Category Archives: self empowerment

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

Letting Fear Decide Your Fate

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It should not take so long before finally breathing deep. Nor should it take so long before finally witnessing the light. But then again, the air of which I speak is not taken in through the lungs. And the light to which I’m referring is not seen with eyes.

The soul does not rely upon the same aids as does the physical body. The soul knows the steady place that is found when standing from a place of being, even when that being is standing on the edge. And yet, rarely do we lean into life with the security found in this innate place within each of us. Instead, more often than not, we let fear decide our fate.

We diligently shape our future using a mold defined by all that pained us from the past. The mind employs the reasoning that by doing so, we are avoiding further pain, disappointment and loss. And when focusing on the pain of life, the pains of life increase, thereby requiring that the box in which we push ourselves, grows smaller.

As many of you know, I do not damn fear. I see it as a beautiful tool. Much like that of any other indicator marking something warranting our attention. Don’t dismiss it. Witness it. View it with open eyes, then move on. Once it has our attention, it is of no further value. Its purpose is complete. But please remember, often the signal of fear reveals something requiring our attention inward, not outward.

Looking forward into this new year. Think for a moment upon what foundation you are creating your future. Is it from a place of love, knowing and hope. Or is it from a place tethered to fear-indicators from the past. When a bone is broken, pain shoots throughout the body pointing to that which needs our attention. We tend to the brake; the brake heals; we move on. Fear is much like the pain of a broken bone; vital in that it signals our attention. The soul knows this. The mind lost this knowing along the way, and allows the signal of fear to become the backdrop of our existence.

The other night, I asked someone quite special to me what he wants done upon his passing. He admitted that he didn’t know. I admitted that I did. When my time here is done, I want a celebration. I want those closest to me to look upon my life and see that it was lived and shaped from a place of love – not fear. I do not want my children looking upon my life and noticing all that I avoided for fear of what others would think; for fear of failing; for fear of not knowing how. Instead, while listening to my favorite music, drinking my favorite wine, I want their hearts to move with the love that was the current on which I floated through life. Fear isn’t the water. Fear is merely an outcropping along the stream. Don’t take your canoe out of the water and place it on this rock.

With every thought we think, we are shaping our life – dear reader, shape it with love – not fear.

Sane

Originally posted, January ’13

The Train

We’re a solid footstep into the week. And I can’t say how its going for you. I don’t know the obstacles riddling your path. This week may be one with little hindrance, or it may be one where you’re pushed to the edge. It’s like that for all of us, dear reader. Its part of the process, the dichotomy. If all were good all of the time, we would never grow. But there is something that makes the process easier: Learning to pivot.

Your mind is the filter through which you see the world. Often, your mind guides your feet. Yet, you do not have to be led down a path of ceaseless judgements, and fear-based what if’s. However, stopping the mind  when its going full steam takes near Herculean strength. It’s much better to catch ourselves before we jump onboard.

There is always a gap. And in that gap we choose how we react. The size of the gap depends on how fast we are racing through life. For some, the gap is so small one would be hard pressed to recognize it exists. For those who have developed observing their life more than reacting to it, its wider. Narrow or wide, the gap allows us to pause. From there, pivot and think something better.

People are walking around with chests so tight they can barely breathe. Will my dreams come true? Will I forever be alone? Will I have enough to pay my bills? Will I ever find peace? Will I ever laugh again? These are questions one whispers alone or to a trusted friend. They are real. They are valid. And they have the ability to take one’s breath away.

Please hear me when I say: What will become of you is largely dependent upon what you do now. You hold the power to those questions. And you wield your power by what you do – now. Now always impacts what’s next. Always. You can answer those questions one of two ways, you can answer toward the positive or you can answer toward the negative.

Dear reader, if you have something pressing upon you at the moment, and you can feel your chest tighten and your body temperature rise and tears push against the back of your eyes, pivot. If you can feel your mind race, picking up negative thoughts that pierce you to the core, pivot. If you find yourself thinking or acting in a way that doesn’t honor you or the you you want to be, pivot. Pivot your thought. Think the best thought you can think. Give Source the direction it needs. What you think is how you guide your life forward. Life mirrors your thoughts and actions. Like mile markers, life will keep throwing chances your way that will cause you to use your Free Will and Personal Power to dictate what you truly believe and how you want your life to unfold.

I believe in fate, and how it dictates the larger issues that happen in our life, agreed to by me, on a soul level, well before my birth. But everything else, that is up to us. When your mind begins to go in a direction that does not feel good – pivot. Bring it back. Think something better. Don’t jump too far or your mind will scoff and tell you that you’re a fool. And when in those delicate emotional spots, we often believe whatever damning thing our ego says about us. So take it slow. Remember, fear is like a fast-moving train. It can and will take you exactly where you don’t want to go. All it takes is a few thoughts and before we know it we are swept away. And when we finally do jump off, we’re miles down the road, fair from where we want to be.

So let’s take a collective deep breath. We don’t have to know how things will work out before believing that they will. Our job is to believe. Start there. That is the pivot point. That is what sets the wheels in motion. Those thoughts of belief have to occur within you before any of what you want can arrive.

Dig your heels in deep, if you must. Then pivot your thought. “I don’t know how this will work. But it will.”  Controlling one’s thoughts is the most important thing we can do for ourself. It sounds simple. It’s not. But it gets easier. Like picking up a heavy weight. The weight doesn’t change over time. You do. You get stronger. The train is at every mile marker. You don’t have to get on. Step back. Pivot. The train isn’t going where you want to go. It never has.

Sane

Good Grief

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I woke today missing my mother so deeply I cried. And the tears seemed to cascade into every piece within me that feels broken, abandoned and utterly exhausted. I’m not sure if a soul can suffer from exhaustion. But there are times when mine feels so tired that I’m convinced it can.

Grief has a funny way of changing one’s life. Just the thought of losing someone can unearth within us things of which we weren’t even aware. Losing someone outright, well dear reader, that offers its own path of discovery. And from what I can tell the only way to get to the other side of grief, is by grieving. I come from a long line of people who hardened themselves against expansive emotions. Either by way of pure stoic strength or numbing themselves with alcohol, we didn’t show much emotion. God forbid we admit such a thing as crying, as it surely meant we were falling apart. When, in the case of what I’m feeling today, perhaps I’m falling together.

Emotion is meant to be felt; to point to an important part within ourselves. Sometimes emotion points to bits and pieces within us that need to be gathered up and mended. Sometimes it points to gifts that were meant to be cultivated and shared with the world. Whether pointing out our fears or pointing out our joys, either way, emotions are very much like our own internal GPS system meant to navigate us along our Divine path.

Its only been four months since losing my mother. And during those months I often found myself wishing life would give me a Get Out Of Jail Free card; something I could pull out and use to remind everyone that within me rests a heart that is hurting; one where a low-level dull ache has taken up residency. And behind every emotion I feel, both the good and the not so good, rests this ache. So tread lightly. But life doesn’t seem to offer such a thing. Instead, I feel like I’m pressed to keep offering my very best, to stand in the line of fire, to tip toe onto the farthest precipices of faith – all while feeling I’m only partially as whole as I use to be.

During the times when I am able to allow grief to do what it needs to do, I’ve taken note of the emotions that have surfaced. Some are more ugly than I’d like. There has been a fair share of the why me’s? Haven’t I endured enough? All the typical self-centered utterances of ego. Then there are the emotions that sit closer to my core. The one’s where I simply feel the emptiness of never being held by my mom, again, or the flash of penetrating loss when I go to send her a text to share a moment I know she’d enjoy – but realize I can’t.

I feel tired, dear reader. I feel as though I’m being pushed beyond my limits as of late. And grieving is only adding to the push. Then the soft voice of Spirit whispers within me. Yes, I know it feels that way, dear child. And, in many ways you are right, you are being pushed. You are growing. You are expanding into a more authentic version of yourself. A version that is ever more closely aligned with me. Stay strong. Don’t give up. It will all make sense in time. But know this, my child, the grieving is allowing you to open spaces within yourself that wouldn’t be opened otherwise. And your mother is helping you to do that.

So I cry some more. Most of all, I allow myself to cry. Why it is we humans get so wrapped up in prohibiting ourselves from feeling all that we need and are intended to feel, I don’t know. But we do. So today, dear reader, if you feel any of these things that I’ve shared with you, know that you are not alone. And what Spirit said to me, it is also saying to you. Don’t resist the emotion that pushes you from deep within. It is there to help you take notice of something. We are here to grow, to expand and express and experience. Emotion is often the very thing that helps us navigate that expansion. There is a teaching voice behind every emotion. What is it saying? Either it points to what has been holding us back, or it points to what will help move us forward. So don’t smother it. Listen and explore it.

Sane

Keeping the Faith

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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, for dreams to come to fruition. I can’t say exactly why our faith gets tested so often along the way. But perhaps it’s not tested so much as to cause us grief, as it is tested to ensure that the temp is still set at the level necessary. We get sloppy and lazy, along the way. Its human nature. Very easily we forget our job. Our job is to stay on course, and to keep the faith strong – regardless of circumstances, not fluctuating as a result of circumstances. So, don’t give up. keep the faith burning, dear reader.

Sane

Originally posted August 2013. Yet, I’m finding myself so much in need of these words, I thought perhaps you might be in need of reading them, too.

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

Rev Your Engine

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Let’s start the weekend with this thought: Take good care of your mind. Love it. Cherish it. Tend to it. Then use it. Now, I know what you are saying, dear reader. Wasn’t it just a few days ago that I advised you to give that nasty voice within your mind the middle finger – yes. Yes, I did. Why then would I now be saying to care for something so menacing; is it good or is it bad? It is neither. Yet, at any given moment it has the potential to be the instrument for either. Confused? Don’t be. Spiritual teachers dating throughout the ages have always stated, “The mind is both the liberator and the jailor.” I believe this with all my heart – and mind.

Let’s look at it like this, your mind is a car. The car is yours. Your Higher Self owns the car. It’s a vehicle that’s intended and sole purpose is to help get you where you are meant to go while on this planet. Some people obsess over the looks and performance capabilities of their car – yet never really take it anywhere. Then there are those who completely neglect their car – complaining when it fails along the way. And then there are the majority who use their car repeatedly; carrying out the same trips over and over, hardly noticing that the car is doing so.

Now imagine you are traveling down a road, one that you travel every day. You know each bump and curve. Suddenly, you find yourself in the trees. When asked what happened you foggily reply, “I have no idea. The car just veered off the road. Now I’m over here. I must have been meant to be in the trees.” You would never say that, of course. Instead you would stop everything and ask yourself why the car shot off the road and into the ditch. And as you mulled it over you would then remember how the wheel had been tugging as of late. With every use you were having to counter the tug, to the point where you felt strain in your forearm. But, you were too busy to take it in for an alignment. After all, you had to get to work, or pick up the kids, or get home in time for your favorite show or glass of chardonnay. You had gotten so familiar with the tug that it almost felt natural.

But it wasn’t natural. And your car was trying to tell you so. The car was beginning to suffer from your neglect. Like the car, your mind tries to tell you when you are veering off course. In fact, your whole body tries to tell you. Your chakras, or for those who are unfamiliar with energy centers, your gut and heart and head, among other significant points along the energy pathway that dwells within and around you, sends out almost immediate and increasingly strong messages, all the time. Generally, people override those, too.

Life, as well as your body and your mind are conspiring to assist you – always. Problem is, we go numb to the input; we marginalize it and bury it. Then when we find ourselves in the trees we blame God or the Heavens for having forsaken us. We forsake us. We let the car drive us right off our path and into the trees because we fail to use the great gift that is the mind to Liberate us. Yes, resting on the other side of that nasty voice is a tool that helps us find Freedom. Peace. Love.

When you captain the mind, amazing things begin to happen. Trust me. However, dear reader, after years of letting the car drive all over the place of its own accord – it takes great vigilance and strength to commander the wheel. In fact, at first it almost feels as though there is no wheel to hold. I assure you, there is. You may have to dig through the rubbish that you have unwittingly allowed to accumulate in the driver’s seat before you can locate it. But it’s there. Keep digging. You will be utterly shocked by all the old wrappers, receipts and pieces of trash you’ve allowed to build up in there. But beneath it all, is this awesome car. This awesome vehicle that was given unto you for a purpose – take good care of it. Give it a tune up, fill it with nourishing fuel (yes, this means turning off junk television, walking away from trash talking people and opting for healthier foods. There’s no way around it, as we become that with which we surround ourselves). Then, every morning, take the time to align. Balance and center yourself. You and the car become one. And, in not so much time as you might fear, you get to drive right out of the trees, back onto the road and reach higher heights. Heights you were intended to reach. Then, as the mind gets better, the road gets better. Then your reality gets better. Life gets better. But it starts with you taking the wheel.

Sane