Licia’s Click

I met Licia on New Year’s Day 2010 at the “Begin Again” retreat I attended.  I really enjoyed her leadership at the retreat that day.  She is a healer, intuitive, teacher, artist, and writer among her many other roles.  At the retreat in January she talked about coming back after a sabbatical.  When I asked her to write a click for me, I requested she write about the sabbatical.  She answered my request just beautifully.  If you would like to learn more about Licia visit her website here and her blog here.

A Larger Logic

By Licia Berry

May 17, 2010

When I heard the word “sabbatical” in my inner guidance time, I was delighted.  Oh, I get some time off?  Goody, maybe I can read all of those books on my night stand I’ve been meaning to get to!

Indeed, initially the idea of a “sabbatical” brings to mind some time away, a respite from the usual life, maybe even a bit of rest.  I also had vague connotations of taking leave to learn something, to dig deeper into one’s studies, to expand one’s awareness in the world. This is always an intriguing idea for me, since I love to learn and enjoy a break in routine…it keeps me interested!

Here’s what it really means:

Sabbatical- any extended period of leave from one’s customary work, esp. for rest, to acquire new skills or training, etc.

1605–15; < Gk sabbatikós (sábbat(on) Sabbath + -ikos -ic) + -al

Notice that the root of the word sabbatical is in the greek “sabbatikos”, meaning “on the Sabbath”.  How interesting that there is a spiritual context for taking leave of absence from one’s usual life in order to grow!

Accustomed to moving on my inner guidance, I asked some questions.  What should I do with my thriving website and readership around the world?  What about my client practice?  How long?  I didn’t hear a clear response on that last question.  The assumption I made was that it would be a short time away from my usual work life; when that assumption was severely challenged, no one was more surprised than me.

I was guided to stop writing for the website (I was allowed a “goodbye” letter), and my client practice dried up within a week.  Astonishing; okay the universe really means it.  As things got quieter and quieter in my work world, I waited.  What was the reason for my sabbatical?  Would I know when it was over?  When could I get back to work?

After 6 weeks of watching the numbers dwindle on my website readership and doing absolutely NO client work, I was very antsy.  Can I come back to work yet?  I have spent a few years building this business…Can I please step in and save the sinking ship now? My fears turned into resistance quickly, and I jumped in on my website to try to revive the numbers.  All to no avail….Spirit was not going to cooperate.

It was then that I was shown a chrysalis, or cocoon, in my inner vision.  I was told that I was undergoing a major metamorphosis, and that I may as well let it happen because it was going to whether I cooperated or not.  I was also shown that my work in the world was going to change somewhat…I was close in many ways to authentic expression, but there were a few faulty ideas I was carrying around that were impacting my ability to be truly expressive of my unique soul and viewpoint.

And so I backed away again….and left my beautiful website and business to erode with time.  As my resistance gave way to acceptance, my life became fuller with my family and my own process.  I started to see things in my life that didn’t match with my heartfelt convictions, noticed beliefs I had tried on that no longer fit.  I had been a bit heavy on the intellectual side prior to this enforced time off.  I got in touch with my feelings, my body, my heart.  I saw I had been building my business persona on an imperfect foundation.  Thank goodness I was stopped before it got too big.  It was a great cleansing process, and a refining of who I truly was.

My sabbatical wound up lasting a year and a half.  Over that time, I changed drastically in some ways, but not really so much in some others.  I am still an alternative practitioner (healing/intuitive) and artist/writer, but I am more clear about how I am delivering those services now.  They radiate from a more healed center, a wholeness that I have not experienced before.   I am much more grounded in my life and connected to all of the various facets of it, which helps me keep them in balance.

I came out of the starting gate with flying colors on January 1st of 2010…after the official word from my infamous inner guidance!  And the super cool part was that I felt it was the right time.  It wasn’t forced, it just was the natural emergence of the real Licia Berry.  I had come out of my cocoon and beautiful butterfly.

And my business?  It is going gangbusters!  After only 5 months back in the work world, I am doing better than I ever did in my previous work life, and it is building fast with a momentum and support from the universe that I have not experienced prior.  I lost some folks from my email lists, but many more stayed on.  My understanding is that this is the way it works when we get clearer about who we are….there is a natural erosion of all that doesn’t fit anymore, and what is left is the good stuff.  The REAL stuff.

So, I am an advocate for following that nudge from Spirit to take the time off, whether you can hear it intuitively like I can, or whether it shows up in evidence like losing your job, ending a relationship, being diagnosed with an illness, or some other major course correction in your life.  If we can overcome the fear and uncertainty and simply trust that there is a larger logic involved, it makes room for amazing, magical things to happen, and we are happier for it.

Child (a poem)

Child (3-26-10)

The child sees the world

through loving eyes

perspective playmates surround them

if left to their own devices

compassion they extend

no dollar signs

or status symbols

in the laughter of

a child

if allowed

they play

and love the same

rich

or poor

without a push

they may not look

for the gizmo

or gatchet

that makes them rise up

if surrounded by love

all they learn is love

if surrounded by acceptance

they know only to accept

if given enough

they will not long for more

Drama

I’ve come to realize over the years that I am a drama junkie.  I actually think most of us are.  Good drama, bad drama, sad drama, glad drama…it doesn’t matter, it feeds a hunger in me that I want to overcome.

I realize this now because things are very peaceful in my life.  My little family here in Florida is happy and healthy.  Friends call and they ask what’s new?  I answer that everything is exactly as it has been for at least 6 weeks, nothing is new.  I feel a little uneasy at my answer.  Something in me wants to say “OH MY GOSH! You will not believe what happened!”

I don’t think I’m alone in this attitude.  What I am trying to figure out is why we (or I) do it.

At times I think it’s avoidance.  Instead of setting intentions and working towards goals, I let myself get distracted.  I let things I read or hear get under my skin.  I over-analyze other peoples’ behavior and the ways in which it affects me.

At other times it’s attention.  When I wrote my first novel I was the most obnoxious person to be around.  “Hey, I’m writing a novel.”  “Look, over here, me, me, me…I’m writing a novel.”  “Did I happen to mention that I’m writing a novel.”  I was so excited I couldn’t shut up about it.  It was so dramatic…like pigs flying and hell freezing over.  I could not stop myself.  Time of course allows you perspective and I would like to sincerely apologize to everyone who had to listen to me talk incessantly about that damn novel.  And I’d also like to thank those who listened patiently and those who dared to read the thing.

The last reason I can think of right now for the need for drama would be fear.  I think there must be within us all a fear of not being enough.  We want to be interesting and we want people to desire our company.  Without the lights, sound, and set design how will anyone find us?  I can think of several relationships in my life that revolved solely around gossip.  If there was not something to say (mostly negative) about someone else the relationship was dull and lifeless.  I found myself getting caught up in conversations I wish I’d never been a part of for the purpose of connecting and being a part of the group.  If I admitted how wrong it was to say the things I was saying and to listen (mouth closed) to unloving remarks, I would be admitting that in that moment I was an outsider.

I’d say right now in my journey I am walking through a pasture filled with daisies.  It’s quiet, peaceful, and lovely…yet I’m getting restless.  I’m picking up speed, pulling out the binoculars looking for the mountain.  There happens to be no drama in my life…but I must admit I’ve looked at others to find some.  Yesterday I was letting myself steam a little about something someone else is doing.  It isn’t about me, but I’m sure trying to make it be.  I talked to my friend Ray about it and he smiled, shook his head, and said “It’s not your stuff.”

He’s right, it’s not my stuff.  I’m tired of creating drama.  I want to take advantage of this peace and quiet in my life, to go inward and grow spiritually.

Take it away Mary….

Glenn’s Click

This story is written by my dear friend, Glenn Miller

The five stages of grief are denial, anger, bargaining, depression and finally acceptance.  I’ve not heard anyone to date that disputes that they exist, nor do I know anyone that has gone through the grieving process that has not experienced them all (to some degree and with varying durations).  What people do, however, dispute is that the grieving process only applies to stages of their lives when something negative happens, mostly keeping the process of mourning a loss through death.

 

How often do we think of higher levels or “out of the box” translations to the stages of grief?  In the origins of tarot, we see “Death” as the harbinger of change – not necessarily loss. I fell subject to this mentality many times in the past, but the instance that I recall most clearly came about a little over five years ago.

I remember being woken up from heavy dreams many nights in a row. They centered around themes of people that I deemed older and wiser speaking to someone that I saw as representative of someone younger and more rebellious. Just for a second opinion of what the dreams could mean, I spoke to a friend that dabbled in dream interpretation and tarot.  Of course, she did a reading (as was her way) and drew Death (right side up).  The initial knee-jerk reaction hit me, and my brain began racing in random directions of what (or who) around me would be leaving this world – only to be reminded that the reading in full simply was indicating a change in my life.

Now, I don’t put much “faith” in tarot, runes or other readings by themselves, but in this case it struck home more because of the coincidences within my dreams…  Instead of focus on loss, I began to dwell upon how all things must be just coincidental.  I denied that any real changes were coming, who actually could put stock in dreams or stupid readings?  A couple days later, I started to get mad that I had even let myself put any stock in either medium.  I got mad that the cards ever existed, and that I even bothered to talk about my dreams in the first place.  But, the dreams persisted and began to contort into clearer pictures…  I started screaming out to whatever might exist as a “higher power” to make the dreams stop, just letting me have a restful sleep.  I was willing to do whatever I was told to do just to make them stop.  No one would bargain with me…

As the dreams began to get clearer, it took away all peace of mind that I ever felt…  Until I had a particular dream about standing on a hillside and looking out over the sunset as I held a little boy’s hand.  I still remember holding his hand and talking about the clouds, the stars coming up and just the overall peace that started to come forward.  The day after that dream, I found out that my wife and I were pregnant with our first child.  I knew that it must be my son that was in the dreams…  The older person speaking to the rebellious youth in the prior dreams were telling me of upcoming conflict – my adult self telling my younger self to get a grip and grow up…  I spent the remainder of the pregnancy within myself, trying to go through the motions, but never getting a full handle on how to get over my depression.  I put things in motion to try and give my child a better life – searching for a better job, buying a house and just generally trying to nest.  No matter how hard I worked though, I could not seem to make things “real”.

Putting the gorey parts of childbirth from the male perspective to the side, it took the day of my son’s birth to snap me into place as both a man and as a parent.  I had to look into his little blue eyes to really know that things had indeed changed.  I sat and rocked his tiny self next to a window in the birthing suite and looked out into a thunder storm, feeling him sigh as if he felt true peace and knew that things would be different every day.  I accepted the change.

We named my son Chance, and he has become the true purpose of his name – looking at him every day reminds me that this is my chance to do something right.  Every day is a step within change as he grows up, as it is with my daughter, but I wouldn’t miss a step that either of them take on their journey…

Glennandchance

Seventeen…

I wrote this poem 9-25-92.  I was 17 years old.

You see what you think

You believe you know what I live for

Maybe you do know

But I can’t admit that

You turn things around and question

You don’t let me learn

Instead you try and teach

That I am wrong

You walk with your head up

Believing I walk with mine down

I believe I walk seeing straight

Believing I can live on my own

Do you want to start a revolution

Are you trying to change me

Well the harder you push

The faster I run

I see what you live

I don’t consider it bliss

I would say you’re as down as me

So where are you to judge

We’re falling a part

Everything that made us

Because you look at me in dark

You don’t know how to trust

You can’t hold onto it any tighter

That can’t make me you

You show an image

That I never want to be

Advice For My Daughters

I stopped using an alarm clock the day I became a mother.  My daughters became my alarm clock.  They woke me up at all hours of the night and still do sometimes.  I am so tuned into them that they’ve rarely had to wail or scream.  If I heard a slight moan or whisper from down the hall, I ‘d be up.  When they were babies and we co-slept they’d wiggle and kick ever so slightly and I just knew to give them my milk.

These days, for the most part, they sleep through the night, from 7:30pm to around 7am.  Bella usually comes out first in the morning.  Most of the time I hear her door open and the footsteps in the hall.  Then she goes into the living room and turns on PBS.  I officially get out of bed when I know it is 7:00.  I know it is 7:00 when I hear this:

Arthur has been coming on at the same time for as long as we’ve been watching PBS Kids, I hear the song everyday, but today I listened with my heart for the first time.  It truly is a beautiful message to share with our children.  It is the most important advice I would give my daughters, packaged into a song that makes you want to smile and dance!  Here are the lyrics in case you didn’t catch them or couldn’t listen.

Everyday when you’re walking down the street, everybody that you meet
Has an original point of view
And I say HEY! (HEY!) what a wonderful kind of day.
Where you can learn to work and play
And get along with each other

You got to listen to your heart
Listen to the beat
Listen to the rhythm, the rhythm of the street
Open up your eyes, open up your ears
Get together and make things better
By working together!
It’s a simple message and it comes from the heart
Believe in yourself
Well that’s the place to start

And I say HEY! (HEY!)what a wonderful kind of day
Where you learn to work and play
And get along with each other
hey what a wonderful time of day hey!

I want my daughters to believe in themselves.  And I love that this song tells them each time they hear it that that is the place to start.  Because really if they don’t believe in themselves, who else will?  If they do not listen to their hearts they will simply become cogs in the wheel.  I want them to trust their instincts, so that they can recognize trustworthy people.  If they live from a place of love and trust within, they will not be threatened by others.  They can feel love, compassion, and understanding for those who are different.  They will be able to work with others and make thing better.

Disrespect

I commented in reply to someone on my blog post “Opt Out.”  I immediately deleted it because I just didn’t want to offend my friend and I was afraid she might read my comment the wrong way.  But one thing I wrote in it led to this post.  I wrote about respect and how what people really hope for is that others will respect them.  I said that when we are disrespected it hurts us at a deep level and we carry those wounds with us always.

A couple of weeks ago I wrote the blog post “Wounds” and mentioned that I had a couple of experiences in junior high school that are emotional wounds I carry with me.  I said I would share one of them with you eventually and the other I would probably not share.  Well, in light of my thoughts on respect, I’ve decided to share the story I had not planned to.

When I was in 7th grade we had assigned seats on the bus.  I was seated next to an 8th grade boy that I had crossed paths with for years.  He was a pee-wee football player and I was a pee-wee cheerleader.  He had been my escort in 5th grade when I won homecoming queen.  He was safe…or so I thought.  Almost immediately when we shared a seat he started touching me.  He would pinch my chest (I had just started to develop) and try to put his hands between my legs.  I don’t remember how long it went on,  probably a week or maybe two.  Getting on the bus during that time was terrifying and I spent the duration of those rides telling him to stop and forcing his hands off of me. Eventually I told my parents what was going on.  They agreed to help (of course) but before they had the opportunity, I helped myself.  One day I climbed onto the bus and approached our seat.  I was wearing a dress.  He reached over and lifted my dress.  That was it.  It was one thing if he was going to molest me privately, but to lift my dress and mortify me for an audience was not acceptable.  I lost it and fought back.  He never touched me again.

The reason I am sharing this story is because it is about respect.  When we teach our children that they do not have to listen and respect other people, we are planting seeds for this kind of behavior.  Our children are always watching us and listening.  Despite your deep seated beliefs about the roles of men, women, children, people of color, and sexual preferences, it is so important that we realize at our core we are all human beings and we all deserve and HOPE FOR respect.  If we can root ourselves in the commonalities we will teach our children about respect.  Rape and sexual assault have been common occurances for years and years and stem from a belief that women are less than men.  This belief was passed on from generation to generation, not only through words but through the actions of the adults.  I hope that we can break this cycle for the generation of children we are raising.