable. It’s when they no longer work for the majority that things become uncomfortable. And there eventually becomes a tipping point when change must happen.

Because our society’s consciousness has risen as much as it has, structures and systems that no longer reflect our current consciousness have to change; they must reflect the change in our level of consciousness.

Structures, institutions, and systems always reflect the consciousness of its people.

Something I recently saw with great clarity, is that when people are connected to their own intuition and inner knowing, they have a healthy sense of self and self-love. They have great self-esteem. When people are fully connected to their intuition and inner knowing, they know that they are eternal beings whose soul never dies, and the fear of death goes away. They understand how what they believe about themselves and about life impacts the creation of their lives, and there is no sense of lack or limitation. They creatively solve problems with the goal of improving the lives of everyone, while being respectful of the environment. There is no fear, and thus no hording of anything or overuse of natural resources.

When people are fully connected to their intuition and inner knowing, they embody their true essence of love, compassion, unity, community, and acceptance. People naturally come together to help one another, instead of fearfully separating ourselves into arbitrary groups based on our differences. Connected people understand that beneath different exteriors, we all have the same core of love, compassion, and acceptance. When we are secure with ourselves, we appreciate the variety of interests and talents and skills of other people, instead of being threatened by them. We value our differences and use them to our advantage.

When people understand that what their heart focuses on is what will become their reality, they keep their eyes on the prize of love, unity, and compassion. When people learn how to heal their fears and heal all the beliefs that they created to fit into a world that wasn’t aligned with their core selves, the world will change even more. When people learn to heal what’s in their way of knowing themselves as loving, compassionate and fully accepting beings, the world will have no choice but to reflect that change.

I have a dream that everyone will learn how to heal their inner wounded child. And in doing so, the passing down of wounds will no longer need to be perpetuated. I have a dream that everyone will be fully connected to their loving and compassionate inner core, and that their acceptance of themselves will spill out to the world with acceptance for all. I have a dream that everyone will know their eternal nature, and will remember that life is never-ending, thus ending all fear of death. I have a dream that we will maintain our connection to the invisible field of consciousness and information that connects us all, and in doing so, we will remember our abilities to communicate telepathically, and will be able to access any and all knowledge simply at will, and will be able to communicate with beings who are no longer inhabiting a physical body in the here and now.

I have a dream that everyone will understand the mechanics of disease and illness, and will know the role that their own beliefs have in the creation of disease, illness and pain. I have a dream that with this knowledge, energy healers will play a huge role in helping people clean up all their wonky beliefs and fears, reconnecting themselves to their innate wisdom, to their core truth, and will end cycles of passing on wounds to each subsequent generation.

This is not a pipe dream. More and more children are being born every day who haven’t lost their connection to their intuition and inner knowing. They are born remembering they are love and compassion, and they want nothing more than to help others and for others to feel good. More and more children are being born with the natural ability to heal those around them. They feel others pain and transmute it, not even consciously realizing they are doing it. More and more children are being born whose nature is community and who intuitively love and respect our planet and nature.

Children are not born with fear of death, it is taught to them. Children are not born fearful of those who are different from them, it is taught to them. Children are not born filled with fear of lack and not enough, it is taught to them. Children are not born filled with hate, it is taught to them. Children are not born disconnected from who they are, it is socialized out of them.

More and more children are being born who learn differently and who are so connected to the invisible field of consciousness that they often just know things without knowing how they know them. They can’t show how they got their answer, because they reached up into the big cloud that contains all information, and grabbed it, and most adults don’t know about this yet. Many of these children have been labeled as dysfunctional or deficient.

More and more children are being born with amazing gifts in one area of life, bringing in talents from other lifetimes because they weren’t completely forgotten. They are called prodigies or savants. More and more children are being born with the ability to laser focus on what they want until it has no choice but to come to fruition. Yes, they have trouble focusing on things that don’t interest them, but they are born with the incredible tools to manifest anything their hearts desire. They are called deficient and disordered.

Many of these very special and amazing children are seen as defective because their gifts are not understood. They are not appreciated and validated for their amazing talents because we adults are not educated about how incredible they are. We, who are still steeped in fear, lack, self-loathing, limitation, and separation mentality, only look for deficits and differences. We constantly project our own deficits and deficiencies on everyone around us. We insist on conformity and uniformity because being different and unique scares us still. These “defective, dysfunctional, and deficient” children are all masters at something. It’s up to the adults to figure out what that is and to nourish it and them. They are here to teach us, to assist in our evolution.

The systems and institutions we have created mirror where we are as a people. But as we the people grow and evolve, as we become more connected to our core selves and as we remember our truths, our collective consciousness has no choice but to rise up and up. As that happens, society’s institutions and systems have no choice but to reflect the change.

I have a dream that as the old is breaking down, and the new is being created, what is being created will reflect my connection to my compassionate, accepting, loving self. It will appreciate everyone for their unique gifts and talents, without fear of differences. The new will be created from a sense of eternal abundance, and without the fear of not enough, the planet and all of her resources will be more than enough for everyone. We will become proficient in harnessing energy from invisible fields that the planet holds. (The knowledge is already here, but people who control our existing power sources are currently too afraid to change).

I know my dreams are lofty ones, but I see them coming to fruition. As we all wake up to our core, loving, compassionate selves, we eventually reach the tipping point where society as a whole makes the shift. The bigger the gap between where we were and where we now are, with regards to our consciousness, the more uncomfortable the shift and change. But fear not, uncomfortable is not bad, it’s just uncomfortable. Change is not bad, it’s just new and different.

The reason why the world looks and feels uncomfortable and chaotic right now is because we have tipped. Enough people have changed that society is merely reflecting that change. In response, systems and institutions that no longer work for the majority have no choice but to also reflect change.

What is our role in all of this change? Keep your focus on what you want to see come to fruition. My focus comes from inside of me: it all comes from my connection to myself as the loving and compassionate being I know I am. My focus is based on the knowledge that there is enough for everyone, and that fear has no place in my life. My focus is based on knowing that everyone has the same basic goals and wishes in life: to love and be loved and to make a difference. To have a sense of purpose. To matter. And my focus is based on knowing that the more I’m connected to my own inner wisdom, the more easily answers to every question and solutions to every problem easily pop into my life.

What sort of world are you creating?

Posted in Holistic Healing, inspiration, Spirituality, The Voyage | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

He Really Didn’t Want A Hair Cut

My son was diagnosed with Sensory Processing Disorder when he was two years old. One of the effects of it was having extreme challenges with having his hair cut. The sound of scissors or clippers set him off. The feeling of the tiny bits of hair on his skin was unbearable. And after being forced to go to a barber, my son decided that because he’d seen how to cut hair, he could do it himself.

That’s something I’ve learned about this kiddo: he learns by watching. After he sees someone do something, in his mind, he can do it too. No awareness of a learning curve, or the fact that someone has practiced several times to be able to develop their level of skill. He sees it. He knows he can do it too.

A few days after I’d talked about how my son’s hair was getting a little bit long, I was getting ready to put him on the bus to preschool, and I noticed his bedroom door was closed. At four years old, his bedroom door was never closed during the day. Never. And, he was quiet. This kid was never quiet. Never.

I gingerly opened the door to my confident preschooler with scissors in hand and piles of hair on the floor at his feet. I caught him, mid-snip. Where just minutes before he’d had beautiful brown hair that was getting on the long side, the top of his head was stubble about 1/8″ long. His bangs were gone too. He hadn’t had time to get to the rest of his head, other than one big cut to the side.

Trying to not completely lose my shit on this poor kid, who just wanted to take control of something that was usually out of his control and very uncomfortable, I asked him what he was doing, and then explained that barbers practiced their hair cutting skills on doll head before they ever cut a person’s hair.

With that, I took him to preschool that day, dropping him off and heading to a nearby department store, where I bought the most complete clipper set they carried. I still use it to this day. Best $40 I ever spent.

stream-of-consciousness-saturday

Participated in Linda Hill’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday. Here’s the prompt for this week.

 

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Addiction and Sobriety

I was inspired by a woman, a beautiful and talented writer, who is proudly six years sober. She was sporting a t-shirt celebrating her sobriety. Her bright smile and sparkling eyes made it hard to believe that she ever struggled with addiction, but she has. And I don’t know for sure, but I imagine those pangs that once drove her to drink might rise up every now and then as whispers of the past. I’m so very proud of her for carrying on.

Thinking about being able to give up the tool that once helped a person cope with emotional struggle, got me thinking about my relationship with food, and what a wild and crazy journey it’s been. I thought that of all of the things out there to become addicted to, why did I pick food? Seriously? A person can live without taking drugs, and can live without alcohol, but they can’t live without food. WTF? I never do anything half-assed, do I? I can’t just stay away from food for the rest of my life, unless I want it to be a very short one.

It took me years to even realize I that my relationship with food wasn’t just off kilter, I was addicted to it. I couldn’t understand how people could eat a meal and then not think about food every moment until the next meal. It wasn’t just that I loved the taste of this or that, or that I’d been conditioned to celebrate everything in life with food, although that was certainly true. Think about it. Everything we celebrate, is entangled with food. Holidays, birthdays, graduations, promotions, births, deaths, making it to Friday night, and even the Superbowl.

For me, food was the one thing I could count on. As soon as sugar hit my taste buds, my brain got a hit of something it loved, something it craved. It wanted more and more. When I was frustrated, bored, or lonely, toasted sourdough bread with melted salty butter or hot pasta covered with grated parmesan cheese hit the spot like nothing else. Crunchy salted pretzels with cream cheese did it for me even more than chocolate. Unless that chocolate was swirled with peanut butter in vanilla ice cream. The sweet, salty, crunchy goodness of taste was nirvana to my soul.

But the thing was, even food wasn’t enough. There was a bottomless pit that was screaming out for food, and even food couldn’t fill it. That’s the hallmark of addiction: the need is never satisfied.

I discovered that addiction is actually something that can be healed. For many people who have a lot of drive and determination, addiction can be managed. Especially if the object of addiction is something that they can live without, substituting healthier behaviors in place of the addiction, and finding a good support system works for many. But for me, because my addiction has been something I couldn’t just stay away from, I chose to go the healing route. It’s taken a lot of seeking and a bit of trial and error. But as with anything that is worth while, because I’ve stuck with it, I’ve made progress.

Unfortunately, with some people, they have wounds that have impacted them in such a way as to create an addiction, and they don’t even know what’s going on. They are either in denial that they even have a problem, or they don’t know how to find other coping tools that work for them. One of the biggest obstacles I see to healing addiction, is that in order to create addiction, there has to be a soul fracturing event or events. Something has happened in someone’s life that broke them from the inside out. And when that happens, any sense of self-love or self-empowerment goes out the window. How can someone help themselves when they feel no sense of self-empowerment? It’s a vicious circle.

With my childhood, I’m not surprised that I ended up with an addiction. But I’m surprised that I didn’t end up hooked on alcohol, drugs, sex, or shopping. Just food. The tricky thing was, for many years I managed to cope. I didn’t cope well in some areas, but I got by. It took realizing that diets weren’t working for me, and then giving up on them, compounded by other severe life stress, for my weight to finally become out of my control. With the scale creeping ever higher, and then dieting down a bit, only to gain even more weight back, and with life piling major stressor on top of major stressor, for me to finally see the truth. That food was an addiction for me, and I was totally out of control.

I also believed that as much as I needed something like bariatric surgery to get my weight down, I knew I would likely defeat the surgery if I didn’t heal the reason why I overate all the time. That’s when I turned to hypnotherapy for the first time back in 2000. I’d seen people who’d had bariatric surgery and who either had complications, or who had nasty side effects from the procedures, and some who regained some or all of the weight initially lost. I knew that wasn’t the answer for me.

And when I began healing my need to eat, what kept coming up was stuff from my childhood. What the heck? And then I had a handful of mystical experiences. What was going on? I continued to lose and gain and lose and gain and gain and gain.

And it would take almost a dozen more years of searching and trying before I’d have any big light shed on my addiction, when the first little chink was put into its armor. As much as I experienced a little bit of healing with the first hypnotherapist I worked with, it wasn’t until after working with an energy healer that the grip of one food category finally loosened enough for me to let it go.

Just having that one experience let me know that I didn’t have to spend the rest of my life a slave to food cravings. I knew that if I could be freed from cravings for one major food category (dairy), I could be freed from the rest.

Over the next few years, I tried a couple of different hypnotherapists. Many of my sessions began with noticing triggers in my life that sent me running for my drug of choice. Identifying my triggers and following feelings attached to them in healing sessions, led me to beliefs that were being activated. This has been a lot of my work. Noticing repeating patterns of triggered feelings, and healing underlying beliefs.

The shocking thing for me was having mystical experiences along the way. Seeing things like pre-birth planning come up when all I wanted to do was stop food cravings. And having an angel heal me of deep shame, were a few of the more amazing things that came along quite unexpectedly.

Along my journey of healing food cravings, I’ve discovered myself, created healthy personal boundaries, healed poor body image, and have developed great love and respect for the person I am today and the little girl that I was. That little one who struggled mightily to survive. The one who didn’t make it out unscathed, but who is becoming whole and beautiful and happy once again.

I think the most unexpected thing about healing so many childhood wounds, has been bringing all of the bits and pieces back to myself. And a wonderful effect has been connecting to my core self which is my divine self. It’s that part of me that we each have, that is our perfect magnificence. It’s the real being underneath all of the programming, judgment, and social conditioning that tells us we are less than. It’s that pure loving, compassionate being that we glimpse in ourselves from time to time.

I still giggle from time to time when I look back at who I was just a few short years ago, and the thing I wanted most, other than a break from being mom now and then, was to be free of the ever-present cravings. I was so tired of being obsessed with dieting and failing, yet again. I saw my body growing bigger and bigger, and wondered if I could ever figure it all out.

And now I know that for me, it was all one big set-up. One gigantic set-up. Growing up in an abusive environment, was the perfect brew pot for me to lose all sorts of bits and pieces of myself along the way and to not be able to develop a healthy sense of self. I readily took on all sorts of shame and blame, and created lots of beliefs of “less than”. It was the perfect medium in which to create an addiction. Absolutely perfect.

But the object of my addiction couldn’t be something that left me in shambles, unable to think and function. And it had to be something I could get my hands on from a very young age. Food fit the bill. It calmed my overwhelmed world early on. It worked.

Along the road of figuring out this food thing, I’ve “accidentally” been discovering myself. I now know this was no accident, but it was also no guarantee. We all have free will. The key is paying attention to what catches your attention. Focusing on what draws you in, and deciding if it’s for you or not. That’s how I discovered hypnosis for me. It called to me. And even when one hypnotherapist wasn’t quite the right fit, I kept looking. Today, I work with someone who is a great fit for me.

This entire journey has really been about coming back to myself, and coming into myself in the most loving and authentic way possible. It’s been incredible and mind-blowing when I sit back and think about the whole thing.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned about addiction, it’s that soul separation and fracture are at the root of every single addiction out there. And soul retrieval, in all its forms, is the way to heal it. If you or someone you love struggles with addiction, know that love and compassion for the wounded child who still lives within, is the way. There are many healers out there, and many of us are wounded healers: those who have come into their abilities through their own journey of woundedness. Keep trying. Keep looking.

Edited to add: I wasn’t quite ready to share when I published this piece, but a few days after I wrote this, I had a hypnotherapy experience that healed my lifelong food addiction, and more. When the message hit me that my quest to figure out why I’d had so many issues with food was completed, I was shocked, elated, and simply amazed. Most of my healing experiences are now being chronicled in my sister blog, Remembering My Divinity, and if you want to read about this incredible session, it’s all here.

Posted in Energy Therapy, Holistic Healing, Hypnosis, Mental Health | Tagged , , , | 15 Comments

The Storm

Here comes that old familiar feeling again.

That foul taste with every swallow.

The immanent arrival of an unwanted and unwelcome storm.

Batten down the hatches.

Take stock of supplies and grab a few necessities while you still can.

Do we have enough sacks of flour, barrels of whiskey, and bags of potatoes?

Are there still fresh herbs in the larder and powders in the medicine cabinet?

Coil the ropes, batten down the hatches, fasten every loose item

for this one’s going to be a nasty blow!

Tempestuous seas, howling gale, tossing the hull to and fro.

Feverish heat waves and icy frosts fight for domination, first one, then the other.

Reef the main! Too much sail! Take down the mizzen and keep her close hauled.

Almost on autopilot the crew responds, doing what they must to make it through.

There hasn’t been a blow like this in decades.

Storm of the century they’re calling it.

After three days and nights the worst was over.

The captain cautiously ventured out on deck to survey the damage.

Only minor injuries to the crew. The sails made it through with minor tears.

The seas were a confusing chop, responding to changing winds.

Although some of the cargo shifted, it wasn’t badly. Stability was still intact.

And her hull was still sound.

She always was his favorite vessel. No matter what the weather and seas threw at him,

She always came through for him.

What he never realized, was that it was his undying love for her that gave her the

Strength to keep going.

His love and tender care.

Just then, there was a break in the clouds long enough for

the navigator to confirm their position.

Looks like we’ll make it again.

Trust in our navigation, knowing how to handle rough seas, and a nice mug of whiskey pulled us through again.

We’re almost home.

 

 

 

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Video Interlude

Living in one of the wettest and most cloudy areas of our country (in the winter), presents a host of challenges for photographers. I’ll admit it, I’m a fair weather photographer, for the most part. I don’t want to have to wrap all my gear and myself in waterproof wrappings. But, I do like to have some sort of camera handy almost all the time.

I live in the woods, with our home surrounded by trees that grow to a hundred feet and taller. And besides that, we’re in a bit of a hollow, in the lowlands where a small river flows. With all of this beauty and splendor, our view of sunset is far above any horizon. I do miss my days on the sea, when there’s a spectacular sunset or rise. Not only is the view of clouds reflecting all manner of oranges, reds, and purples, up high in the sky, but at this time of year, it’s fleeting, lasting maybe fifteen minutes.

Late yesterday afternoon, as I glanced westward out the front window, I noticed the day’s light rays bending into yellow. Quick as a bunny, I grabbed my GoPro and a small tripod, putting the camera into time-lapse video mode. I tripped over a pair of Crocks by the door, and stumbled outside with my gear, ready to capture the splendor to come. But where to set it up?

The ground? No. Need to crank the angle of the camera really high into the sky, and I didn’t want to lay belly-down on the sopping lawn to frame it right. The deck? Nope. Bushes are in the way, and the table is still put away for winter. Aha! The grill! High enough to miss most of the bushes, and no crawling on my tummy.

With the ultra-wide angle, it captured trees on both sides of the yard, a tiny bit of a nearby mountain, and the tops of the bushes. I’m happy with that frame. Easy part was next: push the go button and go back inside until sunset’s amazingness wasn’t quite so amazing.

Here’s what I got, with a little editing, including speeding it up a bit. First time shooting a time-lapse. Easy and fun! Enjoy!! (It’s quick – just one minute).

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Hanging Onto Hurts: What’s Up With That?

I was reading a fellow blogger’s Pearls of Wisdom, and became inspired. Other writers do that for me. (Thanks Ned!) He was giving advice on how to handle unkind critics, and the advice was spot on. I’ll let you check it out for yourself because trying to encapsulate it into a sentence or two wouldn’t do it justice.

As my brain is wont to do, I got to thinking about taking things with a grain of salt, or letting criticism roll off my back because opinions are like people’s backsides: everyone’s got one. And the next thing to hit me was times when that criticism hurts, when it pings on something in me and I can’t let it go. It won’t roll off my back, but rather clings to it like a twenty-five pound rabid raccoon. What’s up with that?

Why does another person’s opinion even matter at all?

We all just want to be accepted and heard. When I’ve slaved over something, putting my blood, sweat, and tears into it, the last thing I need is someone telling me it’s crap, or it’s some other form of refuse or waste. The last thing anyone ones is rejection.

But why? Why is it so damned important that someone I don’t even know, likes or approves of me or something I create? Why do I even care?

Because my nature as a human being is one of connection and community. We are hardwired for connection. How did we come to be hardwired for connection? Survival. It’s all about surviving.

Come with me down the rabbit hole.

As infants and children, we aren’t equipped to survive alone in the world. We carry eons of lifetimes when we, as a species, didn’t live very long until this thing called maternal instinct was created. Once mothers and fathers became very attached to their young, people started to live longer. We, as human animals, carry a deep-seated fear of death, because the human in us, that functions through our brain, isn’t aware that our true nature is that of our eternal soul. We, as a conscious person, as consciousness, never die. Our bodies don’t know this. (This is how I perceive our fall from grace.)

Our body’s number one job, is to survive. Period. And especially when we are young and our brains are not developed, our brains will do whatever they have to, in order for our human bodies to survive. Young children’s brains take time to develop the ability to understand certain concepts, like the concept of time, and some visual and spatial concepts, such as a baby recognizing that when they look at a mirror, they’re seeing their own reflection, not another person.

If you take two eight-ounce glasses, one taller than the other, and fill them (using the same measuring cup), with exactly eight ounces of water, a three year old child will argue all day long that the taller glass holds more water. Take that same child at six years old, and they understand that the two glasses, even with different dimensions, hold the exact same volume of water.

While it takes years for the human brain to develop fully, we are born able to feel the complete range of emotions, right off the bat. Using our toolkit of emotions, they steer us through the first few months of our lives fairly unencumbered. But as we go along, when our actions bring us pain, our brains step in and create scenarios the lessen that pain. These scenarios take on a life of their own, and they become beliefs.

Beliefs about life, and beliefs about ourselves. And they all center around helping us to survive. Imagine an infant in their crib, having just been put down for the night, and all they want is to be held, loved on, and paid attention to. When mom or dad leaves them, they become afraid or just want more loving, and they cry in upset. When they are left to cry without being attended to, the baby has choices to make. They can choose to believe that not being attended to is a signal of abandonment, and their life is now in danger. Or, after falling asleep in exhaustion and then waking up refreshed and in a better frame of mind, might discover that falling asleep alone won’t lead to their death, and they can do this.

The event of being left alone and falling asleep carries only the meaning we ascribe to it. Because we are emotional creatures, our emotions lead the way in giving meaning to everything in our lives. Events themselves are inherently neutral. We decide how to feel about them. And our brains create stories to explain the feelings and justify them. The survival instinct part of us drives our emotions in a very specific direction: fear of death, in order to survive.

Picture a toddler, happily following whatever grabs its attention. Playing with this or that, exploring their world. When an adult comes along and wants the little one to stop what they are doing, the most expedient way many adults coerce a young child away from what’s got their attention, is with pain: physical or emotional. Both forms of pain signal danger to our brains. Emotional pain in the form of disconnection and disapproval puts the brain into a state of fear for survival. Physical pain also put the brain into the same state, using the same brain pathways. When pain happens repeatedly, or is shocking to the system, the brain creates a belief in the form of a story that relaxes it.

If a young child spends their time exploring their world, and they are very curious and strong, with a lot of energy and enthusiasm, they might want to discover what’s in every cupboard and drawer in the kitchen. And after discovering every pot, pan, scrubber, tool and dish in the lower cupboards, they’ve seen their parents open upper cupboards, and decide to figure out how to get to those unopened treasures.

Upon being discovered standing on the kitchen counter, one hand holding a cupboard door open, and the other one having just dropped a glass onto the counter, where it bounced and crashed to the floor below, a young child’s enthusiasm for discovering their world might be met by an angry, frustrated, or scared (or all of the above) parent. When the parent’s emotions hit the child in the form of a spanking or being banished to the naughty chair (where they experience forced disconnection from the family), the child is likely to create the belief that they were bad and deserved to feel the pain that was rained down on them.

Whammo! Fear of death! Fear from the parent, afraid of their child getting hurt or worse, and from the child who is now afraid of being abandoned by their parent or hurt by their parent. And fear has created a core belief in the child. I am bad. I am a nuisance to my parent. I am a danger to myself. Take your pick.

So what in the world does creating a belief based on our need to survive have anything to do with handling hurts in our lives?

When we create a piece of art or work, and then put it out to the world, we put a piece of ourselves out there. When someone doesn’t like our creation, by extension, they don’t like us. They don’t accept or validate us. If we carry around beliefs of unworthiness in any form, when someone criticizes our work, our craft, what we’ve made and put out there, it threatens our existence. As simple as that. Their negative feedback pings on that time when you were a toddler, exploring your world, and you were taught that you were not ok just exactly the way you were.

You were doing your thing, minding your own business, and whammo! Pain. You were taught that doing your own thing, playing, having fun, being lost in your own world, is not ok. It’s not safe. It’s dangerous and life-threatening, in fact.

So, later on in life, when you are happily letting your creative juices flow and you’ve put your amazingness out into the world, when even one person comes back at you with negative feedback, that very old pain speaks up. It’s still there, even though you’ve grown up and see life through very different lenses. That beautiful, fun-loving, care-free, crazy curious toddler in you, is stuck with that shitty belief that she is less than, is a burden, is bad, will die.

So how can we let that little one who’s still living with those old outdated beliefs, become free? That’s the million dollar question. A belief that was created by a child’s mind, and now lives in the subconscious mind of the adult, is best accessed in an altered state of consciousness, like meditation. That little one still exists (and will continue to do so), but in a different time-space. When we quiet our minds through practices like meditation, we can travel to where that little one is, and have a conversation with her, explaining what happened with our adult wisdom and perception of events.

With a different perception of an event, we can give it very different meaning. Something that initially brought pain into our lives, can be let go in a moment. Once that little one understands from the adult perspective, she instantly lets go of the fear, pain, and all of the beliefs she created because of it. It’s like a miracle, only because most people don’t understand all the mechanics around our feelings and beliefs, and how they affect our lives. How do I know this? Well, let’s just say I’ve seen it in action in my own life more than a few times.

By the way, I have just shared the nugget of healing. Life events are inherently neutral. We ascribe meaning to them. If we can find a way to change our perception and perspective, we can change meaning we had ascribed to an event. This goes for everything in life. Every-freaking-thing.

When life brings us pain, whether it’s physical or emotional pain, it’s our emotions’ way of talking to us (yes, even with physical pain). Screaming at us, really. It’s our emotions way of letting us know that there is something living inside of us, from our past, that wants to be addressed and set free. It’s that infant who was abandoned, that toddler who’s still in pain, that tween or teen who is still holding onto anger and sadness. That part of us that got fucked over in the drive-through, and that part of us that’s still afraid to die. They all live in us, crying out to be rescued.

As you travel throughout your day, when something hits you sideways and pushes you off-balance, ticking you off, or hitting you below the belt, understand that there’s an old piece of you wanting to come back into the fold. Wanting to reunite with your amazing sparkly self. Instead of getting mad at someone for “causing you pain” or wanting to brush it off or make it go away, make time to go within and witness it. Look at it and let it speak. Let that part of you have its say, and then have a conversation with it, explaining how you now perceive what went down, way back when. Know that whatever that other person said or did this morning, was merely a catalyst, a flaming red arrow pointing you in the direction of yourself. It was the easy button of life telling you there’s a part of you that was disconnected by a belief it created, and it’s time to let that old belief go, so you can come home.

This has been the process I’ve been using and understanding at deeper and deeper levels for the past several years. Any time there is something in my life that doesn’t work for me, I look for what’s beneath the surface feelings. Where do they lead me? What belief pops up, and what scenario went down to create it? I discover events that still hold uncomfortable meaning for a piece of me, and in shifting the meaning or perception, old shitty beliefs are released, and that piece of me comes home, happy once again.

This, my friends, is how to let go of hurts and create peace.

 

 

Posted in Holistic Healing, inspiration, Mental Health, The Voyage | Tagged , , , , , | 9 Comments

About Writing

I find myself in a bit of a pickle, a quandary. I’ve always loved to write, and yet never considered myself a writer simply because I’ve never been concerned with studying the craft of writing. I’ve never become obsessed with another writer’s style, or even what my own style is. And I never had the goal of writing a book. But recently, thoughts of creating a book have been swirling around me. I don’t see it happening for a few years at least, but the idea has been tapping me on the shoulder.

When I was young and in school and was required to read all sorts of literature (I don’t even know how something earns the title of “literature”), it was not fun. Especially Hemingway. Holy cow! Those sentences went on for half a page. What was up with that? It wasn’t until I was in my twenties, and living in Key West that I visited one of Hemingway’s homes, bought a book or two, read them, and finally got into them. I couldn’t appreciate The Old Man And The Sea until I had lived where the author had become inspired, and had experienced deep-sea fishing in those waters.

So many classics went right over my head. When symbology of a story had to be explained to me, I didn’t care to read. Especially in my youth. How could I consider myself a writer when I don’t care too much about reading classical literature?

But then again, I loved classes when I could write. As much as I’ve never thought of myself as a writer, there’s something about the process of writing that has always grabbed me. Taking my thoughts and letting them wend their way onto paper (or screen, as the case may be), creating something tangible from the thin air of my brain synapses, has always called to me.

Allowing the cascade of thoughts to materialize, has always been cathartic. There are times when I have to dump the cacophony of ideas in my head, so I can sort them out. To organize and make sense of them, and my life. And when an idea is finally splayed out, with all its tendrils and other bits and pieces in place, I can rest. It can be as satisfying as coming up with the idea for a quilt, going through the process of selecting just the right fabrics, cutting out all of the pieces, and swimming in the accomplishment of the finished product.

When my emotions are on overload, vomiting them into words has always been a huge release for me. Keeping a journal is a fitting receptacle for raw emotions. When things have calmed down and there is something worth sharing, translating feelings into metaphors, and relating them to things others understand, has always been satisfying. Sometimes it’s painting a picture with words, and sometimes it’s using an actual picture to emote and evoke a feeling.

Very recently, I’m becoming more aware of the thoughts that roil around in my head. And when I write, there are times when I’m in the zone and the words just flow. There are times when bits and pieces of ideas click into place, arriving with an epiphany. I’m now recognizing these times as when I’m connecting to something other than just me.

Sometimes when I read other people’s words, they inspire me, either through the topic of what was written, or the way they write. I love to grab onto the thread of that inspiration and hang onto it, shining the thoughts coming from my brain through that new lens. It connects me to something other than myself, bringing through words, thoughts, or information.

I’m recognizing that this is what channeling is. Opening up my head and allowing flows of thoughts and inspiration to pour in. I know that others experience this. It’s when they’re in the zone, when they get so deeply into something they’re doing that they lose track of time and don’t hear the knock on the door. It’s when I’ve been writing for a while, and when I stop, my brain is fuzzy and takes a minute to reconnect to this world.

People channel doing all sorts of things they love or are drawn to, from writing, to cooking, to painting. It’s when attention is focused, their heads are clear and open, and they’re in the zone. It’s when creativity is flowing into and out from them. It’s connecting to inspirational threads that swirl around, waiting to be captured, blended with your own style or color of thread, and spun out into your own new yarn. Several yarns merging into a giant tapestry.

Some people pick up threads of ideas to create systems or objects that will improve people’s lives. While others gather threads spurring them on to please the senses, whether they create with food, music, or sculpture. We all have the ability to tune our antennae to different channels of inspiration.

There are some who can tune their antennae to another level of inspiration, the level where people exist in spirit. Tuning into spirit is where the words inspire and inspiration come from. These people have long been called channels, being seen as a conduit between worlds. They tune into a field of energy that is home for people who exist no longer in a physical form. And into the field of energy that holds that part of us that isn’t busy being a human body: our higher selves.

Hang in there with me. Channeling spirit is actually not any different from being hit with a great new idea, when you’re trying to solve a problem that seems insurmountable. But instead of connecting to a picture in your mind of something new, it’s connecting to a personality.

Where do you think inspirational ideas and solutions come from? It’s all connecting to things that exist in the non-physical: thoughts and consciousness. And from what I’ve learned over the past few years, some of the big (and even smaller) inspirational hits that have flowed into people’s heads (like Einstein’s Theory of Relativity), were downloaded as people were able to tune into the big computer cloud in the sky where all information of everything and everyone, for all time exists. Some people call it the Akashic Record. Even the idea for a machine that could compute, was first an idea that landed in someone’s head.

Many years ago, I read that people, after they pass away, spend their time doing all sorts of things, from playing, to making music, and even performing research. As they come upon solutions in their research, they look for people in our physical world, who are working on solving a similar issue, and give them ideas to reach solutions. Spirit will reach this world through dreams, and coincidences, and even putting thoughts directly into our heads during a time when our monkey minds are quiet. For me it’s when I’m in the shower, washing dishes, or driving a long boring stretch of highway.

About a year after my father passed away, I asked a local channel (a medium) what my dad was up to lately. She said he was doing research. When I asked what type, she said medical. I didn’t get details on exactly what he was working on, but it was fascinating to know that as in life, his focus is still in the world of medicine. And I have no doubt that as he discovers cures or improvements for this or that, he’ll work to inspire a research scientist in our world.

I believe that we have much more assistance in our lives than we even know, with thoughts and ideas presenting to our brains like our own, when they might have been suggested as a whisper into our ear or our dreams. I now know that when I write, it’s like hanging a sign on my door saying open for business. Spirit and inspiration are invited in.

When I write I process my life and world, making connections and having epiphanies. Information threads that have caught my attention are added to and woven into beautiful and useful new tapestries, adding to the fabric of the universe. That’s what creating is all about. Collecting ideas, putting your stamp on them, and sending them out to inspire others.

What are some activities you do that invite inspiration? When are you hit with aha’s and new ideas? During these times, you are channeling.

Posted in inspiration, Spirituality | Tagged , , , | 16 Comments

Who Am I?

Who am I?

Am I a woman?

Am I a mother?

Am I a thinker?

Am I a writer or a photographer?

Am I what I do?

No one asks anything of a tree, and yet they are a tree. No one asks anything of the sun, and yet, it is the sun.

Are we our relationships?

Are we our accomplishments?

Are we our feelings?

Even asking the question, begs for a static, one or two-word answer.

Why do I have to be one thing or even three?

I’m as complicated as the ocean, and as simple as a puppy.

I’m as fluid as oxygen and as solid as old oak.

I’m as weak as a blade of grass and as strong as mother’s love.

I am warmth of a summer day and the cool breeze that brings relief.

I am destruction of an earthquake and the majesty of sunrise.

I am many and one at the same time.

If you strip away my conditioning and my culture, who am I?

I am the flame of a candle.

The beacon of a lighthouse.

Lighting the way.

Follow it.

Follow it until you find yourself.

Posted in inspiration, Poetry | Tagged , , | 13 Comments