I've been thinking a lot about being authentic lately. Authenticity, integrity, and honesty, seem to be the the concepts that are grabbing my attention these days. They have for awhile actually. But it seems that try as I may, I still get caught up in not being so authentic. This has caused me to take a look at myself. Am I really who I say I am? This self-analysis is painful for me because more than anything I want to live with integrity. But I realize that there are huge gifts (for everybody) in facing my fears through delving into the truth about myself.
I don't think I am alone in this dishonesty trap. I believe we are socialized to be not terribly honest. I remember being in first year Philosophy and our teacher told us that they had a rule in their home that their family would tell the truth no matter what. If their children did not want to go to school that day, they would be the ones who phoned the school, and straight up told the truth about why they wouldn't be there. Really!? And, if someone called the house, they would not lie for each other by saying so and so was not there, when they were. Instead, if whoever the call was for did not want to talk to the person on the phone, they would be honest about it. Like, oh my god!!
Honestly (ha! - the irony), I couldn't fathom being honest like that. I grew up in a home where telling white lies, as we affectionately called them, was a fine art. Designing intricate lies, so we would not have to face the truth, was the norm for us. I recently realized that I am still doing that to some extent. I am not always telling the truth abut how I feel. I have gotten a bit more honest in recent years, but it is not easy for a chronic white-liar to let go of the comfort of a nice lie. Why hurt someone with the truth when a sweet little lie would soften the blow, right? Being honest takes courage. I get quite fearful when I have to tell someone that there is something in our relationship that I don't like. But, by avoiding it, it just comes out more harshly when it does come out, and it seems that it always does come out.
Recently I got myself into trouble by not being honest up front. The longer the dishonesty went on, the more resentful I got. It wasn't the other person's fault. I can assume that they were being more authentic than I was. But, I had no business being in the situation because it went against what I wanted to be doing. I had to learn the lesson the hard way. It is best to set a boundary right away, and say "no" when necessary, rather than ignore those little hairs that stand up on the back of our necks when we know we are embarking on something we have no business embarking on.
Today, in a coaching group I said, "I don't speak my truth because I am too busy portraying myself as someone I'm not. Then I get pissed off because others do not know who I am." It is insanity really.
I have this inner teenager who gets all dreamy about what people say, and I jump too quickly into relationships, only to find that their actions don't match the dreamy words that hooked me. I need to use more discernment, and hold back before I jump into things with both feet. And the other thing I need to start doing is being brutally honest about my non-negotiables upfront. I need to show others exactly who I am, and what I like and don't like, right from the start.
There is only one me and eventually the masks will be stripped away. Can I stand naked without my masks before someone and still have them love and respect me? If I can, they are the perfect friends for me.
Today is the day we all settle back into life after the loss of an old friend and father to my three children; grandfather to our seven grandchildren. It still seems weird; like it is not really real. My brain refuses to take in this information. I see pictures of him on Facebook, enjoying the new life he had created with his new love and family, and it seems all wrong - it seems impossible that he is really gone.I hate it.
This is the art that I made for my art journal this week. It is kind of symbolic for how I am feeling right now. I feel upside down like the mermaids. I feel like I have lost a part of the Yang to my Yin. A part of me that I took for granted; thinking it would always be there. I have also had this strange feeling of swimming outside of myself; outside of reality. Well, it seems that nothing lasts forever. Onwards and upwards, right?
I met Tom when I was thirteen years old. He was a friend of my older brother, Joe's. By fifteen I had left home and Tom and I began our adult life together. Needless to say, me being fifteen and him being nineteen, there was often not a lot of adult-ing going on in our home.
In my family of origin I had had my share of struggles. With my new life - the one with Tom, I set out to create a family situation that could hold me, keeping me feeling safe and loved, like we all so desperately need when we are a mere child. It really was a self-centered perspective to beginning a family; it was all about me. But, I was just a child. I forgive myself for being less than I wanted to be in that relationship.
By the time I was seventeen (Tom 21) we had our first child, a boy. Then at twenty we had our second child - another boy. When I was twenty-five we had our third and final child - a little girl. I felt complete; like we were set. I was into this relationship for the long-haul.
We made things work until I was twenty-nine, and then I started to get restless. I think he was restless too. We had settled into this dull existence with each other, and we lacked excitement beyond the children (I was still a child). We lacked an appreciation for each other. So we decided to call it quits. There was a lot that transpired in the years between when we split and his death two weeks ago; too much to write about here. I will add that he did have a fourth child; a little girl, three years after we split up. And now she is in her early twenties, and she is a valued part of our family. Because of all that; our family, how could I ever regret the choices we have made together and apart?
Tom and I were always family to each other - even when we were fighting. I literally grew up with him, and there is no one with whom I spent more of my childhood with.
At Christmas we often joined forces, and had it together. He and I spoke often on the phone. I shared my struggles as a young single woman with him, and he shared his struggles with being single, with me. He fixed my car when it broke (or any other thing that needed fixing). Apparently this was a common theme; one that was shared by many of the over 350 people who showed up to wish him good-bye at his celebration of life.
My kids felt proud that this man, the on that so many people in the community respected, was their dad. I hope it has inspired them to give so freely of themselves to others. It has sure inspired me.
My own dad died young, at forty-nine. I was shell-shocked then, for sure. But you know what? I am more in shock over Tom dying than I was when my dad died. Perhaps that is because I was in my twenties, and as such felt immortal, so I did not realize how young my dad really was when he died? But Tom was only four years older than I am now. That hits home. And...he was the other parent to me...the Yang to my Yin in that way. I just can't believe he is gone. I look around now, and I see people my age differently. Life starts to look a little more uncertain; a little more fragile and impermanent than it did just two weeks ago. I see my kids and I realize that they only have one parent now. It just seems surreal...not right; off kilter.
This is where I am this week. I am adjusting to the fact that a chapter of my life, and the life of my children and grand-children, has slammed shut, forever. It was not what I expected, as I am sure it is not what others who experience a loss to their family unit expect, either. But the one thing I can say for sure is it puts things into perspective for me. What do I want my message to be when I go? Who do I want to celebrate today while I am still alive? I can't change how others think, feel and act, but I CAN change how I react to it. I can be the kind of person I want to others to remember after I go.
Thank you for that message Tom. I will carry it, and a piece of you, in my heart forever. Rest in peace. We love you and you are missed. <3
Above is Week Thirteen of this year's art journal page, called Transitions. All my paintings, in some way, always relate to where I am at on this wild ride we call life. I am a work in progress. Sometimes I feel like I have it all together and then I get tested and find out perhaps that is not necessarily true, and I fall apart. Only to find myself more aware of what I am doing, so I can put myself back together more completely. But that is good. Because that is where the gifts are.
Last week my adult children lost their father. He was only 58. Oh my goodness...it was the saddest week ever, and I still cannot believe it is true. I can' believe he is gone. Their dad, Tom, has been a part of my life since I was thirteen years old. We sometimes fought...this is true, but we grew up together....so much growing up together. I never imagined at this point in our lives we would be dealing with this - the complete loss of a soul who is such a part of our lives. We also share seven grandchildren together and a whole lot of memories. I will miss having him as a presence in my life....never mind the kids.It is so hard for all of them, in their own way. I personally know what it is like to lose a dad at such a young age. My dad was only forty-nine. Its just plain crappy.
There has already been some good come out of Tom's passing. My children have never been so united together. I am not going to lie, I love that too. I know their dad would be smiling down upon them about this.
What I have yet again learned, through Tom's passing, is that life is precious...we are precious. I just know we are all supposed to experience so much joy in this life-time. This is our purpose. We are all deeply loved, and in the end none of the trivial disputes we create really matter. And moreover, those disputes are merely dissensions we have with our own selves anyway.
Forgiveness really is a gift we give ourselves. We must forgive ourselves, constantly it seems, for our own imperfections. In order to have healthy relationships with others, our true best-friend has to be our own selves. If we are good with ourselves we tend to be good with others. So when people bump up against us, triggering us, it merely points us towards our work yet to be done. We can be real bullies towards ourselves, and these triggers (especially with people close to us) come up to teach us where we need to work on being more loving towards ourselves.
Whatever shows up as our challenges, seems to be about our own lack of self-love. It is true - it really is an inside job.There are no victims, and there are no persecutors. and as Jason Silva says we all have the choice to go back and re-frame any situation in our pasts, so it can better serve us in the now. But it is our choice alone to make the decision choose joy or to suffer by remaining on the pity-pot, from where we will be assured of producing lots of proof that we are indeed hard done by. Or to create a new now that is full of joy.
This is what this death has reminded me of. I choose joy. I choose to love myself so much that I am bullet-proof to the lack of self-love othrs may be experiencing. But as I said, I am, like you most likely are, a work in progress.
Good-bye Tom. We will take care of each other here. Please watch down on us from up there. <3
Did You Remember?
Did You Remember?
Looking back at our lives
Two teen-aged kids
In our real-life
Did you think about
On Craigflower Road
The place we lived in
After living with Bonnie
Started to get old?
Did you talk about it too
After you went
On your way
And I on mine?
Did you remember filling
With grown-up food
Did you remember
That we had to have
Cheese sauce on
EVERY savoury thing
That we ate?
Did you think back
About the baby
We had on the way?
About eating Peek Frean
And drinking Earl Grey?
Did you ever
Think of that night
You at work
Me with contractions
About us having to get a ride
To the hospital
Because we had
No car of our own?
Did you remember when
We took the bus
With our baby
To get that old Rambler
That dad gave us?
The one with
Why didn't we take the time
When we were both here
Why didn't we realize
How special it was...
That time when
We were both kids?
We were so hard
On each other
We were hard on
Our own youthful
I looked around yesterday
No longer a kid
But a grandmother
"Our" grand-kids buzzing around
Your beautiful home
The one you created
With your love...
And I see our lives...
All of us
Flash before my eyes
Past, present and future
And you gone
How can that be?
You've moved on to
The great Cosmic soup
Do you finally believe?
And In that moment
I realize this...
THIS is what it
Was supposed to be
Life was supposed to be
Exactly this way
It was supposed to be painful
It was supposed to be love-full
It was supposed to be messy
It was supposed to open
It was supposed to be sentimental
It was supposed to be ever-changing
It was supposed to be...
Exactly the way
In this moment...
That it now is
Good bye to you...
And thank you...
My dear friend
Say hello to my dad...
And to yours
Your family here
We miss you
And I suspect
We always will
Magically, as it always seems to happen, I have just the right new piece of art to match up with what is going through my mind at the moment I write my blog. As I settle in to write a new post each week I feel for where I am at and for what is important for me to work through. I find that both of these concerns usually relate to Faith - or at least to what Faith means to me. I capitalize the word Faith because to me it is a holy word describing the holiest of my beliefs, and the holiest of choices that are available to me, when I am conscious of my Higher Power; the beliefs that I know, on a soul level, come directly from the One Source of All; the God of my understanding; the Infinite Creative Mind that is accessible to us all.
I have a daily habit - one that I love dearly. I get up in the morning, and I write my morning pages (that means I journal - something I learned from doing The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron). Then I read from a couple of inspirational books that I always have sitting nearby when I am writing. I should mention that I get up around 6:00 am to do this. If I have commitments that require me to leave the house early, I get up earlier. This practice comes first. For me, it is a centering practice, and it has become a healing meditation and it helps my life go better.
One of the books that I am currently reading is The Science of Mind, by Ernest Holmes. I don't want to go on too long about my morning practice but, I believe, that if we wish to manifest our best lives possible, then anchoring ourselves in the right Soul-Medium, upon awakening, really helps. I swear by it. I am a student of Life, and as such I am committed to keeping up my Life studies. I see the opportunities and miracles that come as a result of my conscious commitment and my Faith to communing with this Higher Mind that is back of all possibilities available to me.
Over the past several months, admittedly, I got off the beam a bit. I was doing my morning practices in a way, but I stubbornly got into a rut. I spun my wheels and a part of me just checked out of my morning practice. I forgot how powerful I am, and that I am ultimately responsible for creating the life I desire. I forgot that there is no such thing as being a victim. I cherish this rut (and every other rut) because it allows me to see the true shape and condition of my mind and heart, and whether or not I am really connected with the One Great Mind, which always manifests like-form on the physical realm based on my thinking. If I want to know where I am at in my life, all I need do is take a good honest look around me. That will, unfailingly, tell me the truth about where I am at every time. My life needed some fine-tuning, for sure. Luckily, I remind myself, life is about progress rather than perfection.
I am fascinated with the idea of Quantum Jumping. For those of you who do not know what that is I will try to briefly outline it for you, based on my very limited understanding of it. We all know that we are made up of atomic (atoms) particles right? When I was in school the sub-atomic level was as far as we went when we learned about the building blocks of physical matter. Apparently, sometime in the 80's, scientists where able to observe even smaller particles than the atom. These particles are called quantum particles, and one of their specialties seems to be that they can blink in and out of existence. These particles are not fixed. So then it makes sense to me that they exist in the realm of infinite possibilities.
You may ask what I think quantum particles have to do with me. Well, considering that this is the smallest particle that science is able to observe within us (or so I believe this is to be the case) at this time. Part of our anatomy then must be built on this magic-stuff; we must be hard-wired with built-in infinite possibilities ourselves. If this is true, we should be able to transform our lives on the whim of thought, to the degree that that thought is consciously chosen, believed, and held by us. We ARE powerful beings who are able to transform our lives and our physical environment - to the extent that we are able to recognize that we embody, through our connection to Source, this power. So nothing is impossible really, unless we believe it is.
I don’t know very much about Quantum Physics, or quantum particles, but on an intuitive level - on the Faith level, I know that my life is only limited by what I conceive it to be. The idea of Quantum Jumping gives me a little bit more proof of this Inner-Knowing - that I call Faith. It says that infinite possibilities exist, and that they are available to each one of us, in every second of our lives. If we understand this Truth, we can begin to understand that we always choose the direction our lives take. Our lives are either an infinitely-open canvas of glorious possibilities, a pin-sized canvas of opportunities, or the gamut of opportunities that lies between the two (we live somewhere between these two ends of the spectrum, and given that we use such a small part of our brains, I assume that most of us have a great deal of room for the improvement of efficacy).
We alone decide what is possible for us. As we become conscious that we are making these choices, we can learn to re-design our thoughts to better work for us, rather than absently allowing our thoughts to work against the life (we at least think) we desire. Our life paths are dictated by our capacity to be aware of the choices available to us, by the choices we are making, and by our capacity to employ the corresponding creative choice that matches the manifestation of what we say we desire.
Dr. Joe Despenza says that by the age of thirty-five we are 95% pre-programmed by habitual unconscious thought. This leaves a 5% possibility for new thought to enter our present moment. Most of us go through our lives living out the same experiences - the same struggles and dissatisfaction that we experienced in the past. He says that in order to change this, we must consciously cross the river of change; we must endure a big conscious shift in who we think we are, or we will be doomed to keep on repeating the same life-patterns and outcomes. Change is difficult. Especially when we are called to leave our old identity of who we thought we were behind (for me this is the good-girl; the sweet one). He predicts that we may be so uncomfortable in this river of change that we will be tempted to crawl back to the shore of the person who we once were, just to feel identified again.
In order to take advantage of that Quantum Field of possibilities, we must endure this discomfort and remain in the river, not knowing. I believe that it is only in this realm that miracles are possible. I am willing to wade through the discomfort of not knowing who I am in order to to get to experience who I can be. I don't want to live out my life in that pre-programmed way. I want to allow the Great Mind of Possibilities to flow through me, transforming my life into endless possibilities, in every second. This kind of life excites me. This kind of life makes me feel gratitude. This is the kind of life I want to live. I want to be brave, so I can LOVE my life experience.
"We are surrounded by Infinite Possibility. It is Goodness, Life, Law and Reason. In expressing Itself through us, It becomes more fully conscious of Its own being. Therefore, It wishes to express through us. As It passes into our being It automatically becomes the law of our lives. It can pass into expression through us only as we consciously allow It to do so. Therefore, we should have faith in It, and Its desires and Its ability to do for us all that we should ever need to have done. Since it must pass through our consciousness to operate for us, we must be conscious that It is doing so."
Ernest Holmes, The Science of Mind
Good morning dear friends,
I sometimes go down the rabbit hole and in the process I become someone that I am not comfortable being; my life becomes unmanageable and I suffer. And this is what happened over the past couple weeks. The truth is that this has been a cataclysm that has been building over the course of my whole life.
Whether we realize it or not we all have imprints that dictate how we choose to live our lives in the present. These imprints are embedded beliefs from our childhood. And unless we begin to become aware of these imprints (usually fears), we will continue to live our lives blindfolded by them, yet dictated by them. I know, without a doubt, that that these imprints surface in my life when I find myself in some sort of anxiety inducing situation.
I have recognized that I have these imprinted patterns before, at varying levels of my ability to be conscious of them. Unfortunately, I am not always aware of what is going on within myself, but my words do give me hints and clues, if I choose to listen that is. I am often like two people living within the same body; perhaps these two parts are my ego and soul selves
What came up for me in this most recent upheaval is that I had created a friendship that mirrored a troubled (unresolved) family relationship from the past perfectly. I thought I had resolved my feelings around that relationship, but the same issues came up this time around. The only difference seemed to be the player. I fell into the same trap. The interesting part is that I had recently shared to a group that I belong to that my friends had become like a family
to me; one where the opportunities existed for me to work through stuff from the past: stuff that I had a tendency to run away from within my family of origin. I believe that intuitively I do know what is going on within me.
So my big aha-moment this morning is that the problems I have been struggling with for the better part of 50 years are still there. The culprit is people-pleasing
, and it brings up my own defects of characters. And once again, I have to take a good look at what is behind my tendency towards people-pleasing? When I people-please I commit to situations (and values) that my inner-wisdom does not agree with, and my inner-self has a shit-fit. This creates anger, resentments and judgments within me, and it has a tendency to come out sideways.
So what can I do about this tendency? I don’t want to live out the rest my life oblivious to my own self. I would hazard to say that there are a lot of people out there who unwittingly find themselves recreating their childhood roles and patterns. When I get myself into situations that go against myself I find that I become envious of those of us who do not people-please
, but have good boundaries,
This time around the same-old people-pleasing cycle, I became curious about my tendency to get myself into this pattern. I asked myself what it is that others who do not people-please seem to do differently? Looking at the problem this way; from the angle of curiosity instead of fear (removing myself from the story), I was able to received some internal guidance. These individuals seem to listen and act on their inner-guidance, and seem willing, and perhaps even happy, to protect their precious boundaries.
For a people-pleaser, boundaries are difficult to put into place and keep in place when they are being pushed against. We fear that by having a boundary our friends and relatives will think poorly of us. They might even call us the unimaginable; they may call us selfish! And God forbid that others should think a people-pleaser is selfish or a bad person in any way!
Recently I did a Jump Coaching series with Nancy Levin
. We worked on some of our beliefs around being selfish. She said something that has stuck with me, we alone are the ones who give a negative or positive connotation to the word selfish
I look around at what I admire about others and I have to say that it is their ability to lay healthy boundaries; to be selfish in this way catches my attention. This healthy selfishness IS called boundaries
This morning I identified a relationship that I had as a child that I have been re-enacting in my present life experiences. I have to giggle at the blatant similarities, really. I have been compromising some of the same values that upset me as a child, teen-ager, young adult, middle age adult, and even now (obviously or I would not be writing this piece). How is it I have not connected the dots before now?
Every time I go through one of these painful learning experiences, I am lead to the most wonderful and blessed teachers. My young friend came to visit for the weekend. She had just finished a Come Alive
workshop on Gabriola Island, and she reminded me of a book, written by the founders of that workshop, that I have just happened to have had sitting on my book-shelf (that I previously read when I was going through yet another boundary learning curve) for the past 15 years. We discussed some of the things she had experienced at that workshop, and I was deeply intrigued.
Her experience reminded me of my Worthiness retreat in Hawaii, put on by Doreen Virtue and Nancy Levin, and the subsequent break-through I had as a result. But, where I had not felt safe to throw myself on the floor and kick and scream, releasing all that built up un-integrated stuff, she was able to physically let it all out at Come Alive. I really wanted to have the space to do that; to let it all out. And some of that stuff HAS come out since doing that retreat. Barry and I have been working on creating a safe space, with each other where we can let this old buried stuff out; consequently, relieving that pent up pressure, so we can heal and experience more joy within our relationship. It seems that the only way out is through
I have felt bad that I have shadow stuff inside of me, and I have tried to cover it up with all sorts of addictions, including alcohol and clothes. But I am coming to see that we all have stuff like that that buried beneath the surface of our worst behaviors. I am sure that the degree to which this stuff is buried is the only variance determining how graceful we can be.
The book that was sitting on my shelf, waiting patiently for me to rediscover it, is called A Manual for Life, by Bennet Wong and Jack McKeen
. I picked it up, and not surprisingly the parts that I previously underlined fifteen years ago are the parts that are relevant to my struggles today. Taking care of others involves a role and a power orientation. Caring about others involves a consideration and concern for the other, which might or might not involve any action. To take care of others will weaken their initiative and maintain a tie to the caretaker: to care about others can involve letting them make their own mistakes and find their own way.
That hit me like a ton of bricks. In that moment I realized that I create the very ties (attachments) I abhor!
I have to admit that the laying down of a boundary still makes me feel selfish, and even guilty. It was hard for me to hear my own honesty when I discussed my issues with this friend. And even though I kept the focus on my own part, it was not well received by her. My truth
hurt my friend’s feelings.
Then I read this part: To feel pity or sympathy involves elevating oneself and diminishing the other; this is a power orientation. To empathize involves feeling close and identified with the other, seeing oneself mirrored in the other, both persons are equal and responsible for themselves.
It became clear, after reading those two parts, that we were both equally and perfectly designed as teachers for each other, in order that we may have the opportunity to learn some REALLY important lessons, and perhaps even heal past stuff. Neither of us were one up or one down, but we were perfect partners for learning precious life lessons, instead. In other words, we had attracted each other for these lessons.
I breathed in love and acceptance at this realization, and I breathed out a whole new playing field; one where I can become conscious of who I am, and what I want to manifest within my life. This dear friend will learn her own lessons, and I am not to concern myself with what those lessons may be. I am not responsible for that side. I am to stay on my side of the street, keeping it clean, knowing that each us has access to our own personal Higher Power, and clearly, I am not it.
I hesitate to share this poem, but I know in order to be my most authentic and honest self I have to. I've been struggling in the last two weeks. I wanted to share that while we may feel like we are the only ones who have a shadow-side, that is not true. We all do, and it is nothing to feel ashamed about. We are human-beings, after all. We all need to be able to take the time to go within, sometimes, in order to spend some time loving ALL aspects of ourselves (especially the parts that we don't like).
I talk about having compassion, and I like to think I do. But, when it comes to the darker parts of myself, I don't have very much compassion at all . I beat myself up for not being an angel. I want to be all light and love, and I feel ashamed of the parts of me that aren't. In order to heal these darker aspects, though, I need to be gentle with myself -WE all need to be gentle with ourselves.
We are not saints. We are striving to grow spiritually. And spiritual growth requires honesty and honouring the space to atone for the parts where we let ourselves down during our human experience.
I had a lot of trouble carving out the space I needed to heal over the past couple weeks. Because I'm an affectionate, out-going person (people-pleaser in recovery), when I retreat it often gets taken personally. This is where boundaries come in. I have to be willing to say "This time is for me and me only." If we don't claim the space to need to heal, we prolong the pain of the healing process. I guess what I'm trying to say is we all matter enough to do what we need to do to take care of ourselves.
My Damned Dark-Night
By Jeanette MacDonald
Into the dark cave
In the womb
In the darkness
Of my damned
I hang out the sign
"Here do not tread"
"Leave me alone"
If you want to survive...
These dark thoughts
And they are
ONLY for me
To safely experience
What I need to experience
On this dark-night
I'm being tortured
Trying to find
Along dark corridors
Of my conscience
Atoning for how
I've acted against
I'm wrestling angels
I'm really in deep
That make up
The pure part
The other part
Could not give
Less of a care
Remove these dark defects
From the bondage
Of these grave sins
Sins that I know
Can only be dealt with
Where's the rest button?
Please clear the slate clean
Transform my heart
Heal my dismay
Shine through me
Making me Perfect
But I flail
In my attempts
My healing space
That I NEED safety
To lure and love
My worse-self out
Before I can begin
In order to become
The purest form
Of my Self
I NEED THIS DAMNED SPACE
I beg of you
Don't back me
Into the dark recesses
Of my mind
Don't back me deeper
Into the darkness
Of this dark-night
To make this about you
I'm warning you...
"I NEED this SPACE!"
This space is
It protects you
As well as me
This sacred chrysalis
This ugly growth-spurt
Focused on me
A caged animal
Is my demon-self
That damned God-given ego
The great oxymoron riddle
Edging God Out
Ugly as it is
It needs to be fed
It needs to be loved
In order to be healed
So it may be released
As holy as the White Dove
I can't bring
Which is mine to atone for
Into the light
When I am
In order that I may
Have the space
This internal battle
Of MY soul's
I spent the last few days feeling like I was backed into a corner; completely trapped by the fear that I would have to do something I did not want to do. And I came out swinging. Thankfully, I only swung at thin air (and that Barry held the space for me to work through this, like he always does). After much introspection, listening to Marianne Williamson, reading The Artist Way, prayer and meditation, I can see where I (yes, it is always me) got off track, this time around.
At some point my ego, which Williamson says speaks first and loudest, wanted me to feel special...ugh (it is always that egoic need to feel special - my insecurities - that gets me into trouble)! And the old adage, be careful for what you ask for because you just might get it, became true for me, and I did not want what I was manifesting for myself. I made myself feel special by committing to do something that I did not want to do, in order to people-please, and in the process I backed myself into a corner and I hurt someone else. And then, to add insult to injury, I wanted to pin the whole thing on the person I was hurting, through being unauthentic, and not saying "no" when I should have (this is why boundaries are so imperative).
I love my life. I love the simplicity of knowing that I am merely a conduit of an unlimited Source that we are all a part of. I forgot for a moment that we all have access to this unlimited Source. I forgot that if anyone wants something badly enough they too can conspire with Source to make their creative desires manifest, like I can. Each one of us must decide to align ourselves with this Power, which is always ours, to bring our creativity to light. For a brief moment, I erroneously made myself the source of someone else's creativity, forgetting that they have access to the same Source that I do.
Williamson says that when we get off track; when we forget that there is an unlimited Source available to everyone, and we listen to our ego instead, which always speaks first and loudest, we need to go back in time and figure out where we lost our connection; where we lost our way, and atone (press the reset button through being accountable) for our short-comings and apologize for our wrong-doings.
Being in recovery, I hear about the tenth step a lot ( Continued to take a personal inventory and when wrong promptly admitted it). This step demands that I am honest about what my ego's indulgences are, and apologize for them when I fall into them, so I may get back on the right track again. I know when I am off track because I feel a sense of dread and anxiety rather than feeling at peace with my Self. When I feel peaceful I am aligned with Spirit. When I feel anxious I am disconnected from Spirit, and in ego. This is true for all of us. Peace and anxiety are our guides. Making an amends is a hard pill for my ego to swallow; since my ego's only purpose is to be right. But when I am suffering emotionally, I am in ego.Thankfully, Williamson says that the blessings that come out of atoning for our wrong-doings are that we get to once again re-align ourselves with a Spirit who has held our gifts in trust for us, patiently waiting for us to return to to Spirit, so we may claim them....phew! I love that. In other words, there is no punishing outer source. We alone choose to suffer, through our free-will, by choosing the limited vision of our ego's guidance, instead of making use of an all-knowing and all-seeing Spirit's Infinite directions.
For it is only there, aligned with this wonderful Infinite Spirit, that we get to manifest our best and highest experience (our true creative gifts). Sometimes my ego-self wants to be liked, or special, or part of, so badly, that it becomes an actor; it revels in "look at me...I am the best artist, writer, cook, decorator, or whatever!" And from that place, my ego gets me into all sorts of commitments with others that I do not want to be in. These lower desires then become my creative blocks, and my true spirit becomes extremely discontent and anxious because it is not interested in such things. This is where I have been for the better part of a week.
I am personally convinced that when we are aligned with Spirit we get to be a conduit of the best art we can make.
Julia Cameron says we stay connected to this sweet spot by asking in our prayers, each night, for the right guidance, and we hear the answers to those prayers in our morning pages/journaling. I agree with her. I see this in action by journaing every morning. I've heard it said that the difference between prayer and meditation is that with prayer we ask for guidance, and with meditation we receive it.
Recovery, Cameron and Williamson, have all given us some really simple formulas for living our most peaceful life. But these formulas call for us to use constant self-examination, and to make consistent right choices. The powerful activating agents to their formulas are taking responsibility for our actions and the point where we veered away from our inner-guidance (the point where our ego took over the wheel) and that we become willing to be forever accountable for our actions, by making an amends for the damage we do when we take ourselves off the beam. We are ALL human - yes, ALL OF US! There is nothing for us to be ashamed of in being less than perfect. We all make mistakes. We should be proud of the fact that we are able to identify the errors we make, and that we are brave enough to admit them so we may set them right again. This is how we demonstrate our moral fiber. And this is how Williamson says we get go back in time and reconnect with our Source's highest plan for our best lives.
I am feeling better today. I still have some amends to make for getting myself into some things that I had no business getting myself into. But, I know I am on the right track because my anxiety gauge is beginning to return to the peace position.
Wishing you all love, peace and a connection to your Creator and creativity today.
Two in a Boat by Jeanette MacDonald
Here is my thought for the week:
The questions I've been asking myself lately are, What can I do today to make a difference in the world that I live in, and love so deeply?
And, How can I show up today, so that I can be even more loving than I was yesterday?
Sometimes life just feels so heavy, and perhaps I even feel a bit (or a lot) skeptical about what the point of living it is. The last few months I have been learning to see the darker side of myself, and learning how not to deny that this part exists within me, as has been my default regarding my darker side in the past (I have felt shame around this side of me
). Rather than continuing to deny that this part of myself existed, I started to heal through embracing and loving all aspects of my self.
I've also been learning how to FEEL
all of the emotions behind the darkness that's within me - unusually the prevalent emotion behind my darkness is fear.
We all have a dark side. I argued this point, wanting to be all roses, but the rule seems to be, that which we deplore in ourselves, we will also deplore in others
. If we begin to understand this, we can begin to learn to love all aspects of ourselves, fully, including the dark parts. Then (and only then) we can begin to embrace, love, and forgive the same darkness we see in others. I believe it is only when we can love this part of ourselves that we are able to contribute to saving the world
The darkness out there
merely reflects the un-integrated darkness within the hearts of each of us, collectively. I wrestle with the darkness I see "out there" in the world. It just seems so big and impossible to heal. But in reality, that darkness is merely a reflection of my own darkness.
That darkness can be a sign post showing me what parts in me that still need attention and healing. And, more importantly, the darkness, out there, shows me the lack of faith I have in the Infinite Powers of Source.
If we are all made from Source, then even the dark parts of us are made from Source. If we believe in something greater than ourselves; if we believe The Whole is Greater than the Sum of its Parts, then we cannot pick and choose which parts of us are from Source, and which Parts of us are not. Perhaps then, even the darkness we see in the world is in itself merely an expression of the dark aspects of Source (being that we agree that Source is Infinite, and encompasses all of creation)? Wouldn't it make sense to apply the same principle that we have found to heal our own dark part of ourselves, individually, to heal the collective body of humanity, as well? If we could consider Source (or if you are a science minded person, try replacing Source with something more that cannot be explained...the unknown force of the Universe...the ether) as being of infinite intelligence, and witty in every possible way, then we could see that Source could indeed create the scenario we now find ourselves in. if Source is Infinite by nature, then we will be able to conceive of the idea that It could exercise It's wicked of sense of humor by putting someone dark, and sinister, with the name of "Trump," in the presidential seat at this time. Could it be that Source, in Its Infinite Humor,is actually providing us with the clues we are searching for, regarding the present (or presidential) world riddle? Don't we often say "Love "trumps" fear?" Could Trump be Source's ironic clue to us all, in Its attempt to wake us up to the fact that fear only breeds more fear, while Love is the All Powerful healing Source?
Just look at the way the human brain lights up when scientists study it when it is focused on thoughts of love and compassion, compared to what happens when it is given no focus at all. The brain focused on love lights up like New York City, while the mind at idle does nothing at all. Watch Joe Dispenza, on YouTube, to learn more about how powerful the human brain is at creating its environment through focused thought. I believe, training our brains by focusing on love and compassion has the potential to bring about the collective healing we are yearning for.
This art piece is called Two in a Boat. And yes, we CAN be the paddles for humanity, even though it seems we might be up the creek without any at this time. That is not true. Love does trump fear. But, we've got to stop focusing on all the wrong that is going on out there (while staying present to it), so we may begin to heal humanity. We can consciously choose to do something powerful like focusing on the healing powers of Love. It is helpful to remember that there is a heart in each of us that wants to love and be loved. Today I will extend love ahave faith that all is well and as it should be,.
Have a blessed week. <3
Goddess of All Creation by Jeanette MacDonald Art - the hearts represent the web of life in which we are all intricately connected.
This is not an easy piece for me to write. In fact it is the hardest piece I have ever written. But, intuitively, I know that I have a responsibility to be courageous, to write it and share it.
I had the privilege, and honour, of attending a spiritual event on Sunday. The topics and sharing reminded me that we are ALL unique expressions of the same Divine Love. This philosophy resonated with me, and it sparked a thoughtful exploration into my own heart and beliefs. And I wish to share what came up for me here.
One of the things That I noticed at this gathering was that there was a strong Divine Feminine presence. This made sense, given that the majority of the attendees were women. The fact that there were way more women there than men, intrigued me. It reminded me of what the Dalai Lama said, that "The world will be saved by the western woman.
Now, I am a huge fan of the Dalai Lama, and I remember experiencing a tinge of self-righteous (and perhaps even divisive) pride around that remark, being that I am included in the group who the Dalai Lama said will save the world. But, I have to be honest, there was also something that didn't feel quite right to me. The Dalai Lama advocates for trying to see things from many different perspectives before forming an opinion. Plus, he humbly refers to himself as being just one of the seven billion inhabitants on Earth, so I am sure he won't mind that I have a different perspective on who it will be that saves the world.
I have recently become interested in politics (in an off-handed sort of way). And it seems that our political state is…how do I put this…failing us miserably. Besides the Dalai Lama, there is a lot of talk out there that women could do a better job of running our planet than our men
have. There is this prevalent notion that our men
have royally screwed things up for the rest of us. As a result, we have begun to organize women's marches and rallies,
to try and bring the feminine solution of love and nurturance to the bedside of our sick mother, Earth. It currently feels, to me anyway, that men are being made to hold vigilance behind us women, with their tails tucked (guiltily) between their legs, because collectively, humanity, is holding our men
responsible for the damage that our dear planet, and mother, has had to endure. All this, while we, the women of the world, self-righteously step up to be the proud fixers
of their mess.
I had an “a-ha” moment this morning. I was able to see a dangerous, prevalent and long-held belief, that we have collectively been holding; a belief that has been used to distract us from seeing a bigger and truer picture: We have been manipulated into continually dividing ourselves into different camps, for hundreds if not thousands of years, creating an us vs. them
predication. And the Dalai Lama, saying that it will be the western women
who will save our world, creates yet another, albeit totally innocent, division. In that scenario, it becomes women vs. all men
(and even women from one part of the world vs. women from other parts of the world,
dividing us all over the place). But the truth is, or at least the way I see it, our men
have not been the ones making these harmful decisions that have adversely affected our planet, any more than we women have been involved in these decisions. The most important decisions; the decisions that affect all of us, have been willingly given over to the lap of a handful of manipulative individuals (who may or may not be mostly men) who sit above all law and all visible governments. And it seems the decisions that these elitist few have been making, in the name of profit and acquisition, has been harming the rest of us for a very long time.
Take war, for example. Do we really believe that our sons (basically our little boys in man suits) wanted to go to war to kill people, when to do so is to commit the greatest sin against their soul-Self and their own humanity? Do we really believe that that our sons wanted to kill their brothers and sisters from afar? I don’t believe they did. I believe, at a very deep level, we know that we are One; we know that what we do to another, we also do to ourselves.
Our sons have had to watch in the trenches while their comrades; their friends and brothers, were blown to smithereens. And when they returned home with their permanent souvenirs, missing a limb or limbs, they would be reminded every day for the rest of their life of the horrors they had had to witness at war.
Our sons, told that they would be heroes when they returned, for having fought for the liberty and freedom of us all, were outcast, and forgotten about, by the ones that had forced them to go in the first place; the ones whose own sons were to be given immunity and spared from having to suffer the same destiny.
I fear the rest of humanity has also been ungracious to our sons (our veterans) after their return from war. Perhaps the reason we do not want to really take a look at what has happened to them is because we feel so guilty that we did not stand up against the elite few?
I realize that this is a graphic topic, probably one most of us (including myself) would rather not think about or talk about, but it is a reality that touches the hearts of us all, and benefits none of us, with the exception of the few who are in charge of creating these wars, and dividing humanity, in order that we will fight for them, and against ourselves, for the elitist benefit alone. When I consider history from this angle, I feel so very sorry for what our sons; our men,
have had to endure.
We need to collectively wake up and realize it is not our men
who have done this to us. It is the elite few; the less than one percent, who we have, collectively (yes, all of us), given our power over to the War Machine; the system that is really responsible for the tremendous pain humanity has had to endure. And these elite few are the only ones who have profited from all of our collective heartbreak.
Some may call me paranoid, or call me a conspiracy theorist, and that is okay. I know it is more important to stand up and share information, especially now, than it is to worry about any names we might be called. Many have suffered already from speaking up, while the bulk of us has turned a blind eye to them. This saddens me (Watch Killswitch (see trailer here
) on Netflix. It will open your eyes a bit)
We are all (the over 99% of humanity) allowing these elitist few to manipulate and control us through the use of lies and deception (propaganda). We are allowing ourselves to be used; and by doing so we are committing heinous acts that go directly against the Spiritual Nature of our being-ness.
I am hoping that we have, collectively, begun to wake up: to see that our men
are beautiful - just like we women are. If you are a man I want you to know that I do not hold you accountable for this travesty, any more than I hold women responsible for it. We have ALL been brain-washed into thinking that what we want is more and more external stuff; the stuff that the one percent is selling us, in exchange for our very souls. I believe that what we really want is not something that can be bought; it is Love; the kind of spiritual joy and fulfillment that can only be found within our collective hearts; within our concern for one another and within our concern for all the species that we share this glorious planet with.
It doesn't matter what kind of car we drive, whether we live in prestigious neighborhood or not, what schools we attend, what churches we worship the god of things
in, whether we are male or female, black, white or any spectrum of color that may lie in between, it doesn’t matter who we love, how we dress, what our political philosophy is; none of that matters - if we don't even have a planet to call home; it doesn’t matter if our animals are sick and dying; it doesn’t matter if our air and water is polluted. Dead is dead, no matter what kind of gloss we put on it.
Our hearts are the only weapon that can heal this devastating situation, I know it. We must begin to March for Humanity,
together, as One. We must be brave enough to say “no” to war.
We must stand up to the powers that have been
. If we do not stand up, we need to know that we are collectively marching humanity, like in Nazi Germany, off to the gas chamber.
I don't understand why this does not concern the elite few. I cannot even begin to fathom that kind of lack of concern. But, I sense that if humanity is to stand a chance at all we must unite. I believe it is our collective Humanity; our collective Love that will give us the strength and power we need to exercise our Power.
Thanks for taking the time to read this. Love you all.
This morning I read a really sad post written by a dear friend. This post really got me thinking, and I realized that I needed to write about it. My friend’s young granddaughter had suffered a traumatic event while on the public transit, and understandably, her grandmother was deeply disturbed by what had happened. The girl had worn her scarf covering her (in her words) “cute hair” from the rain like a Muslim woman might wear a Hijab. A man on the bus started hurling profane and abusive insults at her. Sadly, no one on the bus made any attempt to stand up for her, or to support her in any way, including the bus driver.
I too was saddened by the fact that things like this happen in this day and age
, on our glorious and diverse planet. But, the truth is that things like this have been happening for a very long time. We just seem to be waking up to it more. Because of a certain person, this discriminating abuse has begun to affect the masses. I wonder, have a lot of us been maintaining a certain “I can’t see it so it isn’t happening”
attitude, up until now?
The girl was thankful that she had her mp3 player with her so she could drown out, and momentarily escape, the abuse. But she did have thoughts about how she would like to retaliate for the hurt she was experiencing, which I can certainly understand. I too have had dark fantasies when I found my self in humiliating and hurtful situations like this.
As I have mentioned in previous blog posts, Barry and I are reading The Book of Joy by the Dalai Lama and the Archbishop Desmond Tutu
(a must read).
Last night’s chapter really had an immense impact on me. It was all about suffering. As many of you might know, I have written a book, and I am just waiting to tie up some loose ends before I publish it. In this book I talk about how I suffered as a child. After reading The Book of Joy
, I am coming to see that my suffering is a kind of spoiled-child type of suffering
. In comparison to my suffering, these two kindly gentlemen share what they have suffered, putting my suffering into perspective. And they say that in comparison to what others have suffered,that they themselves have not really suffered. They talked about a psychologist, who had, herself, survived the holocaust in Nazi Germany. She found that the children who had the greatest chance of survival, during the holocaust, were the ones who had suffered the most prior to the holocaust. It seems that the children who were, as she put it, spoiled and coddled
, were the first to perish; they died waiting for someone out there to come and save them.The startling characteristic that the surviving children shared was an ability to maintain compassion and love within their hearts
, no matter what was happening around them. It wasn't determination that saved them, it was Love.
That really got me thinking. Could it be possibly be dangerous for us to be constantly revisiting our traumas, or even to lament over the traumas that occur in our "now"? I know Jason Silva
talks about cognitive re-framing, noting that we can actually change our pasts (and even our present) by merely going back into our pasts and consciously looking for the good in it, rather than the reinforcement that we did indeed suffer. When we focus on the positive events of our pasts, we heal and actually transform both our past and present, from good to bad; or from sad to joyful.
Yes, that unfortunate situation that happened on the bus IS
very disturbing and IS
truly sad, but it is also an opportunity to see things differently; an opportunity to wake up and be more compassionate. I believe that we who have the most love in our hearts are being called on right now to share that love, no matter what we are experiencing at this time. We need to protect our Love and our Joy with everything we've got, so we do not allow ourselves to be "hurt" into stooping (even the tiniest way) to the level of our abusers. Remaining in Love and Joy is our purpose
; and I believe it is the only solution to healing the darkness present in our glorious and blessed world. We do this by blessing the wounded-self of our abusers. We do it through practicing extreme forgiveness. We do it by having compassion for what those wounded-souls must have experienced in their own lives; for what has in turn made them full of fear and hatred. We cannot take on their darkness, unless we wish to also contribute to the expansion of that darkness. and I know this is definitely what we don't want to do. With knowledge comes responsibility, right?
A few days ago, I forgot my toque (a Canadian word for woolly hat), so I wrapped my scarf around my head like a hijab to keep my ears warm from the bitter cold. As I did that, I said to Barry, “I could be a Muslim, and I would register as one if that is what it took to contribute to correcting this divisive situation.” I would stand united, in Love, whenever and wherever my sisters and brothers needed support. What happened to my friend’s granddaughter is really an opportunity for a passive part of society to wake up and become more compassionate; to be compassionate towards what our Muslim sisters have had to go through, and are still going through right now. This is an excellent opportunity for us us all to begin to take a walk in each other’s shoes! Love is truly our Divine Nature, our greatest intelligence and our most Powerful Strength!