Sunday, February 24, 2013

My momcation!

What I did for February Vacation
By Kimberly

I had a momcation!  I had a momcation!  OMG!  It was awesome.  

I've not posted until now because I was nurturing ME!  I wrote a few weeks ago bout the importance of me time.  I was granted a bit of it each day this week and for the past two weekends and it has been delightfully restoring.  

Here is what I've done (besides work my usual full time schedule):
  • A LOT of dancing!  Three social ballroom dance events of several hours duration, two private lessons, a few group classes and we finally 'graduated' from the Bronze I level.  Dancing is something my husband and I enjoy tremendously and it's something we have not been able to do nearly as much as we would like because of the children's schedules.  We took advantage these past 10 days of making it about us and it was wonderful!  Not to mention good exercise!  
  • My husband and I have spent some lovely quality time together.  Eating out.  Eating in.  Eating at the same time!  Watching TV.  Talking.  Re-connecting.  Being together.
  • I went out after dancing on Friday night for a drink with friends.  At a lounge!  I stayed up past midnight!  
  • I began running again.  Sure, the 5K looming two weeks from today was also a motivator since I've not run since December, and I use the term 'run' loosely (read jog and walk intervals) but it felt good to get back outside and pound the pavement.  Running grounds me, literally.  It is good for my body and for my mind as it provides for processing, stress relief and even a meditative state at times.  I enjoy being outside in nature, especially in the early morning hours.  I'd prefer it not be so cold, but even that didn't bother me too much.  
  • I slept in every day!  OK, so it was usually only an hour or so, but not having to get up at 5:30 to rouse my children and nag them to be ready for school was a luxury.  My body got to do what it needed to do. I slept at least 7 hours every night, sometimes as many as 9 hours!  That is unheard of for me.  I've been a much happier person for it.  
  • My house stayed clean.  I repeat, my house stayed clean!  It's a miracle! 
  • I attended Reiki Share and had a fantastic mediation experience.  It was both calming and energizing.  
  • I had a massage!
  • I got my hair cut!
  • I had a lovely day yesterday with a spirit sister and friend just wandering around a metaphysical book store, attending a Feng Shui seminar and enjoying a leisurely lunch consisting of excellent food, company and insightful conversation. It was delightful and charged my spiritual batteries.
  • I created a Web site for both informative and business purposes
  • I updated Meghan's Web site and saw the article I was interviewed for and assisted the journalist in bringing to life finally published today 2 months after that journey began.
  • I was invited to write a guest blog series and a freelance article.  Both of which I have worked on today. The Universe continues to provide opportunities for me to follow my calling and my passion.  
  • I devoted time and energy to manifesting my dreams.  
  • Did I mention my house stayed clean?! 
  • I watched the snow fall, I photographed the birds and I enjoyed simply sitting on the couch with nothing to do with a cat in my lap and a cup of tea in my hand.  

Although I wish I had the entire week day and night with which to nourish my weary body, heart and soul, I am grateful for the time I did carve out.  There is, of course, so much more I wish I had gotten done.  Still, I accomplished much.  There was a nice balance of have to do with want to do along with the all important need to do items in order to keep my sanity intact! 

How did I mange this you ask?  My boys spent the week with their father.  They ski every February vacation week with friends.  My eldest son gets to see his best friend since infancy who lives in California and they both get a good dose of exercise and fresh air.  I talked to them nearly every day while they were away.  It sounds like they were having fun but are ready to come home. I think they enjoyed the momcation as much as I did.  Well, OK, maybe not. 

I now eagerly await their return.  I have missed them but I have not missed the noise, the mess, the schedule juggling, the mom taxi duties and the supervision and management of home and school tasks that come with mothering.  It's OK to enjoy the hiatus from parenting.  I think it makes me a better mom. 

I must admit, I do dread tomorrow morning.  They won't return until late tonight.  They have to get up at 6 am and they are on west coast time, yet we live on the east coast.  It's not going to be pretty.  The next few days will be challenging as they re-adjust to the time and the crazy school and soccer routine again.  The eldest has a huge physics project looming and much to do for it, soccer will be ramping up in a few weeks for spring (if the snow ever stops falling) and life just doesn't get less busy it seems.  

The opportunity to re-charge, for me as much as for them, is a gift to us all. 

Still, I'm ready for them to return.  Hurry up already, mom misses her boys!  

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Coincidence: Science or Spirit?

Do you believe in coincidence?  Luck, be it good or bad?  Fate or destiny?  God or another supreme being?Divine will or human will?

Are you intuitive?  Have you ever thought or even outright known something before it occurred, be it a simple as thinking about someone and then they call or you run into them or as complex as knowing someone was going to die unexpectedly and then finding out they did?

Have you ever had an experience where you wondered if you were 'visited' or touched by the spirit of a deceased loved one?  What about the spirit of a complete stranger?  Can you see, sense and/or feel energy?    Do you see colors or little balls of light at times? Can you identify someone's presence in the room, alive or dead, without seeing or hearing them, just by *knowing* they are there?

Are you spiritually gifted?  Perhaps clairvoyant, clairaudient, or clairsentient?

Do you believe in reincarnation or is this lifetime our one and only?  Do you believe we 'contract' prior to our incarnations who we will incarnate with (same people, different roles) and what lessons or karma we will learn or teach in this lifetime?  Do you believe we all have pre-determined 'exit' points, times at which we can opt to die, and even how, but we of course, eventually all do.

Do you believe we have the power to heal ourselves or others with the power of intention, prayer or positive energy?  Is there such a thing as energy healing?  Do Eastern alternative therapies like acupuncture, acupressure, Reiki and other forms of energy healing, mediation and more have the power to heal on an emotional, physical and/or spiritual level?

Can we will away cancer, death and other 'bad' things?  Can we will ourselves to die when we are ready, even if it seems in other ways, our bodies are not? Or maybe hold on and wait to die until certain events have occurred or certain people have come or left our side?  Can we wish ill upon others, cast 'spells' or negatively impact a person, event or outcome with our negative thoughts and intentions?

If any of these things resonate with you or you believe none of these things yourself, how do you feel about people who claim they are intuitive, energetically sensitive or psychically gifted?  What about those who are mediums or simply ordinary people who have seen deceased loved ones and had conversations with them? Or those who claim to talk to angels, spirits or other deceased Masters of some kind?  Kids report this all the time in a very matter of fact way.  So do 'normal' every day people, not just those claiming to be able to 'talk to dead people'.

Do you think they are crazy?  Do you think they make it up completely?  Is it imagination?  Is it something maybe only some people are able to do?  Do you think it's 'wishful thinking'?  Are you afraid of the possibility and thus dismiss it as impossible?  Do you wish you could experience it yourself, to understand it and give you the insight you may need to believe in it?  Is it a matter of religious beliefs or upbringing?  Are you just believing what you were taught to in your family without ever questioning it for yourself?  Are you rooted in science and the laws thereof and in search of definitive proof one way or the other?

What about those who are 'lucky' or successful or wealthy?  Are they born that way?  Is there such a thing as luck or do these people actively work to manifest the luck or lack there of in their lives based on their thoughts and beliefs?  Conversely, what about those who have a life of hardship?  Is that their lot in life or are they simply choosing to be a victim of circumstance instead of actively trying to change their situation for the better? Is that their chosen or assigned/destined path or can they choose to change it?

Do you believe in the law of attraction?  Do you believe you are the only one responsible for your actions and experiences and that you have the power to change them for the better or worse with nothing more than your thoughts and expectations?  There are many books about the subject The Secret probably being the most widely known.  Dr. Wayne Dyer also has written many books about the power of intention and attraction, as have scores of others.

Are science and spirituality mutually exclusive?  Must it be one or the other or can both coexist?  Neither science nor spirituality have all the answers.  We, as humans, don't have all the answers.  Our own knowledge of how our brains work has so much further to go!  Science cannot prove nor disprove beyond  a reasonable doubt many of the experiences of those who claim to have spiritual or psychic experiences.  In fact, some of the science supports it!

Quantum physics allows for the possiblilty of multiple planes of simultaneous existence. What the Bleep Do We Know? is a great place to start if you want to learn more. We universally agree matter is energy and energy cannot be created nor destroyed.  So if we, as humans, are matter and energy, WE cannot be destroyed.  Yet our bodies decay after we die, dust to dust if you will.  What happens to us, our essence, our consciousness, our spirit, our energy?  It has to go somewhere.  But where?  How can we tell?  There was a movie made about the theory that we lose 21 grams at the moment of our death. The weight of our soul?  21 Grams  I've not seen it, but it's on my short list.  If for no other reason, than to learn more about the theory.

Consciousness is not fully understood.  How or if our thoughts or intentions can impact the future is not fully understood. Clearly, or we'd know the answers to these questions.  Many do believe that faith in a higher power, whatever you choose to call it, and prayer or focused intention, especially as a group are powerful.  Even the United Nations has a room dedicated to meditation for world peace!  United Nations Meditation Room  Many believe in the power of Eastern Alternative therapies such as Reiki or energy healing to the extent it's now often included in Cancer treatment and Hospice programs.  They may bring about healing, change, acceptance of circumstance or potential outcome or at least bring a sense of calm, peace and control to someone who otherwise wouldn't be able to be in that space emotionally.

Most of the time, when something 'spiritual' happens that we do not have a scientific explanation for or that we do not believe in, understand or want to believe in, we either dismiss it as wishful thinking or coincidence.

It's not my place to tell you what is right or wrong or what to believe in.  I am a firm believer in the power of choice and also the power of intention.  I have had enough experiences throughout my life that I, personally, do not believe in coincidence.  My experiences have caused me to question my beliefs and the science and spirit behind them.  My beliefs have changed and continue to change, based on my continued experiences, 'experiments' if you will with some theories, and educating myself.  I accept and reject published science and/or spiritual theories based on what resonates with me.  It's all I can do.  Be present and mindful.  Be open to possibilities I have not yet considered or do not fully understand. I don't argue with others I disagree with, I might ask questions to learn more but I accept their beliefs are true to them and leave it at that.

As for the rest, it really is about you.  Today's challenge is this.  Think about it.  What do YOU believe?  WHY do you feel that way?  What are you basing that belief on?  What experiences have you personally had that lead you to believe what you do.  Are you open to other possibilities or explanations?  Do you respect others who have a different belief, even if you firmly believe they are 'wrong'?  I challenge you to explore your beliefs for yourself.  To open your mind.  To practice acceptance of others who have differing opinions rather than try to convince them you are right and they are wrong.

I'm not saying you have to or should change your beliefs, I am just asking that we all be open minded, accepting and respectful of others who don't share our personal beliefs.  We should never tell someone what they think or feel is wrong. We have no right.  It's about US and OUR feelings, OUR thoughts, OUR experiences but only for us.  Their feelings, thoughts and experiences are about them, and no more or less valid than yours, just perhaps, different.  Just as we cannot possibly know what they are experiencing physically, emotionally or spiritually, they cannot know that for us.

We should never stop learning.  We should always be respectful of others and their opinions.  We should always keep an open mind and be willing to learn and grow and change.  Our own strongly rooted reactions to a topic is often a sign we have work to do on it.

Can you do it?  Can you delve deep inside yourself and see what work you need to do?  None of us are perfection.  We all have growth potential in may ways.  Let's grow for the greater good.

Peace.   For you, for me, and for the world at large.


Monday, February 11, 2013

ME time

Sunday, 6:30 pm

Mothers are inherently bad at this.  We, as a rule, are self-sacrificers.  We tend to neglect our own needs, wants and desires to foster our children's education, talents and growth and development.  I think it's pretty difficult to be a good parent without some degree of self-sacrificing.  What we have to be careful of is not losing ourselves completely in our attempts to provide opportunity to our children and in day to day parenting. 

When I look at the upcoming calendar for each month or even week, I have angina.  As I get older, this could evolve into a serious health problem! I see my crazy and unpredictable work schedule.  Appointments for the kids that always conflict with said work schedule, then there is twice a week tutoring, 5 time per week soccer practices (and it's the 'off' season!) between the two boys and various social engagements for us or them that are on the calendar but quite often conflict with something the kids are obligated to.  Guess who doesn't get to 'play' much as a result... I'll give you a hint, it's not them. 

As I write this, I am sitting at Panera, blissfully alone, sipping a HOT latte!  Well, alone at this table.  Without my family.  My youngest son is playing soccer about a mile away at a 2 hour practice session.  I spend a good amount of time sitting on cold, hard bleachers or in cold camp chairs, watching, cheering, observing, chatting with the other soccer parents.   Today I'm feeling anti-social.  I'm needing some time to sit.  Breathe.  Think.  It's only a practice.  He gave me his blessing.  "It's ok mom, it's only a practice, I don't mind".  Love that kid.

I was going to read.  Then I was compelled to write.  Really, I'd like a nap.  That is probably not a socially appropriate thing to do here in Panera, thus, I share the chatter in my mind.

I had a conversation this morning with my husband.  He is not the biological father of the children, but he definitely fills a paternal role quite nicely for them.  It was about the aforementioned schedule, putting the older and oppositional defiant ADD child on a contract until he's 18, how to 'deal' with soccer, the numerous household expenses that are looming large, summer camp plans and the stress they always cause, vacations and how we are going to find time for us to nurture our own relationship and our favorite activity, our ballroom dancing lessons and social dance opportunities. 

It made me sad to realize that as soccer once again ramps up for the spring season, we will have precious little time for each other.  Nearly all of the dance classes we want to take are in direct conflict with a soccer practice or game.  Finding times to schedule our lessons is nearly impossible as well. Not to mention date nights or simply time to spend together. On some level, he feels we need to limit the kids and their activities. 
Which is all well and good, but they only have one activity.  Soccer.  And they are both good at it.  

As a parent, I want them to have all the benefits of a team sport.  The exercise, the discipline, the lessons in teamwork and sportsmanship, the opportunities for friendship and growth in all ways.  For one or both, potentially the opportunity to play at a highly competitive level and maybe even win some sort of scholarship for college.  We all win if that verifies! If they have a passion for it, they are good at it and they really want to do it, how could I, as a parent, not support them in it?  

It's not their fault I had more than one child and their schedules sometimes conflict.  They should not be punished as a result of that.  Of course, at the level they both currently play, it's very expensive.  The fees for the team, the uniform, the equipment, the tournament fees, the gas money for driving all over creation for these games and tournaments, the entirety of evenings and weekends lost to soccer is a tremendous cost to me financially.  Let alone socially and emotionally.  I shoulder most of the burden of getting them to practices, games and tournaments as their mother.  Their father participates when they have their scheduled time with him and their stepfather does what he can.  Still, it's a tremendous commitment. 

Despite the hardships I have imposed on myself by allowing them to play competitive soccer, I am fiercely proud of them.  How could I say no?  Obviously, I have not.  I find a way to make it work.  I give up things I'd like to do.  That I really want to do.  That sometimes, I really need to do, for them.   I am almost always multi-tasking work and juggling their schedules during the week days.  I have very little time at home on weekends to do routine household things let alone attend the social events we are invited to or just hang out with each other for family time. I neglect my wants and needs.  

I do this to give them the opportunities they might not otherwise have.  They are only young once.  My parents did it for me, we found a way to make gymnastics and roller skating work. Those were my passions.  Eventually, injury, a waning of the passion and real life got in the way and I focused more academically.  And, well, I got interested in boys...  :-)  It wasn't until I was about 16 though.  We are not there yet with my boys.

It wouldn't be any different if they had a passion for an instrument or singing or a different or even more than one less expensive, demanding more recreational sport.  I allow them only one sport/activity.  They have both chosen soccer. It is contingent on their full commitment and participation as well as keeping up their grades at school.  The level they play at is try out based, so if they slack or don't keep their grades up or don't practice their skills, they may not be chosen for a team.   For one of them, the decision may be made for him.  Of course I thought that last year, too...  

On the flip side, there is a little part of me that wishes they were one of those kids who didn't want to do anything extracurricular. I wish they came home after school, we ate dinner together every night at a consistent time, all together, that we sat and relaxed together, played more games, watched TV as a family, and spent less time in the car and more in our home.  I wish I understood before I had them what a tremendous challenge parenting is.  How time consuming and expensive it is.  How difficult it is to juggle a full time job and full time motherhood.  Not that it would have necessarily changed my decision to have children, it just would have prepared me more effectively for what to expect and maybe my timing would have been a bit different.  Maybe not.  I would totally prefer to home school or even work part time so I can BE there more for them, but I just can't.  Not yet, anyway.
I'm still sleep deprived, worried and wondering if I'm doing it right!  I secretly, or now, not so secretly, since I'm telling you, wish that I had more ME time.  I want to have family meals and even cook them REAL meals, have family game night again, a chance to sit on the couch with the cat and read a book, go for hikes with the kids, pursue my love of ballroom dance, write that book, teach and speak and the list goes on.  There is a part of me that can't help but wonder, would I be a better parent or a better person if I had more me time?
Clearly, something has got to give.  But what?  Ah, an impossible question to answer without feeling someone is being denied something they deserve.  Is it mother guilt?  Left over Catholic guilt?  Sleep deprivation talking?  A hormonal storm?  The harsh reality of parenting tweens and teens? 

I think the best answer is what I started with.  Finding me time.  Real, honest to goodness me time.  Not just attending something I want to like my once monthly Reiki share, but a chunk of time where I have NO commitment to anyone but myself.  Nothing scheduled.  Nothing related to anyone else.  ALONE time. 

My fantasy?  An oceanfront room.  The sound and smell of the ocean.  No one to be responsible for but myself.  My laptop.  I could write.  I could order room service.  I could sleep.  I could walk on the beach.  I could meditate.  I could run.  I could actively work on manifesting that life I want for all of us.  I could rejuvenate and nurture my soul.  If I were not feeling depleted myself, I'd have so much more to deal with the day to day craziness of my schedule. Of course taking off for the beach on a regular basis is not practical, but  a girl can dream.  If she dreams too much, she'll take her husband and her family along and although lovely, will defeat the purpose of said fantasy! 

Right now I am gazing at the field stone fireplace here.  I could stare at the fire forever.  So much wisdom in the flames.  The warmth.  The sound.  The mesmerizing dance of the flames.  It's meditative.  It...speaks to me.  Or maybe, it's my higher self speaking to me.  I should listen. 

Monday 9:02 pm

In my flame gazing, I lost track of time and forgot to post this! I finished that latte before it got cold, by the way!  I purchased some mac and cheese for my hungry soccer boy and some soup for myself and picked him up.  We came home and ate together.  He hugged me, thanked me for taking him to soccer.  My older son was at soccer with my husband. 

I got into bed at 8:30 pm.  The cat eagerly joined me, purring like a freaking motor boat.  I put on one of my angel meditation CD's, placed my Reiki hands on my heart and solar plexus and fell dead asleep in probably 3 minutes.  It wasn't my oceanfront fantasy  but it was me time.  Me and my mind, body and soul, getting what was obviously a much needed rest and rejuvenation time, which was wonderful in it's own right.

I've learned the only way to get the me time is to literally schedule it in the calendar.  Perhaps then, I'll honor that appointment with myself.  I'm sure my family would be happier and better off for it.  

Praise be, Google calendar and your colors.  What color will me time be?  They don't have sparkly.

Responsibility and one's position in life

Today, Pope Benedict announced he was going to resign the Papacy.

What an uproar it has caused!  You don't resign as the Pope, apparently. At least not in the last 600 centuries!  It would seem the Catholics would rather a man of failing health and likely failing cognition, frail, and tired lead their faith than consider appointing a younger, more capable leader.  Perhaps this is but a glimpse into what is wrong with so many organizations, and indeed, society as a whole and the unrest in the world, religious or not.

First, let me say, Kudos Pope Benedict!  As a recovering Catholic (different story) and plain old human being, I admire you for your ability to be true to yourself, your profession and your most supreme position in your profession.  To have the wisdom to know you are no longer fully able to serve your people in the capacity you were chosen to, and to have the courage to choose to do something no Pope has done in recent history, is admirable and should be touted as such!  You are taking care of your needs as well as those of the people you lead, but setting a wonderful example, at least in this case, to not only your faithful, but to the world.  You know when it is no longer you job to do.  You did what you encourage your faithful to do, do the right thing!

Change is good!  The only thing that has ever changed the world is a different way of looking at things.

Perhaps this is a wake up call from the leader himself for reform of the ages old tradition of appointing a pope for life and placing tremendous time, travel, ministry, political and leadership roles and demands on them that don't change just because they grow old.  Not to mention the tremendous scandal and clamoring for changes in leadership (gender) and service along with dwindling faithful because of disagreement with doctrine that has not changed with society.

In precious few other positions would one expect to lead millions with so many demands into their 70's, let alone until the day they die!  With aging comes frail health, cognitive challenges in the form of impaired memory or dementia, mobility challenges and plain old fatigue!  Pope-mobile or not, it's a job most 30-somethings would find demanding!

I feel it necessary to say I know this is a potentially charged subject and I have no desire to get into a religious or political banter, so don't bother commenting on it for the sake of argument, I won't engage in it.  I am not discussing religion or any of the 'issues' surrounding Catholicism  the scandals and nuances of this or any other religion.  I have my opinions but I have no desire to discuss them. It is not my intention nor something I wish to spend time or energy on.  I respect we all have opinions, let's leave it at that beyond the scope of this post.

What I do want to encourage you to ponder, is how this could be an example to anyone and everyone.  People in positions of political or religious power.  CEO's of large organizations and companies both for and non-profit.  Prestigious positions in government and the private sector.  Heads of households!  A call to think about the demands of your job, your passions, the other important tenets of your life and not only how to balance them, but how to execute those roles in the best way for the greater good.  Sometimes, and more often than it actually happens, that means knowing when it's time to step aside or down and let a new leader emerge.  One who can truly meet the demands of the job.

Can you think of anyone you know, personally or simply that you have heard of in the media, who has remained in a position of authority or power far longer than they should have simply because there are no 'rules' about term/time limits?  How about self-proclaimed community leaders?  Corrupt 'election' practices in local government, Boards of Directors and generalized nepotism?  The list goes on.

Our ability to recognize whether or not we are the *right* person for any given job is one thing.  It is another, perhaps even more important thing, to realize when we are not or no longer, the *right* person for the job.  We need to divorce our ego and look at it from the outside in.  If we can't do that, we need others within our 'organization' to have the ability, courage and for lack of a better term, balls, to speak up for reform and change.

We need to be responsible not only to ourselves, but to those whom we serve.  We are not about having the best job, fanciest car, biggest bonus or most money.  Yet as a society, we are power hungry and materialistic.  We want to be on top.  We want to be admired and liked.  We strive for it.  But is it what we really want?  What we are really good at?  Does it fill us up?  Is it our passion?  You can't take it with you, at least the material part.  Working 80 hour weeks to be famous and rich only to die alone because you shut out your friends and family is not a legacy at all.

All we truly have is our reputation and it should be based on truth.  To ourselves and toward those we serve.

Take a look around you.  From your own immediate family to your co-workers, community, state, region and on upward of all the organizations you belong to, support or area  part of.  Consider those in positions of authority and power.  How did they get there?  How long have they been there?   Do you think they are the right person for the job?  Why or why not?  Do you have any idea how to suggest or catalyze a change?

Be the change.  Recognize your strengths and your limitations. You owe it to yourself, your family and society to seek, live and honor it.

Try it, it's not so hard.  :-)  If the Pope can do it, so can you!

Monday, February 4, 2013

The Shadow Side

Think of a person who annoys you.  Who is it?  What is it about them that annoys you?  Have you ever thought about why it bothers you?  Really, really, thought about why?  Does it impact your relationship with them in any way?  Have you ever had a conversation with them about what they do that bothers you and why?  Why not?

We all know someone who rubs us the wrong way. In fact lots of people.  Maybe it's not every day, but every now and then, they say or do something that makes us bristle. They could be a co-worker, someone you don't know but can see or hear or even be a family member or good friend.  There is something about them that turns us off, that we dislike or take offense to.  Perhaps the way they dress, their tone of voice, their negative or even overly optimistic and cheerful nature.  Maybe it's their 'preachy' nature about something they feel strongly about, whether you happen to agree with them or not.  It could simply be a particular personality trait that not only does it not resonate with you , it annoys the hell out of you.

What's up with that?  Why should we care?  They aren't us.  We are not them.  We are all entitled to our opinions.  We don't have to be like them or agree with them.  We should be different from one another and celebrate and accept our differences.  So why is it so hard to do that sometimes?

Chances are it's because it's not really about them.  It's about us.  That very trait that annoys us and rubs us the wrong way in them, is because it's a trait we either want or ourselves and don't think we have, or it's something we see in ourselves and don't want to admit we have.  We realize there is a part of us that is just like them and we don't like it in ourselves, so it manifests as we don't like it in them.  That 'thing' about them often evokes emotion in us.  Not truly because of what that person looks like, says or does, but because of how it makes us feel, because of the emotion it evokes in us.  Why do we react so strongly?  Because it's a wake up call from spirit. It's about us, not them.  It's our 'shadow' side.

Shadows are cool.  They are images of yourself.  Sometimes larger than life, often distorted in some way.  Sort of like a fun house mirror courtesy of the sun.  They are changeable. They are often not at all a true representation of the actual person yet they are made up of the person and a source of light.  A SOURCE OF LIGHT.

Here's where I go all crunchy and metaphysical on you.  :-)

Light is an amazing thing.  So much more than just enabling us to see.  It illuminates the world around us.  The sun is the source of our light here on earth.  The moon is but a reflection of the sun's light.  We make fire to create warmth and light.  Man has sought to create artificial light so that we may see in the darkness of the night.  The spectrum of light is made up of a rainbow of colors.  They correspond with the chakras, or energy centers of our body.  Good old ROY G BIV.

The light we have within us is believed by many to be a gift from God, Source, the Universe or whatever higher or spiritual power you might believe in.  It's our spirit and our connection to an energy and universal love and light greater than ourselves from which we were born and to which we will someday return.  Even if you are agnostic, chances are you do agree in the law of physics that tells us matter cannot be created nor destroyed.  If matter is energy...(a topic for another day)

Another one of my favorite quotes is, "We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience." ~Teilhard de Chardin

As humans, we choose to perceive ourselves the way we want other to perceive us.  Thus, it's natural to focus on the traits we think are positive, 'liked', and sought after by others.  None of us inherently want to be thought of in a negative way by others.  The problem is, we are humans.  We have negative traits, feelings and emotions.  They are not necessarily a bad thing.  We just don't always think before we speak or act.  We don't always control our emotions or reactions to others.  We are not universally good at putting ourselves in the other person's 'shoes'.  Society has taught us it's OK to 'dis' others, to allow ego to get in our way, to hide our light or to believe the distortions we see.

We also tend to fall into patterns of behavior that are comfortable to us.  Those around us get used to it and attribute traits they disagree with to 'that's just the way they are'.  If they are not so disturbing to us that we feel the need to end the relationship with that person, we tend to never explore where those feelings come from or check in to see if our interpretation is in fact, correct.  We often don't discuss our feelings about those traits that annoy us with the person who possesses them, because we don't want to upset them, make it worse, get into an argument or risk losing the relationship.

I venture to say in actuality, we don't discuss it because it makes us uncomfortable.  On some level, the reality is what annoys me about you is really what annoys me about MYSELF.  I either wish I could be like you and it's some sort of unacknowledged envy or I recognize that trait I am so annoyed by in you is one I possess, am ashamed of and don't want to admit to.  Fear of confronting that, with you or within myself, renders me like a deer in headlights, and so I do nothing.

Back to what makes a shadow.  It is you and a source of light.  That source is often the sun, but it could be the light of a bright and full moon, a spotlight or a lamp.  The characteristics of the shadow have many variables relative to the light.  It's brightness, the angle of the light, and your position relative to it.

You can manipulate your shadow by movement.  You can choose how it appears simply by moving your body.  Just like you have control over your feelings and actions.

You can choose to eliminate your shadow.  By choosing darkness or retreating from the light.

Or, you can choose to come out and play.  To explore all the ways your shadow can evolve and change. You can connect yourself to the light.  Share your feelings.  Write them down, verbally discuss them with someone, ritualistically let them go and start anew.  Like so many things about this human experience, it's about learning, growing, changing for the greater good.

I challenge you to think of 3 people that have attributes that bother you on some level.  Then think of 3 people who you admire.  For each of them, write down all of their positive attributes and all of their negative attributes.  Be honest.  No one will see this but you.  Then do the same for yourself.  Be painfully honest about it all, but especially yourself.  Acknowledge your negative traits as well as your positive ones.  Check to see if there are similarities between yourself and the 6 people you chose based on their attributes.

Take it a step further.  Choose something about your shadow side that you want to change and change it!  Baby steps are fine, just make an effort to change it.  Be mindful of how it impacts your own life and your interactions with those around you.

Then go outside and do some shadow dancing!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Destination: Manifestation

Ever want something and wonder how you were going to achieve it?  Especially when the odds seem so tremendously stacked against you?  Do you talk yourself out of it by saying things like you are too busy, it costs too much money, is too hard, or that you don't have enough time, or that you are not smart, strong, or good enough?  Are you embarrassed to admit the things you really want?  Are you afraid of failing if you try to achieve it?  Are those things really true or just excuses?

They say nothing worth having ever comes easy.  Or does it?  Perhaps it's the way we choose to go about pursuing our goals, not our goals themselves, that are the true barrier.  If we desire it, we can have it.  But how?

I've pondered this periodically over the course of my 40-something years on the planet, but no more intently and introspectively than I have as of late.  I've thought about it, meditated on it, asked the Universe and listened for the answers within my heart and soul.

The answer?  Ask for it.  Expect it.  Live it.  Believe you are worthy and capable.  Actively manifest it.  Focus all of your energy on it actually happening.  Live your life as if it has already happened or with the expectation that of course, it will happen!  Manifest, manifest, manifest.

By committing to it.  Wholly and unconditionally.

I've wondered how exactly do I go about this.  Do I prioritize my dreams?  Do I give up some for the sake of others?  Then, I wondered, why can't I have it all?  At the very least, why can't I expect to have it all?  I am worthy for sure!

Here is what I got from my inner wisdom:

  • Forgiveness
  • Be positive.  In outlook, in energy, in words and actions.
  • Dream big
  • Meditate
  • Ask for it.  Be specific and detailed.
  • Seek opportunities to make it happen
  • Make informed choices.  Every choice influences the ultimate outcome
  • Don't let fear get in the way.
  • Surround myself with what I want and what I need to manifest and obtain my goals
  • Find and clear the energetic blockages to manifesting my dreams and desires
  • Practice gratitude
  • Stay focused
  • Baby steps.  Do something toward each goal every day.
  • Daily attention to manifesting.  It can be brief.  Just do it.  
  • Trust my intuition
I am reminded by one of my favorite quotes of all time.  From the amazing Wayne Dyer.  "Your intention creates your reality"  It really does.  

So I started by making a list of all the things I want for my life, myself and my family.  I started a manifestation board on Pinterest.  I'm working on the things on the list above where they need to be applied. I am trying to live more consciously and be more aware, grounded and connected to my higher self and purpose.  

First off?  A family vacation.  Overdue and much needed.

Next?  A balance of physical and mental health.  Exercise.  Get back into running, Yoga, Reiki and meditation. Pursue my metaphysical interests, become a renewed student of spirit. 

Included in that is a bucket list item. This girl, who hated to run once upon a time, and still really can't say she enjoys it, is committing to the 2014 Disney Half-Marathon.  At best, I've only run a 5k so far.  I've got a year to train.  My sister and a good friend are doing it with me.  I'm looking forward to it.  I know I can do it, I just need to do it.  I am tapping my inner pixie and totally running in a Tinkerbell costume!  How does one run a half marathon as Tinkerbell?  You follow the second star to the right, of course.  Eat my pixie dust!  :-) 

What else?  Well, there are classes to teach, seminars to give and books to write.  Pursuing my dream job. There is eating my way through Italy, cruising Alaska back to back, several weeks in Hawaii and taking the kids on a cruise to the Caribbean.  And so much more. 

I WILL manifest my dreams.  Will you?