Who opened that can of worms?

As I expand my consciousness I find myself experiencing all of the emotions and challenges that I have read about. I have read about the struggle to grow, how painful it can be at times. How alienating it is as others are unable to understand your journey. I have read about the internal battle as your ego fights the growth. I understood and I welcomed these challenges because I knew the person that I wanted to become would have to face these.

I didn’t really understand. I wasn’t prepared for how difficult it might be. How can you really ever be prepared for something you have never experienced? You can read all about it, but until you actually experience it for yourself you can’t possible know how it would feel.

Over the past week I opened up a can of worms. I looked the world head on and said, “Bring it. I am ready to expand and become the person I am meant to be. I am ready to show up in love with my heart wide open. I am ready to rise above ego.” To which the world replied, “Yes, oh yes! I am so excited. Look at these awesome opportunities I am presenting to you to change!”

Oh crap. What did I do? I was not prepared for the anger, fear and ambush of emotions that came at me as I stumbled my way through each of these opportunities. My body felt as though I went in to fight or flight mode (which it probably did). I was incredibly agitated and in that vein I chose to comfort myself with foods that do not do my body good. I even experienced my first anxiety attack in 5 years. Please no, anything but that!

The incredulous part is that I kept choosing more opportunities to grow. Rather than just sit with the growth I was already experiencing, I went deeper inside myself to find out where else I could grow. I was choosing more pain, more discomfort and potentially more anxiety. I wasn’t coasting, I was gaining momentum – fast. It felt as though I was spiraling out of control at times.

As I slowed to a manageable pace, I found myself in peace. I was still experiencing the pain of the journey, but as my consciousness had been raised, I could see outside of the pain. I could see how each opportunity; as difficult as they felt, served a very specific purpose. Amidst the pain I actually felt amazement and awe of what I was capable of. I could see the beauty of my growth and feel the peace that had settled on my heart. A peace that can only come with an understanding that I am not my ego. The understanding that I am experiencing human conditions and am removing any attachment to thinking that is who I am. Because it’s not.

I am love.


Forgiveness Again

I feel like I could write a bazillion posts on forgiveness. It’s an elusive enigma for me. Every time I see it nudging it’s way back in to my life I just think, “oh great, here we go again.” Anyone else with me? I think that I have learned. I think that I have forgiven. I think that I have moved on. Next thing I know BAM. Crap. What’s that thing doing there again?

How do you forgive a perceived wrongdoing? There are lots of ways that we are taught.

Let go and let God. Yeah, that one didn’t work for me.

Forgive in your heart. No need to let them know. So far, no good.

Practice. Totally still working on that one.

A new way of approaching it occurred to me the other day. If the things we get aggravated about are the things we often don’t like in ourselves, then what if I went there first? Psshh… but I would never do what (insert name here) did. Ok, but what if I am jealous they felt they could? What if they are reflecting a deep down truth in myself that I have been denying? What if there was nothing they did to hurt us. Only the perception of how I received a message, but it was actually meant in a completely different way.  What if I actually hurt them? And here we are in the same boat of wondering how to forgive the other person for the hurt they caused? Crap.

That’s been a really tough place for me to go. My ego is screaming, “NO! You were wronged. Don’t think you can just let them walk all over you! What are you a doormat? When will you ever stick up for yourself if you don’t do it now? It’s so obvious you were in the right, just ask your friends that are always by your side (notice how it doesn’t ask you to ask everyone). What if they do it again? People will think you are a fool. People will judge you as naive.”

Wow, those are some harsh words, ego. Let’s dissect that a little, shall we?

I was wronged? Perhaps, but have I attempted to hear their side of the story? Could it have been just a misunderstanding of epic proportion?

Are they really walking all over me? No one can walk all over me without my permission. As long as I am willing to continue looking at this with an open heart and make decisions from that place I will not allow for that to happen.

Am I not sticking up for myself by looking at this from a place of love? That is the place that I want to live from. So, in that case, wouldn’t forgiveness be the ultimate way to stick up for myself?

Was I really in the right? Aren’t there always 2 sides to everything? Have I been open enough to try to see things from their perspective? Their life experiences are different than mine. Their perception of things will be different than mine. Have I considered this?

If they do it again, it’s because I chose to love, forgive and remain in their life. What a gift that would be for us both. Perhaps by continuing to love through these perceived hurts there could be potential space for us both to change and grow. How beautifully loving would that be?

People will think I am a fool or judge me as naive? Ok, this one is two fold. First of all, if I am living in my truth and from a place of love, I won’t care what others think of me. I will love them anyway. I will love me anyway. Second, could it be me that is judging me? Do I think I am a fool or naive? Am I thinking that I won’t ever change those behaviors that I clearly dislike about myself if I forgive? Woah.

What if I forgive and that opens space to love myself more? To see that I am not a fool or naive but a strong, beautiful, loving, forgiving person that is a gift to this world?

I don’t believe that forgiveness needs to be shared with the person I am struggling to forgive. I would eventually like to be strong enough to do that, but I know I am not strong enough to remain in my Truth if they begin to attack my character in the midst of my forgiveness. I hope to be there one day, but that is not today. Forgiveness is a practice. I can begin that practice with me. Do I forgive myself? Do I love myself? These are great questions.



When we were making the trip between Nana and Grandpa’s house and ours way back when, Dad would often coast. He would go as fast as he dared through the back roads accelerating up hills so that he could put the car in neutral and coast down the other side. We thought it was the bees knees. We would laugh and laugh. Then, we would coast as far as our car would take us; sometimes back up some pretty tough hills where we would zoom back down the other side again gaining back any momentum we lost. 

I was out for a run today (I like to tell you about those because I know it makes it seem like I exercise more frequently than I actually do.) and those coasting moments really struck me. I was struggling up a hill when I remembered that no matter how tough going up is, I know I will get a reprieve once I reach the top and can ‘coast’ down the other side. This thought process often allows me to run farther than I anticipate being able to. 

I think it’s time I start coasting through life. I have been hitting some rough patches of growth lately. Thinking about this coasting pattern, what I have recognized is that I will hit the ground running with all of me up the steep hill of challenges. I use my physical, mental, emotional, spiritual and energetic strength to reach the top. Good, that’s good. That’s important to be able to reach the top. Once I reach the top, I definitely take a moment to enjoy the reprieve. The thing is I don’t enjoy it for long. I think, “ooo, I am on the downhill. Everything is feeling a little easier, let me go full steam ahead and see how far I can push.” Now, going back to my previous examples, how do you think that works for me? In running, I am not able to run as far as I would have if I had just kept a nice steady pace after my reprieve. As far as coasting in a car, until I put that car back in drive, the engine will just rev high. Once I have put it back in drive, think of the momentum I will lose having to shift it back. Come to think of it, why would I have bothered coasting if I was just going to shift it back in to drive anyway without using the maximum gas saving/fun having moment?

So, there I go, using up all of my physical, mental, emotional, spiritual and energetic strength pushing myself against all odds. It’s not going to get me any further any faster. Instead, I burn out and don’t have the energy for my next steep challenge. I stare up that hill wondering what happened? I berate myself for doing life wrong. I spiral down this slippery slope of self sabotage sliding further and further from the reprieve of the summit. 

Thankfully, sometimes recognition is all we need. I recognize this pattern now. I see a pathway to change. I see that the new path is filled with ease and grace. I don’t have to try so hard. All I have to do is coast.


Showing Up

“How do you wish to show up in this world?” This question was posed to me amidst the fervor of attempting to accept ‘dark’ aspects of myself that I was having difficulty with. I moved past the question quickly not giving it much thought until this morning. Now, it’s all I can think about. 

We all struggle with aspects of ourselves that feel unloveable. When life touches that unloveable place, that sore spot on our pysche, we usually lash out. I know I do. I find a reason for everything to be someone else’s fault. It surely can’t be mine. It surely can’t have anything to do with that sore spot. After all I am perfect. Spirituality tells me so. Oh, the ways our ego can twist anything to make it work in our favor. 

Eventually, if we want to change we have to take a look at that sore spot. We have to examine it. Poke it a little. Prod until it feels uncomfortable. Then, once we have done that, it’s time to push on it, dig in to it, make it hurt like hell. Because at the center of all that pain is the thing that we have the opportunity to see differently. To embrace as part of our divine selves. To recognize as not something that is bad, just misunderstood. To begin to love.

As we open that sore spot and begin to pour love in, magic happens. Lots of tears, lots of anger, lots of very difficult emotions, sure. But, magic. Things begin to look differently. You begin to see yourself differently. You are able to believe that you are truly loveable in every way. Next thing you know, ego begins to fade in to the background. From this space you can begin to show up differently in the world. 

No longer are you holding on to supposed hurts. No longer are you holding on to expectations of what others should do for you. No longer are you holding on to the guilt of not being everything for everyone. Now, you have the power to show up as you wish to in this world. 

So, I ask you. How do you wish to show up?


Practice seeing the good

We hear often to look for the good when things go wrong. Depending on the situation this can be very difficult. So, why wait for a hard situation? Start looking for proof in the little day to day irritants. You know, getting stuck in traffic on a day you have a presentation to give. The stove breaking the day before your entire family will be in town. Sure, you could say, “well, maybe I avoided a car accident if I had gone a different way” or “well, maybe I would have made something that was bad and made eveyone sick”. But, thinking about these type of scenarios as the good in a bad situation doesn’t always resonate because we have no proof. Have you tried looking for the proven good? It might not come in the form you were expecting. Especially if you are too busy fighting the fact that things didn’t go the way you wanted/needed them to.

Here are a few examples of “bad” moments that had good outcomes from my own experience the past week:

On Sunday our power went out overnight. Still not sure why, but come 6:45am I learned that it wasn’t expected back on until 8:15am. I needed to be at work by 8:30 for 9am Sunday service. Yeah. It was pitch dark out and I wondered how I would be able to pull off getting ready. Not to mention have my coffee and breakfast! (yes, coffee before breakfast in order of importance) I pulled out a dress that I knew would work without much adjustment and could put on in the dark, prayed that my makeup didn’t smear overnight (no, I don’t always – fine never – wash my face at night) and quickly made my way downstairs so I could stop somewhere for coffee on my way in to work. When I got downstairs the sun was just coming up and I could tell it was going to be a special sunrise. Although I knew I might run late I made my way outside to see it. What I saw took my breath away. 

It was almost ethereal. Friday was my last day at my full time job and all I could think was that this was my gift, a sign of a new beginning. Instead of hurrying along to where I was supposed to be, I appreciated the good in this bad situation. I might be late, but I wouldn’t miss this. After snapping the picture I heard a hawk extremely close by. I decided to investigate. It wasn’t easy. It’s never easy to break away from what we should be doing to enjoy what is happening. Once again, I was rewarded immensely. Stepping around the side of my back porch the hawk swooped down from the roof of my house, flew right over head and off in to distance. Tears of joy began to roll down my face in gratitude of a bad morning filled with gifts. (And, I was still to church with 1 minute to spare before service.)

The next moment was just this morning. I had to bring my kids to school by 8:25am then had 90 minutes to spare before my oil change appointment at 10am. After dropping them off I decided to head to Whole Foods as I had a few things to pick up anyway. I took my time knowing it was only going to take me 30 minutes to get to the car shop. I spent time basically window shopping seeing if there were new things that might intrigue me. At 8:58am I got back in my car. So much for taking my time. Great. Now I was going to be 30 minutes early for my appointment. Not a bad situation, just annoying. At least they have free WiFi. On my way, I got a call from a new friend. We had been playing phone tag for a few days. Next thing I knew, most of that extra time was spent learning more about each other and making plans to go for a walk together tomorrow. Perfect way to spend that extra 30 minutes. As I walked in to the car shop, it was even remarked how happy I seemed and I must be having a great morning. Why yes, yes I am.

Now, these may not seem like much. But, it’s these small moments of appreciating and being aware of the joy in all moments that are a great way to practice being able to see the good in the bigger, more difficult moments. It’s a great way to practice moving from being annoyed to being grateful, even joyful through life’s minor annoyances. It’s the epitomy of living in the moment. Before you know it you will move through your days mindfully and joyfully regardless of your external circumstances. Yes, please.


Let’s Change The World

Often when I get really down on myself, I end up finding myself reading a story of someone who has had a much more difficult time in life. Perhaps because they were diagnosed with some devastating disease, or they have suffered through seemingly unbearable loss. These stories always end with the person overcoming their adversity. Not so long ago when I would read these stories I would get down on myself. Self loathing would enter as I wondered why I wasn’t more grateful for my own life. Why was I struggling when what I was dealing with couldn’t even compare to what others are going through. Think that brought about gratitude? Yeah, no. Talk about self defeating. 

What it took me time to understand is that these stories are meant to inspire us to be better people. Not to think poorly of ourselves. I mean, I guess I always understood that, but I was too deep in my own story to allow inspiration to take hold. Guilt, fear, shame, they had a deep hold on me. When I finally took the time to say, “They may be going through a tough time that appears tougher than mine but that doesn’t change the way I feel about mine” it allowed me the space I needed to be compassionate with myself. This is necessary in order to get out of your own way. Once I allowed myself to grieve my story, I was capable of change. I was ready to move on. Now mind you, this is a very slippery slope and one that needs to be navigated with caution. Compassion can all too easily slip in to pity and playing the victim. (Trust me, I know that one too!) 

Outside of my own story I could hear those inspirational stories as they were meant to be heard. Wow, if they can overcome that adversity, then I can surely overcome mine. And, I would. Every time. Now I think, how courageous they are. How courageous I am. This. This is how we change the world.


Telltale Signs

Are you listening to your body? It amazes me on a daily basis how much I can learn about myself by paying attention to the cues that my body is giving. You know, like my stomach grumbling when I am hungry, or yawning when I am tired… Just kidding. It’s much more complex than that. 

Just a few minutes ago I was sitting here perfectly content watching my boys play football with their friends. At least, I thought I was content. I don’t know what possessed me, but I thought it was time to pay attention to my body cues. I started with my feet. The toes of my right foot were completely curled under. That was my first cue that I might be under some stress. I relaxed my foot and decided to do a full body scan. Traveling up my body, everything else seemed to be in order, then I got to my shoulders. I didn’t notice it right away, but when I took a deep breath then let it out my shoulders dropped from my ears down to where they belong in the first place. Yikes. Next came my jaw. Alright, seems to be where it should be. My forehead though, that’s another story. It’s alternating between a scowl and looking like I’ve just been surprised. And, I have probably looked like that all day without realizing it.

That’s the moment change happens. Once it is recognized. We can go from being unconsciously stressed to being consciously stressed. Sure, you are still stressed, but recognizing and admitting you have a problem is the first step. Once you learn your own body’s stress signals, (everyone’s are different!) you can begin to address the problems. 

I know I am stressed because instead of just sitting back enjoying my boys playing football, I have the work phone by my side anticipating the next call. (And…there it goes…) But until I did the body scan, I didn’t realize how stressed. What do I do about it? Drink. Lots. Of. Wine. No, just kidding. (mostly) I take a few deep breaths and focus on relaxing those parts of my body that have tightened up. If it continues, then I take a good hard look at my life and determine if some changes need to me made. And, if they do, I make them. Just that simple. (not quite, but it is a damn good start)

I would love to know, what are your body signals?


I am Brave

Becoming yourself has to be about the bravest damn thing you can do. Seems like such a simple thing. Just be. Do what you love. Enjoy life. But, if you learned to be something for others, to do what will generate income and you stopped enjoying life, it is very difficult to get back to yourself. 

I have spent much of my life creating patterns that gave me the results that helped me to live a “normal” life. I learned to do the things that were expected because it was easier in the moment. No one questioned my motives. No one balked at my decisions. I was accepted and loved. Or, so it seemed. The biggest problem was that I stopped accepting and loving myself. That is a very lonely place to be even when surrounded by people who love you. 

I stopped believing that people truly loved and accepted me because how could they if they didn’t know who I was? It has taken me a very long time and lots of work on myself to realize that most of them did love me. I was still myself. I just was behaving in a manner that didn’t jive with who I was. I couldn’t see that that didn’t define me. I couldn’t see that changing those behaviors and becoming more in line with myself wouldn’t change me, it would just enhance the me that already is. I couldn’t see that it was possible to fall back in love with myself.

Yes it has been difficult. But, what I am learning is that I am braver than I ever imagined I could be. I am more compassionate than I knew. I am more open and vulnerable than I thought I could be. I am hopeful that one day – soon – I will learn to love this process and welcome each challenge and opportunity to become more me with open arms and an even more open heart. 


A Change Will Do You Good

I am guessing I am not the only person who has a ‘who gives a f***’ attitude when they are sick. I mean, I am sick. My first and primary priority is to feel better (wow, see… that’s why I get that attitude. first AND primary?? really?? Ugh). It’s clearly not like I can think well so I can’t be trusted to make any good decisions. My energy level becomes pretty much non existent. My motivation is down the drain. It just gets ugly. 

There is reason for this. We are designed on purpose like this, so that we can take our sick moments to actually slow down (woah. not that!) and allow our bodies to heal. Hence the ‘who gives a f***’ attitude. Funny enough, life goes on anyway. We can look all around us and see that our husbands really are capable of getting the kids ready in the morning. Our bosses and coworkers really are capable of functioning without us. Those urgent tasks we mistakenly believe will be our downfall if we don’t address them just sit and wait patiently for our return to health. 

This is our opportunity. To change the way we think and cope with life on a daily basis. If everything still works when we are sick, then maybe, just maybe, it could be the same when we are well? Maybe we can learn to see those urgent tasks as just tasks that will get accomplished..eventually. Maybe we can look to our bosses/coworkers/spouses/significant others/friends/family/church groups/social groups and ask for assistance to ease the burden on our own lives? 

Oh, I hear you now.. “but you don’t understand”, “I am the only one who…”, “I tried that and got yelled at/told I was selfish”. I am not saying it will be easy. It’s as uncomfortable as hell. Change almost always is. But, the world will not end. Your world will not end. You will just shake things up a bit and when they settle, you may just find yourself with a little more peace. A little less stress. And, really, we are only here for a short while. Isn’t it worth it? Aren’t you worth it?


Calling in Angry

What do you think yogis and meditation teachers do on off days? They must have off days, right? 

I teach children’s meditation on Wednesday nights. I typically only have one kid if any, but it’s an amazing thing to teach oneness with a child. Tonight I was oh so hopeful no kids would show. I was not in a mood for teaching meditation. It was so bad that when I was invited to the adult meditation because no kids showed, I expressed my gratitude, but explained that I was not in the mood. (Probably the most important time to actually go, huh?)

On the way home, I raged. Events of the past few days (well, weeks or months really) have been rearing their ugly head. I cried, I screamed, I swore. All in the comfort of my car, but if someone had been watching, I must have been a sight. When I finally calmed down enough to breathe, I wondered. How could I have taught oneness tonight? Wouldn’t my negative energy affect those around me? If I was supposed to be the one in control and leading the kids, shouldn’t I be sure to have clear energy first?

How about you? Are you a guru, yogi, master? Instead of calling in sick, can I call in angry? If that’s not a thing, can I make it a thing? Shouldn’t I?

I would love to hear your thoughts.