Practice of Life

An older new year post for 2018 for the good people at PsychicsForetell. Just in time for spring 🙂

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I’m sitting here on the first day of the lighter half of the year.  The beginning of the waxing phase of the sun, the day after the shortest day of the year.  Seems appropriate to turn my mind to the new year ahead.

Winter still firmly holds me.  I’m not done with the less active phase but with the shift in the sun’s energy, I have to honor that things will be growing again shortly.  Seeds that lay dormant need to be cultivated.  All the darker truths I found in the waning half of the year will need to be allowed to fall and amend the soils of my soul to support the new growth ahead.

Now is still not the time for action but it is certainly the time to envision what action I will take to grow healthy and strong in the sunshine ahead.  I used to believe this was the time to make resolutions.  But I found the very idea of resolutions to be too rigid.  Instead I set intentions for my year.  Two years ago, my intention was unconditional love and compassion.  Last year was integrity.  The universe obliged by giving me some of my most difficult tests that rewarded me with finding some of my deepest truths.

I will not say I’d like to go through any of it again but having an intention gave me a way to frame all of what occurred in my life and keep a grounded perspective.  I found patience, a trait I thought I completely lacked, as I looked to cultivate unconditional love in my life.  I also learned the necessity of boundaries and the healing grace of self-compassion.  Then I applied my new lessons as I discovered what living a life with integrity looked like for me.   I learned how to work, how to love and how to lose with integrity.

I sit now reflecting on the path I’ve traveled.  And I sit thinking how I’d like to travel in the upcoming year.   And I am drawn towards the intention of authenticity.  I wish to make this year about living authentically.  I have accepted myself which has allowed me to be accepting and compassionate towards others.  I faced some very difficult truths about myself and the world and found a way integrate them into my whole being.  I seek now to allow these new truths to be made manifest in my life through the authentic expression of my ever-evolving self.  I know we are here to shine our own unique light, to share our own unique gifts and tell our own unique stories to the best of our abilities.  And so that will be my intention this year.  To live my life as an unfiltered, flawed and still-growing being made up of my own blend of stardust and mud.  To walk in truth and let my life speak of my travels.  Unapologetically and authentically me.  And I’d be honored if you would join me.

Please join me in setting intentions this year.  Take some time as we still sit dormant in winter’s embrace to reflect on the changes that have occurred in your life over the last year and choose the view you would like to hold throughout this coming year.  Like the beginning of a yogic practice, set an intention to center upon and when the poses that follow get uncomfortable, come back to your center and move again from there.  See if and how that changes your perspective on any struggles you face and how it adds a richness to any triumphs.  This practice has helped me to stay true to my journey and the universe always seems to let me know when I stray from my path and when I’m heading the right way.  It is my wish that this practice may also be of benefit to you.  Brightest blessings for a beautiful, wonderful, wild and magical 2018!

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Healing Journeys: Anchor ~ Sink or Swim

Another of the theme blogs I wrote for the loving souls over at Nourishing Storm.  Go see what’s new and good.

Sitting with Anchor. I am visualizing this fantastic cosmic ocean that is everything. Everything that can ever be imagined before it is imagined and everything once imagined now made manifest. And living is this wonderfilled experience we have within and through this ocean. It is like we are the waves even as we ride the waves.

This is where my mind has been lately on a whole. Seeing my greatness and my smallness. Understanding the duality that is me and everything in this world. And also understanding the oneness of me and everything. Evolution and involution. 

This is the journey I’ve been on lately. And the first thought of anchor, well, I sank with it. I’ve been moving out in this great sea of life. The thought of anchor seemed like a drag on my progress. I want to keep moving so I resisted it. And I know well, the places where I resist usually have something more for me. So here I sit again with my anchor.

Anchors are not fixed. In fact I would only have a need for an anchor when I am moving between shores. My anchor is merely a connection between me and whatever I choose to have it take hold of. In that light, this theme doesn’t drag me down. It allows me to stay in the cosmic ocean. It is just a tool. It cannot hold me down unless I use it that way. And I’ve come too far to use it that way.

My anchor will hold my ride if I need to get out and swim.   And I will need to get out and swim. There will be times I need to feel myself within the ocean so I can understand us both a little better. There will be times when I need my anchor to hold my space while I wander and listen.

The anchor I see for myself is not forged in some heavy metal. My anchor will be made from the Truths I’ve mined so far. It is forged by the fire of my soul. It is not a weight to carry, it is a reminder of the weight of those things that keep me grounded while I’m out at sea.

I will use my anchor wisely and only when needed. And when it is time to move on, I will pull my anchor down from the skies. I will shake off that North Stardust and blow a kiss to the winds, a “thank you” for their tests and graces.   Then I’ll raise my sails if the winds favor me. If they don’t, I will pick up my oars and row. And I will move on until the next stretch of sea begs me to drop my anchor and swim again. And it will.

“This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast and one which enters within the veil, “ – Hebrews 6:19

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Truth of Darkness

A post from PsychicsForetell‘s blog I wrote in 2017.   

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I have believed in my past that by eliminating from my sight all the scary, painful, ugly bits I find in life, I can somehow eliminate them from my knowing.  But I have found that these are the things that offer me the most growth.  And if left abandoned, these are the things that will keep me from living a life as my most authentic self.

Life has forced me to confront these things.  Over and over with circumstances beyond my control where I lost my pride, my confidence and my faith.  In those spaces of chaos, the hurt or the fear I experienced drew some dark truths from the depths of my soul.   Each time I felt desolate or tortured or humiliated or broken, I found a new low to explore within.  But before I came to understand this work, I couldn’t be rid of the stench of my pain fast enough.  So I’d deny these lows existed.  I mistakenly thought I was healing.

But the truths I glimpsed there, though dark, are still true.  Truth isn’t always pretty.  And if I hope to reach my fullest potential, my soul’s compass must recognize both poles.  So I’ve sought to befriend my dark truths.  I must know my edges to find my center.

To get comfortable enough to explore my low spots has required forgiveness.  A forgiveness for the ugliness inside of me and for times I knew better than my actions or words would suggest.  It is acceptance or else filter the ugliness from my experience and risk living falsely.

The way I see it, if I can’t accept all the truths I’ve encountered, then the ground I stand upon is a lie.  And my roots will be too shallow to grow me up to the heights I know I can reach.  But if my roots can go a bit deeper, I can reach a place where the winds can’t rattle my soul.  Because I can find my true center and can give myself the grace to bend with the storms.

And so I keep digging.  And further down the rabbit hole I go.

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Healing Journeys: Embrace ~ Heart Soil

Last of 2017’s posts for the Nourishing Storm community.  Go see what’s new and good over in their neck of the woods.

I sat with my soul in the midst of its storming once. I went deeper inside, to the eye in the middle. Surrounded by the chaos of which I held no control, I rooted into my core. I held still and listened. And this is what I heard:

Embrace it all. Every bit of it. Of everything that is your life. Gather it all in and hold it. Allow it all into your heart. Let it all break you open so your heart can do its work.

Embrace who you are where you are. Embrace all that has happened. The joy and the pain. Embrace your journey. Every step you’ve made towards your dreams. And all the slips and falls. All the stories that have just begun to tell their tale. And all the stories that ended before their tales were told. Gather it all and hold it dear. Even your suffering. Let your storms wound you. Be soft in the spite of them. Let them cut into your heart and turn its deeper soils as only those pains can. And trust the heart’s gift of transforming what we allow it to accept.

Do not shy away from your life. Not a single second of it. Own the space you occupy so you can take care of it. Do not deny even a single speck of your own dirt your stewardship and your love. Let life till the heart’s soil instead of scar its surface. Let it dig all the way to the soul. Then keep the heart open so the soul can flow through.

Embrace all there is and ever was of you. Accept all of it. So you can live with integrity. Do not filter your story if it is true. Share it however you may or not at all, but own it within yourself. Let your soul speak of the raw ugliness and the divine beauty of your adventure. Let your life speak of your heart’s truth. It is the totality of your experience that has brought you this far. Honor your path by recognizing the wisdom it offered.

Life is large. Let it be that way. Let it be wild and wonderful, terrible and beautiful. Let yourself fall and rise and hurt and love. Open up wide to embrace it all. Do not deny yourself the bigger picture. The one with the space for the whole of you, and with room left yet for you to rise. You were born to shine like the moon in all its phases. To sing like the wind through all life’s weather, its breezes and torrents. To show up to the main event, which is Every. Single. Second. You. Are. Blessed. To. Live. Embrace it all. So you can bring your whole damn self to everything you do. Embrace it all and give yourself the freedom to be unapologetically you.

“Humanity rages like a tempest, but I sigh in silence for I know the storm must pass away while a sigh goes to God. Human kinds cling to earthly things, but I seek ever to embrace the torch of love so it will purify me by its fire and sear inhumanity from my heart. Substantial things deaden a man without suffering; love awakens him with enlivening pains. Humans are divided into different clans and tribes, and belong to countries and towns. But I find myself a stranger to all communities and belong to no settlement. The universe is my country and the human family is my tribe.”
– Kahlil Gibran – A Poets Voice XV

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Girl Empowered – Passing the Torch

A piece I wrote for Psychicsforetell a while back during the Harvey Weinstein headlines.  Still relevant 😦

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With all the talk about Harvey Weinstein, I feel compelled to write about sexism in our current culture.  And I’d like to state that while I know women are not the only victims in these types of cases, this post will be from an apologetically female perspective.  I also know it isn’t new age-y.  In fact it is quite old.  Sexist attitudes back in the day were blatant and generally accepted.  Today it exists in a different, quieter way.  An energetic way.  A way that is difficult to confront as it has become tolerated.  But it looks like America is finally ready to talk about it.  Or so I hope.

When met with voices that say that sexism (or insert just about any -ism) is alive and well, I’m surprised by how many don’t see it.   Just because sexist comments aren’t spoken openly in most common settings, doesn’t mean the feelings they were born from are gone.  That energy is alive and well and it can manifest at any time to its fullest potential when harnessed by someone who believes they are untouchable.

All of the ism’s are about power.  About people who feel they have a right to full control over every situation including other people in the situation.  The biggest perpetrators seem to usually be the most insecure people or the most self absorbed.  Any person in their right mind knows that real power does not come at the expense of another.   Truly powerful people are not threatened by someone else’s strength or independence.  And they do not threaten others who are not strong or are not free to make their own choices.

But we are not talking about truly powerful people. We are talking about people like Harvey Weinstein who think their money affords them privileges that don’t exist.  Like the right to require the bonus of sexual favors from female cast members.  Of course, as this comes out, everyone is on the same page that this is wrong.  Most seemed unsurprised.  A few even said so and got a bunch of grief for it.  But who really was surprised?

I think it is safe to say there wasn’t a woman in the world who was surprised by this event.  Even those women  with no idea who Harvey Weinstein is.  And I am sure there are those that agree with my assumption above yet still don’t see sexism as a real problem.  And that’s without mentioning that those actresses who were harassed or assaulted by this disgrace of a man were also paid way less than their male co-stars for the trouble.  I’d be willing to wager no one is surprised by that either.  It is just the way it is.  Right?

Apparently.  I mean the leader of our nation believed an appropriate response to sexual assault allegations was to make a joke of it saying, “she would not be my first choice.”  As good as saying we can discredit a woman’s accusation by her looks.  Like that is how assault works.  It was an irresponsible, condescending and asinine statement that I would have gladly smacked him in the teeth for if I was his mamma.  But hey, it got some cheers.  Maybe even from some women.  Presumably good looking women who have never been assaulted.  But still,  it isn’t his fault things are this way nor is it the fault of anyone who cheered.   They are just perpetuating and giving a face to what has been existing around us all along.

While it is heartbreaking hearing so very many of versions of the same horrible story, all of this attention is giving  women a platform to speak up and speak out.  And that is a good thing.  This issue needs a larger voice because sexism, like all the other ism’s, thrives in silence and is destroyed by the light.  That silence is now broken and now it’s time to bring the noise.  Because, yeah, it’s better than it was in a lot of ways but we still have a ways to go.   If not for ourselves, then for our daughters.

Do not be afraid to tell your story if you’ve been suffering in silence.  Though also do not feel pressured to tell your story if you are not ready.  Sometimes in sharing, you become the voice for those who cannot speak.  I know it isn’t easy.  It requires some painful truths to dealt with inside and out.  And to those men in the media calling this all a “witch hunt” – sorry fellas.  We know how hot it is in the flames.  Haven’t you heard? “We are the granddaughters of the witches they could not burn.”  And we will be the grandmothers of the women who know their own power and worth and the men who know how to respect that.

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Weight

One from two falls ago for the peeps over at PsychicsForetell.

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When I am at a corporate massage gig, I get a lot of people asking if they can help me carry my things.  I usually have two bags, my purse and my massage table.  I always say no.  Usually followed up with something like, “I have a very particular balance I’ve worked out.  One thing out of place, and it throws me off.”

It’s true that I have it figured out.  I know just how to lean forward enough to grab doorknobs without falling flat on my face with the table on one shoulder and my bags on the other.  I know just how to walk without causing too much of a sway that will throw off my gait.  I know just how to squat to put it all down without throwing my back out.  But when I do put it all down, I can feel the effects of the terrible position I’ve put my back in to maintain that “particular balance”.  I know it is too much weight to lug.  But it just doesn’t feel right to not carry it all myself.

So much like life.  It’s hard to put down the weight sometimes.  Even when it is hurting us.  We found our way to balance it.  It’s become a comfortable contortion, carrying all our familiar pains and fears.

Maybe it’s season that inspires me.  The falling leaves.  The darker days.  The energy shifting down to the unseen roots.  There is a rhythm we must honor.  And sometimes to do so requires us to let go.

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Healing Journeys: Rise ~ After the Fall

One from the fall of 2017 for the amazing folks over at Nourishing Storm.

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I’ve been working with my breath lately.  Breathwork is powerful.  Without the breath there is no life.  And it is so much like life with its rhythmic draw and release.

As I sat with my breath, following its rise and fall, it offered me a story.  Inhaling, I paused at the top, holding the breath there, holding life within.  Feeling gratitude, feeling full.  Feeling alive.

Trusting I will feel its fullness once again, I let it go.  I let it fall.  I followed it down.  Down into my roots.  I let it all out.  And I sat within my emptiness. And I listened from that stillness.  I was less comfortable at the bottom of the breath.  When can I breath?  I feel so hollow.

I listened for my answer.  It was so quiet at the bottom.  And from this place I heard that small shy voice that brings the world down to its size.  I cannot tell you what it said to me.  It spoke a million words through the silence.  Through the slowing beat of my heart, I listened until I felt at peace with my emptiness.  Until I was ready to accept my own dark hollowness.  Until I learned winter’s lesson of holding that quiet space after each fall, listening and waiting for life to fill me again.

I was ready to inhale.  I was ready to allow my lungs to expand with life, to rise with the truth of fullness I now understood.  My breath held a lesson of self compassion, for all the times I have fallen and all the times I will feel empty again.  Life will take me to its darkest depths over and over yet still I will heed the call of the heights I have yet to reach.   And so I will rise.  Again and again, I will rise.

“There is something moon soaked and dawn flavoured about her. Something kissed by the wild and loved by lightning. She looks like Artemis after a night of storm hunting. She looks like the sun as it rises after kissing the dawn.”  – Nikita Gill

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