Tag Archive | joy

Surrender

Until your knees hit the floor you’re just playing at life, and on some level you’re scared because you know you’re just playing. The moment of surrender is not when life is over, it’s when it begins. ~Marianne Williamson, A Return to Love

One warm, sunny weekend in early September, 2013, I found myself in my car, alone, headed for Asheville, North Carolina. I had a stack of CDs, my phone, a few changes of clothes, and a full tank of gas. I also had with me a full complement of amino acid and magnesium supplements that were going to replace the antidepressant and Xanax I’d been taking for the past five years. I left the prescriptions at home. At about hour six of the 14 hour drive, I started to cry. What the FUCK was I doing? I was driving 14 hours, alone, for a weekend, alone, in a place I knew little about that I had chosen randomly (or intuitively). And I would have another 14 hour drive back home. It was one of those really deep cries that turned into a prayer, simple and raw: I don’t know what the fuck I’m doing and I’m going to need your help.

Knees hit the floor.

I’d been through a lot the couple of years previous and was considering moving to another state, running away, really. I had been on an unfamiliar path. I had dreams for the future but had no idea how to get there. So I took off for a weekend with excitement which turned quickly into fear. Tears. Surrender. I ended up having a great weekend. Spending time with myself, getting to know myself. There would be, and will be, more tears, more surrender, and more joy as my path unfolds.

Surrender is one of the most powerful lessons I’ve learned on my path and something I’ve learned to do even when life isn’t so bad.

Surrender presupposes a belief in a higher power, who I’ll refer to as God. The creator, the divine energy that connects everyone and everything, with whom we are are all one. A higher power that can make things happen. An energy that is pure love.

Surrender is completely giving up control over the circumstances and trusting in a force more powerful that we are to make things happen, to fix the problem, to help us realize our dreams.

Surrender is complete faith that somehow, we don’t know how, but somehow things are going to work out for the better.

Surrender is the acknowledgement, without judgment, that this problem is bigger than we are, knowing that if we could fix it by ourselves we surely would have already, so please help me, God.

Surrender is not sitting on the couch doing nothing and waiting for life to happen, surrender is taking one step and trusting that we are going to be shown the next step. And the next.

This is more than prayer. If we’re honest with ourselves, we pray a lot more than we actually surrender. We go through the motions with good intention, but we like to control things most of the time and are not good at surrendering the details to someone else. It can take a real shit storm to get us actually down on our knees in surrender. Crying in the shower. Bawling in the parking lot of the rest area. Surrender isn’t poetic and it isn’t polite. The prayer of surrender usually goes something like: “I’ve really fucked this up, please help me.”

There’s real beauty in surrendering. Finding that peaceful place withing ourselves, finding our true strength. We connect with our higher selves, we find our connection with our Creator and with all of creation. This is Love.

What actually happens when we truly surrender is God really does take over. I’m talking magic, miracles, and synchronicity. You’re at peace. You don’t have to worry about this anymore, someone way smarter is taking over. Phew. You have a chance conversation with the neighbor you never talk to and the next thing you know, you’re in a job interview with his ex-wife’s brother’s best friend’s therapist’s daughter. You go to the mailbox and there’s a refund check you weren’t expecting. You win an all expense paid vacation. Really good ideas pop into your head. Somebody sees your artwork hanging on your mother’s wall and wants to buy it. A song inspires you to call somebody who leads you in a new direction. A conversation leads you to start your own business. You’re meeting the exact people you need to meet. You’re in the right place at the right time. Magic, miracles, and synchronicity.

This is not the first nor the last time you will surrender. You will go about your life and hit another rough patch and end up on your knees again. It’s called living. Eventually you’ll start to figure out that all the good stuff starts to happen when your knees hit the floor. You’re getting help and this is starting to feel good. Even fun.

When you’re living your life to the fullest, your knees need never leave the floor. You’re not only surrendering, you’re also in deep gratitude for the many blessings in your life.

You don’t have to wait for the shit to hit the fan to get down on your knees. You have dreams and desires, plans and goals. But when you don’t know how to get there, you let go of the dream. Or you get so attached to your plans of how you’re going to get there that you have no flexibility when life (or God) steps in and throws a wrench in the plans. We leave no room for magic. Sometimes God has a better plan, so when she throws a wrench in yours, it’s time to sit up and take notice. Or get down on your knees.

We limit ourselves when we attach rigidly to our plans. Sometimes you have to move forward without a plan. Stop, breathe, focus on your heart. What is your dream, your purpose, your passion? Feel it? Does it still feel good? Good. Now, how does this next step feel? If it doesn’t feel good, don’t do it. Listen. Is a different idea trying to get your attention? Take a break, go for a walk, get away for the weekend. Does something light up for you? Trust it. Start moving, but be flexible. Allow changes to your plan. Make room for magic.

Many of us learn about surrendering in our every day lives after our knees hit the floor in some dramatic way. Perhaps that’s the purpose of that moment, to get our attention. Once you’re down there, stay on your knees. Surrender. Gratitude. How is life working for you now?

What if it’s all Bullshit?

InPursuitofMagicThe thought has crossed my mind that all of my spiritual beliefs, the basis for how I live my life, could be complete and total bullshit. Baloney. Delusion. God, the Universe, the idea of a benevolent, loving, power much greater than I that wants to help me. Angels, spirit guides, fairies. Reiki, energy healing, being affected by the energy of the moon, humans continuing to evolve. Reading tarot, listening to my own intuition, messages from loved ones in spirit, the soul’s immortality, soul mates, reincarnation. Law of Attraction, the power of positive thinking. Magic. Miracles. What if it’s all a lie? What if I’m wrong about everything?

Not exactly a crisis of faith. More of a brutal questioning by my inner critics. Where’s the logic? What can you prove? Does this shit really work? How does this make sense? It may not be scientifically provable, but it does make sense to me. It’s a way of living my life that is working better than anything else did before.

For instance, while there may not be any scientific evidence of Angels, the fact that I have never set myself on fire, gotten hit by a car, drowned in my own kitchen, or fallen off of the rickety chair I stand on to change lightbulbs is evidence enough for me that I am protected by guardian angels. And they probably deserve a raise.

I’ve stood on a mountain in Sedona and it’s hard for me to believe there is not a higher power who created the beauty, the majesty, an energy I cannot describe. I’ve walked in the woods, been out in the middle of the ocean, watched the sun rise and set, and it’s hard for me to believe there is not a higher power. I’ve held a newborn baby and watched him grow into an adult and it’s hard for me to believe there is not a higher power.

I can go on. I have felt the power of reiki and other types of energy healing. I have focused on love, and let love guide me through fear, and experienced the transformation. I have created vision boards, made lists, set intentions, and repeated affirmations, and I’ve watched the magic and miracles occur. Soulmates? When you meet someone and you instantly connect and you feel like you’ve known them for a thousand years? Because you have. It just makes sense.

I believe in my own intuition, and that I am guided by loved ones in spirit, a higher power, angels, and fairies, because, let’s face it, left to my own devices, I royally fuck it all up. (Okay, I haven’t landed in jail, rehab, or homeless, but the mistakes felt pretty disastrous to me at the time) What’s saved me is paying attention to my intuition, being open to guidance from the unseen, being open to miracles,  and noticing synchronicity. When I follow the path that makes my heart sing, I am always, always successful. When I pay attention to my inner knowing, life just works. When I go in the direction of what lights up for me, what feels happy and sparkly, not only is that pursuit successful, but I end up finding other unexpected magic that keeps leading me in the direction of my dreams. I randomly meet people who can help me. Situations open up.

What I know for sure is, when I opened myself up to these ideas that were new to me, life just started making sense to me in a more meaningful way. I found more peace in my life, more happiness. Less anxiety, more love.

Maybe it IS all bullshit. Maybe I AM delusional. Maybe it’s all truth. Maybe there’s some truth and some baloney. Does it matter? It’s working for me.

Really, why would I want to live in a world where angels, fairies, and unicorns did not exist?

 

 

A New Story

I’ve started and stopped a million times, thinking it was time to tell “my story.” Not just the bits and pieces I give in blog posts and videos or on my website, but the whole story. Every detail. The years of dieting and all the reasons I gained the weight back. What it was like as a girl being not small, what it was like as a teenager thinking I was fat (I saw a picture recently, I wasn’t). The story about believing I wasn’t good enough or pretty enough as long as I had an extra ounce of body fat. About growing up in a society where you could never be “too rich or too thin.”About being highly sensitive, introverted, and empathic and eating because I didn’t know how to process any of it. About anxiety and depression, about not fitting in, about being too much and at the same time, not enough. About not knowing who I was or why I was here.

Maybe I should tell that story so that you will know that you’re not alone, so you will know I’ve been there, too. I know what it’s like. I feel your pain.

But that’s a book that I’m not going to write, because I don’t want to live in that story anymore. It’s time to let go and move forward. It’s time to write a new story.

The new story is about love and acceptance. It’s about being perfectly imperfect. It’s about being good enough. And it’s so much more. The new story is about an imperfect, human love for ourselves, about still hating ourselves sometimes, and coming right back to love. It’s about accepting ourselves the way we are at the same time that we are striving to be better versions of ourselves.

The new story is about showing up for life the way we are. It’s about not hiding, not waiting until we are the perfect size to do the things we love to do. It’s about paying more attention to the beauty in life. It’s about finding joy everywhere.

The new story is about getting to know our own body as well as our closest friend or our most intimate lover. Because she is. Because we love our own body, we ask: What gives her energy? What makes her sick? What makes her want to dance? When we love our body, it is our joy to nourish her as best we can, eating healthy and exercising not to punish her for being too fat, but make her feel good. The new story is about feeding our body in a loving way and moving in a joyful way instead of dieting and exercising to punish her for being fat.

The new story is about balancing mind, body, and spirit. It’s about allowing ourselves pleasure in food in a way that does not hurt the body. It’s about relentlessly pursuing our dreams and resting when we need to. It’s about taking risks and stepping out of our comfort zone. It’s about finding our purpose, finding out what we do best.

The new story is also about shining our light into our darkness. It’s about learning the life lessons we’re here to learn. It’s about being human, about stumbling, falling, and getting up again. In the new story, we may still cry in the shower and have days of feeling hopeless. But we move on from a place of personal power, we accept and learn the lessons, we experience the pain and let it go. In the new story, we focus on the getting up again.

The new story is about knowing we are divinely loved and we deserve all the love, joy, and blessings this world has to offer, just as we are. It’s about forgiveness, ourselves and others, for our own peace of mind.

I’m writing my new story, accepting my humanness, riding the waves, finding joy, living in love, crying in the shower, having faith in divine Love. I’ve also been holding on to the old story, almost a badge of honor, an excuse: see all that I’ve been through.

It’s time to let go and live in the new story.

Are you ready to write a new story?

Blessings of 2015

I’ll be honest, 2015 didn’t live up to its promise. I had hopes, dreams, goals, and they didn’t all happen. I didn’t achieve all that I wanted to achieve. Still, it was a great year in so many ways and I know what I need to do to become the person who will achieve my goals. And today is another day to move forward and continue moving toward my dreams and goals. 2015 is ending, but 2016 is beginning.

2015 was full of amazing self-discovery and personal growth. I’m definitely not the same person I was this time last year. 2015 in numerology is an 8, infinite possibilities, but you have to wade through all your own shit to get get there. So I put on my boots and I started walking. The energy was often harsh and challenging this year. I’ve spent a lot of time deep in the darkness of my own shadow, the places inside myself I don’t like to look, parts of myself I don’t love, healing the wounds that need healing. Loving myself and others a bit more. I’ve felt shattered, surrendered, cried in the shower, laughed, loved, and found joy on the dance floor – sometimes all in the same day.

Through it all, I can honestly say that I am happier than I have ever been in my life. At 47 years old, there is no younger self that I wish to go back to. I have no regrets. I’ve done the work and learned the lessons, experienced life. I know that I’ve done the best I could with who I was at the time and in the circumstance. And I know, in some cases, I’ll do better or differently next time. Yes, I am happier in my life and with myself than I have been in this lifetime.

Today, this final day of 2015, I have my list of what I choose to leave in 2015. I have my list of what I’m bringing with me into 2016. I have my dreams and plans for 2016. I know what I need to do to become the person, the always improving version of me, who will manifest my dreams. I have a plan and I know who will be there to support me.

I leave 2015 grateful for the gifts is brought me. I welcome 2016 in the company of friends, feeling blessed and loved and excited for the adventures to come.

Fear and Surrender

It’s a dark night. A man dressed in black walks confidently down the street, heading path toward a shining, yellow light. The path is lit right in front of him. He’s following the light, on step at a time, as it’s revealed to him. The Hermit, IX The Path in the Book of Shadows Tarot, Book 1, As Above. My inspiration for writing this week.

The literal meaning of the card was unhelpful for my present situation. But what I saw was somebody following the path one step at a time. Stepping in faith. And I heard “surrender.” A call for me to stop trying to control things and have faith in a higher power and my own intuitive guidance.

I thought writing my weekly blog post would get easier the more I wrote and it’s actually gotten harder. I procrastinate and face writer’s block. Not a single bit of inspiration all week.

So I started the Tibetan singing bowl music, G# for the throat chakra, and meditated.

In my meditation, I was faced with dinosaurs, dragons, and humongous, scary bug creatures. And I stood and faced each fear until it faded away.

The writer’s block, procrastination, it’s all about fear. Because I’ve made a commitment to write every week, I stand face-to-face with the bug creature until it melts away and I keep writing.

What is the fear about? The fear is about writing what the fear is about.

The fear is about coming out of the spiritual closet. The fear is about moving from the logical and safe world of a corporate job, technology, programming, project management and moving into more of myself as an intuitive, energy healer, coach/counselor, writer, speaker, teacher, spiritual leader.

  • what if I can’t make a living
  • what if the intuitive guidance I’m receiving and sharing is total crap
  • what if reiki doesn’t really do anything
  • what if people think I’m a whack job

This fear is not trusting in the journey that I have embarked upon. So I am being called to surrender, to follow the path as it is shown to me one step at a time. And the guidance I keep receiving is to keep writing. The evidence is in front of me, that surrender and faith is the way to go. A Higher Power and the wisdom of my own higher self have my back.

Here is what I know for sure:

  • The more I speak and live from my heart, as my authentic self, the more like-minded people I meet, and communities I find in which I can thrive. What people think matters less and less.
  • When I follow my own intuitive guidance, I make the best decisions. My mind alone gets me in trouble. I can cite examples of making decisions I felt excited about, against all logic, that turned out awesome.
  • Meditation, positive thinking, faith, and surrender have made me a kinder, more patient, less reactive, more compassionate person.
  • I’ve felt the healing power of various kinds of energy healing and witnessed the positive effects on my own clients.

Most importantly: wherever I end up, I know that, since I’ve been on this particular journey, following my path to being my most authentic self and where I am guided to be of service in the world, I have been happier on a more regular basis than I have in my life. For that, I will walk in faith.

And so I Dance

It’s a dark night in the heat of summer. The humidity of August clings to your hair. The music is loud, the dance floor is full. Salsa, bachata, cha cha, merengue. Maybe you don’t understand the words but your soul feels the music. Your feet hurt and you’re dripping with sweat as you dance with the next partner. Your feet connect with the ground, your body connects with the music, your spirit connects with the heavens. Joy. Desire. Hunger. Pain. Sorrow. Hope. The energy moves through you, out into the night.

You experience your wildness, your human nature. You come to experience the glory of your human body: the grace, the power, the sweat, the pain, the music flowing through you. You come to experience the glory of your divinity: joy, connection, the music flowing through you. You come to remember who you really are. Beautifully, messily human. Beautifully divine spirit.

We all have our own reasons for being here.

When I was going through some career counseling several years ago, it was suggested that I ask my parents what I wanted to be when I grew up as a child. I remember my mother’s answer: “you only wanted to dance.”

What I actually did was go for what society was telling me I ought to be: a successful career woman in the corporate world. I went to college and my degree in Psychology got me administrative assistant jobs. I went back to school and a degree in computer science and embraced my career as a programmer and then manager in an orderly, logical, and safe world. My anxiety was soothed by the logic of communicating with computers. My security ensured by my corporate employer. My career has served me well.

Until the soul of the little girl who wanted to dance cried out for something more. The little girl who remembered that my true self is not orderly or logical. She knew that my true self is messy and chaotic, emotional and intuitive, creative. I had embraced a definition of success that was not my own. I had embraced the masculine part of myself and left behind my divine feminine self.

I’ve done a lot of healing work, embracing the wisdom of the child who remembered who I really am. And in that process, I’ve come back to the dance. Salsa and latin dancing found me and has been a vehicle for embracing my wild spirit. I dance to connect with my humanity and my divinity, to experience joy, and, in those perfect moments, to be who I really am, my most authentic self, who I want to present to the world.

I’m still trying to figure out exactly what I want to be when I grow up, the perfect marriage of masculine and feminine power, embracing the creative, intuitive as well as logical parts of my being.

And so I dance.