wholeness

Are you a hypocrite? Or just a human?

contradictionI think I just might be the most anti-social extrovert there ever was.

As much as I love to be around people, and am totally energized in groups, at events and parties and whatnot, I never feel “open” to talking to strangers in coffee shops, on airplanes, in the sauna at the gym. I’d rather just be left alone. Sometimes, and this is embarrassing to admit, I even wear my ear buds, even if I’m not listening to anything, just to send a clear leave-me-alone-please message to any friendly stranger that might dare talk to me.

And if I should make conversation with a stranger in line at the grocery store, or even the cashier, I sometimes actually shake with adrenalin or nervousness and while I am energized by it, I leave slightly trembling, maybe even sweat dripping down my armpits!

I see strangers making friends in public places and a pang of envy washes through me, for their easy, carefree connection and comfort with chatting it up with total strangers. Yet, some of my very best friends were strangers I was brave enough to talk to. And I create events for a living.

This is one of my many contradictions. I’m full of them.

And so are you.

And that’s what makes us complex, interesting and layered. That’s what creates our divine totality.

“Do I contradict myself?” Walt Whitman said. “Very well then, I contradict myself. I am large. I contain multitudes.”

Yeah, that’s me. That’s us.

Here’s what I notice: For some reason we’ve adopted this belief that we should be one or another of everything, that there is no room for being both or all things, yet we are designed to hold within us the full capacity of everything that is available.

Why must we be so “either/or” about every damned thing? We equate being complex and containing contradictions with being a hypocrite, because we have black and whited our world, our lives and our potential.

I’ve spent hours and hours, year after year, with clients, with friends, in relationships, in my own heart, on that tenuous tightrope of “either/or” thinking…

“Am I selfish or giving… logical or emotional… good or bad… right or wrong… gay or straight… honest or dishonest… bold or shy… scared or fearless… spiritual or sinful… left brain or right brain… doubtful or trusting… a little bit country or a little bit rock and roll… “slutty” or prudish… healed or wounded… tough or vulnerable… satisfied or yearning?”

I’m not quite sure how or when we as people started thinking we could only be one half of two opposites. When did we cut ourselves in half and why do we feel the need to limit the fullness of our existence?

It’s really kind of weird when you think about it. But that’s what we learned, that’s what we thought. That’s what we often believe.

Do you remember Highlights for Children magazine? There was a regular cartoon in there called Goofus and Gallant, about two brothers– one who did everything right, all the time, while the other brother (guess which one…) was consistently messy, selfish, rude, he didn’t put his toys away. He didn’t say thank you. He never said “please.”He threw rocks at birds.

This little cartoon, in spite of its good intentions to teach kids manners, is just one way I was imprinted, the imprint growing roots in my belief system that there is no room for extremes or contradictions within one person. As a small child just learning how to be what the world wanted me to be, I knew it was “wrong” to feel a little bit Goofus and a lit bit Gallant.

Can you trace back to a message or experience that taught you that you could only be one or the other of something?

And now… Can you entertain the exciting notion that you are everything?

I highly recommend it. For when you do, when you can, there is no more war. The battle is over. The forces retreat.

When you allow yourself to be the wide, vast and magical container for everything that you truly are, the game changes. The world, and your place in it, shifts.

You are made of curves and edges. Countless textures. A thousand flavors. Embrace them all.

You are designed to be spacious enough for every feeling, every possibility.

Your divine totality is vast and limitless and there is absolutely no reason that you cannot be a contradiction, or even a thousand contradictions, whenever you want to be.

Do tell! What is one of your contradictions that you are ready and willing to embrace?

Share in the comments below.

 

 

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I’m working on other things right now so I thought many of you may like to read or re-read this blog, originally published in May, 2014.

Enough is Enough with Feeling “Not Enough”

Nancie-Carmichael-photo-of-woman-with-hand-on-heart-300x336

As the fifteen women shuffled in, nervously, awkwardly, some excitedly, some quietly, some chattering, hugging. Shifting into seats, we took some minutes to settle into the room and the circle before beginning our workshop.

I began by passing out blank sheets of paper and asking each woman to write down five insecure thoughts that she had since entering the room.  Not one of them hesitated to begin scribbling their insecurities. I collected these anonymous lists and put them in a box. “We’re letting these go for now, we’re putting them aside,” I explained. I put the box outside of the room. “If you want to grab them on your way out later, feel free.”

No one did. I ended up going home with fifteen very interesting lists. Around twelve of them mentioned their bellies, and not in very kind ways. Thirteen of them listed feeling fat. Many of them wrote of being concerned about saying something stupid. Not fitting in. Regretting what they wore. Concerned about being judged. And this is typical. Nothing unique here. We do this often, and we do this well.

Renowned father-and-daughter psychologists Dr.’s Robert and Lisa Firestone have done extensive research on our insecurities, and they have found these to be the most common…

  • You’re stupid.

  • You’re unattractive.

  • You’re not like other people.

  • You’re a failure.

  • You never get anything right.

  • No one will ever love you.

  • You’re fat.

  • You’re such a loser.

It’s a painful reality that we are our own worst enemies, that there is most likely no one in our lives as critical, and even cruel as we are to ourselves.

I think it’s safe to say that pretty much every single one of your insecurities, and mine, boil down to one false belief we seem to all insidiously carry, some of us better at hiding it than others…

I am not enough.

Enough is enough, already.

I’m forty-six years old and I do not want to waste another minute of my life feeling not enough. Yet, still sometimes the feeling comes in uninvited waves, parting, receding, flaring up, dying down, depending on a variety of factors. Sometimes a beautiful ray of clarity will shine through me, and it reminds me of a new commitment…

When do you get to be enough, Lisa?

And I ask you, when do YOU get to be enough?

How about now?

Not when you lose that 20, 40, 60 pounds. Not when you get that man or have that baby or get that job or degree or house or whatever.

Your enoughness is implicit, because you are. Because you exist.

It’s a tricky dance, this fluctuation between wanting to be better and being enough. Some might say I am in the self-improvement business, or so it seems.

Truth of the matter is, I am in the emergence business. I am only interested in bringing forth what is within you, what is within me. We are born with our innate brilliance, our enoughness, already existing inside of us. We simply have to tap it, cultivate it, birth it.  “Improvement” is moot. Accessing is paramount. Enoughness almost seems paradoxical- and it is:

I am enough. AND I am emerging into a more brilliant and powerful version of myself.

I am always enough.

If we could remember that, all the time, in a perfect world, in a perfect brain, we would have no more insecurities. Our enoughness would be enough. Sure, we might be attracted to making positive changes to live more brilliantly, to make our experience here more awesome. While being enough.

How the hell does one even go about practicing enoughness?

It boils down to taking control of the thoughts we think, of changing course when our brain wants to go down that dark path, stopping it in its tracks, shifting it, taking charge of it. You are not the thought. You are the thinker of the thought. You’re the boss. Start acting like it.

Wouldn’t you rather think (and know) that you are enough, and do your life’s work from a compassionate, loving place? Sure, who wouldn’t?

To do so, we must begin to shift our thoughts– stop them dead in their tracks, choosing new thoughts. Practicing new thoughts.

I am enough. I am always enough.

So the next time you feel insecure thoughts attempting to wreak havoc in your mind, I challenge you to…

  1. Stop the thought– BAM. Catch it. Stop it.

  2. Strip the thought. What’s underneath it? (Hint: It’s always “I am not enough”.)

  3. Replace the thought. I am enough. I am a beautiful work in progress. I am an evolving, eternal being full of potential, and perfect in the right now place of my evolution.

  4. Breathe into those new thoughts, slowly. Really. Use your breath. Even if you don’t believe the thoughts, breathe into the possibility of them. When you affirm a new thought,  it doesn’t automatically work like some instant magic pixie dust, POOF. But you do create a welcoming place for it to take root. We’re talking new synapses that must form here, brain chemistry being altered, science, man. But we do get to choose.

I, for one, am really tired of the insidious toxicity of not-enoughness. It’s a liar, and a cheat. It’s already cost us too much. It’s wasted too much of our precious time. It’s destroyed too many lives.

I am enough. I am always enough. And so are you. Pass it on.

Be Your Valentine: The Bad-Ass Brazen Art of Self-Devotion

de·vo·tion [dih-voh-shuhn] noun

1. profound dedication; consecration.
2. earnest attachment to a cause, person, etc.
3. strong attachment (to) or affection (for a cause, person, etc) marked by dedicated loyalty.

Devotion is my new favorite word. Not only do I love the way it sounds… delightful… divine… devotion. I love what it means.

What are you devoted to?

These days, I’m cultivating a sweet self-devotion. Which turns the definition into THIS:

self-devotion [self-dih-voh-shuhn] noun

1. profound dedication to me; consecration to myself
2. earnest attachment to moi
3. strong attachment (to) or affection (for a cause, person, etc) marked by dedicated loyalty to my own self!

YEAAAH, that’s what I’m talking about.

What does that mean for me? What are the implications of this commitment? Well, there are many. New ones pop up daily, in fact.

Today, self-devotion means…

– listening to my body when this head cold has knocked me down for a rest
– checking in to see what I really want to do, eat, drink.
– napping because that’s what I need
– clearing my schedule as an act of self-care, in spite of that critical voice that says I could not/should not do so.
– pajamas, all day long.

Other days it’s much more serious, and more difficult, uncomfortable, vulnerable:

– standing up for myself when I feel disrespected by a peer
– expressing an unspoken insecurity to my partner
– refusing to be mistreated by a cranky cashier

Now, more than ever, I am realizing how every choice I make is either an act of self-devotion, or it is not. It either helps me feel lighter, or creates a sense of heaviness. It either feels like love or feels like fear.

Wanting to devote to yourself? Here’s the interesting thing. You don’t have to feel any certain “preliminary” way toward yourself to act in devoted ways. In fact, the decision to devote to yourself is followed by actions and choices, and those actions and choices create profound self-love.

Self-devotion cultivates trust, and with devoted practice, a sweet and romantic, everlasting loyalty and kindness to oneself will blossom.

Keep in mind, self-devotion is an act of audacity. A bold and brazen promise to yourself, to dote on yourself, to spoil yourself with lavish attention and affection.

Are your choices today a reflection of someone who is devoted to herself? And if they are not, can you start now? What one loving choice can you make as an act of self-devotion?

This Valentine’s Day, first and foremost, be your own Valentine, always and forever, for better or for worse.

After all, lovers come and lovers go, but you… you will always have you.

“You can search throughout the entire universe for someone who is more deserving of your love and affection than you are yourself, and that person is not to be found anywhere. You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe deserve your love and affection.”
– Buddha

 
 
Originally published February 2013.

I Got My Feelings Hurt

Sometimes my storyteller is six years old.
Sometimes my storyteller is six years old.

It happens to all of us. It happened to me.

I had planned a home party for a line of adult products, and invited pretty much every DFW woman I thought might be interested– 300+ to be exact.

I created this picture in my mind of what the party would be. Full house, lots of laughter, lots of girl-time connection, juicy conversations about sexuality and pleasure, and of course, toys! RSVPs showed 16 yeses. And 40 maybes! Nice!

For what I realize are reasons that have nothing to do with me, a very small handful of women came. Not counting me and the consultant, I had five others show up. Five others who I gratefully enjoyed seeing, and felt a love and appreciation for, no doubt. But simultaneously, I found myself missing the other eleven who had counted themselves a yes, and for whatever reason, did not show up. And all those maybes… I thought at least a couple of them would actualize into yes.

The big girl part of me listed possible reasons, and again, those reasons had nothing to do with me. I live a ways out of Dallas now, it’s a Thursday, I had rescheduled once, not everyone like sex toy parties, yada yada.

Yet, the little girl part of me was hurt, sad and in her hurt feelings kept whispering: Nobody actually likes me.

There were parts of me that were hell-bent on making it mean something about me, that something was wrong with me.

The mean critical aspect of me was saying: What a fucking disaster. Aren’t you embarrassed? You thought you had friends. And you made way too much sangria.

The dark shadowy part of me that lurks, eagerly waiting for moments like this to pounce, whispered sardonically: LOSER.

On a realistic plane, I KNEW these thoughts were not true. I know I am loved, that I have friends, that it was not a personal thing. I know the facts.

But I’m not necessarily talking about facts today. I’m talking about feelings.

Sometimes what we KNOW and what we FEEL are two different things. Sometimes we attach made-up stories to the feelings we feel. Sometimes we even tell ourselves lies to support our hurt feelings. (Gasp! Who would do that? Raises hand.) And most of the time, those stories can be traced back many years, and are rooted in very old wounds, experienced by a very young self.

I pushed away my hurt feelings, “knowing” they were unreasonable. I cleaned up. I went to bed. Yet the next morning I woke up feeling residual hurt. I journaled, working to talk myself out of these unreasonable feelings.

And then, Facebook chatting with one of my best friends, Angela, she asked “How was the party?”

I began typing my reply and BAM, just like that, the tears came. They came fast and hard, falling steadily from my eyes from some ancient place, and my first reaction was to stop them and shove them back up in there, because this is silly. Because I think these feelings are “unreasonable.”

I told her that I felt silly, but that my wounded-child was hurt.

Before I continue, let me tell you something about Angela. Angela and I have been friends for about a dozen years. She is one of the bravest women I know. Since a tsunami of traumatic life events in December of last year, she has been in rebuild-phase and been working her ass off to heal, to get better, to re-wire, to re-construct, to stay present, to feel it all. She’s been to hell and back, and aside from that, she knows me better than most.

This chick knows a thing or two about triggers and core wounds and she replied… “Of course. This is one of your core wounds, correct?”

“Yes.” I went on to explain that I know that I have this tendency to catastrophize, and I am famous for my ‘goldfish-memory’ (I only remember the last six minutes of my life. So, if they’ve been great six minutes, wonderful! If not, well… ugh. My entire life is shit and everything sucks.)

“I feel silly.” I said.

And she said…

“Try to replace feeling silly with being compassionate with yourself. These are deep, real wounds you are dealing with, and when they are triggered, our reactions aren’t necessarily rational.”

Her words felt like salve, soothing and cool on my owie.

I already KNOW this- I preach compassion and curiosity for a living, for cripe’s sake!

But there I was, completely forgetting to direct curiosity and compassion toward myself. Instead I lashed out judgment, even mockery toward myself for my feelings.

Thankful for this reminder, I exhaled.

I turned within and softened my gaze. I saw her, little me in there, sad and rejected, and I went to her. I let her crawl onto my lap. I let her feel.

Resisting our feelings does not work.

Judging ourselves for our feelings does not work.

Feeling bad about feeling bad is a double layered shit sandwich that just does not serve us.

Thank you, Angela, for reminding me to return to compassion. Reminding me to allow myself to feel. Caught up in my own loop of feelings and judgment about the feelings, I couldn’t remember to do this. I needed a friend to remind me.

Once felt, the feelings dissolved like vapor.

They just wanted to be felt.

Is there a feeling you’ve been judging yourself for? Is there an emotion you think is silly or unreasonable and you try to chase it away?

Turn to it. It’s a precious part of you. Let it feel. Create a safe space for it, and watch what happens next…

Healing happens.

 

 

The Old You, the Now You, the New You? All YOU.

photo by dee hill
photo by dee hill

So many people I work and play with come with a common need: to reconnect with part of themselves that they have lost.

I know this feeling. I’m quite familiar with it, in fact.  But I also know sometimes that being who we ‘used to be’ isn’t a fair or realistic option.

When I watch  one of my favorite shows, A & E’s, Intervention, and the family’s all joined together to tearfully read their pleas for rehab to their addicted loved one, something they often say jostles me. Many times, they’ll say something along the lines of… “I just want the old you back…”

But is it the “old” version of them that really needs returning?

I’m not saying I can’t or don’t relate to the despair of loving someone with an addiction, I get it, on a very intimate level, in fact.

I’m also not saying that I can’t understand the human inclination we sometimes have to wish we could ‘rewind life’ and go back to a simpler time, a more innocent time. I get that, too.

But I also think this: The ‘old’ version of the addict is the one that became addicted.  The one that was suffering, and numbing out in various ways, hiding secret pain, secret shame, and heading in the direction of the very addiction that brought them to the NOW. The exact and perfect now, the only place where NEW can begin.

Why not start right there?

So that’s what I’m reminded of when people I work and play with talk about wanting to be who they used to be…

“I used to be so free. I used to be so thin. I used to be so confident. I used to be so sexy. I used to be so strong. I used to be so happy…”  I get that, too.

But what I also know is this:  There is an even better version of you than the past version of you. After all, the past version of you became ‘outdated’ for a reason.

The NEW version of you will be a beautiful and organic combination of who you are NOW, and who you have been.

Take ALL of it… the good, the bad, the strength, the pain, the mistakes, the glory, the extra weight, the laugh lines, the attitude, the insecurities, the lessons, the mysteries, the tenderness and grace that you have earned along the way.

All of it is necessary for the perfect recipe, the magic formula, the miraculous terrain, the Divine Totality of the You that you are becoming.

Instead of striving for who you used to be, (she’s gone, after all…)  lean into the completely NEW, more exalted, more sovereign, more complete, more integrated, more healed and more experienced version of yourself.

And in your new glory, you can be thankful for who you used to be, who you are now, and who you are becoming.

Always, you are becoming.

*****

(c)2012 – Excerpted from my book, “Truth or Dare Living: Wild Adventures for your Sacred, Sexy Soul” available on Amazon.com.

What’s Stifling Your Sexy and Snuffing Your Fire?

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It seems to sneak up on us, the funk.

We’re not looking for it.

We didn’t ask for it. But there it is.

The funk is what I consider to be a soup of mixed feelings of the not-so-fun fare, simmered and steeped to dull perfection. It feels something like some combination of these flavors: Uninspired, frumpy, unexpressive, bored, boring, blah, ho hum, meh, stuck in a rut, cranky, edgy, lethargic, lackadaisical, grumpy, gloomy, cloudy, dim, dull.

This is what we feel when we are disconnected from our true essence, which is joyous radiance.  And these feelings are always informative, unsavory as they might be. They are clues to our truth. They invite us to explore and identify their messages, so that we deal with their sources, return to our true essence, and access our own magnificence and greatness, to be, well, magnificent and great…

When we are in our joyful radiance, we feel alive, present, charmed, radiant, powerful, sexy. And it’s a powerful force. A woman who is joyfully radiant is sexy. Can you think of anything sexier?

I often hear women in the funk use phrases like “I lost a part of me…” or “I don’t know where she went.”  I’m here to tell you that you have lost nothing. Nothing is gone.

In fact, there is a depth of radiance and power within you that you quite possibly haven’t even tapped into yet. It’s in there, waiting for you. Waiting to light up your life. Your true essence, of joyous radiance is IN YOU, even when you’re in a funk. It is not about accessing anything external. It’s about drawing forth what is already in you.

Doesn’t that feel good? To know you have everything you want and need already in you? Would you like to have more of that radiance, to feel it? What’s in the way?

I’ve been giving a lot of thought lately to what I think gets in the way of our true essence.  I’ve boiled it down to seven primary blocks. These blocks, these sexiness-stiflers, these radiance-snuffers, get in the way of our radiant life force, they disconnect us from our joyous radiance, and I’m going to be addressing these seven things over the next few weeks, as well as offering tools for diminishing their hold and rinsing them away. I’ll also be offering tools and tips for amping up your power, your radiance and brilliance so that you can access your personal recipe for living sexy.

Let’s talk about the first one…

#1 Old Programming

I’d love for you to look within and ask yourself if you are limiting your own access to your joyous radiance because of old programming. I think it’s one of the most insidious and toxic deterrents of our best, because its often so subconscious and deeply rooted, so much so that we don’t even know it’s there.

For example, I still find at times some residual programming from my fundamentalist church days, even though consciously i don’t believe most of it anymore, subconsciously, i still occasionally find myself black-or-whiting my relationship to the Divine, as if there is a “right” spirituality, and then feel that awful feeling of “falling out of grace” when I make mistakes or act in “unholy” ways. See, it’s still there. When I can spot it, and stop it in its tracks, I can ask “Is this what I really want to believe?”

If the answer is no, I ask myself “What would I rather believe?” As designer of my own faith, I get to choose:  I would rather believe that grace is limitless and nothing that I could do could separate me from my source, which is love. I want to believe that my humanity is not in opposition of my divinity, but an expression of it.

I’d love for you to be a keen observer or yourself in the coming days, and find places where your old programming shows up. Without judgment, without making yourself wrong, just notice. Ask yourself if that’s what you want to believe. Then, if the answer is no, ask yourself what you would rather believe.

You may want to write the new desired belief down, daily. Stick it on a post-it, or in your journal, so you can think about it often. Re-programming our brains takes time. New synapses need to be formed, new evidence collected. But believe me. It is possible.

Just making this one shift, to eliminate the old programming that gets in the way of your joyous radiance will open up the doors for continued shifts, in other areas. It starts simply by noticing, with compassion and kindness.

I hope you’ll join me in the coming weeks as we eliminate together the seven blocks to our own joyous radiance, power and SEXINESS!

Feel free to share your discoveries about your old programming in the comments section below. I’d love to hear from you.

Next week, we’ll talk about the second block to your joyous radiance, sexiness and magnificence. Self-talk. Ohhhh yeah!

Go on. Have Your Moment.

jealousy
Self-pity.

Anger.

Neediness.

Victimhood.

Sadness.

Jealousy.

Abandoned.

Hurt.

Rage.

Heartbreak.

Defeated.

Depression.

Darkness.

If you’re like me, this list might be titled “My Least Favorite Feelings.”

Truth be told, I’d rather feel nothing at all than feel any of these.

If I were allowed to choose my palette of feelings, they’d be bright and sunny, deeply joyful and radiantly happy, all the time. But that’s just not the way this living thing is designed.

Whether it be our religions, our families of origin, our feel-good society or our metaphysical or spiritual readings or seminars, we get the message loud and clear: Feeling “negative” feelings is trouble. Feeling these feelings lowers your vibration and stops the Universe from blessing you. (Gasp!) Feeling these feelings is ungrateful. Feeling these feelings is not spiritual. Feeling these feelings is unenlightened.

I call bullshit.

It is not the feelings themselves that get us into ruts, or block our capacity for joy, as much as our resistance to them, as much are our judgment of them.

In the last week, I have heard my clients say things like…

It’s stupid but ____.

I know I shouldn’t feel this, but ____.

I should be grateful for the good things in my life, but ___.

This is ridiculous, but ____.

I’ve also had three or four clients this year talk to me about their strategies for getting through heartbreak as quickly as possible. They usually have the word “more” in them…

Work more.

Drink more.

Eat more.

Spend more.

Date more.

Sleep more.

All in efforts to avoid the pain of their current experience, to avoid the reality of their current feeling.

In the short term, this may seem to work. I don’t have time to feel my pain if I am overextended, or hungover or have a new purse to get excited about, right?

In the long term though, what is buried alive never dies.

What we resist persists.

The wounds transmute and find a way to show up and be felt in a completely unique and unrelated, though painfully familiar situation.

One way or another, these feelings must be felt.

Is it fun? Hell no.

Is it necessary? Hell yes.

And unless there is a chemical imbalance or an actual physical condition that requires treatment, most of the time our feelings just want to move through us.

They just want to be acknowledged and felt, so they can move on.

You are a safe place for every feeling.

And when your feelings learn you are safe, they are not afraid to move through you. They stop for a while, engage you, consume you, exhaust you, drain you. But then they trust you. And they move on.

I urge you to watch the way you moderate and allow or disallow your emotions. Which of them are you most judging?

Catch yourself in the act of resisting your less-desirable emotions. Then find a healthy, loving way to feel them. Express them.

Here are some tried and true methods…

  • Journaling (saved my life a time or two, or thousand.)
  • Smash, burn or rip something. (your own property, of course.)
  • Talk to a friend.
  • Write a sad poem.
  • Dig in the dirt.
  • Swim, run, bike, hike or dance it out.
  • Spend a day or two wallowing.
  • Clean something.
  • Take gloomy selfies.
  • Wear black for days.

Some of these physical expressions of emotions can become healing rituals in your processing, a tactile, sensory experience of energy in motion (emotion = energy in motion!)

Allow yourself to have your moment. Feel your feelings. All of them, even the less-savory. Let them move through you. That’s all they ask of you.

I read recently “It’s a full-time job, avoiding your feelings.” Ha, isn’t that the truth? Ain’t nobody got time for that. I want my full-time job to be a life fully felt, fully expressed, fully experienced.

Life is for feeling. So go on, feel it all.

Allow it all, for you are vast, and mighty and brilliant and contain multitudes.

She’s Been Everybody Else’s Girl

From the shadow, she crawls.
And in the shadow, she finds her way…
She’s been everybody else’s girl.
Maybe one day, she’ll be her own.”

– Tori Amos, “Girl”

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Deborah Chapman Touch Drawing Soul Cards

I’ve been noticing a trend that’s common with many of the women that are attracted to the work I do.

At some point in many of our lives, we begin to wake up to the question ”What do I want?”

Perhaps we hadn’t been asking it because we were too busy taking care of others.  Surviving. Working. Nurturing the kids, taking care of a husband, managing a household, serving on the P.T.A… all very noble and important duties, indeed. But if the connection with our Inner Selves is lost along the way, which very often, it is, eventually those noble and important duties start to feel heavy, or less fulfilling, or empty. Or even like dying a slow death.

And then, from under the shadow of divine discontent, we crawl. We start reaching. Searching. To access the passion, the FIRE within us that we have lost contact with. We know it’s in there. We’re searching, all right, but sometimes we don’t know it’s our selves that we are searching for.

Sometimes, sadly, we even act out in dangerous and destructive ways, just to feel alive. Some find religion. Some file for divorce. Some have affairs. Some drink to numb. Some watch too much reality T.V. or eat to numb the disconnect.

And some — the lucky ones– reconnect with themselves. And when that happens, ohhh yes… the world cracks open. The ground begins to shake. The old paradigms don’t work anymore. Systems begin to crumble. The ‘way it’s always been’ suddenly is outdated.

When a woman reconnects with her deepest truest self, the world may turn upside down on its axis.

If you are waking up… if you are reconnecting to that which you had lost, within yourself… open up and allow.

The timing is perfect. Nothing is wasted. You are right on time.

But be warned, dear sister. When you begin to take a stand for YOU in whatever ways that might be, the people in your life may not like it. They may resist. When a husband sees his wife growing wings, he fears she will fly away. So he may resist, so things can stay the same… ’safe and sound.’

And maybe she will fly away and maybe she won’t. But there’s nothing safe about never changing.

And when the shifts start happening, we can’t go back to sleep.

Things can’t stay the same.

Our souls won’t allow it.

But trust this: everything will be alright.

A self-connected, actualized woman, being her truest self, reigning supreme over the kingdom of her life is a gift. To her partner, her kids, her employees, her family. To the world.

If you are not madly, wildly in love with your life, only you can fix it. As daunting as that may seem, it happens choice by choice. It can start with what you eat for breakfast. Or what you do with that one free hour in your schedule today. It can start with an honest conversation. Or a renewed commitment to finding more pleasure in your life.

You were meant to reign sovereign in the Kingdom of YOU. Who’s on the throne?

What pleases you?

What do you want?

 

 

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Excerpted from my book, Truth or Dare Living: Wild Adventures for Your Sacred, Sexy Soul. Now through the holidays, I’ll be sharing some of my favorite chapters from the book, available on Amazon.com, while I revive and reignite my creative fire with some rest. Enjoy!

 

 

Mean-Spirited Roadhouses and Other Detours

A personal favorite of mine, that I feel guided to re-post. I hope it reaches the heart of whoever might need it most.
Roadhouse
“Gamble everything for love, if you’re a true human being.
If not, leave this gathering.
Half-heartedness doesn’t reach into majesty.  
You set out to find God, but then you keep stopping for long periods at mean-spirited roadhouses.”
– Rumi

When our hearts are open, we gamble everything for love, we hungrily seek divinity, we bounce (or sashay, or saunter, or strut…) along the spiritual path with zeal, or with peace, with awareness. It feels amazing.

And then we stop.

Ah… look, here’s an intriguing roadhouse.

We slip in…

We all have our favorite mean-spirited roadhouses.

Maybe yours is regret.

Shame.

Self-loathing.

Returning to hurts of the past.

Or an emotionally bankrupt relationship.

Or maybe it’s a physical activity that works well for numbing. For removing you from the intensity of the divine, of your own light. Or your own feelings.

Bingeing on Netflix streaming for hours and hours at a time.

Facebook scrolling. Scrolling, endless scrolling. Scroll. Click. Scroll. Click, click. Scroll, scroll. OOH! A notification!

Drinking too much. Or too often. Or both.

Shopping for things you don’t need, just to feel a rush of newness, of… something different than this.

I’ve done all of these things, stopped in all of these mean-spirited roadhouses, as well as others I won’t name.

Luckily, today, in this moment, I am back on the path, gambling everything for love.

But I also trust the detour.

There will be times on this spiritual path, when we will find ourselves at mean-spirited roadhouses. And more importantly, we must.

The path of divinity is intense, and asks much from us. That we be completely aware, that we remain open, that we shine bright.

It can get exhausting being our magnificence.

Oh look… there’s my favorite mean-spirited roadhouse… I’m gonna stop in for a spell… I think they’re running specials…

And so, the cycle continues.

Until it ends. Until that glorious day we can walk right past those familiar mean-spirited roadhouses, and keep on walking, gambling everything for love.

Gambling everything for love is not for wimps. It’s not easy. Nor is it free of dangers and risks. But, as Rumi is saying, more or less: go big or go home.

It doesn’t matter if you use the word God, spirit, love, divinity, magnificence, grace, glory. I don’t care what the heck you choose to call it. We’re simply talking about your innate connection to that which is bigger and greater than the limits of your humanness. Call it what you will. We’re either seeking it. Connecting to it. Living it. Or detoured.

Right now, think about your current place on your path. At this moment of your life, are you gambling everything for love or half-heartedly reaching for majesty? Are you seeking God or hanging out in a mean-spirited roadhouse?

If you’re in a mean-spirited roadhouse, when you’re ready to come back out, to pick up on your path, come on. The light at first, is blinding. It’s dark in there, after all. And you might carry some of that mean-spirited roadhouse smell on your clothes for a while.

But out here, on your divine path, the air is sweet, the sun is bright and the breeze wants to say hello. Welcome back.

Gamble everything. Give it your all. Go big or go home.

As Rumi knew, half-heartedness doesn’t reach into majesty.

 

Original publish date 7.16.13

My name is Lisa and I’m in a Shitty Mood

linux-babies-angryPerhaps there are some people that prefer a crappy mood over a joyful one. I am not one of them.

I woke up this morning in a god-awful crappy mood. I was physically sore and achey. Low back pain, hip and sciatica called out “Morning!” as I reluctantly crawled out of bed. My allergies were wreaking havoc. My hormones may or may not be in the P phase of PMS, no comment. A few other irritating details that I won’t go into, but you get the idea. I went into my morning rituals, coffee, stretches, reading, journaling, eagerly, desperately working to escape my bitch-on-wheels status.

Wrote for a moment about my lousy mood, then began writing a prayer, to whoever might be listening…

“Lift this lousy mood. I want to experience joy, peace. I want to feel love. Not this…”

Like many spiritual people I know, I prefer those positive, high-vibrating emotions like peace, love and happiness.

I also think there’s still some residual gunk left from my teenage church days that believes that to be in a good mood brings me closer to the Divine, and being in a crappy mood separates me from the divine, and as an unfortunate by-product, my penalty is missing out on the blessings from such. Like stepping out of the goodie line.

Be a good girl.

Wipe that look off your face.

Cheer up.

In Law of Attraction teachings, we are taught that positive feelings attract positive things. Negative feelings attract negative things. And god knows, I don’t want to attract negative things.

So of course I get wiggly and uncomfortable when a bad mood arises. I don’t want to separate myself from the divine. I don’t want to miss out on blessings, or even worse, attract shitty circumstances into my life. GET ME OUT OF HERE!

This morning as I scrambled to find my way out of my crappy mood, (Think good thoughts! Write good thoughts! Light and love, light and love…) a voice of love and clarity came through…

Choose real over perfect. I wrote. Be with what is real.

I began to remember that the divine does not desert me when I am in a crappy mood. I desert myself.

We are not designed for or planted on this planet to be joyful and light all the time. It’s just not possible.

I signed up for the real when I came into this physical plane. As an embodied spirit, yes, I have access to all things divine… but when I’m trying to ditch my human experience and trade it in for love and light, I am abandoning my very purpose here… to feel it all.

And when I realign myself with the truth that my spirit knows….

that there is no way I can separate myself from the divine, but there is a way I can separate myself from this rich and complex human experience…

that numbing myself with platitudes of love and light is a form of self-abandonment…

that I am holy, even when I’m in a shitty mood

funny thing happens to that shitty mood… it begins to shift.

How can you be with yourself and what is real for you today?

What if for one day you traded in your numbing, escape-hatch platitudes of love and light for the real and full experience of what is here, what is now, what is your current experience, in all of its messy, gooey, sticky and moody glory?

What might shift?

Our opportunity to feel it all is also our obligation to Life.

There will be plenty of time for existing in your glorious full love and light status when you are ethereal cosmic dust floating around the ethers, eternity perhaps.

But right now, in this moment, here you are. Here we are. We get to feel it all. So let’s.

We can be holy and hole-y.

We can be divine and dirty.

We can be light and shadow.

We can be whole and wounded.

We can be in a shitty mood, and still be blessed.

I am “divinity in a shitty mood”.

Well, I mean… I was in a shitty mood, past tense. Before I gave myself complete and utter permission to be in one.

Funny how that works.