Showing posts with label My Personal Experiences. Show all posts
Showing posts with label My Personal Experiences. Show all posts

Monday, February 20, 2017

Life In The Upside-Down

Three months ago, I had a shunt surgically placed in my head, to alleviate swelling due to a spinal fluid leak. I woke up in the upside-down, and now nothing feels right anymore.

The world feels like it's on a collision course with madness, and no matter how much I try to smile and laugh it off, there is a heavy sense of nihilistic discontent within me. People say the world hasn't changed, we just see it more clearly in this time of instant communication, news, and technology. But I don't know about that, because it seems pretty different to me than it did even just a few years ago.

If you do any research into the Mandela Effect you'll find a lot of crackpot conspiracies and lunacy. But there are some historical inaccuracies that I cannot overlook, and which wrinkle my water-logged brain. I remember vividly growing up watching video of the JFK assassination. There were never six people in that car. It was not a six seater. But somehow every video online now shows footage that is in direct competition with my memory.

Something happened to this world. Whether it was a CERN related dimensional shift, or a simple shift in personal values; humanity seems to be in big trouble. And I don't rightly see a solution or a way out.

Celebrity dominates the media, and now politics. Outright lies are laughed off, memes are made, twitter wars are waged, but nothing changes. Nothing is accomplished. The rich get richer, while the rest of us sit here confounded wondering "what happened???"

I can't help but wonder if in some alternate reality there is a girl watching our life on TV, thinking to herself "wow that shows pretty messed up!" Because life feels like reality TV now; everyone is posturing all the time, manners have all but evaporated, the bottom line is everyone's bottom line, and everybody has an ulterior motive.

It is getting more difficult for me to cope with my depression and anxiety disorder in this crazy reality we are living in. I mean, a bigoted billionaire reality TV star is leader of the free world. And Russia may be blackmailing him with embarrassing images of him engaging in golden showers with Russian hookers. How the hell am I supposed to feel anything remotely like faith in the human race?

I hope one day soon I will wake up in the hospital, and find out this was all just one big brain-swell dream. It's still pre-election November, my surgery was a success, and I had one hell of a trippy nightmare!

Joking aside, this has to be a difficult time for anyone who is living with mental illness.  I don't see my depression improving anytime soon.

So for now I will just keep reaching out to others, to you, and hope that we find our way back to kindness, compassion, and sanity.

Friday, January 8, 2016

Overcoming the Guilt Complex!

If you have never had an issue with guilt, then this post likely won't offer you up much food for thought or growth. However, there is probably a reason you find yourself here, and I'm guessing something deep inside of you reached out in desperation and necessity upon seeing the words "Guilt Complex". This is for those of us who have struggled with guilt all of our lives.

While I attempt to help others with my own experiences and knowledge through this blog, I have to say before going further that this is a lesson still very much in progress for me. I am not in any way "over" my guilt issues; however I am making stellar progress, enough so that I feel confident in sharing what I've gleaned so far.

Let me begin with a little backstory to build bridges of relate-able allegory so you will know you're among a kindred spirit. As far back as my memory travels, guilt was a constant companion. I recall stories my adoptive mother tells of my first Christmas morning after I was adopted. Having been a ward of the courts, and in foster care off and on for my first four years of life, I was apparently so overwhelmed Christmas morning at the age of four, by the sheer amount of presents in my stocking, that I stood still, almost catatonic, in shock that all of those presents were for me. It took a lot of coaxing and gentle convincing for my new mother to impress upon me that the stocking was only the tip of the ice berg. Something within me did not feel worthy.

At age 6 I recall helping my father rake the leaves outside, and in my haste to be as helpful as I could I remember whirling around quickly to hand him the rake when he asked for it, and whacking him quite firmly on the nose. It obviously hurt him, as he cried out, and put his hand to his face immediately. And my memory is pure guilt, shame, I wanted to run away and cry, I had hurt my father, surely he would hate me now, surely I was the most horrible awkward unlovable child on earth.

The following few decades were fairly consistent as far as those feelings were concerned. I have battled with feelings of guilt since I was a small child, and in fact it got so bad that in my adult life I would find myself feeling guilty of things I had nothing to do with. Confrontation made me feel guilty and shameful. Saying "no" made me feel horrendous and cruel. Even typing the general memories I have shared thus far has created a sensation of anxiety within me, as my skin now feels ultra sensitive, my heart is beating faster, and I feel somewhat nauseated.

What It Feels Like to Live With Guilt

This is what it is to live with a guilt complex; eventually we were made to believe at some point in our lives that we were not good enough, or smart enough, or _____ enough. Or we convinced ourselves of it, if no one else did. And the message stuck, to the point of becoming a mixture of phobia and psychological trauma.

You know how it feels, when someone confronts you with even the most minor of issues, such as "why did you say that" or "where did you put my keys" or even "what did you tell so & so about me?" A well adjusted person weighs the question, and answers rationally. A guilt complex leads a person to feel cornered, backed into a wall, giving rise to the fight or flight instinct. And then you begin to hold yourself responsible for things that are completely disproportionate, and this can interfere with your relationships with others, and how you view yourself.

Living with guilt is like living with a critic who is constantly putting you down, whispering in your ear that you're a fraud, telling you that any time things go badly in life it is your fault.

But this is simple programming, which can be overcome through dedication and self-awareness.

Letting Go of Guilt

First, you have to exhale, because you've likely been holding your anxious breath for so long that you're a stressed out ticking time bomb! Breathe. As I say again and again throughout this blog, oxygen is the salvation we are seeking! Once you get clean deep breaths into your lungs, blood supply, and brain, you allow yourself to think more rationally, and calmly. Breathing is always the first step when dealing with any negative feeling, emotion, or situation. And a guilt complex is the mother load when it comes to negative feelings!

The next bit is the part that requires your dedication, because you need to commit yourself to changing the way you think, and that is so much easier said than done. Our minds are like computers that keep generating the most often used or "trending" topics and ideas. So as the programmer, it is up to you to rewire your hard drive, and start replacing the old coding with new and improved algorithms. 

Self-awareness is a journey towards peace, and enlightenment, which does not require a religious belief, or a dedication to anyone, or anything outside of ones self. All you need to do is commit to your own well being, and then start cleansing your mind of the negative trending topics within. Brain washing isn't always a bad thing,  and a person living with constant internal guilt feelings could do with a bit of cleansing within. So this is where affirmations can become very powerful tools for changing the way you think, and the habitual responses you have to negative stimuli. When guilt feelings arise, rather than let them drag you down into feelings of despair and self-loathing, step out of yourself and observe; this is self-awareness in motion. Observing your thoughts, and your physical and emotional responses to your thoughts, enables you to see how you operate. And this in turn lets you see beyond the conditioning you've operated within, to start creating new and more healthy habits.

Somewhere in the last few years, I made a decision to stop feeling responsible for things out of my control, and to finally stop feeling guilty for any and everything that isn't completely mine to own. It is enough that I am willing to accept my faults, own them, apologize, and make amends when I mess up in life. I do not need to bend over backwards to accept responsibility when I have not done wrong! Neither do you.

This change didn't happen overnight. It was a few years in the shaping, and as I said earlier, I am still very much working at it. However, sometime before the new year rolled around, it hit me like a tonne of very welcome bricks: something has definitely changed within me. In the last six months especially, something has clicked, and maybe all those affirmations, all the visualization, self-healing, introspection and self-awareness I have dedicated myself to, has finally paid off! Because I am not carrying the weight of the entire world on my chest anymore.

How Does it Feel to Break Free?

I feel free, truly free, from my own self-judgement and inner critic. And I realize it was never an issue of the world making me feel small, or somebody conditioning me to feel guilty; it was always about my own shrunken sense of self worth. 

I'm very much a work in progress, just like you, and that is all we are expected to be on this journey of life on planet Earth. We are evolving as best we can, with the knowledge we have, and the skills we are learning. We teach what we are learning, and we share what we have discovered. And that is why this blog exists; so that I can share what I am uncovering about myself, on my own journey, because when I have a moment of clarity, or an epiphany, I cannot wait to share it with you - my kindred spirits and friends, who are on your own parallel journey of awakening and enlightenment. And this is one epiphany I so needed to share with you, because I know that so many of us struggle with guilt, and feelings of worthlessness, and overly harsh judgments of ourselves. 

You don't have to be so hard on yourself anymore. The time for that period of your life is done and over, you've learned all you needed to by being so intensely hard on yourself, so now you can glean the lessons, and work on letting it go. Because I promise you, there is nothing in this world, outside of your own thoughts, words, and deeds, that you are responsible for. You are not responsible or accountable for anything beyond your own control. No matter what anyone says, or how others try to make you feel, you must begin to value yourself deeply within, to the extent that you prize your own inner sanctity above all else. 

You are worth your own patience, acceptance, and love. Nourishing those elements of yourself will help you reduce feelings of guilt, and before you know it you'll have an a-ha! moment of your own, as you realize "hey, I haven't been hyper-sensitive to guilt in a long while now!"

And that is a tremendous realization to come to. I wish this for you too my friend, as you continue upon your path of self-awareness; be kind and gentle with yourself, you are unique and special, and it is high time you treat yourself accordingly.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Awakening & Depression: Deep Feelings Can Drain You

A lovely woman I barely know is falling apart right now in her life, due to depression, and I feel helpless, as I know what it's like, I have depression too. I tried to reach out to her through Facebook and managed to get into an argument with women on her friends list who were spouting the usual Susie Sunshine B.S. "it's mind over matter" and "tomorrow is a new day!"

That kind of tripe just rankles my nerves. After a solid 30+ years of hearing it from everyone and their uncle I can say with a fair degree of certainty that putting a goofy smile on my face and thinking about babies cavorting in swimming pools isn't going to right the chemical imbalance going on in my brain and body.

So many people just don't get depression, and instead of taking a moment to try to enlighten I rather snapped and flung some mud right along with them. Stupidity and internet use are not always fair companions late at night.

That being said, I do feel like depression is one of those last taboo things we don't really talk about. I mean we are all tongue in cheek support and love when a celebrity like Robin Williams kills himself, and for a while there is an outpouring of posts about mental illness, and for a moment you don't feel so isolated. But at the end of the day, depression is one of those pesky conditions that really can only be felt from the inside of the one who has it. We all have differing degrees of depression, triggers, cycles, and biochemical rhythms. There is no cookie cutter mold for what a depressed person looks or sounds like.

We come in all shapes, sizes, and walks of life.

As I go through my personal journey of self awareness and awakening, my depression seems to come in greater fits and starts. I can go longer between bad bouts, but when it hits I feel like crawling into a deep dark cave somewhere and just sleeping for a decade or three. I understand that there is no shame in having mental illness. My life experiences in childhood are what caused me to develop PTSD, panic, depression and the like. I no longer live in the environment that caused these parts of me to develop fear impulses far exceeding the norm, yet my fight or flee impulses are mad sometimes.

What I am finding more and more is that the closer I come to accepting myself fully and wholly for who I am, schisms and all, the deeper my insight into myself goes. And it's a little frightening to be honest.

I try to be very honest with myself, about my ego, my agendas in life, my drama, how I create my reality. I am very hard on myself much of the time, expecting more of myself than I would any other human. And I work damn hard at maintaining a level of receptive open mindedness about who I am, as I really truly desire to free myself of all the false persona bullsh*t that keeps human beings mired in their own muck.

But the deeper I go, the crazier I feel I am... I begin to understand myself on levels previously unexplored, and then I see myself in a whole new light, and it feels like I've been exposed for all the world to see, naked, and the shock and shame fairly bowl me over. I feel like I could spend the rest of my life living in shame of things I did so long ago... simply because I can't quite figure out how to just forgive and let it go.

Part of PTSD is that it is almost impossible to let go... I can go through a deeply moving and meaningful healing exercise, end up having a cathartic release, and feel liberated, only to later down the road have a panic attack where it all wells up again quite unexpectedly. And with PTSD it's all in the moment, now, current, there is no expiration date on shock and sorrow.

So I'm at a cross roads in my journey right now. I have been for quite a while. I tried to deny it at first, unwittingly, but as I'm always digging deeper trying to be authentic, it became clear to me I was trying to hold on to a previous image of myself, for fear of feeling lost. So I have let that previous image go; completely. My whole existence was wrapped up there for a good 10-15 years, on being Dee the Spiritual coach and reader, healer, and guide. I loved it, I learned so much from my clients, my connections, my journey. But I hit a dead end a while back. A long while back. And instead of turning around, I stayed there, in confusion. For a couple of years.

So finally I have just decided to be Dee the woman. An empty canvass. See what bubbles up from within. And I'm waiting for inspiration, or some sign, or meditative epiphany.

And then I wonder "is this a midlife crisis?"

I vow no matter who or what I become or mutate into or away from, to continue to keep working on awakening to the truths in this world. We have been living in an imposed dreamscape/nightmare for decades in North America, and every fiber within my being says the world is in need of awake and alert people at this time, to help begin to instill changes into all our systems of governance, finance, military, health, education and every other conceivable level of society and culture. And to do that we have to be able to look into the mirror and recognize who we are, and who we're not.

But it's a painful process sometimes. Exposure to the darker side of our world can be scary, and when you realize we really don't have any true liberties it's downright horrifying.

But that's what this journey is about; waking up to the truth of who we Are, not who we've been programmed to be, so that we can find our sovereignty, and let that core spark of peace and light within each of us bond us together in unity as we begin to rebuild what is so quickly and forcefully being torn down around us.

In order for things to change, they have to fall apart first. And that's not always going to feel great.

So if you`re depressed, or anxious, or scared or angry, please know you`re not alone. We are gathering in greater numbers. Conspiracy theories be damned; this is about our lives, our childrens` futures, the planet itself, life, and nature.

So stick around. I`m going to start writing here again, as it just feels like the right time to do so. And I promise to throw in some useful soul food along the way to help us all ease into these shifts as they happen at increasing rapid fire speed.

Just keep breathing - in and out - in this moment. We`re in this together.

From the Wreckage & Debris...

I'm baaaa-aaack.... crawling out of a crazy storm of depression & isolation. But I'm back.

I've gone through something of a complete and utter breakdown of personality in the last few years. Those who know me have watched it in either fear or awe or a combination of both. I built a life I thought I was happy with, but something wasn't right, didn't fit, and it's still not jiving.

As of tomorrow my web business Spirit Sanctum will officially be no more. I have removed the website, not renewed the domain, deleted the Facebook business page, and basically there is no clearer message I can deliver to the world and universe - I quit. Yet it's not enough... I'm still not "there".

If asked to verbalize my collapse of business, which I worked hard to build up over the last twenty something years, all I can say is my heart was no longer really in it. It of course goes way deeper than that, and if you truly want to know why you can contact me and we can get candid, but for all intents and purposes, it just wasn't what I wanted to be doing anymore. I got tired of doing online Tarot readings, and do not desire to return to doing them in person. I find it taxing. People are needy. I need less of that.

In dropping that part of my business I had to drop a newer part, the Reiki. It's on hold until I decide how I feel about it, but for now, Spirit Sanctum had to go, so it's gone. Obliterated. No longer an entity.

It brings me to a dark place within myself now. I feel raw, as I knew I would. And I feel like a failure and all those other things society puts upon us when we don't see something to completion in their vision of completion. I knew I had to let it go and it took over two years for me to actually pull the pin on that one friends, but having done it I don't feel any better. I guess I was hoping for epiphany, or some grand "a-ha!" moment.

All I hear is crickets, and my depression is starting to swell up again. And damn don't I know how alienating depression is.

So maybe I'll blog it out a bit, it's helped in the past. Maybe all of this soul searching crap has finally led me round the bend and I have just officially lost it. I doubt it, but it's kind of funny to visualize. Kind of.

So here I am now - blank slate. I have no form of income now until I go back to my very part time job when school starts up. I have a depressed teenager who is set to go back to school in 2 weeks, who can barely function when at home... a husband who god bless him is trying his best, and a universe that just keeps throwing curves. What am I missing? What am I not seeing? I have beat the shit out of myself trying to figure it out, and frankly I'm tired of these bruises on my heart. I go within to heal the parts within that ache, and end up hurting more now than ever. I feel lost.

So, glad i'm back? :)

I promise it won't be all violins and doom. Just bear with me, depression is a bitch. And she's really messing with my head right now.

Later... for now I will try to sleep. And maybe turn my brain off if that is even possible.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

6 Things Peaceful People Know & Do

In our consumer driven world, the bottom line is far more important to most people than anything else; profit over passion, fortune over family, money over meaningful relationships.

There are so many ways this world drives us in the wrong direction, one of the most powerful being in convincing us of how powerless we are, and causing us to believe deeply that we can not heal ourselves, or rise above our baser instincts on our own.

A person with depression or PTSD is put into therapy, where they are told they will require weekly sessions in order to try to rise above the sadness, fear, confusion and isolation they are dealing with. We are basically conditioned from childhood to believe that change is hard, takes a long time, and happiness is something we have to work very hard to achieve. Yet talking about the past, our problems, our fears and limitations and sorrow only keeps us locked within them. I have depression, panic disorder and PTSD, and for many years I too believed I needed to keep "talking it out" in order to be "free" from my pain. This only kept me locked in the past, in the pain, abuse, struggle and turmoil. It was when I took a journey of self-aware exploration of my Spirit, and truth, that I was liberated from that never-ending cycle of confusion.

We do not need to dwell in the past to escape it; this is just another fallacy we are fed in order to become complacent, which makes humanity easier to lead. The powers that be prefer us sad, lonely, and addicted to quick fixes that are profitable to the corporate giants out there.

It is possible to obviate all of the quick fixes however, and the therapy sessions, and the years and years of trying to be a happier healthier person...

There is only one requirement of you to achieve total happiness, peace, contentment, acceptance, forgiveness, and serenity in this moment; you must believe it is possible. If you doubt your own ability to reach greater levels of self-awareness, objectivity, observational clarity, then you will remain a victim of societal constructs and limitations.

And the basis for any Spiritual Awakening is realizing that truth does not come from anywhere outside of ourselves; we are a microcosmic representation of the macrocosm of God/Universe/Creator/All/Oneness. As such, we do have the power within us to change everything, in an instant!

Here are 6 things you can do to shed the yoke of illusion and claim your sovereignty & Peace!

    1. Know you don't have to keep trying. To try is to exert a force against something which doesn't yet exist. Trying is reaching, crawling, clawing, and denotes an incredible effort. This isn't necessary, as you can simply DO. You do not have to try to be happy - simply be happy. You don't have to try to be present and grounded - be present and grounded. The notion that everything worth feeling and being is hard work is faulty logic; peace is present within each breath you take, in each moment, and simply requires you to change your present way of thinking. How long does it take you to change your mind? A dear family member said to me last night "I need to get closure", to which I responded "you have it - stop trying to "get" it..." Closure is a concept, one we think we need to work at to achieve, when the truth is we simply need to "close" that chapter. So close it! Stop trying to be happy - be happy.
    2. Be ever present in this moment. The happiest and most aware people know that the only truth to live in is in this moment right now! The past is gone, there is no bringing it back, and no amount of dwelling in it will change that. In fact, the more time you spend in the past, the unhappier you will be, simply because it's robbing you of this moment right now. The future is a vast blank canvas which is painted by the actions, thoughts, words, and feelings you are having right now. If you are busy dwelling in the past, or worrying about the future, you are being robbed of what's happening in the present, and the canvas of your future will be muddled by confused notions of "then" and "when" instead of this gift called the present. 
    3. Have faith in yourself - you have everything you need within you already to be peaceful, present, and joyful. Nobody needs to go to workshops, seminars, therapy sessions, gurus, readers, or psychics in order to be happy! I'm a reader, and lead workshops and lessons, and this is done to assist and augment what you are experiencing, but it is not done to give you anything you don't already have within you. You were born perfect, no matter what your body looks like, or your psychological condition; you are a reflection of the universes infinite nature, and the only thing that stands between you and peace is your mind. In each moment there is a peaceful potential within you; quiet your mind and feel that. Know that you are strong enough, good enough, smart enough; you are enough. There will always be challenges in life, people will let you down, circumstances will bring crisis and chaos into your life, and yet how you react determines how you feel. Don't be robbed of your joy by external experiences, people, circumstances; know you have everything you need to persevere, so meet each new challenge with faith, calm, and then let them go when they are done.
    4. See the Illusion in the world around you. Our world is a result of the actions of those who came before us; society is built upon many illusions, ranging from politics, military, pharmaceutical corporations, commerce, technology etc. Any slight change in the actions of our forefathers would have resulted in a difference in the way we live now. Who decided we needed presidents? Who decided we needed religion? Who decided we needed to work a 40 hour week, only deserve two weeks vacation a year, have to be married to have children, have to be straight, republican, educated etc in order to "fit in". The 'American Dream' is an illusion, and more and more people are realizing this right now. When you see our world as an illusion, you free yourself to create a new vision for yourself
    5. Choose positivity in each thought, moment, and experience. The way you think, feel, respond, react, and behave determines how you will feel in each new moment. If you are stuck in a pattern of negative thinking simply change your mind - choose positivity. The only "right" and "wrong" are in your perception. Some people were brought up to believe one thing is right, while others are taught to see that thing as wrong. It's part of the illusion in step 4 - and it isn't real unless you decide it is. The happiest spiritually evolved people know that each new experience in life, no matter if it is "negative" or "positive" is an opportunity to express joy, to overcome conditioning, and to learn and grow. When something challenging arises, instead of falling into fearful modes of thinking, simply realize that into each life a little rain must fall, and then move through it with faith, in the Universe, and in yourself, knowing that there is a lesson present which you don't have to understand! You can simply choose to believe that everything happens for a reason, that reason doesn't have to be black and white, and you can simply be at peace no matter what is happening around you or in your world.
    6. Know your words have power, then change the way you speak. We get stuck in patterns of thinking, which then affects how we speak. Our words have vibrational creative power, and when we get into the habit of speaking negatively, we draw negative experiences into our life. Watch your words, observe how you speak, then change it. Listen to the way you represent yourself to the world. If you observe a lot of negativity, simply and mindfully change the way you speak. Drop self-effacement, forced humility, or comic relief, and be an authentic and true person - speak the truth within you - if that truth is negative, then review the first five steps above, and then change the way you speak. Do not be limited by your statements; "I'm not a very good..." or "I hate it when..." or "I can't handle this..." are examples of constricted statements we make. Let your words ring with positivity, to build up yourself, and those around you. Remember - if you have nothing positive to say, don't say anything at all.
There will always be something to fear, to despise, to abhor; so long as there are human beings in the world, there will be evil in the world. And yet we do not need to be a part of it, nor do we need to be victims to drama, trauma, or strife. Learn to meditatively breathe; free your mind by oxygenating it! The more oxygen your brain cells receive, the more simplicity you will experience, as a brain which is oxygenated is free to fire its synapses in healthy patterns. 

Drop the struggle; it is unnecessary, and requires you to believe you are less than you are. You are free, in each and every moment, to choose a new thought, literally changing your mind. If your mind is bringing you pain, fear, anger, or resentment, then simply change it. It isn't difficult! If someone has hurt you, rather than holding that pain inside of yourself, forgive them (for your sake, forgiveness is not about the person you're forgiving, but rather about freeing yourself of the experience) and know that you don't have to understand their process as it is theirs. Your process no longer has to be about complicated patterns of healing and growth; the lies society tells us about what it takes to be a happy person are simply outmoded, outdated, and no longer applicable in our reality.

You are free to change your mind, each moment, of every day, and choose peace. And when you slip back into victim mode, simply change your mind again. And again and again. And soon you will find you don't need to try to change your mind, as it eventually becomes accustomed to choosing the highest thought, the most positive expressions of peace. In order to be at peace - practice being at peace, and eventually it won't require practice! And the best news is, it is so much easier to live a peaceful and happy life than it is to be miserable, fearful, pessimistic, and angry. It requires so much negative effort to live within the confines of the illusion - so step out of it and be free to be the purest joy and most simplistic version of yourself!

I wish you clarity, and the willingness to empower yourself in this moment!

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Why Honesty Is So Crucial & Vital

Somewhere in the last couple hundred years we've been conditioned into becoming people who tell lies, and withhold truths in order to be polite, or conventional, or acquiescent. It's become politically correct to tongue in cheek say sort of what we mean, but not exactly, in a rather passive aggressive way.

I'm not sure when exactly it began, I am only 43 years old at the time I write this, I don't know anything for certain before the 1970's, but I can guess based on the history books and articles I've read. I think the dumbing down of the truth began in revolutionary times, when gentlemen used their words to climb the social ladder, and ladies were ladylike, held their tongue, and gossiped only over the quilting bee.

I think this way we operate is so detrimental; to us as a society, families, groups, and individuals. When did it become out of vogue to just be honest? And since when does honesty have to be cruel? We don't have to live in an extreme reality of this vs that. We can be honest, real, and express our feelings while also being compassionate, patient, and generous of spirit.

Is there such a thing as a good lie?

I think there are some white lies that are kind, or well intended. If I ask my husband if "this dress makes me look fat" and he says yes, I'm going to likely have my feelings hurt. It's absurd for me to ask it, because I'm fat, and the dress has nothing to do with it! Yet I'm female, and I like to be reassured my husband finds me attractive, so he does what he's always done, and responds with some sweet line like "you're always beautiful to me" and I feel good and he breaths a sigh of relief and no one is hurt. If your friend asks if you like their haircut, depending on the kind of relationship you have, you may opt to be honest and say no, it's not the best. But chances are you may opt to be kind and give a non-committal "sure it's great". You may even follow that with a "i like it but i liked it before too". 

Sure, there are little lies we tell that are meant to help and not hurt. I don't think those are harmful in the long run.

Lies generally lead to more lies...

Like a snowball, when you a tell a lie, you find often times you have to tell other lies to support that first lie. Eventually you can end up spinning a yarn so ridiculous, and yet you're trapped in it, and lest you lose face or feel ashamed and lose credibility, you have to stick it out. Not a comfortable position to be in. I had a time in my childhood where i wove tall tales, around the age of 9 or 10, and after being caught in a couple lies by my dad, and suffering the consequences, I realized he was right; the truth was always better in the end. 

Kids tell lies to test the boundaries, and to avoid getting "caught"... but adults tell lies for many reasons, and while many of them are these white lies, that really aren't meant to harm, some lies are just dangerous. When spouses lie to one another, it displaces the equanimity in the relationship. When colleagues lie to one another, it shifts the balance in the work place. When friends lie to one another it dampens the light that surrounds that friendship.

Honesty requires great courage, and integrity.

You have to be willing to be brave, because sometimes telling the truth will be controversial, causing you to be regarded by others in an awkward way. 

As an example, one of my Reiki students emailed me the other day, and my heart nearly broke as she told me about how she'd been honest with her mother. She has been awakening most beautifully, and decided to follow her intuition and learn Reiki, in order to continue to deepen her relationship to her Self, and the Universe. She was so full of joy and peace, and knew telling her very Catholic mother would be a gamble. And yet, she was courageous, and told her mother about her spiritual journey, how she feels now that she's exploring a profound relationship with her spiritual bodies, soul, guardians, and the Universe. She shared with her mom just how beautiful her visions are, how intensely loved and supported she feels within the fabric of Gods love. And her mother devastated her, by clinging to a very rigid dogmatic religious viewpoint, and rather than truly hear her daughter, she heard only that her daughter was turning her back on Christ and the church. And this isn't at all what my student and friend is doing! Yet her mother heard her words, and assumed the worst, and then called her daughter horrendous names, and made very harmful accusations, indeed condemning her own flesh and blood child to an eternity in hell.

Now you may be wondering "Dee, how is this an example of how being courageous in honesty is good?" and I admit, it sounds pretty detrimental. And yet I am so proud of my friend, as she stood up for her own beliefs, passions, and desires, and boldly shared with her mother how she feels, and what she is doing in her own spiritual life. And I believe given time, her mother may come to see that her daughter is not turning her back on Christ, but rather getting to know Christ's Father in a deeper, and more intimate way. She may not be doing it through the church, yet she is doing it through her every thought, her fervent desires and prayers, her blessings, and her wide open heart and positive thoughts!

If her mother one day sees that her daughter isn't in danger, that her soul is safe, then perhaps her mind and heart will open. And if not, and the relationship suffers for the rest of their lives, then it is a complete shame, and yet at least my client will know that she stood strong in her convictions, and did not cower in the face of judgment or shame. My friend is free, knowing she can be herself, no matter what others think; she is liberating herself and allowing herself to be authentic. While she is hurting at this time over her mothers reaction, in time as the pain ebbs, she will realize just how powerful a gift she's given herself. 

Honesty is good for the soul, as the old adage goes, and I believe this to be absolutely true. Though I dabbled in lies as a young girl, in my adult hood I cannot lie. It is not possible, my face turns bright red, I feel anxious, and it is just such an uncomfortable experience for me that I don't do it. I am an open book, and those who know me well know this. I attempt to be honest, and at times have likely been "too" honest, and so I personally work at being more gentle in my honesty. Yet I'd love to see a world where people felt safe being truthful. And the only way that will happen is if we allow others to be truthful, and not treat them like pariahs for it.

I challenge you to be more honest, in your every waking moment. Honesty is what got my marriage through the rockiest of times, and brought my husband and I out the other side not only stronger, but with a deeper respect for one another, and a greater understanding of each other. 

The tools for living an honest life are simple:

  • Think before you speak, at all times. Weight your words, and responses, before delivering them.
  • The golden rule is paramount! Do and SAY unto others, as you wish they would do and say to you.
  • Know that with-holding the truth, or omitting it, is as good as a lie. 
  • Never even imagine that a lie is less trouble than the truth; it never is.
  • If you feel a lie is the only answer, it's time to seek another opinion. Talk to a friend, peer, or pray.
  • Seek simplicity, knowing that honesty is the simplest way to live. One never needs to cover their tracks when telling the truth.
Awakening is simply the process of taming the ego/persona, in order to be a truer representation of our Soul, the peace that runs deeply within each of us. The ego is insidious and it has it's counter part - the spiritual ego. Be sure that you are honest with yourself, as well as with others, as lies are like dust that cover up the truth making it harder to identify. Lying to yourself is as pointless as lying to anyone else; in fact it can be even more detrimental. And if you're working consciously at Awakening Spiritually, then honesty best be one of your main tenets!

Honesty may lead you to feel embarrassed, or vulnerable; it may cause you to feel awkward, and yet it will always be liberating in the end. Lies do not create, the deconstruct. 

Work at honesty, every day. Be compassionate, and exercise kindness always, let's not confuse honesty for tact, yet know that you do nobody any favors by lying about how you feel. If you're friends with someone on social networks, that you truly do not like, then why bother going on with the charade? If you politely chit chat with a coworker while you cut them up behind their back, how catty does that make you? And if you're with holding the truth from a loved one to get away with something, trust me, you're going to get caught eventually.

The truth always comes out.

I wish you honesty, integrity, and courage on your journey of Awakening. Always.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Soul Searching has Moved! Welcome Home!

Well after about a six month period with WordPress I've opted to return to Blogger. So welcome back to the original Soul Searching blog!

You'll find all the old material is still here, though it may take a while to get it indexed properly again, so I have removed the "search" box until everything is kosher again. Otherwise, all the archives are in place, and all posts are present and accounted for!

This change comes at a time of great creative energy, and I'm finding myself absolutely inspired at every turn! The energy we're receiving this last couple of weeks is intense, in a word, and yet when you're able to just center, and focus on gratitude and positivity the ride becomes the smoothest (if not speediest?) of sailing!

I have little else to say, as I've just spent nearly 12 hours migrating the blog, and tweaking the little html quirks that needed tweaking, so I'm about ready to call it and go read a book, and maybe nap.

As you can see though, I've lost all my followers in the move!!! So if you'd take a moment to peruse the Follow Me signs located to the right ---> Pick one that works for you, so you can stay in touch with my articles as they publish!

I wish you a fantastic day! The sun is shining, and it's colder than it should be here in Ontario but again - the sun is shining!

That's enough to make me want to do a couple back flips!

Love & Laughter & of course - HUGS -

Friday, October 31, 2014

Loving & Accepting Negative People

Why is it that some days we are so patient, and able to weather anything that comes our way, and then other days it just seems like every thing people say is like nails on a chalkboard... we're just irritable for no understandable reason?

The short answer is self-awareness: when you are less aware of who you are, how you're behaving, and what you're about in the moment, it's easy to slip into a narrow scope of mind, and become fixated on feeling crappy.

The old cliché tells us not only to not sweat the small stuff, but also reminds that in the end it's all small stuff. And this is honestly true of life friends; there is really nothing so huge or horrible that requires our anger, snarkiness, or panties to get all bunched up. But we forget this from time to time, and our skin seems so thin we can barely tolerate our loved ones.

We all have bad days, we're human and it's natural to experience moments of utter agitation. But it's so important to realize and know that when you're in that frame of mind you are only hurting yourself. You're wasting your precious time dwelling on bad feelings, negative mindsets, and pointless judgment.

What About Chronic Pessimists?

We all know people who seem to be addicted to negativity, confrontation, argument, judgment, and know how exhausting it can be to try to meet these people with any amount of positive thought or happiness. Yet we all owe it to ourselves and our fellow humans to try to be part of the solution, as opposed to the problem. If you have a chronic negative thinker in your life and find it drags you down, or stresses you out, then it's time to do some deep soul searching. Some new age rhetoric schools of thought would have you think that these people need to be left behind, ignored, phased out of your life, because they will only bring you down. This is new age escapism at best, judgmental on a spiritual level, and accomplishes nothing. If you remove negative people from your life, you'll end up alone, because again, it is human to feel crappy at times!

I think instead of putting negative people out of your life, it's more productive to try to meet them in a middle ground, where you can be empathetic, supportive, and try to set a positive example for them. You then challenge yourself to remain upbeat and optimistic despite their griping, and perhaps can even come to value the importance of remaining detached and emotionally balanced. We aren't meant to alienate others because they think or behave differently than us; I believe we can build bridges, and perhaps help the chronic pessimist find some new ways to think, perceive, and approach life.

This isn't to say we bash our negative friends' and their habits, because that would be putting conditions upon your friendship or relationship, which is also pointless. Rather, try to accept them as they are, while remaining true to your own desire to be a positive force in your own life.

Some ways to remain friends with negative people, while honoring your own spiritual imperatives are:

  • Knowing when to respond, and when to just smile and nod

  • Interject reasonable amounts of positivity into the relationship without trying to modify their behavior

  • Being honest with them about how tiring their defensiveness or anger can be

  • Setting up boundaries, limiting contact to casual light hearted meetings ie: meeting for coffee

  • Realizing they are perceiving the world in a different way than you, and being that negative is also exhausting for them. Be empathetic, realize how hard it must be to be negative, angry, suspicious, defensive etc

  • Know when you've had enough, and honor your own needs.

Too much exposure to negative people can be contagious, so it's important that you recognize your own limitations, and learn when to walk away for a breather. I find you can over time bring your loved one to a sense of understanding without really addressing the issue directly; when they broach subjects that get them into that negative mind set - change the subject. If they incessantly want to complain, bash people, or whine about their life simply redirect their thinking by changing the subject. And if that doesn't work, just be honest and say "you know what, I really am not comfortable talking about this."

There is no need to avoid or separate yourself from negative people, or drama queens, or angry folks. You can love them, appreciate them, learn about yourself through them, and define your own ideals about happiness and positive thinking through looking at how they behave as opposed to how you would behave in their situation.

At the end of the day, you'll have a relationship that while maybe not entirely emotionally nourishing, will still be a two way motion; you accepting them as they are, and them knowing on some internal level that you care enough about them to not engage their anger or negativity.

And you never know, perhaps you'll rub off on them and end up helping them attain a more level headed, middle of the road state of mind along the way. This shouldn't be your directive, because again that would be you wanting to change the person; but if it happens organically then you've contributed to the well being of someone you care for.

We know as spiritualists and self-aware seekers of truth that a negative attitude is like a snowball rolling down a hill; it gathers momentum on it's own and gets bigger and heavier as it goes. So be a ramp to those people, so their snowball of pessimistic thinking takes flight while you're with them, and perhaps lightens their load.

Above all else, if you are determined to remain in relationships with negative people, remind yourself as often as you need to not to sweat the small stuff --  there is nothing so all encompassing in life that needs you to feel badly, suspicious, negative, or judgmental about. The world has enough heavy feelings in it already, we can shine a light in the dark by being a voice of upliftment, positivity, joy, and laughter.

Keep it light - life isn't that serious, unless you make it so.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Bullying: We Are All Responsible

This is a topic which is current, vital, and needs to be explored worldwide, as bullying is something which is becoming epidemic amongst our children, and indeed there is no age limit to bullying. To better understand the meaning of the word bully, it helps to first understand where the word and concept began.

When searching the etymology of the word, you find the following history of the word:

bully (n.) 1530s, originally "sweetheart," applied to either sex, from Dutch boel "lover; brother," probably a diminutive of Middle Dutch broeder "brother" (compare Middle High Germanbuole "brother," source of German Buhle "lover;" see brother (n.)).

Meaning deteriorated 17c. through "fine fellow" and "blusterer" to "harasser of the weak" (1680s, from bully-ruffian, 1650s). Perhaps this was by influence of bull (n.1), but a connecting sense between "lover" and "ruffian" may be in "protector of a prostitute," which was one sense of bully (though not specifically attested until 1706). The expression meaning "worthy, jolly, admirable" (especially in 1864 U.S. slang bully for you!) is first attested 1680s, and preserves an earlier, positive sense of the word.

You can see the word was originally a positive one, finding it's roots in love relationships, then evolving to mean a "fine fellow". Then, somewhere in the 17th century it shifted to become a "blusterer", and then "harasser of the weak".

Today we all know a bully is someone who picks on people who are weaker, younger, smaller than themselves. Bullying has become such a big problem in our schools, with our children and teenagers, and it has become such a frightfully big issue that now bullies don't just rely upon their words to scare others, or their fists and threats, now bullying includes knives, weapons, groups of tough kids mistreating smaller kids, and even in the extreme at times, including guns and firearms.

Why is it, that in 2014, when we are such a "civilized" society who are self-aware, understand the psyche, and psychology of what makes a person operate or "tick", are we now seeing such an eruption of violence and negative behavior in our kids?

The answer to me is so simple; they have learned this behavior from us, the elders, and in the last twenty years our mentality in North America has become so split due to political correctness, and our striving for "rights", that discipline has become a concept which no longer is cut and dry in our society.

When I grew up as a child in the 70's, and 80's, my parents had the "right" to discipline me as they saw fit. Depending on what I had done, my parents had the freedom and right as parents to ground me, govern my time and leisure activities, and when it was deemed necessary, they could spank me. These spankings seldom hurt my bottom as much as they did my pride, and truth be told while I do not support violence of any kind for any reason, the occasional swat on the backside got my attention, and helped me determine just how far I would push my parents as I just didn't enjoy being degraded in that way.

Now a days, parents are forbidden to spank their children, and there are so many help lines, groups, advocates and social structures set up that if a parent does spank their child, they can face legal recourse, and even have their children removed from their custody to be put into foster care!

I'm not saying bully's need a good spanking, or that it would even accomplish anything, what I am saying is that if parents had the freedom to discipline their children from an early age, maybe those kids would grow up with a better sense of right and wrong. Maybe those kids would think twice before pushing the boundaries out of reach if their parents had the right to teach them from a very young age that some behavior simply won't be tolerated.

This is just one aspect of what is a huge global problem though; parents know they are being watched, monitored and do not have the freedom to parent their kids the way they themselves were parented, and that can be a part of the problem. But it's only a small part of it.

Children Learn Behavior

When a child acts out, at early ages the parents either support or thwart that kind of behavior. Some parents believe their kids are just being kids, while others try to teach their children boundaries and limits. And yet the medical establishment does so much damage during these formative years by labeling these kids as having ADHD, and put them on medication, when in truth they are likely just very active kids who aren't being physically stimulated enough. Kids are now faced with a world where both parents must work to make ends meet, and often they are left in the care of the easiest baby sitter there is; the television. Kids don't spend nearly enough time outdoors playing, and exhausting their massive stores of energy. And then when they act out, or can't pay attention, or are fidgety we medicate them to make them easier to cope with, complacent, and simpler to deal with. We are medicating our children because they aren't active enough, and these medications are meant to dull the child's perception, make them calm, quiet, still. Are children supposed to be quiet little creatures who sit quietly and still for hours at a time? They are kids! They are meant to run wild, climb trees, explore their surroundings, use their imagination to play games, and above all else - be active, and curious and full of zeal!

It's just easier for parents to give their kids pills to calm them down, when in truth, most of the kids on these medications would be best served by going outside and playing.

Our civilization requires both parents to work, which is exhausting for a family unit. You take mom and dad out of their home, make them work 8-12 hours a day, 5-6 days a week, and when they get home they want to unwind and relax, yet the house has demands too, keeping it clean, keeping clothing laundered, family fed, there is no end in this time in our society to the things parents need to get done in order to simply keep the house running somewhat smoothly. So the tv gets turned on, or the video game systems, or movies, and kids are expected to stay indoors and behave themselves, while parents try to get all of their tasks completed, and what you have at the end of a week is a couple who need a vacation, and a child or children who are so bored, desensitized, and under-stimulated that the entire household is off kilter.

Parents are tired, dad may have a few too many beers to unwind, mom may become snarky as she just so badly wants to unwind but there is no end to the chores, work, and routine! So you end up with a child who sees his parents less than he sees his teachers, who isn't getting much exercise, proper sleep, nutrition, and you can do the math to figure out where this leads to.

If that child is seeing his parents snap, argue, abuse alcohol or drugs, chances are the child is going to learn to behave that way too. And this is one way a bully may arise.

Bullies Are Insecure

You don't become a bully because you're wonderful, and strong, and self-assured. You become a bully because you need to protect yourself, so you act preemptively, making sure you are in control of your own life by being on the offense rather than the defense. I'm sure many bullies are being bullied themselves, in some way in their life. Maybe mom or dad are angry, and treating the child badly, be it through physical, emotional, or mental abuse. In any event, bullies at the core are very insecure people, who do what they do because deep down within themselves they are not secure in who they are, and they are not at peace in their role in life. Bullies begin at early ages, on the playground, needing to be the loudest, the strongest, and the one with the most respect, they learn that they can make smaller weaker kids bend to their will by virtue of their words, their fists, and their cruel behavior. If this behavior goes unchecked by parents and care givers, then the bully grows up with the knowledge that they can control their own reality by using aggression and even violence as a means to stay in charge.

If this behavior is never addressed, the child becomes a teenager who has no concept of discipline or consequences, and then they become an adult who will in turn teach their own child that aggressive hostile behavior is how to get things accomplished.

How Do We Deal With Bullies?

This is the age old question; is there a way to handle a bully without ending up a target of their anger? My own daughter has been facing bullying in the past month since starting high-school. Her bullies are from a different school, who share her school bus. It began on day one of school, as this group of boys began making sexual comments towards her, to which her response was to tell them where to go, in not-so ladylike ways. She was not comfortable with how they were objectifying her and talking to and about her, so she put out a boundary immediately by telling them where to go.

The result was cliché, as these boys saw immediately how to push her buttons, and saw the fun in targeting her. As a group, they began to harass her daily on the bus, and the next week they threatened to beat her up the moment she got off the bus. The bus driver did not let her off the bus, and they stood there waiting for her to get off so they could beat her up. My husband and I rushed to the bus once the bus company contacted us, and my husband went after the kids, as they ran away. We confronted the bullies, myself, my husband, and our daughter. And I attempted to talk to them, relate to them, humanize ourselves to them, so they would recognize that our child has family, loved ones, and has a right to ride the bus in peace, just like them.

This didn't thwart them. The behavior continued. So I opted to get the schools, and the school board involved. Since then the threats escalated at first, as these boys were now threatening not only physical violence, but also sexual violence. And yet we did not back down. We stood up to these bullies, and even now they are still facing consequences as the school board has removed some of them from the bus temporarily, some of them permanently, and their parents have all been informed. They are being watched closely now, and it is becoming clear to them that their behavior is not okay, will not be permitted to continue, and they will face severe and harsher penalties should it continue.

In short, the way to deal with a bully is to not back down. EVER.

Bullies rely upon the weakness of their prey. They derive their power from the tears of their victim, they feel stronger and empowered each time a victim backs down, and slinks away. And yet the bully only gets stronger, meaner, and more dangerous. So it is up to the adults in our communities to deal with them.

We Are All Responsible!

Remember the old adage, "It takes a village to raise a child"? This is true - we must band together as adults, as parents, and as members of our societies, to make sure our neighborhoods and streets are safe for all children, and all people. Bullies need to know that no one is going to idly sit by and watch while they terrorize people by virtue of their out of control behavior.

And it is so imperative that as the adults, we also remember that bullies are created, and to keep in mind that at the core of these out of control kids is insecurity, and a lack of love and security. We must lead by example, and put down clear boundaries. If you see children or young adults mistreating anyone, you must speak up. It is so detrimental to turn the other cheek to aggressive behavior in our world. Just because it isn't happening directly to you or your loved ones is not an excuse to ignore bullying behavior!

If you see it - do something about it!

Our kids are living in scary times, the world is all lit up with technology, and now they face things we never even could conceive of at their age; cyber bullying, online thugs, violence and weapons in schools, these are things which are indicative of the state of our kids - they need rules, they need structure, and they need to learn morals and values lest they become adults who trod over everyone around them, carrying that bullying mentality into the world of business, and passing that behavior on to their own children.

It is not okay - and it is up to each and every one of us as freethinking intelligent people to take a stand, and clearly state through our actions and responses to the world that we will not tolerate bullying of any type, any longer.

I am sickened when I hear about children being beaten by other children, or of the all too often stabbings now in schools, kids with guns, kids beating the crap out of other kids.

Do you know why my daughter was targeted by the bullies on her bus? Because of the school she goes to. That was it - the reason. I asked the ring leader very pointedly "Why have you chosen to single her out? What about her makes you want to harass her?" his response was "She goes to **** and that is a school for faggots and queers!"

This boy has said very pointedly that he would like to beat my daughter, rape my daughter, degrade and humiliate my daughter, and all because he thinks her school is for homosexuals...

Something is very wrong. It is very wrong that I had to go to the lengths I've had to in order to see my daughter safe on her own bus. It is very wrong that her bullying was minimized by an adult mother of four children who works for student transportation. It is very wrong that the solution this woman offered us was to take my daughter off the bus and put her on another one. So the bullies get to stay on their bus and chase my child off? No - this is not adequate, proper behavior, and it is why I reached out to the board of education itself.

Make a fuss my friends, speak out, advocate for anti-bullying campaigns. Get involved in your community, speak up when you see bullying behavior, do not allow this to continue. It is up to each and every one of as us adults, as open minded heart oriented people, to draw a line in the proverbial sand and say "NO! This is not acceptable!"

And please, talk to your children. Be willing to see them without bias, and if you see that they have bullying tendencies please do not ignore this! Address it with them, talk to them, and if you need help, ask for help! Please do not let your children become adults who act like bullies, it is a disservice to them, and to society. If your child is being bullied do not ignore the situation! Fight for their rights, show them that they can stand up for themselves, and ask for help - teach them to go to teachers, authority figures, in order to report bullying and put an end to their own victimization!

If you're still reading and stuck with me through this entire entry, I thank you. This is a subject which has never been on the fore in my mind, as we've never faced it. Yet now that it's happened to my child I find myself wanting to become very vocal, and very involved. I want victims of bullying to know that it isn't their fault, and they don't need to continue living in fear! And I want bullies to know that they must change their behavior, or their lives will be fraught with adversity, as it is just not okay to treat others like garbage.

Let's get involved, and take back our kids' rights and freedoms, by making sure bullies do not prevail!

Friday, October 10, 2014

Being a True Empath: We FEEL...

We're all familiar with empathy; it's the ability to put ones self in someone else's position, imagine how they are feeling, identify with what they're experiencing, so that we can better understand them. Empathy is something most people are born with, it's an innate ability we all have, like the sense of smell, or a conscience. A few people in society have no sense of empathy, and these people are typically categorized as Narcissists, or in the worst case, Sociopaths. I wouldn't want to live without empathy, I can only feel that it would be a very narrow view of the world, worrying only about yourself, not caring about how other people feel.

Empathy is a beautiful trait and it helps us to put ourselves in someone else's shoes; empathy creates bridges of understanding through helping us to see beyond our own feelings, and allowing ourselves to get a sense of how someone else is truly feeling, being, and operating.

What I want to discuss here is not typical empathy. I know we're all familiar with empathy; what I want to talk about is being a true Empath. The term is not recognized in a literal sense by the dictionary, and in fact my first experiences of hearing the word came from watching Star Trek, TNG, through the character of Deana Troi. Yes, I'm going to appeal to your inner geek now, so bear with me as I indulge a little of my own Treki roots.  Troi, an alien being from another planet, works on the ship as the ships counselor, and her gift of true empathy allows her to not only imagine what another person feels, but to rather literally take on those feelings, so that she is actually experiencing and feeling what another is feeling.

I have met many empaths in my life, and we are all by and large the same type of people; we are vastly sensitive, often emotionally charged and passionate in our expressions of those emotions. We tend to be introverts at many points in our lives, as we can find large groups of people daunting. While society would deem us anti-social, in truth we are just hiding from the onslaught of emotional intensity around us, because we haven't yet learned to detach, and identify what is "our own", as opposed to what others are exuding.

Our lives seem to rotate around difficult experiences, which while experiencing them can feel so frightening, intense, overwhelming and unfair, but in retrospect we can all see that what ever we have endured, has been an opportunity for us to learn how to better live with our empathy in a balanced and unattached way.

How Does it Feel to be an Empath?

As a spiritualist, I generally avoid trying to speak for others. But when it comes to being an Empath, I know I can speak for all other Empaths in regards to how it feels to be so in tune with the energetic emotional frequencies of other people.

The short and simple is, if asked how it feels to be an Empath, my answer is: I feel.

Please understand that when I say I feel, I literally mean it. I don't simply imagine how another feels, I feel how they feel. Sometimes the extent of this feeling is so profound that I can get washed away in the other persons plight, becoming physically and psychologically reactive to how they are feeling. If a dear friend or loved one is hurt by someone else, I not only feel the pain they feel, the confusion, the chaos of sweeping between betrayal, sorrow, rejection, confusion, I also take that upon myself as it then becomes part of my reality. I am no longer sad for my friend, or sad with my friend, I am sad as though the pain my friend is experiencing is my own.

This is a beautiful gift much of the time; being able to put ones self directly into the reality of another person, so that you completely understand exactly how they feel, on multiple levels of emotions, physiology, psychology. And yet it can also seem and feel like a curse to Empaths, when dealing with feelings others display that relate to anger, rage, hatred, bigotry, depression etc.

The excessively negative emotions of people can be a real drain on an Empath. Many of us tend to become skillful athletes in light of this bombardment of the negativity of others, and skillfully learn to run from those situations. It can at times seem as though we are having a tantrum, or being chickens, as we just duck out completely and disown the situation, knowing we are about to be compelled into a turbulent emotional conflagration that we don't have control over. And that in truth is the crux of it; we don't have control over it, as we have not mastered detachment, and differentiation between what is "mine" versus what is "theirs".

Learning to detach is a lesson that often takes years, decades. It requires an Empath to acknowledge that they are not sufficiently handling the emotional onslaught around them.  The Empath needs to recognize that they are becoming emotionally volatile or fragile, and that they are not seeing clearly, as they are not centered. And then each day there after requires the Empath to be determined, self-aware, while being aware of external situations, people, experiences, and watching for signs that they are being "sucked into" the drama of others.

How Do You Know?

If having read this far you're not sure if you're an Empath, or not, let me clarify in great depth so that you'll really understand what an Empath experiences. I will work through analogy if I can, though as you may know I am pretty bad at that kind of parallel story-weaving. Just be patient with me, I will get there ;)

Imagine you are sitting in an empty room, on a chair. Then the door opens and in walks someone you know, someone who is very central and important in your life, and imagine they are angry. Imagine the rage rolling off them, their eyes blazing, chest heaving in anger, body twitching with agitation. Typical empathy has you stand up and ask "What's wrong??"

A true Empath begins to feel angry immediately, as their blood pressure rises, their breathing accelerates, the feel their chest tighten and their throat close into a lump. Instead of getting up and asking "Whats wrong?" the deeply attuned Empath doesn't need to ask what's wrong, they know everything is wrong. They feel it, the rage is now engulfing them too, their body has responded to the emotional download they're receiving, and now they are agitated, amped up, and being passionate and often irrational they burst from their seat, go to their loved one in a protective attempt to shelter them, and demand to know "What happened!"

On an energetic level, the Empath feels the feelings of others in waves of undulating warmth, heat, coolness and pressure as it rises within the body. It is actually rising in the spiritual Auric body, the chakras, yet it is felt vividly on the skin, in the organs, through the lungs, chest, throat, and head. The Empath does not care at this point about who or how or why as they are already embroiled in the rage coming off their loved one, they bypass the desire to know what is wrong, and hear what has led to this; they are already prepared to act, jump to action, without the facts, as they are feeling exactly as their loved one is feeling.

If you feel with that kind of intensity, depth, vastness and often uncontrolled turbulence, then you are an Empath too. If you can watch a movie, and not just cry because it was a beautiful movie, but actually feel as though you have lived the experience of the characters, identify so closely with them and their stories that you now feel as though it's a part of your own history and truth, then you are an Empath.

And if you are a true Empath, let me first give you a big energetic hug, feel my warmth, as I take you in my arms and cradle your head in my hand, and whisper into your ear "it's going to be okay..."

Learning To Detach and Center

Let me start by saying I am still working on this, daily, in earnest, as my deep empathy can still after 42 years of life drag me so deeply into the experience of others that I "lose" myself. But I work at it, daily, consciously, because I know that most of the things I feel aren't really coming from me. I know myself enough to know that who I am, when emptied of the feelings of all others, is fairly quiet, peaceful, and content. When I still myself, ground out, find center, and remove the heavy weight of energy I've absorbed during the day or week, I re-connect with who I really am.

And you can do this too my sweet sweet friend.

It begins with self-aware accountability. You must be willing in this moment to acknowledge that there is a small part of you that has somehow become "addicted" to your empathic receptivity. You have learned to become a hero to those around you, a problem solver, a "go-to" for all your friends and family, as they know when they come to you for understanding, they're going to get it, and a whole lot more! They will get validation, support, sympathy, and encouragement from someone who truly "gets them". This has either taught you to feel good when helping others through your ability to feel as they feel, or has taught you to avoid others and become isolated as it's just easier, or safer for you.

From one Empath to another, I want to tell you it can get better, but first you have to get over yourself, literally my friend, because you've taken on far too much from others, have been a fixer and manager and co-partner to too many others, and have likely spent more time focusing on "them" than on you. That is not a healthy way to live, and when you hit a low, you'll know exactly what I'm talking about, because us true Empaths hit the lows often enough. How do you expect yourself to keep taking on more and more and more of the heavy emotional energy of others, without becoming overloaded, and eventually cracking under pressure?? So just recognize it now, see it as a part of your cycle, and know you can change it. Yes - you can change your self.

It begins with those acknowledgements, and then it continues with determined self-aware observation.

How Does Observing Help??

If the oath of the Empath is "I feel", then the oath of the balanced Empath is "I observe".

As I often tell my clients, and friends and family, being an Empath is like being in a hurricane. The storm is the emotions of everyone around us in the world. Those emotions rage, spin out of control, create havoc and can lead to ruin. And yet, the Empath can choose to step into the eye of the storm. The eye of the storm is the calm center, and from this place of center, you can look in all directions and observe the storm, and yet remain calm within the neutrality of observational detachment, and not get blown away.

Get familiar with finding the eye - or "Center". Center is essential to human beings, no matter who they are, if they're Empaths, spiritualists or not. Center is balance. And when balanced in our own Center, we can see the storms raging around us in the world, and feel for them, care compassionately, and yet stay calm, think rationally, accept that some people are creating the storm on their own and do not need your help in making it rage harder.

So Empath, my sweet too-deeply feeling soul-kin, I urge you to find your own center, and each day as you wake, make it a point to affirm that "today I will observe, and breathe, and not react without first being neutral, sensible, and unattached to the feelings of all others."

This will be an ongoing lesson in your life, as you cannot expect yourself to change overnight. I have been consciously working at Empathy detachment for about 15 years now. Some days are better than others. Some days I forget, and get embroiled in the drama around me, or create enough of my own to get lost in. And yet the next day I can wake with clarity and review yesterdays behaviors, see how I let my Empathy get tossed around in the storm, own it, be accountable for my own part in it, then strive towards again finding Center, neutrality, and focusing on what is "mine", and only "mine".

Use your Empathy in positive ways, to help others find affirmation, hope, direction, and resolve. Do not use your Empathy to feel sorry for others, or help them add bricks to their wall of shame. Practise this, every day, in every way, and if you fall down, get back up dust yourself off, and continue on without a need or desire to put yourself down.

I am an Empath; I feel. Intensely, deeply, vividly, painfully, blissfully, wholly and fully. And I wish you the most blessed of experiences with your own Empathy. As always, I am here to talk to you, should you wish to talk about this further, or just need a friend.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

What Would Love Do? Changing Your Reactions

Over the years that I've been reading Tarot for clients, and assisting people with self-awareness and awakening, one issue has kept resurfacing again and again; almost everyone I've ever had the pleasure to work with has wanted to know, "How do I attain peace, and stop getting sucked into drama in life?"

It's a subject we all grapple with in life, no matter if you are spiritual, religious, or an atheist; how do we simply disconnect from the drama all around us and just live in peaceful calm?

It seems like an insurmountable obstacle at first, and to be honest it does take time; lots of time, because people are easily swept away in the emotions of others around them, and human beings operate under a rather "gang mentality", we tend to get extremely embroiled by the events occurring around us and can find ourselves over reacting to any number of big, or small circumstances. But it is this over-reactionary type of behavior that robs one of peace, and magnifies problems making them more than they truly are.

The first step anyone will want to make when consciously deciding to be a peaceful person, is to assert to yourself that you have some very bad habits which need to be broken, and corrected. Negative thinking, and jumping to conclusions are indeed habits, and ones which only intensify if we let them. We weren't born with so many hot button opinions, or red flag issues that can "set us off", we develop these attitudes and mindsets as we grow, and watch and mimic others in our life behaving as they do. If you grew up with loud boisterous parents and family, chances are you're loud and boisterous yourself, and this isn't a bad thing, it's simply part of your "conditioning". So in deciding to make peace your touchstone, you have to commit to the idea that you have some behavioral and thinking habits which just don't reflect who you want to be. It isn't about feeling ashamed of who you are, or how you react to life's experiences, it is simply getting into the head-space of being self aware.

Make a list, as often writing these things down helps us better understand who we are, and on that list write down the attitudes and behaviors you feel you lack control or discipline over, which you would like to change. For me personally, my list has changed a lot through the years, as I continue to look more deeply at who I am, in comparison to who I'd like to be. My list would look something like:

  • Let anxiety or fear determine how I feel about a situation before I have all the facts.

  • Often let fear express itself as anger.

  • Don't always listen intently to others, as I'm so eager to state my own feelings and thoughts.

My list would go on, and on and on, but let's cap it off there for starters. When you've written down your list of behaviors, and attitudes or bad habits you feel you want to change but struggle with, then commit it to memory, because this is where transformation truly begins.

What Would Love Do?

Whenever I'm faced with an issue or situation in which I feel my negative behaviors and reactions bubbling to the surface I find it imperative to stop and do a couple key things first:

  • First and foremost I breathe - deeply - when you stop breathing you limit your brains ability to be the vital thinking and analysis machine it is.

  • I then take a few moments while breathing deeply and ask myself "What would love do?"

Love simply radiates peace and calm, and it is easy to feel love while we are in a peaceful environment, yet when life throws a curve it is so easy to lose sight of Love, and get caught up in strong emotions. So as soon as something occurs which challenges your peace, like someone confronts you, or you are treated unjustly, or someone does something that just really ticks you off, rather than jumping into an emotional state of fight or flight, just breathe and try to imagine how the most loving of all beings would deal with the situation? You know how you would deal with it typically, by becoming embroiled in an emotional state of reaction. So the key is to do something different, to attempt to retrain your thoughts and responses to adversity or negativity. What would love do?

Love will always do what love always does; accept, create space for the other, understand, feel compassion, turn the other cheek (choose your "battles") and generally rise above the ego's need to be right, or satisfied by it's own cleverness. Love will always choose the higher moral road, and in this way, we know Love is right because of the feelings we have within us when we are being and doing as Love would be and do.

You know how it feels to get your panties in a wad, right? You feel your chest tighten, as your breathing accelerates, and your muscles clench, and your fists ball up; you feel your heart rate increase, as you begin to go into counter-attack mode. The responses your body gives you when you're in this reactionary state of being are all good indicators that you are not aligned with a higher state of being and thinking, because it is not healthy or natural to feel so tense, anxious, or eager for a confrontation.

But when you get into the mindset of being as Love would be, your breathing deepens, you relax your limbs and muscles, your stress washes off of you, and this is your body letting you know that you are on the "right path".

A dear friend of mine is a power house of energy; I call her a spitfire, she's very empathetic, and clairvoyant, and incredibly spiritually gifted. However she is sorely un-centered, and as a result she can get caught up in other peoples drama very easily, or rise to anger or sadness quickly, because she has no control over her inner peace. This is something she is working on, with a tonne of self-awareness, and a desire to be the Love she feels within her. I commend her for endeavoring to rise above her previous condition of emotional turbulence, as she knows that peace, center, and calm will not only serve her better, but also her family. This is a huge part of a spiritual awakening, because we live in a society and time in which people have very little control of their own emotions. It's difficult for an empath to operate in modern society as people are just out of emotional control, and can be dreadfully rude, boorish, and selfish by and large. So to dedicate ones-self to this level of self-aware behavior modification is a testament to the Spirit within you, and the journey you are consciously taking.

I don't know that any of us will ever master peace, or if that is possible while having a 3D existence in which we have to work, raise families, deal with every day problems and the complexities of life on planet Earth. But we can each of us take responsibility for our own emotional responses to life. Could you imagine a planet on which no one ever jumps to conclusions again? Where people gather the facts before becoming enraged, and polarized and sucked into drama, arguments, fights and judgment? How amazing that planet would be, where people could simply live and let live, truly.

Choosing peace, and to be as Love is, is a statement to the Universe as well; you are saying "I am dedicated to being a spiritually balanced being of Love, and know it does not serve me or anyone to let my emotions and fears run roughshod over my life."

So you've made your list, and have a general idea of what it is you'd like to work on improving about yourself, and your reactions to life's unexpected and yet all too plentiful challenges. You understand that you can either keep reacting the way you always have, which will rob you of peace, or you can rise above your petty ego, and childish fears and inadequacies, and strive to let Love be your true north. The next step is to live it - every day. In every way.

How Do You Maintain This Peaceful Outlook?

Affirmations, reminders, daily goals and an internal dialogue with yourself will help you change those bad habits into a new state of thinking, being, and doing. At first it will be something you need to remind yourself of, often. Getting into the practice of breathing immediately facing a challenge is a great first step, in those moments you are breathing you can assess the situation, and your own physical reaction to it, and then just take a step back, and observe the situation from a detached perspective. Remember to keep all things in perspective too, as while something can feel like a huge problem in the moment, hindsight often reveals that whatever had us up in arms was nothing more than a minor conflagration of emotions clashing, or a situation which wasn't as dire as we initially thought. In breathing, and giving yourself a few moments to take stock, and find a Loving and peaceful perspective from which to proceed, you give yourself an advantage; you literally rise above the situation so that you can be calm while dealing with whatever the crisis or problem is.

Soon you will find you need less affirmation, or daily goals, as your responses will naturally alter with practice, and repetition; eventually you will not be trying to be as Love, but you simply will be as Love.

So the next time someone cuts you off in traffic, or cuts in front of you at the checkout stand; the next time someone goes ape and starts a fight with you, or the phone rings with bad news, take some deep cleansing breaths, ask yourself "ok, how would Love handle this situation?" and then follow your hearts guidance.

There is truly no situation on this planet that needs you to fly off the handle and get all riled up. All you do accomplish by becoming embroiled in drama or emotional warfare is to add to your own stress, which is not good for the heart, and often end up feeling foolish afterwards after your temper has cooled off. So skip the theatrics, tell your ego it simply isn't in charge of your responses to life's adverse challenges anymore, and just remember to breathe. That is what Love would have you do.

In Great Love,