2018 was a potent year for inner reflection and opportunities to raise our awareness, move our blocks, own our mistakes and decide what to do with the lessons. Here are the biggest lessons I learned over this past year. I'm curious what you learned and would like to share too!
Labels - Labels are something I don't really use nor think about anymore except for when they were used to define me by other people. How do you describe yourself as you are still learning to discover who you are and what you have to offer others? I've been told to listen to others describe you and allow them to do that for you but this caused triggers for me because so many of the words used were associated with 'evil' or 'demonic' influence when I was growing up and I began to feel defensive wanting to proclaim how much closer I feel to God, the divine, my Higher Self and all than ever before; how important prayer is in any ritual or practice I'm using from herbalism, intention setting or working with tools.
Witch, Shaman, Alchemist, Medicine Woman, Spiritual Advisor, Moon Goddess, Lover, Artist, Writer, Model, Mother - I had to accept that these words are simply words used to understand the archetype the person sees in me and is actually a clue as to the type of medicine that person needs and where their gifts may have been lying dormant and are ready to begin to awaken. I'm a Pisces Rising which means one of my natural abilities is to morph into whatever a person or situation calls for and this year has taught me how to use that as a tool for the greater good without getting lost in someone else's archetypal definition of me. I am all of these things. I am also fluid and in constant evolution simultaneously embodying all and none of the definitions people need to try to understand me. It's a gift and an honor to witness who someone else is by what filter they choose to see me through. It also makes it easier to accept, teach, connect and love these people exactly the way they need it.
Unconditional Love - Unconditional love was something I thought I was beginning to understand and then I was faced with things from my past I thought I had reconciled to challenge where I thought I had grown and to push me closer to understanding and accepting what unconditional love is. I was shown where my old ego still clung to fear and pain and once I allowed myself to feel the pain I had pushed down for so many years, for the sake of survival being at the forefront of my mind back then. This year is closing with me accepting that I have a love in me that will never die, no matter how much it hurts when it resurfaces. I am compassionately accepting that the pain is only because the story didn't end and begin the way I had wanted - but that was my ego and if it was for the greatest good than it would have worked out that way. I added the most important missing piece to the book I'm writing and I allow myself to feel everything as it pours out of me. As I accepted this and allowed myself to express it, my heart burst open, any remaining walls around it fell, and it felt as though it continued to bleed on the floor around me. It no longer had a hold over me though and my tears weren't made of blood; I was in love and that was ok. Love doesn't begin or end, it just is and the more we try to control it or harness it the more damage we do to ourselves and others because that isn't love at all, it's fear.
Generations - The other major take-away I have from 2018 is that we focus too much on generations assuming that every person from a certain generation is a certain way. We use the lens of fear to judge people that see the world and approach problems differently than we do when we should actually be interested in another way, to be open to having a healthy dialogue and work together towards solutions. Most humans want the same things but our collective dream has us all easily triggered and overly defensive instead of open to hearing another story, another reality, another way. When I treat generations the same but individuals as uniquely as they actually are, we connect deeply and we find much more things in common than differences. When we blame generations that follow us we only have ourselves to blame because we were responsible for offering those people a safe and loving environment to grow up in. When we blame generations before us we close ourselves off to hearing about the lessons and the wisdom those mistakes offered them. When we blame our own generation we blame ourselves. When we blame we remain victims, throwing our hands into the air, giving our power away to anything or anyone instead of taking responsibility and having the courage to learn from our own mistakes.
I make resolutions and set intentions daily and throughout each day. The ending of a year offers us the opportunity to measure our personal (and professional) growth at a macro level, just as reaching a long-term goal measures our personal (or professional) success. We have this opportunity on more micro levels with each passing day, week and month too. Keep a journal if your personal development is important to you so that you can truly see how far you've come at the end of the year. What intentions do you want to set for the year? What lessons from 2018 can you take into 2019 and build upon? Allow your inner work to be forgiving and fluid but also find a way for you that helps you measure your progress so you don't get discouraged during those really trying periods that life inevitably throws at us.
Sending you all my love and blessings for a prosperous New Year filled with more opportunities to have the courage to live life in a loving and compassionate way towards yourself and others. Together we can begin to change the collective dream.
Someone demonstrated their love for me yesterday. This happens everyday in one way or another but this moment left me awe-struck. It was one of those surreal moments that your mind is having so much trouble computing you feel frozen knowing that moment will be captured in a timeless resonance forever. I've had a lot of painful moments like that but not as many beautiful ones which may be why it hit me so hard. I was at work on a slow day and went to the back for a moment and when I came up front a young woman was sitting in my chair. I had worked with her for nine months at a location 45 minutes away so I stopped in my tracks and just stared at her. I was so happy to see her sweet face I am pretty sure I said out loud, "Is it you?! Am I dreaming?" She was teasing me about getting to work but knowing how far away she lives and works from the location I now work at had my mind reeling with why she could be there. That's what trauma brain does to you, it searches desperately to look for holes in something that seems too good to be true to keep you safe. The computer part of my brain accepted that there was 'no threat here' as she stood to hug me. Did I mention she's in her early twenties and pregnant too?!
She had drove all the way to our location to bring me a present with the most heartfelt card. I cried. I'm crying now as I write it. Another girl I work with bought me a small heart music box that plays, "I Only Have Eyes For You". How romantic is that?! To be clear, everyone is straight. This is what loves looks and feels like. I've noticed that younger women are the ones who seem to be most open and honest with expressing their gratitude to me. I connect with young women quite easily. I guess this surprises me because I grew up in an environment where the girls were petty and cruel. I never had real friends as I was the sensitive, awkward outcast, different from everyone else. This didn't change when I was married. In fact, it got worse. The venom that women came up with to make my life hell was beyond my belief, especially when they knew the danger their blatant lies would put me in. I didn't realize how much this needed healing until now.
I'm nothing extraordinary. I have my stories of pain and struggle too. The only difference is I see people; I mean, really see them. I see them outside of my own stories. Sure my stories come up because I'm human and I look for reasons to relate to other people and feel accepted, but when someone is in pain or needs a listening ear I give them everything I have so they don't have to feel alone or any of the other awful things I've felt. This young woman who brought me this gift, let's just say that she was sure she wasn't going to like me from the beginning but to her credit, she let her guard down and let me in and the rest is history. The most caring and sensitive spirits are usually the ones that care the most though; that's why they feel they need walls or at the very least, very firm boundaries you need to work to navigate around in a respectful manner. You never want to manipulate boundaries, just honor them and show up as you are anyway, they will do the rest in their own due time.
I share this for two main reasons... the first is that I don't want to hear crap about Millennials and their attitude. I raised a Millennial and can tell you that any grievance you have with that generation is on the shoulders of the generation that raised them. I made mistakes too but people are people and every person and every generation has its own unique approach to how you deal with them. Don't be lazy, see them as another human being, do the work, be the example! If I can do it anyone can! The younger you can reach someone and show them what it's like to be accepted as they are as you reflect their true gifts and talents the better the world will be. It's like tending to a young garden and watching it bloom. It's awe-inspiring. Of course, this goes the same for older generations, respecting the work they did, the lessons they learned and can offer - which brings me back to all these young people showing their love in so many ways towards me. They're already learning that without any prompting from me, just watching me and getting to know me.
The second point is that my heart bursts open thinking about how this seemingly small act burst my heart wide open. In my mind for the years I've been single I have told myself over and over again the kind of love I deserve and won't settle for less in a romantic relationship. Then, through all these small acts of kindness and love from people sending me cards for the first time to the little acts from the heart from people I work with, all this shows me that I'm openly receiving the love I know I deserve already. This young woman had the courage to reflect to me what I have offered others in a way that resonated deeply with me; a way that seemed to encode in my DNA my worth, my value. I don't love for attention or to gain anything, love is its own reward and now the people demonstrating it more get to see and experience that which is the greatest gift any of us can receive. Love grows exponentially when it comes from a space of gratitude and an abundance mind-set rather than looking at where we are lacking or feeling bad about what we don't have.
Two years ago I wrote 'A Step Deeper Into Love' and ended it with this, "...love is meant to show us and others our vulnerability and how this only empowers each person that has the courage to stand in that space and to hold that space with another person. Love does not come with restrictive expectations but with respect and honor. Love affords you dignity as you offer dignity to others. Love holds people when they are in pain, it sits silently when someone invites you into their experience, it reflects everything in the self and the other person and accepts it with compassion. Love is our fortitude." The Yin/feminine energy of December is a beautiful energy to experience.
For nearly eight years I have done everything I could think of to release someone I loved deeply; someone who had helped me find myself again and let go of a dangerous relationship pattern. The caveat was that I created another unhealthy relationship pattern with this man to get out of the dangerous one. I learned, and continue to learn that "better" isn't always right... or best for that matter. There was an intoxicating pull between us, strong enough to be a factor in his relocation.
After confessing and repenting my sins to church elders I begun my healing journey and began my YouTube channel documenting my awareness and recovery around Love Addiction. I studied Psychology focusing on Somatics and Trauma as I became a Body and Energy Worker. My spirituality grew and this one thing continued to haunt me. Just when I thought I was free of it dreams would remind me I was not free. I had created an archetype of what I believed love should be and feel around this person. I faced that and worked at creating a new archetype but the dreams still haunted me.
Then I discovered the idea of Soul Ties. I prayed as I performed a ritual around unbinding my soul from this person after first acknowledging the sinful, toxic way we came together (regardless of how much it helped me). This helped but the dreams started returning. I burned Mugwort essential oil with a candle last night before bed and after vivid dreams I woke up completely clear. I realized that the reason my unconscious and/or subconscious clung to this person, this idea that solidified him as an archetype for me was because of my own shame I refused to acknowledge. The more I think about it, the more I can see how pride blinded me from seeing my own shame. I did what I believed needed to be done and refused to feel shame in order to do it. After it was over pride kept me avoiding and/or denying that shame was an important piece I would need to reconcile. I had convinced myself on some level that if our love worked out, if we ended up together (regardless of how much my conscious mind knew we were all wrong for each other), it would make my choices "ok". It would fix any damage I had done by my actions, regardless of how necessary they seemed at a time when I was out of options (that I could see anyway). It's embarrassing how obvious it is to me now but it's not uncommon to push down unpleasant feelings, especially when life is testing you in so many other ways you just don't have time to do the work until it gets to the point that it refuses to be ignored.
Healing the spirit is vital in any healing process. I had healed my psyche, I continue to work on healing my body but have released these traumas and experiences from my body and heart but my spirit needed healing too. Working with essential oils, creating custom blends for myself and others brings me so much joy. It connects nature to our spirit, offering a potent, concentrated piece of nature in healing our spirit and even our bodies. It's important to remember though, that first, something must be acknowledged. A wrong we have done, a wrong that has been done to us and most importantly, our shame, our self-judgement, our self-abuse, our self-loathing, our choice to remain a victim, succumbing to something that has ended. You have a choice to do the work. The moment you begin the work you are a Warrior, fighting to move from victim to victor.
Women, we don't have to sacrifice our femininity to be Warriors. Every human on earth has masculine and feminine energy. We have witnessed what happens to society, to homes and to people when one aspect is ignored, denied and stuffed down. We see unhealthy patriarchy and abuse of power when the feminine is trampled on with the intent to control.
There's no need to fear the feminine as that is what nurtures us but it's still feared and has been perceived as a 'weakness' by fragile male egos. True masculinity embraces the masculine knowing its own power and choosing to use it for a greater good. Just as the sun can appreciate witnessing its glow in the face of the moon, true masculinity honors the feminine when it embraces beingness in balance with doing, when it enters consciousness in balance with manifestation, movement and stillness. It knows a mountain isn't as beautiful without the valleys and a house is complimented with a garden. Nature demonstrates the value of these Yin and Yang energies working together every day, month and year. There are incredible examples of men that have stepped into true masculinity by embracing all that they are including the divine feminine, allowing it to flow for deeper and more meaningful life experiences. Terry Crews and Russell Brand are two of my favorite current examples.
As women we can be tempted to lash out, become vengeful and show men what it's like to experience the imbalanced masculine with our rage and anger. Our anger is justified but becoming them isn't the answer. Demonstrating what kind of world we want to see is. Anger is a powerful tool when harnessed appropriately. Embrace your femininity and fight, fight for your life, your daughter's lives, for all women by holding accountable yourself and anyone else that is not coming from a healthy space in how they interact with you or others. Resist adding to the noise of hate and come from a space of love. You can be angry and love at the same time. You can be angry and be compassionate. You can dirty your body as you fight to rise but don't let any experience dirty your heart or spirit. Don't let them change you - BE the change, because that's what divine femininity is. When you do this, you will learn what it means to feel safe within your self, you will know who you are better than ever and you will learn depths of love you never imagined and you won't be fooled ever again.
Women, we need to be our own advocates, praising and raising one another up. There's no time or room to follow the example of toxic masculinity by competing with one another. We have been told we have to compete but deep down we all know the truth. Let's show the world what happens when women unite out of love for ourselves, each other, humankind and our planet. Let's not spend another minute wasting our anger, our capacity for love.
For more information on these energies and discover how they work in our lives click either image below.
"...the book was most helpful in approaching death because it describes in detail the deepening mental states through which the dying person passes and how to prepare for them... we pass through these states each and every day when we go to sleep or end a dream, as well as fainting, sneezing or orgasm." ~ Forward in 'Advice on Dying' by the Dalai Lama
I have spent the last few months making time to masterdate. You read that right. Earlier this month I took a weekend off of work to take myself on the perfect dates in honor of my favorite holiday, Dia de los Muertos. I grew up without holidays so I have no sentimental affinity for any holiday except this one because when I was experiencing the death and grieving process of the end of my marriage a beautiful Mexican friend introduced me to The Day of the Dead as it was her favorite holiday. Simply recalling the introduction to something I never knew before gives me chills. This resonated so deeply and I had yet to understand why. I didn't want to disrespect a tradition native to someone else's culture and not my own so I took my time getting to know it and understand it. There is a deep reverence and sacredness to this time period and I wanted to honor it with the respect it deserved. For now, I will explain what it has come to mean for me and my views of sex.
In years past, when experiencing heavy grief or numbing from trauma I would turn to sex in order to feel something again. Desire came from a space of lack. In grieving sex offered not only an escape but also a palpability to the pain of my experience. When numb it was the only thing that felt safe to feel. These experiences offered a sanctuary from my own emotions, my heart, my mind and my spirit. I couldn't process life when I felt as though all I knew was death, death of my self, my ideas, my dreams, even my realities. I remained in the darkness but the darkness wasn't scary when I had sex. I will expand on this more in the future...
Now here I am, years later, giggling with myself for calling my self care escapades "masterdating" (a Facebook friend deserves credit for that word) and feeling comfortable with feelings of discomfort. I have known various forms of death and as I rebuild my life on my own I find contentment in aloneness. There is a surrender required to truly heal and grow beyond your stories. So now I can be fascinated with the state of dying because I am not currently in that state (any more than any living creature anyway) but having known the closeness of it, having become intimate with it the fascination returns when I awake from a dream, when I catch myself falling into meditation or experiencing Yoga Nidra while riding the bus to work, but most of all I still experience that state in sex but much more so. When you release fear of death it becomes easier to drop into these states.
When you are not a victim to your own drama anymore your choices become much more conscious as do the people you choose to surround yourself with; the more intimate the relationship the more particular you become. This is because you are acutely aware of your own sacredness. You don't forget your humanness and you are by no means close to perfect but life is manageable. When a majority of people you see struggle to manage their life and their own feelings as they are easily swayed by anything that triggers them (other people, social media, politics, etc.) you must fall in love with aloneness for your own sanity.
This brings me back to sex. Now I can see so clearly when desire comes from a space of lack and not just sexual desire but any desire; decisions and choices are made from fear because the focus is on what one does not want and when I look into someone's eyes I can see it, it looks almost crazed to me and it's familiar because I know that space all too well. You see more of what you fear, more of what's "wrong" and less of what is a blessing, what has deeper purpose. When I am familiar with that empty feeling and can compare it to the feeling I have now after working so hard on myself so that I can be of service to others, those feelings I have of fulfillment and of gratitude, then how could I possibly invite that old fear into my space on any level, especially a sexual one?
It's easier to have a stronger internal boundary when you have been blessed to know men on an intimate level that set the standard, they are the standard as opposed to men you find yourself assessing to see if they meet "a" standard. If you have to think about it then they don't measure up; either they are the standard or they aren't and I for one, deserve no less. This is the man that joins with you from a space of equality eager to share a spiritual awakening through orgasm with you. He doesn't come to take from you something he is lacking within himself, instead he knows that the experience will challenge you both to go deeper within yourselves as well as one another and he has the courage to allow the experience to unfold as it's meant to. Fear is overcome with courage as you explore the states of consciousness that join death and orgasm. Old patterns of needing to attach meaning to this shared experience can be tempting but then you remind yourself that you are both safe and allowed to explore different realms of consciousness together because that shared moment is why you are together. It teaches you to remain more present and to give up the need to control anything by defining it because you know that will limit this one thing that is meant to help you both transcend those old limiting beliefs; those old unhealthy patterns.
These connections are what I wait for now. This has been a new layer of learning for my body who is used to getting what it wants when it wants. Now my mind, heart, spirit and body are beginning to have a mutual understanding and appreciation for what the sacredness of sex has the potential of being. Once you have this kind of shared experience with someone, just the presence of the other person has a profound effect on you, it can be unsettling but infinitely worth it. This is how a sexual experience can trigger the death of something you no longer need to hold on to in the healthiest of ways. Some deaths are welcomed.
Micah's confessions and lessons that have helped with self-forgiveness, healing and acceptance.