Category Archives: empowerment

To Feel the Sky

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To say that its been awhile would be quite an understatement at this point. I always miss these moments – where my words and your thoughts whisper and mingle as they do. Bliss.

This I know for certain, dear reader, Spirit lives and breathes through the world around us. And that brings me to what led to tonight’s writing. A friend asked if I had anything to write, about Northern Michigan. I thought on it for a moment, not sure what I would write. More often than not these posts are about that which heals.

Then, as It always does, Spirit waited for me to catch on. I finally did.

I’ve never felt more connected to All That Is than here; with my feet grounded and nature surrounding me. It heals. And that is exactly how I grew up in Northern Michigan.

While growing, Northern Michigan gave me continual communion, and it still does. When I need to be embraced, I look to the trees. When I need to hear the voice of God, it’s there within the wind that speaks through the pines. And of course, there’s the water. Often the water feels like that of an altar. It’s where I go to cleanse all that troubles me. Never has it let me down.

As much as I look forward to warmer climates, a part of my very being will only feel at home when smelling the leaves as they surrender to autumn’s call. I grew up with that distinct perfume. I also grew up with the smell of hot ferns as they collected on the foot pegs of my dirt bike. Something about that smell heals me. I learned to be reckless and wild on dirt roads that twisted and turned through the woods. To this day, a dirt road still makes me smile. But it was also here that I’ve healed a million broken parts within myself. Its been under a Michigan moon that I’ve howled in desperation, and also given thanks. Nothing beats the healing power of a Michigan sky. And nothing feeds the soul better than a Michigan autumn sun. Just as it signals the trees to let go for the season, it signals me to stay in harmony with the ever-changing cycle that is life. We are meant to let go. I learned that from the trees. I’ve never learned one thing from a preacher. But I’ve learned volumes from nature. No right or wrong, it’s just who I am. The water taught me to be who I am, all that I am, and I’ve never looked back since. The long Michigan winters have shared with me their truth, don’t hide your darkness. Michigan does it with grace, as well as fury. Its a time to explore that which can not be appreciated during the long days of summer. And so it goes with me.

There’s a line from one of my favorite songs, “Smell the sea and feel the sky. Let your soul and spirit fly into the mystic.” I know the smell of the water that surrounds me and the feel of the sky above me. And even though these stars accompany me wherever I go, I know, I’m at home here. There’s something primal about communing with nature. The trees absorb me. I absorb them. For me, church is when I look out and see water like glass. Or enjoy the sermon of waves raging on high and the willows that sway like a soulful gospel choir. It’s all there, if the eyes can see. And its bliss if the heart is open to feel.

So I will end this tonight with a thank you. Thank you for the invitation to write about Northern Michigan. And thank you God. You showed me, when young, that You can always be found within the trees and the water and the stars. A church to which the door is always open. All inclusive. Ever welcoming. Always answering, even my most difficult of questions. Thank you for that.

Sane

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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

Its Beauty is Your beauty

Hello Dear Reader

It feels like a lifetime since I’ve last whispered in your ear, dear reader. It’s an odd thing, being a writer. One would think I’d just sit down, on a whim, and write. That’s not the case. At least, it’s not for me. Instead, things have to be just right. If I have my way, the moon must be visible and shining down on me. The music must be flowing through me in such a way that we become one. And, lastly, I have to be seated behind my trusty MacBook Air. Change one thing, and anxiety washes over me and I begin to question if I know how to put anything of substance onto the page. Oh the mind, it can be our greatest ally. And so often, it can be our greatest foe.

You see, dear reader, this MacBook Air of mine that has aided me in writing numerous posts, novels and children’s stories is growing tired. I have to wait as it catches up with a mind that screams along at unsettling speeds. And as for the moon, its been awhile since I’ve had it shining down on me. One day I will have a desk that sits under the glow of its nurturing light again. But the music, it never fails me. And thank God for that. Truly.

Too much time has passed since I’ve written. A lot of life has unfurled beneath me. Too much to write about, but just know this: I am still sailing forward. I am at the helm, looking out at the horizon with wonder and delight. The waves, well, they do what they do. More often than not though, there is calm. And when I do look back and notice the the rough seas, I do so with gratitude knowing that, once again, something kept me upright. My time of having to plunge deep grows less and less.

So, if you are in the midst of underwater discoveries yourself, take heart, one day you will buoy up and with it, not only will you enjoy breathing, but you will breathe knowing who you are. There is mastery in that. Sometimes I wonder if that is why we are here; to discover who we are – and then love ourselves once we know. Love, that’s what it’s all about. But first it starts within. If you can’t love you – loving another is counterfeit. Love moves outward. The Universe rests within you. You are made of the stars. Why would Source do it any other way?

Recently, I went on a trip with my brother. We spread my father’s ashes along a small creek nestled into the side of a mountain. I watched as his physical form was embraced by the water and returned from which it came. And it felt right. Life alteringly difficult, but very, very right. I flew above my brother and I, and watched our star-dust beings return my father into its physical home. Pure. Divine. Transcendent. I hope I have as beautiful an end. In the months since I’ve been thinking a lot about the gap between the soul and the physical. There is a huge gap and yet no gap. The soul is one with everything. All the while being completely separate. I love the awe-inspiring gap. I love having one foot in this world and one foot someplace else. My awareness of this is often overwhelming. But I wouldn’t want it any other way. Its just who I am.

I love that ‘someplace else.’ It’s home to me. It is the place best described as being closer to the stars. It is the place where energy runs free. Its exhilarating. Its passionate. Its unbridled. And it is like air to me. It’s in music. Its in laughter. Its in the way our heart fills unexpectedly with emotion. And I know its seen in my eyes.

We are all so much more than we believe ourselves to be. The essence of who we are is there for the taking. If we allow ourselves to tap into it, then become it. And it is love. Love is Source and Love is all there is. It’s from where we came. And it is where we will return. So smile. Dance. Let the music flow through you. Look up and give the stars a nod. Its beauty is your beauty. Love.

Sane

 

Soundtrack:

Mondo Cozmo – Shine

MISSIO – Middle Fingers

Van Morrison – Into The Mystic

The Strumbellas – We Don’t Know

Hitting the Road

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As we close out this current year, I’d like to propose something. You won’t like it. But I believe its one of the most important things we can do for ourselves. And in the doing of it, we align closer to All That Is. Bless those things that have been difficult. I know. I said you wouldn’t like it, dear reader. But hear me out.

It’s easy to bless those things that bring us joy. Yes, those things are there for a purpose. We learn a lot about ourselves from them. But much more is gained when we carefully look at our difficulties. Because it is that which challenges us, that often highlights what is hindering us from experiencing the very joy for which we seek. Those fears that bubble up from within us, show us what is impeding us. They reveal the obstacles that stand in our way. In the moment we loathe the obstacle. And of course we do. It sits like a monster or boulder – blocking us. Holding us back.

But what if, its appearance isn’t to stop us. Instead, its appearance is Source working to show you what’s slowing you down so that you can deal with it and then move on?

Why is it so often upon casting a dream into the Heavens its quickly followed by something that causes us to doubt its probability? Ego will quickly answer that by saying it’s because it’s reminding us that the dream will most surely never happen. It’s sparing us from getting our hopes up. But rarely is that little voice of negativity our ally. Almost always that voice is the sound piece of our fears.

What I’d like you to do with this new year is to listen less to that voice, and instead, shift your perception of the obstacles or fears or doubts that arise before you. Don’t act surprised when an unexpected bill comes in the mail shortly after you launch a desire to start that new business or to buy that land in the country where you can retire. That bill will quickly tell you the level of your faith. That bill will cause all your fears to rise to the surface. Source wants you to see those. Source wants you to know what is buried deep within you. Because what is within you, is what’s shaping your experience. And when we fail to go deep, Source brings what’s deep into the Light. Bless what you see because its being brought into the Light for a reason. And it isn’t to stop you, it’s so that you know what you’re dealing with; to see what’s been holding you back.

Look at it like this. Let’s say you desire to drive across country. You program your car for the trip. And although I don’t believe such a thing as this exists, let’s say then that the car’s internal programming reviews your trip and then displays if the car is able to make it. Instead of damming your car for not being able to hit the road at the drop of a hat, you review the read out and feel relief that it showed you that about a third of the way in the transmission will fail. It’s telling you what you need to deal with because, as is, the trip will be difficult. Or the read out shows that there’s a collapsed bridge on the road you were planning to use. Good to know. You begin to plan a different way. What if Source is showing you something similar?

Every time you launch a desire, Source works to match that desire. But that is only half the process. You have to be the match. And to be the match you have to deal with all the things within you that are not the match. Those are the things that get brought to the surface. Those are the fears that seem to drop in front of you out of the blue, and strangle your ability to breathe. Those are the doubts you have about your greatness and worth. How is Source going to bring you your life’s love if you don’t fully love yourself? Source is showing you that. How is Source going to bring the life you want if you don’t fully believe that you are worthy of receiving it? So bless those things that are being shown to you. Because they are part of the process of getting there.

I love you, dear reader. And it is my sincere prayer that with this next year we all get there.

Sane

Sex and Bad Candy

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Humans are social creatures. Due to such, I have to bet you’d like to have your life’s love sitting next to you right now. If so, do this – look in the mirror.

You can never see in another what you can not see within yourself.  You can not recognize outwardly what you have not already experienced within. And you can not maintain with another what you can not maintain within yourself.

Do you unconditionally love and accept the person looking back at you? If not, that is okay. Admitting the truth is one of the first empowering actions one can take. Just remember, your soul loves you. And if the desire is within you to be unified with a partner that will love and accept and understand you – then you must first do those things within yourself.

I want this from them, you say. Let’s get this straight. They aren’t your mother, and they aren’t your father. They are your partner. You can’t play the victim and expect your partner to coddle you. That isn’t their job. They are meant to be your equal. Equal. How can they be your equal if what you want from them isn’t already possessed within you? Of what are they the equivalent?

Dear reader, did you know that someone could love you to the moon and back, but you wouldn’t be able to allow it in if you didn’t already know the feeling within yourself. Also, you can’t give what you don’t have. It’s impossible.

Even without being cognizant of it, people react to energy. They feel it. It enters their being. Ask yourself what kind of energy you are offering. What is it you are giving this person? What is it you are giving yourself?

I know this struggle well. I did not like the person who met me in the mirror. I used to question how anyone could love the mess that was me. I didn’t love the mess. So why should they. Those were probably the most pivotal words spoken at the onset of my spiritual journey.

As I grew to hear Spirit, it shared with me something that changed my life. I am not my experiences. I am not my mistakes. I am not my successes.  I am not what has been done to me. I am not the judgments or opinions of others. I am what I believe.

And I believe in me. So look in that mirror, dear reader, and love everything you see. Love the you who ran when you should’ve stood. Love the you who doesn’t feel good enough. Love the you who got it right and love the you who got it wrong. Love yourself and – you become enough.

I’ve never met the person with whom I hope to spend the rest of my life. But I love them enough to bring them my best self; baggage light, clutter cleaned, demons understood. They deserve that. I deserve that. I had to divorce two men and marry myself before I discovered that truth. I had to fall in love with me. I wanted to feel whole, and that doesn’t come by way of a perfect other half. It comes by way of filling one’s self. Then resting in one’s wholeness for awhile. Knowing yourself. That is what I will present my future love.

And now that I am here, I no longer dishonor myself. I no longer look down upon myself. I no longer sell myself short. I no longer fill my time with bad candy when I know I’m deserving of a feast. Yes, that is a sexual reference. I love the woman I have discovered within myself. She is passionate beyond words. Sensual. Smart. Sincere. I love her. It all starts there. So take the mirror, dear reader, love who you see. You are worth the effort. And no, you don’t have to be perfect before you can love who you see. You just have to love who you see – unconditionally.

Sane

As always, written to music. Van Morrison, Into the Mystic.  The Strumbellas, We Don’t Know.

 

What Do You Believe

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What do you believe? It’s an important question to ask yourself. Because whether you are aware of it or not, your beliefs determine much of your journey.

I remember one time, sitting with my mother. I had recently given her a powerful book to read. The book had within it many spiritual truths. Underpinnings as to our power, and how it controls much of our life. It spoke of the importance of, not just our words, not just our thoughts – but our beliefs. The thought behind the thought. My mother closed the book, handed it back to me and said, “Well, the hell with that.”

I’ve always appreciated my mother’s straightforwardness. Even when what she was saying was something I didn’t want to hear. My mother instantly knew that she was not the master of her beliefs. More so, she knew her deepest beliefs were not ones of a positive nature. The fears within her had become her beliefs. It’s like that for many of us. But never underestimate the contrast and challenges Life brings before you. Because each one offers a chance to confront one’s beliefs, and either walk forward in them or to see them for what they are; to see how they have been holding us back.

There is a powerful Sufi phrase regarding communication. But I feel it’s valuable, not just during communication with others, but also, for communication within ourselves. Sufi’s teach that there are three filters through which our thoughts should travel before being spoken: Is it true. Is it necessary. Is it kind. It’s the first filter that I’d like you to focus on as you move through your weekend. Is it true. To answer that one must first know what they believe. You almost always know what you believe once you take note of what rises within yourself when confronted with contrast or challenge, regardless of what we say or do outwardly.

My mother was very aware of what bubbles up from within herself. Fear. A life spent in fear had worn her down considerably. Some of the fear was inflicted upon her from outside sources. From there her inner fear grew stronger. Before long she viewed the world through a fear-shaded lens. Getting control over one’s own beliefs, owning them, healing them, then managing them – feels like an insurmountable task, at times. It did for my mother. It is the key to freedom, however. It is the key that unlocks one’s own power. It is the vital step that places us firmly in alignment with All That Is.

I won’t even begin to tell you, dear reader, that it is easy. It’s not. Life is a journey, whether you are cognizant of why you are here. You can either get run over by life. Or help lay the foundation that creates the road. You don’t get to control every turn. You don’t get to control every hill. Your Higher Self has you here doing things that are meant to develop your soul in ways from which your shadow self will always try to run and your mind will struggle to understand. But once you know your beliefs, things become clearer. Once you have mastery of the thought behind the thought, you look at the curve and see why it’s been placed before you. That is what alignment does – it lessens the fear of what’s around the corner and allows us to see things we couldn’t see before. Your beliefs matter. They tell you almost everything about your soul’s development.

Do you believe the Universe is conspiring to help or hurt you, to support or to penalize you? Do you believe that help is always there for you, just when you need it or that you will be left to suffer alone. Either way, you will get what you believe.

Believe in Love, dear reader. Believe it. Be it. See it.

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.