The Opportunity Of Social Distancing

I usually take myself on a personal retreat in a remote canyon in New Mexico once a year. During this time I am traveling alone, and use this time to reflect on where I am in my life, what intentions I have set , and ask myself how I want to be living my life.That being said, it is my choice to look at how I do life and ask myself am I showing the world the best version of myself ? Even though I am in the canyon alone there are people around me,  I do have conversations with others.

However, this time in the world due to mandatory social distancing my focus is similar to my yearly retreat with an added slant. I live alone in the woods, have not owned a television since 2013, and am pretty quiet. I have noticed these thoughts coming up that I do not usually notice. I see this as an opportunity during the very strange time we are now experiencing to really take a closer at any obsessions, any ideas, any truth that comes up. One beautiful thing that has been revealed to me is the acknowledgement for the majority of time is I really do walk my talk. I have spent much of the past 34 years doing much inner work, surrendering old beliefs and ideas that no longer worked, clearing away any old resentments, and working on forgiving myself and others. All this being said, I still know in spite of lots of inner work with being as self honest as I can be, I still have some subtle things  that have raised their heads for me to look at deeply.

I have gotten the chance to see stories that I create that are scenarios of different areas of my life. The good news is because I am not going to my office, not seeing clients in person , and not doing all the things that I usually use to distract myself with I hear my stories . The reason this is good is I immediately, as soon as I hear the story, can stop..pause…and create a better version of the story: I.E. a better version of myself.

The other major awareness is each time I hear on social media or in other communication means of people blaming so many things and other people on the reason our world has come to a stop, or have seen people hoarding, being seriously selfish and self centered, I have had the opportunity to ask myself: Do I really love the person showing their behaviors and actions exactly as they are in the moment? I claim I do. I want to be that person. Yet, there have been brief periods where I am wanting others to change, to be a better version of themselves, to treat each other and the planet better. Therein lies my opportunity! When I catch myself being judge, jury, and executioner–which I have noticed more quickly in this time of social distancing from others—I can pause, send love and light to said person(s), and when I can do that….I can embrace the opportunity to accept and love myself exactly for who I am in the moment!

Shazam..what a magical, incredible time of re-learning, re-setting, and re-framing my thoughts and possible actions that have always followed my thoughts.

I am changing, I am shifting. I am loving myself and others more! This is awesome!

I cannot wait to see how these opportunities continue to unfold. I still have  hope more people will take a long, hard look at how they treat themselves, the planet, and each other. My part is to keep doing my inner work, keep sending love and light to all beings, and to be grateful for this time the Universe has given each of us to choose to re-set and re-structure. Life is amazingly magical and it all came about in the blink of an eye!

 

BECOMING AN ALCHEMIST

All my life I have been drawn to the ancient practices and stories of the Alchemists who turned lead into gold. I forever longed to be an alchemist.
As I reflect on all I have walked through and overcome in my life, I see I AM an alchemist ! I have watched myself rise above fears, changed self sabotaging beliefs, survived a major brain bleed without needing any rehabilitation, and come to a place of peaceful resolution of healed PTSD and clinical depression.
I did not accomplish the rising above my suffering alone. I did not even know I had the stamina and the courage to transform – – yet I have !
Today freedom from my core woundings and self-destructive patterns that touched and affected every relationship in every area of my life only came when I was completely sick and tired of being sick and tired. I consciously died to the old skin and I wore a new vibrant one replacing my inner demons. I assure you it came with much discomfort, resistance, and fears.
As spring approaches I am reflecting upon my alchemy and how it blossomed and opened.
-I began by journaling daily… Really looking at what I needed and wanted to change in me. I gave myself lots of time and slowly a practice involved which I call self reflection.
-Over time I gradually stopped repressing my emotions, memories, and inner thoughts that previously I had used anything – – work, complaining, relationships,addictions— anything to keep myself from feeling what I had been stuffing inside myself for years.
-I discovered finally what I valued. Doing that helped me to own my positive traits along with my shadowy negatives. In order to see some of my shortcomings I needed to ask those I trusted for help because there were elements about myself I was in denial about, refusing to acknowledge to myself at times. Looking back now, I see so many of those traits were projected by dysfunctional romantic partners. I can now bless those men who acted out my own disempowering, unhealed characteristics.
– I began daily setting intentions on whom I believed the best version of myself was and visualized that woman in every area of my life being “HER” . Somewhere inside of me I knew that’s who I was becoming and would forever be!
I continued alchemizing and fine-tuning the me that I have come to love and respect.
My inner work will continue as I become more aware and my transformation keeps evolving. YES, I am a true alchemist, and your own alchemy awaits you too.
All it takes is our willingness and determination to be the best version of ourself possible.

Transforming Anger

     Whether it is discrimination ,aggressive acts, violence ,or unfair treatment of ourselves or of others —- each experience has triggered anger within us. For many years I wanted to believe it was THEM versus ME. The truth and the real issue is I and we have carried a core belief that we are separate from others. This belief is not true. We really are one and the same. Breathe into that for a few minutes.
     If and when we are willing to do our inner work and intimately come face to face with accepting  and knowing who we really are on all levels, our  journey into inner peace has begun.
     Anger is not a bad element for  it is a human emotion . When we make a decision to stop fighting and trying to  Run away from our own anger ,we have a golden opportunity to transform it into love and compassion. Really, anger is an integral part of our humanness that we were each born with. The issue, as I see it, is when anger turns into rage and then adds to our own internal suffering. When this occurs our suffering is a catalyst and even a justification  for hurting ourselves and others.
    I reached a time in my own life that I was sick and tired of my suffering. I started seeking ways to transform.I offer some suggestions that may just help you to transform your own anger.
– Get yourself grounded and calm. Get gut level honest and ask yourself :what am I really afraid of in this moment and in this situation?
-Once you know the answer to that,  then ask What would love do with and in this situation ?
This helps to bring a cool, calm, and smoothing creative feeling as we breathe into our intense passionate emotions.
-Finally, breathe and transmit this new found  loving compassion straight into the heart of your anger.
     We can each learn to mindfully support, embrace, and respond with kindness to our anger when we remember a solution. By choosing this self caring strategy we are more able to nip negative actions we previously directed at ourselves and others. By transforming our own anger into peace, we energetically send this blessing out Into the world. What an honor to know that the work we do for ourselves we do for all beings! We can daily reflect what we are choosing to radiate out into the world. We truly always have a choice.

The Beauty Of Darkness

Throughout my life my perceptions of darkness have evolved from believing darkness is evil,  to being in fear of it , and into my now present partnership of the witnessing of deep inner healing as a gifted result of welcoming darkness. As I embrace the YIN side of my experiences I welcome the feminine energies of intuitive and creative seeking as a journey into the void. This quiet, reflective place I repeatedly return to is the deep symbolic womb and the dark cave…where I often find comfort.
      As I write these words it is the time of the new moon and on this day I am reminded of nature’s brilliant way to honor darkness as it is ushering in the light that follows. We don’t have to wish the light to come… It always follows the dark night and the dark moon without our demanding it.
     My consciousness craves the darkness and  when I am willing to allow myself to partner with it’s quiet, calming solitude, I am rewarded with peaceful balance.
      I invite you to, instead of forcing YANG actions and the need to escape your inner darkness, to remember how we each spent nine months in the dark presence of the womb at this  life’s initiation waiting for the divine perfect timing to transition into the light of our human existence. Divine Timing is always perfect!
      I offer some suggestions in facing your own inner darkness:
– Embrace your vulnerability. When uncomfortable in your own skin, you can dive into the edginess and open your eyes fully to what is revealed.
– Trust the process. Know that this too shall pass. Don’t try to skip this crucial step. The journey into the murky, sometimes messy re-birth  of new awakenings of walking in the darkness will help radiate the light that surely will come afterwards.
– Breathe into the experience and allow the emotional feelings to present themselves even when your ego/reptilian brain tries to convince you to run, distract, and escape! By feeling it all fully and surrendering, we are actually creating energetic spaces for new beginnings. It really is an initiation.
– Journal,  then share with those you trust. Ask for assistance when needed. Creating your tribe composed of those who hold your tears equally with your joys is a community alliance. You are never alone in your journey when you have a   compassionate tribe that is always with you both in spirit and in physical presence.
     Just as an ancient oak tree allows its roots to explore deeper into the dark soil below,  as its trunk and branches reach for more light, we can courageously learn to except with love the beauty of darkness as a direct linkage to the light.
       

THE POWER OF COMMUNITY

For a lot of my life I have been a lone wolf, but I am convinced now more than ever we each need the connections that stem from finding our tribe , our community. The connection with like hearted people is what I and maybe you crave.Being a cog in the wheel of community inspires me to feel I am part of the greater good.

There have been times as I have changed over the years that I need my community to be modified. It is never been about “they” are wrong or I am right.It is about the vibrations. As my vibrations raise to higher levels I am no longer aligned with past situations exactly as they were. I find I am even called to do things differently than before – – even in the community I find myself.

When I feel stuck or stale in a current community I ask myself these questions:

What values, support, and beliefs do I need from my community? What am I willing to offer and what/ how do I need to receive what I need from my community? What like- hearted ideas do I need from community? Do I repeatedly show up as my authentic true self in community? If I am showing up and presenting as an illusion and fake me such as being a people pleaser, I do not believe I will ever find the community that works. What are my passions and interests? Does my community align with them?

Being a lone wolf has its benefits but being part of the tribe with connections helps to bring each of us into balance. It is always, for me, a matter of reaching out to find those connections I crave.

Be Love

      It is not our essence or our spirit,  but is our ego that carries the belief that we each need to either constantly be giving love or receiving love. On this week in which our culture is so focused on Valentines Day my focus is on me being love itself . Mother Theresa  used a phrase “seeing Christ and all his distressing disguises.” When we allow ourselves to see each situation,  people our ego likes and dislikes, objects, and experiences as our “ Beloved” , love empowers us to surrender our critical judgements. 
     The energy behind Our thoughts and actions affect not only ourself but also the planet constantly! By striving to be love we are co-creating a kinder, more loving universe.
     It is necessary for me in  my personal life to practice being the love for practice makes progress. Here are practices that continue to help    me come closer to being the best version of myself:
– Forgiveness— As long as I drag around a sack of hurt and pain, I cannot be free to be a complete version of love. Forgiveness never changes another… it frees each of us inwardly.
-Self Love— When I am willing to  do daily acts of self-love I claim the love for all parts of ourselves, including  the dark shadow personality aspects, and this self-love will flow from  the heart center out to all beings.
-Resist judging others—When I find myself judging another I take out my huge spiritual eraser as soon as I am aware of my inner / outer criticism, erase the negative thoughts and send love, good energy, and blessings to the person I have judged. This cancels my judgment of them. Through practicing the resistance of my need to judge others it is possible to create within myself less times I want to point the finger at “THEM”. In reality when we judge another, we are really judging ourselves. 
     Being a human still , I never do these acts perfectly I do the best I can and keep setting intentions to be The Love.
     The results for me and wanting to be the love has been a phenomenal shift in my reality. Sending much love filled light from my heart to yours this Valentine’s Day week and every day.
     
      

Appreciation Of Winter

 

     When I began to choose to live as close to the wisdom of the Ancient Elders and Ancestors as possible, one of the teachings clearly has been to love each season for the differences and unique offerings of each.
I never used to be a fan of colder weather. I griped about it, and I was often in my mind jumping ahead to be impatiently waiting for the arrival of Springtime. I now have accepted and even love winter and her gifts.
The Spirit of Winter a few years ago summoned me to create rituals that hold the potential of an antidote for my previous winter blues and a calling to embrace with love, this slower paced season with heartfelt gratitude and genuine respect.
Think about hibernating animals. They engage in a slowing down period . Their body temperature drops to match the environment’s temperature. Their heart and breathing rate slows down. The slowing way down period of time is positive…there are no ill effects in partial or even total inactivity. Perhaps we can learn from animals in this state by slowing down instead of a constant need to be on the go, constantly staying busy. We might use this time to do deeper inner reflection and retrospection, meditate more, read those books we put on hold when we were so busy in the other seasons.
Loving the cold temperatures may not be so much about staying chilled to the bone, but rather wrapping up in a snuggly blanket in front of a delicious fire. Creature comfort, I am calling it , is the time of year my mind, body, spirit craves to replenish relaxing into the moment and enjoying each second of this slower rate of existence as my energy is being restored for busier times in the future!
The days are shorter and dark comes sooner. We could take advantage of this time to light candles, turn on glowing lights of a Himalayan Salt Lamp, and feel the light entering our inner selves. I love the very dark nights in the woods where I live for the stars seem brighter and closer as I stand in the brisk, chilly air as I see my breath while connecting with the Night Sky. It feels very magical!
Finding and focusing on those things that really matter is a glorious gift of Winter. I can say no to new projects and decline new invitations to join groups and activities. Using this time in eliminating all those committees, meetings, and focusing on that which adds real peace, harmony, and joy is crucial . By doing this practice without feeling something is wrong with me if I am not constantly busy, constantly productive, and never taking time to slow down, I am rewarded with quiet inner peace and tranquility without feeling bad about my Human Hibernation of Spirit. It is in this phase of the year new ideas come into my consciousness and I am given an opportunity of restoration and potential re-birth. How can I find anything negative about the three months of precious Winter! Thank you, Winter! You are amazing!!

Yearnings

     Co-creation is a natural action when we allow our soul’s  blueprint of destiny that lives within to guide and inspire us and live our true purpose. Our life mission is fed by the yearnings that speak to us from within. The secret is to listen to our deep yearnings! Do you even know what they are?
     Not for a minute do I believe there is a being sitting in the clouds on the throne with a magic wand waiting to fulfill my every wish that I plead and beg for.
     Do you know what you desire and deeply yearn for in your life ? If we don’t know what lies deep within we may have spent a lifetime looking outside of ourselves to get our deepest dreams and hopes met. When we continue to expect our deep desires to be fulfilled by those who do not or cannot “ see” the amazing wonder we are , we will continue to feel invalidated and empty, always searching for fulfillment in another place , job,residence,situation , or person.
     Our true yearning is beyond simply wanting or desiring. It is the deep need(s) within. Discovering our yearnings is taking a step to understanding ourselves. When I understand me, the passions of my heart are clear and my connections and relationships with others will be strengthened because I will know without a doubt what I want, desire, and need to feel whole. I will have concrete evidence it is an inside job. Knowing this deep truth will inspire me to take self loving actions and make appropriate decisions in many areas of my life.
     Some examples of my deep yearnings are to love and connect with other people, to feel safe and nurtured, to be respected and seen for who I really am, to be heard, and to be appreciated.
     What do you yearn for?

Your 2020 Word Of The Year

There is magic abounding when we embrace and claim our personal mantra: our personal word of the year!
Resolutions typically fall into proverbial cracks . The practice of setting conscious intentions anchors our creative power to guide and keeps it flowing under a directed path we mean to follow.
By choosing a word of the year we will create an internal compass that motivates our focus, decisions, actions, and guides us as a touchstone step-way for the unique person we truly want to be.
My word of 2020 is commitment . I want to embrace, respect ,and walk my talk as I talk my walk as I show up in all areas as the best version of myself possible.
Perhaps your word has been revealed to you already . If you have a mega list of words and cannot decide on one or are clueless as to where to start, I offer you a few suggestions:
*1. Get in a quiet reflective state of mind
*2. Remind yourself you are being an intention setter of which you were free to choose and even change your mind!
*3. Don’t overthink the process! Consider the qualities and characteristics you resonate with and feel are important to YOU.
*4. Ask yourself what do you need to demonstrate and show evidence to yourself who you want to be and feel.
*5. Make a list of several words that call you.
*6. Write your intentions in the present tense . Examples : I am trusting the unfolding path the Universe presents to me or I am setting healthy boundaries with my friends.
*7. Look for any themes of intentions that pop up.
*8. Write your word.
*9. Put your word on several postcards and decorate them. Place them where you will daily see your word – – the fridge ,bedside table, car visor ,desk ,phone or computer home screen , the front of your journal ,even your wallet.
When you see your word it will awaken the awareness of your intentions and the fluid flow of creative motivations will flood your essence, your mind, and influence your thoughts, decisions ,and actions! Have a great year!

PARTNERING WITH OUR NEW YEAR’S INTENTIONS

     As we welcome 2020 I encourage us each to take the time to communicate within ourselves the truth of our authenticity. So often we are allowing our internal disconnection within to create de focusing  activities such as texting ,emailing, social media ,and noise generating participation. We have blocked so often our own communication with ourselves.
      The sacred setting of intentions, once we give ourself the gift of getting quiet and choosing to move mindfully and  consciously  into the new year, has the potential to create a true partnership with our amazing being of self love and self compassion as we practice being the best version of ourself.
     Once we are clear on our mindful intentional choices we have a golden opportunity to improve meaningful relationships, act on developing the emotional and physical health we desire, and surrender more deeply the specific areas we wish to shift from prior patterns and stale beliefs.
     Unlike resolutions that feel more like controlling demands we place on ourselves, conscious intentions we partner with our true essence ,can help us to align with the ideas and actions we want to utilize for manifesting what we desire in our life.
     Of course when we slide momentarily away from the intentions we have set we can always remind ourself  we are only human and we can begin again without self punishment. A mistake is only a mistake if we refuse to learn from it. We can always stop, re-group, and begin once more moving forward.
     Deepak Chopra once said that “intentions are the starting point of every dream —the seed of creation.”
     Here are some ideas to get you started on setting 2020 intentions. Before you even start writing I invite you to get quiet and look at 2019 and decide what needs to be released . Also embrace all your accomplishments  in 2019 and the amazing way things turned out well in the end!
     Set your intentions that are perhaps out of your comfort zone but not an impossible challenging struggle. If the intentions you are setting feel like they are going to deplete you and make you feel unworthy, then stop and go back to your original drawing board.