Catching up

So, where have I been?

I have tried to write a few times since October, but something would always come up. Primarily, I was spending an inordinate amount of time working with Claire and some of the challenges a gifted kid runs into at school. We had decided to bump her up to third grade last year, as she was pacing with the second graders. In fact, she was doing better than many of the second graders, though she was technically still in first grade. We decided to officially keep her in second grade (primarily to avoid having to go through the rigorous testing at the end of the school year), though she would work with the third graders in the classroom.

The Challenge of Gifted Kids

12183864_10153686372922438_6476460127467095901_oAcademically, Claire has been doing fine. Quite well, as a matter of fact. She still has that natural curiosity about her world, and she has the mind to analyze and decode her world. She reads at a sixth grade level and can do both multiplication and division easily. She memorizes facts with ease, and if it has something to do with horses, she’ll probably know a lot more than the average adult. Academically, I have no worries about her or her academic career.

Socially, however, she’s still only seven, though a precocious seven year old that can pace with older kids fairly well. However, the older kids know she’s only seven. And when you’ve got kids that have issues beyond your control or understanding, there can be challenges. Claire has a heightened expectation of how other kids should treat her. She’s very aware of right vs. wrong, and when wrong happens, she spends a lot of that mental power on trying to figure out why things aren’t right or acting out in ways that were rather challenging. That mental activity was better spent on learning and having fun, of course, but she was preoccupied when things were not going right.

I spent time with her at school, which I rather enjoyed. I love her school, her teachers, and it was nice hanging out with some of the other kids. And I did witness some kids acting out for various reasons in ways that were challenging to Claire. I would coach her through it, but at the same time, I had to wonder whether or not it was worth her energy, or my energy, to focus so much on just being okay socially with other kids. And, of course, it’s not all of the kids. But Claire is very good at sorting right from wrong and finding what’s wrong and trying to fix it.

We had a short break, then we all got sick. Stomach bug, then a cold hit us all. Claire was out altogether for three weeks. And, I noticed her personality changing… for the better. She started researching things of interest to her, asking more questions about her interests, and exploring her world in ways she wasn’t doing a month earlier.

It seemed that without the pressure of social issues, her mental bandwidth freed up so she could focus on more positive things.

Because she’s in that parroting stage still, the stage of life where kids are soaking up information, it made sense to homeschool for now. I wasn’t sure if I could handle it, but her educational facilitator and the director of the school confirmed with me that she would be fine. And intuitively, I got the message that I don’t have to be confident in my ability to teach, I just have to be confident in Claire’s ability to learn. And in that I have complete faith. So, we’re homeschooling for now. She’s happier. I’m more relaxed. We’ll meet with her educational facilitator every so often and we’ll document what she’s doing. I asked her if she’d like to keep a blog about what she’s doing, but she’s told me that blogs are boring. So, there you go.

What’s not boring to her is David Bowie. Since his death in January, both of my kids have been listening to David Bowie. Max, in high school, spent a day at school learning about David Bowie’s influence on the music world. Claire, seeing this, dove into Ziggy Stardust. She is also fascinated by the Blackstar video, and thinks it is a fantastic song. Not something you expect to hear from a seven year old, but she’s no ordinary seven year old, this is for sure.

Cooking up miracles in the kitchen

homemade deodorantAnother project that has taken up quite a bit of my own bandwidth is creating personal care products in the kitchen. Last summer, I made some of my own deodorant using coconut oil, baking soda, arrowroot, and bentonite clay. You see, your armpits are a primary detoxification center for your lymph nodes. I had found some soreness in one of my armpits, and it turned out to be an inflamed lymph node. I decided to ditch traditional deodorant, and I absolutely loved what I came up with.

After talking to a friend who operates a health store, I started making it for his customers. It has been one of the more successful products, which encouraged me to start sharing some of the other things I make for myself and the family, including remineralizing toothpaste, colloidal silver, and calendula salve. I decided to brand my offerings as Shasta Sage Wellness, and all of a sudden I have a new business. The logo is from a painting we purchased from a local artist that hangs in my kitchen, and the name Shasta Sage has dual meanings, of course. Overall, I’m really excited about the business and how well it’s been received.

calendula oilSo much of my work life over the last 25 years has been spent sitting in front of a computer, wrestling with code and words. There’s something meditative about making something physical and tangible. It’s akin to gardening or cooking in my mind, and I am really enjoying the change of pace. For a change, I get to let go of having to sell things and let others do that. I get to make things, and sell a little, and it feels really good. After spending a day making something, I am physically tired yet mentally still awake, and that feels good, too. And it’s also something I can involve both of my kids in the process of creation, too.

My friend recently asked if I could emulate a formula for a competitive product, something I’ve never done before. It took a few weeks of research, experimentation, and ultimately creating something that turned out better than the competitive product. And in doing so, it gave me more ideas for creating complementary products. I actually really enjoyed the challenge of coming up with a new product using all natural ingredients that will blow the petrochemical-based product out of the water. It was daunting and completely outside my realm of expertise, but it turned out being exceptional. It’s not a publicly available product yet, as it still has to go through the testing phase, but I’m excited.

Enjoying Mount Shasta

mount shasta californiaThis place… it nurtures my soul in ways I’ve never experienced elsewhere, except perhaps far northern Wisconsin. When things get overwhelming, and sometimes they certainly do, this place sets me right again. I am blessed and so very thankful to be able to live here.  The people here are like nowhere else, and the natural beauty of the surroundings, even when we’re socked in by snow, is beautiful. And if I want to escape the snow for a bit, the rest of California and Oregon provide respite.

Someone I know here that has lived here for decades mentioned to me that the mountain either spits you back out or it won’t let you leave. I had to laugh, as I’m certainly a part of the latter. No matter how I might fantasize about moving to the beach, the universe conspires to ensure I stay here.

When I first visited 9 years ago, I cried when I left. When I visited again, the desire to live here was overwhelming. Now that my kids have also fallen in love with the place, I can’t imagine living anywhere else.

And of course, still writing

Even with all of these new and surprising activities, I am still making time to write. Most of the time, its early in the morning before anyone else is awake in the house. I am writing for me, for fun, and maybe for someday sharing.

And I’m hoping to get back into the blogging and podcasting thing now that so much is settling into routine.

 

Processing Grief

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The last family portrait of our fosters all together before heading out for adoption.

The kittens have moved on to Portland. It was very difficult to say goodbye to them, for me and the kids. They’ve been a part of our lives for two and a half months, and we’ve been through a lot with them, especially Bruce. We all became very attached.

But they went to one of the best humane societies in the country, and two days after we said goodbye, they showed up on the “recently adopted” page. It’s amazing that they’ve been adopted faster than the scratches on my body have healed! They’re great cats, all of them, with unique and wonderful personalities that will bring joy and laughter to their new families. Three months ago, they were basically feral, afraid of humans. Now, they are ready for homes.

Bruce and Maia and kitten snuggles.

Bruce and Maia and kitten snuggles.

I commented to Max, “Can you imagine how hilarious it will be the first time Maia does velcro kitty for her new owners?” Maia is a little insane, you see, and has no problem jumping from across the room with all claws out ready to stick on your clothing and climb up onto your head or shoulder. She’d also like to jump up on my back and chase her tail when I was bent over cleaning litter boxes. And then five minutes later, she’d join Bruce in my arms for some snuggles and love. She’s kind of amazing, and Max really wanted to keep her.

We’re sad we couldn’t keep them. Really sad. We’re at the fur-enabled maximum with Alex, Luna, and Oliver, at least for now. And then, if I were to keep one, how was I to decide? We talked about it and could not make a decision on just one or even two. It was either that we keep all of them or we keep none.

Apparently, when the foster family keeps one of their foster animals, some in the industry (from my online research) call that “foster failure.” Failure? Okay. I guess so. That’s my kind of failure.

But I’ve succeeded. And in doing so, I felt as if I have lost six pets in a week. Success felt like failure for a while. There was no weaning off of them, they were here one day and gone the next. Putting them into the carrier to bring them back to the shelter was one of the more brutal experiences of my life. And Max would not let go of Bruce or Maia, so that made it even more difficult. My kids loved “the babies” as much as I did.

I have been watching videos and looking at pictures, allowing myself the freedom to grieve the loss. I knew it was coming, sure. But I had no idea how brutal it would be. I had them here too long, for one thing. With all of the health issues, they didn’t get up in weight fast enough to stick to the planned schedule. And being a first time foster mom, it is apparently a lot harder to say goodbye.

When Riley passed away a couple of years ago, I grieved hard then. I had some people say things about “it’s just a dog” or “he wasn’t even your dog, why are you so sad.” I tried to avoid those people, and I tried to allow that grieving to come up and process, but I also tried to get on with life.

This time, well, now I know. If anyone tries to tell me that they’re “just cats,” I could get ranty.

The Grieving Pariah

Grieving is not supported in our culture, it’s avoided and shunned. While other cultures have rituals and beliefs that support grieving, our culture sweeps it under the rug.

And I know why: it’s because we are a society of repressed people running around unable to feel much of anything. If you have one person around expressing sadness, it triggers something uncomfortable in the people around them. You see, they have it too, this grief held down and out of sight. But just because they’re not expressing it does not mean that they’ve been able to overcome and let it go. It stays within them, latent, waiting.

And when people see someone cry, it makes them uncomfortable. If they allowed that level of expression, if they start to cry, too, then their grief senses an opportunity to express itself. But we’re told to never let them see you cry, crying is a weakness, grieving is abhorred. Thus, grieving people become a pariah.

In our culture, depressed or sad people are shunned or medicated. Anyone who feels anything other than “love and light” is told to be more positive, to look on the bright side. And yes, I can definitely see the bright side with my fur babies finding homes where they will be cherished and loved. I feel immense gratitude for that, for the experience of being able to care for Sapphire and here babies, and I feel sadness, too. It’s a lot of competing emotions, but the happy gratitude feelings don’t negate the sadness. The sadness and grief is still there. But I get to hold all of them in the space of my heart, and that’s a gift.

We, as a society and culture, have missed out on this.

I’ve missed out on this.

And in doing so, I became burdened in a way I can only now see. Holding that grief out of sight requires an immense amount of effort.

Holding down grief

iurThis summer, Claire wanted to watch any movie that scared me as a kid. We were swimming a lot this summer, at the lake and the pool, so I rented Jaws. I am pretty sure I couldn’t swim for a month when I saw Jaws, and I sure as heck was never going to swim in a natural body of water. I think I got scared of the bathtub drain once, hearing the deep bass sounds in my head begin playing to let me know that there was a massive shark squeezing up a 2 inch drain. That will scare her, right? Actually, no, it didn’t. Not even a little. Though she did request swimming at the pool instead of the lake a lot more often… hmm.

The vision of the shark swimming around Quint’s boat with 3 barrels attached  came to mind. The more I grieved, the more I felt like barrels were popping up on the surface. I didn’t care who saw me cry, I didn’t care how puffy my eyes were. I felt this release of pressure on my soul, something tied into how I navigated my life and my work.

Mark encouraged me to deeply grieve, to really allow myself to let go into what I was feeling. I stopped trying to keep it down.

“I don’t think I have ever had such a big loss all at once,” I said.

“You have. You’ve had a lot of loss. You’ve just never really allowed yourself to fully grieve it all,” he said. Just that, he gave me permission to grieve. He held me, and he held space for me. “It’s going to come in waves, so just let it.” And I did. And after a while I’d be okay, and then it would come in like a wave again.

The more I allowed myself to grieve, to let out full-on guttural cries into a pillow about missing my babies, the less intense it has gotten. It still comes, these waves, like a tsunami of emotion I cannot control. But after the waves recede again, I feel lighter. I feel cleaner. I feel unburdened. I feel less overwhelm, less stress, and more fluid. There is a huge release of pressure when you let the grief out. You are no longer swimming through life attempting to hold back the barrels, holding back a rather powerful part of who you are.

A lot of my workaholism was tied into holding those barrels beneath the surface. Memories started popping that were laden with grief and shame, sadness and a conscious decision to not allow it to overcome me. I have a memory in which I consciously decided to channel that feeling into creating something, into getting things done, into being a “good person” by other people’s standards.

Freedom to grieve is freedom to be

As I have allowed the grieving process to move through me, I am sensing a degree of freedom in my life. Love flows more easily, I am less easily frustrated or angered. The release of all of the grief — and the freedom to release it whenever it comes up — is such a gift for me. It seems sad that so many people are not allowed, or rather do not allow themselves, the space to feel grief.

You see, feeling grief is an exercise of sorts in allowing ourselves to feel everything. If we allow it full expression of movement through us, it expands our ability to feel joy, peace, contentment, gratitude, and most importantly love. If we’re holding down decades of repressed sadness and grief, it requires such immense effort. We become depleted more easily. Everything seems a burden. We’re expending such unconscious energy holding back our tears and sadness, and we don’t even know why just getting out of bed seems to be such a chore.

I’m exploring this newfound freedom, and it’s deepening my experience of life. I have a greater capacity to feel everything, most importantly love. I look at my beautiful children, and I feel my heart ready to burst open with fullness. Even Mark, who can sometimes push my buttons like any good spouse, is seeing me deepen the feeling of love for him in my life.

I’m kind of amazed, and a little blindsided, at how much fostering has given me. And here I was thinking I was doing something noble and generous. Actually, the gifts that the kittens gave me were far greater and superior than I ever imagined.

But isn’t that life? We think we’re going into an experience to do one thing, and we come out on the other end transformed into something completely different. I couldn’t have predicted what this experience was to give me. And I didn’t think I’d have so much fodder for emotional and spiritual growth. But when you put the call out to the universe that you want something more, the universe answers. All we have to do is say yes.

The life best lived is lived with fullness and depth, not superficial perfection. If we are brave enough to dive into the depth and darkness, we might come out with a gift we could have never seen.

 

On Joy and Sorrow by Kahlil Gibran

Your joy is your sorrow unmasked.
And the selfsame well from which your laughter rises was oftentimes filled with your tears.
And how else can it be?
The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.
Is not the cup that holds your wine the very cup that was burned in the potter’s oven?
And is not the lute that soothes your spirit, the very wood that was hollowed with knives?
When you are joyous, look deep into your heart and you shall find it is only that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy.
When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.

Some of you say, “Joy is greater than sorrow,” and others say, “Nay, sorrow is the greater.”
But I say unto you, they are inseparable.
Together they come, and when one sits, alone with you at your board, remember that the other is asleep upon your bed.

Verily you are suspended like scales between your sorrow and your joy.
Only when you are empty are you at standstill and balanced.
When the treasure-keeper lifts you to weigh his gold and his silver, needs must your joy or your sorrow rise or fall.

 

 

Negative emotions lead to liberation

It has been a very busy month. I had a goal of podcasting every single day for the month of September. I knew that with two eclipses, a Mercury retrograde, and the equinox all in one month, there would be a lot to talk about. However, the level of activity required of me for various projects became overwhelming. That was one commitment I couldn’t keep.

Bruce, feeling much better.

Bruce Almighty, feeling much better.

We still have the foster kittens. One of them, Bruce, got very sick and there was some talk about him not making it as his digestive system was not assimilating food. He didn’t feel well, and spent most of his time curled up on one of us while his brothers and sisters played. Some high powered antibiotics followed by some probiotics fixed him up, however, and he’s doing great now. The support from the shelter manager and all of my friends and family on Facebook helped me get through it all. And Bruce got a middle name, Almighty. How sweet is that? I swear, he’s got his own following now on Facebook.

Because Bruce, and his slightly insane tortie sister Maia, had not gained enough weight, they were not ready to get neutered and spayed for the September trip, so they have to wait another month.

All of this was unexpected, but as with parenting, fostering comes with commitments. And when we make commitments, we follow through. Well, I do. If I can do it, I do what I say I’m going to do.

Mark, however, is ready for life to return to normal. He is the only one in the house not enjoying the presence of the kittens, and he has let me know this. I, however, was not happy that he is not accommodating the kittens when I accommodate so much for him.

It started a fight. A big one.

I thought he was being unreasonable, and boy did I get mad at him. And during the course of the argument, I realized that the part of me that was mad at him had more expectations than other parts. It was all in my memory banks. He took a risk during the fight and asked me to shift my eye movement. I took a risk and did it. And I started to see some distinctions.

Now this is not to say that he’s not wrong, because KITTENS. But I started to see how I was running a pattern that made me more defensive and angry than I would have been otherwise. It wasn’t really about who was right or wrong, but how we communicated about what we want, what we feel, and what we believe so strongly to be true.

It was a fascinating bit of learning, and I suggested we talk about what had happened. So, we recorded a podcast about the experience. I actually suggested it, because I thought it would be interesting to dissect my belief pattern and talk about what it was, where it came from, and how I was able to identify it in the heat of an argument and let it go. So that podcast is here.

Magi, look at that nose!

The presence of the kittens here has really given me a lot to work with in understanding myself more and working with the emotions and the beliefs that come up. I committed to giving them a space to grow up, but they returned the favor with growth and healing I wouldn’t have been able to work with otherwise.

Negative emotions are good

So many times in spiritual communities, we are taught to immerse ourselves in positivity and “love and light” all the time, so much so that we lose opportunities to really grow and expand our understanding of ourselves. We mask over negative emotions or conflict so much that we never give ourselves opportunities to learn and grow.

Our emotions are wonderful tools for understanding what it is that we believe about our reality and ourselves. We are not our emotions, we are not our feelings, and we are not our thoughts, but these are programs that create the experience and our perceptions about what we think is so true. If we’ve got negative emotions, they come from our thoughts, which come from our beliefs. In ho’oponopono, this is our “data” we have to clean up. But if we don’t have negative experiences, how do we know which rooms of our mind need a cleaning?

Why suffer?

The only true purpose of suffering is to teach us how not to suffer anymore. When negative feelings or conflict show up, it gives you an opportunity to really understand yourself. Don’t mask it, not sadness, not depression, not anger, not frustration. All of these things, even boredom, are things that we create for a reason to explore ourselves more. Leverage emotions, leverage your states, and you find the path to alleviating suffering.

I am lucky to have the resources and tools to make distinctions and explore the beliefs that drive my reality, and I am lucky to realize that I am not my emotions, my states, or my feelings. I’m not even my thoughts or beliefs. Making that distinction about who I really am and how my beliefs create my reality and my experience, for both good and bad, help me to navigate my life in productive ways that lead to growth and more love.

And, did I mention kittens? 😉

Spay and Neuter, people. Please.

Maia

Maia and me: the kitten selfie

The kittens will be with us until mid-October. After that, they’ll be available for adoption through Siskiyou Humane Society. Each one of them is pretty special. Maia has developed the most amazing personality of all: fearless, cuddly and sweet, playful, and absolutely hilarious. She may need a post dedicated to her alone. If she ever slows down, I’ll take a picture that isn’t blurry.

Taking care of kittens over the last few months has taught me a lot about myself. It’s also given me a ton of respect for the people who commit to caring for animals. The people at the humane society have supported me throughout this process so very much; they are awesome people who I adore and respect so very much.

And as for the people who can’t even be bothered to spay or neuter or, as in Sapphire’s case, leave their animal behind when they move, well, let’s just say I hope I never meet you face to face. I still have a few belief patterns there that I’d love to share with you.

 

 

How to use your emotions and beliefs to gain freedom

We’re still fostering kittens. Sapphire got sick at one point, and it upset me a lot more than I thought it would. Whenever there is an upset and emotions coming up around an issue that feel a lot more powerful than the event warrants, there are usually beliefs that need to be cleared.

Our emotions are not us, even though we might say, “I am sad,” or “I am angry.” Our emotions, however, are wonderful tools for getting at the various beliefs we hold that may cloud our reality.

 

Emotions, beliefs, and freedom

A friend and I have been talking recently about Dr. Bruce Lipton‘s work on the biology of belief. He came across a process, apparently rooted in NLP, that can be used to reprogram beliefs. Using what I have learned from the Emotion Code process, we put together a simple process of muscle testing, emotional identification, and belief shifting while standing on my front porch. I used the process to clear some of these unconscious patterns.

It was kind of shocking how fast it shifted my emotional state. When my friend came over, I was plagued by uncontrollable tears about Sapphire being separated from her kittens. Within a minute of going through our belief shift process, I was free and clear of the tears.

Sometimes we have to dive into something really difficult and go through it so that we can find areas where we need relief and release from the belief data that keeps us from knowing who we really are. But we’re often so fearful of the pain that is there, we’ll do whatever we can to mask or avoid dealing with the emotions as they come up. Some of us even take medications to avoid going there because it is so scary. But by avoiding the work, we avoid going into the dark so that we can pull our soul out of its prison cell.

We are not our emotional states. Emotions are transient. They check into the hotel of our being and stay for a while. Some, like the rockstars they are, trash the place. But we are not our states, as much as we try to convince ourselves that we are. Even our language dictates believing that we are our emotions. (e.g., I am angry, I am sad, I am happy.) We are the larger part of ourselves where we are free and clear of our thoughts, beliefs, and emotions.

Meditation makes the distinction

I am a huge fan of meditation as a tool to get out of the traps of emotions, beliefs and thoughts. You start seeing who you really are in meditative state, and it shows us how we are not our emotions, our thoughts, or our beliefs. Our emotions, thoughts, and beliefs are tools that we use to navigate the matrix of life on earth. If we think that our thoughts, emotions, and beliefs are the things running the show, however, we’re imprisoned. As soon as we get the distinction, we become free.

Emotions show us the path to freedom

Our emotions, however, are quite useful. By allowing them to flow, allowing them to be what they are, they can show us what room they’re staying in within us. They let us know what beliefs we’re carrying around that cause us to make decisions about our life. Our emotions show us where our beliefs are, and it shows us what thoughts are plaguing us.

In the case of my sadness about Sapphire, I realized that I have been plagued by fears and anxiety related to abandonment and loss that stop me from taking certain risks in my life. I feared making certain changes because I was afraid of loss. Even asserting my desires and wants were becoming difficult as these erroneous beliefs were causing me to back down in fear whenever I was challenged.

I didn’t even have to spend hours in therapy looking for the erroneous beliefs. It doesn’t really matter where they came from, and it doesn’t really matter how they’ve caused me pain in the past. I just had to look at what was happening, and ask if it was something I wanted to change.

Often times, we want to make changes in our life, but we’re not quite sure what to do. We may be aware of our emotions, beliefs, and thoughts being separate from the real self, but we’re not quite sure how to leverage those emotions to find what we’re looking for. But our consciousness knows, and if we ask, we’ll get the pathway for clearance loud and clear. Our emotions are the key. The more we ask about what we’re feeling and the beliefs it’s associated with, the easier change becomes.

Quite literally, I was able to reprogram my beliefs without much analysis of where they came from, just by identifying what beliefs were operating, and intuitively determining the new belief and emotions that I would rather experience instead.

In the case of Sapphire, I decided that I would rather just know that no matter what happens, I am okay. So, I reprogrammed my unconscious to believe “I am okay with abandonment,” and “I am okay with loss.” Because really, we’re always okay. We might not like something, but we’re always okay.

Asking the body

Muscle testing is a pretty cool tool for getting at what is going on under the surface of our conscious mind. You know, the part of you that thinks it’s in control and knows what is going on, but the one that also is freaking out about the emotional state taking over. I have known about muscle testing for decades, but I am really lousy at reading it myself. And sometimes how we ask questions of our body can be tricky. Muscle testing is an art form that requires a bit of practice, and feedback from someone else who can help determine whether or not you’re getting something strong.

I started to write up everything that I did, and I realized that it was turning into a short novel. I tried to record a podcast about it, and realized I needed to do this visually. A friend, Armando, contacted me about doing a webinar about what had happened. Come to find out, he knew this process well, too.

So, we did a webinar, specifically about reprogramming the beliefs that create debt. You can view it on YouTube and get an idea of how this process works, and how you can use it to clear unhelpful beliefs. I also go into some detail on how I was able to help other people.

I am hoping to do even more of these webinars, sharing all that I’ve learned through various healing modalities. If you’d like to participate, join the mailing list for announcements!

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Fostering kittens provides awareness

11731966_10153493119337438_8239754883956526393_o The Humane Society put out the call for foster families for a mama cat with five babies. The rest of their foster families were already full, so I stepped up.

Claire and I have been visiting the kitten room at the shelter for a few weeks and we had discussed fostering. Yes, we have two cats of our own and a very awesome golden retriever, but kittens are something special.

Any rational person would look at my life and say, “You’ve got too much going on. Taking care of kittens is the last thing you need.”

But this small act of giving through caring for a mama and her babies is giving us all a lot more in return. It’s a small gift to them, and it is a larger gift of experience for me.

We’ve named them. Three girls, two boys.

Want to meet them?

magiMagi started out as Magellan, the first intrepid explorer to venture out and say hello. He’s very sweet and affectionate. He was also the first kitten to try solid food and is always the first kitten at the door to say hello and climb my ankles, which are looking like I am a piranha victim.

maiaMaia is very sweet and the smallest of the litter. She is a tortie with adorable tan paws. She loves to jump into my lap and invite her brothers to attack her as she defends herself, using my legs as her castle walls. She is especially fond of Claire and never stops playing.

skyaiaSkye is also called Skyaia, to rhyme with her sister Maia. She is shy and was very clear about her boundaries at first. She even did a whole, “talk to the paw” to Claire when she didn’t want to be picked up. She’s starting to warm up to us all, though. She’s curious, very smart, and the first kitten to step up and defend the family from the evil you and I know as the broom. Don’t tell anyone, but she might be our favorite.

midnight-gaiaMidnight isn’t as black as you’d think, but Claire wanted to name a cat midnight. She’s cute, sweet, and has fallen asleep in Claire’s lap more than once. I want to change her name to Gaia, and then we’d have Maia, Gaia, and Skyaia. But alas, Claire insists on Midnight. Max suggested Maddie and Claire used that as another opportunity to start one of our summer arguments I have nicknamed, “when does school start.”

bruceLast but not least, our shy boy, Bruce. It took a while before we figured out his name. It was Dave for a long time. His name is different dependent upon who you ask in the family. Claire called him Dave. Max called him Bartholomew. Mark wanted to name him Donald J. Trump. Hanging out with him over the last few days, I kept accidentally calling him Bruce, looked at him intently and said, “Yep, you’re Bruce!” A few hours later, Claire asked to call him Brooks, which was pretty close. Ever since renaming him Bruce, he’s been more friendly with us. His personality shifted a bit.

My legs look like I’ve been wading in a piranha-infested South American river. I’m covered in scratches and scrapes and little nips from their tiny razor-sharp claws.

I sat watching Sapphire, their mama, nursing them patiently. And I had memories of how I nursed my own children. I watched as the kittens tried solid food for the first time and began the transition of weaning. They’re now knocking down 3 small cans of cat food every day, and I know it won’t be long before they’re all completely weaned and mama will express her disdain with them. It’s all happening very fast.

Too fast. All of it.

mamaSomething very primal in me was awakened, and the temporary nature of all life started becoming very visceral.

In a few weeks, this little family will be broken up as the kittens go back to the shelter to get adopted. They’ll find new families and new humans to love them, new homes to explore. They’ll never see mama again, they’ll never see their siblings.

Right now, they need the safety of a small room, shelter, mama’s protection, and food. But soon, that safety and protection will become restrictive and confining.

And, too, that will happen for my babies who are no longer babies. Max is already starting high school and asserting his own independence. Claire no longer needs me the way she used to. The safety and protection I provide them will no longer suit them and will be confining and restrictive.

Watching Sapphire and her babies, the parenting experience is compressed into a few weeks. Things that to me seem like they’re going to go on forever, like Claire and Max arguing over everything from dinner to naming kittens, that fighting will end. They’ll go off and move in with friends and meet someone special and start their own families. Empty nest. New experiences.

I know, I’ve got years. Sapphire only has weeks.

But watching these guys, I can feel time dissolve into nothingness. I plug into so many endings, so many beginnings, so many transitions. They say life goes by like a blink of an eye, and the older we get the faster it seems to go. What seems like a blink of an eye of this magical experience of meeting Sapphire and her babies for a few short weeks is a microcosm of our own lives as parents. It goes way too fast.

Nothing on this planet is permanent

Even the things that seem permanent can disappear in a heartbeat. Disaster can wipe out entire communities, wiping out all we hold dear. Our relationships will morph and grow, or they will wither and fade away. Even our bodies are just temporary housing. The only thing of permanence is our consciousness, and yet it is the one thing we neglect all too frequently. We wake up in the morning, forget our dreams, and start worrying about everything we have to do for the day… everything that is transient in our life but sucks up so much of our attention. We forget about the one asset that we carry with us for eternity: our very selves.

Sitting with her, I felt tears well up in my eyes, for Sapphire’s little family being broken up soon, for my own family’s eventual and inevitable shifts, for my life that seems to be on hold in certain ways. Everything is going way too fast.

After trying in vain to get happy doing web work again, I found myself at my wits end with everything and everyone. I just cannot do it anymore. There is no joy, no creativity, no passion. I found myself pushing pixels for dollars, and wondering why I felt so horrible doing it. And in so doing, I was avoiding the one thing I needed to do. It’s too hard, I thought. Too complicated. It challenges other people in my life that get threatened when I speak out about what I see happening in the world. It is too challenging for some when I speak out about pretty much anything. I was allowing others’ discomfort to silence me, though I know deep down their discomfort is their thing and I need to get clear and clean with my own voice.

It’s not just me

On the global scale, we’re going through so many changes. It is like labor pains, as a new way of being human is being birthed. We get squeezed. We know something is going to change in a big way, but we have no idea when and we have no idea what the new way of being is going to look like.

Like a mama in her 9th month, we’re feeling done with the experience of being pregnant, and we’re ready for something new to show up. We keep looking for signs, wondering how much we’re dilated and effaced, looking for anything to give us an idea that our next experience is here.

And like a mama in her 9th month, we have no idea. We don’t know. We aren’t going to know. But when it’s time, you KNOW. There’s no question about it; when it’s time, it is time.

So when you’re in this place between a dying experience and a rebirth, what do you do? Do you distract yourself looking for signs? Do you scan the news, social media, and message boards looking for a sign of impending rebirth? Or do you just live out today the best you can?

Balancing knowing and not knowing

Likely, it’s a little of both. But there is great power in not knowing, in just allowing it to unfold the way it will. To know that you’re here, you’re still here for a reason. That you’re holding space for yourself and others to become more than you ever allowed yourself to be. That you’re expanding into a new world that will no longer restrict you. But along with that new world, you’re going to have to let go of what you think is so true for you.

mama-skyaiaFor today, Sapphire and her little family are here, safe, cared for, and loved. Soon, they’ll be off on great adventures of love and experience elsewhere.

For today, we’re all here and loved. Whatever tomorrow brings, trust that it will bring adventure, love, and excitement. We’re too confined and shut down in this system, and whatever happens next will give us much more freedom to explore. It has to.

But that freedom comes with a whole ton of uncertainty. It’s time to get really comfortable with that and welcome it. It’s time for us to step into ourselves, to grow up and move out of the nest as human beings, and claim our true power. That power is rooted in love and grace, and it’s that love and grace that are going to ground us and see us through.

Doesn’t mean there won’t be tears at the loss of what we no longer need, but trust that what’s on the other side is stepping into a playground of unlimited possibility and freedom.

 

Living in Mount Shasta

I was asked by someone if it is expensive to live in Mount Shasta. The answer started unpacking in a number of different ways, so I figured it was a good writing prompt. What is it like to live in Mount Shasta?

Of course, after 6 years of living here, I have my own perspectives on things. Other people’s experience of Mount Shasta might be completely different. But this is what it is like for me.

Is it expensive? Yes and no. Like most of California, there is a wide disparity between the haves and the have-nots. There are many more have-nots in Siskiyou County than there are haves. If you want to live somewhere in the middle, there are not a lot of options.

Housing. Finding nice, clean, inexpensive housing in Mount Shasta is next to impossible. If you’ve found it, you have found the proverbial housing unicorn. Enjoy it.

Housing is split between small rentals where owners just don’t care and won’t fix a darn thing or expensive 4,000 s.f. houses that are triple the rental price of a small rental. Finding something in between is rare.

Living in Mount Shasta or close to the city is the most challenging. There is plenty of housing out in Lake Shastina, but you’re then 30 minutes from town. Even getting to Weed is a long trip from Shastina. There’s Dunsmuir, a small town south of Mount Shasta with fantastic restaurants and a quaint downtown. Houses there are typically older and smaller, but less expensive than Mount Shasta City.

Shopping. Groceries here are expensive. The local grocery store, Ray’s Food Place, is typically twice the price of shopping in Redding or Medford, Oregon, the two larger cities south and north of us. There is a stealthy protester who puts post-it notes on food in the store letting us know we can get things 1/2 of the marked price at Walmart. There is a really fantastic, small organic grocery store, Berryvale. The food is fresh and all organic, but it also comes with a price. There’s also a small grocer, Mount Shasta Market which is a quick easy-in, easy-out market that also makes a great bbq chicken if you’re into that.

Shopping at big box stores, or shopping anywhere really, is a challenge. The only big box store in the county is Walmart in Yreka. Yreka has a good grocery store next to the Walmart, so sometimes I’ll swallow my pride and hit Walmart and Raley’s for shopping when I don’t want to go all the way to Redding or Medford.

Most of the stores in town cater to tourists, but we have a few real gems. A great health food/supplement store, a specialty tea store, and a few other boutiques.

Food. It is very easy to support local farmers, which makes shopping challenges less of a pain. The farmers market, a herd share for fresh raw milk, a local coffee roaster, and everyone and their brother raises chickens and has at the very least a backyard farm. In the summertime, there are plenty of opportunities to get fresh, organic locally grown produce. Almost everyone makes their own kombucha and grows at least some of their own food.

Restaurants. Mount Shasta has a couple of good restaurants, and Dunsmuir is loaded with good restaurants. Hours are wacky no matter where you go, so always check if they’re open. Most places close fairly early.

Nightlife. Uhm, no. I think there is one bar, I’ve never been. I’d rather go look at some stars at night. Or sleep. Sleep is so underrated.

Jobs. Hahaha. There are no jobs here to speak of. There is no manufacturing other than a lumber mill in Weed. Crystal Geyser is opening a bottling facility which they say is going to bring the area jobs, but not many of them. There are jobs in healthcare at the hospital, but since I’ve been here, there have been rumors of the hospital closing. Best bet: work from home for a company elsewhere, be an internet entrepreneur, or fabulously wealthy. Oh, or a pot grower. There are a ton of pot growers all over northern California.

Healthcare. It is VERY easy to find alternative health support here. Of course, we’ve got a hospital and doctors that are willing to prescribe mainstream medications if that’s your thing, but if you’re looking to manage your health in a less invasive and less toxic way, in a way that supports your connection to nature, you can find that in Mount Shasta. Acupuncture, chiropractic, energy healing, herbalists, and of course food as medicine are all par for the course. And even some of the mainstream doctors are as suspicious of mainstream pharmaceuticals as I am and prescribe nutritional support instead of medications.

Things to do. If you’re not really into outdoor activities, Mount Shasta is probably not for you. If you’re into outdoor stuff, you’ll absolutely love it here. Lake Siskiyou is a magical place. Just walking there does something for me. The mountain has many magical places to explore. The trees are immensely beautiful. The natural environment here is so supportive of our spirit. Hiking, boating, skiing, just being outside does something to my soul.

The train. Mount Shasta City is a valley between mountains. You’ve got Mount Shasta to the east, and the Eddy’s to the west. In between you’ve got Interstate 5, which you will travel on a lot, and there’s the train. You’ll hear the train everywhere. If you’re in town, you’ll hear it a lot. If you’re outside of town like I am, you’ll hear it a lot. Sometimes it’s this sweet haunting sound off in the distance. Other times it seems like it is in your backyard.

The snow. When I first moved here, it snowed hard and a lot. If a storm was coming, forecasts were in feet not inches. In the last few years, we haven’t had any snow to speak of. I never thought I would say it, but I miss the snow.

The cold. I came from Chicago. The cold does not really bother me. And the cold of Chicago was much, much worse. Our typical winter temps are in the 20’s at night and in the 40’s in the daytime. We’ll have some a little colder, some a little warmer. But typically, it is not that bad.

The summer. The glorious summer. The wonderful, hypnotically enticing summer. Cool at night, warm during the day, dry clean mountain air, crystal clear, deep blue skies, a Shasta summer is typically something to behold. Lately, we’ve had crappy summers. We’ve had a few glimpses of those wonderful Shasta days, but I miss them.

Fires. With the drought and dry, hot summers,  fires happen in California and Oregon. Fires could be happening miles and miles away, and the smoke can still affect us.

The people. Nearly everyone I know here is spiritually inclined in some way. Even the Christians I know are very devoted to their belief system. There are a ton of people who are into new age thought, probably more per capita than anywhere else. It is quite common to meet people who believe in alternative belief systems, and talking about energetic weather is about as common as talking about the weather itself.

Mount Shasta is partially a transient town. People come and go a lot. Actually, I was expecting to come for a little while and go, but apparently I cannot go. I’ve been told that this is one of the few places on earth that matches my frequency. So I am here, for now, and I’ll stay here for as long as I need to. Because people come and go so frequently, some locals are a little standoffish. I understand it; you meet someone but you’re not really sure if they’re going to be here next week or not.  Once you do connect with people, it feels as if you’ve met an old friend from many decades (or lifetimes) ago.

Once someone has been around for a few years, there seems to be a different type of camaraderie here than I have experienced elsewhere. There is a relaxed nature with people, a place where you can really fully be yourself.

Raising kids. Raising kids here is spectacular. I have absolute trust allowing my teenager to run around town, and there are enough outdoor activities for my younger kiddo to stay active. I’ve found a home with the local charter school. My kids absolutely love school, learning, and their teachers.

Politics. As with everywhere on earth, there are local politics. Siskiyou County tends to be a red county, an outlier in blue-state California. However, most people I know are fairly socially liberal with a live-and-let-live attitude, but quite libertarian in desiring freedom from government oversight. Sometimes things happen statewide that make perfect sense for Los Angeles but no sense for a rural area like Siskiyou County. There was a push in 1941 to create a new state called Jefferson, however, after Pearl Harbor, it was abandoned. It was not abandoned in the hearts and minds of the people who live here, however. The desire for many to escape the tyranny of Sacramento is still an issue.

Honestly, it does not feel like California. Anything north of Sacramento has a much different feel altogether. Shasta is, in many ways, an oasis in the middle of it all, almost like it doesn’t belong to the region, almost like it doesn’t belong to the earth.

Could I live somewhere else? Probably. But from an energetic standpoint, this place is home for me. During a vacation 6 years ago, a few months before we moved here, I heard very strongly, “You can take care of yourself here. And if you can take care of yourself, you can take care of your family better.” And so it has been that way. Here, I somehow find ways to take care of myself a little better than I could elsewhere. I have more work to do, however, and I have gotten some strong messages that I need to stay here for quite some more time.

After all, life is about going with the flow. It’s about going with what feels right. It is about moving through life in the easiest way. And thinking about moving anywhere else doesn’t work. I’ve tried looking elsewhere, and I hit nothing but dead ends. I’m supposed to stay here.

So, that’s kind of what life is like here in Mount Shasta, for me anyway. I’ve found my paradise on earth, and earth is going to have to change a lot before I find comfort elsewhere.

 

 

 

Your True Self

Do you know who you really are?

We define ourselves by our roles in life: our jobs, our career, our roles as mother, father, wife, or husband. We define ourselves by our status, our home, or our cars, boats, or toys.

All of these things define us in the three dimensional world, yet none of these things define who we really are. All of the roles can change in a heartbeat, but who we really are never changes.

When we die and look back over our life experiences, we won’t remember the things, the toys, or the jobs. We’ll remember who and how much we loved.

In essence, who we really are is love. Who we really are is joy.

When you strip away all of the accoutrements of life on planet earth, we are only love. And yet, we spend very little of our time in this time and space matrix, experiencing who we really are.

I mean, really. How much of every day is spent feeling that connection to all that is through the feeling of love for others, love of earth, and love of life itself? If you’re like me, likely not very much. And yet, that’s all we are underneath our emotional and mental patterns.

Do you know what Satori is? (If not, it is defined as a sudden enlightenment and a state of consciousness attained by intuitive illumination.) It is a feeling of that connection and knowingness. I’ve felt it a few times in my life, I mean, REALLY felt it.

How often do you have those feelings of enlightenment and illumination? Is it the exception rather than the rule? How can we switch that experience so that enlightened experiences happen more frequently?

In the reality we are now creating, Satori experiences will begin to become more normalized, not the exception. In the reality that we are now creating, knowing who you really are and experiencing your true self every day is going to be much more normal and accepted. It’s part of humanity’s awakening, and it is why so many systems are dying on this planet right now.

Wouldn’t that be great? How would your relationships with others change for the better if you could experience who you really are — and even who they really are — on a regular basis?

It won’t come from outside of you

But often, we sit waiting for events on the outside to show up to make us feel that. Remember all of those times you waited for someone to call, but you didn’t want to break tradition and call them? Remember how you would say things like, “If only I could have that car, I would be happy.” Or “If only I had that house, that husband, or those clothes.” Or even worse, we never find happiness. We instead get locked into the experience of avoiding fear. “As long as the economy is going great and I have money, I will be happy.” And yet, you start getting money, and you are never happy. How much is enough?

What a crazy concept to the real you. The real you is happiness. Happiness is not something that shows up in a 3 dimensional object. Happiness is something that you are. It is you. Love is you. Anything that gets in the way of you being you is just distraction and garbage. It is not the truth of who you are.

I stopped waking up first thing in the morning to check my email. It took some discipline and commitment, but I found that it got my brain spinning in directions I didn’t want it to go just yet. I have all day to worry about getting things done, but my mornings are special. I enjoy my time communing with spirit and remembering who I am. I get up very early (5:30 am) to have this time. And this is my time to write, my time to connect, and my time to remember. It infuses my day with a remembrance that this world is temporary, but the real me is eternal.

Are you remembering your eternal self on a regular basis, or are you getting lost in the three dimensional reality?

When you sleep, you visit other worlds. In dream state, you let go of all that you think you are, and you realize that your roles are malleable and impermanent. You play. You explore other probable selves in other space/time games.

And you think this is the reality, and the dream state is not. What if that were reversed? What if this is not real, and the dream state is much more reflective of who you really are?

Bringing Home Here

I have recently come across Dolores Cannon’s work. She talks about the three waves of “volunteers” who came to this earth to help escort the shift through. I am definitely one of these beings, as are many of the people I know. I see elements in all of them. One of the biggest ways I know when someone is of another place is that they often say, “I’m just tired. I want to go home, but I don’t know where home is.”

Wherever this home is, there is a definite experience of knowing the self much more than life experience on earth. And when we express that we want to go home, we are really expressing that we want to feel that connection again.

I’ve discovered that it is not hard.

Remembering who you are is like a muscle of experience. Like our intuitive selves, it comes through to us when we practice concentrating our attention on the feeling. We create our experience of life here on earth through our beliefs and attitudes towards it, and we have much more power and control over those beliefs, attitudes and experience than we would ever allow ourselves.

But now, it is time.

It’s time for us to start coming forth and choosing the power over our experience. And we do that through our decision to exercise our minds.

Connecting to your home

Drop your attention into your heart center. You’re likely spending lots of time in your mind, but your heart center has more power over your experience than you realize. As you drop your attention to your heart, imagine that it is a place where two energies meet. Imagine universal energy coming in from the space above your head and traveling down to your heart. Imagine energy coming up from the center of the earth and meeting the universal energy there. Imagine that there is so much energy coming from these sources that your heart awareness expands. Imagine that this energy is swirling in your heart center. This energy is you. This energy is love, joy, happiness, and excitement, and it is all that you are. You are one with the earth and one with the universe, and that energy blended is your creative power of manifestation.

Choose one object, preferably inanimate. Concentrate that energy like a beam of light coming forth from your chest and send this energy out to this object. As you are concentrating and holding this energy, use your mind for what it is good for: observation. Observe the magic of what happens. Try to hold this awareness for at least 3 minutes.

I won’t tell you what happens when I do this, but I will tell you to not only observe this object, but observe yourself, too. What do you feel when you hold this experience? What do you notice in this object?

I am going to bet that something shifts, but that something depends on you. You’re not going to change, the object is not going to change, but your awareness is going to change. What’s going to change is something that isn’t you, something that is not the object, something that is not even real.

Something falls away when you start to experience who you really are through concentration and focus. Something falls away when you start connecting with the knowledge that you are more than you ever allowed yourself to be.

Who you really are is so much more than what you have ever been taught, told, or allowed.

And yet, it is all you ever are. It is all you ever will be. Isn’t that great? How does it get any better than that?

 

The Internet: Training Wheels for Telepathy

Humanity has always been intuitive, however in modern times, we have been taught that our intellect is of utmost importance.

Of course, our intellect is very powerful, and it has been very useful. However, believing that our intellect is the only thing we’ve got going for us is like saying that having our right hand is more important than our left hand.

If we write with our right hand, it seems as if it is the most important because we use it most. However, our left hands are just as good, just as capable, if only we would train it to do things other than sit by watching the right hand have all the fun.

Similarly, our intuitive selves, our magical selves, the parts of us with higher knowledge and awareness, sit by and watch our intellect try to figure everything out. If only they would let me play, it thinks. We could have so much more fun.

So the magical self, the intuitive self that is much more aware of our place in the universe, plays with us. It sends us synchronicities and inexplicable magic. We think of someone, and then the telephone rings. We have a strange feeling to do something, follow it, and end up in a synchronistic meeting with someone who can help us with our goals. We have a dream and it comes true.

We worry, and yet we’re okay. In spite of our intellectual worrying and fretting, we end up okay. Somehow, we end up better than okay.

And our magical selves sit back and watch, celebrating our experience and excitement at how unique and magical it all is. These experiences open us up more to the reality of what we really experience here on earth, the amazement and awe of all that is expressed in three dimensional form here on earth.

If our intellects would just step back for a moment, if we could get out of our own way for a split second, that awareness of our true magical selves and our true magical experience could come through.

Our Training Wheels

Now, we have these magical smartphone devices that we carry everywhere, with apps galore allowing us to connect with any other human being on the planet. However, didn’t we always have that ability intuitively?

What if the internet, the smart phones, these apps where we can tune into whoever we want, what if they’re just our training wheels?

What if we don’t really need technology to do all of these things?

What if the internet is simply our training wheels getting us ready for something much more powerful?

yes, she usually has on a helmetMy daughter, Claire, has not wanted to ride her bike for two years. She fell fairly significantly two years ago, and she’s not wanted to get back on her bike since the fall. But she’s turning seven now, and I implored her to get back on it and learn how to ride. She’s still using her training wheels, just to get used to other elements of the bike like pedaling, braking, and steering. Having to balance and learn the other elements at the same time is too overpowering and makes her give up.

Technology is giving us the capability of experiencing the interconnectedness of All That Is without having to balance and realize its all us anyway. Space and time in this world of ours are constructs of the matrix we live in. In other words, space and time don’t really exist. And we’re getting to experience that in depth using technology. But the experience of spaceless and timeless self exists much more within us if we would only look within. We’re going to have to start riding without the training wheels of technology rather soon, and intuitive experiences, telepathic experiences, and spaceless and timeless experiences are going to become much more… normal.

We don’t need the technology to do it, but since we don’t believe we can get on the bike and ride without training wheels, we aren’t going to do it. Our belief in what is possible, or rather our belief in what is not possible, stops us from experimenting and experiencing the true reality of who we really are.

Perspective Matters

One thing that I notice most about how we are using our training wheels, however, is that we are using it within a dying paradigm. Let me explain.

When you first wake up in the morning, what do you do? You check your phone, your connections, your emails, your social media. You check the news to see what is going on.

During that incredibly impressionable state, you dump fear-based thoughts and judgments into your mind. You immediately start feeding the patterns of the past, patterns that no longer serve you. You compare yourselves to others, you start feeling that there is nothing left to say that hasn’t already been said, you shut yourself down because of fear.

Ah, just the way “they” like you.

For far too many generations, people have been motivated by the patterns of experience that do not serve their growth. Would you rather do things because you love them and are excited by them? Or would you rather do things because you are trying to avoid pain, because you are fearful of what may happen if you don’t?

Fear-based motivations are part of a paradigm of humanity that no longer serves us, yet it is being used tremendously to keep you paralyzed from your personal growth and experience that bring you joy. If you are worried about war, economic collapse, or being able to feed your family, you will not have the emotional, intuitive, or spiritual bandwidth to explore what brings you joy.

And yet, that joy sits waiting for you to open up to it.

Now that you’ve ridden the bike without training wheels, it is time for you to start practicing riding without. It is time to start going within yourself and finding the connections of spirit that serve you. There is an entire world of experience within you, and there are connections you cannot even fathom at this point. Remember the Dr. Suess book, Oh the Places You’ll Go? We cannot begin to even understand how much our experience is expanding, if only we will give our magical selves the time to explore.

It might feel weird at first, a little like writing with our non-dominant hand. But the more we try, the more we experience those connections, the more normal it will feel.

And as you are exploring the internet within yourselves, start using the internet of the third dimensional world in a way that suits you more. The fear-based paradigm of motivating humanity to do the bidding of a few is dying, and it is time for you to let it die. But if you keep using your tools to stay within the death spiral of humanity’s shackles, you will remain confined.

Use your internet in a way that suits you, in a way that supports joy, love, and peace, and the travels of consciousness will seem much more natural to you.

Humanity has always been intuitive, but we’ve allowed our magical selves to remain latent. As we start allowing ourselves to become all that we truly are, our world will become all that it truly is. You see, it always has been that way. It’s just that we haven’t allowed ourselves to see that magic.

It’s time to wake up.

Oh, and Claire is getting better day by day with the bike. She’s not quite ready to let go of training wheels, but eventually she will. Eventually we all will. Eventually we will all be free of the beliefs that keep us shut down.

What’s next

All of this contemplation came via intuition. And it leads me to wonder what’s next. If the internet is the training wheels for our intuitive, telepathic, and creative selves, what is next? What’s the next big thing?

I think it’s going to be free energy, fossil-fuel free travel, and shifts away from traditional education to start.

Society and our structures of support have a long way to go before they mirror who we really are, but I think some big shifts are forthcoming that will allow that support system to unfold.

 

Your body, your health, your choice

I ended up watching a documentary last week called Oxyana, about a town called Oceana, West Virginia that has been decimated by oxycontin abuse. It is not an easy watch, but I got sucked in. It’s a powerful story, powerfully told.

It’s unfortunate that it is not fiction.

I started doing research. It’s not just small towns in West Virginia. It’s everywhere. Here’s another documentary about Staten Island and the epidemic of opiate pharmaceutical abuse that has turned into heroin addiction. Kentucky sued the maker of oxycontin because of the devastation in their state. It looks like it is everywhere.

Prescription drug abuse is rampant in this country. And our country and our youth are being decimated by addictive prescription abuse.

Through my research, I found that doctors are trained by the pharma company sales staff to prescribe 30 day supply of opiates for even minor pain management. Thirty days. After 30 days, those unfortunate souls who trusted their doctor without doing their own research are addicted. Stopping means withdrawals. And then they spiral into the hell of addiction, not to get high, but to just avoid painful withdrawals.

Digging further, I found out that these pharmaceutical companies knew that these drugs were highly addictive before they marketed them. Kentucky’s lawsuit exposed the alarming fact that the maker of Oxycontin knew it was highly addictive and did not disclose this information to doctors or patients.

Oxycontin. Meet the Oxycontin Clan. They’re the newest members in the Forbes richest families list. Believe me, if you read the article about their wealth and watch Oxyana in the same day, try not to eat any heavy foods that will taste bad on the way back up.

I’ve never been a big fan of mainstream medicine. When Max was a baby, I read a number of alternative parenting books that encouraged me to question everything about his healthcare. Even still, I had a horrific experience in the hospital where he was born. I was often pitted against ill-informed and condescending practitioners who advised me to do things that medical studies did not support (e.g., stop breastfeeding and formula feed because he had jaundice). After some other experiences with mainstream healthcare, my trust in the system is shot.

So, excuse me if I am a little leery of being forced into a healthcare system that does not exactly have our health as a primary motivational factor. (In case you haven’t noticed, it seems to be more about profits. I know. Imagine that.) When Obamacare came around and my once-affordable catastrophic healthcare insurance plan became wholly unaffordable, I was forced into a government mandated healthcare management plan that has created more logistical nightmares than it has helped me. (Apparently it’s well known that California’s Obamacare initiative, Covered California, is not faring very well. It’s a good thing they’re handing out pay increases to executives.)

After watching the destruction of human lives by pharmaceutical non-disclosure, I guess you could say I am a little fired up about the hell of large pharmaceutical companies, you know the ones… the ones that go through extreme efforts to discredit doctors that might have concerns about their products, whether it is Vioxx or vaccines. (I’m looking at you, Merck.)

I’m supposed to trust these companies to do the right things? I am supposed to trust these guys, the ones negotiating behind closed doors on the TPP, the ones that sneak through executive orders requiring girls to be vaccinated with Gardasil, the ones pushing for mandatory vaccination (nice job, California), the ones allegedly falsifying efficacy data of those same vaccines, the ones selling Oxycontin and ruining lives? I’m supposed to trust the CDC, an entity that has been found to have severe conflicts of interest in 64% of their advisors?

Instead of ensuring that medications and vaccines are as safe and effective as possible, our government ensures that we’re locked into a system from which there is not much escape. A system that, in my experience and opinion, creates more problems than it solves, a system that does more harm than good.

I’d say there ought to be a law, but I lost my faith in government solutions a long time ago. There needs to be a movement… a movement to encourage people to take back their healthcare away from these systems that destroy more than they heal.

Fixing the problems in healthcare is not going to come from the government. It’s going to come from you, me, and other people who wake up to the lie that has been foisted upon the American people that these drugs being marketed to us are always safe and effective. It’s going to come from us opting out of a system that ensnares and entraps those most vulnerable.

Your health is your greatest asset, and you are the only one entrusted with protecting your health and making good decisions about that asset. What you eat matters. What you consider medicine matters. What you think matters. You can’t just turn over responsibility for these types of decisions to someone else and pay them to make choices for you.

We fought long and hard for choices in healthcare for women, but now we’re losing those choices by blindly trusting an industry that cares more about profits than the people they treat. We’re losing those choices to lobbyists advocating for further profit centers without liability. If we don’t start making choices for our own health, we’re going to lose them altogether.

 

 

Love

The question of healing came up recently when someone wrote to Mark about one of his meditations and how it had helped them heal back pain. I started thinking a lot about healing, and why meditation and focused thought can create such dramatic shifts in our experience.

I’ve experienced some strange healing over the course of my lifetime. When I was first attuned to Reiki quite a few years ago (I’m actually a master trainer of Reiki), I experienced quite a dramatic healing. I was sick for about a week prior to my Reiki attunement, but afterward I was healed.

Since then, I’ve experienced quite a few healings that seemingly came from nowhere. And after learning about ho’oponopono from Mark, I have come to a deeper understanding of what heals. Healing is the release from everything that we aren’t. Illness and pain (whether physical or emotional) are not our natural state.

So what is? As so many religions and spiritual traditions teach us, love is all that is. God is love. Spirit is love. We are all love. So, I believe that love is our natural state.

Yet, it is one of those things that no one really wants to talk about.

What is love?

(Oh dear. I hope I didn’t get that Haddaway song in your head.)

I remember when I thought love was getting men to like me. I probably read way too many issues of Cosmopolitan magazine as a teenager and in college. After having a few altered experiences, and after a number of ill-fated and failed relationships, I know that love is a lot more than that.

With all of this life experience loving, there is one thing I can say for certain:  relationships and the games we play in them aren’t love.

Love is much simpler than that… it is all that we are. It is our attention and appreciation without agendas or games. It is rather simple in experience, yet it moves mountains and heals pretty much everything.

Love is our natural state — underneath all of the beliefs, thoughts, emotions and patterns we think define us.

That’s right, love is not an emotion. It’s not a belief or a thought. It’s not a pattern. Emotions, thoughts, beliefs, and patterns are all transient experiences that come into us for a short time, trash the place, and then move on. We are not our emotions or thoughts, and learning to meditate and separate from our emotions and patterns is highly valuable in the exploration of the self.

Love is a force that exists within us that we can’t be taught about in school, at work, or even in relationships. It’s something we have to explore on our own. I can’t even tell you much about it; it is something you have to experience for yourself.

If we want to be loved, we have to love. We have to feel love for ourselves and others before we can really understand what love is. We have to discover the love that resides within us before we can understand someone else’s love. And honestly, the love we feel from others is a reflection of the love we feel for ourselves.

Why we never learn how to love ourselves

Ever notice how many broken people are walking around on the face of the earth? I see them sometimes, and I study their energetic patterns and find so much sadness. There is no self love or appreciation, only patterns of hurt and protection surrounding a broken heart. There has been so much hurt and heartache in life, and it can take a lifetime to heal from it all. We’re all zombies at times, walking around with these patterns that don’t serve us and just create more pain.

So many broken people seem to perpetuate more broken people. Parents want well-behaved children, and it’s usually the loud, vibrant, and passionate children who are more full of love. Schools want us to sit, listen, and learn. Work wants us to produce and follow rules. Even shopping has its rules that we’re not supposed to break.

Where in life do we learn how to love? Where do we learn how to sing, dance, and feel passion? Where do we learn how to find out what makes us happy? Why isn’t that a part of how we teach our children?

The reason we never learn how to love ourselves — or others — is that there is no real motivation for anyone out there to teach us how to really love ourselves or others. And that’s a darn shame. We’ve got all of these people running around poking each other with their broken pieces, creating more hurt and sadness, and no one really taking our hands and fully loving.

I am guilty of a lot of this, too. It’s not that I have it all figured out, but I am getting more and more glimpses of how I would rather be.

How to discover true love

The only way we really figure out love — no matter if our goal is to find more passion in life, a better relationship, or just better experiences with the people in our lives — is to explore the love that we are. It is all inside of us, waiting to be discovered. It really is our natural state outside of our beliefs, thoughts, patterns and emotions. We really are, no matter our age, those passionate happy children who just want to have fun all day with whatever makes us happy.

Be as little children… and discover the happiness, passion, and love that resides within us. It is our birthright, and it is our natural state.

But how…

I recorded a short exercise to help with that experience. So many of us are disconnected from our heart center that we aren’t aware that the love we seek resides inside of us. The exercise is rather simple and easy, and with most meditative exercises, it is simply the focus of attention. Have a listen, and start exploring the love that you are.