Tag Archives: women

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

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.

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

 

Fall Harvest

A girl and her tribe.

A girl and her tribe.

Here I sit quietly on my birthday, reflecting. I’ve managed to walk through forty-six years of life. More than four decades of ground has unfurled beneath my feet. And although it may be unrecognizable to some, I sit here knowing how profoundly blessed I am. Not because of the good times. But because of all the necessary hard times it took to get me  here.

It was shown to me some time ago that my life wasn’t about helping others to live amidst the cream of life. I’m not the tour guide for the Golden Road. Much of my purpose is in helping people navigate and understand the rougher roads and the moments when they’re convinced they’ve been abandoned; the moments when they feel so powerless they’re sure there is no God. And if there is one, it isn’t friendly or helpful. So, as you can imagine, I can only guide along a pathway I too have walked.

I give thanks for the many moments in my life when I shook my fist in the air and railed against the Heavens. Those raw moments were necessary. They were breaking points. And when I broke open the rawness within me poured out, and fertile ground revealed. And in place of bitterness, love was allowed to grow. I’ve been growing love ever since. Now I walk in love so deep its like strolling through a corn field. Like towering stalks, love is all I see within me. And the heavens are all I see above me. For the Light to get in, I had to first break open. There is no other way. Once opened, I had to choose not only what to plant, but how to tend it.

It took a lot of breaking points before I finally cleared the way within myself to start making choices that allowed God to flourish in my life. Hard opportunities still land at me feet; the ones filled with painful choices that require a bit more strength than I feel I have within me. Choices that, I will admit, fill me with tears; choices that feel like storms.

Life on this planet isn’t about living only in the good times. Good times do little to broaden the soul, not to mention the mind. Both the sun and the rain are necessary for growth. So, I try less to push against the rain when it comes, knowing that it is most likely growing something very precious within me. Instead of spewing out a bitter word of resentment toward God, I now try to ask what it is in this moment I’m to learn.

I’ve known for a while now that if I don’t work to heal all that is within me, thereby cultivating fertile ground of alignment and love, then a storm will graciously be sent to help clear away the blockages. I may not be thrilled with the storm, but I am thankful that something loves me enough to offer me the help I need to become who I’m meant to become. Of course, I work a bit harder now to be pro-active. And due to such, the Universe knows that I’m busy tending to my garden and digging in the soil of my inner being, so it sends a lot fewer storms my way. I’m thankful for that too. I also show my thankfulness by savoring the good times more. I don’t skip over them or take them for granted like I did ten or twenty years ago.

At forty-six I’ve gotten this far: I’m happy. I’m at peace. I spend a lot more time alone. Often is the morning when my eyes fill with tears of contentment; not because my life is perfect – but because it hasn’t been. And all of those imperfect moments, the famine, the drought and the shaking fists have grown more love in me than I ever could’ve imagined possible. That’s the harvest. That’s the feast.

Sane

And So It Begins

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Finally, a moment to sit and write. You may have wondered what I’ve been doing as of late. Surely it hasn’t been keeping up with the Insanity Blog. Which is something that’s troubled me greatly. It seems my course has shifted once again, though. And my days of late have been kept busy starting a new company. It’s a company built upon the stones laid from my writing and spiritual work. So, in that sense, I’ve been crafting Rebel Spirit for sometime.

This all came about during two major shifts in my life. As difficult as those moment were at the time, my soul – and now I – smile when I look back upon them. I firmly believe when we fail to lend a sensitive ear to the soft promptings of our inner guidance system, the Universe will inevitably enter in, and jockey things around. Much like if we were to continually ignore the GPS in our car when it says to turn left, the hand of God reaches down and moves us. In the moment the move feels like a tornado that has uprooted us, or worse, shattered us. Sometimes those moments are a gentle yield. Sometimes those moments are abrupt. I’ve worked many years training myself to listen to my inner voice. Sometimes I throw the blinker on early, feeling in advance the direction in which I’m meant to go. At other times I eye the road, doing more than one drive-by, while questioning the hell out of it, convinced it doesn’t look right. Those moments generally play out something like this: Inner self screams yes, mind screams no. Enter the hand of God.

Always, always, always go in the direction of your joy. More often than not, a clear view  will not be provided. There is a reason for that, though. Your joy is your connection to All That Is. And, All That Is, God, Universe – or whatever name you like – requires that you have faith. Faith means not seeing what rests around the corner. Faith says believe – then – it will be shown. And belief starts from within. There will not always be clear signs along the way. There will not always be people camped out on the roadside offering directions. But always, from within, you will know which way to go. Always from within you’ll find all you need to be, do and have the life that brings you joy.

Rebel Spirit is about providing you those reminders. Sticking with the metaphor above, Rebel Spirit will be a little bit GPS, a little bit road map, a little bit gas station attendant reminding you that you are on the right road; just keep believing, keep moving, keep smiling. Love yourself. Be yourself. Trust yourself. That’s what the journey’s all about.

Rebel Spirit will unfold in stages. To start it will offer wearable affirmations for women. I grew tired of writing down phrases that helped empower me, just to be out in the real world without them.

Rebel Spirit will be open for business once I’m able to gather enough rebel spirits to help support its mission. We will be starting with a small online store, but also a crowd-funding campaign. I have a lot of work to do. But I know, this is the direction in which I’m meant to go. I hope you’ll join me.

Sane a Rebel Spirit

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Go Slow. Breathe.

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I enjoyed teaching yoga. It was only for a brief time, yet what it gave me I possess to this day; the ability to better read people and understand the body’s role in our spiritual journey.

Reading people isn’t easy. We aren’t like comic strips that can be scanned at a glance. It takes a good deal of knowledge to truly understand another; especially considering we don’t easily show our pages. Standing before a class teaching yoga pose after yoga pose and breath work on top of breath work allowed me to view people from a unique angle. Not all instructors do this. I have to imagine the greater part of me knew I needed this particular schooling, so although I was the instructor, I was also was brought there to learn.

What I learned, in part, was that we never can set aside our body. It travels with us wherever we go. Yet, it’s so often mistreated and overlooked. We take it for granted. However, not only is the body one of the primary filters by which energy moves through us it’s also part of the foundation upon which we stand. If you don’t understand what I mean, consider the times when you’ve tried to work or pray or carry on with friends while ill. Your foundation won’t hardly allow it.

Also, the workings of the human body provides us a beautiful metaphor that mirrors the workings of the soul: softening allows expansion. Rigidity hardens and constricts.

Time and time again I watched as a student dropped their mat quickly and pushed hard and fast into the stretch. My eyes would fall on them and I’d smile while telling the class that the muscle won’t respond well to force or quick movements; one must go slow and breathe into the stretch to get where you’re wanting to go; give it time and dedicated practice. And thus is true with the soul.

It’s my belief we are here, on this planet, for the purpose of expanding our soul, its wisdom, its level of compassion and its grace;  none of which comes quickly, but all of which, when allowed, provides us a better foundation upon which to stand and a more open filter through which the energy of life can move through us.

Open. Soften. Breathe. This is the way of a healthy muscle. This is the way of a knowledgable mind, and this is the way of an expanded, wise soul.

You will feel when something causes you to instinctually harden. You know when your body goes tight. Sometimes through fear, sometimes through anger. If this is happening to your body, please know that your soul can not expand if the vessel its using to experience this life is hardened and constricted. This does not mean one has to be a yogi master. But one must have reverence for their body, and treat it well. Although the soul does not live within the confines of the body – it uses the body to move through this life experience. The two must be in alignment. Keep the body open, soft and flexible. The soul moves and expands more easily.

Those things for which we have reverence and treat with kindness tells a good deal about who we are, internally and externally. The ways in which we move through life are like sentences on a page: readable, and almost always revealing who we are on the inside, your personal story line. What we fear and what we hold with value. Where we’ve grown and where we’re currently being schooled.

So take care of your body. Stop ignoring it. It won’t go away. Life won’t go away. How you treat these things often reflects how you treat your inner being.

Sane