By Way of Earthquakes

October 25, 2014 § 2 Comments

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Many of the significant points of meaning within the Bible were explained using parables and metaphors. This was done because society needed it to understand. I still find metaphors a vital tool necessary for the understanding of larger concepts. And so with that let me say, I’ve lived through two major, figurative earth quakes in which I lost most everything. Yet, once the dust settled, once the clean-up process was given time, I discovered that in light of all that I’d lost, I gained greater access to me; the me that lived inside the boundaries I had been building around myself.

We are always building boundaries, intentional or not. Sometimes we build walls of brick so tightly pressed together no air can squeeze through. At times we fill our world with tangible item after tangible item, surrounding ourselves with things we use to define who we are and our purpose. “I am a successful business owner, look at the company I’ve built. This is who I am.” “I am a good parent, look at the large home I give my children.” “I’m good at what I do, evidenced by my bank accounts.” Then all is lost. Every wall comes tumbling down around us. I’ve lost homes. I’ve lost businesses. I’ve lost hefty bank accounts. Down the walls came like dominoes, one after the other – twice during my lifetime. But each time, in the end, I amassed more of me. As if the Divine knew I was, again, hiding behind limiting walls of my own making, preventing the work of my soul, a figurative earthquake was brought my way.

It’s inherent to life to build boundaries and amass things. But I will say that I do so now with more awareness. The bricks are not so tightly stacked together. And if I do build a wall or two, I try to keep them low. Most of all, I am reminded to define myself by what’s inside of me and not what surrounds me. In this I feel I have become a better parent to my children. But also it’s made of me a better friend, daughter, sister and, I hope, partner to another.

Dear reader, if everything in your world has crumbled down, and you are working to rebuild, or worse, still buried under the damage of all that has fallen – dust yourself off, stand up and look around. Among other things, those walls may have been preventing you from seeing your limitless potential. And that earthquake might have been ushered in from the cries of your soul. Somethings in life may be undeniably harder now. And you may feel bitter and angry. Some of those trees you planted took years to grow. But please ask yourself if those trees where blocking your view.

Chances are things were not right the way they were. Now is your chance to start anew. Do so with awareness. Take this moment and all it has exposed. That’s what earthquakes do – they expose all that was hidden behind and within. They uproot and toss to the side. Now is the time to clear things out and lay groundwork of great importance. Now may be your time to rediscover – you.

Sane

Invest Wisely

October 24, 2014 § 2 Comments

Investing

My mind has been on investments as of late. Even when I get caught in the undertow of my daily routine, mind-chatter and distractions, the subject returns, and with it comes reflection. This means, it’s time for thought to manifest into words; if not for you, for me. 

What if, at the end of our time here on earth, we are asked by the force that gave us life, how we invested what was given to us? And as we scramble to explain the litany of our obligations and responsibilities we are stopped, and asked again. You – were given these days. The job was to invest with reverence for self. The job was to invest in the fulfillment of what pleases you. The time has come – how did you spend what was given?

Did you hoard your days? Did you waste them? Did you spend them solely upon others with no return – and now, never having received a dividend, you have no more to spend. Or did you invest well?

Having almost lost my life, unexpectedly as is usually the case, I tend to look at life with a bit more thought than some. I still waste them though. I still find myself taking all that is in my savings and giving it to others. This is fine if we are receiving a 100% return. It’s important to take note of this as you move along with a friend or partner. And as a parent it’s easy to give only to our children. It sounds noble. In fact it seems as though we should receive a reward for doing so. Yet, that would be the same as starving one’s self to feed another. Or putting the oxygen mask on everyone else first then struggling, breathless, to put it on you.

I have to wonder if in our final moment we will be asked if we taught our children by way of modeling? Will this most generous, life-giving energy tell us that our children were given unto us for the sole purpose of us showing them how to live a joyous, purposeful, compassionate life. Furthermore, would it also say that we were given a multitude of opportunities to do so along the way.

It’s important that we invest in ourselves. And if the thought of doing so is too hard to conceptualize, think of it as you would money. Your days are like dollars. Only, in the end, you really don’t know how many you will truly have. The truth is, you only know what you’ve already spent. All you know now is what you have before you in this moment. Invest it well. Maybe you can’t do everything you want in this moment, but you can surely take the small steps toward that end. Life is made up of the little joys; those moments that cause us to come alive inside. You know when those moments have come your way. You remember them and the feeling. Spend at least some of your time on joy. Joy is your dividend. Give back to yourself. Everyone benefits when you do.

Sane

Being Good To Me

October 14, 2014 § 2 Comments

Being Good To Me

I’m pretty good to me. You would think doing so would come natural. It doesn’t. And when I say, “being good,” I don’t mean that of the selfish variety. No, the kind of treatment I mean is that of honoring one’s self. This has always been a challenge for me, especially now that my spirit has expanded somewhat. You see, dear reader, I do unto others as I would like done unto me. I have no regrets. My actions stem from my inner truth, which is a place of love.

Then it happens. The scales refuse to float in balance. I step back and have to view the situation. And when I do I notice my actions are right. But I’ve lost myself amidst it all. I’m left with the seemingly selfish thought: What about me? In my attempt to do right by another I’ve ignored the gentle signs of impending imbalance. There are times when we extend so heavily to another, especially when they are in need, that reciprocity should not be a consideration. But otherwise, it is.

Those with whom we surround ourselves are vital to the shaping of our reality. Without any words spoken, we are telling the Universe that this exchange of actions and energy is acceptable – please bring more. Yet, if what’s being given to you by another is not how you would treat them, and it isn’t how you would treat you – then stop allowing it. Once you do, the eyes of Heaven turn. The revised, unspoken request is noted. And with enough time, new people and experiences will come your way.

Treat yourself well. Love yourself like you would like to be loved. That starts the ball rolling. Now keep it moving in the right direction by surrounding yourself with those that do the same. Nestle yourself in the synergy of like souls.

Barring the soft learning curve of genuine foibles as you grow and learn the ways of another, don’t settle for less than the love you give. So, again I’ll say, what are you giving to you? Do you give to others yet cut corners when it comes to you? Do you lessen your dreams, tether your hopes? If so, the Universe will never be able to work beyond your limitations. Remove the limits. Sit and bask in thoughts filled richly with everything you want. No restrictions. It’s in the privacy of your head, after all. Have fun with it. From there, be the best person you can be – beginning with your treatment of you. Now your energy is in synch with the force that brought you here. You are loved. You are worthy. If not, you wouldn’t be here. When you look in the mirror see a person who is evolving, maybe slowly, maybe in warp speed – either way, you are a work in progress and today is a new day. No one is better than anyone. Whether we care to admit it or not, we’re all in this game together.

Life reflects back to us our beliefs. First and foremost then, believe yourself to be worthy of being treasured and treated well. This starts with how you treat you. You are always the first and defining number in the equation of your life. Always. Now take that love with you wherever you go. See others as the hapless, searching, loving, sometimes completely messed up people that we all are. Give them your patience and grace. Allow your love to spread. But don’t drop your awareness. If how you are being treated is less than how you would treat another or how you would treat yourself – love yourself enough to take notice. The life you want starts by being good to you.

Sane

Honoring You

October 3, 2014 § Leave a comment

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It’s on my heart to write about relationships tonight and yet my mind says I have no insightful words to offer. However, the desire remains. So I must. Let’s see what is given.

To those whose hearts are aching tonight, I’m sorry for your pain. When the heart and mind have conjured a desire, it will be given. I don’t believe it is always easily given though. If there is a good deal that stands in your way, layers of dysfunction, unresolved pain, then those things must be worked through. The universe will prepare you. But it will do so first by bringing those things to light.

So if you are sitting tonight with a heart that feels two pounds too heavy, pay attention. The dream exists. It lives and it breathes. Clear yourself first. Do the work. Truthfully, you wouldn’t want it any other way. Because when this most breathtakingly beautiful person enters your realm you would not want your layers of damage standing between you two.

As you read these words, I want you to look inward. I want you to sit in darkness and close out the world. Then fall. Free fall until you reach your core. Go home. Remind yourself of who you are. Fall in love with you again, dear reader. You will see some things you may not like. But that’s okay. Those hues upon your palette are there for a reason. They got there somehow. Now paint with them. You get the chance to reclaim your canvas each and every day. No excuses. Just begin painting again.

Take broad strokes. Now paint outward. This time I want you to paint your world not with fear, not with shame and most assuredly not with guilt. This time, paint with love. There is a darkness within me that used to choke my breath. Now, it sits as the shadow within the backdrop of my colorful portrait. I chose how to use it. It didn’t choose me. And if those who view me don’t like it, look away. I won’t change it. So it is with this knowing I say to you, dear reader, do not compromise yourself. Does this take a strong hand – yes. But you are strong.

You are beautiful. You are divine. And God would have it no other way than for you to love every inch of you. No one but society expects you to be perfect. To that I say, fuck society. Fuck the opinions of others. Decide for yourself your definition of perfection, and let that definition be that you are a perfect work in progress. Why – because you are. You see every smudge on your palette. You see every brilliant hue as well as every dark color.

But don’t you see – you were meant to have them all. Life is about figuring out how to use them to paint the life of your dreams. Dream big. Dream bold. Dream in fine lines, dream with giant splotches – just dream. Don’t look upon yourself as possessing anything that is less than. And if someone in your life fails to honor the greatness that is you, step back; they have work to do. The work you had to do was honoring yourself by accepting no less than someone who honors you.

Me – I’m a motley assortment of colors. I am darkness and I am light. But I love them all. I carry the full spectrum of color upon my very large palette. I used to hide much of it. It nearly killed me. Now, I paint using all that is me. What I change are those that I allow into my world, I never change the colors that are me.

Now dab your brush, take a little bit of your lightness and smack it hard against the canvas. Then find the courage to see your struggles, and touch your brush upon the darkness and glide it across your canvas. Own it. Step back. Notice how your darkness brings your lightness to life. See how the one makes the other shine.

Sane

Choose Again

October 2, 2014 § 2 Comments

Choose Again

It is one of my deepest beliefs that life brings us the experiences we need to manifest our desires as well as expand our inner being. It’s the choice we make when the experience is given that makes all the difference. I can’t say how often these opportunities will be presented. I think it depends. But try not to take them for granted, dear reader. Give pause and ask yourself: What desires am I allowing myself to experience and which am I holding at bay? How am I choosing to shape my life. These are the questions I periodically ask myself. I think we all should.

Please know that life is not trying to punish you. Often it feels that way. Sometimes the very thing we want most, feels shrouded in crippling uncertainty. Almost as if we have to reach through the briar patch before we can make it our own. The briar patch is merely your pain. It is your fear rearing to the surface. Emotion is a profound indicator. Pay attention. Listen to what it’s telling you. Life is almost always giving. It gives the good and it gives the bad. It gives that which brings to light your dreams and it gives that which prods your fears. It just depends upon the choices you make, and what reality you keep in play. It is easier to reach for fear. We have familiar, intimate knowledge of it. And often, it’s what’s expected. Choose differently. Then expect a different experience.

Remove the briar patch. Don’t walk around it. If you do, it will remain active within you. It will forever stand between you and that which you want. It will even prevent you from finding peace.

Don’t give up. Yes, you have work to do. But that is why you feel the pull to reach. That is why when your thoughts go in a certain direction it feels so good. Follow that feeling. Life is saying to you to remove your blockages. Heal your pain. Don’t let the pain live within your being for so long that it becomes a hardened scar that immobilizes. Life is trying to work with you. Work with it. Choose different. Sometimes these are the hardest choices to make because it requires that we step out of the familiar. But it is the only way to get a different outcome.

When all is said and done, you don’t want to look back and see a life shaped by fear, ruled by pain. You don’t want to look back and see the holes within you that were left open and hurting. And you surely don’t want to see the absence of all that you had wanted.

I try not to carve my dreams in intricate detail. Instead I give the Universe the essence of what I want and then say: Surprise me. And the more I clear away my blockages and allow myself to lean into that belief the more Life is able to work with me. It’s a partnership. To me, it’s the ultimate partnership. The relationship I have with myself and Life is the foundation upon which everything else rests. I love me. I love every healed wound, bump and crevice of my inner being. Also too, I have reconciled every turn Life has given me, as hard as they were. Because each one gave me the chance to choose. I didn’t always choose well. But then another chance was given. It is an enormous moment of self-awareness and spiritual truth when one discovers they are the one standing in their own way. They are the one fertilizing the briar patch. Go easy on yourself, dear reader. But, do stop feeding your fears. Remove the obstacles. Choose again. And when it arrives, reach for it.

Sane

 

Sex, Chocolate and Other Delectables

September 26, 2014 § 2 Comments

Delectables

I don’t believe the only reason we’re here on earth is so that our souls can learn a new lesson. I believe in inner growth. I just don’t believe that’s all there is to it.

If that were so, then I have to wonder why the body and mind want so much to feel good; to be happy. We don’t require happiness to learn. To say we are here, as spiritual beings trapped inside human bodies, solely to learn and advance is like ignoring the use of color when viewing a painting. If it were as simple as that, why do we have taste buds? Heaven knows, we surely don’t need taste buds. And sex, for that matter, doesn’t need to be pleasurable, so let’s just get rid of all those nerve endings that can send the body and mind into those wonderful surreal places. We can surely proliferate the species without enjoying the process.

I have learned so much, and made so many spiritual strides in my four and a half decades, one would think I’d be the spiritual equivalent to Hercules. Whether in developing my true faith, or learning how to truly love, I keep advancing and becoming the full, whole being I know I need to be. But what about the emotions and sensory receptors that have no other purpose but for pleasure. Like color, they aren’t necessary, so why are they present? Our world doesn’t need color to exist. Yet, when viewing a multi-hued sunset, the mind’s introspection softens, while the eyes absorb such beauty. For what gain other than happiness.

Maybe our souls are here to learn that we are deserving beings that are meant to feel joy. Whether through the food we eat, or the glorious feeling of intimacy shared with another, or the euphoria of uncontrollable laughter. Not to mention the divine fullness felt within when we selflessly help another. Either way, we are given a vast palette of sensory receptors, by which to discover our own happiness. Happiness is the close-seated cousin to Love. They are never truly far from the other. And when we deny ourselves this happiness, we deny ourselves love. Like dropping out of school, resignation from the pursuit of happiness, always results in a downward spiral.  Our children, friends and family are just as disappointed with us when we drop out of life, as we are with them when they drop out of school. But no one feels more disappointment than we do within ourselves.

As I move forward, becoming a better person, a better friend and a better companion – I want to do so walking along the path of happiness. I’ve walked down the road of misery, and it was a lonely, lonely road. If misery and self deprivation were part of our intended purpose, then they wouldn’t feel so terrible. Instead nothing about those two things feels right, regardless of how hard we impose them upon ourselves – there’s a reason for that. Those feelings, both the good and the bad tell us a good deal of what we need to know. And I know this – I don’t want to deny myself the chance to feel good. Feeling good just plain feels good.  Nothing on the human body is without purpose, and nothing within our heart is there to not be fulfilled. If something or someone captures your heart and fills your body with life – there’s a reason. And if your body craves a certain flavor – take a bite.

 

Sane

The Great Divide

September 19, 2014 § 4 Comments

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It’s like medicine to sit with a blank page before me. Like many, I often turn away from that which I need. I need this, and yet – life – life, and its many obligations are ever present. At times I feel as though I don’t have the energy to inhale another breath, none alone fulfill my dreams.

But tonight, I sit, and patiently absorb what the blank page offers me. I get to enjoy the cadence of writing; the beats that fall within each syllable. My frustration with life and the clusterfuck of everything that swirls around me falls away once I take my seat, and turn my gaze inward. This white page is the doorway to my soul. Always has been. Chances are – it always will. Writing is my true north.

There are moments when I am nearly convinced I will not live long enough to write all that is within me. Recently someone asked me to think about the star toward which I’m aiming my life. I’ve been sitting with that thought for a few days now. In many ways it feels like that star rests in another galaxy, far, far away. But it doesn’t. It’s here. And much of that star rests within my hands, here and now.

But there is much work to be done. There are many leaps left for me to make. And I will. There is nothing more centering, more calming, more divine than when I dampen the din of the outside world, and listen to the one inside. Whether crafting a fictional story, or devoting my time to the completion of my memoir – all of these many genres hinge upon the same routine – I sit and stare at a blank page. I panic for a brief moment. Then it flows. Sometimes these words mean little to you but almost always they mean the world to me.

The great divide between the life you live and the life you want for yourself, will always be singular to you. For some its conquering the battlefield of fears that separate us from living a life alone and living a life with our forever person. For others it’s about claiming one’s voice; speaking their mind and owning their truths – becoming the person, they were always meant to be. This divide is part of the topography of every expanding soul. It is part of the expansion. The soul urges us to push forward because one of the integral reasons it’s here is to expand in that one direction. Generally, it’s the one area that causes us the most trepidation; the one area that causes us to pull back; the area that can easily spin our world upside down.

If you have found yourself staring at that divide, take a moment. Look out into the horizon – see your star. Find your focal point. Look to your side, see my words, and know that you are not leaping alone. Also too, know that you aren’t here to arrive at that star. You are here to find your inner strength, and to take the leap. You are here to travel, not to arrive.

Say it with me: It’s okay if I rest. It’s okay if I pause. It’s okay to laugh, and it’s okay to cry. But on my final day I will not look back, and see that I never made the leap. I may fall. But I will get up again, until one day I look back – and see behind me – the great divide.

Then I’ll keep walking.

 

Sane

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