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.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

How to Really Find PEACE Within Polarity

You will see a lot of articles about how to find peace and be happy online, and there are plenty of blogs about living a serene life and attaining a balanced state of harmony.

Often, though, these types of articles can tell you how to go about practising positive thinking and being, and achieving peace, yet don’t really tell you how intense that’s going to be. I mean they may touch upon it, but I rarely see an article detailing how to really work at spiritual balance, or inner peace. Because it is work; letting go of attachment, and becoming a truly happy person. It isn’t as cut and dry as it sounds. In an ideal perfect world everyone would be able to say to themselves “I am no longer a product of the illusionary world around me, I am sovereign, I am a child of the Loving Universe, and I choose peace” and have it be so by virtue of willing it. But this isn’t a perfect or ideal world; this is planet Earth, the planet of polarity and duality. Things seldom go easy when it comes down to deep honest humble goals because this planet is set to a vibration of “tit for tat”. There is a balance, and a counter balance, and this is as it was, and is, and likely always will be here on Earth. There is an opposite for everything here, because that’s the nature of this reality. In order to distinguish light, we must experience dark, to really get an understanding of bliss; we must first fully experience sorrow, as this is how things operate within the vibrational construct of this dimension in Space/Time.

This is the reason life is so complex, and achieving a sense of peace is so difficult for so many. It doesn’t have to be difficult, as I’ve said before, if given the chance that I could go to some Ashram on a mountainside in India, in order to mediate all day and focus on my peaceful core, I would likely achieve enlightenment rather quickly! Who wouldn’t when in such a supportive environment? Buddhists know the depths of polarity and learned hundreds of years ago how to be within its creative layers to the most beneficial outcome. This is why Buddhists respect all life; they know life is vital, and of the same vibration no matter what species and that karma binds us all by the same laws of checks and balances. It’s also why Buddhists know that to know God; they must empty the clutter out from within, and seek through the heart of the Self.

But we aren’t living in Buddhist retreats, are we...

No, we’re living in busy cities, or suburbs, with daily demands and responsibilities. Since we began to ‘awaken’ we have taken stock of what no longer vibrates in resonance with our goals but it isn’t easy to walk away from relationships, even if they’re negative. It’s easy for people to make cute memes for social networks that espouse the fundamental need to rid oneself of all negativity in order to honour their needs.

But let’s face it, we live on a planet that dictates without discussion that in order to find the peace we seek we must deal with the chaos that counters it.

So the real meat and potatoes question here is this:

How do we really achieve a sense of inner peace while living amid the “real world”?

This is the beauty, and the challenge, and eventually you can also realize the amazing gift you face when you decide you no longer can live by petty standards or beliefs. You’ve made some big choices since you began awakening, about who you are, who you wish to be, what you want to do with what you  know, and what you want to keep learning and discovering. You’ve tried applying much of what you’ve read, and learned, and feel intuitively within yourself. But these damn headaches keep popping up in life, and no matter how hard you meditate, or adjust your thinking, or change your vocabulary, you just can’t seem to get rid of some problem, or situation, or cyclic occurrence, or pattern in your life that just brings you down.

And I’m here to tell you that some of what you’ve read or been taught isn’t exactly correct. You don’t want to eliminate the negative from your life my friend. You may think you do, and everything you’ve been working towards has told you that it’s necessary. But I’m telling you if you think about the Universe we live in, and all you know about the law of attraction, polarity, vibrations and manifestation, then it becomes apparent that maybe what you want to do is accommodate the chaos, explore it, understand it. I’m not saying welcome negativity into your life. I’m saying when it arrives, which it will, don’t turn away from it, or try to ‘transcend’ it. Check it out, look at it closely; see what it reminds you of, how it makes you feel. Go deep within yourself and see how you really feel, and then find where that feeling originates from. This is a quest for true self-awareness, and it is the most empowering feeling a person can have.

You can be a strong empath, or clairvoyant, or sensitive, and feel the feelings of others, and identify with the warmth you may feel within yourself when you tune into someone else in such a way that you become beneficial to them. Well when you do that for yourself, you begin to make friends with yourself. I mean truly understand yourself from so many different angles, and ages, and points of view, that you will end up liking yourself, and understanding yourself in a way no other human being possibly can.

The process of really getting to know your self is fun!

It can also be incredibly painful, humiliating, shameful, scary, and sad. Getting to know yourself means seeing yourself clearly enough to see through your own facades, your ego, your own patterns, and habits, and attachments, in order to see the vulnerable, sometimes frail and authentically unabashed you that you are. You have to face things about yourself that maybe you don’t feel great about. You relive past moments that can cause pain. It is a very intense emotional process, and for me personally being extremely emotional and deeply feeling, it has been like being on a roller coaster. But I wouldn’t change it for anything.

Think again about Buddhists, do they ignore the negative? Do they pretend it is not there? Do they say they have transcended it and it no longer exists? Or do they accept it as a natural element of life and treat it with the same levity and detached sense of acknowledgement that they do positivity? Do they run from the rain and only seek the sunlight?

Accept that you are human, living in a polar opposite reality, playing with almost 9 billion other people who really don’t know who they are that well either. We’ve all been conditioned since the day we were born, to think a certain way, believe certain things, and want certain goals. Those aren’t true indicators of who we are; they are mere echoes of a character we’ve been brought up to play.

The real you lies underneath the fa├žade, is far less complex, and easy to identify.

The real you is the simple being you were as a small child. Think back to how you felt, really feel it, at the age of 6, or 7, while playing outside by yourself, think to your state of being. You dealt with negativity all the time as a kid, yet it didn't impact you the way it does now. Why? Because you were more "yourself" and not yet who the world made you into. The real you is capable of living with the discordant vibration of negativity, because negativity is a lesser resonance and you are a builder, maker, creator, and it is simply a tonal wave. 

Getting to the real you takes work; dedication to your direction. Once you know something you can't unknow it, and in this way a search for self-awareness is a trip down the proverbial rabbit hole. So be sure you're ready to commit yourself to honest to goodness truth within yourself. Because it's a responsibility too, when you take off the costume of who the world made you into, and become simply you, you realize you have to become more accountable to yourself, and the world, via your actions, and words, and thoughts. You become your own critic and coach in this way, and if you don't follow through you may end up with nagging guilt issues down the road. You can't sort of commit to being the best you that you can be; it's an all or nothing game.

And I call it a game because that is how I approach it! It's playful, and to be taken lightly, because it can get heavy enough as it is with all these feelings in this brain in this body! So don't get caught up in seriousness. What are we trying to achieve if not a sense of true belonging in the Universe, and that Universe is supportive and loving in whatever way it's capable of expressing love, and I do not for a moment feel this is serious business.

So in short, the journey is the emphasis, not the destination.

Wake up each day and affirm things to yourself, set your day off proactively. Make goals, or a vision board, keep a journal, or blog. And every day just work at being really honest with yourself. When someone makes you mad, explore your anger, and where within yourself it originates. When something causes you fear look into the feeling itself, and trace it back through your life, to it's pinpoint, so you can discover what triggered your fear, and then put it in perspective. Work at this every day, exploring your feelings, responses, mood swings, habits, crutches, and make goals as to what you're ready to let go of, what needs paying close attention to, what no longer bears necessity, and just keep at it. 

Eventually, a few weeks, or months, or years pass, and you know who you really are on a level you didn't think possible. And in that sense of self-knowing and awareness, you become more keenly attuned to the Earth around you, and the vibration you're sending out becomes the one you're excited and blessed to be  receiving back. And I promise you, when you're vibrating self-exploration, truth, and awakening, the Earth will reveal her own truth to you. It's magical; the bugs, the birds, the soughing of the breeze through the trees, the sunbeams... they all hold a deeper significance, as now you're vibrating in tandem with the Earth, and you feel the poignancy in that connection. And so too the stars, and planets and other galaxies, and so on and so on.

You find your self feeling at ease in such an infinite way. 

And this is the way towards true liberation and peace. We don't need to conquer negative experiences or people. We need to understand what they mean to us, through us, as us... we need to use them as a mirror, and a tool for self-exploration. As through the negative aspects of ourselves, we will discover the true beauty of the positive within.

Move fearlessly into each moment, breathing, armed with a sense of humour, ready and willing to face yourself in all degrees of light, and shadow. I wish you a pleasant awakening experience brothers and sisters. With much love!

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Victim Mentality? Empowerment Through Self-Awareness

It can be very difficult for a person to admit to themselves that they have a victim mentality; facing this fact means you have to admit you are rather accustomed to feeling self pity, as well as placing blame outside of yourself regularly. These are hard admissions to make, let alone try to understand. Yet every person I've met who has made this leap from victim to self-aware has benefited in so many ways, and has ultimately become a happier and more balanced person.

Signs of Victim Mentality

  • Feelings of being victimized by others, life being unfair, being treated harshly for unknown reasons.
  • Lack of power to change ones circumstances, even if those changes seem rational to others.
  • Misplaced anger directed towards family or friends who "don't understand" or "never will!"
  • Feelings of isolation, being misunderstood, alienated, shunned, betrayed by loved ones or the world.
  • Inability to put ones self into a position of accountability for the way ones life is.
Victims are not born, they are made; it is usually through upbringing that a person becomes a victim. When a person is taught by those around them that they have no power, and learn by example of their parents and care givers that life is unfair and it isn't their fault, it is simply a matter of transferring those feelings of victimization to young people. 

It is so detrimental to adopt this type of mentality however, as a young person with a victim identity grows into an adult who cannot see their own part in their unhappiness, drama, or life experiences. A lack of accountability will ultimately lead to a dynamic disconnect between rational thinking, and hyper-reactive blame gaming.

The Simplest Ways to Achieve Personal Empowerment

  1. Drop any "us vs. them" thinking, begin to see yourself as equal to all other people, equally worthy of love and good treatment, and equally capable of being erroneous, making mistakes, and screwing up. We are all human, we are all created equally, we are all equally responsible for ourselves.
  2. Start to make small changes in your every day life to enforce a sense of power to yourself, do things which give you a sense of responsibility, become accountable to yourself. Face small fears first, to enforce to yourself that you CAN. Then begin to truly believe this is true, because you CAN.
  3. Investigate your feelings - get to know how you feel and why you feel it. This is the beginnings of self-awareness, which is the most rewarding gift you can give yourself as a sentient being. Understanding why we feel the way we feel, where those feelings originate in our childhood, why we operate the way we do is so rewarding, as well as illuminating. It frees us to step outside of our conditioning, and be more than we previously thought we were.
  4. Realize it is okay to feel hurt, used, abused, neglected, betrayed etc. But it is not okay to languish in those feelings, or pull up a chair and live there. Nor is it okay to invite further abuse into your life simply because you've endured it already. And it is faulty logic to assume everyone else in the world is going to mistreat you too. 
  5. Let go of the need to place blame, in any and all situations; blame is pointless. Instead, focus upon your actions, your reactions, your feelings, and work towards the knowledge that you are human, its okay to mess up, so long as you learn from your mistakes and move forward in life.
It is my life's passion to share what I know about Awakening to Self-Awareness for one simple reason: I have been, and am, where you are as well. We teach what we've learned, and it took me the better part of four decades to truly begin to really grasp what true self-aware accountability truly is.

For the first half of my life I was a master manipulator, a weaver of grand stories, a long distance runner and avoider of truths and responsibilities, and a victim of the highest order.

Now I am still as human as I ever was; however I have learned that through my humanity and often frail understanding of the world, that I can often jump to conclusions, act before thinking, and let my ego get the better of me, so I make it my daily and deepest duty to myself to think, slow down and truly think before speaking or acting, to better understand situations, people, and myself. I examine my part in things, and hold myself responsible for the things I have done and said, witting or unwittingly. 

It is through self-aware understanding of who we are that we become capable of screwing up in life without feeling guilty, making mistakes without feeling like we have to run away or build alibis, or point the finger of blame when "bad things" happen to us. Life isn't fair or unfair, it is simply consistently chaotic, as this is the nature of the Universe. And it is constantly responding to our feelings, and what we are exuding vibrationally. If you are sending out victim vibrations the Universe will very unbiasedly send you more of what you're putting out. So you owe it to yourself to begin to explore and experiment with the vibrations of being in charge of yourself, so that the Universe can adjust it's output settings towards you.

When you shift the way you feel, and behave, the Universe will shift naturally in turn, and your reality will change as a result. And this is the nature of life within the confines of polarity within our Galaxy.

So as a favor to yourself, and to the planet by extension (because a happy you sends out ripples of happiness to the Earth) you owe it to yourself to:

  • Get to know yourself - deeply. 
  • Be honest with yourself about who you are, and how you feel, and accept yourself completely.
  • Realize that the Universe loves you as much as you love yourself - become responsible for intensifying that Love by loving yourself more profoundly.
  • Let go your attachments to drama, polarity, and self-pity. The best attention you can receive is your own positive honest aware attention.
Wishing you empowerment and sovereignty in each moment forward.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Overcome Anxiety: Meditative Breathing & Oxygen

It was about 2001 that I was diagnosed as having "Panic disorder". At that point in time my anxiety was manifesting as hyperventilation, dizzy spells, chest pains, and an immense sensation of fear and foreboding. It only got worse before it got better, and for a few years I was plagued by panic attacks, agoraphobia, and general fears and worries of all types. 

It wasn't until I started to really heal and make progress that I had the clarity to look back on my life and realize that I have always had panic disorder. I think back to my childhood, different times and experiences, and realize that what my parents thought of as tantrums, or acting out, or being too emotional and sensitive, were actually panic and anxiety attacks that were out of my control. 

When I was first diagnosed I did what regular society expects you to do; I saw a therapist, a psychiatrist, and took different medications. These medications proved helpful, in that they shut down my emotions, and rather removed all feeling. But that was a problem in and of itself; I'm a highly feeling woman, taking away my emotions was pretty much like removing my ability to relate to life. After a few years of therapy and medication, and after a year of intensive daily meditation on my own, and a vigorous determination to be well, I walked into my shrinks office one day and essentially fired her.

What an empowering day!

How Does Meditation Help With Anxiety?

Oxygen is essential to our biology; when our brain doesn't receive enough oxygen our entire vascular, heart, and blood system is deprived, and we end up breathing shallow and not thinking clearly. These days, many people are oxygen deprived and it is obvious by the staggering amount of anger in the world. If everyone took a few seconds to breathe deeply after a scary or frustrating situation, then they would be better equipped physically and psychologically to deal with adversity. When we don't get enough oxygen our brain is literally working overtime without all of it's necessary components.

Meditation has many definitions and understandings, but I'm going to bust through the new age spiritual aspects and get to the physical benefits of meditation: breathing.

When you breathe in deeply and hold the inhale in for a few seconds, you allow a rich supply of oxygen to travel through your lungs, into your blood stream, cells, heart, veins, and eventually to your brain. This is like pumping high octane gasoline into your car; your car can run well enough with regular gas, but a high test gas is going to improve the overall performance of the car! The same applies for the human brain and oxygen.

Meditation begins and ends with breathing; no matter why you're meditating, or what your goals are, every single person upon the planet who meditates does so with normalized deep inhalations of breath, and slow steady exhalations. This rhythmic inhale/exhale exercise is easy, anybody can do it, anytime. You can breathe deeply right now while you're reading these words and I urge you to do so. Begin now, by taking one long cleansing breath in, and steadily count in your head to about 5 or 6 as you inhale. Once your lungs are full of rich air, hold the breath in for a count of anywhere from 3-6 seconds, then slowly and steadily release the breathe by exhaling to a count of about 4-5 seconds. Do this a few times. As you read these words, breathing deeply, exhaling steadily, feel your muscles in your shoulders, arms, legs and ankles begin to un-clench. Feel your body begin to truly relax, as your muscles now start to let go of contained energy and stored tension. 

Do you feel that? 

This is the basis of any and all meditation; breathing.

You do not need to do anything beyond this, for now this meditative breathing will suffice, as you are now empowering yourself by doing something which gives you instant results and gratification. You don't need to sit in the lotus, or chant, or try to astral project; these are not the goals of meditation anyways. 

Meditation is simply about clearing ones mind to focus on the purity and pervasiveness of this very moment; now. This never ending moment which is sliding second by second into each new moment, is all you need to focus on as you breath deeply in, and exhale deeply out. And in doing this, and focusing on only this moment, you become aware of your self, and your body, and your environment, in this moment. And this is the only consistent truth in the world you can surely rely upon besides death; this moment, and your environment..

There are other posts here on Soul Searching about Meditation and you can search that category or contact me on the Facebook Group to find out more, but for now, if you've come here to find relief for your own depression, anxiety, panic, or agoraphobia, then this is a good place for you to start.

This moment now, with you, breathing deeply, hearing the ambient sounds around you, smelling the scents around you, feeling your body, each muscle, each twitch, your lungs filling and emptying, this is the key to liberating yourself from the fears which hold you in stasis right now. 

Do this breathing often, several times a day. I breathe deeply when stuck in traffic, when cleaning my home, when reading, when walking, when arguing with someone, when faced with a difficult decision, when stressed beyond my limits. I breathe deeply and give myself an advantage by enriching my brain with oxygen, and pulling my awareness into this very moment right now. In doing this I liberate myself from victim mentality, and take control of something only I can control: my oxygen intake, and my thoughts.

I wish you blessings and strength as you move on from this post, and begin to use deep meditative breathing to begin to truly heal yourself. I will continue to post more and more about overcoming anxiety and depression. I will always have depression, and I will always have a propensity towards panic. But I no longer have panic attacks, and my bouts of depression are few compared to what they were even a decade ago. 

Trust in your intuition; if it tells you to trust in me, then favorite this page, or subscribe to Soul Searching, and let's work together to bring you back into the moment, in balance, and with nothing but peace and hope.

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!

Friday, March 27, 2015

Solar Plexus Chakra: Personal Power & Will

The third Chakra is the Solar Plexus, which is located above your naval, and above the Sacral Chakra, and the Sanskrit name for it is Manipura, which means "Jeweled City". The Solar Plexus is our internal sun; the solar rays of the Sun in the sky beam directly into our own Solar Plexus, and this Chakra powers us as the Sun feeds the plants and animals on Earth. This Chakra directly relates to our sense of power, self-assured control, contentment within ones self, and being on top of your "game", as it were. This Chakra charges our faith in our intuition, and gut feelings.

The Solar Plexus houses our dignity, pride, ability to have faith in our self, and rise to challenges in life. Through this Chakra we develop confidence, or when misaligned arrogance. A healthy Manipura will shine like the sun, and engender feelings of peaceful love of the self, acceptance for who we are, and an unconditional love for our being. When our inner sun shines within us, we are warm, generous, kind, and giving, because we know on a deep and innate level that we are good the way we are, and we can share of ourselves freely, because we are sure of who we are.

The Solar Plexus is yellow, and is represented by the 10 petaled flower and is directly attached to our sense of self, self-image, will, determination, and self-reliance.

Placed above the naval, the 8th Thoracic vertebrate on the spine. It shines forward and backwards, in a double funnel shape, and radiates just below the breast bone as depicted below.

Where the Sacral Chakra relates to sensuality, joy, and peace within our body, the Solar Plexus is all about a greater sense of who we are, self-awareness, and personal power. An overactive Solar Plexus will cause a high stress type personality; with arrogance, dramatic reactions to life events, often leads to a victim mentality, and a warped self-image. These people can be overly sensitive, emotional powder kegs, and unable to accept personal accountability in a mature responsible way. And as a polar opposite, people with an under-active Solar Plexus will be meek, timid, uncertain of themselves to the point of severe insecurity, or having a guilt complex. They can be extremely passive, and rather watch life happen then leap in and participate.

Manipura Symbol: 10 Petaled Flower

Blocks in the Solar Plexus Chakra:

Blockages in the Solar Plexus can lead to rather serious issues in ones life, as this is the center of our self-image, confidence, and power, therefore a block can lead to rather tumultuous life experiences. When a person is not sure of who they are, or what they're worth, plus don't really trust themselves or have confidence, imagine the amount of stress they live with in their minds. We all have moments of insecurity, and this is natural and human, but to have a blocked Solar Plexus and live with this type of uncertainty all the time is exhausting emotionally. This will eventually lead to psychological problems, which can translate into chemical imbalances, depression, and generally unhappy circumstances. 

Physical symptoms of a blocked Solar Plexus include ulcers, indigestion, hypoglycemia, diabetes, asthma, fibromyalgia, and kidney or liver problems. This can also include diseases of the gall bladder, and the nervous system.

It's no surprise so many spiritualists are suffering with these issues, including fibromyalgia, most of the truly spiritually devoted seekers I meet suffer this often debilitating pain condition, myself included. We spend so much time working on our upper Chakras, achieving spiritual connection, channeling, healing with energy and lightwork, and yet we can tend to neglect our lower Chakras, which leads to inevitable blockages.

The good news is it isn't dire; we can always bring our Chakras back into perfect alignment and health. And the Solar Plexus is a real treat to heal, as when we start to work with it, we begin to really get to know who we are. And a self-aware journey of understanding for who we are is a very emotionally nourishing journey to go on. I thought I knew who I was, and what I wanted, for a very long time in my life. It was after my health began to decline that I really began to explore my Chakras deeply. Until then I had simply worked with them during ritual and meditation. But getting to know them better a decade ago launched me on a journey I would never forget! After years of painstaking honesty with myself, real reflective seeking within, calling myself on all my flaws, faults, and facades, I began to know myself in a poignant and very profound way. I can honestly say I love myself. I understand who I am, how I operate, and my cycles. I understand my fears, and my limitations, and how I harm myself with insecurity and uncertainty. My Solar Plexus routinely goes out of whack, and I have to bring it back into alignment often; this is due to my radical journey of self-awareness; I am made aware on a near daily basis of just how fragile my persona is, how fierce my ego is, how funny it can be to watch me slip into old cycles and patterns. Most deep seeking spiritualists will fully understand this, and may be grinning in self-aware identification of this; our facades are entertaining.

Once you really get to know yourself, on a deep enough level to laugh at your own folly, you will find your Solar Plexus begin to radiate health not just within it's light, but also within the areas of the body that have suffered for it's previous blocked state. While I still have fibromyalgia, I no longer suffer excruciating acid reflux, and the pain of my fibromyalgia isn't as horrendous as it was five years ago. Slowly my physical body is righting itself, as I right my Solar Plexus Chakra.

Balancing & Cleansing Your Solar Plexus:

The element for this Chakra is fire, (think Sunshine) and when in balance this element provides warmth and sustenance. When out of balance or blocked the element of fire lends the Solar Plexus fear, and anxiety. Using candles is a wonderful way to express energy through your Solar Plexus, and making a little "candle magick" can go a long way towards unblocking the stuck energy. Light a candle, and say a blessing to grant your "ritual" the Love and support of the Universe. Then focus on the flame as you breathe meditatively, and repeat affirmations and mantras, such as "I am a good person" and "I am in control of my actions and thoughts". The key is to empower yourself as a person, and to begin to get to know yourself, and like yourself.

Healing gems and crystals associated with the Solar Plexus are Moonstone, Citrine, Amber, Yellow Apatite,  and any other yellow or gold stone or crystal. 

Scents that help activate and stimulate the Solar Plexus are:

          • myrrh
          • frankincense
          • balsam fir needle
          • lemon

Solar Plexus Affirmations

"I love and accept myself."

"I stand up for myself."

"I am strong and courageous."

"I am worthy of love, kindness, and respect."

"I choose the best for myself."

"I express myself in a powerful way."

"I am proud of my achievements."

"I honor my self."

"I choose healthy relationships."

"I am authentic."

"I direct my own life."

"I appreciate my strengths."

"I feel my own power."

"I am free to choose in any situation." 

"I seek opportunities for personal and spiritual growth."

"I am at peace with myself."

The solar Plexus rises up to the Heart Chakra (coming soon).

Wishing you Balance, & Peace!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Sacral Chakra: Feelings & Sensual Identity

The Sacral Chakra, the second, and next up from The Root Chakrain Sanskrit the name being Svadhishthana meaning "Ones own base" or "dwelling place of the self". The Sacrum is associated with the element of water, the sense of taste, and the act of procreation. This Chakra directly relates to your pleasure, enjoyment, and passion. It is tied to your sexuality and sensuality and is located above the Root Chakra, below your naval.

This is the center of feeling, emotion, pleasure, sensuality, intimacy, and connection. As such, the challenges within this Chakra are found in our ideas of sexuality, societal conformity, our ability to express our sensuality and experience orgasm, and to reach deep levels of intimacy in relationships with others. Wounded Sacral Chakra energy will express itself in sexual repression, inability to climax, judgment of others sexuality, or your own sexuality, and a lack of pleasure within ones self and life.

The Sacral Chakra is orange, represented by the six petaled flower, and is very closely related to our creative and expressive natures which we explore more closely in the upper next two Chakras.

Placed at the abdomen, this Chakra shines outwards from the spine, to the front and back of the body, as illustrated below. It is located in the first Lumbar vertebrate, affecting the ovaries in women, and the spleen in men. 

As you can see, it widens as it exits the body, and when healthy and clear it shines brightly in a spiral, or funnel shape and consistency. 

If the Root Chakra pertains to security, and remaining grounded, then simply put the Sacral Chakra relates to our body, and ability to be at peace, and joyful within it and our self. If we do not feel free to simply be who we are, this Chakra experiences difficulty. It is typically called the "Sex Chakra", and while it does encompass our sexuality, it is not limited to just that. Our freedom to express ourselves arises from this Chakra, as does our sense of self, security as a person, independence, and inner contentment and happiness. 

Svadishthana Symbol: Six petaled flower

Blocks in the Sacral Chakra:

When the energy within the Sacral Chakra is inhibited and blocked, there will be many emotional and mental symptoms to evidence it; among them being insecurity, guilt, shame, impatience, creative blocks, and tension. 

Physical symptoms of a blocked Sacrum include Impotency, cystic ovaries, IBS, menstrual problems, Prostate and Testicular dis-ease, as well as frigidity and lack of ability to reach an orgasm. 

This can be a touchy Chakra to work on, unless you are prepared to examine your sexuality, and experience possible stimulation and sensations within your sex organs. When you work at clearing the Sacrum and begin to work with the energy, it can lead to sexual excitement, or downright feelings of being horny! And there is nothing wrong with this; our society has been conditioned to view sex as something private, naughty, and somewhat wrong, and we have to break these outmoded ways of thinking in order to heal and cleanse this Chakra. We are sexual beings by nature, we were not born with sex organs simply to pro-create and make children! We were gifted with our genitalia in order to enjoy them! Why would we be able to achieve orgasm unless we were meant to? And a good orgasm can be the most thrilling, fulfilling, and healing experience going! 

So get ready to get real when working with the Sacral Chakra, as it's going to draw your attention to your genitals, and the warmth that floods you when your sexual chemicals release. And that's okay!!! Explore your sexuality and sensuality through this Chakra, understand that as Souls we are neither male nor female, and in our bodies we are not limited to being simply male or female, unless we choose to be. I for one find the female body extremely attractive, and am not ashamed to admit that when I see women kissing it is a turn on! I don't rely on gender labels to define who I am, I am a sexual human being, and I derive pleasure in many different ways, and so should you. 

Balancing & Cleansing the Sacrum:

The element for this Chakra is water, so being in or near bodies of water is a very good place to start when working with the Sacral Chakra. As with the Root Chakra before it, this Chakra is wonderfully attuned and healed when we meditate, and also responds beautifully to crystals, pendulums, yoga, mantras, and scent.

Some powerful crystals for working on your Sacrum are; Hematite, Orange Carnelian, Amber, Orange Calcite, Citrine, Blue Jasper, Red Jasper, Topaz.

The Scents this Chakra most actively is stimulated by are:

Sacral Chakra Affirmations

"I love to feel pleasure in my body"
"I easily accept pleasure"
"I am surrounded by relationships that feel good"
"I am a sensual and creative being"
The Sacral Chakra rises up to meet the Solar Plexus!

Wishing you Balance, and Passion!