From Out of a Deep Sleep

It feels as though my emotions are turned a bit upside down just now–and I know that’s a positive thing in my personal journey.  While I consider myself to be one who is acutely aware of her feelings and what lives beneath them, these have crept up on me and so bring a heightened state of awareness with them.

A few years ago I was blessed enough to be part of an intimate women’s group of six.  We were very real about our feelings, our emotional wounds and allowed the most raw space of ourselves to be expressed as we healed through it all together.  For me personally, my pain and frustration came at first in groans without words to even articulate what the feelings were.  Eventually there were screams and deep guttural crying left where the deepest hurt had been living for too long.  This time in my life was immensely powerful and healing, although I must say there were many moments of uncertainty, defensive posturing and outright fear at what might come from this place within myself.

Since that time, my journey has found its own balance–my emotions less intense and the pain has healed.  Yet, this last week, I’m aware of another level of transformation that is taking hold of my consciousness.  This time, pain is not as profound, nor is it perhaps the underlying source.  Instead, it feels like emotions that have been quieted as they allowed my spiritual growth to advance.  Perhaps it is an agreement deep within ourselves, when to approach which part of our enlightenment.  This place feels less like healing old wounds and more as though it’s time to just “wake up” a bit more. 

Time to “wake up” to places in my life where I might be living a bit asleep and not fully present in my self.  So many wonderful things have occurred for me, it’s easy to feel “full” in that space and follow its course.  But now, Spirit is shifting the path.  There is a transformation taking shape through the lifting of the veil to see myself even more clearly.  Although there are uncomfortable and sometimes even sad or hurtful places along the way, they’re accompanied by a sense of knowing–“this is good.”  This is exactly where I’m supposed to be.  For as much as intuition, joy, wisdom and sharing are me–sadness, feeling lost and turning inward are me too.  ALL of this is me.  And I am exactly where I’m supposed to be.

I share this with you friends as a reminder to us all.  EVERY step of our journey is part of who we are, and is meant to be.  As awake as we are at any time in the process of walking this human path, there is always a place in us still to be awakened.  Enlightenment is not a one time occurrence.  It happens continually, in a cycle throughout the course of our lives.  Our choice is to allow it to move us, indeed to move through us. 

In her class on Mysticism, Caroline Myss taught that confusion is a “good” thing.  Having our world turned upside down and feeling uncertain which way to turn, how to move forward and just what we need to take that next step–all of these force us to stop and take inventory of ourselves, where we are, what we truly desire.  And in these most vulnerable places, we turn to the Divine for comfort, support and guidance.  Out of confusion comes transformation.  Transformation shifts the course we are on, allowing our soul to move us forward, tuning us in more and more to the Divine whispers……that come from within the space of the heart…..


In the Shadows

When traveling along the spiritual journey, one of the spaces we encounter within ourselves is the “shadow.”  Just what does this mean?  For most of us, the immediate sense is of something dreadful, arousing the fears that live in our unconscious and driving them out into the light–or our consciousness.  And this is the process of unveiling our “shadows.”

We have great fear of what might live there, in the unlit corners of our hearts, our spirits, our minds.  The natural reaction is to hold on tight to what we are certain will be taken away–our security.  Let’s take a different approach to understanding our shadows, one that will perhaps enlighten you and prompt you to hang the welcome sign for the places within yourself you do not yet see.  Imagine yourself entering a room that is dimly lit.  Stepping across the threshold, the corners are hidden in darkness and the walls are barely visible by the hue of light.  You’ve brought with you into this room a flashlight, and now through the door, you turn it on.  Moving into the room, you shine the light on one corner at a time–unaware of what you might find there.

Without the shining light, these corners are in total darkness–the UNKNOWN.  Whether there are cobwebs, stools, shelves, books, a lovely chair in that space–you have no way of knowing.  And indeed, you may choose the path of mystery and exploration, entering the space without even the flashlight’s glow.  What feelings and thoughts arise within yourself as you imagine this encounter?  There may be images that come to mind of just what will be discovered in those shadows.

The dramatic presentation of this scenario might offer goblins and ghosts living in the dark corner, rats or something equally undesirable.  There could be stacks of “stuff” accumulated and left to collect dust over a lengthy period of time.  But there could also be something beautiful, a mural painted on a wall,  kept hidden only out by the absence of light.

What we find in the shadows of ourselves can be uncomfortable or exhilarating.  Either way, it is a part of who we are and we can only know what lives there when we choose to enter and examine the space.  Regardless of what “material” we might find, we can discover another piece of ourselves, allowing us to step more wholly into authenticity.  And most often–the greatest fear in looking into our shadowy corners is the one we have brought into the room with us–that of the unknown.

Once the light is introduced into the space, the potential is without limits.  Even the most unpleasant sight can be transformed into something desirable, tantalizing, stimulating and loved.  This is true of our inner space, too.  No matter what you find in your darkest places, there is something beautiful just beneath the exterior of what is visible.  Lift the veil, look beyond the surface and allow yourself to transition into the truth that is you.

We are designed to carry the inner beacon of intuitive knowing that directs us where we need to go on this journey.  Choose to collect another piece of yourself by stepping into the shadows.  Ask your inner voice to guide you…..and you will know its call by tuning in and listening….to the whispers of your heart……

On Being a “Good Girl”

At a quiet moment in my day yesterday, I had one of those AHA! moments.  The kind where something that has always been part of your life changes its meaning and form, a light bulb goes off and you become enlightened to a rich awareness.

We all have the dialogue that goes on in the “back” of our thoughts.  That voice that can be our mother, our judge or another archetypal presence.  In this particular instance, it was that “mother” voice within my own consciousness that came to the stage.  I heard her say “that’s right, good girl” in support of what I was doing.  And in that exact moment….the switch flipped!

I really could feel the energy within myself change.  We’ve all experienced these moments, and really, they’re quite stunning are they not?!  In my younger years, I soaked it up every time my mom said out loud or even hinted at me being a “good girl.”  This meant I was loved, and as many of us do I took on that to be a “good girl” – to be loved – I had to be pleasing in my actions and my words.  A rigorous code of conduct began to weave itself within my subconscious, driving me to always be pleasing to others in order to be liked or loved.

But here’s the AHA! moment, my friends.  The entirety of my being realized in the space of a nano-second – this is not true!  The goodness of my “good girl” is love, kindness, joy.  That was what my mom could feel.  THAT was why she said “good girl” to me, filled with loving sentiment.  I didn’t have to get A’s, make sure my mom was happy, try to hide any perceived flaws or mistakes.  I just was me….and that was enough!  I was a “good girl” and indeed am a “good girl” just because I am Jackie.  Just because I love to love, respect people where they are, offer kindness and caring.  And even in the times when I struggle to find this place in myself, the good does not go away.  I don’t have to earn my goodness….it just is!

What a liberating, exhilarating and incredibly uplifting realization!  This changes the whole order of your existence, an AHA! such as this!

You too are GOOD.  Not because you have to be, but because you are.  I love the first line in Mary Oliver’s poem WILD GEESE:  “you do not have to be good.”  What she conveys is you do not have to try to be good by human standards.  You are good in the eyes of the Universe.  Take a pause, and let that sink in.  You ARE good.

Your heart will tell you so.  When you pause….listen to its whispers and feel the goodness that is you.

What is God Asking?

What is God asking of you?

No matter where we are in our own journey, we can take pause to ask this question.  God speaks through our joy, our pain…sorrow, elation, wealth, poverty.  It doesn’t matter.  There will always be room for this question, and if we listen, we will always receive an answer.

But I wonder, can we even grasp the power that lies in the asking?  We are effectively reaching up into the ethers to draw down into our being the vibration of grace,  just by simply posing the question.  Beyond the inquiry lies the need to step into living an authentic life, to shift a stagnant energy, to touch the lives of others with the energy we share, to perform acts of service on behalf of Spirit.

It’s as though our soul is an electric power plant and asking this question turns on the giant switch and begins the current flowing, bringing light and animation to the extremes of our person.  And so begins an awakening.  Something previously quieted opens its eyes and breathes life.

Wherever you are in life, take time out to say these words:  “What is God asking of me?”  And then listen….as your heart whispers the answer to you.