A Bigger Universal Perspective… Think Like a Hawk

Imagine yourself sitting on the ground. You lift up a large stone & there before you exposed for your observation are a myriad of smaller life forms… bugs, worms, snails, slugs & the like… all busily…even frenetically going about their business of living their lives in their earthly environment. The closer you look, the more you tap into how each species performs their tasks for survival as well as how they interact with each other in a more communal way.
Now picture yourself as a hawk… gliding along on the wind currents… ever aware & observant from high above all that is going on below. The hawk is capable of seeing exactly what it needs to see from great distances. It doesn’t need to tune into all the details… only those which support its own life & true survival.
Nature is a wonderful & wise teacher… microcosm/ macrocosm. When we fallible humans get caught up in the “emotionality” of a situation, it then becomes very difficult to access it with the clarity needed to find a viable solution. “Emotion” is about feeling… something we need to be able to connect with to be healthy & well-rounded. It comes from a natural tendency & need to give & receive. “Emotionality” on the other hand, is about drama & being triggered into a reaction to something that has wounded us prior to that. Operating from that vantage point never serves us well so it’s important to recognize the difference.
If we can learn to mentally stand back out of the chaos that so often permeates life & observe it from a more Universal vantage point, we automatically give ourselves the gift of seeing any given situation with much more clarity & truth. It also allows us to see a new perspective in relation to the level of importance we tend to assign things out of misplaced emotion, something by the way… the animal kingdom never does. What may have appeared to be much more important when we’re right in the middle of it often is merely a drop in the bucket when we consider the bigger picture, especially when we can let go of our fear & ego & see it for what is really is.
That my friends, is a recipe for true freedom & peace of mind & when all else fails, just remember… this too shall pass.

Get Curious… Remember…

There Are Reasons and There Are Excuses…

Whenever I hear someone say… “Yes… but…” I automatically realize that person has no intention of changing their mind on that particular subject. From that point on, the wall goes up & the open-minded listening ceases to exist.

At the end of the day, every single one of us has the power to be our own jail-keeper… or not. Even a prisoner in shackles has the ability to choose his attitude & our thoughts absolutely create our realities. I remember times in my own life as a still-dependent kid when I was (op)pressed at such a level that I would say to myself… “You may be able to control what I do & where I go but you will NEVER control my thoughts! Nobody can take that from me.” Survival…

Every moment we have choices and the cause & effect of those choices puts us squarely where we find ourselves at any given time. This is by a much bigger design and unless we can sincerely own our own stuff, we remain stuck in an endless cycle of dysfunction. The requirement for breaking free is insisting our egos take a backseat.

There will always be reasons for everything & as inconvenient & untidy as it can sometimes be, there’s often more than one for any given issue. Humans tend to prefer neat, tidy, black & white packages but the world we live in is a spectrum of shades of gray… always. This is where the realist & the idealist part ways. In the end though, it’s a lot less stress to lean toward being realistic because we can waste a lot of valuable time sitting there staring at a rock and wishing it was a flower. Sadly, some people waste a lifetime that way.

The definition of a “reason” is a judgment of what is right, practical or possible; in essence, common sense. An “excuse” is defined as a release from a duty; an attempt to lesson blame. I’ve always found the TRUTH lies somewhere in the middle each time which requires us to first look at our part in it, own it, learn from it & then let go of the rest. The ONLY thing we really have control over is ourselves. It is & always will be an inside job!

 

                                                                             

                                                                                            GET CURIOUS… REMEMBER…

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

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…

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

 

Recognizing Shame and Finding Grace

african angel

Sometimes the best avenue for really understanding the value of something is to view it from the polar-opposite perspective first. “Dis-grace”…. When have you felt shame & embarrassment over not measuring up to someone else’s ideals? Although we need to be self-policing, I have continually met & worked with SO many people who carry such immense shame that was never theirs to own…often through entire cultural histories… always caused by abuse & a lack of respect & value for them as individuals, usually very early on. Their shame blinded them to their own value & ability to make better choices for themselves. I’ve always recognized it in their eyes.

The good news is at the end of each & every day, we’re our own jail-keepers. That truth allows us the opportunity to stand in our own Personal Power and re-define ourselves. As tempting as it may be to place blame for our decisions on someone or something else, we truly disable ourselves by not recognizing & accepting responsibility for our own “stuff” & allowing others to do the same. Our human mistakes are how we learn what we’re actually capable of & we remain stuck & disabled when we’re “rescued” from that… whether through good intentions or forced slavery. And yes… what doesn’t “kill” us, actually does make us stronger!

I watched African American adults in the South where I grew up for 10 years during the 60’s & 70’s, carry themselves in shame… heads down… shoulders rounded… adults unable to look me eye-to-eye even in my youth.  I was a 21-year old, blue-eyed, blond intern working with their children… the ONLY Caucasian in that entire, inner-city, elementary school. I also felt the sting of being treated by the staff there as not worthy of acknowledgement which I eventually realized in hindsight was just their shame manifested in another form.

I interacted with wonderful, loving Africans in Jamaica who carried great shame from their own slavery into their culture in so many insidious ways. Their people were only emancipated in the 60’s & in a more passive-aggressive effort to speak to their pain & anger over losing their freedom; they ceased to create their vibrant art during their enslavement. The poverty in which they live leaves them feeling very much “less-than” the many tourists & elite but very small upper-class there. They fear being judged & defined by it.

The energy work I’ve been involved in with various Native American, tribal communities over the years is yet another example of a gifted people who have been so lost in the painful issues that have plagued them for generations…alcohol, drugs, physical abuse, suicide, etc. They still hold great, intrinsic wisdom and insight through their DNA from their early ancestors but collectively they’re unable to see the higher vision of themselves through the lens of shame they’ve carried even though it doesn’t belong to them. It was put in place long ago when their way of life was crushed along with their spirits by the early settlers who took away their right to choose the life they had embraced & flourished in.

Enslavement of any kind robs humanity of its Self-Love & higher vision of itself. As Maya Angelou so simply & wisely put it… “When we know better…we do better.” Sometimes it takes some assistance from others who can hold up that vision for someone of who they truly are until they can see it for themselves. Every person needs to “see” who they came here to be… underneath the layers of painful “lessons” we all tend to collect in our lives. If we don’t discover who we authentically are, how can we really know our purpose? We ALL have one.

Because our thoughts so very much create our realities, learning to live in “GRACE” is profoundly important. Grace is not perfection but rather the ability to see the Higher…Bigger Picture of things so we can gain a more realistic perspective & then to “let go” and allow it not only for ourselves but everyone else. It is and always will be an inside job!

   “GET CURIOUS …. REMEMBER”