Forgiveness

As whacky as it may sound to some, I believe this to be the absolute truth and the divine nature if one is willing to see it. Open your heart and your mind as you keep reading.

I recently ordered a little hand-held device that uses your bodies own frequencies to determine what essential oils are needed based on the matching frequencies of the plants. It is fascinating technology and if you’re curious you can read about it here. If you live near me, I would love to scan you and share more about the emotional and physical benefits of essential oils.  My personal fascination with the emotional side of plants and oils has been years in the making and this little device has validated what my intuition has often sensed.

Since I got my itovi scanner, I have consistently scanned for the same five oils: myrrh, thyme, digestion blend, forgiveness blend and roman chamomile.  Turning to my handy little emotion book, I read that each of these oils hold a common theme as it relates to forgiveness.  Diving deeper there are aspects of anger, resentment and the need to let go. Each morning that I sat down to scan and then saw the results my immediate thought is that I do not have anyone to forgive and that I do not feel anger towards anyone.  I applied  and diffused the oils and went on with my day.

Last night as I laid in bed, I asked that a dream be revealed to me that would guide me or show me what I may need to know.  When I woke up this morning, my first thought was that nothing showed up in dreams.  And then, I sat down to meditate and it hit me.

Immediately the familiar sensation of cold air down my left arm was felt.  The enveloping fog that is icy and brisk that I have sensed since the death of my children’s father. The first year of his death, I had this sensation daily but as the years have gone by, it is much less frequent and less intense for the most part. Until this morning.

As I sat with the sensation of cold on my left side, I realized that I have been aware of my building resentment for the burdens that I feel my life has.  The biggest burden relates directly to him. The lifetime of parenting by  myself; celebrating the successes, watching the heartbreaks, worrying about the future of my girl, seeing my boys in pain, financially supporting myself and them and all that goes with being a single momma.

All alone.  Certainly I have wonderful people in my life who love and support me, but the other parent is gone.  And he always was gone, even before his death.  It has always been just me.

Over the years, the seeds of resentment for him have grown into full-blown weeds that I often spend time pulling. No matter how much plucking I have done, the weeds still grow.  It has been awhile since I have been intentional with clearing out the feelings of resentment, so this morning I sat with him and allowed him to be present.  I let the resentments bubble up until my heart was empty from the last 27 years of memories that triggered me to feel this way.

Then I spoke to him and I forgave him.  I spoke ‘I forgive you’ over and over.  I wrote to him in a letter in my journal and then I sat in silence again allowing all the dark and murky pain to slowly drift so that a lightness and spaciousness could fill me.

I realize that we have to come back around to forgiveness time and time again. Sometimes it is a lifetime.  I am okay with that.  I am curious to see in the coming days if I scan differently and even more, if there is a lightness to both my heart and my physical body as it relates to pain. I know that the oils that I keep scanning for also relate to physical pain and the loss and grief I am experiencing from my two major hip surgeries that just don’t seem to heal well.  I believe so much in the mind/body connection that it all makes sense to me.

Awesome whoo-whoo stuff, eh?

 

 

 

A modest version

For as long as I have been teaching Yoga to adults with disabilities, I have found myself at times wavering between noticing what has often brought me to tears and other times being so humbled that it is sometimes hard for me to grasp just how I arrived in this true space of grace.

I know that my ‘story’ and having a child with a disability has been a huge, if not the hugest, stepping stone that has led me here, but I am beginning to realize more and more that it there is another great force guiding me.

I have come to recognize that when I am teaching, I am doing an incredibly modest version of God’s work.  The intuitive nature that my classes take on is so far outside of my actual thinking brain thoughts.  There is something more. Something completely heart driven. Something so pure and so light guiding me that I often leave the class  feeling as though I was the one to receive what I may have just offered to them.

Some days I witness and hear things that are truly divine actions and words.  Just this week following a yoga and meditation session, I asked a young woman how she was feeling and her response was, “I am bankrupt for words that would describe the peace”.

Another moment of grace came when I was sharing the idea that beyond any of our labels, roles, responsibilities and abilities or limitations, at our heart we are just Love.  Pure and bountiful Love. A young man in the far corner of our circle who rarely speaks up and is often struggling to manage his emotions said, “I want to learn to believe that I am Love and not just this guy with a brain injury”.

That is the modest version of God’s work that I get to do while I am here on Earth. I am so thankful for every opportunity to lets God’s Life be expressed through me.

Beyond thankful.

 

Bold #2

For years I have had a book in me that has been wanting to be written.  A contemplate and yet educational narrative of how I came to be in this existence of living my life purpose with passion and new founded BOLDness. A record that touches on the aspects of my life raising a child with a disability, waking up to my own spirituality, an incredible weight-loss and health turn around, but mostly it is a tale of how I have walked through some of those fierce and hot coals of life to come out and live my life purpose through sharing Yoga  with people living with disabilities.

Two hip surgery recoveries have forced me to make the time to write. While my body does what it needs to heal I no longer had the excuse of a busy work schedule or other distractions to take me away from what is seeking to be spoken.  As I have learned to adopt a newer and much more deliberate pace to my personal life, I have made decisions that support the finest of my potential.  Not just the potential of writing this book, but choosing to walk a bit slower, observe my body more, listen better, speak with intention, think with clarity. Although I am back to work teaching Yoga full-time, I made the BOLD decision that I am worth this.  My story is worth it.  The lives I may touch are worth it.

My BOLD #2 action has been to purposefully set aside time each week to go to a coffee shop with my lap top and write.  Just write.  The reasoning behind getting in my car and going to a noisy coffee shop is to help me foster the importance of an appointment with myself to grow and to stretch.  It encourages me to walk again towards the edge of my comfort zone where there will be no household chores to distract me, no meals to prep, no dogs to walk, and even, no people to talk to.  Just write.

And it is a pretty good view to boot with the majestic Pikes Peak watching over me.

IMG_0182.JPG

 

 

 

The Rare Rant

I woke this morning with both rage and fear coursing through me.  I rarely post personal views and controversial things to my Facebook page, but I realized today that at the very least, being able to verbal vomit may touch just one person and perhaps the world can begin to make changes.

Whenever I rant, I feel as though the pebble being tossed into the lake creates ripples that are endless.  Here is my pebble today.

A rare rant from this (mostly peaceful) gal: Have you ever considered what it costs to raise a child with a disability? Not just the financial burden of therapies, co-pays, evaluations, time off work, etc during the childhood years…but the deeper and often forgot about costs that lasts a lifetime; the impact on the relationships to include siblings and partners, the demands of having an adult child who requires as much care a child every. single. day; the housing problem that presents itself as that child becomes an adult; the fear that exists when only one parent remains alive and wondering who will eventually be this adult’s guardian and keeper, the limits of experiencing the second half of life living as a parent–vacations, time for self, retirement planning, the fact that a simple dinner out requires finding someone to ‘hang out’ with this adult, and more. 

The list could go on and on…..my rant goes beyond the horror of what is happening in our world around education and disability rights…..it goes deeper into a personal level of seeing that when the small child with a disability becomes an adult, the disability remains. And yet, the lack of services and funding and support for parents living with adults with disabilities is an outrage. 

I want more than anything for my adult girl to have her own place space. I bought my home last year with the hope and intent that the detached garage will someday be an amazing space for her to live as an adult, as independently as possible. I pray everyday that my hard work, my tenacity to seek funding, my faith in something much greater will provide me with the path to make this happen. 

When I did my CNA practical rounds and I was in a long-term living center and entered a room of a mid-50’s woman clutching her coloring books and her stuffed animals–obviously developmental delayed– my heart broke for the reality of what could happen to my girl. 

I ask this: think about the moms and dads out there that have sacrificed and given up their second half of life freedoms and finances for the sake of being dealt the cards they were. Send them a little love and hope that our world someday begins to see the value in providing those who cannot provide for themselves housing and support to live as independently as possible.

Wind

The week was as tumultuous as the wind that whips outside my window.  Chaos.  Nearly every day there was a push against the direction that I seemed to want to be going.

Years ago a friend told me that the wind symbolized movement of energy and that to imagine that the wind is taking away and moving things that no longer serve you.  I come back to this time and time again, especially during a week like this one.

What is being moved through me or from me? Am I trying too hard to hold onto something that is working hard to the surface to be released? Should I just let go, open my arms and allow whatever it is to fly from me?

I am a believer in the synchronicity of life.  I believe that every single person I meet and the experiences I have are divinely appointed. The hard stuff and the easy stuff.  I also believe that if I am awake I can see that what I experience and who I meet are symbolic like the wind–movement and opportunity to release.

I met with a dear friend yesterday and he told me that his word this year is ’embark’….the spaciousness of that word is incredible.  I immediately wanted to take a really long breath and just sit with the idea of embarking.

As I watch the wind bend my pine tree into fits of what looks like rage this morning, I ask myself some questions. What am I clinging to that keeps me from stepping towards that next step on my journey?  What belief do I have that is wanting to keep me where I am at?  Can I allow myself to shake and release the old that is preventing me from fully expanding or living in a way that is leaning towards bold?  Am I willing to expand and embark on my own life in a way that is truly bold? Am I open to see what others can offer?  Can I release the judgments and disappointments that weigh me down? Can I take in all that the chaos might be making room for?  Can I sit with the movement, see that at the end of this challenging week that the most important thing to go back to is gratitude to be alive and to love and be loved?

I tell myself breathe it in.  Let the wind shake me until I am free from what is seeking to surface.  Expand.  Embark.  Be BOLD.

 

Bold #1

My intention this year is to BOLD. To take risks and walk to the edge of my comfort zone, or even beyond. 

Last year I learned that my deepest and most rooted core value is safety. The decisions I make and the people with who I surround myself all support my need and value of safety. I am meticulous and deliberate with most, if not all, aspects of my life both personally and professionally. 

It’s how I operate. 

Following my second hip surgery in just eight months and with some encouragement from my love, I opted to begin looking at a car that would be easier to get in and out of and offer me more comfort and safety. Reluctant to spend the money, I hesitated. The idea of a car payment played with my sense of safety, despite the fact I make plenty of money and my credit score came back 844 (which initially I was more stoked about than the car itself). 

Add in the laborious decision of what car to choose. I immediately sensed the shaking of my sense of security. 

So here is where being BOLD comes in. Rather than play safe and buy a car that is average and middle of the road in looks and features, I walked to the edge of my safety bubble to buy something functional, safe, fun and oh, so sassy. 

Life isn’t for shying away from. Life is to be BOLD. 

True Oneness

For about ten years, I have been sharing Yoga with people living with disabilities. A variety of limitations and challenges ranging from autism to down syndrome to traumatic brain injuries to intellectual disabilities.  When I listened to the whispering to bring Yoga to people who could not easily access a traditional class, I knew that my soul was aligned.

Since I began teaching, I have always felt that it truly is a reciprocal sharing and that I am not the ‘teacher’.  Certainly, I bring a set of skills and knowledge to share with them, but we are in it together and I believe that there is no separation from student and teacher.

My teaching style has always been to teach in a circle.  A union.  A circle to me represents no beginning and no end, a continuum. Within that sacred space of the circle, we can see each other and connect.  I feel that this creates a community within the group and fosters a sense of ‘oneness’.

People ask me if I am a Yoga Therapist. I will never describe myself as that, and I even shy away from the title ‘teacher’.  I feel that my work, and my service, is a united and shared experience in which I learn as much as those in the circle.

A beautiful showcase of this ‘oneness’ is featured in a short news segment documenting one of the classes I share Yoga with.  Enjoy!

http://www.koaa.com/clip/13002428/adaptive-yoga-sessions-help-people-with-traumatic-brain-injuries-recover

 

BOLD 2017

It came to me through a deep sleep state. The word for 2017 is BOLD, defined as (of a person, action, or idea) showing an ability to take risks; confident and courageous.

Fiercely bold.

Adventurously bold.

Sensationally  bold.

Deliberately bold.

Passionately bold.

I cannot wait to see how this powerhouse shows up this year!

 

Reflection 2016

As I have written time and time again, this is my favorite time of year to reflect upon my year and cultivate a sense of openness to what may arrive for my coming year.  For the last many years I have used one word as a starting point for the next 365 days. At the end of the year, as I read my journal entries and get quiet in reflection, I am always in awe as to how that single word showed up in my life the past twelves months.

2016 the word was Peace.  Let’s just see how it showed up.

January: The beginning of a new year and a new intention.Throughout this month there was deep conflict in my significant romantic relationship.  Bouts of turmoil and challenging conversations forced me at that time to think I needed to maintain a sense of peace.  Despite my greatest efforts, the month was a painful and difficult start of my year. My birthday was a complete disaster and I was fighting for my sense of survival and self.  Around the end of the month, a gigantic snow (and my stubbornness to take care of myself) resulted in a final blow to my already compromised hip and back issues. What was about to come would test my ability to carry peace for the months ahead.

February:  I  enrolled in an online course with Brene Brown called Living Brave in January and I had begun to learn more about myself than I had ever thought possible.  I learned about my core value and how throughout my life, I had made decision after decision (or reacted again, and again) to what I now realize was attempting to protect my core value. Just knowing and understanding this was a platform for the rest of my year.  The fella and I began our process of resolution and understanding that would take us down a road of deep love and shared growth.  What I realized this month, was that peace is available–always available when you know who you are and own your stuff.

March: During the early days of spring, I wrote in my journal about how my personal yoga and meditation practice was helping me to find that spacious stillness that had seemed to gotten lost through the development of grueling physical pain and the ever-transforming romance and connection. As it happens when one practices gratitude and steps away from their story, a celebration of divine intervention can happen. This was a definite love wins kind of month and that allowed for peace. I also worked diligently on embracing what was showing up, rather than pushing it aside.

April:  It seemed that the beginning and end of this month was all about the parent-child relationship. From the parent vantage, the start of this month I watched as my youngest son made some grown up decisions that validated my presence/influence in his life which demonstrated  his ability to make choices that were (hopefully) setting him up for success and a path to self-confidence. The end of the month gave me the most beautiful gift of healing with my mom. Sandwiched between these two special moments, I revisited what it means to really practice.

May: They say that laughter opens the heart and soothes to soul.  I can attest to the truth in that statement. The peace is palpable when I read about through the month of May. From receiving the unexpected heirloom gift to the wheelchair rides through the Garden of the Gods, it is evident that even though the surgery was painful there was also such space to receive love. I loved how I got to learn about myself and where I had been investing my focus.

June:  About six months into the year and there has been a tremendous amount of peace through the newness of my home, the practice of observing rather than doing as my body heals,and being incredibly vulnerable.  As we know with all that goodness, there must most certainly be some darkness to balance life out–the paradox of life. As I worked through my life long lesson of survival and surrender, I learned that to give, one must also be willing to receive.  Settling into that form of peace took some serious growth on my part.

July: Living with chronic pain and the up and downs that come with hopes, and then disappointments can be as exhausting as the pain itself.  I learned that there is humility in owning the truth. Through the unfolding comes a great amount of freedom.  I worked through fear and uncertainty by coming back to my truth.  In my journal this month, the word truth was scribbled over and over.  I repeatedly wrote about soul-work and truth.  I decided this month that nurturing myself through service was how I could overcome the wretched pain that was eating my soul.  My meditation practice and reading a lovely extended book about the wonderful poem The Invitation, by Oriah Mountain Dreamer, was my saving grace and opportunity for peace this month.

August: This month I chose to reclaim my practices for the self.  I vowed to go back to my yoga mat, my solo walks, my meditation practice to name a few in search of peace.  I also dug deep into the continual life long pattern of ‘pleasing’ and how the anxiety of feeling unworthy can spiral into a dark place.  I looked to nature to see that despite set-backs in my health and challenges that life gives, I too can be persistent.

September: As I turned the 4th month mark of my hip surgery, I began to experience pain again that felt all too familiar.  Weary with it, I began the journey back to the doctor to try to resolve what my be going on.  This painful reality scraped at my soul.  I knew that I was becoming weakened by the daily grind and the energy it took to keep moving forward. And yet, despite the physical agony and fear that I would never improve, I fell further in love with the man who would offer soothing balm for so many of my lifelong wounds.  He would be the one that led me to a different way of viewing things that allowed me to open doors of freedom and ultimate peace. Through one of the doors, I found that this type of unconditional love bought out the sweet little girl inside of me to experience all of life’s little gifts.

October: Early this month as I was hiking in one of my favorite spaces I looked at my patterns and noticed old behaviors lurking.  I saw that I was still carrying regrets, judgments, blame and unhealthy thoughts.  As I was surrounded by the paradox of glorious color of fall and the ease of leaves effortlessly letting go, I realized that just like that I could simply let go.  Release what no longer needed to be held onto and settle into peace. Softly allow those memories to fall. As I made space in my heart I had an ah-h moment where I realized the masks I have been hiding behind for much of life and as a result the patterns I noticed early were easily recognizable.

November: The chaos of this nation during election year brought a chance for me to practice peace on a nearly daily basis. While I found myself reacting to the different views and opinions, I knew that this was simply a test for me to stay on course and to be with the peace that exists in me, no matter turmoil was around me. I also was called back to offer the world something besides hatred and separation.

December: For about 10 years, I have had a meditation and gratitude practice that includes affirmative prayer and mantra.  I have been committed to being thankful for is yet come into my life as a way of believing in the law of attraction and intention.  Early in the month during meditation something hit me and boy, did it hit me hard. The effortlessness of the energy spiraling outward, rather than grasping or seeking to obtain, completely opened my heart in a new and refreshingly peaceful way. I had intended for this to be a year of peace, and instead life showed up in a very real and painful way.  As the days of this month came to a close, life handed me one of the most difficult of days. Through this experience I can reflect now that I did not just maintain peace, but I had come to rely on it.  Another surgery to hopefully repair the hip (again) closed out my year, and I sit now with a smile on my face and a happy heart knowing that I am deeply loved and appreciated.

On many levels 2016 required me to dig deep into my very own wellspring of peace that lies deep in my own heart space. As I would be forced to lie face down in the dirt of life’s arena countless times, I learned that my safety and secuirty is paramount to my healthy existence and that it is not peace that I seek, but rather I am peace.

Blessings to each of you as you welcome 2017.

Bittersweet

It is the middle of the night phone call no mother wants to get.  The one where time stops.

The feeling of slowness in which you can’t seem get to him fast enough.  The moment your eyes see him.  Touch his face.  Hold his hand.  Wipe his tears.  Look into his eyes.

And when the initial panic is over and the reassurance that by a miracle he will be okay,  momma crumbles with the weight of it all. One minute I am strong and the next I find myself washed up in heartache.

In the coming days the sound of a siren punches me in the stomach.  The overwhelming worry crushes me. The relief that he is okay consumes me.  The closeness of what may have been devours me. I am in a riptide of emotion wanting badly to gasp for air.

In one breath I am so grateful, in another breath I am so sad.

Bittersweet.  So very bittersweet.

As I process the last five days, I realize that through this experience I discovered within myself another deep, deep layer of compassion being exposed. Painfully exposed. During this I witnessed an insight as to what the family members and parents have gone through with the clients I share yoga with; the bedside tears, the inundation of medical information, the crushing sadness and fear.

Perhaps this pain will make be a better person. It will crack me open into new territory that I would have missed had my child not had a brush with mortality. I know that I will hold him a bit tighter, I will feel a little deeper, I will pause a little more, and I will for sure use this to love a whole bunch more.