You Don’t Need Permission to Be You

permission

I have fallen outside of consciousness several times in my life. During these moments I haven’t had the awareness of my human factors. I don’t know anything but truth. A little of this also happens during meditation. But the last time it was profoundly evident was two years ago when it truly showed me how easy it is to detach from human ego. There is no chain holding us in the body. There is no vault holding us tightly to this costume. Consciousness and the soul move out quickly. I have had the privilege to be around others when they die and it’s just a blink of an eye. It happens in a way that our timing and perception cannot gather or comprehend. To fall outside of this consciousness has allowed me to see things in a different light. I recently realized how much I avoided in my life.

I was afraid of everything. I was paralyzed by anxiety and judgment for anyone thinking that I was nuts. I couldn’t step outside of my truth and I became a prisoner within guarded relationships who reminded me I was possibly insane. I picked these characters to hold me back from being in the light. These folks were placed in my life for security by no one other than me. As long as I knew I couldn’t step outside of my authenticity no one could reject me.  I lived based on what I thought would be “normal” for everyone. Imagine the injustice I created for over 40 years? What an amazing time wasted in worrying about others instead of living my truth.

I share this because I know so many who are falling in and out of consciousness and feel the claws of insanity judging them. You owe yourself full respect, love and acknowledgment. You don’t owe anyone your stories, your trial and tribulations, or apologies with excuses for being you. Be quirky. Be whimsical. Be outrageous. Be freaking full of love. You will never make every single person happy. That’s very improbable. But, you can make yourself content by being you. If that looks like a hippie, a psychic, a religious fanatic, a political loud mouth, an artist, a musician, a homeless man, Superman, Wonder Woman, or whatever…that’s your choice. When you finally embrace all your qualities, greatness, and magnificence…oh my God! you will be in a place of freedom. Be happy with you. You are here to live out truth. Fear arrives when we stop ourselves from consciousness by adhering to everyone’s demands. Stop asking for permission from society to be you. Go achieve your greatness. And, if you lose people along your the path towards your freedom…well…they were lessons. Let them go. Let yourself go too!

Owning Your Fairy Tales

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We stay. We put up. We whine and complain but we remain in a familiar environment because it is all we know. Several years ago, in the midst of leaving an eighteen year old relationship I had to decide if I wanted to continue being Rapunzel on a gorgeous tower were I was a prisoner or come out into the world leaving those wealthy possessions behind. Even Rapunzel had a hard time leaving what she knew. It’s never easy to walk on faith. It’s pretty daunting moving through the unknown. After witnessing the embezzling of my business and how I was being financially cheated (both professionally and personally) I took the road less traveled. I dispersed my grown children…making sure they had their own places and I took the youngest ones. My family and friends were shocked to see how I dismantled a comfortable and wealthy life in no time once I decided to leave the tower of convenience and presumption.

As children we live our happy worlds based on fairy tales. And, to some point life can be a fairy tale. We have the ability to create all that we want but we must first allow the Universe to teach us the difference between what we “think” we want and what our “purpose” really is for this life. We do not teach our children that, yes, Cinderella did end up with the prince in a castle but the castle has a mortgage and expenses. We don’t teach them that in all those fairy tales there is the aspect of good and evil (our light vs. darkness both psychologically and spiritually). As girls we grow up believing that there will be a Prince Charming coming to save us, but be careful because He may come with a lot of addictions and baggage that won’t fit in the largest of castles.

We stay. We put up with those things that society has forced us to place higher than ourselves: money, comfort, and social standards.  We also conform to careers we can’t stand, places we dislike living in, and toxic friendships.  I can assure you that disentangling any life of familiarity is never easy. As much as we complain about our circumstances sometimes remaining is a lot more uncomplicated than leaving. And, if you are in an abusive relationship, where your Ego believes that you deserve nothing better, it is even harder to detach from what you know and move to the unknown.

I have created my own fairy tales. I am no longer Cinderella or Rapunzel. I am not Snow White and my seven dwarfs. I am no longer Frozen in my old life. I am also not a Mermaid stuck without a voice on land. I am manifesting a journey full of those things that matter: love, friendships, travels, compassion, grace, and integrity. Teaching our children to create their own fairy tales is important. We can show them examples by the way we move through our own journeys. My Prince Charming didn’t show up on a white horse. He walked in with a black Great Dane name Titan and enough humor to allow me to be me for the first time ever. I have witnessed the ability of strength and pride through my own expeditions. They have not been comfortable. They have broken me at times, and mended me beyond any happy endings I could have ever imagined.

Don’t stay for the sake of familiarity. Move through the unknown and let faith guide you. I promise that on the other side of fear lives the freedom you have dreamed through the old voices of fairy tales. You own your path and your destination through however you feel fit to create them.   It’s a matter of consciously shifting your perception from the reality you have accepted to be real.   Bravery comes through grace and allowing Spirit to guide us through the storm.

Answers from the Heart

Between tears,

minor heart de-fragments,

and laughing psychotically

at the irony

of what a young girl

had wished for so long ago,

I must find the serenity

in the sweetness of experiences.

I remember finding an entry

in a worn-out journal

written by a lost depleted girl,

missing out in life

and the secrets of connecting

to others…

“All I want is to fall in love

as many times as possible

in this lifetime.”

 

With each person who enters

the door into my spirit

I fall intensely and profoundly

into the depth of the unknown,

the universal secrets of truth

and unconditional love –

to be captivated wholeheartedly,

tenderly, and openly

for moments,

days, weeks….

No regrets are created,

or accepted

to the willing existence

when the abyss

gives way to

experiencing the authentic

spirit of another

in becoming a stepping stone

to the path of my totality…

the divinity in my world…

and the Oneness is all.

Floating in the Universe

I am always checking out new holistic modalities. Anything that challenges and betters mind, body and spirit has my full-undivided attention. The deeper we travel into our awareness the healthier we become. It doesn’t stop with massages, biofeedback therapy, cranial sacral therapy, hypnosis, and psychotherapy (to name a few). My best friend and business partner, Bobbie, heard from a friend about Flotation Therapy. We began researching it and found a spa in Asheville called Still Point Wellness that has a salt water floatation chamber. She made an appointment for both of us. Bobbie went a few days ago and came back giddy. She didn’t share much of her experience as not to cloud mine. I couldn’t wait for my turn. The thought of being in complete darkness, sensory deprived, floating over a ton of Epsom salt for an hour and a half filled me with an intoxication for my sense of adventure. I had done research for several days about others’ experiences: the highs, the psychic awareness, relaxation, self exploration, meditation, healing of aches and pains, long term healing, and so many other yummy conscious journeys. I was definitely not disappointed!

This morning I ventured to Downtown Asheville to a quaint spa near my favorite Starbucks. It was suggested that I didn’t have caffeine before getting my session (a killer for me in the morning time). The place was exceptional. Their office staff consists of this beautiful young woman who makes you feel like you’ve been long lost friends forever. I love that! She explained several things about the chamber. I was glad before arriving Bobbie had shared some details of first impressions. She asked to please give it a try when they opened the door to this dark room. Having suffered from claustrophobia for most of my life that initial exposure of darkness with a closed door is daunting. The smell of salt water felt like being out to sea. Once I was inside, naked, my body feeling light, I took a deep breath and everything melted.

I cannot explain what really happened to me without sounding like a way-over-the-top hippie. Once I began floating I had no perception. It seemed that every conscious feeling, emotion, reflection,thought, or sense of reality was shut outside the room. It is the darkest physical place I’ve ever been in. For an avid meditation practitioner it is heaven. I don’t know what happened but I was transferred to outer space. Now, you are definitely thinking she’s on something! I was in Oneness. I felt like Sandra Bullock on the movie Gravity. With eyes wide opened I began to see the universe. I began to understand the beginning…. And, this is where I leave you with my experience. Yours will be entirely different. All I can say is that the deprivation of sound, substance, and light allows the floater to experience everything (s)he is and is not.

I can understand why floating therapy has become popular as spa places are popping up in many large cities with these floating rooms. I can see how anyone can get hooked. The high one receives from those alone moments weightlessly moving through darkness is profound. As I was driving back up the mountain, taking in the gorgeous summer views, I had a thought: how does a person who can’t be alone stay in that room for the first time? How can that person stand the thoughts that must come and go as time stops? I can shut anything out of my brain. I can go to total nothingness, the chamber was the most incredible place to coincide with my mind. But, I am aware that our society cannot let go of thoughts. We are programmed to constantly be stimulated. I was filled with giddiness just like Bobbie. I even skipped on my Starbucks Latte. It wasn’t necessary. I was on a psychedelic high that can only be explained as the release of toxins, emotions and all that triggers the mind and body. I was on the best spiritual journey that money can buy. I was in my own retreat, ashram, and vacation for 90 minutes. Don’t believe me? You try it and see if you feel otherwise! But, be aware that once you are in there time stops and the only person you have to answer to is you. Sometimes that’s what is needed to heal. If you are honest with yourself this chamber experience can be the beginning of getting to know the real you.

www.stillpointwellness.com

81-B Central Avenue, Asheville, NC

828-348-5372 opened Monday-Sunday 10 am – 8 pm

Learning through Pain

I believe we learn from pain.  We have been trained to feel the heartache and push through it with anger, depression, or whatever other emotion it conjures up.  Every morning I receive quotes to my cell phone. Today’s was by William Faulkner, “Given the choice between the experience of pain and nothing, I would choose pain.”  I agree.  My failures, aches, and breaks have taught me more than never trying anything at all. Because of such failures and lessons, I have been transformed and re-molded. It has not only been the life I have chosen but God’s will in an incredible story He helps me write so that I continue to aspire for more.  And those painful experiences push the boundaries in life.  Those amazing lessons have humbled me, forcing me to honor the divine.

Even as young children we learn through pain.  If we touch something hot we know to stay away from it in the future.  Children register the simplicity in the reaction of circumstances.  As adults, we sometimes choose selective amnesia to deal with the same situations (which cause the same painful effect), like that old saying: “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.”

In this depth I feel closer than ever to the Divine.  Each painful experience has allowed me to accept something frightening about myself.  I have rehearsed all my life for this particular moment, like a dancer preparing for the ultimate recital.  Every rehearsal has been painful, frustrating, but enlightened while preparing for the final testimony of strength.  I have learned to take materialism and abstract emotions and placed them on some shelf high above to observe.  I keep those parts of my life in view so I won’t fall again in the same mistakes.  Failure can be repeated if it’s not recognized as failure.  Experience is the after mass of falling down, getting hurt, and hitting a rocky bottom.  As Bill Cosby once said, “I don’t know the key to success but the key to failure is trying to please everybody.”

I have learned from spiritual teachings that we are ultimately responsible for our choices and actions.  Our decisions come from knowledge or the lack of knowledge.  That’s the law of responsibility that explains the cause and effect.  As elementary science teaches us – for every action there is a reaction.  Divine reasoning cannot destroy this or change it.  There would be absolutely no memory.  In order to solve any problem in life we must focus on a solution and recognize the problem without excuses.  Through pain we are pushed to step back, acknowledge the lesson, and then decide if we want to repeat.

I would not change a single obstacle, challenge or heartbreak. They have molded me to grow while acknowledging the path. This is a mystical journey. We are always held through love, joy, grace, and compassion. Each lesson has taught me the capacity of my humanness. Each sorrow has opened me to a higher consciousness of acceptance.  It is purely serendipitous. As Oprah says, “Turn your wounds into wisdom.”

We are together but so apart…

oneworld

I am apologizing before you even begin to read this post.  By no means do I hope these thoughts upset you.  I like to clarify something about me and how I think of our union in this world.  There are three subjects that I try really hard to stay away from in discussions: religion, indiscretions (sex), and politics (R.I.P).  I had a friend, who last year stopped talking to me because “I use the Lord’s name in vain” every time I write about God and substitute His name with Spirit, the Divine, the Great Mystery, the Sacred, etc.  I explained to her that I had to be careful when I wrote in my blog specifically in a Christian terminology.  I had to be sure to include different languages when it came to God.  He (God) was not going to be upset with me.  Uh-oh, that last comment did it!  I was placed on some anti-Christian list with a one-way ticket to Hell.  This rage with her also held up for different political views.  She couldn’t handle that I did not follow her political party even though I never discussed politics in her presence.  In her world the word “Christianity” did not seem to coincide with love, compassion, and forgiveness.

So now, I stand firmly in avoiding R.I.P.  I rarely discuss or make mention of opinions towards religions, or beliefs.  I believe in the One – the almighty “I AM.”  The other day I heard a spiritual teacher/preacher say that “He (God) did not say worship Me.  He said listen to me.”  That comment stuck out vividly as he went on to explain that God is love.  So many wars have been fought in the name of God.  Religion is a very personal subject, and one that causes more veins and blood pressure to rise within seconds.  What I find fascinating is that our beliefs, no matter what they are, guide us through our decisions.  Those same beliefs also alienate us from others.  Many times these “beliefs” become the hatred ignition that causes shedding of blood upon each other in the name of “sacredness.”  God is a powerful subject, not to mention an omnipotence presence.  How He is perceived determines how the world moves through events.  I learned long ago to glue my lips together.  I believe a religious man is one who holds God and humanity in one thought at the same time while holding the greatest compassion regardless of despair, defiance, and contradictions.  As Gandhi said, “God has no religion.”

Then there is indiscretion, particularly sexual orientation.  I have to literally walk away from this one when anyone starts on homosexuals, and anything to do with discriminating another human being because of their sexual orientation.   What do you mean you don’t believe in homosexuality?  It’s not Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny!  Where is humanity’s acceptance, empathy, and compassion?  How can you reject another human being because of what he/she does behind closed doors?  Love is love.  The anger and hatred that arises from some people is inhumane, and it is all driven from fear (often times stemming from religious beliefs).  Please save your opinions in regards to what you think is an abomination.  I have many friends and family members who did not “choose” this “lifestyle.”  It wasn’t a choice.  Whether you care to believe it is based on genetic disposition, traumas, or whatever, please carefully choose your words in our world and how the wrath of God will come down on “these people in the end of time.”  We also can’t blame it to character flaws, or punishable by religion and state. If you don’t understand please don’t curse it.  It seems religion and politics have opinions about this subject in more ways than the state of our financial affairs.  Once again, I believe this subject is due to fear and intolerance and as Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Fear always springs from ignorance.”  Homosexuality is not a disease that has vaccinations.  It isn’t something “you will outgrow” either.  Two people fall in love…end of story.

Oh, and the last avoidance…politics!  This is that one huge umbrella that seems to cover the rainfall of anger and frustration from the world.  I try to just stay out of that storm at all cost.  See, I watch those in politics go into their terms looking all young and strong. After their ego-trips and hopes are unfulfilled they come out of office looking like some old chap that has been dragged out through the gates of hell.  I don’t just mean in this country either.  It’s everywhere in the world.  These folks are left with a mere shadow of who they once appeared to be. The political parties don’t matter. Every four years it’s the same drama.  No matter who you pick, the person in charge of our country isn’t really in charged.  It’s not going to matter how much you argue with another person about your opinion.  The political arena is a world of its own.  You can bitch about gas prices being $5.00 per gallon but guess what, you will still pay the price.  You can complain about our healthcare system, but guess what, you will still need to use the healthcare system in our country (unless you move to Canada). You can cry about the taxes but there is one certainty: you can’t escape death or taxes.  Somewhere politics stopped being about people and began to be about politicians. “In politics, nothing happens by accident.  If it happens, you can bet it was planned that way.” – Franklin D. Roosevelt.  And, I can almost assure you that it will continue to be this way because there will always be people in charged.

I apologize for any giggles and sarcastic behavior I might have added in your presence when these three subjects have been touched. I believe in the allowance of your opinions, but ultimately all I care about is how YOU are feeling, how YOU love, how YOU show up in our world, and how YOU exist in my presence.   I wish I could express how hatred deteriorates my spirit when I watch another human being go into a rant in a sickly apathetic and heartless manner.  Go on any social media site and it seems that instead of being lifted with love, friendship and optimism what we find is anger, frustration and animosity.  When will we learn to live with love in our hearts regardless of our differences in race, sex and belief?  I hope this post doesn’t alienate anyone because of what I’ve written.  I live in a Disney World bubble at times.  It’s a small world after all!  My hand extends out to you regardless of your religious background, your sexual preference and your political choices.  I want to know you are here, there, anywhere ready to help another in the time of need.  That’s all that really matters.  Have a great day and please love one another.   We were placed on this plateau of Earth to learn, love and live in the highest form of consciousness.  What you say and do transfers onto others…. We are in this together!  The smallest ripple can cause the largest wave.

“Clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.”-The Bible

“A man’s moral worth is not measured by what his religious beliefs are but rather by what emotional impulses he has received from Nature during his lifetime.” Albert Einstein

“Compassion is not religious business, it is human business, it is not luxury, it is essential for our own peace and mental stability, it is essential for human survival.” – Dalai Lama

No more superficial…

At the beginning of the year I decided to strip a lot of superficial depthless behavior.  I needed to take my own advice about letting things go. This included the constant dying of my hair.  Since I was in my early 20’s I have had premature gray.  I hid it like if it was something shameful.  I covered it up like a dirty secret.  As it was growing out I cut my long hair to make the transition quicker.  It was a tough few months.  I wanted to hide the roots and everything else.  I felt exposed.   I was constantly second guessing myself.  Thank goodness for wonderful friends who supported the process.

Now, after so many months, I get to admire the real color of my hair.  I also get to be me.  I stopped worrying about what others would think.  I earned each gray hair.  And, yes, some people did not care for this process.  They think I am still too young to “let it all hang out like that.”  But, I’ve learned a few things about myself this year: The color of my hair doesn’t determine who I am.  It is the colors I carry in my heart.

At 44 years young I am finally happy with the person staring back from the mirror.  It was exhausting to be coloring my hair every two weeks because the gray was so prominent.  I truly did not want to know who I was behind that mask.  That’s the thing about superficial outward appearances: we use them to hide the traumas, low self-esteem, and so many other secrets.  Shedding the dark hair also allowed weight to come off.  Things started to diminish and fade away in the background.  It is funny how letting go of pretenses helps shed the many things we hang on to for security.

So many times we keep upholding a totally different extension of ourselves to fit in society.  We want to make others happy by looking a certain way, acting a certain manner, while all along being exhausted from the façade.  I am learning to never take myself serious.  I am finally loving myself in a way I never imagined.

This is a recent picture of my son, Patrick, and I hiking last month.  I also believe that people approach me now with some gentleness.  Is it that I look old?  I don’t think it’s that.  I believe it is the lack of pretentiousness.  Oh, who knows!  I am finally able to dance in the rain and sing out loud and have little filtering.  Life is too short to be battling with what people think.  Life is all about loving the journey and yourself in the process!

The Ticky-ticky Syndrome

 

Sometimes it just takes one moment to really shake things up…if you let it. Life is full of negative people. Sitting by the pond yesterday watching the kids play in the pond I received this phone call:

Me: Good afternoon, Peaceful Quest Retreats.

Arrogant man: How much are your rooms?

Me: $69 a night plus tax.

A.M: Do you have any rooms available for tonight?

Me: Yes, we do. We have one room left with a queen bed.

A.M: What’s the best you can do on that price?

Me: $69. This is our busy season. Have you been here before? You get an extra 10% discount.

A.M: No! Never have! (He said this almost in disgust while dragging the n-e-v-e-r out). Now, let me get this straight (with a much sarcastic nasty undertone) YOU rather leave a room unrented than lower your price?

Me: We will rent it before the evening is over, sir! (I tried to smile as the words poured out of my mouth).

A.M: That’s just ridiculous! That’s too expensive! You should consider lowering that price. It’s not like your place is a classy resort…

Me interrupting: Sweetie… this isn’t a flea market where you can bargain for a price….

Arrogant man: hung up!!!

At first I laughed the conversation off, but as I was going to bed I felt horrible. I replayed the conversation as if I knew this man. In a way I have known his type all of my life. I don’t like being rude to anyone. It isn’t in my DNA. I get really disturbed when I am in this type of position. I understand that arrogance is something that people suffer from when they are used to getting their way by bullying others. It serves no purpose in my life and reminds me of the way I was bulldozed for most of my adult life. This man’s tone was so nasty, with a bunch of pauses and sarcasm, that I can’t relay it in this blog.

Arrogant people are accustomed to arguing their point and expect that form of interaction to break you down. I call it the Ticky-ticky Syndrome. These types of people continuously peck until you are so worn out that you just give into what they want. Antagonism is a form of defensive breakthrough. The Ticky-ticker uses that manipulation and repetition to get his way. He can’t take “no” for an answer. He has to get his way by playing head games. This requires him to use insults to manipulate emotions. It’s not just what is said, but how it is said!

Many times, during similar situations, I have to step back and audit my emotional response. Am I overreacting? Why am I taking this personally? My ego seems to collide with their aggression and I back down quickly. The antagonistic behavior that comes across some people is enough to make me build a wall around me. In this particular conversation I was sarcastic and laughing. Usually I just shut down. It is then that I give in…but this is something I am working on as I strengthen my self-esteem. I am also learning to have patience and tolerance for this type of personality while not compromising myself or what I believe.

I am reminded that some people’s arrogance border on hostility. It could be childhood traumas, mental illness, or just plain assholeness. They are used to bulldozing their way through life and expect everyone to cater to their behavior. It is toxicity at its best. My nonchalant sarcasm disarmed him and he had no choice but to hang up. I guess the best way to avoid this behavior is to stay firm and laugh it off. Unfortunately, there are people in our lives who won’t back down and hang up. The Ticky-ticky Syndrome dominates them. It is the only way they can feel superior and manipulative. Staying firm while remaining calm is the most productive way of dealing with arrogance. The world is full of difficult, rude, controlling, and negative people. I know I shouldn’t take it personally. To me, it is much easier to be polite and friendly. But, hey, I don’t suffer from the Ticky-ticky Syndrome so I have no clue how they must feel. I hope that by auditing the situation (reflecting on being firm and kind) this type of personality appears less and less in my life. I sure hope so because that type of person serves no purpose anymore in my path other than learning to stand up for myself.