Conditioned Response

Conditioned Response

I started dusting a little while ago because I suddenly felt guided to.

As I began moving the decorations on the entertainment center in the living room to dust, one of my cats came bolting out of her favorite adjacent room and ran upstairs.

Why?

Conditioned Response.

She’s not afraid of my dusting. What she is afraid of is the vacuum. Historically, when I dust, the vacuum is soon to follow.

Now I’ve been low on energy for quite a while, and was only planning on dusting as that’s all I had the energy for today. I wasn’t going to vacuum. But, this creature whom I can’t communicate with in words to tell her that, has learned about the environments she lives in and how to predict them by observing them. Humans have words, but we don’t always think to use them to convey to people that we aren’t going to cause them the same harm that someone or something in their past did. And even if we did use them, it may not do any good as people often get triggered.

Familiar things start happening, a person’s conditioned response sets in, and fight or flight takes over.

At this point, even if we use our human words or emotions of love to reassure the person that we can be trusted and that the hurtful events of their past aren’t about to play out again- the triggered person is no longer open to this info. They are in protective mode.

The only thing they want to do at this point is run upstairs to avoid the vacuum, and in the heightened state they are in, they may also give us a piece of their mind on their way up there.

As humans, we have the power to dispel triggers and projections by doing the inner work necessary to help us separate one situation from another. We can discover through careful examination that though the details of the situation may seem strikingly similar to those in the situations where we were hurt previously, we need to take a deeper look into the intentions or emotional state of the person or thing that originally caused us harm. This is where we will find our answers.

We need to ask ourselves˗ are the motivations, true intentions, and overall emotional state of the current person the same as the person who harmed us in the past? It may take some digging and raw honesty, especially if we are still in the triggered state, to find the real answer. If we have done the work and know for certain that the answer is yes after fully processing and separating the initial incidents from this one˗ we may need to do something different or have every reason to want to protect ourselves.

But what happens if when we look as deep as we can go, we realize that the intentions of the current person and situation are not to harm us, and that in fact they won’t harm us (based on our previous history of interactions with that person), but rather that we are blocking intimacy with them because of the giant fearball we have placed between ourselves and any trust we have of them.

We got our cat as a stray. She was friendly but skittish, and we were certain that she had been someone’s indoor pet but had been traumatized in some way before she was probably thrown out or just let go. Because of this, she was distrustful of humans, through at the same time she craved our affection and love. Maybe a vacuum had hurt her in the past, and maybe the person operating it had intended to harm her (most likely as a result of their own inner demons that they couldn’t calm).

If she wants to fully let down her guard and enjoy her life with us, she will need to learn that we do not intend to harm her, and that we will not use an object (especially the one she has been conditioned to be afraid of) to harm her.

She must learn to separate the motives and intentions of the person in the past from the actions, motives, and intentions she has come to expect from us for the last few years in her present.
My question in all of this is here:

Is there somewhere in your life where you are so traumatized by the feelings and objects that were directed your way in a negative energy in the past, that you are not able to trust those who are not trying to hurt you in the present˗ though the details of the situation or object may seem the same?

Maybe it’s time to take a deeper look.

Struggling? It’s a normal part of the process-don’t judge yourself.

Struggling?  It’s a normal part of the process-don’t judge yourself.

Struggle is a completely normal part of life.

Though it is uncomfortable, and there are indeed stresses associated with it, I encourage you to hold yourself gently during this time and resist the urge to judge yourself.  You are trying to break through to the next level, and the path isn’t always linear, but you are showing up and doing what you can, whether or not you fall down.

When the internal chatter starts to show up, and you feel ashamed for whatever you are going through, try to remember that you need your own love most of all, and that there is NO SHAME in being where you are.

Remind and congratulate yourself for all the things that you have done well, and do what you can to find the answers you need.  Meditate (though it’s best to do this daily), journal (extra if you need to), reach out for help, and have a conversation with whatever you believe in that is bigger than you.

Just don’t judge yourself harshly for where you are.

Writing this for myself as much as I am for you.

 

Shame- Which Kinds are Productive and Which Kinds are Unproductive-And How to Tell the Difference

Shame- Which Kinds are Productive and Which Kinds are Unproductive-And How to Tell the Difference

 

This blog post speaks to both women and men, but I do wish to point out the fact that this topic is especially relevant to women as a whole, given our generational upbringing.  Therefore, if both genders would please excuse that hypothesis in the first paragraph only, there is some deep wisdom on the topic here that can be gained by all of us.

Women as a whole carry a disproportionate amount of shame.  So much of it isn’t even ours to carry, but because we are conditioned to just do what needs to be done, and meet other’s needs, we take it on in order to ease another’s burden.  As time goes on, we learn to take it on in all sorts of unproductive ways, opening the door and letting it in over and over again.  We become accustomed to just leaving the door wide open to welcome shame, without ever stopping to ask ourselves if it is even  ours, if we need to let it in, or if it is a desired constant houseguest.

How many of us carry shame from our families of origin, both others’ true shame, and also for things no one actually needed to feel shame for?  It might be shame that was actually another member of the family’s to carry.  But no matter, we picked it up and threw it on our backs out of purpose, or maybe even blame, because another family member couldn’t take responsibility for their own actions.  On the other side of the coin, perhaps the shame stemmed from failure to succeed in one way or another; unproductive shame that was not anyone’s to rightfully carry, but continued to be passed on throughout the generations.

Shame is useful when it makes us think twice before doing unkind or unethical things.  It is also useful when it causes someone who made a mistake to take responsibility, make amends, and change their behavior.  Because our society is not set up to handle atonement and reconciliation in ways that aren’t doused in excessive shame, however, productive shame is many times too large for a person to be able to take on.  But when someone refuses to take responsibility for their behavior because either the shame or threat of shame is too great, often times we pick some of it up to ease their burden and lighten their load.

Although this may seem noble, where then does this shame go?  This unproductive shame is stored in our individual unconscious, and sometimes then the collective unconscious, and keeps us from being our full, shiny, capable selves.  It also takes away an opportunity for the person whose shame it is to take responsibility for their actions and heal themselves and anyone they may have hurt. Perhaps a better idea would be to create a healthier system where atonement and reconciliation are handled in ways that aren’t doused in excessive shame (but more on that in a later discussion).

Shame that isn’t ours to carry holds us back from bringing our true gifts into the world, as we are afraid of what we will look like if we fail.  In addition to shame that isn’t ours to carry, shame from failure to achieve a goal is also a form of unproductive shame.  It doesn’t serve a useful purpose, and we don’t have to say yes to it.  Just like shame for being different than others, having a physical or mental challenge, or any other form of not seeming to be ‘right’ by certain societal standards, shame from failure is not real shame, and only robs ourselves and society of the unique gifts we are here to offer.

Failure is not a productive reason to feel shame.  Failure means we stepped outside our comfort zone and tried to bring into form something we were lead by our soul to follow.  Failure means we’re on the right track. Failure means we tried.  And many times failure is caused by things that were completely outside of our control.  The only true failure in this example is to not rise up again and continue to follow the path we know is true, even when it deals us challenges.  These ‘failures,’ just like any other ways we may not seem to be acceptable by society, are not reasons to feel shame, they are merely opportunities to strengthen our relationship with ourselves by choosing whether or not we’re going to allow them to add more shame to the disproportionate amount we are already carrying, and whether or not we are going to let them define our worth.

Our worth can only be taken from us if we choose to deem ourselves unworthy.  It is always our choice.

If someone overpowered you in the past because of their lack of self-worth, do not let that diminish yours.  They were trying to steal from you what could never truly work for them.  It’s like someone other than the chosen person trying to steal and use the sword in the stone in order to fill themselves with worth and power.  It will never work.  Power and worth that are not cultivated on the inside and from the deep knowing that we are not separate from all that is, will never last.  It will never satiate the hunger someone’s soul feels from not being secure in their own worth, for not saying ‘yes’ to themselves.

So it seems to me that we have three choices when it comes to being faced with the tendency to take on shame for unproductive reasons:  we can diminish ourselves, shrink down and hide, and deem ourselves less worthy; we can try to get it off of us by acting out against someone or something else and attempting to transfer it to them; or we can just say, “No thank you.” when presented with the choice to take it in or not.

Unproductive shame hurts all of us, and we don’t have to continue to say yes to it.

#youareworthy  #stopthemadness  #riseup  #truepower  #beyoutiful

 

 

How to Manifest What You Truly Desire: Part I

How to Manifest What You Truly Desire: Part I

Why does manifesting our deepest desires seem to elude us so often?

I believe one of the major reasons for this can be traced to our attempt to achieve our deepest desires as adults in the same manner that we were trained to achieve success in school as children.

In school, if we did the assigned work and studied for the tests, we would most likely get our diploma or degree.  If we really applied ourselves, we may even get great grades.  In contrast, manifesting an incredible romantic partner or an amazing, abundant, and fulfilling career is a quite a different process.  It’s not linear.  There aren’t prescribed steps to take that will pretty much guarantee us the achievement we set out to obtain.

Our deepest desires and dreams are complex, and are something we are consciously choosing.  Rather than completing a task society has set up for all of us to achieve pretty equally, we are creating our own path.  Trying to continue to achieve our life dreams in the same way we excelled in school may not be the route that brings us our highest desires.

Manifesting our deepest desires involves a lot of inner work.  Though we must do outer work as well, manifesting our deepest desires requires a little less ‘outer’ work than the diploma or degree and great grades did.  Though we spent many years learning and perfecting the art of doing the outer work, for the most part, we haven’t been taught how to do the inner work.

In order to manifest our deepest desires and enjoy the feelings we really desire that are underneath the goal we are moving towards, we have to know what we want in the first place. This requires knowing who we are, and that requires a large dose of ‘inner work.’

So what is inner work, exactly?  It’s meditation, contemplation, journaling, mindfulness, self-awareness, and personal responsibility for our choices and feelings– gooey, intangible stuff that we’ve barely scratched the surface of in the linear ‘outside’ work wold of academia.  In order to be happy, whole adults, we must achieve the balance of inner and outer work, and from there we can create our dreams.

But the inner work must come first.

…To be continued in the next blog

When Life Gets Tough, Hang on.

When Life Gets Tough, Hang on.

Today’s post is another inspired writing, where I just write what comes, without much editing or proofreading.  I hope it helps someone who may benefit from its message.

 

When the road is long and you are feeling weary

Hang on.

Change is around the corner.

 

When you feel like you’re gasping for air or that no one around you cares

Hang on.

Change is on the horizon.

 

Believe it.

Feel it.

Be it.

 

Love is always here.

Even in your darkest days.

 

Believe in the power of love to heal hearts.

Believe there are better days coming.

 

You are part of the universe.

You are everything in the world.

 

Love yourself

And you love everything.

 

Love all.

Joy is inevitable.

 

Even if you can’t see it right now.

Believe it is hidden

And it will be revealed.

You are so loved.

What Does it Really Mean to “Show Up and Do the Work,” When You’re Trying to Achieve Your Dreams?

What Does it Really Mean to “Show Up and Do the Work,” When You’re Trying to Achieve Your Dreams?

Today I’m going to write a continuation of my last blog, and start with the question that may have been left slightly unanswered: “What does it really mean to show up and do your work?”

For those of you struggling to make career, relationship, and health goals a reality, you may feel like you’ve already done so much work. You’ve taken the classes, made the plans and goals, written the press releases, gone on the dates, been a good friend, been to college, and basically “done your time.”  So why can’t you manifest that which you desire?

Well, to start with, as I mentioned in the last blog, a big part of the formula is to trust and let go, but there is another component.  This one involves your perception of the word work, and is very closely related to a major theme of my book, Holding Space- A Guide to Supporting Others While Remembering to Take Care of Yourself First.  In the book, one of the concepts I cover is the difference between masculine and feminine energies, and how each of us have and use both, no matter what our physical gender is.

In brief, masculine energy is that of: plans, structure, doing, and the concrete.  It it the energy of bringing things into form.  Again, in brief, feminine energies consist of things such as: being, tapping into the creative field, and relationships.  Here’s the trick- the feminine must be entered into before the masculine can be utilized.  This may come as a shock, because Western culture has taught the exact opposite.  What this means is that you have to do the abstract work of be-ingbefore you can begin the concrete do-ing work that is also required to bring things into existence.  And then again, after you do your work in both areas, you have to let go and trust that the Universe/God/Spirit/whatever your believe in that is bigger than you, is working to fit the pieces together and bring you what you ordered, if it is indeed for your highest good.

So remember when you are showing up and doing your work, that the work does not only entail the concrete things you learned in school as a child, or at a job as an adult.  In order to be truly whole and  truly manifest that which you desire, you have to do the deeper emotional, spiritual, and healing work required to remove any unconscious blocks to your success.  You also need to be still enough to really get to know yourself and what you truly want to manifest, what’s honoring to you, and what isn’t.  Once you’ve done both types of work,  you must again trust that what you ordered will be brought to you in its right timing.  No need to be jealous of others or upset at yourself that you’re doing something wrong.  Tune in to that which is greater than you, follow your guidance and intuition, show up and do the work, and then trust.

Godspeed everyone!

Why Eating Organic Doesn’t Have to Be Expensive

Why Eating Organic Doesn’t Have to Be Expensive

O.k., so I’m not one to post pictures of my dinner.  In fact, this is the first picture I’ve ever posted of what I’ve eaten, anywhere online.  But today I’m posting with a purpose.  As I looked at the lovely creation I had on my plate before I ate it, I remembered all of the people I’ve heard over the years say that they don’t eat organic because it’s too expensive.

Here’s the breakdown of my delicious, healthy, organic meal, with the perfect amount of protein for a vegetarian!

All of the items were bought at Publix (which can be a little pricey, you just have to search around and know where the good priced items are).

Organic Kale:  $1.99 for the bunch (I used 1/2 the bunch in my meal)

Organic Black Beans:  $1. 30 something for one can (I used 1/2 the can in my meal)

Organic Brown Rice; $1.59 a bag (Yeah, this is a great deal)!  (I used 1/4 of the bag)

It was also super easy to make, as I don’t particularly enjoy really involved or time consuming cooking or baking.  I started to prepare the rice, and a few minutes later, began to saute the kale in some organic olive oil I already had.  I then added in the black beans, waited for the rice to finish, added some sea salt, and presto, my amazing, healthy, organic meal was ready!

All for less than $2.00 for a full meal (minus the oil and salt), and I have at least one more identical meal I can make out of the leftovers of kale and beans.  (By the way, there was almost an entire plateful, I actually started eating it before I realized I should take a picture and make this post. 🙂

My Natural Remedies Toolkit

My Natural Remedies Toolkit

Today, in the interest of sharing more of who I am and what makes me tick, and also to share what I know with those who want the information, I blog about natural remedies.

I have been a holistic, organic girl for quite a long time.  For many years, you followed it but didn’t speak about it, for fear that you would be criticized yet again for following your own guidance and intuition rather than just consuming what was presented to you.  So I followed in silence, except for the few who may have asked me more about myself, and who I could tell would be open to such conversation.

Nowadays, things are a little bit different.  I feel that more and more people who may have been unwilling to hear about something less than mainstream, now crave anything that will actually lead them to good health and wellness.

So here is my natural remedies toolkit, used for years as my main go-to’s.

Bug repellent:  Lavender essential oil put on my hand and applied directly to the body in every place where those little buggers love to bite me.  (*Caution*- though lavender is not one of the “hot oils” and doesn’t absolutely require a carrier oil for dilution, not everyone’s skin is as agreeable to straight up lavender all over it like mine is).

Anti-itch for bug bites and stings:  Lavender essential oil (See above for my use and disclaimers)

Antiseptic for cuts and small wounds:  Tea tree oil on a cotton ball or q-tip, applied directly to the wound.  (Again, see above for cautions on essential oil use).

In summer I keep lavender and tea tree oil in my hiking/beach bag.

Nasal congestion and allergies, polluted air sinus issues, etc:  Colloidal Silver (I haven’t turned blue from using it yet, but I don’t go crazy with it either).  I use as needed, as many drops or sprays as feels appropriate.  (*Again, it is best to use even natural products with caution when you begin, and start very slow and with very little, and diluted is best.  Even still, not everyone will react wonderfully to everything).

Bacterial infections/Sinus Infections, etc:  Drops of Grapefruit Seed Extract in water or juice.  (Not pleasant tasting, you will have to chug it quickly, but worth it if it helps you). (Again, see previous disclaimers)

Dry nasal passages and headaches when flying or any other time you are in dry/stale air:  Saline nasal spray.  Spray a few drops in each nostril (have tissues handy to catch what drains back out), before you fly, and keep a small bottle and some tissues with you on the flight for times when the pressure drops suddenly and your forehead has the beginnings of a splitting headache.

Again, though these are all natural remedies, please do your due diligence and remember that all essential oils are not the same.  Do your research before you use a new one, and know that the “hot” type oils absolutely have to be diluted in a carrier oil!

Best wishes, and good holistic health to you!!