I’ve been Spiritually Out of Sorts (SOS) for a few days. This fact isn’t unusual for me as I’m constantly growing and frankly, most growth is painful. But this latest SOS really hit me hard.
Here's how it happened. On one of my paddle boarding adventures, I asked a friend to take pictures of me on the board. I specifically asked that all of them, the good the bad the ugly, be forwarded to me. (Clue number one: careful what you ask for!).
Let me preface how I was actually feeling that day out on the water - you know, before I saw the pics. I was tired, and this time out, it felt more strenuous and challenging; but I swear, I felt pretty good about my form and in my mind’s eye, I saw myself as standing straight and solid on the board.
Then I viewed the photos. Here's where my egoic mind went to the minute I saw those photos:
1 - I AM old
2 - I AM frail
3 - I’m not There yet
4 - I knew this all along, who the hell was I kidding?
Ouch - did that ever hurt. More than hurt, it felt demoralizing. It threw my self-worth down and stomped it to pieces.
So, I retreated to my world of Spirituality. Meditation, to be precise, and I spent however long I needed to to deal with this emotional wound.
From my meditation practice I was able to reframe my 'truths':
1 - I am old, but I’m not done yet, not by a long shot . . .
2 - I am frail, but I’m a helluva lot stronger than I was a year ago, and I’ll be a helluva lot stronger a year from now. . .
3 - I’m not there yet, oh hell no, I’m just getting started !
4 - Yes, I really do know what my truths are, but I am working my damnedest to not let them define me - EVER.
One other TRUTH I’d like to share with you: Meditation and Grounding practices are my lifesavers. I meditate daily but when something like this rocks me off my game, I go further within and connect to my highest Source until my path re-emerges or a higher path appears.
I tend to view this blip of SOS as a sign that I am on the right path, and this is just another challenge to move through. And what doesn’t kill me, makes me stronger.
So yeah, I allowed myself 5 minutes to be emotional, and now I’m back to my old badass self, playing around with personal style - makeup, hair, fashion - having fun and getting ready to share with you soon. Stay tuned.
I like that word - BADASS - it has power to me - I like to say it, I like to feel it, I like to be it. It is always my goal - to let my Badassness fly. But first, let me explain my definition. Badass, to me, means that I can turn struggle into triumph. It’s 99.9% attitude. An attitude of taking control of my life. To own it. The good, the bad and the ugly.
You see, like many, life threw me some curve balls - perhaps they were the consequences of poor choices, but not all - sometimes shit just happens. My 30s were spent gadding about the world, then settling down to be a mom. I started playing it safe because, well, parenthood doesn't come with instructions and that's a real live human being I could seriously fuck up if I weren't vigilant.
But then came this huge defining moment at 40 where I froze in fear of doing something that I used to LOVE doing growing up - All ... The ... Time. I couldn't do it - I couldn't push myself past that fear. How could this have happened? I was rocked to my core. As I dealt with how I let fear define me, I realized that I hadn’t pushed, really pushed, my boundaries for quite a few years, I was stuck and miserable without even consciously realizing it.
However, that moment was when I woke up and took control of my life in a very badass way. I joined a karate class, I became a gym rat, I hiked, biked and camped at every opportunity. I was invincible!! I was as badass as I'd ever been.
But life began to close in on me again in my 50s. I was mom, wife, teacher and student. In a nutshell, I was overextended. I tried to be everything to everyone and ended up not being there for ME. Being a badass was no longer my top priority. I had chronic sleepless nights wondering when it was going to be my turn. Once again, I simply lost myself along the way.
Then the BIG CHALLENGE happened to me: I broke 3 vertebra in my lower back due to advanced osteoporosis. I was sidelined for months, lost my job, and ultimately had to reinvent myself. I was lost. I was physically out of shape and out of practice and I was slowly edging toward frumpy in my personal style. Who the hell was this woman I had become?
But, you know, my broken back was ultimately my greatest gift, because during my many, many days of healing, I dug deep into my inner territory (healed some wounds); I pushed myself at the gym (healed my body); and I broadened my world with adventure (healed my spirit). All of which made me feel like the Ultimate Badass. Sure, I’m old - 66 racing toward 67 - but I am no victim - I don't have to accept my limitations without trying it my way first. I am devoted to becoming an Ageless Badass. It keeps me focused on what really matters to me. I want it all… I still want it all.
My friends know that the word has power to me. To feel like a badass means that I take charge of my life. I don’t meekly accept whatever is handed to me. In another post I will go further in my challenges, but for now, know that when that empowering feeling of badass happens, I am on top of my game - exactly where I want to be.
I am wired for Badassery.
I took a drum making class from the amazing Ann Keller in Mt. Shasta, CA. I chose my skin ahead of time and at class time, my Granddaughter came with me to help. I love it.
Magic happens when I drum, and I was excited to try my own - but I had to wait a few days to let it dry completely. This happened 2 days before I took off for my Epic-Summer-Road-Trip. The magic of that is for another post, but I wanted to share a pretty cool thing that happened after drumming one night around the campfire: The next morning I awoke to 2 Elk bulls in my campsite.
These beauties visited every morning and evening for the entire time I stayed there. I shared the experience with a friend who exclaimed "You drummed them in with your drum!!" I think she was right. It was a very magical connection, one that I won't soon forget. Road Trips and connection to Nature brings surprises you never expected.
Buddha described the human mind as being filled with drunken monkeys, jumping
around screeching and chattering and carrying on endlessly. We all have monkey minds,
Buddha said, with dozens of monkeys all clamoring for attention.
From a therapeutic point of view, the typical monkeys that we all carry are:
And they’re all acting crazed and demanding;
like unreasonable childrenhaving temper tantrums.
While most (if not all) of these monkeys can be broken down to the base level of fear — there are predictable times and events where these monkeys try to take charge of your mind.
Until you recognize the monkeys in your mind, you will always be challenged by their neediness to be in charge. Pay attention to your thoughts — which ones are kind and gentle and positive? Those will not be your monkeys. Which ones are judgmental, fear driven and negative toward you or another? THOSE are your monkeys.
One very effective way to calm your monkeys (yes dear, sorry, but they ARE your monkeys), is to have a healthy adult, non judgmental conversation with them.
Revenge Monkey says: “It’s not fair, I’m going to get even with him for doing that”.
Here’s one example of how you can talk to this monkey with your healthy adult mind:
MM: “What he’s done is wrong, and I’m not going to let him get away with it”
HAM: Yep, I agree, it’s wrong, and I can see why you want to get back at him, but let me ask you, is he worth your time and energy?
MM: Well no, he’s a piece of shit, but he needs to know that he can’t do that crap. I want to hurt him as much as he’s hurt me.
HAM: It seems like he enjoys hurting you. This is probably because he is a hateful person.
MM: Yeah, he’s a hateful person, all right.
HAM: So every time you get hurt by his behavior, you are actually rewarding him, don’t you think? And, at the same time, allowing yourself to be hurt?
MM: Yeah, but if I can hurt him badly enough he will stop doing that.
HAM: Based on his behaviors in the past, do you really think he will be hurt? Or even if he is, that he will change his ways?
MM: Probably not, but I will feel better knowing that I’ve told him how wrong he is.
HAM: And you’ve never done that before?”
MM: I tell him all the time what a piece of shit he is.
HAM: And that doesn’t change his behavior toward you? And I ask again, do you have the power to hurt him?
MM: No, he thinks he is in the right.
HAM: Hmmm, Is it possible, since he’s a hateful person, that he enjoys the fact that he can hurt you?
MM: Oh, yeah, I let him know every chance I get how awful he is being.
HAM: But isn’t that what he wants? For you to acknowledge how effective his behavior toward hurting you is?
MM: Yeah, I can see that…..
This is just a possible scenario. You can certainly put your own circumstances and words into this conversation model, but you see how you have stayed in your calm Healthy Adult Mind and defused your Monkey Mind?
This is a powerful tool to keep your monkeys calm and quiet - a very powerful tool. You haven’t judged them, you haven’t told them what to do - you’ve acknowledge their point of view, but you’ve also helped them see a new perspective. And eventually, when Revenge Monkey starts yelling for your attention, you will be able to say
“We’ve already talked about this, you need to just calm down and let me handle it as a healthy adult".
Keep a thought journal and each night, pick one Monkey-Minded thought and have a healthy adult conversation with it. A few things will begin to happen as you practice this. You will more readily recognize negative, monkey minded thoughts that don't serve you, and when they arise, you already have a healthy response practiced ahead of time. :-)
Hello August - We have quite a week ahead of us. Feelings; Baby steps; Darkness; and Light are all on the table. Listen to your inner knowing this week and you will breeze through it.
This week begins with too much thinking (and not enough feeling). It will be easy for you to get swept up into thinking things through. Don't be stuck in what is logical this week - the universe has far more to offer than what your logical brain can conger up! Spirit is offering the suggestion to just make a choice based on what you feel right now. "If it feels good, do it".
The next card: Every journey begins with a single step is telling you to take that step - if it’s an internal journey, then be assured that you have everything you need within you. Even what feels like teeny tiny baby steps are incredibly more powerful and constructive than you could possible imagine. TRUST your inner guidance.
The second half of the week begins with a feeling of darkness. This could mean a creative block, a sense of being in a void, or a feeling of depression, rage, sadness, fear or anxiety. Although you are powerful, you are also vulnerable at this time. Think of it as a spiritual test and any darkness within or around you could be problematic if left unchecked so do some work around this darkness - don't avoid it.
Through all of this week - know that your opportunity for growth lies in letting go of the need to hide from the world - you know what you are doing!!! Find ways to let your light shine.
Challenges: Perfection is a prickly master isn’t it? This card is telling you that it’s time to shake things up - allow discomfort, invite chaos. Do your liberating rain dance! Rage, weep, pray, dance, paint or sing. Express what ever is needed, however it is needed so that you may experience the flower of life unfolding within you and around you.
RECAP: The story that these cards are telling is: Stop thinking so much. Whatever feels right to you, right now? Do That! Embrace those baby steps as they will take you far. Quit looking for the perfect time, or the perfect anything. Allow yourself to experience the darkness and burst open into the light. Now is all you have. This inner journey will bring feelings of vulnerability. Deal with it. Hiding from your vulnerability will not be in your best interest. Embrace it, the only way out is through. Deal with your darkness and step into YOUR LIGHT. The light that shines just for you. BECOME VISIBLE.
Journey well, my fellow travelers - have an exciting week!
Don't get too caught up in what step to take for moving forward in your life. Sometimes taking ANY step is like sending the Universe a message that you are ready for something new and the Universe conspires to then send you messages for your RIGHT step.
This happened to me recently - oh the agony of choices I put myself through. Such agony that I felt paralyzed to make any choice - which, quite frankly (and I know better), is setting the intention that I'm just not ready for any action. Hmmmm - probably some truth there, but as soon as I made a choice and took action, without expectation, wonderful things started showing up. Such wonderful things that I tell my Spirit Guides to keep throwing those bread crumbs on my path and I will keep seeing where they are going.
So today, if you feel stuck, overwhelmed or fuzzy minded. Take any ole step with confidence (baby steps or leaps) - keep your heart open to opportunities that show up and watch the magic unfold. It works, it really works. When you choose stuck, it's like saying "NOT YET". I'm ready are you? ....What's your next step?
Sometimes intuition is a funny thing - at one moment it's all lit up and virtually yelling at you and at others it's muddy and confused. How do you know if it's truly your intuition talking to you or just your monkey-mind yammering away? You don't. At least not always. Often I get an intuitive hit on one of my questions, then I proceed to beat it to death trying to figure out if I'm right. Sound familiar? Even when I know what I know, I can still easily drop into my thinking brain, my purely logical brain, and then all hell breaks loose. Or actually all hell is mired in confusion and I end up torturing myself with over thinking it all.
You can ask all the questions of friends and family you want, but reality? They only hold their answers, NOT yours. So where to turn? Sometimes an intuitive can be your best friend. Someone who knows nothing about you or your current circumstances....someone who just channels the messages from Spirit that you need to hear. And here's the crazy part: Those messages may be exactly the same as you've been getting, BUT hearing it from someone else - and hearing exactly what you needed to hear - makes all the difference in the world. It's like a knock on the noggin and you finally 'get' the message.
I hear this all the time from clients - they tell me afterwards that they already knew this, but they had either forgotten it or didn't trust it. That's MY job - I trust messages from spirit. I can deliver clarity and direction straight to your inbox. Your question - your timing - your email. I love my job! Want more information? Check this out.