Leah’s Click

Leah Shapiro a Kick-Ass Life Coach & Head Rabble Rouser at http://www.DefytheBox.com. Leah helps creative, non-conforming souls uncover the pre-packaged beliefs that prevent them from living their version of a Kick-Ass Life.  When she is not focused on working with clients, building her Empire or hosting My Kick-Ass Dream Life Radio you can usually find her making pottery, playing with her two cats or whipping up something delicious in the kitchen. A self admitted hedonist, Leah is frequently off engaging in pleasurable pursuits and is known to be a mighty temptress.

You can read Leah’s blog here: http://www.DefytheBox.com/blog

The Rock

Back in the day, I was part of a really cool woman’s mystery school and leadership program called the Priestess Path Apprenticeship. This program was truly amazing and opened the way for deep personal
growth.

 

This group of 24 women gathered together once a month and spent time in circle exploring many mystical practices and initiations aimed at making us confront our fear and inner-demons in order to know
ourselves better. It was very powerful work.

 

One of the things we did was called the Quest. Each of us was lead on a
journey down a dark path through an unknown forest. There were many
stops along the way designed to challenge you and make you think. At one
stop you were asked how heavy your past emotional baggage weighed on
you. Then you were given a big rock to carry with you along the path to
represent your baggage.

 

Let me tell you that carrying that rock sucked! It was awkward and took
so much energy. It weighed me down. At each new stop along the trail it
became more and more irritating. The longer I carried it, the heavier it
became and the more I focused on it. I was not able to enjoy the cool
stuff I was coming across along the path because I was so focused on
carrying the rock and how much it sucked. The rock became the focus of
everything.

 

Finally, I got fed up and decide to throw the rock off into the woods.
Boy what a relief. I felt free. The Quest was fun again. I wondered why
I did not ditch the rock sooner.

 

Interesting enough, I was the only one who chose to ditch their rock.
Everyone else kept lugging the thing along until they came to a stop
where someone else relived them of it. It never occurred to them that
they might have a choice in the matter.

 

I wonder how many of you are carrying around a Rock of your own without
giving thought to the idea that you have a choice in the matter.

 

There is always a choice.

 

Choose to let it go and focus on what feels good to you right now.

 

Choose to enjoy the adventure.

 

Ditch the Rock!

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Maria’s Click

Maria found my blog during the break.   Like me, she is also a fan of the teachings of Joel S. Goldsmith.  She sent me the following story of an amazing healing in her life.  She told me in her email that since writing out her story she has lost twelve pounds.  I really believe that miracles can happen when we seek to heal starting with our thoughts and feelings towards ourselves.  Maria’s story is evidence of that.  You can find Maria here and here.

This summer we remodeled our bathroom and we got a full length framed mirror for over the vanity for free.  Since we already had one there, we decided to use it vertically in our bedroom.  I haven’t had a full length mirror for many years.  I was so excited as we mounted it on the wall and I saw the reflection from the window right across and the effect of brightness and openness it was giving to the room!  But the next morning, when I rolled out of the bed and started getting ready for work, I stood in front of the mirror and was so disappointed by seeing a figure I could hardly recognize.  The twelve or so extra pounds immediately snapped at me, my grays stuck out, fluffy arms out of tone, a “life saver” of belly fat, some orange peel on my thighs, blotches on my legs and a height loss (I swear I was taller before)!

A few thoughts ran quickly through my mind.  I haven’t had a professional facial in over fifteen years.  I have no time for working out.  I wish I had money to join one of those weight loss programs.  Oh, I don’t even know what to do to look better-no wonder why I don’t get compliments anymore! As those thoughts and more downfalls like them were spinning in my head, I decided to sit down in prayer and visit my only source of beauty-Soul’s Beauty Salon-for an extreme makeover.

I quieted down, started taking a few breaths, and as I did that I thought, I come to Thee for inspiration.  And as I was “inspiring”, the thought came to me that I invite in the Spirit of Truth that purifies and rejuvenates all things in me.  A sense of peace instantly took over and a flow of refreshing thoughts started occupying me.

“Shall the clay say to him that fashioneth it, What makest though?”

“Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands.”

In that state, I dived into the “FOREVER 23” anti-aging formula:

“The Lord IS my Shepard I shall not want!”

“He restoreth my soul!”

“He annointed my head with oil.”

Right then, I felt I was sitting in Christ’s clinic for a complete and permanent makeover.  I felt mother Love, gently combing my full of strength hair.  I felt my body was full of brightness and grace.  I felt strong, light, and radiant.

“Love restoreth my soul!”

Then the thought about fat reduction came to me.  In the question “what is fat?”  Instantly the thought False Assuming Thoughts or Fake Appearing Thoughts came to me.

There I understood that all belief about fat was an illusion and it was up to me to reduce and eliminate it.  In the thought about extra weight I started thinking what extra weight can mean and then I realized all the “extras” I was carrying for a long time:  thoughts that people have wronged me, thoughts that people have hurt me, self-justification about this that happened 30, 20, 10 years ago or yesterday, guilt and blame.

Right there, as I was sitting in the makeover room, I felt I stood in front of a “burning bush” and mentally threw all the weights I was ignorantly carrying for years.  I saw forgiving every person that abused me since I was a baby, letting go of every sad memory, forgetting all history of me, releasing all resistance for being new and ageless, erasing my story-whater that might be, burning the past and pausing the agony of the future.

I threw in my complaints about the government, the pollution, the dogma, the economy, the war, the pain.  I felt I was doing this for me and for the world.  And as I was doing it for the world, I was doing it for me.  The fire became stronger and stronger as I was throwing more and more things of mortal history and collective thought, but strangely enough the atmosphere felt clearer and clearer, brighter and brighter and me and my body lighter and lighter.  There I knew I was standing on holy ground.

Then I felt going through an exfoliating process, a sense of getting rid of layers and layers of erroneous, heavy thinking concerning all mankind.  That moment I had a glimpse of Jesus transfiguration experience, the understanding of what might mean to be transfigured in the light of Christ Truth.  My figure felt a slim and thin silhouette dancing in the glow of the brightest light.  I felt shaped up in perfection by Soul and sizzled in holiness by Love.  The feeling of beauty was overwhelming.  The sense of grace was un-measurable.  The actual form of me was meaning-less but never the less quiet beautiful and ever refreshed, standing in different heights.

When I went to work that day, I was astounded when the very first question I was asked was “Have you lost weight?”  Somebody else looked at my flat heels and questioned why I looked taller.  And somebody else said “Gee, you look gorgeous today, did you have a makeover or something?”

Sound Check (A Poem)

Sound Check (3-19-10)

Listen

with new ears

more than hearing

waiting

for the sweet sound

the small voice

quiet urges

grasp them

like a kite string

carry you to the

clouds

turn off

the thunder

anger

guilt

and listen

for the soft kiss

seeping through

gently, gently

waking you

from the slumber

the nightmares

of despair

replacing rage

with intention

for peace

love

a life fulfilled

check in

hear the voice

that awaits your

inward journey

Naware Healer’s Click

The following is a post from a fellow member of the Owning Pink Posse.  The day that I asked her to send in a click story she had posted the following blog on the Posse page.  We both thought it’d be perfect for my blog as well… You can follow her on Twitter and visit her etsy shop.

…she could feel it, the faint music, wheedling it’s way to her. If she concentrated too hard it would vanish, disappear without so much of a trace. But if she stilled her working mind and just listened, openly and unobtrusively she heard it as clear as day. It was a symphony of sadness, of pain and sorrow, swelling from regret. It would crescendo one final time and burst out into joy, wonder and excitement. It was the sound of fulfillment and awareness…of “everything going just right”. She smiled silently to herself, it was so much more than just a little twiddle…

it was the sound of her heart beating to her own tune, the smile on her lips curved a bit wider…

She murmured an almost inaudible thank you and walked away. She said good-bye to her fears and worries and embraced her new dreams and hopes. She had tarried long enough with these “friends”, these bedfellows of doom and gloom. It had never been a romance, but she had treated it that way and now was time for letting go, for moving on and she would do so graciously and with dignity…She mouthed a small thank you once more, harboring no regret or resentment to her old “pals”.

The door to a new chapter in her life was opening…and as they say: Temptation may lean on the doorbell, but opportunity may only knock once…

I’ve been feeling this for a couple of days. And perhaps I’m just so used to not recognizing and following my dreams that that is why I’ve struggled with it as long as I have had. Today I believe, was the last straw.

I have been laid up in between since yesterday, in terrible pain (still dealing with my women issues – though they aren’t quite as bad as they used to be). But “not as bad as they used to be” still is bad. But what did I so poignantly say to another friend of mine, referencing a blog I put up here… ” ‘things are only bad when you say they are’ “. Silly sometimes, how we can’t even listen to our own advice. How we will dig and dig in the rain, and wonder why our hole is just a mud puddle. Where we will use our dreams for kindling in the high winter of our lives, giving up all hope and wonder why they go up in smoke…yes, we are silly that way.

Just today, I spoke to a “family friend”. A woman I know because of my mother, and while I begrudge no one their thoughts and opinions, it doesn’t mean I want to live them out as my own life. She said to me, well with all of your healthcare experience you could get a job real easily, and if you go back to school…

That tore it, I started feeling agitated, I felt the desperate need to get away from her, even though I was hundreds of miles away at my home at my computer. But there was something stifling and oppressive in her comments. It reminded me of back home, of “duty”, of being what everyone else wanted and never acknowledging me. It reminded me of something a “mother” would say, most specifically mine.

I guess the lightbulb was starting to come on, but I waved it away in my agitation. I promptly told her “I had to go” and signed off the site. I went to two of my dear female friends who have almost made it an occupation listening to my rants and railings against how “unfair” my life is being…Unfair, I laugh at it now, but had someone done that to me just hours earlier, I’d have likely flipped out on them…

They both said the same to me: they mean well, and in caring, they think they’re doing the right thing. One apologized for being that way herself to me lately – but it wasn’t her that I was railing about, and in fact I even told her she wasn’t. She insisted, and I briefly remembered a comment that could qualify…but as both of the women are several years my senior and almost old enough to be my mother…I didn’t really take it to heart. Funny.

Since I’ve laid down and now am up again…I checked the mail to no avail, and sat down again before diving back into my book (my current mode of escaping “life as we know it”). But right now, I realize something. And I know now – in thinking it – that it has been stewing in my mind all day…I want success, joy, to be able to creatively pursue that which I love. But what am I doing to express that? Nothing. I’m just whining and lamenting the fact that I gave up on “shoulds” on Friday and am upset that my dreams aren’t here already and fulfilled on Wednesday. BUT what have I done to help them along? Sure I’ve made a couple of things…but it’s been the frantic and chaotic workings of a madwoman…there has been no real effort so what am I bitching about? I’ll be honest, I have no idea.

I know some of the things I need to do. I need to update all of my email signatures so they extol my business and healing center.

I should change my name on various sites to reflect my services.

I need to use all those handy widgets I have access to (that are free I might add) and advertise across the bazillion social sites I’m on.

I can blog more…it’s not like I’m not verbose enough to have something to say.

And I’m sure there are several other things I can do. Just need to do them…just need to stop straining to hear that symphony and relax and then the beautiful sound will come to my ears and uplift me. Stop railing against the “unfairness” and make my life what I wish it to be. By focusing not on what I don’t like, what I wish wasn’t here…but appreciating what IS.

Ps, Thanks Leslee!

Guilt, Guilt, Guilt

The term “survivor’s guilt” has been mentioned these past two weeks since I lost my dear friend, Amy.  When I hear the term I immediately think of someone feeling guilty for being alive when their loved one has passed on.  I imagine them off in a corner somewhere thinking it should have been me, it should have been me.  I haven’t felt this way.  I had a moment of thinking why do I get to be here and what am I supposed to do, but never thought it should have been me.  Mark and the girls need me.  It would be selfish to think that.

I do believe I am experiencing “survivor’s guilt” in a different way.  Right now, I seem to be drowning in guilt.  I am regretting all of the missed opportunities and the stupid excuses (not just with Amy).  The girls are tired.  The drive is too far.  There are too many people to see.  It’s too hard.  There is not enough time. I feel bad for choosing the wrong words.  Even after apologies are exchanged and accepted, I can’t stop flogging myself for putting them out there in the first place.  I feel guilty for the things I want and the things I don’t want.  I feel wrong for the love I do feel and the love I wish I felt.  I feel like a horrible mother because I am lacking the energy it takes to turn off the TV and talk or play.  I answer Callee’s demands because it’s easier than trying to teach her to ask politely.   I can’t stay on top of the mess in my house and taking one look around makes me more angry at myself.  I feel guilty for some of the things that I have written and for the stuff that just won’t get on the page.

In the last two weeks, I have told a lot of people that I’d call them.  I can’t seem to pick up the phone.  I feel guilty for wanting to crawl into a shell, just when I’ve been reminded how important relationships are.  I feel bad for being attached and detached.  There are relationships in my life that are in desperate need of healing and I’m too tired and angry to do the work.  I feel guilty for how much pain I am experiencing at this loss because I know as much as it hurts there are a number of people that are hurting more.  I feel guilty for almost everything.

Some months ago I had a conversation with a friend about guilt.  We concluded that guilt is a useless emotion and gets us no where.  I believe that now, especially as I am consumed by it.  It is paralyzing me and making it hard to be in my own skin.  I’m writing this now in hopes that by owning it, I can make it to the next step of letting it go.

Dear Amy (my stuff)

I’ve allowed myself one week to write to you and about you on the blog.  Tomorrow I’m going to tell your favorite story and then go back to the old routine, well with the exception of the click stories.  (I’ve received four already and plan to post them on Tuesdays and Thursdays.)  For my last letter I just want to tell you how I’ve felt.

I guess it was nearly a year ago when I made my “25 things about me” list on Facebook.  One thing I thought about including in the list and did say in a comment was “I am not who I used to be.”  I wanted to make it clear to everyone who knew me when I was younger that I was not proud of a lot of my choices.  When you read that though, I think it hurt you.  I can’t exactly remember (see that’s why I need you) if you actually told me or I just got it via Kristin, but I’ll never forget the gist of what you said.  It made you sad that I felt so much regret for that time in my life, because for you it was a wonderful time.  You were right beside me on that journey, picking me up when I slipped, helping me laugh when I wanted to cry, and just simply having FUN!  Somehow I’d forgotten all that fun and chose to focus on the “bad” stuff.  You wanted me to remember it the way you did.  The funny thing is, once I was told what you really thought of me not being who I used to be, I DID start to remember it differently.  I chose to reflect on the good and I began to change.  I started to accept and embrace the past, letting go of all the guilt I’d held onto.  Those little steps of self-acceptance and self-love opened my heart.  Over this past year I have begun to love more deeply and more passionately and I believe you had a big role to play in that.  I thank you so much for the gifts you have given me over the past 18 years.

I also want to tell you that I’m sorry.  I’m sorry for moving so far away.  I’m sorry for missing so much over the years.  I’m sorry for crawling into my own little world and forgetting to reach out to those of you who had invested in me for so long.  I’m sorry that you only met the girls a few times.  They would have loved you so much and you them!  I’m sorry for not sending pictures of them.  I’m sorry for not staying with you when I’d come to NC for visits.  I’m sorry for not expressing enough gratitude for all the lovely gifts you sent me and my family over the years.  I’m sorry for not telling you I loved you enough, but glad I at least said it recently.  I’m sorry for dumping my drama on you and not taking enough time to ask you how you were doing.  You have taught me so much about living and I’m sorry I am only realizing it now that you have made your transition….

Here are a few things I’ve learned from your example:

1.  When you find people you connect with, stay connected.  TALK ON THE PHONE to the people you love! (I’m easing in to this one, you know I’m not a phone person.)

2.  There is nothing wrong with asking for what you want and expecting to get it!

3.  Be generous and helpful.  Reach out to people in need.

4.  Life is short, make the most of it.  Have things, do things, and be with people that feed your soul!

5.  Seek your own answers, make up your own mind, and don’t let anyone ever pressure you or guilt you into doing/being something you DON’T want to do/be.

I’ll probably think of more lessons later, but those are the ones that stand out to me now.  Thank you for the biggest gift of all (that came in the tiniest little package): YOU and your beautiful friendship!!!

I know you loved 80’s music and singing Karaoke.  This is the first song we ever sang at Rainbow Deli!