Monthly Archives: August 2013

Catching a Glimpse

All of us are living a surreal life. I realize it doesn’t seem that way. Yet regardless of how adamantly we insist that this journey of ours is finite, concrete and limited to only that which we can see, it isn’t. Innately we know this. Because every now and again something happens that jostles our awareness. A moment passes wherein we are allowed to see between the membranes of reality.

What good does it do though to have been allowed the chance to pull back the curtain of the performance if never allowed to walk back stage. Instead, from that moment on we return to our assigned seat along the front row and passively watch; all the while never again viewing the show the same again; our new level of awareness making it impossible to view things the same. Once the mind has expanded it can not shrink back to its prior size. So, leave your seat. You have a back stage pass. It was given to you before you emerged in this realm. Don’t ignore what you know. Your soul is on a journey, its just taking your body and mind along for the ride.

There is a sincere, revealing reason why so many choose not to believe in a reality that exists beyond one’s view – they fear that this reality will be shown to all but them. That this ethereal force will tap the heads of everyone, yet leave them standing alone much like the last one chosen in gym class. They fear that the universe itself will see and judge the inadequacies that they know to be true within themselves, and that they will be deemed unacceptable. The universe doesn’t work that way. All are chosen. All get to go inside the realm that lives behind the curtain. The illusion is that we are separate from it. The truth is, there’s no curtain, there is no separation. We are the spectator, we are the director, we are the stage hand and as hard as it may be to imagine, we are the curtain.

Just as it’s a form of child abuse when a parent fails to truly raise their child, it is a form of soul abuse when one chooses not to sit in their new seat of awareness. I have come to understand that I see the world differently than most: I see it from a singular angle. My heart breaks for the child that isn’t given the safety found only in the structure of solid parenting. So too, my heart breaks for the person that doubts their own beauty, strength and knowing. I stood along a downtown street this evening and watched all that passed by; the woman with the scar that marked her chest; the disabled woman who mumbled to herself before smiling softly at me; the man with designer camouflage who showed only insecurity, not confidence; the family that ignored their children’s incessant whining as they walked along the sidewalk; the man and woman who held one another as if afraid an invisible force would snatch one away; the elderly couple whose hands were joined while dangling easily from their sides; the awkward teenagers; the giggling tweens; and then there was me, the writer who knew she was connected to them all. Life jostled one day to reveal such to me, and I work hard to sit in that seat of awareness.

We are all part of a larger soul that branches off like a tree. We are all here to experience life through a singular lens. Sometimes we meet others with a similar lens and see the world much the same; sometimes not. Just the same, it’s a surreal life we’re all viewing. Once given a peek, make it your truth. The show you see is the ice that sits above the water; your soul is the iceberg backstage.

Sane

Life Sentence

Give yourself the gift of freedom. Know your demons. They accompany you wherever you go. They are you. They are not there by happenstance. And few things are more empowering than staring into the eye of the demon that dwells within. I’m on a first name basis with mine. I’ve come to accept that these demons, that I felt certain held me captive, were in truth, the gatekeepers to my freedom. In many ways, these darker shadows of who I am, comprise that which animates my beauty.

You could strong-arm your demons into submission. But I’d advise against it. Sit down with them. Ask why they are there. Subjugate through awareness. See them for what they are – a shadow of you. They are cast in your image, no one else’s. Whether a demon of fear, doubt or insecurity; whether a demon of anger, addiction or jealousy; these dark silhouettes are like rings within a tree, they are a part of you. Discover them. Own them. Know them.

There are times when these inner forces spring to life, and lean toward overpowering. But if you know the demon well, 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. All of these shadows, dark and bright, sit behind my eyes. No longer do I try to camouflage who I am. When you look at me, you see it all. 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 understand what makes me tick and why.

I could say that life would be easy sans these inner tormenters. But freedom never feels the same unless first imprisoned. Love sinks the deepest into our being after having felt the piercing sting of hatred. The laughter of others isn’t enjoyed as nourishment to the soul unless having spent time in quiet solitude. And the exhale given once found is deeper due to having known the emptiness of being 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. Turn towards them. Open your prison door, and set yourself free.

Sane

Burning Down the House

BurningDowntheHouse

We can only be that which we believe. So if your beliefs do not bring you joy – change them. Amidst all the madness inherent to being human, there is a silver lining one would be remiss to overlook: You are allowed to rebuild yourself.

Those who want only to laugh must first know happiness. Those who want to feel love must first be love. To experience abundance one must feel abundant, despite outward appearances. Our outlook mirrors our beliefs. And that knowing we feel inside, whether it is damning or liberating, is the blueprint upon which the universe builds the life we’ll soon be experiencing.

For some these words are freedom. To others these words are a prison sentence, as they feel locked to a reality that is in direct contrast to what they want for themselves. And yet almost every spiritual text states the same process: Believe, then receive.

We can not change what we do not recognize and know. The words said within our mind are of little value compared to what we know and believe deep inside. So take the time to discover your inner-truths. Give yourself a week of believing that the best in life is yours, then listen to what your mind has to say. As the days unfold, circumstances will arise – they always do. Your beliefs will be put to the test. Listen. The inner dialogue you hear, is your inner truth. And if that inner truth is not in alignment with the life you want to live, then the life you want to live will never find you. You can not rebuild a home if you do not first know the structural integrity of the foundation. These truths, are your foundation; they have been orchestrating your life whether you were aware of it or not. Become aware. Know what beliefs dwell within you. If they bring you joy, good. If they do not, good – now you know where to begin.

Knowledge is power. Empower yourself. By knowing your weaknesses you give yourself great strength. Burn down the walls, and build a foundation that knows you are worthy of love; then choose to look at yourself with a soft, loving eye. Mix into the concrete the belief that you contain the same energy held within a mighty oak; then choose to stand tall, knowing you are meant to flourish. And finally, set the cornerstones of your foundation with pillars of laughter. Know that when you choose to feel joy, even in the smallest of things, you increase your magnetic pull on the universe. Joy is the indicator of your connection to All That Is.

Take the next week and examine your foundation. You may be surprised by what you find when you walk down the steps, and enter the cellar of your inner being. Don’t be sad. Instead smile, and remember – you can always rebuild. So don’t be afraid to burn down the house.

Sane

On The Ledge

 

There comes a time when everyone finds themselves standing on the ledge; whether there by life’s continual push or by way of one’s own feet. Regardless of the how, there you are, standing on the edge, looking down.

In that moment, take a deep breath, push down on your heels, and straighten your stance. Lift your head, my friend, and look out. I realize the dialogue in your head is telling you to keep your eyes directed downward. I understand that your resolve is weak. And I know that in moments like these, when you feel your feet shifting, you are convinced of an imminent fall. Your hands slide against the wall in search of safety, only to find there’s nowhere to grip. And the open window behind you doesn’t allow for you to lean back. Without question, you are convinced you are alone.

Please know, you are not alone. And that dialogue in your head, may be the words you are being pushed to hear. Sometimes we are brought to the edge solely to view those things within us that keep us from utilizing our full faith. Listen. Your fears are screaming. But they are also revealing your secret obstacles. Now you know what has stood between you and your dreams.

And that wall that feels impersonal and cold. It isn’t. It is the pillar of your soul and it is strong. It won’t crumble. Instead it will provide for you a firm place to stand whether you are out on the ledge, or resting peacefully within. You don’t need to hold on because this place will always provide the platform needed to stand with arms open wide. If there were handles you’d be inclined to hold tight. Your soul wants only for you to let go. So let go. Trust. Have Faith.

And that open window, it is the window to your inner self. It is open and waiting. So lean into it. Allow yourself to close down every now and again to all outward influences. Go inward. That open window is your safety net; when you are ready, fall back.

And if you fear that you will slip; know that there is nowhere for you to go, as the pillar travels with you. And that abandonment that haunts you, it is an illusion. You are never alone. It is impossible for you to be disconnected from God even during your worst moments. God is you, and you are an extension of God. So stand on that ledge and notice how you got there. Listen to those words, they will empower you. You will discover the purpose behind the journey of your soul. You may not like what you hear but it is the area within you that your soul wants to push through.

Now – stand still for a moment, and look out. Spread your arms. Feel the universe as its gentle breeze moves across your body. You are that universe. Your soul is quite excited to be you. Smile. Breathe deep. You are doing well.

Sane

 

Losing Your Mind

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I’m going to borrow from my metaphor of the other day, and add in another. Please bear with me.

I discussed the importance of taking the time to bake the cake of one’s desires. It should be said that its equally important, if not more so, to take the time to make the cake. Try not to let life wash over you in a way that leaves you constantly reacting. A reactionary existence is a powerless existence. Give yourself ten minutes a day of unadulterated focus; time for you to relish in something that releases your tight chest, causes your face to soften or joy to settle into your body. As far as life maintenance duties are concerned, doing so should top the list. Its that important.

We would never expect our car to take us across the country without first taking the time to fill the tank. Likewise, even though the importance of which is often overlooked, we know our body needs nourishment to function. So if we have a long day, we stop every now and again to give it what it needs. And thus is true when it comes to the desires that rest upon one’s spiritual self.

There are those points in time when the contrast is so great there is no need for deliberate thought as to the essence of what we want. Without speaking one word, our desire is cast into the universe where it is caught by the hand of fate. But then there are those voluntary desires of which we have full awareness. Don’t forget to give them their due. Think on the things that please you. As frivolous and fanciful as these things may seem, the relief they provide your body, mind and soul is paramount to your well-being. Not only do they set the wheels in motion for the future, they impact the now. And doesn’t your being – in the now – deserve to feel well.

Maybe you can’t quite put a finger on your exact desire. Life is so cluttered, so overwhelming, a vision of anything beyond your physical reality is impossible to conjure. Or maybe you’re scraping the bowl of your resolve and thinking about your desires is simply too painful. Not only do I understand, I’ve been there. Just be sure to take the time to lose your mind.

There are times when I feel my footing slip; times when I know I’m leaning toward a breakdown. Especially during those times I steal away a moment or two, and lose my mind to something that pleases me. I picture the absurd and allow a wave of private laughter to cascade over my fatigued body. The moment of reprieve is brief but life saving. I release the valve of oppressive energy, and allow room for something better. These moments are the equivalent of pulling the car into the gas station on fumes. I’m giving myself what I need to keep going.

Make a point today, and every day, to lose your mind; lose it to your desires; lose it to the serene silence of no thoughts; lose your mind to dance; lose your mind to laughter. Because each time you do, you gain control over – you.

Sane

 

Baking a Cake

Waiting is not something many of us are naturally obliged to do. Instead, it grates at us in way like no other. More than that, it can cause us to doubt ourself, and the power behind our ability to shape our future. It can even cause us to doubt that fate is a cooperate force, allowing for our say in anything. Waiting for many of us, is our Achilles heel.

But for a moment, please look at waiting as part of the plan, and not an impediment to the plan. Please do yourself this great favor and look at the making of your desires and future similar to the way one makes a cake. First comes the idea to make something. Usually this is brought on by noticing the absence of this something from one’s life. We damn these moments in time when we feel lack, and yet those moment are the very things that cause us to identify that which we desire. Once identified, we now need to move forward.

Due to knowing what we don’t want, we set off to imagine that which we do. We scan the world around us deciding what ingredients we want and what ingredients we do not. In our mind we begin to put together the recipe for our desire. We aren’t going to add ginger this time around because our experience with ginger in the past has shown us that it was terrible to our tongue. Ginger is out. Nutmeg is in. It’s a process.

The recipe for our desires is much the same. By being married to the wrong partner it was shown to us what we want in the right partner. By working a job that did not feel right it was shown to us the possible avenues that may feel right. By living in the cold we were given the chance to fully understand that we want only to live in the warmth. This happens on a small scale. This happens on a large scale. But it never stops happening. Not only do we walk through the contrast, the contrast is all around us. And so the process continues.

We let our desires settle into our being just the same as we place the batter-filled pan in the oven. Our work is done, we feel. But I don’t believe that is the case at all. Waiting is part of the work. We must be faithful while the cake bakes. And each and every time we doubt that its working, we cause a delay. We open the oven door repeatedly causing the oven temperature to plummet. And sometimes when panic sets in we take the cake pan out of the oven completely. We question what we did wrong. We question if the oven is working. We question everything. Our job is to keep the oven temperature steady and strong. We do this by having faith.  Keep the door closed, and know that its working.

Faith is the fuel that causes the cake to bake. So keep the faith burning.

Sane

The Nest

I searched for the sun yesterday. Determined to watch it set, I had to make myself mobile. It’s an odd thing being without a nest. The home I had prior was perfect in many ways, and yet it held me too distant from life itself. But it did bless me with not only the rising sun with which to begin each day, but it showered me with the setting sun as well.

I can’t imagine making my permanent home one that does not offer these things. But then again I feel whole when I am connected with nature. And nature takes its queue from the sun. As do I. I get a bit disoriented when in the dark for too long. I used to think this was just one of the many flawed quirks inherent to being me. Over time I’ve come to realize it’s just part of my bio-rhythms. Its what I need.

I need music. I need the sun. And I need the warmth. I falter without these three external stimulants. The first two feel like the hand of God to me. The other just keeps me functioning.

I’ve spent the first half my life trying to figure out who I was. The last half will be spent living the me I know I am. I haven’t hardened with age; if anything, I’m expanding. My compromises are deliberate, but often.  I now know what I want, and with that I feel less demonstrative, less aggressive. Nothing about my wants are grand. Not in the sense most would think. I want to smell nature, regardless of the season. I want to have the luxury to turn off the world and listen to the trees as they speak in the wind. No doubt I will forever enjoy the thrill of a feather-light clutch and the open road. But overall I’ve noticed I’m a bit slower as of late. Perhaps because I’m currently writing the story of my life; my mind is busy sinking into memories, epiphanies, and the makings of why I am the way I am; why God speaks to me in the language that he does. I’ve had to look at this journey of mine and question if it’s a story worth telling. I’ve lived it. But what have I learned.

I’ve learned that we are all connected. Whether we care to admit it or not. Just as much, we are connected to the trees, the birds, the moon and the stars. And heaven knows we are connected to the sun. All of these things make up this universe, and we are just as important as those things that seem much bigger and greater. We are all one. And we are just as big and just as great. As I search for my next nest, I need to find a place that honors all that I’ve come to learn about who I am. And my relationship to all that surrounds me. Make sure yours does too. You deserve as much.

If we look at life as if everything we see contains a soul, and that soul is all one, oh how our perception changes. We are all just off-shoots of the same thing. No tree is better than the other. No person is better than the other. The only thing that separates us from God is the belief that we are disconnected. But even when we believe it to be so, it isn’t. We can not be disconnected from that which we are.

Take a moment, and look at who you are. What you’ve become. What you hope to be.

Sane