Saturday, October 30, 2010

Judgment and the Overly Positive in the Spiritual Community

Several conversations over the past few days with some very wise souls got me to thinking and while I think, I tend to write because it helps me realize the full meaning of the topical lessons presenting themselves in my life. The post below is a train off thoughts I've been mulling over for a few days and a couple of themes have been brought out in so many situations with so many people I know. I touched on a few of them lightly here in my own way. In writing this article, if I sound frustrated, I honestly do not mean to be. In my own way, while I am being judgmental in the writing of this post, I do so in a space of love, compassion and understanding and wish to remind others who may be interested that there are times when we've gone too far or are incomplete with certain teachings we on at your own risk (smiles). I hope you enjoy or at least this provokes some thoughts. And, please feel free to share them with me! :)

And so, it goes....

While walking the spiritual path I have seen some amazing and wonderful things. I have experienced the highest of highs, pure joy and smiles. I have also experienced the lowest of lows, pure sadness and pain. That is the way of the spiritual path. It is not all wine and roses as some would have you believe. If you think, think, and think positive and bad things still happen around you, it is not because you are doing something wrong. It is because there are lessons you sought to learn in this lifetime for the enrichment of your soul and to assist with the enlightenment of others as you grow through life. Pretty simple huh?

I wish that you could see and experience the love I have been witness to when a soul group comes together and freely gives love and encouragement to the group just for the pure joy of giving with no expectation of receiving. I wish that you would never have to experience the dire disappointment of folks posing as light beings out to exercise their psychological drama on you. I have seen much on my spiritual journey. But then again, perhaps dealing with the darker aspects of the journey can be just as enriching as the lighter aspects. I guess it depends on what you do with what you learn.

I wish to turn to the darker side for a moment. And I speak of this not to tell a story of reinforcement of negativity but to shine a little light of awareness as you journey on your own spiritual path. Spiritual gatherings and communities here on Earth are made up of people. People who, for the most part, have similar paths or purpose, or so they think. However, people are people no matter what you do and where you are. The reality is, the ego exists and carries its wounded parts in sometimes underground fashion and manifests as passive-aggressive behavior, jealousy over the gifts possessed by others, harmful judgment for the purpose of exploiting one’s own wounds without realizing it and even envy. I’ve witnessed wise seeming souls unleash on others who make an inquiry, deviate from a speaker/writer’s position…I’ve seen people behave very poorly and use scripture to condemn others and I’ve seen people’s wounded egos trample on the hearts of those who really just wish to learn and understand. Its very difficult to watch and very painful to feel. It happens though. No matter how hard we try, we all have ego, we all have environmental psychology that shapes our view for good or ill and we all have lessons to learn even from the smallest of teachers no matter how much we think we have learned.

There are those who sincerely wish to uplift others in the spiritual community. They have been given much and understand that to keep some gifts flowing, they must be given away. There are those who gather followers like collecting nick knacks and they gauge their worth in life by how many followers they attract. There are those who use an influential position to minimize others. There are those who share words underground striking a balance in between somewhere. None of them are wholly good and none of them are wholly evil. Actions are actions and the results are mere consequences of actions taken. No matter what anyone does, there will be those on the sidelines very quick to judge and I might add with not one stitch of compassion, not one ounce of understanding and with all the ugliness that can live within man unleashed on another individual on the path for some self-righteous reason. Self-righteousness can be deadly. Not to over quote what has already been over quoted but have you ever read St. Mathew 7? It reads in part: “Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. And why beholdest though the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt though say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye: and behold, a beam is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt though see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye. Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.

We must be judgmental to a certain degree but it is how we judge that is the key. If you are very quick to take inventory of all around you in their wrong-doings but refuse to take inventory of all that is not right within you, you are merely a hypocrite escaping your own troubles and trials by focusing on someone else’s faults. If you judge and wish to bring a matter to someone’s attention, do so not with loathing and malice in your heart but with love, compassion, understanding and gentle (not brutal) sincere honesty. You may be making assumptions. You may not understand the situation. You also may see what’s wrong in others because of what is wrong or has been wrong in you. It’s important to pay attention to your motivation for bringing your judgment to another’s attention. Are you in a space of love, compassion and understanding meaning to help and assist? Or, do you wish merely to be right while making another smaller in your judgment? Self-righteousness can often backfire. None of us is any better than our brothers or sisters here. We all have our lessons to learn, honesty to entertain, have things within to fix and transform and understanding to gain. We must use discernment daily in order to choose what is really right for us and what is not right for us. We must use discernment in a healthy way in order to help us mature and grow here.

It’s easy to point the finger at others and tell them they are wrong. One thing I always remember is that when I point the finger at another and call them wrong, there are 3 fingers pointing back at no one else but me. So, the spiritual community is not unlike any other kind of community. There are those that are emotionally, psychologically and spiritually healthy and there are those who are not. There are those who are open to honest and sincere constructive criticism and there are those of us in denial. We’re no different than anyone else in any group, in any civilization in the world. It’s how we deal with what we see that brings us closer to our spirituality or builds a wall that separates us from true spirituality. It is up to us to discern what that is. It is up to us to make sure, as the Matthew verse indicates that we are taking care of our own stuff because without taking care of our own stuff, there is no way we can help others take care of their stuff. If what you say is not about instilling growth, hope or faith in someone else, bite your tongue before it bestows upon someone else an egotistical judgment designed to make you right at the expense of making someone else wrong. There is a danger here, always.

For myself, I’ve had folks come at with me screaming hellfire and brimstone is my ultimate destiny because I do not follow this or that spiritual path. I remind them that they were not assigned my personal gurus and if they do not like what they see in me, their thoughts and focus is within their control, they can change the channel and move on instead of making exorbitant efforts to convince me of my wrongness and their rightness. I’m human and am wrong about all sorts of things but the caring soul that comes to me with gentle honesty designed to help and enlighten rather than diminish and belittle will gain my ultimate respect…and in that moment, they would in fact become a beneficial teacher. So, the reality is, there is judgment in this world. I’ve said often that I try not to judge. That’s not really true. I strive not to judge in a way that is unhealthy and would never open my mouth until I’m certain I am in a space of love, compassion and understanding. If I am at all feeling ego-triggered with jealousy or envy, I will shut my mouth until I deal with my own stuff. But that’s me. I get to choose and if I don’t like what I see, I can change the channel—turn my focus away from what I don’t like or disagree with. It’s my prerogative.

Another challenge with the spiritual community and some motivational speakers in particular is that they unrealistically focus on just the positive without providing real and valid assistance in dealing with the negative. You just might manifest that brand new Ferrari but what if you crash it the next day, the accident is your fault and you’re about to lose everything—now what? How are you going to deal with that? Along with the conscious understanding of how to create and think positively, you must also be taught to deal with conflict and drama constructively. Drama and conflict can be truly wonderful guides but definitely they are not for the weak of constitution. Dramatic people exist all around us and for very good reason…how can we be drama free? Conflict occurs in every city, every day, every year. How can you be free of conflict? It does not go away by refusing to see it. You cannot be callus and think you have no hand in conflict coming at you or others…well, yeah you can but that isn’t solving the problem. Nothing is solved in your life by ignoring it.

Yes, we must work hard to turn negative thoughts into positive ones. No, we should not expect that in this life we will be drama and conflict free. Yes, we should strive to deal with drama and conflict in a healthy way for us. No, we should not beat ourselves up when our manifestation doesn’t work like we planned. Yes, we should be honest with ourselves and responsible when in an influential position. No, we should not accept negative thoughts that derail our own self love. Yes we should love unconditionally, starting with the self and that means setting boundaries with those we love if they are hurting us. No, we should not ignore behavior in ourselves that indicates we are wounded. We should deal with our stuff so that we can enjoy life. Yes, we should be there for others and try to bring others along as we journey. No, we should never put people down for difference in opinion, fight to be right at the expense of making someone else wrong. Yes, we should judge but do so lovingly. No we should not ignore the drama and conflict but trust that it has purpose, good purpose even if we cannot see it when it occurs.

The spiritual community where ever you find it is made up of fellow travelers. All are on different parts of the journey and some are on similar parts. Others will have tough life lessons that will take longer to learn and some will pick it up lightening quick. We should not envy or judge unkindly as we journey because when we do, that is what we will ultimately create for ourselves. My honest wish as I look out on the horizon at the spiritual community is that each finds his or her way to true emotional, psychological and spiritual healing so that they can live a happier and more meaning full life and as they transform the challenges and lessons that they learn, I pray they take 10 or more people along with them in a good way and so on, and so on. When you run across those that are just not your cup of tea, you can focus away from those people or “change the channel” with your thoughts. Its not always your job to fix everyone. Sometimes your only job is to fix you and find middle ground for dealing with conflict, joy, drama and happiness amongst your family, friends and the spiritual community. Much love, light and blessings to you all~!

Thanks IS and AD for the thought provoking conversations!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Impromtu Walk

I took an impromptu walk today noticing a stretch of empty land behind a shopping center.  The sun was just up, beautiful deep green dew covered grass spread up and down hills and I could almost hear my inner child staying, “Can we go, please, an adventure, can we check it out, come on, please?????”  So, I relented and explored for a few moments.  Sadly, the homeless and disrespectful filled this park.  There was trash everywhere but there were also stretches where you could catch a glimpse of the beauty that once was in this particular area, right in the middle of the suburbs.  Its land that the Newland’s donated to the city a long time ago.  Their old farmhouse still stands on Beach Boulevard in Huntington Beach, CA.  It was such a quiet little hilly place and I actually found a seemingly untouched spot where I could stand there and listen to the birds while taking in the view of a natural landscape of trees and shrubs.  It was really beautiful.

Sad to me,  however, where the sights walking back to my car.  People, homeless, everything they own in their cars with barely enough room to sleep.  It made my heart ache.  Everyone’s situation isnt the same and some of these folks are here by their own choices in life.  I had a family member once who did not seem to get along with work for long.  This family member just couldn’t function with her emotional ups and downs, back pain treated only with lots of pain medication and alcohol refusing treatment that might bring long-term results.  As a result, this family member was able to become qualified for early disability from the federal government and tried to live off of a mere $600 a month and food stamps--  Very tough to do in this day and age.  Because of the emotional challenges she faced unchecked, she was frequently asked to move from roommate situations and eventually dealt with frequent bouts of homelessness, run ins with the law and getting to know the underside of society.  These were the results of the choices that she made.  She could have chosen differently but could not bring herself too.  Maybe it was the emotional challenges left unchecked that lived totally underground while in the system…hidden so that the wounds could never be brought to the surface where real healing could begin.  I’m just not sure and it’s not my place to judge but I thought of this family member as I walked by and saw a woman sleeping in her car with very likely everything she owned.

There is a tiny sliver between that woman and I…maybe that is an understatement…gratefully and graciously I’ve been blessed with good emotional, physical and mental health.  I’ve been blessed with a drive and ambition to never settle for less.  But I do contrast that, in particular with my family member.  This poor soul believes she has been victimized by the system, by men, by God, by me and the rest of the family.  Everyone else in existence is accountable for her predicament but her.  How do you combat delusional thoughts such as these?  I don’t know.  I remember another time down by the Pier in Huntington Beach.  I went early for a walk and a man came and sat down right by me.  He wanted a few bucks for some breakfast and I had just that and gave it to him.  He started to tell me his story and I told him it wasn’t necessary for him to explain anything.  He is who he is, his path is his path, I gave him what he asked for and nothing else was necessary.  He told me he just needed someone to listen.  So, I did.  He told me he had it all—a house, a wife, 3 beautiful daughters.  He lost his job and couldn’t provide for them.  He had become so depressed he could not function and could not work.  He began drinking heavily and he lost everything…the wife, the kids, his dignity and self-respect.  He depended on friends until they could or would support him no more and now here he sits, at the beach, homeless.  He said with everything in him, he wanted to walk straight into the water and never come out.  Still I just listened.  He said his piece and I looked at him and said, “In case you forgot, you are a child of God just like the rest of us…inside- you are beautiful and your life has purpose even if you can’t see it right now.”  He just shook his head and said he would never understand.   I said a prayer for him right then and there…told him God bless and left.  I felt sad but again I could see choices made and maybe those choices were made due to ill mental or emotional health.  If people knew they had wounds and that there was nothing wrong in seeking some direction for healing those emotional and mental wounds, maybe they could make better choices but the ego is tricky sometimes.  It’s by far better to drop out of the system, society and lose everything than to admit at some level you might be a bit defective???  Unrealized is that imperfectness is perfect for that soul in this world.

I tried to detach and hold as much compassion as I could.   But to me it seems easy – go get some help…but, I forget, I am mostly emotionally and mentally stable.  Some folks are not and they seem unable or unwilling to get there.  Do they deserve hatred, disdain or pity?  No, not at all.  What they need is love and compassion, some empathy rather than sympathy…they need to know they can make different choices and get help.  Sometimes we have to realize that it isn’t our jobs to stop all suffering but maybe, perhaps shine a little light on the path so the willing can get their own volition.  I don’t know.  It just had me thinking.

Tonight I am grateful, incredibly so, for the many gifts I’ve been given…I’m grateful for every choice that I have ever made and so very grateful for those in my life who refused to sympathize with me and instead showed me love, compassion and empathy…those things shined a little light on the path a few steps ahead of me so I could walk in the right direction.  So, if you would, if you are so inclined…say a little prayer for the homeless…that they become healed and willing to see the little bit of light shown them on their path… that they might learn and grow and stand steadfast in the love and beauty that is inside of them. ~Blessings

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Morning Thoughts and Coffee

I stepped out into the cool and dark, steaming cup of coffee in hand, sipping warmth in the moon light. Its truly beautiful out this morning and the cooler weather just mikes me smile from somewhere deep inside.  In the cooler air the sounds travel much more crisply and if I add a little imagination, the freeway noise from far away can be made to sound like waves crashing onto the shore…now that’s a much more pleasant thought to start my day with.

It should be an easy day today.  The pile of woes and worries sitting on my desk will be sorted, dealt with and put gently to rest and the sun will shine inside my office with the lights off as always.  I love natural sunlight and have been greatly blessed with a corner office.  It makes me feel like I’m outside when I’m stuck inside.  I look at the pine trees and green grass outside my window and my mind takes me to some beautiful places in the country I’ve seen…the gorgeous trees up in the pass above Seattle or the High Cliff Park in Wisconsin…the Sequoias in Northern California, our own local Los Angeles Crest National Forest.  Such beautiful places when your mind or even body and soul need an escape.

I’ve got the day off tomorrow and am really looking forward to a 3 day weekend of relaxing and recharging.  I think I will schedule a massage and then go to the beach and sip a mocha slowly as I watch the birds float gently across the sky, the waves crash into the shore and the sounds of the ocean take away all that is not happy and hopeful within me.  I love long weekends.  They are a little gift my company allows me to give myself a few times a month.  I can’t spend exorbitant amounts on yearly vacations to exotic places so create mini retreats often.  I find it works so much better for me at so many levels.  I ramble, on with the day.  I hope you find some measure of peace in the mundane things you run across today.  Focus on every task as if it were the most important task of your life.  Give everything you do much gentleness and care and become one with the task as you do it.  This is actually quite peaceful even if you would rather be elsewhere doing something different. (Still rambling – girl, would ya just get on with it?!)  Okay, okay, I’m going.  I hope you have a truly magical day!  Peace!  Love!  Light!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Grow On

When we're ready to grow on (not a typo), life is ready to meet us with interesting people, places and things to learn about. I was just outside having a mini meditation session with the stars. It's cooler out tonight than it's been in a while and I'll tell you, it felt really good. I sat there quiet and just stretched my thoughts up and out through the stars as far as I could go...I seemed to be just floating there in the dark, completely at peace. Then the phone rang. UGH!

Life isn't all wine and roses, sometimes its just damn hard period. That's the way of things but what we get out of those hard times, tough times and lonely times is growth. Well, that is if we want it--if we want to take accountability for our state of mind and our perspectives. We all have our choices to make...we can please others, we can please ourselves, we can take conflict head on or we can let it fly right on by. We can smile when we're bored, we can't eat if we're hungry we can walk when we're antsy. We have so many choices large-scale and small.

So, if you don't like where you are and how you feel, DO SOMETHING DIFFERENT. Really, it's that easy. If you wait for all of the lights to be green before you try to change things, you may never get there. Make up your mind and just do it. Try to keep things in perspective. I always advise that when the worries of the world seem to great or just overwhelming, go sit under the stars and take a look a the miles and miles of space, dark and light. Think about how small you really are in the entire schematic of life from a global perspective. You're a tiny speck of a speck of a speck on a rock hurtling round a fiery burning star in a galaxy filled with light, gas and debris. Not very romantic huh? Yeah, well worrying about your worries won't help and I guarantee gazing at something infinitely beautiful for a time will do your soul a whole lot more good than worrying.

I know how hard things can be. I live and breathe with those hard things too. When things get too tough, I think it through, strive to gain perspective and see what I can do, consider what's in my power to control and what isn't and then I pray and see things getting better. I feel the lightness and joy of things being just the way I want and soon enough, what I want comes along in perfect time. Life is funny like that. So, worries are fleeting, as are life lessons and the hard parts of life. A moment of pain and stress can seem like an eternity but those moments will pass and you'll move onto something infinitely more enjoyable when the time is right. Have some faith in yourself and trust in life to provide the things you truly need. Breathe in and be peaceful. Its simple to think it...a little harder to believe it...but worth the effort.

I hope your worries are transformed by the light of the stars and the moon, that you wishes manifest right in front of your eyes and that your dreams come true! Be well. ~Blessings

Sunday, October 24, 2010


There are some things they never teach you about life when you get here and begin to become aware that you are living.  Some things that come to mind for me are the amazing structure of a blade of grass, the way sunlight etches leaves in golden light and the beauty you can find in the darkness in whatever way darkness might befall you.  It is that darkness that is my focus today.  How do we ever truly appreciate light without the darkness that defines it?  One of my greatest teachers in life was not a person but rather a dark night of the soul.  That dark night was a defining moment for me.  Simply put, I could have chosen to leave this world behind because it (life) was just too painful OR I could choose to see the dark night for what it was…an amazing lesson in strength in terms of what is real and true in this life and then, ultimately love.  During that dark night I learned that when the whole world seems like it is out to get you and everything seems to go completely wrong, there is a tiny gossamer flame that burns deep inside us all despite the bad things that happen to us.

That tiny gossamer flame is hope, love and faith and so much more with our limited language I can explain.  With that light burning, truly there is nothing you cannot muster the grace to handle.  No matter what your religious or spiritual belief, it is that tiny gossamer flame that connects us one to the other and ultimate our Creator.  We are amazingly part of this beautiful and indescribable collective Cosmic Consciousness that lives and breathes as a whole whether you acknowledge its existence or not.  It’s a comfort to reach such thoughts out far and wide especially if you happen to be traveling through a dark night of the soul.  That connected point that resides within us all can really help us understand the unity we hold as a race, as an element of the Earth and as an element of Cosmic Consciousness!

We’re all in this (LIFE) together…here…on this planet…at this time.  You can choose to become mired in the day to day of superficiality and ego.  There is free will and you can do with this gift what you choose to do.  You can also choose to allow your mind, heart and soul to expand and encompass the all of everything by merely appreciating beauty in the ugliness and chaos of this world, seeking to understand a greater purpose for existence and taking refuge in the love that is there deep inside us all.  That love that courses through all of our veins is not separate, it is one…we are all one in many regards experiencing facets of existence and learning languages that continually assault (seemingly at times) our perceptions.  There is a language of the soul, a language of the heart, a language of geometry and mathematics, a language in science and a language of spirituality.  They are all different facets of the same global wholeness that we exist in from my perspective…and I realize many may not agree and that is okay.  But consider for a moment that we do not need to know and understand all in order to continue to create our world, live our lives and learn our lessons.  You can take a lot on faith, you can create a lot with pure intent and regardless, you can love all that is or hate it.  It’s beautiful that we have so many choices to make day in and day out.  We are intelligent, capable of great use of the power that resides within all of us and we each bring something beautiful and incredibly valuable to the table for all of the rest of us to benefit from.
Sometimes its nice to have a little reminder.  Sometimes its good when you can be open to the languages that surround you even if you do not understand them.  All you need to know will be made known to you in due time and with due process/experience.  Enjoy this journey that is your life every single day that you are breathing.  Take comfort in the fact that your brothers and sisters journey with you, not necessarily ahead of, behind, above or below you, but right beside you…each in his or her own way.  When times get tough, become open minded and understanding.  When times are good, become grateful and selfless.  With these simple things you can cope with what comes your way and you can trust that as you heal and grow, you take others with you and as others heal and grow, they bring you along for the ride too.  Be well and be happy dear souls.  ~Many blessings and much love.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Remembering Things I’d Like to Forget

Two years ago about this time, I was suffering one of the most traumatic times of my life. It dawned on me just how sick one of my family members was and how much I was way in over my head trying to care for her and at the same time realizing my marriage was going to fall apart. It was a very sad time. The thing that strikes me the most is that from my perspective, my behavior was about carefully setting boundaries designed only to protect myself. I made no offensive moves or statements to these two individuals closest to me, I just withdrew myself. I had already turned every cheek I had and they wanted more than I could give, they wanted me to be something other than I was and so I gave up in defeat and let go.

In matters of the heart, whether family or romantic, there are those who are unable to accept any form of rejection even when handled gently, even when methodically considered in order to make every effort to save everyone’s feelings, the act of protecting yourself from seeming insanity can bring more if the other parties are not on mentally or emotionally stable ground. I listened much without saying too much about the words of hatred and vengeance thrown in my face. I was so sad for hurting these two people. I really was and I said so but I had already turned every cheek and could no longer withstand what I felt in my gut as pure torment designed by two very wounded people.

Dealing with one individual in such a state is bad enough but two really required a lot of thought. I spaced the hard boundaries far apart to handle them one at a time. I could not deal with pushing two unhealthy fronts out of my sphere at the same time. I had nightmares for weeks from the post-traumatic stress responses I developed in defense. I learned then that if you love others to the point you are heavily wounding yourself, you are doing something wrong and you’ve got to step back and protect yourself.

Two years have gone by nearly on both attempts at boundary setting and I have to say, my life has been so peaceful. Without two dominating, controlling and demanding people in my mix, I was free. I was free from verbal abuse, I was free from manipulation and I really began to see that despite what these two repeatedly blurted out at me, the sky IS IN FACT BLUE and the grass IS IN FACT GREEN. It was a good lesson to learn and I’m grateful for having gone through it. These two individuals taught me so much and lessons are always good things. In time I began to forgive them both and many months after that, I forgave myself for allowing them to hurt me and for hurting hurt people. I hated adding to their pain but I just was unwilling to be a human sacrifice in the name of love for two people who should have respected the sacred positions they held but they were unable. In many ways, its not entirely their fault.

It’s on my mind tonight because in the last 30 days, both have attempted to re-enter my sphere. Immediately the post-traumatic stress response of fear and anxiety hit me hard. Thank God they didn’t show up in the same week and that the protections I put in place, kept direct contact from happening. But the stress response alarmed me. Even as I sit here tonight, I’m pensive, tense and feeling a little fearful. I still harbor guilt although I did nothing wrong. That’s my problem, my cross to bear and somehow I will resolve it. Perhaps I need to forgive a little more or work on letting go of the fear. I think I’ve moved my buttons enough that they cannot push them…but that’s just me. Unfortunately, both know that they can get to me through my children. I won’t fiercely fight if it is just me. I will stand down and let them think, say or do what they will. I know their actions and opinions along with harmful words are really about them, their own unhealed pain they refuse to attend to and ruthlessly inflict upon not only me but others who love them. But, they now come through my children. I cannot stand down. My children cannot protect themselves. I see this for what it is but that fierce mother instinct rises and prepares for battle if yet more wars must be waged with these two. So far, one has gone back into the shadows and my hope above hope is he finds his way to whole-hearted healing. I wish nothing but his happiness, health and prosperity. The other, is another matter and she will fight to the death to destroy my soul. It will not happen but the fact that she tries still hurts. It hurts even though at my core I know it isn’t about me. I cannot worry about this because worry will not impact any outcome she intends to implement. All I can do is pray for her healing, pray that I can protect my children from her negative influence and pray that maybe she isn’t out to engage in battle but maybe, just maybe make amends.

Two years ago, a judge awarded a restraining order because of this woman’s attempts to cause harm. It’s really very sad and still I pray. I can’t do much about this other than keep focused on my progress, keep love in my heart for this woman who once held the most sacred place in my life. We don’t get to choose our birth families I’ve heard. I’m not sure that’s true. I believe my mother and I (if you didn’t know the story) have been in this place repeatedly throughout our many lives. I wish this struggle between us to end, here, in this life time. I wish the pain and conflict between us to end. The sad part is, the only way to resolve from her perspective is submission to emotional abuse again on my part. I cannot. So, still it’s out of my hands…thus my struggle, my anxiety and my fear. I’m weary of this drama. I love her so much and yet she cannot be in my life until she heals herself and gets herself some help. I fear it will not happen and I’m too tired to continue to do this with her again.

So, when I’m not underneath the stars watching the sky, letting it remind me of how NOT important this little drama is in the scheme of the whole of my life, or the planet, or existence…I am so very human, so very fallible and I struggle to understand this lesson. It seems so pointless but bear in mind I do not believe there is a villain or victim in this situation. There is merely conflict in emotions and actions that seem utterly unresolveable and I’m either incredibly brave or really stupid for writing about it. My hope in writing about this is to let others out there in similar situations know that they are not alone in their conflict, their turmoil or their pain. We all go through this in some way. Some of us handle it well and some not at all. Me, I go either way depending on the day with this one. One thing is clear in my mind right now…feeling brave having 2 years from this conflict under my belt…my intent is to do no harm in this situation. My intent is to pray hard for some form of compromise if there is one to be had. My intent is for healing to set in and heal wounded hearts. I know that my Maker would not give me more than I could handle and that I will be given the grace to face whatever I must in this situation. So, I’ll go on and face it as it rises to the surface or comes to the fore of my existence and I will do my best to play my role as best I can and make sure my heart and soul stays intact.

Family challenges can be so damaging but only when you continue to allow the ego to take it personally. Not everything is about you even if it feels like it is. This I have learned. The only thing that can resolve this conflict is for love to enter the hearts on both sides and stop the ego drama for control to be right at the expense of another. I have not been right in this conflict. I admitted defeat and walked away. It was the only thing I knew how to do. But maybe it is time to face it head on one more time. Everything happens for a reason. We’ll just see what this resurfacing is all about. My feelings are not facts and I refuse to give into my own fearful assumptions. I think at times I work things out as I write it. Forgive me my vent then dear sweet souls if you’ve read this far. Something good may yet come of this situation and even though I can’t see it and I don’t know how the good will come, I just trust that it will. I pray that’s enough. If you face similar challenges with your own family or other loved ones, I challenge you to do no harm. Do not extract vengeance in any form for harm done to you. Step outside of the madness and refuse to engage until you are calm, centered and feeling good. Then address if you must or choose to go down a different path that leads you away from the individuals you are in conflict with. Just remember that the only person you can control is you. The only actions you should attempt to manipulate are your own. Remember the serenity prayer and do your best to hold a loving space for people to be who they are. Turn all four cheeks if you have to and then love yourself enough to set loving boundaries to protect you. It is your right. My prayers are with all of you in times of conflict always. I know that in some way love in its purest form will free you from your torment if you allow it to. ~Blessings

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Delicious Moonlight

A nearly full moon seems to unfold from behind fading storm clouds.  The night is cool and I’m just in awe of this energy tonight.  It is so incredibly peaceful—absolutely delicious.  I love times like these where the worries of the world just seem to lose themselves in a beautiful night sky.  So many times have I sat alone under the stars, gazing at the moon and in a silent exchange, telling her all my troubles.  The sparkling silvery light melts the anxiety that seems to permeate my soul sometimes.  City life can be hard on a soul.  There is always so much clattering, shattering and rush that it takes a very concerted effort to break the chains and set the mind soaring up and into the sky.  Sometimes I wonder if we were ever meant to evolve the way we have. 

I leave those thoughts trailing behind me as I gaze up again into the sky and watch the clouds inch ever so slowly across vantage point.  Sitting here quietly, I hear the city stirring and churning but I don’t feel that, I just observe it.  I realize sitting here how important it is to get outside and not only see the sky but feel it with every inch of my being.  Under the stars its so easy to stretch your energy out beyond your local concerns and feel the heart beat of the planet.  It’s beating ever so strongly, deep, constant and if you sit there long enough, your own heart beats in time and your soul fills with light.  It s a good feeling, it leaves me so giddy.  Yeah, I’m weird like that, it’s okay.

We are not meant to be trapped under fluorescent lights all day long, come home – do the chores and go to sleep.  We were meant for so much more.  Our work life can become our identity if we are not careful and careful to avoid that is what we should always be!  We are not our jobs, we are not the possessions we own and we are not the company we keep.  We are alive, we breathe, we love and we live.  We are so connected to this Earth and connected to each other.  That is a great comfort on a night like tonight.  The things I do and the places I go to and see mean nothing if I cannot maintain a sense of my own soul.  I’ve been lost for so long in being a mother, a wife, a friend, a daughter and so many other labels.  These things never did define me, I just thought they did.  I’ve learned so much under each of those labels but most of all I’ve learned to forget about what the outside world thinks.  Notice I said forget.  I have not yet come to a place I can transcend wounds from words intended to harm me.  I understand where they come from and that understanding quickly brings compassion to the door of my heart and then comes forgiveness and then comes forgetting.  On a night like this, I forget and remember things interchangeably.  I catch glimpses of things I once thought so important and yet here staring up at the moon, none of that really meant anything at the end of the day.  Well, except for maybe another lesson learned.

I’ve been writing a lot about plays and roles and not taking things personally.  I write about these things because I struggle with them at first until I strive to understand.  Then I can let go.  Lucky for me I am surrounded by so many beautiful souls who give of themselves so freely to not only remind me of what is really important but anyone else willing to stop their insanity and listen, consider and change their perspective.  Life isn’t always easy but finding peace can be.  You can walk through the middle of chaos and find the eye of the storm where you can breathe freely.  You don’t disconnect but rather connect to it in a different way, understand the purpose, keep on walking and learning and growing.  And I just can’t write any more, the moon beckons me to stay a little while longer.  Where ever you are and whatever you are doing, be well, be peaceful and grab yourself a piece of the beautiful night sky and drink it in.  Much love and many blessings!~

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Themes and Things to Let Go Of

I’m standing alone in the cool night air, gentle sprinkles collecting into drops falling from my roof top, the periodic hissing sound of cars cruising on pavement…I couldn’t be happier than I am just now standing here getting damp. I notice the light from my kitchen window casting light and shadows…tiny little drops sparkle like diamonds on the plants in my garden. The air smells fresh and clean with the water washing away all of the dust—and I pause right there remembering what I am choosing to let be washed away from me.

The last few weeks have been brutal emotionally for me. But it finally dawned on me that I had a choice to continue to be an actor in a play or to step back and observe and watch the emotion fall away from it all. It really did begin to fall away once I realized my place in this play and the lessons I was to learn. I don’t need lessons of that kind any more. These were lower vibrational lessons I somehow missed and had to repeat. I won’t repeat them anymore and that makes me smile.

I had betrayal knock on my door from both the left and the right within the span of a week. Deep, rock your gut to the core type anguish and pain hit me and I almost panicked. I somehow remembered to practice what I preach and sat still for a very long time trying not to judge nor victimize myself with my own thoughts. For days I couldn’t really speak of the betrayals to the depths that I felt them with anyone and I won’t give the details here because it is the theme that is necessary and not the details. Suffice it to say that betrayal is an ugly lesson to learn and it has myriad levels of pain and yet amazing growth attached to it if you are willing to bravely walk through it and focus on learning as you take each step; each breath.

I know that telling the horrors of our stories sometimes can make things worse…especially when we do what we do and tell it as if we were somehow victimized in the process. In time and when the emotions settle, the lesson dawns on sleepy minds that there are no victims. We walk willingly down all of the roads we choose in life. We may have the storm warnings blasting at us from all sorts of directions and still we tread. Why? Only you and your guides know for sure. For me, the betrayal was a theme that goes back a very long way for me. When you experience traumatic events, your brain files away each picture in some negative looping Rolodex in your mind. It stores them there until the next similar event hits and then it starts pulling and playing only the recent similar events. But if you sit really quiet and ask your memory to unfold, all of the pictures from the theme will play on and you can go back to the source…the reason you keep walking down a road where the theme will occur yet again. For me it was a lifelong lesson of self-betrayals, going against my gut, being told my thoughts were not real, knowing I walked into so many things of my own volition that I maybe shouldn't have. I pulled out all of those memories and laid them out on an invisible screen in my mind’s eye. I viewed them all one by one and acknowledged them…my part, the parts of others…the roles they AGREED to perform in MY play. Hmmm, yeah, that was an interesting realization. It was MY play from the beginning.

I can’t tell you how I know it but there is this feeling inside of me that tells me today that everyone of the betrayals flashing before me were things I wished to experience. There were things I needed to understand about people, about the world and about myself. I learned those lessons the hard way as somewhere I knew I would and so they repeated…for thirty or so years they repeated. And now I see. And now I understand. So, I stand here in the rain, no more tears to shed, the sky seems to be doing that for me—I take one last breath in thinking of all that is positive and good in this world and I hold it for a few seconds…review all of the scenes one more time and I imagine clearing that screen with my bare hands causing each vision, memory and residual pain to immediately disperse and disintegrate into the nothingness from which they began as I breathe out slowly. They are nothing. Those experiences never defined who I was and I certainly no longer need to hold them. In this moment, standing here in the rain I smile at all of the willing actors who so generously participated in my learning. I thank them from the deepest parts of my heart. I forgive them for the pain I felt because they did only what I somehow needed them to do. The most important fact, article or thought remaining was to release myself from any anger or frustration for the betrayals I waged against myself. I understand them now. The place they originated has been made whole with the deepest and truest love possible and with that, I join in the sky and shed a little precipitation from clear seeing eyes! I am free from this lesson. It may arise again but it will not be at my hand. I know now that I can never go against myself in any regard. To go against yourself is like killing a piece of your soul little by little over the years and months of your life. It’s not worth it. (People pleasers pay attention to these last two sentences). (smiles)

It’s raining a little harder and I’m now getting wet but still I stand here. I let the rain perform the final aspects of this impromptu ceremony of letting go. I stand here grateful for all that I experienced. I stand here grateful for the actors in my play. I stand here grateful for the steps that I took and the roles that I played. I stand here free from the pain of a past that no longer serves me. I stand here ready to bless all and let go. One more breath in as I lift my face to the rain-filled clouds. I smile as each drop lands on my face, I hold my arms out wide to embrace every drop and I let the rain wash away all of the pain. I’m making a conscious choice to let go, to be healed, to realize the play was a play and I no longer have to carry the burden of this pain. I am free of it right here and right now. The residual effects that began to create an unwanted reality are in this very moment being rewritten. I’ve consciously chosen a different path from this moment forward. I will not walk in fear of this journey. Whatever may come will come and I will continue to walk bravely, facing what I must, learning what I want and need. I’m ready to raise up from this place I have been. I’m ready to finally heal the unhealed parts of me.

At some point in our lives, the pain of certain events or even a collective of negative events weights on our souls. This can manifest in anxiety, depression, addictions, compulsions and all sorts of other things. With the right kind of help, you can be free. It’s a choice you make and a goal you reach for with every healthy tool available to you. Notice I said healthy and not easy! Intent is everything. Patience is necessary. Love for yourself first and foremost is required. If the journey before you gets a little too tough or painful, remember you can always step back into an observer position…you can step back into the safety and serenity of your higher power while you work through the things you need to in order to set yourself free in a healthy way of the pain you carry from the lessons you are trying to learn. You are so amazingly powerful. If you only knew how much you would never despair for long. Everything happens for a reason for good or for ill. You don’t necessarily have to find the source in order to let go of pain. You can decide simply to let go and move on in the light of love. It sounds hokey huh? I would have thought so 10 years ago but no longer. Every time you let go of some part of your pain, you help free the world of pain. In a way, we are all part of a collective soul. When we are hurt – we hurt others. When we heal others, we heal ourselves. We are so intertwined and connected. But, that is another topic for another time. Keep hope always around you, draw love up from the well deep inside you and find forgiveness, find strength and find trust in yourself to learn what you need to and you will then be able to let go of the pain that keeps you weighted down on your journey. May blessings and love follow you all of the days of your life!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Contemplative Morning

I’m sitting contemplative in the cool and dark of early morning.  The stars still shine brightly overhead in a slowly fading sky.  I hear the sounds of the city begin to stir, birds calling over head and shiny metal boxes carrying sleepy inhabitants to destinations unknown.  I love the gentle crisp feeling of the morning air in the fall in California.  We may not have the drastic seasonal changes that other states enjoy but to those connected to nature and internally aware, you can feel the shift.  Fall is like a reckoning time for me.  For whatever reason, it finds me considering the lessons I’ve learned and brings into focus those things I’m ready to let fall away.  It’s my absolute favorite season.  I like change ultimately even when considering the impending nature initially and the twinges of discomfort as I go through it.  Without change and the ability to continually embrace the pure opportunity of it, we become mired in our fears and worries and I just can’t bear the thought of resisting anything in a short-sighted manner.

Steam trails from my coffee cup as I take a slow sip and enjoy the warmth immensely.  It’s so quiet in the city in the early morning hours.  I think its my favorite time of the day.  Its that part of the day that nothing is yet decided and everything is infinite in possibility from that moment.  We can make and shape the day in any manner that we choose.  It’s like that every day and if we slow down long enough to be in the moment we can realize what a wonderful gift that is.  It doesn’t really matter the things that you’ve done or the situations that have transpired.  Every morning is a rebirth and a chance for beautiful growth even if it becomes difficult to feel the beauty in life’s endless lessons.  No matter what stage I find myself in, I try always to remember that.  Every change I’ve ever encountered has been ultimately good in the end even when it took a long time to realize it.

One of the greatest lessons in life is learning to let go.  I love this dark morning sky but, the stars have just blinked out and I’ll have to let go of that and embrace the rising sun instead.  It’s beautiful out as it begins to paint the sky in pink and golden wisps of light.  Soon enough the pale colors will become vibrant like a carefully colored oil painting created with the broad confident strokes of a large brush filling the sky with amazing energy.   Its going to be a beautiful day no matter what sneaks into my realm of perspective or what I might bring there myself.  Attitude and intention is everything in life and this day, for me, will be no different.  I intend to embrace the day, fill my heart and soul with gratitude for all o f life’s lesson, drink in deeply this cool part of the moment once more and go about my day.  I pray that you find some measure of peace today, that you find something to do that fills your heart to over-flowing with immense joy and that you take a moment to consider the beauty of difficult lessons you’ve been blessed with.  ~Blessings!

Friday, October 8, 2010


We measure the success in life,
Not by the material possessions we collect,
But by the good natured people
That we surround ourselves with.
We measure our understanding of life,
Not by the smiles that we have given,
But by the tears that we have attempted
To selflessly collect for those we love.
We measure the wisdom of life,
Not by the things we think we know,
But the lessons in life
That we strive tenaciously to learn.
We measure the true living of life,
Not by the many things that we do,
But the love we have given
And the love we've been open to receiving.

You'll Always Have You

We speak
Because we cannot stand
To face ourselves
The secret self that lives on the inside

We run
Because we cannot hide
From the reality
And totality of who we really are

We search
The world outside ourselves
To find the answers
That only ever lie within

Our search
Brings us home empty
Disheartened, lost
Until we find that spark inside

If we pay attention
It’s that spark
That peels away the layers
Of all that is illusive and unreal in this world

Take the time
To know yourself
To love yourself
And trust yourself

Don’t fear the silence
Don’t ever fear the stillness
No matter what you think you do not have
You’ll always have you

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Words as Weapons

I love you...
-- smack --
I’m sorry.

I forget and then all is well
I can go back to pretending it’s all okay
I can forget and learn to love again

I love you
-- smack --
I’m sorry

You made me do it
It’s all your fault
You hurt me first
I’m sorry, it was my fault

Then I forget again
Go back to pretending I’m okay again
But I’m growing confused
I’m growing discontent

I love you
-- smack --
I’m sorry

I know, you didn’t just hurt me
It was my fault
I overreacted
I’ll try to ignore it next time

I love you
-- smack --
I’m sorry

Wait - I can’t do this any more
I can’t take this any more
This isn’t love but an abusive game
I’m leaving
you now

But wait, I always loved you

-- smack, devastation, destruction as the knife is plunged deeper --

I never abused you - a hand was never raised you're the abusive one
Words and manipulation were your deadly weapons

Weapons more dangerous than a fist
More dangerous than a knife
It cuts through a heart and a soul in a heart beat
And you can’t take them back and I'm left here shaking

I loved you
I’m sorry 

Good bye

Emotional abuse is a very serious abuse.  It's worse than physical because you cannot see it and it takes a very long time to heal.  If you feel you are being emotionally abused, get out and get away as soon as you can.  Life is too important to put up with any form of abuse.  For any of you women (and men) out there who have suffered this, you have the right to be free from this, to heal from this and to never invite it back into your lives again.  ~Blessings

Friday, October 1, 2010

Just For Today...

I will really believe that in this world, I am responsible for no one's feelings but my own.  That doesn't mean I won't be considerate because that is my core nature but I won't stop meeting my needs because someone else may take offense. 

I will know and understand that the judgment of others is truly based on their own slice perception of me and what others believe about me does not have any effect on the truth about who or what I am.

I will let go of any anger I hold in my heart for others that have hurt me.  What they did was about their needs and my feelings are no one else's responsibility but mine.  That does not mean I will not protect myself from harmful people its just that I will understand that everyone has their own environmental psychology to contend with and no matter what...hurtful acts are about other people and have nothing to do with me.

I will realize that people and situations do not "stress me out."  I will realize that any stress response that I may have to people and situations is purely based on my own assumptions and my own expectations for the way others should behave...and that expectation (no matter how reasonable I think it may be) may not be reasonable considering the totality of who and what other people truly are.

I will own my own mistakes, transgressions, insecurities and failings.  I will not blame others for the places I put myself in.  I will say I'm sorry where I hurt another. I will do my best to be kind and considerate but ultimately, I'm responsible for me and my feelings.

I will believe that I am emotionally sophisticated, will spot unhealthy psychology in others and set healthy boundaries to keep myself from being drawn into the drama that other people need to create to feel okay.

I will forgive those that have harmed me in any way, I will forgive myself for putting myself in harms way and I will ask the Great Spirit to guide my decisions and help me to make good ones that are in line with my Maker's plan for me.

I will walk with my head held high and do my best to radiate light in the dark parts of this world.  It's a beautiful world even with its dark parts.  Even light cannot be fully comprehended without the darkness that defines and sets it apart.

I will be grateful for everything that I have learned in my life, will keep the negative aspects of any of my lessons in check and convey to the best of my ability, experience and hope in the positive.

I will love openly and honestly and strive to be a helping role player in this play called life rather than a hindrance for others.  I will never compromise my own values of what is right, good and healthy for me.

I will know and sincerely believe that even the bad things that happen in my life serve a good purpose even when I am unable to see it or feel it.  I will trust that to be so and with that intent, it will be so.

I will be watchful of any negative thoughts or messages that I tell myself and turn each one into a positive before I dismiss it.  I will not replay the negative words that I have heard but instead keep things light, real and in an assumption free perspective.

I will project upon the world positive thoughts for growth, for healing and for peace.  I will view the world as it could be but at the same time protecting myself from people and things that are not inline with my positive vision.

I will live and let live and seek to understand the lessons that present themselves to me and seek only the highest meaning and growth.

I will wish for you today an experience of compassion and love from this world--acceptance--healing and true growth that will fill your life with light.  ~Blessings