Thursday, May 26, 2011

Meeting Fear Head-on

This is a big one for many of us. We all fear something, that creeping, insidious feeling that something is wrong, something is going to be wrong , or my favorite......everything is wonderful and I expect the bottom to drop out at anytime for no apparent reason. But where does this come from, this nagging voice that says,"Beware"?

I'm a firm believer in intuition. Absolutely without a doubt there is a voice....coming from your center, your gut, your place of "knowing", that says....be careful, or, this is the right thing to do, or, run! The trick is to know when it's your higher self speaking to you, and when it's fear disguised as truth. This has taken me years to decipher. Years. What I've learned through trial and error is that the "intuition" will feel right. You know when something feels right. You just do. Even if the intuition legitimately says to "watch out", it will feel peaceful. Because what comes with intuition is the assurance that there is an answer, a way out, or a way through.

For me, I have struggled with the false belief that I was just not good enough. That if untoward things were going to happen, they would happen to me. Definitely I can trace these false beliefs to my childhood. My mother's mantra was...."Be careful"! Don't fall. Don't run. Life is scary. Life is hard. "Go directly to jail....Do not pass Go, Do not collect two hundred dollars" The "jail" became a mental state for me, a mindset that took years to shake. I still shake it loose from time to time. This was her stuff, (bless her heart) not mine. But when you are a child you believe everything your parents tell you. We don't have the wisdom to know that what they bestowed on us was simply their own beliefs formed by their parents, their environment....and their own fear. I certainly am not suggesting to put the blame on our upbringing, because many people have had things occur in their life that had nothing to do with their childhood, events and tragedies that have beset the hardiest among us. But still, our response to such events is a learned thing, a knee-jerk response, a limited perception of the bigger picture. Well, time to step out and step up from the places that frighten us....

Step into your strength. Step into your capability. You can accomplish anything you want to. You can overcome anything this life throws at you. You can decide to catch it, or you can let fall by the wayside. Your choice, but feel the fear first. Let it come. Remember, "what we resist, persists", so there is no point in saying you are not afraid, but facing a fear, meeting it head-on, befriending it, will help you disarm it.

What is your deepest fear? What grasps you by the throat in the middle of the night, or suddenly during the day? The Universe cares for us so much that I have come to believe these moments are a gift. The bright light that shines on these uncomfortable feelings is a nudging, a gentle push, an urging to get past the fear, because we can. I've been on that cliff looking over the edge, trembling, saying, "Oh God, oh God, oh God", right before jumping off. I've uttered these words at the top of a roller coaster, screaming while I plummetted, no control, free falling, only to feel exhilarated when the ride ended...and wanting to do it all over again. That's the thing....it's invigorating to dive headlong into the places that scare us. When you get through one fear, when you spring the trap that holds you back, you get excited, you get encouraged by your own strength, and you become confident. It's your birthright.

Name your fear. Dare to speak it aloud. Face it. Work with it....it's your friend.

Until next time......blessings upon your heart

Cindy

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

When It Just Keeps Raining

If you're a follower of this blog then you know I tend to look at life around me, from the mundane to the epic, then write about it to try and bring some kind of meaning to the things that go on....the hidden lessons I am forever attempting to unearth. Here's another, for what it's worth:

It's been raining here in Kentucky, for oh, I don't know, maybe 90 days straight now....give or take. Another grey day, a promise of sunshine, then rain, then more rain, then tornados, then flash floods, then rain. And then....more rain. Now the floods are starting to besiege our state, not a good thing by any stretch of the imagination. But....here's the thing....all this rain brings us the most spectacular Fall foliage down the road, in October, and we're going to have to wait for it. All this rain brings explosive growth in the landscape. Lushness like I've never seen before in all my life. The ground is saturated more the it needs, yet it takes it in, and when Mother earth can't take anymore she spills over onto everything.....like the unabated tears of our life we hold back and refuse to shed, until we we simply have to let go.

This is what I've been thinking about on these rainy days....personal growth is like Mother Nature. You have the clouds (the troubles), and then you cry, and the tears threaten to overtake you, and they do from time to time. Then you regroup, you take it in, you let it soak into your soul, and if you're aware enough, you grow out of the necessity that is in our human nature...to overcome.

I watched a tornado nearly come down on me about a month ago. Seriously the closest I have ever come to being in a tornado and possibly suffering tragic consequences. But I was mesmerized. The awesome power of such a thing is amazing to me to behold. Luckily I was in a place where I could have gone underground for cover if need be, but I was drawn to watch this thing above me. The swirling, rotating clouds, the blackness of the sky, the wind and hail. The violence of it held me captive for a few moments. And here's why: All I could think of was the sky represented human emotions, all confused and angry, storming about, threatening, then coming down suddenly to earth and tearing up everything in it's path. Like anger. Like fear. Like depression. Unless handled, these things will wreck a path of destruction in our lives as sure as any hurricane/tornado/or earthquake. I felt compelled to equate the whole scene to my own life....a while back. I knew I needed to handle my "stuff" or it would take over my life and destroy me, wipe me out, drown me....no two ways around it. So, out of that observation, and having lived it, I pose the question.....what is your personal storm? What threatens you, what darkens your days and churns up your life? It can either spiral out of control, or it can dissipate, just like the tornado did I witnessed that day. Thankfully.

Nature forever holds the key for me to heal my own life. And really, nothing needs to change outwardly in my life for healing to take place. It's an inside job, but the funny thing is when the inside storms are handled, the outward takes on a deep peace that transcends all trouble.

This is my wish for you today....handle the storms. Look deeply into their meaning in your life, be a silent witness to the fury that passes through. Like the strong oak tree that bends but does not break, stand quiet in the passing of all the would shake us to our core. Let the tears be shed, let the fears come to the surface, then like this Mother we call Earth, take it in, renew your landscape, grow with freshness and vigor. Live the seasons of your life in peace. The storms will pass, they always do. But if there is something deeper that needs healing, I hope you find the courage to heal it. Reach out and ask for all that this life provides....support from professionals, friends who care, a teeming universe full of unseen guardians that will rush to your side if called. Renewal will surely come. Your personal landscape can and will become lush with new life. This is my rainy day musing, and my prayer.

Until next time....blessings upon your heart

Cindy

Sunday, May 8, 2011

In Praise Of Mothers Everywhere

I thank each and every mother out there who cares for a child....a home, a family, a pet, a garden, a kitchen, a bird with a broken wing, a friend in need, or her own dreams. Mothering is an innate gift and you don't necessarily need to have offspring to answer the call of mothering. Every time you tend to something, every time you open a window on a Spring day, fluff the bed pillows, put on fresh sheets, sweep your patio clean, brush a child's hair, put on a pot of coffee, or answer a phone call from someone needing a listening ear....you are mothering. Every time you cook, clean, pick-up after, check all the doors at night, leave a light on....you are mothering. Every time you touch someone's hand, hold a door open, drive with care, give the right of way, speak softly, stand up for truth, or stare down anything that would harm....you are mothering all that is good and necessary in this life. Sadly, many times this goes largely unappreciated....but you do it anyway, bless your heart! You are the glue in our society. You are that which would cause life as we know it to fall apart if you were not here. You are doing the toughest job there is. You are juggling, mastering, managing, conducting, orchestrating....all at the same time. You are tired. You get up anyway, seven days a week, rain or shine, sick or well, and you do it all over again. Do you know how important you are? Do you know there are angels and guardians, sages and ascended masters all waiting for your beck and call, for just a simple utterance from you that will send rushing to your side all the inspiration and help you need? Truly though, there are very few times we can actually call on other people and receive the physical help we may need day-to-day, so I take great comfort in the fact that I can summon strength from the unseen. This teeming Universe with all it's mystery knows about mothers! Ask, please, and you shall receive just what you need to finish the task at hand.

May you feel your magnificence today....and everyday. May you feel the warmth of sun, the gentleness of rain, the softness of air. May you take a moment to honor yourself, and those mothers that came before us, for no matter how imperfect they may have been, no matter what the nature of your relationship was....they got you here. Now. In this place of honor.

Take a deep breath, my dears. You are loved, known, considered sacred and worthy. You are beautiful by nature, radiant in your birthright, mighty in your presence, you are deemed the high honor of the title: "Herself"

In gratitude for the Wild Mother innate in us all. The One who knows. The One who understands. The One who loves us more then we can know. Thank you seems hardly enough.

Until next time....blessings upon your heart

Cindy

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

This Thing Called Spirituality

Just what is it? Often in years past, a whole lifetime ago really, I thought I knew what it looked like to be "spiritual". You lived in an ashram or high up on a mountaintop, you never got mad, you loved everybody, and you had a countenance of peace on your face.....all the time! That wasn't me by any stretch of the imagination! The spiritual path I set my foot on back in '93 led me to realize I needed to decide for myself that I was okay, and spiritual enough, just as I was. I had to shut out each and every societal and familial expectation of myself. I had to get comfortable with the idea of God being there for me and loving me in exactly the package I came in. I began to learn that within my imperfections, my perfection was revealed. Within the chaos of my life, peace was present. Out of a mouth that could spew profanities, came grace unbounded. I was a mess on the outside. I had just lost my mother to cancer, I had been beaten nearly unconscious by a half brother who was a raging alcoholic, and I was a single mother to a baby girl. Wow, even writing that now sounds so "reality show", the kind I abhor and will not watch for love, nor money. But it's how I came to find my spirituality, in a big way. I can site some books that helped, "A Return To Love" by Marianne Williamson, Dr. Wayne Dyer's books, and a few that seemed to call to me when I would browse the bookstore anxiously looking for that one book that would reveal everything to me....and make me whole. And while "A Return To Love" did more to turn me around then any other book, I still had to find my own answers.

So began my journey of discovery. We all take one, you know. Whether you are aware of it or not, we're all on a our own unique path, a path that will lead to some strange and wonderful, and frightening places. And by frightening places please don't assume I mean dangerous. No, it was the frightening places that helped me the most. Sort of like taking a Halloween monster mask off a precious child's face and seeing what was already there the whole time. But I felt the most on my own, and a little panicky, when I needed answers to specific questions. I kept looking on the outside at other people and how they lived, loved, what they read, what they ate, what they said, or what brand of shampoo they used. Superficial cues to a spiritual life, or so I thought. It was a true free fall when I had to decide for myself what I wanted to become. I knew I didn't fit any mold or formalized religious pigeon hole. I had to come into my own, as my own woman, and be serene in the knowledge that I was enough, as is, that I was worthy, as is, that I could be blessed, and in turn be a blessing to others, as is.

Well, fast forward eighteen years and here I am today writing this blog, fully recovered from a divorce, still a mess on some days, the mother of two extraordinary daughters, a massage therapist, a Reiki Master, an avid baker/cook and a pretty darn good friend, but I am also totally content in my sense of spirituality....and here's what I learned, here's my Aha! moment: It has nothing to do with anyone else. It only has to do with you and your personal belief system and/or your relationship to the God of your choosing....or none at all. What a relief when I had the clear understanding that I could walk a path that took me into the heart of the natural world around me, (where I found the most comfort and peace) and it was there just waiting for me to discover. Every tree, leaf, rock, the wind, the rain, the storm, it all became my Teacher. Living in the current season did the most to center my life, it allowed me to see sense and purpose in being here, it showed me I could rely on an invisible force that would lead, guide, and nourish me as assuredly as Spring follows Winter, and as seeds become luscious tomatoes. I could tap into this energy and it would make me whole. I could ask this energy (God, Higher Power, whatever you personally call this life force) to flip the switch on in my life, to open my eyes, to reach out in compassion, and not be afraid to do so for fear of rejection. I could also count on annoyances with people and situations that would lead me to a greater sense of peace and tranquility by learning from them. Some of the most untoward people are the most spiritual. I like to think of them as sages and masters, sent in our midst to teach us what we need to know about ourselves so we can transcend it, if we choose.

So maybe, just maybe, that earlier version of myself eighteen years ago? Maybe I was perfect as I was for someone else to "practice" on? Maybe I was placed among certain people to teach them to grow. Hmm, interesting thought, and ultimately comforting to think that everything was on track, on purpose, meant to be. Maybe I was someone else's teacher until it became my turn to to be taught. Maybe I don't know what I'm talking about, but there is so much we don't understand when we're in the midst of our lives, all the whys and wherefores, all the questions and torments. Looking back it all made perfect sense, all of it, the pain (especially the pain) the lack of faith in anything, it was just perfect....it led me here....and your own life with all it's troubles and/or lack of purpose can lead you to a greater sense of peace and purpose by accepting yourself as being "enough". So rest my dear friends in the knowledge that you are enough, as is, right here, right now, this moment....and watch what happens, be ready for the insights. They're coming.

Walk your own path, be your own person, and do spend time in nature.....just let it all "be".

Until next time.....blessings upon your heart

Sunday, May 1, 2011

The Death of Bin Laden

I'm always looking for the spiritual aspect in every situation. This path I've chosen urges me to seek the higher response and/or reaction....even when someone who wore the face of evil dies. What can we learn here? Did I cheer when my daughter sent me a text to turn on the news? Did I let out a sigh of relief? Does this news make me happy? No. There are enough folks right this moment using plenty of expletives to describe this man, and feeling pretty darn proud to be an American this night. I will refrain from adding my voice to the loudness of this country's moment in history. If history has shown us anything it has been pretty clear that when one tyrant has met their demise, another will rise up. When 9/11 happened I had to ask myself what part I played in that event, and by that I mean in my own individual life. What did I do, or continue to do that may contribute to the terror of people in my life? A strong word to use, but I believe the big terrible things that happen in life are some type of outcropping from our individual lives, the choices we make, the resentments and anger we carry get projected onto the bigger screen sometimes. So I would ask myself.....had I ever scared someone with my anger, or destroyed the hopes and dreams of someone else? In one form or another I would have to answer, yes, at times in the past I have acted out of my own pettiness, we all have. Pretty tough questions, but really, I have wondered at the times in my own small world when I acted hatefully, either knowingly or unknowingly. Ever think how we are viewed by third world countries, and what is it about the US that inspires such revenge? Are we viewed and judged by our excesses? Our stupid preoccupation with celebrity, fashion, anti-aging? Do we appear like we're the enemy? Does the shady side of our Government command respect, or loathing? While I didn't fly a plane into the World Trade Center, I had to ask myself, how many times have I torn someone down out of my own attempt to feel better about myself? How many times have I committed an act of self-terrorism.....attacking myself, the part I didn't like and tried to destroy? Again, while no where near the scope of such an attack as 9/11, (again, these are just my musings) I still need to go within and see where I can bring the situation home. Anyway, my mind runs with questions like these when something of this magnitude happens, a way of making sense, I guess, or rather a way to grow and self-reflect.

So tonight, let the death of this man make me a gentler woman. Let this blow for world peace (doubting it will ever be really achieved though on the outside) be a cue to make peace in my own life with whomever I need to make amends with. Let me not celebrate the death of a such a man, but rather let me celebrate the renewal of my own efforts to live in peace. Simple minded thinking, you say? Maybe, but simple makes sense to me. Looking for the lesson in something and distilling the largeness of the world down to something I can relate to in my life is how I grow. I do not celebrate the death of any man or woman, no matter what they did in this life, but I look to the greater lesson here and take responsibility for my own actions, and I will try, once again, to endeavor to practice peace, quietness, forgiveness, self-reflection....and hopefully when I awake tomorrow our world will be a little safer. But then again, if there isn't an inner shift in how we deal with each other, and other countries, there will be yet another tyrant to rise up among us unchecked, once again. Let our work then be to live in balance, in compassion with one another, and in open-mindedness for individual change. Let our collective lives be one of self-responsibility and kindness. Someday it will reach critical mass.....and then the world will become a gentler place in which to live.

But it begins within....and it's a quiet thing.

Until next time....blessings (and peace) upon your heart.

Cindy