Bonus Post ~ Letter To My Younger Self

Yesterday, Miriam’s Well published a letter to my you younger self that I had sent in response to a call for submissions. Many of us have wished that our present day selves could go and have a chat with our younger selves about life. Sitting down to write this letter was a very healing experience. I highly recommend that some of you give it a try sometime.

To read the letter, please click here. Sure I could post it here, but I’d really like Miriam’s Well to get the traffic for being so kind as to publish my letter. Feel free to come back here to comment. ❤

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Dignity

For the purposes of this post, I am only using a few of the possible meanings of the title word of this post. To see the entire definition of the word, please click below: Dictionary.com

noun, plural dignities.
1.

bearing, conduct, or speech indicative of self-respect or appreciation of the formality or gravity of an occasion or situation.
2.

nobility or elevation of character; worthiness:

dignity of sentiments.

Dignity is one of those things which many of use do not give a whole lot of thought to for at least part of our lives. Either we do not think about it, or we hadn’t been taught the value of it. The hope is that at some point that we figure out how valuable it is, and how to restore it. We’ve all done things in our lives which may not have been in line with a sense of dignity. However, all things have the potential to lead us there.

The reason for that last line is that it would be very easy to feel so ashamed of things in the past that it feels as though we are not worthy of self-respect or a sense of dignity. Trust me, I get that. I also know that it is never too late. When we start putting the pieces of ourselves back together, all things are possible.

Perhaps we were taught or told as children that we weren’t worth much and we went through our lives believing this to one extent or another. That one is a tough nut to crack, yet with time and repetition, we can turn the volume of those ancient voices down or even hit the mute button. Once we realize that those negative messages were less about us and more about the person who planted them, it becomes simpler to let it all fade into the background. While working through all of that, it is key that we do not allow that realization to turn into anger, because that is not productive. Not only that, but we can turn it around and use those experiences to learn how to do better by ourselves and perhaps help others to do the same.

 Please try to remember that a desire to help others does not make their actions, or acceptance of the advice or example your responsibility. A few days ago, I read something to the effect of ‘caring is not the same as carrying’. I’m sure that it wasn’t worded exactly like that, and I do not remember where I read it, but the sentiment is one which automatically stuck with me.

Often, we can trace many of the things we’ve done of which we aren’t proud back to negative programming or events in our earlier years. This doesn’t give us a pass, but it does help us to understand the origins of our feelings and do something to avoid taking similar actions in the future. We should also be a little gentler on ourselves, or less harsh in our self judgements. Why? Because deeply holding onto guilt or shame over past actions or words does not propel us forward into reclaiming our dignity.

So how to we get to that place? Through a process of realizing the untruth in the old beliefs and messages which led to the loss or dimming of our dignity, and making a conscious decision to uncover who we really are. There may be things we’ve done for which there will always be a sense of shame. This doesn’t mean that there is no redemption, or that we are not worthy of having a better life.  Even though we cannot undo or unsay things, we can absolutely give ourselves permission to rise above them from here on out.

What Does Your Mental Diet Consist Of?

Many of us are fairly aware of and put some thought into what types of food we put into our bodies, whether we make changes or not. What about the material we feed our minds with though? We are exposed to a great deal of negative material on a daily basis. The thing about it which disturbs me the most is that so many have become desensitized to violence, negativity and hatred. Even further, many have adopted it as a normal part of their own interactions with the world at large.

I stopped watching the news for the most part years ago. I try to take a quick glimpse at headlines now and then to see what might be happening in the world so that I know where to send loving thoughts and energy, but otherwise I avoid the news. For a long time, I was in the habit of watching it daily and after a while, found it too disturbing/depressing. It was impacting the way that I viewed the world and the people in it-and I didn’t like it. Getting rid of the news habit was a good move for me mentally and spiritually. It eliminated a great deal of stress and feelings of fear/distrust when I stopped consuming a regular diet of “what is wrong” in the world. I’m not asking you to agree with this-just sharing something that was better for me personally.

Now, I find myself at another crossroads when it comes to my mental diet. Lately I’ve been increasingly avoiding one particular social media site due to the amount of negativity, violent attitudes, and hate speech that is becoming more and more common. Each time I sign in, I find myself cringing at the amount of hatred that I see being disseminated. It isn’t that I think that it’s wrong to dislike something or the way that a person conducts themselves. What is becoming too hard for me to swallow is the way that our society has seemingly confused voicing an opinion and being outright hateful and sometimes threatening.

The questions that all of this raises in my mind are these:

Have we become so accustomed to this type of speech and behavior that it has become the new norm?

If this is true, what can we do about it?

I realize that I cannot change anyone other than myself. So, the conclusion for me is to eliminate another source of disturbing material from my consumption. It is my belief that what we focus on becomes our reality, and what I’ve been seeing on an ever increasing basis in my feed is not acceptable for me as a reality. So, my quest is to find the best solution in making sure that I will be exposing myself to the material and people who feed the loving and joyous parts of me-that are catalysts for positive change as opposed to dissension.

I’ve been asking myself more and more lately about my intake, actions and thoughts to see what changes need to be made in order to create a more positive and compassionate world. I’ve found several things which I’m working with now, and am looking forward to the shift of my personal reality as I continue making these discoveries and changes.

The reason that I’m writing about this is to help create more awareness around what we are feeding our minds with on a regular basis. Simply ask yourself if the things which you are exposed to on a regular basis make you feel positive or negative. You will gain incredible insight as to whether your mental diet is a healthy one for you. This isn’t about finger pointing or judgement. It isn’t my job or desire to do that. One of the things which means a lot to me, and always has, is the importance of bringing people together. It is our thoughts and mental attitudes which have the greatest power to accomplish this, and that is what this post is about.

 

 

 

 

 

Make A Wish

When thinking about bringing our dreams to life, a key part of making this happen is the spirit in which we pursue it. Often, what we believe or disbelieve about an outcome is exactly what happens…positive or negative. As a dear friend of mine said the other day…like attracts like.

Yes, it is true that we do not get everything that we ask for. At times, even when we do get what we ask for, it comes about in a different way than we had imagined. Though it might seem hard to believe, when things are difficult, we are still very much loved. Sometimes what love does is help us to make it through our trials with more ease, without taking the trial away. We often think that if someone were listening to our prayers or wishes, that everything we request should be delivered.

Deep in our hearts, we know that having our requests met isn’t the same as being loved. A good example would be to think of a young child who is asking to climb out onto a steep roof to look at the sky. Out of love, we would tell the child no. They may feel as though we are being mean to them or denying them a fair request, when in reality we are saying no because we love them too much to allow them to risk injury or worse.

Sometimes though, we do get what we ask for, and in the past few weeks, I have been seeing real results from practicing more trust in the universe when it comes to manifesting wonderful things. What I’ve been learning is that when I ask for what I need and desire without having concrete expectations of how it is going to look-well, that’s when great things happen. When we simply practice gratitude for the things which we desire coming to us, without thinking about how unlikely it might seem, it really is more likely to come to pass. That voice of doubt that lives in all of us has the power to turn into self fulfilling prophecy. The opposite is also true.

This type of thought change doesn’t happen overnight, and I realize that. Hell, I lived in a place of doubt and fear for a few decades. When I write pieces like this, it isn’t me being preachy or passing judgement on anyone. The reason that I share what I learn and see is to encourage those of you who are going through a difficult time. I’ve been there, and I do what I do because I know how hard it can be to break old patterns. If you do not agree with me, there’s no offense taken. If you don’t believe that the things that I’m writing about can happen to you, there’s no offense taken there either (but it is my wish that someday you will believe that you deserve for good things to happen and that it is possible).

When you read what I write here, please do not feel as though you have to defend your position which may be different than mine. It is your right to feel differently. If it is your belief that I am completely wrong, that’s perfectly okay with me too. My words are meant to encourage you to keep on trying if you are seeking more peace and contentment within yourself and share tips that have worked in my life or in the lives of people that I know. Your ways may be different than mine which is perfect…because if it works for you, that’s the goal. Your experiences with how you’ve created and manifested positive change could inspire others and me too, so please feel free to share them here or on the Facebook page.

Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

 

 

 

Steaming Pile Of Shift

I’ve been hearing from many of of you that you are going through difficult adjustment periods right now. We all know that change is not only inevitable, but necessary. Sometimes though, the process is really hard to go through. Even when we actively ask for things to come to light so that they can be healed, we can’t be fully prepared for the impact of it when it happens.

Not only that, there are times in which shifting occurs on larger scales. It is my opinion that we are living in one of those large scale times. I’m right in the midst of it with all of you. Trust me, I understand all too well the mixed feelings of happiness that things are changing, along with the fear and confusion as we all try to figure out what to do next. As we watch the changes in our world unfold, sometimes it feels like it is all we can do to just hang on. While it’s easy to feel guilt or a sense of insufficiency when fear or uncertainty rear their heads…just know that this guilt and insufficiency are unwarranted.

How do I know? Because I have had to remind myself or have the people who love me remind me of it often enough…especially in the past week. I recently had to see a women’s health specialist about some long term issues. After he reviewed my records and asked what felt like an endless number of questions, he uttered words that no one wishes to hear. He feels that it is more than a slight possibility that I may have uterine cancer.

Yes, he named off a few other possibilities, but he feels concerned enough to have ordered a biopsy next week. Now, I’m feeling less fearful…less shocked…less paralyzed. For several days after my visit however, it was far from easy. Luckily for me, I have a great network of sisters. Sisters by birth…sisters by choice. Let me tell you, my sisterhood is quite often my saving grace, and I can only hope that I offer the same sense of love and safety to them. Through the gentle love and support that I’ve received, I’ve been able to calm down quite a bit and to feel that I’m going to be okay…no matter what.

Why am I giving you all of this highly personal information? Just like I share my work with you…the good and the bad…it is important to me that I share my life and experiences with you…the good and the bad. Yes I come here often to teach, encourage, offer my services, and share my creative endeavors. That’s not all though. I am here to share with you my humanity. Sometimes the most important thing which someone can offer to another is the knowledge that they aren’t alone in feeling lost and afraid sometimes.

Next time you find yourself stepping in a steaming pile of shift…just know that all of us are wading through it right along with you. We live in interesting times dear friends. No matter how difficult it is at times, we have to remember that we are never truly alone and that there is always room for hope.

 

Inside Out

There has been a lot going on in the world, and with people. To say that there has been a lot of disturbance would be an understatement. This is not an easy time that we are living in. It is a time of great change. The shifts that are going on are epic. Not only are we seeing and feeling it as people, but the planet itself is shifting. We have reached a time in our history which many would describe as a crossroads.

Think that I’m going to go all gloom and doom here? While it might seem like it, by the time you reach the end, you’ll see that I’m not. Yes, this time is difficult. Yes, there are a lot of things happening which at times feel crushing and scary. Trust me, I feel all of that too. The more that I think about it though, I keep reaching the same conclusion…and it keeps getting affirmed and fortified. We have finally reached the time in which business as usual no longer works. What does this mean?

It means that our ways of thinking…our ways of doing…our ways of reacting have to change. As a matter of fact, they are changing with or without our permission. We can choose to be a part of the process, rather than letting it happen to us. The things which we’ve been conditioned for so long to see as priorities no longer have a place at the top of the list right now, because the very foundations that these priorities were built around are crumbling. We see it in our economic systems…in our ecological systems…in the ways that desperation and fear seem to be more and more dominant. Change is here.

As human beings, the changes need to happen from the inside out by reframing priorities, being more conscious and present, shifting to a space inside in which we begin to understand that all of these things which we simply feel we must have are mere things, that love and compassion are the keys. How in the world are we going to know more joy, more health, more quality of life if we remain enslaved to our material stuff and get swept away in the waves of fear  which are washing through our societies? When you look at the increases in violence, hate, indifference…this is all fear. Fear of the uncertainty we are all feeling as we watch things grind to a halt…as we realize how little control we have.

With everything going on around us it is becoming more apparent that our outer selves…our outer lives…are a reflection of what is happening inside. Now more than ever, the focus on the external which we’ve all become so comfortable with…well, it is no longer comfortable. The choice, as far as I see it, is to get swept up in the fear and discord…or to turn our focus inward…to work on looking beyond our differences and difficulties…and to finally get to the heart of what matters. And what matters is so simple.

What matters is love, the interconnectedness of all life, compassion, caring about the big picture and the consequences of our actions on others. I am not advocating a life of monastic selflessness…not digging out my hair shirt, or asking you to grab your own. The first step begins within each of us. When we turn our lives around from the inside out…this is when the magic happens. When things are right from the inside…how can the outside do anything but react to reflect the inside? To put all of this simply, we each have it within our capability to decide what we are going to reflect outward into the world.

While this time presents a lot of challenges, it is also presenting a tremendous gift…and that gift is the opportunity to rise to the occasion by hearing the call for acceptance. To stop fighting and bucking, and make the shift toward love and unity.

 

The Universe Speaks

For the longest time, I’ve been trying to figure out exactly which direction to take myself in when it comes to the work that I do. Nope, I still don’t have it exactly figured out and know that it will change over and over as time goes by. That’s the nature of life. Just this past few weeks, I was seriously thinking about stepping in as organizer for one of the local meetup groups in which the leader stepped down. For about a month I’ve been thinking of starting a group next year at some point, and that is still in the back of my mind as a possibility.

There was something about this group which was already in existence which kept me coming back to it again and again. I even sent an email to meetup to ask them what taking over this group would entail. At the same time I found my mind racing around practical questions such as if stepping into this type of role feels right, whether or not I would be physically reliable to take something like this on, if I even truly felt called to do something like this no matter whether now or next year, and whether the added financial expense was something that I wanted to assume right now. Of course there were more things that I thought about, but those were the main ones.

One of the things that keeps coming back to me is that writing has always been my number one passion, and that I would like to have the time and energy to devote to my art practice as well. Then, there is the matter of doing readings and energy work when they come up, not to mention the fact that while I love being social at times that I am primarily an introvert. It is not social anxiety…I have learned what the difference is over the years. Finally learning that difference has enabled me to finally let go of one of the things that I used to be questioned about both by others and by myself.

Well, I was supposed to go to a meetup group just this past Sunday on a topic which interested me very much. I did not get to go because I woke up on Sunday morning with a raging migraine and a cold. Yes, I know that people get migraines and colds every day. I also know that not everything has a deep meaning. However, I have been asking each night before I go to sleep for guidance about which direction my work needs to go in and one of those concerns was the meetup group. When I woke up that sick on Sunday, I took it as a message and immediately took the idea of taking over the meetup group which is available now off the table. Now is not the time, and if it never is that’s fine. I can do workshops for groups already in existence if I feel called to do so.

The way that I’m looking at it is that if something like that is in my future, it will happen. Then, a magical thing happened. For the first time in years, I had an inspiration flood in for a children’s story. I probably won’t be getting to it anytime this month because of NaNoWriMo. When I was in my twenties, I was into writing for kids…big time. Now that I’ve taken up art, the story idea came to me in both concept and in illustration. I’m going to start playing with the illustrations on weekends and evenings to see if I can get it worked out. No matter what I do, writing keeps coming back.

While no firm decisions about anything are being made on my part right now, my mind is staying open to the messages that are coming through…some as whispers…others more like a yell. Yes indeed, my word for the year is proving to be perfect. What feels good is keeping awareness around hearing without feeling the need to take immediate action. This is going to take me some time, because admittedly I have a tendency to dive right into things before thinking them through. So far so good!

Are you good at taking subtle cues and slowing down enough to truly receive them? Or are you more like I have been for most of my life and keep charging ahead until you have no choice but to stop and listen?