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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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