Fear & Limitation

“Hang on tight… You never know what might happen if you let go” …. Brian Andreas
What are you afraid of…? I mean what REALLY scares you? You can’t count anything you might worry could happen to a loved one… this one is just about you and only you. Have you ever really thought about it or ask someone you’re close to about theirs? You may be surprised at the answer.
Each year I try to pick something that “scares the hell out of me” and I do it anyway. I’m never short on subject matter! Although this may conjure up visions of possibly jumping out of an airplane 2500 ft. above the ground, many of my own, personal roadblocks have tended to revolve much more around that “P”-word most of us are likely more intimately acquainted with than we’d like…. “procrastination”. Having experienced both of the above types of fear numerous times, I found the fear of not meeting expectations… mine or someone else’s… MUCH more frightening than sky-diving!
I eventually came to understand just how much of a limitation FEAR plays in our lives… right down to the small, seemingly insignificant ones. There seems to be a lot of confusion about what its true purpose really is. Despite its intended design which is to keep us alive, it’s been heavily over-used….
On a trip I took to Yelapa, Mx. A few years ago for a yearly sacred, women’s retreat I have been participating in, I was particularly aware and often amazed at the amount of fear I witnessed in many of the participants. This is a very small, fishing village that can’t be accessed except by boat. Although quite comfortable, our rooms or palapas were made of thatched palm leaves for the roofs and had no walls or glass windows… quite rustic & open to the jungle life except for mosquito netting around our beds..
For someone like myself, who feels most at home in nature and the trees, going to sleep each night to the sounds of the secadas and other vibrating insects, in unison with the rhythm of the waves lapping against the rocks on the beaches only yards away, always sing to my strong shamanic connection to the earth. Waking up each morning to the sounds of the jungle and the songbirds coming to life again to start a new day absolutely fills me with gratitude for the gift that it all truly is. That’s MY perspective anyway…
The first day begins with a quick overview of some interesting local facts about the indigenous culture there and a few cautionary suggestions for avoiding bites or stings from some of the critters that call the area home, one being scorpions. The point is always made though, that the actual incidences of this happening are pretty small as long as they know to be aware.
Out of the 10 women who came on this particular trip to experience the adventure and connection outside their normal comfort zone, many were very nervous about the scorpions and other wildlife, some were afraid of what might be in the water or climbing out of a small boat in choppy water, etc. but the one who stood out the most was a woman who was petrified of heights & trees!
Of all the palapas, she was assigned the one with the best view at the edge of a beautiful canyon and right in front of an ancient, enormous banyan tree. I could feel the energy coming from it as I stood there gazing in admiration and feeling a little envious of her good-fortune at being able to sleep there.
The next morning, as we all gathered for breakfast, I was surprised to see this same woman walk through the kitchen door, her puffy, red eyes belying the fact she hadn’t slept a wink all night. We agreed that a healing session might be in order and later that day as we began working in energy, she explained to me that she had always had a deep-seated fear of trees along with a lengthy list of other phobias. We eventually uncovered the reason for her fear of trees, which she explained was based on the worry they could fall over on her.
She spoke about being raised in a military family, the oldest of four kids. Their lifestyle required frequent moves which meant she had to continually uproot her life, leave her friends behind and begin again…over and over.
Because emotional expression was neither modeled nor encouraged by her stoic parents, her normal feelings over all this went unaddressed. As the oldest, she just naturally assumed the responsibility of watching out for her younger siblings, which left her with little time for her own self-nurturing.
As I worked on her, I suddenly felt and saw the connection. “It’s not the tree you’re afraid of.” I told her. “It’s the fear that the “roots” will give way and it will topple.” That was where her fear of it falling came from! “Roots” are what she never could seem to hold onto throughout her childhood & even at times in her adult life as well. Never being able to stay in one spot long enough to feel safe and connected had taken its toll. We worked together to release that belief and incorrect fear which in turn gave her new insight.
The next morning she walked with a smile on her face and a much different and more empowered look and attitude. She said she was amazed at how peacefully she had slept throughout the night… right in front of that beautiful old tree elder.
But the news she was most excited to share was that as she was awakening, she opened her eyes and looked straight at the tree. There in front of it, she clearly saw a very old, aboriginal man. He said nothing but looked at her and smiled.
With a catch of emotion in her voice, she said she knew he was there to tell her she had done good work. I explained that he was one of her guides and I pointed out to her, if she had not been able to step out of the fear, she wouldn’t have had the clarity to be able to see him and the gift he gave her of support & wisdom.
As the week progressed we worked to recognize where each fear became locked in and with a concerted effort of support from everyone there, she was able to empower herself to overcome them…one at a time. The shift in her entire being was palatable by the end of the trip and it was a true inspiration and lesson to everyone there.
She had to come to truly understand at a deeper level that because she saw something as scary didn’t mean everyone else did. It wasn’t the “thing” that changed…only her perception of it. Finally gaining the courage & support to actually face them set her free or put her well on her way. Our imagination is often much worse than the reality of a given situation.
GET CURIOUS… BE COURAGEOUS… REMEMBER

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The Negative Power of Fear & Anxiety

We live in a society fraught with anxiety. There’s a collective pot of boiling worry over our economy, our health, our safety & our security. It’s a perspective of “NON-abundance” in a high-tech world which when out-of-balance, has pushed us even further away from the wisdom of our natural roots… Mother Earth.
Fear is meant to be our internal red flag which allows us to protect ourselves from that which would cause us serious injury or death. With this fear comes the “fight or flight” response that triggers our adrenal glands to start fast & furiously pumping adrenaline into our bodies to give us more speed & even short-lived, super-human strength to escape danger.
Fear & anxiety go hand-in-hand & they’re collectively used as tools for manipulation by our governments, many corporations & other institutions of power. Misplaced, they simply equal “limitation” & every fear we have is just one more. It stops us from living the fullest, most joyful life we deserve. We each have the choice to live a life of limitations or possibilities & we are our only jail-keepers.
When we live in a state of constant angst & fearfulness, it affects ALL of our etherics… mental, emotional and spiritual, not to mention our physical health in a myriad of destructive ways. We can end up with adrenal burn-out, sleep disorders, heart problems, ulcers, PTSD & much more. IN FACT ANXIETY IS THE PRECURSOR TO MANY MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES WHICH NEVER WOULD HAVE COME FORWARD WITHOUT THIS CATALYST. It affects our brain chemistry & neuropathways. Our thoughts really DO affect physical matter, whether it’s on an individual basis or a collective one. In physics, it’s called a maneuver wave… that group mind-set that spreads throughout all the participants just like an erupting riot…
Most people are uncomfortable with change… even positive change. It feels much safer to remain in the status quo where we know exactly what to expect, even if we’re miserable being there. It gives us an unrealistic sense of control. Unfortunately, it can also leave us feeling stuck, powerless & unable to grow & move forward in our lives.
Parents unintentionally pass these fears on to their children & as these things go…it just continues to roll downhill. Thus addressing & overcoming our own fears as adults not only stops this cycle but also offers up a wonderful example for our children to follow in their own lives and self-growth. We can’t change what we don’t recognize. It takes courage & trust to change but the pay-off can be enormous.
Some fears may not even be recognizable as such because we’ve become so accustomed to thinking a certain way. Fear of “different” can mean prejudice toward other cultures, religions, failing at something (so we don’t even try…a common one!), embracing new ideas & stepping out of the box, expressing our emotions, trying something new such as a type of food, an activity, wearing a different color or style… the list goes on & on. We may fear standing out… being judged or criticized… humiliated… for simply being who we REALLY are…
In my work, I’ve found the majority of fears aren’t rational but merely conditioned-responses. Our brains can be very interesting computers that perceive situations a particular way even when that perception may be skewed. We can carry these memories forward from our past lives in our cells and DNA from lifetime to lifetime but there’s always a reason for them somewhere.
It’s not only possible to remove these individual stumbling blocks, it’s also necessary in order to free yourself up. Even more important than finding their exact source, it’s done a spoonful at a time by recognizing them for what they are. Each hurdle we face & get over can’t help but empower us with renewed strength & hope regardless of how small it seems. Ask yourself logically, “What’s the worst thing that’s likely to happen if I take this chance?”
WE ARE NOT OUR FEARS! Fear is usually nothing more than a “lesson” for each of us in our own way… a mirror for something we need to address in ourselves, overcome & check off our “to get well” list. Learn to see them as the gifts they truly can actually be & listen to the wisdom of your gut instead of being blind-sided & sucked in by the spin of the media & politicians so prevalent out there. Claim on your right to your own Power. It belongs to YOU! THAT is what true freedom really is… an inside job.
It ‘s correct that the biggest fear we have to face is fear itself and you just might be amazed at what you’re really made of when you have the courage to see your truth. Go ahead… find something that really scares the hell out of you and do it anyway.
GET CURIOUS…REMEMBER…

Looking Beyond Our Physical To Our Spirits

A number of years ago, I spent 5 years volunteering with a wonderful hospice program nearby. It proved to be perfect practice for my studies in energy healing at the time. Also, as the intensely curious individual I’ve always been, it gifted me with the opportunity to learn more about the subject of near-death experiences & the relationship between our physical & spirit bodies.

As synchronicity would have it, I was actually able to meet and speak with Dr. Raymond Moody, a local physician & one of the pioneers in this research which he chronicled in his book “Beyond the Light” & others. Because of  the wisdom & information I gained from him & the hospice nurses & what I personally witnessed as I observed & shared the experiences of many who were transitioning out of their bodies & this life, my view of the role our Spirit plays in relation to our brains & physicality changed forever.

Our physical bodies are simply our vehicles for any given life that allow us to live out that karmic cycle & hopefully learn the lessons we came to learn. The real “meat” behind them, guiding the way is our Spirit bodies… unseen but very much alive. I saw time & again how patients “chose” the timing of their final breaths sometimes waiting until their loved ones holding vigil at their bedside, finally stepped out for a quick cup of coffee or moved their bedside chair or cot out of the room.

Love is a very powerful energy & the natural worry & sadness that so many experience as a someone they love is slipping away causes us to want to hold on more tightly to them in some way. That literally holds them back from leaving in our presence. They worry for us.

Our human hearing is also one of our last senses to go. Even in a deep, comatose state, patients have regained consciousness & been able to re-iterate everything that was said around them while they were “unconscious”. They also reported floating above their bodies, looking at themselves and others in the room, describing these situations in close detail.

I also found that Alzheimer’s patients in the advanced stages of their disease would respond with surprising clarity at times when I would speak to them with kind, compassionate intent despite the fact they’d been in a vegetative state for weeks and months. That part of them that wasn’t broken or sick… their Spirit… was aware, very much alive & intact. Yes… love is a powerful energy.

Our Spirit bodies are the true essence of who we REALLY are… who we came into this life as & have always been since the very beginning… before we were loaded up with emotional & physical lessons from the “school of life”.  It’s one hell of a learning curve! That’s why it’s so important to peel back the layers through awareness of what isn’t us and never was. Our authentic, individual, beautiful selves are under there just waiting to be fully discovered!

We’re NOT our mental health issues, handicaps, “dis”eases, habits, addictions or FEARS…Until we “REMEMBER” who we ARE & live true to ourselves, we can’t recognize our purposes for being here & trust me… every one of us has one!  I refer to it as our “Natural State” & our “Rites of Passage”. They’re key components in a gradually- unfolding, 2-step process. Its all part of a much bigger scope of things & a plan that allows us to keep growing and expanding. The key lies in truly wanting it & asking for it.

                                   GET CURIOUS… REMEMBER

Wisdom From the Herd… Behaving As If All Life Mattered

A couple of years ago for no obvious reason, horses began to cross my mind…continually. I thought about them during the day, dreamed about them at night & began to see them in photos, paintings, articles, etc. This type of thing has been happening to me for many years now and as I’ve studied the physics of energy in more & more depth, I’ve learned to just stay very aware & try to recognize the reason or message behind this phenomenon each time it happens.

Eventually, it came full circle and I began to learn & understand the message… so simple & yet so truly profound. Horses like all of nature, hold up mirrors for mankind to see itself in & that includes me.

 

 Many misguided humans measure an animal’s intelligence by what it can do most like a human…count, draw, do tricks, verbally speak, paint, use tools, etc. What they’ve failed to recognize is the innate wisdom the natural world & its inhabitants are ever-willing to share with us beyond our linear thinking & arrogance… that is if we’re paying attention.

When a good friend of mine told me about a local workshop on horse communication, I knew it was part of the trajectory of synchronistic events already in motion. The moment I stepped out of my car and walked to the area where they were waiting, I already knew which horse I’d be working with. In fact, I felt like I was looking at myself in horse form.

 

Throughout the day as we interacted with these sensitive & intuitive animals, we each learned our own lessons in our own ways. For me, it became clear what I had shown up as a student. It’s called GRACE… simple in its presentation & yet so profound. This was a quality I’d developed in many ways through learning and insight from my work… emotional… mental… spiritual… but the physical has often eluded me for some reason.

 

It used to be common-place to glance at my arms & legs and see a myriad of burns from grabbing something carelessly from a hot oven or bumps & bruises from hitting the corner of a table or the counter because I was in a rush & preoccupied. It’s a good thing I have a high tolerance for pain.

 

I’ve come to recognize the inattentiveness in this area of my life for what it really is… a lack of honoring my physical form that houses my spirit. It’s speaks disrespectfully to the true gift it really is.

 

It also goes hand-in-hand with getting quiet & gentle inside as well. When I don’t do that, I can’t “hear” the wisdom the silence has to offer & a lot of information is missed on many levels because it’s all connected.

 
A horse doesn’t walk without grace… it saunters. It doesn’t plow through things… it steps over or around them. They always live in the moment. Nothing exists to them before or after that moment so they fully embrace it. They “graze” and when they’re fed at the end of the day, they quietly, slowly eat with each other or alone… they take their time… no gobbling in this crowd! They have dimensional sight and always see the ALL as ONE.

They’re also very telepathic and sensitive to the emotions of their herd and the other living things which share their space, including people. Three of the females were allowed to wander around those of us who were participating as we sat in a circle expressing our individual reasons for attending, some with a lot of emotion involved. Here and there, sensing the need, one would walk quietly up to a participant & put her soft, velvety nose against their cheek or on a shoulder for a few moments.

As we each took our turn grooming & working one-on-one with our assigned horse, we were shown how to tune into the horse’s energy mentally and physically. They wanted to be led but in PARTNERSHIP… NOT POWER-OVER. My usual pace when I hike or walk with friends is fast & often out ahead of everyone. It’s been a habit for as long as I can remember & I’ve never given it much thought.

 

Sun, the spirited gelding & my “teacher” for the day, immediately and gently showed me myself & how that affects the whole. He tuned-in & connected with me immediately when I stayed present with him but the moment I stepped out ahead of him, I could feel him disconnect and he would just wander off. Nothing personal!

 

We held a very loose rope to begin with which didn’t serve as much more than a small crutch for us but soon the rope was removed and we were asked to work with the horse strictly through mental imagery & energy…no touch except to gently say “good job” & “thank you” I initially felt pretty powerless until I was able to slow down and really sense his energy. Once I could do that, I could literally feel the two of us connect and become one. This is the same connection which is possible between one person & another if we’re just willing to slow down & stay aware & tuned- in. 

I was also told that horses don’t respond well to being stared at. As a healer, I get a great deal of information & connection with people by looking into their eyes & at their faces. This doesn’t work with horses. Standing beside them, creating a clear, mental picture of what I wanted Sun to do was the ONLY way to guide him.

 

So I stood there, looking forward WITH him…side-by-side… & envisioned exactly where I wanted him to go with me. He immediately stepped in unison with my feet. When I stopped… he stopped. When I stepped sideways… he stepped sideways. He walked exactly where I asked him to go using only the picture in my head. He gave me a couple of pushes into the fence just to push his boundaries a little and it was at that point I realized that along with kids, pets, students, etc., we also get the horses we deserve! 

Ahhh… we humans… the ONLY creatures living on our sentient Earth who in our ego, fear, greed & hatred… destroy, pollute and otherwise negatively impact the balance & abundance of the natural world. It struggles to feed us while it suffers because of our short-sighted choices & patiently waits for us to WAKE-UP before it’s too late. WHO are the intelligent ones really?

There’s a great deal of beauty in this world despite what the media would often have us think… the “powers-that-be” behind it all who work to keep us in fear and complacency (if we weren’t afraid, we might just get angry & courageous about a few things). IMAGINE…

 

More & more people ARE waking up and beginning to understand what all native peoples & shaman have known since the very beginning… we MUST live in a symbiotic partnership with our Earth and each other. It’s about survival and it’s also about love, compassion & quality mentally, spiritually, physically & emotionally. Every bit of it is connected & it starts with each one of us doing our “inside” work on ourselves so it can spread to the “outside” & each other.

 

                                         GET CURIOUS… WAKE UP… REMEMBER…

 

A Lack of Creative Vision Makes Prisoners of All of US…

A Lack of Vision Creates Prisoners of All of US…

In just this last year in this area at least 100 people were killed or wounded by someone reported to have mental health issues. Even more concerning are the statistics which show 1400 mentally ill individuals killed family members, 13,000 committed suicide and the numbers are only increasing. These cases more often than not, end up in our juvenile & prison systems… after they’ve passed through our schools & communities. One half to two thirds of these people were “formally” diagnosed with a specific mental illness which is a stretch anyway considering the poor accuracy rate of the current testing methods.

The mentally-ill inmates in our prison systems are dealt with in ways which are at best ineffective and at worst archaic and stunningly cruel. This also applies to many of the disciplinary actions in many facets of our communities where students, inmates, patients & other community members are acting out and at risk to themselves & others. Our police & prison officials need to be adequately trained to handle them & our laws need to be changed to reflect the reality of the situation beyond the antiquated “just lock-em-up” mentality of the Old West. We’re living in a technical age. Not only is it ineffective, the cost to the taxpayers for utilizing these solutions is much, much higher on levels well beyond the financial.

Traditionally, inmates with serious behavioral issues while incarcerated are automatically put into solitary confinement. This can result in an endless procession of people doing their time there and then being released into the main prison population only to repeat their behavior & be returned literally for years on end. They’re confined to a tiny, concrete cell & allowed no human contact… their meals slid through a small opening in the door like feeding time for the dangerous animals in the zoo & an allowance of only 1-2 hrs. a day to exercise or walk around with 2 armed guards. I’ve read accounts of inmates being subjected to this treatment for 23 YEARS or more at a stretch. As any intelligent person can imagine, the result is either a far more fractured personality or total insanity. These people are often released back out into our communities far more wounded than they went in with little or no hope of successfully acclimating to a productive, non-violent life. What we do to ALL life, we ultimately do to ourselves.

I’ve always believed that the old, ineffective ways which have historically been chosen to address many problems on a personal level & as a collective society have shown a distinct lack of creativity, vision & compassion as well as an acute overdose of ego. This same “lack of” holds true for war. The legacy of pain & dysfunction it creates branches out in ways we don’t even realize. Being cut off from their humanity will do that to a person… Fighting fear & violence with more fear & violence = perpetuation NOT solutions, whether it’s physical, verbal, emotional or spiritual. At some point don’t we need to ask ourselves “How’s this working for us?” & get serious about the answer?

 It’s not about tip-toeing naively through the flowers, sprinkling fairy dust & happy intentions all around… It’s about having the wisdom and insight to see a bigger, healthier picture beyond what ails us & then having the courage to step into our Power. We have to become responsible for ourselves, work to create change & claim on our right to not be manipulated by those we trust to have our collective, best interest at heart.

                                         GET CURIOUS…. REMEMBER

 

We’re Bleeding at Our Roots…

The horrific news about the shooting this week at the elementary school in Newtown, Conn. also brought to the forefront once again, those people who believe this is a call for more guns to defend ourselves with…. everybody for themselves! Our local gun stores here saw their sales for assault rifles like the one used by this shooter go through the roof… in fact, they sold out!

Lot’s of FEAR… anger… anxiety… I’ve never seen “more guns” ever solve anything because at the core of this perspective is still fear and anger which in the law of physics literally creates more of the same as well as the violence that comes along with the ride. It’s like trying to put a band-aid on the problem instead of healing it at it’s cause. WHAT IF we “the people” took our power back & used it to build more support systems for those who not only suffer with mental illness as the shooter did (& their families) but also the growing number of those people who find themselves isolated, alone and unable to fit in. Sadness, lonliness & hopelessness can create resentment & a skewed perspective on reality for anyone. Kindness & compassion can be just as powerful in creating healing & connection.

We need to educate ourselves so we can not only identify those like this who are suffering in our neighborhoods, schools & workplaces but also learn to extend ourselves in the spirit of community as the connected individuals we ALL are whether we like it or not. What affects one of us affects all of us collectively on some level. As a healer, I’ve seen many, many times how even the simplest gestures of kindness and compassion can have noticeable & immeasurable effects.

If you doubt this… try it for yourself… Saying “Hello” in passing to a stranger in line, on the sidewalk, a friendly wave from your car… in essence, just acknowledging that someone was worth the effort in many cases is the first time in a long time or sometimes ever that they have been made to feel like they deserve to take up space in this world. I never ceased to be amazed at how many people feel that way that nobody would guess. There’s something I see in their eyes… an energetic crack… an opening of a realization when they’re acknowledged with kindness. It may lead to a healing or even change their perspective so that instead of contemplating harm to someone, they’re actually able to feel some compassion or connection because it was shown to THEM. Compassion begets compassion as well. WE HAVE TO LEARN TO SEE EACH SITUATION THROUGH THE EYES OF EACH PERSON & NOT JUST OUR OWN… otherwise we’re only seeing half of the whole picture. We can no longer afford to live as if we were islands unto ourselves.

Mental health issues worldwide are growing because our environment is getting more toxic on every level and we’ve lost touch with what “feeds” and nourishes us at the core of who we are… physically, mentally, emotionally & spiritually.These things will continue to snowball until more of us awaken in growing numbers and truly see the Big Picture. We have become what we eat, drink, spend our time & focus on, how we treat and interact with Mother Earth, the Source of our existence & with each other on an individual basis. We have to be the change we want to see.

GET CURIOUS… REMEMBER…