Fearless Authenticity

basejumpWe were talking about Sunday school experiences in our childhood. One person contributed that he didn’t spend much time in Sunday school because he was often kicked out. There’s nothing like somebody else’s story to help trigger memories of your own…

As a child, I was kicked out of everything: school, music groups, kids clubs, Sunday school. You name it. The reason? I lived out of my truth regardless the cost. In Christian school we were awarded a ‘character trait’ poster at the end of every year. I got ones like ‘fearless’ and ‘thorough’. I can still remember the sound of the entire audience laughing when they called mine out. I guess you could say I had a reputation.  Nonetheless, the price was high in the 80’s when corporeal punishment still existed in schools and churches. A much worse fate awaited me at home. (trigger warning)

I grew up in a family where babies were beaten for crying or waking up at the wrong times and children were dragged out of their beds in the middle of the night for violent reasons. For me the solution was simple, learn to dissociate from the body and live my truth anyway. The result was a lot of hiding under the basement stairs and spending time in the forest. It was in those places where I would meet Jesus and experience Holy Spirit in ways that were more real than anything I encountered in the physical world.

As the years progressed, I learned to live with the incongruency of outer compliance because I finally caught on that my chances of survival were greater if I kept my soul hidden. I’ve never disconnected from Holy Spirit. Jesus has always been a faithful companion and guide. The pure, unconditional love and intimacy I’ve experienced with the Father is not worthy of words.

My biggest challenge in adulthood has been returning back to that place of complete and wild abandon in my spirit. It’s there. I feel it in the forest, on my mountain bike or with people I trust deeply. But much of the time I withhold. A lot. I don’t want to be perceived as rebellious or a heretic or worse. I am not fearless like I once was.

The western world, with all its controlling institutions, has not made space for people like myself…and perhaps you also. Maybe you’ve felt it though; a growing dissatisfaction amongst the intuitive masses. Many of us are no longer content with just wandering in the forests or hiding behind our blogs.

It’s not easy going into the places that make me feel uncomfortable, the places where I’m constantly confronted by the battle between my ego and my spirit. While I’m fairly good at helping others with their issues, I really don’t know how to share my true self with people that live out of a different paradigm than I do.

The path I’m on is certainly not easy, but the way for my children is somewhat easier. My kids have always had the freedom to live from their truth in my home. It might seem unconventional and it’s definitely anti-institutional, but we’ve made it a priority that they always lead with their human spirits and tune into Holy Spirit. Their egos come up with some pretty interesting stuff too, but how can you learn to distinguish between the two if you aren’t given the freedom to make mistakes in a safe environment?

Holy Spirit works in weird ways that I’m quick to judge as ‘wrong’, especially in other people’s lives. Keeping my mouth shut and allowing Spirit to do its thing in others, and even more so in myself, is a lesson I’m doomed to repeat. God grant us grace to love and forgive ourselves that we might be empowered to do the same for others.

Sound

Successful Self-Care

selfcare

I worry about money. As the exclusive care-giver for my four kids and my father I go through these seasons where I worry that I won’t be successful at providing financially for all 6 of us. Caring for my family and maintaining our home is at least a full time job. Working to make money is a second full-time job.

When I get stressed I contract my muscles and this causes all kinds of problems from headaches and stiffness to earaches and lower back issues. Of course, these issues then create even more stress because they impair my ability to work my two full-time jobs. It becomes a self-defeating cycle.

“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Nothing could be more true when it comes to our wholistic well-being. It’s hard for me to slow down and focus most of my energy on myself when so many other people rely on me for their well-being. Truth be told, I can only be successful at caring for others if I am diligent in caring for myself first. This coming week I’ll be slowing down and having a “Healing Week”.

Surrendering Process

The best method I’ve ever learned to alleviate worry is a process that the late Dr. David Hawkins outlines in his book Letting Go. Basically, you imagine the absolute worst-case scenario for what you’re worrying about. You allow yourself to go deep into these emotions, as if you’re actually experiencing the scenario. (You may want to lay down for this.) The idea is that if you confront your deepest, darkest fears around a worry – the fears that will likely never manifest anyway – you will deactivate your worry and empower yourself to move forward.

For example, what’s the worst case scenario if I’m unable to work and provide for my family? I’ll have to move into housing that will probably be cramped for all of us. I’d have to rely on my church, community and government to help me out financially. I’d have to use the food bank. My kids might not be able to participate as much in their extra curricular activities and I probably wouldn’t be able to replace my vehicle which is already old. I’d probably struggle with feelings of low self-worth and being a burden on society.

If I go deeply into this story, I begin to realize that although it would be challenging, I could live with it and as a family we could creatively learn how to thrive together. By dispelling the fear and worry around my worst case scenario, I free up a lot of energy that can now be used for more uplifting pursuits, such as healing myself in the present moment. This healing week I intend to:

  • Rest
  • Stretch & do Yoga
  • Pray, Meditate & do Progressive Relaxation
  • Walk in Nature
  • Plan my meals mindfully
  • Use the Letting Go Process
  • Record my Vision and Motivation for 2017

How will you be successful this year? If you need inspiration, follow me on my journey. I’d love to hear from you, so feel free to send me a message!

Successful

Leftovers

pizza

Cling to the past. Cling to your ideas. Cling to your wounds.

Clinging is no way to live. It suffocates us the way plastic wrap keeps the air out of leftovers so they don’t go bad as quickly. We’ve all done it; forgot that we put leftovers in the fridge. Sometimes we even find a plate of them that we didn’t know was in there!

Is your life a plate of leftovers from yesterday’s perceptions and last year’s hurts? Maybe you forgot you had these or you conveniently pushed them to the back of the fridge so you wouldn’t be reminded? The challenge with leftovers is that the longer they sit, the harder they can be to clean off the plate. They cling. They also get really disgusting.

What’s clinging to your plate? Is it bad habits or old belief systems that have comforted you into settling for less than your potential? Maybe it’s your excuses or the lies somebody told you that somehow became your truth? All cling-ons are made from the same fundamental particle: fear.

Fear pervades the global collective consciousness. It’s what lubricates economies, drives religion, gives momentum to governments, propels legal systems and it is the foundation for our approach to mental health. It’s no wonder we all have plates of leftovers in our minds; the very fabric of our communities and upbringings have been premised on fear.

What’s the answer? Here’s what I know. You can’t cure a problem on the same level of consciousness that created it (thanks, Einstein). In other words, if you are looking to the systems that perpetuate fear to provide you with a solution for it, you will continue eating nothing but putrid old leftovers.

Breaking into freedom from fear is about taking the way you do life to the next level. It’s the point where you start taking 100% responsibility for your thoughts, perceptions, reactions and responses. It’s the place where you engage a spiritual practice that takes you to a different level of consciousness than the one that created fear. You know what I mean.

How do you clean the leftovers off your plate?

Cling

My Yoke Is Easy, My Burden Is Light

sleepy-puppiesI can’t help it – this Jesus quote just keeps playing over and over in my mind lately. Perhaps it’s a persistent message from Holy Spirit calling me to shift how I do life. It could also be the yearning of my soul for some R & R from what I perceive as the busy life of a single parent of 4 and caregiver to my ailing, disabled father. In any case, I find myself wondering what the heck this phrase means for my life, right now.

Laws

When Jesus shared this tidbit he was comparing his way of doing life to the Pharisee’s oppressive perspective, which required following over 600 laws. Well, I’m not a Pharisee, but I’m pretty sure I’ve created 600 laws for myself…at least. Some are artifacts of a controlling, religious upbringing and many I’ve unwittingly created throughout my adult life.

Take for instance the law that I must always be busy or I’m not a good person. Yup – that’s gotta be one of my favorites! After all, I have a to-do list that could keep me busy for the next 15 years and still not be done. Another good one is the one where I have to be a perfect parent or my kids will turn out to be useless bums. And oh yeah, what about the one where I have to eat organic, non-gmo foods or I’ll get cancer and die?

Fear

If you look closely you’ll see that all laws are driven by a common theme: FEAR.  Fear that people will die. Fear that people will get hurt. Fear that people can’t tune into the Holy Spirit’s guidance without someone else’s ego helping them out first. Fear, fear, fear. And don’t forget guilt.

The funny thing about fear is that I’m pretty sure I was taught that God is Love and that in Love there is no fear. So, where is all this fear coming from? It definitely can’t be from God. It seems to me that living the life Jesus prescribed with the easy yolk and all is fundamentally about living a FEARLESS life!

Resolution

This year I will live a life of love and walk in FEARLESS abandon of laws and mindsets that have trapped me and held me back. How? Don’t know. That’s for God to figure out and Holy Spirit to show me. The yoke is supposed to be easy and the burden is light. It doesn’t matter what your lot in life is. This is a universal truth that applies to everyone. What does it look like for you?

May you be blessed to be a blessing!