‘One Day My Soul Just Opened Up’

It’s the title of a book by Iyanla Vanzant that I’ve had on my bookshelf for years and never read. But something about the title has always spoken to me, and while looking at my website and seeing yesterday’s post title–And Then What Happened?–it was the answer I heard from within.

There isn’t any music or singing. No flashes of lightning or fluttering in my heart. And yet–there IS something different. I’m observing people all around me opening up in ways that previously were kept ‘secret’ or ‘distant.’ They share intimate longings for spiritual connection, talk about being born with a Caul (an indication of deep spiritual knowing and in some cases extraordinary psychic connection). I’m finding myself more and more in awe of what is being said OUT LOUD, of the courage and deep well of honesty required to do so.

But this is what I’ve been asking for isn’t it?! Yes, it certainly is. I want to be authentic and speak my truth out loud. And that is exactly what’s been happening in my life–on a fast track most recently. Our natural response to expansion is to contract. We need it sometimes in order to feel grounded again. We must be gentle with ourselves in this space–well, in any space. Too easily we forget the delicacy of soul language. And that my friends, is why our task is to honor our truth, building stamina in our souls. So that one day, when the call comes to say the unthinkable, to expose the unreasonable–we’ll be ready. We will have done the work that compels us to stand up and answer the call.

There’s no fancy language for what it means. It’s just true. My soul opened up. The beckoning continues. I just needed to get still and hear it. Thank you for your comments, your loving support, your gentle spirits as companions along the way. I treasure each one.

The journey continues….xoxo

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The Truth About ‘Good’

It began as I read the post of a fellow blogger, ‘Something Beautiful’ from the Wordsmith’s Desk.  The first few lines of the post were from an old church hymn I remember singing as a child.

Something beautiful, something good

These are the words that played over in my thoughts–especially something good. From there I heard Maria and the Captain von Trapp singing ‘somewhere in my youth or childhood, I must have done something good’ as they realized they were in love and couldn’t imagine the good fortune of being together and having found one another.

‘Something good.’ In her poem ‘Wild Geese’ Mary Oliver begins with ‘You do not have to be good.’ It’s an interesting word–GOOD. And even more so what we’ve created as reality within our beings around it. ‘Be good. That’s good. It wasn’t good. Do good.’ Just typing and repeating ‘good’ is rapidly removing the insinuated context of its meaning from my thinking mind. (Which I’m realizing as I’m typing this could be a very effective exercise in quieting the mind or practicing disassociation from our perceptions of ‘what is.’)

First, the reality that I’m hearing from deep within myself is that we are already GOOD. What Mary Oliver meant to indicate, or at least what it feels to me, is that we don’t have to try to be good. We don’t have to follow a set standard of living or being in order to obtain the beauty, grace and true Divine ‘goodness’ of who we already ARE. It’s a paradox really: ‘you don’t have to BE good because you already ARE good.’

So let’s go a step further and feel the definition of this word ‘good.’ I love thesaurus.com for quick clarity and understanding; here are the words synonymous with ‘good:’ admirable, charitable, honest, innocent, perfect, pure, worthy, whole. YOU are ALREADY ALL of these qualities. WE are! Not because we’ve done something to be so. And there’s nothing we can do to not be so.

In the very core of who we are lives the innocence of our being. At the heart of our presence we are pure, we are whole. Wholly perfect. This is unrelated to what we say, what we do, how we live or what we accomplish. We are a soul center, filled with the grace of the Divine. We are beautifully PERFECT. And our journey here through Earth school is to REMEMBER that truth and stop trying to prove or create it. IT ALREADY IS.

Today. You. Own it. You are a Divine being filled with perfection. Imagine if we already knew that–how differently would you live? This is our journey my friends. To engage and connect to this truth. And to BE the ‘goodness’ we already ARE. Stop trying to attain it. It’s yours–you came with it! Just let it shine. BE YOU. I AM Jackie. And I AM good. Already. It is so. Listen dear ones, for you will hear its truth confirmed in the whispers of your own heart.

 

Simplicity of ‘Allowing’

So much has happened in a short time in my life recently.  Not only from a personal growth and spiritual networking perspective, but also from the standpoint of our family transitioning into another phase of our lives together.  For those who follow these posts, you already know how some of my greatest dreams are being realized, and that movement continues forward.  There is so much to learn, to take in and receive–and I am wide open, welcoming the opportunity to grow and rebirth.  And you’re also aware our oldest daughter is about to go off to college, with her brother and sister not far behind.  So many changes…in just a few months’ time.

As I sat outside contemplating all of this, feeling a very deep desire to be still and connect to the energy Nature just BE-ing, thoughts on giving/receiving came into my awareness.  Certainly I’ve talked here about allowing ourselves to receive and not just always exhausting our ability as Sacred Activists to be servants and givers to our world.  Practicing the art of being penetrated by the loving grace of others supports us in maintaining a balance.

It continued from there, as I looked within to see why there was still something “needed.”  What I found wasn’t a lack of receiving or giving.  In fact, there has been a significant amount of each.  The word that continued to come into my being was “allowing.”  Just allow.  Allow myself.  It’s as though we want to add more, to finish the sentence, add the object of allowing–allow change, allow Spirit to move, allow grace to flow.  But no, there wasn’t more.  No boundaries, no limitations, no necessities, no omissions or indulgences.  Very simply, the message resonated deeply within my soul.  “Allow yourself.” 

There is so much this could mean.  Allow yourself to love, to cry, to sing, to laugh, to shine, to rest, to heal, to eat, to dance, to write, to share, to comfort, to uplift.  On and on we could go, could we not?  But when the sentence is reduced to those two words, the possibilities are limitless.  “Allow yourself.”  Allow yourself THIS moment, in THIS time, in THIS place.  And be one with it.  Whatever it is.  Allow yourself.

The message of these two little words will vary for each of us and for all of us will shift moment by moment.  There is a simplicity in this spiritual practice.  And even to connect to that, we must “allow ourselves” to do so.  I urge each of you to begin the dialogue that will call your soul.  As you “allow yourself” to hear….the whispers of your heart…..

 

Claiming Permission

It’s one of my most favorite quotes:  “No one can make you feel inferior without your permission”–by Eleanor Roosevelt.  So often I hear its message in my thoughts, and it quickly reminds me that I am the driver of my own destiny.  Meaning–together with Spirit and the Universal Flow–I choose how to live my life.

All too often people see this statement as choosing what your life will be–and for some that’s the case for sure.  But for many of us, this really means we are choosing how to BE in our lives, in our space, in the family into which we were born, the talents and gifts we have been given.  It doesn’t always mean that we can choose to become something we are clearly not…only that we can make peace with all that we so perfectly ARE.  This strays a bit from my original thoughts in beginning this post, so let me move us back toward that path. 

“No one can make you feel inferior without your permission.”  Really contemplate this statement for a moment.  The promise of self-esteem present in this Universal truth shared with us through our former first lady isn’t–as Caroline Myss would say–“playground self-esteem.”  The kind in which we project a sort of “bullying” self-esteem to let people know they had better not mess with us–“or else.”  “No one can make you feel inferior” is remiss without the latter half of the quote:  “without your permission.”  Stepping into this space of honoring yourself as who you are is about recognizing the inherent ability to CHOOSE as Divinely gifted to each of us.

We can choose whether or not to allow another human being to make us feel “less than”–for in reality that feeling comes from within.  Causing that other person to stop what they are doing won’t always produce the result we ultimately seek–an authentic sense of being present to who we are.  They could stop their “bullying” and still we may walk away feeling less than.  Because it’s a belief that lives within us.

So what to do?  How then DO we prevent ourselves from feeling inferior to another?  Stop putting yourself down.  Begin to see yourself as all that you are–no more and no less than another.  Own the fullness of your presence, in all its beauty as well as all its ugliness.  Consider this:  someone does tell you how much ugliness you carry within, how unkind, judging, selfish or prideful you can be.  If you’ve already seen this space within yourself, acknowledged that it can be so (we are ALL human after all)–there’s no power given to that individual for pointing it out to you.  You’ve already seen, acknowledged, owned and embraced it as part of yourself.  And so–you are able to “hold center”–to maintain the stamina of your soul, your presence, your authentic self–in spite of whatever “they” say or do.  For you have looked honestly into the core of who you are, and seen the full picture of yourself.  Not as good, not as bad.  As YOU.

The same holds true on the side of someone telling us how amazing we or our particular gift or talent is.  For so many, that creates a sense of inferiority out of the fear that others will believe us to be better than they are, and so distance themselves from us.  It seems so ridiculous, doesn’t it?   That we would lessen ourselves to meet another where they are.  In each scenario, it’s the same thing holding us in place–our own perceptions, judgments and beliefs.  THESE are what make us feel inferior.

Not only is the message to not give your power to another; but take it one step further, encompassing only you:  do not diminish your own power.  Hold within you the permission–the OWNERSHIP of who you are.  See yourself through eyes of loving grace, compassion and dignity.  Learn where your integrity lies…and where its absence is clearly shown to you.  And step into empowering those places you feel yourself lacking.  For as much as no one can truly make you feel inferior–here’s the companion reality–no one can give you the empowerment you seek.  Each of these falls to our own self.

How do we connect to self-esteem?  Where do we find the answers of what truly inspires us, drives us, draws us closer into the call of our Divine spirit?  You know this, my friends….already you know where to look, where to listen for the answers to these questions and all matters of the soul.  We have only to be still long enough to receive….to hear…the whispers of the heart…..