For the love of art

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Last night I had a breakthrough. I did something I’ve been fearful of doing for years. I painted. I went to a painting class with a friend and I created something out of nothing…of course while following instructions. Most folks do not know that I used to paint a million years ago. I was actually quite good. I was going to attend the Art Institute in Paris in my late teens. And….then tragedy happened. I allowed life to dictate my worth. Funny how we give others that power. I stopped painting all together for years. I gave my power away along with every paint, canvas and art supply!

In 2001 I had a head injury and I lost my mind. I lost memories. I lost fear. I had amnesia and didn’t recognize my 6 children. I was 33 years old and I returned to being 19. I left the hospital searching for my paints and canvasses. That accident opened up my creativity for a short while. Then, again, I allowed with great effort and lack of responsibility others to dictate my worth. I stopped painting. I went to several therapists trying to get back the juices. I would stand in front of a white canvas and shake….violently crying in a massive overwhelming phobia as if it was a giant spider coming at me. I cannot verbally express the anxiety that the thought of painting kept bringing me. I stopped because the thought of painting literally made me sick.

Last night, with a birthday friend in tow, we went to a restaurant to paint. It was one of those Wine and Art sessions. I didn’t shake. I didn’t hesitate. I didn’t judge myself. It was kid’s play. It was a fun elementary-school painting that I did not take as serious. There were several moments, while painting grass, that my old strokes appeared. I began to feel like Van Gogh again…for a few minutes. Then the internal critique began, “Oh my, the jar is lopsided. Oh, my God, this is crap….” But something mystical happened….

As the adorable young teacher was taking a break a young intoxicated man stopped to talk to her and tried desperately to get her attention. He was slurring his words, being silly, and she tried in a kindhearted and gentle way to move the conversation along so he would leave. I sat there watching this and laughing. EGO had just entered the space. There it was intoxicated, making a huge fool of itself. I saw it clearly. EGO was trying to seduce her just as much as it had been falsely seducing me with my art. I got it. I didn’t see a man. I saw years of self-sabotage waiting to be acknowledged. I stared at it and laughed out loud. My friend and I just giggled like two school girls at the scene developing in front of us.

I returned to my painting. Ego had been critiquing me. It had been denying me from moving forward. So what if it was a silly painting of fireflies coming out of a jar. It didn’t have to be perfect. At that moment I heard my eldest son’s echo, “Mom, it doesn’t matter what you paint…just do it. Create something and little by little you will get your mojo back.”

I have had many who have tried to encourage me to move past this issue. My partner, friends, children and even the little itsy bitsy voice in my heart…but to no avail. Last night watching the young man stand there making a fool of himself while saying something about the paintings I got it. Ego had no business being in my creative time. I love my lopsided Van Goshish painting of stars and fireflies swirling in the night sky. I loved my hands covered with paint. I loved how I felt breathing the mountain fall air as we waited for the next instruction. And what I love most is that I conquered one of the biggest fears I have had for decades. I allowed others to dictate how I should feel about my art. It paralyzed me. It killed part of who I am.

How many of you have allowed another to dictate your worth? How many of you have been paralyzed into deadly anxiety from living out your dreams? How many times can this go on without you shutting the drunken ego off? Sit that bastard at a table and give it some water. Let Ego cool off and move on. YOU get to decide what and who you allow to dictate your creativity, your worth, your love and all that you are meant to do in this world. You got this! I can’t wait for the next class. I might just be inspired to channel Monet!

Love is the ALL

love is abssence

Moments are the connections to life’s journey.  They are the process of all there is in some magical dance between synchronicity and love.  Each second connects into another.  Our own connection pulls and tugs to intertwine with each other.  By being aware of each moment we can join, partake, and openly participate in this creation of life.  That’s all there is: the taking of good, bad, and surrendering to it all.  We co-create the stories while allowing things to come and go, passing through the process of time and space.  Afterwards, when the stories are too much, the drama is too stale, and the tragic of not being at peace is maddening, we blame the universal forces for our participation in this co-creation.   We detach and close off from the universal element of love.

Love has no judgment, no agenda, no bias, no bigotry….  Love is love without a concrete definition.  It lets go of boundaries, walls, and inhibitions.  Love is effortless.  In relationships it does require work, but it’s just a rhythmic dance of ease and grace.  It devours intimacy by accepting and not holding back any of our insecurities.  Love doesn’t push.  It opens and breathes peace and trust.  It is raw and compassionate and all that is of God.  Love is accepting of another without judgment of your own self.  It brings you into a place of complete surrender.  It allows light into the darkest of places.

I have always believed that love is the only emotion we are born with that’s imprinted in our chromosomes.  We arrive into this world in love, with love, embraced by the Oneness of the Divine.  It is when our environment infuses all the other “learned emotions” that we become distant from the truth of love.  We begin to complicate love with our agendas and traumatic experiences of lack.  We aren’t good enough.  We are not worth enough.  We are this and we are that.  Those beliefs are intergraded into our own hearts.  But truth be known, love doesn’t care.  Every other emotion lives in our head.   Love is the only one that lives in our heart…in Spirit.  Love is the union of mind, body and spirit in a way that contributes to all that the universe has created.   Love is about being Divine.  With or without another to partake in the journey, the moments of true peace are those when the heart is open and the light of God shines through.

Even while understanding this in theory it is still difficult at times to feel love and compassion for people and things out of our life path.  Because we learn by the experiences from our culture, race, and other social or environmental classes, it seems that judgment takes over way before love.  I am constantly reminding myself that each person who appears in my life is for me to learn something about love and compassion.  It isn’t always easy when others have so much hatred and anger.  But, what if being tolerant and patient in the beginning (while interacting with these folks) starts opening their hearts?  What if in the presence of those rough exteriors we can shift the energy to allow their sprits to feel the love they came with into this world? What would the world look like if we lowered our shields and began to show the light of Divinity? I believe that one day in the future we will have only one faith, one religion and one path towards unlimited compassion.  That day will be when love is all we embody.  It is then that we will be one with the Divine.  Nothing else will matter because as our famous John sang with openness: “all you need is love…love…love.  Love is all you need.”

“One word frees us of all the weight and pain of life: that word is love.” – Sophocles

Learning through others

 

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There is a story about a woman who walks many miles with her overweight son to see Mahatma Gandhi.  When she gets there she begs, “Please tell my son to stop eating sugar.”  Gandhi is said to have asked her to return the following week.  The next week she walked the entire day again with her son to meet him.  This time Gandhi looked at the boy and immediately said, “Do as your mother says and stop eating sugar.”  The woman, confused and a bit angry after all the walking asked, “Why didn’t you just say that last week?  We’ve walked for hours to see you.”  Gandhi replied, “First I had to give it up myself.”

This is a perfect example of teaching through experience.  I am always surprised at how people judge (or give advice) on my parenting skills when they have no children.  I am always surprised at others who give marriage advice when they’ve never been married.  Oh, and the ones who know “exactly” how it feels to mourn or grieve a love one when they haven’t gone through the process.  How can anyone teach without experiencing those things themselves?

I will not mingle or entertain those things I don’t know anything about.  I have little knowledge of politics therefore I don’t enter into conversations on the subject.  I know little about organized religions except for the ones I studied in school.  I can’t sit and discuss beliefs with someone from another background without having experienced what they’ve experienced.  I can’t tell a surgeon how he needs to mend a heart.  I haven’t the slightest clue on a million and one things.  I am learning to keep my mouth shut because I don’t appreciate when others criticize my life without walking my path.

Humanity falls short when it comes to holding compassion.  We immediately allow the ego to judge and scrutinize even without experiencing those issues.  I love this story of Gandhi and the woman.  It shows how we can detach from any situation and try to impart ourselves in order to be empathetic.  Just because I don’t live in a third world country doesn’t mean I can’t imagine how those who go without food feel.  But, I have no clue how “exactly” it feels to be without food.  I have no idea, unless I experience it myself, how the soul feels when it is depleted from nutrition.  The closest I came to this was when my daughter arrived from Romania and she was mal-nourished.  She would hide food under the bed.  She would sit with her meal and chew everything once and put it back on the plate so no one would take it from her.  Then she would take her time to go around the plate and finally enjoy the meal.  Will I ever know what she experienced in an orphanage?  No clue.  I can only learn from what I witnessed.

I see homeless people in large cities all the time.  I feel a sense of helplessness for them.  I am drawn to them in ways I can’t even explain.  I have no idea what it is to live in the streets, in the cold, in the heat and in the mercy of others.  Whenever I hear people say, “They need to get up their lazy asses and get jobs!” I cringe.  How can you be so ignorant?  Unless you have lived that life you can’t possibly know the struggles, obstacles, and mental issues.  Go homeless for a week and then, perhaps, you can give advice (an opinion) on the subject.

We as a whole in this world need to learn to tolerate without judgment.  We need to allow the ego to fall to the side in order to help others without discriminating.  Whether it is for the homeless, the illegal immigrant, the single mother, the homosexual, the drug addict, the HIV patient, etc!  If you haven’t experienced their life please be kind enough to send love, prayers and allow your ego to take a backseat.  Never diminish one struggle over another.  Never judge what you haven’t undergone.   The harshness of opinions, criticism, and intolerance seems to cause more than just wars.  It is depleting our world from the faith in humanity.  Unless you walked the talk…please sit down and quiet the mouth.  As I always tell my children when they try to argue a point they know nothing about, “But, but, but, Mom….”  I say, “The only but is the one you need to sit on and be quiet until you have experienced it yourself.”

We are one.  We are connected in this giant web of humanness.  Learn from others but don’t allow your preconceptions determine the person they are, can be, or should become.  You never know where life can take you.  Karma has a way of teaching powerful lessons when we carry a closed mind and heart.  One thing I know for sure is that kindness and compassion are free.  Character is built on integrity and the willingness to move past judgment and into the service of others.

I Wasn’t Me

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I found a box of pictures last night of when I was in my twenties and thirties.  I was shocked to see how lovely I was.  I never had the body of a twelve year old.  I was always curvy and full.  I was always dieting, worrying about my looks, and never enjoying just being me.  I look back and  I was definitely pretty.  I didn’t know it at the time. It wasn’t until recently that I actually met this woman that is now fully present in my body. That’s the thing with each passing year…while you are in your skin without acknowledging your worth and truth you just don’t accept your loveliness, beauty, and radiance.  I was all of those things and didn’t even know.  I wasn’t me.  I was pretending to fit into a life of a society that expected perfection. And because of that I always picked partners who would instill the lack of worth in me. It was a wonderful dramatic play. I needed to show I was a good mother, a wonderful business woman, a magnificent housekeeper, and a decent lover.  Everything had to be just so or what would the world think of me?  Nope, I wasn’t really being me.

This morning I glanced over at the middle age woman on the mirror brushing her teeth.  She’s no longer embraced by that lovely youth, or the concerns of opinions.  The purple and blue highlights in my hair along with the fairy tinsel strands were magnified with the bathroom lighting. The dark circles under my eyes and wrinkles diminished as I looked deeper into my soul.  I smiled.  “Ok, this is me.  This is the hippie lady in the mountains.  This is the me that was in there all along. I love you, lady.”

When was the last you actually looked at yourself and acknowledged your beauty: the inner and outer radiance of your soul?  We can live in the past mourning the loss of what we had when we didn’t even know we had it because just like now, we don’t live in the present.  We live in the past and the future.  This moment now….this minute stand back and tell yourself how beautiful you are.  See and feel your worth.  Stop the negative self hatred.  Love who you are right now.  It’s so important.  You will never be this young again.  You will never exist in this exact breath.  Take advantage of it.  Be gentle, be loving, and feel the magnificent spirit that is occupying the body.  You are amazing.  Be you today.  Forget who to be when the world demanded that you be one way or this way or any way.  Be the you that is here now!  Have a blessed day, darlings.  I love you all.

It starts in your backyard

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Whenever we stop thinking in a grandiose way the world will begin to shift. Conscious choices require work outside of our reach.  I have heard so many folks stating that they wish they could make a difference in the world: feeding the hungry in Africa, saving humanity elsewhere, etc. But, nothing gets done in their backyards. There’s much to be done here. A smile at a check-out aisle, a sweet word to a stranger, a coffee for a veteran, a muffin gifted to a homeless person…. Rather than think BIG and allow EGO to create a dramatic entrance, why don’t we just start small? Send a card to a friend letting him/her know that they are a gift in your life. Text someone out of the blues with a sweet message and laughter. Leave a bag of sweetness or a candle on a neighbor’s door. You never know how much that person might need that acknowledgment on that day.  Follow that tug, pull and push from within that exudes compassion for humanity.

Life begins and ends in our circle of gratitude. Yes, it’s wonderful to think of helping humanity out there, but there’s much that can be done right here. Leave a ten dollar gift certificate on a door of a single mother who is struggling to make ends meet. We all matter! We all can make a difference when we shift our perception to here and now. Let’s remove the grandiose attitude. Sit with a stranger. Share stories, break bread, share a gentle touch, and allow the world to change you while making a difference here. We all just want to be appreciated and loved. Focus on your backyard! There’s much work to be done. We can’t all be superstars.  We matter in each others’ lives.  Start living life outside of your comfort zone and watch how the magic appears. The AHA moments will blow you away. I love you…have a great day!

Believe in you and love will follow

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“It is not my place to doubt the sincere beliefs of others. My job is to question my own beliefs.” – Jonathan Lockwood Huie

I have been blessed to witness true love between two people.  It’s one of the great quirks of owning our retreat center. But, it’s rare that I find an authentic connection when one soul has met another and whispers, “There you are. I’ve been looking for you all of my life.” I know a couple who have exceeded my relationship paradigms. These two men, after nearly 30 years, still have a mutual respect, profound love, trust, compassion, and appreciation for one another. This is something most of us crave to find in a lifetime. We are born from love, searching for love, and hopefully finding that one person who can understand us.

They are opposites in so many ways. Watching them interact I am reminded of a wave. One takes while the other pulls, and together they fall into one. Even in their differences, there is this depth of accepting and knowing that although they may not agree on something they don’t question or judge the other. This is the most precise to my idea of love. They are the inspiration to what relationships should look like. It doesn’t matter if it is between a man and a woman; a man and a man; or a woman and a woman.

I am always fascinated by how people meet, how long they’ve been together, and what is the secret of their union. I don’t need to ask those questions to either of them. I can see it in a slight touch, a humorous comment, a glance across the table. I can hear it in their explanations and stories. There is no faking such sentiments. There is no denying that whatever belief one of them has, the other might not experience it, but doesn’t belittle the other because of it.

One of the most difficult issues in a relationship is that we want to “convert” our significant other to share our beliefs. Until I met my fiance I had always been with men (recently pointed out by a friend who is a therapist) whose political and religious beliefs are completely different from mine. As open minded as I think I am, these men have all been the opposite and all of them have desperately (and with much frustration) tried to force me to acquire their beliefs. When I would clam up and go numb they would start the insults about how I don’t know anything about politics or religion. I laugh now, as I type this, but while in these destructive and imbalance relationships I was totally stressed out. The difference in belief systems seems quite evident now that I look back.  So when I met my current love I made sure to clarify these things.  After over two years it has stuck.  We can agree on many things and also agree to disagree in others.

I have had a fascination with world religions and have studied them. This caused a huge stir in past relationships. Any political view, different from my own, was also insulting. I became aware of this issue and made it a rule not to discuss religion or political views with any man until I was fully comfortable to stand my ground.  I wasn’t willing to pick another who dictated or bull-dozed their way through my beliefs.

As I have observe my new friends interacting, I realize that part of who I am is based on “my beliefs.” I will no longer compromise my ideas, disposition, beliefs, and truth. They compose the person I am today. I will not allow another to try and morph me into what they believe I should be.

Few times in this path of my life do I get to stand back and admire another relationship. Perfection doesn’t exist. Perfection within our intimate imperfections does. When you find a person whom you can be all of yourself and have no judgment…well, that’s your soul mate. I don’t use the term, “soul mate” lightly. I believe a parent, child, friend, or anyone can be a soul mate. When I say it in this context I mean it as a twin soul; that other person who is part of your ocean and together you create a wave.  I have been fortunate to have found someone who will surf the rocky and calmed waters with me.

Every person who enters our life teaches us something. I am humbly grateful for eafirst-and-last-lovech person who leaves a little piece of hope in my life. I pray that people can actually let go of this aggression when it comes to beliefs and learn to love one another. It really isn’t my business what you think of me, anymore than what I think of you. My only concern is that I am truthful with me and those who love me for who I am.  In the end our authentic spirit is what reflects from our hearts.  You must love you first and foremost. May you move through love so you can find the love that compliments your soul.  You are worth it!

The Collective Consciousness

The lighter you become of egocentricity the easier life becomes. Life is not meant to be a struggle. We create it. Recently I have tallied, processed and released some major past issues I had not faced in all the years on earth. Now, from a spiritual sense I know that these lessons and events were part of my growth to enrich the betterment of my soul. However, if we don’t re-collect these issues and release the load then the struggles continue. This is part of our collective consciousness. It’s time to learn to create a barrier between you and the world that tells you what and how to be.

We are the sum of all the voices in the past. We become conditioned the moment we are born. Parents begin this process, society continues through teachers, partners, friends, etc. We begin to fall into some kind of box of expectations. Grant it, I had always done things by the book. But, I was a closet rebel. I did everything by the book on the outside meantime inside I was dying. I didn’t want to be conformed to labels of “weird, insane, or whatever.” As close as the spirit world seemed to me as a youngster, I kept the distance, thus creating a huge amount of anxiety in every decision I made against my better judgment. Living in the box is an illusion because there is no box. When we finally wake to this truth life stops being a struggle altogether. There will always be challenges, obstacles and lessons. We are here to live through the learning.

Our brain is programmed to notice what it already knows to be true. I’ve taken photographs of our pond with the clouds reflecting on it. You can’t tell what’s up or what is down. The point of reference is distorted. This is the same as our spiritual beliefs. We are somehow distorted by what society tells us to believe. How do you know what you know if you don’t have a point of reference? Where did you get that point of reference? How true is that opinion? Is it an opinion or is it truth? When did you stop questioning everything that went against your knowing? Why? When you begin to question rather than just assume and accept the struggle also disappears. You aren’t living for the sake of living because the world told you how to be, who to be, and what to be. You begin to live for you.

The collective consciousness is in need of a major shifting. Attachments to fear, anxiety, or drama is the way we are constantly being connected to what is not real. I am finding that by not giving an opinion to another person’s drama I can detach completely. I am empathetic and compassionate but I refuse to get involved. This goes along with the spirit world. The veil of our 3D perception and the next dimension is thinning. We are beginning to ask more questions. We are beginning not to just accept what has been told to us by dogma. In Latin the word for religion means “to bind.” Living in the box of what we have been told is diminishing. You can only go past this world by going through it.

My beautiful man accuses me of living in a made-up-unicorn-rainbow world. We are the epitome (the poster children) of “opposites attract.” But, he has witnessed too many things that can’t be explained to disregard that my perception of the world works perfectly for me and for us. I am not asking him to join me in my world views. I only ask that he supports my belief systems as I support his without judgment. We work perfectly in this sense while meeting somewhere in the middle. In this world of laughter and constant joy I keep my vibrations raised to fit the needs of my life. I don’t need to fall into society’s controlled-box policy of being a certain way. At times I know I shock the crap out of people. Those who no longer support me in my life choices really have no reason to be part of my life. Our lives will always be intertwined, with or without their consent we are connected.

I truly believe that things are accelerating in a way that is magical. I am witnessing the waking of spirit. I can see how decisions are being made and questioned. Yet, in spite of this human conscious shift, we are still babies learning to crawl. We have incarnated in these times to make way for the future. We are not just accepting that God is the gray-haired man in the sky controlling us, but that we are God and made in the image of divinity. Earth is changing. We are evolving. We are living longer. We are moving forward in a beautiful spiritual era. I am giddy with this knowing but I am also aware that it takes more than just my little fairy-filled head to push and elevate vibrations. We need to fill our hearts with all the love and light possible in our beings and radiate that to the cosmos. I hope you join me in this awareness. May we join in love, light and the divine joy of the world. If we want change we must create it in ourselves first. We can do this…one small act of kindness at a time.

I Need To Change

acceptance

The Dalai Lama says that “love is the absence of judgment.”  I agree and realize I must be the first to change.  I judge those who judge others. It starts with me.  How do I do it? How do I refrain from my own discrimination, ignorance, evaluations, and misunderstandings?  I know words are impeccable so if I don’t begin in changing my language there is no difference in me and anyone else that I am judging.

Love is the absence of everything unjust and the presence of all that exists.  To truly love we must accept those who are different.  I sit listening to the background of news as my husband watches on the Internet and I get irritated.  I glance at the images and scenes from the Middle East, Europe, Africa, and home. I hear all the political mumbo-jumbo, the promises, the state of anger that politics and religion bring up in our world. I don’t know how to stay in my own skin and not judge the hatred and bigotry.  I am no different.  I have my own conceptual ideas about how the world would be run if everyone put down their weapons for five minutes and looked at each other as brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, and friends. I have my own beliefs about waking humanity up and showing them how all of this crap is a game of illusions and a way to control the masses through beating them with fear. We need five minutes of staring into another’s soul. We need to try and walk in their shoes without attacking first.  I cannot understand the harshness, the reasons for these wars, the mass killings, and the way they derive from belief systems.  I understand fear. I understand hatred because of uncertainty and unknowns. I understand the things that create injustice.  I am not blinded by this reality that is created by the collective groups who feed on our anxieties and fears. I am no different in the emotions that conjure up and the rage that appears from a place that’s ugly, uncomfortable, and unrighteous.  I have my own beliefs. I just don’t go around slapping people to wake up with a lavender twig to smell the fragrance of love.  My hippie mentality cannot change how anyone thinks or can it? Can I just allow the love in spite of the indifference? Absolutely!

Words! All we have are words.  I am learning to use mine wisely.  I am adjusting the filters and stepping back many times to share what needs to be said without diving into the drama. Yet, when I am alone in thoughts and prayers I beat myself up for not setting a boundary, not saying my truth, and not really participating fully in another’s issue.  Ego is a bitch in solitary moments. Isn’t this judgment?  How am I to love deeply if I don’t let it all go?  I feel and believe that I love wholeheartedly.  I love fiercely with an immense amount of compassion for the weak, the hurt, and the misunderstood.  I am a sucker for the underdog.  It is the ones who know better that I have a problem with and test the perception of acceptance.  It is said that we project and reflect from one another.  What does this say of my character?  When events like this happen my judgment goes up and creates a barrier where the light of love can’t even get through.  I need to change! I need to love without choices, without picking, without deciding who really needs it more.  Who am I to manage such immensity of emotions while selecting the human race? Who put me in charged of The Judgment Police Department?  I don’t get to learn from the ones who agree with me.  I get the opportunity to reflect, refrain, and restrain from those who hurt me or don’t agree with my thoughts.  They are the best of teachers.  So, I do need to change and will make the effort immediately.   I don’t want my love and trust in others to die because of my lack of knowledge and empathy for their beliefs.  Who am I to create such turmoil of energy unto another?   I want love to live in me, through me, from me, and be without any stipulations.  Even when another is coming full force with hateful words, judgment, and ignorance I want to have an open heart while setting healthy boundaries.  The most challenging process of these archetype lessons is staying grounded, present, and accepting that which is different.  It is in that difference that the world resides fully.  It is in that moment of impact when another is being hateful that love lights the way.  Oh…I do need to change, evolve, and mature in so many ways to be considered a loving humanitarian. I need to adjust the sails in this journey with letting go, forgiveness, and awareness. It starts with me.  Can you join me?

“Love never dies a natural death. It dies because we don’t know how to replenish its source. It dies of blindness and errors and betrayals. It dies of illness and wounds; it dies of weariness, of witherings, of tarnishings.” ~ Anais Nin

…Until you walk in my shoes

love is the absenceWhenever I feel an attack I become a recluse.  My hermit ways grab a hold of me and I escape into a world of silence.  After releasing it writing about it comes natural.  Judgment has many complexities.  It is about our own intuition and perception.  It is also about wisdom, telltale, warnings and consultation.  Judgment is also painful, opinionating, deceitful and full of many false criticisms.  It can destroy relationships, friendships and anything it comes in contact within the umbrella of gossip.  We are all subject to it.  No one is exempted from it. And, this simple noun, with all its complexities, rises and grabs us hold.  We are forced to step back and re-evaluate, not only others but ourselves in the process of relating to them.

When we are emotionally unavailable life is a huge struggle.  We show the strength in our spirit as soon as the walls start to cave around us.  Strength is not shown in moments of comfort and happiness.  It appears in moments of trials and difficulties through the courage of letting go. Judgment and criticism are catalysts to stepping back and watching the ego take the lead.  Challenges push us to stay in hot water and brew to develop into something magically unavailable to us in other instances of our lives.  We become authentically in nature if we allow the self to live in honesty while honoring our truths.  The judgments from others can’t really hurt us if we are grounded in authenticity.  I always say out loud when I am making a point, “I know my truth!”  That knowing comes from divinity.

I believe that we learn through the challenges of feelings.  We are pushed to escape our egos and allow the Divine to help.  When things are going well we rarely go to Spirit.  It’s as if we need to find pain in order to fall on our knees and get closer to God.  It’s ironic.  The lower you are the higher you become.   Being emotionally honest allows the freedom to celebrate Spirit, the core essence of our being.   I find that the older I get the more emotionally available I become with myself.  I am not running.  I embrace the emotions, sometimes holding them too tightly to finally allowing them to subside.  My humanness craves for the liberation of principle.  I am accepting me in the perfection of being the best version of me there is in this world.

A few things I have learned from the vile of other’s opinions.  And, here are quotes that fit any situation that causes us to step into the uncertainty of criticism and how it affects us.  Unless you’ve walked in my shoes, you cannot know how I will react, and vice versa.

– “Do not wait for the last judgment. It comes every day.” – Albert Camus

– “People hasten to judge in order not to be judged themselves.” – Albert Camus

– “Never look down on anybody unless you’re helping them up.” – Jesse Jackson

– “We judge others instantly by their clothes, their cars, their appearance, their race, their education, their social status. The list is endless. What gets me is that most people decide who another person is before they have even spoken to them. What’s even worse is that these same people decide who someone else is, and don’t even know who they are themselves.” – Ashely Lorenzana

– “I am aware that I am less than some people prefer me to be, but most people are unaware that I am so much more than what they see.” – Douglas Pagels

– “Don’t judge a man by his opinions, but what his opinions have made of him.” – Georg Christoph Lichetenber

Sadly enough there’s no return from gossip and judgment.  Once it is out there it is difficult to deny it.  The only thing one must do is keep moving to the best of your own judgment.  All the great masters expressed that the secret to compassion is to turn the other cheek.   We must give thanks for those teachers who hurt us and push us to expand our hearts.  Our hearts have to break, pain has to be somewhat present, and then we grow.  I’ve come to realize that’s how it is with love and God.  There is such beauty in allowing the truth to come through our weakness.  The more we allow ourselves to feel the discomfort, the easier the journey becomes.  I vow to become more emotionally honest and speak up when the pain appears, when joy embraces me, and when Spirit speaks to me.  I wish you freedom as you gift yourself the ability to honor all emotions and live authentically.  Life is too short to pretend, hide, neglect and reject the emotional roads that lead to truth.  Judgment, or not, the choice is always yours…until you walk in my shoes I will not allow you to dictate my emotions.  Ultimately you are only responsible for one person…YOU!

The All

Faith vanishes fear.
Love surrenders to the oneness.
Grace sees all that is
Without judgment.
Forgiveness releases shame.
Compassion opens the
Heart to the world.
Divinity is the all of our
Existence.
Gratitude becomes the key that unlocks
The universe.