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.
How does a dream actually show up in your life? Usually not the way you thought it would.The universe often delivers way bigger than you imagine. That's if you can truly let go and surrender.
Your job is to dream from your heart. Your work is to get through the doubts and negativity that will show up as you start working toward that dream. Your mission, actually, is to serve your dream.
How does that feel when I say that to you? Is your dream important enough to you for you to surrender, bow to it, and then get to the business of aligning your inner state with that dream?
Remember, your dream is something that comes to you, through you, usually without effort but definitely with attention. You must claim it and commitment.
Align your inner life with your dream or vision, doing the necessary work of releasing all limitations, doubts and judgments so that you can produce that dream through you.
Surrender, commit and serve your dream. If it's important to you then you must align action and your heart and your voice in service to that dream.
What is your dream - what feels like it's in the way of aligning with that reality? Post your comments and let me hold your dream with you.
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.
One of the lovely reorientations I experienced when I trained in Shamanic practices was attuning myself to the truth that our collective Mother is Mother Earth. This reorientation held so many beautiful healings embedded in it ~
- I forgave my mother for not being the “perfect” mother, let go of hurts that had accumulated along the path of growing up, and released any ways I still “needed” anything from her to be well.
- I forgave myself for not being the “perfect” mother to my own children. I humbly allowed them their own path of healing and growing, and believe that whatever dissonance they have felt with me was a part of their own awakening and evolving.
- It matters how I treat this home of ours, Earth. If we trash her, disregard her natural rhythms and take for granted her resources, we will surely experience a collective disease and suffer.
- I’m constantly aware of how our Earth is a self-healing, self-regulating organism, just as each of us is. Without the proper awareness of what we require to maintain wellness and experience wholeness, we lose the probability of maintaining self-healing and self-regulation.
- My consciousness connects to the Earth and every part of her – that’s why it feels so healing and comforting to be in nature. As we spend time outdoors, paying attention to the beauty of our Earth, our nervous system relaxes and recharges. It’s as if we remember who we are in the deepest way.
One of the ways you can begin to feel more balanced and whole, after such a disturbing election and what we experienced as humans of our darker side, is to take responsibility to grow your commitment to live more wholly in line with what Mother Earth needs from you.
And that can begin simply, with gratitude.
We are, and can be the change we want, by Doing things differently ~ beginning with the way we think and where we put our attention.
How might you show and express gratitude for Mother Earth?
For those of you who want to adopt a ritual for healing Mother Earth and honoring what we receive every day, I share with you a beautiful practice called Despacho. This is a lovely experience to bring a family/group together around.
Before you actually begin, gather some offerings. Things like feathers, leaves, flowers, incense, essential oils, food, dried flowers, bits of papers for messages and intentions. Get a large paper to hold all that you will be placing in the offering.
Create a sacred environment for this time. Light a candle, burn incense - whatever will symbolize your taking part in an important experience - a ritual or ceremony.
Take your time and think about your gratitude and the gifts you receive every day that are often taken for granted. Mindfully, choose an item from your offering collection ~ really feel the gratitude for what you are focusing on. Blow the energy of your gratitude into the offering and place it on the large paper. Continue this process, taking turns if others are with you, circling around until the experience feels complete.
Gently fold your paper and tie the bundle, the Despacho. Make any final blessings you wish with it and then take it outside and mindfully bury it in a place of honor. Thank Mother Earth one last time for all your gifts ~ and spend time feeling the love.
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!
Years ago I was defined by sadness. I felt so much pain, both my own and that of the world around me.
As an empath, I feel others emotional pain when they are around. The good news is I also tap into the joy that is around me too. Now I realize I can choose what I want more of and focus my attention and engagement there.
This year I am consciously seeking, allowing, embracing, embodying and redefining joy in my life. As I observe joy and when it's happening, I see that joy comes through and from little things more often than not. Joy lifts me up throughout the day as I engage with it consciously.
Pink hyacinths on my desk – the fragrance is joyful!
Playing Bach in the background as I write creatively – the sound brings me joy
Images that I love – sparking my creativity – when I find one to share – it’s a JoyBurst
My first sip of tea every morning – JOY!
Moving my body and feeling strong in my being elicits joy and makes me want to move more
Morning meditation when I enter the silence - Joy of all JOY
Heartfelt JOY arises readily when I connect with loved ones and we laugh - and cry - together
All of these are sensual experiences, not intellectual exercises. I often talk about how we live through the mind in the Western culture. No wonder, we often lack joy, really experiencing and reveling in Joy.
Want more joy? Try focusing on your heart, less in your mind. Simply notice when you are thinking and caught in mental drama. Then take your willing attention, and bring into your heart, look around and wonder, what will bring me joy right now?
And yes, if you focus on your heart you will feel all feelings more. Sadness included. If you are not allowing joy in your life because of your fear of sadness, I am here to help with that. Courageously going after the life you want means you must open your heart and not filter the comings and goings of emotion.
Daily joy - it's a way of life that's attainable.
When we are growing up and being socialized, we learn how to adapt. This adapting involves three practices that many of us become proficient in – resisting, clinging and conforming. We adopt these behaviors to create relationships, to get through learning experiences, and to find our way to make a living in the world.
Unfortunately these very same practices that help us grow and make our way in the world when we are younger can stifle our fulfillment, peace and joy later in life. It takes awareness and persistence to break those limiting patterns. And the pay-off is huge!
When we are young we are simply alive. We eat, sleep and release. Then we add play and learning. As we age, we are taught how to resist our natural inclinations in order to become socially acceptable, like going to the bathroom, throwing a temper tantrum when we want something, and playing outside when it’s dinnertime. We were taught to resist these inner impulses and instead conform to the “rules” of our home life. Resisting helps create environments to live in that allow for the collective “peace and orderliness”. This is a good thing.
Once you have learned how to be a “good” citizen (I use the phrase loosely), resisting your inner impulses automatically hurts you in many ways. Deep within your being, your innate wisdom knows what you want and need to create a life of adventure – of peace and joy. Unfortunately, if you become too disconnected from that inner impulse, habitually resisting the inner voice, you create a life of ongoing stress and tension. Your inner voice and impulse is not gone, it simply gets ignored, argued with or dismissed as unworthy of attention. For a fulfilling life, you must become strongly reconnected with your inner wisdom and guidance again.
This isn’t a guarantee that you will never experience stress and tension again. You will, but you learn to use it as a motivating energy to self-create a fulfilling life. Sure, there may be hard work, challenges and more growth when you follow that inner wisdom. But you also experience excitement, passion and joy! And inner peace becomes a steady state deep within- because you no longer resist what is pulsing through your body as Your Truth.
Clinging is a form of extreme attachment. Attachment is a good thing because it helps us feel safe at a time when we need others to keep us alive and safe - literally. Think of how helpless a baby and a young child are! We all need trusted others to help us until we can do life more independently. Healthy attachments are formed when we feel connected in ways that allow us to flourish and thrive in the world. Forming healthy attachments requires healthy individuals who know how to let go and allow others what they need to have fulfilling experiences.
Clinging becomes habitual when we lack an inner sense of confidence and security. We aren’t confident that we can go get what we need for fulfillment and live a vibrant life regardless of the relationships we are in today. Relationships may contribute to our happiness and joy, but they are not the sole factor in feeling secure and excited about life. Healthy attachments are helpful, clinging hurts us.
Clinging to anything establishes an inner habit – and eventually a belief - that leaves you feeling like a victim to the very thing you are clinging to for dear life! If that “life preserver” goes, you are sunk. We become free and relaxed when we release our attachments to having to have anything, or having to having anything a certain way. We recognize that we are powerless over any “thing” - and we welcome it. Non-attachment is a spiritual practice in many faiths. Learning how to let go - not cling - is preparation for the big finish – death. Not preparing for the end sets us up for incredible suffering. A favorite teacher used to say to me, “ungrip”, when I was mentally struggling, or wanting to control an outcome of a situation.
Learning not to cling, grip or control allows us to find a security deep within and a faith beyond our individual experience.
Being socialized means we conform to the rules of the environments within which we are raised. Those with a rebellious streak are often unconsciously controlled by their environment through the need to NOT conform. Conforming is a good thing when it allows us to feel a part of a community and enjoy the experience of nurturing and growing collectively.
The trouble with conforming, especially unconsciously, is that it controls your behavior and disconnects you from your inner wisdom, the wisdom that wants you to continue evolving throughout your entire life, finding new tribes and new environments to express the ever-emerging you.
Automatically conforming hurts us by stifling the creative energy that naturally wants to emerge through us. Our creative energy is essential to our wellbeing. Conforming is a sure away to tamp down that energy and dull your life experience. If you are bored with your life today, consider a thorough exploration of how you are conforming and how you might start to release these chains from your life so that you may experience the joy of authentically expressing yourself once again.
For resisting, listen to your inner dialogue or feelings like, I don't like that. See if you can alter it to something like, wow, that's different and see if you can develop a curiosity about it.
If you are clinging, tell yourself "ungrip!" like me :)
If you are conforming, try breaking a few little rules. There are plenty you can break without harming anyone. Do it so that you break the automatic stream of conforming.
If you’ve lost your zest for life, take inventory and start to break your habits of clinging, resisting and conforming. You might find yourself waking up one day and feeling the passion that’s always been there, waiting for your invitation to come forth.
What if your life purpose isn’t about Doing something?
Stay with me and imagine.
Last week I led a workshop and was talking with women about how to live comfortably in your own skin. I made a statement that really resonated with them.
“I think that what is important to women is how we feel and how we connect with others, so the search for a life purpose that is about Doing something may be like chasing the wind.”
What if we focused on feeling good – whatever feelings those are and started to organize our life around those actions and routines that brought about positive feelings? Does that feel revolutionary to you?
My life went from a chronic state of inner sadness to feeling freedom inside to choose, and then the scary adventure of choosing again and again to move towards what feels right and true for me. My life purposes are about having intimate connections so I feel understood and loved, about feeling peaceful as my consistent backdrop, and about feeling alive and impassioned about my life in a day-to-day way.
Why is it a scary adventure for choosing again and again to move towards what feels right and true for me? Because I am always taking risks and that has a fear edge to it. Whether it’s about saying something to my spouse or friend that I am afraid they won’t really like, or it’s about deciding to take a path with my work that means I don’t know how to get to the end result, it’s a risk. And also peaceful because I live truthfully to me.
Yes, I am Doing - and feel like I have purpose everyday. But my greatest purpose is to feel good and affect everyone around me positively, to give them space to invite what they truly want forward. Because that’s what I see makes a real difference in how we are living as a community, whether it’s work or family. Each day I remind myself that everything is a choice. How I show up and what I feel like makes the day either good or bad. I can choose.
If you are looking for your life purpose, direction or calling, or simply something more to life than what you are experiencing right now, determine what you want to feel, what you want your relationships to feel like and then get to the business of organizing your life towards bringing those feelings into your life as a way of life. What you do or want to do will show up as a result.
Focus on the feeling of being, not the doing, and see what shifts.
If you want support in this process and a method to get there quickly, seriously consider my Live Your Inner Power Program that will be available online this January. Details are here. We’re building a community of women who are living their inner power and creating lives they feel really really good about!
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.