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!

Percolating Love

Growing up I was certain that once I fell in love and got married my life would change drastically and things would become clear, easy, happy. Imagine my pain in falling off that pedestal of false perception! For years I wondered how I could have been so wrong, how the Universe could orchestrate such depths of love and connection between two souls, only to leave us empty, yearning for what felt so out of reach. 

It’s been twenty years my husband and I have been together now. The dream I carried in my heart as a child has taken a long and winding journey of its own, alongside the path of my life. But what is true is this, my friends: that dream of love being the answer to everything I desired–it’s truth. Love is the answer. It does carry a powerfully healing and empowering energy. Only not in the way we all anticipate. It doesn’t look like Snow White and her Prince Charming. Nor is it the racy, passionate love we expect to be duplicated from what we see on the screen, onto the pages of our every day existence. 

Connecting to love’s presence takes time. We have so many boundaries and barriers to her entrance into the very tender and vulnerable core of our heart. As humans in Earth school, we are adept at holding her prisoner, placing expectations on how she is meant to look and enter our lives. Sometimes so much so that we can’t recognize her even when she arrives in all her beauty and glory. We push back, keep her warmth at bay–believing somehow WE are the ones being wronged in this scenario. 

We aren’t yet trained to see love as she is. Quiet, open, inviting–ever beckoning us to let go. She waits for us as we wrestle with the art of surrender. With patience and grace she holds space while we flounder in the depths of our own wounds and fears. And when we emerge through healing and a desire to be whole, she is there. Arms open, fully ready and willing to hold us in her embrace. 

One of the most beautiful things about Divine love is she does not force herself upon us. Always we have the choice–stay or go. Open or hold on tightly to what feels ‘safe.’ Walk away with our pride intact, or stay in the place where transforming fire burns away the rough edges of our ego. For beyond those walls of protection lives the most exquisite gem of who we are–the capacity to let go, to love completely, to trust that we are always held in the arms of her grace. 

Twenty years. Love has been percolating in my marriage all this time, and I’ve only just realized it over the last few years. Even in the darkest moments–she never left us–she never left me. The true essence of her has been right here all along, waiting to be unleashed, burning through the barriers we’ve so meticulously engineered around our soft spots. And today, my friends, she could even be Prince Charming! Only Prince Charming isn’t the man I thought he was. He’s REAL. He’s authentic, with dreams, hopes, fears and a truth of his own. We are both human–AND spirit. We are meant to be side by side, loving, supporting, honoring one another. And together, through all of life’s curves and turns, we have and are continuing to learn just how to follow her lead. She is our ever present Guide. 

The choice continues to be ours. Follow, open, allow, surrender….or hold tight. For me personally, I find the more I let go and surrender to the Divine, to the power of the Love I so desire, the more it is reflected back to me. What greater gift could I want from the man I love than to speak directly to the very tender and vulnerable core of my heart? I can’t think of anything. It’s been worth the wait, the struggles, the challenges, the heartbreak to come full circle to this place. No doubt, we have more turns to navigate, but we’ll do it together and in the warm rays of Divine Love. 

When You Least Expect It

I’ve found this is how some of the most amazing moments of my life have come into form:  when I’ve least expected amazement to enter the stage of my presence.  And yet, I find myself awed each time it occurs, enraptured in the Divine flow of the miracle in which I am a part. 

The most clear example of this was meeting my husband over 20 years ago.  I was just about twenty myself then, and made the conscious choice I wasn’t going to just mess around and take lightly “relationships” with men any longer.  Enough.  I was going to just focus on myself, my life, where I was headed and what I wanted.  Oddly enough, what I always wanted from the time I can remember was to grow up, get married and have children.  That’s it.  Simple.  I was ready at 20 years old–I wanted the commitment, the relationship, the lifestyle of being a mom.  But it just wasn’t happening.  So it was time to redirect.

That was in November.  We had our first date December 12th.  We were engaged by Valentine’s Day…and married just six months later.  Our oldest daughter was born the following August–15 days before our one year anniversary.  I couldn’t have imagined this was how the next year and a half of my life would be when I consciously shifted my focus, my energy, my belief system.  The decision at the time was significant, but truly, I had no idea just how much.  As I let go of needing approval from the men I casually met in my life, my heart’s desire waited just around the corner–when I least expected it!

Don’t you find the same in your life?  It goes back to another post I made some time ago about the Universe having so much more for us than we could ever dream of for ourselves.  I didn’t dream of THIS life I’m living–not the way it looks up close.  In my heart it was just the family unit of loving connection and growing together.  Something I had grown up with and wanted to carry on as part of my own legacy and life purpose.  The details of how it would all come together didn’t matter.  And the Universe has blessed me with so much more than I could have ever asked for–or known was available for ME. 

I love this journey.  On a daily basis I continue to be amazed with All That Is and the stream of loving consciousness and connection that flows into my life.  My voice expands more and more as I allow its energy to move through me and open my heart to who I am.  Living authentic and speaking out loud matter to me very much.  What I have “least expected” is the generous outpouring of love that comes from within.  But it’s not only within myself I find and feel so intimately this Divine love–I continue to be in awe and daily touched by the depth and raw purity of the love that is available to all of us in so many ways from around the globe.  It’s always there my friends.  ALWAYS.  If we’re not feeling it, then somehow, we’re not allowing it. 

Take a moment to consider where in your life it’s time to let go of old beliefs.  And I promise you that as you do–as you clean out that old closet and make room for something “new”–you too will have the abundance of your heart’s desire “when you least expect it.”  It won’t be wrapped in the packaging you’re anticipating either.  Your heart’s desire will come to you in the form Divine Consciousness–how the Universe sees the whispers of your heart.  Because All That Is sees beyond the “stuff” we carry, into the deepest core of our truth–the soul of our being.  And if we choose to, we can enter the surface of that sacred space through the channel of listening…..to the whispers of our hearts…..

Beyond Our Own Belief

“What God intended for you goes far beyond anything you can imagine.”  ~Oprah, Master Class~

Can you find in your life where this has proven true?  It goes along with having our prayers “answered.”  What we expect to be the answer isn’t always what the Universe lovingly holds for us.  And yet, sometimes we’re so sure we KNOW how something’s supposed to turn out. 

As I’m contemplating this quote by Oprah that I love so much, I’m reminded of my own marriage.  At the age of 20, I was sure I knew what I wanted in a partner.  A few years into our marriage, I was equally as sure I didn’t have it!  We embarked on a rocky road that lasted for some time, albeit through some very good ups and not-so-great downs. 

About five years ago I realized what is so true in so many ways in our lives:  God gave me what I needed, and what my HEART wanted.  He intended for me to have a partner who is loving, committed, patient, compassionate–and yes, as strong and determined as I can be.  All of what I thought I was missing those early years was surface, the “niceties” if you will.  When this whole time, the qualities that matter most were always here for me.  I just wasn’t grown enough, open enough and healed enough to receive them. 

What God intended for me went far beyond anything I could have imagined when I began this relationship journey.  I couldn’t have known, and yet I was so sure I did.  For a bit I was cross with the “powers that be” for putting me in a relationship that offered NONE of what I wanted.  What on earth had happened?

It’s amazing to me now, from here, to look back and remember that feeling.  But what is so much greater than that feeling is the *knowing inside of me that the Universe gave me the best possible partner, filling each of us with a Divine Love to carry our marriage through the most difficult of times.  For here’s what’s true:  there is no human love that could have fulfilled such a tall order. 

I am so very blessed.  And while much of this seems about my marriage and my own journey, it’s truly about what is possible and how we fool ourselves.  I was in some ways very ignorant to something so much greater than me.  Indeed, I couldn’t have known.  For so long I believed that God wasn’t listening, wasn’t answering, wasn’t there.  And yet, all through the most difficult of our struggles, Divine Presence was the “glue” that held us together.  For that was in no way of ourselves. 

I heard someone say the other day about writing his autobiography that we learn things about ourselves as we write, the Divine inspiration comes through the process.  And I’ve just learned something–well, I’m sure I *knew it, but I’ve just learned a new language for it.  Thinking about how this relates to the whispers of our hearts, I realize it wasn’t my heart’s whispers that cried at night when I felt so unhappy and empty inside.  For yes, the heart whispers are our heart and soul speaking to us.  The unhappiness I felt–that was the pain, the space of my heart that required healing crying out to ME.  It wasn’t about my husband at all.  I couldn’t hear those whispers, the pain was too great and had to be lovingly healed.

The journey of self and Spirit amazes me always.  We have so much to learn, and so many places in which to surrender what we think is true.  For behind the scenes and indeed–beyond the veil–there is a greater Force at work.  She is the Divine essence of Love.  She is always with us, even when we believe it to be otherwise.  We have only to surrender our hurt, our pride, our desire to hold onto pain…and let it all go.  For in its place lives a beautiful, loving embrace of what is true. 

And so my friends, know this:  wherever it is in your life you feel your prayers are unanswered, your wishes unheard and your deepest desires discarded–THAT is where Spirit is working the most on your behalf.  She holds a space in which exactly what you long for is already available to you, waiting for you to know, to be present and to be able to acknowledge it without judgment and old wounds getting in your way.  Wherever you are in this process, call on Spirit to whisper her Love into the space of your heart in a way that allows you to move forward.  Some of us are in the healing process in a very direct and deep way, creating shifts of change in our lives that are long overdue.  Others of us presently move with the Flow and feel the next step of our journey unfolding. 

However you find yourself today….whatever is your truth in this moment…..Divine Love is ever with you.  She forever lives in the whispers of your heart…..and will hold space for you to meet her there……

Beautiful Synchronicity

I was thinking this morning about relationships and what is unseen.  It’s taken me several years and several “layers” to appreciate a beautiful synchronicity between my husband and me.  Mind you, the appearance of it is not quite so stunning.  It goes something like this:  I’m aggravated because he seems to be preoccupied and isn’t “present” in our interaction, whatever it may be.  My aggravation makes itself known by saying something directed at him like “what’s wrong with you?”  Or a sentence that begins with “you”….”you’re not present, you seem upset, you’re a little tense.”  And I SO want to put it on him.  That he seems a bit “off” and is responsible for my aggravation.

But really – it’s me who’s feeling something.  I’m not feeling loved or I’m feeling distant from him.  I’m the one who has the aggravation and for him it’s like an ambush when I say “you seem upset?”  Rather than share with him what I’m feeling, I feel aggravated, rejected – and put it on him.  It must be that he feels something unpleasant and creates a blip in our screen of love.  Whether he is preoccupied with another area of life may or may not be true.  But if I’m coming to him and immediately projecting my feelings onto him, I will never know the true answer.  And I rob us both of honest and intimate communication.

Jenny McCarthy said of her breakup with Jim Carey that she took out a piece of paper and wrote down all the “negative” things she felt he’d done or not done in their relationship.  She then went down the page and crossed out Jim and wrote “I.”  Whatever she believed he had made her feel was all her own doing.  I love Eleanor Roosevelt’s quote:  “No one can make you feel inferior without your permission.”  My husband cannot make me feel unloved, unappreciated, unnoticed.  But I sure can.  I’m solely responsible for how I feel and how I see myself.  People and situations may come along that are upsetting, but then it’s up to me what I do with that experience.

And THAT is the beautiful synchronicity.  Just when I need to see myself clearly, appreciate my own value and know within who I am really am, I begin to feel my husband doesn’t.  This is God’s gift to us all.  We are paired in our lives with spouses, children, parents, siblings, co-workers, friends and loved ones with whom we share a contract to help one another grow and heal the places we are broken.

Truly, what I most need in those moments of aggravation is to listen to my own heart whispers.  For when I do, I understand the language of love that prompts me to cuddle up close and let love flow with my husband.  Even when I’m not feeling loved, I can always find within myself the desire to love.  It pulses with life and shines an exquisitely shimmering light.  I have only to pause long enough to listen….to see…..to feel.

This is my wish for you today.  Pause long enough to hear your own heart whispers of love.