Sunday, February 10, 2019

A change of Heart

My mother used to say to me, "What happened to my sweet little girl?" I was in my thirties; a very driven, single, working mom with no time to think of the past. I would shrug it off, telling her I didn't know what she was talking about. Then, one day, while looking at old, family photos, I saw her... the little girl from my mother's memory. She had this incredible softness in her face and eyes; sweet was the right word, and I suddenly realized how much I had changed. I really wanted to feel that part of me again; I wanted to be "sweet."

So I went on a quest to find the real me and somewhere along this twenty-year journey, I discovered that life's trauma, drama, hurt, and woes can permanently alter us. Underneath the person we have become, there is another part of our persona that is untouched by our history. It is who we are without the tough exterior, pain, fear, guilt, and old belief systems.

The truth is we all come into the world as awesome beings full of love and potential, but so many of us are terrified to go back to that genuine state of being once we've been hurt. We are afraid because it was that vulnerable part of ourselves that unwittingly 'allowed' for all the pain and trouble in the first place. Instead, we use our memories to build armor; layering every hardship like a sheet of steel that covers our hearts and protects us from any painful impact the future might hold. Then one day we realize how well our strategy worked. We are tougher now, and the pain is gone but, unfortunately, many of our other emotions went with it.

My quandary: To continue to feel numb but stronger for having created my tough exterior, or to let go and feel 'weak' without it...? I realized that being sweet was my goal, not stupid, so I set out to gain some clarity. My reasoning: if I was going to remove the armor I spent so many years fortifying, I needed to understand the word "vulnerability."

Years later, I'm still coming into awareness about the energetic prowess of this state of being. Apparently, when it comes to self-protection, we humans have it all wrong. Allowing ourselves to be vulnerable is not a weakness; it's our greatest strength! And we aren't children anymore; that past we have been using as a shield has also fortified us with wisdom and awareness. We are smarter and more in tune with what is good, bad, right, and wrong. If we could allow ourselves to be as loving and vulnerable as a child while using our adult ability to soulfully discern... well, that is when we tap into ethereal power and acquire the greatest spiritual order of protection we can possibly achieve!

About being sweet... perhaps the most profound realization that came from my mother's question to me was that we don't journey to authenticity; we journey back. What we all seem to be looking for is not in our future; it can be obtained right now! It is not out there; it is in here--in our hearts--the organ we have been protecting for so long. This knowingness comforts me because our transition only relies on one decision: to believe more in the power of our love than we do in the power of our fear.

Nowadays I carry a sword of truth and a shield of love, walking into my days feeling fully protected from everything, including myself. I wonder, though, why any of us would ever come to doubt the power of love. Even crazier, I wonder why we spend so much time changing into someone else when all we really have to do to live our lives beautifully is to just be ourselves.

Friday, February 8, 2019

A Starfish Enterprise

Sunday, my son Matt came over to help with my kitchen renovation. Our goal that morning was to build a narrow base cabinet for a gliding spice rack. I expected he was going to do most of the measuring and cutting, and I would be his assistant. That was our usual mode of operation, but he had other plans.

"What's first," I asked, and he responded, "Well, I can build the cabinet myself, Mom, so I was wondering if you would build something for Kayla." (His 5-year-old daughter.) He took out his phone and showed me a picture of a desk with a matching stool they just received as a hand-me-down. Matt thought Kayla would have more support and comfort with a chair, though, so he said, "I want you to make a seat and back to go on these legs." He looked at me and waited for a response. I looked at him trying not to show panic. The truth is I've painted and refurbished plenty of furniture in my day; I've used a jigsaw and router to make all sorts of things but never actually designed and created something a person could sit on! Not wanting to disappoint my child, especially after all the hours he put into my kitchen, I said okay. Then, without skipping a beat, he added, "Oh, and we'd like it to have a starfish cut-out on the back."

The last remark put a clammy sweat on my back, but he acted like all of this was no big deal, so I suggested he cut me two pieces of plywood an inch bigger than the overall dimensions. "I'll draw some designs," I said to him, "and you can tell me how you want to proceed." "No mom," he responded. "I'll cut the wood, but it's your project. You got this."

Now, I have to explain his nonchalant approach and the energy of trust behind that last sentence... He didn't even flinch. He had so much resolve, I felt a sense of calm come over me. I started thinking, 'Well he knows my skill level; we've built numerous projects together; if he thinks I can do it, why should I doubt myself?' So I dove in, and the result is an adorable starfish chair. It took me an inordinate amount of time to draw, cut out, and sand that creature, but it actually came out better than we imagined.

A feeling of accomplishment stayed with me all week as I filled and sanded all the imperfections and then primed the chair for paint. I kept hearing my son's words, "You got this," and knew there was more to the story. I came to realize that I literally used the love I had for him to push myself out of my discomfort. It would seem, too, that I used his belief in me to overcome my own self-doubt and fear. This was a powerful realization because, honestly, I've been praying for months to overcome fear and gain the confidence I need to take on the truly inspired work I know I'm being led to do right now. And the request to take on this work is coming from a Source much higher than my kid!

It was becoming clear to me that the chair was not just a mother/son building experience; it was a Father/daughter trust building, for sure! My prayers were answered with a gift... a way to instantly stoke my bravado whenever fear and doubt creep in.

This statement, "You got this!"... when we hear it coming from God, it's like a direct spiritual order mixed with an "Atta girl!" (or boy!), and we need to start trusting and believing it. After all, the mere fact that we are being spiritually led and guided to take on a task should tell us that we are already qualified to do that task! Allowing ourselves to believe differently would mean we are actually arguing with infinite power and wisdom. How inane and unproductive is that? :-)

So you know, as I finished typing that last sentence, I suddenly felt the urge to google the spiritual meaning of a starfish. I see the words "infinite Divine love" on my computer screen and smile big at the validation. My mind wandered back to how this story all started with my son wanting to support his daughter... He had her back, so to speak, and now I am reminded that my Father has mine. How awesome is our God?

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Prevention has always been the answer.

Trying to talk our way out of addiction is like pulling the shade down on a window and expecting the sun to go down with it! Mental and emotional therapy is not enough. We have to get physical and take care of the biochemical, hormonal, and trauma-induced imbalances that led up to the perfect storm that created the disease.

We know so much more about the human psyche and body than we did a hundred years ago, and we are changing the way we treat the disease, which is great news. The big question mark is why aren't we doing more to prevent it? From kindergarten on, we need to recognize the biggest stress factors in our children's lives and eliminate what we can, while at the same time, equip our kids with the skills they will need to deal with stressors we can't control. We have to keep their bodies clean and clear of sugar and other addictive substances and habits that can lead to more powerful dopamine needs. And most importantly, we have to let them know they are more than a body with a mixed up mind. They are powerful energetic beings with amazing spiritual gifts that quantum science has been discovering and uncovering for years.

The fact is, being politically correct has made up spiritually inept! We took God out, but we never put anything powerful back in. We can change that. We can talk about spirituality as energy--the energy of love and compassion, tolerance and forgiveness, gratitude and grace. Did you know that we can measure the molecular changes that each of those emotions produces in our own bodies and in others?

The truth is we don't need to teach religion in order to fill our schools with spirit! We only need to show our children the wondrous gifts they possess. They have the tools; they just have to learn how to use them.

Monday, January 7, 2019

Ten Easy Ways to Positive Change

Ten new year's resolutions that are actually easy to stick to and will absolutely change your body, your psyche, and your life. (I know because they have changed mine!) And the best part: They don't require exercise or dieting. :-)

1. Drink less caffeinated drinks.
One cup a day can have its benefits and rewards, but more than 6 oz and you could be screwing up your entire endocrine system and more. Understand, a) it dehydrates, b) it could screw up cortisol levels, c) it can make a mess of sleep patterns, d) it is most likely filled with pesticides and chemicals, e) it is made with tap water and that has chlorine. Most people don't realize that boiling and heating chlorine makes it more powerful, not less. And what does chlorine do? It kills bacteria. What is your gut filled with? You got it: Bacteria! So if you are wondering why you have so many gut issues, then coffee, with all the stuff you put in it to make it taste better, could be the reason.

The answer is simple; start weaning. Use naturally decaffeinated coffee mixed in with your regular and slowly over the course of two weeks go down to 3/4 decaf with 1/4 regular. Use organic coffee and filtered water; stop going to Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts. You'll save a ton of money and your health if you make it fresh at home.

2. Drink more water at night. (But not bottled water; get a filter and, again, save a ton of cash while taking out the chlorine.) Drink some before going to bed or when you get up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom. Here's the deal: Dehydration makes it impossible for your body to rebuild and repair at night. It also makes it impossible for your brain to truly rest. If you are wondering why you can't stop "thinking" all night, it could be you just need some pure water. I put Frankincense in mine and some other essential oils (Doterra brand) and it is like a health elixir... it's really helping me stay balanced.

3. Walk more. Park away from the front entrance; make two trips up and down stairs to bring up the laundry; forget the elevator and take the stairs at work... Do anything you can to add on steps. Walking was just proven to be better than yoga and cardio when it comes to retaining memory and enhancing brain function. Yes, you have probably made this commitment before and couldn't stick with it. To break out of the old and into the new, don't bother looking for a parking spot anymore; pick the first one you see and then thank yourself for doing your body the good deed.

4. Take one unhealthy personal hygiene product away from yourself per week or month. Toothpaste, liquid soap, hairspray, shampoo, skin care products... If you dare, look up the ingredients on Ewg.org to see what carcinogenic, endocrine interrupting, absolutely harmful chemicals are in there. I can honestly attest to the hormonal changes from my wrinkle cream! But I will admit, it took me two years to get myself to switch every single product in my bathroom and nightstand over to organic, chemical-free stuff. The reward, though, is outstanding skin covering a more hormonally balanced body. I make all my own skincare products now with essential and other natural oils... I smell like something you would want to barbeque, but I look great for my age! :-)

5. Watch less television, most especially the news, anything truly violent, and any shows with commercials. You have no idea how much negativity you are being forced to manipulate out of daily and how much brainwashing is being done on you in a day! We are bombarded every single minute with opinions and ads, and most of them are planting stressful thoughts in our minds, making us less happy and more in tune with what we don't want, rather than what we do want. Do yourself a favor, time your favorite show and keep track of its commercial segments. There are about 15 minutes of ads or more in a 30-minute show. Track their content: Prescription drugs, food, cars, weight loss programs... We are being taken advantage of when you think about the fact that we pay between $75 and $200 a month to watch over 50% commercials! If you ask me, this is insane... It's not the boob tube or the cable company that's to blame; it's us, the boob heads that are paying for and watching it!

6. Write down your most troubling thoughts on paper, then come up with a mantra that totally contradicts them. Speak the mantra every single time you have those negative thoughts. If you think you are fat, say "I love my body!" If you believe you are sick, say "I'm a self-healing machine!" If you are worried about bills, say "All I need is flowing right in towards me!" If you feel like a fraud saying these things, get over it! It is your ego that is fraudulent. You possess the two most powerful tools you will ever need to get and do anything you want. If you haven't guessed already, they are your head and your heart, and they were made to operate without boundaries, so don't start putting any on them. Repeat: "I have faith in the powers that be; I believe in me!" And if this doesn't work for you after one week, you can always go back to rehashing all the old negative crap. Remember, the only failure would be to never try.

7. Every time your mind attempts to judge someone, turn the tables on it. Ask to see their soul instead! Don't worry; you can still find things wrong with them later, but when we just try to seek goodness in people, they surprise us by showing their goodness! Stay in judgment and they will feel it and will react to it by going ego to ego with us. And how do we really want to spend our day... ego to ego or soul to soul? Knowing how truly powerful the soul is, most would choose soul every time.

8. Before getting out of bed in the morning, pledge the day. Step into it on purpose by stating it is going to be whatever it is you want it to be: Peaceful, restful, spontaneous, uplifting, productive, lucrative.... Irrespective of what you want to achieve, you have to set yourself up for it. Think about it this way, you are going to move in some sort of direction; don't you want each step to be deliberate? Time is going to be passing you by; wouldn't you rather pass through time? Bottom line, you can't help but walk into the future you are preparing for, so don't let the day just unfold. Decide what that future is so you can steer yourself right into it.

9. Clean something out. Whether it is a drawer, a closet, an entire room, the basement, garage, or attic... just start with one thing that is really bothering you and feng shui the crap out of it! I can't detail all of the energy benefits in one article, but if you can just do it, you will prove to yourself in an hour what a truly profound release this task can have on your life and psyche. Feel like the world is weighing down on you? Start with the attic. Feel like you can't stay grounded? Start with the basement. Feel like you have no idea what direction to go in? Organize your shoes in the closet! It's easy to start: Just ask yourself what your most troubling concern is right now and then walk through your living quarters (or office) with that issue in mind. Allow your inner guidance system to lead you right to the problem area. Don't say no to it! Just admit to it. You don't have to start immediately, but you do have to acknowledge it as a potential block. Then commit to doing one thing, even if it is throwing away a single piece of paper on that friggin junk pile on your desk (that directive was actually meant for me!) Allow for the new energy to take you the rest of the way when you feel led to.

10. Stop blaming; when we blame, all things stay the same. When we take personal responsibility, we go from woe is me to "Whoa, it's me!" We are, after all, the common denominators in all our life's episodes, so who else would have the power to change the future we are walking into; the people we are engaging with, the food we are eating, the life we are leading? Want to stop being a victim? Then instantly become a victor by saying, "I'm owning up to all that I am experiencing because as soon as I do, I get to change all that I am experiencing going forward!

If you have read through all ten suggestions, consider yourself already very motivated! If you want more, please allow me to shamelessly lead you to my new book, "My Mini Book of Mighty Mantras," available on Amazon. It has 369 more ideas to make all your days the most powerful and productive they can be. <3

Friday, April 13, 2018

When to recognize Self-Betrayal

Bottom line, some people aren't good for our self-esteem; we just don't feel good about ourselves when we are around them. Here is what I have found in dealing with these scenarios: Whenever we aren't feeling honored by someone, we probably aren't honoring ourselves.

So often I hear stories of imbalanced relationships, betrayal, hurt, pain, and downright wrongdoing. I know, for me, I've given many people the benefit of the doubt even when it was clear they were not (sometimes could not) offer reciprocal love, honor, and/or friendship. Why do we do that? Here is my take: We are good people (meaning, we are trying our best) and want to believe in the goodness of others. We want to assume others are going to act like us, so we want to trust and believe things will get better. The truth is, many of us are in touch with our own soul and the souls of others, and when we see, hear, and feel that goodness in them, we can't always see and hear their ego. We feel it, for sure! But we ignore that gut feeling and keep the relationship going while we hope for the best.

What can we do about that? We can always assess the truth about a person and relationship when we finally decide to honor our own soul's voice, our own life, and our own personal agenda. And that doesn't mean we always have to cut people off completely. Once we honor ourselves, our energy changes. When we rise in self-love, esteem, and worthiness, it is tougher to be taken advantage of! People will respond to our energy surge in amazing ways, too. Some will treat us better; others will walk away realizing they can't keep the relationship where they want and need it to be.

Should we be angry at others for what they are or aren't doing for us? Why bother! It just perpetuates negativity, and after all, most people can't even handle their own needs, let alone ours. It may even create more imbalance to expect people to always do what we need and want them to do, especially if deep down, we know they aren't capable of it. Instead, we should try to get to a state of gratitude when we find out that someone cannot give back to us what we are capable of giving to them. It gives us the opportunity to move forward more gracefully, and finally do what we need to do for ourselves.

One other truly important aspect of this process: Sometimes, we are asking for it! If we pray, meditate, and/or set intentions each day to be the best we can be and live the best life we can, we will attract situations that help us move towards that goal! At first, we are shown in innocuous ways what to heal and grow out of, but when awareness is not forthcoming, we will get tougher and tougher scenarios to deal with. Then one day, we just wake up and, like getting hit with a hammer to the head, we realize we are the common denominator in all our life episodes. "Oh...." we will say to ourselves, "It's not 'woe is me.' It's, 'WHOA! It's me!'" And that is the day the real transformation begins.

Friday, March 16, 2018

From Cursing to Curing...

Recently I was sent a video about fighting "stupid cancer." I don't blame anyone for this reaction. My father died of lung cancer 26 years ago at the age of 52 so I understand the anger and the hatred people have towards this disease. I want to ask, though, should we be fighting and hating something about our own bodies? Should we be hating cancer or what causes cancer? Actually, should we be fighting and hating anything at all?

The truth is, when I needed to fight for my life from Crohn's Disease, I wasn't winning. The disease was, and during the battle, it took most of my large intestines as its trophy. And apparently, that wasn't enough because six years later, it came back with a vengeance threatening either lethal cancer or a surgery to remove the rest of my tail end, which meant that I would spend the rest of my life with a poop pouch attached to my belly. Unfortunately, I knew what that felt like having spent four months with one during the first attack. Been there; done that; was determined to not do it again.

So I did what I do best...researched. I scanned the internet for information, read every book and watched hundreds of hours of video about self-healing. I completely changed my diet (organic plant-based, ayurvedic; the works). I meditated, prayed, chanted, journaled, grounded myself with the Earth for hours a day, and that's not all; I also changed my mind about everything! When I felt myself resisting what my own intuition was telling me about my past, my emotions, and my participation in the condition my body was in, I sought out intuitive healers to help in the discovery process. And here is what I came to realize: If I wanted to stop the disease, I had to love and embrace it. After all, it was a part of me that was crying for attention. Hating it would defeat the purpose of healing it! I had to hold that part of myself dear and tell it everything was going to be alright because I was finally listening.

Somehow years ago, the perfect storm formed in me, and I had no idea up until that point that I took part in the formation. I certainly didn't do it on purpose, but it was mine to address and unravel from. The good news about that: If I was the one that inadvertently allowed it to be created, I was the one who could now purposefully help it go away!

After four months of intensive self-help, my doctor probed me with a camera and found me free of inflammation from Crohn's. Much to her dismay too, because she was hell-bent on injecting me with powerful, harmful, and expensive drugs for the rest of my life. The way she was acting about my remission, you'd think I took her cookie away from her during lunch hour. I remained undaunted. I knew what I did; how I did it, and I also knew I would be teaching others how to do the same. The most important aspect of all of it, though, was the understanding of how truly beautiful and magnificently wise we were created. I learned that when illness takes hold, we have to remember that the disease is only a tiny part of us, not the whole. No matter what doctors say our diagnosis is, they don't know and could never know what our prognosis is. We get to decide that because we are self-healing machines that continuously strive for balance and health. When we are taught how to use our minds and heartfelt emotions to address an imbalance, the body responds willingly. On a cellular and sometimes genetic level, it will regenerate, rejuvenate, and recreate itself in order to be well again.

Do drugs, chemo and medical treatments work? A percentage of the time, but we all know the potential for detrimental after effects. Whether we decide to use them or not (and that is a truly personal decision), we still have to address the root causes or the disease can return. We still have to assume responsibility for our bodies and the condition they are in (without blame) because when we accept the illness as a potential imbalance in our physical, mental, emotional, and/or spiritual state of being, we immediately take control of our healing journey.

The world of medicine is slow to catch up with the human mind, body, and soul's innate wisdom, but we don't have to stay stuck in that world. When we make the decision to be the best we can be, we have so much more than medicine at our disposal. We have All There Is out there to tap into.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Is America Ready to Face the Real Smoking Gun?

Watching Keanu Reeves last week in the motion picture, "John Wick,” reminded me of my younger years watching Clint Eastwood, Charles Bronson, and Chuck Norris movies. I can still remember the vigilante-like adrenaline I felt surging through me as I walked out of the theatre...It was so palpable it made me want to kick something in the parking lot. In a few hours the feeling would wear off but I wonder now, if I wasn't a balanced young woman in her right mind, would I have been capable of violence? Picking a fight? Perhaps bullying? The answer, I believe, is a resounding, "Yes!" After years of research and experience, I've discovered that any combination of past trauma, emotional and mental stress, hormonal and/or biochemical imbalance, and thoughts of helplessness (that turn into anger) is what it takes to create "the perfect storm" in any human being. Whether someone is led to hurt themselves or another, it still originates from what is transpiring in the delicate relationship between the mind and the body.

This recent school shooting energized us, but the truth is, we have a lot more than that to be riled up about. The FBI claims that in 2016, there were an estimated 1,248,185 violent crimes. Other agencies report that in a year, over 321,000 tweens, teens, and adults are the victims of rape and sexual assault, and approximately 1,000 American women (and more worldwide) are murdered by a current or ex-male partner. Another sobering stat: One in four girls and one in six boys are sexually abused before they turn 18 years old with 34% of their assailants being family members. And the list of violent crimes doesn’t stop there. Without taking away the attention or time we are bringing to guns (and the need to regulate ownership), I'm going to suggest we take the onus off of them as it pertains to motive and cause. There is a much bigger issue we all need to address and that is mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual imbalance.

What does it take to raise a healthy, loving, law-abiding citizen? That's actually an easy question to answer, so we really should be asking, "What does it take to raise an abuser? A killer? An assailant?" We know this answer too, but are we willing to do something about it? Will money and greed keep driving our need to push violence as amusement? Will we continue to allow unfair divorce proceedings to leave kids without one of their parents, most especially their dads? Worse yet, will the over 35% of us going through divorce continue to fight and hate our way through it? Are we going to continue to ignore the potential negative manipulation that food, sugar, pesticides, chemicals, immunizations, and legalized drugs has on our children’s minds and bodies? Are we finally going to analyze how the school environment, curriculum, and stress we put them under is affecting their psyche and physical state of being? Will we keep putting our heads in the sand about what seeing us divided as a nation is doing to instigate their fear about their future? And generational poverty...Will anyone ever be willing to speak frankly without the political left or right slant about one of our saddest stats here in America?

We can initiate new gun laws but that will not rid us of the reasons why someone wants to kill or hurt people. In fact, my fear is that we pass laws, say our hoorays for a job well done, and then never fervently address the real instigators of violent behavior because too many people would have to take too much responsibility for what we aren't doing to help eradicate them. There are many intelligent, wellness-minded people, though, that will say there are easy strategies, and simple--sometimes free, sometimes low-cost--habits and programs we can adopt for our children (from birth on) in our homes, neighborhoods, schools, and states that will prevent crime, addiction, bullying, sickness, disease, mental disorders, drug and alcohol use, and more. They include understanding how we communicate through energy and how love and personal responsibility can promote peace and happiness. These people would suggest changing our curriculum to include more physical and mental exercises that will keep kids balanced and more motivated to live clean and healthy lives. Some new habits would involve daily meditation, self-administered trauma and anti-anxiety therapy, and quite a few other techniques they can use their entire lives to help them deal with the stress that just living life creates. Eventually, the food and drinks we allow them to eat and bring to school would need to be addressed, because it is undeniable: The chemistry put into the body changes the chemistry of the body.

All of this would take our legislators, teachers, police, school administrators, parents, doctors, therapists, and so many more in a position of power to be open-minded, listening, and then willing to move forward together to create positive change. And we know that some are, but we need more. Perhaps so many people, most especially those that are in a position to make decisions, are so stuck doing what they believe is right without taking into account that it is not working! The research is in though. We know more about our intrinsic gifts and how to use them, yet we are still dragging our feet when it comes to changing what we can change and that is irrespective of what government administration--democratic or republican--is in power. I want to know why. I want to ask the powers that be, “When will our kids learn about quantum science? Are they being taught that they are energetic, self-healing beings with hearts and minds so powerful there is nothing that can compare to them in the entire universe?” I want decision makers to give me plausible reasons why billions are being spent dealing with our issues after they cause devastation while so little is being spent on preventing them. Lastly, and most importantly, "Why is everyone so afraid of spirituality? What do we think is going to happen if we start teaching our kids about love?”

We know we are more than our bodies; science has proven that. It isn't that hard to be mindful and loving, and it's incredibly easy to teach it to our children. Why, then, are we making it so damn hard?