Tag Archives: prayer

The Election Outcome – Fostering Love and Kindness

This post is written in the format of a letter to my son.

The presidential election was two days ago. I was heart-broken over the outcome, although I was not surprised by it. I’m going to share my Facebook posts from yesterday with the intention of letting you see how I was feeling and the impact it had on me.

“I am heartsick.”

My heart literally hurt. I felt nauseous. I had feared for quite some time that this would be the outcome of the election, but continued to hope I was wrong. It was inconceivable to me that there are so many people in our country that think the bigotry, misogyny and bullying displayed by our president-elect is okay. That still floors me, but I am gaining another perspective on it as well.

“The only path forward is love. Love is what heals the hurt and fear that has created the world we live in. There is power in intention, so intentionally send your love and healing to our nation. There is power in numbers, so join together in sending your love and healing energy. I will join you there.”

I felt an overwhelming need to do something. And using my energy and intention in a positive way was the only thing I could do at that moment. Going forward there will be opportunities to do something in the physical world, while continuing to hold an attitude of love.

“The election is over, the people have spoken. I will not contribute to greater division by criticizing the new president-elect, or those who voted for him. Something is seriously wrong in this country when the majority of people feel so much fear that they feel the need to choose a leader who traffics in fear.

We need to look deep and see that those people have real fears that are not being addressed. I have no tolerance for bigotry in any form, yet I understand that it comes from a place of fear. We need to understand and address those fears so that we can all come together.”

Like so many others, I was on overload from all the negativity surrounding the election. I wasn’t going to perpetuate that personally, and I wasn’t going to immerse myself in other people’s negativity. Again, I wanted to focus on the path forward, and it is essential to acknowledge and address that there is a reason half the nation voted the way they did. We need to accept that reality and then do something to shift it if we don’t like it.

“I am reminding myself that the US government was designed with checks and balances. The presidency is only one component. There are so many prominent Republicans that spoke out against Trump. My hope is that as Senators and Representatives they are strong enough to continue to stand up for what is right as we go forward.”

Yes, I am still scared about what the outcome of this election will bring. And at the same time, I don’t want to catastrophize. Remembering that our nation’s government was structured in a way to prevent the abuse of power by one individual has helped me a lot. A friend commented on this post that her hope was that the Republicans and Democrats could come together because of this, and that is one of my hopes as well. There has been so much divisiveness in the past eight years, and perhaps this president will be the catalyst for the two parties to band together in the country’s best interest.

“So many people are posting what is in my heart, too. Let’s actively make America kind again, by actively being kind to everyone we meet. Lead by example and we will change the world.”

Late on election night someone added me to a secret Facebook group supporting Hillary. Although my vote was more about voting against Trump than voting for Hillary, seeing the posts in this group gave me a lot of hope. There were millions of others who feel like I do, who are devastated and scared for our country, who want to protect the rights of women and minorities, who want to take action from a place of love and kindness.

“Allow yourself to grieve. I am grieving the loss of illusion. Our world is not (yet) the way I hoped for or wanted it to be. After grieving, then it will be time to deal with reality and the actions I can take to be part of the shift towards my dream of how our world can be.”

Many people in the secret group, as well as my friends, were posting that they couldn’t stop crying. I had not allowed myself to go there yet, because my fallback position is always to buck up and take action. I tried writing a blog post, but I couldn’t do it, and I knew it was because it was too soon. I needed to grieve. I needed to allow myself to feel (beyond the physical heart and stomach ache).

And so I cried. And cried. And cried some more. Crying is not something that has come easily to me in the past, and although I am getting more comfortable with it, it still sometimes takes me a while to allow those feelings to surface. I know that it is a healthy thing to do, to allow emotions to process through rather than suppressing them. And so I cried.

“Many people are expressing that they are scared because of the outcome of the election. Yes. It is a scary thing. And, I still believe that we don’t have to allow this election to define us. In our own lives we can be revolutionaries that will not allow hatred to go unchallenged.

I have been scared for the past year; I could see the writing on the wall, the parallels to Nazi Germany. We do not have to allow that to happen to our country.

Yes, there are steps we can take through the political process. But what I’m asking us to do is to take action personally. Every single day. To approach every interaction with love and kindness. To stand up for our brothers and sisters whose voices are not heard. To challenge every single thing you witness that does not come from love and kindness.

Don’t be afraid to confront. Don’t be afraid to cause a scene. Approach with good intent, but don’t be bullied into silence. Stand up and be heard. It’s easy to say, and very hard to do. But I’m going to do my best to make this my personal mission.

Because I’m scared and I don’t want to be. Because I will not be made to feel powerless. Because I don’t want to live in a world of hate and discrimination.

We can each make a difference. Every single one of us. Please, please, please do whatever you can.”

Yes, I have feared this outcome for the past year, even as I worked to avert it. It began when there was so much controversy over the Syrian refugees, and I was confronted with the fear many other people were feeling. I began seeing then the parallels with Nazi Germany. Only in this case instead of the Jews, it was the Muslims.

I am fearful for all minorities, whether minority by race, religion or sexual identification. And, of course, I am fearful for women. But I don’t want my fear to turn into anger and hatred. Instead I want to use it to fuel actions that will affect positive change with or without the buy-in of our president-elect.

I have often thought of the brave Germans who hid and protected Jews during that awful time. Would I have the courage to do the same? I have truly wondered about this many times. Do I have the strength to stand up for others when my very life may be threatened in doing so?

I have never been sure, have always feared I would be too cowardly. The opportunity to prove differently is here, and I intend to take it. I am not going to be quiet. I am not going to go along to get along. I am going to do whatever is in my power to protect myself and others from bullying and discrimination, and to preserve human rights for everyone.

Letter 2: What I Believe

This post is written in the format of a letter to my son.

I think it’s important to share my beliefs with you, because that is a very quick and easy way to gain a lot of understanding about who I am. We have not talked about these things, except in passing. Partly because as I became more clear on what I believed and my spirituality became a priority in my life, you were becoming a teenager, and I was afraid of being judged by you.

I realize now it was a big mistake not to share the path I was on, what I was learning, who I was becoming. Even though I believe that we each have our own path and our own beliefs, and yours may not look anything like mine, I let go of the chance for the discussion, and for you to see that it’s okay to talk about what you believe even when others may disagree.

My beliefs have been developed and honed over many years of both internal and external exploration. However, I also believe that I have always had a knowingness of their truth, and the journey has been more one of remembering than learning or discovering. Many people speak of this remembering, and it rings true for me, as each of my beliefs is something that resonates deeply within me whether I have had experiences that validate the belief (for me – not external validation), or not.

In this letter, I’ll briefly share what I believe. In a later letter, I may dive deeper into one or more of these topics. This is a varied list, and in no particular order:

  1. I believe that my path may or may not be like anyone else’s. We each have a right to take our own experiences and decide for ourselves what we believe. Even though I may not have the same beliefs as you do, I respect your right to believe as you do – if what you believe (and the actions those beliefs may fuel) does not harm anyone. It is not my right, nor anyone else’s, to impose their beliefs on someone else. Period.
  2. I believe that we are each divine. We each have a soul that is eternal, and that soul is divine.
  3. I believe in reincarnation. We come here (or somewhere else other than Earth) many times. The purpose of these lives is to learn. I believe that prior to each life we choose what it is we want to experience and to learn in that lifetime. Though we always have free will, opportunities will present themselves throughout our lives to facilitate what we have come here to learn.
  4. I believe we are all connected. Each of our divine souls are part of a divine whole. We are separate yet all one at the same time. It’s like each soul is a drop of water in the ocean. When in the ocean, the drop is indistinguishable from the ocean itself. Yet the drop continues to exist, as its own thing.
  5. I believe an internal shift in me affects the whole. Because we are all connected, if something shifts in me, then something shifts for every soul.
  6. I believe in surrender. Surrender is having faith that what shows up in my life is there for my benefit and accepting it rather than fighting it. It’s not about being passive, but rather going with the flow rather than trying to swim upstream. I accept that I don’t know the big picture, but trust that whatever is in my life is ultimately for my learning and growth.
  7. I believe in the power of intention. My thoughts create my reality, and I can direct those thoughts to create a better reality, or I can choose to be a victim by not accepting responsibility for my life.
  8. I believe that peace, both internal and in the world, is a product of surrender.
  9. I believe in taking inspired action.
  10. I believe that everything happens for a reason.
  11. I believe that love is the core of our divine souls. There is no such thing as evil. People take actions that are not loving for several reasons. One may be that it is their role in this life, in order to facilitate the growth of others. Another common reason is that they are in tremendous pain and don’t know that surrender is the only path through that pain, so they lash out.
  12. I believe that as humans, we each have an ego. This is part of the human experience and is not part of our divine soul. The ego is necessary for the human experience, and facilitates our learning and growth as we work to transcend it.
  13. I believe in intuition and psychic abilities. Through accessing my higher self – the divine soul – I can have access to information that is not learned through traditional methods.
  14. I believe it is possible to communicate with souls who are not currently in a body. We all have this ability, but most of us have not developed it.
  15. I believe that dreams contain information and messages, either from my higher self, or from the collective we are each part of.
  16. I believe the material world, including our human bodies, is made of energy. We can shift our experience by shifting energy in our bodies and around us through energy medicine like acupuncture and EFT, or simply through intention.
  17. I believe in astral travel.
  18. I believe that we reincarnate in soul groups, and have had many lifetimes, in different roles, with the primary people in our lives.
  19. I believe in synchronicity.
  20. I believe in the validity of many metaphysical tools such as astrology, numerology and handprint analysis.
  21. I believe that, ultimately, we each are on a journey of enlightenment that takes place over many, many lifetimes. We each have the same goal in the end, to reach the place of unconditional love and peace.

I realize this list is a bit of a hodge-podge, but I hope it gives you a bit of a view into who I am and how I approach being in the world.

Stuck in the Fog? Use Your Foghorn!

A few days ago I awoke feeling like I was in a fog. Not that my head was fuzzy. Sometimes that can be a nice feeling. This was a feeling of not knowing my direction. Not being able to see where I was going.

I tend to be someone who gets an idea and then runs with it. Now I was in a place where I felt torn in many directions, but not really focused on any of them. I didn’t know which way to turn. It was extremely uncomfortable, and I’ll admit that I had a “meltdown.”

I felt so lost and alone; truly like being lost in the fog. In the past when I didn’t know what to do, I learned that surrendering to Spirit (or higher self) to guide me was all that I could do. I cried. I cried hard. I talked out loud about how lost and lonely and without direction I felt. About how miserable I felt.

When I felt cried out, I stopped and went about my morning business. I went for my morning walk, as usual. It was quite foggy, as it had been in Seattle for the past several mornings. As I walked, I could hear a foghorn out in Puget Sound.

It occurred to me that I should use my own foghorn to let people know I’m here, that I’m stuck in the fog.  Use my foghorn to ask them to help me navigate. Asking for help has never been my strong suit, and it definitely is an area of growth for me. Yet it felt like a relief once I realized I didn’t have to be lost in the fog all alone.

I belong to a private group on Facebook that consists of people who have taken Robert Holden’s Happiness or Success Coaching Certification classes. I knew these were people I could trust with my vulnerability.

So I posted in the group about how I was feeling lost and directionless. I immediately began getting thoughtful and heartfelt responses. Each and every post had something of value for me. Just seeing people respond to my request for help led to me feeling better. I realized that my surrender in my earlier “meltdown” was answered by hearing the foghorn on my walk, and realizing I don’t have to do this alone.

The next time that you’re lost in the fog, feeling alone and directionless, use your foghorn!

Eagles, Part I – Spirit Is Always Present

Friday was my birthday. Several weeks earlier I made plans to go by myself to the Olympic Peninsula. Part of my motivation was to spend some time alone in nature. To reflect and meditate on what I wanted to create in the coming year.

On a clear day when I am driving the hills of Seattle near my home I can see the Olympic Mountains. Over the past couple of years I have felt a pull to go to the Olympic Peninsula, especially to the northern part of the coast where it is rocky and wild.

However, that is not a day drive, as it takes four hours or more to get there, and requires planning for where I would stay overnight. With my birthday coming up it seemed like the perfect excuse for this getaway.

I’ll admit, too, that the other part of my motivation was that I didn’t want to end up alone and with no plans on my birthday weekend. It was something of preemptive strike to make plans for that weekend so that I was choosing to be alone rather than ending up alone.

On Friday I had no special birthday plans. I did a Skype call with a friend from church that was business-related. I met a new friend for tea, and she bought my tea and pastry, which was nice and unexpected. I saw a couple of clients and went for my monthly acupuncture appointment.

I stopped for dinner at my favorite Thai restaurant on my way home from the acupuncturist. Nothing special and I was okay with that.

When I got home it was still early in the evening, and I suddenly felt very lonely and sad. It was my birthday, and no one had invited me to do anything to celebrate. Of course the flip side of that is that I had not let my friends know that I wanted to do something. But either way, I felt very sad and sorry for myself.

I was even beginning to feel like I didn’t want to leave on my weekend trip the next morning. I had a vague sense of loss or grief at leaving home for the weekend. I worried about my cats, which of course are fine on their own overnight.

I did what I frequently do when I begin to feel sad, lonely or grief-stricken. I distracted myself by playing games on the computer and reading. I hoped I would not be feeling this way all weekend.

When I awoke Saturday morning I did, indeed, feel better. I had been thinking about the route I would take to the hotel. Where would I like to go, what would I like to see and do on the way?

After treating myself to breakfast out, I decided to go to a park at the south end of Hood Canal: Penrose State Park. My family had gone there many times when I was a child. Sometimes we would go for the day and go clam digging. When we got home my dad would make chowder with the clams. Other times we would camp overnight, hike in the woods near the water, and dig caves in the sandy bank at the water’s edge.

I hadn’t been to Penrose for about five years, and prior to that had not been since I was an adolescent. This stop was a nostalgic one for me.

I arrived mid-morning. There had been a little rain while I was having breakfast, but now it was dry, with some broken clouds. I had brought a raincoat and boots because the weather can be unpredictable, but I was thankful that I would not need them – at least not right then.

The tide was about halfway out, and the spit of land where we walked to dig clams was fully exposed. I decided to take a walk out on this spit. The path along the top of the spit was somewhat rocky, and required a certain amount of attention to my feet and where I was stepping so that I didn’t turn my ankle.

As I walked this spit of land that stuck out into the water, I would occasionally look around at the view: land close in on both sides, still and quiet water, a seagull or crow here and there.

I noticed streams of water spurting up from the ground in the wet areas on either side of the pathway. I remember that seeing these fountains was how we knew there was a clam, and would start digging to find it. It was a fun and warm memory of time with my dad.

After ten minutes or so, I was about halfway down the length of the spit. I was continuing my slow walk, looking around me occasionally, but also focused on where I was stepping. To my left I suddenly heard the beat of wings and looked up to see a bald eagle taking off from the ground not more than ten feet away from me!

He flew back to the forested land at the edge of the water and perched on the top of an evergreen tree. From where I was standing I could only see him because of his white head. I was amazed (and a little disappointed) that I had come so close to this eagle, and yet had not noticed him there.

I know that eagles symbolize Spirit. I realized that this experience was a message that Spirit is always with me, whether I notice it or not. Spirit watches over me even when it is hidden in the top of a tree and I can’t see it. It is still there, just waiting to be noticed.

I was (and am) so grateful for this experience, this reminder. I had been feeling sad and lonely, unloved and uncared for, yet Spirit was with me all the time, loving me and caring for me. All I had to do was pay attention.

Is the Answer No, Slow, or Go?

Yesterday I was reminded of a saying that all prayers are answered, but the answer isn’t always “yes.”

I have been reinventing myself, and my coaching practice, as I become more and more authentic. This reinvention has led to the need for a new branding for my business and a new website.

I had talked to a few different people about doing this work for me, but nothing was resonating. Then this past Sunday I saw a website that I really liked, and was similar to what I envisioned for my site. At the bottom of the home page was a link to the company that had designed the website, so I clicked it.

I was impressed with the company’s mission and approach. They want to work with people (like me) who want to make a difference in the world. There was no pricing info, but I knew the website I liked was owned by a sole practitioner like me, so I hoped the cost would not be prohibited.

I was really excited; this felt right to me. Since it was Sunday I couldn’t call the company, so I sent an email asking to schedule the free consultation they offered.

Getting my branding and website redesigned are prerequisites to some other things I want to do in my practice (internet radio show, publishing a book). I was anxious about getting in touch with the web design company. So Monday morning I also called the company to request the free consultation.

I reached an automated voice message system, and left a message. I was little disconcerted that I didn’t get a real person, or even a real voice, and started to feel some misgivings. Six hours later I had not gotten a response to my email or my phone call. The misgivings became larger.  I called again and left another message saying that I really wanted to work with them and hoped they would call me back.

Within half an hour I received a return call from a live person, and we scheduled a 15 to 20-minute Skype session for a few days later.

When the time arrived for the Skype call, I was at my computer and online on Skype, but the web company representative was not; his status was “offline.” I waited a few minutes and messaged him on Skype. I waited a few more minutes and sent him an urgent email. I waited a few more minutes (now halfway through the time we had set aside to meet) and called the only phone number I had – the automated voice – and left a message.

I waited. Nothing. Finally, when it was 30 minutes past the scheduled meeting time, which I had double-checked in the confirmation email from the company, I gave up. I sent another email expressing my disappointment in the meeting not taking place, as well as my frustration with not having a phone number that reached a real person (or at least that person’s direct voice mail). I went back to my regularly scheduled activities, which included going for a walk.

On my walk I went through a series of emotions, and thoughts, about the situation with the web design company. I was really disappointed because based on other sites they had done I felt that they were exactly what I was looking for. On the other hand, I had not always had a great experience with web designers before, and wanted to pay attention to messages that this company might not be the right fit for me. I sometimes allow my excitement to cause me to overlook the potential problems, and didn’t want to repeat that mistake.

Then I remembered something I had once been told about the way prayers are answered. Sometimes the answer is “no,” sometimes the answer is “slow,” and sometimes the answer is “go.”

What was the answer in this case?

Well, I could say for certain that it wasn’t “go” (or “yes.”) Things were not falling effortlessly into place.

So the choice was between “no” and “slow.”

There was a message in all these roadblocks I was encountering. My immediate interpretation of the roadblocks was that I was not meant to work with this company. A “no.” But what if the real message was that I needed to develop more patience? Patience has never been my strong suit, and certainly I could use more of it. This would be an answer of “slow.”

It was true that I had been feeling a real sense of urgency about getting the branding and web redesign underway. Did I really need to be in such a hurry? On the other hand, the difficulty in getting in touch with individuals in this company was also information I needed to pay attention to. I knew that if I decided to work with them, this would not be acceptable to me.

In the end, I saw that I still didn’t have enough information to know if it was a “no” or a “slow.” I didn’t know why the meeting hadn’t taken place. I was open to gathering more information, with my eyes wide open, before making a decision.

This situation was a good reminder that a roadblock doesn’t always mean to find another path (although frequently that is the message). Sometimes there needs to be a delay. Often the reason a delay is necessary doesn’t become clear until sometime later when we can look back and put it in context.

Since it isn’t always clear in the moment which way to interpret a roadblock, it pays to have patience, pay attention to what happens next, and be open to whatever the answer may be.

When I am on the Right Path, the Universe Supports Me

In the past week I had several occasions to tell my story of making a mid-life career change.  In each telling I shared how once I paid attention to the messages I was getting about being in the wrong career, support for making the change showed up. I have been aware for some time that I get “messages from the Universe” that let me know that I’m on the right path, or that I need to make a course adjustment.

Even the name of my blog, Blue Heron Wisdom, tips my hat to those messages.  I think that acknowledging this support on a regular basis is a good way to get even more support from the Universe.  In that spirit, I want to share the ways in which the Universe has supported me in pursuing my new (now current) career.

When I first awoke to the idea that I needed to make a career change I was in a job where I wasn’t challenged and my boss was not supportive, was volatile, and was sometimes verbally abusive.  I was really unhappy and the stress was affecting my physical health. For several months I had been looking for a different job, and once I became clear on the fact that I needed not just a job change, but a career change, that next job showed up.

I had worked for many years – 26 years at that time – in software development.  I decided that I wanted to pursue my dream of becoming a counselor, but of course I did not have the right education yet to make that possible.  I would need to return to school and get a master’s degree in psychology, counseling or some other related field, so I couldn’t immediately change careers.

However, I couldn’t wait two years or more (when I finished school) to change jobs.  My current job was just too unpleasant and stressful.  The next job I found, and ultimately my last job in software development, was the opposite.  My boss was supportive and actually liked me, the team I worked with liked and appreciated me, and upper management thought I was great.  It was wonderful to be appreciated.

But this change to a more pleasant work environment did not mean that I didn’t still need to change careers.  It just meant that now that I had woken up and realized I had been on the wrong path and was moving in the right direction (I had applied to grad school for the fall), that I no longer had to suffer.

The lovely new work environment even extended to supporting me in making my career change.  Although my boss new that once I finished school I would no longer be working there, he gave me time off to go to school and let me work part time while I did my internship.  Now that is support!  Not only from my boss and the company, but from the Universe!

Since the school I attended met for full days on weekdays every seven or eight weeks, I could not have participated in the program without that flexibility from my workplace.  Additionally, in the second year of the program I was required to do an internship 20 hours a week.  As a single parent of a child that was too young to be left home alone, there was no way I could have worked 40 hours a week while doing my internship.  I was, and am, extremely grateful for the support I received from the Universe, through my boss and workplace, during those two years.

Once I graduated I was hired into the community mental health organization where I had been interning.  My plan was to work there until I gathered enough client contact and supervision hours to be licensed, and then I would start my private practice.

I want to forewarn you that there is going to be a lot of talk about money coming up here.  I know that many people in our society believe that money is something that should be kept private.  My belief is that I need to thank the Universe and express appreciation for what I receive, so I need to be truthful about it.  Additionally, I hope that my experience will be inspirational for others, which it cannot be if I don’t tell the truth about it.

The sad truth about social services jobs is that they are extremely underpaid.  I went from making $100,000 a year in software development, to making a little over $13 an hour (that’s less than $30,000 a year) in community mental health.  I knew this would be the case when I chose to make my career change and had decided I would supplement my income with withdrawals from my 401K.

About nine months after I graduated from my master’s program I needed to start making payments on my student loan.  Even stretching the payments out for the longest possible term, this meant a $300 a month payment.  Given that I was already drawing on my 401K just to support myself, the additional payment seemed like a lot.

I had been attending an intention circle, where we practiced the Law of Attraction by writing intentions and sharing them with the group, for about year at that time.  I wrote an intention that said “My school loans are repaid easily and effortlessly without impacting my lifestyle or my savings” and forgot about it.

I had the idea that I would ask my mother to give me the money to make the first year’s worth of payments, which would be about $4000.  It was a big step for me to ask my mother for money.  There’s a lot of history I won’t go into right now, but suffice it to say it was a conscious choice for me to do something different in that relationship.  I knew that she would say yes, but I didn’t like being indebted to her.

When I called to her to ask for this favor she immediately agreed. We went on to talk about the logistics of when this money would be available to me, and in the course of that discussion I said something about how much more expensive school was now than when I had been an undergraduate thirty years earlier.  I said something like “Back then it was $282 a semester and now it was $40,000 for these two years!”  My mom replied by saying, “Well, I can give you the whole $40,000.”

Wow! This exactly fit the intention I had set a few days earlier, but was not at all what I’d had in mind when I wrote it.  The Universe works in mysterious and wonderful ways that I cannot even begin to imagine!

A couple of months later I met my mom at the bank to get a cashier’s check to fully repay the school loan.  She was cashing in a $100,000 CD that had come due in order to give me that money.  When we were having lunch later that day she said to me, “Interest rates are so low it doesn’t pay to put the rest of the money (the remaining $60,000) back in a CD, so think about how you could use that money.”  Wow again.  Thank you, mom!

I didn’t immediately clue into how I was supposed to use that money.  I could have paid off my car loan, but it wasn’t enough to pay off my mortgage which was the biggest outgoing monthly payment that I had by far.

It took another month or so for me to realize how I was intended to use this gift from my mother.  As I mentioned earlier, my idea had been to stay in community mental health until I was licensed, which was still about a year away.  However, I had begun getting messages from the Universe that it was time to move on.

These messages were sometimes subtle, such as my voice mail at work getting disconnected multiple times, but I began to notice that my patience for that work environment was wearing thing.  Finally, one day I had an epiphany that this generous gift from my mother was intended to fund the start of my private practice!

In the end, I left community mental health a year earlier than I had originally planned, and it has all worked out well.  It was the exact right choice and in the exact right time, made possible by the Universe supporting me through my mother.

Since then I have continued to see evidence of being supported by the Universe on this journey I’m on, both through the manifestation of financial means as well as emotional and spiritually.

Thank you Universe, Spirit, God – whatever name you prefer!  I am incredibly grateful!

Surrender: Ask and You Shall Receive

After I returned from New York and had the experience of feeling my wholeness for the first time, I was on a high for weeks.  I was in my authenticity, I knew my purpose, I was inspired in all areas of my life.  Then one day I started feeling grumpy and out of sorts.  I didn’t know what was up for me, but something obviously was.  After a couple of days of this low level grumpiness the feeling escalated to one of despair and desolation.

As I sat at my kitchen table that morning trying to do my daily inspirational reading, a feeling of utter depression and hopelessness swept over me.  It wasn’t attached to any specific thoughts, and I really didn’t know what was going on or what to do about it.  I began to cry uncontrollably – not a common experience for me.  I cried and talked out loud about how bad I felt. In the midst of this I said, “I don’t know what to do, I don’t know what to do. Help me, please!”  In the moment I didn’t consider this a plea to God; I didn’t know who I was talking to, I was just expressing my misery and feeling of helplessness to feel better.

At that point, some miraculous things immediately began to occur, and continued for the rest of the day.

  • Meditation was part of my morning spiritual practice, and I got up from the table and went to my meditation spot, but I was too agitated to be still. I had been experiencing some heartburn for the previous few days coinciding with the onset of my feelings of grumpiness, as well as a stuffy nose and I decided to look these up in Louise Hay’s book, You Can Heal Your Life.

Heartburn: “Fear. Fear. Fear. Clutching fear.  I breathe freely and fully. I am safe. I trust the process of life.”

Stuffy Nose: “Not recognizing self-worth. I love and appreciate myself.”

These hit the nail on the head for the core of my misery.  I had been blind-sided by fear of living in my authenticity, by doubt of my wholeness.  I could see that my current emotional state was my ego stepping in and doing its job to (theoretically) protect me.

It was telling me that being my authentic self was scary, that living only from that place of wholeness left me open for attack and hurt.  That who I am wasn’t enough, wasn’t whole and I’d better get back to work on trying to fix that.

  • I came back into the kitchen with the intention of writing in my gratitude journal.  This was also part of my morning ritual, but in my current emotional state I just didn’t feel like doing it.  I went to my computer and opened Facebook and the very first post I saw was from a friend I met at Robert Holden’s happiness coaching certification course in New York the previous month.  It said, “You can’t feel stress when expressing gratitude.”

Message received.  Could there have been a more direct indication that I needed to write in my gratitude journal?  So I did.

  • I had been reading a book called Spirit Junkie by Gabrielle Bernstein, and decided to finish it.  The very next chapter was all about Gabrielle’s own dark night of the soul. It helped me immensely to read of someone else’s similar experience and to know that I would get through it.
  • I came across that famous quote by Marianne Williamson. “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.  We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we’re liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

I knew this captured exactly what I was experiencing.  As I was fully owning my wholeness and authenticity and what that meant about who I was in the world and what I had to offer I was running up against my ego who was asking “Who are you to be special? What makes you think you have something of value to offer?”

Again, it was so helpful to know that I was not the only one who had experienced this awful, dark feeling, and to have validated that it really was about my ego stepping in when it thought I was getting too big for my britches.

  • As I went back to Facebook, someone had posted a video of Robert Holden and Tom Carpenter talking about self-image (ego).  Part of the message was to be gentle with yourself when you realize that self-image has created the very situation that is the source of your misery.

These first five “miracles” began immediately after my surrender, my crying out that I didn’t know what to do and needed help, and continued for the next hour or so.  At the end of the day the next miracle occurred.

  • I picked up the mail that had just been delivered and saw there was a greeting card with a postmark in the UK.  This happened the week before Christmas, so I thought it might be a Christmas card and wondered who I knew in the UK.  The handwriting on the envelope looked familiar and reminded me of my sister’s, but she had passed away 8 years earlier, so it couldn’t be from her.

I then realized that it was a card I had written to myself at the happiness coaching course the previous month.  They had given us cards to write to ourselves to be delivered at some time in the future.  I had forgotten all about it!  I’d also forgotten what it was I had written inside it.

I opened the envelope, and the front of the card had a beautiful picture where the predominant color was purple – the color that has come to be my favorite.  The message on the outside said “Trust Yourself.”  On the inside I had written, “Just be yourself.  Everything else will follow.  I love you.  You’re perfect.”

Wow.  That was exactly what I needed to hear that day.  I had been hearing it from various other sources: Louise Hay, Gabrielle Bernstein, Marianne Williamson, but here it was written in my own hand to myself.  How perfect was that?

The miracles that continued to affirm my wholeness and perfection continued into the next day.  I really looked at the message written on my coffee cup for the first time in ages, “Believe. Everything is possible.”  I read the message on my desk calendar for the previous day, “Less Ego + More Love = Greater Success.”  And on and on.

Although I felt better than I had the day before, it took a while before I was back in the place I had been before this “dark day of the ego.”  As I share this experience here with you, I still marvel at the power of surrender, of acknowledging that I don’t know how.  How swiftly help came for me once I let go of trying to do it myself and asked for help.  That is perhaps the greatest lesson I will take from this experience.