Teaching Love

We are all feeling intense emotions these days in relation to world events. Sometimes we are given the opportunity to experience these same themes within the microcosm of our own lives. The other day in my back parking lot I was given this opportunity so clearly that it's almost laughable. I was getting my baby into the car and driving off to pick up my oldest daughter. Once I started the car I saw what looked like a Grandfather and teenage grandson exiting my neighbor's home and walking to their van which was right next to my car. I have been keeping a watchful eye on this van over the past few months because it has some hateful bumper stickers on it like, " lock her up," and other things that really make my blood boil. The teenager was wearing a Trump shirt. Upon seeing all of this, essentially in my backyard, I broke down in tears. On any day I would be stirred up by seeing a young person wearing that shirt but two days after Charlottesville?! I was undone. This young man has been taught to hate. I had never seen the driver or passenger before and thought this might be a good time to confront them. My plan was to pull to the front of the lot, collect myself, and school them both. I feel fiercely protective of my family and wanted to make it clear that their ignorance would not be tolerated here.

As I pulled myself together and turned to open my door I noticed an elderly neighbor right outside the car preventing me from going anywhere. I instead rolled down the window and said 'hello.' She asked me if the girls were in the car and I told her the baby was in back and we were on our way to pick up her big sister. She asked me if I liked being a Mom. I responded, "I absolutely love it. I'm so lucky to have two wonderful children." Boy, did she snap me out of my rage! She responded by saying, "Well you're a natural mother. You're four year old is amazing, she said the other day, 'I love everything in the garden, the flowers and even the bugs." Looks like I'm the one that got schooled! After sufficiently buttering me up this lovely woman asked me for a ride to the bakery. The van exiting the back lot waited patiently as my neighbor and I chatted and as she got in the car. This experience really hit me over the head with a clear lesson. Sharing love with people who can receive it is what I need to focus on right now. I have no problem speaking up for people of color in work situations or social situations when acquaintances don't know that I have a mixed family. My oldest daughter and I are white/white looking undercover allies. Speaking with people once I have earned their respect and when I can do so in a loving way or using humor is most effective but, to approach two strangers in my Mama bear state would not have been productive or even safe. I'm so grateful to my neighbor for showing up when I needed her most. She gently brought me back to love and compassion. She helped me by asking for help.

Creating a safe home and loving environment for my family, friends, coworkers, clients, and neighbors is of paramount importance right now. Building spaces and communities like this is hard work and is in no way passive or not enough. We all get pulled off track by the drama these days. Let's work together to keep our eyes on the prize. Help in a way that's easy and comes naturally to you. When you work toward a cause in a way that's genuine you become unstoppable. We know that love is still winning because of Barack Obama's recent tweet that became the most popular tweet ever. The Nelson Mandela quote that Obama tweeted ends powerfully, "People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite." Do what comes with ease by teaching and living love. If we all remember this and stop giving time, energy and air time to hate the world will be a better place. 

Open to Signs

 I wanted to share a few things with all of you that I encountered on my vacation. My heart is tender and open so these signs came to me with ease. The fireflies were burning brightly and I found a feather on a run, listening to Chance the Rapper's Finish Line. The lyric I heard as I looked down to find this little treasure was, "she built a church out of feathers." This moved me to tears. I'm grateful to feel so connected to the earth and the divine in moments of synchronicity. It reminded me that our deepest pain can be transformed into a gift that we can offer others. Thank you all for your thoughtful and loving responses to my last post. Surrounding you all with love.

Glowing in the Dark

Recently I have been running at twilight. The girls are in bed and I have some time to myself. The past few times I was out I saw fireflies lighting up. Can you believe the magic of these creatures?! They're so beautiful that they seem other-worldly. The thing about fireflies is that they look ordinary during the day but at night they become extraordinary. My love and appreciation of these insects comes from a desire to do the same. In my darkest moments I'm practicing shining brightly and moving through the dark with ease.

This has come up for me a lot lately as I remember the darkest days of my adult life a couple years ago. There is a reason my youngest is named after the dawn and the Northern Lights. She was what came after the trauma of loss. Even while moving through that intense pain and grief I was still keeping an eye out for signs and trusting that there was something on the other side. I started running (a generous term for a slow jog) again as soon as I could. Every time I ran I would finish with a good tearless cry because any extra water in my body had turned to sweat. While on one of these runs I found a Blue Jay feather- the one pictured on my welcome page. This feather meant to me that a blessing was on it's way. I was overjoyed by finding this bright blue feather- for me it was a beacon of hope. Months later I saw Blue Jays everywhere and I knew that this sweet little soul would be joining our family. To this day I feel like there is a Blue Jay everywhere I turn. Because of there vibrant blue coloring I associate Blue Jays with the throat chakra and they are certainly very vocal. This girl has helped me find my voice and has helped me trust joy follows grief. Perhaps I would not be as aware of the light that she brings into our life without going through such a terrible experience.

No matter what you are going through there is always love, light and support. Whether it's through signs in the universe or the people who surround you. My friends and family were amazing to me while I was in the thick of it. They were patient, gentle and loving as I slowly got back on track. I remember two of my dear friends healing me with kind words and holding me as I balled. I remember my one thoughtful friend brought me homemade mac and cheese, another sent me a giant tin of popcorn and my husband bought me bag after bag of sour patch kids without any judgement. The term "out of the woods" was something I developed a deep understanding for as I kept coming back to myself more and more. As I grow and continue this work I know I am building strength to be my own light source and a source of light to others in the darkest hours. Shine on loves!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UtnxsIBVm5s

The Difference Between Being Sensitive and Taking Things Personally

Over the past few weeks I have been carefully examining the difference between being sensitive and taking things personally. Woof! It's a fine line! Being a sensitive person is a gift and a strength but taking things personally is a heavy burden. We often confuse the two: both within ourselves and with others. If you're reading this post there's a very good chance that at one time or another someone has told you that you're too sensitive- that's not possible! Being super sensitive makes you an excellent nurturer, friend, partner, family member, and counselor. Being too sensitive is not a thing just like you can't be too good at math. It would be absurd for anyone to accuse someone of such a thing and saying that someone is too sensitive is like saying, you're living too close to your heart. If someone says you need to get a thicker skin it is a way of telling you to build a wall and cut off direct access to your heart- no thanks! People tell you this when they don't like what you're reflecting back to them which is the effects their behavior. 

The tricky part is knowing whether you are taking things personally or feeling sensitive. The way to examine this is by creating a little distance. My daughter went through a short phase of being afraid of bugs lately. We had many conversations around this fear by saying things like, "I understand that you're feeling scared when you see bugs right now. When I feel afraid I try to look at things like a scientist." We would count how many legs they had, look at their antennae, and guess what they were doing. Now when we go outside my daughter searches for ants and gets them to crawl on her arm. Creating a little distance when necessary can actually foster connection. Who knows what the fear of bugs was about but looking at things like a scientist helped take some of the intensity out of the whole situation.

I tried this method after realizing that I had been taking something way too personally. A good clue is feeling completely overwhelmed and consumed by a an old and familiar emotion. Depending on whether or not you believe in past lives this emotion, pattern or narrative could be ancient! Know what your patterns, narratives and karma is so that you can easily recognize when it's coming up for you. You probably have surrounded yourself with people who take turns reminding you of what needs to be healed. Hehe! I know I have and I wouldn't be able to do this work without their (er...) encouragement. One of the greatest skills I have gained through HeartMath training is to go from feeling fierce anger with someone and moving into a place of gratitude. I know this sounds like complete bologna but I promise it's true. My life's path would not be where it is now if I hadn't experienced people pushing me to demand better for myself. Thank goodness they did because I'm exactly where I need to be right now. 

Stay sensitive and surround yourself in beauty. Enjoy the song that I thought Jewel wrote for me when I was in Middle School.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PtDrlk7vnkI

A Different Song

Sometimes life feels tough or Murphy's Law seems to take over, either out in the world or in my personal life and usually it's both at the same time- I'm a big believer in synchronicity. Things have felt that way recently in both the world and my world. My mentor was teasing me that I needed to change my theme song from the "Itsy-bitsy Spider" to "This Little Light of Mine." This is my current practice. Changing my song whenever I'm feeling washed out. 

My wise mentor has also told me that every obstacle or trauma I have worked with throughout my life has been part of my internship that has lead me to this point in my journey- to help others working through similar themes. I asked her, "why couldn't I have just gotten coffees for people like a normal person?!" She just laughed and said something about how I get bored too easily. It's true- I'm the type that needs to keep moving. What's also true is that I much prefer working in a meaningful and transformative way with others. The lovely thing about this is that my work transforms both me and my group- this is what synchronicity looks when it comes from the heart.

We can always choose ease and joy. In each moment we can choose a different song and it's most powerful when we make this choice together. The best way to practice is with others who are making the same choice at ever turn. If you're working on changing your song please contact me. The more of us that do this work the louder our music will be. I am looking to form more communities of light bearers (no pun intended).  

 

Dr. Wayne Dyer explains synchronicity beautifully in this video below.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nQBBS30nY2I

Care Bears

In Dave Chappelle's Netflix exclusive he discusses his childhood love of Care Bears. This is something we share. Of course the way he talks about them is hilarious and insightful. People who are sensitive often use humor to get through pain. The funniest people I know tend to be sensitive and anxious because they are able to see the truth no matter how difficult it might be. In this routine Chappelle speaks fondly of the Care Bears stare. In amazement he states, "And I'm not even bull$%&*ing you, actual love would shoot out of their chest and would dispel anything that was F-ed up," this cracked me up because there is a moment (or perhaps years) in our lives when we feel this isn't possible and it's devastating. We have a desire to fix things with love and good intentions and feel helpless when our efforts fail. My daughter recently started watching Care Bears at a point in my life where I'm beginning to believe again. We do have the power to emanate love. Scientific studies have proven that we give off energy from our energy fields as author Gregg Braden discusses in the clip below. If you are a sensitive, compassionate person looking practice you Care Bear stare let me know!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l8dKcvROnl4

Bringing it Back

One of my favorite videos by Brene' Brown is her blame video. In this video she discusses how it is much easier to blame someone else than it is to take personal accountability. What the video does not discuss is how it feels when we blame ourselves and hold onto that discomfort and pain. Usually we are doing some combination of blaming ourselves and someone else which can make things complicated and murky. Using HeartMath's Coherent Communication technique followed by the Freeze Frame technique can provide you with clarity and ease in a stressful situation. When you understand the root of your own discomfort you can work through it holistically. Understanding that the only thing that matters is if you can forgive yourself. Once you forgive yourself, you can forgive the other person and may find that you weren't actually mad at them in the first place. This is when we're able to use empathy. Her empathy video is my absolute favorite. I have shared it with many people I love only to find that perhaps I wasn't being treated with empathy because I wasn't practicing it within myself. If we practice enough we become so steady that nothing can shake us off course. I'm still practicing, knowing that it takes a long time. When we practice these techniques together it is a caring exchange that helps both of us grow and feel rewarded. Please contact me if you would like to be more gentle with yourself and others. If payment is an issue please let me know. I feel that it's most important that I share these techniques and skills as much as possible. 

  https://vimeo.com/118479328

https://vimeo.com/81492863

 

"You can find happiness right where you are,"

The newest Disney movie, Moana, in all its brilliance, has been a huge inspiration to me. You can find and cultivate happiness right now. I may live in a smaller home, have more financial stress and less material things than many of my peers but I feel joy and abundance all around me because I've made the choice to build it- you can too. Starting this business has been terrifying. I've really chosen to put myself out there. If I learned anything from the Grandmother character in Moana (or from my own Grandmother) it's summed up pretty well in the film, "The village may think I'm crazy or say that I drift too far but once you know what you like well there you are." This is who I am and this is what I love doing. Once you come home to yourself nothing anyone says will make you want to go back to your old way of living. My Russian literature professor once shared that his favorite texts were written in simple language but with deep and meaningful themes- I certainly share his preference especially because of my connection with children. There is also a short at the end of the film called "Inner Workings," that beautifully illustrates the heart-brain connection. These themes come up in the media when people are ready and in need of this kind of healing. If you're ready, give it a try. Try growing your own happiness through the heart center, I can assure you that it is the most brave and rewarding choice you could make.