New Beginnings

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I am reminded this morning about change. As I took the dog out this morning I noticed the reds are almost gone on the trees. The last of leaves are bright yellow and orange. Above on the ridges of the mountains is the beginning of winter…the dead-ness that arrives with this time. The creek has a large deposit of leaves waiting for a heavy rain. There is a baring and revealing that sits waiting to be noticed all around us. This is not my favorite time of the year. The rawness of having to move inward during the winter months is daunting at times. I need the sun, heat on my skin, and the brightness of days to guide me. But, I love these mountains of Western North Carolina and can’t imagine living anywhere else. Change is definitely evident. It’s in the trees, in the terrain and in all the new yummy things shifting in my life. The leaves don’t ask each other if they can fall or stay or change. They just move with the timing and season. To everything there is a season. We are not immune to change. It happens every single second of our existence. I am grateful. I am giddy for this shift and discoloration making way to growth in the near future. And…just like the last colorful leaves remain I take them all in for all their beauty. I accept what is and move on. New beginnings require the transformation of endings into mysticism.

Have a blessed day. Embrace the change ahead. I feel that this particular season will be magical!

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The Experiment of Time

 

experiment of time

Some years are pretty uneventful with life changes. You go through the daily routines, family issues, keeping the same jobs, everyone is healthy, same friends, and life is pleasantly stable. But, there are some years that come in like a massive tornado storming through everything and twisting your life around. This year has been such a year. Truth be told, the past two years have changed everything in me…drastically.

In a year’s time I’ve lost loved ones to misunderstandings and family gossip/issues. I’ve cleared up my friends’ list and stuck with deleting those who didn’t really show me the utmost love and respect. I got married, still in the process of finalizing the adoption of my granddaughter, closed down a business that was running for over 5 years, moved to a sweet mountain cottage, returned to work for others after having had my own businesses for over 20 years, began writing professionally as well, and awakened to many different possibilities that continue to appear every day. I have seen dearest of friends endure difficult life transformations; my children make painful choices; dealt with major stresses involving mental illness and destruction in loved ones; and realized how much I have enabled many around me with my mother-hen personality. Things have changed with all the awareness. A year has brought me closer to many whom I wouldn’t have been closed to before. I have met amazing souls.  Most importantly I have made peace with me. I’ve forgiven myself for a lifetime of self-deceit. I have had to really take a look at how I participated in all those experiences. This has been an experiment of time and how reality has been molded by my awareness. I had to be honest with my spirit and sometimes that’s not a pretty sight.

I have had several other things happen this year: personal ones that have deepened my faith, spirituality and belief system. I have entered into the wise years of midlife with some acceptance that I KNOW NOTHING of what I was able to articulate for most of my life. I know zero…zip…nada!  I’m okay with that. It’s actually quite perfect. I am learning to keep my mouth shut to those around me of things I feel, but my ears opened to the things I can share. In essence, I have molded my higher wisdom with my sarcastic soul. I am no longer afraid to reach out to a friend or stranger to give a message from a loved one who has passed on. I don’t shun my gifts like I used to.  But, in spite of all these amazing awareness, my heart has been broken beyond words, betrayed, healed and enlarged because of such acceptance, conviction and awareness. This has been a year of transformations.

I am empowered by a few things: the surrendering of pain, the consenting of change, and the reward of letting go. It isn’t easy! I am still very human and learning is a constant complex forte. I think if anything the lessons have continued to show themselves about letting go, but I am consciously aware of them. I continue to be selfish with my time, even now that it seems to move quicker with a little one in tow, and the solitary moments of having Divinity visit every morning. I require time alone to feel the union of nature, divinity, and my spirit. I am trying to find balance where there seems to be a disproportion. But, it is all a matter of perception. I have always wanted this moment and this life. I feel gratitude embracing me when I step back to realize I have received everything I’ve manifested in my dreams.

A year in a life can make a huge impact. Anniversaries of hurt and betrayal stay for a while. The year is over. The mourning has subsided. I have so much more to enjoy ahead of this journey. All hours work with the days whether we accept them or not. Each day works beautifully within the weeks. Each week flatters the consecutive junction of months. And, each month gathers in triumph as the sum of a year. It is nothing in the scope of reality. Everything is an illusion of how we choose to live our lives. Every lesson this year has been inspired with surrendering, love, compassion and most of all connection of self and spirit. The greatest exercise has been in loving the tenderness of time. Holding my two year old and feeling her joy, sadness, love, and spirit has been the icing on the cake this year. Writing and expressing myself has been the most powerful awakening experience. What better way to begin a new chapter?  May your painful endings connect to wonderful new beginnings…always!

Let GO and Start Fresh

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There are moments in our lives that arrive through suspended animation.  They don’t seem real.  The mind immediately wants to react but somehow the body goes on shutdown.  These moments, if we allow for them, have major lessons in their suspension, surrealism, and detachment from our current reality.  The intriguing part of allowing for lessons without judging them is that they feel suffocating and painful at times.  They disrupt the balance of our peace and joy around us. It’s hard to stay present and move through these moments without reacting or wanting to change things back into the comfort zone that makes us feel great. No one likes attacks, especially when they come without a rational occurrence.

I have a really hard time with understanding another’s selfish behavior.  I always have.  I have little tolerance for tantrums, explosions, and childish behaviors.  I don’t always react immediately when put in these types of situations.  However, when I stand back and watch I usually come to the conclusion that the action has little to do with me…even though it’s in my presence and slashed out like a whip in my face.   People hurt others at times without an ounce of understanding where the explosion is coming from and why.  They have been modified and programmed to explode without reaching inside to see the origin of the emotion.  In most cases the closest folks are the ones who get the bombardment of this behavior.

As humans we internalize traumas, past events, and then masquerade them into explosive reactions with others when there’s a trigger.  The trigger also has little to do with the event.  Our brains are wired to receive, perceive and release.  When one or more of these wires are not addressed the reaction to things sometimes becomes a catastrophic moment of anger, hatred, and irrational behavior.  It’s as if the person turns into a complete stranger: Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.  The longer the issue is avoided or not properly addressed, the more those tantrums and spasms arrive.  Sometimes an addiction (such as drugs, alcohol or sex) is linked to these issues which magnify the hidden problem to a monstrous degree. Your higher consciousness has stopped whispering (to address these issues) and is now yelling to the top of its voice to find a solution.  We are not meant to hold things forever.  It stops the evolution of our spirit.

I spent a great part of my adult life avoiding anger.  I would have moments of anger and then repress the emotions.  I was told as a child to “suck it up, put up with it.  This is life.”  So, when events would appear in my path that went against my belief I would repress the feelings of anger.  But, anger is healthy and it is a wonderful emotion to push out those other strings of emotions inside…only when it is addressed to the core.  Those who cannot or will not reach the place of hurt inside will continue to hurt others in their path.  I believe the body starts to fabricate illnesses in order to release the toxic emotions.  We are not meant to separate the mind, the body and the spirit.  They must work together in complete alignment.

I am determined to move through this new year with ease and a beautiful sense of adventure. I refuse to hold on to anyone or anything that is not in accordance with the highest possible joy in my life.  Expressing our feelings is pivotal in our lives, but avoiding them and allowing them to come out in toxic form is not.    We are meant to share, explore, and learn.  We all hold the capacity to be at peace with our past, our present and the decisions of the future.  If it doesn’t feel right then there is something being held on so tightly that the equilibrium of the self is out of control.  Check it out!  Sit with it!  Visit with the pain, the past and the issues so you can move on with others.  Release your hang ups.  Don’t hold on to them and baby them.  If you can’t reach what’s inside then go see a professional.  There are times we cannot move forward if we don’t return to the source of our issues.  It’s not fair to anyone to have to carry your crap without permission and expect them to continue to put up with your poison.   It’s time to start fresh….it’s a new year!

Looking Forward

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On the way home from a conference in Tennessee my cousin and his wife stopped in these mountains for lunch today. We were talking and sharing about all they learned in this conference,  how the past is tied to our present, and how we would fix the world one person at a time. In our sharing, I was expressing how much life has transcended for me in the past year. It has been a wake up call in every level: physically, spiritually and emotionally.  Something shifted and I have no words to describe it even when I search to express it. The Mysterious has transformed me and I barely recognize me at times.  I have had things push me to the edge, suffered from a deep depression back in February that lasted several months before I was forced to really decide whether to be put on anti-depressants or continue the daily struggles through the unbelievable emotional fractures. I chose the pills right before summer. And, as I became numbed from all that was still there I realized I couldn’t function. I needed the full capacity of my thoughts.

I am a writer. I am a creator and, for me, I just couldn’t continue taking the medicine. After three months I went off them cold-turkey (something I have done for the third time in my life) and I don’t recommend to anyone. After a week of not taking them I hit a wall: the cold sweats, the withdrawals, the desperation clawing at me one night, and then the peace of slowly returning to myself after several weeks. The pills gave me a tremendous relief, but I cannot live in a state of eternal limbo that does not allow for me to be “on” in my spirituality. This is my experience and I think therapy along with medicine is an incredible tool to help folks get to the root of what causes breakdowns, anxiety and any other mental issues and challenges. The break did allow me to reach several roots, pull from the depth of anger, resentment, guilt and shame that had been lurking for some time, and let go.  The transformation was slow and severe but it allowed for me to learn to finally be authentic.  For most of my life I’ve known what I wanted.  I have a goal and I follow it.  It’s that simple. Somewhere along the way I’ve derailed from knowing what I needed. Somewhere along the way I got off the path and entered into the forest of the unknown without a lantern, compass or survival pack.

I recounted and recollected whatever was pushing through. Now sitting with my cousins eating lunch they shared their few days in the conference. I did not share all these thoughts but focused on my writing and how I wanted to truly help those who did not have a voice. The words trailed out of me quickly and then I stopped returning to the moment of what if’s.  I went from the self-confidence of my future dreams into the old programming of the past. 

Tad asked me, “How big is the windshield of your car? Show me?” I stretched out my arms as far as I could and said, “Probably a little larger than this.”

He asked, “Okay, now how big is your rear view mirror?” I made the small gesture with my hands as I was in complete confusion to the questions.

He continued, “The glass is wider looking at the future because that’s where we are headed. The past is smaller…in the distance….” He continued and I had one of those delicious AHA Moments that arrives from such splendid magic. I have not lost anything. I have moved forward leaving the marvelous lessons in the past. Everything has brought me here. It’s been splendid. It’s been mystical. It’s definitely been unpredictable because I don’t do predictable. I do stupendous serendipitous moments and my cousins reminded me how I have always been like this….

Life is full of duality…the yin and yang. There are days, some this past week, where as happy as I am to have married the man who is unlike any other in my life, I feel the winds of the unknown grabbing and squeezing me in regards to my future. And this has nothing to do with relationships. I have been stricken by paralyzing emotions questioning my purpose or lack of it in this present life. I am ready to move on. I am ready to write from my soul full time and be able to travel on the weekends with those I love. And, yet, in the midst of it all the sorrow of letting a dream go of old aspirations also grips me. It’s not easy.

I woke two days ago in a puddle of tears…they came from the dream state and continued on for hours. I gathered myself, my thoughts, my body and went to sit on the dock feeding the fish and you know what? All that freaking water made it worst…I kept on crying adding to the pond. Once I allowed for it…letting go…releasing to the universe, I was better.  It was there at the precise moment that the sun was pushing through the clouds that I felt God strongly bringing me divine light.  

I don’t believe things just happen to us. I don’t believe in coincidences. Struggles mean something. They are the stories inside from the past but it is still a small mirror of reflection. Tiny in comparison to what’s ahead. I get to pick what I want to see and what I want to let go. I get to decide what I learn from and not repeat or what I will allow to determine my journey. I do not want to piggy back the crap from back there. So, I look forward remembering that each breath takes me to an unknown place of faith, grace and love. Change is good. Change is priceless. And…because I am on the edge of it it is also daunting at times. All these blessings are delicious. I am deeply loved and supported. I am ready to continue driving while staring straight out of that large windshield into the future. Every so often when it gets dingy and dirty I will clean that sucker and make it clear to look ahead.  I am moving forward giddy for every new scenery that appears in the distance.

Perception

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I had several dreams last night. Each time I was finishing one I would say to whoever was in the dream the same sentence, “The distance between worrying and reality is called perception.” I have no recollection of the dreams. I do have the quote imprinted in me because it was used many times. The line between fear, anxiety, stress and worrying is definitely a matter of perception. Reality is an illusion. When we finally let go of the belief that we have control the Divine steps in and aligns us with the best possible solution. Our higher selves begin to guide us and we allow for it. We release the doubts, discontentment, and disillusions that we can conquer everything by manipulating it. The veil of “what if” turns into a welcoming “what really is.”  A shift in consciousness is all that it takes…sometimes a lot easier than done.  It takes practice and every once in a while knocking the ego out of the way.

These dreams allowed me to wake with the knowing that the stress I’ve had has been a production of my perception. No doubt that the challenges have been real. No doubt that the heartache has been felt. No doubt that I have entertained the drama while knowing better. But, once I am aware of my perception I can relax and enjoy what’s ahead.

Have a great weekend, my friends. Release, recharge, and retreat! Love and light….Millie

“Change the way you look at things and the things you look at change.”~ Wayne W. Dyer

“There are things known and there are things unknown, and in between are the doors of perception.” ~ Aldous Huxley

 

 

The Most Powerful is Love

love and compassionAt this very moment I sit typing on my dining room table staring at the afternoon spring shower outside while smelling the soil rise to meet the sky. It is one of those smells I love most from the earth. It smells like the decomposition of release. The earth has no problem releasing. It has absolutely zero tolerance for resistance. The earth teaches us the value of allowing.
I am called to study the way I am entering into this new role again with my daughter at home. I hear a baby cooing in the next room, my daughter and her own emotions releasing into the open space (reminding me she needs to be put back on meds or I need to be given a bottle of valium for me). Her own anger is resisting release from the abuse. Yet, this morning she began making excuses for her abuser and how long he might have to be in jail. I reminded her the black eye, the cord wrapped around her neck and the huge egg on her head (given to her less than a week ago). I am always surprised at this behavior from those who have limited capabilities to process. My role is to allow her to go through the motions. I cannot do it for her. Someone has to take the pushes on the other side of the punching bag. My only job is to hold it tightly. Our home, Peaceful Quest Retreats, has a way of bringing up anything in a magnified sense that needs work. If the person isn’t aware of it…it can be nasty at first (pure explosion). I pray that as the days unfold she will see the light at the end of the tunnel and the gratitude for being alive. I pray she can sit outside in the sun and inhale the nurturing energy of these mountains. She’s entered into a place of grace, love and compassion. It has very little to do with me, Matt, or her sister. It has to do with the Divine. I am no longer holding the need to fix anyone. This dynamic is beautiful. I can love her and work on increasing a vibration of pure light in my home without attaching to her drama.
I think of my own past and how I handled abused. I placed it tightly inside the earth so that no one noticed. Even now as I work in my garden I start to feel a tug of crap coming up from those days long ago. It’s funny it arrives in moments of being outdoors touching the earth. I have understood the power of avoidance and resistance. I no longer resist emotions. Resistance has always been a pivotal lesson in my life. “That which you resists, persists,” is a perfect way to remember to let go. Clarity and openness arrives from the nature of allowing life to flow. It is extremely difficult to wrestle and battle with resistance from a human perspective driven by ego. The ego is always creating illusions, sneaking in the doubts, uncertainty, fear and anxieties. As I allow the divine spirit to expand and guide me through love everything around me is taken into a beautiful accountability of love. Fear disappears once there is no control or resistance.
I have no plan for the immediate future. My daughter asked me today, remembering how much she hated the mountains (never once did this come up when she called to come home). She asked how long she “had” to stay here as if this was punishment. I told her she didn’t “have” to do anything she didn’t want. She asked to come home and we got her. Her anger is brewing. Her illusion of a perfect life is unfolding. She doesn’t have the mental capacity to plan or anticipate the near future. I told her I had no plans, “God laughs when I make a plan.” She didn’t like that answer. I received a slight grunt for it.
The divine has a way of speaking to us while utilizing our gifts of intuition. The more we resist and ignore the lessons…well, the harder it is to live comfortably in that lie. I find that spirit usually speaks through our strengths the strongest. I keep going back to this life lesson: to love unconditionally. I am aware of the reason for this incarnation. I have no doubt about the core of this conscious life lesson. The older I get the more I expand on forgiveness and compassion all through the vessel that is love.
Relationships, whether through substance abuse, food, people, sex or drama, are addictive. For the addictive mind, we create those relationships because they somehow hold a power we are looking for in ourselves. We resist in stepping back and finding it within the layers of our consciousness. Ego creates these elaborate scenarios and through resistance of strength in ourselves we attract the destructive behaviors. It is never easy to go through the separation of old patterns. My daughter has always loved drama. Inside of her sleeps several mental disorders and the drama unfolds in a way that most people would never experience. I love her because of them and for them because they push the resistance in me. They teach me patience, love, forgiveness, compassion and strength. I am not longer the one in charged or needing to tell her what to do. This is her life. This is her lessons.
Today I’ve traveled through several emotions: disrespect, anger, ingratitude, love, grace, selflessness, exhaustion, and doubt to name a few. I no longer ignore them. This is who I am and the things that make me human. This is my current position in life and I plan on exceeding at it.  It is a bumpy ride but full of a baby cooing, smiles, beauty, innocence, hope, dreams and the most powerful force of love.

Welcoming Rebirth!

rebirth on top of the worldYesterday morning I once again trekked up the mountain (for the second time this week) as the sun was catching up with midday.  The weather has been absolutely beautiful and welcoming to those who love being outdoors.  It has been a rough winter.  The weather has been mild but the winter in my life has been tumultuous this season.  Mind, body and spirit have grown and expanded.  Chapters to my past have been forced to close.  New books have been written.  It’s been quite a challenging experience.  With each step up the mountain I recall the adventure.

Walking up the trails through the forest, naked from the draping of leaves, I see the changes arriving.  Because of the mild winter, plants that would be birthing in a month have been showing signs through the soil.  And, I am grateful for this introduction.  I am living an inspiration through witnessing the evolution of this new season.  I get giddy at the thought of warmth touching my unclothed shoulders.

The depth of solitude through winter is painful.  I don’t like this season.  I need sun, torridity, the ability to climb a mountain every morning without the fear of being found frozen up on a summit.  I need restoration.   I need to shed the extra insulation on my body.  I need to find that muse that climbs with me every morning and allows my thoughts to surf through all of me.  It is my time with God.

I don’t fear change anymore.  I try to embrace it.  I allow it to be the substance that moves me into a new adventure.  This is why hiking is a passion.  I must trust my intuition and let the forest guide me.  This winter has been about letting the forest in me, which has been more like a crazy maze, teach me how to let go.  This has been the thirdriverlife winter in North Carolina.  I am learning to navigate the climate.

I once read somewhere that fear is the child of selfishness and ignorance.  Winter creates a wickedly misbehaved child in me.  And, the parents – Selfishness and Ignorance – are not welcomed into my world. There is a constant tug and war with letting go.  Winter forces me to deal with issues that any other time in the year I ignore because I keep busy.  I feel un-energized during this time.  And, the expansion in me is not something I feel comfortable, literally with my body and mind.

There is rebirth.  Spring is knocking.  I am looking forward to the growth of nature and the loving changes in me.  There is nothing like uncovering the layers of solitude and releasing it all to a new season.    As Robin Williams says, “Spring is nature’s way of saying, ‘Let’s party!”