faith and safety

I had this thought while driving yesterday that we put our lives in the hands of other people every day. Whether we are driving or riding a bus or even walking next to a road, we put a huge amount of faith in our fellow humans. We trust that everyone will “follow the rules” and not hit us.

Sometimes they don’t. Or they mess up and we get hurt.

Yet we still keep driving and riding and walking because we must. Because life goes on.

I am considering how this relates to love. Sometimes in love we get hurt but many of us curl up into a ball and don’t want to let anyone else in or take another risk out of fear of getting hurt.

I have been hurt physically and emotionally in my life by people who loved me. I have often forgiven them because I see their true nature, the spirit in them that is housed in the body of a a fallible human just doing their best. This compassion, however, led me to stay in situations that did not serve me. Rather than asserting myself and having good boundaries, I would keep forgiving, loving and coming back for more hurt.

I’m doing that less and less.

Having been hurt is not going to keep me from loving ever more fully, however. I think I can actually love MORE fully as I create boundaries, know when and how to say “ouch” and move away from that which brings me pain. I find as I do this, it makes more space in my heart for love and deep intimacy.

I will continue to allow more and more love and people into my life as I treat myself with more love and honor. On the road, my faith in my own driving ability and cultivating a keen awareness of what is happening around me is what I can do to keep myself physically safe. By the same token, my self-love and awareness of my inner voice will help keep me safe in love as I continue to move through the world as a loving being.

I will keep trusting, opening and loving because life goes on and the world needs more love.

life force

rebel blend | out on a limb

“There is a vitality, a life force, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique, and if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium; and be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is, not how it compares with other expression. It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open. You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work. You have to keep open and aware directly to the urges that motivate you. Keep the channel open. No artist is pleased. There is no satisfaction whatever at any time. There is on a queer, divine dissatisfaction, a blessed unrest that keeps us marching and makes us more alive than the others.” -Martha Graham

I am, at the age of 40, in the midst of a huge recalibration. I am seeing how much I’ve been coping most of my life. Much of who I am and what I have done has been shaped by the needs and expectations of others. When I really let myself sink into the depth of that truth, it stuns me.

I don’t want to live that way any more.

I no longer want to stand in the rain while I hold the door open for others to walk through.

I have been unearthing the lost fragments of my inner being for a long time. I’ve also been too scared to act on them. I hid behind the familiar roles of caretaker or “guru” for a long time to my own detriment. I’ve done a lot of inner work but I also haven’t pushed through the fear and really, truly made a commitment to myself. It’s been much easier to blame someone or something for not achieving my goals. The truth is, I have never felt worthy of claiming the success I know is waiting for me. I have had lots of messages that is more benevolent to take care of others, be kind, be “nice”, etc. Or maybe those are the ones I chose to hear. I don’t know. I just know that what I really want to do with my life has nothing to do with listening to other people or “taking care” of them.

Since I was a little girl, I wanted to be an artist and performer. I always dreamed of living in Paris, speaking French, writing in little cafes, singing in little clubs, sketching and traveling.

I’m still trying to figure out what exactly I want to be when I grow up and that is okay because life is long and I am listening and following my own unique life force.

who am i?

processing...

I am doing some (MORE) unearthing in my studio and my subconscious. Here are a few quotes I found tucked away:

“You must first be who you really are, then do what you need to do, in order to have what you want.” -Shakti Gawain

“Don’t ask yourself what the world needs; ask yourself what makes you come alive. And then go out and do that. Because what the world needs more than anything is people who have come alive.” -Harold Thurman Whitman

After so many years of living for others, being present for others, thinking that was the way, I am considering another way of being. I am all done trying to collect “good girl points”.

Here are some thoughts that came up today:

I am letting go of:

being “nice”
being a coach
being a healer
being “good”

I am embracing:

being an artist
being a writer
being ME
being authentic

This work has been going on for a long time but something has shifted within me around all of this. If I am meant to help others with their healing, great. That might happen. For now, I am going to focus on my own healing and empowerment. I think that has been the missing link for me for a long time.

Here’s a great list I also ran across. It’s by Thomas Leonard.

Top 10 Ways To Stop Being Unattractive To Yourself.

It doesn’t make a lot of sense to start doing lots of attractive stuff if, in fact, you keep doing unattractive stuff. That would be like putting a fresh coat of paint on top of rotting wood. It will cover it up for a couple of months, but it won’t be enough to fix the wood. So, while initiating some new attraction practices is always good, make sure you’ve handled the stuff underneath.

1. Stop doing what you know is bad for you and start nourishing yourself.

There’s two important points here. First, extreme self care will help you be sustainably attractive. Second, “bad” is both relative and evolving. Things you used to do which were acceptable, may have since become bad for you, yet you haven’t stopped doing them. This is especially true of folks progressing along the Attraction Path. As you and your body become more sensitized, it can tolerate less what you may be in the habit of doing to it. The ‘up’ with which you put, may change substantially. It’s like the person with extremely high integrity is more likely to be the one who gets stopped for speeding when they are driving only 4 miles over the speed limit. For them, the rules are different, and that’s a good thing, as long as you learn that and make the necessary behavioral changes. The tip here is to upgrade your self care to reflect where you are NOW.

2. Stop trying to meet anyone else’s expectations and start meeting your own.
Unhooking from others’ needs or expectations is an essential part of the Attraction process. It’s one thing to respond fully and even overrespond to others, but it’s a different thing when you are responding to their expectations of you. That’s a huge difference, although the more codependent you are, the harder it will be see this one. While you’re at it, drop your expectations of other people as well.

3. Stop being so good and start being radical.
I wanted to write ‘start being bad’ instead of just ‘start being radical.’ The idea here is that to break the chain of history, proper roles, acceptable behaviors, cultural norms and the like, you may have to swing the ol’ pendulum WAY over, just to break the ‘good’ grip that has most of us held tightly. Being good is a vestige of those days when one misstep in life could ruin your status in the pack and thus ruin your future or even threaten your very survival. But things have changed to the point today that ‘doing the right thing’ may well be the very wrong thing for you. I’m not suggesting that you be irresponsible or do anything illegal. Rather, to lighten up, trash a week’s worth of emails, take a week off, eat a pizza. Anything to get you flexing your muscles in a different way.

4. Stop comparing yourself to others, and identify your own measures.

It’s normal and even healthy to compare who you are and how you’re doing against how others are doing. Reference points are fine. But using these reference points as a way to build self-esteem is not smart, because it makes you dependent. Plus, it’s human nature to compare yourself to people either steps above or below you, depending on your ego need of that day. It’s pointless really. Better to come up with your own measures of who you are and how you’re doing.

5. Stop setting yourself up and start making life easy on you.
Do you ever set yourself up for stress or failure? Many people do. They either need the stress to create adrenaline or they think peace and boredom is a bad thing. My suggestion to you is to look at your current life and ask yourself: Where can I see that I have set myself up for stress or failure? There are probably a couple of people, projects, activities, goals or shoulds. Pick one of these and take it down several more levels and come to understand what motivated you in the first place to set yourself up. Get to know that part of yourself really well. Because to become really Attractive, you’ll need to make peace with it and come to respect it as a very powerful force in your life instead of trying to control it and spending your time dealing with the problems that it will create for you for a very long time.

6. Stop setting other people up and start underpromising.
If you are someone who overpromises, stop promising at all; don’t just underpromise. You need to break this cycle. If you’re someone who seduces people, recognize it. If you’re someone who makes people dependent on you, fix that.

7. Stop waiting and start trusting your inklings.
If you blindly followed your intuition and inklings, would your life be a lot better than it is today? Even with the mistakes you would have made because you misread a feeling or intuitive thought? I think for most people, the answer is yes. Better to master the skill of accurately identifying your feelings/intuition/inklings, than be 100% accurate, yet boring or unfulfilled. In other parts of the Attraction Program, you learn to build up a reserve so that you can afford the consequences of your mistakes. And, in other parts, you learn that responding immediately to things is usually better than waiting. Here, the lesson is to act on your inklings (inklings are even smaller/fainter than intuition). Live THERE, instead of just in ‘reality.’ Because by the time the present has become provable, it’s already the past. (Hey, good quote!)

8. Stop chasing and start appreciating.

Probably the most common ‘unattractive’ thing that I see people do is that they chase after dreams, hopes, goals, coulds, people, love, feelings, fantasies, opportunities, etc. It is fun, but generally fruitless. I’m not saying don’t dream; I am saying don’t chase your dreams. Are there any dreams that you’re currently chasing? How would you benefit if you let them go?

9. Stop trying to become somebody and just be yourself.
As you’ve probably recognized by now, a recurring theme in this section is the notion that striving is fairly unattractive. One of the ways we strive is to become somebody more or other than we are. Aspirations are fairly healthy; striving can get ugly. You can be yourself and still wish to develop yourself. That’s fine. But don’t try to become somebody else.

10. Stop having problems and start solving them.
You can either be an expert problem solver, or you can become a Problem Free Zone. The latter is less ‘rewarding’ or exciting, but it is much more attractive.

And so it is.

Dragonfly Medicine

Dragonfly Shadow

A shadow on my friend, Julia’s, wall that was cast by a little dragonfly hanging in the window. I drew the Dragonfly card in the Animal Medicine tarot deck by Jamie Sams so I appreciated the synchronicity of seeing this yesterday. Here’s a bit about Dragonfly medicine:

“Dragonfly medicine is of the dreamtime and the illusionary facade we accept as physical reality. The iridescence of Dragonfly’s wings reminds us of colors not found in our everyday experience. Dragonfly’s shifting of color, energy, form, and movement explodes into the mind of hte observer, bringing vague memories of a time or place where magic reigned.

Dragonfly is the essence of the winds of change, the messages of wisdom and enlightenment and communications from the elemental world….on a pychological level, it may be time to break down the illusions you have held that restrict your actions and ideas…See how you can apply the art of illusion to your present question or situation, and remember that things are never completely as they seem.”

As I shift my physical reality and create a new “norm” for myself, I am mindful that I get to choose my new reality; they key is focusing on what I DO want and taking steps to get to where I want to be. Thank you, Dragonfly Spirit, for the reminder.

My (ever-expanding) Joy List

Light through Beauty

Over the past couple of months, I have made a couple of lists of things that make me giddy or bring me joy. Part of my work with conscious creation is to “flip my switch” to raise my vibration. Naming the things that make me feel good and posting them where I can see them reminds me to DO them more often. I’ve found since I began this practice, I not only feel good much of the time but more good things are happening in my life. Here are some of the many things that work for me:

  • Loving in its myriad forms
  • Photography
  • Friendship
  • Flirting
  • Play!
  • Flowers
  • Creating Beauty
  • Writing/Journaling
  • Stomping in mud puddles
  • A delicious cup of coffee
  • Tasting the sweat of a lover (and all that created that sweat)
  • Squishing my toes in mud
  • Word play
  • Being completely goofy and making fart jokes, crazy sounds and faces with my kids (or my friends) until our stomaches hurt from laughing (a/k/a Being SILLY)
  • Watching my children laugh and play with each other.
  • Kissing sticky, PB&J cheeks.
  • Heart connection
  • Soul-merging sex
  • A good hair cut and color
  • Body care
  • Buying art supplies (the thrill of acquisition is a common theme in my life..hmmmmmm)
  • Being alone. I love my own company.
  • Petting a dog (or a person for that matter)
  • Reading ecstatic poetry (including my buddy Walt Whitman), especially out loud to an intimate
  • Savoring a small piece of really good, dark chocolate
  • Making love with a piece of fruit (this isn’t how it sounds. eating fruit is highly erotic and sensual to me)
  • A crisp, clean, new blank journal
  • Moleskin journals. Oh! The flow, the smell, the history….
  • Being in love
  • Listening to the birds sing
  • The smell of spring rain
  • Dancing my ass off
  • Dappled sunlight dancing on the floor, the walls, my naked body…I love the interplay of shadow and light
  • Bare feet in damp grass
  • Cultivating mystery
  • Feeling deep compassion for another soul
  • Singing to an audience
  • Making sand castles
  • Driving with music cranked, bass thumping and windows down
  • Finding beach glass
  • Tumbling in the grass with my kids
  • Riding a horse, bareback and bridle free
  • Climbing trees
  • Dressing up
  • Painting (watercolors especially)
  • Picking wildflowers
  • Smelling and experiencing herbs
  • Puttering in my garden
  • Hiking
  • Moonbathing
  • Having parties “just because”
  • Supporting my friends in achieving their dreams
  • The smell and feel of freshly washed sheets
  • The smell of newly mown grass (oh yes, I do love that)
  • The smell of a lover
  • The way tequila feels in my body. I am fire.
  • Plunging my tongue deeply into the experience of Life and tasting all the flavors.