Category Archives: empowerment

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.

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

Who Shows Up

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“Hurt people hurt people. That’s how pain patterns get passed, generation after generation after generation. Break the chain today. Meet anger with sympathy, contempt with compassion, cruelty with kindness. Greet grimaces with smiles. Forgive and forget about finding fault. Love is the weapon of the future.” ~ Yehuda Berg

I feel one of the most vital lessons within one’s spiritual practice is to become aware of who shows up within ourselves. And life, being the gracious host to our spiritual development that it is, provides us ample encounters by which to meet who does.

It is one thing to sit in meditation and express soft words of praise to God and all of humanity while alone. It is a completely different thing to offer such kindness when met with the many individuals who make up humanity. We aren’t here to solely be kind to those who are kind to us, even if such a thing fills our heart immensely. People like that, I look at as nourishment. They help fill me and prepare me for those who drain my heart and challenge my kindness.

People will enter our life that do both, fill us and drain us, challenge and empower us. Both serve a purpose. They allow us to see who we are inside. Who is buried under our physical shell. Our heart is revealed by how we treat others.

When we want to know who we are, look first at who shows up within yourself when met with Life. Do you step out of your own mind, with all of its many judgements and stories and validations, to be open and kind? Do you try? Or do you let yourself off the hook with a reason why you can’t? Life gives us countless opportunities to bring to Light who we truly are. And as much as it might seem as though it is doing this to show others who we are, I don’t believe it is. I believe it’s to show us who we are. If you are like me, dear reader, you may not always like who shows up. Its part of the process. Its the only way for us to finally deal with all that rests within. But, it’s what we do with what we see, that matters. Once you begin to pay attention, you will see how the hand of Spirit is trying to bring everything within you out and into the Light. That is the only way you will ever fully know who you are, and make all of your fragmented pieces part of the greater whole. And from there, you can live wholeheartedly. Not because you have vanquished parts of yourself that seemed rotten. No. Instead, you brought them into the Light and healed what was once very dark. You learned from it. You healed it. And then took this newly healed and enlightened part of yourself and returned it to the fold.

When I am at a loss as to how to behave. When it feels like everyone I meet is ‘causing’ me pain, disappointment or just plain frustration, I try to hit pause. Then, I try to be who I would want showing up for me. I try to be for them, and for the world, who I would like to see. This may or may not change the situation in front of me. But I’m not doing it for that purpose. I am doing it so that I can, at the very least, be true to myself and offer the world a mirror that reflects Love. Showing the world a wholehearted mirror is not easy. In fact, its one of the most painful experiences of my life. But it is also deeply rewarding. Because every now and again, it is reflected back to me. And that is bliss.

So dear reader, as you go about your long weekend, and life unfolds its multitude of experiences in the guise of people, places and things – notice who shows up within you. And remember: Be who you want to see. Be kind. Be patient. Be supportive. Be Love.

Sane