Category Archives: aging

Judge Me Not

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We are so much more than the labels put on us or the numbers associated with our life. One’s salary, savings or lack there of. One’s house value. Years of education. Pants size, shirt size or dress size. One’s color should not put them automatically into a compartment. One’s gender should have nothing to do with how they fight, live their life or what type of partner feels most right to them. Who you are has nothing to do with the stats that may, or may not, be associated with your journey. Dear reader, can you sense how tired of judgement I am?

And yet, it’s a profoundly human reaction to judge others. To size them up and then render verdicts inside our mind about who they are and what they believe. I say the hell with that.

In starting this women’s empowerment clothing line, I’m continually coming up against other people’s ideas about what this company should be.  Often, I have to pull back, take stock of all the decisions that have brought me to this point, noting if I’ve stayed true to my core principles – No Judgement. So as I get judged, sized up and put into a box, I have a choice. Show up as my highest self or get down and dirty to prove my point.

Truth is, I don’t need to prove anything. Nor do you. Our clothing is for all women. Even women who aren’t sure if they want to associate as women. If you like it and speaks to you, wear it. If it doesn’t, that’s okay too. Just know this, I have no desire to judge either way. I know how judgement feels. I know what it feels like to have someone take one look at me and size me up, incorrectly.

It took decades to shed the labels that have been thrown on me. Even the positive ones. I don’t like anything that limits. I’m me. I fumble and bumble my way along trying, always, to be my most authentic, best self. And when the impulse arises to judge another, and it always does, I try to harness the impulse before it develops into full-blown analysis and conclusion. It gets easier. Bottom line, if I don’t know you and you don’t know me. It should always start as a clean slate. Let me show you who I am by action and deed. Truth never can stay hidden. So give it time. Then decide.

This women’s empowerment clothing line doesn’t exclude anyone. Because all women could use empowerment in one form or another. Don’t be fooled to think otherwise. And I will continue to create affirmations that speak to all women, and do my damnedest to offer clothing that works for all women. It has been one of the hardest challenges I’ve ever undertaken. It may sound easy, but manufacturers don’t cater to all women. So finding something that works with a size extra small all the way up the line, and looks beautiful and is made of good quality materials, has been enough to turn my hair silver. There is no right or wrong in my book, except for that of exclusion and judgement. And damn these manufucturers like to exclude.

So dear reader, let’s all do our part to make this world a better place by judging less and loving more. Start with you. You can’t offer to others what you can’t first offer to yourself. Try not to limit someone because of their gender, race or socioeconomic situation. Try not to judge yourself by these things as well. We are all evolving. We are all fumbling and bumbling along; some more gracefully than others, yes. But we’re all still on a journey just the same. So be open. Be kind.

Am I a single mother, twice divorced with a business bankruptcy sitting in my past? Am I a victim of rape? Do I fight like a girl? How many degrees do I hold or funds do I possess?  How do you classify me? You don’t. I’m a spiritually guided soul who is doing their best in this world. There is no label or box that could ever fit me. And that’s just the way I like it and God intended me to be. Most likely the same holds true for you.

Sane

You Are Love

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I’m a victim of rape. Did you know that about me, dear reader? It’s one of the most heinous and evil violations done to another. Far beyond a legal crime, it’s a crime against humanity. There is the physical act, but there is also the spiritual karma generated; an energy interaction that transcends the physical. Causing a wound that takes enormous fortitude to heal. But, like all wounds – it can heal.

It must be part of my soul’s journey, that my healing process be long, deep and hard. As healing this part within myself was that, and more. Yet, for all that was taken from me, I have given back to myself ten fold. And Source has given back to me a hundred fold. This I know to be true.

If there is a purpose within such an act, I feel it is that we use it to help those who have endured similar. You see, dear reader, I understand far more than I let on. I understand what it feels like to be hurt beyond heart-break. I know the walk to heal a broken soul. I know the battle to overcome shame. I know how it feels to have someone steal a part of who you are. Abuse is abuse. It is a crushing blow that can cripple you until your final day.

I don’t believe in happenstance. I believe events happen for a reason. I may die not having understood them all. But it was after this event that I began to see within people. I began to see their soul. And although this has been a bitter gift at times, I still wouldn’t trade it.

More than anything, it blossomed in me a level of compassion for the abused and disempowered that, to this day, is the basis of my spiritual world. Yet the flower had already been growing. People may damn their unstable upbringings. But for me, mine birthed a flower that became a soul that feels most at home deep within the world that sits just behind the one our human mind sees. I suppose it entered knowing it was destined for such a journey, and I know that I know that it was pleased with what it saw coming. Not because the events would be joyful. But because they were necessary if ever I were to fulfill my purpose. And that purpose is to be an example of love. And often that love stands in the face of all that love is not.

The times I have acted in love amidst the absence of love is numerous. I could damn God for such experiences. Having done so, I know what I would hear, “The example needs to be shown to those who most need to see it.” I live for the moments where I bear witness to love.

Tonight I’m sitting with a nice Côtes du Rhône, good chocolate and good music. I’m sitting with candles lit and I’m peacefully, and sometimes tearfully, reflecting on my life. I’m allowing God to unearth in me all that needs my attention. Things that make me smile. Things that make me cry. Both have value. I’m taking stock of how I’ve done thus far. Life is an endless cycle of opportunities. We are confronted with people of all kinds, carrying out deeds good and bad. Sometimes we become the victim. But later, we get the chance to see that we became a survivor. The Good Book says not to hide one’s light. That light is your truth. It is your hero’s journey. Share it. Help another to heal. Help another feel less alone. If you share your bumpy story, then another will feel less judgmental about their own. That is love.

Love who you are, my friend. You’ve been through a lot. And sometimes it doesn’t feel as though it will ever end. Just remember, you are loved. All the things that have been done to you, are not who you are. Who you are is determined by what you have done in the face of those things. Someone tried to take something from me. They succeeded. And it took years to heal. It took years of nurturing. But, for everything they took, I’ve added. My love is more tender, more authentic, more steadfast and true. Its raw and its nuanced and its spiritual beyond words. I remember ever baby step and every far reach it took to get here. I remember ever muscle ache and bit of fatigue. Not to mention how life looks when brought continually onto one’s knees, surrendered in prayer. With every agonizing bit of growth came a feathery soft, encompassing hug from heaven. Every pivotal event in my life has caused me to discover something new about myself.

To this day I cry as softly and delicately as I laugh. When I make love, heaven joins me. When I speak, something sometimes pushes my voice aside to share a deeper truth. When I look upon this world, I see the profound beauty mixed with actions that show how dark people can be. Within a person’s eyes, I see their soul and I see their struggles. I see their truth and I see their lies.

I was eighteen when someone broke into my garden, and tried to take the beautiful flowers within me. Little did they know, those flowers had roots. And once the rain had time to pour down and the sun had time to shine, the flowers returned. So remember, dear reader, I understand. Life can be brutal. But you are strong. And within you is everything you need to blossom. No one can take that away. No one can take away Who You Are. Only you have that level of power.

Sane

Written while listening to: Into the Mystic by Van Morrison (if ever I marry again, this will be my wedding song) and We Don’t Know by the Strumbellas.

Being Beautiful

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I have never felt beautiful. So yesterday, while walking by a group of people, a man and woman turned to look at me; first at my face, then my shirt. They did what so many do – they sized me up. Then I did what almost all of us do, I joined them. Its an odd thing how our ego is poised and ready to tear us down.

Truthfully, I spent the majority of my life never feeling beautiful. It wasn’t until the last few years of my life that I’ve come to know my beauty. But it isn’t the kind of beauty the media likes to persuade us into believing is most important. The kind of beauty of which I speak is inner beauty, which is what we feel and others see. What we are on the inside is always revealed on the outside. For me, it wasn’t until my dark night of the soul that I came to understand what stood between me and believing in myself. It wasn’t until, out of sheer exhaustion with life that I found myself staring into the eyes of the demon that had plagued me since my earliest days.

The demon of which I speak is the kind we all have. It lives and breathes in the darkness of our shadow. Its voice is often weaved through the voice of ego. Its constant declaration is that we are not good enough. That we will never be what we want to be. We will never have what we want to have. It bounces around. Its target and diatribe ever shifting the blame. But the core of its message remains – you are nobody. And everyone knows. Who do think you are? You will never be as beautiful as others. You will never be smart enough. You’re a failure. Life stinks. You stink.

Depending upon what has happened to you in your life, the shadow side can cast an overwhelming presence. Which explains why so many avoid it at all costs. And, there is a cost. We pay greatly when we turn our back on this side of ourself. Like an untended garden, the weeds of our fears begin to overtake all that is beautiful and healthy. Dear reader, I had reached my end, which is what led to my dark night of the soul. I really had nowhere else to go but to travel deep within myself and confront my fears.

But within this darkness, I discovered, there is Light. And there is a mirror. We get to see Who We Are. Even when surrounded by all the falsehoods I had believed about myself for nearly four decades, I was shown a Light that allowed me to see past the illusion of my fears. And when I shined the light, the darkness became illuminated. There was great beauty there. There was Love. A love that had the ability to strengthen me to stand up against my deepest fears. When I did, the demon went into submission. And my life has never been the same since.

But like with all things, I have to keep a watch on it. There are times, when a side glance from a stranger will bring that demon to life. Once again, it will try to override my thoughts. Its up to me to shine the Light back onto it. I’ve seen it for what it is. It isn’t big. It’s small. That’s why it fought so wildly within me like a small, crazed animal. It didn’t have mass on its size.

As I mulled around with my daughter yesterday, I gave thought to what had occurred. I gave pause to all the thoughts that sprung to life within me. You see, dear reader, I was wearing one of the shirts from my women’s empowerment clothing line. It was the I AM shirt. The design, upon first glance, is simple. Its message, at least to me, profound. Surrounding the words: I AM, are all the words I spent a lifetime believing I wasn’t: I AM beautiful, healthy, radiant, love, peace, abundance, success, joy, enough. And because we can never see in others what we can’t see within ourselves, I never saw any of these things in my life. All I use to see was a shifty world with people, places and things that I couldn’t count on. Life didn’t feel beautiful to me. I didn’t feel beautiful to me.

But life is, and so am I. Not the kind of beauty that ego tries to say is the measure of success. No. In fact, the core of my Being doesn’t give a damn what others think. My ego does. Within myself I finally found my beauty. It was there all along. It is singular to me. It’s kind. It’s nurturing. It’s peaceful. It’s strong when protecting, soft when loving. It is Love. Under all those layers of insecurity and fear, is Love. And love is beauty. Its within us all. So when I wear my I AM tee, its my way of reminding myself that its okay to recognize my beauty. Actually, it’s a hard won victory being able to do so. And it’s a victory that finally allowed me to recognize it in others. I may not be a Covergirl or a super model. I look like me. And within me is someone I’ve come to love greatly. I am the kind of beautiful that means something to me.

Sane

Silver Linings

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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: You are allowed to rebuild.

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 the essence of abundance, despite outward appearances. This is where appreciation is key. Our outlook mirrors our beliefs. How we feel inside, whether it is damning or liberating, negative or positive, 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, 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 linked to what we 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 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

Based on the post, Burning Down the House, August 25, 2013

And, Before All Else

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“Faith goes before; understanding follows after.” A great theologian believed this, and so do I. Believing after the fact is simple. Believing before the manifestation has presented itself, is not. And yet, faith requires such.

You are the artist of your own life’s portrait, I believe. I also believe each of us has more power than we know; more power than even Saint Augustine knew 15,000 years ago when he made that statement. To me life is a combination effort. At times I have waited on God. At times God has waited on me. And when I choose not to take an active part in the creation of my life, things become stagnant. I become stagnant. The paint upon my canvas dries, and the picture stays incomplete.

Pick the size of your canvas. Choose the colors. Paint with wild abandon or with careful precision. Just paint. We don’t have to understand the unfolding, just have faith that it will unfold. Don’t give up. Don’t doubt due to a lack of understanding. Faith needs no understanding. Often understanding hinders faith. If we look only to the left, because our understanding knows only that direction, then we will miss what may very well be arriving to the right. The universe utilizes all things, not just those of which we are aware and are familiar.

It isn’t easy painting within yourself an image that lies in bright contrast to one’s reality. And I would be remiss if I did not admit that at times I have had to turn away from my own canvas as it pained me too greatly to see the dissonance between what was wanted and what was. But always, when ready I pick up the brush again, dab it into Cerulean Blue, and move across the canvas with broad strokes. God allows us these moments. And I have faith that during which this benevolent force keeps me afloat.

We must step back from the canvas of our life at times. We owe ourselves as much. Not to scrutinize but to survey. At times we swipe out something that no longer suits us, and start over. Sometimes we add onto what is already in place. Its our canvas, and I believe God is pleased when we do this. My God is not one of dominance. My God is not one of judgment. My God wants to explore this world through the vehicle that is me. No one will experience the world in the same way. And that, in my opinion, is what the soul us up to, what God is up to: Exploration, expression through all of us.

Paint the life for yourself that makes you smile. Don’t sell yourself short. You need not understand how things will come together; just have faith they will. It will not work unless you do. Your job is to keep believing, and to take action when the time is right. Keep the faith. Keep the essence of that which you want held firmly within your mind, your heart, and your inner being. You are energy. And energy fuels the universe. Energy does not require of us to understand its ways. Faith comes first, that’s the mechanics of energy.

Sane

Originally published, July 2013

Fuck the Dark Voice

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I’ve always found it odd how happiness doesn’t fuel my writing. Instead, the voice of wisdom tends to hit the page during times of turmoil, frustration or sadness. Not that the voice is these things. The voice is always steady, and embodies Love. But there’s something about those emotions that seems to work as a muse that nudges me to write. Due to such, here I am.

I have a few frustrations and disappointments encircling me. One involves a situation from which I’m having to step back. Truthfully, this is being done out of love; for myself and for the other. As a friend and as a spiritual healer, my motives have been called into question. A heartbreaking accusation, to say the least. I stood by my friend through thick and thin. But, these words can’t be undone. The hurt is near breathtaking.

If anything, I’m going to let the wicked words be the fuel that helps further bring forth Love and Light. Its my personal way of giving the Darkness a rowdy middle finger.

People have misconceptions about those of us called Light Workers. We come in all shapes and sizes and personalities. But we are human. We have feelings. We wrestle with the same grit as those who aren’t healers. And some of us, have enough piss and vinegar inside of us that we could easily, yet unintentionally, bowl you over. What I find the most entertaining is how Source has called forth some of its most testy healers, and imbued them into a human frame and energy that embodies a deep filter of Love. Meaning, we love with strength. We aren’t easily swayed or fooled. Something that pisses off ego more than I can say. But, we see the Light within, and because of that, we stay put. Until…we can’t.

This has been one of the things I’ve loved most about myself. When I love, I do so with steadfast determination and with a fierceness that can go to battle. Those closest to me know that I will and have walked through fire for those I love. I don’t want a pat on the back. What fills me is knowing that I aided someone during a dark, dark time.

I can’t turn off the voice that whispers words of wisdom, nor do I any longer try. It’s odd, but its me. I’ve learned how to distinguish its voice from that of my own. And at forty-six years of age I’ve learned that I can trust that voice better than I can trust the voice of any person. It’s never forsaken me. My job is to learn how to speak what that voice says – with Love. But sometimes what that voice wants shared is not the easiest to say. I guess, in part, that’s why I’m here. To share words that help heal and empower, but to do so with fierce Love. I surrender to that calling each and every morning. It’s who I am and I am humbled and honored. But don’t mess with me.

We all have such a backup. We all have such an inner power. We’re all here with purpose. Hell isn’t something you experience when dead, it’s here within your mind while alive. It’s the voice that lives and breathes in blame and shame and hurtful words. Its the voice that smears those who have stood beside you, then when they’ve been pushed far enough away, it turns its attacks on you. Where is heaven, then? Oh, dear reader, its right here, right now. Heaven is the peace of knowing you aren’t owned by that voice of doubt, any longer. Heaven is knowing your mind no longer turns all that is good into something bad. You step into heaven as soon as you take over what is inherently yours; your life. You never get to wield your inherently divine power over your life while hovering in a negative space.

People have this idea about spiritual healers. They see them as wisps that can be easily walked over due to their calling. Or are airy fairy and use woo woo sticks to connect to Mother Earth. Nothing could be further from the truth. True, they endure more than many could. But, they do so because of their purity of intention. They are sustained by the knowing that they are helping another find their way.

Sometimes healers look like what you would imagine, and then you have ones that look like me. Sometimes they ride Harleys and love the thrill of speed. We will tell you the truth like no one else. You can also count on us, like no one else. But believe you me, they can and will tell you to go fuck yourself. Not because they don’t love you, but because they do. But for the most part, they sit and wait. And when you’re ready, they remind you of your worth and that there’s much work to do, so get going. You aren’t alone.

As for me, I’m going to grieve, breathe and recharge, then let the Divine restore me. Then I will return to what the Universe has me do – help empower those who have forgotten how powerful they are. Not ego power. But Divine grace that rests within each and every one of us. You are amazing. Pitch the lens of fear. And look at the world through the lens of Love. Then you will see that life has been trying to work with you, not against you. Oh, and dear reader, if you find yourself wondering if you are listening to the voice of Love or the voice of egoic fear, ask yourself how you feel. If you feel good – completeness from within – that’s Love. If you feel dreadful, there’s a good chance its the voice of fear. Fear sits at the polar end of Love. You have my permission to give that voice the middle finger.

Sane

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