THE MANY SHADOWS OF LOVE

“You don’t measure love in time. You measure love in transformation. Sometimes the longest connections yield very little growth, while the briefest of encounters change everything” ~ Jeff Brown, An Uncommon Bond

I grew up in a small rural town in Florida with a population of 1800. People had lived there all of their lives with the exception of a few retired residents such as my parents. Everyone knew everyone, your business, who you were with, what you were doing and the rumors flew faster than tornado-scattered debris!

Imagine growing up in a family where one sibling (underage) went out drinking and slept with the band teacher who was a good family friend! Another sibling was experimenting with sexuality but with the same sex. Two siblings were experimenting with sex together. My mother was an alcoholic and dad was dying of cancer.

I grew up in a town where no one could associate with me because of my family. Um, it really felt oppressive and intolerable. Every single “atrocious” act was a secret that had to be kept from the town, but did we really keep it a secret? There’s an oft-heard maxim “You are only as sick as the secrets you keep”.

Thank GOD for teachers and role models who really made a difference in my life.

Unfortunately, I still put up a good front for years and made myself look good even though I really did not like who I had become. Alcohol became my drug of choice in college. My saving Grace was I became intolerant to it for several years so I never became an alcoholic. After falling in love with a married man and having an affair for many years, I realized that I was carrying the torch of “secrets of the past” while also harboring “secrets of the present” all in the name of love that needed to be addressed if I were to ever live a healthy, happy, authentic life. I understood why people turned to temporary bandaid fixes such as alcohol and drugs to numb the feelings as many addicts arrested growth at an early age. I went into a recovery program for children of alcoholics, which started a Spiritual Journey that has led me on one of the most empowering adventures I have ever had!!

I have since been blessed to become a lightworker to support others on their journey through the dark places, confusion and fear as they stumble their way on their soul-scripture path. There is no judgment as my clients, friends and strangers talk to me about “their secrets”, their arduous, complex spiritual journey accompanied by many “dark nights of the soul”. Make no mistake, this is not for the faint of heart but the incredible freedom and joy during the transformative process is well worth it!

I am blessed to be able to “hold the space” for someone giving them my full attention with an open heart and NO Judgment allowing them to have whatever experience they are having! Holding space is trusting that by allowing a person to express their emotions freely, their deeper healing is already at work. I have heard it all so I ask you, “What deep, dark secret from the past are you keeping out fear of not being loved or accepted for who you are?” I have had friends, clients and strangers share those secrets with me as they start their healing journey. These include but are not limited to Porn, STDs (women especially have lived depressed, limited lives over the stigma of herpes), Slept with the two women or men, experimented with the same sex, incest as a child, biracial, swing couples and more. Although it is doable and FREEING, It is no easy task to hold space with a partner, as we fear the partner will leave us or judge us or try to fix us.

Just recently, some 30 years later I went through a rough patch in which I lost an identical twin, friends and a soul mate. I was also changing jobs and bartending for extra cash while working on my real purpose in life. I found myself surrounded by negativity and getting caught up in “numbing” the pain through temporary bandaid fixes. I knew I could not let myself go down the “dark night of the soul” stumbling on a path which threatened to tear apart my own love, transformation, and truth…my consciousness. I prayed that a job would open up in massage and essential oils. This prayer and journey led me to a rural small town in which I now live a passionate, healthy life on purpose healing clients.

I’ve spent most of my life basing my worth on my education, work and what I accomplish and how much physical activity I can do.  But this is no authentic life and it is based on a life devoid of true happiness and joy.

So not only am I holding space for people in my life, I’m also trying to hold space for myself, so that I can continue to heal my body and keep my heart/soul open. I give myself permission to just BE.  And the more space I can create for myself to simply BE MYSELF, without the old inner criticisms, the more my heart is open and I’m able to feel and sustain love in all of my relationships.

Choices We Make Because of Our Shadows ~ FEAR

“Too many of us move through our lives with our true selves buried below layers of repressed emotion. With so much energy channeled toward sustaining the repression, there is little left over for the deeper questions. The consequences of our evasion are profound. Our stockpiles toxify into a cache of weapons that turn inward against the self: quick fix, long suffering. As Rumi said, “Most people guard against the fire, and so end up in it.” This is the power of then. If we don’t deal with our stuff, it deals with us.”
Jeff Brown, Soulshaping: A Journey Of Self Creation

 

Our society is geared towards making all the kids the same in the classroom. We even medicate them in that environment. Luckily we are moving towards creativity and individuality. The creative essence must be expressed. Um, let’s embrace it instead of FEAR. The thing we are afraid of is not out there!!

WE ARE TERRIFIED of OURSELVES…our Power. The mind has no evidence that we would choose in a loving way. We have so much FEAR, that we have been choosing choices that would protect us and keep us safe.   We choose choices that keep things the same and familiar so that we don’t FEEL the FEAR. We have only ever chosen out of FEAR and to protect ourselves. We are terrified of ourselves.

What if we made choices from a different place? What would that look like? What if we knew that we could not fail? What if we knew that every choice we made was the right choice to live on purpose?

According to Dr. Sue Morter, “Spiritually attuned or successful in business….it is all the same. It does not matter where you are coming from or going to….it matters from the perspective through which you are processing the process. Where are you living within yourself? The same success that allows a person to become an enlightened being in the spiritual essence is the same success thing that allows a being to become an enlightened being in a business essence. The same thing that allows an individual to be enlightened in relationship and be able to exchange in a way that works and communicates and be vulnerable to know that there is great, great strength in being able to do this.“

THIS IS AN INSIDE JOB. Use your FEARS to FUEL to recognize that these fears are created by our minds and they are actually opportunities to grow and evolve. It is a chance to better our lives and move forward on our journey.

These areas of ourselves we have stuffed down deep as they were too scary and we have learned to shove them aside as no one taught us what to do with these shadows or emotions.

It is the same thing as breaking out with hives or a rash and FEARING the unknown. We make it bigger than it has to be! However, we could make a choice to embrace and know these aspects of ourselves.

Herein lies the problem, so many times we stop right there and remain stuck in our own walls that we have built around our heart. We are in our own prison at that moment. That is just the beginning not the end of the story. Don’t name and blame in this moment…this is just the beginning.

If you want to grow in your life or enrich your relationships., then you have to look at things from a different perspective than you ever have before and it is not either or…. It is both.

When we began to invite these “bad” things as great teachers into our lives and embrace our shadows, we will make choices out of love and grow! Our creative essence will then be expressed through writing, singing, art and creating the life we choose.

So we need to sit with it and learn to embrace it ~ to be comfortable with it with GRACE and Compassion instead of choosing out of FEAR ~ choose out of Love.

This is about TRUST. Trust your heart and soul, be vulnerable, and be authentic. Really learn to listen to your intuition.

As long as we don’t stop from there we are well on this journey to wholeness to freedom. Our way to Wholeness is on our own personal journey. It is a breath away from total freedom.

What if it brings me to a bigger freedom, a Graceful unfolding of the bigger picture. It is what we came into this life to accomplish and be spiritually attuned.

How many of you can say “I did learn from this experience? I did gain from this and I have become a much better person because of this??” It ended up bringing us closer together and creating a better circumstance. A better relationship and a better understanding of who we are and self-image?

If you look back you will find a better friendship, relationship, or a better BLESSING that was in it. You will find the support that the universe was offering. That will bring us to that state of how we will know we are there…

The information that is stored at the subconscious level also has a frequency to it. We have collected all kinds of information back there from all of the wrong events and bad experiences that have occurred… and all the hurts and wrong doings that are stored at the subconscious level because that is its job to collect data and store it for future experiences and reference.

If we collected information that says that it is a cold, cruel world out there and it is not safe to love…and the conscious mind is trying to go out and dream the dream well, we will react badly when triggered.   We are coming from a reaction mode because of our perceptions. GET THE EGO OUT OF THE WAY.

The capacity to take responsibility for our shadows is related to self-love and self-respect. Keep in mind that everyone is BETTER and MORE COMPLEX than any wrong-doing. Have compassion and grace for the challenges that you and others are going through. Remember, we all have our own You-nique journey!!

Soul Forgiveness: Mastering Your Fears of the Past

“Woundmates are not to be confused with soulmates, which can also trigger shadowy material to the surface of consciousness, but are sourced in a more promising and fertile wellspring, one that fosters real growth and progress. Soulmates are drawn to one another by a call to essence. At the heart of their connection is the opportunity to grow in karmic stature, while woundmates often just flounder in the mud, trigger after trigger, downward spiral after downward spiral, attached at the waste.” ~Jeff Brown, An Uncommon Bond

It is the July 4th as I received a call from a close friend of mine who needed to talk.  I have known him for more than 15 years.  We are able to talk about anything and have been known to sit up half the night with a glass of wine solving relationship problems of the world!  He has three beautiful grown daughters and now has beautiful grandchildren.  He has been married twice and has had a number of relationships that have not worked out for him.

He started off with “I have done it again.”  He explained he met an amazing woman and they connected intellectually, emotionally, spiritually and physically.  For the first time he was with a happy, confident, authentic and loving woman.  She was his equal, his soul mate.  He knows that she is the partner who would create an incredible life with him.

He then said “the intensity of emotions drove me crazy even though I was a part of it.  It felt like my personal hell and I could not bear to see her hurt.  She wanted to calm the emotional roller coaster but we both had difficulty getting off”.

Sometimes the fear that the extraordinary relationship will create so much power that men don’t know how to handle it.  What if it is too far outside of the comfort zone?  What if it fails and causes a level of pain never felt before?  It also brings about fear of not deserving something this good or not having earned it because of our past mistakes.  What if someone else swept her away?

“She saw my soul and touched my heart like no other.  It was easier not to go there.  I am now with a woman whose business just failed and she has two kids.  I guess I am just comfortable with rescuing that type of woman.”

“Ah, it is returning to the comfort of the old shoe.  We have all done this many times.  However, as we continue our journey the old shoe will no longer fit and this will create relationship problems for us,” I replied.  He agreed.

If we can Be with each other and expect nothing but to be together, then we can enjoy our time together.  Just enjoy the friendship without expectations.  We can continue to grow and expand and share our wisdom with one another. If it is not meant to be then we just have to let it be.  Stand in the light of just being and trust that God will heal it or bring someone else in.

It is wonderful to be given the gift of feeling loved and letting you know that do DESERVE that kind of love.  He agreed and told me that he knew the woman he was with now was not the right one.  He was also feeling the pain of having let the best one slip away.  I asked him if he knew for sure that she was gone forever.

“No, I don’t.  I have not made any attempt to contact her.”  I laughed.  We should never assume anything.  Too often we judge, assume and take things personal.  Make the contact, communicate and see what happens.  Follow your heart.  Try the new shoe, get a few blisters and you will find you really like the love those shoes!!

Feel free to leave a comment below as I would love to hear from you!

 

What I have Learned from my Close Friendships in the last Two Months

“Only when we surrender how we want another person to love us does that love prosper and find an authentic way to reach us” ~ Paul Ferrini, Grace

 I have learned quite a lot about FEAR (False Evidence Appearing Real) in the past two months. My inner critic committee has surfaced in which I have made some decisions about love, life and friendships.

I was taking a risk and putting my authentic self out there with my new friends. It was not easy as I realized I loved one my closest friends. He has many gifts especially as a spiritual leader, writer, musician, and the inspirational messages he shares with the world. With sweetness, clarity, authenticity and simplicity we are directed to the truth and spirit within.

For me, the challenge was to not live with the Fear of being hurt because we’ve all been hurt many times in our lives by family, friends, lovers, and others.  I feared that I would not be worthy enough for him or that someone else would sweep him off his feet. That inner critic committee had surfaced once again!! I took a risk and opened my heart because I wanted to love and be loved. This was not easy as I had to be open, honest and um, the most vulnerable I’d ever been. So, I was honest and told him that I loved him.

Although he was not in the same place as me, he told me he honored those feelings. I was very grateful as I was on an emotional roller coaster ride wanting a relationship but fear was surfacing. He was very caring and compassionate especially during some of our intense conversations.

As wild as this ride was I learned some valuable lessons. Honesty is the best policy even if it is a maybe. I learned I could hear the truth that he did not feel the same way about me and honor where he is on his journey. Close friends can be very honest with each other as we have each other’s best interest at heart and still maintain the friendship! What a great gift in life! I learned that I could love and accept a friend for who he is without seeking a romantic relationship. Fun is very important and that I don’t need to have heart to heart conversations all the time…this was fear driven.

Most importantly, I learned I needed to let the journey unfold patiently in all relationships much like the butterfly dries her wings before she can fly. You cannot force or keep talking about it. Have FUN, enjoy quality time with friends and enjoy the journey!! When we let go of what we think life is supposed to be does it have a chance to reach us! That is Grace. As Paul Ferrini states, “Only when we surrender how we want another person to love us does that love prosper and find an authentic way to reach us.”

A close friend said, “It is something beyond our capacity to understand. I feel this. Life, destiny chooses us. You are here for a reason. Move forward. Ask only for courage and strength.” I prayed for courage and strength through this journey these last two months. I turned to my spiritual foundation and stopped doubting and questioning.

Do I want a relationship with a significant other in my life? Yes, I trust that will happen someday and I know I am worthy of such love.

This has been one of the most empowering journeys as I emerge authentically…the real me.  No masks, no lies, no facades, no blame, no shame, and no games!

As my soul evolves and the butterfly emerges, I shed my limiting thoughts and beliefs and, um, those habits that no longer serve me.  I spend a great deal of time meditating, praying, exercising, connecting to nature and practicing self-care. I spend quality time with close friends who love me and get me. Thank you to all of you who walk the journey with me!!

Please comment below as I would love to hear about your journey!!

Being the Light: Let your Light Shine for Others

“Sometimes our light goes out but is blown again into flame by another human being. Each of us owes deepest thanks to those who have rekindled this inner light.”  ~Albert Schweitzer

 

 

A few months ago, I was talking to one of my coaches about losing my soul mate this past year and the transformation that was taking place in my life. I knew that this man and I were soul mates. All of my previous breakups (3 total) had ended amicably so why had this one ended so badly? What were the lessons?

Rozalyn reminded me that every experience we encounter evolves our soul. Then she said something that really changed my thoughts in midstream! “Lauren, you need to stop thinking this is about you. This is all about his growth. You were the lighthouse for him. You are a lighthouse illuminating for others the dangerous waters and dark storms approaching. Some people are not ready to have those places lit up nor are they able to deal with them right now. YOU ARE A LIGHTWORKER and you have fulfilled your purpose. DO NOT TAKE IT PERSONALLY!” I suddenly understood this was not my story but HIS Story. Time to let go and move on.

Most importantly, I knew deep in my soul that my true purpose was to be a lighthouse illuminating the way to guide people on their journey. It is never to control, own or judge the path that others will take. Lighthouses shine brightly, allowing people to see the rocky shores or dark storms threatening to engulf them.  It is not easy to navigate the darkness and come out on the other side. It takes lots of courage, strength and prayers.

It is about deep soul searching and realigning body, mind and spirit. This is a very inward journey. Um, as I continue to work on my shadows and my fears, I am learning to listen to my heart, my soul. I am learning to trust the mystery and God. I am learning to let go of old patterns. I am learning to trust again in relationships. There are misunderstandings and situations in my relationships that are still happening to illuminate those areas in my life that I need to heal. As I navigate these dark stormy waters while maintaining my faith and trust, I am able to light the way for others who are experiencing a similar journey. I know the fears, doubts, pain and resistance they are experiencing as I share with them that the journey is well worth it and um, yes, there is hope!!

I have listed below some of the traits of light workers or lighthouses. Depending on where you are in your journey, you may exhibit many of these characteristics or just some of these traits.

You may be a Light worker or lighthouse if ……

  1. You feel called to heal others using spiritual techniques such as reiki, yoga, shamanic journeys, feng shui or other spiritual techniques. Believe spiritual methods can heal any situation.
  2. You feel deeply spiritual even if it is not traditional religion although it can be traditional. Feel they are here for a divine purpose.
  3. 3. You crave love and acceptance but sometimes have a difficult time finding it. You feel discouraged and distrusting from many years of relationships that don’t work out.
  4. You feel like you don’t “fit in” with the majority of people because you are different. Often feel misunderstood by people. You often feel lonely, but would rather spend time alone than hang out with people who don’t “get them”. You may have even felt as if you don’t belong in this world. You may have become depressed and even thought about suicide.
  5. You attract “wounded” people who need rescuing, healing or saving. You are very compassionate, kind-hearted and go out of your way to help others. You are generous and a giver by nature.
  6. You have or are recovering from addictions such as sex, food, alcohol or drugs. Even if you are not in a “true” addict, you still use these temporary bandaid fixes to numb or cope with pain and depression.
  7. You want to heal your own life as a first step in healing the world. You read books and/or attend lectures on New Age topics or personal-growth topics.
  8. You are empathetic and feel other people’s emotions especially pain. You love deeply and hurt deeply. You are very sensitive and cry easily. You are or can be sensitive to loud sounds, crowds, or strong smells.
  9. You have a career helping others such teaching, ministers, counseling, social work, medicine, veterinarians, or some other career contributing to humanity and the planet.
  10. You feel compelled to write, teach, or counsel about your healing experiences.
  11. You feel a sense of time urgency to fulfill your purpose/calling as you know that you are here for a higher purpose or even if you are unsure what it is or how to fulfill it.
  12. Your careers or hobbies are in creative fields such as art, music, writing, acting, or designing jewelry. You may be naturally gifted in one or more areas involving creativity and imagination.
  13. Have had mystical experiences, such as psychic premonitions or angelic encounters especially in childhood. Your dreams are vivid and interesting.
  14. You may have had a difficult, painful or lonely childhood. Have endured harsh life experiences that eroded the knowledge of your Divine perfection.
  15. You are not materialistic and do not care about status symbols as long as there is enough money to live decently. You love music, art, animals and NATURE. You want to resolve the world’s social and environmental problems.
  16. You find it difficult to be in this world because there is so much violence, mindlessness, destruction, disregard for nature and all of earth’s creatures.  You are appalled by selfishness, dishonesty, and greed.
  17. You are not regular viewers of the nightly news, because it’s just too negative and depressing. You tend to be more optimistic. You value peace and harmony.
  18. You have a strong desire to move to a new place you have never been before. You may have lost interest in your previous career and have a calling to follow your “true purpose”, um, what you are meant to do, even if you don’t know what it is yet. This may lead to a massive change in your life!!!

My journey as a light worker has empowered me in ways and evolved my soul like nothing has… The term “light worker” is misunderstood as some people think light workers feel superior to others, but this is not the case. Light workers are not better or higher than anyone else! We are all on a journey on our own path with a unique history or experiences that have helped us to grow and move forward on our path. There are people more evolved than us and people less evolved but each soul is moving at their own pace in their own time.

My life had been one of a workaholic avoiding deep relationships and proving who I am. Although I had always had the vision, I had a great deal of FEAR and a huge inner critic committee that kept me following the “norm” and “surviving”. This is what I had always done and was comfortable doing. I was teacher and I knew how to save or stand up for the “underdog” or less fortunate students even though I could not do it for myself. I saw myself as a healer, author, and speaker but did not have the courage to step into it. Many times I silenced the dream, as I did not feel “good enough” to follow it.

I was following society’s norms and everyone else’s expectations of who I was suppose to be instead of following my true passion in life. Sadly, in the words of Doreen Virtue, “I never realized that I was “pushing the snooze button” continuously on my spiritual alarm clock”. I woke up when my identical twin passed away four years ago. I begin surrending to my creator and asking for help to follow my passion in life. When I finally committed to my life purpose and was reintroduced to God through a close friend, many doors began to open one right after the other. At first, the fears came up, but I began to “trust the mystery” and my own transformation happened in miraculous ways that I myself could have never planned and my dream became my reality.

I have experienced all stages of confusion, illusions, and ignorance while actively pursuing my heartfelt mission to heal humanity and be a light for others who were still struggling on their own journeys. I have consciously chosen to become entrenched in the “karmic Circle of Life” to be able to be the light for others. This means feeling my fears and walking through them to be the vulnerable, authentic me. I am a woman who is no longer afraid to live and love passionately while pursuing my dreams and living my true purpose no matter where it takes me!!!  As I continue my soulful journey, I continue to gain valuable tools in which to empower other women become authentic and live from their bliss in true happiness, love and peace.

Feel free to comment below and sign up for the free audio and ebook at the top of the page!! 🙂

Mastering My Fears: My Heart Takes Wing…..

“Two roads diverged in a wood and I- I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.”  ~Robert Frost

 

 

 

I have learned quite a lot about FEAR (False Evidence Appearing Real) in the past month. My inner critic committee has surfaced in which I have made some decisions that I am not proud of….. However, I am so strong in my faith as it grows every day and I am fiercely committed to walking my talk, so I have been able to admit my weaknesses and step up to the plate! I am also committed to being fiercely honest with myself!! Thank God! Thank you to all of my friends who have helped me and believe in me!!! You are awesome!

Jana Stanfield’s song below starts with the lyrics “What would I do Today, If I knew that I could not fail…” what a beautiful message. If we could see that every experience, even the not so good ones, are not a failure but are there to evolve our soul then we would never react out of FEAR. It is the unknown that scares us and if we could just breathe into it and know that all is well, then we would not react.

I was recently in a Northern Wisconsin town trying to trust the mystery as new opportunities were opening up. How did I feel? Vulnerable. Yep, very vulnerable!

Why? I was taking a risk and putting my authentic self out there among those I do not know and others whom I have only known for a couple of months. As I talked to a new friend the other night whom I greatly appreciate and respect, I had to consciously refrain from putting a mask on. It can be down right scary to let people in to know the real me, to meet my soul at its core.

We fear being hurt because we’ve all been hurt many times in our lives by family, friends, lovers, and others.   We took a risk and opened our hearts because we wanted to love and be loved and it doesn’t always work out the way we want it to, right? So we learned to stuff the pain.   And guess what? It gets lodged in our body’s energy field creating blockages, which affects the emotions. Believe me, when I say anyone within our energy field can and will feel our emotions no matter what mask we are hiding behind!!  The more we experience heartaches, the more we stuff pain deep within, and the wackier our emotional state. Sound familiar???

For some of us, we are able to process heartaches, traumas and old wounds, whether through counseling, self-help techniques, spiritual beliefs, or support groups. Many people, however, construct a wall around their heart. I know I did. I did not realize I was doing this, but over time I became distrusting, doubtful which resulted in plenty of negative emotions like fear, hurt, anxiety, and more.

Worse, we try to take the edge off or numb the painful emotions by turning to temporary bandaid fixes such as drinking, anxiety pills or other drugs, working a bajillion hours, smoking, sex, overeating, chronic shopping, and gambling.   Yep, addiction is an epidemic in our society because we so hate feeling pain. We have become a society addicted to suffering.  Some of these addictions lead to death. I lost two sisters in the last 4 years (one being my identical twin), because they wanted so badly to numb the pain.

In the past year, I was struggling emotionally after losing my soulmate. How could I ever love again? How could I keep my heart open? It was hell on earth for a while internally and I wanted to drink to numb my pain. I now understood what my sisters had gone through as they drowned their sorrows in a bottle, but I had reached out and my soul was evolving….. I wanted to BE ME….my authentic self. This would not be easy as I would have to be open, honest and um, the most vulnerable I’d ever been. In fact, the only reason I didn’t drown in a bottle was because somehow I knew that if I used alcohol or food or sex to cope, I would never find true happiness or love. I would never discover my true purpose and my dreams would die. Dammit I deserved so much more! I wanted more than anything to get through the ‘dark night of the soul’ into the light and experience authentic happiness!

It is when we can make a commitment (a real commitment) to stop running, numbing, and self-medicating our pain that we can begin a journey toward healing, freedom, authenticity and feeling real love and happiness.

Most importantly, I knew deep in my soul that my purpose was to be a light for others much like the lighthouse illuminates the way to guide ships on their journey. It is not for me to choose or judge the path that others take. We are each on our own individual path, making our own music, choosing our own experiences. On my path, there have been several Lighthouses shining brightly, allowing me to see with clarity what my choices are and which direction is the better choice for me. As a Lightworker, mentor and teacher, I so resonate with the symbol of a lighthouse. Not because I have been “spared the rod”, but because I have walked or crawled through my fears and explored healing my issues despite my inner critic committee, my deep resistance and my Great wall!!! Um, did I mention it was hell on earth for a while???

As the Robert Frost quote goes, “I have chosen the path less traveled…” I am doing some deep soul searching and realigning, as I am in the process of figuring out what I really want in my extraordinary, authentic life. This is my inner journey to my soul. I am learning to listen to my heart, my intuition. I am learning to trust the mystery and God. I am being reminded of the old patterns in my life that don’t work and need to be let go of.   There are still uncomfortable circumstances that are still occurring to light up those areas in my life that I need to love and heal. I feel as I accept myself (all of me not just the good) and love me for who I am, the more I can connect with people especially women and help them. Do I feel vulnerable?? Um, yep and at times it is very uncomfortable as I want to just melt into the floor out of existence, but very rewarding as I continue the journey.

This journey takes every ounce of courage and strength I can muster!!! I pray every day and every night….. When I had doubts about writing my book, a close friend said, “It is something beyond our capacity to understand. I feel this. Life, destiny chooses us. Move forward. Ask only for courage and strength. You will reap many rewards”.  Thank you for believing in me.

This is a very sacred time for me as I am being aligned with my higher purpose or calling, which is ultimately to be AUTHENTICALLY ME while mentoring women and finding peace, love and happiness! I realize that I am different as I have a strong spirit (okay, intense energy and passion), and it is what makes me special and unique. I am driven and it is none of my business what other people think about me. I realize that those who love me really GET ME, and accept me for who and what I am (all of me!).

As Dominica Applegate wrote, “I feel like I had a “Saul to Paul” experience.  From deep, deep darkness to the brightest of light! I guarantee it wasn’t easy, but the journey is so worth it”.

I had to peel my layers these past few months filtering through the muck, the facades, and the lies to get to the real me. I had to break down a wall that felt like the Great Wall of China surrounding my heart and face my greatest fears! You know, rejection, abandonment and um, the uncertainty.  Fear of the unknown….sound familiar?

I found a couple of close friends whom I deeply trust to talk to who have helped me on this journey. Yes, it scared the s*&@ out of me more than once. At the same time,  one of my close friends reintroduced to me to God.  For that, I am forever grateful!!!  As my spiritual growth has evolved, so has my willingness to expose myself emotionally and become vulnerable. This has been one of the most empowering journeys as I emerge authentically…the real me.  No masks, no lies, no facades, no blame, no shame, and no games!

The Butterfly is an inspiring symbol of change, creativity, freedom and joy. It is a powerful symbol of transforming, and shape shifting the soul.  Butterflies leave the safety of their cocoon and their limitations, to discover a new garden without fear, trusting their wings and flying free!

As my soul evolves and the butterfly emerges, I shed my limiting thoughts and beliefs and, um, those habits that no longer serve me.  I spend a great deal of time meditating, praying, exercising, connecting to nature (very important) and practicing self-care. I spend quality time with close friends who love me and get me.   As Spring continues here in Wisconsin, I am reminded that just like cultivating seedlings for the garden, I must cultivate love, peace and happiness in my garden by going within and tilling my soul!

“I can feel a change is coming, I can feel it in my skin.  I can feel myself outgrowing, This life I’ve been living in And I’m afraid, afraid of change,
Butterfly, please tell me again, I’m gonna be all right……And my heart takes wing.” ~Jana Stanfield, Little Butterfly

 

Please comment below on your own soul journey!  🙂

 

Renewal of the Spirit Burning the Prairie Soul

“It is good to renew ourselves, from time to time, by closely examining the state of our souls, as if we had never done it before; for nothing tends more to the full assurance of faith, than to keep ourselves by this means in humility, and the exercise of all good works.” ~ John Wesley

It was a typical Wisconsin Spring Day in April. The high was 48 degrees with a 10 mph SW wind that seemed to change direction as I walked towards the Prairie we were about to burn. Prairie grasses were blowing in the wind under clear deep blue skies.

Over the years I had learned a great deal about the life cycles of the flowers and grasses that flourished here. Today I was amazed by my own spiritual growth and transformation over the past month. My epiphany came about 4 weeks ago during a spiritual drought when a close friend from Northeastern Wisconsin introduced me back to God as he played the Guitar and sang “Seek Ye First” in church. His beautiful music touched my soul and opened my heart with an unexpected revelation filling it with the spiritual nourishment that I had been seeking.  What a blessing he brought into my life which has never been the same!

As I trod through the prairie waiting to witness the purging and letting go of the old, I joined the volunteers who had come to help with this death-into-life event. As I took out my camera to capture the spiritual restoration of this sacred landscape, I realized how this event was mirroring my own renewal and spiritual growth. This is a beautiful, mosaic artwork designed by our creator being molded and transformed. This was the perfect way to end on Earth Week.

There is something spiritually therapeutic in reconnecting people to their roots of living on the land and being one in nature. This was a spiritual renewal of the land and of my soul by letting go of the old (old patterns that no longer served me) to allow the new growth to begin. As I glance across the prairie at the plants and animals in communion with one another, I am reminded of mass that I attended this past Weekend. Just as I was moved and restored by the sermon, prayers and rituals such as communion, so too is the prairie a gathering ~ a congregation of plants, animals, water, rocks, and soil participating in their own rituals.

The prairie is a mosaic painting of grasses, flowers (Wild Lupine), water, birds, mammals (badgers), insects (karner blue butterfly), fire and weather all woven together and interconnected. If one part is affected, then all of it is affected much like that of a spider web. Larvae of the Karner blue butterfly prefer the Wild Lupine so if it disappears, then this delicate, blue butterfly disappears.

I am reminded that everything happens for a reason and a season. I especially love the thought of the dramatic transformation that this prairie will soon partake much like the caterpillar shedding its old skin to become a beautiful butterfly. It is an appropriate metaphor for the spiritual and personal growth in my life ~ renewal of my soul. After the burning and letting go of the old, it is a chance for new life to take hold and flourish in the nutrient rich soils of the soul.

We all went to our assigned posts with rakes, flappers and water tanks ready for the back burn into the windI realized I was already violating one of the safety rules, as my field pants and shirt were synthetic instead of cotton or wool. If I got too close to the raging fire, my clothes would melt searing my flesh like a tender steak on a grill. I would have to be especially careful today, a chance I was willing to take, as I needed to experience this spiritual purging and letting go of the old to make room for the new.

As we light the fire, smoke rises to the to the deep blue sky up to the fire Gods and I say a prayer for all of us working the burn. It begins its raging assault on the dead prairie grasses and flowers while a Sandhill Crane flies overhead circling the marsh on the Northwest corner. There must be a nest nearby I thought, but she keeps her distance and I watch as the fire becomes very intense, raging and cackling with an intensity that flames my soul. I can feel the sweltering heat penetrating my clothes and soul. I step back feeling a little dizzy from the heat and smoke that surrounded me much like the uncomfortableness of the passing minutes in a sauna as you breathe in hot, thick air.   Soon the sound of the roaring fire drowns out the beautiful choir of spring peepers, bluebirds, cardinals and robins.

Prairie fires are both fascinating and frightening. As I watch the flames swirl with the changing wind direction raging across the prairie and I am reminded that this control burn can quickly go out of control in a split second much like a mild disagreement escalates into a raging battle! I put away the camera and began working the “Boundaries” making sure the fire does not cross the control line in this relationship; such a beautiful, sweet metaphor of personal growth evolving my soul in this journey of life.

The sounds of fire are most memorable much like the “Seek Ye First” song I heard 4 weeks ago only magnified 10 times! As the fire creates its own wind roaring through the dense fuel of grasses, pops, crackles and echoes like gunshots from the surrounding wooded landscape bordering the area. Magnificent plumes of smoke rise to the fire Gods changing the color of the sun and creating surreal designs on the spring sky including a deep red sunset.

I am also reminded that to truly understand and know the prairie, I must spend quality time being present and deeply connecting to nature (just like spending quality time with connecting to my higher power and prayer). It happens when I choose to bring my journal, and binoculars following the song of the common yellow throat warbler as it sings witchety-withchety-witchety. The Common Yellow Throat warbler (Geothlypis trichas) lives in a variety of habitats from wetlands to prairies to pine forests. They generally build their nests close to the ground hidden in dense, low vegetation. They are also found in dry upland pine forests, palmetto thickets, drainage ditches, hedgerows, orchards, fields, burned-over oak forests, shrub-covered hillsides, river edges, and disturbed sites.

For hours, I watch it eat, sing, flitter, and build its nest. I watch its movements and its courtship behavior. I notice which vegetation it prefers as I write my natural history notes and make a feeble attempt to sketch it. Now, I can say I truly know and understand this magnificent warbler migrating through our prairies.

I observe the karner blue butterfly (Lycaeides melissa samuelis) flitting around the Wild Lupine (Lupinus perennis). This tiny butterfly, about one inch across, is endangered. Karner blue is most widespread in Wisconsin, and can be found in portions of Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New York, and Ohio. It may also be present in Illinois.

The male has dark blue or silver-blue wings with a black border. The female’s wings are a dimmer blue fading to a brownish or grayish color towards the edges of its wings. In addition, the female’s wings are fringed with a row of dark spots with orange crescents. Their undersides are light gray to a grayish brown with rows of brown spots.

Spending time in nature is truly a spiritual connection as we experience the sacredness of the moment. Too often, we feel disconnected and isolated from life, God, the Earth and each other as we travel at the speed of Life! Today I felt deeply connected to the Earth, God, and friends. In a few minutes we would be toasting and celebrating the renewal of life of the prairie and of our own souls.

When I have a real relationship with God my higher power, life gets exciting. He stirs up a passion inside me to love people—and I no longer have to struggle to do the things He calls me to do. It just happens naturally as all the pieces fit and my career, relationships, and health all flow with ease and harmony. So too, when I have a real relationship with the prairie, my passion for the land and animals shine through and I really connect with the soul of this ecosystem. The life of a Prairie is renewed with Fire. The burning renews life into my soul as both soul and prairie are restored to its magnificence.

My Spiritual Journey

As I continue my spiritual journey to the soul, I am reminded to just be and function from my heart space, from that soulful place within…….from the GOD-source energy that lies within.  Why? Because when I can accept of all my feelings I am experiencing in that moment (grief, happiness, pain, anger, sadness or anything else) I can choose how I show up and respond with Love, Compassion and Understanding. By doing so, I can make a difference and change the world from the place I AM right now; living in the light  while humbly walking with God.

My good friend and Kindred Sister Lucinda Rae describes this journey so eloquently in the passage below:

“I’ve been praying more the past month or so more than I have my entire life… Morning and night whether I feel like it or not, I sit and I pray. For myself, my loved ones, and others I don’t even know. *Prayers* that this devotion continues and grows the rest of this life, to become more of a channel for this Light to flow through, and open to new levels in this intimate connection to the healing living energy of Divine Consciousness.

As I unveil more layers towards the inner most pure self, I have some days of discovery with an opening heart paired with moments of unexplainable sadness releasing the ignorance of not before being more fully tapped in with our Holy Creator in continuous connection in all my breaths that have since fled my awareness as the past… which all opens me to new levels of humility and on-my-knees in quiet rejoicing gratitude.

May we each unfurl into more divine trust and earnestly pray for a life of fervent integrity and magnificent love as our tears of What’s Been fade into the gentle waters of the most compassionate ways of living in the Light, for a life that is intended to be way beyond that who we think we are (or that which we have been). Amen. ”

Please leave a comment below on where you are with your spiritual journey! 🙂

“It Doesn’t Mean That I’m Not Strong…”

This is dedicated to all women, including my clients to empower you.  Her music is wonderful and can be purchased on her website.

Jana Stanfield describes her music as “psychotherapy you can dance to.” With soaring vocals, acoustic arrangements, and meaningful lyrics, Jana Stanfield says that her goal is to use her music to give people a “faith-lift.” Her fans say the music is the ideal alternative to Prozac… all the mood elevation with none of the water retention.  Her website is http://www.janastanfield.com/.

Jana Stanfield, Karen Taylor-Good

Here I am a woman
I know it’s hard for you to understand
My way of seeing, being so different
From a man
My way looks softer
But let me offer
The best explanation I can

(Chorus) If I’m afraid, it doesn’t mean that I’m not brave
And if I doubt, it doesn’t mean that I’ve lost faith
And if I fall, it doesn’t mean I can’t go on
And if I cry, it doesn’t mean that I’m not strong

For the rest of the song by Jana Stanfield, Enjoy the video!!

Fear, Trust, And Post Traumatic Relationship Syndrome

“The best way to find out if you can trust somebody is to trust them.” ~Ernest Hemingway

Being vulnerable and keeping our hearts open in a relationship is one of our greatest strengths. However, eating dinner in a pub the other night, I became very aware of people who were cynical, suspicious, and unable to follow their hearts. They had lost their trust and possibly their faith. Fear of rejection and abandonment haunt many people to some degree.

Many people have huge walls around their hearts and are jaded about relationships because their trust has been betrayed. I call this “Post Traumatic Relationship Syndrome” as people have closed their hearts due to living in fear of being hurt again.

Trust is a fragile thing because there is always a chance of being hurt again. We have all been hurt by someone we deeply cared about and trusted. So how do we keep our hearts open, let go of fear, and create an awesome opportunity to experience deep trust? By allowing yourself to be vulnerable and not bringing in the baggage from the past. I like to think we come into our relationships with an overnight bag instead 6!

Although there are no guarantees, trust is a gift of the heart that takes down the barriers, deepens relationships, and leads to love in all relationships. The journey to love is a journey to your soul. It tells us about our core relationship to ourselves. It also provides us with the opportunity to deeply connect, to see and love another’s soul.

Here are some ways to build trust in a relationship.

1. Be authentic

Be as transparent as possible. Suspicions emerge in relationships when people act differently that is outside their character. Some people deeply connect and then push love away. Being authentic and transparent leaves less room for assumptions that can easily create unnecessary drama.

2. Communicate clearly and often

Keep the communication open and let your partner know that you need space. Although we are in the age of texting and emailing, nothing beats talking especially face to face.  A phone call is better than email and text, but face to face is always best!! Always ask and never assume if you are questioning anything in the relationship. It is far better to be direct and open, then to make an assumption that could potentially destroy trust.  And remember, don’t take anything personal!

3. Spend time with the person to learn about him or her

Spend quality time and energy getting to know someone. The more information you have the better you can assess situations that come up like are they just having an off day due to a loss or stressful situation. While trust is a leap of faith, it is also about getting to know the other person.  More importantly, it is about accepting that person for who they are (the good, bad, and ugly).

4. Take Responsibility and Make a Sincere Apology

Take responsibility for your actions and make a sincere apology if you have made a mistake or disappointed your partner. A trustworthy person is responsible for their behavior. Sincere apologies build trust. If your partner apologizes to you, practice forgiveness and letting go of past hurts.  You are only 100% responsible for your 50% of the relationship.  Forgive yourself as well. 🙂

5. Be honest and never lie

Honesty is the best policy and does build trust. Even the smallest white lie can erode trust. A relationship grows in a healthy way when both partners are honest with each other.  Silence is a form of dishonesty.  Secrets erode trust.

6. Walk Your Talk

Your actions and words must be in alignment.  Saying one thing and doing another is very is not only misleading, it is inconsistent.  This too will erode trust.  Now, sometimes this is done innocently because of denying our true feelings.  This will lead to feelings of frustration and fear.  Monitor your feelings and the thoughts behind them.  Be gentle on yourself and change your thoughts 🙂

The good news is that trust can be built.  As Michael McDonald sings, “You’re gonna have to trust someone…..because it ain’t no life living all alone.  Love gives us a second chance to find all that we lost”.  Keep the faith and yes, Post Traumatic Relationship syndrome can be healed! 🙂

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