Sunday, December 29, 2013

The Masters Program of Spirituality

I fought, struggling to catch the wind to stretch my spiritual wings. It all felt uncertain, like I'm going nowhere. Quitting is no longer an option. I must persevere, despite the heartbreak, despite the disappointment, despite the sense of loss. I must free myself of the prision of yet another layer of unconsciousness that constricts me, limits me.

How did this life that once felt so big and impossible to fill become
so suddenly small and limiting?

As this year concludes, I am reminded of the last semester of my graduate work. The semester was winding down and everything I worked toward in those three years was coming to a head for finishing my Masters degree. Anything procrastinated needed to be addressed. Anything incomplete needed to be finished.. Time and space seemed to accelerate the process. Thesis research needed to be culled into a theme, organized into a presentable written paper and oral exam with logical sensibility and continuity before a panel of professors reviewed and heard it. As January turned into late April, it was crunch time; do or do not. If I fully committed to the effort, I would graduate with my Masters, and transition into the new phase of my life. If I did not do the work, I would remain stuck, degreeless.

The last five years since my return to Kentucky have felt like spiritual graduate school.

2013 has been “crunch time” as I complete what has felt like graduate level spiritual work before the next phase of my life can begin. Time and space accelerate me forward (no matter how hard my Egoic Self tried to apply the brakes), especially in these last three months, compelling me to participate and complete the upshift of my spiritual consciousness and vibration. Ever since my return to Kentucky, life has been filled with change and loss. This year has been the most intense year yet, even in its final month of December. Nothing like the healing process wringing you of every last bit resistance, leaving you no choice but to fully surrender into the Divine Truth.  Five years ago, I had no idea I would undergo such a spiritual renovation or why. Six months ago, I had no idea what would unfold in the latter half of this year. I intuitively felt a major shift was ahead, a crossroads decision was coming. Now, the process and purpose reads crystal clear as I wrap up spiritual and personal healing in preparation for my fifth decade in this human experience.

This last year took me to the deepest levels of healing in my unconsciousness while simultaneously shifting me to my highest consciousness of being and awareness. This healing work demanded I stand more firmly in my personal and spiritual power. It taught me to stay true to intuitive guidance, despite external antagonism from others who had different expectations of me. This year administered many lessons: expansion of voice, better balance between my humanness and my Divine Self; redefining and holding true to boundaries; patience with myself and others; being in the present moment, thus Universal flow; discipline in body, mind and spirit; greater grace and humility; and ownership of my creative power Within and its use for my lavish Good.

Throughout this process, I have on occasion acted like a five-year-old in aisle number 3 throwing a temper tantrum when things were not going my way. I have wobbled within my warbling of expressing my voice with the clumsiness of an aardvark, and at times, with too much Helen Reddy roar. I have fell flat on my face while attempting to balance being grounded and spiritually connected during major life transitions. I have wandered at times from the path of spiritual daily practices. I have tolerated challenges of my boundaries, and overcompensated in holding and/or reclaiming them. And I have haphazardly created stumbling blocks along the way through the worrisome and defensive chatter of Egoic Mind.

Yes, I am human; and like Luke Skywalker first learning how to trust the Force while using his Light Saber, I and my Egoic Self have been less than graceful through these shifts and applications of the new ways of spiritual consciousness in daily life.

As I moved towards my Masters degree in Theater arts in 1990, I took many difficult, and at times, excruciating steps to make that achievement a reality; however, having that degree did not mean I knew everything there is to know about theater arts. Graduation means the process of moving in small increments, not necessarily completion. My spiritual graduate work of these past five years nears completion; but none of us ever completely graduate from the spiritual classroom that is our life.  I suppose I will continue with the PhD version of spiritual living – where I take this new higher consciousness, and actively live it, express it, and practice it more fully in my human experience. That's the point of our human experience  - continually reawakening to our Truth, God's version of it, and living in the Divine Consciousness of who we are through conscious intention that sustains continued learning and growth of the I Am Within.

For the first time in five years, I feel more
deeply alive and awake than I have felt in a long time.
Many heartfelt thanks to everyone, so many who has traveled this journey with me these past five years: Gregory & Cynthia at the Bead Angel; past Soaring Dove and Healing Life Energy clients; past mentoring and Science of Mind students; friends, lovers, co-workers, and strangers, past and present; my mother, my father, my brother, and other family members; spiritual teachers and supports, especially A'ra, my beautiful spiritual coach, Kim, Lita, and the ministry of Mile Hi Church.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Excuse The Dust! Spiritual Work in Progress!

Seventeen years ago, my ex-husband and I decided upon a kitchen remodel after buying a new home. Such a project is a major undertaking and disruption to one's life. You scrutinize every inch of the space and surfaces, under the cabinets, in the corners for those things that are inefficient, unproductive to the flow of movement. You see more clearly the scarred and weary wallpaper, and other detractions that blend into the background unnoticed by our everyday point of view. You reevaluate what is working and not working, the effectiveness and ineffectiveness of the use of space, practices, and the overall layout. You discover things outdated and determine what updates need to be made. Next comes the destruction when we tear everything apart, dismantling it so we may create and build anew. The entire process wears on your nerves, but upon its completion, you realize how worth it is truly is.

I have been undergoing a spiritual remodel for the past five years; and 2013 has been the final wrap-up of this process.  While purposeful, the stripping of the old to make room for the new is stressful and exhausting to the Egoic Self. This major task rightfully eliminates any distractions that may impede the remodeling process, ensuring the discipline and perseverance required to see it through to the end. There are days when you do not think it will ever end, and you even wonder why you agreed to take on the task in the first place. Yet, as you move forward through the uncertainty of how it will look in the end, an inner sense, a Knowing Within pushes you on as you lay crumpled on the floor in all your humanness, feeling defeat and anguish. Like the inner drive of a new butterfly, you press on to break free from the cocoon that has served you well for a period of time, but now confines you from expanding your wings even further.

Through this year's process, I made some difficult decisions, despite unpopular opinion, to create more space for this spiritual remodeling project. As I have nurtured this transformation, friends, coworkers, and acquaintances became scarce in my life. The withdrawals are heartbreaking, hurtful even, and a grieving process occurs along with the shifting. People's perceived version of who you are clashes with who you are becoming. Relationships tend to separate as vibrational discordance takes place. People take personally newly-defined boundaries; or experience upset when you do not meet their expectations; or feel rejected when your focus shifts to meeting your own needs of healing rather than attending to their needs. Having been through these spiritual expansions before, these reactions are not uncommon occurrences. To gain anything, space must be created, cleared, for it is the Law of Balance. The Universe has a way of naturally clearing anything that may distract or detract from this spiritual expansion.

We are all One, and we see ourselves in others in many ways, at various levels. During these shifts, people tend to shy away from those undergoing spiritual renovation. A part of themselves sees a part left unaddressed Within, striking an Egoic chord of fear, intimidation, or resistance to the change. I myself have faced difficult mirror reflections in others throughout this past year. The key to spiritual healing and growth is looking those reflections square in the eye. To shy away from it equals Egoic denial.  We are all One, and as such, we all see ourselves in others. Each of us serves as teachers, mirrors for one another. Until we are willing to look at our Truth Within and/or that found in the mirror reflections of others, we cannot gain the insight, understanding, and wisdom guidance for spiritual growth and expansion.

Consciousness is not a one time event, or even a part-time event, but a daily practice of being and living. I have been blessed with many souls serving as my teachers these past five years, and I know many more will appear in the years to come. I give thanks for them all whom I hold in such gratitude and love.  Without them showing up the way they do and have, I cannot learn about myself, my spiritual Truth, nor expand my consciousness within that Truth.

If we are to commit to living this human experience as spiritual beings, we must commit to look deep within ourselves, seeing and admitting the truth about ourselves, about our role in creating our own experiences, and how we relate to others. Without a willingness to do this from an objective place of intuitiveness, healing cannot take place; nor can we evolve into higher consciousness and achieve a greater clarity of our Truth Within.

Look into the mirror reflections of every person in your life. Look for yourself, and accept the invitation to go deeper within. Ignore the Egoic tendency to cover your eyes. Look deeply, and see the truth these soul teachers are inviting you to see.

In doing so, you will be on the path to achieving a higher way of being in the human experience.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Forgiving Divorce

September 8th was my wedding anniversary of twenty-three years. That is, had I not divorced.  The memory of this date flittered as an afterthought as I logged the date in my journal that morning. Writing the date felt as uneventful as writing an item on my grocery list. That quiet voice of my Higher Self said, “Yay you,” acknowledging my long journey toward healing the loss of my marriage sixteen years ago. Yay me, indeed!

When we recall a past experience that was less than desirable without the energetic charge of Egoic emotion (sadness, upset, anger, resentment, grudges, blame, loathing, regret, hurt, etc.) as well as without commentary leaning in this emotional direction, we know true healing and peace around it. Yet, the human Ego can fool you!

After my divorce, I boastfully pronounced “I'm good with it,” or “It was for the best,” only to have another burp of resentment, hurt and anger come up later. Over the years, I felt differing levels of emotion about it, yet convincingly brushing them off while simultaneously retelling the woeful story of how my ex abandoned me and our marriage. The Egoic Self really can (mis)lead us into believing we are over whatever and whomever hurt us in the past. Clients will tell me they've forgiven their exes, then spend the next twenty minutes outlining every detail of how their hearts were broken. Consider this a red flag: When we are emotionally engaged in the blow-by-blow account of the telling and retelling our achy-breaky heart story about a former spouse/lover, a past job or boss, a friendship betrayal, a family member who screwed us, or a stranger that dissed us, it is a sure bet we are not over it, much less healed around it and in a place of genuine forgiveness. Furthermore, know that it is the Egoic Self working really hard to not only convince others, but to convince us that our being over it is true. Our sweet Ego means well in protecting us from past hurt. After all, its job is self-preservation in the human experience, doing whatever it can to make us feel better about our life's experiences. The Egoic Self builds brick by brick the wall of avoidance to contain the underlying (and most likely painful) emotion still in need of healing Light and love. But alas, these emotional goblins eventually bob to the surface, especially when a present-day experience triggers unfinished business of past heartache left unhealed.

The process of healing happens differently for everyone. After my divorce, I hosted pity-parties on both my wedding and divorce anniversaries, and every Valentine's Day. The attendees included distinguished guests such as Depression, “Poor me,” “Nobody Wants Me,” Anger, Resentment, and, ever the life of the party, Blame. Over the years, counseling and life coaching eased the intense heartache, which changed the guest list somewhat. Heartbreak celebrities such as Melancholy, Wistful Regret, and Guilt attended later parties. Healing around my divorce happened in many phases, and was often connected to recent relationship breakups that triggered the Egoic emotion commonly associated with the loss of a marriage. Most of my healing work started at the mental and emotional level; however, deeper healing occurred when I began working with my spiritual mentor, and the teachings of Ernest Holmes.

Eight years after signing divorce papers, I experienced a healing breakthrough that liberated my heart. During meditation, I opened myself to greater understanding and healing around the divorce. I breathed deeply, opening my heart completely to spiritual guidance. Suddenly, a quiet voice from Within spoke these gentle loving words: Your husband left you so you may continue on in your journey to be who you are intended to be within this human experience. The message took my breath away, as if someone suddenly opened a curtain to fully reveal truth like I had never experienced it. He agreed to be the bad guy within this soul contract, to leave you and your marriage, because as a creature of commitment, you would never dishonor the “death do us part” vow, and move forward in following your life's intended path and purpose in this journey.
Relief and humility flowed through my tears. Understanding flooded my consciousness as compassion poured out me for my ex-husband. I fought hard to keep and save the marriage, for the perfectionist in me could not face the failure and rejection. The insecure and needy little girl inside me did not want to face living life alone, feeling unloved and unwanted. In this new revelation, I felt true peace, and an incredible rush of warm love for my ex-husband like I'd never felt for him before. How difficult it must have been for him to walk away, to honor his part of our soul agreement, as I begged and pleaded through tears to give us another chance. His unwillingness to relent to my pleas forced me into no other choice but to move on with the divorce. In that moment, I felt forgiveness deep within me, revealing the Egoic version of forgiveness for the fraud it is. I felt honored by the unconditional love my ex-husband showed in walking away.  The brick walls of avoidance holding years of resentment, anger, upset, and hurt fell away, allowing healing Light to transform these dark emotions long hidden in my unconscious view. I let go of this leftover baggage that kept me and my spirit weary.  Even my Egoic Self felt relief from this burden. My heart filled with gratitude for my ex-husband, and his support of my journey as a spiritual being in the human experience.

The healing process around my divorced happened in several stages over many years. It varies for everyone, happening on different timetables. How quickly the healing happens depends on how ready and willing we are to let go of our baggage; and to open up to a deeper understanding of the role those involved had at a soul level. Their role supports us in re-membering the spiritual Truth of who we are in the human experience.

If the past haunts your present, you are being invited to step into deeper healing around these ghostly experiences. With support from a spiritual mentor, teacher or coach, and that of our Higher Self, we can rid ourselves of unproductive, limiting baggage through deep spiritual healing work, and know true spiritual peace, not the Egoic knockoff version.

For me, September 8th is now like any other day. Oh joyful day!

Monday, September 2, 2013

Grief & Closure - Losing a Loved One

Today, I am publishing a piece I originally posted in April 2011 about healing the grief around the loss of a loved one. This weekend marks the four-year anniversary of my mom's transition, and this piece was written during a time when my father and I were going through some things she had stored away.  Edited since its original posting, its message still hold true for anyone experiencing grief around the loss of a loved one, and/or a miscarriage.

I dedicate this piece to a few friends who recently have lost a parent, and who currently are in the process of losing a parent.  My heart knows your grief, and the love you held/hold for your loved one.  May you find comfort in knowing you are not alone in your grief.

Yesterday during a Sunday visit with my dad, we looked through things he’d recently sorted of my mom’s stuff. He and I perused all the remaining closets, rooms, cabinets and shelves still left unchecked when in one closet I found a pillow case stuffed with something. It was my Baby Tender Love doll from my preschool-aged childhood. Her hair was matted, badly suffering cowlicks. She still wore a little blue-print onesie my mother had made for her. Other than a rip in the bottom hem and having a bad hair day, the little gal was in pretty good shape.

After I came home, I pulled Baby Tender Love out for a visit and the childhood memories came flooding back. We lived in an old dilapidated rental house on Redhill-Maxwell. As a child it seemed huge, though during a return visit as a teenager I recalled how small the rooms and yard really were. I remember playing with my dolls while sitting on the floor in the bedroom I shared with my little brother, including my Barbie, PJ and Ken dolls for which Mom also made very fashionable clothes. All those dolls and outfits were long ago pitched, though I did find my Barbie naked on a shelf. Evidently she'd been a nudist the last few decades.

As I remembered these childhood memories, I hugged Baby Tender Love close to me as if she were my baby again. The rush of memories suddenly reeled me back in time to April 1996, when I lost my own baby at eleven weeks, and with it, the dream of being a mother. Grief struck out of nowhere and tears flowed for the little baby girl I knew I carried, "Peanut." With my unborn child, there was no farewell; no funeral service or closure that signified she was gone; no opportunity to say goodbye after our short-lived relationship was over. There was only hemorrhaging through the night, labor pains and cramps as my body gave premature birth to the fetus. There was fear, uncertainty, and disconnect with the reality that I was losing my baby. The next morning was the doctor visit, outpatient surgery for a DNC, and then home to carry on in life as if none of it had ever happened, as if I'd awakened from a bad dream. I dealt with the grief off and on for several years afterward, and I truly felt peace around it, despite remembering my baby every December, the month Peanut would've been born had she gone full-term. Every year, I remember the lost dream of being a mother to what would today be a beautiful fourteen-year-old daughter.
 In hindsight, I realize that I never experienced closure around her loss.
Before mom passed, I hated funerals, and never felt comfortable being in the same room as a dead body. Yet, I recognized the event for what it was – closure for those who loved the one lost. After seven plus years of spiritual development, I understood that life as we know it in human form is simply energy transitioning into spiritual form. I initially resented the visitation, because I was tired, grieving and I didn't want to meet and greet others. Then I realized they too needed closure around the passing of a friend, neighbor, relative, coworker and acquaintance.
After it was said and done, I was grateful for the visitation. I learned how much Mom touched the lives of so many, and how they loved and appreciated her. It was such a gift. As for my mom’s body being on display, her funeral was the first I’d been to since stepping into my spiritual journey, and it no longer felt uncomfortable or awkward to be there. I felt gratitude for the opportunity to have been present with my mom upon her death. I was grateful for the funeral that allowed my family to have closure as we prepared to return her to Mother Earth.
As I held my Baby Tender Love, I strangely felt a connection I never felt with the child I lost. A physical connection that tapped right into the grief left unfinished. A connection to what it might have felt like, if only briefly, to hold my baby for the first time. I connected with that grief and felt a greater sense of closure. I was able to energetically hold my unborn baby to say goodbye as I embraced the Baby Tender Love I loved so dearly as a child.

Grief is a process, ongoing and in many phases. Rushing grief is unproductive; denying grief only feeds its strength into volcanic releases. I've dealt with the loss of my unborn baby, and now this grief feels complete.

Thank you Mom for hanging on to Baby Tender Love for me. And thank you Baby Tender Love for allowing me to say the goodbye I never had the chance to say fifteen years ago.

Monday, August 26, 2013

God's Got Your Back - Let Go(d)

Ever focus so intensely on an event or a project in your life that when it was over,
you suddenly felt out of sorts? Confused? Even lost?

My focus the first five months of 2013 centered on seeing my dad through the selling of his home and belongings, and moving him into a personal care home. Having completed that, I suddenly felt disoriented in my life. I experienced a restless feeling as I faced the daunting question, “What next?

It was an exciting, yet frightening time. My soul leapt with joy at the infinite possibilities of creating a new adventure in my life. My Egoic Self kept saying, “Oh, shit!”   In time, and with meditation, I relaxed into trusting that clarity would make itself known. One day while meditating, I saw before me a blank canvas: fresh, white and ready to be painted. In one corner I saw my father, reminding me of my commitment of service to him through his final years.  The rest was empty, yet filled with so much potential for abundance and possibilities.

That's it?” my Egoic Self whined. Ever the doer in action, the Overachiever in me began chomping at the bit to fill in the blank space. The brainstorm of ideas popped as my Gemini mind raced in hundreds of directions. A quiet loving request from Spirit Within asked me to be patient (the Life lesson at that time) and allow myself to be open, to relax in the moment and into the flow of Universal possibilities. With deep breaths, my Egoic Self agreed to be comfortable with the uncertainty, and to trust it was temporary.  Within my meditative space, clarity slowly revealed the message loud and clear: “Write. It's time to take your writing to the next level.” I wasn't surprised, but a sudden moment of fear seized me as my Egoic Self started her familiar mantra of  “oh shit, oh shit, OH shit!” again.
She really cracks me up sometimes!

I've been writing since I was a little girl. In meditations, I've seen myself as a published author read by millions, and my speaking to crowds who come to hear me speak about my books. This startling vision first appeared in 2006. Ten years earlier, a psychic reading revealed I needed to take my writing more seriously. The messenger asked (through my reader) why I wasn't writing more. At the end of 2008, I stepped into writing by starting this blog. Little did I realize how opening that creative channel would serve as a therapeutic outlet for me while my mom was dying. I believe everything happens in Divine timing; and now, my Higher Self gently informed me its time for my writing fingers to hit the keyboard.

God always knows what we need, and provides us with whatever we need as long as we believe it and are open to receiving. A few weeks after clarity revealed itself, an article about an upcoming Christian writer's conference in Elizabethtown was in our local paper. “Well, how about that!” my Egoic self said in awe. I signed up for the Saturday portion of the weekend conference. Boy, did I come to realize there is a whole lot more to writing and getting published!  After breathing into a brown paper bag to recover from information overload, I had clarity on what I needed to do next.  If I wanted to be taken seriously as a writer, and be published, I needed to hone my craft.  Alas, I stumbled across a delightful book about the nuts and bolts of good writing.  I also find a fabulous email subscription that sends invaluable daily writing tips. Thank you Spirit! The hungry writer within me feasted on this newfound information.
Two weeks later, I stumble across another newspaper article about a writers' group that meets at the library. “Well, if that don't beat all!” my Egoic Self thought in amazement. I inquired about the group, and attended the first meeting.  I received positive and constructive feedback on a piece I wrote for this very blog.  I also met a fellow writer and kindred spirit ready and willing to offer support!

A few weeks later, a friend shares the business card of a local woman who owns an international company that offers up-and-coming authors support!  Additionally, she provides a platform upon which authors may receive meaningful feedback on their books designed to boost publishing success. “Holy cow and WOW!” my Egoic Self says, finally convinced that all is in Divine order.  I meet this gal next month.

Now I have to write that book!! I never believed in writer's block until recently when the flow of words seemed to go dry. With both human and divinely-guided nudges, I finally sat down and made myself write. Anything! The block broke, and the words are flowing again. During my silent retreat, my inner guidance asked me to write thirty minutes a day, or four hours a week. So far, I've met that request, and am mainly writing for this blog.  I also write those words that ring in my head at 3 a.m. in the morning!   I am patiently waiting for clarity around the outline, the content I'm to write for my book. I have many ideas, not unusual for the Gemini brain.  I relax in the knowing that I am the conduit for the Divine, channeling the written word for my blog.  So shall I trust and know the Divine guidance for my book. I simply wait again for clarity, trusting that God knows what I need and will provide it when its time.

Once we align our Soul with our passion; make the commitment to fulfill it; and then, fully commit to it in Spirit, thought, emotion, and action, God provides whatever we need to move us along in making it a reality. We only need to relax into the flow of Universal Spirit.  We also must recognize and participate in the Divine-supplied opportunities when they appear. The opportunities I describe above found their way to me. I simply set the intention, and opened myself to receive God's touch and winks, which reassure me I am on the right track.
When we relax in the Divine knowing, and trust God has our back
in support of our highest vision and dream,
we give the Universe room to work magic and miracles in our lives.
Author's Note:  If you are interested in discovering how to align your spirit, thoughts, feeling and choices so that you are stepping more fully into living your authentic life and desires, you're invited to attend a FREE information session called Infinite Possibilities this Friday evening, August 30, from 6 - 8 p.m. in Owensboro, KY.  For more information and/or to reserve your seat, please contact Carolyn at

Monday, August 19, 2013

In Silence with the Monks

The first five months of this year was noisy. The hubbub of supporting my dad during the selling and closing of the home place. The cacophony of planning, coordinating, organizing and marketing an estate sale, finding my own place, and moving personal belongings strewn between my dad's and a storage unit. The din of a hectic work schedule demanding 100% of everything I had during February and March. The clamor of moving my dad into my place, then six weeks later into the Carmel Home. The racket of unpacking, sorting, de-cluttering, figuring out what goes where, what gets donated, and how to make it all fit.

When it was all said and done, I needed a break.
With intuitive guidance, and God knowing what I needed before I did, I scheduled back in January a silent retreat at the Abbey of Gethsemani in Bardstown, KY for Memorial Day weekend. By the end of May, I needed time away from what had been my life the past five months. Every part of me knew I needed it mentally, emotionally, spiritually, even physically. I was exhausted in every way.

Ahhhhhh, the quiet, the peacefulness, the beautiful crisp air and sunshine, and the silence. The silence was the best. I spoke to no one, and no one spoke to me. I cut myself off from the world, my laptop, and my cell phone. Armed with a journal and a book called the “Power of Patience,” I temporarily escaped my responsibilities to spend a long weekend with the monks to figure out the “what next” in my life.

Gone was the noise of my to-do list. Gone was the phones ringing at work, people asking me to be here or there. Gone was the sounds of my Egoic Self yammering about what I should be doing, could be doing, or had to do still. My mind, body and spirit listened to the sounds of countless song birds singing their joy. I listened to the wind blowing through the tulip poplars, catalpas and majestic oaks. I tuned in to the whirring and buzzing of insects busy being bugs.
And I heard my own inner voice again.

In the three days and four nights of silence,
  • My Egoic Self confessed and expressed its grief around saying farewell to my childhood home, and that physical connection to my mom.
  • My Soul reaffirmed my love for my father, and my devotion and commitment of support to him for the balance of his life.
  • My Inner Child spoke up about her insecurities around a relationship, and communed with Spirit for healing. 
  • My Spirit Guides reminded me of how I thrived through all the countless changes the last four years of my life, and
  • My Higher Consciousness offered me clarity around my writing, and the infinite possibilities available to paint the blank canvas before me as I moved into the next leg of my journey.
In the silence, I relaxed my mind, my body, and my spirit. 
I rejuvenated my energy and Higher connection.
I reclaimed my personal and spiritual power, and my life.

I had no idea how depleted I was until I went on this silent weekend retreat. This realization deepened within my awareness the importance of taking time to center amid life's chaos. I gave in to the illusion that I had to go, go, go to get it all done. I gave over myself in order to serve others, which ultimately led to my breaking down physically and emotionally before it was all said and done. How is that being helpful to my father, to the people I serve at work, or to myself?

The most important A-HA was I gave up on God to see me through the storm of changes. I let go of centering meditations and daily prayers with excuses of exhaustion and no time. When I could have been looking to God Within for comfort, support and love, I looked outside of myself to my to-do lists, comfort food, whining and complaining, and acting the martyr for the burdens I had upon me. BLEH!!

God is my Shepherd within, and I wandered astray from my guiding support into the jaws of the Wolf, that Egoic Self that relishes in the drama, the misery, and the victimization.

In the sounds of silence, I heard my guiding Shepherd,
and returned to my Higher Self, restored.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Living the Lies of Others

If someone asked you to strip yourself of every label you have – parent, child, co-worker, boss, friend, spouse, church member, etc. - what would be left? We take on and live many roles in our lives in which we wear different facades or masks. But are we being our authentic selves when in these roles? 

Are we living a life that reflects the authentic nature of our true spiritual being,
which is love, peace, creative power, wisdom, beauty, joy, and light?
Or are we living a life that authentically reflects false ideas
about who we are, who we are expected to be?
Do we live via our acceptance of other people's opinions, rules and expectations of
who we should be, how we should act, the work we should be doing, the lives we should be living?

We all are on a spiritual journey from the day we are born; but most people are not aware of it. Most people are living life in a dream state, completely unaware of their purpose for being in this human experience.  I awakened in my spiritual journey fourteen years ago.  I woke up to the realization that my (our) purpose is to re-member the Truth and Essence of who I am (we are) as a child(ren) of God. I re-membered that my (our) mission in this human experience is to reconnect with that Truth and Essence through the process of healing consciousness. Consciousness means becoming astutely aware of how we live under false pretenses. We live these lies we learned from the influential people in our lives (parents, family, significant others, teachers, etc.), personal experiences, society, media, religion, culture, and from our own incredibly convincing negative self-talk.

What do you believe about yourself?  For decades, I believed I was not worthy of being heard, and that my feelings did not count. I believed that to be loved, I needed a man's validation, beginning with my father, then every boyfriend thereafter. I sought external approval from everyone in my life, because without it I was unwanted and unlovable. I believed that God was “out there” somewhere watching my every move, ready to punish me if I displeased Him. I believed I was fat even when I wore a size 8, and that food was my only reliable comfort and friend. I believed I was incomplete, and looked to everything outside of me to fill that void.

Ever lose something only to realize it was never really lost, but right under your nose the whole time? Little did I know I was never lost, but just looking in all the wrong places to be found!

When we understand that we have adopted, and accordingly lived up to other people's perceptions, ideas, and beliefs as our own, we realize we are not who we think we are! This realization becomes extremely unsettling and uncomfortable. Suddenly, we face a life-changing choice.

Do we step out of our comfort zone and explore who we really are? 
Or do we keep chugging along feeling unsatisfied and exhausted
from living up to the false pretenses that others project onto us?

The first choice requires change, and leads to “oh shit” moments of emotional discomfort and purging. Initially uncomfortable, we soon move into the liberation of the immense burdens we carry in the way of guilt, shame, anger, resentment, and grudges. In releasing all the emotional baggage, we feel exposed as the facades of victim, persecutor and/or martyr crack under the healing process. We become keenly aware of how we have given our personal power away to so many people. In this effort towards authenticity, we wrap ourselves with self-love, compassion and forgiveness. Once stripped of all our baggage, we are freed to create the lives that we quietly desire, filled with love, joy, abundance, and peace.

The second choice is easier, more comfortable than change. It keeps us chained to life as we know it, cozy in our cloaks of victim, persecutor, and/or martyr. We remain bogged down, exhausted and drained by the guilt, shame, anger, resentment and grudges. We know what to expect, taking comfort in the belief that the world and life itself works against us. We continue to allow our lives to be run by circumstances, experiences, and events. We steadily move forward against strong winds pushing us back, anchoring us deeper in our belief that we never get ahead in life. We dutifully bear the cross of our emotional baggage, feeling burdened, down-trodden in our lives filled with drama, upheaval, and energy draining chaos.

If you had to choose, which would be more appealing?

When I chose to liberate myself of false pretenses, I willingly conducted a mental inventory of what I thought and believed about myself and everything; and how these showed up through my life's choices, behaviors and actions. Today, I love, respect and believe in myself, and now create healthier love relationships. I laugh with abandon, cry without shame, and I confidently express my feelings without fear of another's disapproval. I validate myself, and believe I offer great value in this world. I know God is ever present within me, guiding me and operating through me as love. I experience human moments and slip now and again; but the difference from ten years ago is that today, I am centered in knowing the Truth and Essence of who I am. When I stumble, I get up, regroup, and I move ahead centered in my authentic self, making new choices, changes that reflect the Truth of who I am. I long ago retired the stick I used to beat myself up.
Living authentically is a choice. It takes a great deal of courage to look at our personal stuff, to inventory unproductive belief systems, thoughts, habits, and choices. Even more courageous is the decision to say “I want something different,” and to step into changing how we think, choose and show up in our life. In doing so, we strip ourselves of the false pretenses, and don the Emperor's new clothes to reveal the beautiful authenticity of our Essence to the world. You discover who you truly are, your own personal truth, and embark on a new way of being, living, and showing up in your life.

Are you ready to live a fabulous life of authenticity?
Author's Note:  If you are interested in discovering how you may living life under false pretenses, and how to step more fully into your authentic life, you're invited to attend a FREE information session called Infinite Possibilities on Friday evening, August 30, from 6 - 8 p.m. in Owensboro, KY.  For more information and/or to reserve your seat, please contact Carolyn at

Monday, August 5, 2013

God Knows What We Need

You may or may not have noticed my absence from the Journey Wisdom blog. The last several months, last two years have been the culmination of the life-changing AHA moments. Change happens, and we can roll with it or we can resist it. The latter makes for one hellacious life on Earth. After some initial resistance, I settled into accepting “what is” and rolled with the flow of Universal Life.

The childhood home that my mother and father built from the ground up forty years ago sold earlier this spring. I had the blessing to live there for last two years before letting it go. When I moved in with my dad, I did so believing it was temporary since it was on the market, for sale by owner. Two more unsuccessful attempts at “for sale by owner,” and three real estate agent contracts later, we finally sold it to a family who I believe will carry on the heart and soul of my mom and dad's legacy.

While living with my elderly father brought many frustrations and challenges, I settled into gratitude for the opportunity. God knows what we each need in our lives for healing, spiritual and personal growth. If we embrace and commit to these opportunities, we can find the greatest of treasures within them. Living with Dad allowed me to financially get back on my feet again after experiencing a devastating setback. Living in my childhood home also connected me with my mother again through everything in that house she handpicked, placed and cared for with love. I enjoyed the peaceful landscape of the countryside: my mother's flower gardens, the view of Browns Valley, and the peace and quiet of country living. I reflected on the memories created over the decades of growing up there, and as adults when we came together for holidays and visits. I enjoyed reconnecting with extended family that lived around the corner.

Most importantly, I did some deep healing work around my relationship with my father, and ultimately, within myself. I found my voice and personal power with him, which I abandoned as a teenager. Our relationship over the years have been challenging, as we hold different views about how I should have lived my life, should be living my life. Everything I decided to do, my father held the opposite opinion, no matter what. In hindsight, I find it amusing. I am sandpaper to his four by four. What I realized is that our relationship reflected how we feel about one another. I've never felt my father respected me, and energetically, that reflected in how I interacted with him. Once I began to let go of my need for his approval in order to feel loved, I began to heal the old wounds of our past. When I began to forgive him and myself for past grievances, our relationship energetically shifted to one of greater collaboration. At times, the process was scary, angst-ridden, and even ugly when I slipped back into being a 16-year-old defiant daughter; but I quickly found my center, standing strong within my personal power until I became spiritual Teflon to his barbs, criticisms and dismissals of my feelings.

Add to this process the shift in the parent-child relationship as parents get older and the children “parent” the parent. It is heartbreaking to watch the man you've looked up to as provider of breath, home, and knowledge, as rescuer of boo-boos, heartbreaks, and roadside breakdowns become disoriented, slow down, and struggle with the simplest of things. My father became feebler with every month that passed in those two years. Ever proud and stubborn, Dad resisted the idea of being the old man that needs help getting out of a chair, help around the home place. Bound and determined to do for himself as long as he can, he carried on until a minor accident on the farm shook him into reality. (He kept that incident from me for a few weeks, unwilling to admit the defeat to his aging and weakening body.) Despite the fact we'd had the house on the market for two years, I knew in his heart dad wasn't ready to let it go, which created little interest from potential buyers. After this accident, he began accepting the reality that it was time to give up the home place. Once he energetically let it go, we had the first of two offers on it within a month. It sold three months later.

God gave me the time I needed to move through the healing work around my financial life, grief over my mother's passing, and four decades of resentment and hurt related to my relationship with my father. God gave my Dad time to come to terms with letting go of the home he and my mother built together with their blood, sweat and tears. When both Dad and I were ready to move on with our lives, to move into the next leg of our journey, the house sold.

With all transition comes limbo. After selling forty years worth of belongings, my dad moved in with me for six weeks while waiting for an opening in the Carmel Home, an assisted living and nursing home managed by the Catholic diocese. This time was important for us both, as we recovered from the stressful whirlwind of recent life upheavals. These six weeks allowed us to rest before we independently launched into the next leg of our journey. This time also provided us an opportunity to bring the two years we spent together to a close without the stress and uncertainty of selling the house hanging over us. We watched the nightly news together, talked and laughed. My dad was more relaxed than I'd seen him be in months. I was grateful to have and be in my own space, on my own terms.

Today my dad is settled in the Carmel Home. I'm settled into my home, and now fully unpacked four months after arriving. Since dad's departure, I've had time to clear some clutter, both emotionally, mentally and physically. A long respite with the monks at the Abbey of Gethsemane was just what the Spirit Doctor ordered for my soul. Refreshed, reconnected with the Spirit Within, I have before me a blank canvas ready to be painted with whatever wonderful things I desire for my life.

Change happens. The last two years of my life helped me realize even more the importance of my daily spiritual practices which I abandoned in the busy-ness of life this last spring. I understand more now than ever the need to stay centered in the presence of God, for this center is the calm eye within the storm.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

The 10% Tithing Note Controversy

There's a post going around on Facebook about an Applebee's waitress that took a photo of credit card slip upon which a note was left by the customer, a pastor that reads: “I give God 10%. Why do you get 18?” If this wasn't enough, the signee seems to stress her point by authoritatively writing “Pastor” above her signature. According to News who picked up the story, the waitress states she found it funny, thus her reasoning for posting a photo of it, not expecting it to go viral. Evidently the pastor got wind of it, became upset, called Applebee's to complain, which resulted in the waitress being fired. The article quotes the pastor as being surprised by the firing, as well as acknowledging she had a “lapse in character and judgment” in leaving the note.

After reading this Facebook post, I shared it as a statement of my protest of a Christian leader using God to place herself above another by virtue of her tithing practice, and the effort she went to to make her point via the note on the receipt. There is no question the waitress used very poor judgment posting the receipt; however, one choice begets another, productive or not. The originating choice in this situation showed poor judgment in leaving what appears to be a pious self-righteous note intended to put someone in their Christian place. And our choices create our reality. In this case, the pastor's choice to leave the note created the reality in that momentary lapse of judgment, her character was revealed for all the world to see. The waitress's choice to post the receipt and its message created the opportunity to file for unemployment.

After sharing the FB post with my thoughts, I opened up Pinterest to find the photo of this same receipt, and with it almost two dozen comments of varying opinions! Fascinating that this one person's decision to leave a nasty-gram for whatever reason has spurred quite the debate on social media!

One friend commented on my FB share that regardless of whether the person was a pastor, a farmer or a purple people eater (I love this!), "a Christian is able to make a mistake," which is true. In fact, if you are human you will make a mistake, no matter your religious or spiritual beliefs. I think many tend to forget this fact. Both the waitress and the pastor made poor choices in this situation and both are suffering the consequences of those choices. My beef is that someone who is suppose to be a Christian leader and role model of Christ teachings is using God as their rationale for not leaving a tip. Not cool. I've waited tables and it is for the most part a thankless job. I've been stiffed tips a time or two, and that's the risk of the job because you will on occasion wait on stingy frugal-minded jerks. But I am thankful for those teachers because they taught me to be generously abundant as a tipper.

The opinions generated on Pinterest run the gamut. I find it interesting really how Christians are quick to come to the defense of another Christian who makes a mistake; yet, when someone else, especially someone of a differing faith makes a mistake, they are quick to call them out for their non-Christian-like behavior. Its fascinating. In some comments, Christians call out the less than Christian action on the part of the pastor. Those who obviously have a strong bent against Christianity are as equally less forgiving as those Christians who have a strong bent against those who don't believe as they do.

One comment suggests that the pastor thought herself “slick when she wrote it and later embarrassed she was caught.” Its not uncommon that when we make a choice that yields less than positive results, we are left feeling embarrassed, perhaps even ashamed. Another pinner states that “As a server, I find this appalling. How dare she eat out and not compensate appropriately!” Actually the dinner bill automatically added an18% gratuity (scribbled out on the receipt) because the pastor's party had more than eight people, so the waitress was in fact compensated appropriately. The receipt offers the guest an option to add more tip. Another pinner notes about the pastor: “not very christian of her to make people with "lesser" jobs suffer/struggle more than they already are.” Puh-leez. The suggestion that this gal is in a “lesser” job is in and of itself an insult to all waitresses and waiters! We need them and they are valuable to our dining enjoyment! How can their willingness to serve others, a Christian principle I might add, be “lesser?”

Another pinner gets that the 10% really isn't about God, stating “God is asking for it to show obedience not because he needs money, he has everything.” The 10% tithing often goes towards church expenses, including a pastor's salary, and various mission service projects the church supports. God invites us to share our abundance with others (the Law of Circulation). While I recognize the Christian point of view is that God judges us by our actions, I don't believe that God judges us at all, never mind by how much of our money we give in His name, but rather witnesses the intentions within our heart. One pinner defends the waitress, stating, “I'm a Christian. Unless service is lousy or the server rude and unfriendly, I always give 20% tip.” I like her way of sharing the abundance!

I think this pinner's statement really hits home on what we all tend to do, whether it's religion, politics, ethnicity, cultures or lifestyles: “The actions of this pastor are appalling. I am disappointed however, that (receipt pinner) chose to equate the reprehensible actions of one person with religion as a whole. That sort of blanket generalization is unfair and offensive.” Ironically another Christian pinner states, “Christians as a whole should not be judged by this one woman's actions.” I couldn't agree more!

Now if only Christians would remember this about Muslims, gays, etc. And Muslims would remember this about Christians, Americans, etc. And Americans remember this about Mexicans, welfare recipients, etc.

Well, you get my point.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

RelationSHIPs and Cargo

A relationSHIP is like a vessel in which two people sail together across a massive body of water (symbolic for emotion) into the horizon, and to places “out there” unseen. There can be rough waters, stormy seas to weather, and hopefully, more often than not, smooth sailing.

The relationSHIP's deck may offer a lot of wonderful things to make one's voyage enjoyable, things that on the surface may seem like everything is perfect; however, all the great things on the deck's surface cannot alone keep a relationSHIP afloat.  Every relationSHIP has a keel, the spine which serves as the foundation for the relationSHIP on which two people sail together.  Deep in the belly of the relationSHIP is the “ship's hold”. In the ship's hold can be found cargo, baggage left buried in the dark corners, untouched, unaddressed from many previous voyages, from many previous years. If left alone and unattended, the “ship's hold” can and will eventually become heavy with cargo, which will lead to the weighing down, even drowning the “beauty” seen on the deck's surface. The care and maintenance of this relationSHIP's foundation will determine if the relationSHIP stays afloat or sinks.

Both co-captains navigating the relationSHIP make up the travel package for this voyage; that is, how each person wants and chooses to show up on board the relationSHIP. The travel package includes all visible (conscious) and invisible (unconscious) intentions, which are seen in both the actions and words spoken by those steering the relationSHIP. Actions speak louder than words, and sometimes, (in)actions belie the words. Deep beneath the deck in the relationSHIP's hold, unknown cargo of voyages past influence the voyage package, thus disrupting the relationSHIP's course and its ability to smoothly sail forward. If this cargo is ignored and unaddressed, it will become the death of smooth sailing for the relationSHIP.

It takes courageous and brave co-captains to go deep beneath the surface, into the darkness of the ship's hold to scour the cargo that's unhealthy, heavy and threatening to a successful voyage. Until s/he is willing to do that, all relationSHIP voyages will sail aimlessly in the water, haphazardly bumping with great distress into other relationSHIP's passing in the night. No matter how few or how many relationSHIPs one has sailed on the high seas of love, one must realize that what's on the top deck of any given relationSHIP isn't what keeps the vessel afloat. One must nose around in the ship's hold, consciously checking not only one's own cargo, but paying attention and noticing the tarp-covered cargo belonging to the co-captain of the relationSHIP's voyage. If either co-captain is unwilling to pull back the tarp and take a hard look at the cargo that's taking the relationSHIP off-course, the voyage is at risk.

A key to a successful voyage is that co-captains have an idea, even an inkling as to their desired destination, and obtain a forecast that offers some insight as to what lies ahead of them in their voyage. Having this information allows for navigational redirection as needed by one or both co-captains in the event of stormy weather, in which decisions may be made to change course, decide on a new destination, turn back, or debark from the voyage all together. Without a forecast, co-captains cannot consciously and collaboratively make choices that facilitate a smoother voyage. Aimless sailing with a navigational course of twists and turns determined by random winds recklessly places the voyage into danger. Unfortunately, some co-captains in Titanic disasters wait too long to leave a sinking relationSHIP, unnecessarily drowning into the abyss of broken hearts, fear, and hopelessness. The only way back from the abyss is to ironically dive deeper into the ship's hold and address the cargo left behind from previous voyages.

More importantly, each co-captain must know his or her own ultimate destination when boarding a relationSHIP. For a part of the voyage, both co-captains may travel together, sharing and enjoying the same ports for a short time. Reaching the final destination of one's ultimate desire may require taking different relationSHIPs to get there, but if one knows where s/he wants to ultimately make landfall, it becomes easier to stay the course no matter the weather. In doing so, one will ultimately come to enjoy the most successful and romantic voyage of a lifetime on the USS RelationSHIP.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Old Baggage and Boogers

We as a human collective attach a great deal of value to the transitional shift of time in our celebration of the New Year. We take the past year and all it held, and put it behind us, sweeping it under the rug to some unknown place as we countdown the arrival of the new year. We look to the New Year as a fresh start, a new beginning to get things right, live happier lives, accomplish more, make better choices.  For me, I'm realizing I've seen each New Year as a rung on a ladder, another step in the journey of my life; but this is inaccurate. Every day of every year is a rung, a step in the journey. We place a great deal of stock, hope, and expectancy into a better and more prosperous New Year when if we held that same excitement, anticipation and motivation for change every day, our lives may be more fulfilling and happier. What an incredible burden we put on the shoulders of the New Year and Father Time!

Since my divorce, New Year's has historically been a bummer for me. Unless I had the distraction of a celebratory activity, I've spent New Year's Eve at home alone, wallowing in the hurt and lost of opportunity of New Year's Eve 1996.  On this particular night during what would be the last year of a struggling marriage, my then-husband called to inform me he wasn't coming home after work (we lived 45 minutes in the country) but rather going out his “friends” for New Year's Eve. I'd planned a nice dinner for us in the hope we could say farewell to a rocky past year that included a miscarriage, a regrettable purchase of a money pit, stressful renovations, and all the strife within our estranged relationship. I felt hurt and abandoned.

In the fifteen years since my divorce, I've spent more New Year's Eves home alone than not. In the past few years, I began the practice of making a list of all the positive things I'd accomplished, joyous moments, and positive experiences of the soon to pass year to help lessen the New Year blahs. Only this year, despite a positively wonderful year, I was left feeling unsettled, the blahs heavier than usual.  A couple of days ago, it was as if the spirit of New Year's Eve Past arrived to show me the vividness of New Year's Eve, 1996, bringing it to me front and center in the consciousness of my mind. The memory of my ex's phone call; the place I stood in the kitchen when he told me he wasn't coming home; the tears I cried over the kitchen sink; the realization (which I quickly shoved into denial) I was losing my husband.

For whatever reason, the Spirit of New Year's Eve Past took me back to this one night of heartache to face it after sixteen years; and to deal and heal this piece of my past.  Like so many others each and every New Year Eve past, I shoved it “under the rug," the depth of my unconsciousness, repressing the bad memory, the hurt without gleaning from them understanding, wisdom, or finding forgiveness and healing. I unconsciously hung my “pity party hat” each December 31st on this one event of my past for fifteen years.  I've been unconsciously wallowing in and/or running away from that one holiday eve experience, which in a sense is what we all tend to do as we ring out the old and ring in the new? Now it registers as an energetic blip on my awareness radar, and so my healing around it is a work in progress.   

The problem with running from our past experiences, mistakes and choices is that a chase ensues; the old baggage will not let up on us, and is always following us as we move into each new year. Only until we are willing to stop, turn around and confront that from which we are seeking to leave behind in the past year, it will chase us into each new year. We must embrace what we are running from for it is a part of and the point of our journey – to learn from it, grow from it, and choose anew as a result of it. 
Here's another off-the-wall way of looking at this: Old baggage that we drag into each year, most often unconsciously, is like a sticky booger we can't seem to get off our finger. Only until we stop and look purposefully with intent at the culprit to see what it is about and where we are in relationship to it, then we can figure out how to be rid of it, once and for all.  In doing so, we may go about the business of living our lives booger/baggage free.

Facing and acknowledging past hurts, disappointments, and less-than-stellar choices allow us to become friends with it, and leads us to forgiveness, and greater love and acceptance of ourselves and those players in our past.  It can also provide us with an appreciation of the insight of wisdom which frees us to move forward in our lives to bigger and greater experiences of joy, abundance, and love.