Sunday, November 30, 2014

Building a new foundation

The whole ego structure is based on a false sense of security. Because at our core there is a frightened child, we seek safety in ways that are harmful. We unknowingly have dedicated our lives to fear and illusion. We may think we are escaping fear, but in fact we have structured our lives around it.
Fear plays out in many ways; people-pleasing, an insatiable craving for validation, molding ourselves into someone were not, trying to perfect because making mistakes brings up our unhealed shame...
We have learned to run when things makes us uncomfortable. We find ways to stay busy or numb ourselves out. We hold unto anger and blame in an attempt to deflect our unworthiness. We choose chaos and confusion rather than truth.

When we face our demons, we won't fall-apart. Instead we experience a sense of relief. It's a lot more work to manage fear than to face it.The ego structure will begin to dis-assemble because it has nothing to strengthen itself on. We will feel empowered. Without ego misleading us, we have the opportunity to build a new foundation resting on faith, truth, love, and connection...


Saturday, November 29, 2014

Looking for comfort

What happens when we're too attached to comfort? We develop a self-defeating pattern of avoiding things we don't like. We become addicted to feeling good. We build what we think is a safe cocoon called "denial". In order to stay in denial, we will habitually reject the parts of our lives we don't want to face. And the harder we seek comfort from others, material things, achievements...the more it backfires on us. It forces us to live in a state of desperation. We adjust to living desperately and accept it as our "normal".


Friday, November 28, 2014

Unconditional love

If we disown feelings that make us uncomfortable, 
such as the feeling of selfishness, 
we're caught between our humanity and our judgment. 


Thursday, November 27, 2014

Having compassion

We can see there is pain and struggle in the world.
There are times when we are in pain and struggle.
When this happens, we have a choice as to how we deal with it.
We can shut-down, which leads to feelings of loneliness and isolation.
We can attempt to escape it by focusing on fixing other people's pain.
Or we can choose to be fully alive in the experience knowing that
this is part of life and that we are not alone.


Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Letting go of the safety net


Our lives are always under construction,
but sometimes it may feel like a demolition crew...
has entered your safe little sanctuary...
and torn down your foundation...
without your permission.
Life is like that sometimes.
It can shake you to your core.
It can cause fear and confusion.
But trust the wisdom of these experiences.
Remember to be kind and gentle with yourself.
Be patient with the process of rebuilding.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

A wake-up call

Some of my best character building lessons have required me
to fall on my head (metaphorically speaking).
I've been humbled in ways that still cause me to grimace.
At times, I can be prideful, stubborn, and ignorant (unaware or in denial).
I say this kindness and compassion.
I think it's true for most people.
We get stuck in self-defeating patterns until life gives us
the perfect lesson to wake us up.


Monday, November 24, 2014

Staying awake

It's not an easy task to be awake. Awake means we are fully present to our experiences rather than looking for the exit door when things get uncomfortable. The exit door can be denial, busyness, or other things. In my case, it would probably be food. Especially when the feeling of anxiousness shows up. My first impulse is to numb the feeling rather than accepting it.

When we escape from the feeling, we've fallen back asleep. We may think we have cleverly found freedom but in fact, we have put ourselves in a cage.  Though it may seem more comfortable to be asleep, it comes with a high price tag. Always seeking to escape our feelings rather than being with them develops into bad habits, compulsive behaviors, and addiction.


Sunday, November 23, 2014

Healing shame

Trying to contain our shame story rather than heal it only keeps us stuck in it. What is the shame story? That we have to be perfect. That we can't be wrong or make mistakes. That we're not good enough, smart enough, pretty enough...

So we secretly work hard to hide our flaws because we're afraid to be who we are. 

What causes shame? Growing up with negative messages that made us feel inadequate. Unresolved abuse issues that not only shredded our spirit, but left an imprint of feeling defective. Emotional abandonment which is another form of abuse. There are many factors that cause shame. All which can be debilitating! 

There is escape from shame except to face and heal it. The price of denial is suffering.

How do you heal it? We tenderly expose the shame by sharing it with someone safe. This life changing exercise begins to magically open the door not only to living more open-heartedly, but also gifting us with a beautiful sense of freedom we've never had before.


Saturday, November 22, 2014

Freedom from the past

When you let go of all the illusions...
 you've been clinging to for safety, 
all the sorrow you've carried for so long,
will have the freedom to express itself.


"All your past is gone except for the beauty of it"
- A Course in Miracles


Friday, November 21, 2014

Leaning into life

Imagine how much easier life would be if we didn't judge or label everything.
Whether you're aware of it or not, your mind is busy determining what's
right or wrong, what's good or bad. .

Can you trust that everything is just as it's suppose to be? Remember that our
minds are very limited so when things don't look as we think they should,
we meet them with fear and resistance. You will find more peace when you can
lean into the experience, accepting what is, trusting the wisdom of life.


Thursday, November 20, 2014

Resting on shaky ground

Isn't it nice when we're feeling low and then something comes along that inspires us? For that moment we feel lifted and excited with new ideas. In a way this can be helpful, but the flip side is that whatever feeling we previously had that was uncomfortable, was our opportunity to relax into the discomfort rather than move away from it. It can be challenging to see goodness when our lives feel mundane. But the high we get from being lifted up is only temporary. Over and over we find ourselves in the position of seeking the next thing to make us feel okay which causes a constant subtle (or not-so subtle) current of anxiety. We've accept it as normal, but it's not.
So what's the solution? Sitting uncomfortably in the ordinariness until it feels like home. We can end our search for something that doesn't exist and relax into the sacredness of what is. Rather than strive for a life that requires us to seek fulfillment, we are fulfilled by the truth of what life is about...uncertainty, change, many uncomfortable moments...

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Open to life

I love the peony flower. When I spotted 3 pink ones the other day at the store, I was excited over my find. They hadn't begun to blossom yet so I knew there was a risk they wouldn't open up. So far only 2 show promise.

I'm reminded how life extends us the opportunity to blossom. The experiences that bring us to our knees, that break through our denial and crumble our protective shields, are the ones that teach each us about love and compassion.

When life brings us those opportunities, we either choose to blossom or remain tight in the bud. We become bitter or we soften with compassion.


Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Letting things fall apart


There are times when we have no choice but to let things fall apart...
times when we have no control over our circumstances...
times that we grope to find some solid ground when there is none...
times when things are unraveling, changing,
and the uncertaintity feels unbearable.

The thing that starts to undo us may be illness, death, divorce,
financial troubles, the loss of a job... 

In life there is a duality whether we like it or not.
Good days, sad days, frustrating days.
Life won't be wonderful all the time.
Nothing is going to stay the same.
We will all experience pain.

As much as we may feel flattened by our circumstances,
we need to be present to the experience,
letting our hearts feel it's entirety, finding compassion...

Trying to avoid pain causes us to be more afraid
which hardens our hearts and creates a feeling of isolation.

Falling apart can be the catalyst to open us up...
to have a deeper connection with all things.

 We can't shield ourselves from the frailty of life,
but we can build a more tender relationship with it.
We can let our pain transform us,
softening our edges, expanding our hearts,
gifting us with more compassion for ourselves and others.


Saturday, November 15, 2014

Resting in the emptiness

In giving up magical thinking (wanting things to be different than they are), we can have a joyful relationship with life. We're not always going to get what we want. Things are not always going to go in our favor. We're all going to face times that challenge us. In accepting that this is a natural part of life, it will be easier to let go of control.

It's time to give up the search for security, the search for certainty, the search for firmer ground. Let things change, let things die away, let go of attachments, release old crappy beliefs, feel your fear rather than looking for an escape from it. Learn to let all things be.


Friday, November 14, 2014

Being beautifully flawed

You may be surprised to know that what you think of yourself is far from true. Do you vacillate between building yourself up and tearing yourself down?
The truth is that you are loveable, beautiful, and gifted, just as you are. Although it's helpful to make improvements on yourself in whatever way you choose to, the most important goal is to formulate a kind, loving relationship with yourself right now. There's nothing you need to do to earn love. There is nothing you need to hide from others. We are all designed to be beautifully flawed...

"Awakeness is found in our pleasure and our pain, our confusion and our wisdom, available in each moment...the point is to lean toward the discomfort of life and see is clearly rather than to protect ourselves from it." Pema Chodron

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

The path to peace

Surrender is a beautiful spiritual practice. It's faith in action.
The time to surrender the hardest is when you feel in control...
recognizing it as self-will/ego in action.
Letting go of control is death to ego and birth to life...
a life built on a strong, durable foundation called faith.
When you have that kind of faith, there can only be peace.
"The way to resolve our resistance to life
is to meet it face to face" -Pema Choudron

Nothing happens by chance

The best thing that can happen is that we are forced
to face the things we've been running from.
As much as we may hate pain,
it is often is the catalyst for getting our attention.
 Pain can shatter falsehood and pretenses, 
creating a new opening for awakening to truth.


Monday, November 10, 2014

An honest inventory

I often wonder if people misunderstand what the purpose of my blog is, especially on Facebook. Facebook is a great platform for keeping family and friends updated about your life. But my reason is to help others identify themselves through my story.
In the crazy, busy world we live in, it's much too tempting and easy to disconnect from ourselves. That's not good! You end up living a false life when you act unconsciously, separating from who really are and what truly fulfills you. It's often hard to look deeper, but living unaware and in denial, is far, far worse.
“Everyone thinks of changing the world,
but no one thinks of changing himself.” Leo Tolstoy  

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Sharing some thoughts

I'm always reluctant to use the word spiritual because it's overused and misunderstood. It's not new-agey stuff. Spirituality is a quest to connect with our self and to know God, not from a religious standpoint, but from a personal experience. Anyone can choose this path.

I also hesitate to mention God in my blogs because again, the word is overused and misunderstood. There are no words to truly describe God. Often people dilute the sacredness of what God is, with explanations and opinions. 


Saturday, November 8, 2014

No guarantees


The process of letting go and sitting in the emptiness these past months has been uncomfortable, but not without blessings. It has gifted me with awareness. Some revelations have felt good, others have brought me to my knees.

Here's some of them:

I found shame I didn't know I was carrying. 

I discovered how much I still expected of myself.
I was putting too much energy into what others needed.

I was overly concerned with what others thought of me.

I wasn't as okay with making mistakes as I thought I was.

Because of this experience, things have changed:

I've surrendered my attachment to people and things.

I've surrendered my attachment to outcomes.

Though I'm still not comfortable with the stillness, I am adjusting.

There is more space in my life for me, which was scary at
first since I was still relying on others to fill the empty space.

I am clueless about what the future holds so I have surrendered
to living in the mystery instead of looking for guarantees.


Friday, November 7, 2014

Sitting on a pot of gold

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.  Marianne Williamson"

It's taken years of searching externally and internally to come to a truth that I have heard many times but could only understand to some degree, and it is this; there is nothing to seek.
After spending almost two decades as a seeker, searching for meaning, for answers beyond logic, and to know myself, I am now ending the search. Why? Because I have been sitting on the pot of gold all along.
Without a doubt, I needed to explore and experience everything before I was ready to return to where it all began. Why did it take so long to figure it out? Because I couldn't see the treasure until I did my work. Without building some self-esteem, healing my past, learning about love and forgiveness, I would have sat on the gold the rest of life and never have know it.
You too, may be sitting on your pot of gold...your life is already rich and beautiful, but if you see the world through your past, you won't be able to see it's true beauty. The world will look distorted and unsafe, causing an ache in you that will never cease until you begin your journey...


Thursday, November 6, 2014

Tasting the goodness of life

Without a doubt, I'm the kind of person (type A personality) who loves the feeling of accomplishment, whether it's creating something or checking things off my to-do list. Though in some ways, this is good. The part that isn't is the push I give myself when I do it. It's almost like there's a steam roller inside me....Yikes!
For instance, I decided to make a raw chocolate raspberry cake today along with pumpkin pancakes for breakfast. I'm happy to say my joy in cooking is slowing reappearing again after months of burn-out. What I noticed about myself that I need to work on is my tendency to be so busy accomplishing my task that I forget the joy of the experience, and most importantly, savoring the taste of my efforts.


Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Quieting negative thoughts

We hear so much about ego these days and some of us, having the awareness of the harm it can cause, have tried to rid ourselves of it. I sure have! Recently though, I decided to lay down my sword with ego and it's irritating, endless chatter and bad advice, and let it be my teacher instead. The thought came to me that perhaps ego is using my unfinished business as a way to strength it's power which means if I resolve the issues, then there is nothing to fuel it anymore...ego will have nothing to chew on. I know that the things I've made peace with, no longer have a story attached to them. When there is no story, ego loses it's grip.
For instance, if you have low self-worth, ego will be harsh on others...endless stories about who did this or that wrong, in a futile attempt to build yourself up. Ego will also find ways to rip your esteem using comparison, perfectionism... When you build your esteem, ego wouldn't be able to hook you into it's stories.
I've been listening more to ego, letting it point to the disturbance rather than trying to quiet it. Ego will quiet on it's own when I have addressed the cause of the disturbance. It is helping me to live more mindfully. I like that!!!


Sunday, November 2, 2014

Trusting your instincts

I'm pretty certain we were all born with the ability to know right from wrong. Children are intuitive, but when they begin to get conflicting messages from the outside world, they learn to listen to others instead of trusting their instincts. Then what happens is they grow up with a flawed belief system which attributes to a low self-image and poor choices. Can you relate?

One of the ways that used to make me feel a bit crazy and was a breeding ground for shame in my home growing up, was that if I tried to express my feelings or needs, I was shut down quickly. My parents wouldn't tolerate anything that didn't match their needs and feelings. This lead to hurt, confusion, and frustration, which then caused me to express myself in another way, through tears. However, crying was not tolerated either. The messages I got taught me stuff my feelings, my intuition, and my needs.

I'm not blaming my parents or society for it's flawed system. What I'm saying is that most of us have had this experience and because we did, it has robbed us of peace.

No matter who taught you what, it is your responsibility today to change. You change by aligning yourself once again with your conscience, doing what's right, listening to your own needs rather than projecting your needs unto others (being a fixer/co-dependent)as a way to unsuccessfully heal, and breaking the cycle of numbing feelings with addictions. Feelings are essential to your well-being. It's okay to feel!!! It lets you know how alive you really are.