Thursday, September 30, 2010

Prayer: I Send Out Love

I send out love to those that upset me with their constant criticism of everything in this world.

I send out love to those who speak only to hear themselves make conversation and sounds.

I sent out love to those who only are able to see part of the big picture but in their mind, they see it all.

I send out love to those who feel that what they have to say is far more important than what someone else is saying.

I send out love to those who are lost in teachings that they regurgitate upon request.

I send out love to those who fear and cast out others who are different than themselves.

I send out love to those who follow blindly what is expected of them.

I send out love to those who choose to just exist in life while ignoring their true potential.

I send out love to those who feel they can control or manipulate others, regardless if it is an adult, a child or an animal.

I send out love to those who attack others for personal gain.

I send out love to those who have experienced deep pain in their lives.

I send out love to those who do not understand what it means to be loved or that it is possible to be loved.

I send out love to mother earth for being raped and abused by the inhabitants.

I send out love to all who have experienced the horrors or evils of life, at the hands of others.

I send out love to those who have been harmed by war as well as those who have inflicted war upon others.

I send out love to those whose only motivation in life is control, power and money.

I send out love to those who are weighed under by circumstances that seem to be holding them back and weighing them down.

I send out love to my own body, spirit and mind so that I am able to be there for others with purity, humbleness and strength.

I send out love to the hearts of all people who see more of the differences in others rather than the similarities.

I send out love to the world in hopes that through my actions, others will pass love along.

I send out love to all that is created each day knowing that hope and possibility exist in each of our moments.

As I think about sending out love, may I truly and fully love and accept myself. May I realize that love begins with what I hold in my heart. For if I don't fully understand how to love myself, it will be difficult to love all that is around me. Let love being with me.

(Above Picture taken in my backyard, FL - (c) 09/18/10)

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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

From Intolerance To Acceptance

We stopped at a Christian thrift store the other day. While inside the store, I heard a very loud and boisterous man talking about his view of God and religion. It is a free country and he is perfectly allowed to do this. However, he was very rude in making sure everyone in the store heard what he had to say. It was like forced religious babble.

As he continued speaking loudly, he began to talk about a group of people that to him were evil and a threat to our way of life. The hatred, intolerance, and bigotry spewing forth from his mouth infuriated and disgusted me. The things he was saying were so vile and so full of hate that I could barely stomach any of the words he was speaking.

I finally had to leave because I could not take one more minute of what he was saying. I felt sad for the group of people he was degrading. I felt even more sad for this guy's intolerance. I am sure this man most likely never met the ones he was degrading.

He was hating this group of people out of not truly knowing them. His hatred seemed to arise from his fears. To be honest, I'm not sure where in "HIS" Bible, it shows that Jesus hated others and would talk this way. Yet, the man that purported to love Jesus and follow him must have missed the lesson Jesus taught where he said "Love One Another."

My ears had heard enough and to keep myself from reacting in a way that I would have regretted, I left the store. It took me awhile to let go of the anger I had at hearing these things. Every button from my past had been pushed.

It was not until we walked into another thrift store that the lady said, "welcome to our store," with a smile on her face, that I felt love and compassion for others shine through. This was not another Christian thrift store but one that valued all people as humans. In that moment, her smile of love and compassion connected with my heart. That one simple act meant the world to me in that moment. It was at that moment that I was able to let this go and change my thoughts from anger to acceptance of this intolerant man.

(Above Picture taken at Dandelion Communitea Cafe, Orlando, FL - (c) 09/17/10) Listening to the band, Dreamcatcher, perform on 9/17/10

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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Fear Of The Climb

Yesterday, I went to the Ponce Inlet Lighthouse and climbed to the top. It was 203 steps up a winding staircase. As I started to climb, I thought this is not too difficult. Of course, if I looked down the center of the stairwell, my pulse rate increased! I got a lump in my throat seeing how high I had climbed.

As we neared the top, my legs began to get tired and my knee was hurting. At one point, I wondered if I could make it all the way to the top. My motivation to reach the top was that I really wanted to make it and I didn't come to see the lighthouse just to observe the outside structure.

Finally making it to the top, I stepped outside on to the platform. The strong breeze hit my face, while I could see for many miles. From the shoreline of Daytona Beach to the Atlantic Ocean before me and New Smyrna Beach to the south, the view was spectacular. It was out of this world! At 175 feet, it felt as I was above it all.

My eyes fixated on the ground which was now a distance from me and I grew anxious and scared. While I was safe on this ledge, my eyes and mind saw fear. I had to steady myself, acknowledge the fear as I allowed myself to be there on the ledge. It was not easy because there was a part of me that was scared to death.

I kept telling myself that I was safe and that these fears were unfounded in truth. While the anxiety remained somewhat high, I convinced my mind that I could do this. I changed my thoughts and allowed myself to enjoy the view.

So, even though the fears wanted to get the best of me and they looked as real as they could, I knew that if I put them in perspective, I had the ability to view things differently. While I do not deny the possibility that something could have gone wrong, it did not. Most of the anxiety I was experiencing was based in fear, not reality.

Often, our fears are bigger than they actually are. In the moment, it is hard to convince our self that this is not the case. If we stop though and look at the bigger picture, we'll quickly see how the fears are much smaller and more afraid of us than we may realize.

(Above Picture taken at the lighthouse at Ponce Inlet, FL - (c) 09/14/10)

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Monday, September 27, 2010

Validation Of Child Abuse

I was reading about some of this stuff from the minister dude in Atlanta, Georgia (Pastor & Bishop Eddie Long) that is accused of molesting some boys. That in itself makes me want to puke. However, that's not why i'm writing here.

Many of the things that I've been through, sometimes it seems like no one else has ever gone through it, or I just don't often hear about it. And so at times, I fall back into the old tapes that I'm crazy, I've been brainwashed, etc. These are all the things that my family said to me.

There was one part in some of what I read on this current news story about the New Birth Missionary Baptist Church story where the one boy stated (and I'm paraphrasing), "it started out with a neck massage and then led to further things." When I read that, it hit me so hard. It was like the story of someone I never met was validating what I already know has happened to me.

My father used to always have neck, head and back pain. He knew that I had a touch that could do a little back rub on him and he would feel better. I was only a young teenager at the time much like these boys were in this church. The only thing is, that the massages often led to him pulling his pants down and then off into the land of sexual abuse. Writing about this still almost makes me want to go puke right now. And I've moved way beyond so much of this but it still hits me deep.

Its one of the reasons I think that I still struggle to do massage (I am a licensed massage therapist) which I enjoy doing and so many tell me I'm very talented with. I know my touch isn't like many other massage therapists because I sense, feel and pick up things that most don't. Yet, I'm still triggered back to those days of a massage where the the message is so mixed and confused in my mind at times. It is like trying to split the good part of massage from the bad part of massage where my dad molested me. It is like dividing water or so it seems.

But hearing this in the news is tough. I feel for these boys. Like these boys, I too, went through all the justifications of the abuse because of some scripture or interpretation of this being what God wanted my father to do. I ache for these young guys because I know first hand how freaking hard it is to deal with this. The anger within me rises!

While it is rough, I know this is just an opportunity for me to heal further and go deeper into reclaiming all of these things. After all these years of work, it sometimes gets tough. It feels extremely tough and difficult right now but I know I can make it through this - I've already survived much worse!

(Above Picture taken at Fort Lauderdale, FL - (c) 02/15/01)

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Sunday, September 26, 2010

Our Screaming And Yelling Affects Others

People, who scream and fight and argue, really cause me a lot of distress. It gets to me quickly and it leaves me feeling very agitated. Finding the silence of peace and calmness in our communities seems to be as rare as winning the lottery.

Sometimes in the morning when I am sitting out by my pool for my morning meditation, I can hear the neighbors screaming at the kids they are watching. In fact, as I am writing this, I can hear them scream and a car alarm buzzer is going off in the background. These things disrupt my quest for peace and calmness in the morning. I'd much rather hear the birds singing any day than listen to the noise from the neighbors.

Another example is watching TV. Even shows like America's Got Talent where Piers Morgan likes to argue with the other judges is something that really gets to me. His name calling, lack of respect and extremely critical persona make me very sad for whoever it is on the receiving end. While I do realize this is reality and drama TV, it affects people more than we sometimes want to accept.

Even on the new season of the Apprentice (with the unemployed contestants), the constant bickering and screaming made me feel on edge. I felt like a long tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs. I could even feel my arms, shoulders and back tense up during this show.

When I was a kid, there was a show called "I Love Lucy" or I believe that was the name of it. Supposedly my parents would not let me watch it because the show would upset me and make me angry. Again, it was the screaming and yelling on the show that got to me.

All my life, I have struggled with this. I grew up in a home where my father constantly yelled, screamed and berated everyone around him. There was no pleasing the man! It doesn't take much either to affect me these days. There are times that someone talking fast, nonstop and loud is very difficult for me to be around.

The unusual thing is that as much as this bothers me, I found my own self doing the same thing. Only I don't berate the ones I love and I don't yell at them. I would never do that. The thing I do is scream and yell out of frustration at the little things in life. Sometimes I have very little patience or understanding for myself. Sometimes I demand perfection of myself while not forgiving any mistakes I make or could potentially make. I am very hard on myself. In fact, I am much harder on myself than I am on anyone else.

I had one of those wake up moments in life where I realized that my own personal outbursts were affecting those around me. From my relationship to my cats, everyone was on edge wondering when I would erupt. They never knew when the slightest little task as innocent as it could be would frustrate me and set me off. This was a big eye opener for me which made me take stock of my life.

I'm sure not perfect in this area of my life but I have really been working on it. I hate to think that something I'm doing brings tension to those around me. I know what it is like to grow up in a house of screaming and yelling.

Being a highly sensitive person, I know just how intense moments around me can impact my mind and my body in dramatic ways. I've worked to minimize some of those and to give myself moments of quiet in my day. I've stopped watching the news commentators on TV because so much of what they say comes from anger. It really just agitates the mind, especially my mind. For me, I see too many people screaming and yelling in life. It is too much for me to take most days.

There are many things we do in our own lives that strongly impact the lives of those around us. Often we don't realize just what these things do to others. We may realize that it is something we struggle with but we may not be fully aware of what we are forcing others to live through. We really need to be aware of this or at least be open to hearing from others how our behavior impacts them. Of course, we cannot go through life trying to be everything to all people.

I do realize that I am a highly sensitive person and that I am impacted stronger by things than most people. While I give myself moments of silence, I try to keep my distance from those that yell and scream. Finally now in life, I am able to really calm myself down so the little things don't get to me and erupt into screaming and yelling. I am learning that there is no need to add to the turmoil in our world. For me to be there for others, I need to offer my own peace and calmness, not my turmoil.

(Above Picture taken at the lighthouse at Ponce Inlet, FL - (c) 09/14/10)

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Saturday, September 25, 2010

Abundance: My Fear Of Money

Fear of money often holds me back from abundance. Even though I desire to connect to the flow in my life, I often sabotage this. Today, I allowed myself to write about my fear of money as this is a difficult subject for me. The following are my fears that I have of money.

I do fear being without money. I've been there and of course and came back from losing everything, but it really frightens me. I feel as if I'm going to be out on a street with people coming after me.

For some reason, I feel that I am a bad person when I don't have money.

Deep down, I'm not sure if I deserve it like others do. For I fail to see many times that I am not worth very much.

I feel that there are always strings attached to any money I earn or am given just as what was shown to me growing up.

I see money as being for those who have control and power which all too often I feel powerless, weak, and not in control.

Money is manipulation to me based upon my past experiences.

It seems normal to lack money and weird to have money.

I'm afraid it would corrupt me and take me off my path in life.

I'm afraid it will change me and turn me into a materialistic person.

I'm afraid that everyone will want it, demand it, or feel like it belongs to them should I have money.

I feel like expectations in life would be too much if I had it.

To have a lot of money, feels dirty, wrong and yet it feels like the answer to life's problems.

I fear I would not be able to say no to those who deceitfully asked for help.

I fear it could break up relationships and people would just want to be my friend because of the money.

I'm afraid money would keep me from remembering what it means to be human, to be a simple person and where I come from.

I'm afraid I would become a person that looks down upon others.

Maybe these are only my fears but they seem very real. I would like to enjoy a financial abundant life but never forget who I am and my role in the world. I would love to be able to open a healing center and offer services for those that cannot afford it. I would love to make our life easier by being able to hire people to do some weekly things like repairs, cleaning, pool maintenance and lawn mowing. I would love to be financially secure to travel. All of this would include helping others out anonymously when I know they needed it.

My picture of money was so messed up as a child. I remember the struggle when we were cold, hungry and fighting to survive. Buying groceries for my family, not having enough money to buy clothes were the norm. I remember going hungry in college to filing bankruptcy and starting over again in life. Life has been a mess for me financially.

I'm making progress toward abundance but I have all these fears and misconceptions. May I continue to learn how to accept "GOOD" and "ABUNDANCE" into my life. Let me realize my fears about all these things and remember, I am on this earth for a reason with a lot to accomplish.

Other Suggested Reading:
1) The Abundance Book by John Randolph Price

2) Do What You Love, The Money Will Follow by Marsha Sinetar

3) Open Your Mind To Prosperity by Catherine Ponder

(Above Picture taken on (c) 09/09/10)

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Friday, September 24, 2010

Stop! Change My Thoughts

Stop! Change my thoughts! Oh how that seems so much easier to say than it is to do. Of course, I realize that these traumatic moments I have been through, get locked in a loop that plays over and over in my mind.

So much of this has become biological that it has forged new neural pathways in my brain. However the more I can become aware of the times I am traveling down the same neural pathway, the more chance I have of forging a different path.

If I continue to travel these old pathways, I am reinforcing them each time. Yes, I know how difficult it is to reverse course. Some times, it feels like trying to paddle the titanic with the oars of a rowboat.

Again, I can just say STOP, when I notice that I am playing these old messages in my brain. I then can make a choice whether to allow myself to continue or give myself an option of something new.

Even if I try this a million times and I am not successful, I can remind myself that I have not failed. Sometimes, it takes many whacks on the overgrown brush trail to find our path so we can place our feet on the next step of our life.

(Above Picture taken at the Lighthouse, Ponce Inlet, FL - (c) 09/14/10)

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Thursday, September 23, 2010

Phantom Smells Of Trauma, Onions

“I afraid they will find out”

“I’m afraid they will come after me”

“I’ve been threatened before,” I exclaimed! How dare you tell me this isn’t real? It feels more real than me breathing air at this point. It feels more real than life itself and yet, I’m being told, it isn’t real. Oh come on, how am I supposed to believe that? How can I even begin to accept that? I feel the fear within me. I feel the trembling inside. My body wants to hide. And yet, I’m being told that I am safe and I am okay?

Those thoughts and words were going through my mind yesterday as I had a session with Dr. Canali. My body felt overwhelmed by life and where I thought my pain was originating was really not where it was located. Here for the past week or so, I’ve been feeling pain in my shoulder, my hips and my back. I managed to release much of it on my own but the feelings, the fear, and the emotions were still locked within me. While I wanted to dismiss this and hope it would go away, deep down I knew that this would not happen.

Fear has ruled my life even though I’ve tried to ignore it, minimize it, and run from it. Life knows I’m good at covering things up and running from them. I have gotten so good at this that I cannot even tell when I’m doing it. I’m amazed at how we as humans can live in fear and completely ignore it or act like we are complete strangers.

The session didn’t feel like I had really accomplished much. It was a struggle to just allow myself to trust another person, especially their touch. I could tell at points during the session, my body did come down, let go and relax. Yet, I felt agitated and distant. I felt like I was almost just not present. It was almost like I was floating somewhere in space apart from a physical location although I knew I was there. Going into the night, I felt very out of it. I didn’t feel centered and grounded. I didn’t feel like I was in a place where I wanted to be.

All the way home, I smelled onions. It didn’t matter if I was in the car or I had the windows rolled down or in the hotel room. I just continued to smell onions. The more I smelled the onions, the more I felt angry and agitated. Feeling overwhelmed, I felt almost as if this would just never end. To this day, the slightest smell of onion brings out a nanosecond response by me with anger and disgust and leaves me feeling nauseated. I used to love onions but I can’t stand the smell or sight of them. Eating them will make me violently sick to my stomach. Why? I have no idea! I wish I knew. And somehow, I’ve got a feeling that smelling the onions is somehow connected to the specific work in the stomach that I was doing yesterday in the session with Dr. Canali.

While I didn’t realize my stomach had been in as much pain as it had been in, when I got on the table, it felt like a big lump deep inside. It was painful. It was intensely painful. The slightest touch almost brought me to my knees in tears. I felt an intense sadness there and when I say intense, I mean a very strong feeling. In the sadness, I felt fear. While these things surprised me that they were there, I knew I had touched these feelings and points before. I remember the big black ball of goo that I once came up against in a session from a few years ago. Maybe this is all connected?

Before going to the session, my stomach was physically expanded from my body. It was like I had gained 30 pounds in the past week although I knew that was not the case. My pants felt very tight on me around the waist that morning. I did not even need a belt as my pants are normally a loose on me. When I got home, I noticed that I needed a belt. The tightness around my waist was no longer there. It physically changed in the session. Eating supper last night was much easier than it had been. Lately, I had struggled to eat anything and was resorting to junk food. Whatever we touched in this session really caused a big change in me physical. While I’m not sure what that is, it is helpful to at least see this physical change was possible.

I wish all of this was in clear view and something I could understand. It is not clear at this point. For now, all I can do is stay with all that is going on within me and realize that most likely I have much processing that is taking place within me. It is not a fun place to be and is a little difficult to keep the faith, so to speak. However, I know that I have been in these moments before and I manage to find a way through them. That is all I have to hold on to at the moment. The rest will work itself out, if I don’t stop the process with fears coming up within me. It is not so much about what I could do in this situation as it is about me allowing things to process and change. It is about me allowing myself to go into the fear and let it go. It is about me allowing my thoughts from the old tapes to be replaced. In my allowing, I know I will find peace, comfort and healing.

(Above Picture taken at South Beach, FL - (c) 09/11/10)

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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Trauma Recovery: Self Sabotage

As a Trauma Survivor - Things I Struggle With:

1) Hips and legs still don't move freely
2) It's hard for me to realize people like and love me
3) Too often I see my life as a struggle
4) I focus more on what I don't have, than on what I do have
5) I convince myself that I am not good enough
6) I'm afraid I will fail at anything I do
7) Often I feel I don't fit in with the world
8) It is difficult to see that things will get better
9) Do I have the determination and courage I need

It is amazing when I begin to think about the good things coming my way in life, how I sabotage everything. These are deep rooted and long held concepts that have cemented themselves into my mind. While I wish that I would not believe these things, I know deep down that I do worship these thoughts.

When it states in the Ten Commandments of the Bible, "Thou shall not have any other Gods before me," maybe what is truly meant is different than we've been taught. Yes, I know the church teaches that this is all about worshiping idols. What if it had a focus on my inner being or inner spirit, which this is the God that I must worship? It is the God within me. Allowing the fears to rule my life would mean that I am allowing other Gods before me. My awareness is the God within me. Perhaps the passage from the Ten Commandments refers to honoring and respecting the spirit and awareness within my body or the power I have within myself.

It is too easy for me to wander through life discounting so much about myself. Other people I know are able to see things within me, that I exclaim to myself, "I'm not good enough!" Where I see a lack of self confidence, others see in me, strength and determination. Even though I see my life as a struggle, the universe and the angels see my life as unfolding in the manner it is meant to happen. When I focus on not being good enough to accomplish a task, others already know I have the ability to get it done!

Even as I write these words and struggle to let these things go in my life, I hear the voices in the back of my head saying, "who are you kidding?" "Do you really think you can change?" I try to tune the voices out but they continue to talk with gusto and strength.

Then I realize that the voices or the old tapes I hear are nothing but fears. They are the fears that haunt me day and night. They are the fears that paralyze me while holding me back from action. I recognize each one of them. There is not a one of them that is unfamiliar.

I have no idea how to let go and release these long held fears of my life. I desire freedom from the things I struggle with in my life. I no longer wish them to be my king, yet I give them the power. It would be a joyous moment in my life if I could see myself as the angels and others see me.

The only thing I know to do in order to move past this, is acknowledge that all of these struggles and fears I have in my life are a part of who I am. Each one has made me who I am. Each fear and struggle has brought me to this one moment in time. It is now my choice to continue holding them fast in my arms or releasing them to the angels to be transformed and transmuted.

The question I leave for myself is "what will be my choice?" Will I allow myself to tap into my courage and strength to let these things go? Will I allow myself to part company with something that feels like a major part of who I am?

Of course I am the only one that can answer these questions for my life. I am the only one that can choose to let go of these parts of my life. Ultimately, I am the only one that can allow all of this to unfold in the space and time that it does, being patient and understanding with myself. It is up to me to fully love and accept myself just as I am in this current moment. The rest will work itself out when I'm ready to travel down the rabbit hole of life.

Note: After reading Chapter 2 (Gifts) in the book "Walking Through Illusion" by Betsy Otter Thompson, I was inspired in my own thoughts, which led to many of the things that I wrote today in my morning meditation. On page 23, the quote she wrote had a strong impact upon me. "Disappointment comes from thinking that life should be different. Enjoyment comes from thinking that life is wonderful the way it is."

(Above Picture taken at home in my backyard, FL - (c) 09/14/10)

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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Highlights Of Our Life

Have you ever sat down and listed the highlights of your life? If you have not done this, it may be an exercise that you wish to do. In many ways, doing this helps you really see things that you might easily forget or minimize. Especially if you are going through a difficult time in your life, this can help even up the balance scale.

You don't have to make the exercise elaborate. Just find a quiet place and begin listing on a piece of paper, the highlights of your life. While there may be some very negative moments, try to focus on the positive outcome of those times. Give yourself something to show that you really gained and learned from the experience.

When you get done, look back over your list and notice what you have recorded? Does it show much more than you thought it would? Is it different than what you often see your current life? Was this exercise difficult or were there very few things you could write down? Be honest with yourself in answering these questions and allow this exercise to help expand the awareness of your life.

If you want to see what I wrote, I'll share my life on here. I did this on the day of my birthday to mark that day in my life. Please note that I have included some links to various resources that help to mark each of these moments. The highlighted link on each specific word should be visible in the list.

1. Played the piano
2. Raised animals with love
3. Tried to be honest in everything I do
4. Been there for others
5. Created relaxing music from the heart
6. Painted mindful paintings
7. Faced the odds in life
8. Learned so much
9. Evolved in awareness
10. Came back from paralysis
11. Enjoyed the sunsets
12. Taken chances & risks
13. Came back from nothing
14. Writing for a blog
15. Writing for a newsletter
16. Learned to cook creatively
17. Changed and adapted
18. Learned new computer skills
19. Learned massage & became licensed
20. Awakened to my true calling
21. Appreciated nature
22. Learned to love someone
23. Learned to accept myself
24. Dealing with anger
25. Rid the daily headaches, migraines
26. No more nervous stomachs
27. Found my memory again
28. Went through anxiety
29. Went through depression
30. Survived suicide
31. I am a highly sensitive person
32. Connecting with angels
33. Church no longer rules me
34. Conquered many fears
35. Loved some cats
36. Held my life out as a light for others
37. Came back from losing it all
38. Sponsored two children (Children Intl)
39. Made some wonderful friends
40. See more possibility than despair
41. Recognize my short comings
42. Allow myself to make mistakes
43. Recognizing my strengths
44. Faced my courage inside
45. Trusted my instincts
46. Lived in a big city
47. Allowed myself to love who I want
48. Learned I can do more than I realize
49. Changed so much in life
50. I can make it without family
51. I’m compassionate
52. I see through the lies
53. I’ve learned to love life
54. Learned to enjoy life
55. Writing a book
56. Pulse rate dropped from 99
57. Healed from itching

As you can see from my list, there are many different aspects of my life. Many of these things were difficult to go through when they took place, but looking back now, I get to see an entirely different perspective. Sometimes we do need to focus on the negative in our lives because that is where we are at. Sometimes we need to kick and scream and yell because that is the power that moves us forward. It is in these times, that we truly find ourselves. With these allowing ourselves to kick and scream, we would miss an important part of our healing.

May you discover something new about yourself as you list the highlights of your own life. If this exercise gives you one glimpse of something you have not seen, than it was worth the time and effort. Let it be a window into your soul and a door to your future!

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Monday, September 20, 2010

Families Who Hate One Another

Recently I found out that my Aunt Mary died 11 days ago on September 7, 2010. Then as I was searching for her obituary, I found out my Uncle Duane had passed away in 2007. I did not know any of this until last night. It had been many years since I talked with my Aunt and not since all the family crap erupted back in 1991. Right now, tears fill my eyes because of not only the loss but the connections to pain within the family that it brings up.

It is sad that through a second hand person, my younger brother and I just found out 11 days after this happened. I cannot piece together in my mind just how much hate keeps someone in my immediate family from letting other family members know someone has died. This is too much for my mind to comprehend. It is too much hate.

I so badly wish I could have talked to them one last time and asked them questions that carry secrets of a life time. I doubt I'll ever find some of the answers to the questions I have in my mind but it would have been nice. Both my aunt and uncle were always nice and treated us nicely. I only hope that I can still connect with some of my cousins and my other Aunt before it is too late. If any of you are reading this, I would like to exchange hellos.

I remember many times how my Aunt and Uncle would drive down for an afternoon visit and often we would go up to their house for Thanksgiving. I remember the big pool table down in the basement of their house and the TV blaring with whatever football game was on. I remember spending a 4th of July with them watching fireworks.

Duane Earl Kammerdiner
June 17, 1927 to Oct 3, 2007
Memorial Site

Mary Belle (Haynes) Kammerdiner
July 15, 1928 to Sep 7, 2010

There is one important thing that I remember from my Aunt and that is the picture that is posted at the top of this entry, the red bull. While it may seem like just a stuffed animal, I felt so happy the day she gave it to me. I think it was one of my cousin's stuffed animals but I can't remember which one. My dad of course did not like the fact that she gave this stuffed animal to me as he thought it was childish or whatever else went through his pitiful mind. Anyway, I took it home and had to hide it because if he found it, he would have taken it away and destroyed it. It has remained tucked away into a box in my closet to this day, safe and sound.

But the more important part here is the sadness I feel for my family. There is so much hate and secrets that have permeated every aspect of not only my immediate family but of those that I am related to. I so badly wish I could wave a magic wand and wake up from this nightmare I have lived through. I keep thinking that one day, I will wake up and realize this has been a bad dream. It would have been a very long bad dream though.

I still remember when my Dad would cuss and swear that we were always going to love each other as a family no matter what. Of course, the things he did to tear the family to shreds did anything but keep us together. He of course will most likely never admit to these things and neither will my older brother. If they ever do, I will probably die of a heart attack from shock!

Today, I have no idea how a family is supposed to be or how they work. I barely know those that I share the same name with or a common blood line with. We are related but yet we are strangers. Most of the time, I feel like we are a million light years apart. All because, our family was so messed up and the horrors we faced robbed us of normal elements in life.

I'm not only sad and full of grief today but I'm angry at what I've had to deal with in my own family. It would be nice to find a way that carries me past all of this but I know that without the biological connection, it leaves a gaping hole in one's life. Sure, you can do all kinds of things and connect with all kinds of friends, but there is still that gaping hole. That biological connection is a stronger bond than anything we know in this world.

While I realize I'm not the only one that has endured toxic family situations, I feel some days like I have been given more than I can possibly endure. All of this almost brought me to my own death with the paralysis several years ago and I've had to climb up the steepest side of the mountain to find my way back out of the hole.

Families can be so hateful and cruel to one another. It all comes from what we are shown and given from the moment we are born. If we are given love, than it is love we are filled with. If we are shown hate and evil, than we are born into a world of turmoil and pain. It isn't easy to come through or heal from either and some times it is tougher than anything I have ever faced in my life.

So today, I honor the lives of my Aunt Mary and Uncle Duane who were bright spots in my days as a kid growing up. I will never get to say goodbye to them but I will say goodbye in my heart and in my mind. Today, while I reconnect with the grief, the pain, and the tears of all I have endured in my life, I will hold the stuffed animal as a sign that there is still love in this world. I have very few of these treasures that remain so I cherish each one.

Is it too late to see a family heal and admit to what was done? I don't honestly know. Right now, I see no possible way of that ever happening. I just see a family who hates one another and hides the secrets and the skeletons of life in a closet.

Maybe all of this will become my own motivation to completely rid myself of the influences of evil that I was controlled and manipulated by. Maybe out of my own life, there will come great positives that will help others. I can hope with possibility that amazing things can happen.

*Read other articles on Mind Body Thoughts Blog

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Connecting With Our Body

I am always amazed at how much stress and tension we store in our bodies. All too often, we do not even recognize this. Sometimes what we sense in our bodies is far less than what is actually going on. We do this because we have not learned that it is okay to connect with all parts of our body.

Past issues, current issues and a hurried pace in our life, dull the senses. As humans, we do not take time to connect with our bodies. We often inhabit our body but most of the time we truly don't live within our bodies. Many times, we do not even notice the pain that is clamoring for our attention.

If we feel the pain we are experiencing, we tend to ignore it, find some way to take it away or seek out someone that can give a plausible explanation as to why the pain exists. The part that we often miss though, is going into the pain. By going into the pain, it means we need to actually slow down and notice everything that we can about the pain. While that may sound strange, or frightening, it is the way to really travel to the root of the pain.

I can recall so many people that I have worked on as a massage therapist and I can easily see how little most were truly connecting with their body. Sure, they might have noticed a tense muscle, a painful back or a stiff neck. They might have had a long list of conditions that a doctor was treating them for complete with their own line of medications. Just knowing you are in pain or that you have some stated condition will not necessarily bring resolution to your soul.

Because of fear, upbringing, and being misled by advertising, most humans today do not understand just how much can be done within themselves to bring about true healing. To often, we give up the power to various products and others in our society that we convince ourselves that these things offer us true healing. Fear is a very gifted illusionist that can trick us into believing things that otherwise we would not normally consider. Our goal in life is to challenge those fears and to become more aware of ourselves that will lead us to a greater consciousness of our self. To just allow our self to continue being willfully led along in life, it will keep us stuck in the same loop that repeats day after day and year after year.

The other day, my pulse was high and my shoulder, neck and back were tense and painful. My hip was feeling like it was not lined up and so walking was a challenge because of the pain. Of course, the easy thing for me to do was to blame it on all my hours sitting at a computer. While that would have been a convenient excuse, I knew that the tension and stress were building up for a reason. The anger level was rising within my body. My body was sending me messages to get my attention.

Instead of reaching for some type of pain pill, muscle relaxant or running to an alternative healer, I stopped and listened to my body. By doing this, I then could see that if I did some release work connecting with my body (SEE POST on TRAUMA: RELEASE ANGER IN THE POOL), that physical changes were almost instantaneous. It did not take much to drop my pulse rate down and to free my body of pain.

All this happened because I stopped and went into the pain. There is no story of course that came out with the release because it was not necessary. Just allowing myself to connect with my body and going into the fears was all that I needed to do. It was that difficult. It was that simple.

In our society, we have been sold a bill of goods that we need all of these medical procedures, prescriptions and healing methods to function in life. While some of these things may be necessary at times, we often forget or we don't recognize, that the power to heal ourselves comes from within us. It does not come from outside sources. Sure, there are people that can help us in our healing discovery, but ultimately we have to connect with our bodies to heal ourselves. We all know this deep down in our soul, but we have succumbed to the fears that society has led us to believe.

We can do so much for our bodies if we allow it in our lives. If we hold fast that none of this is possible, then I will assure you that you will find this to be true in your life. However, if you challenge yourself and connect with your body, the potential for great things does exist. It is up to each one of us as humans whether we just inhabit our bodies or we learn to truly live within our bodies. The miracle of life is to become more aware and conscious of our body, not to run away from it in fear.

(Above Picture taken at Daytona Beach, FL - (c) 12/21/04)

*Read other articles on Mind Body Thoughts Blog

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Health Benefits of Mindfulness

Ruth Buczynski, President of NICABM, wrote on her blog that there is a teleseminar series coming up beginning September 22, 2010.

The topic of this series is "The Health Benefits Of Mindfulness". For more information and free registration, click here on her blog . You can also click on the image to the left which takes you to a YouTube video about the teleseminar series.

I've participated in some of her previous events and found them to be very informative and helpful. It looks like this one has some excellent speakers and great topics.

Some of the speakers include:

Daniel Siegel, MD. - The Mindful Therapist
* Why mindfulness can make health and mental health practitioners more effective
* How quantum theory could revolutionize therapeutic possibilities
* How the development of trust leads to brain growth
* How mindfulness can facilitate neural integration

Tara Brach, PhD. - The Mindful Path to Radical Acceptance
* The trance of unworthiness revisited
* The role of intention in healing
* Antidotes for Inadequacy: Finding presence through RAIN
* A mindful approach to fear
* The contraindications of mindfulness in working with traumatic fear
* The three gateways to a fearlessness
* The essential process of healing from a buddhist perspective

Rick Hanson, PhD. - Neurodharma: How to Train the Brain Toward Mindfulness
* The neuroscience of mindfulness
* 5 Essential inner skills for psychotherapists
* The neural benefits of meditation
* How cultivating equanimity can enhance the treatment of trauma
* How mindfulness can overcome evolution's paranoid trance and increase feelings of safety
* The two wings of psychological growth and contemplative practice

Sylvia Boorstein, PhD - A Path to Happiness:
* How to help your patients quiet the mind and lower anxiety
* Restoring the mind to balance after disruptive events
* Working with difficult mind states
* A buddhist approach to meeting life's changes
* A realistic path to wisdom and compassion

Ronald Siegel, Psy.D - Harnessing Mindfulness: Fitting Practice to Person
* Mindfulness: Why all the interest now?
* Crafting mindfulness practices to fit the needs of different people
* Introducing mindfulness to individuals with diverse beliefs and backgrounds
* The common mechanism beneath almost all psychological disorders
* Tackling resistance: the heart of mindfulness-oriented treatment
* Starting with safety — then turning toward the sharp points
* Modifying practices for anxiety, depression, and other difficulties

Elisha Goldstein, PhD - A Practical Approach to Mindfully Reducing Stress
* How Mindfulness is Being Used as an Antidote to Stress in the Workplace
* How to Navigate Mind Traps Using Mindfulness
* Why Focused Attention May Be the Key to Stress Reduction
* The Great Unnamed Epidemic: Lack of Self-Compassion
* How to Use Mindfulness to Calm Anxiety and Eliminate Stress
* How to Incorporate Mindfulness into Personal Coaching

*Read other articles on Mind Body Thoughts Blog

Friday, September 17, 2010

Book Review: Touched By Angels

A couple of weeks ago, I was wandering through the library and the book, Touched By Angels, by Eileen Elias Freeman sort of found me. Really, it did! Actually, I was just wandering and browsing and out of a stack of books, this one popped out and caught my attention. Of course lately, I've been having many experiences that are angel related so my interest in peaked in this right now.

While I'm glad I read the book and I enjoyed it overall, there were parts of it that I could have done without. I'm sure the author had the best of intentions but at times I felt like her own belief system was what was writing the book. I guess, for a subject like this, that is to be expected at some level. However, there were times, especially at the end of the book where I felt beliefs were more the motivating factor behind the writing than true experience. It is hard to say, because she does lay out a compelling line of reasoning for what she writes. Regardless, I found my inner self questioning a few things at the end.

One of the things that I do not understand is how people who are mediums have trouble with people who sense angels. And people who sense angels struggle with people who are mediums. Now, I've heard from both sides how the other really doesn't exist or they don't think they do and that bothers me. I'm one that has happened to have seen both sides and I know one other friend that sees both sides, mediums and angel people. If you're a medium and you say that you don't believe people can communicate with angels, that doesn't fit in my life's experiences. If you are an angel person and claim that mediums are not necessary or really don't fit into life, than that too does not fit into my experiences. I'm more concerned though with how these two groups seem to focus on each other in this way. It doesn't make sense but then if you hold on to a set paradigm of belief, than it at least explains some of it.

Another part of the book that I have difficulty with is when the author starts talking about fear in a bad way. Fear is not something any of us enjoy and we usually run away from it. To make it out to be a bad thing though is simply inaccurate and there were several references to this concept in the book. Fear is in our lives to give us guidance and to help us go deeper into our own awareness, healing and consciousness. Without fear, many humans would just exist instead of pushing themselves forward. Fear has its place in our life but if we become overwhelmed by it to the point where we act as if it is a bad thing, than fear is controlling your life more than you realize. That is not healthy! I realize, that this concept is hard for many to understand but fear is in our life for a reason and the more we discover why it is there, the more conscious and aware we are as humans.

I do want to share some positive parts of the book because there were many and I don't wish to give the impression that I thought it was a bad book. I just disagree with the author in some of these areas and again, this comes from my own experience. I have not only witnessed these things personally that I talk about in myself but I have seen strong evidence of them in many others.

The stories of the people who have had lives touched by angels, now that is something to really celebrate in this book. The only thing is, I wish there would have been far more stories. In fact, I thought there was going to be so I was disappointed that there were not more of them. The stories are what made the book because it isn't beliefs or concepts that are being told. It is just the experiences of these people in real life.

These stories really touched my life in a positive way and some of them seemed very familiar. I was struck in just how simple but profound, the experiences happened. The stories were varied but it was very clear that they had been visited by an angel. The stories were touching and heart warming and if you want to know more, you'll have to read the book because I'm not going to give that away in this review.

There was some interesting information at the beginning of the book on the concept of angels including their purpose and how they looked, appeared or are around us. I found that interesting and am not totally sure where the author derived all that information. Some of it was different than what I had heard at other times but I will of course file this information in my brain and see how it matches up to other things I read and experience.

Overall, I'm glad I read this book and it was an easy read. I enjoyed reading it very much. The best parts were the stories. The worst parts, were the beliefs that got interjected into it. If you are interested in angels, I would strongly encourage you to read this book and of course form your own opinions. Many of these things are not something that any of us truly know. Very few people can describe without a doubt everything there is to know about angels.

I myself have had many experiences with angels and I talk to them daily. I'm really not too worried how others would evaluate my experiences because I know they are what they are. There have been times my angels have helped me through some very difficult moments and there are other times that I just feel their presence and know they are around me. I do feel so peaceful and calm and uplifted when their presence has been known to me.

*Read other articles on Mind Body Thoughts Blog

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Trauma: Release Anger In The Pool

For those people that have been dealt a heavy hand of trauma in their lives, anger is one of the recurring nightmares that they must face. Even with much therapy, there is always that residual anger that keeps coming up. While you can make significant progress in learning to deal with anger and finding ways to release anger, it still shows up.

All too often in our lives, as victims of trauma or child abuse, we were not allowed to show anger for what was happening to us. Even in traumatic moments, the energy is locked within us. The focus at those moments is on survival, not dealing with the feelings and emotions of anger. In the end, unless we deal with the anger that has locked itself deep within us, it will stay hidden below the surface. It is crucial that we find ways to discharge the energy of the anger stored within our bodies. If we do not do this, we will be met with many physical challenges and be as a ticking time bomb waiting to go off.

For a long time, I could not allow myself to get angry. My image of anger that I grew up with was an explosive father who just lashed out at the nearest person. During much of my life, I was so afraid of anger that I just held it in. Yes, if you are wondering, it did cause many physical problems from a nervous stomach, to shoulder, neck and back pain and in my case, paralysis. It took me a long time and a very safe place, with a very safe person who allowed me to go in and feel that anger. For some time, it was very difficult and scary and I needed much reassurance.

As time has passed, I have begun to release so much of the deep held anger within my body. It is the anger that is far below the surface and is not always easy to get in touch with. However, it affects me each and every day of my life in all that I do and all those that know me. M

I have gotten to a point where I can readily feel when the anger and stress levels are building up in me. If at that moment, I can begin to recognize these things and work through some of the surfacing anger, it will not nearly have the effect on me that it once did in my life. Of course, the fears that come up with this anger is that it will go to far and that I will lose control. I really have to honor those feelings and respect them so I allow myself to move through this in a safe manner.

Here is an exercise that I have used to help release anger by going to a swimming pool. This is an additional exercise that builds off of a previous blog post that I wrote (see Ways To Release Anger posted on 1/24/10).

Here's what to do:
Find a pool where you can have a little privacy and if you have one in your backyard, that is ideal.

As you begin to prepare yourself to do this exercise, begin focusing on the anger that you are feeling. Try to picture it completely in your mind and even talk about it or write about it if you can, even if this is just to yourself. Whatever works and makes you feel safe, allow yourself to really connect with that anger.

Now, go into the pool and find a level of water that is comfortable for you and where you can get solid footing. As you get your balance and footing in the water, begin to think about that which you are angry. At this point, you can either do the exercise mentioned above (Ways To Release Anger) or you can mix that in with this exercise. Whatever way feels right and works for you is the key.

So as you have your footing solid on the floor of the pool, begin to take your arm and make your hand into a fist, then start punching the water out. Use as much force as you can and really go deep and hard in to the water. Feel all of what is going on from the strength it takes to do this and the anger that you feel in your arm. Feel the pressure of the water pushing back as you punch the water. Continue to do this with one arm and then try it with the other arm. Feel free to alternate back and forth. Be creative in allowing yourself to connect with the anger. Remember, the water is not going to be hurt by you punching it. It is a safe way to release the anger.

Continue doing this until your body begins to feel exhausted and tired. You may be surprised at just how quickly this happens especially if you are really connecting to the anger and allowing that anger to exit through your arms. Before you get completely exhausted, find a comfortable, safe and inviting place to lie or sit down. Allow your body to feel everything that it is feeling from the exhaustion to the anger to the energy and excitement of what you just did. Allow your body to move or tremble or shake in any way that it may need to. Give yourself permission to cry or to scream out if that is what seems like the thing to do. You may even want to go and scream into the water if you're not in a place where you can do this safely. Just let everything come out and feel every bit of it. Notice all that is going on within your body.

Give yourself enough time to just rest and let your breathing and heart rate come down. Make sure you have plenty of time to just rest and relax because after you pushed your nervous system up into the anger phase, you need to give yourself the opposite side of it. It is the reward for going in and doing the hard work that you just did.

If you have a pulse meter, try to check it before you do this exercise and check it after. When I did it, my pulse went from a very high rate of around the 80-90's down to around 60 beats per minute. The more the drop, the more you really got in touch with your anger and released it. A pulse meter is a very good tool in helping you discern what really took place. And if by chance, you didn't get that great of a drop, don't worry - just try the exercise again. The more you connect with this, the more you will be able to impact your body in a very healthy way. Remember, you're not just releasing anger but you are having a positive impact on your physical, mental and emotional well being.

(Above Picture taken at our pool - (c) 09/07/10)

*Read other articles on Mind Body Thoughts Blog

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Report Child Abuse

Sometimes we do not see what is right before our eyes. Maybe it is because what we need to see is so horrible that it is easier to ignore it. Perhaps, what is before us does not fit into our view of the world. Of course, if we are not aware of what it is that we see, the images could be unrecognizable before our eyes.

I remember a scene in the movie, What The Bleep, when there was a person standing on the shore of the ocean looking outward. At first, she could not see anything in the distance. Then, she could not understand that which she saw. It was not until the Native American came along and touched her awareness that she then recognized and became conscious of the ships in the ocean. They had been there the entire time but until she became consciously aware of them, they were unknown dots on the horizon.

Recently, a friend of mine had a child who was approached by a man they knew. He made a statement that could sound innocent if you weren't paying attention. But if you allowed yourself a moment to think about it and become consciously aware, it would creep anyone out. Then, if you started adding in all the other unusual behavior that you had seen by this person, a picture would form. It would clearly show that this situation was not normal and the authorities needed to be contacted.

While this friend recognized these things as being unusual, they confronted the individual directly. Of course, he had an explanation that sounded almost plausible. Yet, it had many holes in it and just did not fully add up. The child was then instructed to stay clear of this house and as far as I know, the authorities were not contacted.

Yes, I do realize that nothing actually happened and the conversation between the man and the child could be analyzed in various ways. However, there were so many red flags that were showing up. Child molesters are crafty, cunning and sneaky. They know how to get children to do things that children would not otherwise do. Maybe the person will not pursue this child any further, but these type of people are skilled at finding their prey. They should never be underestimated and forgotten under any circumstances.

In addition, if my hunch is correct, then there is a chance that other children may be in danger. Of course, no one knows for sure because the authorities have not been contacted. Other children may be experiencing horrendous acts just because everyone is staying silent. We may not want to rock the boat and interfere with the lives of people we know. We may fear them or what could happen, so we remain silent.

If children are being harmed and we stay silent, than we are as much of the problem as the perps who get away with these things. This may sound harsh, but if we don't stand up for the children and expose these perps to the light of day, who will do this? Child abuse molesters know that silence is their greatest weapon outside of the shame that they inflict on their victims.

When I was a child, I went through horrendous abuse. While there is a chance that we hid these secrets deep within our family, I can't help but think that someone saw it and questioned it. Someone out there saw the red flags and did nothing. For whatever reason, everyone that knew us, stayed silent. Oh, how I wished someone would have stood up for me because there was no way I could stand up for myself. I was a small child that was overpowered by those that molested me. I feared for my life and was powerless against my father and older brother.

If you see something taking place or you see the red flags, do not sit silently. Confronting the potential perp is a good step but it may not be enough. Contact your local authorities. Who knows, there may be other similar things being reported and your piece of the story might just form the picture required to take action and save other children.

To sit back and do nothing is inexcusable. You have to follow your intuition that has noticed those red flags. To do anything less, is closing your eyes to your own awareness and consciousness. Remember child molesters know how to prey upon children. Please do not let these perps manipulate your thinking and throw you off the trail of evidence. Our children deserve our protection. They deserve to live life in freedom, not in silence and shame.

*Read other articles on Mind Body Thoughts Blog

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Spending Time In Nature

Spending time in nature is one of the ways I find my center in life. It is where I feel most grounded. Everything that I am connected to in this universe, I can touch by being in nature.

There is something so peaceful about watching squirrels run and play or observing the birds frolic. Hearing the chirps of the different birds is like a symphony. Each chirp is unique and special. Each one offers a conversation.

The wind and breeze come and go. From a still point to the feeling on your face, it is a refreshing breath of oxygen to me. I enjoy watching the tops of the trees gently move from the breeze as if they are giving themselves a massage.

Even the grass glistens with dew in the early morning hours. As the sun begins to wake the day, the drops of dew glisten with brightness. The grass reminds me of its grounding to the earth that remains day after day.

The plants themselves offer growth from the ground. They remind me that when we are grounded in our life, we will grow. With the nourishment of rain, we stretch toward the sky. In different colors, I am as unique to the world as each blade of grass.

The water lays still when there is no wind. Yet, it appears that it is always moving underneath. With each angle, the view changes. What may be deep, might appear shallow. What may appear shallow, might be deep. So to is life, where I learn each day about all the many depths I hold within myself.

From the clouds in the sky, to the fortitude of the trees, I feel a sense of calmness, inner peace, and overall tranquility. I feel like no matter what happens, everything will be alright, just from observing nature. Nature shows me that even in the chaos of life, there is order, a sense of purpose and a natural flow.

Nature is special and no two moments of observation are ever the same. One day to the next, offers such a variety that not even the world's greatest movie producer could match in creativity. Unfortunately, so many of us miss these moments in life. It is a gift given to us without charge. Moments in nature show us abundance if we do not allow ourselves to miss them.

As I'm learning in my own life, I need to stop and observe nature. When I do stop and take this all in, I find those peaceful minutes of insight. A vast world of information and personal exploration awaits. In these moments, I see all that life has to offer, not what it lacks. Observing nature is the largest reset button in life that we can tap at a moment's notice.

May I never forget to immerse myself into nature each day.

May I listen to the messages, and observe all that nature has to offer me.

May I truly sense what it means to live in the moment of now, just like each part of nature does each day.

May I just accept and allow all that nature has to offer as I find centering and grounding for my day.

(Above Picture taken at Tropical Park, Miami, FL - (c) 02/11/07)

*Read other articles on Mind Body Thoughts Blog

Monday, September 13, 2010

Accepting, Allowing, Embracing Our Life

So many things in life don't matter as much as we think they do. In the grand scheme of our day, they are but tiny dots on a time line of our life. We always tend to mold them and make them into the image we feel like we can live with. The only thing is that sometimes we miss the important stuff floating by us.

Life is about accepting all of it which includes the parts that may be difficult. In the moment of acceptance, we unite with all that is possible for our lives. To only allow part of these things into our lives makes us unstable and off balance. We need to embrace the two opposites in order to find our center.

Fighting these parts of us may be our journey of discovery, but it is not who we are. It takes precious energy and strength to constantly swim upstream or be on guard against all that is around us. Let us not discount the importance of these struggling moments, for they act as runway lights depicting our path ahead.

Learning how to allow and embrace all parts of ourselves, no matter how ugly they may appear, will bring us wholeness to our life. It will provide us with a sense of calmness and stability. It will help us discover our path ahead and bring answers to the questions we face. Our biggest concern should be, are we ready to allow ourselves to travel into the unknown and past the fear, so we will readily see the illumination in front of us?

Sunday, September 12, 2010

The Yellow Butterfly Angel

This is my journal recording of a dream I had this morning (9/4/10) about the yellow, butterfly angel. It is recorded as I wrote these things down. The flow of the words may be a little off, but I am typing this as I recorded it in my journal. The picture that is associated with this write up is what I painted this afternoon.

Just before my alarm went off this morning, I dreamed of a yellow butterfly flying around me. As I looked out a window that had a pasture of green grass over it, in my dream, the yellow butterfly continued to fly all around. It seemed to grow and take on the shape of an angel. When it stopped and landed, it stood upright. Its height was as least as tall as I was and it was looking directly at me.

The colors were magnificent. There were shades of yellow and almost like a red bow of ribbon wrapped around its mid-line area. The wings were unlike any thing I had ever seen. They were so rich, vivid and were full of so much depth. From various shades of yellow mixed in with reds, the image was so vibrant and full of energy. I felt protected, safe and comforted when I saw this. It was a very uplifting and positive image.

The image is unusually clear in my mind as I write this. It only came to me in my dreaming just before my alarm went off or so it seems. I am recording these moments right after waking up to make sure I do not forget any of the detail.

To me, this dream is significant, because lately I've felt the presence of an angel through a beautiful and gorgeous yellow butterfly that has visited me during my meditation times. I rarely see it any other time and it does not always appear.

There is no way I can easily describe this, but I get the sense it is an angel appearing to me much like the dream I had this morning. When I see the butterfly flying around, which again is rare, it is at the moments I've been asking questions in my mind or I just need to know I'm not alone.

I'm not going to try and analyze if this dream is real or just a symbol. The way I can still picture the vivid image in my mind after waking up is unusual for me. The sense of comfort and peace I feel is very much around me. In my mind, I know what I sensed and that's good enough for me.

Of all colors, yellow is one of my favorites but I've never seen these shades of yellow before that I saw in the image this morning. This yellow was so vibrant and so multidimensional. It matches the butterfly that I've been noticing lately. In addition to this, I was able to immediately record my thoughts.

As I record this, I feel a sense of peace, comfort and calmness coming over me. It is like everything I asked about lately is going to be okay. I can feel the lightness of my breathing almost as if I am peaceful, comforted and taken care of. The world around me looks so peaceful and calm right now. I feel that within my body, the tension in my neck, shoulders and back just let go.

The final part of the image from this morning was in the midst of the pasture of green grass where the angel stood, there was a tree growing. It was of medium height but so full of leaves and branches. It seemed to depict keeping myself grounded into the earth as well as showing me that I have so much courage and strength within myself.

Picture taken of the painting, The Yellow Butterfly Angel (c) 09/04/10

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Change & Fears

What scares us most about change is the point where we will find the answers to the questions we ask. For it is in the fear we harbor, that we hold ourselves back. May we have the courage to identify the fear so that we may allow it, rather than run from it.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Freedom From Pain

It is so easy it seems to resist things in life. While resistance sounds difficult, it is by far something we do frequently as humans. This may be through our thoughts, our bodies and even in our spiritual growth and overall learning in our lives. We do this without notice and we do this without giving it much thought.

When we resist, we can see evidence of it in the body. Many people would describe the resistance as tight, tense or painful areas in the body. It may show up through physical illness, unexplained medical conditions or common things like headaches, flu, colds. It may be one of the many symptoms drug companies use to increase their profits. Resistance as I found out in my own personal life may even be itching and rashes. We all know to some degree the things where we hold resistance in our own bodies. Sometimes we are more aware and conscious of these things. At other times, we are disconnected from these parts of our life.

At one time, I would get migraine headaches, stomach problems such as a nervous stomach, and tense muscles. These things would attack me as if there was no tomorrow. During these times, I would visit the doctor looking for help to get me out of pain. They would prescribe Imitrex for the headaches, Tagamet for the nervous stomach or give me muscle relaxers, all in an attempt to help heal my pains. At least at the time, I thought this was the only way a person could take care of themselves. I thought this was what health care was all about and staying healthy.

I went through some very difficult moments in life suffering from these conditions. Each time they would occur, I would question myself, as to why they were showing up. It took me many years to begin realizing and learning that the true source of my pain was resistance. Of course, the resistance was often cloaked in fear to throw me off the trail and confuse me. Fear, as I have learned, is much more powerful than we often allow ourselves to understand.

Once I began to learn that much of the pain I experienced in life was resistance, my life began to change. These things that I suffered from became messages that my body was giving me. They were helping me to change, evolve and grow as a human. They were helping me to consciously grow in my own awareness. It wasn't just about the pain that I was encountering at that moment in my life. Without the pain, my knowledge of so much in life would have been limited. My growth and evolution would have been limited.

If you're overwhelmed in life, all you really want is for someone to give you answers and take you out of pain. You want the magic solution in life that will do this.
In those moments of pain and suffering, not much else matters. There is a health care industry in existence today that works to take us away from the pain. In fact, there are many new age, alternative therapies out there that attempt to do this as well.

Reaching for the pill bottles or hanging by every word a doctor or new age guru tells you, most likely will do nothing for you in the long term. Yes, it may make you temporarily feel good, but it is a short term fix that is nothing more than an illusion. It will rob you blind while leaving you smiling that something something was actually done.

The suffering and pain we experience are there for a reason. They are messages given to us by our bodies to help us. Masking them, avoiding them or hoping they will go away is a false prophet selling false illusions of magic and snake oil.

Resistance is not allowing these messages into our awareness and consciousness. Whatever they may be, there is some reason they are showing up. There is some fear that is present in our minds. Only we know as individuals what our bodies and minds are trying to tell us. While resistance may be one way we deal with things in our life, it will not solve our problems. It will not make our pain go away.

We must go into the pain if we wish to let go. The answers we need are within us. While others may help support and guide our way to discovery, it is up to us to stop resisting. It is up to us to consciously choose to allow these pains to exist. We are the explorers of our own body and we are the ones that will discover our own truths.

For when we allow our pain and suffering, it is at that point we are reclaiming our power. We are overcoming the fear that is present and we are truly healing ourselves. By going into these pains, we are evolving in conscious awareness connecting to our minds and bodies. It is there that we will find freedom from our pain and our suffering. It is all up to us and how much we allow this to happen. The power to do this resides within ourselves and if we tap into it, the limits of what we can do for our lives is beyond any limits known to man.

(Above Picture taken of Space Shuttle Launch - (c) 08/08/07)

*Read other articles on Mind Body Thoughts Blog

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Highly Sensitive People and Angels

Reading the book, The Highly Sensitive Person, by Elaine N. Aron, I found a section that really hit home to me. There are many facets to people who are highly sensitive and this section I'm quoting here is just one part of what highly sensitive people are about.

"Some of you are wondering when I will talk about your own most significant spiritual experiences -- of visions, voices, or miracles, and of intimate personal relationships with God, angels, saints, or spirit guides." (page 224)

She goes on to state that people who are highly sensitive (HSP = Highly Sensitive Person) often have these spiritual experiences in abundance. While receptivity to these events seems to open up at different times in a person's life, HSP's are very open to these experiences. They sense things differently than most people and HSP's are just aware of things that most people do not even pick up on.

In the book, she goes on to share some specific, real life examples of how other HSP's have noticed these things and the experiences they have had. The book is worth reading especially if you are an HSP. It will help you realize that some of these things that you shun in life are actually blessings and gifts to your life. You will see that you aren't alone and if you are a very sensitive person, than this book will have an impact on your life. Being a highly sensitive person is much more than just being an emotional person that struggles to deal with all the energies around you in any given day. Our society often does not understand that being a highly sensitive person is a good thing and helps to balance out our society.

For a long time, I thought being highly sensitive was a curse. I knew I picked up on so much that often I was overwhelmed by so much in life. I would avoid people and crowd and usually I was very shy and kept to myself. In many ways, I still do that but I have learned more, how to be in the world, but not necessarily be overwhelmed by it. Although, I still do get overwhelmed from time to time.

Before I read this book, I was already learning that it was okay to be a highly sensitive person. I was learning that these parts of me that I had cursed all my life were actually blessings in how I would help others heal areas of their life. It took me a long time to understand any of that and see it as anything but a curse.

The book helped me understand that there were many others out there and that it was okay to be a highly sensitive person. While I'm not sure it shed much light for me, just knowing that I'm not alone, made a difference. The part at the end of the book that I quoted above was the most inspiring part to me. I've known for years that I pick up subtle energies and I know my angels are around me. What I didn't know was that this is normal for an HSP. It just helps reading that section above. It has made a big difference for me to know this.

*Read other articles on Mind Body Thoughts Blog


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