Who knew asking for help could be such an intricate, loaded action to take? When on the receiving end of the question – having someone you know or care about asking you for help, it seems so much simpler. Most often we are open hearted, willing and happy to provide an infusion of love and support to others. But then when it’s time for us to feel vulnerable enough to say “I need your help” – we struggle so. As I check in with myself to see what comes to the surface with that statement I feel inadequacy, helplessness, lack of strength and ability–perhaps even the sense of DISability, which feels like a negative implication in our society.
And yet, we are created to work together, to need the love and support of others and especially to want to give our love as well. We have an innate desire to be of service, and when balanced with our own personal boundaries, receive immense gratification from doing so. As I’m working with Fay Hart in her Indiegogo campaign, I’m continually processing these feelings of how it will look and feel to ask for help. I would easily tell someone else that it’s ok to ask, that people can decide for themselves what they feel and how they wish to respond. And yet, when it’s me doing the asking, there is a recurrence of fear-based thoughts that wonder how it will look, what people will think of me, if they’ll be offended, if it’s ok with them. When in reality, all I need to do is turn inward and be very clear on my desire and intention.
And so, my dear friends, I’m asking for your help in supporting ME as I work with Fay to make her dream come true. We’re using Indiegogo as a crowdfunding platform, meaning the funding comes from everyday people like you and me who believe in something and are willing to make a contribution in support of reaching a goal–in this case, to create a beautiful Workbook to accompany the Steps program. the Steps program was created by Fay as part of her work to ease suffering in our world. I wholeheartedly believe in Fay, and I’m asking you to believe in me and lend your energy to our efforts. Every little ‘bit’ helps – whether you can contribute $5 or $1000. And if you aren’t able to or prefer not to contribute financially, you can help us to get the word out by sharing in your own networks–your blog, Facebook, Twitter, emails, word of mouth. I believe we can make this happen – I believe anything is possible. And I know I have the strength and trust within to lay it out on the line and allow the magic to unfold, releasing the binding energy of fear. We’re all in this together, dear friends. xoxo
This left me breathless with my own internal validation of truth as I read it. It came to me from one of the Sister Souls in my circle, Edgy Mystic Melynnda. Affirmation, blessing, prayer….heart whisper. I’m passing it on to you, dear friends. Beautiful.
Oh my, it feels as though I have so much to say after not writing here for quite some time. I always know it’s time to return–when I’m having conversations with you all in my mind.
I wonder if you feel what I do at just this time–a great shifting in how Life experiences you, and in turn how you experience it–but in the most subtle of ways. Undoubtedly many of us are continuing to move through the spiral of our own journey, unearthing pieces of ourselves, dismantling layers of beliefs and barriers no longer needed. But what has occurred for me over the last couple of months feels quite extraordinary, in the most simple of ways.
It’s the first time–EVER–I was on my own for a few weeks this summer, and it was extraordinary. My husband’s father passed away three years ago, and his mother just this January. That leaves my husband as the ‘elder’ in his family, which in itself is quite surreal. There were two properties to be managed – her home to be sorted through, cleaned out and put on the market to sell – and a family cottage on the coast of Maine to be transferred into our ownership and oversight as it’s also a rental property. A friend and I traveled together up to New England and spent a week cleaning, packing, making repairs in the home to be sold. Our time together was filled with laughter, lots of dust and we even managed to get in a few nights out on the town. She then went on to visit family in Canada and I spent the next week by myself at the beach cottage.
I don’t quite have all the words to describe this experience, but I know it changed me in ways I’m not yet aware. When I met my husband nearly 22 years ago, we fell in love and married within less than a year. I moved from my parents’ home to his. So being in this sacred place I love so much and having it all to myself as the energetic shift in ownership occurred was a beautiful gift. I loved every minute. My dear friend Joss unknowingly spoke what’s true in my heart – Moody Beach is a healing space for me. In years past, it has felt very much in my awareness. This year, it was much more as though I was simply allowing myself to love each moment for what it was. There wasn’t anything BIG or earth-shattering that I felt or recognized inwardly. The movement has been subtle, beautiful, gentle. And I feel that is the energy currently settling into our consciousness as the old paradigm of fear and ‘doing the right thing’ march silently out of focus.
There’s so much I could say, but I do tend to write long posts already, so will try to simplify. I have witnessed the delicate grace having a similar impact on several occasions–moving my spirit when I wasn’t even aware it was happening. First, after a week by myself, I was uncertain if I was ready for my family to arrive. We return to Moody Beach each summer – sometimes just my husband and I, other times the kids will go with us; this year everyone journeyed north. They would fly in on Tuesday, but Sunday evening and even a bit on Monday morning I was concerned I might not be so happy to see them. A gentle breeze of grace shifted my feelings as Monday went on – and I felt a bit lonely accompanied by a longing to connect with my family. When they landed on Tuesday, my heart leapt with joy to see these amazing beings who chose me for their wife and mother. I felt – and still do – quite amazed with how my emotions and heart moved just as was needed in those moments.
Similar experiences happened when it was time for the kids to go, for us to come home from the beach and most recently with my work. My husband and I would spend the remaining week together in New England, and although I so looked forward to that, I felt pangs of grief as I watched my children walk towards their gate for the flight home. When we traveled back home to Atlanta over two days’ journey, I wasn’t so sure coming ‘home’ would be welcome. Halfway through day two, I sensed the shift and desire to be in my beautiful Atlanta HOME once again. And with Sacred Circle Retreats – upon leaving closing out our Spring Program in May, I felt burnt out, unsure about continuing this forward. That feeling of uncertainty seemed to increase as my distance from the work and community did. Just a few weeks ago I wondered if I would be canceling the Fall Program because my heart was no longer in it. My friend and mentor Fay Hart is always talking about miracles and how they are everywhere. I’m convinced a miracle occurred because the passion for this work, for our Fall Program and the women with whom I’m so honored to work has only grown immensely over the last few weeks and I’m elated to launch our new series of events this evening.
Two quotes come to me in closing. The first I read just this morning and shared on the Sacred Circle Retreats FB page, which then led me to write this post (finally!):
Nonresistance is the key to the greatest power in the universe. Through it, consciousness (spirit) is freed from its imprisonment in form. ~ Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth
The second seems to sum up my summer retreat (because for me it WAS a retreat, they come in many forms, my friends):
You do not have to be good…..
You have only to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves. ~ Mary Oliver, Wild Geese poem
I had no idea in 2005 that a course I signed up for called “From Intuition to Mysticism” would transform my life. Not only did I shift entirely in who I was and how I encountered the world, but the course itself changed direction. There would be three weekend classes, and during that first one in March, our teacher Caroline Myss would undergo a total reordering of what she would teach us. St. Teresa of Avila came to be by her side and served as the guide for the remaining course. Rather than teach us about a variety of mystics in history, we instead began to move through the castle of our souls based on Teresa’s book ‘The Interior Castle.’ What resulted from that class is Caroline’s book ‘Entering the Castle.’ I haven’t read it for quite some time, but picking it up this evening, there is so much that calls to me. Although I’ve not been working directly the introspection contained within, I find that all I’ve encountered over the last seven years mirrors much of what speaks to my soul from within each chapter and page.
We can all pray. We can all move into the space of our interior self, and even more deeply into the castle of our own soul. From within that place, we carry an energy of humility, openness and clarity if we choose to allow its penetration. What called me back into the pages of Entering the Castle is the Entry Prayer that follows–a prayer Caroline shares for us to come to a place of stillness and begin to ‘cross the bridge’ to the castle of our souls. It speaks to me deeply, and I believe there are many of you who will feel its mystical power too.
‘I cross the bridge into the silent bliss of my Castle. I close the drawbridge and forbid all outside influences from entry into this holy place that is my soul. Here in my Castle, I am alone with God. Under God’s light and companionship I discover the depth and beauty of my soul. I embrace the power of prayer. I open myself to divine guidance. I surrender myself to become a channel of grace, healing, and service as God directs my life.’
‘I understand the nature of illusion and see that I do not, nor have ever possessed any defects.’~ Step 6 ofthe Steps.
I sat down to write on Sunday morning and felt the truth of this statement sink deep into my being: I do NOT, nor have EVER possessed any defects. The Universe conspires with our souls to bring the most profound healing and enlightenment to us, to enable us to release and move forward with purpose in who we are. And so we began…
Recently three people have resurfaced in my life–three people, that is, by whom I was hurt deeply many years ago. These are individuals, from different times and places. One goes all the way back to the year I graduated high school. I’ve felt much of the pain from these experiences melt away as I’ve grown and healed, but as one by one my interactions in present time began to trigger those old experiences, I have realized they’ve come back around to allow me to continue to heal and release. It was actually unsettling as with each one I felt myself wanting to say things I didn’t dare say when the original encounters occurred. I had no idea how to stand up for myself back then–and I also walked away from each scenario with full willingness to own my part. I could see how in each situation I had contributed to the undoing of our relationships, and so rather than point my finger at them, I held myself accountable for what was mine. That meant it wasn’t right to make a fuss about what they had done ‘to me.’
That’s the old story. The new story was written as I sat down on Sunday morning to sort out some of what I was feeling around the triggers. Feelings of being wrong, inadequate, undesirable, too outspoken, too ‘good’ have all swirled around inside of me since reconnecting with each of these people. But when I began writing, I realized: I’m having some of the same feelings, but without being able to see anything I’d done ‘wrong’ to create the current unpleasantness. I couldn’t turn and point the finger at me this time. There wasn’t anything I felt badly about, no shame, no poor choices, no lack of self esteem in how I encountered each one. Yet, those emotions were still coming up.
Something began to shift. If I’m being who I am today–and getting the same results as I did years ago when I made choices I wouldn’t make today–then it’s not about what I did or didn’t do. It’s not about how I contributed to the situation. It’s not about that I need to own my choices. It’s not about looking back and owning how I created part of the problem. And so Step 6 began to weave her way into my thoughts. She’d been embedded into my bodies through last week’s class and processing, but now she was standing as my truth. I do not now, nor have ever possessed any defects. No defects. I wasn’t defective all those years ago, in each of those relationships. It’s not that I was wrong–because I’m not and have never been defective!
There is an enormous magnitude of healing and release in this truth, my friends. I am not – YOU are not – defective. We are perfectly whole. Radiantly flawless. We are as we were mean to be. I was being myself then, as I am being myself now. My intention wasn’t ever to contribute to anyone’s suffering, especially my own. I was just being Jackie. As she was. As she is. Unbroken. Not defective. Seeing with clarity the illusion I’ve lived under for far too long.
I feel and see myself in a whole different light. Layers of guilt and self judgment are dissolving away. There’s immense power in this awareness of myself: I am NOT defective. I was not–ever. There aren’t any defects, nothing to find or fix or try to own or make better. NOT defective.
I am radiantly flawless. As are you.
As part of our processing for Step 6, Fay guided us in a beautiful processing meditation. It was very profound for me personally, and I’m sharing it here with you. Thank you to Fay Hart for the ease and grace with which she assists our consciousness through these steps, and for allowing us all to process at will using this meditation as our guide.
Could you teach me how to connect with myself in a deeper way?
How does one answer this question? As I contemplated it, I began to realize there is no lengthy curriculum or essay. In truth, the reply is quite simple, and flowed rather beautifully as I allowed something beyond my thoughts to guide me.
I’m not sure there is a way to ‘teach’ anyone how to become more intimate with oneself, however what I can do is share with you what I have learned along the way. It begins with the breath. Taking that moment, being still, letting the air surround you and just focusing fully on your heart. Visualize it, imagine yourself in that space, breathe into it and let it become larger than you. Practice this regularly. And when you’re comfortable enough, focus on hearing what is there. No matter how simple or great. Just listen. Allow. BE.
The answer lives in the simplest of practices, doesn’t it dear loved ones?
So far we’ve come as a human race, and yet so far we have still to go. Fear continues to grip us, both in places we ARE aware of and those remaining to be discovered. It seems as much as we do release, we travel onward in the journey of our souls to realize there is more to let go.
As you process this, rather than receive it as discouragement and lack of forward motion, consider that you are a perennial work in progress. Always there is another step to be taken to move closer to embracing fully our Divinity. The music plays on and the dance that at first felt to be a challenge and required focused energy, attention and effort, now becomes a joy in motion. Even when settling into the elegant and graceful glide across the floor, one can still connect even more deeply to the rhythm and Flow inspiring the body, heart and soul to continually move, to dance the dance.
Open yourself to its fluidity, letting it completely enfold you as you become lost in the sacredness of this space. So much more is here for you than the mind can even begin to imagine–for this space lives beyond the thinking self. Let yourself go, breaking away from the gravity of space and time and instead surrendering into the emptiness of BE-ing and the openness and warmth of Divine presence.
The video below played in my ears as I shared this message with each of you, and I encourage you to take just a few moments out of your day to listen and allow it to inspire you, to move your heart, to melt your fears, and to guide you into the depths of your soul’s beautiful light, pure truth and radiant glow. Connect to the Source that IS you, and flows from within YOU. Much love.