Quieting the Mind

In the world of spiritual seeking, there’s this thing that’s constantly talked about – quieting the mind. And because I’ve never considered myself a spiritual seeker, my path to an awakened consciousness and a quieter mind has been quite different. The number one way spiritual seekers quiet the mind is through meditation. Having a meditative practice of shutting down the monkey mind, the part of us that jabbers away, reminding us about things we need to do, remembering things from our past (often painful things), and projecting into the future (often things that bring us worry).

Seekers sit quietly, in a place where they can be undisturbed for their meditative time, and focus on something like a mantra or their breath, until the monkey mind is quiet. For newbies, this can be an exercise in frustration, with their mind constantly wandering from this thought to the next, thinking about anything but being still, being quiet. Suddenly noticing something starting to itch, or twitch, or needing to stretch. But after a while of practicing, quieting the body and mind becomes easier and easier.

For some people, such as myself, most of the time when I try to meditate on my own, I fall asleep. However, when I’m guided, listening to someone, I don’t fall asleep, and I tend to do well. Many guided meditations are like little vacations, giving us a break from the stress of day-to-day life, giving us time when we’re focused on something other than our worries. Some guided meditations are designed to help us find something within us that’s uncomfortable or not working very well, and shift it. Shift our perspective and our energy field.

One of the things I experienced through my healing process, has been seeing the cause of our monkey mind, our stress, and quieting it little by little. I didn’t realize I was quieting my mind. In the beginning, I just wanted to get rid of a coping mechanism that wasn’t really working for me anymore.

Stress is a blanket term that medical doctors use for an uncomfortable feeling that’s felt both in the body and the mind. But they don’t know exactly what it is, where it comes from, or how to directly heal it without making lifestyle changes. They send people to counselors and therapists to help identify emotional triggers, but healing triggers, that happen at an unconscious level, using the conscious mind, is like trying to count the number of goldfish swimming at the bottom of a pond that’s completely clouded by mud.

We can’t solve problems by using the same mind that created them.

More and more, therapists are recognizing the benefits of meditation and are encouraging people practice it. With months and years of practice, people are able to let go of the thoughts that cause them stress more and more easily.

When I work with hypnotherapists, I have help quieting my body and focusing my mind by listening to what essentially is guided meditation, designed to relax. Once my body is relaxed and my mind focused (the chatter is gone), I’m asked to remember a feeling that has been an emotional trigger. In this state, I can feel the emotion in a detached manner such that my fight, flight, or freeze mechanism doesn’t react. I can be aware of feeling frustration, anger, sadness and fear without being enmeshed in them. Following the feeling back through time, to the earliest instance I ever felt it, is a common technique designed to find the initiation of a specific feeling.

The magic begins to happen when I arrive at the initiation of a feeling and see the part of me who created it in the first place. It’s always a part who’s very, very young (and a few times, I went so far back that I saw moments in previous lives). And it’s always a part of me that’s unhappy.

Using techniques based on parts therapy, I’m guided to shift my perspective into my younger self, my inner child. From her perspective, I hear her story. I see the scenario. I see my mother raging at me, and I’m having a very tough time dealing with the emotional pain. You see, in spirit we don’t experience emotions in the physical, visceral way we do in a body, and especially when you’re a very sensitive child as I was, being verbally attacked by my mother was excruciating.

I verbalize the feelings of this terrified inner child as she asks why her mother is treating her this way. “Why? Why does she hurt me?” The verbal assault feels like lightning strikes to my nervous system. And then this child’s truth becomes known. “Because I’m defective. There is something wrong with me.” It makes perfect sense. It’s completely logical. “Because I’m defective, Mom yells at me. It’s my fault.” With this belief in place, my inner child can rationalize fear and weather the attacks to come. And even comes to anticipate them, learning the different tone of voice in her mother that means to steer clear, don’t say anything, and do what she wants.

And then I shifted perspective into my wise adult self. “You, little one, weren’t defective. You were acting like a normal toddler. You wanted to do what you were doing and your mother wanted you to do something else. And when you didn’t do it, she flipped out, raging all over you. She was mentally ill and wasn’t well. It wasn’t your fault, and there was nothing wrong with you.”

Sometimes it took a little bit of persuading my inner child to come around to a different perspective, but as soon as she felt safe enough and loved, her perspective changed to that of my wise adult. Alchemy happened. In a hot minute, she dropped the belief she’d created, and knew deep in her bones that she was and is perfect. The knot that had kept her miserable for so many years was undone and her belief unraveled.

As she let go of the belief, there was a sudden epiphany that it wasn’t even her belief in the first place. It was her mother’s. My mother’s. My mother carried an unconscious belief that she was defective, most likely because she was bipolar and wasn’t diagnosed or treated until later in life. And my inner child picked up on it, taking it on as her own.

I realized that because we view life through our human brains, we all create a host of these types of beliefs when we’re very young, through day-to-day situations. And they don’t necessarily have to be “abusive” situations. As we grow and mature into individuals, they help our consciousness evolve, and help us survive this thing called life. Without them, life would become too painful to exist. We wouldn’t be able to conform to societal norms and expectations and thrive as human beings, and we’d die.

The thing is, when we reach maturity, these unconscious beliefs eventually no longer serve us. They become triggered through our daily life, by our children, by our family and friends, by work and a host of other things we deal with. Things we have to deal with. And when the really deeply held core beliefs of brokenness (being unacceptable, not enough, an embarrassment, stupid, ugly, fat, less-than, etc.) become deeply or repeatedly activated, our physical, mental/emotional health and our state of material abundance become affected.

The moment my inner child fully and completely realized she wasn’t defective after all, when her long-held belief dissolved, she began to get happy and dance around. Her new perspective of  being perfect took on a sparkly, divine quality. She now recognized herself through the eyes of spirit. Through eyes of the Divine.

I began to notice a sense of inner peace that I hadn’t felt before. My restless, monkey mind and inner angst began to quiet with each session. And after having a number of sessions healing all sorts of emotional triggers, reconnecting with and healing bits of my inner child, I walked the world with more and more inner peace. And most surprisingly, there was a subtle tipping point when I began to know myself as Divine.

Quieting the mind is really about bringing our awareness, our focus into the here and now. And what makes the mind race around from the past, into the future, bringing up irritation to anger or sadness, and worry to outright fear? Our unconscious beliefs. The ones telling us we’re not good enough, we’re not safe, we screwed up, we’re not doing it right, and transferring these same sentiments onto those around us.

With practice, we can learn to quiet the mind through meditation, or find ways to heal what keeps coming up, the unconscious beliefs that are the source of all our stress.

A Spiritual Perspective of Anxiety

Sometimes our heads lie to us. Our bodies join in, and life can be mighty uncomfortable. Such is the case with anxiety. And I don’t mean getting worried about an upcoming job interview or being nervous about meeting someone new. I’m talking about Anxiety with a capital A.

I’m talking about doing something routine and suddenly feeling like you’re going to die. I’m talking about thinking about having to do something you don’t want to do, and having your brain melt; shut down. Sheer terror panic. Heart beating out of your chest. Sweating. Stomach ready to hurl. Bowls ready to let go. Vision narrowing as you’re on the verge of passing out.

As human beings, our brain’s and body’s main purpose is to keep us alive. And they’ll do whatever’s necessary to keep our heart beating.

So why would we want to live in a body whose brain constantly lies to us? Why would anyone choose to inhabit a body that lets us think we’re dying, when we’re not?

As a soul, we’re looking to have experiences that give us opportunities to grow. And one of the most efficient routes to growth is through painful experiences.

Being a human being is an experience of contrast.

When we exist as pure energy, as pure spirit, it’s very different from our experience as a human being. As spirit, we know we’re all connected to each other. We don’t have brains or bodies that so often cause pain in our lives. And our only definition of love is unconditional acceptance.

We experience soul growth as spirit, but having a life as a human being, having no awareness of ourselves beyond our body and brain, enables us to have experiences we can’t have otherwise.

Some of us choose to have a lifetime of mental health challenges. We find the body, family, time period, and place on earth that suits our needs and those of our soul family. In the case of my son, he chose a family with some mental health and other brain based issues, giving him a high genetic possibility of creating anxiety. His birth was engineered to work with his genes and his family to create a person with extreme sensitivities in life.

As a soul, my son was up for some big-time life challenges. But he also picked a family who would be fully supportive of him. He and I have shared lifetimes together before. I know of one where our roles were flipped, with he being my mother, and I being his son with special needs. In that lifetime, he was very supportive of me. It’s my turn to be supportive of him.

When I discovered energy healing, my young son received the benefits of a few different modalities and healers. They all helped. In the past several years, we’ve tried traditional therapy, a host of alternative therapies and naturopathic care. He still experiences panic attacks, and with puberty, he now experiences pervasive anxiety.

Sometimes with age, developmental issues either lessen or resolve. It’s obvious that anxiety is not going away.

It’s gotten to the point of exploring medications to help his brain.

Over the course of figuring out how to best help my son, I’ve had to heal several of my own demons. Eventually, I was able to understand that my son’s difficulty with going to school was more than just having a personality conflict with his teacher. His inability to do homework and inability to ride the school bus and eventually his inability to go to school was beyond his control.

During the past few years of having him at home, one of the things I finally got through to him is that anxiety isn’t his fault. Having a panic attack isn’t something he can will away. (It’s been a process for both of us). It’s a brain thing.

He’s a bit easier on himself, knowing this. But he also knows that anxiety and panic attacks have affected his life. And because of this, he’s onboard with trying medications. We’re in the midst of medication trials right now.

Anxiety is just one challenge my son’s soul chose. And right now, it’s the one that’s impacting his life the most significantly.

As a human being, it sucks to have panic attacks and to experience anxiety. As a mother, it hurts my heart to see my son struggle. But life isn’t only pain. There is a lot of love and compassion. In fact, more so because of the struggles.

And that’s why we’re here: to bring in the love.

The Razor’s Edge

She’s filled with rage and tears
But they can’t find their way out.

Feeling boxed in, nowhere to turn
She turns to the razor.

With every cut, the pain
Finally reaches the surface.

As the blood drips
Down in tears she can’t cry.

Years later with the pain
Still deep inside, rising again

The little slices and dices
No longer relieve the pain

Of having been sliced and diced
By her own mother’s tongue

And she fantasizes about the razor.
This time one last cut.

One final cut to end all her pain.
Once and for all.

To end the dance on the razor’s
Edge between life and death.

But no matter how hard it gets
No matter how much pain she’s in,

She can’t go through with it
Because no one dies without permission.

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As much as part of this poem is semi autobiographical (I’ve never engaged in cutting), I experienced a lot of inner pain in my young life. However, I never entertained thoughts of ending it all until I was an adult; but they were fantasies I knew I’d never act on.

Until one day when I suddenly and unexpectedly moved from fantasy to an impulse to take action. A split second after I’d made the decision to actively take my life, spirit intervened, flooding me with horror of what I was about to do and filling my head with the word, “Help!”

I immediately reached out for help, and a dear friend talked me down.

I absolutely did not have permission to take my life that day.

This behavior was unusual for me, and looking back, I pretty quickly figured out that because Kundalini energy had made my system extremely sensitive and intuitively open, I picked up on thoughts that weren’t really my own; yet because they resonated with me, they rang out big-time. And for a little while, I believed them. It was very scary. Yet, because of the experience, I know spirit can and will intervene.

I was about to take a step to deal with internal pain that would have been permanent, and I didn’t have permission to end this life’s journey yet. Not by a long shot.

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If you have immediate concerns about a person’s mental health and feel they might be a danger to themselves or others, contact 911. If the danger doesn’t feel immediate, reach out to them and/or their friends or family. (To whomever they trust).

If you feel suicidal and want to talk to someone, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255. If you’re more comfortable texting, for any type of emotional crisis, text the word CONNECT to 741741 to be connected with a trained crisis counselor. Just a note that this info is for the United States.

Out of Focus

One of the more unexpected and often unpleasant effects of my Kundalini awakening process, is having my consciousness rewired, or reconfigured. In order to change the way I perceive the world so drastically in such a relatively short period of time, my brain, or my mind (not sure about the delineation between the physical brain and the energetics of my conscious mind) goes through periods of flux. Time when I’m not normal.

I started this piece a week ago, and put it to bed. Today, when I want to write, my head is a mishmash of uncomfortable thoughts, dizzy imbalance at times, and acting like a rabid squirrel with little ability to focus. After a decent day yesterday, taking in a local spring street fair for a short while, today I’m a basket case of exhaustion.

I woke up and had to take a hard 2 hour nap in my favorite recliner, just to be able to function for a few hours. I feel like a newborn, needing to sleep, wake just long enough to eat and look around for a few hours before needing more sleep.

It’s a beautiful spring day, the sort of day that would normally have me out in the yard, taking in the fresh air, sunshine, and birdsong. I have a list a hundred miles long of things I want to get done, both in the yard, and in my home, and I have absolutely no energy for any of it.

I want me back.

I want to feel normal. And my normal is positive and upbeat most of the time. It’s been too gone for too long.

I want this trip through hell to be done. The endless cycles of my body shifting and changing, and my mind shifting and changing. Change is hard enough when it’s once in a while, but holy crap! This has been going on for over a year now.

The only thing that keeps me going is knowing that this awakening, this crazy train of ascension is a process, and the chronic discomfort won’t be forever. The waves at some point will smooth out and eventually dissipate into something that will become normal.

In the meanwhile, even though on many days I want to bury myself in a hole and not come out until Kundalini energy quiets down in my body (or at least a year), I know that the more I can interact with life and roll with the punches, the more quickly the process will pass.

Trying to hold onto the faith that this too shall pass, remembering that yesterday was more good than not, and knowing that at some point, no matter what the rest of this life looks like or feels like, it will all one day come to an end. And I’ll get to go home.

For many who experience Kundalini awakening, as their consciousness changes, they end up changing things in their exterior life to bring alignment. Suddenly, their life doesn’t fit, and brings excruciating pain until they make changes: they are forced to take action around things like their health, relationships, or work.

My awakening has been a process of creating internal alignment within myself. Thoughts and feelings that bring up internal discomfort are being brought to full consciousness and are being instantly healed. Let go.

One day, I’ll feel good again for more than a few hours. I’ll feel like myself, and will have energy to actually get things done again.

Mirrors In Our Lives

We’re all mirrors for each other. When we see something in another, it’s because we hold it in ourselves first. Our love for another springs from the love we’re able to access through our heart. If our heart is closed off, walled off for protection, we’re actually hurting ourselves. But finding a special someone who resonates with us creates a space of safety, where we connect and open our heart, letting out the love.

Sometimes we’re in situations when we’re relaxed and our heart is open, that we have experiences and our own inner pain will flash up. Before we know what’s happening, deep dark emotions of hurt and pain lash out in a torrent of tears or rage of anger. And it’s all about what we carry in ourselves.

Think about it. Think about someone you hold near and dear in your heart – and it might be a beloved pet. Even if they’re miles away, you can still access the feeling. The love. Are they in the room causing you to feel the way you do? No. Think about someone who’s hurt you years ago. Feel the pain. Are they in the room making you feel that way? Did they just hurt you? No. The feelings emanate from within you. We generate feelings and emotions from within our bodies.

We think that others make us feel certain emotions, when in fact, they’re just a mirror for us. When we think another person is sad, it causes our own sadness to rise up, and likewise with other emotions. We mirror other people’s emotions back to them.

Part of my healing journey has been trying to let go of a lifetime of rage and fear. I’ve had healing sessions that allowed me to see the creation of unconscious beliefs held by my inner child. During the sessions, I tuned into reactive feelings of anger and frustration that were being triggered by various people in my life. Following those feelings, down into the depths of my consciousness, I met parts of myself that were in pain. I saw that little girl who had just been decimated by her mother, and young one who was victimized by her big brother. It was she who would become activated from time to time.

Because she felt inadequate, seeing people I perceived as inadequate could trigger my inner child, and it would come out of me as anger or tears. Seeing myself in another, even at an unconscious level, was triggering.

I discovered that my own mother carried many of her own demons, and I was her number one trigger; especially when she was manic. Her inner child would become triggered, showing up in intense pain that felt like a demon riding her back, and the only way she’d feel relief was to attack me: her mirror.

When Mom was manic, I was not allowed to disagree with her, differ from her, or act independently, or it would be taken as a threat that had to be demolished. There was a part of my mother that wanted to demolish her own demons. And in fact, my mother inherited the dynamic from her own unstable mother. I saw during a meditation one day that this was passed down for several generations in my family, from mother to daughter.

The parent – child relationship is one that’s ripe for bringing out our inner pain.

Since discovering this mirroring dynamic that we all have, I now understand why when I’d see people who were overweight, my own weight issues would become activated. I’d be repulsed by people who I perceived of as fat because I was repulsed by my own feelings that I was fat. And because I was fat, there was something very wrong with me.

We see people who are lazy, ugly, fat, old, weak, and mean because we hold those judgmental feelings within ourselves. We play judge, jury, and executioner, vehemently denying and pushing against the parts of ourselves that we feel are lazy, ugly, fat, old, weak, and mean. Because we hold these feelings with us, they can become triggered by others, activating our unhappy inner child.

With some very effective healing work, I now hold myself with great compassion most of the time. Yes I weigh more than any doctor would like, and I’m now on the other side of fifty, with natural hair that has streaks of brown, gray, silver, and white, and my skin shows my age. There have been times when I misunderstood my husband and he became upset with me. Going through an intense Kundalini Awakening I’ve been physically exhausted and needed a lot of extra sleep for months now, which is not my normal. I could be viewed as fat, old, mean, lazy, and out of shape, but in fact, I feel quite differently. I no longer see myself through eyes of harsh judgment.

More than strength of muscle, today I value my ability to persist through adversity, my inner strength, my strength of mind and strength of compassion that’s been growing especially over the past few years.

Holding myself with much more compassion, I’m able to see others in the same light.

As we heal our inner child, our outer world fills with peace. World peace is an inside job.

Why Victims of Sexual Assault Don’t Tell

I’ve been thinking about why people who’ve been sexually assaulted don’t tell. With the media hot on stories of sexual assault, there’s been a lot of discussion, and a lot of frankly ignorant comments, like people wondering why if someone is assaulted, they don’t tell.  Or they tell after a very long time – such a long time the statute of limitations for prosecution under the law in many states has run out.

To help educate those out there who don’t get it, here’s why I didn’t tell. As much as its my story and specific to my own situation, much of it applies to many others as well.

When I was sexually violated, I was young and I knew my attacker. I’d been groomed for years to have no power over this person. He groomed me by how he treated me, dominating me. Society groomed me by teaching me I was supposed to look up to people older than me.

People talk about a perpetrator grooming their victim, but I haven’t heard too much about the shock factor. When you trust someone and they suddenly sexually violate you, it is shocking. Every part of your being tries to deny it’s even happening. In fact, it can be so shocking that a person freezes and either can’t fight back, or can only do so minimally.

I tried to get him to stop, but there’s only so much a person can do when their violator is someone they trusted and someone they’re supposed to love because they’re your older sibling. It’s an extremely shocking thing to have trust violated in this way.

Growing up with my brother, he would do things and tell me not to tell or we’d get in trouble. This is pretty normal between many siblings. He knew we were doing things that would get us in trouble. I was good at not telling because I wanted my big brother to like me, and I didn’t want to get in trouble. And over the years, when his behavior made me feel very uncomfortable, I would still not tell. I was programmed to keep silent or I’d get in trouble. I could keep a secret like no one else.

Looking back at some of the things he did, he could be very twisted. Of course, back when I grew up, there was no national conversation about appropriate touch like there is now. But at the time, I had no reference other than my gut. And I’d learned at a very young age to not trust my gut. I had a lot of stomach trouble.

When his behavior escalated to molesting me, I was intimidated, told to stay quiet. He was physically much stronger than me by that point, and made sure I knew it. But the invisible chains of fear kept me bound much stronger than anything else. Fear of getting in trouble. Fear of not being liked and accepted. And it wasn’t just one incidence. Once he got away with it one time, he did it a second time. And when he got away with that, he knew he’d be able to keep getting away with it. In fact, I don’t even know how many times he actually molested me. But it was many, continuing on for a couple of years.

The truth of my being molested came out because I eventually matured enough to get my period, and became pregnant. I was so scared that I denied what I knew to be the truth for months. I was terrified of what would happen to me when the truth came out. Fear kept me quiet. At this point, my unmedicated bipolar mother’s behavior of verbally attacking me when she was manic was a contributing factor to my growing up having no voice. I was not allowed to speak up for myself. And it was years before I could bring it up.

Even after it was found out that I had been molested, because the perpetrator was my brother, our father swore us all to secrecy because of his own fears. I was conditioned to keep it all a big fat secret. A big fat, poisonous secret.

The first time I decided I could tell someone about having been molested and having borne a child out-of-wedlock that was given up for adoption, was years after it happened. I was about twenty years old. I told a friend who I loved and trusted. And even then, when I could finally get the words out, I was shaking and crying, wracked with shame.

After that, I didn’t talk about it, except briefly to my husband when we were dating, until I was in my late thirties, when I decided to do some therapy. I was tired of being angry. I had no idea how much being molested affected me. And how much keeping it a secret was affecting me, until I began to work on healing it all.

As I’ve healed so much of the shame, fear and anger around this secret, I’ve been able to share my past with a few trusted friends, when it felt appropriate to share. I can now speak about it without any feelings of shame or guilt. And in fact, much of the anger has been healed as well. Although I doubt the anger will ever be completely gone.

The tricky thing about sharing my past with someone, is it’s very disturbing to hear about. When I tell someone, a host of their own emotional baggage becomes stirred up. It causes them pain, and they see me in a new light. That is, if they even believe me.

Yup. I had a family member, whose first reaction to the news was one of denial. He wondered if I was mentally ill like my mother. His reaction wasn’t one of sympathy or empathy, but wondering if I was mentally ill and was making the whole thing up.

And the public wonders why victims won’t speak out or speak up. If your own family questions you, why would a complete stranger believe you? How fucked up is that? It’s the shock factor. When family finds out something horrible has been going on and they had no clue, it’s shocking. Their image of their family is suddenly rocked. Their own trust in who they thought their family was is rocked. And many people just can’t handle it.

Fortunately for me, the family member who at first thought I was mentally ill, knows I’m not. He knows what happened and as painful as it is, believes me.

When someone reads an article about a person coming forth about having been sexually violated, and their first thought is wondering why the victim didn’t come forward for twenty, thirty, or forty years, this is why.

When young people are sexually assaulted, they are usually groomed, are intimidated and/or threatened to keep quiet. And the threats and intimidation can even come from within their own family. The secrecy becomes a prison of shame and fear. It often takes a lot of therapy for a person to be able to speak about it, never mind confront their attacker. And for many who eventually speak out, they aren’t believed.

For those who are believed, they are then seen as a victim, and most people don’t want to be seen as a victim: weak.

My own story is far from over, but with therapy and some amazing energy healing, my inner wounds have been healed and are still being healed to the point that I no longer carry any shame around having been molested, around having been a pregnant teenager, around having a child out-of-wedlock, and around giving up my daughter for adoption. And a great deal of the anger I carried for years has been let go. Anger about the entire situation: being molested, becoming pregnant against my will, having my young body ruined, and having to keep it all a secret.

I still get angry at times when having to deal with that brother, but it’s not because of the past, but because of a few ongoing things that have nothing to do with my having been molested. And in time, much of those will be sorted out as well.

Even if the statute of limitations hadn’t run out for me and my situation, taking my brother to court wouldn’t undo damage that happened so very many years ago. Even if he could be found guilty of a crime and sent to jail, it wouldn’t heal my heart in the way that therapy and energy healing has done. And after spending decades nowhere near my brother, yet still carrying buckets of anger and shame, I realize that much better than trying to exact any sort of revenge or seeking retribution, is finding ways to let the hurt go.

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.

 

Coming Out The Other Side

How do I write about something I barely understand in some ways?

How can I describe an experience I’ve been going through that most in my culture neither understands, nor accepts as real and valid? And when faced with it, often confuses it for mental illness?

If you have ever had a near death experience, you might begin to understand what my last few months have been like; but then again, probably not.

Our culture is so completely unaware of ourselves as spiritual beings that having an extreme spiritual experience can be very isolating. How do I talk about having a complete Kundalini Awakening when our society doesn’t understand what Kundalini energy is and what it does in a body and mind? The closest understanding Christians have to it is the crucifixion and resurrection process. But Christians aren’t taught that it’s a process that people still experience today – we are taught it was a single event that happened to one person in history.

Jesus wasn’t the first person in history to experience a complete spiritual awakening, and he won’t be the last. And yes, the story of his awakening is very significant to the world as a whole.

How do I talk about what people call a dark night of the soul, when the closest language we have for it is hell? When neurons in my head were dying off so fast and furious that I could barely sleep or eat for days, and the fear and paranoia that were being sparked by the dying neurons created a living hell. As much as I was completely conscious of what was happening, it was hell nonetheless.

How do I relate to the world and to myself when I’ve changed so much in a few short months that I barely know who I am anymore? Even when I intentionally created the change. I had no idea what the experience of integration would be like. None.

People on a path of spiritual perfection or of healing are always people who feel lost or fragmented in some way. They are always people who feel like they are missing something in their lives, or who are in a lot of pain. It is a helpful path for many. And the irony is, for me, I’ve only ever wanted to feel better. I have never sought out the “spiritual” path, and yet, here I sit, coming out the other side of an experience that many purposely seek and dream of having. They seek it because they believe if they do this thing or do that thing, it will make all of their dreams come true, bring them salvation, stop their pain, make them feel whole, whatever.

In my case, it has brought a huge part of myself back. And the more the experience becomes integrated into my mind and body, the better I feel. But there are days when I’m still in so many pieces that the extreme unfamiliarity of myself is beyond challenging.

I guess the extreme change I’m dealing with is in many ways similar to when someone has a major change happen in their life that they didn’t expect: being handed a cancer diagnosis, having your child or spouse die, losing your job, your home, or your relationship. When these things happen, life as you have known it is over. Done. Ended. Gone forever. You have to become used to a new normal. Sink or swim.

There is a grief process, a time of letting go of the old and allowing the new. A time of welcoming everything and anything that comes along with as open arms as possible. In spiritual terms, letting go of what no longer serves me, what no longer works for me, and embracing every moment as it is, without judging it, without worry about the future or regretting the past.

The more I can remind myself that the only moment in time that is real is right now, that the only moment I have to deal with is right now, the easier life is to handle. And in this very moment, everything is exactly as it is supposed to be. It is always perfect.

As my mind, body and soul begin to come back together, I’ll share as I can. But there are days when all I can do for now is what I refer to as TLC first aid. Tend to my body as best as I can, allowing time to pass so my brain can continue to rewire and cells in my body can turn over in response to the massive shift in the energy template that holds everything in place.

In case you weren’t aware, everything about our physical structure is held in place by the unification of our soul’s energy and our human beliefs, both conscious and unconscious. The more we can allow love to flow through our human structure, the more healthy and self-repairing it can be, and the more easily our life flows overall. This is simply allowing all of our thoughts and behaviors to be acceptable, and in fact, to not hold any judgment of them at all, but to allow them to flow through. This is loving as God loves.

I find that it’s when I resist a thought or feeling, that I create a sort of magnetism to it, bringing it back again and again. The more I can allow my thoughts and feelings, and watch them without taking ownership of them, and without trying to force them away, the more easily my thoughts turn to ones of acceptance. In fact, when I can lovingly embrace pain and thoughts, even ones of anger, jealousy, vengeance, anger, sadness and frustration, as if they are a very small child who is hurting, the quieter the voices become, and the more my entire being resonates with love.

The name of the human game is to learn to love ourselves. All of us.

When life brings us extreme emotional or physical pain, we are faced with the most incredible opportunity of all: to continue pushing against whatever created the pain in the first place, or to simply surrender and accept ourselves and all of the shit.

But in the meanwhile, as much as I’ve been going through tremendous change on a spiritual and the physical level, I’m still a wife and mother, dealing with the very real life of managing a household, raising a child, and being a loving and devoted wife. Many people who go through extreme life changes, leave marriages, move into new homes, and have to adjust to life without a loved one being in it.

In my case, the extreme changes are allowing me to interact more fully within my own existing life. Because I have been cracked open wide and can more fully allow love to flow through me, I not only feel tons more love for myself, but for everyone and everything in my life. It is an amazing and very good thing.

And as with all extreme change, the process to get to where I’m getting has been a real mix of pure unmitigated hell, and amazing grace and love.

Stay tuned for practical words of wisdom as I process and further understand life, looking through new lenses of love. In the meanwhile, I’ll be chopping wood and carrying water because life is real, y’all.

To Witness

I’m finally wrapping my brain around an amazing concept called “to witness”. It’s a verb that unlike many verbs, is an action word and is a word of no physical action at the same time. And yet it holds the most powerful action that exists. The ultimate act of witnessing a person involves completely and wholly accepting them, unconditionally. No judgment. No strings attached. And the person who is witnessed feels completely seen and known, completely understood and recognized. They feel they are known at the very deepest level of their core being, and completely accepted for who they are, exactly as they are.

In the moment of being witnessed, a person only knows themselves as perfect. Anything and everything that is not perfect, has instant permission to leave. And the one doing the witnessing only feels, knows, and projects complete love. Love as absolute acceptance.

In our very human world, it can be a challenge to witness another person, simply because we are, by default, filled with judgment. Those of us who are aware of how and when we judge ourselves and others, find it easier to reign in judgment and see another through clear eyes. People who are attuned to give Reiki reign in any and all personal judgment and act as conduits for pure love.

Six years ago, I was filled with a lifetime of pain. I was filled with anger and sorrow, shame, fear and self-judgment. I was on a path, looking for pain relief. But not the kind of pain relief you get from an aspirin or from anything that is temporary. I had already realized at that point that my drug of choice, food, wasn’t working very well for me anymore, and I needed to find a better way. A more permanent way.

One day nearer the beginning of this journey, I followed an intuitive path, and it led me to an angel. This angel came to me in the form of a human woman who was physically petite, beautiful, and as powerful as anyone I have ever known. I had arranged to have a psychic reading with her that day, and it was only the second psychic reading I had ever had in my life. Little did I know what was in store for me. I had only cast my eyes on this woman one time before, about a week or two prior, and there was something about her that captured my attention.

As we sat together, I didn’t quite know what to expect from a reading, and I honestly don’t remember if I had any questions prepared to ask her. What I do remember was the moment that I realized she could clairvoyantly see my entire life. She saw straight into my soul and knew my story. Even though she didn’t know me because we had never sat and talked before, she could see every bit of my pain.

She knew without my saying a word that I had been abused by a mentally ill mother, and had been molested by a very hurt, confused, and disconnected brother. She also knew that I still carried pain from having become pregnant, giving up my daughter for adoption, and was forced to keep  the molestation and my daughter a secret. She saw and knew all of my damage and pain, and I sat there, feeling completely accepted just as I was.

Having recently been attuned to give Reiki, the grip of self-judgment in me had already been somewhat loosed. When this amazing woman looked straight into my soul, I felt completely known and accepted in that moment. She witnessed my pain, my life, and my beauty all at once. I knew that even though I felt like I was damaged goods, and “less-than” a thousand ways to Sunday, in that moment, I was accepted just the way I was. And in response, my soul cracked me open. A part of me finally felt safe enough and was recognized in such a way that it screamed to be let out of the cage it had been kept in for my entire life.

My spirit demanded to become known to me on a conscious level. This is what we call having a spiritual awakening. An impulse within you wakes up and demands to be known. It is not something that can be controlled or contained, but rather, it’s to be celebrated and embraced. When I woke up to the knowledge that I am more than just a person in a physical body, but that I’m an eternal spirit who lives life through and with a physical body, my perspective of life shifted quite a bit.

People have a few different types of experiences that wake themselves up to knowing that they’re more than just their bodies. And one of the most intense experiences a person can have to wake themselves up, is a near-death experience. I was cracked open by being witnessed by another person. When someone goes through a near-death experience, they are broken open by being witnessed directly by God.

When a person has a near-death experience, as much as each experience is very personal and unique, there is a common thread of people coming back very changed. They have been witnessed, knowingly held in the palm of the hand of God. They have experienced being completely and utterly known and accepted. Being completely submerged and filled with the love of God allows much of their pain to leave.

When a person feels so completely accepted exactly as they are, and experiences the highest form of energy that creates us, felt as unconditional love, at the same time, it acts as the ultimate permission slip to let go of all sorts of pain, judgment, anger, and sadness that we have created during our lifetime and carry with us. It is the energy healing session of all energy healing sessions.

Even if we never have a near-death experience, and never have a spiritual awakening, anyone can act as a witness for another person. Throughout a child’s life, parents act as a witness, continually loving and accepting a child over and over again as they go through all the ages and stages of growing up. Holding love for a child, not predicated on their behavior, but simply because the child is held in your heart, is a parent’s form of being a witness. And when a child knows without doubt that they are seen, known, valued and loved, simply because they exist – especially when they are struggling – it’s the most powerful thing a parent can instill in their child.

If you know someone who is struggling mightily, one of the most powerful things you can do for them is stand solidly in the place of complete acceptance and love for them exactly as they are in a single moment. If you have trouble putting aside judgment, consider that in a single moment, everything is already perfect. It might not feel perfect or look perfect if you look into the future or the past. Or if you lace the moment with a dose of judgment. But anything can change at any time, because the only time that is real is right now. The biggest gift you can give someone is to allow them the feeling that they are completely and unconditionally accepted just the way they are.

When we are witnessed, we suddenly feel complete trust in and acceptance for ourselves. The feeling might not last long, but in that one amazing moment, a person can choose to alter the path of their life. Feeling witnessed provides the opening, the allowing, the breath, that can make all the difference to a person. It is one of the most powerful experiences one can have in life.

 

 

The Long Con of Life

Here it is. Why are we here? We are here for the long con. The biggest con of all. To reconnect to ourselves. To know that we were never broken. We were never less than. We were never all of the wonky things we thought we were.

We were never really lost or separated, it just felt that way, looked that way, and seemed that way. We were never really alive because we never really die. This human consciousness we carry lets us play out one big long con until we leave these bodies. It’s all for the experience of it all.

We come into a human body and pull down the blinders. We don’t know we are eternal and perfect beings. The separation has begun. Then we enter into human programming through the human fear-based brain. We are literally steeped in survival programming, otherwise the con wouldn’t stand a chance of getting off the ground. We make thousands upon thousands of decisions beginning before we are even born.

We steer our lives this way and that, letting our emotions be our guides. I did this thing and it caused pain. Pain hurts. I won’t do that again. I did that thing and I felt better. I’ll do that again for sure.

And then life throws us something that we must navigate using only our survival brain because we are very young and inexperienced in this thing called life. Life throws us a curve ball. In order to navigate the curve ball, we create a belief that brings relief to our brain. Even if the belief is not true. The sense of logic that was created within the brain allows chemicals of comfort and ease to flow again. The con is underway.

We have just created our first belief that separates a piece of us from our divine core self. The con is rolling. As we are “socialized” and “taught” how to behave within the parameters of our families and our society, we create more and more beliefs about ourselves, more lies, cutting off more bits and pieces. We separate ourselves further and further away from our true selves.

Worst case scenario, we experience such complete and total fracturing of our soul that we create separate personas in an attempt to cope and stay alive. Shy of that, we pick up coping techniques that become self-destructive because they only reinforce the lies of the beliefs we’ve created. Addictions perpetuate the beliefs of less than and imperfection that we create because they temporarily make us feel good. The brain gets happy for a while. And then the lie, the belief we created about ourselves takes center stage once more.

The reason the beliefs we create about ourselves, which are lies, create such havoc in our lives, is because of the dissonance they have with our souls. Your soul knows you as a perfect, beautiful, amazing being, who is literally created from unconditional love. And as such, you are unconditional love. Any time you believe otherwise, it causes reactions inside of you.

It causes reactions, pain, frustration, anger, and fear of all sorts. These are your clues. Follow them to the belief that is alive and well, and fucking you over every day.

Follow your feelings. Feelings of fear, pain and disconnection are the easy button of life. They are the bright red neon sign pointing you to what wants to be reunited with your soul. What is crying out to be reunited with your core essence.

As you discover ways to heal the lies you create along your life’s journey, you will discover a feeling of coming home to yourself. You will notice more peace in your heart. You will know that you are beautiful, and valuable, and perfect, and worthy, just exactly as you are. You will know that any beliefs otherwise were part of the long con whose purpose is to reconnect you back to yourself.

Actually, you were never really separated. It was all in your mind. And it hurt your heart.