Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Divine Earthly Experience 6: Forgiveness is a Strength, Not a Weakness

“When you hold resentment toward another, you are bound to that person or condition by an emotional link that is stronger than steel. Forgiveness is the only way to dissolve that link and get free.” Katherine Ponder

Good evening fellow Earthlings,

Wow, this Earth Game is not easy sometimes, right? So much going on in our lives and in the world. All of us carrying around one wound or another. It's as if we are not meeting, but our wounds are meeting each other. When our wounds meet each other, they don't usually shake hands or kiss or hug. When our wounds meet, they lash out! It's like a lion in its den licking it's paw—a bloody, mangled paw. Another lion or animal comes near and it reaches out with its healthy paw and STRIKES! Now two animals have bloody paws. Two animals are walking around wounded. Why did the lion in the den strike? Because it wanted to protect itself.

We are all doing this, to some degree. Some of us have become comfortable in hiding our wounds. We smile when we greet people. We even extend a hand. We say, "How are you?" And when we answer that question, we may say, "Oh, I'm great, couldn't be better!"

Is it true? You couldn't be better?

If so, I commend you! Your life is going GREAT and this is not the time to hear about wounds. In fact, you'd rather not talk about THAT because who knows what might come up that's just under the surface.

Have you looked to see what's just under the surface?

My life, not too long ago, was going along swimmingly, so I thought. Everything I had dreamed about came true: I was happily married, I had traveled all over the world, I had become an internationally published author. I felt on top of the world. I was at my peak and there could be no valley.

But then, suddenly, I found myself in that valley. Everything that was important to me had been stripped away. Can you imagine this? Can you imagine all that you love right now suddenly not being there?

No, I know, you don't want to think about it. Life is going GREAT and this is not the time. I thought that too. In fact, I avoided all things that had the tone of sadness, defeat or depression. I defended strength and inspiration with everything I had in me. Anything with a whiff of negativity was quickly whisked away or shown the door. I couldn't relate to people who were down in the dumps because I was at the top of my game. I didn't have time for it.

Until IT became my reality.

Now I understand.

No one is immune to it, unfortunately.

When it happened to me, I was ANGRY. Yes, I'm not afraid to say that my go to emotion, when things don't go as planned, is anger.

"How could you do this?" I said, through clenched teeth in a tone that did, in fact, sound like a wounded or dying animal.

I had just found out that my husband had had an affair. That he'd been secretly dating someone else for several months.

Oh, the humiliation! After all, I'd written a book about our marriage. It had been published in other languages even. Now what?

And the pain. I used my anger to cover my pain. The pain was unbearable. To know that my partner of twenty years was now dating a younger woman, that all his love that was once for me was now going to her.....well, shit, that just plain hurt. And the way that he tossed it all away as if it were nothing....ouch!

Four months after my husband moved out for good, I attended a 10-day silent meditation course. Usually I come out of those courses feeling blissful, peaceful, new and refreshed. For years, I've gone to these retreats and found them beneficial and still do. During the course, you have to face your REAL self. Stuff comes up to be released and some of it is not pretty, to say the least. For the first time ever, I came out of the course ANGRY. I wanted REVENGE and the ways I came up with to get revenge, were, well, a little scary. I even scared myself by thinking them. I'll spare you the details, but I'm sure you get the picture.

I rolled in anger for months. It was not pretty. Luckily, I also threw myself into every healing modality out there: massages, spas, therapists, acupuncture, hypnosis, meditation, synagogues, temples, churches, prayer, meditation. I am currently a regular student at a Psychic Awakenings in Queen Anne, Seattle. I'm now in an 11-month Clairvoyant Awareness Program learning amazing tools for healing and reading myself and doing the same for others. I think my classes there have had the most impact on my healing and where I am now, but all of it certainly helped. I was committed to healing myself. It was the only thing I knew for sure that I wanted to do.

And while I know, a year and a half later, there's still more healing to do, I can say that it's all paid off.

Last Friday, I met my ex-husband in a coffee shop. I'd met him on very few occasions over the course of a year and a half because I wanted to wash that man right out of my hair and send him on his way, as the song goes.

But this time was different. I wasn't angry. I kept waiting for my pulse to start rising. I kept waiting for the lashing out to start happening. I was waiting for my friend anger to show up, but she missed our coffee date completely. And what a relief that was. I can't tell you how good it felt to let anger go.

As I sat there, drinking coffee and eating a breakfast sandwich with my ex-husband, I instead saw him for who he was. I saw that he was a human, like me, currently going through a lot of suffering. I felt compassion. It surprised me. Compassion wiggled it's way up on the chair next to me and sat there attentively listening. I remembered the good times we shared over the twenty years we were together and even though it doesn't make what he did right, I forgave him. Right then and there, I forgave him. It wasn't just a word I said, it was a feeling of forgiveness. I really felt it. I wanted the best for him. I wanted him to be okay. I wanted him to find his spark again and I really felt it. It was a long road to feel like this. It could have been even longer had I not really wanted to heal or do the work to get there.

And what does forgiveness feel like?  To me, it feels light and loving. It feels like a big relief. It feels like dropping the protection and being vulnerable and real. It feels like coming out of my lion's den, even though I was wounded. It feels like freedom and permission to walk in the light again. It feels like connection and the understanding that we are all human and we all make mistakes. I forgive myself and I forgive you. I wish the best for myself and I wish the best for you.

I don't think I could have gotten there without forgiving myself first. I had to forgive myself for my anger. I had to forgive myself for being afraid of my wounds. I had to forgive myself for not being perfect or having a perfect life. After all, who the hell has a perfect life anyway? None of us would be playing the Earth Game if we were all perfect. We are all here to learn, not let everyone know that we are "perfectly fine".

If I hear anyone say, "I'm perfectly fine," I might be inclined to say, "Dig a little deeper." It won't be sarcastic; it will be an invitation. For whom are you living this life? For others? You have an opportunity to let go of a lot here. Evolution can happen, but not if you cling to old ways of being. Not if you hide your wounds deep down inside. Your evolution is the world's evolution. I believe this.

Go to the depth of your anger, sadness, ill-will, pain, un-perfect-ness....get down to the messy and uncomfortable stuff. Go in there. Don't be afraid. I promise you, on the other side of it all, there's love....a deep, deep wellspring of love. Love for yourself and for others. I know it's hard to believe and it doesn't come easy. I've still got a lot of work to do, but it's the greatest work I've ever done.

Have you ever forgiven someone? How did it feel?

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Divine Earthly Experience 5: LOVE vs. FEAR

"Fear is the energy which contracts, closes down, draws in, runs, hides, hoards, harms. Love is the energy which expands, opens up, sends out, stays, reveals, shares, heals. Fear wraps our bodies in clothing, love allows us to stand naked. Fear clings to and clutches all that we have, love gives all that we have away. Fear holds close, love holds dear. Fear grasps, love lets go. Fear rankles, love soothes. Fear attacks, love amends. Every human thought, word, or deed is based in one emotion or the other. You have no choice about this, because there is nothing else from which to choose. But you have free choice about which of these to select.”—Neale Donald Walsch

Dear fellow Earthlings,

So much is changing on our sacred earth, there is widespread fear, chaos, anger. These emotions are not only felt on a global level, but they are trickling down to our personal relationships. They are affecting how we move about in the world. The collective consciousness on the planet is ailing. People are standing up and speaking out. People are mad, sad, depressed. Many feel that they MUST DO SOMETHING NOW!

Slow down, just for a few moments.

Slow way down.

Stop.

Step away from the computer and go outside for a moment.

What do you see....?

A cloud, rain, a bird, sunlight?

Be with that moment and go into it. Be in the center of yourself.

In the center of yourself is YOUR HEART.

Are you moving from your heart or your head?

Close your eyes and really feel inside.

Are thoughts swimming around inside of you?

Let them go.

Feel inside your heart. What does it tell you to do? Is your heart expanding or contracting? Does it feel light or heavy?

Before you take any action, always check in with your heart. Come from a place of LOVE.

Love expands and connects.

Fear contracts and separates us from our fellow humans beings.

Keep going into love. In every instance, FEEL LOVE.

You may believe you are helping others, but you could in fact be harming others if the inner feeling of love is not there. Are you acting out of ego. Are you defending your side. Are you angrily fighting or are you peacefully marching?

There is a difference and it affects the entire planet and every single human being.

Humans could be the very first species to destroy each other because we can't see each other AS FELLOW EARTHLINGS! We can't see that we are all CONNECTED!

Instead, we see our differences and we fight for those. We make our fight more important than LOVE. When someone throws fire at us, we want to throw it back.

Our differences, in fact, are what make us ALL unique and beautiful.

I'm not exempt from this. I spent so much of my life throwing fire at others. When I felt hurt, abused, attacked or scared, I threw those very things right back. And how, I ask, does this help me or ANYONE or ANYTHING? How does it raise the consciousness of the planet?

I think there is a place for fear. If we are being physically or psychologically attacked and in imminent danger, than fear can be helpful. Feeling the heart beat fast in our chest and the rush of adrenaline through our veins gives us the necessary strength to remove ourselves from potentially harmful situations, especially if our lives are being threatened in this very moment.

But is anything life threatening happening to you in this very moment? Are you faced with a life or death situation RIGHT NOW?

So fear, then, turns to worry and where did worry ever get us? Most of the time we find that our worries were in vain. What actually happens turns out MUCH BETTER than we thought.

Part of the problem is that we are too comfortable. Not all of us, but many of us.  If you are sitting here in the luxury of your heated/air-conditioned home, a cup of tea and a snack at your side, reading this now, then you are comfortable. You have a house or apartment, a car, a family, food, water, heat....a computer. You've got a toilet, sink, shower or bathtub. You've got hot water. What is there to worry about?

What is there to worry about RIGHT NOW? What are you afraid of right now? I'm not talking about yesterday or in the future, but this very moment. Are you okay?

If you reply, "Yes, well I'm okay, I could be better." 

Could be better....hmmmmm. Is what you have and are right now not enough? 

Maybe you feel there is more that you could DO right now to help others. Maybe you feel, from your place of comfort, you are not doing enough. So now you are back on the path of FEAR....afraid of not doing enough, being enough. BE WHAT YOU ARE RIGHT NOW. Really embrace it and sink into. If you are meant to do something else, eventually YOU WILL.

Can you sink into the moment right now and have gratitude for it. Can you have gratitude, or LOVE even, for what you have? Can you let go of the worries, even the worries of the WORLD, for a moment and love where you are, who you are and what you are. Can you do that?

There are many things I could complain about, worry about or be fearful about, but I'm a true believer in the fact that what you put out there you get back, 100 times over. Not only for YOU, but for everyone!

So yes, LOVE and GRATITUDE is the road I'm on, not FEAR and LACK.

I'm grateful for the warm house where I'm currently housesitting. I'm grateful for the delicious food in the fridge and the cat curled up in a chair. I'm grateful for my Macbook Pro and wifi so that I can share this with you now. I LOVE that my heart pumps by itself. I LOVE that I can breathe on my own and that, in this moment, I'm not in serious pain.  I LOVE that I can write and think and move. I LOVE that I teach immigrants and refugees English and business and they are eager to learn. I LOVE that I'm in an 11-month Clairvoyant Awareness Program at Psychic Awakenings and that I'm developing my intuition and healing myself.

  I LOVE my body shape and size as it is. I LOVE that I'm taking a pole dancing class. I LOVE that I can spin and move on the pole, even though it is challenging at times.

I LOVE the messiness of life and even my foibles, because through all of those, I'm able to find clarity.

My biggest FEAR in my life was divorcing from my husband and it happened! 

I NEVER could have imagined it. I would have avoided it at ALL COSTS, but it turned out to be the biggest blessing. Through it, I learned forgiveness and love for myself. I learned that I'm stronger than I thought I was. I learned a new way of loving, being and operating in the world. I learned that even the most DEVASTATING thing that can happen to us or our loved ones or even the PLANET often brings us to higher ground and CONNECTS us. I learned to love again and am in a beautiful relationship.

What is your BIGGEST fear? What are you grateful for and what do you love about your life?

Do you believe that tuning into LOVE and GRATITUDE can increase it in your life or raise the consciousness of the planet?

Fellow earthlings, I do! And I have so much LOVE and GRATITUDE for those who actively involved in doing this work!

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Divine Earthly Experience 4: Politics and Naked-ness

Yes, those are my naked legs...you have them too!
"Anybody who can be a good pretender, a hypocrite, will become your leader politically....if you want to see the reality of the politician you will have to see him from his back door. There he is in his nudity, as he is..."—Osho

I don't follow politics AT ALL. Call me ignorant. Call me out-of-touch, but to me it's the same game over and over and over. And it's the game we are MOST ADDICTED TO. One president is our GOD and the next president is THE DEVIL. That's quite extreme....and it's a lot of weight for ONE person to carry. When we have a GOD for president, we are elated, happy, we get tingles all over our body watching speeches. We feel inspired and proud. When we have a DEVIL for president, we are fearful, scared, worried, angry, lost, confused, embarrassed. One brings out inspiration and the belief that anything is possible and the other causes us to fall into the deepest pit of depression...all because of ONE PERSON. Why is this?

Is it because we hinge the entire future on one individual? Are we aware, at all, of what is happening inside us, or are we just reacting to outside stimuli? Have we forgotten that by tuning into collective negativity, we are actually becoming part of it? That, in fact, every single one of us has both godliness and the devil inside. So what do we do?

All of us, every single person, is wearing a mask of some kind.

From the Osho Zen Tarot Deck
We all identify ourselves with something or someone. I'm a teacher, daughter, girlfriend, dancer, writer, blogger, wanderer. Those are labels and names of parts of myself that I have identified with in this world. Those are also masks I wear that help me relate and fit into this world, but those alone ARE NOT ME. To one person, I may well be the devil and to another person I may also be a saint. We are all politicians to some degree. We are taking part in this EARTH GAME and wearing the appropriate masks for any given occasion.

So who am I, really? If I take off everything...if I take off all my masks? WHO AM I? Stripped down to the bareness of my being I find I have arms, legs, a heart, skin, eyes, feelings. I am sometimes happy and elated and sometimes depressed. I feel. I think. I move.

I realize that when I hurt people or participate in negative emotions, I also feel hurt and negative. When someone harms me, I feel bad. When someone cuts me off in traffic, curses me, or calls me names, I become defensive.

When a stranger smiles at me or holds the door for me or says hello, I feel happy. When love is extended to me, my heart expands.

This is what we are doing here, but we get so attached to the pictures we see on the screen. We are so attached to the images, shows, programs, tweets, status updates and even blog postings. We attach ourselves to something or someone that we decide is either good or bad and that's what we keep doing. Over and over we are reacting to what appears in front of us in our lives, on the screen, in our homes, on the street. It's the movie of our lives and it is all REAL, right?

But there is a perspective we've forgotten about. Not all of us, but many. We've forgotten to look at the perspective of how we feel INSIDE. We are so busy looking at everything outside, wondering how everything is going to get solved. We are reacting to this tweet and that status update and this speech and that thing that person said. But what is going on right now, right here with YOU? How do you feel in this moment?

If you don't like something, you can't change the whole world. You can't change a presidential candidate's personality. Crying, lamenting, criticizing, and engaging in negativity won't change him. The only person you really have control over is yourself. Getting angry at other people for not being more involved or being from one side or the other only provokes more violence, hatred and ill will.

So what can you do?

Start with yourself. Sounds easy, right? Sounds even trite. Peel the layers back of who you are like an onion. Maybe you are a mother, peel that back. Maybe you are a teacher, a demonstrator, a hula-hooper, a doodler, a movie star, a wife, a business owner, a Catholic, a Jew, a Muslim. Maybe you are a vegetarian or a carnivore. Maybe you like country music. Maybe you have hurt people in your life. Maybe you haven't forgiven someone. Maybe you are a bully or even a victim. Maybe you are a newlywed, just had a baby or were recently divorced.

Slowly start to peel all the layers back. I find this helps if you sit with your eyes closed and visualize yourself peeling off the layers of who and what you identify with. It doesn't mean you have to give them up or give up what makes you YOU, it just means, for these few moments, peel off these layers like taking off clothes.

Become a naked human.

Now that you are sitting here naked with yourself, with no identity, except that you are human, you have skin, a heart, lungs, you are breathing, how do you feel?

Imagine now, if you will, many other fellow human beings sitting in chairs around you with all their identities like masks laying on the floor in front of them. What makes you different from anyone else, besides the obvious biological differences?

From this place of non-reaction and non-judgement, with all of our masks on the floor in front of us, resting in the peaceful center of ourselves, we find that we are all the same.

WE ARE HUMAN.

I know, it sounds a bit hippy-dippy, right? I mean, we have real problems out there. We don't have time to go inside ourselves, we have to fight the power, we need to stand up.

WE NEED TO DO SOMETHING!

Right?

All the problems out there are the problems inside too. Start with inside first. Start with what's going on with this human you carry around day in and day out. Tune in first to that BEING. Find out, without influence from everything outside, what is right for YOU to DO. Not because it looks good, or because other people are doing it.

Be kind with yourself. Make peace with yourself. Love YOU. Find that kind of peace inside you that is connected, not separate. The kind of love that does not distinguish, judge or ridicule, but realizes we are all cut from the same cloth.

Bumper sticker on Volkswagon bug in Hawaii
When you start from this place, everything you do will be right.  When the light in you honors the light in everyone else, even when the light is not bright, you are coming from a good place. We all have this light. Even the people you are SURE have absolutely NO LIGHT, they have it. They are human and worthy of love just as much as the next person. So PUT YOUR CLOTHES ON and go out and do what you will in the world. Do what calls YOU, remembering that for each person this will be different. Do good things people, but don't forget to move from the inside out. Don't forget that we are all HUMAN and we are all in this together.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Divine Earthly Experience 3: Connection and Solitude

"Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone. Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music."—Khalil Gibran

Good Evening Fellow Earthlings,

Here's something to think about:

You can't be together until you can be alone.

Yes, I believe that.

When my ex-husband walked out and left our marriage a year and a half ago, I had gotten used to him sleeping in the bed. I had gotten used to our rituals. For over 12 years of marriage, we had slept side by side and from my perspective, we were happy. We laughed, read to each other in bed, snuggled, talked about our dreams and ideas. There was a comfort in having him there. I felt like he was my rock, that we had each other's back, that no matter what happened in our marriage, we'd figure it out. From that foundation, I felt comfortable to be alone. I would go on silent meditation courses and go out to my family's lake house to write for a week by myself. I was comfortable alone because I knew I wasn't completely ALONE. My husband was there, even if we were doing our own things and pursuing our own goals.

But the day he walked out and ripped the carpet out from under our marriage, I thought I was going to die. One day we were picking blackberries down the street and making muffins and singing and enjoying the sun and the next day he was gone. Just GONE. He had an affair and left. That was it. He never returned to our house and bed again.

In the days that followed him leaving, I never felt so alone. I would reach out for my partner in bed at night, half asleep, and realize that there was no partner. My heart would race. I could almost feel it pounding in my throat. I had heard that it was possible to die of a broken heart and I was pretty sure this is what it felt like.

As much as the pain and loneliness was very real, I refused to sleep at family or friends' houses. I wanted to feel myself completely. I didn't want to take prescription medication, drown my sorrows in alcohol, or move to a commune. I wanted to FEEL everything, even if those feelings were unpleasant. Many people reached out to help me at this time, but oddly I wanted to be alone. Writing has ALWAYS been my way of working things out and seeing the bigger picture and I filled many journals during this time. I was 46 when my husband left. I thought I'm getting older. Is this my destiny? To be alone? 

I had gotten used to doing so many things together, but now I was trying to pick up the pieces and do many things by myself. Two months after my husband left, we were scheduled to lead a yoga and writing retreat in Sedona, Arizona. I had thought about canceling it, but friends encouraged me to do it anyway. Two good friends stepped up, came all the way to Arizona and helped me do the retreat. I had never done a retreat without my husband, but it was all women and it ended up being one of the most empowering retreats I have ever been a part of. One woman on the retreat said, "Look at it this way. Now that your husband is gone, you can do and be whoever you want. You are free!" I had never thought about it that way. I was free to define myself anyway I chose to. I was no longer in a partnership. I used the opportunity to develop my healing and intuition at Psychic Awakenings in Seattle and I took a burlesque class that changed my life. It was so incredibly empowering to be with a group of women and create a new identity on stage. All that pent up sexual energy came flying out of me when I danced and so it's not surprising that I got asked out pretty quickly.

I was hesitant to go out with my current boyfriend. I thought I needed more time alone. I believed that I needed to spend a good deal of time with myself first before getting in a partnership again. At the same time, I had felt deprived of affection in my marriage and here was a man that was funny, joyful and ready to shower me with affection—a kind of affection I had never known before. I'm sorry, but I wasn't going to turn THAT down, it's what I wanted more than anything. Some friends cautioned me about going out with another man too soon. I could see their point. After all, it had only been six months and my divorce hadn't yet gone through when I went on that first date. But everything in my body was telling me yes, yes and YES! So I went with it, and it was beautiful and it still  is beautiful almost a year later.

I read somewhere that you can be in a partnership with someone for 20, 30 or 40 years and not have too much growth within the relationship. Couples get comfortable and patterns set in and before you know it, you are moving through the motions with one another. That spark that once ignited the fire between you has sort of dimmed and you have no idea when that happened, but you are comfortable. You know what to expect and there is comfort in THAT. In a way, I believe that is sort of what has happened in America. We were comfortable and perhaps we needed a WAKE UP CALL! We needed an overhaul. We needed to GROW! Trust me, there will be an overhaul and there will be GROWTH.

Being in this new relationship has absolutely accelerated my growth! I feel like I'm on the AUTOBAHN of healing. It helps that I'm with a man who meditates, is an EXCELLENT communicator, is in touch with his feelings and has done plenty of his own healing. I feel like I've jumped through a thousand hoops with this person. We don't let anything fester. Things get resolved quickly and then new things appear to be resolved. So it is with and through this intimate connection that I am healing so many parts of myself. How can we grow if nothing is reflected back to us? How can we grow if there is never any conflict, upheaval or chaos? How can we grow if we never step outside our comfort zone? It is through connection that we can see how much alike we all really are. We ALL have parts of ourselves that need to be healed. Not one of us here is perfect or we wouldn't be on the planet. We are here to connect, love and LEARN. I believe that it is through connection, a deep soul connection, with others who are also willing to grow and learn, that we can evolve. That CONNECTION with others is KEY.

But so is solitude. The two go hand in hand I believe.

But before I talk about that, here's something to ponder: If you decide you don't need a partner, that you prefer to be ALONE or that you are not interested in a relationship because they are too complicated or you can't find the right person or this or that, you may have gotten too comfortable being alone. When you are alone, you get to call all the shots. No one is there to ruffle your feathers or trigger you. You don't need to worry about anything being reflected back to you because you are the only one THERE. It's easy to HIDE OUT in solitude. It's easy to become DISCONNECTED. You may have even convinced yourself that it is safer this way. Being alone is another kind of comfort zone.

I believe there needs to be a balance of coming together on an intimate level and being ALONE. I have made good friends with myself. I enjoy my own company. When I'm alone, all my ideas, thoughts, observations come flooding out. I have time to process what it is like to be in connection with people and particularly with an intimate partner. When I'm in solitude, I can step back and assess  the progress I have made. I can see if I like where I'm standing.

I feel fortunate that I have a good balance between being alone and being with my boyfriend, but I have no idea what the future holds. Do any of us? Do we really know? Even from the deck of our comfort zone, with a glass of wine in hand, enjoying the view, have we really figured it all out? What if you were to lose all of that tomorrow? Would you live any differently now? What would you say to the people in your life? Would you change anything?

I am not claiming to have all the answers. More than ever before, I'm feeling around in the dark and every now and then the light comes through. I'm not sure of anything, but I'm sure of this: a plant can't grow in a box. It needs sunlight, water, good soil and LOVE. It is dependent on the other to LIVE. We are the same. We need each other. We need interactions with each other. Through our deep connections and interactions we realize we are all in this together. If we can just realize this we will realize we are never alone. And once we realize we are never alone, we will be perfectly content to be just that.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Divine Earthly Experience 2: Choosing Love

2017 Vision Board
"I believe that every single event in life happens in an opportunity to choose love over fear."— Oprah Winfrey 

It's January 3rd, 2017! We've had THREE days of the NewYear. I originally thought I'd write my Divine Earthly Experiences everyday, but every few days seems a little more my speed right now. How are all of you? Did you survive the festivities of the New Year? Did you make resolutions, plans, dreams or schemes? I didn't do any of that, but I have a good feeling about this year. I have a really good feeling. Thoughts create our reality, right? I'm trying to choose good thoughts, even when things go wrong.

This is an experiment, but my motto for this year is CHOOSE LOVE. In any situation that I'm in, I'm going to try and do this. If the driver next to me just cut me off, I am going to try and CHOOSE LOVE. If my partner makes me mad, I'm going to try and CHOOSE LOVE. When things don't go as planned and I'm worried about how to remedy the situation, I'm going to sit back and CHOOSE LOVE. Today, in fact, I went through the car wash and my front license plate is GONE. My normal tendency is to panic, but where does panic get us? It serves absolutely no purpose other than to add more fuel to the fire. Instead, I called my boyfriend and we sort of laughed about it. It will all work out, right? I know, I know,  It's easy to say that when it's something as simple as a license plate. It's more difficult when you are going through a divorce, pain, discovered that your partner has a terminal illness or you lost your job or home. Still, as hard as is, I'm going to try to CHOOSE LOVE.

In his book, Mastery of Love, Miguel Ruiz says that humans are on two paths: the path of fear and the path of love and most of us, according to Ruiz, are walking on the path of fear. We are afraid of the government, of our partner leaving us, of our children not obeying us, of losing our jobs or our security. We think we really love people, but we only love when our needs our met. True love is a one-way street. I haven't mastered love yet, but I'm working on it. And the one we need to love the most is ourselves. When things don't work out, it's easy to fall into worry. We are constantly looking outside ourselves for answers, when in fact, all the answers are right there inside of us.

This year, I want to try and listen more to myself. I want to hear the spirit-voice within. I want to tune into my inner guide as much as possible. Sometimes I second guess my inner guide and I take the easy road. If my inner guide tells me to get up and do yoga, sometimes I sleep in instead. But guess what? THAT'S OKAY! If my inner guide tells me to not get angry and I do, that's okay too. It doesn't mean it's okay to go out and lie, cheat, steal or hurt people. It just means that it's okay if you are not perfect. It's okay if you fall down. It's okay if you don't get it right the first time. I used to beat myself up all the time for "doing the wrong thing" or "worrying about the outcome of something," now I try not to beat myself up. I try to CHOOSE LOVE. The optimal word there is try.

When others talk about us behind our backs, exclude us, make us feel small or insignificant, it is often just a reflection of where that person is. In this case, it's good to CHOOSE LOVE too. Not always easy, I know.

So I'm starting with myself. I chose to love myself the last few days by taking a long walk, taking myself out to a delicious lunch, making a Vision Board for the New Year that, to me, represents vibrant health, love, travel, abundance and celebration. And tonight I'm heading out to my CAP class (Clairvoyant Awareness Program) to work on healing and grounding myself and tuning into my intuition. Tomorrow night, I start a pole dancing class in Seattle! I'm excited to celebrate life through dance and movement. I'm not interested in New Year's Resolutions, I'm interested in being mindful of each step, as much as possible. I'm interested in tuning in and listening to what my body, mind and spirit need.

But most of all, this year for me is about CHOOSING LOVE!

How about you? What do you hope for this New Year?


Friday, December 30, 2016

Divine Earthly Experience 1: Endings

Good Morning Fellow Earthlings,

I write you from my boyfriend's LOVE SHACK. Today is the second to last day of 2016 and a New Year is ahead of us. I'm letting go of A LOT. How about you? For the past year and a half I haven't written much. To be honest, I spent a fair amount of the last year and a half hunkered down in my Seattle home feeling a bit lost. My ex-husband, the subject of my former book and blog, Lessons from the Monk I Married, had an affair and left our 20-year partnership and 12-year marriage. It was the hardest thing, other than my birth I suppose, that I had to go through. My identity and life as I knew it had been stripped from me. I didn't know who I was or how I fit into the world I had created.

 I felt adrift, clinging to the few solid things in my life (my home, my friends, my job) like pieces of recognizable debris floating past me in a gigantic sea of unknowingness. Even those things that felt solid started to blur as I traversed new territories.

I oscillated between feeling ready to burst forth with a new identity and new life to feeling like hiding under the blankets of my cozy bed, afraid to meet friends and family who were ready with their condolences and offers to help. I was embarrassed that I had wrapped my own identity up so tightly with that of my ex-husband's that I could not even imagine what we could or would be when things fell apart.

But somehow, out of the ashes of a once vibrant, happy, adventurous partnership, with the same ups and downs as any relationship, I arose with a new sense of myself as an individual. I realized I was stronger than I thought I was. Grief took me on a trip through denial to acceptance of my situation.

But I'm not perfect, by any means. I still fall into anger and sorrow over what happened, but with each day that passes, I feel more and more that this was a gift. Indeed, new beginnings are often disguised as painful endings and I was long due for a new beginning, so much so that it took a seismic shift, an earthquake, an eruption, a storm to descend upon my marriage. It had been written well before it had happened. I saw the ending in my dreams.

All the passion that had been pent up in me. All the love that I extended to my partner that was continuously pushed away came pouring out of me wanting to be fully expressed. I took a burlesque class where I became VENUS ON FIRE.
Venus on Fire, Oddfellows Hall, Capital Hill, February 20, 2016
I created on stage everything I felt inside that had somehow been denied. It was strange, but I felt I needed witnesses. I needed to be SEEN for who I was. I was passionate, fiery, angry, sexy, strong, lovable and beautiful. On stage, I emerged out of a shell like the Bottecelli painting The Birth of Venus; I was a docile, pure-white vision of beauty who became a fiery, red Venus, like Pele, Goddess of Volcanoes. I owned my life, direction and sexuality. I could be whoever I wanted to be.

I started to feel so much confidence in myself. I knew what I wanted in life and I believe that's how I attracted my current boyfriend, a very loving, mature, affectionate, passionate man who shined a light on all my broken pieces and reflected so much beauty and love back to me. I also received incredible healings and insights from Psychic Awakenings, a place where I learned to ground and own my space; A place where I learned to trust my intuition and abilities to not only heal myself and gain insight into the person I was becoming, but also where I learned to be an intuit and healer for others. I'm currently in an 11-month Clairvoyant Awareness Program there.

I learned to trust my intuition above all else. When I learned to let go of things not needed in my life, a new life, full of travel, love, happiness and joy entered in. But it didn't just show up until I showed up to do the work. I had to face my pain, sorrow, anger, fear and loss.

So goodbye 2016! It was a year of healing. I will say that as much as I cowered under the blankets of my bed, I also faced life full-on. I moved through grief. I still fall into it from time to time, but I'm ready to come outside. I'm ready to show up in the world and live OUT LOUD. Look out 2017!

How was the ending to your year? Is there anything you are letting go of?