Unlikely Doors To Awakening

When I was seven, my whole life changed. It sounds dramatic, I know. But it’s true. Not because we moved to a different place, though we did. Not because my mom got clean. She did. And not because my dad lost his mind, which he most certainly seemed to. Any of these things is life changing for sure. All of them together still would have been manageable but for one thing. The thing that really changed my life…

I forgot God.

It happens. It happens by design, allowing us the process of remembering God. This is the way we “succeed” here. We find our way back to God, the Universe, Divine Love, Source, our Higher Power… whatever we call it. We find our way back to Who we really Are. We find that God is actually in us. That we are part of Him and She is part of us. See what I did there? Don’t let it blow your mind. What? God is transgender?  God is definitely male. And God is most definitely female. God is definitely All genders. All ethnicities. All ages, all, all, ALL…

Divine Love is All. And yet…

There’s this existential angst. There’s the searching and the constant feeling of failure and coming up short. Good Gawd, it’s exhausting!

Remembering is simple. But it’s not easy. It wouldn’t be a grand design if it were easy. But believe me when I say how utterly simple it is.

Remember being a kid? (Before it got messy) When being a kid meant that you did things because they made you happy. And unhappiness seemed to only last a few moments. And then bam! Happy again. That’s pure magic. It’s letting the emotions be. Just be. Happy, sad, angry, bored, scared. And “happy” didn’t have a bunch of shit attached to it. It didn’t mean “successful” or “debt free” or any of the multitude of things “happy” means to us now. Happy was just our natural state of Being. When we were kids, we weren’t anybody. We weren’t trying to be somebody. We didn’t have impostor syndrome and we weren’t seeking our purpose. We didn’t sulk around trying to find ourselves. We already were. Well guess what? You still Are.

And if you’re in the state of searching and seeking for what else is out there besides all this angst, good for you! Not everyone is ready for the notion that there’s more to this life than birth, work, and death. The fact that you are curious about true meaning is a nudge from the universe that you’re here to wake up.

Now, slow down. Take a deep breath and hear this… It is not as complicated as your big, beautiful brain is trying to make it seem. By the way, your brain lies. It makes shit up, so it has something to solve because that’s what it’s designed to do; solve things. It is not always your best resource. Keep that in mind next time you’re awake at three a.m. with your mind going all Armageddon on you.

There are many roads to remembering. Doors leading to our Divinity are always being opened for us. I went around trying different doors for a long time because I could just feel a truth begging to be known. One of the things that really opened me up to my true nature was the suffering of my childhood. I believed there had to be purpose in that much screwed up-ness. My childhood always felt like some kind of puzzle to be solved. As if the answer to the question “Why am I here?” was hidden in the life I had been born into. And it was. Not quite in the way I imagined. It was actually much simpler than what my imagination came up with.

We all come out of childhood with wounds to heal. The mistake that we can make is thinking that someone else can heal our wounded parts. The truth of it is, we have to do it ourselves. Which is really okay because when we were kids we all said at some point “When I have kids, I’m going to tell them they’re smart and beautiful and can do anything they choose to do…” Well, now you have a kid. The kid that needs you the most. The kid that didn’t feel loved or encouraged. The kid that wasn’t allowed to be thoroughly pissed off… The dreaded inner child. Joke if you must, but she’s the real deal. I cringed at the thought too. Turns out she was the gateway to freedom. So maybe just leave this particular door cracked open in case I’m right.

If you can operate in a state of suspended disbelief and accept the suggestion that you too, have an inner kid, then you get to be the parent to yourself that you never had.
Believe me when I tell you she’s in there. She’s waiting. Maybe patiently. Maybe not so patiently. You’ll recognize her by the emotions that are the most familiar to you; the places where you feel stuck. The places you feel the least lovable. Start looking there. And when she shows herself, don’t assume anything. Ask her what she needs from you. And then… listen. And trust the answers you get. Be as honest as you can with her. Tell her you’re going to learn how to take care of her.

I know my inner kid is alive and well because I wasn’t going to write about this today. I was going with a title closer to “Compassionate Discipline”. What happened was that while waiting for inspiration to strike, one of my inner kids reminded me that the reason it’s a topic of interest to me, is because she’s trying to figure out the difference between discipline and punishment and where compassion enters into it at all.

So, if you were to ask me how to begin parenting that inner kid, I’d say this; listen. Be still. Pay attention to, and really feel what you’re feeling. Because it might just be what your inner kid is feeling. And then, as weird as it sounds, you have to start a dialogue with that kid. Expect it to go well because you’re an optimist. When it doesn’t go well, don’t worry. Inner kids can feel pretty unappreciated at first. It could take some time and effort to really get to know them.
Persist. Persist because when your inner kids feel heard and loved, the whole world opens up. When you parent yourself, you are awakening the God energy within you. You open a portal to Divine Love that is everything that you forgot all those years ago.
I was a seeker once. I was looking for my purpose. I knew there was more. I never imagined finding it would start with a conversation with seven-year-old me. Now, I don’t really seek anymore. Not outside of myself, anyway. I listen more. I pay attention and watch for the moments where I feel that familiar twinge of abandonment, oppression, unworthiness. Then I grab that kid up in my arms and I love her, and love her, and Love Her.

Post Script… If you want some great insight on awakening to your inner Divinity, working with the inner kid, and learning how to live your life Outrageously Open, visit Tosha Silver’s website I am a student in her school of Living Outrageous Openness. Inner kid work is only a part of the curriculum. She offers many, many more tools to support you while you learn to live your life with a greater sense of peace, joy and purpose.

How to Love YourSelf

Relationships have been my greatest teacher in this life. The Divine has used relationships to help me see myself more clearly. It could be argued that the reason for this is because I’ve always been in one!

As I felt this one winding down, I wondered what a relationship with mySelf would look like.

Immediately, Walt Disney took over and I started thinking about rings and ceremonies and honeymoons. Where would I take myself? Should I tattoo my ring on to signify the permanent commitment I was making to myself? And the vows! They were going to be awesome!

The thing that happens when I veer off track like this, is that God distracts me. Or maybe Mrs. Beigh was right in first grade and I just really do have a short attention span. In either case, I lost interest in my upcoming wedding to myself.

But the magic of offering it all to the Divine, is that She can very artfully and gracefully bring it around to the back of the house to introduce it in a whole new way. This time by whispering to me through dreams about an inner child I had totally abandoned.

This dream is recurring and has really freaked me out. I am always just realizing I left a child or a pet somewhere and forgot to take care of it.

I had a version of this dream twice in one week. And the thing is; once you offer something, it’s kind of important to pay attention to the answers you get.

So, I acknowledged the message. Even though I didn’t really understand what to do about it. My prayers are usually pretty off the cuff, so it was something like this…

“Okay, Divine. I can see you’re giving me this message about abandoning my inner kid. Thank you for being so persistent. And thank you for it being dreams. You know how I love dreams. But, if there is something specific I need to do, please make it clear to me. I’m so available for this growth. Use me for the Highest Good.”

Then the little signs started showing up. Little synchronicities that alone don’t mean anything, but if I’m paying attention, mean everything…

I found my second grade silhouette. And I thought “I really want to remake that and feel the Light I know is in that girl.”

My nieces were on my mind… I kept thinking I wanted to let them know I’m always here for them as they enter high school. Mostly to let them know that even though there will be many opportunities for them to feel like they’re not enough, that is an illusion that if they call on me, I can very quickly dispel.

One of my daughters felt “off” to me. I thought “In those instances, what would I have wanted my mom to say to me?”

I know what you’re thinking… these aren’t signs, they’re thoughts. Yes. And no. Our brains get a bad rap these days. We’re always encouraged to get out of our heads; and I agree. I spend a lot of time out of my head.

But if you’re living a life where you’re offering it all to the Divine, to the Universe, to God, to Whomever you embrace as your Higher Power, then a thought isn’t always a thought. Especially when the “thought” feels spacious and creative and full of Love.

 

These nudges from Spirit all fell within a week or so of each other. Another important aspect of it for me is that I acted on some of the nudges. I re-painted my seven-year-old silhouette; found the Light in her. I reached out to my daughter. I made a plan to reach out to my nieces. Following the Guidance keeps you and God talking. It keeps the conversation from being one sided. This is how I see it.

 

The next thought was ~  “I haven’t posted anything about this life of offering for a long time.” And as I looked at my last post and remembered what was happening when  I wrote it, I remembered the relationship I wanted to forge with myself.

But this time, all of the inner kid dreams had happened. And the reaching out to my own inner kid and some real kids in my life.

And it was clear.

This relationship with myself isn’t about what I need as a fifty-three year old woman… at least not exclusively. It is about that inner kid I’ve locked in a room for safe keeping and forgot to come back for.

When I asked God this morning “Which kid? Where do I begin coming back to myself?”

I just knew. “You come back to the first time you felt abandoned. The first time you felt less than Loved.”

When I closed my eyes and reached for her, this is who I found…

Day One Week Old

 

“Dear One,

I am so glad you’re here. I’ve been waiting for you for a hundred lifetimes.

You are my deepest Love. More than that.. You are Love itself.

You are the most Sacred of gifts, and I am so grateful you’re mine.

I love the weight of you, the way you feel against my heart. It is the feeling of coming Home.

As I look down at you nestled peacefully in my arms, I see the magic of God in your eyes, and I am filled with wonder.

You can rest in me. You will always have me. You are mine as I am Yours.”

The Life of Offering…

She was thirteen when she realized she was pretty.

She was fifty-three the day she was overcome with a sadness she recognized but couldn’t name.

She wept. Right there in her living room while brilliant, warm sunlight poured through the giant picture window.

She was unafraid of drowning.

This is how a life of offering is unfolding for me.

It seems to come with a presence of soul. An ability to allow whatever comes up to just “Be” as fully as it is intended to be. So, when sadness bubbles up, I’m unafraid of drowning. And when Michael Franti sings “Hey, Now, Now” ~ I dance. With all the joy, no matter where I am. That, to me is the best of a life of offering. All the feels. Without fear of drowning in any of them.

As I’ve been making my way to and through the ending of a marriage, I’ve offered the situation to Divine Love every day. Sometimes in every moment of every day.  It might not be the ritual that one would expect of offering. I’m not so much begging for help, although that does happen, but I’m offering mySelf to the Divine. My Whole Self.

While I have been all stages of desperate for answers about how this will unfold, I’ve also yearned in a very real way for the Highest Good to come from this experience. I don’t just say “Divine Beloved, I offer this whole sticky mess to you to deal with. Free me from this situation. Thank you very much.”

My prayers have been more.

“Divine Beloved, please change me into One who can trust Your timing in this. Let me rest in this sea of not knowing what is to come. Let me be kind, truly kind to myself and to others. Change me into One who remembers to breathe and stay present so I can see the path when the time is right.”  And all kinds of shorter, prayers like “Let the Highest begin to occur in this life…”

I knew without question this relationship had something to show me. It has always been one of my greatest teachers, but I could feel change coming like a locomotive. I knew it would be big change, but I wasn’t so bold to believe I knew what it would be. You can never turn your back on change thinking you know how she’ll present herself.

When things in our house would get so tense that I would beg God for relief, beg for the next step to be shown, I was always given the “caution”, “wait”, “slow” sign. It was so frustrating at times. But the signs were always so clear. I couldn’t ignore them. Once when I said “Okay God, this is unbearable. I’m taking this to mean that I should go. I’m leaving this house. I’ve made a decision. If I’m about to do something stupid, please stop me.” Thirty minutes later, I’m shopping and every aisle I turn down is blocked. No joke. Blocked. By people who don’t even seem to notice me, let alone make room for me to pass. After a solid ten minutes of this, I just laughed. “Okay. Point taken.”

The way things finally unfolded between us was so much more than the beginning of the end of a marriage. It was like a bright light was being shone on my entire life. It was an instant “knowing” of all the ways I’d orchestrated this very moment long before we had ever met.

The things I decided about myself when I was thirteen were visiting me today. So were all the ways over the last twenty-three years of our relationship that I put space between us without meaning to. Or, maybe I did mean to.  There’s also an incident of immediate karma that I’ll share when it stings a little less. When I can more readily see the humor. Because it is actually funny ~ in the most humiliating way. This immediate karma is, I believe, one of the big reasons it was important to wait.

I am resting in the unknown right now. Waiting ~ mostly patiently for a clear path to appear. My cat and me in an upstairs room in a chateau in magical McDonald Forest. All I know for sure right now is that I feel a deep and abiding faith that even in this sad ending, scary unknown, all really is well.

The Last Place I Saw God

When we misplace something, the first thing we usually do is trace our steps back to the last time we remember having it. But, what if you don’t remember having it? Like our seemingly unending search for God; it’s not as if we lost Him.

Or did we?

Tosha Silver leads her students through a meditation to reclaim the Throne of our Hearts. The first few times I relaxed into this meditation, I so wanted to reclaim a throne.  I mean, who doesn’t want to sit on a throne? When I closed my eyes,  I could easily see a throne… it just wasn’t my throne. I think it may have belonged to the Empress on The Neverending Story. I tried many thrones from many movies, but none of them felt right. It was forced. Fake. I was trying. And in meditation, when you’re trying, nothing happens.

But, when Tosha said “It will feel like plugging into your power”, I knew exactly what this throne looked and felt like.

It was the last place I remember knowing God…

I’ve been visiting this place pretty often these days. It began as a memory, because it is an actual place. I realized not long ago, that the memory of being there had more depth of feeling than other childhood memories. So, out of curiosity, I visited the place in my mind’s eye ~ slowly approaching the yard gate… a gate that has appeared in many recurring dreams over the last fifty years. Interesting, right?

I entered the front yard of my earliest childhood memory. I felt the warmth and rough solidity of the sidewalk beneath my bare feet. I saw the rectangular, white house with its daffodil flower bed acting as a protective threshold.

And I saw the three year-old girl in the shade of the elm tree that reached its lovely branches over the front step. She sat on the bottom step, her knees falling to her right as she faced the screen door.

This is her Throne. As I held her in my mind’s eye, I could feel her. The whole yard was held in the invisible Divine. I felt encompassed by the Love she was bathed in.

She sat, completely immersed in conversation with Spirit. No doubts. No fear. No sadness. Utterly connected to Heaven. As if she was still as much there as here.

She is the One who has been patiently awaiting my return. My three year-old inner kid who knows God. She’s been here all along as I have traveled the path of forgetfulness ~ now and then reminding me with dream images of a yard gate.

Now I visit this place not as a memory, but as the place within me where I am always with God. Where God and I are One. The Throne of my Heart.

Sometimes I bring another of my inner kids to this magical place to be bathed in Divine Love. To a place of remembering their Divinity.

 

 

“How is the Blog Going?”

Thank you to my friend Jennifer for asking the question and for pointing out that I had just written the first blog post within our conversation. Everything unfolds when and how it’s supposed to. This is, in reality a great example of how offering works in my life. How, when I listen to Divine Guidance and remain available for answers, they come at the right time, in the most perfect way…

“When I was so strongly pulled to do this deep dive into offering and create the blog, it just felt so incredibly right… exciting and terrifying and as if I had just found a crucial piece to the best puzzle, ever. I chose a name, created a wordpress site, and started looking at the journal already in progress to see what wanted to be posted first…

And then I kept getting signs to breathe and wait and not to rush. With Mars going retrograde and all the other transitions, I felt compelled to do just that. Journal, offer, and wait. Over the last days, I’ve begun a familiar dance with my inner kid who is about 15. She has a fear of failure that is slightly different. Hers is “I won’t actually do this.” Or… “I never finish anything I start…” The thing that’s different this time when she showed up, is that I see her, now. Really, truly see her. And I know she isn’t in charge. And more importantly, she, more than anyone WANTS me to do this. To do just what I say I’m going to do. Hell, she needs me to do this. For months now, I’ve been telling her she can do anything she chooses to do. That her dad was so wrong. That what he said was all about him and nothing about her… I’ve been saying all of that. And now? Now, I need to do something. She needs to do it right along with me. And the coolest part is, I never doubted for one minute this blog would happen. Even when it hit me that I had once again started and stopped; I knew it was just a moment for me to acknowledge that kid and to intentionally bring her along. And the other really important piece in this is my dad. When this has happened before, I would blame him. I would look back at the moment where he tried to take my dreams away and I would blame him. Not really with anger anymore, but with a “Well, this is why I do this” kind of mantra. But, I think I have released the blame piece. I am not feeling it at all. I’m feeling grateful for his part in my journey. All of it. As if watching the credits after a movie that changed my life, he’s there, Mom’s there, all of the bullies who ever beat me up… You get my drift. Teachers come in all forms. I heard once that the souls who come here with us and play parts that seem to hurt us the most? Those are the souls who Love us the deepest; who we Love the deepest. Those are the hardest roles to play for someone. Who knows if that’s true. In any case, because of Tosha’s teachings and because I’m in a place of readiness for her teachings, this journey will happen in the way that’s already chosen for it to happen. However big or small. It’ll be what’s needed.” (From a conversation between friends)