Many years ago, it was so dark in my inner world. I was sad. I felt helpless, and I wasn't even sure I could tell you why.
The darkness had been there for so long. The sadness a constant companion - a friend...
How did I step into the light? How did that inner mess change? What were the keys to my transformations?
Was I afraid of that darkness? I wasn't. I had lived with it for so long that it truly was a companion of sorts. In fact, I probably didn't know how dark it was because I had no light to compare it to back then.
But it was painful and I was tired of the pain.
What did I do that created transformation?
- I let in some light. I talked to someone(s) about my inner world who could shed light. I gathered with others who also were struggling with emotional pain and we shared our stories. Telling your truth is so healing.
- I took responsibility for exactly where I was, blaming no one and yet knowing there were reasons I was feeling that pain. Again and again and again, I looked in the mirror - and continue to - to see what thoughts, beliefs, patterns and habits were supporting my darkness. I did the work of actively changing what no longer served me in my mind and in my heart.
- I accepted the world around me as it is, and then got to the business of fulfilling my potential to effect change when and where I can. Fulfilling one's potential goes on endlessly. As long as I walk this path of spirituality, personal development, and conscious awakening, the deeper the layers of growing into my potential. It is both exciting and sometimes frightening.
As Marianne Williamson says, "it is our light, not our darkness that frightens us."
When I reached a point in my inner development that I knew, I had only come close to scratching the surface of what I came here to do, it was a "WAIT a minute!" moment.
And it will be for you too my friend.
Listening to your inner calling to become, to discover, to experience all that your heart desires... that's courageous. Because you will be called to do what is hard, what can be heart-wrenching, and what pushes you to the limits of your self-love and acceptance - so that you can expand into more.
Wanting more in life is a good thing. It's a game-changer when you heed the call.
More is limitless... it is infinite. Part of you is too.
Your call to more will lead you into that aspect of you that is infinite, that wants to fully express. It won't happen without taking risks, a fall or two (or more), and without calling on your courage - again and again.
You and I can become more light
light of heart
light in energy
light in voice
light in creativity
light... always more light.
I've learned that I can deeply influence the light and the dark within me through my choices everyday.
The world needs your light!
Are you listening to the call? Are you feeling like you want to step up but don't know where to begin?
Begin with you. Come home to your inner life. Connect with your precious inner power. You have light to share, love to give and more to experience. You do not need answers or direction or a plan.
First come home to your authentic nature. The rest will follow.
Have you ever felt like you aren’t doing enough?
Or how about feeling like you’re constantly moving to the next thing?
Well, sister - if you answered yes, you are not alone and I am right beside you.
This life is so funny - even this journey of self discovery feels funny at times. I made a goal to meditate and journal daily while taking part in the Live Your Inner Power program. Within the last few weeks I’ve held true to that goal and made it happen (with the help of Laurel’s guided meditations) and I feel so grounded and at peace each day as I start my day in this way. It’s pure magic.
Truth be told, I’ve fell a little “behind” in the course at times (or what I consider behind cause I’m always on time… hence the air quotes). I’ve been meaning to jump back into the content - learn, grow, expand and uncover more truths behind my heart. But lots of travel over the last few weeks has taken precedence. We had a group check in just the other day and I told the ladies that I’d been meditating daily but ended my update with “just that, nothing big to report...maybe I’ll have more next time after I get back into the content.”
And in that moment, I completely discounted my progress.
I was focusing on what felt like “not enough” that I wasn’t “doing enough” or I wasn’t where I “should” be. Always looking ahead at what needs to happen next instead of being right where I’m at and appreciating progress.
There is so much irony here. I’m trying to be the best version of myself and reach my highest potential, right? But that feels as though I’m not appreciating where I’m at and focusing on a goal/moving to what’s next. The journey along the way is just as important! It’s so critical that we don’t forget that, because then we’ll miss the whole point!!
This life, this personal development work - all of it is progress.
I listen to my heart and love myself for where I am and how far I’ve come. I love myself so that I can see my truth in it’s messy, imperfect entirety - to have fun with it all and not worry about making things perfect. Do what feels good and forget about the details.
The ups and the downs, the “not enough”, the race against time - I can’t say it’s going to stop and that everything is going to be peachy because I know the real truth. Oh hell no.
The truth is there will be days where I still feel like I haven’t done enough. When I use my awareness to see how far I’ve come, I return to progress, imperfection and truth. That leads to gratitude, joy and love. Love for myself and love for who I am and what I have to give. And that’s all there really is folks. Radical self-love.
Today, I invite you to write down three things you’ve accomplished and three things you are grateful for.
When you look at that list, feel the love fill your heart. And if you’re willing to share with me - I’d love to celebrate those victories with you. Comments invited right here :)
All my love,
What a week of holding space for devastation and loss. How are you holding up? I'd love to offer you a bit of inspiration today. Even though it's a loss, there is inspiration to experience here.
Lousie Hay, one of my heroines, passed away this week. She was 91 years old, and to many, she was considered the founder of the self-help movement.
Louise was involved in her company until very recently. I felt surprise the day I read that she would no longer be writing her weekly messages. At her age - still sharing from her heart!
I had the delight in meeting Louise several years ago at a conference. I was able to say hello and thank her for her inspiration and light - she actually greeted many of us at the entrance. She signed a book for me later that weekend and I will treasure that now.
Why was she an inspiration to me? Because she followed her heart and soul. She dedicated herself to her mission and lived her talk. Who isn't impressed by a woman who remakes her life at 40 after going through an unexpected divorce?
She followed a path of healing inwardly and then went out to help others. Louise conducted her own research project by tracking those she counseled as to their emotional symptoms, physical imbalances and determined how "affirmative" thoughts could heal their lives. She published the results of that data in a book that eventually became, You Can Heal Your Life. This book has sold more than 50 million copies and helped countless people understand the mind body connection. I use it all the time with clients.
In a time when so many are suffering and moving through devastating circumstances, I like to think that Louise is on the other side now, being the light that's needed. I feel confident her spirit will be watching over us.
Who inspires you - who raises you up with their light? It's important to look to those who shed that light as we do the difficult work of holding space for a world that's hurting. Inspiration is a healing balm, especially during a time when loss can become debilitating.
This week I'll be lighting my candle in honor of Louise, and so many others who are suffering. If you aren't familiar with Louise's work, take a moment and read about her life, filling your cup with inspiration.
My life – although early dominated by alcohol, drugs, dysfunction, and familial abandonment - has been a series of “God moments” and “divine intervention.” Even at the age of 17 when I was at a crossroads deciding my "next step" after high school graduation, I recognized the power of something “big” working in my life. I couldn’t name it or even describe it. I look back and now know that a spark (or pilot light, if you will) was always on.
The journey started to grow in intensity in 1996 when I picked up “Conversations with God” by Neale Donald Walsch. The words resonated and made my body tremble. I couldn’t get enough. I became fixated on reading, praying, meditating, journaling, and worshiping with others. I was a sponge, so thirsty for knowledge and understanding.
The words resonated and made my body tremble.
I began to think about and even rely on spiritual tools and “God” during the rough times of life during the pursuing years – which manifested in a brutal divorce, addictive behavior by close family, broken relationships, and deaths of dear ones. But I was still learning. Truthfully, my human nature and subconscious patterns prevailed a lot of the time, particularly during the challenging circumstances.
I gutted my way through a lot of life – as a fiercely independent survivor and visionary type-A personality – with God often on the sidelines…but thankfully never gone.
A pinnacle turning point was in 2013 when I suffered a traumatic injury that put me down for 8 weeks. Yes, like many people, one of my most enlightening experiences came through physical suffering. God picked the most perfect time and hit me with a 2x4 to really accelerate my spiritual path. During my long recovery, I had time to pray and meditate for months. I truly “felt” and “became” love, vulnerability, faith, peace, and total joy. An amazing, life-changing, trauma for which I am eternally grateful.
During my long recovery, I had time to pray and meditate for months.
I returned to work, and once again, was immersed back into the hectic, noisy, and multi-tasking pace associated with a professional career, family, and community. Fear - in forms of anxiety, frustration, anger, doubt, overwhelm, judgment - often won out over my newfound peace and love. Regardless, I had changed and I realized that I could never step backwards on my spiritual path. The Light doesn’t go out, even though it may intermittently fade. Awareness sticks. I couldn’t deny or forget for long. Once Divine presence is experienced, one doesn’t settle for anything less for very long.
Fear - in forms of anxiety, frustration, anger, doubt, overwhelm, judgment - often won out over my newfound peace and love.
In my craving for that Divine peace I decided to retire in early 2016. My sole (soul) purpose was to dedicate my days to my Divinity. I had (still have) no endpoint. My indefinite purpose is to “be” with God. My days are spent basking in the rhythm of rest, prayer, meditation, and activities that I choose, whether it is a long walk, a long swim, gardening, reading, journaling, biking, hiking, or communing with friends. I notice chirping. I gaze at the moon. I go out of my way for a sunrise. I feel the cold, the rain, and the sun. I smell the dirt. I sit, sometimes for hours. And in that silence, I have no past. I have no future.
And I am so grateful.
So, my times of resistance are minimal these days, in comparison to my previous 32 years of rushing, rushing, rushing and pursuing a career, raising a family, and serving my community. It also helps that I consciously choose to avert my eyes to that which doesn’t feel good, such as Facebook (and other social media), news, and happenings I can’t control.
When those times of resistance do come – and sure, they still do because this IS a noisy, chaotic, and very contrasting world – I now have (take) time to pause and ask for Divine guidance to minimize the gap between my ego/ears and Source. I ask for Divine Presence. I ask to see this (now heavenly) world as Spirit sees it; to perceive without judgment. I lean into the resistance, feel the fear, and know that help is on the way. When I slip back into fear-based thinking, I no longer let it build and gain a momentum that becomes all-encompassing and overwhelming. I don’t beat myself up for slipping back. I remember that Source never left. I reach for the next best emotion and the next best thought, and Source lights the way. Always.
Sure, I realize that it is easy to be a monk on a mountaintop.
And I know that at some point I will return to a different life with more “concrete” goals.
But I will let God guide me to that service and vision.
I am not hurrying anymore.
What an invitation to grieve openly? Yes, that's what I am offering you.
Worn out with the "being strong and composed" part of my life - I was so bad at this anyway - I am letting the tears roll now.
In the grocery store, at the cafe, in the office when I lead a meeting - yep - I am giving myself and everyone else permission to cry. Permission, invitiation, heck it would be a prescription if I were an MD. And now I am going to share with you the why.
Because on the other side of your grief is your creative flow.
Deep within your grief is your profound compassionate nature.
And to teach the art of emotional flow is the greatest gift you can give your children and those that you lead. You'll be leaving a legacy of honest, heartfelt connection to the world and all that is around you.
Hope those are good enough reasons for you to let the tears roll.
What inspired this writing for you?
I said goodbye to what feels like a family member. A home that's been in our family for 27 years. My mum named her "The Gull's Nest" back at the beginning.
Because I am emotionally tuned in and energetically sensitive (I feel certain that you are too dear one) I was feeling the loss coming for a month as I headed toward the official farewell. Tears at strange moments, nostalgia suddenly had me in its grips, memories surfacing spontaneously, deep and overwhelming gratitude for the time spent there... a flow of emotion and image that must not be stopped. Because it's healing.
For anyone who is looking for a little guidance about how to actually grieve well, I offer 3 small steps that will make grieving possible in a world that says - "we don't have time for that stuff".
*** Acknowledge the end - the loss - the disappointment - the passage in it's entirety. Don't minimize it, don't sidestep it and most of all don't deny it. Feel the emotions as they wash through you - and there may be many.
*** Make space and time to reflect, to journal, to cry, to dance (I know but it might feel right) and whatever else will help move the emotional energy though you. Do it alone and do it with others.
*** Celebrate the gift that came with the loss. What did you learn? How did you love? What do you know now that you didn't know before?
We have time for this stuff. We do. Stop telling yourself you don't. That's an old story for the generations of the past. It's a new world now my friend. Make time because it matters and it's important.
Grieve well and then get back to your creative flow, your compassionate heart and let your emotional journey roll on.
I'd love to hear about your grief journey and where you are. Are you willing to find what's within and beyond the depths of your grief?
I am going through quite a time right now. Maybe you can relate.
It started earlier this year. Part of me was acknowledging that my 60th year was to begin in May. And here I am on the cusp of that day.
I want to be alone. I am crying suddenly and if I'm not, the tears are just below the surface. I had a whole day of feeling depressed and irritable because I did something I didn't really want to do. It made me feel like a child. My skin feels sensitive to the touch. Today I burst into tears, crying pleas of sanity, as I briefly passed by the news station this morning. ugh...
All of this, and I love my life. I wouldn't really change anything in a big way.
Because I have been "here" before, or somewhere similar, I am riding the wave and wondering what might being wanting to come forth from my deeper essence. What might I need to express more of?
This morning I read a blog by one of my favorite - see if you can read this one :) - medical, gone holistic-medical, woman-mentor-from-afar's. Lisa Rankin beamed in, reminding me about an author's words I read last year. His name is Charles Eisenstein. The term came from his amazing book, The More Beautiful World Our Heart's Know Is Possible.
His words ~ "The space between our stories" is such a potent term ~
I am in an ending of sorts, and not yet in the beginning of my next life's chapter. I am between stories.
As soon as I read it - AHA! There it is. This is exactly what I am going through.
No - I am not moving, getting married, divorcing or having a baby (HA-HA!). But surely as the sun will set tonight, I am bringing forth new life, through me, in the days to come.
I can feel the urge to BE in a new way - but what? She/they remind me, I don't need to know. I just need to be gentle with myself.
And rest. And wait.
Are you feeling like your story is changing? Like you need to make some changes but don't know what? Many of us are waking up to new lives as we collectively move through change rapidly. These growing pains can be tricky :)
We'll get through it together.
So, I'll see you on the other side ~ in my new story. Soon.
We want to be understood. Being understood feels good and in an indirect way it affirms us. This is also the fuel that ego wants to keep being right.
What do we do when we feel misunderstood or someone just seems to not “get it”?
Ungrip - let go and accept that they aren’t in the same mind space that you are in. Forgive them immediately for the lack of understanding (this doesn’t necessarily happen out loud) and then let it go.
Courageously love them anyway, or at least be kind. Don’t insist that they understand. Allow them to be in a different place.
Ask for acceptance and the space to be where you are, even though they don’t get it.
Give what you are asking for and what you want.
Trust that if they need to understand, one day they will. The timing is unimportant if we trust that we all are on our “right” path to personal and spiritual development. What one person gets for a lesson, another might not need or be ready for. And it doesn’t really matter.
What matters is that we treat one another with respect and love, kindness and acceptance – the path of the heart. These things are highly underrated and more important and comforting than understanding.
Leave a comment if you'd like and share with a friend who might like some inspiration to live courageously and with an open heart!
I love Laurel's blog entry about Surrendering to Difficult Relationships.
But in reality, what is missing for me in this blog is the “reality.”
That reality, for me, is that the answers to these very important steps can only arise from a state of spiritual maturity, growth, and self-love.
Authentic handling of these steps requires a space of clarity and openness; a willingness to be vulnerable; and, most important, a space in which you first love yourself, without the affirmation of those around you and outside the boundaries and expectations of our social world.
I lived this reality.
My marriage was in tatters in 1996. For the next seven years I tried everything – anti-depressants, counseling, self-help books, church(es), more counseling, alcohol, and obsessive working and career climbing. Thoughts of suicide became more and more common.
I now know that I fought for this most intimate relationship in the most absurd way – first, without any self-love and self-worth, and second, in the company of others, allowing their influence to take precedence. Social norms and pressures prevailed, keeping the marriage vows and knot tied for more than 20 years.
Finally, I could not take the relationship any more. I garnered enough courage to somehow edge out my fears. I left. Broken. Shamed. I left feeling like a failure. Socially, I felt unacceptable.
No doubt, I left my marriage in fear and resistance. I didn’t surrender to the relationship out of love.
I had to first connect to me - my spiritual core to love myself. I had to tap into the universal love, abundance, intelligence, and peace that were in me all along before I could love someone else, authentically. Only in that space could I ever surrender to a difficult relationship like my marriage.
Over the last decade, through gratitude, meditation, prayer, friends, and mentors, I returned to love. It’s in that space that I can authentically develop, maintain, surrender, and, yes, leave relationships (if my true self leads me that way).
I realize now that my soul won. I left that relationship to save myself.
In 1996, these "relationship steps" most likely would have annoyed me. I wouldn’t have understood their essence.
Today, in my space of self-love, the power of those steps is amazingly alive and resonating. In fact, in a space of self love, surrendering to relationships in this way becomes a natural way of handling life.
I now view all relationships as gifts—opportunities to surrender to myself, others, my core, offering more views of forgiveness, boundary setting, self-realization, acceptance, awareness, and life.
I also see relationships as dynamic. They can’t be possessed or bounded by a time frame (and certainly to a "death do we part" perspective). I accept that each will change. I depend on my true self to guide me on their shape. I now know that it’s ok to let them be or go, and if that means leaving a marriage or changing a relationship with a parent or child to evolve into something else, that’s ok, too. As long as the changing occurs in a space of self-love.
Many years after my divorce in 2005, I reached out to my ex-husband from my space of love (not fear or resistance) to establish a relationship at a different level. I remember it as one of my most scary, courageous, vulnerable and forgiving acts. Unfortunately, he was not receptive and that relationship never evolved.
And that's ok.
It wasn’t about him.
It was about me, and the continued growth of my soul.
The relationship was one of my greatest gifts in this world. And, I love him more for that gift every day.
Life has been calling me ~ Grandmother. Elder. Crone.
I am looking in the mirror. Yes, I see her.
Inside I am still me, a young woman who wants to explore life with others. I want intimacy, I want truth. I want to love openly and with wild abandon.
Why was I resisting grandmother-hood inside? It was a subtle, deep and unwanted feeling, this resistance. It was there, I didn’t resist it or ignore. But I also was uncomfortable with it.
I discovered why. Suddenly. Without struggle, without being in the story of my life. It came as a quick ah-ha as I sat at the edge of the bay with my adoring husband sipping a glass of wine on my birthday.
I was resisting the experience because I was afraid of it. I was afraid of less free time. I was afraid of losing the ground I gained in my work life this past year. I was afraid of being ME. The Mother who loves babies and bonding, who wants to be there for her loved ones. Who will sacrifice herself for the child that needs her.
And now another one? Oh right, I am not this baby’s mother. But maybe my daughter will need me :)
How am I going to fit this new experience, this new pull, into my bulging life of goodness? Oh poor me. I know - you feel so bad.
But this is the truth of life. Life comes and we need to respond. How will I respond?
I will respond gracefully I hope. Now that she is here, she and my daughter are well, and life is flowing onward. I am returning to my centered self. It will all work out. I do trust life.
Fear visits in transitions, when we don’t know, can’t predict, when we have to learn and grow. It’s just life.
Be present for your truth today. Is there something you are resisting, something that feels uncomfortable, something that is really fear but is showing up with a different emotional face?
How will you respond to your uncertainty, your call to grow today? I’d love to hear what your being is working with and where you want to go with it. Post a comment below and let’s allow resistance and fear in to the light where we can transform them.