Sunday, September 29, 2013

Mojo Monday ~ Do You See Your Essence?

We Are Quote

This past Saturday I drove east for an hour, up a highway that takes me into tall trees and near to Lassen Volcanic National Park which is home to smoking fumaroles, meadows freckled with wildflowers, clear mountain lakes, and numerous volcanoes.  I listened the whole time to the cd These Changing Skies by the band Elephant Revival.  

My destination was Dos Aguas,  the home of friends and my spirit guide who I am journeying and vision questing with for 13 months.  The journey includes reading month by month the book The 13 Original Clan Mothers by Jamie Sams, creating an art piece/shield each month, fasting on the full moon day, ceremonies, and additional exercises/assignments.  I arrived and was greeted warmly by my friends and all their fur-kids (four cats and seven dogs) who all clamor, wiggle, purr, lick, jump for some pets, scratches and hugs. My guide and I spent two hours together, part of the time in conversation and then in a very grounding ceremony barefoot, under the canopy of trees over a hundred feet tall, with the water from Battle Creek rippling and babbling by us.  

I had been feeling overwhelmed with the demands of my day job for a few weeks and I had been under a tight deadline to complete a special project the week before too.  Prospects of potential opportunities and change also had me attempting to keep anxiety at bay. A grounding ceremony, bare feet touching the ground, time spent in that beautiful environment and reminders about what really matters most and who I am, were things my soul were in extra need of on this day.  

On the drive home, listening to more Elephant Revivial music I reflected and let my mind wander, all while keeping a watchful eye for deer along the sides of the road.  I contemplated what to share with you all in this Mojo Monday.  My thoughts traveled to one of the more recent newsletters I received from Dr. Margaret Paul, therapist and co-creator of a program called Inner Bonding.  I enjoy her insightful and thoughtful newsletters and her approach regarding such subjects as healing, wellness and healthy relationships.  She had shared a more personal story in her newsletter entitled Do You See Your Essence?  Here is her very insightful commentary about loving ourselves and recognizing our true essence.

Do You See Your Essence?

By Dr. Margaret Paul
September 16, 2013

I grew up with parents who had no idea they even had an essence. They believed they were their wounded selves, and that they were not good enough. Because they could not see their essence, they could not see mine, so I also grew up believing I was not good enough.
Everything changed for me when I finally saw my true essence.

Since my wounded self was programmed to believe that I was not good enough, I could not see my essence through the eyes of my wounded self. In fact, my wounded self was so convinced that I was not good enough that she spent a lot of energy hiding my essence. I could not see my essence until I started to practice Inner Bonding and began developing my spiritual connection.

Through my consistent Inner Bonding practice, my connection with my spiritual Guidance became stronger and stronger. By testing out, many times, what my Guidance told me, I finally learned to trust her.

So when she showed me the magnificence and beauty of my true essence, I believed her. That's when I stopped needing others' approval. That's when I started to be able to fully manifest my life.

My Guidance not only showed me how incredible my essence is, she showed me how incredible everyone's essence is. She helped me develop the ability to see and relate to people as their essence rather than as their wounded self.

Now I know, as Anita Moorjani states in "Dying to be Me," that the essence of all of us is love – an individualized expression of the love that is God. Not only are we love, but each of us has been given unique gifts and talents to enable us to express our love in unique and individual ways.

Inner Bonding is about learning to love yourself - but you cannot fully love yourself until you know who you really are.

Right now, take a deep breath. Put your focus into your heart and move into an intent to learn with your Guidance about who you are. Use your imagination to envision your Guidance – whatever that is for you.

Now imagine that you can see your soul essence – your true self – through the eyes of your Guidance. What do you see? You need to get beyond your wounded inner child to the child you were before you became afraid, and learned to protect. You might even need to go all the way back to before you were born, since if your mother didn't want you, or there was a lot of conflict in your environment, you might have already been afraid - even before birth.
See if you can FEEL the love that you are, and all the other unique and wonderful qualities that you are as a soul. You might want to write down what you see.

One of the habits I've developed is the exact opposite of self-judgment: I acknowledge out loud to my little girl whenever I behave in a way that truly expresses my soul essence. I tell her how grateful I am that she is within me and that I get to take loving care of her. I marvel at her creativity, her kindness, the joy she receives from giving to others. I praise her for her love of learning, her joy and laughter, her connection with people and animals, her playfulness and her aliveness. I let her know how much I value her deep sense of integrity and honesty.

In other words, I do what good parents consistently do – I mirror to her, throughout the day, who she really is.

Yet even this isn't enough. In order for her to believe me, I then need to treat her as a cherished being. I need to love her by taking loving action in her behalf. Seeing her is only the beginning. Taking consistent loving action in her behalf lets her know that I truly love and cherish her. This is what Inner Bonding is all about.


For more thoughts about
embracing yourself as your own beloved 

come read my most recent article called
The Embodiment of I AM
in Cosmic Cowgirls Magazine.  

Here is also a taste of the music of the band
Elephant Revival as they perform their song called Go On.


Go On Lyrics
Go on, go on,
Go on and find your life now.
Go on. It's alright.
We all feel something similar
Sometimes. Oh, oh.
Oh, sometimes. Oh, oh.

Don't wait, don't fear,
And don't work too hard.
Don't worry 'cause you're here.
You're here, through ever-shifting shades,
And now somehow. Oh, oh.
Oh, somehow. Oh, oh.

It's love, it's love.
It's love that keeps me high enough
And the drugs and sex,
Or the lost respect and sacredness.
And it's sad, and true,
'Cause most things can hurt or help.
It's up to us. Oh, oh.
It's up to us. Oh, oh.

I know, I know.
We're here to sow some words
And hope they'll grow, they'll grow
In moundless fertile hearts and endless fields,
We'll know, cause most things can hurt or help.
It's up to us. Oh, oh.
Oh, up to us.

Oh, oh.
All up to us.

Go on, go on.
Go do those things you've always wanted to.
My friend,
When the morning comes our dreams
Don't have to end.
It's true,
I'll be there when I can for you, my friend.
Oh, I'll be there when I can.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

The Embodiment of I AM

CC Magazine Logo (1)

Today in Cosmic Cowgirls Magazine
is my latest article called 

Layer by layer
I removed all I thought I was,
all I thought I had to be
and in the moment
I was left standing
naked and vulnerable
without identities and labels,
I remembered….
~ Lenita Vangellis

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Mojo Monday ~ Where Love Is Deep

Where love is deep
much can be accomplished.
~ Shinichi Suzuki

Opening the book where my heart shaped bookmark was hidden within the pages I found myself greeted by Mark Nepo's essay called Where Love Is Deep.

I find his book The Book of Awakening: Having the Life You Want by Being Present to the Life You Have to offer up wisdom, advice and new perspectives.   Seeing as how I have been working diligently on a big project, the timing was ideal to read the sage and inspirational words of Mr. Nepo.  

Here are the authors musings on envisioning, dreaming and manifesting.

"Despite our culture's over-emphasis on doing, there is a a rightful place and time to get things done.  In truth, there is very little we can not do.  Much of the time we just lack either the ability to envision the dream built or the confidence that we can build it.

I remember early on how my grandmother would encourage me to envision even the smallest dreams down through my hands into the world.  She would say, 'See it her,' pointing to my forehead, and the she would take both my little hands and say, 'Now see it here.'  Then she would laugh and say, 'And soon, it will be here.' With this, she would look around the room.

It is an amazing thing about being human that we can feel something inside and then build it in the world.  It seems we have this inborn need to love and to create.  At their deepest, these drives of spirit appear to be the same.  For through her love, wasn't Grandma creating me?  Don't we help birth another the instant we encourage them to see with their heart?  Don't we help birth the world each time we give someone confidence to build what they see with their heart?

Somehow we are meant to wrestle the earth --wood, clay, marble -- into forms; to seize the air -- notes, words, color--into signs; meant to hold other breathing questions like ourselves and shudder as we part.  I go on and on as if to declare that life is worth living.  It makes me ask with joy, What shall we fall in love with tonight?  To what color shall we devote our being?  What instrument shall we be next?

Close your eyes and envision some becoming that you dream of.  It might be the dream of a solid relationship or the dream of a home or the dream of building something lasting with your hands.

  • Breathe deeply and envision the dream fully completed, existing in the world.
  • Breathe slowly and spend time with this vision.  Enter it and circle it.
  • Now open your eyes and look to your hands.
  • Feel the completed dream move into your open hands.
  • Feel your hands pulse with the energy of the dream waiting to be built.

What dreams are you envisioning?

Do the visualization exercises provided by Mark Nepo cause any shifts or realizations? 

Without thinking too much about this question (Just see what is the first thought that comes to mind.) What color is your dream?  
Were you surprised by the answer?  What does this color represent?  How does it make you feel?  

What do you think you would need to do to realize your dream?  

Do you think that it is true where love is deep much can be accomplished?

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Mojo Monday ~ Pacing Ourselves

A message has been repeating itself this past week.  I am listening.  

I heard it first last weekend during an amazing workshop presented by Cosmic Cowgirls that featured Lyz Anzia, human rights journalist and found of Women News Network.  The Women News Network has dedicated itself to bringing global attention to the needs and empowerment of women through online news journalism.   

During the workshop one participant asked how do the journalists covering difficult subjects about such human rights issues which include stories about sex trafficking, rape, abuse and more, keep from falling in to despair about the many problems around the world.  Lyz responded very clearly that journalists are able to do the work because they know that the work they are doing can help to change such things.  In addition Lys shared that the stories they are writing help to inform 500 UN agencies and NGO (non-governmental organization) affiliates, international offices of legislation, worldwide universities and Schools of Law, as well the public at large.  In effect the articles being written have the power to change laws, impact legislation, and inform people who are in positions to enact even greater changes in their communities and their governments.

Just this last Friday night I had dinner with two dear friends who work on the front lines with people in crisis.  One works for a women's refuge shelter.  The other has served as a therapist for those with mental health and drug and alcohol related issues.  It is common that the shelter is short on staff and yet the clients continue to stream through their doors.  My friend's healthy realization is that she is only one person, and she can only do what she can do during her eight hours at work.  My other friend spoke of the high number of 51/50 clients that had been brought into their center recently and then shared about talking to a peer who handles all the cases in a region for veterans who are suicidal.   Again the message was we are each one person and we can only do what we can do.  

In January of this year I wrote a Mojo Monday post called Change and Empowerment.  That post was about how we can be aware of what is going on in the world and being sensitive, thoughtful and caring people, not manage to lose ourselves in all the swirling problems and tragedies in the world.  There are always so many issues from the bees disappearing, to animal cruelty, to thousands dying because of chemical warfare, to people starving or not having enough clean water, to girls being sold for sex, and the list can go on and on and on.  While I don't believe that burying our heads in the sand is the answer, it also isn't helpful to the world or to our own well being if we begin to drown in a sea of depression.

When I see someone I know posting on Facebook one tragedy story after another I want to give them a hug in person and gently suggest "Pace yourself my friend."   Personally I want to be informed of what is happening in this big wide world.  I do care deeply about our planet and all the people living on it.   My heart wants so much for every person to experience a loving and happy life.  I sadly know that this is not the reality for too many living among us.   I know that I have to balance out the harsher realities with uplifting and positive stories so that I am reminded of all the beauty and joy that also exists in our world.  I also think as Lys Anzia so clearly stated in her workshop, that knowing we are doing something to effect change and make a difference in a positive way can also keep us uplifted in the midst of stories and events that are hard to bear.  

The way we make a difference will vary and look different from person to person.  I know that my husbands day job as a middle school science and mathematics teacher impacts the lives of his students significantly.  He even has students who he taught about 20 years ago who have remained in contact with him all these years.  I have worked for a non-profit foster adoption agency for over nine years and working shoulder to shoulder with social workers and therapists to serve the foster and adoptive children and adoptive families has been very gratifying.  I also infuse the writing I do for Cosmic Cowgirls Magazine, this blog and the book I am writing with inspiring messages about healing, grace, love and forgiveness.  Other ways I try to make a difference is by eating a vegan diet, signing petitions, making my voice heard about political issues by writing my representatives and so on.  Even though we may earn modest teacher and non-profit salaries we also still choose to donate to causes each year that speak to our hearts.  It may be the local food shelter, a center to help those in need, a family that is struggling, or an animal shelter like The Farm Sanctuary.  

Photo by Michelle Fairchild

I realize that not all the day jobs out there will feel as if they are designed to serve a greater humanitarian purpose, but that doesn't stop one from having a positive impact on one's fellow workers or from volunteering or offering one's services in other ways.  While it may not be the easiest thing to do all the time it is in some ways the simplest, and that is to extend love and kindness to others on a regular basis.

Photo by Michelle Fairchild
Think of some things or images that are uplifting to you.  Do you have these images in your immediate surroundings?  Do you keep things in your environment that bring you joy and remind you of the beauty that exists in our world?

One of the things that is always sure to make me smile are sunflowers.  Sunflowers remind me to breathe. They remind me of the wonders of nature and our planet. They remind me that nothing is permanent and that this is a good thing for life is dynamic. The praying mantis friend on the one sunflower reminds me that my positive thoughts create my world and that beauty comes in all forms.

There are also sources out there that offer up positive stories.  One such site is called Daily Good: News That Inspires.   Just today a friend shared a an article to warm the heart called The Business 9 Women Kept A Secret for Three Decades.  Here is a story about a small group of women who anonymously for many years have done things like paid someones utility bill, bought new clothes for children, donated pillows and linens and personal care products to a shelter for survivors of domestic violence and so much more.  They raised the money by selling pound cakes.  You can read more about these inspiring women by clicking the linked article title.

Other stories of goodness and kindness abound if we look for them or take notice.  There is a beautiful story told in this video about a love letter a man name Fred wrote for his wife who had recently died.  You might want to have a box of tissues nearby as you watch how through the kindness of others his letter is transformed into a song.  

Recently I also found incredible inspiration in a children's book called Amos & Boris that I read to my twin daughters.  There were some simple, yet profound messages in the book that captivated my heart. Here are some images for you to enjoy.