Solid Ground

Solid Ground

Looking for perfection in life or love, is futile, as far as I’m concerned. What matters to me isn’t whether things are perfect, what matters is that things are becoming whole and complete. Wholeness is when we have finally arrived at the place within ourselves when our pendulum doesn’t swing so much. This can only happen with balance. And balance requires a level foundation.

I remember when I looked at the foundation of who I was. I saw holes. I grew up within a family dynamic that left gaping holes and obstacles over which I had to continually leap. I have many good memories of my youth. Yet, even during the good times, there was a knowing that was ever-present within me. I knew that, at any moment, those good times would end. The floor would open or a curve ball would come our way. Long after becoming an adult, I continued to build a similar road, as it was the only road I’d ever known. Instead of my father laying the bricks, each was put into place by me. It took a long time for me to see and understand this. Even more time was required before I found the courage and wherewithal to take ownership of my own journey.

Numerous catalysts have been brought my way. I know now that each was brought by the hand of God, with hopes of causing me to work on those things within me that needed attention. I had to step back and lift pieces of concrete that I’d stood upon for decades. Even though cracked and slanted, they were familiar. I was skilled at standing askew. We adjust to our own dysfunction over time. We learn to squint through a shaded lens and we choreograph our world so that it dances around our pain. It takes courage to rebuild. But I can assure you this, you will never regret having done so. Nothing is worse than being held prisoner within yourself when you are not whole. Sleeping next to your pain center, is a tragic thing.

I’ve come a long way since lifting that first broken part of myself. It gets easier as one moves along. And the only person I’m aiming to please is me. I own every flaw and quirk, every stroke of brilliance and every wry joke that sits at the end of an otherwise profound statement. I decided I liked these things about myself. So instead of pitching them, I chose to keep them. Starting anew does not mean one must replace everything. It means that you take the time to fix what’s broken, heal and let go of what no longer serves, and bring to light those parts of yourself that delight you. I display my soft, philosophical side right alongside that of my mischievous humor. Even some of my most broken pieces of foundation from my youth have been kept by me. I healed them. Then returned them to their place. What was once part of a pain center is now part of what heals. It was up to me how I wanted to rebuild. I decided to find beauty in some of my most vulnerable areas; areas that may seem like flaws to some. When someone looks into my eyes or reads my words, these truths are what shine through. I won’t ever get it done. And that is fine with me. I like that every time I turn around I see this motley mix of a construction that offers the best of me.

Dear reader, think about your foundation. Think about all that rests inside of you, and how it represents you. Think about what it is you stand upon each and every day. It is your house, your foundation and your walls, after all. As for me, my home has a few cozy nooks in which I like to curl. But for the most part, it has large open windows that allow for an unencumbered view. And I like it that way.

Do not get defeated if the process takes time. Because, it will. You aren’t pitching a tent. You are building a fortress, and that fortress is as much a gift to yourself as it is a gift to others. Go for structural integrity.

Sane

Freedom Through Awareness

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Give yourself the gift of freedom. Know the part of you that tries to speak over the voice of Source. Know the part of you that tries to tie you down. In other words, know your demons. They accompany you wherever you go. And they’re not there by happenstance. Believe me, dear reader, few things are more empowering than staring straight-on at that which tries to hold you down.

I’ve come to know that these demons that I once felt certain held me captive, are in truth, the helpers toward my freedom. For the point of this writing, I’ve called them demons. But only because they rest on the back side of Love, God and Source. You can’t ignore the shadow side. It doesn’t work that way. But by awareness, the shadow no longer stands in the way of the Light. Instead, it helps point us toward the Light. Think of it this way: how can one know True North, without recognizing south upon their compass?

Darkness being as uncomfortable as it is, one could reason that its best to ignore it all together. But I’d advise against it. Instead, sit down with it. Ask why it’s there. Subjugate through awareness. See it for what it is – a shadow of your Higher Self – that which rests at the other end of your full potential. Use it as a gauge that reveals your alignment with Source. Are you walking with the arrow that points toward True North, your Higher Self, or against. We always feel it when we walk against the arrow, don’t we? It feels absolutely rotten, alone and empty. It feels as if we are turning away from all that is good. We suddenly feel lost. And it feels that way for a reason.

There are times when these inner forces spring to life, and lean toward overpowering. But if you know the demon well, then you know its ways. And you are less likely to be caught off guard by that which you know, than by that which you do not.

I learned that these shadow aspects of, who I am, have the same value as those parts of me that seem to shine so bright. My journey made more sense once I listened to what my demons had to say; what it is I feared the most; what it is that had the ability to keep me up throughout the night. Rarely now am I knocked off-balance. Not because the hits are fewer; but because I’ve learned to look with full awareness at the compass Source gave me.

I could say that life would be easier sans these inner tormenters. But freedom never feels the same unless first imprisoned. The exhale given once turned back in the right direction is deeper and fuller due to having known the struggle to breathe while lost. Demons are often the most profound inner teachers we have along life’s journey. Mine are there for a reason; chances are, yours are too. Stop running from them. Stop misreading them. Instead, look at them. Look at where they are leading you. Then turn around, grab the key that has always been in your hand. Open the door, and set yourself free.

Sane

 

Holding the Key

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Photo by Harry Burnett, Yale Puppeteer. Albert Einstein, Pasadena, CA 1931.

 

True freedom is not an external condition, dear reader. It’s internal. The key is your thought.

In every moment, in every situation you have the power of choice. Free will, as it pertains to your thoughts. You can either think toward the positive or toward the negative.

Please know, this is not a light-hearted endeavor. In all candor, I feel it is one, if not the most difficult undertakings one makes. When one does not know what rests around the corner, yet trusts that whatever it is, it’s going to be alright.

So then you finally round the corner and what’s waiting there is something absolutely terrible, you tell me. You thought it might be, but you flexed your spiritual thought muscles, did what they said to do, and kept repeating to yourself that it was going to be okay. And now this? You knew this namby pamby stuff couldn’t be counted on.

Our thoughts are not always our beliefs. And until one finally shifts their beliefs, by way of continually redirecting their thoughts, they may stumble upon the manifestation of their old expectations. In other words, give it time.

But it’s never too late to start ,and its never too late to continue on. But immediately, you will feel the difference. So, let’s take this with baby steps. Nurture yourself with kind thoughts. Get real with your self talk. Listen to it. You may notice that if your self talk were a person, you would want nothing to do with them. But that self talk is merely the puppet. You are the puppeteer. Turn the puppet into someone with whom you long to share time. Why? Because they are always seeing the good in every situation. Even the one’s draped in yuck seem to possess a certain purpose. This puppet has gone from inner critic and naysayer to cheerleader and comforter. It’s up to you.

Sometimes we view ourselves as victims, prisoners to a very cruel set of circumstances that all serve as proof that this world is a rotten place. Within this world are both conditions, the rotten and the glorious. Its you who continually focuses upon the rotten. Don’t believe me, look at what you choose to read, watch on television, discuss with coworkers, family and friends. Are you focusing upon upheaval, and wallowing in the muck. Or are you keeping your focus held high above it all.

Listen, listen, listen to your inner voice. It tells you everything about where you are and the part you play in all of this. Is it harsh on you and on others, not to mention the world around you? If so, these words and opinions are spinning off of the beliefs you hold deep inside. There is so much good within you, that if you only focused upon it without judgement, it would take your breath away. See yourself as Spirit does; a piece of itself. See the good in the world. And when you get hung up on the bad, know this, the bad ushers in the good. The darkness is here to call the Light; it is here to awaken us and cause us to stand in our Truth. Yes, it has a purpose.

And that negative self talk, redirect it. Every time it says something awful about you, stop. Reshape the sentence. You are fat, you are ugly, you are a failure. No one loves you. On and on it will go. Until you say – enough is enough. I am Divine just as I am. My value is not conditional upon my size, shape or color or acheivements. I have never failed more than when I’ve chosen not to believe in myself. Today, I choose differently. God loves me. The Source of all that is loves me so much that it hasn’t given up on me, and never will. I’m the one that did that. Today I see what Source has seen all along. And, I love it. I love all that I am. I love all that I have to give to this world. Today, I choose to turn off the continual loop of negative dialogue. Today, I begin to rewrite my script.

Sane

My Mother. My Safe Space.

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The Young Writer, Awards Night with Mom.

I remember one time in middle school having to call home. I can’t recall my reason. Complaints of illness, perhaps. My father was in the hospital a lot during that time; his body shutting down due to his advanced alcoholism. I mustered all the courage I could find to make my way to the office to express my needs. An anxiety-inducing task for this shy, young girl, in and of itself. But the office secretary required me to call and talk to my mother, directly. As soon as I heard her voice, on the other end, I cried. There’s just something about my mother’s voice that cuts to the core of me, and exposes my heart wide.

Most likely because my soul knew that with her, I was safe. Safety can do that to a person. The ego, which so often tells us how hardened we must be due to this world, has a difficult time convincing us of the same when it comes to certain safe people.

After rushing my son to the hospital due to his brain tumor, it was my mother who again provided this safe space in my hotel room each night. Not my husband. My mother. She sat quiet while I railed against God for coming after my son. She sat quiet while I wept afterward, asking forgiveness for all the harsh words I had just spoken. Her silence wasn’t judgmental. She did one of the most giving things one can do for another, she allowed me to work through my emotions while holding me in the safe space of Love and Light.

I went through a rather hard time at the conclusion of this last year. One that pushed me not only to the edge of my physical being, but more importantly, one that made me question myself as a spiritual guide. It was she that I called. And as soon as I heard her voice I cried.

My tears have always been safe with my mother. I am so grateful for her.

Dear reader, people matter. People are one of the most significant, magical, loving ways through which Spirit works with us, and for us. I lost my mother the other night. It was unexpected. I didn’t get to say goodbye.

While racing to the hospital I spoke directly to her spirit. Oh dear reader don’t think for a second that the little girl in me didn’t want to beg her to stay. It did. But my own soul wouldn’t let me be selfish. Instead, it pushed me to operate from a place of love. So I told my mother that if she wanted to stay that the Heavens would support her. But if she wanted to go, I understood. It was okay. I wouldn’t hold it against her. Within seconds of my words entering the air around me, my mother’s presence entered my Jeep, and settle onto the passenger seat beside me. At first I felt my body resist, as if I could push against, and thus change reality. Then I softly broke, and felt her riding along next to me. I knew.

And now I find myself bouncing between the world of extremes. My physical, emotional and spiritual being wanting only to feel her dainty arms wrapped around me, once again. And the world that demands that I discuss how to handle her passing, often using terms so technical I have to remind myself they are actually talking about my mother.

When I left the hospital, the other night, I told her that I wasn’t strong enough for this, not yet. She returned to the passenger seat, cigarette in hand, as it usually was, and said, “Yes you are.” She never really did mince words. The majority of who I am agrees with her. The small child in me needs time. But the all of me sees the love, knows the love and feels the love. And the all of me is so very grateful that I was given this beautiful, feisty, little Indian scout as a mother. She pulled me through so many rough times. She held me like no other. She loved me like no other. She was like no other. I hope I blessed her life as much as she blessed mine.

Sane

Today Is a Good Day

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Those closest to me know that I have been hard at work over the last year developing something that felt pressed upon me by Source in such a way that I couldn’t ignore it, even if I wanted to. Fortunately, I didn’t want to. Helping others see within themselves that which they can’t yet see is a deep passion of mine. I can’t say I asked for this passion. As often its a rather muddy endeavor. But like most things brought to us by the Divine, even the hardships are surrounded by Love and Light and a certain beauty that brightens the darkest of days. So I pressed on.

Today marks the official opening of my women’s clothing company, Rebel Spirit Empowerment from Within. The world feels better when we believe in ourselves. And because we are all One, how we feel about who we are, and our part in this whole thing we call life – matters.

Each of us plays a role in the health of the whole. And no one can overpower our free-will. It is up to us to decide how we view the world around us. But what is most important is how we view ourselves. Because it is through that filter that we view the world. When we feel abandoned inside, we view the world through the ache of loneliness. When we are broken within, and left unhealed, we view the world through those shattered pieces. In the end, we live viewing our world through a distorted lens.

It needn’t be that way. The world will always possess the dichotomy by which it is made. It must. We must have both extremes. We would not be able to grow by way of continual Higher choices if we were not given the chance to choose what serves the spirit versus what serves the ego. So try not to wish for a world filled with only sunshine. Instead, heal your lens. Then you will be able to view the beauty that rests in the dark.

Love yourself. Believe in yourself. You are here with a purpose. You have great value and great beauty within you. I see it. But it wasn’t always that way. I couldn’t see it until my own lens was valued. I was given a choice. I could keep seeing the world through the brokenness within me, or I could set about to love each and every shard. I chose the latter. And out of that I got down on my knees and began to piece together the All of Me. I love the mosaic I now see. What once were flaws are now pieces that fit perfectly into the backdrop that surrounds me. I own them. Those moments were hard. But they made me into who I am today. I have great empathy due to them.

So, you see, its time we start looking inward. Instead of pointing outward and blaming others for why we are the way we are – its time to start looking inward. But doing so with great love and tenderness for how you got where you are. The greatest love affair you will ever have is the one you have with yourself. All other relationships mirror how you love – you.

Dear reader, today is a good day to start loving who you are.

Sane

Falling In Love

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I can’t speak for how it is in any other country, at present. But for those of us here in the States, we’ve been hit with a barrage of reminders from the media that it’s Valentine’s Day. A time for love. History is a bit hazy as to a definitive origin for this holiday. So, I like to go with the one that feels best to me. February marks the time when nature looks toward new growth, new life, a new season. I like that idea.

There is a new season awaiting you, dear reader. Its waiting, and its bursting with potential. But you must do the work to bring it about. The fertile ground of which I speak has nothing to do with what’s out there, and everything to do with what’s inside you. When you look upon yourself do you offer up harsh words of judgment. Do you whisper self-criticism when you look in the mirror. If so, please stop. Instead, start planting kind words into your mind.

I want you to fall in line with one of the most Divine guides given to us, nature. See yourself with promise. See yourself as an ever-changing, ever-developing, ever-unfolding creation that gets to ride through many seasons while here. Each season, guided by both nature and our own beliefs. We can never be more than our beliefs. So, what do you believe about yourself?

Give yourself the gift of self love and appreciation, not just today, but for this new upcoming season, and every season. It starts with this simple, yet poignant, ritual – look in the mirror, and fall in love with who you see. All of your past beliefs rest upon the face that’s looking back at you. And within the eyes that are gazing hard upon your own, is your inner being. The child within you. The person who has walked through trials and tragedies. The person who has taken more beatings from you than it has ever taken from any one else. Also is the person who loves to laugh; who loves to sing; who loves to play; who loves to savor the deliciousness of life. Be courageous, and feel what is stirred within you as you lock eyes with your own image while repeating these simple words: I love you.

There is a very strong likelihood that the person in the mirror has not been loved by you – not fully. Instead, its had to harbor years of criticism and judgement. Let those words not touch your tongue this year. When those thoughts fall into your mind, sweep them away with love. Don’t damn yourself for having them. Remind yourself that they are merely a habit you started long ago. Maybe they started by way of words spoken by another, but you took it from there and made them your own. Your brain, the magnificent tool that it is, has created default pathways that cause – what was – to be – what is – until you break the habit. Then a new pathway is formed. Like giving up anything familiar, it takes time. But that person in the mirror is worth it.

Be courageous, dear reader. Stop looking externally to be loved until, at the very least, you have first found it within yourself. Surround yourself with thoughts that edify, uplift and encourage you. Add to your life those things that bring you joy. Start to cherish you as if you were the love of your life. Because, quite honestly, you are.

Sane

Let it Grow

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July Harper’s Bazaar 1953

It’s my belief that if we have been born, then within us lives specific potential and gifts, singular only to us. This potential is much like that of a seed. It enters into this experience much like a seed gets planted into the soil – to grow – and eventually bear fruit. What that fruit is, we don’t know. We aren’t shown that beforehand. And that’s a good thing.

Instead, before we ever get a chance to experience our potential, we have to first tend the seed. And to me, that is what this human experience is all about. A seed left untended, is a soul left unloved. We have to love it before ever know what will become of it.

Some people don’t even know that they have a seed; a beautiful soul that has more life within it than their physical being will ever know. Instead, they operate only from the mind. The mind never knows what’s under the soil. It only knows what it can see. Generally, this means its history. Oddly enough, when we begin our spiritual journey, when we come to understand that there is more going on than what our eyes can translate, our fear-based mind doesn’t easily step aside. No, it tries to judge and analyze the seed.

Before too long the mind thinks it has the seed all figured out, and knows exactly what to expect and what it will do with the fruit it plans to receive. “From this apple tree I will make pie. Lots of pie. And my life will be surrounded by pie.” Yet, as we continue to pull up the weeds thats roots once choked the seed, something entirely different grows. And that is the beauty of Spirit. It likes to surprise us. So, as we keep weeding and watering and doing our best to walk this spiritual journey, and once we listen less to the mind and more to the voice of our heart, we forget our preconceived beliefs. We are so busy tending to the seedling, and living from our heart, that our mind becomes a tool we use and not one that uses us.

Then it happens, after what is admittedly, a long and sometimes tedious season, we find ourselves resting under the tree that was once a seed. It is then that we notice all of the beautiful, heavy avocados pulling on its branches. And then, because our mind no longer spins with its continual cycle of verdicts, we smile. We never even imagined within us would be such a glorious thing as what we are seeing. For that matter, we never knew we loved avocados. Yet the heavens knew this about us, all along.

So as you move along in your journey, dear reader, try not to get too caught up in what you expect your future to be. Try not to get too wrapped up in what you think you are suppose to be. You will never know your true potential until you first allow the seed to grow. So relax. Trust the seed. Your mind has failed you many times. But the seed won’t. Within the seed is the energy of the Universe, and it will not let you down. It will do its job if you do yours. Your work is to allow it time to grow. And to tend to it while it does.

Sane