Let it RAIN

let it rain

An amazing friend, Aubrey, came by today. If I believed in gurus he would be mine.  His perception and teachings of the world put things in a magical perspective for me…always. Just having him here for a little while was enlightening. I don’t say that lightly. He has life experiences that go beyond what most people witness on a day-to-day basis. He works with mental health and helping beautiful souls get back on their feet. He sees brokenness, desperation, and destitution in many levels. In reality I am grateful for the support system of amazing friends who are like-minded individuals with much to offer in the area of healing. Aubrey is on top of the list.  Listening to him always puts my life lessons in perspective. My stories are nothing. They aren’t the nuts and bolts of anything mechanical that can’t be fixed by me. I am self-sufficient and grateful for each path that has allowed me to develop consciously into a spiritual walk.

Aubrey has always studied Buddhism and has learned to incorporate it into psychology. This is a philosophical teaching that I, too, share with a passionate interest. As an avid reader I am drawn to mindfulness, metaphysical and conscious awareness of daily living. Even with the theories and theological objectivity I find it challenging to put into practice every single moment! But today, he mentioned the Buddhist principle of R.A.I.N. and how it has allowed him to stop and see things in his life with a mindfulness attitude.

R = Recognize.  Recognizing whatever is bothering you and reacting to it firsthand is pivotal.

A = Accepting or Allowing.  Whatever is happening or occurring you must take accountability.  You are only responsible for you and your reactions to things.

I = Investigate or Inquire.  Analyze what is happening and question all possible routes to your issues. Why is this annoying me?  How did I allow this issue to jolt me this way?  Be your own investigative reporter for your story.

N= Not-identify.  Accept that a feeling is just that…an emotion.  Do not take it or own it.  This is the hardest part for most of us.  We are so self-judgmental.  We keep telling ourselves the stories of what has been programmed into our little heads.  And, we choose to believe the worst of everything.  By not identifying you can allow the situation to pass.

I don’t know if Aubrey saw the lights come on or the bells ringing as he finished his sharing and his insightful teachings. These bells sounded like cathedral chimes in my head. I am deeply aware that we are only able to tell the stories that we believe of ourselves (most are pretty darn depressing and negative). We are the truth of each experience but only to the Ego. In spirit we are nothing but the journey. This is why I pray and meditate each day. It is a struggle to be present at times. It is an ongoing exploration of mindfulness especially when there is so much going on in my life. This is exactly when I need to be in deeper awareness. When things are going great there is no need to fill the space with this commitment. We cannot move forward without recognizing and accepting those things that eat at us. Challenges and obstacles reshape us. They force us to inquire about what the soul wants and needs. Ultimately it is not anyone’s business what you think of me and vice versa. The only opinion worth keeping is the utmost value I should be placing on the self.  End of story.

A life without prayer, contemplation, meditation and/or daily self-reflection becomes an empty shell. If you cannot find the time to do this then you are not living authentically. The body needs rest.  The mind needs acknowledgment. And, the spirit needs reflection.  All three bodies need maintenance otherwise we are acting like robots waiting on the next cue to keep moving forward. What do you want? What calls for you? What brings you joy? What is bothering you or eating at you? Why is this important? Why are you allowing another person to dictate your feelings? Whenever you think of this how does your gut feel? If you don’t follow the whispers of spirit they will get louder through illness, ailments, and breakdowns. Follow your yearnings, accept your truths, be kind to your spirit, and participate on self-love. Be the love that you want from others.

The space and times of being alone to contemplate, pray or meditate do not need to be drastic. Take 10 minutes and move outward. Live for your spirit. Trust the whispers. Let it R.A.I.N.  Let it pour through a way that is priceless to your divinity. And, most of all make time to laugh! Laughter uncovers the depth of hurt, malice, and brokenness. You cannot be joyous and depress at the same time. Choose wisely through mindfulness. You are here now and that’s priceless!

(thank you, Aubrey, for being such a beautiful light in my journey)

Healing From A Broken Heart

 

broken heart love

You meet someone. You fall deeply in love and then life happens and the relationship ends. Sometimes it’s timing. Other times it’s through the loss of death. And yet, in many other cases it was the need to mature and grow as individuals apart. A dear friend recently asked me, “How can you continue in other relationships? What do you do when you realize that your heart belongs to someone else?” I pondered long and hard. I thought about my own love affairs, those who still hold and tug my heart in places that I will never release. But, in a world that is driven by romance novels and movies it’s really difficult to decipher what you should do when the heart chooses to love another. It’s almost impossible to explain to another what you are feeling inside. I couldn’t answer my friend at the time, but here are six questions to ask in order to heal from an intense break-up:

1. Was he or she really “the one?” We perceive that there is only “one” great love. There could be many “ones.” There might be “the one” who knew your every move and story; the one who was the best kisser; the one who was the best comedian; the one who loved your children. “The one” is a concept we have created to personalize that one person who was the best at a certain thing. The worst thing you can do is tell another who is hurting, “time heals all wounds,” or “you will heal from this.” There is no time limit on hurt and grieving. The heart knows what it wants. Sometimes we neglect to appreciate what we have until it’s over. It’s a human default. It has little to do with intelligence. The heart may just be owned by an ex forever. You can try to substitute it with drugs, alcohol, sex or other addictions, but it’s truly difficult to move on. And, that’s okay! You don’t have to figure things out today. It might take years before making peace with how you feel. Every so often, those loves re-enter our lives. Because of lessons and growth, we appreciate them in a profound level that was never there before.

2. What was the thing that connected you? When we are in other relationships we create a false perception of what we are missing. Life happens through us, not to us. People move on. We are bombarded with quotes about missing love, “Absence makes the heart grow fonder.” There is a reason you are now in another relationship. This person touched you in some way. There was a new connection. But, there are also those who do not move into other relationships. They are paralyzed by the loss. The connection was over. Can you remain friends with an ex-lover? Can you still partake in their lives without sex? Can you continue that relationship while starting another? These are questions only you can answer honestly.

3. What did you learn from the relationship? Every relationship brings lessons. There is a time and place for each one. The deeper the connection, the harder the challenges. Intense relationships have a way of turning us upside down, right side up and in circles. They don’t just go away after they have existed in your life. It doesn’t matter if it was a love affair in your teens, a two-week fling, or years of sharing a life with children and family. Relationships force us to grow and learn in ways that can break and mend us. If you can revisit with that person, what would you say to him/her? What would you say was their purpose in your life? Cutting past chords of love is truly difficult when you know that your heart was given solely to that person. It’s never easy to take full responsibility for our behaviors. How you act with another is a reflection of your own insecurities.

4. Was it lust or love? We tend to mix the two. Lust drives us to lose our minds in the process of sharing with a lover. We feel things in a physical level that clouds the mind. Love, however, will continue to poke and force you to stay without restrictions. Ask yourself if it was a physical relationship or one that transcends through time? Some lovers leave imprints that cannot be forgotten. In bed it was magical, but outside in the real world, it was disastrous. You must decide if what you are missing is the sexual connection or was this a life partner that completely had your back in all your decisions?

5. Why did it end? This is one of the most honest questions you can ask yourself. You can make a mistake once. If you make it more than that it is considered a decision. You chose to stay or leave. There is usually a pattern that you can track. Was he or she selfish with their time and needs? Was it a possessive relationship? Where you taken for granted? Did you feel appreciated? Where you heard and understood? Was it timing? You may ask yourself many other questions. There is always one or two authentic reasons that the relationship ended (unless death pulled you apart).

6. Are you replacing him/her with another without healing? Most people have no clue that they will enter other relationships with similar traits. Awareness is absent when hurt takes over. How do you get over someone that made you come alive? Often times you replace them with familiarity. Being honest with yourself about how you feel in this new relationship will serve as a marking point. It’s not fair to your new mate, or yourself, if you are still holding on to another who (you feel) stole your heart. Healing doesn’t happen over night. Healing requires pulling out roots and seeing things without pointing the finger to your ex. Healing is about you and coming to terms with the reality that maybe, perhaps, your instincts were letting you know that the relationship was toxic. Not all lovers raise us to the highest form of love.

How do you heal from a past love? There is no one set answer. I am definitely no expert in matters of love. Each person is different. What I do believe is that you must take care of yourself. You must find a place to love yourself beyond anyone else. It’s not selfish. It’s not egotistical. It’s self-love. It’s imperative to allow time the space to gently introduce another in your life. Jumping from one to another adds to the intensity of loss. Your heart might never feel what it did with “the one,” but a new “one” might just show you a deeper form of love that reflects who you really are.

 Sometimes it takes a heartbreak to shake us awake & help us see we are worth so much more than we’re settling for.” ~ Mandy HaleThe Single Woman: Life, Love, and a Dash of Sass

Losing and Missing

Not everything
that’s missing
Is lost.

Things fall and break,
Shift and take,
bounce and stay

Like memories,
Love,
And life.

Not everything that’s lost
Gets missed

Like bad memories,
Resentments,
Remorse,
Nostalgia
And heartache.

But losing and missing
The ability to let go,
To profoundly love,
To experience no regrets —
That’s avoiding
To live fully in the NOW.

20120419-150529.jpg

You are not broken

broken

I’ve had people in my past constantly telling me how I am in my imperfections: “You are broken. You need to fix this and that about you in order to move forward. You have to figure this out the right way without your nonsense. You have to allow for this and that because you are doing it the wrong way….” For most part of my adult life I happened to believe this Broken Theory and the need to fix, not only me, but others around me so that I didn’t feel broken. The truth is that I am not broken. I don’t need fixing. This is who I am and who I intend to travel down the road of life. Each part of me that has fallen, ached, fractured has also gotten herself up, healed and been whole. I am not needing to fix anything else. That desire to be super woman has diminished with time. Peace comes in accepting who I am with what I am and where I am with my truth.

You ARE NOT broken. You are learning. You are evolving. You are growing into the person you are meant to be. You are challenging your higher purpose and self. You are moving through this life with the things that matter: an open heart, wisdom, compassion, faith and grace. There is a constant focus in our society that we need to better ourselves at all times. We need to diet, avoid getting old, work ourselves into early graves, and never take the time to just sit with disappointments, obstacles, and mistakes. God forbid we actually acknowledge the dark side in ourselves! It is exhausting to think, that as a whole, we must take medicine, hide our imperfections, and avoid anything that pauses us into a state of deep awareness. We have such an imbalance in the body, the mind and the spirit because we are constantly looking outside of ourselves for answers that are already inside of us.  We are not broken in the way that others have wanted us to believe. We are moving slowly, transitioning into another place, with each passing moment we are getting to know the truth in ourselves. We are embracing authenticity and all the beauty it has for us. This mass consciousness is never easy but to accept the labels of “brokenness or needing fixing,” well that is just unacceptable.

As I keep returning to the memoir that I need to complete, I keep finding all those parts that others insisted were broken in me. Each time I return to edit and add I get physically ill and must stop the process. I believe I am passed the point of accepting the Broken Theory. And, for this month I will allow myself the gift of moving inward without distractions. I will not be on social media. I will not be posting on this site. Every few months I need the serene world of myself.

As we move through this next month allow yourself the moments of falling helplessly onto a sofa, a bed, and covering your head if that’s where you are in your life. This will pass! We must distant ourselves from others at times. It requires solitary confinement, peace, and lack of distractions. You will get there. First, stop accepting that you cannot get through this. Secondly, stop feeling that there is something horribly wrong with yourself. And, thirdly, the fixation of perfection is overrated. Who the hell wants to be like anyone else? You are magically beautiful. You are stupendously gorgeous. And you are the most AWEsomest person you will ever know. You are the Oneness of it all. Stop focusing on what isn’t. Accept what is and move on. You got this! After all the Divine doesn’t make mistakes!!!!

I ask that you be gentle with yourself this month. Let the month of “Love” be about loving yourself first and foremost. There is beauty in this truth. I promise that when you feel the light of Oneness in you others will begin to feel that as well because it starts with You. Mucho love, my friends!

The Brokenness is Good

crayons

The other day at a store I saw a sign that read, “Even broken crayons still color.” I had to stop for a second…or two…maybe a few minutes pondering on that statement. I stood there in a busy isle of a department store taking up space with my eyes closed as I repeated each word out loud.  It was one of those powerful AHA moments that anyone can witness looking at you.  I was having an epiphany and two other ladies in the same isle stood staring at the same sign.  And, even though none of us spoke, we each took with us something from those words.

How many times haven’t we shattered into million pieces? How many times haven’t we believed, in that state of desperation, that we have no shine; that we aren’t worth it; that life is over in that brokenness? Those small fragments in us mend and expand; they break and create new extremities to bridge the old with the new. They make us stronger, wiser, and graceful. They force us to reinvent ourselves, forgive, and learn to play. I, for one, am grateful for those broken pieces…all the tiny ones that can be picked and put together to create a new life. They have allowed my colors to bleed into other brighter ones and combined to make new hues so I can go out into the world and paint for me.

I left the store without a single item.  I left with the quote imprinted in me.  As I was walking out the door there were coloring books on display with boxes of crayons.  I smiled.  I courageously walked with my head held high.  I’ve been just like those coloring books for so long…restricted to lines and rules of social expectations.  Now I am ready to paint the world in a different light no matter how small or large the breaks are in the future.

Paint your world today with those little pieces you think of discarding! Color, laugh, cry and rejoice for being the most perfect version of you.  You will be made whole again. You are bright, beautiful and…oh…so very creative! Mucho love in this beautiful holiday week.  Give yourself the gift of exploration and play. Don’t keep putting it off!!!

Loving Kindness

Oscar Wilde

Months ago I was in the presence of someone who was not very kind.  The harder I tried to show kindness, compassion and love, the more I was rejected with criticism, sarcasm, and bigotry.  I consider myself a level-headed woman.  I realized it wasn’t about me.  It was a projection.  But, in that projection I stepped back several times and asked myself, “Do I also have these traits inside?  Am I often quick to judge and not understand?  In that moment of not being understood, am I fake in my truth?”  It is amazing the things we gather when we stop and question.

One of the most difficult and generous lessons I am learning is that there is no substitute for being present and paying attention.  Kindness comes natural to me.  Love pours out with such easiness at times that those around me must remind me to hold back and not be so trustworthy.  I don’t care.  I rather have loved and hurt than not show someone a little piece of light in hope.  Love is hope.  Love is acceptance.  I am sure every one of you reading can add a million adjectives to what love carries in and out of the spirit.

This particular person strengthened me, once I recaptured the rejection, by reminding me of hurt.  Those who are broken from the past will lash out to the light in others.  Darkness always tries to resist light at first.  To make the moment with this woman even more intolerable I kept trying to touch her.  At the end of the few days of being in my presence she did hug me with such regret, not from her humanness-ego-filled body, but from her spirit yearning to be held.  In that moment I saw her…her real self made of love.

Kindness is such a powerful tool.  It is free.  Everyone has stories that mold them.  The secret is to realize that these stories need release.  Not every single human being will hurt you.  We were not created to live in oppression, negativity, and carrying bags of turmoil.  Let’s drop the dirty laundry, folks!  It is time to take the junk to the dumpster.  We cannot continue to hurt others because of feeling ashamed, unworthy while punishing our spirits for the past.  The older I get, the less I carry around.  I am no saint.  I have done my share of sinful crap.  These are the milestones that have sustained my weight to get here.  What you do today is a new stone making way in the future.  Don’t hold resentments and anger for things you cannot change.  Challenge yourself to create a new beginning full of love, forgiveness, hope, grace and kindness.  How you treat someone speaks volumes about you and them!  I could’ve treated this woman with the same anger and hatred.  I chose to hold love in her presence.  And, guess what?  After a weekend that woman was different.  She didn’t know what hit her.  We all have wounded parts. Some days we are the saints, and some days we are the sinners.  Don’t take things personally.  Learn from them and move on.  Love is the Divine wrapped in wings of forgiveness and grace!

“Kindness is a language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.” ~ Mark Twain

Forgiveness

There’s no more
Sting from your rejection,
No more venom
Pumping through my veins
From your cruel words.
A year in a life makes
A difference.
Love and laughter
Replaced the brokenness.
I still miss you,
My son,
My little boy.
But respect is deserved
And when trust
Breaks everything…,
Well it takes some time
To heal.
I will bend back and forth
Like the trees
Finding support
Inside the ground
Until the day you return
To love me
As Mom
And all of me will
Blossom once again.

Listening

Sitting in the doctor’s office today waiting on a referral to see a therapist I am reading Mark Nepo’s new book Seven Thousand Ways to Listen.  I put it down.  I hate this feeling of vulnerability, the past colliding after a year with the present.  The holidays aren’t helping, and every moment I feel poked, dug into deeply with sadness.  For someone who is usually pretty happy this feels foreign and almost ridiculous in nature.  The melancholy doesn’t happen all the time, just when I least expect it, when I can’t control the emotions as I clean the bathroom, mop the floors, take the trash out.  As I stop and breathe and continue on the paragraph the words stop me again and I begin to listen attentively:

With each small cry, it feels less a release and more like an irrepressible, unfiltered tenderness at being fully here.  The more of these moments I experience, the less a problem it seems.  For isn’t this what I’ve been after: to be this close to life, to be pricked below the surface of things? Now I wonder: isn’t anything that keeps us this close to life a gift? Now I want to learn the art of puncturing whatever grows in the way in order to feel that moment where everything touches everything else.  I’m coming to see that keeping what is true before us reminds us that there was never a better time than now.”

And, just like that the listening becomes too much for the sanitized and sterile room.  I smell the walls of disease, hurt, brokenness.  I feel the energy from the clinic engulf me.  I stop everything inside and begin to write on my phone:

 

I listen to the silence
shortly overpowered by
thoughts. It stops.
The quietude of nothingness
gets distorted. I stop.
I swallow in the memories
that prickle and pain me.
The chaos of it stops me
from continuing
the serene path of joy.
I pause, not erasing it all
or stopping the forces
but allowing the tears
to trickle gently down…and out.
Each one takes a little suffering
and then it all stops.
I can breathe again. It hurts
no more,
no less,
not anything. I am back to me
with a wet smile on my face
and the honoring and gratitude
from my spirit
that this too shall pass

once and forever

when I stop holding

betrayal– even while forgiving;

self-criticism– even with the lessons;

and grant the gift of unconditional love

for me

for once…

for all.

*************************

Just like that I was able to get through the morning.  It is never easy to admit that things need to be discussed, realigned and released with the help of a professional.  I am great at thinking I’ve dealt with the issues and quickly moving on to the next one.  After a year I realized I’ve just camouflaged them with beautiful ornamental masks.  It is good to finally be proactive and hopefully make amends with the holidays and those who tarnished them.  May you find yourself listening attentively to your inner voice and follow it!

You are never truly broken…

I spent the night participating in home movies of myself.  The scenes, characters, and situations all suffocated me with negativity.  My ex played a huge role in patronizing and embarrassing me in front of others.  My family turned things upside down to make a point of my “reckless-risky behaviors and decisions.”  Friends came out of nowhere to humiliate me and tell me “their truths” about how they felt in regards of my actions and choices.  These are the small gatherings of traumas leftover from some other time in my life.  Every so often sleep takes me to the subconscious house of pain.  While I am awake I rarely go to those rooms of anguish and agony.

Carl Jung would have a field day with the symbols and archetypes decomposing the brokenness from the collective unconsciousness.  Years ago mornings like this would leave me in tears, mangled and confused.  I would be paralyzed in making a decision without overly analyzing for days.  I would ask continuously, “What’s my purpose here?  I can’t contribute to this or that.  They are right.”  I would find myself spinning out of self-doubt, self-control while lacking self-worth.  Once in that space of inflicted hostility everything seemed worthless of my attention and magnified by inexplicable amount of fears.

Recently I was watching a show with Mark Nepo.  He was being interviewed by Oprah on Super Soul Sunday.  These words echoed this morning when I woke, “To be broke is not a reason to see all things broken.”   I know the past is a wilderness forest.  Once you pass the corner you can only see forward.  You can see shadows of those bad things in the far distance.  Nothing can hurt you any longer from back there.   I have spiritually evolved enough to know these dreams happen when a huge change is about to take place in my life.  They replicate and feed off the little scared girl in me. Their presence is a reminder of how much light I’ve acquired.

We have the inexplicable habit of seeing the world as broken when we are down feeling broken as well.  We justify the negativity as part of our community – the pity-party group.  In darkness all you see is dark unless you allow the spirit to find a switch to turn on the light.  It only takes an instance to do this.  This is what I’ve realized: we are never broken anymore than we are fixed.  It is a shift in our egos that allows us to choose which side we serve.  In being broken we minister to the dark side of our soul.  In accepting our imperfections as perfections we support the light of spirit.  Which do you choose to serve?  Which side will you be: the victim or the survivor?

As I am sipping on my java looking at yet another gray day I smile in contentment.  I am reminded of the great things in my life…right now this instance:  The dog lies near my feet; the cat is stretched out purring on a chair; the man I love is sound asleep down the hall; the smell of incense fills the room; and candles flicker in an erratic dance.  This is Divinity signing to my essence of the great shift in perception.  There is no more darkness.  I won’t go there in waking moments feeding the negativity from the night.

Stop counting your cracks, the imperfections, the shattered insecurities and begin to see what each scar has brought to you in strength.  There…in there…lies a loving spirit dedicated to live in harmony. You are whole…not a hole of pity.  Don’t let the sunshine frighten you more than the big black shadows.  Stop being afraid to live!  Each breath is a gift.  Don’t take it lightly!  God bless….