≡ Menu

The Hint of a Rainbow

Normally I don’t blog when I’m on vacation, but considering we’re coming upon a new year and all, it didn’t seem right to skip this Sunday.

En route to California from Seattle, my plane skimmed the clouds, right in between two layers. As I looked out the window, I saw the barest hint of a rainbow, and it seemed like a good metaphor for the coming year. This year, 2013, has been rough. I’ve experienced a lot of upheaval on a physical level, but also an emotional one. I don’t think I’ve ever cried so much in my life as I have this year. I’ve felt like carbon, pressurized until it turns into a diamond — the final result may be pretty, but the process is painful.

cloud rainbow

A close approximation of what I saw.

I don’t know what 2014 has in store for me, or for any of us, but I see the barest hint of a rainbow, foretelling beauty after a storm, peace after tumult, and color after gray. I don’t know whether 2014 will be a “good” year or a “bad” year, but I get the feeling something good is just out of reach, it’s on the horizon, and if I wait a little longer my patience will be rewarded.

Maybe you, too, have had a rough year. Maybe at times the pain has felt excruciating. Maybe you’ve asked yourself over and over again, “What am I doing here?” Maybe you’ve wanted to run away from it all, start fresh somewhere else. Maybe you don’t even know where your fresh start lies. If that’s you, I want to say, “You’re not alone.” I can’t guarantee your 2014 will be better, but I certainly hope it is. My wish for 2014 is that we all find serenity, that all of our needs are met. That we feel loved, held, and nurtured. That we know we are doing a great job taking care of ourselves.

In particular, I dream of a world that becomes a brighter and brighter place as we set the world on fire with our love and passion. A world where we serve others, where we look out for the little guy. A world where no one is left behind. A world where we understand things don’t become better unless we make it so. A world where we all see the barest hint of a rainbow.

Another world is not only possible, it’s probable.

{ 0 comments }

The Awakening

I have a friend on facebook who utterly intrigues me. She’s a twinflame matchmaker who’s on a mission to help women become high healed priestesses and engage in their bli$$nesses (bliss + business). Her website, photos, and messages are awash with pink and all things girly. She talks a lot about healing the divine feminine and awakening the feminine energy which is in all of us — men and women alike.

Also, yesterday was the winter solstice here in the Northern Hemisphere. Another friend shared this picture and message: “Happy winter solstice! To the divine, sacred spirit of the feminine opening everything.”

Winter solstice

I have no idea whether this is photoshopped or not.

 What I’m saying is feminine energy has been on my mind. I’ve been thinking about what it means and noticing there’s been a distinct imbalance in my life, a skewing toward the masculine energy more than the feminine. It seems to me masculine energy is all about doing, acting, moving, while feminine energy is all about being, receiving, and stillness. Given the choice, I’d much rather “do.” Tell me the action to take and I will. Stillness, having patience, these are much harder for me but I’m being called to bring forth my feminine energy more and more.

On Wednesday, I had a conversation about fear and my therapist asked me what my typical response is. My typical response is to power through it. To rush through fear like a warrior charging into battle, but the warrior doesn’t always work for me because sometimes there’s no action to take. Sometimes all my fearful self wants is a hug, which means nurturing and caring for me. Calling forth my softer side.

I won’t say my softer side has been lying dormant — it hasn’t — but cultivating the feminine within me has been a process, an awakening of sorts. If you think about it, waking up requires more than opening your eyes — you also have to throw off the sheets and sidle out of bed. I opened up my eyes long ago, and now I’m stretching.

I guess I’m writing this post because I’m noticing the value of the feminine and I want to encourage other people to engage their softness too. I used to think soft meant weak, vulnerable, open to attack, but the more I’m dismantling my fear, the more I notice it takes a lot of courage to be soft, to be vulnerable, to nurture. And it doesn’t mean I have to be one way or another — sometimes the warrior is necessary, but so is the pink fuzzy blanket.

I also want to say here, in the past I might have berated myself for not being where I want, for not being “awake” already, but I’m noticing there’s deliciousness in waking up. There’s softness in the process. This is me encouraging you to be OK with where you are, to know whatever awakening you are going through it’s perfectly fine for it to be gentle, for you to not be finished with it yet. Savor where you are, you’ll be awake soon enough.

I dream of a world where we don’t rush the process. A world where we understand we wake up (metaphorically speaking) when we’re ready. A world where we value both the masculine and feminine side of ourselves. A world where we live in harmony with ourselves calling forth what is needed when it is needed.

Another world is not only possible, it’s probable.

{ 6 comments }

Cradled

A consequence of my current health condition is I get caught up in my fears a LOT. Not only do I contemplate things that I’m afraid of — break ins, dying in a car accident, the emergency parking brake failing — but I become CONVINCED they are all going to happen. My mind latches onto a fear and won’t shake it. If I could give one piece of advice to someone, it’s don’t burn out your adrenal glands, dealing with the repercussions is hell.

On Friday, I drove up to Bellingham to see a friend of mine. I have a slight phobia of driving, which means spending an hour and a half in the car with heavyish traffic is not my idea of fun. When I am stressed, my fears rocket out of control, so for instance, I spent a good chunk of time worrying my car would barrel through the garage door even though I set the emergency parking brake. (It didn’t.)

sleepy bunny

Bunnies, or rabbits, are a reminder in shamanism to not be afraid of everything and instead listen to your intuition.

However, I also had an interesting experience on my drive that has helped me pay less attention to my fears. My intuition was on high alert, which means every time a car was about to signal and change into my lane, I knew it in advance. I had a premonition of every event before it happened — lane changes, rest areas, everything. I got to thinking about all the other times in my life when I had an intuitive hit something would happen, which made me realize for every event I didn’t enjoy, I was forewarned.

Every break in, every accident, every layoff, every huge life event, I knew about it in advance. When that realization sunk in, I understood I don’t need to worry about all these potentialities, all these psychodramas because for the real dramas, the universe gives me a heads up. I used to wonder if by thinking about them — break ins, car accidents, etc. — I was practicing the law of attraction and drawing these things to me. I wondered if I was manifesting these awful events and therefore blamed myself for their occurrence. Now I understand that’s a lot of self-centered phooey and instead realize I was getting a warning. I am cradled in the lap of the universe. I am so loved, connected, and blessed that God/Brahma/the Cosmic Consciousness/my inner guide lets me know about terrible events in advance so I can prepare myself and perhaps change the outcome slightly, or at least soften the blow.

Understanding I’m given a heads up, I can disregard my errant fears as they arise because unless they carry the weight of intuition behind them, all they are is F.E.A.R. (false evidence appearing real). I can get in touch with my intuitive side, I can check in and determine whether my fear is legitimate or whether it’s my brain making up stories. And I can let go of it all recognizing that even in the worst moments, I am cradled by love.

I dream of a world where we get in touch with our intuition. A world where we listen to the voice that’s within us. A world where we know that even at the worst of times we are still guided, loved, and protected. A world where we let go of what ails us because we understand we are all cradled by love.

Another world is not only possible, it’s probable.

{ 1 comment }

Do More Nothing

I’m currently in Seattle where nothing is required of me except the bare minimum — I still have to work, but other than that, my parents are doing a great job babying me. I’m having a difficult time doing nothing, so I thought I would repost this as a reminder there is value in rest. Here is a blogpost from October of last year. 

If you’ve met me in person (or even if you haven’t, actually) you know I’m like a frantic “little engine that could.” I-think-I-can-I-think-I-can do any and all projects until my poor little engine starts short circuiting. So much so that even the hum of a refrigerator gets on my nerves.

Now that I’m in Arizona I’ve had to change my “I think I can” motto to, “I think I won’t.” It is so very hard to convince myself to do nothing. To rest. To relax. To lie on a pool flotation device and dabble my fingers in the water. I’d much rather be swimming laps or responding to emails or doing something productive. My little workaholic is horrified at the idea of spending an entire month lounging around and resting. What value is there in resting? What am I accomplishing by resting? There are no awards given for it. No gold stars, no praise.

Seattle

True story, the temperature in Seattle is the coldest it’s been in FIFTEEN YEARS. I picked a great time to visit.

I mention all this not to throw a pity party — or to make anyone envious of my month of rest — but because this is seriously imbalanced. Rest is just as important as work. (I have to admit a part of my brain just said, “Yeah right.”) Without rest my body, my brain, my life all start to deteriorate. And I’m not just talking about getting eight hours a sleep each night. I mean taking time out to do nothing. Having a day where I don’t leave the house and don’t accomplish anything of merit.

When I rest it says, “I matter. I’m worth taking care of.” When I throw myself into activity after activity it sends the message other people are more important than me. World issues are more important than me. But they’re not. I’m not of use to anyone as I am right now — so dysfunctional I startle at every low, deep noise. So tired even after being awake for four hours I want a nap. I’m not blaming or chastising myself. This is the way it’s been, but I am making a conscious decision to change all that. I made a decision to put my health first the minute I said, “Sure, I’ll housesit in Arizona.”

There is value in doing nothing. There are three aspects to life: work, rest, and play. Neither should overpower any of the others because if they do life will become unmanageable. I’d rather not keep going down this road, thank you. Instead, I vow to do nothing.

I dream of a world where we all find balance between work, rest, and play. A world where we value each aspect equally. A world where we understand all elements work together. A world where we sometimes commit to doing nothing.

Another world is not only possible, it’s probable.

{ 0 comments }

The “What is”

Today is my 29th birthday, that is, if you’re reading this on December 1st. It’s been a less than stellar day because I had to work from 8:30 to 4:30, I’m still experiencing pain from the car accident, and I’m not having a big party. Suffice to say, today has not turned out the way I expected. The challenge for me is to find the good in what is.

I think we all have expectations of certain days — birthdays, holidays, graduation, first dates, etc. — and when those expectations aren’t met we’re left feeling disappointed. I know I am. However, even though today hasn’t gone the way I’d hoped and I’m not feeling the buzz I normally do on my birthday, there’s been a lot of good about today too. I’ve received numerous telephone calls, text messages, and facebook posts from friends near and far wishing me well. My mom is at this moment making me a delicious dinner. There’s a lot of love for me in this world and today is the day I get to bask in it.

birthday cupcake

It’s my birthday! Here are some pretty cupcakes.

What’s awesome is I spoke to a friend on the phone and I mentioned that if I was in Chicago like I normally am at this time of year to cover a conference, I’d still be celebrating my birthday with family because my sister lives there. Hearing myself say that I was taken aback because I’m so lucky, I’m so loved, I have a lot of community all over the world, which is amazing.

I’m telling you all this not to brag, but because I’m sincerely grateful. Sometimes gratitude becomes dry as I reel off all the things I’m grateful for like heat and food and a roof over my head because I list those things every day. If something occurs every day it becomes mundane, ordinary, common — at least it does for me. So when something doesn’t go the way I expect, it’s even more important for me to find the good about what is. What’s good about the here and now? What’s true? When I do that I can genuinely pull the feeling of gratitude into my heart because I am grateful for my friends and family, I am grateful so many people are wishing me happy birthday, and I am grateful I chose to come into this world on this day. Thank you for being with me on my journey.

I dream of a world where even in sucky situations we can find something good about what is. A world where we all feel genuinely grateful for something. A world where we not only accept what is, but we find something positive about it.

Another world is not only possible, it’s probable.

{ 4 comments }

Making Sense of the Senseless

I’ve been having a tough time since this car accident trying to make sense of why it happened. As much as I don’t want to, I keep replaying the incident and I keep crying asking myself “why?” It’s one of the few times something has happened to me that I can’t explain, that I can’t justify as being the result of some previous known action. When I was 15 I was stung 23 times by yellow jackets, but that’s because I ran over a nest. Three years ago, I sprained my ankle while walking down the stairs because I wasn’t looking as I turned up the volume on my cellphone.

This though? This I cannot explain — I had a walk signal, the car had stopped, he saw me, and yet as I crossed he hit me anyway. The accident keeps replaying in my head like a bad song. Most people tell me some things cannot be explained, or sh*t happens and that’s the end of it. I can’t accept that. I can’t swallow that bad things happen and that’s the end of it. Even disasters like floods and hurricanes I understand because they are consequences of natural forces.

What I’m falling back on is my faith, my spiritual philosophy. The night of the accident I felt some weirdness in the air. A minute before I was hit, I contemplated what I would do if I was hit by a car. I’m starting to believe the incident was inescapable, that for whatever reason it had to happen to me. In my spiritual path, we believe in the law of karma, or action, but it’s not limited to my current lifetime. Karma can carry over for many lifetimes and follows the principle of physics — for every action there is a reaction. Maybe this car accident was a reaction from something lifetimes ago that finally got expressed.

I bring this up, the idea of something being inescapable, because it’s the only way I know to continue to feel safe in the world. I’ve done some trauma work with my therapist and she reminds me the world is usually safe, that I’ve crossed the street billions of times and been fine. Believing the accident was meant to be allows me to cross the street in confidence (because I’m already a defensive pedestrian). It allows me to believe I really am safe and protected. That perhaps like I wrote about in May, I can be safe within danger because this incident was not preventable. That maybe higher power is still taking care of me all the time, is protecting me, but the car accident was something I had to experience. Maybe the reason will become clear, or maybe it’s just one of those karmic reactions, but I don’t need to worry every time I see a car driving toward me.

I have no idea whether this post will help other people, but for me the way I’m making sense of the senseless is by choosing to believe in the laws of nature, choosing to believe some things are not preventable — especially when they seem so deliberate as in my case — and that I can still be safe, protected, and taken care of even when I undergo hardship. Maybe there’s some sense within the senseless after all.

I dream of a world where we’re able to accept some things are meant to be. A world where we still have trust and faith in something greater than ourselves especially when life hands us lemons. A world where we’re able to grapple with life’s difficulties and still retain our joy and optimism.

Another world is not only possible, it’s probable.

{ 0 comments }

Happiness Not Required

First off, I want to make a distinction between happiness and joy. According to Brené Brown, happiness is tied to circumstance and joyfulness is tied to spirit and gratitude. Even the Greek origins of the word demonstrate that concept. The Greek word for happiness, Makarios, was used to describe the freedom of the rich from normal cares and worries, or to describe a person who received some form of good fortune such as money or health. The Greek word for joy is chairo, which was described as the “culmination of being,” and the “good mood of the soul.”

I’ll admit I’ve been chasing happiness. When I was younger I thought being thin would “make” me happy and later I thought having a boyfriend would “make” me happy. For the past few years it’s been about having the perfect home space. I’ve been chasing a feeling, trying to recreate an experience from my past, believing if I just moved somewhere else then I’d be happy.

balloons

“Happiness runs in a circular motion, life is like a little boat upon the sea. . .”

On Friday, I asked myself, “Rebekah, do you really need to be happy where you live?” The answer is, “No.” I realized sometimes my needs and my happiness converge and sometimes they do not. Right now my home meets my needs – it’s quiet, I live alone, I can afford my rent, and I’m surrounded by nature. But am I happy? No. And that’s OK.

To me, being an adult means understanding I won’t always be happy and much like I wrote about in my post “Self-Will and the Magic Pill,” there’s no magic pill or formula or circumstance that will invoke happiness within me. I’m choosing to see happiness as something I stumble upon, something that is bestowed upon me, and not something I can seek.

What I can seek, what I can cultivate, is joy. Joy comes from gratitude and appreciation, from counting my blessings, from connecting with others, and choosing to see the good in my life.

I guess what I’m saying is right now I’m finding getting my needs met are more important than being happy. I’m letting myself off the hook in terms of searching for happiness because in the last two years especially, I find it’s a never-ending quest. How can I chase a feeling? How can I possibly know what elements are required to create happiness? I thought living in this cottage in Oakland would make me happy, and it hasn’t. But instead of trying to do something about it, I’m letting myself be.

Many people find themselves unhappy – they thought the great job, nice car, beautiful house, loving partner, or whatever, would make them happy and it did – temporarily, but then it wore off because happiness is not permanent. Happiness is something that happens. But joy? Joy is an inside job.

I dream of a world where we realize we don’t have to be happy. A world where we no longer seek good fortune but let good fortune come to us. A world where we practice being joyful through gratitude and appreciation. A world where we understand sometimes it’s more important to get our needs met than it is to be happy.

Another world is not only possible, it’s probable.

{ 0 comments }

More Kind than Cruel

I think most of you know this because you follow me on facebook, but if not, I was in a car accident on Tuesday. Rather, I was hit by a car on Tuesday as I walked through an intersection. Nothing too terrible – I scraped my chin, my jaw took the impact, and I’m unable to chew for the time being, but nothing is broken, I walked away from the accident, and I’m physically in pretty good shape, considering. The police already ran the license plates and nothing came back, so it is unlikely the driver will be caught. Emotionally, I’m pretty shaken.

I’m still scared, but what I have to remind myself over and over again is the world is more kind than cruel. After the driver who hit me drove off, the person behind him stopped, and wrote down the license plate number and his telephone number in case I needed anything. He also gave me some paper napkins and an alcohol swab to clean the blood off my face and hands. Another person also stopped and offered to drive me home because clearly the last thing I wanted was to walk. And another person, a woman, stopped just to see if I was OK. I have to remind myself for every jerk in the world, there are at least three kind people.

love of the best kind

I know I could have chosen another image to demonstrate kindness but this one was too sweet to pass up. Copyright by Tolly P.

On Friday night, I chatted with my next door neighbor and she agreed with my sentiment. She’s a therapist specializing in abuse and trauma, so she’s seen some pretty dark things, but even she assured me people are inherently good. I’ve also seen that to be the case – the receptionist at my chiropractor’s office offered to pick me up for an appointment after she learned it takes me an hour to get to the office via public transportation. Someone I’ve never met in person called me up and asked if I’d like her to come over and keep me company after the incident when she read about it on facebook.

There is a lot of love for me. There are many people in the world who want to support me. It’s difficult when things like this happen, but I also think it’s important to retain my world view, my optimism, and my belief in the goodness of others. For the first time I understand it’s a conscious choice I have to make instead of a default belief. It’s not easy; it no longer comes as natural to me, but even more so I see how much it’s necessary. I cannot prevent bad things from happening, I can’t stop drivers from speeding up to hit pedestrians like in my case, I can’t prevent break-ins, I can’t halt violence and poverty and destruction, but I sure as heck can show some kindness and compassion after the fact. I’m starting to believe that’s maybe what life is all about.

I dream of a world where we choose to focus on the goodness in others instead of the bad. A world where we recognize the world is more kind than cruel. A world where we show up for one another to the best of our capacity, understanding support may come from the most unlikely places. A world where we understand we can’t prevent bad things from happening, but we can definitely determine what happens afterward.

Another world is not only possible, it’s probable.

{ 1 comment }

I Love You for Who You Are

I didn’t think I was going to write any new material today because I am zonked, but then inspiration hit and I realized I wanted to share this.

Lately, perfectionism and people pleasing have been coming up for me. I’ve held this belief that if I wasn’t perfect, if I wasn’t giving of myself, others wouldn’t continue to like me, wouldn’t want to maintain a relationship with me. There’s been a fear that if I didn’t constantly give my gifts in friendship, people I love would disappear.

A lot of my past work using affirmations has been saying, “Rebekah, I love you for who are,” and that’s great! It’s been so helpful and has completely changed my life. However, right or wrong, I’m at the point now where I want to believe the same is true of friends, i.e. that my friends also love me for who I am, not what I do or give. I know I can’t ask anyone to say these things to me, but perhaps you feel the same and would like to hear it, so I’m going to tell it to you, my readers, my friends, the people I associate with. Here is my open letter to you:

Dear (insert your name here),

I love you for exactly who you are, right now. I love your authenticity, your vulnerability. I love your quirks. I love the things that set you apart from the crowd. I love how you stand up for yourself and how you hold fast to your convictions. I love that you’re willing to be weird because in your weirdness there is you and I love you.

I want to tell you, you don’t have to change for me. You don’t have to be perfect for me. Perfection does not equal love, but humanness does. You’re experimenting in life and so am I and I love you for it. I love that you’re willing to show up for life, to have the courage to keep going even after you make mistakes. I love your boldness.

Please keep being you and please know that if other people don’t like you for who you are, they’re not meant to be in your life. Birds of a feather flock together and you are in my flock. We are meant to stick together, chinks and all.

I love when you’re real with me. I love when you let me in and show me what’s really going on with you. I love when your walls are down, when you’re honest, when you’re crying. That is how I connect with you. I don’t want to see your mask; I can’t click with your mask, so please take it off when you’re with me.

You are a bright, shining light, and I want you to know it’s safe for you to be you, especially around me.

All my love,
Rebekah

I dream of a world where we know we are loved for who we are. A world where we realize the people in our lives love us for us, and if they don’t, the relationship is not serving our best interests. A world where we keep tearing our walls down because our authenticity is what brings about the most love.

Another world is not only possible, it’s probable.

{ 2 comments }

Into Me See

It’s funny how things run in cycles. Almost exactly a year ago, I wrote a post called, “Reparenting the Inner Child.” The nuances of that post are being further revealed today. That post was about safety; this post is also about safety albeit a different kind.

The question has come up a few times this week, “Why did I write Just a Girl from Kansas?” Specifically, what do I get out of it? I realized on Thursday, the personal reason I wrote the book is to prove to myself that it’s safe to be me. It’s safe for me to be who I am out in the world; it’s safe for me to be vulnerable.

Into me see

Into me see!

So much of my story, so much of my childhood, has been about hiding who I am for fear of harm. I learned early on to hide who I was and only reveal my true self around certain people. Writing Just a Girl from Kansas was an act of defiance. My adult self proving the world has changed, I have changed, and it’s fine for me to not only reveal my true self, but reveal the most intimate parts of myself.

I’ve heard it said intimacy could be broken down as, “into me see.” I would say that’s true. When I’m vulnerable, you are seeing into me and that’s scary because what if you don’t like it? What if you decide it’s not good enough, I’m not good enough, and you run in the other direction? Vulnerability and thus intimacy can be painful and scary. All day today I’ve wanted to hide away, build a wall around myself, and post a sign that says, “KEEP OUT.” Vulnerability is scary for people and I am no exception, but it’s important to let others see into me.

Because we’re talking about vulnerability, I have mention another post I wrote in which I linked to Brené Brown’s Ted Talk on the subject. She asserts vulnerability creates connection and I’ve found that to be the case. When other people see into me, my friendships are richer, deeper. We don’t talk about what Miley Cyrus is up to – we talk about what’s real, what’s happening in our lives, and that wouldn’t be possible without vulnerability.

I keep making myself vulnerable because the rewards outweigh the risks and sharing who I am reminds me I’m not as alone as I think. C.S. Lewis captures this sentiment perfectly when he says, “Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: “What! You too? I thought I was the only one.” Being vulnerable, being who I really am in the world reminds me there are others like me, other people dealing with the same issues, and that allows me to cope in a far greater capacity than I could on my own. That is why I let other people see into me.

I dream of a world where we allow ourselves to be vulnerable. A world where we remember as scary as it is, the rewards outweigh the risks. A world where we know it’s safe to be ourselves. A world where we remember we are not alone. A world where we let others see us for who we are.

Another world is not only possible, it’s probable.

{ 0 comments }
Plugin Sponsor Awesome Previous Next Post Navigator