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

It Gets Easier

It Gets Easier

Emotions are like waves. There are times when they have us moving in all different directions. Oftentimes, we follow them wherever they go, even when they take us into a storm. An emotion is triggered. A thought follows. Then another. Then another. Before we know it we’re caught in the midst of something that feels quite valid. Yet, more often than not, isn’t.

Those emotions, and their subsequent thoughts, are fictional in the sense that they are not based on anything for which we are certain. There is a good chance that the emotion that was triggered is linked to a fear. In my experience, fears come with a whole slew of what if thoughts at the ready. And because of our human conditioning those what if thoughts rarely lean toward the positive.

Due to such, we could easily damn fear-based emotions. After all, they are difficult to endure. They are intrusive. They are painful. They appear out of no where, and fall upon us like a tidal wave. Next thing we know we can’t breathe. I don’t believe this ever goes away, not fully. But I do believe we can become skilled at breathing while under it all. And, stronger at swimming.

Try to remember dear reader, that their force does not prove their validity. But what is valid is that they reveal a very important belief that dwells within us. Instead of burying us, they are offering us the chance to bring something into the light. Our thoughts bury us. Not the emotion.

The emotion is bringing to the surface something that needs your attention. An area where we lack faith, and area where we are harboring a piece of brokenness; an unresolved hurt or perceived failure. Nothing within us stays buried. We may work hard to suppress and cover up those things within us that cause us discomfort, but they will resurface. And after time, they do so with force.

So dear reader, if you find yourself dealing with an emotion that has left you feeling uneasy or sad or defeated – pause. Before letting your thoughts run rampant, ask yourself – in the most honest, raw, unabashed way that you can – why am I feeling this way. What is at the root of this? Joy is your natural state of being. Not fear. Not anxiety. Not defeat.

Days in which you have to confront your emotions and their underlying cause can be exhausting. But they are important. And in time, as you gain balance, as your spiritual muscles grow, so does that of your emotional being. Those emotions become less turbulent. Instead of triggers you have memories and experiences that allowed much needed insight into yourself and why you behave as you do. And instead of being ruled by them you become enlightened due to them.

We never become whole unless we embrace the whole of who we are. This means embracing that which sits in the light and that which rests in the shadows. It does get easier. In time, we are surprised less by our thoughts and actions, and rarely swept under the waves of our own emotions. Rather, we glide along the top. We know what is above and we know what is below. We released our grip of the boat, because we no longer fear falling in.

Sane

Roadtrip

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Copyrights unknown.

If you would like this new year to be different from the last, then something must change. Most likely, that something is you. So, as you look forward, and give thought to the year that lies ahead, think about what you are bringing into it.

Are you bringing the same beliefs, the same habits, the same self-talk and expectations? If they have not been yielding the results that most please you – then now is the time to leave them behind.

Dear reader, beyond anything you set off to do today, make time to reflect. Do so with an open mind. Be honest with yourself. You need not share any of what you discover with anyone. But do look over the life you’ve lived thus far. It is a history book full of information. It is the history of you, and provides great insight as to how you arrived where you are now. And if you choose to continue on as you have, then instead of a history book, it becomes a road map – and your final destination will look very similar to how it looks today.

So look around. If your heart is aching for change, then look inward. What baggage have you been taking with you from year to year. Set by the roadside those things that no longer serve you. Now stand back and look at your vehicle. What has been your mode of transportation all these many years. Please note, that vehicle is you. Is it taking you where you want to go? Is it in good operating condition?

If not, then consider this: let your forward movements be determined less by the voice of your mind and more by the voice of your inner being. When we choose to trust, when we choose to set by the roadside all of our fears – then our trajectory changes. No longer are we keeping ourselves spinning in circles, but instead we get to motor in the direction of things previously unknown by us; opportunities and experiences once unattainable by us because we disallowed ourselves to go in the direction of uncharted territory. Our mind and the words it used to dictate our choices prevented us from experiencing the very blessings for which we prayed in earnest. Not because they were not there and waiting, but because we prevented ourselves from opening up and moving in new directions.

So, dear reader, take this moment to loosen the ties that bind. Use this time to set aside the heavy, constricted, fear-based baggage that has weighed you down. Fix what’s broken. Clear your mind. Open your heart, and get back in the car and drive. This time, let the Divine take the wheel. It knows where you want to go. Trust and allow that once we stop preventing it, the Heavens will take you there.

Sane

The Gift of Love

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“Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. He who looks outside, dreams. He who looks inside, awakens.” Carl Jung

Dear reader, if I have one wish for you this holiday season, it is that you give yourself the gift of love. This is not a selfish endeavor, as the kind of love of which I speak is not based in ego. It is the love of God. It is the love of Source, and All That Is. It is hard to give ourselves this most precious gift because it is love without judgment. Many do not know how to view themselves in such a way. Instead, we only know how to look upon ourselves and render certain aspects as acceptable, or not acceptable. Good or bad. Worthy or unworthy. But that isn’t love. Those are opinions based, usually, on half truths and fear. Fear that we are not as we should be. Fear that we are not good enough. Often we act out on these beliefs and cause ourselves a good deal of turmoil and added fodder for our ego to feed upon. But its all due to a missing component – a true love of self, and an unshakable knowing that we are worthy. Yes, we may be broken and have things within us that need to be healed. But we are worthy, just the same.

Spirit doesn’t operate in the same way as the egocentric mind. Spirit simply loves for the sake of loving. God creates. God loves its creation. There is no judgment as Source Energy knows that all things are necessary. Every stage of development is required to accomplish growth. One must stumble, if they are ever to walk. Even if one lives a lifetime operating from a place of brokenness, it is still learning. It may take a few lifetimes to counterbalance all the pain and damage it felt and caused, but its still all part of the larger cycle of experiential growth of the soul. During which, it is still worthy, and loved by God.

When we operate from a place of fear we truly do dishonor who we are. And we surely dishonor others. Those are the times when I believe the heavens cry and the angels shed tears.

So, dear reader, give yourself the gift of Love. Cradle the broken parts within yourself as a loving parent cradles a child who has been harmed, and is thrashing about in pain. Ask yourself the deeper questions, Why do I behave as I do when I feel a certain way? Why do I view myself as unworthy? Why is it I feel I am not enough? Why do I grow so fearful? As answers are given – love what you are shown. You may not like what you see. It may break your heart in two, but without condition, love it. Doing so is the most precious gift you can give yourself.

It is the gift of Self Love. Without it, one can never love another. Without it, one can never accept love from another. We can not wave a wand and magically change the world around us. But we can change ourselves, and by doing so, change the world.  God does not look down upon you and up toward another. There is no grading system coming from Heaven. That is the cruel handy work of the mind. So as you go about the next few days, remember – love is patient, love is kind. So do as love does, look upon yourself with kindness, give yourself time. Give yourself the gift of Love.

Sane

Writing your Story

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Every day is a blank slate. Every day you get to choose what you believe. And every day, whether you realize it or not, you write a story. In time, that story becomes your truth.

It is important that we consider the words we use within ourselves. Even the most self-defeating words we keep imprisoned within our mind eventually make it onto the page. Perhaps subtly, at first. But over time they will appear. Everything we believe, whether spoken or not, comes alive. Our beliefs color and shape our world. So, believe well.

And just because you have thought a thought all your life, doesn’t mean it is the thought you must think now. It may be the thought most readily available. It may be the thought that is most familiar. And it may be your default thought. But unless it feels good – you don’t need to put it into the story that is played over and over within your mind. You get to think a better thought.

Habitual thoughts are not always the best thoughts. They don’t always serve you. And they surely don’t always honor you, or others.

Whether you are aware of it or not, you are constantly writing. As life unfolds, especially during the rough times, our mind scrambles to fill in the blanks. And because the mind struggles to trust the soul, it looks everywhere to find data to support its conclusions. The mind of the ego will work overtime trying to validate all that has been done wrong to it. All that hasn’t worked out. All the injustices and failures. Unfortunately, this data is usually distorted or false.

The mind says, “Well this happened and that happened, and it all means this… I knew it.” Does it? What does the mind really know?

The mind will always mirror our beliefs. The mind is the filter through which we perceive our world. So, are you believing from a place of love or from a place of fear. Dear reader, listen to the story that is being written within your mind. Does it make you smile? Does it fill you with hope and eagerness to see what’s going to happen next? Or does it fill you with anxiety, hopelessness and dread?

“But life has gotten sucky. And nothing every works out. And people are mean. And, and, and…”

I understand. It takes courage to have faith. It takes courage to live with an open heart. And it surely takes courage to look upon one’s life during the rough times and believe that it’ll be okay. No one every said any of this was going to be easy. But it is worth it.

It is worth it to believe that although today may be difficult, it will get better. It is worth it to believe that even though there are things going on that you truly do not understand, in time it will all make sense. It is worth it to believe that twists and turns are inherent to life. It is worth it to believe that you are not alone. It is worth it to believe that you are worthy, and life will – in time – reflect that, as long as you believe that.

But it all starts with the story of your choosing. So I ask what story are you writing within yourself? Don’t let anyone else’s story become your own. And, oh dear reader, please don’t let your fears hold the pen. Write from a place of knowing and believing and trusting that you are loved and all is well. Because as long as you believe it, it is.

Sane

Going Underwater

1940 Bruce Mozert

1940 Bruce Mozert

There are times when we dive underwater to explore what rests below; to discover what can be found at such great depths within ourself. And then there are times when we go under not from our own choosing, but because something forced us under; our fingers slipped, and without premeditation, we suddenly let go.

I’ve found that almost all of my answers can be found from looking within. Some answers I placed there years ago. Others surprise me with their appearance. Memories dwell inside us like colorful coral reefs. And when the time is right we swim gently around every outcropping, allowing ourselves to live in the memory.

If one is prepared to be underwater, then it is a place of beautiful exploration. Downed ships still retain some of their prior glory, even when shrouded in loss. But it is when we are there without oxygen; when we wake in the morning, to discover we’re already buried under the pressure of our worries. Those are the times when it is the hardest to swim.

As a writer I know that some of my best work has been brought to the surface due to these deep-sea excavations. Emotions so rich with life, memories so raw they haven’t lost their tangible feel. I gather them in my arms, and like a child I drop them on the shore to examine under the sun. Even painful memories appear different when cultivated with intention.

When one finds themselves there without the security of a chest full of air; those are the moments when one feels only that of the tide pulling them under. They see the light from the water’s surface grow smaller as they fall softly deeper. All is dark. All is quiet. And they feel completely alone. There is no glimmer of excitement held within their eyes. These are the moments that sweep through us all; some softly and occasionally; some with a repetitive force like a wave that never grows tired of arriving. Whether from catastrophic news, heart-break or loss, we go under. We notice a peculiar detachment between us and the world around.

I began writing my first novel while suffering from total submersion. That one book was the final gasp of air from my inner being, my soul. I often slipped under the water’s of my life; beginning as a child that used it for escape. The familiarity of being submerged felt oddly comfortable; like a coat that didn’t fit, but because I wore it so often, I knew it well.

Being underwater, searching one’s great depths, is a fantastical excursion when done with purpose and oxygen. When we go deep to discover our core truths, to make peace with our history, our hurts, then this journey is one that brings us into alignment with who we are. It’s a necessity when it comes to one’s evolving. But when one goes under not from their own choosing. And feels only that of water filling their lungs, then their world goes black. My soul chose writing a novel, for me to later read, as a way of taking its final breath; bringing light to my dark places. From that day on, I’ve become very adept at deep-sea travel. I know all that rests within me. Some things aren’t lovely. But they are part of me; they have purpose. I could either look at a downed ship as complete failure, or as a bold attempt; one that made me stronger in the end. I reshaped my entire life after writing my first novel. My soul didn’t want to drown, it wanted to swim.

So if you find yourself sinking. Open your eyes. Use your strength to look around. And then, when the time is right, come up for air. Fill your lungs, and never again, turn a blind eye to all that is within you. You’re strong enough to swim.

Sane

Originally posted on November 18, 2013

A Delicate Nature

Photo by Sharland, May 1956

Photo by Sharland, May 1956

Good morning, dear reader. I hope this day is treating you well. More than that, I hope you are treating you well. I hope you are coming to see the All that you are and how important it is that your awareness acknowledges the many aspects that make you divine, singular, and important. It isn’t easy, is it? It isn’t easy to look at these things that seem to cause us struggle, or our heart to ache, and think good can come of them.

There was a time when I use to curse my own self. I use to look at my delicate nature and see it as that of a hindrance – especially in today’s world, where the need to be right comes before the need to love. Yet, it is this sensitivity in me that is necessary if I am to fulfill my life’s purpose. I couldn’t do it otherwise.

Over these many years, I found the courage and began the work necessary, to allow my gentle spirit to sit in plain view. I no longer stuff it under weighty coverings used under the misguided belief that I must protect my heart and my delicate inner being. Somewhere along the way it was shown to me that the soul, and the heart through which it feels, are stronger than any covering we use as armor. In fact, it is the strongest, steadiest, most stable part of our being. I spent the first half of my life very wrong about my understanding of my self. And that is okay. I needed those misguided years; much came from them.

Life is a dichotomy. Polarities are part of this world. With the presence of good comes the presence of that which rests at the opposite end. In other words, I did and do get pinged a lot. My entire lifestyle and those with which I surround myself has changed dramatically over these many years. At first, I use to force upon myself my old ways; they were what I knew. And the mind loathes the unfamiliar, uncharted and unknown. So I kept doing the same things I’d always done, all the while feeling uncomfortable. Feeling out-of-place. Feeling alone. Feeling bad afterward. Surely, I never felt nourished.

Now, I listen to the subtle queues of my inner being. I listen not to the voice that shouts, but to the voice that delicately whispers. I use to shake my fist at God and it’s soft spoken ways. Then I too softened. I decided to change my stagnant approach, mind-set and points of focus. Instead, I opened and broadened and became more flexible and allowing. And due to such it was shown to me that God speaks softly for two reasons: So we can always distinguish the voice of the Divine from the voice of fear, and because it requires of us to be still before we can hear.

I am no longer drawn to what is familiar, so much. Now I am drawn to the soft, subtle and delicate things in life. I see God in all things, yet I feel the purity within those things courageous enough to be kind. I like kindness. It feels good to me. It brings me joy. I love the kindness of the flowers that bloom outside my office window. They could be resistant, like unhappy children they could stiffen and demand that the environment cater to their wishes. But no, the flowers outside my window show up even when half buried under dead leaves. Their devotion to coloring life with their beauty is breathtakingly kind.

I step away from aggressiveness, chaos and demonstrativeness, and toward playfulness, equality and supportiveness. I love the kindness in those who give of themselves for another; those who hold the light and allow others to stand in its beam. Most of all I love the kindness within me; I judge less, allow more. I care about myself enough to be mindful of my surrounds. I love me enough to go silent and listen to the soft, subtle voice of the Divine which reminds me to hold gently the light of Love – always. It reminds me that there are those who have yet to discover their own, and the kindest, most compassionate thing I can do is hold mine upon them until they do.

If you are to embrace one thing this week – embrace kindness. Be kindness. It is the most courageous thing you can do. In those moments, you are the hand, the voice and the light of God.

Sane