Whisperings

Something has been whispering in my mind for the last few years. I’ve yet to hear the words clearly. They are an idea. A hint of a profound insight which leads to freedom. They are about mothering, forgiveness, and the love that binds but also liberates. They’re like a dream; the more I try to grasp them and turn them into something solid that I can market or teach, the more they dance away. They’re on to my motivations.

Like an archaeological dig when one must painstakingly chip and methodically brush away sand and rock around the outsides of a hidden item, ever so slowly allowing the precious treasure to emerge, I must do so with this budding understanding. In the excavation, even as an item makes itself known, the finder is patient, continuously brushing with the lightness of a feather, waiting for the artifact’s whole story to reveal itself of its own accord. I’ve learned that a new realization of self and life must be treated thus.

When I think I know the whole truth after a mere glimpse or when I preach to others as if I KNOW the entirety of the wisdom being offered up, it’s as if I’m an archaeologist ripping an ancient treasure from the ground without regard for preservation.

There are realizations about ourselves we all experience. They’re the kind that when we see them for the first time, our eyes spread wide with awe and our minds alight with surprise, having us exclaim that we “haven’t looked at it like that before”! I’m learning that those are the ones to treat with reverence.

They need to be honoured, digested, and integrated. They’re precious and need to be sanctified, not disregarded or shared too soon. Even though I’m so eager to share. That’s my first instinct when I learn something new; I believe that people need to hear this! But this infant idea needs to be brought to my breast and suckled. I need to embrace and gift it fully to my own heart, allowing it to change the essence of my being. Instead of thrusting it out to the world looking for it to be verified before I can affirm its veracity, I can ask: What does this feel like…inside my body? And is it true for ME? Because that’s all that matters.What is true for me? And how will I let it change me?

So I will keep these whisperings safe for now. And you keep yours. And maybe we’ll meet one day to share our treasure troves with each other, venerating them with the esteem they deserve.

Closing is Closing

“The greatest thing we can do is help someone know that they’re loved and capable of loving.” Mr. Rogers

This speaks to my heart so deeply. When I’m in one-on-one inquiry or in groups and someone finds forgiveness for themselves or someone else, there’s a look in their eyes of possibility. It’s like I’m witnessing their heart opening. Their eyes relax and I feel a movement closer to complete love – without barriers or conditions. A love that includes everything. Perceived wrong doings and betrayals. Differences. Anger and hurt. Annoying traits. Addictions. EVERYthing.

Cutting ourselves off from love, even in the name of righteous justification, has the same result. A closing of our hearts. When we close to one person – even if the whole world agreed we’re right to do it – we close our heart a little to everyone and, of course, to ourselves. That’s just how it works. Closing is closing. Opening our hearts is freedom. For us.

An open heart can include saying no and expressing pain. This is a relatively new lesson for me. Saying no doesn’t require closing.

Closing our hearts to someone doesn’t really do anything to the other person. But it does do something to us. It’s painful and takes so much energy. It’s not our natural state. We have to be holding onto painful stories in order to be closed. Even a little. It takes effort, actually. It’s exhausting. And you see the effects if, you pay attention. Tight shoulders. Low energy. Resentments. Depression. Compulsions to drink, smoke, eat, use drugs, over watching Netflix. Short tempers. Insecurities. Stress. ALL a result of closing our hearts. To others and to ourselves. And to Life or God.

Closing is closing.

And opening to RADICAL COMPLETE NO HOLDS BARRED LOVE is freedom. All hail Mr Rogers who was a pioneer in radical self love.

We Can Do Hard Things

It’s hard to reach out when feeling anxious or depressed.

Depression and anxiety want us to isolate and believe that everyone is better off than us. That we’re alone and that no one understand us. It feels like the hardest thing to do, but we must do the opposite of what our brain is telling us to do. Everything inside is screaming for us to run away and hide. To sink under the pillows. Or to lash out at those we love.

Instead of separating ourselves, we need to reach out and CONNECT with others.

Yes. It feels impossibly hard, but we CAN do hard things. How can we change patterns that we notice aren’t working for us?

Here’s a process I just learned from Danielle LaPorte’s Desire Map:

1. Breathe – Connect with your breath in a conscious way; try a simple “Boxed Breathing” technique.

2. Connect with your desired feeling – Is it to feel good? Is to feel purposeful? Free? At peace? Whatever it is…bring it up into your awareness and experience your desire to feel this way. The purpose of this is not to ignore or bypass your current state but to notice what else is possible.

3. Reassure and encourage yourself – Even though this is hard, remind yourself that you can do hard things.

4. Focus on the process not the outcomes – Imagine the possibility that reaching out will be a positive experience. Rehearse it in your mind. It starts to re-write patterns in your thinking.

5. Go back to the drawing board – How did it go? Did you make it to the phone or write that text? It’s okay if you didn’t. Connect with what stopped you. If you did reach out, how did that go? Take note of how it felt to try something different. And then CELEBRATE your efforts.

Change IS hard. And we can do hard things. ❤

Reach out! You have people in your life waiting to be there for you. We are more supported than we realize.

Reaching out is hard. And we can do hard things. ❤

In the meantime, enjoy this beautiful song of encouragement.

F*k Normal

I’m so afraid to BE with myself. I need the world’s offerings to stimulate me because I’ve forgotten how to do that for myself. I’m terrified because I don’t know how long this will last. I hear others asking, when will I be able to return to normal?

Yes. Normal. I want normal again.

Normal?

What IS normal? Is normal rushing to and from places wishing I was home, only to be at home wishing I was someplace else? Is normal zoning out and bingeing on Netflix? Is normal staring at a phone and not noticing other people’s faces standing right beside me?

We’ve been social distancing for years!!!! Life has only answered us and given us what we’ve been asking for. A world made up of only virtual connection and now we’re starving. We’ve finally realized that it’s not enough. And still we ask…when can we return to “normal”?

We’re even trying to re-create normal in our homes, our sanctuaries. We’re trying so hard to bring the outside world in with it’s schedules and demands, keeping up with school and with work.

My heart weeps for those who haven’t bought into the wonders of technology or are from a time when people connected with their eyes rather than tips of their finger. What will they do to connect in this virtual cosmic soup? They were already yearning for our love and attention, and learned to survive on the allotted “care” we eked out of our schedules.

Maybe, for me anyway, it’s time for a new normal. Or actually…an old normal. And ancient normal.

Where we howled at the moon and danced and thrust our arms out wide bumping with abandon into the person standing next to us. Where we spent long long hours staring into a fire, interspersed with slow so very slow stories told by our elders to which we listened intently and with deep reverence. An old old normal where we trusted our own goodness and loved one another and felt what arose in us instead of shutting it out with noise and chaos. An old normal where we felt our fear and cried out loudly in pain, and moaned boldly with orgasm, and wept without shame. An old normal where families spent time together in small rooms and it didn’t occur to them to build she-shacks, men-dens, or basement rec rooms. An old normal where we didn’t need a clock to tell us to move on to the next activity. We moved because we were connected to the inner voice that said, “get up”.

The earth is crying out for this old normal so much so that it has shut us away into our virtual prisons. A virtual world we built so carefully and with such pride. And while we scramble to re-create normal, the earth is healing. I wonder if she’ll welcome us back. Maybe – just maybe – if we let go of fucking normal and allow our hearts to crack open with grief and sorrow at how much we’ve been turning away from one another. The utter relentless truth is that we’ve been social, friend, family, and love distancing for years. This is our opportunity to connect. And to atone.

Maybe.

Seeking Love

How does the seeking of love keep me from the awareness of its presence?

Love is who we are when we’re clear.  When we’re SEEKING love we miss the awareness of its presence and we don’t notice that it’s not even love that we’re after.  When we’re in seeking mode we’re actually chasing something else. Often it’s approval.  Or safety and reassurance. Or something to fill the lack space within us.  And because that lack space is actually an illusion, nothing will ever fill it.  So we send ourselves on an endless and hopeless journey of love seeking that can never be achieved.

Alternatively, when we notice that we ARE love.  That we already have everything we need, we’re complete and whole, we can rest in the awareness of true, abiding and eternal Love.  A Love that requires nothing from anyone…even ourselves.

grass 2

Inquiry Based Coaching

As many of you know, I’ve been immersing myself in the practice of Self-Inquiry for the past several years. It’s helped me deal with difficult emotions and find new perspectives on issues in my life. I’ve primarily been using a method called The Work of Byron Katie (commonly referred to as The Work).

The Work of Byron Katie is like check mate. It’s one of the most laser like methods of seeing what is really behind our stress and suffering.
AND
It’s not the only way.

Inquiry Based Coaching developed by Innerland is one alternative.

Tania and Pedro have offered up opportunities through workshops, a study group, online sessions, and two delicious retreats to Mexico to learn how to hold my emotions with kindness and understanding. They’ve created a safe container to explore painful events in my life with space to allow me to accept responsibility and at the same time not shift into self blame and condemnation. And most of all…learn from them so that I can make tangible changes in my life.

And now they’ve developed a method of Self-Inquiry that is supportive and straight forward – Inquiry Based Coaching (IBC). And I love it! I can’t wait to share it with all those who are interested in experiencing considerably less stress inducing resistance and relaxing into acceptance of Life’s unfoldings.

I still love The Work and will continue with my personal practice as well as supporting others in theirs – IBC is simply another approach to the self questioning process that many of us love.

It’s my intention to offer workshops that will incorporate IBC soon and, in the meantime, Innerland offers online Intros – often for free. Check them out. AND/OR please feel free to message me. We can meet in person or on the phone, and I can introduce you to the process that has come to mean so much to me.

In addition, if you’re looking for a deeper dive with the support of highly experienced and knowledgeable practitioners, I recommend checking out Innerland Institute.

I Am Enough Without My Smile

I Am Enough Without My Smile

Smile

 

My smile is like a shield sometimes.
A shield to compliments, to thank you’s, to appreciation, to truth.

My smile can be like a shield.
It protects my vulnerability, insecurity, uncertainty, and awkwardness.

My smile is a shield when
I know no other way to get your approval. I use it as manipulation to warm your heart towards me.

Sometimes.

My smile can be a shield and it can be a weapon. Just a
Niceness isn’t always nice.s your knee can’t help but kick out when your doctor checks your reflexes, I can’t help but smile when I see you come my way. Before I’ve even had a chance to check in with me. Or you. And so because you’ve been trained like I have, you reflexively smile in return. Probably not even knowing why you’re doing it. Except that it’s the nice thing to do.

When my smile is a shield it disconnects me…from me.

Can this moment be complete on its own? Can I allow it to be simply be me…looking at you. Taking you in with an open heart.

Am I enough without my smile?

Yes!

Mr Rogers – A Pioneer in Radical Self Love

“The greatest thing we can do is help someone know that they’re loved and capable of loving.” Mr Rogers

This speaks to my heart so deeply.
When I’m in one-on-one inquiry or in groups and someone finds forgiveness for themselves or someone else, there’s a look in their eyes of possibility. It’s like I’m witnessing their heart opening. Their eyes relax and I feel a movement closer to complete love – without barriers or conditions. A love that includes everything. Perceived wrong doings and betrayals. Differences. Anger and hurt. Annoying traits. Addictions. EVERYthing.
Cutting ourselves off from love, even in the name of righteousness justification, has the same result. A closing of our hearts.
When we close to one person – even if the whole world agreed we’re right to do it – we close our heart a little to everyone and, of course, to ourselves. That’s just how it works. Closing is closing.

Opening our hearts is freedom. For us.
An open heart can include saying no and expressing pain. This is a relatively new lesson for me.

Closing our hearts to someone doesn’t really do anything to the other person. But it does do something to us. It’s painful and takes so much energy. It’s not our natural state. We have to be holding onto painful stories in order to be closed. Even a little. It takes effort, actually. It’s exhausting.
And you see the effects if you pay attention.
Tight shoulders.
Low energy.
Resentments.
Depression.
Compulsions to drink, smoke, eat, use drugs, over watching Netflix.
Short tempers.
Insecurities.
Stress.

ALL a result of closing our hearts. To others and to ourselves. And to Life or God.

Closing is closing. And opening to RADICAL COMPLETE NO HOLDS BARRED LOVE is freedom.

All hail Mr Rogers who was a pioneer in radical self love.

Understanding is the Key

Healing begins with finding compassion for the person I am today.
I’ve noticed the more compassion I find for whatever I decide is unforgivable about me today almost automatically causes me to have compassion for me in the past. And THAT causes me to have compassion for everyone around me. Automatically and with hardly any effort.

So while understanding the past is the lock, understanding for the present is the key.

 

Action Does US

I have a decision to make. Is that true?

We’ve all had those times in our lives when we’ve been faced with a choice. And in that place, some of us feel the clench of “I don’t know what to do!” Pros/cons lists, research, consequences, ups and downs and so on get employed to assist us.

I’m in that place now. A choice/cross roads is before me. And when I believe I’m in control stress quickly settles in.

As Todd Smith so eloquently describes in this article, The Work is about coming to peace with “What Is”. To do that requires the inquirer to drop their agenda which is pretty counter intuitive to making a decision. Making a decision, Todd says, is about action. The Work as meditation invites us to something different. Acceptance. An opening of the hands. Surrender. And in that place, action does us.