Tag Archives: aging

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

You Are Magnificent

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1953 Getty Images

Did you know that you’re magnificent? You may not have known that. Instead, you look at yourself and see all the things that don’t measure up. You see the parts within you that are broken and damaged and insecure. Maybe you see your past failures and the times you’ve let yourself down. Step back, dear reader. There is more to you than that. Let me whisper into your mind what I see.

You are like a good bottle of wine. Why? Wine is complicated. And that is precisely why I like it. You can not rush quality wine. You let it sit on your tongue, and you savor it. It’s similar to the human soul in that it’s a mixture of flavors, top notes and undertones. When balanced, each characteristic adds to the other. Out of balance, and its unpalatable. Balance is key. And so it is with you.

Everything that is you, is there for a reason. Everything. You are like that good bottle of wine, nuanced. Not everyone likes the same bottle of wine. We are singular. But there are those that will appreciate you. They will savor all that you have to offer. Trust me.

But first, find your balance. You can’t balance what you don’t know. Look at every little part that makes up you, and do so with eyes of appreciation. No one can look at you in a way that you, yourself, are unable to do.

I used to damn the parts of me that didn’t seem to fit in. I was too this or too that. It took some very dark nights on my knees in surrender before my eyes were opened and I was able to see how all the pieces within myself were purposefully placed; how each added to the other. I couldn’t see that before then. But damming myself had gotten too painful. I finally broke open, and surrendered my desire to be something I wasn’t, and began appreciating who I was. And that is what alignment with Source is – loving yourself – then you can feel the love of All That Is.

Take the time to discover yourself. Sit alone, savor who you are. A great spiritual teacher once said, “You have to love yourself when you are by yourself.”

You are not hear to please anyone. You are here to be you. And the more you settle into that, things will open up to you. Joy. Peace. Love. These are not things one can reach out and grab. They are treasures hidden within you, waiting for you to find. And they sit at the core of who you are. So get to know you. Ask yourself why you do what you do and feel the way you do. What are your fears? What are your dreams? The answers need to be released. Your heart needs to open. Let yourself breathe, dear reader. You are not called to be anything except who you are – your job is to discover who that is. Then live it. Be it. Enjoy it. The rest will follow.

Me? I will forever be a writer. I will forever be a mother. A Harley riding free spirit who loves to tip tables and help people see themselves for all of their God-given breathtaking beauty. I will always be poised, unless busy laughing. I will always be a blend of levity and philosophy; delicate yet strong. I will forever long to be in my church, nature, seated with eyes fixed lovingly on the setting sun or dancing in the moonlight. My hope is that those who know me, have come to experience the many nuances that, balanced together, soothe their soul when I touch their lives. And so it is with you. Now, sit with yourself for a while. Learn from your past, then let it go; holding on keeps you off-balance. Stand tall. Smile. You are magnificent. Now let yourself breathe.

Sane

Written while listening to, Shine by Mondo Cozmo and We Don’t Know by the Strumbellas.

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

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

Daily Refinement

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refinement |riˈfīnmənt|
The process of removing impurities or unwanted elements from a substance.
The improvement or clarification of something by the making of small changes.

I think it’s fair to say that our soul is on a journey of refinement. And this planet allows us everything we need to accomplish the mission.

People enter into our life, and with them arrives countless opportunities to learn more about ourselves. One would think that when we meet another, that’s all we’re doing – meeting them. And although that is an important part of the process, we are also meeting a plethora of aspects of our inner being. This happens not just when meeting people, but also when meeting different circumstances. The good, the bad. The blissful, the horrific. Each one is a gift when it comes to our spiritual development.

Believe me, dear reader, when I say that those moments and people who lean toward hurtful, or what is upsetting, are not viewed as a gift by my mind. At least not at first. But if I can override my mind, and refrain from judging, something magical happens. I meet a new aspect of who I am. Am I reactionary? Or am I calm? Are my actions mean? Or are they loving? I have been all of these things. Which has, at times, led me to believe that I have either achieved something or failed something. Neither is completely true. Awareness is a process. Even when we are able to climb the ladder another rung, we’re still moving. There’s still a process underway.

But that’s what life gives us, an unceasing array of people, places, and things, from which to discover – inwardly and outwardly – something about ourselves and those around us. That is why meditation is vital, it provides a break from the external. And thereby helps fortify and steady us when the external kicks back in.

There is a sticky spot, though. It is when we have become aware but are still resistant to our own growth. Quite honestly, it’s hell on earth. The internal struggle is phenomenal. I’ve often referred to those moments within my own life as having gone under. As that is how they felt to me. Dark and underwater. But in time, something within me recedes, the cloudy water clears, and I am able to see the stones on the ocean floor once again. But that is a hard battle. It is much easier to learn to float. Or dive when I choose.

When we are aware of our own journey, when we begin to glimpse what is behind the earthly veil, we see the road to salvation; freedom. We can either walk it or fight it. But it’s fair to say, your soul knows you are being refined and that Life is trying to help you find every impurity and unwanted element within yourself. If you fight it, then it will be left on a continual loop. But if you release and lean into what’s being shown, things become clarified. You have much more aha moments than you have God damn moments.

I’m far from a polished stone. There are still flecks within me and some raw edges. But with each day, with each experience, I am allowed to see what is off within myself and thereby own it, love it, and release it. It’s how the heart is made pure. The more I love me, the more I love life and its inhabitants. So, take a look at how you are being refined. Take strength in knowing, dear reader, that your heart is worth the work. Source knows it. Your soul knows. You are a magnificent work in progress.

Sane

Who Shows Up

Who Shows Up

“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