Monsters

Car conversation with a 4 year-old early in the morning…
Kali: do monsters have bellies?
Me: monsters don’t exist.
Kali: do they have eyes?
Me: they don’t exist so they don’t have anything.
Kali: do they have mouths?
Me: Kali, monsters aren’t real. It’s a made up thing for television and entertainment.
Kali: They do exist. Do they have necks?
Me: Monsters aren’t real.
Kali: YEESSSSS they are.
Me: In a philosophical way… yes. They are real. There are bad people out there. But they didn’t start bad. They started with love. They came into this world with light and someone blew it out.
Kali: Why people create monsters then?
Me: (sighing….and then a mini rant longer than I can remember) Baby girl, monsters do exist. I’m sorry. They exist in anger and hatred. They exist in mental disorders and they are there to corrupt our world. They are fabricated in religions and stories to fill doubt in others. They instill fear and oppression but it’s mostly there for a lot of growth and balance. Where there is light there is also darkness. So, they do exist in a metaphoric term but not in a way you are thinking of when you watch television. That’s also there to create anxiety and despair. We live in a society that uses control mechanism through fear based subjects…and “monsters” are one of those ways. They don’t have giant heads and distorted bodies.
She then asked about Kali the Destroyer. Her daddy told her about Kali, the Hindu Goddess, and how she has the same name. He went on to tell her about her history the other day. She recited bits and pieces of what daddy told her. I was surprised she got a lot of it spot on. She wanted to know if she was a monster since she’s depicted with her tongue sticking out at times. I answered to the best of my ability.
Kali: so you see, they do exist, Mama!  Do they have tongues? Not Kali…she’s not a monster, right? But the rest of the monsters, do they have tongues?
Me: ugggghhhhh… silence.

I’ve Spent a Life

I have ran around

the truth

of ever knowing what I knew

while denying my intuition

the right to decide

and adhere to its validity.

 

I’ve spent years,

time and energy,

avoiding this truth

and here it is

directly in my face  —

I can’t disregard its motion any longer;

I can’t avoid its existence

with its ugliness and rawness…

I can finally let go and fly free.

 

It’s been years,

but it feels like yesterday,

for the depth,

the ache,

the humiliation

has arrived with

a surprising force

allowing ego to take the driver’s seat.

 

I will not wallow

in self-pity,

self preservation,

as I know Karma

has no expiration date.

 

You were always so eager

to point out to the world

my flaws,

my human traits,

in every situation that

arrived

that was not in accordance

with your universe.

 

I have no use to continue

this confirmation

that breezed into my life

with today’s rain,

rattling leaves,

breaking branches,

causing a mild flood

so I can finally terminate

the need to soften our memories

to our children,

our friends,

and specially to myself

while making excuses for

our failures.

 

I’ve spent a life

running from those thoughts,

the traumas created by dictatorship,

and I finally feel the breath

of divinity guiding me through

any dark moments.

 

Benefit of doubt

is only good for those

who can truly change.

I forgave you long ago,

even when I didn’t know,

even when you twisted and turned

all truth.

Forgiveness wasn’t for you…

it was for me.

 

I spent a life

falling in and out of love

with myself

because of you…

but tonight

I finally know the truth:

you never deserved me

and my whole-hearted trust.

Dying to Live

dying to live

We die a little every day.  We are born into a journey of endings.  Things begin and end.  We don’t know the day we are to transcend or leave this place.  Our existence is not written with a known expiration date.  I have a HUGE issue when doctors tell a patient, “You have two months to live.  You have an X amount of time.”  This act stops the person from living.  It stops becoming about life and all about dying.

A friend of ours was here for a few days.  He has cancer.  He’s dying.  He knows it and so does everyone else.  I am dying as well.  I might have a day or I can live 40 more years.  I have no clue when it will happen.  I am not focusing on that last moment.  I am living to the best of my ability with the days I get gifted every morning.  But, seeing him living fully these past few days…well, a part of me struggles to accept that he has days counted for because of a disease.  He’s healthy.  He is brilliant.  He is tenacious and hysterical and is living on his terms.  I admire him to a degree that I didn’t know possible.  He isn’t just existing waiting on a deadline.  He is moving through these days waiting on the gift of miracles surrounded by love.  Ultimate time tells everything.  And time, my friends, is also our ally when it comes to truly accepting and letting go!

Somehow we get so focused on the end.  We forget that every second is a new beginning.  We try to control our lives and others fearing the moment we are to die.  I am not afraid of dying.  I am afraid of not living fully.  I am frightened of not sucking the joy out of this journey because of a bad day or situation.  I am terribly mortified by the thought of taking another day for granted because of obstacles.  I want to live.  I want to live like I haven’t wanted to live before.  I want to meet like-minded people with laughter and intelligence.  I want to hear their stories.  I crave to touch and love and dive into their journey.  We connect this way. So…NO…I am not afraid of physical death.  I am, however, consciously aware that I forget to live every second to the fullest.  I forget to breathe and let go at times.  I allow my humanness to take over and I get angry for a moment.  This passes.  And, when it does I recall lying on a hospital and returning from my own short death to find that life is precious.  What a gift!  What a magnificent ride!

We entertain anxiety because of fear.  We fear because of not being able to control.  We control because we have been taught that we have a say.  We have a say because we are programmed to believe that the ego can actually fix things.  In the end it’s all a lie.  We can’t control anything.  The illusion of life is based on internal experiences of the outer world.  Our perceptions guide us and in moments make us very ill.  We have no say or control.  All we can do is travel with our heads up, love, laugh and truly learn to live.  We are not merely existing.  We are surviving all that is thrown our way and we should be spiritually evolving because of everything that we experience on the path of life.

My friend is dying.  His presence allowed me to stand back and watch grace and how it looks to know that there might not be a tomorrow.  He is doing it with love, laughter and faith.  The shock of his illness allowed ego to die first.  Now, it’s just a matter of releasing all control and moving through moments with acceptance.  We can all learn from the ones whose days are expiring through illness. He might have days or years.  His timing is in the hands of God.  These folks who have so much to conquer become our biggest teachers.  Mine left a few hours ago and I will forever be grateful for his time.  I love you, Dun.  Thank you!  Until we meet again…soon!

Perception

face_black_and_white_optical_illusion_cool-s453x562-92306-5803

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

 

 

True Lovers Don’t

embrace (1)

Sometimes you must close your eyes

in order to see

what’s right in front of you

because love is

not available for abduction,

control or dominion.

Love is authentically felt

and expressed

through all the senses of Spirit.

 

True lovers don’t hold on to each other

for the morality of being present

but because two essences magnetically

attract to one another

exploding with desire,

with necessity,

and with that thing we

label as “love”

since there is no other word

for the dynamic of devotion.

 

The wants,

the needs,

and the obsessions

are not available

for the grabbing and manipulating.

These affairs of the heart

are there for forming and molding

the better part of our humanness.

 

No, sometimes it is easier to watch,

to listen, to touch, to judge

and forget that the spirit

knows these lies we have created

to protect the Ego from the stories.

If we look inward

the naked truth shines

brightly

from Divinity

and not from the physical intimacy

of our bodies exclaiming a release

for being adorn through infinite emotions.

 

We are led to believe

in an illusion of ownership,

sexuality, and dependence

that deteriorates the actuality

of what lovers bare

to one another

and to the self.

 

True lovers don’t go with

the sexual movement of explosion,

the carnal ruling of youth,

but the fluttering of the souls

trying to reunite

after lifetimes of separation

knowing that being apart

is no longer an option

because love

has no beginning or ending.

It simply lives in each single breath

we get to call our beautiful

“Life.”

Lost in Denial

denial

About three years ago I went to see a wonderful holistic therapist to talk and clear out residual feelings from my move to the mountains. There had been so many things that happened in a short time expand: finances lost, love disappeared, some of my children living in other states, and the newness of being in a place I couldn’t quite settle into alone.  I needed to sit in this sacred place and truly express my journey to someone who had no choice but to sit and listen.  Imagine my arrogance!  What I got was a completely different experience.  As I told her about how much I had gone through in the last few months, in my ultra-hyper-speed voice and gestures (almost padding myself on the back as I realized how much had happened and how I wasn’t in some corner of a room in deep depression), she stopped me and told me to tell her why I was there and what I wanted.  I had only two hours, and I needed to get it all out.  I wasn’t planning on returning.  But then she asked, “What do you want, Millie, and don’t tell me about blah-blah-blah but really get to the bottom of what you want from this session?”  I thought, I’m here, lady, I am telling you what has happened. I’m sharing with you intimate moments and, yes, they might be a little bizarre and ridiculous and even boring to you, but I’ve come through them.  I wanted her to reassure me that these emotions would not return and the karmic lessons were learned.  I wanted some kind of security from an experienced and educated person.  What I wanted was to hear, “Wow, you did well.  How great for you!”  That was my egotistical little voice wanting approval through a paid cheerleader.  I somehow wanted a mother to comfort me because mine was gone and I needed to hear that everything was going to be alright from here on.

She kept pressing on and the more she pressed the tighter I became.  By the end of the two hours I was barricaded from the world.  I wasn’t willing to talk or discuss anything else.  In those days I would go on shut-down mode.  I would cross my arms against my chest and become pretty quiet while agreeing with that person even though I didn’t agree.  That was me…the agreeable one when I knew my truth (or I thought I knew my truth).  I walked out of the two hours feeling completely lost in my lack of identity.  I had gone in there with a pretty good self-esteem and had left with none.  It took weeks to gather the courage to be me again and accept all my faults (while still living in the Land of DeNial).  I had been dissected and magnified.  It was, to say, one of the most paralyzing events in my psychotherapy history.  And, the reality was that I was lost in my own translation.  I was also lost in denial.  I look back at that experience and marvel at it because NOW I understand what she was trying to get me to understand about myself.  I had a difficult time accepting the truth in so many areas of my complexities.  Because I am a survivor I refused to hear that I wasn’t doing it right!

That session taught me a lot.  I started to think about the many people who expected me to shed some kind of emotion in their presence while sharing.   I learned that there are some people who assure me that I’m not doing well when I am actually better than other times.  We all handle life differently.  It’s as if they are projecting their own insecurities. I have a way of dealing with my life now in a quiet way to process things.  When I am ready to discuss the events I do.  Sometimes I don’t.  And, when I want to share I can do this while laughing in Spanish, and gesturing in English (while making sure that I don’t get lost in my own translation).  Perhaps that’s the confusion to the external world.  In those two hours years ago I realize that my egotistical voice was telling my spirit that I didn’t need therapy and could handle things on my own.  These lies the ego projects cause the turmoil of the psyche.  We all need someone at some point whether it is a professional, a friend, a lover, family or a stranger.  When we are honest with ourselves we come to the place of healing.  Our humanness needs external validation whether we want to accept it or not.  We are connected to one another.  We aren’t in this life alone.

Don’t be guided or jolted by what others think when they aren’t in accordance with you.  Be careful who you share your stories with and expect loving help. Some folks tend to project their opinions and hostility while trying to get a reaction (because they aren’t willing to work with their own issues).  We all have our own distinctive way of breaking through.  I work through mine while writing, hiking, gardening, and meditation.  Sometimes the old Millie kicks into ultra-hyper speed of moving through the issue too quickly. I grab those issues by the tail and pull them closer, turn them around, stare in the face of discomfort to love them. Loving the discomfort, the ugly and the pain is the only way to release it. Years later I understand why this therapist stopped me.  I didn’t see it then.  I was living in such denial of events and challenges (so much that months ago I died in the ER because of the backed-up stress).  The clarity has come from really getting in there and pulling out all the junk I had carried for a lifetime.  Forgiveness has been the number one priority to releasing it all to the Divine.  Waking up and seeing that control is all an illusion has made a huge difference in my life.

There’s no secret formula to healing.  A healthy start is to face the problem.  Accept it.  Learn from it and release it.  It isn’t pretty or comfortable.  At times it is shameful and disgusting, but when you allow the process of authenticity to move through you with love everything is possible.  The Divine Spirit works in mysterious ways once you allow for it.  There is no right way or wrong way.  There’s only YOUR way!

Our Mental Alarm System

 

Yesterday we went to the movies to watch Brave.  It was great.  I love animated films.  This year promises many choices.  The previews were just as great.  I always have my phone handy when I get to the movies to jot down any good quotes.  And this one just stood out:

“There’s nothing wrong with being scared as long as you don’t let it change who you are.” from the future film ParaNorman.

For most of my life I remember hearing the words, “Be brave.  Suck it up.  Don’t be scared….”  Being afraid was a weakness.  I grew up being more afraid because I believed I was failing at notbeing brave.  I suffered from panic attacks in the middle of the night.  I walked around with anxiety on my shoulders, and later creating a giant hole in my stomach.  I was a mess.  Being afraid became a part of my personality.  Others would assume that I was fine.  Those were my magic words, “I’m fine!  No worries!”

Being scared is the body’s defense.  Something inside intuitively is putting a yellow flashing light of warning in our system.  Like the above quote, there’s nothing wrong with being scared as long as you don’t let it dominate your life.  In my case I was sucking it all in and pretending I was okay with everything.  The responsibilities I added to myself in order to not fail were astronomical and I was a fool for allowing my fears to change me.

Fears are paralyzing.  Some become phobias and later on turn into major disorders.  I don’t suffer from panic attacks any longer.  Those days are over.  If I start worrying about something I start to examine what the root of the fear is trying to tell me.  Am I doing the right thing?  Is this my intuition trying to warn me?  What’s the worst case scenario if I do this?  And, there is the answer.  Stepping back away from the fear allows me to diminish the overwhelming emotional trepidation.  The emotion is just in my head.  Many times I can substitute with positive reinforcements.

Anxiety is fed by the shift in the repetition of daily habits.  When you step out of your normal state of life the fear takes over.  Most people who suffer from panic attacks and anxiety try to control everything.  When something appears in the path that is not part of the every-day function, the emotions take over.  I know this well.  I was constantly being spun out of control with distress.

My youngest daughter suffers from horrible anxiety.  Fear kicks her obsessive compulsive behavior in overdrive.  I have to stop her at times, sit her down, and say, “Ok, what’s the worst case scenario?”  We briefly go through what could happen and then she sees that the fear in her head is much larger than anything in reality.  There is nothing to control.  Being abandoned at birth and spending two and a half years in a third world country have created a fear of abandonment and other monsters.  Now that she’s older therapy and counseling is trying to break through those issues from the past.  Her fears have changed her.  They paralyze her in ways I will never understand.  Even at my worst I did not show it.  I controlled it which was probably just as bad.  Being compassionate to her anxiety is an everyday theme…but not feeding into it is also a challenge.  I want her to understand that control is an illusion.  We have little control of anything.  Things will happen.  She will have good days and she will have bad days.  Worrying over everything is not living.  She is beginning to use breathing exercises to ease the anxiety at night.   It is painfully difficult to see a 16 year old suffer from worrying and distress about so much.  I hope and pray that this is nipped in the butt now that she’s still young.  Behavior modification is important and continuously being emphasized.

The above quote has allowed me to remember that being scared is also good.  Being afraid allows you to step back and then proceed with cautiousness.  If we didn’t have that alarm we would be lost in a world of chaos.  Fear can be our equilibrium of sorts.  It can slow us down just enough to see things.  But, the moment we allow it dominate our life fear becomes a monster.  After all fear = false evidence appearing real.  It’s good to acknowledge it but don’t let it change YOUR life.  I find that meditation, exercise and being in nature alter the state of panic.  And, handing things over to the Divine is always a stress relief!