The Three C’s

One year ago yesterday I gave up. It was my birthday and I’d had it. Like pigpen’s ever expanding shroud of dust, I had so many bad habits trailing me through the years that I was ready to let go of all of it. And so I gave up. I gave up the stinking thinking that had kept me stuck. And I gave up the beliefs that I couldn’t re-create my life in such a way that would make me happy, fulfilled and living within my soul’s true purpose.

One year has passed and yesterday I took some time to contemplate where I am now, compared to where I was then. This time last year I was working at a job I truly disliked. I felt stuck and frustrated. Those feelings shaded all other parts of my existence so that I felt like life was dull and unexciting. I hadn’t shared much of my spiritual stuff with anyone, and knew that I was being asked to do more. But what? I was flummoxed. Confused. Frustrated.

So I gave up. And life has never been better.

One year later: I have left that job behind and began a soul based business offering services that felt in tune with my beliefs and gifts. My friend Erin and I started teaching soul classes on Tuesday nights at the coolest little Indie book store in the western world.  I jumped back into theatre, my first true passion, taking the leap into the Director’s chair and fulfilling a secret dream I’ve held since I was a tiny thespian. I stepped outside of my comfort zone and began reaching out to people, tentatively offering companionship, and now have a growing circle of beautiful souls I am honored to call friends.

Yes things are looking up. I am so happy with what has changed in the past year. The shadows of a half lived life are replaced by the full, technicolor glory of Living with a capital L.

And yet….

There is more to do. Like all organisms on this Earth school, even after times of huge growth and expansion, it is never okay to sit back and say: “Okay. I’m done. Now what’s on Netflix?” Resting is fine. Catching our breath is good. But wallowing, even in the successful stuff is never going to be okay. We are on a path of discovery. If we stop moving forward, we will stop discovering stuff.

Therefore, I am setting more intentions for myself for the coming year. I have 365 days until the next cake day, and I intend to LIVE LIFE. And here’s how… my three C’s for the coming year:

  1. Create.  Like the Universal All  -that-isness that created us, we are at our cores, creators. When we allow ourselves the freedom to be creative, we are truly expanding ourselves and the whole world. We make something from nothing. Our creation, whether it be a painting, a book, a sculpture, a sand castle, a song, an origami unicycle, or anything in between, offers the Universe another spark of who we are.  My creations this year will include several projects. A scarf that looks like a fox. One book finished and another started. A coloring book filled with magical mandalas. Discovered vegetarian cuisine created in my kitchen. A backyard turned into an urban farm. And so much more! As I create, it seems doors open and inspiration walks in, bringing more and more exciting ideas.

2. Cultivate Joy. I have come to understand in this spiritual quest of mine, that our one true purpose in this life is to find our joy. For years I attached a lot of conditions to feeling joy. I thought the accumulation of things (houses, cars, clothes, shoes, BOOKS) would bring joy along with them. And when I realized that wasn’t true, I thought that I could just destroy my pesky little ego and once that was done I would be living in supreme, unending joy.But here’s the thing. We are spiritual beings having a human experience, yes. But when we try to only live in that spiritual realm, we really miss out on the human stuff, which is what we are meant to experience. The duality of the human experience is that there are two sides to everything. Where there is shadow, there must be light. Where there is up there must be down. Where there is happy, there must be sad. And where there is good there has to be bad.

We attach judgment to our each experience. We feel so happy when the good stuff happens, and then so sad when the bad stuff happens. But it is in our perceiving and judgment that the “happy” and “sad” are created. What if we just allow each human experience to flow without attaching so much meaning to it?

Being thankful for the lessons, good, bad and ugly, can be challenging. But once we get the hang of it, the whole world begins to change. Our gratitude is the biggest and most important step in cultivating joy. We begin to understand that external circumstances no longer have the power to control us, and we are able to step off the rollercoaster ride of ups and downs and just bask in the perfection of the present moment.My first step in cultivating joy? Gratitude. I will endeavor to find reasons to be thankful for every moment of this life.

3.  Cut the Crap. Some days I seem to hit the snooze button all day long. Yes I get up and get moving, but really I am still half asleep. I stare at my computer for a few hours, mindlessly scrolling through posts and pictures and stories. I eat. I turn on Netflix. I drool. And then I go back to bed, having never fully awakened.Days, weeks and even months have passed with me barely being aware. Oh sure I have my moments of awareness, but lately I have been coasting along without much purpose.And so, with 365 days ahead of me in my new year, I have pledged to cut the crap and get busy living a full, awakened life. I will turn off the devices and turn on my excitement. And I will fill my moments with simple being-ness, instead of compulsively shoving mind numbing pixels into my brain cells.

Life is for living. This year I intend to step things up a notch. No more sitting on the side lines for me. I will take this ordinary life, and make it as extraordinary as I can.

Who’s with me?

Hello, Again

phone

I was driving home from work one day, stop and go, hurry up and wait and I had found that blissful space between leaving the mad, fast pace of work and before landing in the mad, fast pace of home.  I was just floating along, enjoying some CBC 2 and letting the thoughts and worries of the day evaporate.  I don’t admit this to many people, but I really enjoy a good traffic jam.  Being locked in place makes it impossible to do anything but relax and get into that in-between space of meditation, visualization, daydreaming.

I like travel days for the very same reason.

 And doing dishes.

And folding laundry.    Just me?  Really?

So anyways,  I was sitting there, happily zoning when someone whispered in my ear.  Tingles shot up my spine and all along my scalp.  My breath caught and I half laughed, half gasped.  “Wha..!?”

Again the whisper, words as clear as if spoken aloud:  “I sent you a present.  You will receive it tonight.”  I recognized the voice, a voice I hadn’t heard for several years.  A voice I missed terribly.

Now don’t get me wrong, I am fairly used to hearing from my dead friends and relatives.  Quite often they send me things like feathers, and song lyrics.  Sometimes they make the street lights go on right when I am looking at them.  Sometimes they make hummingbirds fly right up to me and look me in the eye.  I’ve even had them whisper messages to me, but never before had it been so loud and clear.

“Hey there, friend.  I’ve missed you”  I whispered back, then got that weird smiling through tears thing.   For the rest of the crawl home, I wondered what this present might be.

I didn’t have to wait long.  I stopped to pick up the mail and there was indeed a big, exciting package in there, addressed to me.  What could it be?  I didn’t recognize the return address and had not ordered anything.  I got home quickly, dumped my stuff on the floor and grabbed some scissors to open the package.

I slipped my hand inside.  It was a book!  I pulled it out, froze for just a moment, then started laughing nearly hysterically.

It was The First Phone Call From Heaven by Mitch Albom.

WTF?!  The book wasn’t even released yet.  I knew that because I had been eagerly anticipating the publishing date.  And yet here I was holding a copy in my hot little hand.  The jacket was not complete, and had things like “insert Author bio here” and stuff like that, but the pages were full and I could hardly wait to start reading it.

How the heck did my beautiful, deceased friend pull this off?  This was a mind boggling mystery.  A real life, honest to goodness, knock your socks off miracle!   And to this day I have no idea why this book was sent to me, or what forces came together to bring me that precious gift.

What it did was solidify my belief that our deceased friends and loved ones are always with us.  The more we trust their signs and gifts, the more they will work to bring us their messages.  Trusting what we see and hear is the first step to opening those lines of communication.  Once we remove the voice of doubt that tells us this is just coincidence or that our imagination is getting carried away, once we open to the possibilities that this is really something, then we will begin to truly open to the communications.  Our loved ones have been knocking on the door, trying to get our attention.  If we start to pay attention we will be amazed at what we notice.

So when you smell your Grandma’s lavender hand cream, or see that the photograph on the mantel of your deceased relative has moved, or find feathers in the strangest places, or dimes and pennies keep showing up, or even when you get a book about Heaven randomly sent to you for no reason,  smile and say hello.  They are.

Past Life Tour Guide

cropped-flight.jpg

In the fall of 2011 I spent an amazing, life altering week at the Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, New York at the Past Life Regression Training Seminar.   The workshop, led by best selling author and ground breaking psychiatrist Dr. Brian Weiss, was the beginning of a fantastic journey for me.  Now I am honored to help facilitate that journey for many others.

A client of mine, Diane, has written about her regression experience with me  and has graciously allowed me to share it here.  This was done over Skype and was a profound and wonderful session.  Please, enjoy:

After visiting my beautiful garden full of lush flowers I walk across a bridge in the fog-

So begins my past life regression led by Brenda, via Skype. I am in Portland Oregon, USA and she is in Cranbrook Canada.

I see my feet in sandals, on a floor of big stones. I am an adult male wearing some kind of robe garment, my fingers are short and strong. I wear some gold jewelry and I know I am a leader. My life is abundant with two wives, and many children. I am in my home which is higher than others and later I realize it is in Mexico- perhaps Mayan. 

Brenda asks to see what message this past life has for me: I see myself standing above a crowd of hundreds of people. I am holding a scepter, I have authority and power, I am satisfied and content. I tell Brenda that I am feeling fear and don’t want to remember other things, she reassures me. I know that my decisions or actions lead many people to die; slaves or prisoners. I am overwhelmed with sadness about this and know that I felt that some in the past life and as I do remembering.

Brenda takes me to the end of the life. I am old, surrounded by my family who loves and respects me. I have a son there who is my successor. We are very close and connected. I love him very much. I am lying in a bed and dying of old age. I am happy, complete. My life was good.

Brenda asks me to see the moment when I leave the life. I am met with a big beautiful bright light. I meet many who I killed and they are all there to tell me that it was all in right alignment. They do not hold judgment. I did not kill people out of a misuse of my power. I was courageous, knew right action and did what was in alignment with the highest and best for all. My spirit guides were incredibly proud of me and let me know that I lived my life well. I am met with joy and celebration for how I lived.

As I am telling Brenda what is happening I am crying. I did not abuse the power I was given in that life. I used my power with courage and compassion. My choices which led others to die were what had to happen. At this point I have tears coming down my cheeks.

Brenda tells me to ask my highest self what lessons I can take from remembering that lifetime. I am told to hold the memory of how courageous I was. That I made the choices I had to while in alignment with what I was called to do. I was told to remember that I have the power to say and do whatever I need to – as a leader. I am to hold the vision of myself with the scepter in my hand. I have the authority to lead and make hard decisions. She asked if there were any last messages and I was told, wisdom. I have wisdom and Brenda asked where in my body that was and I felt it in my heart. My wisdom is full of compassion and love.

Authority, Power, Ability, Wisdom, Courage

She tells me to ask what my next steps are to achieve my calling. I am told to continue what I am doing, that I am on the right track, be courageous, bold. I am given again the vision of my past life standing over hundreds of people holding that scepter; I have the authority to act when it is in alignment. I can courageously take powerful actions from wisdom and compassion.

Thank you Brenda! That was a great experience for me that I know it will support me. Diane R.

Amazing, amazing memories!  Thank you so much for sharing, Diane.  While each person’s experience of past life regression is unique, clients universally claim profound healing effects and deeper understanding to underlying issues in their present lives.  Past life regression is a life changing experience, one that I highly recommend.

Me with Dr. Brian Weiss
Me with Dr. Brian Weiss

So, if you feel like taking a trip and need a tour guide, email me at pastlifetourist@gmail.com.

I’m always happy to help.

The Garden Gate

The Secret Garden by Emla, Deviant Art
The Secret Garden by Emla, Deviant Art

“The garden of the world has no limits, except in your mind.” Rumi

When it comes to motivation and following my purpose I have found that the biggest obstacle in my path had nearly always been Me.  Myself.  You’d think I’d be my best supporter, greatest cheerleader, biggest fan, but no.  I have been my loudest naysayer, setting up traps and making sure I trip, fall, or avoid the path completely.  What is up with Me?  Don’t I know that I will be the biggest benefactor if my dreams come true?  Sheesh, Self.  What is your problem?

Then, a few months back I saw Steven Pressfield on Super Soul Sunday with Oprah.  He was talking about his book The War Of Art and how resistance and self loathing are actually good things.

Wait… what?

“The dream arises in our psyche (even if we deny it, even if we fail to or refuse to recognize it) like a tree ascending into the sunshine. Simultaneously the dream’s shadow appears—i.e., Resistance—just as a physical tree casts a physical shadow.

That’s a law of nature.

Where there is a Dream, there is Resistance.

Thus: where we encounter Resistance, somewhere nearby is a Dream.” Steven Pressfield (very cool article.  You can read the rest of it here)

To consider that Resistance is actually a law of nature, like gravity, or attraction, was hugely liberating for me.  Suddenly I could see clearly all of the ways that Resistance insinuated itself into my life.  It was the same old song, ever time.

The Rise and Fall of the Beautiful Dream

Sudden inspiration leads to HUGE excitement, plan making, visions of euphoria.  That would typically last for a day, maybe two.  I would even get busy making lists and drawing up plans and telling my American Husband all about it.  “I have this amazing THING I am going to do!!” and he would get excited too.

But then.

This will never work.  How can I possibly find anyone to help with this?  And how can I afford it?  Besides, who would listen to me about anything?  I am a nobody.  What do I have to offer the world?  Who am I to set myself up as teacher/leader/guide in anything?

But hey, I’ve dealt with the nagging voice of my own self doubt for my whole incarnation, so I know how to muscle through.  So the next step is to soldier on despite the doubts.  Let’s say, for instance, the Dream is that I will write a book, perhaps about Past Lives for instance. Hypothetically speaking of course.

I decide I will sit down and write, despite the cacophony of self loathing that is singing in my head.  Here’s what happens next.

I sit down to write.  But wait, I have to pee.  So I get up to pee and on my way back I remember that I should take something out of the freezer for supper, so I grab a package of chicken and set it to thaw on the counter.  Hey, maybe I’ll make that yummy lemon chicken we had at Mom’s last month.  I better call her for the recipe.  Beep beep beep, dialing, “Hello Mom, how are you?…”  Twenty minutes later with recipe in hand I realize that we need a few ingredients, so I suit up and head over to the grocery store.  By the time I get back I see that it is lunchtime, so I make some soup, and while I am eating I figure I might as well catch up on my Downton Abbey viewing, so on goes the Netflix.  Part way through my 3rd episode I look down at the laptop, just sitting there on the table, mocking me.  I reach over and close it, trying to ignore the niggling guilt.  I can’t write now, I don’t have time, I justify to myself.  Finishing the episode I jump up and start prepping supper.  So I didn’t write today?  So what.  Nothing will ever come of it anyways.

Debbie Downer get out of my head.

When I watched Steven Pressfield talk about Resistance and describing it as a real, tangible thing, I had a great big Oprah A-HA moment.  If Resistance was a thing, then I could find away around it.  But how?

First I tried to identify how Resistance wages war on me.  I came up with the Big 3.  They are, in no particular order:

1.  Procrastination.  This weapon of mass destruction has lobbed it’s poison at me more than any other.  I will do it tomorrow, after this, once that happens, soon…. Putting my Beautiful Dream off forever into the unreachable future more times than I can count.

2.  Getting busy.  I am an expert at over-scheduling myself.  I fill my days and nights with so many tasks that I just never seem to have time to follow my Beautiful Dream. “Beware the barrenness of the busy life”, says Socrates.  I hear you, Bro.

3.  Self Loathing.  That inner bitch just keeps letting me know I am never going to be good enough, smart enough or gosh darn it, likeable enough. She has been trying to come between me and my Beautiful Dream my whole life.

To set up a viable defense against these three weapons of Resistance, I had to plan my counter-attack.  My line of defense is pretty simple, actually, and so far has worked miracles for me.

I began by making a concerted effort to recognize Resistance as it crept up in its many forms.  Once recognized I would say, “I see you, Resistance!” and then I would imagine that Resistance took the form of a giant bubble, blocking me from my Big Dream.  Huge and unwieldy I would see it there, as a tangible “thing”.  And then I would huff, and I would puff and I would blow it away.

Easy as pie.  Bubbles have no defense against a good gust of air.

This simple tool has not ended the war with Resistance.  With each new day comes new weapons and tools aimed at stopping me from moving toward my Beautiful Dream, and each day I must be aware, fortify myself and blow those bubbles away.  At times I forget and end up stalling.  Sometimes I stall for months at a time, but eventually I remember.

Resistance I am done.   It’s not me, it’s you.  The beauty of my Dream is calling and I intend to heed her siren song.

bubble

“Resistance is always lying and always full of shit.”   Steven Pressfield

Burn Baby Burn

Burning-Bush-Mosaic-II_art

“Hey”.

“Good morrow, Bro”.

“Did you hear about Moses?”

“Who?  That serious guy?  Long beard?  Naw.  What’s up?”

“He claims some bush burst into flames then started talking to him.”

“Shut up.  What a load of yak crap.”

“Right?” 

“Dude, did he drink the bong water?”

“Dude, he definitely drank the bong water.”

And so it goes.  This fairly historically accurate depiction of what must have been, is a scene as old as time.  I know this scenario very well, from both sides.  For the first few decades of my life I was quick to have conversations very much like it about anybody who had the audacity to be different.  Seriously, what kind of woo woo nonsense were they on about?  Are they so out of touch with reality??  Don’t they know they look like fools?

And then I smelled something burning.

Okay, relax.  Put away the pitchforks and drop the stones.  I am in no way correlating myself to Moses.  I have no beard, I have never knowingly parted any body of water and I have not< yet> set my people free.  Nope.  Nothing in common at all.

Except that burning bush.

I speak in metaphors of course.  My burning bush came in the subtler way of whispers and signs.  But it most certainly came.  It all began with the death of a dear friend, quite suddenly in my arms.  Apparently trauma has a way of breaking us open and once that happens we can often experience something that is both devastating and beautiful.  You see, we expand where we are cracked and if we don’t fall apart, our light begins to shine out of the places where we have been broken open.

And as our lights grow brighter we become aware of the magic.  It’s been there all along but we couldn’t see it with our judgy, human eyes.  But now that we have better illumination we can see the sparkly bits and hear the jingly sounds.  We realize buddy Bill Shakespeare was right when he so eloquently said that “there are more things on heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy”.

That’s when we start to bloom.  And grow. Our light gets ever brighter and we can no longer pretend not to see the unseen.  It becomes who we are and we are compelled to share what we have learned, despite the fact that we will likely become the fodder of gossips and butt of jokes.  It doesn’t matter to us what anybody thinks, because out paradigm has been shifted and we have a new version of the truth.

And if we follow the calling of this new paradigm, we do things like take Past Life Regression workshops, and Reiki classes.  We even start giving Angel Card Readings …. in public!

My Dad told me that in the not too distant past I would have been burned at the stake for what I believe and practice.  He mentioned that right before asking me to do some of my “witchy stuff” on his sore leg.  In case you might be wondering the Reiki worked, and though he was never a doubter, Dad came a bit closer to being a believer in that unseen force.

The burning bush comes to different people in different ways.  Nobody was more surprised than I was when I felt compelled to start working with the Angels.  Buttoned up, corporate, serious Brenda was shocked.  But I have learned that listening to the whispers is infinitely easier than getting the divine kick in the butt that comes when we ignore what calls us.   The message I’ve been getting seems to be a universal one and is simply this:  Be authentic.  No more hiding behind the mask you think society/family/friends expect you to wear.  Whatever that is and whoever you are, be that.  Because you are enough just as you are.  Strip away the trappings and be bravely, uniquely, you.

I share what I have learned openly and with love.  Those who get it, get it.  Those who don’t will continue to believe that I drank the bong water.  And that’s okay.  Because more and more I am receiving those tender, private messages from people quietly inching out of their own spiritual closet.  We chat about all of those things they don’t feel safe telling anyone else just yet.  And they let me know that by putting my crazy on display I have helped them to know they aren’t alone.  For that I am infinitely grateful. For that I will proudly let my freak flag fly.