According to You…

This morning my inner critic came knocking.  Usually I send her quickly to the corner and replace her scathing remarks with loving affirmations.  Today, I said “Screw it!” and just let her talk.  Let me tell you she was relentless.  I was at the gym when she started in on me and in the middle of her rant the song “According to You” came on the radio.  She preceded to steal some of the lyrics and spew them at me too.

Of course I couldn’t help myself and took some of the song and looked at it as a metaphorical example of my inward battle.  The YOU in the song could be that little me, big ego, and inner critic that likes to keep me locked in fear and self-doubt.  The HIM in the song could be the divinity within me reminding me that I am loved, perfect, and always welcome into his embrace.  It’s up to me to choose who I give my power to.

Here’s the song by Orianthi.  It is really just a song about two guys, but for me this morning it was a lot more.  Oh, and this woman is pretty badass…talk about girl power!

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What Worked

I took the time to sit and meditate for 20 minutes this morning.  What came to me in meditation was a reminder of what worked for me in the past.  The other day I wrote that post titled “Healing” and mentioned how in 2008 I was more intuitive then I am now.  I wasn’t really asking why that was.  At some level I know and just haven’t said it out loud.  What came to me in meditation inspired me to put the answer out here.

When I first started down this path I did two very important things.  I read The Law of Attraction: The Teachings of Abraham by Jerry and Esther Hicks and I took a meditation course.  It was around that time that I was manifesting a level of success and peace I’d never seen before in my life.  In that time I decided to write a novel after 12 years of not writing at all.  I’m sure the idea sounded crazy to everyone around me.  Most people didn’t even know I could write.  But I set the intention with absolutely no plans of failing.  I also just wanted to create a better me and a more joyful life.

I started meditating 2 times a day for 20 minutes at each sitting.  The girls were very young at that time.  Looking back on it I don’t see how I even thought it was possible, but I did and it became possible.  I was disciplined and it worked.  It changed me forever.  I also started visualizing my day on paper every morning and reading a daily devotional.  I would write out the way my day would look, filling the page with affirmations about peace, love, and joy.

When the idea for my first novel came to me I made a writing schedule.  I’d write three pages of my novel every evening NO MATTER WHAT.  I took my lap top and wrote when we were on vacation.  I wrote when a friend came to visit from out of town.  I stayed up late and wrote if necessary, but I always finished those three pages and often wrote more.  Before each writing session I’d write my intentions and affirmations about what would be achieved in the session then I’d say a prayer.

I finished that book in 3 and a half months.  It ended up being 100,000 words which is almost twice as long as the second novel that I spent over a year writing.  That first one is raw and amateurish, but it is also intense and powerful. I was truly tuned into God when I wrote that book.  Often times I’d go back and read in disbelief that the words had come from me.

I continued some of those practices long after the book was finished.  It was at least 2 years before I missed a meditation session and I planned my day on paper for about a year.

At some point though, I got overconfident or lazy.  I thought I’d reached a point where I didn’t need to “plan” my day or meditate as often.  I allowed myself to get busy or slack.  So I made those quantum leaps of progress a few years ago and am no where near where I thought I’d be by 2011.  Without a doubt I took 3 steps forward and 2 steps back.  I can never go back completely, but right now I’m close enough.

So I’m examining what worked for me before and I am setting the intention to embrace something that works for me again.  I do so want to be an instrument for the Divine and not a slave to my Ego.  To take an idea from Wayne Dyer…I’ve had enough of this Edging God Out.

The Ways We Are Spoken To

Over a week ago, I was on my way to meet my spiritual mommy, Mildred.  I had myself completely wrapped in negativity as I drove to the coffee shop.  I was thinking about how I hadn’t been meditating and doing my spiritual “work.”  I was thinking that I didn’t deserve the time, love, and energy Mildred gives to me.  I was thinking of how unmotivated and flakey I’ve been for too many months now.  I was thinking of how idiotic it was of me to ever think that I was special and had any sort of divine purpose here.  I was doubting my talents…thinking of the many others who are more talented and more importantly – more disciplined.

I’ve read and written about being the watcher.  I know that I am not the egoic monkey mind that squalks like a madman.  The truth of me is that I am the one behind all that who sees it, hears it, and knows better than to listen.  Sometimes that part of me can stop the madness and bring me back to truth.  But on this day I really couldn’t.  Something else had to do that for me.

When Mildred and I sat down with our coffees, she pulled out a little book called “Creative Thought” (another Daily Word type thing).  She opened it up and handed it to me.  She said that she’d read it that morning and thought of me.  Within the passage she had highlighted the following two phrases:

That which may have restricted my freedom to unfold is now released.

I declare I can be all I choose to be.

Another phrase that jumped out at me was:

My destiny is Divine.

Spirit chose to set me straight that day by using my sweet friend Mildred.  For the rest of that day, my monkey mind shut up.  I was once again reminded of the many ways God speaks to us.  If our ego is too loud to hear the still small voice Spirit will send us a voice we simply can’t deny!

I’ll leave you with one more message I got this week through my sister’s Facebook page.

An Ego Named Charlie

I am back from an amazing weekend at the Amrit Yoga Institute.  It was everything I hoped it would be and possibly a little more.  I’m not sure how much of it I will share.  I made a beautiful (in my eyes) painting and an amazing “goddess” sculpture.  I do want to write about and share a picture of the sculpture at some point when I get the photos taken and downloaded.   I may keep the painting just for myself this time and only share it with those who happen to come into my bedroom to sneak a peek of it hanging on the wall.  I did want to share an activity we did today because it might be helpful, or at least entertaining.

We were told to pick an animal to represent our ego.  Once we had the animal we were to name it.  The first animal that popped into my head was my dachshund, Lilly.  I resisted this at first but nothing else came to me.  I thought of Lilly’s neediness, the way she growls a little when she wants to be petted and barks constantly at your feet when you are looking out the window in the hopes that you will lift her up and let her see too.    But Lilly is tough, she sticks up for herself when her brother, Oscar, is bugging her.  She has a huge voice for her little body and could rally a whole stadium full of doggies.  Lilly didn’t exactly fit my ego.  But I decided the dachshund was a good representative.  I thought of how we keep our dogs crated when we are away or sleeping.  They put up a fuss when we close the crate door, but we know if we left them unattended and gave them free reign of the house they would piss on everything and get into all sorts of mischief.  Yep, that sounded a lot like an ego…

Next was the name.  Charlie popped into my head.  When I was a kid on occasion we’d go to Charlie’s Here, which was a convenient store up the street.  We’d get candy and sodas to carry along on an outing.  I’d usually wolf my treats down, never stopping to savor them.  I was always left wanting more and wishing I’d taken the time to enjoy what I had.

So there I had it.  My ego is a Dachshund named Charlie.

We were then asked to think of a question we have about our life.  My question was “What should I focus on in my life right now?”  We were told to close our eyes and inwardly ask our animal.  I was a little unsure on this one, but I did as I was told and to my surprise I received an answer.

Charlie said as he eagerly hopped around: “Make them love you, make them love you, make them love you.”  And with that I was shown a few of the ways I could do more or change to make the people around me love me more.  Yep, sounds about right.

We were then told to close our eyes and ask the same question, only this time direct it to Spirit.  I closed my eyes and did as I was told.  Spirit immediately said:

LOVE YOURSELF!!!

And with that the floodgates opened and tears poured from my eyes.  It was true.  I can’t make anyone else love me or love me more, all I can do is love myself and from there it will grow in my life and in the lives of those around me.

Believe in Yourself?

A couple of months ago, I wrote this post about the theme song to the show Arthur and the value I found in it’s message.  A new comment arrived this week on that post addressing the issue of believing in yourself.  After a couple of exchanges with the commenter, I realized that it would be easier for me to share my thoughts in a whole new post.  This post is to address my thoughts on self-esteem and the message that I take from that Arthur song.

When I say that I want my daughters to believe in themselves it means I want them to connect with and follow their Higher Selves.  I believe we all have souls (or are souls) and that that part of us is innately good.  I believe it is there that we find our connection to Divinity (aka God or The Universe).  At the core of us is an internal guidance system.  It is the way God speaks to us.  It leads us to our true path and away from the things that will harm us.  When we trust our gut and our instincts, the results are almost always good (though sometimes it is a long-term good that we don’t see immediately).  This part of us has the best for humanity in mind.  If we are in touch with it, we will find that we feel compassion and empathy for others.  When people around us are happy or hurting we feel it.  When we pass a homeless person on the street it is this part of us that compels us to offer money or send a blessing their way.  It is our higher self that urges us to reach out to the kid that doesn’t fit into the crowd.  It urges us to stop and move a turtle out of the middle of the road or help a stranded driver on the highway.  Our higher selves signal us when we have an inspired idea.  We engage with our higher selves when we enter “the zone” while doing something that we are talented at.

This is what I think of when I hear the opening song to Arthur.  I want my girls to believe in their Higher Selves.

What I am not talking about is EGO.  There are a lot of kids that have been taught to believe in themselves and in turn have become ego-maniacs.  The measure of success becomes material rewards at all costs.  I am currently watching the show “Breaking Bad” and there was a minor character on it who was the perfect example of someone with this kind of high self-esteem.    The guy pulls into a parking lot driving a BMW convertible.  He cuts in front of “Walt” and steals a parking spot.  He gets out of the car speaking very loudly on his cell phone.  During his conversation he talks about how great he is and how he will definitely get the promotion at work.  Then he sees a pretty woman and makes a shameful comment about her appearance and proceeds to announce what he’d like to do to her.  This was a fictional character who represents a great many people in society.  I’m sure they believe in themselves and are very confident, but also cut off from their Higher Selves.

I hope that through my example, I can teach my daughters to take the time to connect with their inner guidance system.  I want them to uncover their talents and find success.  I want them to have enough faith and self-respect to walk away if their peers ever encourage them to do something harmful.  I want them to feel love without needing the constant approval of the people around them.  I want them to be wise, discerning and brave…not selfish!

The Devil Made Me Do It

A while back I mentioned in a post that I do not believe in The Devil and needless to say all hell broke loose (no pun intended).  I have finally mustered up the nerve to write about why it is I feel this way.

First off I will say that I do buy into the idea of evil energies.  There is no doubt there are sociopaths that commit evil deeds without any real motive at all.  An author and psychic I’ve read, Sylvia Browne, has written her theories on these people.  She suggest that their  “punishment” for the evil they possess is to reincarnate over and over again without ever finding peace in the afterlife.  In essence, her idea is that the earthly life and body is hell for them.  This seems like a reasonable theory, although I am not sure if I believe it completely.

What I do believe is that the vast majority of us are inherently good.  We are all interwoven and connected and the thread that binds us is the divinity within us.  I think that we have two forces working on and in our lives: God and Ego.  God is the driving force that fills us with excitement and inspiration.  God is the tug in our chest or inner voice that screams at us not to get in the car on the day of the accident. (If you remember a lot of people were spared on 9/11 b/c they listened to an inner voice that urged them to change the routine.)  God is the love that fills our hearts when our friends find success and peace in their lives.  When we follow that voice we are left feeling a zest for life.  The other voice is our Ego.  Ego screams to us out of fear.  It tells us there is not enough.  It manifests itself as greed, jealousy, anxiety, confusion, and rage.  Ego tells us we are all alone and the only way to find our place is to jump on the closest bandwagon and hold on for dear life.  Just like God, Ego is a part of all of us.  Ego is our human nature and it is the closest thing to The Devil that exists.

Personally I think very often people confuse God with The Devil.  I don’t think God wants us to get complacent.  God forces us to ask questions and seek answers.  Sometimes that is scary, sometimes it means walking away from a relationship, job, or religion that has felt like a foundation in our lives.  Sometimes we misunderstand God’s guidance and make mistakes.  Sometimes our mistakes are God’s plan because they bring us closer to the reality of who we are and what is valuable in our lives.  Because of this, I think that “the devil made me do it” or “the devil is pulling me away” is a cop out excuse.  If questions arise in your life and new ideas are presented to you, it may just be God offering you a new path to explore.  The real “devil” in this situation is the EGO that screams at you to cling to old ideas even if they are no longer serving you and the world.

Most of what I have written thus far is just my opinion and may come across as judgmental, but I did want to close on one final note as to why I do not believe in The Devil.  Omnipotence!  If God is Omnipotent than how can there be a force strong enough to outwit God on occasion?  If God is Omnipresent than how can there be an outside force that pulls people away from God?  I do not believe there is.  God is all powerful and always with us.  It is our choice, free will, to decide if we want to wake up to that connection or stay trapped in the duality of humanity.  (I also wanted to mention that I was first presented with the idea in this paragraph…which makes more sense to me than anything else…in Joel S. Goldsmith’s teachings.)

The D Word

This post has been in my head for a while, but I haven’t quite been able to mesh my thoughts together to write it.  Recently it seems that everywhere I turn people my age are divorced, getting divorced, or thinking about it.  Apparently there is some life crisis that happens in your 30s that no one ever told me about.  I know a stay-at-home mom with three children, who took an amazing leap of faith and got divorced before she even had a job.  When I was being told her story another woman piped in and said “I wish I could find a job so I could divorce my husband.”  When I was in NC, I heard about two couples who got married around the time I did, have kids the same ages as mine and are now separated.    I’ve also been reading about the challenges of divorce in Jase’s blog, as he struggles with child support payments, court dates, and the other ego stuff that goes along with divorce.  All of this still doesn’t include the number of people I’ve talked to who are somewhere between wanting a divorce and settling for an empty marriage so that they never have to take that leap.

I’m not exactly sure what this says about marriage and my generation.  The reality is I think there are very few perfect marriages.  I think most of us grew up on Disney movies where the girl is always whisked away to live happily ever after with the perfect prince.  The problem is they never showed us exactly how that works.  I know there are situations where life is intolerable and divorce is the only healthy solution, but I also think in a lot of cases the only thing that is truly missing is happiness.  We get a marriage license and then with the exchange of rings put our happiness in the hands of someone else and take on responsibility for theirs.  It is a lot of pressure and as time passes and life gets more complicated we start to feel like the bargain isn’t being held up.

I have come to a place recently where I have realized that I am the only person in charge of my happiness.  I know in the past that I have put pressure on Mark to make me happy by saying or doing the right thing.  I also know that he’s had down moments and I’ve felt somehow responsible.  I’m learning to let that all go and focus on the good stuff.  That is a huge step in changing a relationship for the better.  I think if you chose to be happy, life works itself out.  Every time I look at my husband I think of something that is wonderful about him.  I think of the amazing life we have together and everything we’ve built.  I am so proud of us!

So if you find yourself in a rut just start counting your blessings.  Look for the silver lining in everything.  Change the way you look at it, little by little, until you find yourself feeling happy without anyone else having done anything!