Letting Go of Darkness

The full moon is in a transformative time that comes every 28 days. It is all about letting go of the old, while the new moon is about manifesting or bringing in the new. These energies of the moon start about 4 days prior to the actual event and last for about four days after, according the Susan Miller: Astrologer. This transformative time gives us wonderful opportunities to think about what no longer serves us and what we would like to see come into our lives.

Last night was the full moon. My husband and I attended a Kirtan. These are becoming the favorite feel good events of ours to go to. This full moon Kirtan was a beautiful event and attended by many sweet souls. This, once again, made our souls sing along with our voices; as the call and response of the mantras progressed throughout the night.

When attending an event like this or starting a meditation, going to a yoga class or retreat; it is always a great idea to set the intention for what you hope to achieve or experience. I learned this many years ago from a wise teacher and have found it to powerfully enhance my experiences as well as help me along my path of healing and health. Knowing that there was a full moon shining overhead, I set an intention to let go of any darkness in my heart. To let any anger, fear, jealousy, hate, distrust, sadness, or need to complain flow gently out of my heart and into the earth. There it could become fertilizer to grow something beautiful. I intended for all darkness to leave my heart so only love would reside there. My great grandmother said, “Those who sing, pray twice”. Singing or chanting is a beautiful form of prayer.

As Chi Johnson lead us skillfully through the various chants. We came to the one that was so very perfect for a full moon Kirtan: “Nataraj, Nataraja, Jai Shiva Shankara Nataraja”. (One part of this powerful mantra) Shiva is the Hindu god of destruction and transformation. He is also called Lord of the Dance. This is basically asking Shiva to dance through our lives and destroy what no longer serves us, so that we can transform into who we truly are. As we sang this chant I asked Shiva to remove any darkness from my heart. No, not just remove, but destroy anything other than the love that was residing there. “Music in the soul can be heard by the Universe”, Lao Tzu.

When we are hurt, darkness can take hold in our heart center and it can come out in a variety of ways. It has a purpose though; it is trying to protect us. There is purpose is all things, even when we cannot see it or know what it is. The complication is, that sometimes we hold onto these things much longer than we need too. My heart’s fear of being hurt, served me well, as I was healing from the acute pain of a broken relationship. It no longer serves me though. I have held onto it much longer than I needed too. Now is the time to release any darkness in my heart to make room for unending love. Love for all people and things. Love and respect so that I can more fully live in the flow of life. By doing this I can open up to appreciation and gratitude for all the beauty around me.

I am grateful for the Full Moon Kirtan. I am grateful for Shiva dancing through my heart, so that I can release that which no longer serves it. I appreciate all of you who walk your journeys along side mine. When you are ready, know that you are safe to release those things that once protected you.

Thank you for reading my blog today. I love you. May you easily let go of the darkness that has taken up residence in your heart, as if by magic.

* Photo was taken on the banks of the Ganges River in Rishikesh, India.

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Are You Positive?

What do you practice daily? This question showed up in my facebook news feed as a video by a young boy. I was so impressed with the wisdom of this youngster. I shared the video to our Adventure Sisters Facebook page. He was asking people if they had a daily practice. He went on to tell them that, whatever they practiced daily, they would become expert at. He gave example like; joy, anger, and complaining. He gave example of how practicing complaints and anger could make you very skilled at these things. It was really amazing insight for such a young person. Obviously an old soul resides in that young body. You can see his video on the Adventure Sisters Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/BWCAdventureSisters

So what do you practice everyday? I think it is a good thing for us to look at and really talk about. Our brains are predisposed to see the negative around us. When you think about it from a survival stand point it makes sense. If you are always looking for the danger (aka the negative) you will be able to flee to safety. The habit forming potential of negative thinking is probably something we have all experienced. So how do we shift our focus? I consider myself a pretty positive person. Am I really, though? If I sit back and watch myself, do I complain as much or more then I express joy and delight? It is winter where I live. I do not tolerate the cold as well as I do the heat. I think I probably complain more in the winter then I do in the summer. Winter is beautiful. I love the way the fluffy white snow sits on the prickly branches of the evergreen trees. There is a simple serenity in the the near black and white color palate of winter in the north. So why do I spend my time bitching about the cold?

Others expect negativity from us as well. Have you every been excitedly telling someone about the positive things in your life and you get a sense of disapproval from them? So you throw in a couple negative aspects. The other person will accept you now. If I told you: I love my job, I work for a great company. I have supportive collaborative teammates. My boss has my back and helps mentor me to further success. I get paid well. My benefits are good. I get plenty of vacation time and my job perks are out of this world. Would you feel jealous? Would you feel I was bragging? Would you think I was trying to convince you or me that my job was great? Would your eyes glaze over and would you secretly be plotting my death? Would I notice this look in your eyes and feel the need to think of a couple of negative things about my job in order to feel a little less like a crazy person?

Do we not want our friends and family to be happy and have lots of blessings in their life? We say that we do. What is it that makes us not want to trust happiness, joy, good fortune, and miracles? Of course nothing is perfect. Given the opportunity, we can find something to complain about in any situation. But the opposite is true too. Given the opportunity we can find something good to talk about in any situation. I challenge you to be Pollyanna. (Do you know who that is?) Look for the silver lining. Turn that frown upside down. Make a decision to be the happiest person in the room. Embrace the madness of a positive attitude. “It is only through mystery and madness that the soul is revealed” ~ Thomas Moore.

Thank you for reading my blog today. May your daily practice bring you joy!

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Bringing Hidden Emotions to the Surface

Recently Emy and I started planning our next BWCA trip. We were debating how many days we should stay. Because there is usually no cell service and you have to arrange for an outfitter to drop you off and pick you up, once you are there, you are there for the duration. I have noticed that when I am “stuck” somewhere, without some distraction, my emotions move.

There was one year that it rained, a lot! Emy and I passed the time sitting under a tarp, drinking tea, journaling, and talking. There is no electricity so using your phone for entertainment is not an option. After hours of sitting under our shelter I felt this desire to leave. I didn’t want to be there anymore. It was like my “fight/flight” response was in full swing and I wanted to run! Of course there was no way and no where to run to. I had to just sit. Then a breakthrough happened. My emotions broke free. I had a revelation. I became aware of some old thoughts about myself that I was holding as true. I realized that I did not believe I was lovable. I broke into tears and cried (something I seldom do). Because of this solitude and sanctuary of the forest, I was able to process this emotion.

Another year, it was the day before we were scheduled to leave, a beautiful sunny day had us lounging in the sun. I could feel the anxiety building in me. Our scheduled pick up time on the next day seemed so late in the day to me. We had a long drive to Emy’s home and then I had an additional hour to my house. I needed to unpack from the BWCA trip. I was scheduled on an early morning flight the next day for work and needed to pack for that trip. Laying there, on a warm rock, next to a sparkling lake, I once again felt that “fight/flight” instinct kick in and I wanted to run. I needed to get home and get stuff done! With nowhere to go and nothing I could do, I asked myself why I was feeling this way. Digging into those emotions and explored their root cause, helped me realized it was about not speaking up for myself. When we were arranging our pickup time, I knew I needed to leave early. When Emy suggested a later pickup time to the outfitter, I didn’t explain to her my perceived need to leave early because of pressure to get ready for a work trip. I just passively let her pick the time. Here it was four or five days later and it was causing me discomfort. Being in a place where I could allow my emotions to surface without the distractions the modern world offers us, gave me the time and space to allow the emotions to surface. I had the ability to dig into them and see what was causing them. I then knew how to prevent feeling like this in the future and advocate for myself.

So often in life we use distractions so that we do not have to deal with our emotions. TV, alcohol, games on our phones, housework, and so many other things to “be busy” and not have to deal with or process our emotions. Give yourself time and space to just be. Even though, at times, it may be uncomfortable it will allow those old emotions to break free. Then you can deal with them and release them.

What types of things do you do to “be busy” and not feel? How do you find space to let these emotions surface?

What do I Have To Learn From This?

Four days before Thanksgiving I fell and crushed my wrist. Friends and family from everywhere were about to descend upon my home in anticipation of the traditional Thanksgiving meal. It was my dominant wrist that I broke in the fall. What do I have to learn from this situation, other than watching where I step? How am I going to get through this? Should I just cancel the holiday? All of these questions and more were going through my head. Here’s how I managed to get through it.

  1. Go with the flow. The first thing I had to do was realize I had no control of the situation. All I could do was take a deep breath and realize that it was all going be OK and go with the flow. It may not be what I had originally envisioned but it would be OK.
  2. Ask for help. I had to call in the troops. I called my daughters who agreed to spend the night on Wednesday in order to help make the homemade buns. They also aided in getting all the side dishes and turkey properly prepared. A friend had to drive me to my doctors appointment. I also got help to go shopping for groceries.
  3. Examine my expectations. I have always been a person with very high expectations for myself and of others. I had to examine my expectations and realize that it was unrealistic for me to try and do this all alone. I had to allow for other ways to do things. My way might not be the only way.
  4. Slow down. Not only was my wrist broken, but also my hemoglobin (Iron) was 9.6. 12.5 is a normal result. I was feeling extremely fatigued. The pain and the effort to complete tasks with only my left hand was taking a toll on me. Which further increased my fatigue. I had to learn to take it slow and allow myself  time to rest. Anyone who knows me, knows that rest does not come easily to me. I am the type of person who will push through to get things completed.
  5. It’s not about me. Thanksgiving is about what there is to be thankful for. It is also about the coming together with friends and family. This misfortune did not change any of that. In fact it gave me more to be thankful for. I have gratitude for all of those who helped and offered to help. I am grateful because the kitchen was cleaned up without my interference. All of this help and other help that was offered made this gathering possible. My life is truly full of blessings.

So what are the lessons that a fractured radius and ulna have to bring me? It’s taught me a lot. I have learned to be grateful for all that I have, including the friends and family who rallied to support me. It’s taught me that there are other ways for things to be accomplished. It’s taught me that it’s OK to be weak sometimes. It’s taught me that perfection can be found in situations that are not ideal. Have you had situations like this? Have you had to learn things the hard way? Do you have any stories to share with us?

Sending Love in Response to Pain

I believe in Love. I believe in the energy of Love and the intentions in conveys. I believe that Love is not just for our family and friends but for the whole world. I also know it is not always easy to share love. When someone has hurt us, how do we send Love their way instead of a lower vibrational emotion like hate, jealousy, fear, anger, or disgust. I want to share a story with you about sending Love.

One day my house was broken into. I was on the other side of the country for work and my roommate called me to let me know that he came home to the door open, things ransacked, and many of the electronics gone. I had to let my boss know and book a flight home the next morning. I entered my home alone in the middle of the day. It was a mess. My bedroom was the worst. Things had been tipped over, pulled from the closet, and strewn about the floor. Drawers were pulled open and dumped out. My laptop with all of my photos on it (many that were not backed up) was gone. I sat on the floor near the closet and cried at the feeling of violation. My bedroom was obvious that it belonged to a woman. I wondered how someone who had a mother, maybe sisters, or even a daughter, could violate me in this way.
As I sat there on the floor in front of my closet, I knew what I had to do. I had to send him Love. I sent prayers and intentions that his life would improve in such a way that this would no longer be an option for him. I put a post on Facebook and asked all my Facebook friends to do the same. It has been several years since this happened, but I also request that those of you reading this do the same. Please send Love to this person and intentions for improvement in his life so that he no longer feels the need to break into homes to support himself.
It was not an easy thing to do. I had people comment on how messed up it was to pray for the person who hurt me. I stand by the fact that it was the right thing to do.

I find that when people who we have been very close to hurt us, this can be much harder to do. The pain we feel causes us to want to lash out and protect ourselves. Only Love can begin to shift this. Sending other lower emotions does not benefit us. I know it does not seem easy or even possible. Please try it. It may never repair the relationship and you may be better off to be out of that relationship anyway. When someone hurts you or a person you Love, send Love to the offender. They are likely hurting in someway too. Love will only bring more Love to you.

Have you ever done this? What was the result? Please share any experiences you have with this.

What do Elsa and Anna have to teach us? 

Could we learn something from a children’s movies? Could we learn to let go and love unconditionally? I have recently been reading The Untethered Soul by Michael A Singer. In the book he talks about letting emotions go. Just letting them roll through you, noticing them, and having no attachment to them. Years ago when I was first starting my spiritual journey I read the book, The Sedona Method by Hale Dwoskin. The idea is similar. It is about not holding on to those old emotions but rather letting them go.

All this talk of Letting go brings to mind the Disney movie Frozen. Could there be a spiritual message in this children’s movie? Well of course, spiritual messages can come from anywhere. In the movie Elsa has been holding on to all kinds of emotions of loss, self doubt, and hiding who she really is. Finally having enough she lets it all go and feels free. This freedom hurts the person who loves her the most. She has to learn how to repair the relationship with her sister. She eventually figures out that love is the only way to thaw the coldness between her and Anna.

As we let go of emotions, they will not effect us in the same way as they affect our friends and family, who are attached to their emotions. I remember in the Sedona Method Hale says how some people even have a sense of being “special” because of a bad thing that has happened to them. When I first read that, it struck me by surprise. Once I looked back at my life I could see how I was holding on to some of those traumatic experiences, because I was proud that I had gotten through them. This will make people more inclined to hold onto emotions, even ones that do not allow them to feel good. As we let go of these lower vibration emotions we will began to move out of the same energetic space as some of the people around us. With love we can bridge that gap. I feel a part of love is acceptance. When we allow ourselves to accept and love others in the space they are in, we are freed.

If you have more interest in learning about letting go of emotions I recommend either The Sedona Method or The Untethered Soul. I see the Sedona Method as more of a “how to” book, while The Untethered Soul is more of a lesson about becoming conscious. Both books have helped me along my journey. If you would like to comment more on either of these books or contribute, please feel free to comment below.