What We See In The Mirror

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Photo Credit:  Linda S. Reed

If you are anything like me when you look in the mirror you don’t take in the whole image.  It’s hard to do, actually.  The eyes tend to gravitate to what we perceive as flaws instead of seeing the beauty that is undoubtedly there.

A friend of mine recently took some photos of me out in nature.  For the first time in a very long time, I could see the whole me.  I could see the strength and power in my body.

This photo shows that I am a woman with curves.  My programming (media, advertising, etc.) says that people with this many curves are not attractive.  I’ve recently begun a practice of self-love and it is helping me, along with this photo, to be more comfortable in my body, more accepting.

I like that I am beginning to inhabit my skin instead of disparaging it.  Drawing on the strength that years of yoga and meditation have built I can be a light that shines through the social constructs of what “they” say beauty is.  I am creating a new program of self-love and self-care that is dissolving the old messages of “not good enough”.  This is my mission and I choose to accept it.  Would you care to join me?

Read more about Della’s mission here.

Two Roads Diverged In A Wood. . .

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Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
~Robert Frost~

I have lived in the Twin Cities for the past 30 odd years.  In a few days I will be moving to Ashland, WI which is on the southern most shore of Lake Superior.  I will go from living alone for the last 3 years to having housemates, from big city to small town, from sirens blaring all hours of the night and day to relative silence.  I’ve been thinking a lot about what changes I want to make in my life once I move.  There are some practical things I know I want to accomplish like getting my debts paid and being in nature more.  But there will be other changes that will occur much more organically.

As I said, I will be living with other people. These wonderful visionaries truly want to make the world a better place.  Living with people is a bit frightening for an introverted sensitive soul like me.  It means playing well with others and not hiding in my cave as I am want to do.  At the same time it is incredibly exciting.  I know without a shadow of a doubt that I will be forced to grow.  It is hard to have mirrors when you live alone.  We can only truly see ourselves by our reflections.  These beautiful souls that I will be living and working with will be my mirrors.  This is an opportunity, albeit a scary one, to see myself in new light.  When you live alone you get used to the mirror being foggy.  It is easy to disregard what you see as imagination.  There will be no more escaping myself as I will be with people every day.

Most of all, I want my heart to heal.  It has been broken for a very long time now.  I recently sent out a newsletter informing my friends and clients of my move.  The response I’ve received has been incredible.  So many of you have expressed how happy you are for me and how it feels like this move is the “right” thing for me to do.  I’ve had several people even mention the sadness they’ve seen me carrying.  I thought I was hiding it better. . . see what I mean about the mirror being foggy?

I also sense a slowing down of my entire being once I get settled in my new home.  I am the master of the “busy”.  Every thing I do is quick.  I rush doing the dishes, brushing my teeth, eating, walking, etc.  You get the idea.  Being busy and rushing to and fro is how I have traditionally dealt with anxiety.

This anxiety has increased tremendously over the past two years.  It is partly due to my precarious financial situation, partly due to living right in the center of a busy city and being energetically sensitive, and partly due to not getting out into nature as much as I had in the past.  Nature has always been the balm that heals me body, mind and soul.  And, to be moving next to one the greatest lakes in the world will feed me in so many ways.

I intend to find my light again.  It has dimmed with the grief that I have let consume me this past year.  I saw a glimmer of that light co-teaching  a Body & Soul Art Workshop this past weekend.   My friend Elizabeth and I combined art & yoga for a whole day workshop.  It was truly fantastic.  Two of my great passions combined in one day.  It reminded me that it is possible that your work can also be your play.

All in all, I am looking on this move as a grand adventure and as an opportunity to heal in ways I hadn’t allow myself before.  I plan on sharing my new adventure here on this blog.  I know it will be extraordinary.   And, I will be returning to the Cities regularly to teach workshops and see private clients.  Stay tuned!

No More Pretend Boyfriends

631fe42ecdb0379876b382e6af736a3cI’m swearing off pretend boyfriends.  What’s a pretend boyfriend?  He’s the one you are having a relationship with in your head but not in real life.

This all started when I was pretty young and just getting interested in boys.  I was pretty shy then and could barely put two sentences together let alone talk to the male of the species.  I would often daydream about being with one of them, just like any young girl, but my daydreaming was at a whole other level.  I created entire stories around these boys.  As I grew into an adult this didn’t stop and instead became a life long pattern on my part.

I recently had a break up from my last relationship and the letting go process has been long and painful.  I would do well for a while and feel as if I had moved through the worst and then I would reach out to him.  I did this several times over the past three months with no response on his part.  This non-response, instead of helping me move on, just made me feel like a crazy woman for reaching out in the first place.  The logical part of me knew that this was The Universe (and him) telling me that this relationship was dead in the water.  The other part of me, the part that couldn’t let go, just ended up spiraling down into a needy, emotional mess.

Recently, I asked myself, what it would mean to let him go.  The answer:  I was afraid of being alone.  If he took up space in my head then I wasn’t really alone.  I would spend energy thinking he just needs time.  Or, that it doesn’t make sense that he could just stop loving me.  He just needs to figure things out.  You see, I’d rather have a man in my head than not have one in my bed.  That was a hard truth for this girl to swallow.  It really, really sucked to realize this about myself.

This actually came at quite a surprise.  I’ve never experienced aloneness in my life.  At least not until now.  I never allowed myself.  I have a strong connection to my spirit self.  I talk to guides, angels, family who’ve passed on, etc. so am never really alone.  I didn’t realize until that moment that being alone and feeling alone are two separate things.  I am good at spending time alone.  In fact, I crave it, but I have distracted myself with pretend boyfriends to avoid feeling it.

I have decided to face my fears around this issue.  The first step is to let this former relationship go for realz.  No more fantasies about him reaching out to me, coming to his senses, realizing what he’d lost . . . no more reaching out to him.

Step two is to embrace being alone.  I mean to do those things that I’m afraid to do alone.  For example, yesterday, I went to the MN Irish Fair by myself.  I do not like crowds of people so this was a big deal for me.  Between figuring out how to get there, how much it cost, what to do once I got there all took a Herculean inner strength on my part.  I felt this act was my declaration of independence from my old way of being.  And, I loved the fair!  I plan on going on more solo adventures in the near future.

Step Three:  take the rest of this year off from men.  This means no fantasy relationships and no dating either.  I want to give myself time to really integrate not being in a relationship before I put myself out there again.  You see, I’ve been single a lot but I’ve never not had a pretend boyfriend during those spaces in between my relationships.

Step four is to really be alone with myself.  I can distract myself for hours, reading fiction or browsing on the internet or watching movies.  I will be limiting those things from my daily life.  I want to spend more time writing, walking in nature, practicing yoga and meditation.  Even though I already do those things I am often not really present while I am.  I can honestly say this scares me.  Who wants to feel aloneness, right?  Me.  That’s who.  I want to kick this fears ass!

The goal of this is to accept that I am enough on my own and to never lose myself in a relationship again.  In my unconscious fear of feeling alone, when a relationship began to fail, I would change.  I would desperately become someone else to try to save the relationship.  I would abandon myself to stay with them.  This new way of being is a supreme act of self-love.  I know that I am up to the task, yet I am afraid.  I am afraid that I will never have that great love.  I am not there yet but I know this great love that I long for is me.

Find out more about Della here.

Swallowing Rocks – A Body Love Tale

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As I lay on the massage table I started to drift.  Images began to float in my mind.  I knew I was tapping into something profound so I simply followed where the images led.  I saw myself walking towards a pond.  I was dressed in clothing from the 1700’s.  There were people gathered round.  This was the time of the witch hunts and they had come to witness my death.   I had been made to swallow rock after rock until I could barely move.

I was forced to walk into the pond where I quickly sank to the bottom and drowned.  From my observers position I could tell that when I died my spirit did not leave my body.  I was stuck there surrounded by water weighted down for eternity.

I knew that I could aid this me that was trapped in that pond so I went in to help her.  I told her to look at her body as it decayed and all that was left were bones.  When she looked down at herself she could see that there was no more flesh to hold the rocks in place and she was able to be free.  She went off to where ever it is that spirits go when they die.

When I got off the massage table I felt lighter.  I was curious about what I had seen so when I got home I started researching the Burning Times to see if witches were killed by being forced to swallow rocks and then drowned.  I couldn’t find any evidence of that particular method of elimination so am not sure if was a past life of mine or not.

I decided to look at the images as if I were interpreting a dream. I started with the metaphor of swallowing rocks.  All of my life I have had extreme self-loathing around my belly.  It is not an ugly belly.  In fact it is rather a charming belly.  Yet, I have always been ashamed of its shape and size.  It has never made any logical sense to me as to why I would feel that way.  I never really got teased about my body when I was younger.  At least, not any more than anyone else has.  And, I’ve always been blessed by the men in my life adoring my body.  So where does that self loathing come from?  I do not know . . . Yet, this metaphor of swallowing rocks resonated with the answer.

I have always felt heavy even at my lightest weight.  I am actually 20 pounds heavier than I was 2 years ago and I am more comfortable in my body now then I was then.  But the breaking down of my self into body parts has always been ever present.  You may be familiar with looking in the mirror and only seeing your ass, or your thighs, or like me, your belly.  I could never see the whole me.

The rocks in this metaphor represent something (beliefs?) that hold me down.  The rocks keep me from being fully in my power.  A woman’s belly is her seat of power.  We create life within our bellies.  When we disown our bellies we deny our Creator Self.  Water in dream symbology is often interpreted as emotions.  Here I am weighted down and drowning in emotions, not able to free my spirit, not able to create, or be free to express my witchy self.  My unconscious was believing all of this and it was seeping through into my conscious state.  It would rear its ugly head at the best of times in my life.  When ever I am feeling great I would get distracted with these body issues.  There would be this buzzing that I would hear that would tell me my belly was fat or unattractive.

This memory shifted the feeling of heaviness that I have carried for my entire life.  I feel lighter now.  I still wish my belly were flatter but it doesn’t seem so distorted as it once did.  When I look in the mirror I see my whole self rather than parts.  I see. . .  Me.

I sense this memory was able to come to the surface because of all the past life regression work I have been doing with myself and others.  The massage brought me into a trance state where my unconscious could reveal itself.  If you would like to do some past life exploration with my help you can find out how here.

Trust And The Inner Child

Sad-Child“Do you trust yourself,” my friend asked?  “No” I replied.

This conversation was several weeks ago and I don’t even remember what the context of the conversation was. I do know the question had a profound impact on me.

After that conversation I had to ask myself why?  Why didn’t I trust myself?  The answer lay with the child within.  She didn’t trust the adult to take care of her.  Why would she.  I had abandoned her.  I had ignored her voice.  It wasn’t until recently that I had even acknowledged her.

The evidence of my life shows me that I have always been provided for yet the fear of not being so persisted.  Fast forward weeks later and I find that the fear I have been living with my whole life has lessened.  I still feel fear but I can go within now and know that everything will be all right.

How did She come to trust me?  I had to consistently be there for her.  Whenever fear would show up I would go within and imagine myself holding her.  I had to show her time and time again that I would be there for her no matter what.  Now, when something happens in my world I can feel that everything is o.k.  It’s a different experience than I’ve had before.  I feel safe.  I feel loved.  I feel supported.  She feels heard.  I am no longer in conflict with my inner child needs and my outer adult expression.  We feel. . . One.

If you are interested in learning more about the inner child and how to become one with her check out my website.

Never Again Will I Let You Go

Clinging-girlfriendThat’s the vow I made in a past life to the man I was in relationship for the past year and a half in this life.

I made that vow a very long time ago.  Long before I met him this time around.  I recently went through training to be certified in hypnosis.  Because I was the only student in this training we could focus on the topics that most interested me.  Past Life Regression was at the top of the list.

The beautiful Madonna Kettler, my hypnosis trainer, brought me through a past life regression so I could understand the experience more fully.  We went into the regression with the intention that I would gain more understanding as to why I was struggling to let this man go.  Past Life Regression can help one gain insight into current unconscious patterns that can show up to sabotage our lives.

During this regression I saw that this man and I were farmers in Ireland during the Iron Age.  We were twin brothers and were very close.  Being twins in another life explained to me why I felt so connected to him.  In our life in Ireland he died of an infection and two days later I hung myself because I could not bear to live without him.  That was when I swore that we would be together again and that I would never again let him go.

In this life we broke up at the beginning of this year.  We decided to stay friends but he slowly stopped taking my calls and I never heard from him again.  It felt very much like a death.  My grief was like nothing I had ever experienced before.  I would do really well for a little while and then the grief would start all over again.

After this regression I had a sense of peace and understanding of why I felt so strongly about this man.  I could finally let go. . . or so I thought.  The next morning my grief was more intense than ever!  I reached out to him yet again asking him if we could still be friends and he, again, did not respond. I kept hoping that his non-response was a maybe.  What ever his reasons he wasn’t able to give me the closure I wanted and felt I needed to move on.  I had to do this on my own.

That vow I made to not let him go has been my prison.  It has kept me grieving and still longing for connection with this man.  I went out into the woods and talked to some of my favorite trees and asked for help letting go.  I knew i needed to break the vow I made so long ago.  It was keeping us both trapped in a prison of attachment.  I could not fully move forward in my life unless I did this.  So, I set my intention, and asked for help in letting go from my Nature Spirit Helpers.

I didn’t magically let go with a walk in the woods.  Yet, that intention did bring me to getting another regression.  This final regression helped me to understand even more fully the connection with this man and gave me the tools to release him.  I feel free this time.

Not everyone believes in past lives.  It doesn’t really matter because healing can still occur regardless of that belief.  My unconscious was holding onto a pattern that was keeping me stuck.  Even if I made all of this up, my imagination is helping me to see through metaphor how to heal.  That is the beauty of past life regression.  It makes the unconscious conscious and once that occurs we no longer need to be trapped by our unconscious behaviors.

Having this experience helped me make sense as to why I was grieving as long as I did.  It also showed me why I had been unable to move on.  I am now a certified hypnotist and am looking forward to helping many others find the answers they seek.  Whether that be through past life remembrance, metaphor or symbology, this technology is a great way to tap into our unconscious for health, healing, and wholeness.  You can find out more here.

Claiming Your Inner Child For Health, Happiness & Wholeness

7a43b6786034306c6d3ce3272c610803Have you claimed your Inner Child yet?  I for one, have dabbled here and there and promptly forgotten her when all was said and done.  The thing about the inner child is she will NOT be ignored!  The more our inner children are forgotten about the more they tend to act out.  I have recently reconnected with my inner child and she was a confused, frightened and lonely little girl.  She not only felt abandoned and alone she felt angry about it too.

I believe my Inner Child is at the root of my addictions and tendencies towards co-dependency.  Since she does not have the skill set to soothe herself she turns to sugar, carbs, obsessive behaviors and distraction.  This creates an imbalance in my system and disharmony in my life.  On the one hand, my Wise Self knows what actions she needs to take to create peace in my world. But, if I am not taking into account the needs of my inner child, I end up battling between my Wise Self and my Child Self.  This creates a cycle low self-esteem and shame.

They key to wholeness is claiming our Inner Child.

All my life I have wanted a man to claim me.  Time and time again I have picked unavailable men to be in relationship with.  When these relationships failed I became lost and heartbroken.   This work has shown me that if I am unwilling to claim myself then no one else can either.

Where to begin?

It begins with acknowledgement.  Once my inner child is acknowledged and heard she stops acting out and I have the power to take right action in my life again.  Yet, it takes more than that initial recognition.  It takes constancy.  I’ve begun to learn what my inner child’s voice sounds like.  When my behavior feels childish I can stop myself and ask what she needs.  When I ask my self, “Where did that come from?”  It is often my inner child trying to get her needs met in a way my adult never would.   It is, most often, that she needs to be heard.

The final piece of the puzzle is integration.  This takes time.  Before your inner child can be integrated there needs to be a relationship built between the parent (your adult self) and the inner child.  You will know when you’ve become integrated when you begin to feel more grounded, whole and complete.

Let’s say hi to our inner child.

Close your eyes for a moment and take a few deep breaths.  Go within your heart space or your belly and ask for your child to show themself.  What do they look like?  What emotions are they expressing?  Your child may be scared or angry.  Your child may be happy or sad.  What ever the case let the adult you embrace the child you.  Take a few more deep breaths and hold each other.  Talk to your child and let them know you love them.  Let them know that you are there to take care of them.  It may take awhile for your child to trust you.  This is normal.  Now say good-bye for now and come back to this present moment.  How did that feel?  Now do this again the next day, and the next, and . . . until you feel your child and you as one.

Find out about Della’s services here.

Is Your Inner Child In Charge of Your Relationship?

Claim Your Inner Child Workshop

Letting Go of Motherhood

James & MeFor the past 2 weeks I have been experiencing chronic back pain.  I have done all the usual things that someone like me who is an alternative therapies junkie can think of to release the pain.  Yoga, castor oil packs, chakra cleansing, massage, barefoot hiking and more have all been part of this healing regime.  I am a firm believer that my physical symptoms have an emotional cause.

Yoga seems to be where I can get in touch with the messages my body wants to speak due to the quiet that comes over me during the practice.  I know the root of my symptoms are stemming from my first and second chakras by where the pain has been radiating from.

The first chakra (base of the spine) holds our ideas about safety and security and governs the skeletal system. The second chakra (naval) holds the energy of creativity and sexuality and governs the sex organs.  Every thing below the navel in my back and legs has been stiff, sore and uncomfortable as hell.

When I tuned into my body during my yoga practice I got the message that my pain was due to my son leaving for Swaziland and the Peace Corps for 27 months.  I won’t be able to pick up the phone and talk to him whenever I feel like it.  I won’t be able to text him to tell him I love him whenever the mood strikes.  My son will not have the luxuries that we have here in the West.  He doesn’t even know if he will have access to electricity until he gets there, much less a cell phone.
The grief that I thought I was dealing with so well has shown up in my body.  My identity as a mother is being challenged to let go.  Because I have been unconsciously resistant to my identity changing, my body has been holding itself tightly and creating pain and stiffness.

Now that I know the emotional roots of my physical pain I can begin the true healing journey.  For me that begins with willingness.  “I am willing to be willing to be willing.” I plan to continue to get massage and chiropractic care and what ever else I am guided to do.

I will never not be my son’s mother.  But I willingly let go of that particular attachment to my identity.  Being James’ mother is a part of me but not the totality of me.  As I write this there are tears of release and relief.  The more that I free my son from my attachments the more free he becomes to be who he is meant to be.

Della offers many healing services.  You can find out more about her here.

 

A New Path Emerges out of Transformation Addiction

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Painting by Katelyn Mariah

I have recently given up my addiction to transformation.  This post is from my friend Katelyn Mariah.  We have been on a similar journey these past few years.   Different paths that have led to the same destination, self-love.   Click on the link below to read her blog and see if you can resonate as well.

 

Katelyn’s blog:   A New Path Emerges out of Transformation Addiction

 

Della’s Website