Category Archives: women’s issues

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

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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.

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.

Freedom Through Awareness

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Give yourself the gift of freedom. Know the part of you that tries to speak over the voice of Source. Know the part of you that tries to tie you down. In other words, know your demons. They accompany you wherever you go. And they’re not there by happenstance. Believe me, dear reader, few things are more empowering than staring straight-on at that which tries to hold you down.

I’ve come to know that these demons that I once felt certain held me captive, are in truth, the helpers toward my freedom. For the point of this writing, I’ve called them demons. But only because they rest on the back side of Love, God and Source. You can’t ignore the shadow side. It doesn’t work that way. But by awareness, the shadow no longer stands in the way of the Light. Instead, it helps point us toward the Light. Think of it this way: how can one know True North, without recognizing south upon their compass?

Darkness being as uncomfortable as it is, one could reason that its best to ignore it all together. But I’d advise against it. Instead, sit down with it. Ask why it’s there. Subjugate through awareness. See it for what it is – a shadow of your Higher Self – that which rests at the other end of your full potential. Use it as a gauge that reveals your alignment with Source. Are you walking with the arrow that points toward True North, your Higher Self, or against. We always feel it when we walk against the arrow, don’t we? It feels absolutely rotten, alone and empty. It feels as if we are turning away from all that is good. We suddenly feel lost. And it feels that way for a reason.

There are times when these inner forces spring to life, and lean toward overpowering. But if you know the demon well, then you know its ways. And you are less likely to be caught off guard by that which you know, than by that which you do not.

I learned that these shadow aspects of, who I am, have the same value as those parts of me that seem to shine so bright. My journey made more sense once I listened to what my demons had to say; what it is I feared the most; what it is that had the ability to keep me up throughout the night. Rarely now am I knocked off-balance. Not because the hits are fewer; but because I’ve learned to look with full awareness at the compass Source gave me.

I could say that life would be easier sans these inner tormenters. But freedom never feels the same unless first imprisoned. The exhale given once turned back in the right direction is deeper and fuller due to having known the struggle to breathe while lost. Demons are often the most profound inner teachers we have along life’s journey. Mine are there for a reason; chances are, yours are too. Stop running from them. Stop misreading them. Instead, look at them. Look at where they are leading you. Then turn around, grab the key that has always been in your hand. Open the door, and set yourself free.

Sane

 

Today Is a Good Day

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Those closest to me know that I have been hard at work over the last year developing something that felt pressed upon me by Source in such a way that I couldn’t ignore it, even if I wanted to. Fortunately, I didn’t want to. Helping others see within themselves that which they can’t yet see is a deep passion of mine. I can’t say I asked for this passion. As often its a rather muddy endeavor. But like most things brought to us by the Divine, even the hardships are surrounded by Love and Light and a certain beauty that brightens the darkest of days. So I pressed on.

Today marks the official opening of my women’s clothing company, Rebel Spirit Empowerment from Within. The world feels better when we believe in ourselves. And because we are all One, how we feel about who we are, and our part in this whole thing we call life – matters.

Each of us plays a role in the health of the whole. And no one can overpower our free-will. It is up to us to decide how we view the world around us. But what is most important is how we view ourselves. Because it is through that filter that we view the world. When we feel abandoned inside, we view the world through the ache of loneliness. When we are broken within, and left unhealed, we view the world through those shattered pieces. In the end, we live viewing our world through a distorted lens.

It needn’t be that way. The world will always possess the dichotomy by which it is made. It must. We must have both extremes. We would not be able to grow by way of continual Higher choices if we were not given the chance to choose what serves the spirit versus what serves the ego. So try not to wish for a world filled with only sunshine. Instead, heal your lens. Then you will be able to view the beauty that rests in the dark.

Love yourself. Believe in yourself. You are here with a purpose. You have great value and great beauty within you. I see it. But it wasn’t always that way. I couldn’t see it until my own lens was valued. I was given a choice. I could keep seeing the world through the brokenness within me, or I could set about to love each and every shard. I chose the latter. And out of that I got down on my knees and began to piece together the All of Me. I love the mosaic I now see. What once were flaws are now pieces that fit perfectly into the backdrop that surrounds me. I own them. Those moments were hard. But they made me into who I am today. I have great empathy due to them.

So, you see, its time we start looking inward. Instead of pointing outward and blaming others for why we are the way we are – its time to start looking inward. But doing so with great love and tenderness for how you got where you are. The greatest love affair you will ever have is the one you have with yourself. All other relationships mirror how you love – you.

Dear reader, today is a good day to start loving who you are.

Sane

Falling In Love

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I can’t speak for how it is in any other country, at present. But for those of us here in the States, we’ve been hit with a barrage of reminders from the media that it’s Valentine’s Day. A time for love. History is a bit hazy as to a definitive origin for this holiday. So, I like to go with the one that feels best to me. February marks the time when nature looks toward new growth, new life, a new season. I like that idea.

There is a new season awaiting you, dear reader. Its waiting, and its bursting with potential. But you must do the work to bring it about. The fertile ground of which I speak has nothing to do with what’s out there, and everything to do with what’s inside you. When you look upon yourself do you offer up harsh words of judgment. Do you whisper self-criticism when you look in the mirror. If so, please stop. Instead, start planting kind words into your mind.

I want you to fall in line with one of the most Divine guides given to us, nature. See yourself with promise. See yourself as an ever-changing, ever-developing, ever-unfolding creation that gets to ride through many seasons while here. Each season, guided by both nature and our own beliefs. We can never be more than our beliefs. So, what do you believe about yourself?

Give yourself the gift of self love and appreciation, not just today, but for this new upcoming season, and every season. It starts with this simple, yet poignant, ritual – look in the mirror, and fall in love with who you see. All of your past beliefs rest upon the face that’s looking back at you. And within the eyes that are gazing hard upon your own, is your inner being. The child within you. The person who has walked through trials and tragedies. The person who has taken more beatings from you than it has ever taken from any one else. Also is the person who loves to laugh; who loves to sing; who loves to play; who loves to savor the deliciousness of life. Be courageous, and feel what is stirred within you as you lock eyes with your own image while repeating these simple words: I love you.

There is a very strong likelihood that the person in the mirror has not been loved by you – not fully. Instead, its had to harbor years of criticism and judgement. Let those words not touch your tongue this year. When those thoughts fall into your mind, sweep them away with love. Don’t damn yourself for having them. Remind yourself that they are merely a habit you started long ago. Maybe they started by way of words spoken by another, but you took it from there and made them your own. Your brain, the magnificent tool that it is, has created default pathways that cause – what was – to be – what is – until you break the habit. Then a new pathway is formed. Like giving up anything familiar, it takes time. But that person in the mirror is worth it.

Be courageous, dear reader. Stop looking externally to be loved until, at the very least, you have first found it within yourself. Surround yourself with thoughts that edify, uplift and encourage you. Add to your life those things that bring you joy. Start to cherish you as if you were the love of your life. Because, quite honestly, you are.

Sane

Self Discovery

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Halfway through my marriage it was shown to me that lies had been there from the start. With one child going through cancer treatment and another newly born, a substantial mortgage and a burgeoning business, I chose to look away. In that moment my spirit held its breath. I chose poorly that day, and the many days that followed. But I’m happy to say, the day did arrive when I chose differently. I chose full awareness.

It was a long road of discovery for me. When I looked in the mirror I did not like the woman I was made to see. I needed to walk the road I chose, however. I needed to own my misguided ways. If I hadn’t first stumbled and been made to free-fall would I be able to share the words I do today? My compassion is hard-earned. But it is a compassion that runs deep. Its honest.

I have no regrets for choosing poorly. As it was the only way I would fully understand the moment when I chose well. I confronted the lies of my life, that day. Not just those in my home but those said within me. The dominoes that fell afterward hit hard. Divorce ravaged everything I had worked so hard to retain. But the spirit has no concerns for the commodities of life. I feared being without. And I let it rule my days. When I chose to own the lies, I found the truth. Even though to many it appeared as though I had lost everything back then. What I lost was my cloak. What I found was my awareness.

Some wonder about the private life I now lead. It is true, I keep my circle small. And during the time I shared my life with my beloved friend, who is now gone, there were those that questioned him being right for me. Those closest to me saw what others failed to see. He didn’t lie. When it came to integrity we were perfectly aligned. This simple truth made up for a myriad of messy situations. We were honest even when it came to our failings, our fears and those things with which we were misguided. All things that most keep cloaked, we owned through honesty. To me truth is love and love is what aligns us with All That Is. My partner and I were connected on a soul level, and most likely will always be. The same is true with those closest to me. Our lives are linked together by way of love and uncloaked honesty. These things bring me a contentment I never had before. I will never settle for less again.

Lies are like weeds. For some of us clearing out one’s garden is a long, hard road to hoe. But its a must. Weeds choke the very thing we want to grow. And as hurtful as are the lies said by another, no lie is more damaging than the ones we whisper inside. I lied to myself for many years. The lies were masked in excuse-filled reasoning and self-doubt. My eyes opened when I hit bottom. I was a financially wealthy woman when that day came. But my heart was discontent and my soul was poor. Facts that required awareness for me to see.

Lies still enter my life. Maybe it’s the Universe’s way of making sure I’m tending to my garden. It is my job to pluck and pull and make way for the planting of positive seeds. I show my kids to do the same. It seems to me that this is how life goes. I had to move through many lies before I knew this truth. And that’s okay. Look into the mirror, dear reader, if like me, you see weeds that cloak and hide, have no fear. If you are seeing these things, then you have become aware; a sign that your soul has expanded. God will never bring something into your awareness before you are ready. So with that, dear reader, its time to weed.

Sane