This week's art journal is all about embracing wolf-consciousness and tribe-energy. So that means being fearlessly authentic, and honouring your inner-darkness as being one of our wisest teacher. You are being encouraged to have confidence, by thinking for yourself, with an open, True and faithful Heart, while keeping the rest of the tribe in mind. Don't allow yourself to be blindly led by what others tell you to be true - you have been given the power of intuition for a reason - to discern for yourself what is right. Remember, having humility is really about claiming your rightful spot within the tribe - no matter how you feel, you belong here on Earth, as much as anyone else does. For it is by being authentically you that you will shine like the Star you are...like one of the stars that makes up the vast and Infinite Universe. In other words, be brave, dear one, with a heart full of Love (for yourself first), and then go ahead and let out all those repressed emotion (in a place that is safe to do so, of course) that keep you unnecessarily stuck and afraid to really live your glorious life. We have all been conditioned to think that perfectly natural, but darker human emotions and feelings are inappropriate. But it is by embracing all our feelings, so we may become integrated, that we are no longer controlled by them. So go ahead and howl at the moon! You are beautiful and complete, as you are. 🐺❤️ PS...Gladiolas are the flower that represent strength, and red denotes anger, energy, passion, strength, desire and love. Interestingly, it also enhances human metabolism, once again supporting how expressed emotion is healthy for our bodies. Add the full moon, and we've got power in spades, baby (which together we certainly do)!
This week has been super interesting. I have had some big awarenesses, and I am so grateful for them. I am not sure if you know this, but I have been studying from a book called The Science of Mind by Ernest Holmes for quite a while now. I had picked up this book - a book I had inherited back in 2009 from my beloved mother-in-law Dorothy a few years ago but in recent months became really intent on understanding its contents..
Dorothy has been a big inspiration for my spiritual growth and journey. She is the one who introduced me to the likes of Louise Hay (You Can Heal Your Life), Deepak Chopra and Wayne Dyer. It is funny because in a recent conversation a friend she told me that she felt like she was channeling Wayne Dyer. I laughed because I feel like we all do (at least the people that I choose to surround myself with seem to have a Wayne Dyer consciousness leading their way).
Wayne was Love and Light, Curiosity and presence...he was an earth angel, and I believe that he was an ascended master, and leader of a heart revolution, of our time.
Back in the summer of 2015 I had signed up to go to a Hay House Writer's Workshop on the beautiful island of Maui...Wayne Dyer's home. Wayne was one of the facilitators of that workshop. While my husband and I were eating a snack waiting to board the plane, I got a call requesting that I come home. The friend who was watching our elder pug thought she was too ill to care for her. I respectfully, and without feelings of resentment (honestly), collected our already checked bags, and we returned home. Later that summer Wayne died. I was extremely sad and did not get the cruelty of the irony. It had been a dream of mine to get to see him. I just felt like it was something I was supposed to experience.
A friend contacted me shortly afterwards and said she was going to a Hay House Writer's Workshop in New York the following October, and wondered if I wanted to join her. We were moving that weekend but my husband really wanted me to go and decided to do the move without me. So I set off to NY all by myself (which was honestly the first real trip I have done by myself. I had to figure out how to get from the airport to the AirBnB apartment in Manhattan). I overcome a lot of fears during that trip, and through it, I have experienced so many synchronicities - synchroncities that lead me to meet a couple dear friends who are very important in my life today. Because of THAT trip, and the subsequent growth that has resulted from the people I serendipitously met there, I feel like Wayne Dyer was indeed looking out for me.
So, where am I going with all of this? During the last week, as a result of my coaching groups with Nancy Levin who was one of those people that I met in New York (you gotta give yourself the gift of doing coaching with her. She is like the fairy god-mother...magic follows her wherever she goes), combined with my passion for spiritual studies, has lead me to the realization of what it takes to be able to do a card reading. I always thought one had to possess special talents and powers to be able to do a reading. I loved oracle cards - the art and stories - and dreamt that one day I would, as if by magic, be able to read them myself. But I had an epiphany. WE CAN ALL read cards if we are able to become present to our heart and intuition in the moment - if we are able to see that our pasts are merely illusions of our social imprinting, we can begin to hear the Truths available to us in each moment through our hearts. and intuition
The secret to reading cards is to read ourselves! I am not sure if this makes any sense to you, but know this - YOU have this ability. too - we all do. If you can get to know and honour the voice of your intuition - your True Self, and begin to live a life full of self- love, joy, beauty, and peace, as a result - you will no longer have to feel alone and/or insecure. BUT...you gotta get to know yourself ,and to be able to honour and respect your truth and feelings first.
Anyway...here is the reading I did this week. I asked the question, "Am on the right track for my dreams?"
Here is my card spread from Doreen Virtue's Angels Oracle Deck, for this day: I don't know about you, but I like to see quick results when I'm working on manifesting something in my life. The truth is that looking for results indicates that I'm out of faith and trying to force my will on that situation.
Hey fellow travellers,
I am just checking in with you. This particular day has been a day to take care of myself. I have a glitch in my back that has self-care written all over it. I have to admit, I am not too proud to take a day here and there to indulge in the art of not doing.This is what it means to practice what we preach. I will let you in on a little secret: I like to take a whole day to do nothing once in a blue moon. I have been doing some writing, I had my smoothie, some home-made chicken soup, and watched some Hay House yumminess, and now I am feeling the love.
What I know about Hay House is that I have already received a lifetime of therapy from that I have participated in or taken in via movies and audio interviews. I love it so much. Today my soul is feeling grateful. I got into a bit of a pity pot around the computer last night. Then this morning I woke up realizing that I have lost two close and dear friends in the past two months. I realized how fortunate and self-indulgent having computer problems really are. When I reflected upon them being gone, it put everything into perspective for me. I am one grateful girl tonight. Thank you Universe for giving me such small problems.
I pulled these three cards to give me insight on my path, today, and I thought you might also enjoy them. These are the message that the angels are bringing me and you, through my deck tonight:
Past: reward yourself - you have been giving so much of yourself and now is the time to allow yourself to receive. Receiving is equal to giving. For some of us we feel we must be the givers to be considered a "good" person. This is a self-sabotaging belief that we must be willing to surrender to the angels. We each deserve to receive love, abundance and care. That is our divine birthright. Today was all about that for me. My computer went caput and my back went out. So what did I do? I stayed home in my comfy spa-like room, with my black snoring pug, and bought and listened to Hay House World Summit programs. Now I have a whole year to take all these "rewards" in! What did you do to practice self-care today? I hope something special. Let me know in the comments below? ❤️
Present: this is a good one! Opportunity to forgive. Forgiving does not mean condoning. It means acceptance of "what" is without taking it personally. When we resent we take the poison and expect others to suffer. The truth is that resentments cause toxic chemicals to flood our own bodies, causing potential dis-ease. I've been working on this. I'm sensitive. But what it really means to be sensitive is that I've got deep wounds within me to heal. When I heal them, I won't take others pain that matches mine like a puzzle piece, so personally. Can you relate to this? Let me know below.
Future: isn't that the answer to all our problems? See Only Love! If we can see love and the Divine in others, we will begin to see that in our own selves too. This card calls for faith. My morning prayer, written on a bookmark (with the cover image for the book I have written, on it) in my Science of Mind book, written by Ernest Holmes, says, " Perfect God within me, Perfect Life within me, which is God, come forth into expression through me as that which I am; lead me ever into the paths of perfection and cause me to see only the Good." So of course this is the Perfect card for my future - it is reassuring me to have Faith and Love...to see only the Good!
Let me know in the comment section if and how this reading resonates with where you are at today. I'd love to hear about what your intuition is telling you as well. ❤️❤️
I remember being six years old and sitting on the toilet. I was immersed in a glorious other world. I always was back then. I would day-dream about all sorts of adventures, and ideas. I talked to myself all the time, and I remember that I never felt lonely. I know now that I was always connected to the Creator, Infinite Imagination and Infinite Creative Ideas, back then. I was tuned in. This particular time, I remember singing loudly – I remember singing my little (BIG) heart out. I can still feel the freedom I felt when I sang. I remember feeling relaxed throughout my whole body. I had not learned to be self-conscious of myself yet; I just felt naturally amazing.
What a place to be: to be free from self-judgment. I opened the door, and my mother and sister nearly tumbled in on top of me, chuckling over the concert I was holding for my audience of one: me. Only I was not by myself. I was connected. I was tuned in to the Universal Mind – tuned into All that Is. I was naturally in the Holiest of Places, my Innate-Church – a place where manifestations naturally occurred, and were my natural birth-right.
While I enjoyed my mom and sister’s attention that day, something was beginning to change within me, or without me, might better describe the transformation that was about to take place. I was beginning to become self-conscious (I was beginning to identify with my self with a little "s"). I was beginning to develop an, if I do this, I will get that, consciousness. I was losing my innocence, and my God-given connection to the Infinite Possibilities available to me from that place. The veil was starting to come down, cloaking the Perfect, Pure Spirit I Am.
I have been using the term veil longer than I have really understood the meaning of the word. I just intuitively felt that there was this something more part of me that through socialization I had somehow begun to lose; I was no longer able to access that magical place I once had known so well. But at a soul level, I knew it was still there.
Today I know that we don’t ever really lose that part of us. It is, in fact, what We all Are. So, it is impossible to lose it. But the ego (Edging God Out) learns to identify outwardly with the things that we see. We begin to feel separate. This happens through positive and negative reinforcements we encounter along our life's path. I believe that this is due to the indoctrination from society and media, as a means of keeping control over us through minimizing our True Greatness.
The television has been a great tool used by the powers that be to divert us (mini-gods) from our True Creative Heritage. At some point, we became mesmerized by the worlds we now enjoyed through the television (a kind of lazy imagination replacement meal), and our imaginations – our direct lines to God, atrophied, and got replaced by the imaginations of a few. We lost our own ability to create the kind of stories we wanted within our lives, and began to see that if we behaved in a certain way; the way the stars were acting (instead of being the Heavenly Stars we were intended to be), we might get the love and attention we all craved.
How many of us have NOT thrown the names of stars around to inflate our limited vision of ourselves? I do it all the time. Even the wonderful people who inspire us do it. They write books or create movies and documentaries, and in them they often mention their personal connections to the people who we as a society hold in high esteem; an esteem we perhaps may think is beyond what we are capable of attaining for ourselves? We put these special few on pedestals, and when they show us that they are just like us; that they too make all sorts of mistakes, we may even thank them for doing that. We even consider this sharing of their humanness being humble. But is it? Perhaps it has more to do with each one of us having forgotten who we are – having forgotten that We are One – that we are all part of The One Divine Mind that makes up the Universe – perhaps we have forgotten that we are all part of the I am that, I am.
Recently I watched The Moses Code, and listened to Gregg Braden;s interview with Nancy Levin on Hay House World Summit. Both of these woke me up a little bit more to the understanding that I am that, I am. For the longest time I have heard the term I am, and used it myself, all over the place. I watched Tom Shadyak’s movie I Am a few years ago. That sparked an awareness that there just might be something more to us – something that I could not quite put my finger on. I couldn’t fully comprehend what they were getting at, though. I realize now that I was coming at this riddle from the wrong angle – from the perspective of being a separate individual.
So what does this have to do with singing on the toilet, innocence, creativity, or even media, you ask? Well, everything, actually. Because I have forgotten how to daydream and how to use my own imagination, I have spent 40 years feeling inferior. I have spent all of that time looking for, and thinking that I needed something or someone, out there to lift me up so I could feel better – so I could feel like I was somebody. But the Kingdom of God has always been within me – the kingdom of God has always been within all of us. I forgot that. I forgot that I Am That, I am.
You are me, and I am you, and We are all part of God. We are not separate. We are in this together. We are supported and Loved. What I think of you, I also think of me. We are designed that way. Science has even shown that we have a part of our brains that are actually hard-wired to processes everything that we think and say about others as if it were true about ourselves. We cannot separate the two – for what we give to others we also gift to ourselves, be it negative or positive, limiting or generous, we DO IT to ourselves too.
For our ego, a part of us that has been indoctrinated through media brain-washing to have to be number one, creating competitive machines, out of the divine beings We Truly Are, this is a hard pill to swallow. This concept that I am talking about does not support the spirit of competition at all – rather, it supports the spirit of Unity.
I know how hard it can be to break this habit of being competitive. I too have spent many years believing in lack – believing that there is only so much deliciousness available to us – only so much abundance to go around. I am sure most of us in the western world have said that we believe the Universe is infinite, but do we really believe what we are saying? I still have trouble giving that complement to someone who is deserving of it, especially when I see them doing what I may want to do but perhaps have not yet had the courage to try to do it. I even struggle praising them if it feels like they my be catching up to me when I have worked so hard (don't you know) to get where I am. This thinking is seriously limiting the joy I may get to experience.
If we want to encourage our children to be great we should encourage them to Love and see greatness in others. We should not try to indoctrinate them into being performance machines – we should not encourage them to try to be better than others are, but to Love who they are, and be the very best they can be from that place – to Love the I am that, I am in themselves – to Love that they are part of all of the I Am that Is. And if we can instill that in them they will truly be the Stars they have always been.
Lately I have been thinking a lot about what it means to be an artist. Julia Cameron, in The Artist's Way, says that Art is merely a guy her sister dated in school. I chuckled when I read that. It made me think about how the prevalent social paradigm around being an artist seems to focus mainly on judging art as good or bad. Rather than judging our art by these standards, wouldn't it be liberating for us to understand that the act of being creative is the true measure of our greatness?
It is natural for us to have a myriad of ideas move through our consciousness thousands of times a day, but not everyone has the courage to entertain and share those ideas for the potential betterment of humanity. Rather than seeing creativity as what it is -- a path available to everyone through which we may express our innate human purpose -- which is to be a creative being -- we judge and personalize our inspirations and ideas like there are only a limited number of good ideas out there in the Universe from which to choose from. We say this person is good at art, while that person is poor at it -- instead of honoring the true accomplishment -- which is that they had the courage to be open to an idea and then share it with the world.
We have a tendency to shame idea-makers by judging and labeling their ideas. And, consequently, we shut these potentially brilliant creators down. Why do we do this? I think it is because at the foundation of all of our beliefs we believe in lack; we believe that there are only a limited number of good creative ideas out there in the universe. And that is simply is not so.
From an early age we learn that it is a scary to risk sharing our crazy ideas. We perpetuate this fear in our culture by saying things like, "Don't be silly," when children come up with a crazy idea. Even though, if we think about it, it has always been the ones who dare to have a so-called crazy idea, daring to think outside the box, that create the most innovative inventions and technologies that we enjoy today. We have this way of teaching all wrong. We need to start revering and celebrating the crazy idea-makers. They are our true heroes.
When I was a child I learned early on to look at what the popular kid was doing and to mimic that behavior, if I wanted to fit in. My peers and my teachers told me, through their actions, that if I could squeeze myself into that enticing little box I would be held in higher esteem. I did not learn to be me. Nor did I learn to risk expressing anything that would be considered unique and authentic about myself. From the beginning I learned to be someone else. I learned that who I was was not good enough. I learned to wear masks. And, obviously, I was NEVER comfortable in my masks. Like everyone else in masks, none of them fit me very well. When I tried to be that popular person, it never translated the same way. It came across as what it was -- a superficial poor second at best. It is true: Be you, everyone else is taken. And that is great advice. But just how are we in this in the box society supposed to put that advice into practice?
Looking back at my education, which was painful for a misfit who moved around a lot, it was impossible for me to think that I could share any idea that would fit with the kind of me I was trying to project -- which was someone who would, at all costs, NOT stand out. I learned early on that if I shared anything at all it better be normal, and if it wasn't normal, it better be perfect then (which I was never able to quite pull off). I didn't dare risk looking like a weirdo. There was no room in my construct of who I was, for that kind of shenanigans. Feeling different felt like certain death to me.
I do remember there being the odd student that kept to themselves -- not trying to fit in. These weirdos seemed to quietly withdraw into their own world. I believe they were the truly creatives ones; not trying to fit in, they remained true to themselves on the fringe, consistently working at honing their craft. That did not appeal to me, though. It looked dark and lonely to live in that kind of isolated world. I craved being a part of more than anything, I just wanted to fit in. No, I wanted to stand out like the popular ones did; I wanted the love and attention that they seemed to be getting (now I can see that even they were not getting what they needed either -- which was to be loved for being their authentic selves too), so I straddled both worlds, and by doing so I fit into neither. I'm still working on undoing the tendency that I have to to slip on a mask to feel like I fit in, today. But, I know masks don't work. They only make me resentful. When I am resentful I can't express myself creatively. I become dark and depressed and shut myself off from all inspiration. I have to be authentic to be creative. Being authentic is the cure for all that ails me, and I dare say you, as well.
This old paradigm we have about what makes someone an artist interferes in the natural process and ability we have to be who we truly are -- which is a mini universe in and of ourselves; creating our lives through the thoughts we hold as true. We are constantly creating our lives through the seeds we plant through our prevalent thoughts and emotions. But, if we are shut down by society during the germinating process of our best and most crazy ideas we learn to stifle our creativity for the sake of survival. When we are judged negatively for our creativity we get fearful. We say things like, "I am so not an artist." And this is so not true. We are all born to create. This is the very thing we were intended for -- so remember this -- don't let anyone take your creativity away from you.
This brings me to this morning. I think we ought to teach Creativity classes, rather than Art classes, in school. It would serve humanity well to teach our children to open up to their true nature and potential, as creative beings, through encouraging authenticity, innovation and risk taking. We could do this by teaching children how NOT to covet what others do, but to LOVE what they (and others) do. We could do this by NOT teaching children how to do art, but through rewarding the risks they take to express their authentic, creative, original, and out of the box thinking, instead. We can give an example of the kind of art that we enjoy, that others do or have done, and use that as inspiration. But, I believe we must stop labeling art as good or bad in school, but rather use all art as representation of different forms of creative expression. But, we cannot teach to others what we ourselves do not possess. If we, as teachers, are still wearing our masks; if we are trying to be someone other than who we are because of our own un-integrated issues we've yet to work thorough; if we have not yet been able to dare show our own true selves to others, we will not be able to teach a child, or anyone else for that matter, how to be authentically creative. So, as always, we must heal ourselves first.
Love and Light,
Good morning dear friends,
I had this realization while I was journal-ing this morning: To the degree that we can get out of feeling hurt, are we able to open the channel of love to flow freely into our experience.
But, then I wondered, how might we get our hurt out of the way? Perhaps the answer to that question lies in the saying But for the grace of God, go I? Now, probably like you, I have heard that so many times, and I have even (self-righteously) used it (as a judgement...ha!) myself. But, up until this moment, the true genius of its meaning has eluded me (forgive me...I may be a slow learner).
Just recently I saw a poster on Instagram that said, Don't be a spiritual dick. I chuckled to myself, but the truth is that there may be a lot of us out there who ARE spiritual dicks? We just might not realize that we are living in houses that are made of the glass.
Barry and I have stated reading Desmond Tutu, and his daughter, Mpho Tutu's book, The Book of Forgiving. We have only just begun, but I can already feel a shift in my perception around the concept of forgiveness. The part that hit home in my heart, last night, was the idea that we can not judge how we might handle a situation, until we have been in that exact situation. We may find that if all circumstances were identical, we may actually do what we judge others for doing. And we may say, I would never do that, but we cannot be 100% sure that we wouldn't.
That got me reflecting back to the last crisis that happened in my life, and the saying that hurt people, hurt people. This morning I realized that most of us ARE hurt people. And from the place of being wounded, we unconsciously hurt others for doing what we ourselves do (be honest with yourself here...think gossip, judgement, trying to get others to validate that you are right and the other person is wrong, etc.). This is not to say that I am to blame, or that the other person is. We were merely doing what hurt people do - which is hurt each other.
This morning, I could see that this is a loop; whenever I have been hurt I have felt compelled to protect myself by hurting back: I have retaliated in some way, and they have retaliated in some way back. But what if neither of us were wrong, bad, evil, or whatever negative label we want to categorize our offender as? What if we understood that we were just hurting each other from a place of being hurt? What if we understood that it is just the way of being wounded; that it was all just an illusion we were creating from the stories we tell, and the players we cast?
So I wondered what can I do about this pattern? How can I become more conscious of my tendencies to hurt others, and to become hurt (sensitive), so that I can break the cycle? Desmond Tutu says it is all about forgiving, and I agree. It is what they are doing in South Africa to heal their country, post apartheid. And let's face it, those are real wounds...not like the spoiled woman's he said, she said type of wounds I am talking about here.
In Africa they have an Ubuntu philosophy that means 'the belief in a universal bond of sharing that connects all humanity,' In other words, I am me because of you; an interdependence. We are the same. We are One. The most important part of Ubuntu is to realize that it is not a me against you world. I need to learn to forgive myself for being less that perfect, which is a false Western aspiration, that keeps me feeling separate from others that I share this planet with. I need to learn to see myself as being just one of the eight billion people on the planet; to see that others are just like me - that sometimes we innocently forget that we are a part of and that we, because of our feeling of separateness, get hurt by words, gestures, energy, and sometimes even physical abuse. But we can choose to remember that we never know what we might do if we were in the shoes of another.
That brings me back to the idea of not being a spiritual dick. When we judge others from a place of, I would never that, we ARE being a spiritual dick, and if we could just stop doing that - if we can say, But for the grace of God go I, instead, I think we could heal our planet, I really do. I am going to chew on that idea today.
Love and Light.
To my dear friends,
I am relieved that I can finally do a blog post tonight. I was feeling rather anxious because all last week,due to upgrades by my host company, I could not get into my website to write my blog post...ugh. It is funny how we find out what our level of commitment to these things are when we are not able to do them. I was stuck somewhere between having limited patience; knowing that things go much better when I align myself with the Universe, and being frustrated because my ego wanted to be able to do to do the post when I wanted to do it. It didn't matter what I wanted, it was not happening.
Just like my commitment to working on my art journal once a week, I am committed to these weekly blog posts. It has become a necessity in helping me to me maintain a healthy state of mind. It is my meditation, and without it I get off the beam. I look at both my creative practices as something that I can do to stay mentally, spiritually and emotionally healthy, as well as providing me with something I can do to as a service to you, to give back for the life and the gifts that I have been so blessed to receive. But, I had to let go of that last week because I couldn't do a lick about it. I know that good things come when we surrender, while keeping an open-mind, so the Creator, who has a much better perspective, so It can work through us for our highest good.
I have to admit, I have been going through a little bit of a growth spurt in the past few months. It has been kind of a painful process, I had a go at trying to be the the big boss of my life, and as a result I suffered some pain. I love that I was able to go through this "crisis" and learn from it, though. And I do appreciate that it is usually in going through these spurt that I am able to receive my greatest gifts. However, it's hard to see that when your up to your lip in shit. I believe that these lessons are what we are here for...to learn that we are not separate; that we are all One with the God of our understanding, and we are Powerful manifestors of our own destinies...when we remember to align ourselves with that Power. It does not work so good when we try to do it on our own, with the limited capacity of our human minds and egos. We have to allow our Intuition, and our connection to the Creator, lead us. I am happy to say that after doing some research on this I am back in full form. Ohm...
I also wanted you to know that I haven't forgotten about my book, or given up on it, even though it may seem like it. I have been quietly working on it behind the scene. It has definitely taken more time than I thought it would. Here is a little sneak peek for your enjoyment. Thank you all for the love, support, tolerance, and friendship that you have given so freely, and generously, to me. I know am blessed beyond compare, and I hope that somehow I have been able to demonstrate that you are loved and appreciated, as well. <3
Love and Light,
Your friend Jeanette
Praise and thanksgiving are the most powerful prayers of all.
My meditation of him shall be sweet: I will be glad in the Lord. (Psalm 104:34)
Gratitude is a tool that manifests miracles, and we all have access to it. As we move and grow through difficult situations, we begin to learn that we can use gratitude to correct imbalances within our lives. We alone plant the seeds in our Life-Garden for the experiences we will have in the future. Exactly how those seeds manifest is God's business. We need only concern ourselves with the seeds (thoughts) we let fall.
Once we understand that we set the stage for all of our experiences, we will not be so tempted to blame others. Instead, we will be able to see our experiences more like a mirror, reflecting back to us what we hold as true. Then we can give thanks for this illumination and forgive ourselves. It is only through identifying our mistakes and gratefully accepting the lesson that we gain any enlightenment.
Everything we think we know is merely an illusion. God is a benign Presence available to everyone. Challenges are His gifts to us, and through them, we get to discover our innate manifestation powers. If we keep our hearts open and positive, we quickly learn to recognize the gifts within the challenge. And if we give thanks for it, we get to reap miracles.
It’s not joy that makes us grateful; it is gratitude that makes us joyful. ~ Brother David Steindl-Rast
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
Whimsical artist and spiritual writer creating art from the heart.