Monthly Archives: May 2015

The Light of Truth Shines Brightly

“When you speak your truth, things that are not true get burned away.”  -Tom Kenyon

There is a light in our truth that is full and bright. It’s as if when we find our alignment with it, we can begin to release the story that we have spent a lifetime clinging to, merely because it seemed to define us in a way that felt safe or made sense.

On an energetic level, our stories reflect years of experience, each a little glimpse of events that happened and feelings that have been felt that have stored themselves in our energy bodies. These imprints are just that – happenings that present a picture or a video of all the different things that have made us us. They show up through images, sensations, feelings and more. They are our complete history, unbiased and pure.

Emotionally, we take these events and we experience feelings around what they mean for us. Our emotions arise and oftentimes, because they are uncomfortable or because they feel threatening or because we just can’t, we push them down and away and hope that we can just leave them in a forgotten corner of our psyche. We may even do a good job of allowing the cobwebs to form around these emotions, believing that the more mesh that forms, the more safely hidden our selves will be. This can be a highly protective measure, and it may play an important role in our ability to move forward – for a time.

Just like the energetic body, the physical body can’t lie. Our minds can lie. They can tell us that it’s just better to stow things away, that feeling the pain will only make it worse, that we are fine and that everything will be great if we can just forget, if we can just push things down and away and “get on with it already.” But the body knows better. It’s smart and it’s truthful and it knows exactly what our light looks like. In fact, it loves our light and it craves it and it strives to be in alignment with it so that we can truly feel good and not just fake our way to an appearance of good.

And so when our light isn’t shining or when there are so many cobwebs covering our secrets that the light can’t reach them, the body begins to react. It may express itself as a disease, the physical manifestation of a rash or a headache, or as a pain in our shoulder (and anything in between). It may show itself as tears that start to flow for no apparent reason or as an angry outburst that we know to be inappropriate but that we can’t seem to stem anyway. But it will let us know. It can cripple us if we continue to look away, and it will carry on knocking on our door until we pay attention, until we acknowledge what’s going on, until we pull out the flashlight and the magnifying glass and ask the questions that need to be asked.

And when the light of truth begins to shine, the magic can begin. The stories that we’ve insisted on binding together into our personal tomes of carefully constructed reality can begin to restructure themselves. We get to do a rewrite, one that feels bold and empowering. We get to edit in a way that allows the distortions to dissipate and fade, to release and heal.

That’s when the stuff that isn’t true loses its hold on us. When our genuine essence begins to glow, its embers burn away the untruths that limited us and held us back from expressing who we truly are. It allows us to shine and that light helps us to find our way. We begin the journey to feeling and being whole. This can be our greatest triumph and our greatest gift. It is a miracle, a shift in perception that returns us to our true self.

Nice + Assertive = Authentic + Empowered

Assertiveness can be very difficult. Most of us have grown up during a time in which we are taught to put the needs of others over our own. We are often shown that the happiness of those around us is more important than ours and that we should do whatever it takes to maintain peace in a relationship. For those of us too who are sensitive to the energies of others, assertiveness can feel risky: What if we hurt their feelings? What happens if they don’t like what we say? We often choose the perceived peace of mind of another over our own needs.

Being assertive and establishing healthy personal boundaries took me years to understand and it still challenges me constantly. Historically, it has been hard for me to ask for what I need. It has always seemed easier/safer/calmer to just step back and allow others to do what they needed to do, even when it meant that my needs weren’t being met. I was terrified of being rejected and/or frightened that I might hurt the other person by asking for what felt right for me. Ultimately, though, my passivity meant that I wasn’t taking responsibility for my own feelings; I was instead placing my emotional wellbeing in the hands of others while simultaneously not supplying them with all of the information.

I love this equation that a client’s guides passed on to her through me the other day: nice + assertive = authentic + empowered. I spent a lot of time being nice + passive. What this ultimately engendered was a sense of resentment towards those that I was allowing to overstep boundaries with me. I assumed others should just know how I felt, and I was afraid I would be pushed away if I spoke up and shared my feelings openly and fully. And so time and again, the problem became a snowball that would quickly pick up steam as it rolled down and ever-steepening hill.

Eventually I learned that everybody is responsible for their own emotions. This doesn’t give me or anyone else the right to treat someone poorly, but it does demand of us that we be honest and allow the other person in question the opportunity to respond in the way that is true to them. Assertiveness engenders respect for ourselves and the people in our lives. It asks us to put our needs in a place of importance; it predicates that we be accountable to ourselves and that we suit up and show up in our lives.

It also shows others that we care enough about them to be honest, open and vulnerable with them. We get the opportunity to show the people that we choose to have in our life that we trust them with our essential being. It is a way of being true to all involved and it fosters a connection in which all parties trust their ability to speak up and be heard without shame or fear. When we are able to share of ourselves in this way, we have an opportunity to express ourselves in a manner that is empowering versus cowering in a state of very disempowered martyrdom.

My heart still skips a beat or two when I think about opening so fully to someone in this way, but I know that if I’m not genuine with others, my heart will close off just a little bit more each time. I know that I can’t go back to the darkness that I used to feel when I was too scared to be me. If I am to continue to grow and expand, I must continue to be open and to take risks. I must trust myself and those that are near and dear to me. If they reject me for being me, then I must know that this person is just not a match to who I most am. I have to believe in myself fully and completely and above all else, even when it feels nearly impossible to do so. The fear is very real, but the reward? The reward is empowerment, freedom and the sense of being in true alignment with my soul. It is a knowing as well that the people that are in my life love me with full knowledge of who I am and what I need from them. There are no guessing games or manipulations or walls to maneuver around. It’s just us, two people, connecting heart to heart and soul to soul, and that is truly amazing.

Telling the Heart

“I’ve become so intimate with fear/I am now the presence that exists at the end of it.”

— Meggan Watterson

Fear was like this three-headed monster that hung over me for most of my life. When I look back at my youth and my early (and even into mid-) adulthood, most of the memories that I do have (I’m missing many) feel heavy. As an empath, I felt everything and I had no language to understand it. I didn’t know that it was Mary’s anger, or the cashier’s pain, or my friend’s frustration that I was feeling, I just knew that I was feeling crushed by a need to take care of everyone and an overwhelming fear that I would never be able to do so and that I would somehow be hurt in the process.

The fear grew and grew until it encompassed just about every area of my life. I was a straight-A student afraid of failing, an all-star athlete afraid of not making a goal or hitting a handspring on the vault. When I discovered alcohol and drugs in high school, the pressure finally felt relieved. I felt like I could say, “Fuck it!” without caring as much what that really meant. I began hiding behind a wall while simultaneously building it higher and higher. I still performed well, but even that just became bricks and mortar for the sealing of my self-imposed limitations.

I was terrified of putting myself out into the world in a real way, of being vulnerable, of feeling more than I already felt. I was so, so scared to feel. It was too much and the thought of failing in anything that was a true expression of who I was felt too scary to even attempt. I stayed small, safe, hidden. I deflected, projected, and pushed.

I had many mini-turning points towards becoming courageous, beginning with sobriety. Committing to not drinking or drugging on a day-to-day basis was huge and it gave me a glimpse of a different possibility, one in which I could actually be awake in my own life. Lots of energy healing helped me to start peeling away the layers of self-deprecation that I had layered on over the years and gave me a glimpse of my potential. It also helped me to shift patterns around past trauma that were contributing to my fear.

After a workshop with Jennifer Pastiloff, I decided to do one thing every day that scared me regardless of whether that one thing was to open a piece of mail, accept a phone call, or tell someone I loved them. Every time I felt scared, I asked myself if I could do it anyway, despite the fear. Almost always the answer was yes. Sometimes I had to put a thing or two on a back burner and do something a little less frightening that day instead. And eventually – though honestly it was relatively very quickly – things just didn’t have the same hold over me anymore. What happened was that I built a faith muscle that showed me over and over again that no matter what came to pass, I was okay.

This shift in perception allowed me to move fully onto my path as a healer and coach, and it was what now allows me to help others to do the same. I have had to say “yes” over and over again. Sometimes it is still hard. Sometimes I need a friend or a colleague to see the fear in my eyes and remind me that I am ready and that I can do it before I can jump. And sometimes I take things really slowly because it just feels better to do so.

Originally, the meaning of the word courage was, “To speak one’s mind by telling all one’s heart.” I love this. When I tell my heart, I feel good despite the fear that may have been there. And when I tell my heart by expressing the most authentic me that I can out in the world, my heart expands and fills with even more love that can be shared.

Finding our path and shifting onto it is an act of courage and perseverance. It asks us to open ourselves up fully and completely in a way that allows us to express our gifts in the world without fear of judgment or failure. It demands that we be vulnerable and trust.

I have found my edge. My comfort zone has space for discomfort now and is ever-widening. I am myself on the other side of fear – not without it, but not within it either. It no longer defines me and it no longer tells me what I can or cannot do. It has become a guidepost and when it pops up, I know that I have to step up. It’s not always easy, but it is always rewarding.

Honoring our Inner Super Hero

Today I am reminded that we are all connected. It’s easy for me to forget that, despite the fact that I get to experience the joy of connection and Oneness on a daily basis through my work. Still, my ego – my fierce and loyal and way-overly-zealous protector – is very habituated to stepping in to show me all the ways in which it thinks it might be better for me to feel separate/d from others.

There is value in this exercise of the ego. After all, one of the reasons I chose to experience my physical form was so that I could explore duality and the ideas of shadow and light. And so experiencing what I perceive as being contrast to my personal physical reality can show me a lot that I might not otherwise explore and I am extremely grateful for that.

At times, however, I notice that I look for, and hence find, ways of creating opposition or duality within myself. In my unconscious search for separateness, I cut myself off from the flow of love and connection that is available directly from Source and from many of those around me. I find ways of noticing where I am not enough or how I am not worthy of something or in what ways I am not capable of giving or receiving.

Changing these neural pathways has been a huge focus for me over the last several years and I finally made enough headway that I was able to experience a really major shift recently.

I believed for some time that the areas in which I was discounting myself only affected me. I thought that not honoring my time or my skills only had an adverse effect on me and my life. I only saw it as a reflection of my not-enough-ness and of my impulsive need to give more than I receive.

But when each of us honors ourselves, when we claim our right to be here and our full worth, we are able to create the space for others to do so as well.

I finally understood that where we withhold love from ourselves, we withhold it from another, and when we shine a light on ourselves, we are able to light up another.

If we value ourselves enough to ask for what we need, deserve and desire in this lifetime whether that is proper remuneration for our work, healthy boundaries with those around us, good food to nourish us, friends that value us or more, then we show others how to do the same. We show them how to shine along with us. We can hold out our hands from a place of empowerment and celebrate with those around us. We begin to see even more blessings in our lives and we become able to share those in a way that doesn’t feel imbalanced or depleting.

Uneven energy exchanges, whether out of fear or because we feel powerless in the situation, hold back all involved in the situation from fully actualizing themselves, and everyone involved will actually receive less energetically as a result. But when we honor and invest in ourselves, in our growth and our advancement, however that might look to each one of us, everyone is able to draw from the situation in a way that feels full and empowered and then we give from that space of completeness. And that shift in perception is a true gift, a little (and oftentimes huge) miracle in the making. 

1 Opening to Possibility Through Vulnerability

There is something terrifying about the possibility of being fully and truly seen. Many of us travel through our lives carrying a persona around that shields us from the potential of being hurt. It’s as if we cannot feel the sting of rejection quite so strongly if the stinger hits the armor rather than our essence.

It’s coming up again and again, all around me. I’m seeing it in me as I shed yet another layer and take some powerful responsibility for the direction I am choosing for my life to take. I see it in my so very brave clients that are moving into their full potential, who are preparing to unearth and share their Spirit-given gifts with the world.

It takes courage to be vulnerable because it is really terrifying to open our hearts and expose them to the world. It is fiercely powerful to be seen without the armor, to come out from hiding, with our hearts on our sleeves. It takes strength, resolve and a maybe even a dash of insanity. But as we do the work, and as we get stronger and feel more empowered from our core, our ability to be vulnerable begins to show itself as a gift rather than a danger.

Oftentimes we choose a path that feels safe or known because we haven’t yet dared to explore our depths. And then when we start to peel off the layers, we realize that the clothes we’ve been wearing have gotten really tight on us and that we don’t really like the style anyway. It is then that we can start the process of really stripping down.

As we move through this stage of growth – the incubation period so to speak – we may be even more challenged. We may be asked by Spirit, our higher selves, and those closest to us to not just pull the layers off, but to take a closer look at our wounds and to finally address them. As we do this, we become stronger; we grow and we stretch and we extend ourselves into this amazing expanded version of ourselves that we never even dreamed we could be.

Sometimes we lose a few people on the journey, but I’ve found that for every one we lose, we gain at least one more (if not more) that holds the same high standards for authenticity that we are demanding of ourselves. And so we shake it off and dive into the new relationships, the new possibilities, and we share in a completely new way.

I’ve got a network of friends and healers that see my potential when they look at me and who nudge me in just the right way at just the right time. I have found that when big change happens, big change happens. Having someone to guide you and/or a loving a community of like-minded individuals with whom you can share your triumphs and tribulations from a place of genuine openness can allow us to feel safe and supported throughout these major shifts.

And if you are just starting out on this journey, and you are feeling an urge to move into something more, but have yet to unearth what that may be, here is a quick exercise that can help you to connect into your True Authentic Self so that you can understand what it is that your spirit is truly yearning to birth (and anything else you might want to know):

Close your eyes and begin breathing from your belly. Breathe in through your nose as your tummy rises and out through your mouth as your tummy falls. Take several breaths like that and then settle into a natural rhythm. Allow yourself to fall into that space and when you feel completely in your body, move your attention up to your heart center. Feel your heart center from that space of being in your body instead of with your mind. If you find yourself overthinking it, without judgment just drop back into your body. When you are settled into your heart space, ask your higher self what she/he would like you to know. Be patient and wait for the answer. It may not come immediately and there are a myriad of different ways in which it can show up. You may feel something, sense something, see a picture or hear words. You may not get anything until later that day when you hear a message come through a song or the words of a friend. Enjoy the process and trust that the information will find you if you don’t push for it. With a little patience and practice, you can develop a fulfilling relationship with your higher self.