Unraveling: ‘Spiritual Healing’ Not Required

It’s been quiet here–you may have noticed. Or perhaps not. This year, 2015, has brought with her many challenges and undoings, my health especially. I learned of my thyroid illness just after the birth of my son – nearly 21 years ago now. There were some times of struggle, but they’ve been in the distant past. Until now.

Discovering how jeopardized my health has been with the current condition of my thyroid was actually both shocking and quite devastating. In the midst of a virus type illness, I had a blood test, only to learn the number which should be around 4 was actually 41. In an instant I felt how deeply (and unconsciously) I’d been fooling myself with the belief my fatigue was due to a very busy autumn and holiday season. The path back to feeling well again feels so much longer than I’d like it to be. My health has been part of my vitality. To suddenly not have that feels foreign and to me.

Unraveling

At the same time I’m maneuvering this new way of loving myself, I’ve also dropped a lot of the labels and roles I felt were mine. They no longer seem to fit. Not because of my health, but alongside it.

What I’m discovering is a new way of being me, of loving me, of allowing myself all that is true. Every ugly emotion, every moment of feeling discouraged or alone, every new path that leads only to me. There are very few who will stand beside you and celebrate who you are outside of the spiritual ‘rules’ of healing yourself, being positive and uplifting, staying in love. Rules and expectations that actually closet pieces of our true nature, our raw emotions.

It occurred to me one afternoon as I rested and wrestled within myself that to so many in what I term the ‘spiritual’ community it might appear as though I’m immune to some deeper issue that is making me sick. Something about unblocking my 5th chakra, changing my diet, cleansing my energy field. We have somehow allowed into our spiritual lives this list of rules by which we are supposed to be living if we are in fact on a path of healing and wholeness. That list includes not being a victim and in some cases, not saying how you truly feel without the disclaimer of ‘but I know it’s all with purpose.’ A disclaimer that too often sets aside our pure (and dark) emotions of frustration, anger, discouragement, heartache. We are celebrated in our becoming. Who will stand at our side through the unbecoming?

In truth – it has to be us – ourselves. It’s not about anyone else understanding or celebrating our individual path. That’s the sharp realization I had that day on the couch. In my own inner dialogue I heard other people’s voices seeming to say ‘you’re not doing anything to heal yourself.’ My own voice respond with a truth that I am healing. Even in lying on the couch, feeling down and without any energy, unable to tap into something ‘sacred’ in my body – even in that moment, I knew, I felt my truth.

In simply being me, in allowing the illness to do its work as it is – I am healing. We forget the value of being much too easily. I find myself sinking deeper into its power as I am able to do less of the daily activities that were just a short bit ago a very big part of my life. The truth that continues to come is I am not who I was even a few months ago. Everything is different. I cannot tell you why or what comes next, I can only speak to where I am in this moment. I know who I am – and yet the question dances in my dreams – who am I now?

Miracles & Moments ~ No Comfort Zone Challenge Week 4

I’m loving reading everyone’s movement and opening as we all go through this ‘challenge’ together. Ironic, isn’t it–that we’ve actually NAMED something meant to be part of our every day life journey and experience. S-T-R-E-T-C-H-I-N-G beyond our own comfort zone and into the space of the sacred. We are consciously choosing to go into the center of ourselves, allow our souls to guide us. For it’s true, friends, that even when we have human language for it and it looks like we are engaging solely on the level of being earthlings, it is indeed our inner voice that beckons and drives us onward, deeper and deeper into who we are.

Twice the call came. First as an ‘oh, yes, that sounds nice’ when Janece shared that she was writing less on her blog, but more in her journal which had been silent for some time. And then last week when Marge shared that her decision to step outside her comfort zone was to change up her morning routine, part of which included writing in her journal. I have books and books of journals from when I wrote every day–so filled with emotion, awe and downloads of ME that I went on for pages in one sitting. And then, something shifted. I stopped writing in my journal so much, eventually writing more and more here, in plain sight.

A ritual I set for myself years ago was to get up early, in the darkness of morning and write. There was something incredibly sacred in that time of day for me. The stillness of a household not yet awakened. Quiet hush over all of nature until that first bird begins her chirping song. The Divine seemed more tangible and alive somehow. So after reading Marge talk about the beauty of the morning hours and the enveloping grace they exude, I decided I would get up early again this last week and write in my journal.

There wasn’t anything profound, in fact it was different than those years ago, in how it fed my soul to commune with the sacred–then & now. At that time, I could say it was as though I was a new recruit to the convent, come in with exuberant passion for this journey, for the connection to something so much greater than I. In this time and place, there is a calm within myself. A settled knowing of who and what I am, and in turn an understanding of the permeating presence of Divine energy throughout my entire day. What I found instead, wasn’t so much the joy of journaling once again, but the pause to whisper ‘Good morning, Ms. Jackie’ and then to allow myself to begin preparing for this day in my home. ‘This’ being any given day. After a space of writing, I felt myself infusing a loving warmth into each task I was doing: making coffee for my husband, feeding the cats, organizing the kitchen in order to make lunches. There was a different kind of sacred hush. Just a quiet knowing, calm, peacefulness. Morning was more like a glow of love greeting me.

It doesn’t sound uncomfortable, though, does it? And in truth, it wasn’t horribly so. But on half of those mornings, as I rolled over to quiet my alarm, I found myself thinking it would be much more comfortable to stay cuddled up next to my husband, in the warm embrace of our bodies resting together. To instead get up and greet the cool air of winter–let me assure you–was not so comfortable. The beauty: downstairs a cozy blanket awaited me. Sacred morning moments.

I love the unexpected–and this week’s experience certainly was that, in a very gentle and nurturing way. Miracles often come to us in the quiet of our interior, and in ways we least expect. Before closing, I’d like to quickly (well, as quickly as possible, we ARE writers after all!) share two notes on miracles and healing. Since our ‘walk-out’ visit to the vet last week, Snuggles’ symptoms of concern stopped completely! If that isn’t a resounding YES! to the truth of my own inner voice, I don’t know what is. I’m still amazed that it was so simple. When he first came to us, Snuggles was dreadfully afraid of humans. We couldn’t ever touch him. It’s been three years now and he will actually talk to me and ask to be loved and touched. He’s still unsure sometimes, but that boy has come a long way. It’s crystal clear that he has come into our lives–my life–to teach TRUST, and last week was one of the biggest lessons yet.

The conflict with my son has also begun to dissolve after my own conscious awareness and choice to just LOVE. Let go and love him. It has served to liberate us both. I have no illusions we’ll be flitting about the clouds with blind happiness for the remainder of our lives, but I do see how choosing to allow ourselves to move THROUGH what we feel, emerge on the other side with an energy of surrender and just give in to the call of our hearts–in my case to LOVE–will reorder our interior truth. I’m grateful for the healing in our home this last week, for the trust and love we are allowing to flourish as we grow together.

I’m actually quite clear on what next week’s challenge is for myself. Paint. I have inner visions of fluid strokes, colors, energies coming together on the ‘canvas.’ Voices of doubt have kept me from exploring, and I’m feeling very succinctly the call to honor my inner creativity. So I’ll be letting go in a whole new way as I explore the art of painting….however it may come to be over the next week. As a prompt and added inspiration for myself, I’ve attached a photo of the mug I painted to honor my 40th birthday. How on earth I’ve let nearly two months go by without letting this creativity express herself, I cannot say. Next week….that changes!

‘Just Jump’

While studying with Caroline Myss several years ago, there was a phrase that came out of our ‘classroom’ conversation: ‘Just Jump.’ The premise being there is no ‘good time’ to honor the voice of your spirit, to build a soul with stamina and follow your guidance. NOW is when you are most ready–if you choose to animate the Divine presence of who you are. For me, there has always been something very powerful and unavoidable in the understanding of what my guidance is–and making a choice whether or not to follow it. Once that language is felt, recognized, taken in and fully realized, to not honor my own inner voice mingled with that of the sacred feels to carry significant impact in my life. And really–there is only once choice in that space. 

This is coming to reality in so many more ways ‘around’ the various relationships and experiences in my day-to-day interactions. There is an expansion of the sphere in which I am being asked to step up and ‘just jump.’ Not coincidentally, this falls in line with the commitment I’ve made for 2012 to step more and more into my ‘no comfort zone’ and open myself to let go of what isn’t needed. And on a side note, this seems to go along with a yearning to keep ‘cleaning out’ our home, too. 

Yesterday’s jump allowed me to see the full extent of what we do to ourselves in the midst of receiving and sometimes filtering our guidance. After being at the vet’s office for an hour with one of our rescue cats, I just didn’t feel comfortable going ahead with the run of blood tests and potential treatment they were prescribing for what I was seeing. I couldn’t get to a peace about it. Generally, I would recognize I was a little hesitant, listen to what they said, step into the ‘oh no’s’ and ‘what if’s’ that we often hear when it comes to medical health–and then just go ahead and do it. In this case especially it would have seemingly been much ‘easier’ to just let them run the tests. Our vet had been at a conference over the weekend and specifically attended classes to learn about this because of our situation. They weren’t charging me an office visit fee. Although $238 is a lot, we could make it work if it was something we really needed. And perhaps the loudest (although in a very smooth and subtle way) reason to ‘just do it:’ how on earth would it look for me to say no after all that? Don’t I care about my cat? Aren’t I concerned what could happen if we ‘miss’ something–if we don’t treat him? What about all the time they’d set aside for me, the vet, the assistant explaining everything over the course of the hour I was there? And then I would just walk out and do nothing? How does THAT look? What kind of pet owner am I anyway?

Ah, the brilliant voice of our mind…feeling my inner chaos and stepping in to help me feel better. I remember this voice now from my teenage years even: ‘just do it and then worry about the rest later.’ But I couldn’t. I felt tearful, letting the struggle within myself become overwhelming as I tried to sort it through with a vet tech who really couldn’t comprehend what I was feeling and working out internally, although bless her heart for trying. She left the room to allow me some time to get clarity, to decide what to do. That was when my spirit’s voice came through loud and clear: when you are unsure what to do, walk away. Don’t do anything. If the choice isn’t clear, let it rest and come back to it when YOU are clear. 

I picked up the cat carrier, opened the door and walked to the front desk. While I fully believed in my choice and felt strong in what I was doing, that tiniest little sliver of ‘you look like a fool’ still tried to make its presence felt. We were going to do nothing. Not today. It didn’t feel right, and I wasn’t willing to compromise what I was feeling so clearly within myself. I don’t know how they felt about it, and truthfully, very little of me cares. Even with regard to the cost, although that wasn’t the deciding factor, I heard a new language whispering to me: Is this really a good use of our money? Money is energy after all–and to just spend it because we can make it work without the strength of my belief behind it is irresponsible use of the energy and abundance that flows into my life. 

I *know in my being our boy is ok. He doesn’t have any of those medical conditions the blood tests would have revealed. I just had to give myself the opportunity to hear that clearly, away from the chaos and yes, my friends, fear of humiliation. THAT is what I’ve been talking about. I love my cats unconditionally, enough to trust what I feel about their well-being over what someone who is ‘qualified’ might recommend and believe. But fear would have played the greater role in the past. Yesterday, I walked out of that office with strength in my spirit, increased stamina in my soul. 

It was interesting to note, that when I got in the car I could feel the energy overload of the whole situation. I called a close friend and soul companion just to talk it through–in truth, just to allow myself to say out loud and validate the process and choice. A headache had begun to throb, my body felt a little jittery…until the words began to flow and the peace of being ME, honoring my guidance settled in. 

Uncomfortable, yes. Humiliating–actually, no. I chopped away at some of those old beliefs when I wrote honestly earlier this week, and then the Universe graciously gave me a situation in which to practice my deeper truth: following guidance does not equal humiliation. I’m humbled and grateful. 

Subconscious Movement ~ NoCZ Week 2

 Sometimes I just have to laugh out loud – seriously – LOL. 

Just yesterday I posted that I didn’t have clear direction for this week’s No Comfort Zone Challenge – there wasn’t anything in particular I felt guided to focus on directly. Yes, there’s a list of things to ‘check off’ – but none that were relative in that moment. Surprisingly, I’m still amazed and left in awe with the ways of the Universe and how quickly our lives can ‘spin on a dime.’ 

The list – yes. On the list are several health related ‘do’s’ that I’ve been putting off–one of which is to reconnect with a chiropractor for neck pain. Other little signs have indicated it’s getting worse, and I need to be proactive instead of sit still uncertain of how to address it. 

After reading Marge’s post It Came to Me in a Flash yesterday, I found myself pondering again a commitment I’ve made to work in trade with a woman who has created a very profound process of connecting even more deeply to who we are.  It intrigued me from the first time I heard about it – and the trade works well for both of us. My role is to assist her in expanding the public awareness of the process, through a presence in social media especially and other outlets as well. We were both elated to find one another and begin. 

Until. The holidays came, my life felt over full and I needed to take a step back. I put off our work together and something has ever since felt ‘uneasy’ about it all. I’ve really considered and asked myself if this means it’s not in alignment with where I am. I’ve also stopped and sat full with the awareness that sometimes what is so good for us seems to stir our subconscious resistance into action. Unsure which of the two were my truth, I’ve decided to move forward with the process, to get started and allow it to unfold. Should things become clear, then I’ll act on what I know. For now, I know (knew) to at least be honest with her and give it some time.

We began today, Ahna and me. It was day one of the Opening Energy process. There was a tremendous amount of ‘discomfort’ if you consider the uncertainty and unsettled feeling inside myself. I really, truly had no idea just what to expect. My energy felt unsure, unconvinced, but still open. 

Within 10 minutes it was shifting. We talked about what I was feeling and the honesty of sharing my truth was refreshing. I read yesterday in my book The Expected One that we have only to ‘ask’ for what we want and then it will show up. Granted it doesn’t always happen that quickly or simply, but at times, it does. Just a few more minutes into our conversation today, and Ahna asked if I’m experiencing any pain. I described what I’m feeling (which she was already intuitively connected to) and she went on to recommend a particular type of chiropractic care that feels very much in alignment with what I’m desiring. 

TWO answers my friends. Both in response to my own movement OUT of the comfort zone. Neither of these are steps I was excited to take initially, but both feel so very healing and loving toward myself. So I’m revising what I said yesterday – I DO know what this week’s movement is on my No Comfort Zone Challenge: 

1. Even when the path is not clear or comfortable – take a step. Honor the commitment to Ahna and begin the process. Trust the answers I need are already here. CHECK. 

2. Call the local chiropractor who I feel is in alignment with the treatment I need – make an appointment and get the program STARTED. (Sort of ‘check’ – I called, they’re not open today. So I’ll call again tomorrow.)

These steps were not driven by what my mind decided was best. There was an invisible Flow happening beneath the surface. What is clear once again is that when we consciously choose to listen to our guidance – even the ‘small’ guidance that feels flat, boring, insignificant – we open the channel to the Divine even more. Taking one tiny step moves us forward in giant measure on this journey. Remember my friends, we are spirits in EARTH school. Earth life applies to us all. We can’t just feed the soul, we must honor the mind and care for the body as well. xo

Truth Beyond Illusion

Oriah Mountain Dreamer–I’ve seen her name frequently appear with words of wisdom and inspiration throughout the pages of Facebook. Always I’m intrigued by what is shared in connection to Oriah Mountain Dreamer…and always her name has felt familiar. I realized why, as I recently revisited some books I’d read years ago, one that drew my attention was The Dance–by Oriah Mountain Dreamer. It’s now sitting here on my desk because I want to once again touch the grace of this book, summarized as “Moving to the Rhythms of Your True Self.” And as I begin to write this post today,  the words printed on the cover of The Dance catch my eye:

What if the question is not why am I so infrequently the person I really want to be, but why do I so infrequently want to be the person I really am?

From this we must ask ourselves a question that will plunge our attention deep into the heart of who we are: What is it that seduces me into becoming something other than my authentic self? And then–how do I know when I am or am not being authentic?

Take this opportunity to remind yourself of what is true for YOU. Remember the integrity of your values, the truth of your spirit, the call of your soul. Honor these. For all too often we will be tempted to step away from our true selves, abandoning our purest presence in favor of what seems to be more appealing–be it companionship and acceptance by others, an easier way to get where we wish to go, or a full out rejection of who we are in favor of something or someone else.

All too often the energy that draws us away from being ‘the person I really am’ is an illusion. And the journey into our selves, the process of building ‘souls with stamina’ is that of learning to grasp the difference between reality and that which appears to be real. The mind cannot always discern, yet the heart, the inner voice can. ALWAYS. Perhaps we are not always listening. Our mind chatter can convince us of nearly anything when we aren’t in tune with our compass of truth. That my friends, is why we must be doing ‘the work’ on a regular basis–the work of knowing who we are, what we believe and why, honoring those ‘hits’ we are continually receiving.

So if there is a lesson in today’s message, it’s this: take the time to see the truth beyond illusion. Check in with your self, listen. And learn to understand why you might not want to be who you are. For as long as you live without peace and connection to YOU, you will always be willing to buy into the illusion. And truly, what could be better than ‘moving to the rhythms of your true self?’ Isn’t this what we desire most at the core of our being? I’m looking forward to reconnecting with The Dance….

 

 

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……