Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thanksgiving - More than Turkey and Football

The holidays are a time for family, and this year, my family will be forever altered with the absence of my mom this Thanksgiving holiday. I've missed many Thanksgivings with my family while in Colorado, and today, twinges of regret come up that I didn't make more of them. But then I remember the many wonderful Thanksgivings I've spent with families of close friends, co-workers and even acquaintances that opened their home upon learning I had no plans for the holiday. I've had the pleasure of serving others who have no means to enjoy the luxury of Thanksgiving dinner, much less a family or a place to call home. In remembering these times I was without my family, I remember how I contributed, and allowed others to contribute to the magnificence of my journey.

I'm sure I'm preaching to the choir when I say that Thanksgiving is more than football, parades and turkey dinner. But I know that many miss the simplest of blessings to count. We have all, at some point in our life, done the standard expression of thanks that includes our family, our loved ones, having a job, and our health. But I challenge EVERYONE to take their blessings to a deeper level, to things that you may naturally overlook and even take for granted. Give thanks for the ability to breathe easy, walk on your own two legs, and the hands that carve your turkey. Express gratitude for the roof over your head, no matter what that looks like, for you are safe from the elements of winter weather. Give thanks for employment, regardless of how irritating your co-workers are, what grievances you have with the "powers that be;" give thanks for an income and health benefits (no matter what that looks like!!) that support your efforts to provide for your family, your well-being, and your financial needs. For those of us who are unemployed, give thanks for unemployment benefits that support us, even nominally in transition; say thank you for the part-time job, no matter what it is, and know your efforts in that help others, somehow, some way, even if it's asking "would you like fries with that?" Give thanks for those who ask you, "would you like fries with that." Express appreciation for the opportunities to figure out what's next, the support of loved ones during these times of transition, for their prayers, words of encouragement and unconditional love. Give thanks that you live in a country where you have the freedom of speech, even if it's considered misguided or disagreed with by others. Give thanks for men and women who sacrifice time with their own family to serve our country in the name of freedom. Be grateful for a government that doesn't take you jail when you speak out against it. Express gratitude for a working vehicle, running water, and working toilet. Say "thank you" for the smiling children, the unconditional love of pets, and the beauty of nature around us. Give thanks for all that you've experienced, and the learning and growth opportunities, and the ability to choose an open willing mind and heart to make changes that serve you better, despite current circumstances that seem unfair, unjust, and uncomfortable.

You get the point; dig deeper to express gratitude for the many, many things we take for granted. Dig deep within your heart; see beyond the obvious for those blessings, large and small, grand and simple. And give thanks daily, not just on Thanksgiving. For with expression of gratitude, we invite more blessings into our life. Our expression signals to God our willingness to have more abundance, our willingness to receive it.

This year, I have so much to give thanks for, despite the trials and tribulations this journey has offered. I give thanks to the many, many, many people who have said a prayer, sent emails, and love and light in support of me and my family around my mother's illness and death; you know who you are. I count my blessings in the challenges that have left me reeling, and the opportunities they afford me through the closing of so many doors. I'm grateful for the love I feel, the love I receive, and the means to manage these transitions I am experiencing. I give thanks that I was able to help my mom feel more comfortable, brighten her final days, and the honor to support her in her crossing over. I give gratitude for that Spirit within me that is God Expression. My love to you and yours, and many more blessings to feel grateful for in the coming year.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Happy Birthday, Mom

Today would’ve been my mom’s 70th birthday. I knew today may be touch and go for me emotionally. I met my dad and we enjoyed lunch at one of her favorite restaurants, per his suggestion. Then we went to the cemetery to pay our respects, honor her and wish her a happy birthday. And shortly, I will be attending my first grief support meeting; why? In part to know I’m not going crazy when I have these grief-filled burps of emotion, and to better understand the process and to connect with others who are also moving through it.

Do you remember the scene in movie The Princess Bride when Westley and Buttercup are moving through the Fire Swamp? During their journey, unexpected spurts of fire would burst up from the ground, out of nowhere. I’m finding that grief is like a journey through the fire swamp with unexpected hits of emotion that come quite suddenly and strongly. It is an edginess that lowers my patience, or increases my irritability and defensiveness over the silliest things. It's a power surge that drains my joy, and a geyser of emotion bubbling up and pouring forth as tears. These blindsides of grief leave me feeling off balance and out of sorts; just not myself.

In these four months following my mother’s passing, we are moving through birthdays (both my dad’s and mom’s), my parent’s anniversary, and two major holidays. These are the “big ones” I’ve heard others who have lost loved ones describe as the most challenging. Is it a blessing to go through these “big ones” so quickly and in such a short amount of time or a curse?

I choose to consider it a blessing – for me personally, it allows me to “lean into it.” “It” meaning the grief, while I have the time and space in which to adjust to the absence of my mom in my life, to heal and purge all the emotion I feel around it. Perhaps then I can move forward, cleansed and more light-hearted. I’m not naïve enough to believe that my grieving will be complete after the first four months but it is my hope that it will not nearly as intense as it has felt the last two months. Time will only tell.

I’ve been told that the first year after the loss of the loved one is the hardest. With each 3rd of the month that passes, I give thanks for one more month behind the loss, counting how many are left in that “first year.” However, I don’t think I’ll ever get over wanting to hold my mom’s hand, exchange mother-daughter hugs and kisses, pick up the phone to talk about our respective days, share confidences, and just gab for the sake of gabbing. And I guess in a way, I don’t want to get over wanting those things with my mom, for I wonder that if I do, am I shifting into having taken it all for granted? I don’t know the answer, and intuitively, I don’t think so. But I do know I feel her constantly around me; she’s visited a couple of times in my dreams, and converses with me often. So, I will adjust to just being with her in this different way, and know that whatever I need moving forward as a motherless child, I can find with the love and support of my friends and family who are mothers of their own children.


Tuesday, October 27, 2009

In the Abyss of Uncertainty

The day is gloomy. Silence surrounds me as I watch out my patio door the rain fall from the sky. Water, an element of change, reflects the emotional body. It encourages us to open ourselves to all things, even to things we dislike or that feel bad. Water teaches us to accept all that life brings while simultaneously choosing to act for positive change. Many of us are experiencing transitions, crossroads that invite us on a path in our journey. These crossroads provide us with opportunities to shift to a higher and more meaningful way that truly reflects the Divine Within, the potential to show up the essence of our spiritual beings, as creations of God.

Yet as spiritual beings in the human experience, we show up in the humanness of the journey. Fear. Anger. Anxiety. Self-righteousness. Blame. Judgment. Self-pity. It is natural. It is normal to feel such angst in the midst of great changes. We must honor the humanness of others and of our self as we show up in the human experience. The shift takes place in our consciousness.

Consciousness is a self awareness; an awareness of how we are “showing up” in our lives and with others, and with this information, then making different choices that shift/lift our energy vibrations. Ideally, the shift will move us from a lower vibration zone, which can feel burdensome, thick and heavy in our physical bodies, bitterness and biting in our moods, and generate “stinking thinking” of negative, judgmental and critical thoughts about ourselves and/or of others. Shifting into a higher vibration zone feels lighter and provides us with a sense of inner peace and relaxation, melting away stress and anxiety and instilling within us a sense that God has our back. This shift moves us more deeply into faith. Shifting takes place when we surrender all our worries, our questions without answers, our fears and “what ifs” over to God/Universe, which then opens a channel to receiving God’s guidance, thus creating space for God to work magic in our lives. Surrendering is letting go of the “shoulds;” attachments to how it all should look like, how it should unfold and how everyone around us should be showing up around us. Stop "shoulding" on yourself! Surrendering is letting go of needing to control everything and everyone in our own life. Coercion is an act of force, to compel something. The practice of coercion around our circumstances demonstrates a separation from God; through impatience, we demonstrate a lack of faith. When we coerce changes, (often impulsively out of fear, worry, anxiety, upset and desperation) that serve our human Ego driven agendas, we cut God out of the equation, leaving little to no room for God to creatively work on our behalf, for us, and through us.

It’s important to understand that surrendering does not mean “doing nothing!” It takes great courage, regardless the perception of our human eyes, to hold steady in faith that everything is absolutely Divine Perfection, and to know God is present through it all. As we move into surrender, we open ourselves up to receiving Divine inspiration, to be guided into right action around what to do differently, more productively, and from a place of greater Self awareness.

Our level of Consciousness is the key to how gracefully we maneuver through challenging times. When we are wrapped up in the lower vibration zone of human emotion, we can not see the forest for the trees. But with effort, and in setting an intention to become more self-aware, we can begin put on the brakes, and step back, breathe and check in with ourselves around how we are showing up in the moment. Taking a time out is a great tool to raise our self awareness. Meditation following the situation can help us to tune in and reflect on what just transpired. Journaling is also a great tool for processing what’s happening, how it feels and how different choices could nurture a more positive experience moving forward.

Whether its rain or tear drops falling today, whether its staying under a hot shower a little longer or enjoying a long hot bath, whether we’re in a swimming pool or in the Atlantic, we are invited by water to take a moment and reflect from a higher place of awareness to not only open up, but how to open up more fully to a positive change. Opening up, just as surrender, is not a passive, discouraged acceptance of our inner world or outer reality, but a courageous shift into trusting the new life that is expressing and unfolding through us.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Embracing Differences for Greater Self Discovery

Life is good. It’s not without its challenges, but choosing how to manage those challenges can determine whether we make life even better. Life’s challenges are healthy, though not always enjoyable. I use the word “challenge” as opposed to “problem,” “headache,” or “pain in the ass,” for challenge holds a neutral energy. From a place of neutrality, we can determine through our choices if it becomes charged to the positive or the negative in our experience.

When presented with a challenge, we may immediately feel lower energies of upset, hurt, doubt, paranoia, anger, or irritability, to name a few. This natural human reaction is triggered by our human Ego which holds a rolodex of past experiences (and even past lives) that remind us of memories which influences how we choose in any given situation. The challenge at hand offers many opportunities, including reevaluation of our belief systems and attitudes, a balance between what we say and how we actually show up in our choices and actions, and whether we need to render forgiveness to ourselves or towards others in past or current experiences for healing.

From a lower state of consciousness, we may choose to hang onto or wallow in the upset; this choice is driven by our human Ego which is designed to protect us from uncomfortable experiences. While the challenge itself may be uncomfortable, more uncomfortable (I know, it’s an oxymoron but the human Ego and Spirit do work collaboratively!) is looking deeply within and realizing we’ve been living lie; misguided self-perceptions created through adopted beliefs imposed upon us by our parents, friends, culture, religion, media or society which could suddenly, no longer resonate as our truth, which can really rock our world. We may realize we were incorrect in our self-perception and our perceptions of others and the world. Being wrong doesn’t work for our human Egos. It’s easier to be “right” and miserable than to rock our world with inquiry and open-mindedness in the spirit of seeing things differently than what we believe we perceive is right. Unfortunately, the only impetus for choosing inquiry and self-reflection with objective honesty is often stimulated by the depth of despair, in how miserable we are and what we tolerate in our life. How effective is such a pattern of letdowns, upsets, or misery in offering us peace and happiness in our life?

Recently, I have been challenged by criticism and persecution around my life choices and beliefs, to which I, of course, naturally became defensive. Immediately recognizing that energy, I chose to step back before overreacting in a tit-for-tat Ego mentality. Through meditative prayer and self-reflection, I “entered into thy closet”, my Heart to better understand my challengers and myself, while consciously remembering that we are all One in God. I opened my heart and mind to whatever Divine Guidance and insight I needed around the situations. In doing so, I understood that one particular past experience in my life triggered my reaction, and through this revelation, realized I had some deeper work to do around fully trusting my heart and its inner knowing. I understood there was unfinished business of forgiveness to offer to facilitate healing around another past experience.

I am also being called to open up my heart and mind even more deeply to unconditional acceptance of differing belief systems without feeling persecuted. I understand that those differing viewpoints do not change my Truth, yet healthy reflection on those differences deepen my awareness of my Truth; additionally it facilitates within me greater love and respect in knowing God expresses uniquely within and through those differences. I can now more fully and deeply trust in my Heart, which supports my personal empowerment when faced with condemnation and criticism of by those whose opinions stem from their own rolodex of past experiences.

The beautiful thing about our life’s challenges is that they serve as mirrors which are gifts from God to reflect back to us one of two things, depending on the situation: a reflection of what is left to be healed within us, and/or what we need to know about ourselves and how we are showing up in our life, as demonstrated by the challenge before us. How self aware through honest and objective reflection can help us shift our life from one of strife and stress to one of peace and harmony. When we rely solely on outside sources and information for our truth, and question nothing within our Hearts, that place where God’s Truth is housed, we agree to what we are told, and close the door to enlightenment. And even through this self-reflection, what we know and believe still resonates with us, then yea us! At least we stepped outside of our box (and the box others put us in) of what we think we know and checked in with other possibilities of what could be.

The Golden Rule, do unto others as you would have them do unto you, speaks to not only actions, but how we regard other. When we impose upon others what we think they need to believe or how they should live, we show disrespect for another’s journey, their freedom of choice, and what they are here to experience in their lifetime. When we share from an open place of what we personally know and have experienced, we share a part of our heart. It’s all in how it is presented; being open to embracing differences, without a personal agenda, supports the spirit of unconditional love and acceptance. This sharing of differences usually invites a respectful and open dialogue of inquiry, though not always. Through this blog, and in all of my writings, I strive to share information from what I have learned through personal and spiritual experience; whether it resonates with the reader is up to the individual reader. I do not expect anyone to adopt as their own my beliefs as reflected in my shares. My only hope is that something within my personal experience and insights resonate with you, the reader, in support of your own journey. Our journey and the life we experience ultimately lies with each of us, and how we choose to create it.

As for me and my latest challenges, I’m excited by them, for they offer me the opportunity to grow personally and spiritually, to deepen my faith and trust in my Divine Guidance, and better understand differences while continuously checking in with my own personal truths. These challenges teach me to live One in God with everyone in all situations and experiences, rather than from a place of separation in the form of defensiveness and judgment. I value the teachers I encounter in my life, and give thanks for all that they do to deepen me in my Spiritual Truth.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Finding Gratitude in Challenging Times

We’ve all had times when we are just feeling dumped on by life’s experiences. We even get dumped on by other’s less than productive life experiences, which if we are not careful, can energetically take us down with them in the lower vibration whirlpool.

Making a concerted effort to look at what’s right in our life can help us shift up our feelings; finding something for which to be grateful every day will shift relatively quickly those lower vibrations of lack, victimization, fear, upset, anger, blame, and limitation. Whether you have lost a loved one through death or divorce, lost or hate a job, got caught up in someone else’s bad day, lost financial footing, or are generally feeling lost in your life, how we productively or unproductively move through these experiences create our future experiences, moving forward. When we focus on what’s wrong with our lives, what’s missing, and what should have, could have or would have been only sends us spiraling further downward into a sinkhole of lower vibration, the Muck Zone, which then activates attraction of even more “crap” and “loss” into our life.

Rather than spending energy pondering, wallowing, and living in what’s not right with our lives, we must shift our focus on what we have to be grateful for within it. Personally, there have been moments in my life where all I could muster in gratitude was that I was breathing, my dogs were healthy, I had $3 dollars in the bank, I have my eyesight and hearing, and the sun is shining. Finding more gratitude became a stretch, but with focused and conscious effort to appreciate what was good in my life, I began to feel better (raise my vibrations) and release the mucky feelings (lower vibrations) around my life’s challenges. An “attitude of gratitude” shifts the energy to a higher vibration of what’s good, which then leads to gradually attracting greater good into life.

The Universe knows the difference between lip service and genuine feelings of gratitude. Though when in the pits of despair, it may feel silly to be grateful that the light bulbs work or that you have a full head of hair, truly appreciating what we’ve got going for us honors the presence of God’s goodness in our life, and opens us up to receiving more. We must truly believe in that which we have going for us; as we build that momentum of thankfulness, we feel positive shifts in our vibrations, and unproductive energies release to make room for more enjoyable and meaningful opportunities.

We sweat the small stuff of what’s not right too much; honor the small stuff that’s good in our life. These small building blocks lead to building a greater foundation for goodness that we yearn and deserve in our life. Shifting out of a bad attitude into one of gratitude keeps us focused in the present, and begins the process of creating a more positive future, one moment at a time.

Don’t just “think” gratitude, but write those things for which you are grateful down in a notebook or journal to make it concrete and real to the human Ego which generates our lower vibrating emotions. Start with ten expressions of gratitude, keeping them short and sweet: I’ve got a job. Met a nice woman standing in the grocery line. Had calm conversation with the ex. The following week, bump the list up to fifteen expressions and be amazed at how easy it is to do.

Keeping a daily Gratitude Journal is a good meditative practice, even when things are going good, for we keep open the possibilities of even greater abundance through continuous gratitude. Gratitude helps us clear our head of life’s icky appearances and opens our eyes to seeing our situations with a healthier perspective, which facilitates productive problem-solving and the healing of our hearts around the experience.

I am grateful for you reading my Blog. I am grateful to serve as a messenger of Spirit. I am grateful for my life and all its experiences, and to know more deeply my Spiritual Truth of I Am. Namaste.

Love and Light.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Anatomy of Losing A Loved One

Many of you who have been following my blog know my mom recently passed from this life on Thursday, September 3rd. A dear friend suddenly lost her dad this week, and I now know, better understand the experience she and her siblings will go through upon losing a parent. Each experience of loss is different for each of us, and depends on the kind of relationship we had with the loved one. And each of us will handle differently what transpires following the loved one’s death; but I’m sharing my personal experience of dealing with the loss in the days and weeks that have followed so that you who have not been through such a loss (blessedly!) can better understand in some small way what we who have experienced it go through. It doesn’t even begin to touch upon “living the experience” but I’m hopeful you can better appreciate why friends going through such a loss might withdraw, become non-responsive and check-out, become brooding and moody, not seem themselves and out of sorts for any given amount of time.

Upon my mom’s transition, my dad, brother and I were with her when she drew her last breaths. I have never seen someone transition, never having been present when another human being left this Earthly realm. It wasn’t what I expected; it has replayed in my mind many times, and now and again, continues to do so. It’s one of those moments etched in your memory that you will forever recall. The sound of the final gasps of breath. The gurgling of each breath. The body’s strain to take them. My mother’s face as she did so. It brings tears to my eyes to think of it, even at this writing, but I am grateful I was there to be with her, support her as she left this world into the next glorious Realm.

The week and plus days that followed was like being in a time warp, but it felt like we were on Novocain. We were all numb, and immediately after mom’s passing, there were final arrangements to attend to, which provided us with some distraction. But we also had time on our hands before we moved into the visitation and funeral service phase. In the time leading up to these events, we found distraction in the company of family members, loved ones, and DVD’s. We found comfort in the endless supply of food that people brought over. But the visitation and funeral service: I dreaded these two days for I knew it would be intense. The resentful human part of me didn’t want to do any of it. We are physically and emotionally drained from the loss. And we are not only managing our own emotions over this loss, but we are called upon during these times to support others expressions of loss, those who are also saddened. I didn’t want to hear words of encouragement and comfort that really didn’t feel helpful or comforting. We must also manage others’ discomfort with death, and their loss of their friend in mom. But in support of my father, and in honor of my mother, I resolved to open my heart and mind to the experience, releasing all human angst over to the Universe, and moved into being in every moment of the experience. I found the strength and energy from God Within to move through each moment with ease and grace.

Many people came to pay their respects to the family, and we were touched to learn just how well so many people thought of mom. I personally was touched and amazed at all who came to the visitation; people I hadn’t seen since grade school – teachers, family of childhood friends, classmates, and so many others. The days were long, but filled with the support and love of family, locally and from out of town. Sunday evening after the visitation, our house was filled with approximately 50 family members, young and old, to enjoy food and company. It made for a long tiring day but it offered relief in the form of laughter. It also helped us sleep through the night on the eve of the funeral.

The funeral service had been planned by mom prior to the deterioration of her health. One of the blessings our family enjoyed in all of this was mom getting all her ducks in a row around her affairs. This in and of itself was one of many greatest gifts she gave us before her earthly departure. Funeral arrangements and all the details had been previously made; finalizing them after her death was a formality and effortless. The funeral service she planned, down to the music and who would speak was beautiful, and we’ve received so many compliments. It was a relief to have that closure; but with one door closed, another door opens into the next phase of the loss.

The week following the funeral, we are all still slightly numb mixed with a bit of shock and awe. But we had more to do - thank you notes to those who sent flowers, contributions, etc. My brother and his wife, dad and I sat down and took care of the business. It wasn’t quite a week since mom passed but it seemed that so much taken place in such a short period of time. It seemed surreal. The one week mark hit on Thursday, and slowly, the numb feeling began to fade and the reality of mom’s absence made itself known, along the pain that accompanies the loss. I managed to distract myself much as possible through the weekend, but my façade of being “okay,” along with my intention to “move on” began cracking under the pressure of grief bubbling to the surface. One week and a day after mom’s passing, my brother and his wife returns home to Frankfort and their lives, leaving Dad and I at the house where we’d been in service of mom for two months, and for Dad, even longer. One week after burying my mom, ten days after my mom died, all emotional hell broke loose for me; I crashed and burned for two days, physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually.

It’s just been six weeks since mom crossed over. Two weeks after her death, I left town and headed to South Dakota and Colorado for a getaway. Several Interstates experienced my tears as I sobbed like a baby whenever I thought of my mom, saw something that reminded me of her, or I felt my mom’s presence around me. The emotion purged up uncontrollably steamrolling through me, at times. I cried even more upon my arrival to Colorado, and in the nurturing and loving arms of my spiritual family and support group. The trip was good, for it allowed me the space to process mentally, spiritually and emotionally the loss, and my life without my mom in it. Upon my return, I finally crashed physically, as all the energies of the grief manifested through a head cold, forcing me to stop, sit still, rest my body and sleep; it was the most I’d sat still since I came home in July to care for mom.

Life goes on. Each Thursday, I feel a heaviness come over my heart, for mom was Thursday’s child (born and died on Thursday). I watch a DVD and see someone losing a loved one, and in hypersensitivity, I break down in more expression of grief, thus missing several minutes of the movie. I’m feeling more myself, but then I’m touched by another’s personal loss, such as my dear friend. My heart aches with an understanding of what she’s experiencing, and her sense of responsibility she’ll feel to forge ahead as a pillar of strength for the family and the community, when you really just want to curl up in a corner and cry like a baby. And lately, I experience “what if” moments, when I wonder, what if I’d been home more often to spend more quality time with her, what if she’d met my Beloved, and what if she’d gotten to do more of the things she’d wanted to do. It’s part of the process; and I gently think the thoughts, and then gently let them go. This is the key to moving through the grief and keeping one’s sanity within it.

As for supporting those of us experiencing such a loss, just listen to us share our feelings, and acknowledge them. Don’t tell us what we need to do to get through the grief; even if you’ve been through it personally, remember we each handle our grief uniquely. Tell us you are available for us to call and talk to you, and that you’re happy to listen and share your own experiences if we want to hear them. Hold us when we are crying, tearing up, and even when we are being unreasonable and irrationally out of sorts for the situation at hand. Just a simple hand on the shoulder or back to reassure us we’re not alone in this is helpful. Be patient with us, understanding and just asking “what can I do for you?” Tell us it is okay to be sad and to cry; don’t tell us “you’ve got to move on.” When its appropriate, help us get out, keep busy with a project; there’s an appropriate time for us to wallow in the emotion, but help us move out of it by bringing over supper, a DVD and popcorn, or an art project. And ask us questions about the loved one, especially if you didn’t know him or her well. We love to talk about our loved ones we’ve lost, for it helps us stay connected to them in a different and new way; don’t think it’s too painful to bring the loved one up to us, and yes, we may even cry when we do talk about them, but that’s okay. You just need to be okay with it if we do. Know that we are in pain as we watch other family members left behind go through this loss too. Watching my dad move about this house, alone and without my mom for the first time in 45 years is heartbreaking. He relied on mom for a great deal, and he misses her presence, her company a lot. We all do. So know we are feeling empathy pain of another’s grief, which leaves us feeling helpless to our loved ones, as well as our own grief.

For me, I’m feeling more like myself, but I still need support. I have a wonderful man who catches me when I collapse under the heartache, but I also need to know what I’m feeling is normal, healthy; so I’ve found a grief support group to connect with so that I’m feeling less alone in this muck. If you are not sure how to support someone in grief, get educated. There’s a wonderful Grief Library at Owensboro’s Glenn Funeral Home’s website,, by a specialist who resides in Colorado. Or go to a grief support group with your friend; he or she will appreciate your support in this way.

I’ve never lost someone so close to me before until the passing of my mom. I’ve lost dogs, grandparents, even an uncle, but this relationship was the greatest loss I’ve experienced. I appreciate the support I’ve received; but I’m not done grieving. Just know we appreciate your love and support continuously, even if we look like we’re doing okay.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Shifting Up in Vibration

It’s been a while since my last blog; thank you for your patience and understanding over the last month and a half. As most of you know, I’ve been in Kentucky assisting my father with the care of my mother who was diagnosed as terminal in January. My mom passed on September 3rd, and I’ve taken the month of September and October off to see to the business of supporting my father as well as for my own personal healing. The mourning will continue beyond October, but the time I’ve taken has offered me the opportunity to recoup energy expended through this amazing and challenging human experience.

As many of you may also know, we have moved into an amazing shift in September as the separation between lower and higher vibrations has been taking place. I am not alone in the multitude of changes that are taking place, as I hear many other like-minded colleagues, peers and acquaintances that are experiencing intense shifts and transitions that, upon initial appearances, seem to be out of their control. These changes are around jobs, life's work, relationships, and even around routine and material experiences as we’ve known them. Are these changes really out of our control? The Universe supports us in ways even we can not imagine.

Using my own journey, as an example, I learned of my mother’s illness in January. At the end of May, I learned that my job contract would not be renewed, and thus, I would be unemployed as of the end of June. One door closes, another opens; in this case, I was given the freedom to return to Kentucky to serve my parents in their time of need, as well as spend as much quality time as I could with my mom in her final weeks on Planet Earth. But the Universe is not quite finished with me yet! In this dark time of waiting for my mom’s transition, I meet, quite surprisingly and unexpectedly, my Beloved that I’ve spent the last year affirming as manifested (a testament to the Law of Attraction) in my life! Again, as another door begins to close around my relationship with my mom, another door opens to a relationship with my Beloved, and a heart, and life, filled with love and joy in the midst of my grief. Can the spectrum of shifts be any more extreme?

For me personally, I have much in my life still up in the air in this journey, but I’m learning to let go and surrender, even more than I already thought was possible. As we move forward in our journey, our personal growth and spiritual lessons deepen, bringing us to an even higher vibration and state of consciousness as we move through the human experience. I encourage you to consider how doors that may be closing in your life are truly opportunities for you to step more fully into your Authentic Self. The level of consciousness we hold as to the mysteries (or are they really that mysterious) of the Universe and its work will determine how well we manage such intensely shifting human experiences.

Now is the time to deepen our spiritual practice of daily meditation and introspection. Greater self-care and self-nurturing is needed to support our human Ego and strengthen our resolve of perseverance. Efforts toward greater and more conscious expressions of gratitude temper the sense of uncertainty around the unknown. Rooting ourselves more consciously into a deeper trust and faith that the Universal Spirit is handling all the details of the unseen helps dissipate the illusions of fear and anxiety, and cool the burning questions of “what", "how” and “when.” We are One. We are One in God. We are God Expression, human vessels through which God creates. What we create is decided upon by each of us. All is as it should be, and in this knowing, we can know all human roads lead to the deeper understanding of Creative Power of God Within each of us.

Love and Light.

Friday, August 14, 2009

The Bird's Eye View of Self

Life in the Smith household, where my mother lies during her dying process, is ever busy, filled with the comings and goings of Hospice providers, neighbors, friends and neighbors checking on us, the family, and mom, or bringing food and sentiments of caring thoughts and prayers. The support is abundant; overwhelmingly touching in this time of uncertainty and challenge.

But within this dynamic environment that Life has presented to each of us traveling this journey together, there is an interesting study of the interactive mix between consciousness and unconsciousness, and how we, and in particularly I, are influenced by it all. In the face of the unknown, and the accompanying fear and the resistance it brings in partnership, patience wears, angers fuel and selfishness, disrespect and inconsideration grows. Some days, I have found myself unconsciously swimming in the lower vibrations of sniping, drama and various other emotions in this already intense human experience.

I am, at times, an active participant in this hurricane of human vibration; and thankfully, I have the wherewithal to recognize when I’m in the muck of it, and the consciousness to pull myself out of it. Being in consciousness is the key piece, for when I shift from the participant of the unfolding human experience to one of Observer, I can see not only how I and others are showing up in the experience, but how I am perpetuating it through my reactions and choices in management of it. This consciousness requires practice and a distinguishing comprehension of the difference between Observing and Judging.

Judging, in and of itself, condemns, imposing a higher value system upon something based on one’s perception of one’s own values and those of the world with in which we live. (Note: Each of us live in a different world, created by our personal experiences, upbringings, religious/spiritual influences, etc., so there are countless sets of value systems, and ours is unique to each of us.) The problem in Judging is that we tend to label that which is being judged as right or wrong, good or bad. In judgment, we deem another less than ourselves, our values and way of thinking. Judgment also gives us an excuse to take no responsibility or ownership in the very thing or experience that we are judge. We deny any responsibility for contributing to the situation, despite the fact that participation is and of itself contribution. Additionally, when we judge, we are unconsciously judging ourselves as we judge others. As for this latter point: If we are all created by the One Source, then we must all be One in God; if we are One, we are connected, unified, as often referred to in Christianity, brothers and sisters. So, when we judge another, we are truly judging ourselves, for we are each others’ reflections; we serve each other as mirrors so that we may see and explore our own shadows (areas in need of healing).

Be honest; have you judged another for something you yourself have done in your own life experience? Of course, we all have; so when we judge another, we are in essence judging ourselves, and that part of our shadow that we dislike about ourselves, and have yet to forgive and heal within us. We judge others for actions that they have taken against us, that left us in pain. But within that, we have not yet forgiven the other person or ourselves for making choices in and around that experience.

You may ask: What about someone who has killed another; I’ve never killed another, so how can I be judging myself? Have you ever felt so upset that you wished someone was just gone, eliminated from your experience? Have you ever killed, intentionally or accidentally, another of God’s creatures, if not another person? There’s a commandment that says Thou shall not kill; there are laws that forbid such action. Killing takes away a life, no matter the circumstances around it or the form in which life is expressed. So the judgment of one who has killed may be rooted from a past action, though not exact in appearances; or it may stem from one’s thoughts of such an action, which implies one’s capability of such an action.

And consider this: perhaps you hold energy from a past life experience in which you are condemning yourself. If you do not believe in past lives, this idea will not resonate with you; but if you do, understand that karma plays not only within this life experience, but over eons of past life experiences. Each lifetime is to experience and heal that which we may have rendered upon others. So we may judge others for something we have never done, or believe we would ever do in this life, but perhaps, we have touched upon a past life choice in which we did, and that is in need of healing. Whether you believe in past lives or not, consider this: isn’t it possible that you could make the same choice you judge, if you were walking in that person’s exact same shoes on their path? The possibility is always there; how actions are determined is through the consciousness of our choices in the moment. And while we would like to believe we would never kill another, we can’t possibly know until we are in such circumstances as another has been.

During challenging times, empowerment comes from being an Observer. Becoming an Observer shifts this self-righteous “holier than thou” mentality we call judgment to one of simply seeing and unconditionally accepting “what is.” More importantly, being the Observer becomes less about what others are doing, and more about how consciously we are showing up within in the situation; our reactions, our communication, including word, tone and inflection, and our choices in how we manage other’s choices. If we can allow ourselves to observe as objectively as possible while engaged in the subjectively charged experience, we can consciously collect valuable information for later introspection and learning. We can learn what buttons are easily pushed and by whom, the correlation to past experiences and how we’ve agreed to other people’s beliefs, and how those influence our perception of Illusory Truth v. Spiritual Truth. We can better understand how differing values influence what others say or do, and how those trigger our reactions, and from that place, how our choices are influenced so we may prevent and/or better manage conflicts moving forward. With this information, we can better choose how we participate next time, perhaps with greater empathy, less self-righteousness, less reactions and more productive choices in communication, silence, unconditional acceptance, etc., all of which places us in greater personal power to manage ourselves in God’s higher vibration.

Please note that unconditional acceptance does not mean we agree or condone choices of others that make us less than. God gave us a voice to express our Spiritual Truth, but not to impose upon others our beliefs and values through judgment. If we need to set boundaries, we do so in a loving and respectful way without dishonoring another. If we need to state our differences of opinion, we do so without making another’s opinion wrong or less than, without persecution or judgment. We can acknowledge another’s viewpoint, and state clearly how we feel and/or disagree, but with understanding and respect, not with condemnation and self-righteousness.

The ongoing practice of stepping out of Unconsciousness to Consciousness is tedious but achievable. Becoming an Observer empowers us, allows us to step more fully into who we really are: a child of God, expressing fully through each of us, as each of us, that truth of love, peace, joy, harmony, wisdom, abundance, and creative power. From the conscious state of Observer, we can step more fully into compassion, empathy, and patience for others, in support as they move through their own shadows. And in doing so, we can shine greater Light on our own shadows, opening the door of forgiveness to greater love and healing, and ultimately, greater inner peace.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

The Vast Pit of the Unknown

There are times in life when everything seems uncertain, and we are, in every way, left in limbo, hanging perilously over a crevice of the unknown. You know this limbo if you have ever lost your job unexpectedly; lost a loved one; pulled up roots and moved to a new town or state; finished an educational chapter in your life(i.e. college, high school) and/or preparing to move into a new career; started a new family; lost a family; divorced; started a new relationship; or collapsed under financial blows, just to name a few. Personally, I am hanging over one of the biggest canyons of the unknown that I’ve ever encountered in my life.

These crossroads are opportunities if we allow them to be; endings and beginnings from which we can learn so much about ourselves and our hearts if we consciously take the time for introspection. These times of limbo are challenging, tiring, overwhelming and frankly, extremely frustrating and unsettling. And yet in that energy, we can productively or unproductively handle ourselves in many different ways. And regardless of anything, how we move through the experience ultimately determines how long we stay stuck in the middle of that crossroad, how well we move out of it, and how easily we manage the next challenge as we move along in our journey. Trust me there are always more crossroads in the journey.

I am currently experiencing a “super-sized” helping of limbo in my life. I stand not just in one crossroad but multiple crossroads that leave me turned around without any sense of knowing what direction to head, never mind what lies before me as options in my journey. As you may have read previously, my mom is dying, and she will be experiencing the ultimate of transitions as she moves into new Life beyond this physical existence. When we the living experience life transitions, we have an opportunity to change our own existence, a new way of showing up in life, a way that expresses more fully, more brightly that Light Within each of us, that who we truly are.

Shamanism is an ancient spiritual practice of indigenous tribes. The Shaman, in many cases, literally experiences a physical death and rebirth, and/or an extreme spiritual death and rebirth through a major life-changing event. Through this experience, the Shaman is said to have greater insight and wisdom of Life that is revered within the tribe. I have moved through what feels like many shamanistic experiences in my life, in which I have felt scrubbed clean of old beliefs, Egoistic perceptions of who I am; such cleansings have led to healing my heart, while simultaneously filling it with love and forgiveness. These experiences, and my work on Self, released old and unhealthy energies of resentment, self righteousness, anger, loathing and bitterness that I held for myself and towards so many others.

Not all of life’s limbos will be extreme; but they may feel like they are as you are in them. Every time I think I’m in my most challenging life transition yet, I am continually amazed at what comes up next, and how much more powerful and challenging it seems to be. How I respond to the transitions impact how well I move through them. And with each experience, I’ve learned to resist less, surrender more, and trust that Divine clarity around the “what next” will be provided in due time. Today, I stand still in the space of time where everything around me spins, seemingly out of control, and there is no sense for me on how I fit into it any of it. My strength comes in standing still, centered in God Within. The surge of the chaotic energies around me leaves me wobbly at times, threatening my Sense of Self and well-being. In those moments, I’m reminded to simply step up my spiritual practices of centering through meditation, self-care and nurturing, to remain an Observer rather than getting sucked into the chaos around me, and to be consciously present in every moment. I’m called to review old baggage and belief systems I have held, decipher them through spiritually-enlightened eyes, and begin a healing process so I may release the past and all lower vibrating energies that go with it. I’m also called to stay out of the future, and to simply be present in the here and now, and find the gratitude with each day, and sometimes in each moment.

And as challenging, frustrating and exhausting as it is to be in this space of such unknowns in all areas of my life, I have to smile. I smile because I know that whatever is on the other side of this super-sized life transition is absolute goodness: joy, love, peace, harmony, abundance, wisdom, and greater creative power. I know I will view life and everyone around me in an even more loving and appreciative way than ever before. I know I will show up more brightly and vibrantly in this world; and that my Light will attract even more goodness, brighten lives, and awaken the spirit within others. How do I know? Because I have spiritually died with each transition, and experienced a rebirth of joy, peace and faith, greater than I’ve known before. The process, if one leans into it with a willingness to have honest and deep introspection, can be beautiful, an exhilarating, and exciting experience that makes all that seemed hard and uncertain through the process melt away and feeling it was worth it.

What I speak of here isn’t a new message; we are always called to step up in a more consciously higher way whenever facing life’s adversities. I’m challenging you to become more conscious in how you manage these experiences, and to spend more time in gratitude and the anticipated glory of whatever is next for you rather than in the victim energies of resistance, anger, upset and resentment. We always feel the latter, its normal so allow those emotions to flow. But don’t “park” your life in these energies, otherwise you risk delaying your arrival at destination “Even Better.”

Oh, and remember, there are many destinations in life’s journey; once you arrive, don’t forget that while it may serve you well, there’s usually another one waiting for you down the road, another “even better.” Sometimes, we may willingly choose to move on; but if we get too comfortable with where we are now, and when Universal timing is right, God may rear-end us into forward motion, forcing us to move on to more Self-awareness and goodness that awaits us.

Love and Light to you all.

Friday, July 31, 2009

God's Ever Presence

There is such a flux of emotion moving through me, and I’m unsure how to identify them. They are blended, as threads are in fabric, so tightly that I can not compartmentalize what it is I feel. But as with fabric, I know that in the blend, all that is moving through me physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually creates a beautiful product called me. I know that as I move through this experience with my mother, one that is intertwined with many other spiritually shifting experiences in my life right now, I am shifting higher in vibration, deeper in Consciousness, and becoming wider awake in Self-Enlightenment. Breathing is a key tool through this process. A dear friend made mention to remind me that as my mother’s breathing lessens, I must remember to breathe. I am consciously remembering to take time to myself to center, to feel what comes up. I am also remembering to reach out and ask for help – support. And most importantly, I am fighting harder against the “what if” of what’s yet to come, and to stay present in each moment. As my mom’s transition nears, this task is more challenging to remember and practice, but having the awareness makes it easier to manage; this is the power of Consciousness of God Within.

Each moment is ever changing; this is true in normal life circumstances; but the essence of moments in the presence of the dying is heightened in every possible way. The dynamics of all that this experience creates could be perceived as a jumbled wad of rubber bands or the beautiful design of a spider’s web. As I walk my dogs and enjoy the beautiful setting of my parents’ property, the Universe shares numerous spider webs to remind me of how beautiful this experience truly is, and can be if I allow it to be so. Inevitably, the pain of grief and loss will be present within it, but the beauty of the experience, any experience really, can be had if we allow ourselves to step out of the emotional space and be an observer in the moment. I’m learning the importance of balance between the Subjective and Observer, for I must honor my human Self within the experience, but I also must honor the journeys of others, i.e. my mom, dad, etc., by stepping out of “my stuff” in order to support them. I productively serve no one, including myself, through the selfishness of self-pity and victimization. My mom has role-modeled courage and spiritual Inner strength from the get-go of this illness; she’s been an excellent teacher for all of us who are here watching her move through this process.

My relationship with death has changed through this experience; it feels less foreign, especially after reading about the dying process as experienced by others, as shared by Hospice nurses who support them and their families. Knowledge truly is power, nay, empowerment, in moving through the human experience; having a greater understanding of what those who have moved through the dying process has helped me better understand and serve my mom, as well as my family. My perception of death is less alien; there’s a small part of me that envies what my mother will experience as she returns to our Source from which we all come, returning home to her soul tribe and all that is God’s Truth. I will miss her horribly after she leaves her physical vessel, but I am so deeply honored to have the opportunity to share this experience with her, and support her in it. As my dear friend Barb reminded me last evening, my mom has not only given me the gift of life, but blessed me with the gift of witnessing her rebirth into a new life, Eternal and Infinite. Thank you mom, and thank you Spirit for the opportunity.

Please accept my heartfelt thanks for continuing to hold my mom, family and me in your prayers. And thank you for the opportunity and honor to share this experience with you through this venue. Namaste.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Reality Checks

Yesterday was a tough day: busy with people coming and going checking on mom and dad, bringing a meal, etc., and the emotional aspects of it all. We don’t have these days often, but when we do, it is tiring and time slips away unnoticed, leaving you off-balance. Schedules do not exist in the human experience of dying; I learned early on that trying to keep a schedule in this situation will tire and stress you out more than the situation itself. It’s not worth it; thus, the power of living in the moment, and going with the flow. When I arrived, my dad was trying to keep my mom on a schedule, in his mind, for her benefit as well as his; she seemed to resent it some, and I can understand why. I began to realize that the dying have no interest in keeping up with the schedules of the living. Ultimately, my dad let go of keeping a schedule, and mom's health deterioration somewhat forced his hand in it. But yesterday, in experiencing the time vacuum we're living in right now, I also realized how easy it is for the Human Ego to generate illusions to protect us from the truth of reality.

When you are with someone who is dying, you notice changes in your loved one. They can be extreme, such as the effects of a seizure, or they can be gradual: physical strength weakens; eyes glazing over now and again; staring into space, as if they are asleep with eyes wide open; grogginess early in the day, and more alert later on; changes in their interest in communication, ranging from complete withdrawal to actively engaging, scrambled responses to flat-out response refusal. What I just described is how my mom's condition has changed in just one week. From what I’m reading, it's a normal part of the dying process, though it can differ with each person. But in this case, especially someone who has a head full of brain tumors, these changes are the result of her brain getting wires crossed, misfiring, twisting her tongue and scrambling her thoughts. And from what is called the Nearing Death Awareness, I'm understanding that some of this may be she has one foot in the other world in preparation for her nearing departure from this one.

As my dad and I observe each minor change in my mom, I began to notice that we instantly sought out the reason for the change: she's tired, she's hungry, she needs oxygen, or she's under the influence of the pain medication we gave her. In this process, we were rationalizing these changes with an undertone of needing to fix it so she’d get better: she needs more sleep; she needs to eat; she needs more oxygen; maybe she doesn’t need the pain pill. Our Human Mind will find the information it needs, correct or not, that will block acceptance of the difficult realit, in our case, that her health is deteriorating and moving her closer to her death. Our Human Ego is designed to protect us from pain, hurt, heartache, etc., and it will sometimes help us create an illusion, a belief, that will deny it, defend against it. We do this is all areas of our life, in a variety of different ways, be it our career, relationships, love life, health - in every choice we basically make in how to show up in life.

When I realized the amount of energy I was putting towards creating these illusions, I became aware that I was avoiding the emotional truth of the situation: Mom is dying and I'm not ready for it to happen. Conscious to this hard truth, I shifted from the subjective (emotional) experience to that of observer to better understand how I was showing up in these dialogues with my dad, and witness our efforts to lessen the facts, and resist the course of the eventual outcome. It’s understandable, and normal for us to do so in any situation; we don’t like it when things are not going our way. Dad and I both intellectually know mom will die, and soon, but our hearts aren't ready for it, and our devoted Human Egos are working to protect us from the grief we've already felt (though my Dad isn't expressing), and will overwhelmingly feel when she does transition. We must honor our human self, not deny it, or worse, suppress its existence; but rather, we must allow the emotion in order to move through the experience, to know the truth of our situation so we may heal. Ignoring the truthful reality of one's situation serves no one well, least of all, ourself. As the observer, I am better able to process my own "stuff" around my mom's dying, and better serve my dad from a higher vibration of love, patience, and compassion, rather than feed the fear and resistance we both were feeling. As a human being, I must allow myself to feel my grief, and my anger and upset of watching my mom prepare to leave me here in the physical Realm.

Emotionally, I sank yesterday, and allowed my grief come to the surface, and move through me. No one wants to lose someone, and I understand why my dad and I analyze every nuance in an effort to pacify our discomfort with the reality. I want my mom to keep smiling at me, offer her cheeky humor when answering my questions, and to keep talking to me, in whatever fashion, so I may continue to hear her voice. We each come to accepting the truth at hand of any situation in our own time; sometimes, some of us never do in some areas of life. But I encourage you to step out of the emotionally subjective space of whatever challenging situation you may be in and become the objective observer of your experience. It takes practice, and in doing so, you may learn a great deal about yourself, and understand the "what is" of your situation. Your “observer” can offer the awareness that empowers you to make different choices in how you show up, and ultimately, support your efforts in changing how you manage your experiences, and how they unfold. Stepping out of the subjective perspective and into the “observer” position to face one’s own truth takes a great deal of courage. We all are courageous within, no matter what you believe about yourself. When I was teenager, miserable and depressed, and again later in college, I didn't believe I had the courage to live life and considered checking out; but I found the courage to stick with it. After my divorce, I didn't believe I could carry on, or love again; yet, I found the courage to recover and move on. When I decided to pick up and move to Colorado ten years ago, I wasn't sure I could pull it off, but found the courage to make it work, despite the difficulties I experienced upon arrival. I'm unemployed again, uncertain of what my next move is, and awaiting the passing of a parent I love dearly; in this newest human experience, my toughest yet (though I've always believed that my previous challenge was the toughest), I continuously surprise myself at the amount of courage I manage to find Within as I continue in this human journey. I am supported by God, family and friends, and I've found the courage to ask for help, and loving support so that I don't have to "go it" alone.

I know each one of us is infinitely courageous. Reach more deeply Within for the courage you need to move through a situation, one in which you may be living in illusion. Invite the Observer within you to witness your journey from a different perspective, so you may experience life's journey with greater ease and grace, and with greater Self-awareness, Self-gentleness and Self-love.

Love and Light to you all. Thank you for your support during my family's challenge.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Living in the Moment

I'm finding that living in each moment can be a bit unsettling, and yet so freeing, at the same time.

For the first time since I've been up this morning, I realize it is 11:15 a.m., the inspiration and time of this writing. It's not that I just lay around doing nothing as the morning continues on; straightening the house, cleaning the kitchen, catching up on some laundry, seeing to the dogs, journaling, reading the Sunday ads, checking email, making beds, talking with mom and seeing to her needs, talking to pop, and shedding a few tears in an effort to purge building emotion. Yet, when I realized what time it was, my immediate thought was, I've gotten nothing done!

I realize that this "thought process" stems from a belief system of being that I've lived with, that many of us live with on a daily basis for many years. My life, as are most lives, function on schedules, deadlines, timelines, expectations. As the master of multitasking, I am in a time right now where multi-tasking isn't possible; my mental state is in emotional distraction around my mom and this human experience; I must stay focused on one task at a time, seeing it through before moving on to the next one at hand. Otherwise, I may complete nothing, and make myself an emotional mental wreck in attempts to juggle it all at once.

But why must we juggle it all at once? I'm really pondering this question, for I have always been proud of what a great and efficient multi-tasker I am; it was a key selling point that most employers loved seeing on my resume and in my job performance! But is it really the way we are intended to live? Our country, world, technology has created this existence. I've created this existence for my own life over the years, and thrived in it, and even seen is as who I am - Miss Efficient Multi-tasking Queen.

So when I see the list above of all that I've done this morning, and yet, hold this sense I've accomplished nothing, I question my point of reference of this conclusion. And I see that only I (with the help of our culture) have created the point of reference. I'm learning that the cookie doesn't crumble if the laundry isn't done immediately upon its creation, if emails aren't returned instantly, and blogs aren't done on a daily basis. Why do we pressure ourselves to such extremes that we burden ourselves with stress?

As I move through this experience, which I know is Divinely purposeful for me, as well as all involved, I am experiencing introspective moments that leave me feeling "aha's" and feeling unsettled at the same time. The good news, which I have to make myself consciously remember, is that I don't have to have it all figured out right this minute in order to move on through my day, week, and this experience. Hey, whadda ya know, maybe I can effectively and enjoyably live my life without having it all figured out without the timely fashion of a deadline!

Love and light.

P.S. Forgive the typos, if any. I'm getting over being perfect too! :-)

Friday, July 17, 2009

It's been a while since I posted a note. My apologies but I am on a wild ride in this life. Since my last posting, I lost my job, stored my belongings into a storage unit in Colorado, and have gone home for a while to Kentucky to spend time with my mom who is terminal and nearing her transition, as well as to help my dad with her care at home.

Since I arrived little over a week ago Monday, my mom’s condition has deteriorated. Each day brings a new challenge, a change. This experience is truly the ultimate classroom of learning how to live one moment at a time. I learned quickly that you can not become attached to a plan, and really strengthening my ability to "go with the flow."

In the midst of this difficult time, I find myself feeling the greatest of love I've ever felt from my mom. Like most mothers and daughters, we've had our tumultuous times, but overall, our relationship has been close. Since learning of the news in January of her terminal diagnosis (renal cell carcinoma, multiple tumors on her brain, and probably elsewhere in her body now), I've called and talked to her daily on the phone from Colorado. It became a joke with my Dad that between 3-4 p.m. CST, when the phone rang, it was me. Our conversations are now limited to questions and answers, as her ability to speak and bring her thoughts to verbalization lessens. My dad and I are now having to do everything for her, from her personal hygiene to feeding her. I cherish each moment I can touch her, hug her, kiss her. With a level of deepest consciousness that I've ever experienced, I cherish moments when she kisses me back, reaches out to touch my hand or arm, or play with my curls when I'm holding her as we change her bed. My heart fills powerfully with love for her as I watch her eat, watch TV, or just sleeps. And I tell her several times a day how much I love her, and allow her "I love you's" to pierce my heart and soul, as if etching them there forever.

There are also so many beautiful moments. Mom’s brother and sister visited her last week. Considering their estranged relationship over the last few years, the visit went remarkably well, and mom actually enjoyed it more than I believe she expected would. At one point, I needed help with my mom's toileting, and surprisingly, her sister jumped in to help. It was heartwarming to see these two women hug as my aunt held her up to move her; I felt the love they had for each other melt away any differences between them. I was honored to witness the healing their relationship within that hug; the energy between my mother and aunt was the warmest I’d seen or felt between them since their mom died three years ago.

This experience is teaching me a great deal. All things in our life happen to support our spiritual growth, propel us in a direction we are destined to head prior to entering this human experience, and allow us multitudes of opportunities to truly remember the Truth of who we are as spiritual beings. In all honestly, I've spent the first week or more muddling through it all; when I finally decided to take the time for meditation and affirmative prayer, I'm feeling more centered, which is also allowing me to be of greater service to my mom and dad. Journaling the emotions around this experience, such as frustration, grief, fear, uncertainty, worry, and resentment, as well as sharing them with my support systems supports the Human within me. Remember, we are spiritual beings having a human experience and we must honor our human Ego as well as our spiritual Self. I allow whatever emotions to come to the surface, mostly of late, lots of tears; reaching out for hugs and support from aunts and friends comfort me, the human. Knowing the presence of God/Spirit within this human experience, within my mom and dad, and me, comforts me spiritually that all is Divine Perfection.

Thanks for reading and your support. I miss Colorado, but trust I am exactly where I am to be in this leg of my journey, and that the Divine is present within it for me and my family. Love to all.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Stepping up in Surrender

When we step fully into growth opportunities, the Universe never fails to offer us venues in which to deepen our self awareness, strengthen our spiritual practice and practice the use of our spiritual tools.

Surrender has been a big classroom for me of late. It seems that at every turn, I am faced with new opportunities to practice my patience of allowing, surrendering to the process and trusting that all will unfold in its highest and best good.

The latest classroom is my career position. I've been in the angst of job uncertainty before, and here I am again. BUT the Universe is placing me into this classroom verses my choosing to step into it by my own choosing. In these economic times, it is easy, thanks to the media, to freak about the "what ifs" of not having a steady reliable income flowing in. In my "day" job, I encounter clients who are in living real situations of uncertainty that becomes their reality. I trust that I am provided for, and have enjoyed security in that belief through my employment. But today, others' economic realities are threatening my own income security. I can't say I didn't expect it; I am psychic, after all. And I'm also very powerful in that I manifested it through my thoughts and words.

"Huh? Are you crazy? Why would you do that?" you ask. I've been unhappy in my position for awhile, so I began affirming that I have a part-time position that offers equal if not greater salary in an environment that emits a higher vibration, and allows me the freedom of creative inspiration and service.

I have no idea what will shake down over the next two or three months; who does and why would I? I move forward, one moment at a time, from a place of trust and surrender. Don't be mistaken, I will have the human moments of panic, frustration, exasperation, and fear now and again. But today, I'm in a stronger place to manage this latest leg of my journey, more so than I was three years ago when I unconsciously stepped into my spiritual classroom. I'm already living in a state of surrender around my mom's declining health. I'm simply being asked to step up my practice of living in the moment from a different angle.

I'm being asked to step up my affirmative prayer and belief in my creative power to manifest whatever goodness I desire moving forward. I'm being asked to fully practice complete and unwaivering belief and faith in my abundance and infinite supply by living in the state of full surrender to the knowing that the Universe already does, and will continue to provide for me.

This state of being is much more peaceful than choosing fear. From what place are you living your life today?

Love and Light,

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Fear: Its Effort towards Your Failure

This week, the Universe presented two amazing opportunities to me that will 1) challenge me to step up in my spiritual service to others and 2) challenge me to step up my own spiritual growth. At their appearance, I was very excited by these opportunities; however, as time moved towards the cross-point of "showing up" within these opportunities, I felt irritable, second-guessed my participation, and even questioned my spiritual guidance and knowing around their validity. The energetic feeling can be best described as "resistance" that feels thick, burdensome, and sluggish. In the days leading up to my involvement with these activities took great effort: doing dishes was a hassle, folding laundry, even eating took more energy than necessary. This slow-motion experience I call moving through the "sludge" of Ego Resistance.

At a workshop at Mile Hi Church, Maria Nimeth talked about "pushing through" the barrier of resistance when pursuing what you desire. This barrier is not unlike the one that surrounds the Earth; as astronauts travel from the Earth's atmosphere, there's a barrier that requires more energy and fire-power to break through into outer space. As we evolve in our lives, making changes to fulfill our purpose, we reach a similar energetic barrier that offers resistance; the key is recognizing the need for more energy and effort to forge ahead. The Human Ego sets up this energetic line of resistance that will do whatever it can to make it easy to simply give up, quit, or worse, convince ourselves that the benefit on the other side isn't worth breaking through to achieve.

Enters the scene: Fear. Fear appears in a variety of ways - including irritation, frustration, low/no energy, laziness, anxiety, nervousness, self-doubt, even unworthiness. These energies are Ego's defense mechanism against change, even if it's beneficial change; it's easier to stay in the "what it knows" zone.

These opportunities will propel me in my spiritual growth and in developing my spiritual business; and my human-self attempted to slow me down in the hopes of completely discouraging me. As a conscious being of Self, I can easily recognize these counterproductive energies when they show up, see through the veil of their delusion, and find inner strength to press on against the waves of resistance. No matter how many times I've encountered this barrier, I push through and in this case, the grass is always greener on the other side. Well, that is until there's another barrier to break through . . . . .


Monday, April 6, 2009

In the Meantime

Iyanla Vanzant wrote "In the Meantime," a great book that I recommend everyone read if they are undergoing drastic changes in their life. The focus is around moving out of a relationship, but the principles she discusses are applicable to any situation in which you had a relationship - job position, friendship, a move to a new city, a health change, etc. She talks about being in this zone called "the meantime" in which we are figuring things out, learning from our previous experience, and how we "clean house" to prepare for our next experience.

As I've discussed before, I am in a serious "meantime" as my mom battles renal cell cancer on the brain; her time with us on this Realm is limited, but as we wait for what is the inevitable, my family, as well as my mom, is challenged with this in the meantime. My father is her primary caregiver - seeing that she gets her meds, gets her rest, and is safely moving about the house as the tumors challenge her mobility and motor control. My brother comes and goes every other weekend to help out around the house, especially outdoors. I come in and out once a month, flying or driving into Kentucky for a 5-7 day visit. And then there's mom in the middle of it all.

We are all experiencing our personal "meantimes." For my dad, he's dealing with the impending loss of his wife of 45 years, and for the first time, living by himself in that same amount of time. My brother, well, I have no idea what he's experiencing in this meantime. He keeps all his emotions and feelings to himself. And when I ask how he's doing, he goes on and on with what my mom calls "rhetoric", ending with what I know provides him comfort and peace in the way he knows it, "We know she'll be received in the arms of her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ." For me, my "meantime" experience is grieving the loss of the woman as I've always known her - seeing her physical body deteriorate, the dissapation of her ability to do the things she enjoys, and watching her slowly come to the realization that her perceived expectation of "quality of life" isn't exactly as she'd pictured it.

Then there's the ultimate meantime experience - that of my mom's. One of the benefits in being an enlightened person is that I can separate myself from Ego and become an observer of the human condition. I say this, but do not misunderstand me; in this particular situation, I stumble, a lot, around being an observer, which is normal considering how close I am to this situation. But when I am centered in Spirit, I see my mom waiting, wondering and questioning. Waiting for the inevitable. Wondering what each day brings for her. Questioning if she did all she could in this lifetime. There are moments when she talks about what she meant to do in her lifetime; she still even talks about what she plans to do. For example, she ordered flowers for planting in her gardens this spring. She can barely walk a straight line, never mind have the strength or the ability to plant new flowers. I see her realize that what she thought would be easy isn't going to be. I see her realizing what a toll her illness is taking on my father. And I know she's realizing the grief I will, am already feeling, around her leaving us to move on to her next soul experience.

My mom speaks about how there is nothing she or any of us can do about it all. She has her moments when she's just simply frustrated that things are not as she thought they would be. She has always needed to have things look a certain way, especially when she expected them to. I see her realizing how much she has no control over this situation, and I know it troubles her.

For all of us, our lesson is living in the moment and surrender. I can't say that my father or brother understand this, and my mom does to a point. And as for me, I practice it as best as I can, for this is one of the biggest spiritual classrooms I've been in yet. I have my "less-than" moments, and I have my "rising to the occasion" moments which now and again surprise me. In any case, I am learning to shift my energy from grief to support when my mother and father need it most. I'm doing the very best I can, in each moment that I'm in. It's all I can do.

Love and Light,

Monday, March 23, 2009

Today, I am in Owensboro, Kentucky where my parents live. My mom is terminally ill with renal cancer that has invaded her brain. Since learning of this news in late-January, I've made monthly week-long trips to Kentucky to spend as much time as I can with her. I also have been helping them get affairs in order, and gives my dad a bit of break with the household chores.

Mom had another MRI today to ascertain what, if anything, the low dose of chemotherapy has done to stop and/or shrink the tumors. She has several on her brain, but a larger one at the base of her brain, which is the most concerning; according to the doctors, this will be the one that does her in. We learned today that the tumors have actually grown a bit, and she has suffered a "mini-stroke" known as TIA. Don't ask me what they stand for - it's written down somewhere I am not right now.

As a psychic, I often know things before they happen. I don’t always fully trust those hits I get, but it never fails, they come to pass. I've had this ability since I was a kid. I can remember when I was in high school knowing a boyfriend was cheating on me, but I had no proof. The proof appeared and my intuition was right. As I have nurtured this psychic ability, I've learned to trust my hits, even without benefit of validation. But with my mom, I get hits around what is coming to pass around her health, and it can be a challenge, especially when validation occurs with the latest doctor's reports. It's challenging being a psychic. I can't give too much of what I know away with my family, and yet, I can sometimes help prepare my family for the possibility of this news.

So, with the latest news, I wasn't surprised to hear she'd had a mini-stroke. She'd told me she'd fell and didn't remember how she got on the floor; the last thing she remembered was she was moving a chair in place under the table. She insisted she “fell asleep” while doing the task. I wasn't surprised to hear that the tumors weren't shrinking, but rather that they had grown. I knew the tumors were causing some of the latest symptoms of her inability to steady herself in balance when walking, and the blackout.

I “see” more of what lies ahead but I dare not speak it aloud. I know in my heart what is coming to pass, and even when. Time will tell if my intuitive hits are correct. But for now, I hold space for my family; while I am somewhat resigned to what will be, my brother and my father are not quite there yet, though they know the inevitable end result. I see within them hope that this situation will change, and that there's more time than there really is. I see them hoping mom will be her "normal" self until the end. I am not going to take that away from them. In doing so, I am honoring their journey within this experience. We often times impose upon others "what we know or what we think we know," right or wrong. While I'm confident in what I know, in this situation, my hope is in that I'm wrong.

The bottom line is that regardless of what I know intuitively or not, I am being in THIS moment, right here and now, with my mom and my family. That is where we all need to be. As we wait with bated breath for more definitive news at another doctor's appointment this Thursday, we can only be in this moment, enjoying what time we still have together, with my mom, right now.


Thursday, March 19, 2009

On Death and Dying

I host a Spiritual Journey Meetup group that meets monthly. We met earlier this evening - the topic was death and dying. I'm always amazed at how Spirit provides in the way of support for each of these meetings.

With my mother's terminal diagnosis, I have been forced to look at my beliefs around death, my fears, to surrender and honor my mother's journey. This experience is what motivated the topic for this evening's meeting. A wonderful discussion of shares from personal near-death experience to the loss of loved ones due to illness. One of the attendees asked the group a really powerful question: Are you afraid of dying? Am I afraid of dying? I know that dying is simply a rebirth into another form - an exit from the human experience into the experience of something different, better. This new birth can be back to our original form of Light, the One Source, and/or eventually a new birth into another life. I am revisiting this question within myself, as I know this truth intellectually, but I'm not sure I'm feeling the peace that accompanies the understanding of what death is.

What I do know, and I believe is common for most, is that I am afraid of the process of dying. In my mother's case, I am slightly envious that she will return home and be met by loved ones, including her father who died when she was in her twenties, with celebration and joy. She's going home to Source. But I fear the process of illness that she will undergo to get to that exit point. And this fear is pure selfishness. I don't want to watch her deteriorate under the cancer, to watch her become a woman who isn't my mom as I have known her for 44+ years. No one would, for it is painful to watch a loved one go through pain, become vulnerable and helpless, and lose all capacity to independently function. So I know I'm no different, but it is a fear I must face and release.

So when the question "Are you afraid of dying?" was raised in the meeting, I realized that I am not afraid of dying, but of how dying might look. Just as I don't want my mother to suffer, I don't want to suffer. I realize the urge to "control" how dying looks, but that isn't possible, unless I choose suicide; and, uh, been there, and ain't doing that. But death is a part of the soul experience to be had in this human journey. I must honor my mom's journey. And if it involves a lengthy illness, I must honor her soul's choice to have that human experience. My being pissed off and upset about it isn't going to change how it looks, (though it's natural and healthy to express the emotions, the sadness and the anger as a natural part of the grief process) for having resistance to "what is" only serves to make my journey within this human experience more difficult, and drain me of the energy that's needed to support my mom, my dad and my family.

I have and will continue to grieve before her death; and when she crosses over, I will begin another process of grief. For in this experience, I am learning and understanding grief so I may be of support to others who have lost loved ones. While this human experience totally sucks, I can find moments in which I am grateful to be in it. I'm learning about living in each moment, surrendering in trust that God is present within this experience, and to let go of how it all looks. These lessons help me conserve my energy, and strengthen my ability to serve my family, and eventually, others.

Love and Light,

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Being Comfortable in the Moment

One thing we know about life is that it is ever-changing. We are in a time of history in which change is upon this great country, and even the world. With a new president who was elected on the premise of change, we anticipate how all this change will look, and impact our lives. The economy, the way the government does business, and even how we carry on the business of our everyday lives in these changing times will be scrutinized.

For me personally and professionally, I am already experiencing change that is inevitable in my life. In January, my mom was diagnosed as terminal, with renal cancer on her brain, she has only but a few months to live out her life. There is nothing the doctors can do for her except offer her some quality time before there is no stopping the tumors growth. In this experience, I am learning how to show up differently for my mom, my dad, and even my brother. Professionally, I'm discovering that my current work environment (my day job) is not the best fit for me anymore. This revelation is heartbreaking and unsettling, but I also trust that in this experience, the Universe is preparing me for something better at some point. In both these experiences, I'm learning to surrender, to let go of controlling the outcomes and needing to know how it will all work out.

With all the uncertainty, we must learn to let go and be in the moment. I'm getting better at being in the moment. I can't control the outcome of my mother's illness; I can manage how I show up for her in every second, minute and hour I have left with her. In my work environment, I can only control how I show up in a higher vibration that is respectful, honoring and loving with others. No matter what curve balls are thrown at me, I know I am at choice in how I show up within that moment, and at what level of integrity I do so.

None of us can control how things look, how others show up; we can only manage ourselves within the situation. I choose to come from a place of spiritual truth, though there are times when I fall off balance when the Human Ego steps in. But I can also choose to get up, dust myself off of those lower vibrating energies, and get right back to Center. We can't worry about the "what ifs" and what has yet to come. We can't change the past, it's gone. We can only focus on right here, right now. It's a more powerful place to be in the midst of change. Not always easy, but ultimately, that effort pays off in greater happiness, quicker inner peace and a certainty that God/Spirit has my back.


Friday, March 6, 2009

The Human Experience from the Spiritual Perspective

Greetings to all. I am stepping into the 21st century and beginning a blog! I didn't even know what a blog was up until last year. But I have been guided by my Master Guide Haithaya to "put myself out there" with my writing, my spiritual journey to share with others. I am no special or different in this human experience from you - we are all spiritual beings having one. I'm simply being called to reflect on my human experience from the spiritual point of view, for all to see! Good grief!

So, welcome to the Journey Wisdom blog. These posts will be shares of my human experience, and what I am learning within them about my personal spiritual truth. You will meet my Human Ego who will most likely rant and rave about the human experience; the Ego is after all what makes us human. And you will meet my Spiritual Being, what some may call my soul, as it reveals the truth within the human experience.

If you so choose to follow this human's spiritual journey, you will authentically know who I am, and hopefully, learn a little bit about yourself. For we are all One, connected in Oneness through our Spirit Within in this human experience; and we are all traveling this journey together, albeit uniquely. But the Spiritual Truth is the same for all of us. Who we really are at the core of our being is the same - we are Lights of God, simply being. What sets us apart from each other may be how brightly we are choosing to shine our inner Lights; how brightly we are choosing to vibrate in this world.

I welcome you to Journey Wisdom, and to my personal journey as one spiritual being having the human experience.

Love and Light,