Lessons from Surgery: Part Two

blog2It’s taken awhile for me to fully integrate what I’ve learned from my second surgery. On October 31, 2014, I had an open abdominal myomectomy to remove fibroid tumors that were causing me health problems. In total, the doctor removed 11 tumors, the largest of which were 7 cm, and in total they all weighed 6 lbs. I got to see a picture of them at my two week check-up, but I will spare you the image. Needless to say, it was pretty amazing to witness what the body can grow, and what doctors have the power to remove.

Going into the surgery, I was pretty much the most scared I’ve ever been. The one good thing is that I had a milder, less invasive surgery a month earlier that mentally prepared me somewhat. I had already gone through the surgery prep routine, the waiting room, being put under anesthesia, and waking back up. This time, I would be put under general anesthesia a second time, with a breathing tube, and also numb from the waist down with an epidural. This brought up huge control issues for me as someone who rarely even takes ibuprofen, and I really had to surrender and trust that everything would be OK. Plus, I had never been cut open before, and it seemed so overwhelming and unimaginable that I couldn’t even fathom it. Again, I had to surrender. I asked as many questions as I could because knowledge seems to calm my anxiety, but in the end, there I was, walking down the long hallway to the operating room. There was no escaping it; this was something I was going to have to go through.

The other unimaginable thing for me was the eight week recovery and how on earth were we going to get by if I couldn’t do anything? No work for eight weeks, no driving for two, no lifting my four year old who is very attached to me. In fact, I would be in the hospital for at least three days, and even that seemed like a long time to be away from her. What I learned about this was that it can be done, as hard as it was for me to imagine. As mothers we often believe we are the center of everything, and if we aren’t able to do things, who will? The answer is that the right people will show up in the right ways, and that I don’t have to be the brain child for every thing that happens. Also, there was a grace and focus that showed up each day to let me know what was most important.

First order of business was usually getting my daughter to school, which my son helped with daily. Then it was the matter of what we would eat….my son typically went to the store and got lots of frozen meals, but with fresh fruits and veggies. I ate a lot of “self care trays” which included meals, water, tea, and vitamins and made it a point to stay nourished and hydrated. Luckily after leaving the hospital, I didn’t need pain medication, and took only ibuprofen for a few weeks. Other than that, a shower, clean clothes, and a straightened up house made me feel good. Once those things were done, all I needed to do was lay in bed and rest all day until my daughter came home in the evenings. There was a spaciousness in this that was delicious. So much time. With the important to-do’s checked off, there was time to think, nap, watch TV & movies, read….and later when I could sit up, paint. Time to dream, feel, vision and think about the past and future, what was truly important to me, who I could really count on, and what kind of life I want to live. I felt truly connected to God in those slow moments, away from the hustle and bustle of daily life.

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In wasn’t all fun and games of course. During that time I required an immense amount of patience. (Left: Me, trying to be patient). Patience with the process, myself, and what was possible. It wasn’t time to implement plans, it was time only to be present and vision what would come once I felt better. It was a long, slow process, and I had to get used to that. The funny thing is that I noticed as I felt better, the more I engaged in life, the busier I got, the less focused I was, and truly the more difficult things became. My self care got less and less, and my priorities became jumbled. So I reflected back….how on earth did everything get done in those early days when I could barely walk? And I remembered that it was extreme focus on what was most important and getting it done quickly to leave plenty of spaciousness for healing. Now, of course I can’t live every day that way, but I can take the lesson with me into my “regular life.” I can be more patient, more accepting of what is, more compassionate with what I can accomplish, more focused on what’s important, and less stressed by what comes up.

All in all, the lessons I’ve learned through my season of surgeries were worth the pain I went through. I am braver, stronger, quicker to surrender, more patient, and have a better perspective on my life. I look forward to carrying these lessons into 2015 and seeing what develops on the horizon ❤

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New Year Magic

The last two years were certainly filled with a lot of changes, growth, moves (4?) and letting go of worn out ways of being. There has been no shortage of challenges, but I have certainly learned many lessons and for the first time it seems they’ve really sunk in. I feel different in my body. Heck, I’m in touch with how I feel, and I mostly feel good. I move through life differently. I cast out the negative quickly and savor the good. Though the last season of 2014 brought me two surgeries and a long recovery, I have emerged stronger, more connected and in tune with my vision moving forward.

This year I’ve chosen a phrase. I want to experience as much joy, tingles, and dreams coming true as possible. And so, here it is….cheers to 2015!

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My Spiritual Journey

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I felt pretty connected and “in the flow of life” as a child and teenager. I got married young, at the age of 18, and had my son at 19. During my young marriage, I would say I was fairly unaware of my own spiritual path. When we divorced at age 24 and my mother passed away the same year, I was what they call “cracked open.” I began questioning so many things, questions like, “what is my purpose?” and “what will make me happy?” I was determined to figure it out. Those words figure it out haunted me for a long time. I had such determination to do it despite numerous challenges and heartache.

For me, it was a space of searching, yearning for more, reading books, wanting answers, and to desperately find my place in the world. I knew I had more to offer than my day to day life was allowing me. I stayed in that place for a long time. A decade maybe. Lost & confused.

I eventually got tired of it. It didn’t seem like my efforts were bringing me to that imagined state of happiness, and so I immersed with myself in another relationship and a lot of chaos. Chaos offers the illusion of purpose, except that it is a black hole. It never ends, and it takes you down with it. If I could just try one more thing, maybe…a different home, a different job, more money, …the trouble with chaos is that it’s a good distraction from yourself, but no matter how hard you try to organize it, it never stays that way. I guess it’s comfortable and consistent in the way that it never changes. Maybe that’s part of the appeal. The upside is that I was blessed with a lovely daughter.

Years later, I had a spiritual experience that woke me up again, giving me a glimpse of the real me and what life could be. This experience made me realize that it was ridiculous not to follow my dreams and that I COULD trust myself. (I wanted to be an artist, have a creative business, and help others in some way with what I’ve learned.) That enlightenment compared to the toxicity I was used to gave me the shock I needed to take the leap. It was then that I recommitted to my search for happiness. Things haven’t been easy, but they are simple. I’ve learned to go with what feels good and away from what doesn’t. I pause and check in with my heart/gut. I take better care of myself to not get drained by others and have better boundaries. Life gets better slowly and possibilities open up. Joy returns. Life still challenges me, but when it does, I can see the meaning behind it. Sometimes it takes me awhile.

I’ve prayed for purpose for YEARS. I still don’t have the whole picture, but I can say somewhere in the pain, there is purpose. This is where we learn the lessons that we will later serve others with. I am learning to surrender over and over and over. Our connection to God (or however you know God) will show us where to go if we really stop and listen. For stubborn people like me, it usually looks like, “Pray…..take off in another direction………try all kinds of things……hit a wall, get upset, breakdown, surrender…..and then listen.” I’m stubborn that way.

At this point my desires have returned, and I can see clear, colorful visions of my next steps. For once in a really long time, I no longer feel stuck. I know my purpose is coming together and everything I’ve been through is starting to make sense. I still get impatient, but I can see the meaning in my life now. There is so much beauty, so many things and people to love. When I have a hard time seeing it, I begin with saying what I’m grateful for…my children, a roof over my head, warm water…. a good place to start.

Perhaps the experiences that life is bringing you is really an invitation. The Hero’s Journey starts with a call. I’ve read countless books, listened to lectures, watched numerous videos, and attended years of therapy on my journey. And at this point, I know my life experience has provided me with wisdom to share. By being open and saying a prayer to God, the universe, the divine (or whatever name works for you) we will receive a call to inspired action. (This is often different than our own ideas). It takes baby steps, courage, and vulnerability. Be open, willing & have faith…even just a little. Your mind may have talked you out of your dreams, but your heart hasn’t.

We all deserve to find meaning and get to a place where even if we don’t know our purpose yet, we feel good along the way. After all, the purpose of life really is simple: to generate the love inside of you, and bring it to where it’s needed. And the journey continues ❤

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Images: stylesaint.com, woodennest.tumblr.com

Lessons from Surgery: Part One

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I had surgery at the beginning of September. I am calling this “part one” because I am having another more major surgery on Halloween and I am sure there will be more lessons learned with that one. My recovery was about three weeks with this past surgery, and the next one will be about eight weeks. I’m hoping a longer recovery means more growth and a deeper restoration of my spirit. I am also hoping that having the minor surgery first will mean that I am more prepared going into the next one. There’s a lot to hope for right now. Although, as someone reminded me, I need to change “hope” to “faith” that everything will be ok. I’m working on that.

I had laprosopic surgery to remove a large ovarian cyst and a fibroid tumor. I actually have five large fibroids ranging from 5-7cm, however we were attempting to remove the one believed to be causing the most trouble first, in order to prevent a more major surgery. However, once my doctor was able to see inside and take pictures, she determined that the size and position of the fibroids meant they all had to come out, no question. And so, I will be having the other surgery on Halloween, an abdominal myomectomy, despite my efforts at a conservative approach and a belief in mind/body healing.

And so what I’m learning is that in these types of situations, surrender is best. My attempts to control this situation won’t work at this point and all I can do is trust. My main themes have been: surrender, trust, let go….again and again and again. I realize these lessons extend to so many areas beyond health and into my life, and so as other issues present themselves, again I practice those same concepts. I still need a lot of work in this area and plan to keep going with it as I grow. I am excited to see how my life (and art) opens up even more with this practice.

Another lesson I am learning is much more focused self care. Now, I am already someone who believes in taking breaks, “spoiling myself” with small gifts, delicious treats, monthly massages and so on, but my belief in this area has changed dramatically with the experience of having health challenges and being forced to take better care of myself. It’s pretty amusing that it has to come to force. My usual “self care” routine is to stress, obsess, push myself (or worry myself) to exhaustion, check out, and eventually get around to a massage or meal out with a friend to refuel.

I see it much differently now. With being forced into constant self care with my recovery, I realized that true self care is checking in with yourself moment to moment and bringing an awareness with you as you go. During my recovery, I had to let my expectations for the day go, and say to myself “what do I need most right now?” “There is no way everything will be getting done today, so what is most important right now?” During that time, my self care had to be 95% of my time with 5% left for daily responsibilities, so my perspective had to shift. I became more gentle with myself and accepting of my limitations. I discovered true care for myself and the concept of nurturing the nurturer. Now I make my bed in the morning because I enjoy coming home to it that way rather than doing it out of some drive for things to be “perfect.” I no longer berate myself for what doesn’t get done and bring gratitude to what I can do.

There is much more to these lessons that is still swirling about inside of me, planting seeds, deepening and growing. I look forward to more growth and life changing perspectives along this journey, and hope….I mean, have faith that everything will turn out more than ok.

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Moon Maiden

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I’ve been in love with the moon since I was a little girl. You’ll find that much of my art will have something to do with the moon. This piece was inspired by a Japanese Art lesson in the “A Year of Painting Course” I’m taking with the lovely Alena Hennessy. Following this painting, I had an idea for an “elemental goddess” series with each piece containing a woman embodying a particular element to remind us of our connection to nature.

I created this Moon Maiden with india ink and acrylic paint on wood. She is very powerful…quietly dreaming with moons and stars in her hair. 8 x 10 prints are available in my Etsy shop. Varying size prints, canvases, iphone cases, tote bags, and pillows available in my shop on Society6.

Ode to Tavi Gevinson

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I discovered Tavi Gevinson about a year ago. At that time, she was 17 (now 18) and I found her completely inspirational (still do). I watched her TED talk and other videos on YouTube, and read her blog thestylerookie. She got her start at a young age as a fashion blogger, attending fashion shows as a young teen, and is now the editor in chief of Rookie Mag, a smart online publication for teens (similar to Sassy  from my generation). She is a self-proclaimed feminist, a unique spirit, and incredibly creative. I now follow her on Instagram.

What really connected me to Tavi is the creativity she has at her age. I think back to my 17 year old self a lot, and remember how everything seemed possible at that age. I lived in the moment back then, and felt in the flow of life. I was creative, and followed my natural rhythms. True, I didn’t have any responsibilities back then, but I think my 17 year old self has a lot to teach me. I truly followed my bliss back then, and that’s what I am trying to reconnect to now in my current journey. I remember the sounds, sights, smells, and textures from my 17 year old bedroom and life, and I long to immerse myself in the pure expression of it all. As I read Tavi’s blog, I remember my own journals from back then and the excitement of loving what you love so much, what Tavi refers to as “fangirling.”

And so, I thought I’d share Tavi with you. She is also a big fan of Stevie Nicks (as am I) and covers both Neil Young’s Heart of Gold and Joni Mitchell’s Case of You. I’ll leave you with a few videos, and maybe you will be inspired by her too, and through her connect back to your teenage self and see what she (or he) has to teach you.

 

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What love should be like ❤

I’ve got an angel
She doesn’t wear any wings
She wears a heart that could melt my own
She wears a smile that could make me want to sing

She gives me presents
With her presence alone
She gives me everything I could wish for
She gives me kisses on the lips just for coming home

She can make angels
I’ve seen it with my own eyes
You got to be careful when you you’ve got good love
‘Cause them angels will just keep on multiplying

But you’re so busy changing the world
Just one smile and you could change all of mine
We share the same soul
Oh oh oh ohh

We share the same soul
Oh oh oh ohh
We share the same soul
Oh oh oh ohh
Oh oh oh ohh
Mmm mmm mmm mmm

The Wisdom in Letting Go

 

558I let go of something this week. It was something that I needed to let go of very badly. It was something I desired for a long time, a dream, if you will. Unfortunately, no matter how strongly I’ve desired to make it a reality, the timing is simply not right. Rather than be continually subjected to the awful feelings associated with wanting something I cannot have, I realized the only thing I could do was let it go and stop torturing myself. I have a life to live after all. So I decided that it was time to stop feeling that way, and accept things as they are now. I let go of trying to control things, and I let go of hoping and wishing things could be different. I let go of the rationalizations of how this dream could be so great, and I let go of questioning why it wasn’t happening. I let go of justifying how much I deserved it, and victimizing myself for not receiving it. But what I thought I was letting go of, and what I actually let go of, are two different things. And what I ended up learning in the process was the best gift of all.

Instead of letting go of the actual dream, I let go of my attachment to the outcome of the current situation. I surrendered to the fact that there was nothing more I could do for now. I accepted that it may or may not happen despite my strong desire. Sometimes things that seem so wonderful and perfect, simply aren’t meant to be for reasons I don’t know. Immediately following this “letting go,” I knew that I had done the right thing. I felt lighter, freer, and more open to possibility. Though it was difficult because my feelings toward the desire were strong, and letting go of it felt somehow wrong to my rational mind, my gut resonated that this was the right thing to do. Later in the day, I felt some strong emotions and released those feelings by sitting with them, and lamenting how much “it sucked” that things had to be this way. The important thing is that I didn’t resist it and I didn’t turn back.

The following day and night, I was blessed with much needed insight. I felt my desire for this dream returning, but with a much deeper knowing that it is, in fact, right for me. I was able to feel the strength of my desire in my heart and gut, but with peaceful detachment, and a knowing that it will happen when the time is right. And because it is meant for me, I don’t need to do anything else at this time. I can focus on other areas in my life, and when the time to act arises, I can move forward towards this dream with more clarity than I had before letting my attachment go. I can feel the good feelings of my desire without the torture that comes with an attachment to the outcome.

Even more profound, is that my faith has deepened in this process. Sometimes I feel so desperate for answers. I pray, and don’t seem to find clarity. I long for a connection to spirit, and want to feel so badly that I’m on the right path. So often, I want to feel something in my heart and gut, and feel numb instead. The connection to spirit that I’m feeling in this moment is so inspiring. Again and again, I am learning that confusion, control, obsession, and frustration are all signs that I am trying to force an outcome and what I really need to do is surrender. Letting go doesn’t have to mean letting go of the dream, but letting go of the torture of trying to get there in a way that feels miserable. When I take the time to admit that I don’t have all of the answers, and that despite my efforts it’s still not working, I get in touch with my truth and stop struggling so hard. I can exhale, sit with the disappointment, and surrender. And following that action, is where I see grace step in with insight, peace, clarity of mind, and a different call to action. Sometimes it’s that I was chasing a dream that didn’t belong to me. And in this case I got to see that the dream, in fact, does.

New Year, New Desired Feelings

cropped-cropped-winter-trees1.jpgI’m a little late in posting this since it’s related to the new year, but I wanted to share my core desired feelings for 2014. I did a lot of “feeling my way” through the exercise of coming up with them. I would try on a word, for example, “amazing” and then I would feel how it would resonate in my body. I’ve been feeling my way quite a bit lately in terms of making decisions, or just asking myself simply, “what do I need most right now?” or “what feels the best?” Honestly, this perspective has changed everything. I’ve been receiving so much insight since I’ve been using my feelings as a guidepost. I have Danielle LaPorte to thank for that. (See previous post on Core Desired Feelings). I highly recommend reading her book the Desire Map or simply listening to any one of her many speaking gigs or interviews on YouTube, Spreecast or Vimeo.

Living according to my feelings is not riding a wave of up and down emotions, for those are fleeting. How you want to feel goes deeper than that. Just the process of checking in with my body more often has really connected me to what I value and what I want. It has been enormously helpful navigating life this way, and I highly recommend it. At some point I just realized that everything I’m chasing on the outside doesn’t matter if I don’t feel good on the inside. And so repeatedly tuning in to how I feel gives me the information I need on a deep level, so that I can keep steering towards that good. Or simply, sit back and open to that good rather than even chasing it.

And so, my words for 2014……

Glowing: This to me means healthy, vibrant, energized and fully expressed from the inside out.

Serendipitous: In the flow of life, surrounded by fortunate “accidents.”

Held: Supported, guided, nurtured, and cared for on a very deep level by God, myself, and those in my life.

Ease: Uncomplicated, simple….just easy for once.

Magical: I debated taking this one out so that I would only have four, but hey…don’t we all need to sprinkle a little glitter on our life? I chose this one because I want to be amazed by the wonderful things happening in my life.

And there you have it….cheers to 2014….the year of dreams becoming reality!

Core Desired Feelings

danielle_bwI love Danielle LaPorte, partially because she is a rebel and thinks out of the box, but also because she taught me about core desired feelings. Allow me to explain the concept. Everything that we want is because of the way we think it will make us feel. For example, if someone wants a new flashy sports car, what they really might want is to feel successful. Or someone wanting more money may really be seeking security. In some cases, someone may want something like a high powered executive job only to find out that they don’t feel how they thought they would when they got it.

A better way is to dig below the surface and ask ourselves, “How do I want to feel?” when thinking about goal setting. When we focus on our true desired feelings, these become our values, and help us when it comes to decision making. Plus, it’s much easier to find ways to generate these feelings in much simpler ways than previously thought. When we focus on how we want to feel, we have more opportunities to feel that way. We also might find that we don’t have to pursue goal X, Y, or Z because we already feel how we want to feel.

After some soul searching, I found that my core desired feelings are:

Inspired

Free

Loved

Understood

I thought I would have different feelings for life, love, and business, however I realized that these 4 feelings are how I want to feel in all areas of my life. So for example, if I was deciding on a certain place to live, I could ask myself, “Do I feel inspired, free, loved, and understood here?” If those answers are no, then I need to keep looking. Also, I might find that I can feel inspired simply by taking a walk outside. Or I can feel loved by buying myself some new pajamas. Designing my life around these feelings offers more clarity and more chances to feel how I want to feel. I also recommend focusing on ways to give these feelings to others, since what goes out comes back, and also because it is truly uplifting to give to someone else what you value. Also, a good idea for relationships to find out what the people in your life value and help give that to them.

So what are your core desired feelings???

**I recommend visiting DanielleLaPorte.com and signing up for her email newsletter. It is always a good read, and a catalyst for desire. Danielle makes desire a good thing, not something we should feel bad about. She wrote “The Fire Starter Sessions,” which I own, and her latest “The Desire Map.” You can also find her on live speeches on YouTube.

 

New Painting

It’s been quite awhile since I’ve painted something I actually like. See, when I had my daughter three years ago, I went on a hiatus from making art. I put all of my art supplies away, in order to prepare for the new bundle in my life. The desire to paint (or create in general) hasn’t gone away however. In fact, I have experienced such a longing to create, that it was beginning to overwhelm me. I had every excuse in the book. No time. No babysitter. Too many chores needing to be done, etc. But the call to paint would not go away. And so I began, very humbly, to try and put paint on the canvas once again. My first effort was so horrible…I hated it immediately. I grew more and more frustrated while painting it, and just wanted to get it over with. I will spare you the image of this first painting. It looked nothing like what I wanted to express.

However, I have since learned that painting is a metaphor for life (thank you Flora Bowley), and I am now aware that I can learn lessons from the creative process that I can apply to my life. (I also sleep much better after painting). In the midst of that first painting I had to remind myself that I paint because I enjoy the process, the quieting of my mind, and the expression of my soul-not because I want to hurry up and “get it done.” And so, I took a deep breath and connected back to my heart, and actually enjoyed the rest of that painting. I learned that new beginnings may be awkward, yet courageous. I had to get that first painting out, in order to move on to the next layer of experimentation. And with the next painting, I found it much easier to stay positive and talk myself though the process. And so, I bring you painting #2 (I wouldn’t dare show #1)….this one I actually sort of like.

**My process on this painting was to divide the canvas in four parts and paint each part separately until they all came together. I began with the moon, then the tree, the flowers, and finally the mountains. The river appeared as a way to join them all together. I painted this with acrylics and used metallic ink detail at the end**

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The Power of Vulnerability

I just finished watching Brene Brown’s TED talk on the power of vulnerability. She will be the guest on next week’s Super Soul Sunday on OWN. Watching it gave me the relief I’ve been looking for the last few days. I’ve been on this pattern where I slow down and connect spiritually each Sunday when life slows down. I feel good and connected for a couple of days, until I begin to feel off track around Wednesday. I can describe “off track” by saying that I get ahead of myself, I feel distracted and disconnected from my true nature, and begin forcing solutions. In reality, I am disconnected from my source, and when I become aware of it, I say a prayer for spiritual guidance, but it typically takes me until Sunday to truly reconnect again. This Sunday, I didn’t know if I could get back to my connected place despite my efforts to read/watch inspirational messages from my favorite spiritual teachers.

As I began to become aware of my disconnectedness and the pattern that is emerging each week, I started to deconstruct it to see what is happening. One thing I notice is that I feel very out of balance and distracted and like no matter where I place my efforts (home, work, etc…), I’m not very effective. I feel like I’m rushing around, yet “spinning my wheels.” For example, when I left work Friday, it was in the middle of a meeting that I wanted to be there for, then I needed to pick up my son and drop him off somewhere, on my way to my therapy appointment. I ended up getting to my appointment only five minutes late this week, but with a horrible stressful feeling that comes from desperately rushing to get somewhere. Luckily, I had a few minutes to decompress in the waiting room, and made a conscious effort to release the madness of the last few days prior to going into my therapist’s office. Unfortunately, the many things that were on my mind from it running rampant, made it difficult for us to get down to business with the “emotion releasing exercise” we’ve been doing (more on that later), and we spent the appointment (once again) talking about management of daily life instead. At any rate, while my appointment led to momentary relief, soon after I was determined to find the “answer” to why I get in this state so frequently.

When I feel this way, I start believing it’s life that needs to change, not me. Now, after two more days, I’ve realized it was me who needed to slow down, not life. *Exhale* I also noticed that I was doing an immense amount of self-criticizing to get myself out of this state. “Why aren’t you eating a vegan diet?” “Why are you spending money?” “Why aren’t you meditating?” and a million other questions/criticisms started circling in my head telling me that because I’m not doing x, y, and z, I am getting off track, not feeling connected, not going to be happy, and never going to figure it out. The voices became so desperate that they began telling me I might as well give up this spiritual path because I am never going to figure anything out. “Wouldn’t it be nice to just live life instead of having to figure everything out?” I thought. At this point, too many messages were flooding my head, making me feel overwhelmed. Thoughts like, “I just need to cut out dairy,” “Once I focus on one creative outlet, things will make sense,” or “Daily yoga practice is the answer.” When in reality the answer for me lies within (see post #1).

Of course those obsessive voices in my head that are making me wrong and telling me I’m not good enough are just my ego. I need to recognize that, and release it. I notice caffeine and sugar can make those head tripping voices and my distractability worse, so maybe limiting both can help. Other things that will help are 1. Connecting back to myself and my higher power through prayer and meditation, and 2. being vulnerable, admittedly imperfect and real. Connecting back to myself lets me accept that I was off track and asking for help from God will give me the guidance I need to re-connect. And being vulnerable is like an exhale for the soul, giving me the opportunity I need to stop trying so hard to fit the square peg into the round hole.

So as I embark on another week, I hope I will remember to slow down, take each day as it comes and stay present and connected. If I get off track, I hope I will recognize it soon and take steps to re-connect. This video above is a great reminder of the power of vulnerability, how it grounds us, stops self-criticism, and allows us to discover and express our true nature.

First Thing’s First

 

photoI have been a seeker for many years. Although we are all technically on a spiritual journey, I became aware of this fact roughly 12 years ago when I was “broken open” by life’s events. At that time, the circumstances of my life forced me to begin questioning, and to start looking for answers to those questions. I started asking myself such things as, “How did I get here?”, “Why is this happening?”, “What do I want?”, “What does it all mean?” and so on. The problem, I realized only a mere 12 years later, is that I would not find those answers outside of myself. It seems glaringly obvious now that what I needed to do was look within, and though I did some of that, It wasn’t substantial enough to move me forward. Regrettably, I remained stuck in that questioning phase for way too long, grasping at everything outside of me that looked like it may be the solution to my problems. I spent a long time confused, riddled with indecision, and frustrated. I knew there was a better way, I just didn’t know what it was. Everything that I grabbed onto outside of myself created a fleeting sort of happiness, but nothing long lasting.

And now, something has clicked! Happiness cannot be found on the outside, it can only be found on the inside. Although I am sure this is something I already knew, it just didn’t resonate with me on a deep level until recently. For the last few months, I have been on a more focused spiritual path, and determined to find some answers, which is requiring me to go below the surface of my thoughts to the emotions that are hidden away, stuck, and causing me all of this indecision, confusion, etc… As I am beginning to release these emotions, and learn the lessons they were here to teach me, so much insight has been flooding into my thoughts, which in turn creates relief, healing, and joy. It has also brought with it an internal confidence and a return of my inner guidance system that was lost long ago.

So although, I have learned much in the last 12 years in the way of “head knowledge” from the countless spiritual books I’ve read and the wisdom of life’s challenging experiences, I must say the most profound thing I’ve learned on this path is that happiness, indeed, comes from within. And once you really begin experiencing this on a “knowing” level that resonates deep in your heart, body, mind, and spirit, wonderful things begin to happen.