Freedom!!

What a feeling!! Such a sense of freedom when I don’t feel like I have to apologize for being who I am!!

I mean, where does the idea that we need to apologize for being who we are… liking what we like… doing what we want to do.. where does that come from? I mean, think about it? I like the color purple. Let’s say you don’t… Ok… why would I apologize for that? Even if the color purple makes you really uncomfortable or you think its bad in some way, why would I apologize for liking it? That just doesn’t make any sense.

Yet we do this all the time. We may not verbalize it, but we walk around feeling bad about ourselves for liking the color purple when no one else around us likes it.

I don’t want to venture into political territory here, that isn’t what this is about. I don’t want to debate when we get to tell other people they are wrong or not. There are laws for that and people live their lives working to make laws about those things. No, this is about the freedom to be able to like the things I like, to do the things I want to do, to express myself in a way that feels true to me. And you know… when I do that… the only thing that exists at that point is love, a love that is so pure and bright that it outshines any other feeling or thought!

 

 

Crisis of the body

I have been paying more attention to my connection with my soul, my true self, recently. I was keenly aware yesterday of that connection, when I was down sick with the stomach flu.

When a crisis comes up, in this case a crisis of the body, it can make it really hard to stay connected to your true self. The body is just screaming for attention, making it hard to hear anything else. Yet, I feel like I did stay in touch. I listened to my body and did exactly what it needed, I rested a lot, I ate very little, stayed as hydrated as possible… I believe this honors and supports my true self at the same time.

Today, as I look around while I am driving… my soul sings with the beauty of the ice and snow on the trees. Just looking at it, taking in its beauty, makes me feel closer to my soul, my true self.

I know that music does this for me, also. I will try to remember this the next time I have a body crisis. Because looking at the beauty around me or listening to my true self’s kind of music or feeling the love that loved ones feel for me, lifts me up and out of the pain and discomfort that my body is feeling in the moment.

So, what if we could use that beauty, earthly beauty, to stay connected to our soul, even during a health crisis, a body crisis? Even a traumatic crisis? What if we could use the beauty of nature, of music, of movement, of human interaction… to connect more fully, more completely, more intensely with our true self? Rather than allowing the crisis to block or interfere with that connection?

Logic vs. Being

As I work on living in my true self… in the being of my true self… what I’m finding is that things… stuff… everything is just easier! I don’t question as much stuff, I don’t doubt as much, including myself.

As I have been approaching situations and decisions recently, I find that my tendency is to approach them with a very logical mind. In fact, I’ve always been that way. Of course, hindsight being what it is, I can see that that has not always worked out so well… despite the “logical” aspect of it (there’s a whole lot of irony in that). There have been sooo many situations in my life that I approached this way.

However, when I look back at times when things went smoothly and almost seemed to just fall into place… those were times when I quit trying or wasn’t trying in the first place… when I just let things happen…. And those were times when opportunities would literally just present themselves and I as long as I allowed myself to just go with it, it went well. The times when I questioned it or second guessed myself and then brought logic into the equation to force a decision or a situation to be what I thought it should be (for whatever reason)… that is when it seemed to go the worst.

So, recently, I have been trying to do things differently. I still find that my logical mind wants to kick in and “help”, but I’ve been just thanking it for its hard work and concern and then letting it go. Instead of trying to force something… chase someone down to return a phone call, for instance… I’ve been just letting it be what it is. If I’m supposed to talk to that person, they will call. Ever been just thinking about someone and all of a sudden a message or a call shows up from them? I had that happen to me recently. That’s what I’m trying to create more space for.

Allowing things to just happen the way they are supposed to. Listening to ourselves, to our bodies, to our soul! Allowing that to be the guide, allowing that to be the force that pulls us in the direction that we are meant to go in… not supposed to go in, because supposed to and should and have to and all that, that’s too much of a logic based, 3d way of thinking…

And if I listen to my soul, my soul is going to direct me in the way that I am meant to go, to where I’m meant to be… And when that happens, it is effortless, it flows, it works.

When I get to Be my True Self, I feel amazing! Emotionally, physically, I feel amazing! All that 3d thinking kind of stuff, doesn’t even come into mind and if it does, it just passes through and floats off. That’s the old way, Being My True Self, allowing myself to Be… THAT is the new way!

I know you have had a time when things just worked, when they just happened. Those are the times when we are living in our Being of our True Selves. That’s a good feeling! That feels amazing!

Living from that place is incredible! Come join me!

Living from Compassion.

Living from a place of compassion…

I smile as I say that because I can feel my heart expand just thinking in that way. And that feels  so TRUE to me… that feels real… in such a deeper way…

At the same time.. my mind engages. On a whole different level. And that’s the part that struggles to live with compassion. Because the mind says, “Well, yea, but, what about so-and-so, and what about so-and-so, and what about that guy that just cut you off in traffic?! Does he deserve compassion?! I don’t think so!!”

But, in reality its such an earthly way to think about it. Its such a short sighted way to think about it… It’s thinking, period. Its trying to make logical sense out of… something… anything, life. Its trying to make things fair and equitable.

And you  know what, maybe in the universe things are fair and things are equitable across the board. But its on such a bigger scale that we can’t even imagine it. And the guy who just cut me off in traffic isn’t even a blip on the screen. Its so inconsequential.

When I am living with compassion, things just don’t bother me the same way. I’m able to forgive seeming trespasses so much easier that its almost not even forgiving, I just don’t notice them. I’m able to see people, no matter what they do, in a completely different light; as another fellow soul just trying to navigate the world, just like me. And even the bigger stuff… I recognize that its not about me or even them, its all part of an even bigger picture and it all has value.

So…. … to find a way to live with compassion, all the time. To shut off that chatter that keeps telling me “Yea, but… you need to make sure so-and-so …. blah… blah… blah.”

Because the only thing I need to make sure of… is that I’m Being True to My Self.

The Soul’s Emotion!

I have always felt very uncomfortable with intense emotions. I mean who can actually watch an ASPCA commercial without breaking down in tears?! But, its so uncomfortable that I change the channel… as quickly as possible.

And I’ve always been like that. If I’m honest (and what other way is there to be?), I have always shied away from anything that started to tap that emotion center… as soon as I could feel it start to bubble up I would run in the other direction as fast as possible. Turning on logic is great for that! Shuts emotion down quickly.

But, as I sat with this feeling today, in silence (well, my music was playing in the background), I just watched it… and I realized something… I’ve had this feeling before… recently, only I described and labeled it differently, in a more positive way… it was with my chiropractor during a session. He helped me to realize that my body was trying to contain energy that was flowing in me, but that it wasn’t meant to be contained within my body. That I am a conduit for it. The energy is bigger than me, in other words, meant to flow through me.

So, as I had this overwhelming emotion today, I didn’t run from it, I allowed myself to feel it and really experience it. At one point I could feel my mind engage and try to label and name it and make sense of it… be logical, but I was able to stop that and continued to just experience the emotion itself… then I noticed the tightness in my chest… this is what reminded me of the chiropractor’s office… I had had the same physical sensation while in session….

Hmmmm… Wow! So, that’s what that is?! The energy of the emotion was in my body, but it didn’t fit… And it didn’t fit because its the emotion that my soul is experiencing! But because the emotion that we feel on a soul level is so much bigger (that word doesn’t even begin to describe the difference!), it simply doesn’t fit in our bodies… our bodies feel like they are going to explode when they try to contain the true self’s emotion!

So, I’m gonna stop trying to contain the emotion. Now that I know, its that simple… of course, I’m sure there will be times when I forget and body memory kicks in and takes over, but this new way feels better and I’m ready to experience everything that my True Self has for me…

For me, its about imagining that the energy pouring through me is being released through my skin. My skin is not a barrier. The energy radiates out of me in all directions. I bring my awareness to a higher place, encompassing the space around my body, as large as I can imagine, and my body feels the relief.

Giving credit where credit is due, this is not my idea, I learned to do this from my chiropractor! He helped me to learn to look beyond myself, to recognize that I am bigger than my human body… it made a huge difference in how my body responded to chiropractic care, but has also made a huge difference beyond care… in every facet of my life!! I couldn’t be more grateful (said as my true self’s heart swells with an overwhelming feeling of gratitude!)

Acceptance…

The idea of acceptance came to my mind the other day. I’d actually forgotten about it, but found my recording of my thoughts when I was driving one day, probably to the office.

I was thinking about the people around me. I have often, over my lifetime, struggled with being accepted by others, feeling like I fit in. As I reflect, it seems as though there was always some reason why I didn’t fit it, whether it was in elementary school or in a professional setting in my life now.  *literally Lol* It was always because I was “too” something and the something wasn’t even always a negative thing… isn’t that ridiculous?! Not being accepted because you’re too good at something?!

Anyway… There is a difference between being accepted as being different and being accepted as you are.

With the former, you’re not really accepted…. people just say they aren’t judging you… but they don’t really accept you… they’ll tolerate you… they don’t run you out of town… they are not necessarily gonna require meetings in dark alleys and shadowy places… but they don’t openly say that they accept you, not to other people. The toleraters.

Whereas when you are fully accepted for who you are… those people welcome those parts of you that are “different”. In fact, its because of those parts that they want to talk to you, that they want to get to know you, that they want to hang out with you. The accepters.

It’s fine, walking into a group of toleraters. When you are being your true self, when you are anchored in your true self, you can walk into those environments and you can be confident. And I think that confidence allows the toleraters who would normally be afraid, because you are different, to actually be able to have a conversation with you or be open to what you have to say. But its a completely different feeling than being able to walk in, being accepted, as who you are. That’s a feeling of coming home, that’s a feeling of comfort. You don’t have to have any kind of guard up for that. That’s when the guard can come down. Cause even when you walk into a group of toleraters and you’re confident and you’re sure in your true self, there is a part of you that is on guard… And that’s exhausting.

Accepting ourselves is a huge part of the process of being our true self, there is no doubt about that. But, we need an environment that allows that to flourish… allows it to come out of hiding… to gain strength. Having people in our life that support that, that hold space for us to grow, and even help build it is wonderful! But if the people in our lives are doing the opposite or are just accepting us as “different”, we’re better off without them… no matter who they are…. even if that means we do it by ourselves for a time. That’s ok, its temporary… because as we become stronger in the knowing and the being of our true self, we will start to attract accepters!

Who in your life is holding space for you to grow? Who is supporting you in being your true self?!

With Awe and Wonder…

There have been many times in my life when I identified a goal… something I wanted… Direction! Purpose! Awesome!?

But… then I would consistently find myself on some other path… completely in another direction from my stated goal or desire. What is this? What am I doing over here? I don’t know how this happened, because I want to be over there!

I used to think that I just wasn’t strong enough, that I didn’t have the will power, that I didn’t have the drive, that I didn’t have what it takes to succeed… I thought, AND I was told, that something was wrong with me. Ok, something is wrong with me… let’s fix this, get a Franklin planner, get organized, get motivated, DO (remember the doing I talked about before?!) more of this, DO less of that…

Is that true though? Is something really wrong with me? I mean something is going on, obviously…. i have identified a goal, a path… and… yet I find myself some place else… so there is something going on!

It took me a looooong time to figure out that it wasn’t me, that there wasn’t anything wrong with me. There ISsomething wrong with the path though. That stated, identified desire or goal? That’s where the problem lay.

When I started looking at it (many years later, with hindsight)… I could see it… the problem was, I was listening to something other than my True Self. I was listening to other people, rather than what my True Self was trying to tell me.

When I first started college, right out of high school… I started with a major in engineering, Industrial Engineering, the least of the mechanical, technical kinds of engineering, its a kind of managerial type of engineering… Hmmm… Which was, no doubt, a clue, had I been listening… *sigh* with a minor in psychology. (I have been interested in psychology since I was a teenager… the story of Sybil FASCINATED me to no end!)

So, that interest was there, right from the start. I knew I was interested in psychology and even though i was going to major in engineering (because there was no money in psychology and I was good at math), I didn’t want to completely give up my interest in psychology. But… often…  I would find myself spending my time reading my psych books rather than putting my time into my mechanical engineering class.

At the time, I just kept pushing forward because that was my identified goal, and obviously, the end result is that I didn’t do well in those classes.. failed some of them even. No surprise there, looking back on it, but I didn’t see it that way then… all I saw was that I was a failure, I was failing to attain my identified goal, to stay on my identified path.

Now….  well, I was gonna say that life took me in a different direction, but my True Self probably intervened or allowed that to happen because it wasn’t what my True Self wanted.

Anyway, I went down a different path for awhile. Twelve years later I found myself with the opportunity to go back to school and the ONLY thing I wanted to study was psychology! I didn’t know what I was going to do other than study psychology. I think some people probably said or asked me what my 5 year or 10 year plan was… and I probably said, I don’t know, and said it in such a way as to say “And I don’t want to hear it! This is what I’m doing! End of discussion!” I didn’t know why then, I just KNEW.

That voice… my True Self’s voice was sooooo strong … with regard to this, in particular. But I ignored it…  its true that I didn’t ignore it completely, but I didn’t allow it to flourish either. And on top of that, I told myself something was wrong with me! As soon as we do things like that, we feel so bad about ourselves that we need to do something to compensate for it. We need something that makes us feel better…. addictions come into play… foods, maybe drugs, alcohol, relationships, anything to try to feel better. But its just a distraction. … … If we just listen to what our True Self is telling us and follow its guidance, regardless of what others say, things go so much more smoothly!!!

I didn’t know then where it would go back then, I just knew, on some really deep level, that that’s what I wanted to do, that that is what I was MEANT to do. I KNOW what I’m supposed to do now. And I still don’t know exactly what its gonna look like. But that’s ok. I know it has something to do with psychology and helping people and I’m just gonna keep moving forward and I’m gonna keep listening to my True Self. I’m gonna listen with awe and wonder and I’m gonna watch what unfolds for me. Its an exciting journey!! What does your journey look like?!

Owning my stuff…

I’ve had some stuff going on this week. Not sure what it is still… or where it came from. I’m working through it… or maybe its working its way through me (which is how it feels at times). But whatever it is, its mine.

It has not been pretty.. rather ugly, in fact, at times. Which isn’t easy to accept, but its mine.

It has been … uncomfortable…  at the very least and at times has been down right painful! And I don’t know about you, but that’s not fun… but its still mine.

Some times I had to just sit with it.. in silence… there just wasn’t anything else to do with it. Other times I let it get a hold of me and I said and did things I didn’t like. It felt too big to hold on to, but that didn’t make it any less mine.

There were times when I wanted to turn away, to run from it… I’ve certainly done that before. I mean… all that nastiness? Who wants to own that? But there was no getting away from it, because its mine.

As awful as it felt, I sat with it and I stayed with it. I set it aside when daily life required me to, but I never walked away from it. And THAT felt good… great, in fact! Because I knew it was mine and it felt good to own it. Even though I wasn’t comfortable, I felt more in control.

Where was I going to go anyway? These things don’t go away. At least not very far, ever, they just lay dormant waiting for another opportunity to show up again. Because they are mine.

As I sat with it, I looked at it… I watched it… I studied its characteristics, how it behaved, what it reacted to, what it wanted, what it needed. I learned a lot by doing this and felt even more in control. I gave it what it wanted and withheld what it needed, then vice versa, to see what would happen.

I’ve worked really hard to learn to listen to my body and my mind … and my soul. Some of these lessons have been painful ones. Watching and learning and asking questions about the things I think and feel, both physically and emotionally.

The first part of it was owning it as part of me. Its easy to own the parts that I like, that I know others like. But these ugly parts are more difficult to own. In the past, I didn’t want to accept them as part of me, especially when I thought other people didn’t like them. I wanted to be accepted by others, I didn’t want to be different, even when different meant being true to myself. I ran from them, I hid them. But they are part of me… and there is no getting away from that. It took a long time to learn that there would be people that would accept me, even with these parts, maybe not as many, but once I was accepted with all my parts… I didn’t want those other people back anyway.

It feels amazing to be accepted for who I am… but even more amazing to accept my true self, with all of the parts that make me who I am, all the way down to the deepest part of my soul. To stand up (figuratively) in a group of people and allow myself to stand out from everyone else, saying out loud exactly what makes me different, knowing that I accept my true self, and no matter what those people did or said or thought, that they couldn’t hurt me, because the real pain comes from not being my true self, not owning what is mine…. wow… … just wow.

Staying in touch with My True Self

This journey I’m on, to find my True Self, has been a long and bumpy road… and I’m not there yet! It has seemed less bumpy lately, but there are certainly still some very deep potholes… and this one I’ve fallen into feels rather cavernous!! Actually… I didn’t fall into it, I was tricked, seduced and walked blindly into it, not even realizing where I was going, until I woke up and found myself near the bottom.

Huh?! Where am I?! How did I get here? And where did my True Self go?!

Those were questions I found myself asking today. I woke up feeling like I was lost… again!  (#$%*^@&!! ) But how is that possible?! Just two days ago I knew exactly who I was and exactly what I wanted to do… not just wanted, what I am meant to do, what my soul intended for me to do in this lifetime. And now? Well now I’m just plain confused.

Write a blog? What? No one cares what you have to say?! You can’t trust these people! You better watch your back! No one cares about you!  *Feeling pressure to get things done, to get to the next thing or place. To DO!*

All nagging, negative thoughts and feelings that have plagued me much of my life… that I have worked so hard to put out of my mind, to challenge. They are the voices of people I used to know, peers, society… The thoughts and beliefs that oppressed me and kept me out of touch with my True Self.

But why are they back? And how did they get such a strong hold on me again, so quickly? Strong enough to drag me so far down that its hard to see the light anymore?!

And the damnedest part?! I saw them coming! My True Self was watching them and heard them… She did what she could, she challenged them, she kept moving forward in spite of them…

I guess she wasn’t strong enough to stand up to them all… The steady, insidious onslaught was too much.

I’m in touch with my True Self still. I can hear her voice. She’s scared and a bit timid right now. I’m crawling back out though. I have some awesome people in my life. I’m calling in back up and reinforcements.  And with the love and support of good people, she will rise again! And she…. WE will be stronger than WE were before.

Because that’s how it works! Its not the falling down part that matters, its the getting up part. And you better believe, I’m getting up again. My soul has a mission!

How to be?

The idea of being… This concept keeps coming up for me in the past few days, the last few weeks really. Something came to me today though as I was working with clients. So as a concept its beginning to kind of gel a little more.

So, in counseling, traditionally, we have a lot of strategies, we talk about having a toolbox full of skills to manage… stress, to manage emotions, to manage relationships. And as I was talking with clients today, we were talking about those kinds of things. And it occurred to me again. We’re “doing”. We’re trying to DO something, rather than just being. These tools and strategies are about DOing. (I’m not bashing these skills, they are my bread and butter afterall, but I do think there is a better way to apply them or conceptualize them.)

Its kind of like.. *chuckle*.. (I laugh, again, because when I go to say this, as the thought formulates in my mind, I can hear how ridiculous it is.) Its like we are
trying to be, rather than just being. I mean what happens if we were to allow ourselves to just be, instead of trying to do the thing that we think is going to allow us to just be? I mean that’s what we are doing when we try. We end up just DOing rather than being.

We… try to exercise because that’s the thing that we think, or that we are told, is going to make us feel better; we try to meditate; we try to reframe our thinking or think a different way. What if I just allowed myself to think in a way that feels good?

Hmmm…. That kind of catches me up.. because the question that comes to mind is what about those thoughts that leave us feeling badly, in some way? The thoughts that tell us that we should be doing something else? Because I know those come unbidden. So, the whole idea of “I want to” rather than “I should”, that age old kind of struggle comes up.

How do we know what to listen to?

It comes back to listening to what our bodies, our minds, our souls need. What our soul wants to do. What our body needs, in that moment. And for some of us, sometimes the body does need to run, to exercise, and other times it needs to rest.

But, I think…  we get desensitized. We don’t know how to listen to our bodies anymore. The message is being sent to rest, but we think we have already rested too much, so we ignore the message and keep pushing on. And we become desensitized to the message because we tell ourselves that the message is wrong. So, what happens is we misinterpret the messages. We don’t know how to tell the difference anymore, which one to listen to; the one that says rest or the one that says we have rested “enough”.

I remember reading a study about a similar feeling, related to hunger, and how as a society we don’t eat when we are hungry, we eat based on other triggers, and we really get desensitized to whether we are hungry or full because we are so used to ignoring it and just eating whenever. Its the same kind of thing with our bodies needs and with our mind’s needs… our soul’s needs ABSOLUTELY! We learned a long time ago to ignore those messages! and to dismiss them, many times as unacceptable or inappropriate according to someone else’s values or ideas.

We’ve ignored and dismissed those messages so much so that we are out of touch with them completely now. We question them when they come up.

So, how do we get back in touch with that? How do we honor and value that voice in our heads? I have found that its generally a quiet, yet persistent one. Did yours speak to you today? If so, what did it say? If you’re not sure, what do you think it would have said, because that’s probably it! 🙂