Walking The Path

Several years ago when I was working with a local hypnotherapist to heal food cravings, his method was to take me back in time to the initiation of a feeling (that caused me to eat when I wasn’t really hungry). He was looking for the unconscious drive beneath the feelings – to find it and release it.

The way he worked, he’d have me tune into the feeling and bring it up in me as strongly as possible, and then direct me to go back in time to the very first time I ever felt it. With a count to three and a command of “Be there!” I’d arrive at a scene. After a few quick questions, such as, “Is it light or dark? Are you alone or with someone?” and another question or two, the last question would always be, “Is this feeling familiar or new?”

If the feeling was familiar, he’d do the same routine again, taking me back further until the feeling was new.

One day, when I arrived at the initiation of the feeling, I was standing in a small room with a person I knew was a guide, and the time frame was before I was born into this life. What came up was a piece of wisdom.

We each have our own path in life to walk. We might run, walk, crawl, or even pause for a while, but it’s our path to walk. There will be people along the way to help us, even when we’re face down in the mud. All we need do is reach out a hand and help will come. The thing is, no one can walk our path for us. We are the ones who place one foot in front of the other.

At the time, my young son was having his first struggles in school. He was beyond miserable, and it felt like no matter what I did to help him, he was still miserable. My own feelings of helplessness kept driving me to try to eat them away.

During all his years in school, I advocated for him as best I could, and it was still a miserable experience for him much of the time, until he completely shut down just over half way through seventh grade.

The healing on that day in hypnotherapy helped shift food cravings and allowed me to see that as much as I might try to help my son along his life’s journey, it’s ultimately his journey. I can assist, push, coax, demand, bribe, and a whole lot of other things. But in the end, it’s his life, and he will do what he will do.

The freedom this healing created in my heart, is knowing that my son’s life journey, the path he walks, is ultimately his. Yes, much of it is a co-creation between the two of us. But I can’t take ultimate responsibility for his life any more than someone can take responsibility for my life. Our life’s path is both our unique path, and an integral part of other people’s paths, at the same time.

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End Of Year Thoughts 2017

This past year has been without doubt the single most challenging year of my life. It was harder than each of the years my mother was hospitalized because of her mental illness. It was harder than the year I was molested and became pregnant. The same year I had to hide being fourteen and pregnant because it was so shameful. The year I had to hide the fact that I’d been molested because it was so shameful. The year I gave up my daughter for adoption.

And this past year was more challenging than 2012 when both my parents died.

That said, it’s also been the most transformative year of my life. Without doubt.

March of 2011, I had an unexpected spiritual awakening. It changed the way I viewed life.

At the time, much of my life was focused on being a mother to a child with developmental delays, labels and issues. When he was at school, I constantly read about his issues, looking for ways to help him. My other focus was trying to heal whatever it was deep inside me that kept me trying unsuccessfully to eat away uncomfortable feelings.

Since then, my awareness and consciousness has changed significantly.

As well as focusing on my son, I’ve spent the past several years learning about energy healing, having mystical experiences, learning and evolving. Transforming.

Working with a talented soul-directed hypnotherapist, I healed so much of my life that Kundalini energy popped open in the beginning of 2017. It was a somewhat spontaneous opening; at least, I wasn’t trying to open my Kundalini energy. Yet, it opened up and has been spending most of 2017 working its way through me.

One of the things Kundalini energy does is connect a person with their true authentic, divine selves. That part of a being that completely resonates with unity. Unconditional love, community, compassion. Heart.

It brings forth everything in a person’s life that no longer works for them, and throws it on the bonfire. Many times, people leave jobs or relationships because with a shift of awareness, their job or relationship no longer works for them at all. The outside of their life changes to match their new inside.

The work I’ve always done in hypnotherapy has been one of changing my lens of perception, my insides. And as my perception changes, things that used to bring up emotional discomfort, no longer do. Instead of changing my external world, my Kundalini awakening has been changing me internally.

Like a flame burning from the inside out. Burning out everything that doesn’t resonate with my heart.

Sounds pretty good, and in general it’s amazing. It’s incredible.

However…

The amount of change that’s been happening to my consciousness, the amount of pure ascension, is not without physical and mental effects.

As we grow from children into teens, into early, middle and later adulthood, our consciousness, the lenses through which we view the world, changes so gradually we often don’t notice the change.

However, creating intentional change using a variety of energy healing methods, usually has temporary effects as the physical body shifts, coming into alignment with the new energetic template. There is often initial happiness, joy, or euphoria, followed by what I call the let down: being tired, irritable, sad, and having aches and pain. After a few days, these effects pass as the body and mind come into sync with the new energy field.

This past year has been one of exponential and constant shifts of my energy field, accompanied by the most intense and long-lasting symptoms of physical and mental discomfort I’ve ever dealt with. Intense fear and paranoia that wouldn’t let me sleep for days at a time. Pain in joints, organs, and other tissues, as energy left my body. Exhaustion that made it difficult to crawl out of bed. And my brain not working normally at all. As one energy shift’s effects began to settle out, another shift would hit. And another and another. They began to happen without conscious intention.

Although I’m doing a lot better than I was a month or two ago, I’m still very much in process.

These haven’t been little shifts, like a breezy day. They are category 5 hurricane size shifts, healing things from not only this lifetime, but from other lifetimes as well. Healing things that have kept me from trusting the world and myself. Things that have prevented me from having faith in the world and having faith in myself. Reconnecting with all sorts of bits and pieces of myself.

As 2018 rolls out, one thing I know for sure is, as scary and hard as life can feel at times, things always eventually work out to some sort of new normalcy. Even if it takes a lot longer to reach that feeling than I ever dreamed. 

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Despite what our linear brain likes to have us believe, life is one big cycle with all sorts of smaller cycles within. When you’re being squeezed, know it won’t be forever. When you’re having trouble breathing, hang on. And when you don’t think you can make it another minute, have faith that this too shall pass.

Fair winds and following seas to 2017. Here’s to clarity in 2018.

 

 

Memories at Christmas

Five years ago, my mother ended her suffering on Christmas Eve day. She was bipolar, and ten months before she committed suicide, my father, who had lived with cancer for over 25 years, died peacefully. He was in bed, and my parents were watching Sixty Minutes on TV. Mom told me, “At the beginning of the program he was alive, and when I looked over at the end of the program, he was gone.

Ever since, Christmas Eve isn’t an exciting prelude to Christmas day, filled with celebrating, a church service filled with music, and warm memories of getting together with family and friends. It’s the anniversary of the day my mother killed herself.

The thing is, I don’t blame her. And in fact, her passing brought on a bit of relief. Relief that my job as overseer of her caretaking, was finally done. Even though I wasn’t the one who spent hours every day looking after Mom, I made sure she was taken care of after Dad died.

I set up the in home care, made sure the caregivers were paid, and took all the calls from frantic caregivers when Mom’s mental illness spiraled out of control, necessitating hospitalization twice in her last six months. I made the calls to doctors, therapists, psychiatrists and social workers. Not my brothers. Me.

The irony is, when we were growing up and my mother swung into mania, it was me she lashed out at. Not either of my brothers. It was in her mania that my mother cut me down, tore me to shreds, and eviscerated me with her tongue. Yet, when it came to looking after her in her final months, I took on the job without hesitation.

As much as I was relieved to no longer have to oversee Mom’s care, even more so, I was relieved that she was no longer suffering. After spiking into mania during the weeks after my father’s death, and spending a month in the hospital, once she came down to level, she didn’t stop falling. She fell through level and straight into depression. And no medication helped pull her back up. About six months after being hospitalized for mania, Mom was hospitalized for depression.

She couldn’t even begin to process my father’s death. They had been married for over fifty years, and had made it through some hellish times. I don’t think she realized just how much my father grounded her. Kept her safe and sound. Until he was gone.

In the year or so before my father’s death, health issues made it increasingly difficult for my professional musician mother to play her violin. Playing music was one of the things that made her life worth living.

And I noticed during her last year that dementia was definitely setting in.

With Mom’s mental health becoming more and more difficult to stabilize, her ability to find joy in her life through playing her violin diminishing, and losing independence, she couldn’t see any light at the end of any tunnel. Except by leaving this world.

I know that on the other side, her pain and suffering is much diminished. Since her passing, I’ve sat with a few psychic mediums who connected with her for me. The last time I checked in, Mom wasn’t a bright, shiny, sparkling soul yet. She was being supported, and was working on her own healing.

With Mom gone, I dove into my own healing work the spring after her passing. Healing from the pain of our relationship. And each subsequent Christmas Eve, the amount of pain and fear I’ve carried, has become less and less. Thinking about our relationship no longer brings up the bitter anger it used to. And boatloads of fear is going as well.

Last spring, with Kundalini energy opened up in my body, I was able to create significant healing for myself. I was able to bring my mother into my heart in a way that I’d never been able to, before. I was able to understand my mother’s mental illness, to see through her eyes in a new way. And in doing so, was able to forgive her, letting go of the pain and burdens of our complicated past. With an avalanche of tears, I let it all out.

This year, there is still more peace in me around our relationship. And I hope my mom is doing even better, there on the other side. With less pain and hurt closing my heart, it’s freer to be open. And memories of Mom can focus more on the good times, and on the love between us.

Healing from a relationship lets the pain go. It frees us from the anger, the fear, and the sadness. With emotional threads tied to pain no longer being plucked, we are free to be our true, authentic selves. We are free to be love.

 

And The Buddha Laughed

One day, when I was at a hypnotherapy session, I was digging into my psyche, looking to let go of some mental anguish. I use hypnotherapy to heal or let go of emotional pain and reactivity. To reconnect with parts of my psyche that have separated out from the true, authentic me, and who have become stuck in time and who remain in some sort of pain.

Underneath all sorts of anger, sadness, and other emotions that disconnect us from our hearts, I’ve seen a root cause of fear. And fear always goes back to the fear of death. Fear of disconnection from the group, which spells death.

One day, the epiphany hit me that the real me, the heart connected part of myself, is the part of myself that is eternal. It’s the part of my very essence that can’t die. It’s my very consciousness. As much as we perceive ourselves through our consciousness, and believe we are our physical, human forms, it’s only a temporary perception.

In that moment, knowing that I’m actually an eternal being, wrapped in a meat suit, made my fear of death suddenly feel ridiculous. And I laughed. I laughed so hard. We all spend a lifetime with an undercurrent of fear – an unconscious fear of death. And when we finally die and realize we still exist, it’s one of the biggest jokes of all time.

I finally got it, as did Buddha.

Struggling To Write

Over the past seven months, my body and brain have been changing significantly. And because of it, my ability to write has been impacted. A lot.

Just about the time my brain began shifting so significantly that words could no longer flow through me (last spring), I had recently realized that many times when I write, it felt like I was channeling words and thoughts. I was so connected to the realm of spirit, that I could easily allow thoughts to flow through me and my hands, and become written words. And now I can barely string two sentences together on many days. Things like vocabulary, grammar, tense of word, were things I didn’t have to think twice about. And now, so many posts begin, a thought partially formed in my mind, only to wither and die on the vine.

It’s frustrating.

And I know it’s temporary. I know it won’t always be this way. But I never expected or dreamed something like this would happen in my life. I never dreamed my brain could or would be rewired. I never knew that trauma I experienced as a child and teen would affect my DNA, and those effects could be changed for the better. I also never knew that when this process becomes extreme, it makes life a living hell (for a while).

Complications of Family

Coming up on Thanksgiving, all sorts of families are gathering, sharing meals and time visiting and reconnecting. As much as I no longer live near any of my family of origin, and my parents are now gone, my thoughts have turned to family quite a bit recently.

Well, that’s not wholly true. It hasn’t only been recently. My thoughts have focused on my family of origin quite often since this past August. Too often.

I’ve been going through a Kundalini awakening experience since late last winter, and what it’s been doing is bringing up all sorts of pain in my heart and issues that I identify with, to give me an opportunity to heal them. And for me, it’s been an extremely intense and challenging time because of the scope of how much has been coming up, and the depth to which healing is being created. It’s been a ton. And at times, almost too much.

One of the concepts that’s being healed, is my concept of family. I have an older brother, whose relationship with me has always been unhealthy and uncomfortable. As children, he always dominated me. Then he moved on to molesting me. Something most people don’t understand is, when you’re little, it’s very natural and normal to seek approval from those around you. A child looks outside of themselves to know they are ok.

Because I had a mother who was mentally ill, I knew that she wasn’t an unconditionally loving and safe place to fall. I looked to my big brother for approval and validation, and unfortunately, he was also not unconditionally loving or a safe place to fall either. In fact, my sense of self was so messed up that when my brother would do things to me that I knew weren’t ok, and ended up taking his actions to the next level of molesting me, when he told me I had to keep quiet or I’d get in trouble, I believed him.

My own inner voice was screaming for help, but my brain told me to shut up or pain would rain down on me. The irony is, pain rained down eventually. I spent decades living with rage and shame. They kept me in a prison.

Over the past few years, that prison has been healing. And I even got to a point that I could think about my brother, and no feelings of shame or anger would immediately flash up. It was huge for me. Huge.

Until last summer, when, with this Kundalini energy coursing through my being, I was reunited with my brother after almost five years. Because of the state I was in, I knew that getting together with him would probably trigger me, so I asked to postpone our reunion a year, but my request was met with suspicion and fear by his wife, who got my brother so upset that just reading an email from him (that was filled with emotional pain) triggered the hell out of me.

I was a mess for weeks. Because the trigger that I was trying to avoid, happened even without a face to face reunion, I acquiesced and agreed to see my brother and his wife for a few days during a trip I took east with my family. It was supposed to have been a vacation.

If my body and mind had been normal, we would have had an uncomfortable three days, and that might have been the end of it. But my entire system is far from normal lately. My energetic and intuitive system is so wide open that when I’m around people who are emotionally activated, I pick up on what’s activating them, either consciously or unconsciously. And when their unconscious shit resonates with me, those same things in me rise up and shift into healing.

In the case of my brother and his wife, I picked up on a shit ton of her unconscious fear and pain, and ran it straight through my body. I picked up on her fear of losing her marriage, her fear of not belonging in our family, and her fears about her kids. They ping-ponged inside of me, bringing up my own fears of those same things. But for me, when things like that are brought up, they come fully up into my conscious mind, causing emotional pain and turmoil and then are immediately healed.

These days, the things I pick up on are universal themes of life that everyone carries some sort of fear or dysfunction around. I’m tapped into universal consciousness.

When something is healed, it creates a shift in my field of energy, that in turn creates changes in my mental construct and physical body. And because these changes have been so significant lately, the period afterwards has been physically and mentally miserable. Weeks of cells dying off, old neural pathways dying off, tissues becoming temporarily inflamed, until new cells, new neural pathways grow, and inflammation calms down. Weeks of brain changing, that feels like a combination of mental illness and brain damage, yet knowing I’m not ill, and the brain isn’t damaged, but changing.

One of the more unpleasant side effect of the brain changing, is when I spend days hyperfocusing. Focusing on things I’d rather not think about, such as my brother and his wife. That went on for weeks before our reunion, and several weeks after. They invaded my thoughts for hours every day. I knew it wasn’t normal, and wouldn’t be forever. And it’s been subsiding. Slowly.

One of the interesting things that’s happened with all of this opened intuitive capability, and with my body healing at an incredible rate, is disconnecting my energy field from that of my family of origin. I’m no longer pining for something I never had.

I no longer want a loving and protective brother that I never had. In fact, my feelings toward my older brother are so absolutely neutral that if I never see him again for the rest of my life, it won’t really bother me. Mostly, the state he’s in makes me sad. The fact that he’ll never reach the level of healing that I’ve found, makes me a bit sad for him. But that’s it.

And something I never expected, was seeing my sister-in-law with a new clarity. I now see so clearly why some of her actions in the past left me confused. I see where she carries pain in her own heart, and the fears she carries. I understand her now in a way that I never did before. In fact, while we were in the same house, I intuitively and unconsciously picked up on so much of her stuff that I was not myself for most of the time I was away. It sucked.

But it actually helped me let go of attachment to the cottage we were staying in, our family summer cottage. The cottage our family has owned for three generations, that I’d always held so near and dear in my heart. The cottage my brothers and I now share. It could burn to the ground and as much as I would be sad, it wouldn’t cut a big hole in my heart, as it would have, prior to this past August.

Healing attachment to people and places means a sort of freedom. When emotions that used to come up, no longer become activated, it brings freedom to act differently. When an action – reaction relationship has been dissolved, it’s felt as more peace and calm in the heart. Wanting and longing are gone. (I finally understand Buddha).

For me, my system hasn’t found its new normal yet in regards to my relationship with my older brother and his wife. I still have moments of anger that I don’t act on, and fleeting moments of sadness for what never was. But these moments are becoming less and less frequent.

With Thanksgiving coming, followed by Christmas, thoughts of family are up in my grill. And very honestly, I’d rather think of anything but my family of origin lately. I know in time these feelings with change. But that’s what it is right now. I’m hoping life will feel very different next year.

 

 

 

Life

Reaching, wanting, grasping for air.

Wanting what isn’t.

Searching for that illusive thing.

That illusive feeling of fulfillment.

Looking for something to fill the hole.

The chasm.

The chasm of need and want and empty.

We spend a lifetime feeding that need

with money, with sex, with shopping, with food

and with mind altering practices.

We take drugs, drink alcohol, smoke weed,

run and meditate.

We’re all looking for the same thing.

To feel good.

To stop the pain.

To stop the anger.

To stop the inner critic.

But there is no stopping

Because the more we resist

The more it persists.

The only way out is through.

Through the hunger.

Through the anger.

Through the sadness and pain.

Until we come out the other side.

Into the light.

Into acceptance.

Into love.

Into ourselves.

And then we dive in again.

Searching.

Wanting.

 

Firestorms and Healing

Everywhere I look in the media lately, there’s a firestorm about sexual harassment and assault. Women are speaking up in droves. They are rising up in a chorus of no more. They are standing together and standing up together. And there are probably as many out there who have been sexually assaulted and harassed who can’t speak up or speak out yet. And may never.

I lived shrouded in extreme shame and secrecy for decades. In fact, I still don’t openly share my past with people from my youth because many of them know my attacker. He is my brother. And some of his friends from way back when are mine too. None of them are extremely close friends, but still.

When I’ve told people who know me, especially those who have known me for a very long time, it shatters a part of them inside. It shatters their perception of me. I become a victim in their eyes, and it brings pain into their hearts. For those closest to me, a lot of pain.

Because I’ve carried the pain for so very long, I don’t relish sharing it. I’m used to it and they’re not, is my reasoning. I’ve had time, therapy and healing work. They don’t have the toolkit I have developed.

A year and a few months ago, I wrote about how far I’d come with letting go of shame and monstrous amounts of anger I held onto towards my brother. I held this shit inside of me for far too long.

“How do you know that things in a relationship have healed? When you can think of the other person and you’re no longer angry, sad, frustrated, or want to kill them. When you can communicate through letters and you don’t want to reach through the ethers and throttle them. When you can have a phone conversation with them and you still feel ok. When the charge that was between you is gone.

With so much anger gone, when my brother called, we had a really good talk about all sorts of things. About messed up family dynamics. About healing I’ve done. About damage our mother wrought on us. And more. My brother sincerely apologized (not the first time) for what he did to me, for what happened to me. And I heard and felt it.

He is not some monster.”

And as much as the feelings of anger, shame, and resentment that I held in me for so very long have been healed, with Kundalini energy turned on in my body, it seems like everything I had healed is up for review again.

Kundalini takes my life and rips things apart, one by one. I takes the healing work I’ve done and brings up the next layer for me to heal. But this time, I’ve been picking up on unconscious misalignment of those I am emotionally or physically close to: my family and friends. I intuit their unconscious beliefs causing misalignment between their soul and their physical being. And as my energetic system intuits someone else’s belief (that also happens to resonate with me), my systems shifts merely with my picking up on it, and creates healing for me.

Basically, if I’m around someone who becomes emotionally reactive, when I resonate with them, my energy system shifts to create alignment. Whether I like it or not, want to or not. I become aware of the shift either as it’s happening, or after it’s happened.

Because of this, as much as I’ve worked through my own pain and discomfort about my childhood; about having been molested, this summer I intuited a bee’s nest of pain and crap from a family member who hasn’t worked out their own feelings, thoughts and beliefs about their own relationship with my brother and with me. And connecting energetically with them and their bags of crap took me out for more than two months.

With the recent firestorm in the media about sexual harassment and sexual assault, as much as yes, I’ve healed from my own past, the emotional fervor of the world is vibrating through my system, creating more changes in me. More alignment with my soul.

It’s taking me back to the raw and vulnerable state I used to live in. The state where I lived as a victim. Powerless. And it’s not fun.

The irony is, I absolutely no longer feel like a victim to the people who abused me when I was little. They hold no power over me. I can talk about my past without feeling any shame or blame or anger. And the only reason I haven’t shared my past with more people, is to spare their feelings.

If I don’t share my past with someone, it’s because when I do, I suddenly become different to them. Even though I’m not.

When I look at social media or watch TV, advertisements for news stories, and news pieces keep focusing on things that get a rise out of people: like sexual harassment and assault. Yes, I can turn off the TV and get off social media. But while my brain is rewiring these days, there are times when my brain thoughts are full of such shit and lies that being preoccupied by mindless TV helps me make it through the day.

There are days I can’t focus long enough to read or write, and if I go for a walk or do meditative activities, the endless streams of fear inducing thoughts that keep running rampant through my head, create a living hell. That’s when I need mindless distraction. Even sleep doesn’t bring relief.

So, as much as I applaud victims of abuse for standing up, reclaiming their power, and sending out the message of, “No more!”, I won’t be out there in person, in public any time soon. I won’t be making a grand announcement on Facebook about my past sexual abuse.

But I write about it here. In this little space I’ve created. And I invite conversation.

 

 

 

Grounded

Much like my own mother, there are times I find myself swinging in the wind, floating on the breeze or being carried off by a storm. The mind swings forward, fretting about the future, second-guessing the past, and lashing out at the present. As much as I think about the future and try to control it, I can’t. And as much as I might have wanted to do things differently in the past, I didn’t. And as much as I sometimes rail against myself and how things are in the present moment, I know it’s just a part of me, a small voice from my past, that’s rising up, crying to be heard.

In the world of spirit, time doesn’t really exist the way it does here in the physical world. I’ve read, from people who have died and from mediums who contact the dead, that when we exist as pure energy, everything happens at once. Time isn’t linear and sequential the way we experience it. When Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor had a stroke and the left side of her brain shut down, she experienced this shift in her perception of time (and her perception of the not so solid physical world).

Pondering the idea of time, and having read some works written by spiritual masters, it’s pretty easy to see that the only time that’s real is now. And even that is already gone.

Getting too hung up on the past and the future sometimes bogs me down so much that I struggle to put one foot in front of the other. That’s when I know I’m not grounded.

To me, being grounded is a state of being connected energetically as fully into the physical world as possible, being so completely present in the here and now, while knowing that I am also the energetic spirit that lives my body. It’s accepting that I’m a physical human being and being ok with all of that, at the same time knowing I’m also an amazing, sparkly, unconditionally loving soul being.

FYI, in case you’re wondering how to get there, just know that it’s not really a destination in the sense of a place you get to and stay. It’s more of a place we visit, and with healing work, I’m able to visit here more often. Happens for people who meditate regularly, I’ve heard.

The more I accept myself as a human being, with all of my “faults” and “imperfections,” the more of my spirit energy inhabits my physical body. Healing work has helped me let go of blocks I’d set up in my body, and opened up the flow of my own healing energy.

One of the most healing moments I’ve ever experienced was when I knew that in every moment of my life, I’ve always done the best I could. Given my state of mind and state of being, and given my age and state of maturity at the time, given every circumstance around and within me, I have always done the best I could. How do I know this? Simple. I’m alive.

The game of life is about being alive, when it comes down to it. Every single anger, sadness, frustration and fear I’ve ever investigated (using hypnosis or meditation), when traced back in my own unconscious mind, emanated from being afraid I was going to die. To no longer exist. If I die, the game of life is over. I know that every decision I made that wasn’t in alignment with my heart, and every thought I held onto that became a negative belief in me, was done so to keep me alive.

In seeing this dynamic that plays out in every single human being, seeing that I broke my own heart, I was able to forgive myself for every time I was not loving, for every time I hurt someone, for every time I closed off my heart to myself by creating beliefs of less than.

Forgiving ourselves for all of our less than loving moments, for every time another person’s feelings were hurt in response to our actions or feelings, is one of the most grounding things a person can do. Suspending judgment that things in the past should have been different, is freeing.

We all know that things in the past could have gone differently if we’d made other choices. But I can speak from personal experience in saying that there are many times in life when we feel like we have no other choice than the one we pick. It’s easy to Monday morning quarter-back ourselves and others, but “shoulding” on ourselves is not helpful. It does nothing but perpetuate internal pain.

Yes, I’ve look at patterns in my past and vowed to make changes, vow to be different. And then I made the same choices over and over. This is where healing work shines: illuminating the “why” I made the choices, enabling and facilitating change.

A half-dozen years ago, I was sitting in a class of about six, imagining a cord that connected my first chakra (an energy center in our lower body) to the center of the earth. I pictured a rope that extended from me, and wrapped around the molten core of our planet, securely fastening me. Anchoring me. Grounding me. (Here’s an article that describes the basics of grounding.)

Connect your energy system to the earth’s energy.

I pictured energy from the earth coming up through my feet and legs, through my first chakra (pictured above), and sent stress and unpleasant thoughts down my grounding cord, back to earth where it was taken care of for me. That was basically my Grounding 101.

Since then, not only do I still use this imagery (and more) in meditation from time to time, but because of letting go of thoughts, beliefs, and feelings that have kept me swinging in the wind, floating on the breeze or being carried off by a storm, my every day existence is becoming one of being increasingly grounded into the present moment by default.

That’s what healing does.

It’s a process of forgiving myself for every moment I’ve acted in a less than loving way. It’s remembering that my soul chose to have this physical experience, and all that comes with it. It’s finding ways to let go of hurts from the past so I don’t keep re-experiencing them.

It’s a process of opening my heart again and again, allowing all of the bits and pieces and fragments of my past to be accepted back into my heart. Allowing all of the parts of myself that stand outside of my heart, back in.

It’s ultimately a process of self-acceptance. Of my very human self. A continual, ongoing process of remembering that I chose to be human for the experience of it all.