Monday, August 26, 2013
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Monday, August 19, 2013
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.
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!!
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?
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
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 email@example.com.
Monday, August 5, 2013
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.