Wednesday, August 18, 2010


What do you do when it seems like the universe in it’s infinite wisdom, is taking a baseball bat to every structure you worked so hard to build in your life?  Nothing.  Let it all fall apart.  Sometimes we build structures in our lives for various reasons, often out of fear and to maintain a sense of control.  One day will come when it seems like the universe wants you to feel out of control with no comfort, no break and no reprieve in any regard.  This isn’t time to feel like a victim, it isn’t time to feel sorry for yourself and it certainly isn’t time to seek out others to blame for what you are dealing with.  Its time to remember those days from a long time ago when your bike had training wheels.  You were doing just fine riding with them and then one day, mom, dad, grandma or grandpa decided we were strong enough and had enough balance to take on the ride without the comfort and seeming protection of training wheels.  We may have been scared to death but we took that ride and despite how many attempts it took us, we learned to ride without the training wheels.

So, in life it seem sthat when we least expect it, the training wheels in different places of our lives are abruptly removed and we must move through our day without the comfort and safety of those training wheels.  It can feel like hell, it can feel terrifying and it can really seem to drag you right down to your knees.  Well, think of it this way—when you’re on your knees you’re in a perfect position to pray.  If that’s not your method of choice, you can pause and meditate about what you’ve seen and experienced, get in touch with your feelings and think about what the heart, core and truth of the matter really is.  Life is not designed to bring you down, make you falter and barely exist.  Life’s lessons and challenges take your weakest points, expose them to the light of day and give you an opportunity to become stronger.  There are days when I feel like I should be made of steel.  But the reality is that there is always room for improvement, there are always new experiences and there are always new ways for us to experience the world in a more healthy manner.

So, when the baseball bat knocks everything down, let it fall.  Think about how you can rebuild and grow stronger by doing things a little differently.  Its not rocket science and its not the end of the world.  If you step back and just observe the emotion of it, you just might find child-like reactions to everything that is happening around you.  This is a good thing.  That child-like reaction of anger, frustration and blame is really a unique and wonderful opportunity to learn and grow—reach past all things known to you and learn something new and ultimately more healthy for you.  While you are in the midst of a great change cycle, don’t forget to take care of yourself while you are in the process.  Get more exercise, eat healthier and get more rest.  You can try vitamins, read helpful books to distract you from worries for a time.  You can find little things you enjoy doing and focus on those until the dust settles and you once again have a more balanced presence of mind to begin rebuilding the structures of your life in a new way.

Structures, if you didn’t catch the metaphor can be work-life, friends, relationships, habits and routines that give you a sense of safety.  We build many structures to give us a sense of security and control.  We are amazing in that regard.  But, sometimes we outgrow the structures that we’ve built and being creatures of habit, if the universe (also a metaphor for any force that impacts your structures generically speaking) did not come along and shake things up, we’d never learn and grow.  And, well, it’s just too bad if you weren’t interested in learning something new or growing.  You can’t be alive and not continue to learn and grow.  Speaking from experience, I’m getting to the point where I no longer desire to build structures to be torn down.  I think I’d rather just go with the flow.  It’s less disappointing.   But, I do have to make sure I maintain a lot of faith and trust in my own abilities to always come out okay.  If I become too fearful or frightened things will get worse.  So, when I’m in this situation, I try to keep a more curious attitude about what might be happening and try not to get too focused or attached to outcomes.  I try not to impose my will where it doesn’t belong and I find these changes a bit easier to deal with.  Honestly, our gut reactions are our gut reactions and we can’t change those but we can change what we do as a result of those innate natural reactions we have.  We can talk ourselves out of unhealthy or child-like reactions to change in life.  We can parent ourselves through these challenging situations with love, wonder and respect and even find a way to enjoy the process even if a bit uncomfortable. 


Friday, August 6, 2010

Button Pushers - The Otherside of the Story

Do you have Button Pushers in your life? You know, the ones that are close to you, know where your weak spots are and they push at those tender spots until it hurts and it makes you insane in frustration and sometimes anger? I’m going to be honest here and you may not like what I’m about to say but you react to button pushing because of your own wounds inside. Can you really blame the button pushers when maybe you ought to take a look at the state of your own spirit and give some time and attention to those weak and wounded spots? Sometimes the button pushers are very adept at stepping right into those places where we feel inferior and then go out of their way with derogatory comments and/or take actions that leave us feeling put down. Did you know they do this because they might enjoy conflict, they too are wounded and misery does love company?

So, there is a way to deal with button pushers. And it does NOT involve looking for and exposing their own weakness. I’ll let you in on a little secret. They can only spot our weaknesses because they are weak there too. So, to lash out at them, to set them straight or attempt to save face honestly does nothing but give them an adrenaline fix. Heck, maybe you enjoy the adrenaline fix of the conflict and want to lash back out, that’s your prerogative but at the end of the day, it doesn’t get you anywhere unless you are willing to take a look inside of you, understand your reactions and work with your Maker, a trusted counselor or friend to heal your own weaknesses. Our egos, the wounded parts at least, are the genesis of all that is dramatic, conflict-filled and frustrating in this world. If we stopped for a moment to consider why the conflict exists (maybe we are looking for external validation that we are good or we are okay), we might be able to not only move our buttons but remove them and peacefully come to a place where the opinions of others do not in any way threaten us or make us feel less than who we really are.

No one likes to be exposed and those who are out there attempting to create conflict for you have their own issues. It’s not your job to be their guru and set them straight at every turn. Set boundaries to protect yourself including setting boundaries within your own reactions. Protect yourself in the most healthy of ways by keeping your focus on your own weakest points and strengthening those instead of getting back at the button pushers by exposing them like they exposed you. I grew up with a button pusher, several actually. Growing up was often filled with conflict and a fight to protect yourself emotionally speaking. I would be valid in my anger with these people. I would be valid in my attempts to expose their wounds and pain like they always took pleasure in exposing mine. But, that will not bring me to a place of forgiveness and a place of forgiveness is the only way I can give myself protection, peace and serenity which I now value way more than being right.

I don’t fight with the know it alls any more. If someone wants to expose their own lack of knowledge by claiming supreme intelligence on an issue, that really isn’t my problem. They can expose their own ignorance and learn from the experience without my interference. Its not my job to teach them they are ignorant, hurtful or off-based in any way. It’s my job to maintain my center, choose to act in conflicting situations and protect myself by remaining true to myself. I vowed a long time ago to refuse to let the button pushers make me like them. I see the pain they are in and how much pleasure they take in extracting pain from others. They do it mostly unconsciously and like any true addict they will get their fix in the name of love, caring and brutal honesty. But even brutal honesty is still brutally abusive without the appropriate tact in delivery of kind and caring messages. They will have you feeling guilty for not understanding the great pains and sacrifices they have made to bring your short-comings to your attention while you sit there seething in anger and sometimes even guilt.

So, hmmm, button pushers. You do have options based on the level of challenge these people create in your life. Know this, you have the right to terminate any conversation in which you feel you are being emotionally abused or put down. You do not have to defend yourself, validate your position or explain. Simply state, this conversation is getting you nowhere and end it. You have the right to terminate relationships with people who refuse to respect boundaries that you set. If these people truly love you, they’ll get the message and attempt to modify their behavior. If they don’t, you can walk away and I do not care who they are to you. You have the right to be surrounded by loving, kind and compassionate people. If your family is not that to you, you can find a soul family who will give you loving, kind and compassionate support.

I think of conflict as I’ve described above as “unworthy battles.” Unworthy battles are pointless to fight and I don’t care what someone says to me, I will not fight an unworthy battle. I look to my Maker to guide me and to help me trust myself that I am a good and honest person, worthy of respect and dignity. I trust that with Divine Guidance, I will handle conflict in a loving and compassionate way that will not create more toxic negative energy for me and I even pray that the adrenaline addicted person in my midst finds healing so they can one day stop deriving pleasure from my pain or the pain of others and live a happier life.

These choices I make as I have described above are not easy. I have wounded places within also that most immediately desire to react and get even. I am so very human and sometimes even more so than others. But, I learned a long time ago that I do not have to react. I can instead choose my actions, what I will take to heart and what I will allow myself to think about me. I do not need the validation of the outside world, my family or friends even if I love them! The only validation I need is my own and the validation I receive daily from my Maker. It’s true what they say, all of the answers lie within. Look within to know what is right. Get comfortable with who you are inside your own skin and next time the button pushers come at you, see their actions for what they are—show them something no one ever has—compassion, self-respect and self-kindness. Blessings!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Learning Life's Repeat Lessons


Do you find yourself frustrated looking back and seeing how many mistakes in life you seem to repeat?  Does it make you angry, sad, frustrated and really get the negative thoughts about you flowing?  I’ve been there and it isn’t a whole lot of fun when you see similar negative themes running through your life.  In fact, it’s down-right disheartening.  But, it really shouldn’t be.  Everything in life is a life lesson and sometimes it takes repetition in order for a lesson to really sink in.  Remember learning your multiplication tables in elementary school?  It’s really the same idea.

So, we have to accept the fact that sometimes in life, the lessons just repeat.  There may be new faces and new places that we encounter but there are bound to be similar themes that you face and handle exactly the same way you did before with the same unsatisfying result.  You might wonder how you can get free of those themes.  There are many ways to get free.  Personally, I think you need to understand the source of your decision patterns.  You need to trace the themes all the way back even if within childhood to understand where certain reactions are born.  Once you can trace the reactions back to a source somewhere in time, you are like to find pain and fear at the source of reactions that you seem to unconsciously repeat when presented with similar lessons over and over again.  Do you wonder why those themes repeat?  Well, I personally think it is because you came into this life with specific lessons that you wanted to learn.  Until you learn to act differently (notice I did not say react) when a similar theme presents itself, you can probably expect the similar themes, your familiar reactions and resulting outcomes to continue.

I hate repeat lessons and am always on the look out for them and when I find myself in the midst of one, I tend to shake my head, “Oh, no!  Not again.”  This happens to me often and I’m beginning to think I’m a slow learner but instead of getting caught up in completely negative self-talk for not getting it, as I look into the situation further and do some honest analysis, I see that my techniques do improve over time.  I notice boundaries go up quicker in a healthy way.  I’m more vocal in certain situations that tend to repeat.  I am a lot more understanding of others and also of myself because I work harder to understand the source of my reactions.  And, I now notice that when I begin to react, there are a few moments—sometimes only mere seconds—where I have a choice to decide if I will react or withdraw to understand the situation, see it from a bigger picture, attempt to see a situation through the eyes of love and then take action even if my version of taking action is taking no action.

So, don’t beat yourself up for repeat lessons.  Do yourself a favor and notice how much more quickly you do see the repeat lesson unfolding and realize that if nothing else, your reaction time is improving, your awareness is expanding and if you are open to it, you can begin to look at the core of the issue that brings the lesson to you and attempt to heal that wound that causes your reaction.  Learning about forgiveness and unconditional love not only for other people in a particular situation but primarily for yourself as you are out there doing all the learning is really going to be the key to mastery and successful learning in the Earth school.  So, I challenge you to cut yourself some slack, give yourself a break and allow yourself to be open to seeing situations and reactions within you with new eyes, a changed perspective and watch in awe and wonder as the healing begins and those nagging little repeat lessons and tests start to dissipate.  This is your life and you can do with it what you will.  Learn the things you must.  Forgive where ever you can and above all else, love yourself unconditionally no matter what!!!!!  Blessings!

If you enjoyed reading this post, you might also like my books.   I'd be honored if you'd visit my author spotlight at:  Blessings.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Gossamer Flame

Searching through the cold and dark,
Finding rocks and unexpected pitfalls,
Grappling to find handholds and footholds,
Falling and rising and then falling yet again.

Eventually the chasm opens a bit wider,
Cavernous echoes of victims still pleading,
Questing for something they know not the source of,
Forever lost in the foggy mists of their own minds.

When all is seemingly intangibly lost,
Unbidden tears come angling down,
As they fall a glimmer of light does flicker,
A fragile gossamer flame burns lightly.

That flame lies within so searching is fruitless,
Looking with your eyes will render your failure.
Search with your heart through your dreams on the inside
And soon you will find that love therein lies.

That gossamer flame can become an inferno...
Spilling bright light in every direction,
But only when you find it and realize it's in there,
Will you ignite the passion and intensity you search for.

 If you enjoyed reading this post, you might also like my books.   I'd be honored if you'd visit my author spotlight at:  Blessings.

Hopeful Soul

Gray skies defined
Only by the glittering tides
That meet it.

The waves of the sea
Remind me acutely
Of the emotion welling inside.

Both are beautiful...
Each in its own way
A miracle of life.

My soul can't contain
This much sorrow...
This much joy...

So I sit here
In a cool and peaceful sea breeze...
Become part of the scenery
And disappear.

But, I'm never lost,
Sitting right here safely...
In the seat of my soul.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Surrender, Breathe and Be Centered

There are just those days that will seem to tax you to the core of your being. On those days when you’ve grown weary of resistance and just too tired to fight it, there is one thing you can do—stop reacting. When you stop reacting you can take control a step further in a healthy way and just breathe. One thing about life is there just doesn’t seem to be any shortage of life lessons to contend with. Some of those lessons may involve dealing with trauma, regret, frustration and disappointment. Some of those lessons may involve finally getting the fact that you have no power to control the people around you or even the situations that you face. When you come to those moments and the toxic adrenaline reaches epic proportions inside of your body there is a moment when the will to resist just breaks. It feels horrible for a few seconds, but only a few seconds. Tears may fall, rage may wish to well up and out of you but also in that space, if you dig deep enough, there is a strong and unending stream of peace and tranquility. But it’ll cost you something…surrender.

Sometimes our ego gives us that “Never say die” attitude and we fight and resist the stressful things around us, the uncontrollable things swirling around us and the chaotic things seemingly knocking on all of our emotional doors. But sometimes the ego is a fearful child throwing a temper tantrum just from failing to get its own way. You can spot that in action if you pull your consciousness back to the position of an observer. Notice your thoughts in such circumstances and notice that the space inside of you doing the noticing is truly at peace and often amused even if more neutrally so. So, the will can be a funny thing when the impetus for reaction is fear. One can engage in the craziness and spin wheels and keep the machinations of temporary stressful insanity going OR one can stop all reaction, breathe and let go of stressful thoughts and find a way, one-thought-at-a-time if necessary, to regain composure.

It’s important when faced with stressful things to find a way to get to your center. It isn’t easy. Sometimes you have to cut back on the sheer volume of things creating reactions in you. Maybe you are trying to solve too much in too short of a span of time or maybe you are attempting to control other people (even if in a good way from your perspective). Sometimes you have to let go of something to get to a place where you can find peace, tranquility and serenity. Serenity is at the base of who we are on the inside. If left to our own devices without the demands of others always upon us, we can be happy if we choose to. We can also be miserably alone if we choose to. Choose is an amazing word. We have so many choices up until the moment we let emotion take control and begin to react. Once we are reacting instead of acting, we have already given our power over to the very thing we are resisting. It doesn’t have to be that way. But when we get to THAT edge—to THAT sort of breaking point, we have to find a way to pause, something to make us stop reacting and becoming overwrought with emotion. You have to find something healthy that works for you. Me, I leave the room, excuse myself from companions, cancel appointments and withdraw letting those around me know I will return in moments or shortly. Taking a time out is something I’ve found to be incredibly effective in helping me shift from a reactor mode to an actor mode.

We give so much of our power away every day without even realizing we have a choice. When we are overly emotional, we are in a space of deficit and if we do not want to say or do things that might hurt us or others in some way, we have to regain our center. Find something healthy that works for you and simply excuse yourself and go do whatever that is. Breathe. Let go of controlling thoughts. Say the Serenity Prayer if you have to but stop that frenetic urge to control, slip back into that observer position and remove yourself even if only mentally from the situation so you can regain composure. Only through regaining composure will you really get the lesson that is trying to present itself.

I have many stressful days and sometimes I will go days letting it build until I forget these simple tools. I tend to try to solve all of my problems and challenges at once. I habitually take on more than I can possibly handle until I cave from the stress. When I find myself heading in that direction, I have to stop everything – focus on just one thing at a time and just breathe. I can then begin to regain composure. I can ask for help only when I am centered and thinking clearly. I can solve whatever I face only if I am centered. I can admit defeat in a healthy way only if I am not overwrought with emotion. But that’s just me. Maybe it’s you too and if it is, find what works for you. Stressful situations and thoughts you dwell on can be like a magnet or a signal to the universe to send you more of THAT! So, don’t stay in that frame of mind for longer than necessary to understand what is happening. As stressful situations happen, don’t spend too long feeling like a victim either. Victims have lost their power. If you over-identify with feeling victimized, you have given away your power somehow. Fight to find another way to think about things…change your perspective from victors and victims to actions and consequences.

So much of what we experience is based on what we think. Think good thoughts. Think positive thoughts. Send away negative self-talk with positive affirmations always. Stop judging yourself and others harshly when under stress and you might find that you can regain your center so much more quickly. Everything in life is an experience to learn from. So pay attention, learn well and know that you are strong enough to handle your life…you are smart enough to figure out your life…you are loved enough to nurture yourself through any potential mistakes and you can be forgiving enough to not spend any energy spooled up in anger for long. Many blessings and much peace!