“Empowering Women”

“Empowering Women” is big business right now. Or at least it is in my circles. I can’t scroll through Facebook without an add or a post from someone who describes their work as ’empowering women’.

These people seem to have successful businesses doing it. I say seem because who knows what is real. Anyone can say anything in their own advertising. Damn, you can even write your own testimonials. People are notorious for test driving fancy cars through fancy neighborhoods, taking a photo and presenting it as if it were their own manifestation. Yes, if you are paying attention, I am a little jaded – pun intended – on my own industry right about now. Because I don’t like tactics, or facades. I like real and authentic. But that’s another topic.

I do not and will not ever say I empower women. Women -actually, everyone – are born empowered. That Light that makes you alive is power. You always have it. You can’t lose it and I can’t give it to you. I can’t even do a ceremonial ritual to activate it in you. The very best I can do is ENABLE you to access it, because someone else DISABLED your access to it, prior. Honestly, all that disabling was an illusion anyway, so I’m really just pulling back the curtain. Its easier when you have the right tools, and I’ve been collecting them for a long time now.

What I’ve noticed lately in this empowerment culture, is a call to Sisterhood. What I’ve also noticed is that it is Sisterhoods run like The Boy’s Club. It is sisterhood as long as some one is doing poorly and those in power (hierarchy) can feel good about themselves lending a hand up.

Have you noticed that in a group of women when one puts herself down, makes herself small and criticizes herself, all the other women rally around and tell her how beautiful she is, how amazing she is, how much she has to offer and that she needs to find her voice to speak her truth?

Have you also noticed that, in that same group of women, when one who’s found her voice, speaks her truth compassionately, lends her educated opinion intelligently and offers to share her gifts generously, that same group of women put her ‘in her place’ and tear her down – telling her she is full of herself, opinionated, self-promoting and self-serving? “Polite” people will call her intimidating. (I’m not talking about those who practice the ‘fake it til you make it’ protocol. That is overcompensation, not authentic and not at all what I’m referencing here.)

I’ve watched it now, specifically for 6 months in various formats. So often I see women eager to raise up others they perceive to be beneath them, and tear down other women they perceive to be above them. Even more so, I see women aggressively tear down those they might feel are equal to them, because they see them as direct competition.

This is the Old Boy’s Club paradigm at work. They have divided us first from men, then from each other by race, religion and socioeconomic status. How smart that Boy’s Club is! We do all their dirty work for them! We take each other out for the smallest crumbs at the table. All they have to do then is take out the few that rise above the culling of the herd.

We have become our own worst enemy at exactly the worst time.

This world needs the Divine Feminine more than ever, but we have disabled ourselves. We have turned on each other and made it so we would each prefer to side with men, because at least there we know where we stand. We know what to expect. We know that we will be insulted to our face, not stabbed in the back. (And I think subconsciously, we think that is the path to power.)

Ever wonder why a woman would side with a man against all reason? Why when he treats her so poorly, she will stand with him against other women? Because of the Boy’s Club mentality. It is what has women support someone who openly admits that his power allows him to grab women by the pussy, and that those women think they are special because of it. It is why we immediately question a female victim’s motives, rather than supporting her in telling her story.

Like I said, the Boys did their jobs well.

It starts early and never seems to end. I experienced sexual harassment from a gang of girls in the sixth grade. My own mother threw me out of the house when she found out I’d reported my college teacher for sexual harassment. I experienced a gang of women chiding and making fun of me after I reported having been trapped in an office by a male co-worker unknown to me who made sexual references.

Have you seen this video circulating on Facebook?

You.

Must.

Watch.

We have too much been told we are too much. We have too much been dimmed. We have too much wounded one another in the race to the top of the pyramid. Enough!

Enough of the school yard bullying. Enough of the board room bullying. Enough! If you are a woman than your first inclination towards another woman needs to be kindness not competition. Boys have pit us against one another for far too long…since grade school for many of us. Enough.

I see so many women calling themselves warriors, boss bitches and even some who call themselves ‘spiritual gangsters’. This is not the way to embrace and honor the Divine Feminine! These are all men’s pants that women are putting on! We need to be the gentler strength. We need to be Queens and Goddesses! We need to be Maids, Mothers and Crones!! We need to embrace the strong woman archetypes of all variations, not just the ones that exhibit Divine Masculine.

We need to ‘beat’ them at our game, not try to play theirs. I just watched the most heart wrenching video of one of the most heroic women I have ever heard of. She isn’t a politician. She isn’t telling her ‘me too’ story. She hasn’t gone to the board room and declared war.

She was held captive and beaten for two days by her boyfriend, before she convinced him to take her and her dog to the veterinarian’s clinic. She then got out of eyesight of her boyfriend, wrote a note and slipped it to a tech behind the desk. In the note she states that she’s being threatened and her boyfriend has a gun. The staff went into action, put them in an isolated room and called the police without alerting anyone. The arrest was made smoothly without incident to her. Then she broke down while she displayed her bruises.

If you haven’t seen it, watch it here

It’s heart breaking but makes me so proud to be a woman. Never give up.

One woman had told her story in front of the nation and faced her accused abuser. I believe 100% of women need to support her, but I am shocked to find that not so. I do not understand.

And then today I see a video of a white woman who, without cause, barred a black gentleman from entering his own apartment building. And then I saw a post by a black woman who was reported to security and the police by a white man as she was going through her own trunk.

Underlying premise…people of color cannot have nice things.

What does that have to do with empowering women? 1) What if the roles had been reversed?  What if he had done that to her? And if she truly thought he didn’t belong why did she willingly lock herself into a confined space with him? 2) That white male…would he have called the police if he’d seen that black woman being raped instead of rummaging in her trunk? Or would he have chosen ‘not to get involved’?

I do not understand the society mindset today.

Women. We need to have each other’s backs and we need to not become douchebags and call it ‘asserting ourselves’.

Let’s be better.

I love you. I do. But some days…..

~Jade

 

 

Hold Yourself Accountable, Guru

I’m a little aghast right now. Fair warning, this will be a little rantish.

I just witnessed a celebrity ‘relationship expert’ demonstrate the most repulsive behavior. I just can’t understand it. How does society at large give such credence to people who do not walk their talk? What is it that? What has people say ‘yes, I will buy your book and invest in you despite your bad behavior” ????

When I was looking for mentors, teachers, coaches, etc…I was watching. Observing. I was very careful to find someone who looked like a better version of me. Because if they weren’t better a version of me, how could I look to them to help me become the best version of myself?

I’m not talking about someone who is perfect. No. I am talking about someone who is consistent and congruent. Just that. I mean, if you can’t resolve your own conflicts, how can you inspire others to resolve theirs?

Hypocritical. This is all I kept thinking.

She was so obsessed with being understood that she became blind to trying to understand the other person. This is key in relationships.

Relationships are two way streets. They are not just your relationships. You co-own them with others, which means their feelings and perspectives are just as important as yours. When attempting to resolve issues, it is important to get out of your own head and try to get into theirs. Now this other person might not be interested in that, and that’s ok. If you are the ‘expert’ you will know how to handle this. And handling it does not mean shaming that person, nor slandering them, calling names, nor embarrassing them. Yet, that is what this ‘expert’ did.

This person has books. Does tours. Holds retreats.

How does this happen? I really don’t understand. I don’t understand how people accept that. I also do not understand the confidence of someone to call themselves a ‘relationship expert’ when they don’t do their work. Again, not looking for perfect. Not looking for someone who doesn’t go on a rant on occasion. I am looking for someone who knows what it means to take accountability. One who is seeking to understand more than to be understood. One who controls their ego, not one who’s ego is out of control.

“Use your big girl words.” That’s what I want to say.

My daughter, at the age of 22, in a verbal disagreement with a 43 year old woman was called a ‘bitch’ by this woman and simply came back with ‘and I think you are a little two-faced’. We don’t call names. We don’t throw labels.

I have been in some dark times. Some trying times. I’ve been overwhelmed and undervalued…

but I never ever let what someone else is doing change who I am.

Consistency and congruence are my measuring sticks. I never ever want to be a hypocrite. I revere other people’s lives too much to sell anything other than my 100% best.

I am not perky all the time. I can get snappy. I get frustrated. And when I act a fool I apologize. I examine why I let it get to me and learn from it.

I do that by asking myself why this is happening. What in me is allowing this? “She brings out the worst in me.” That’s what she said. Well, ask yourself why relationship guru. Why do you think that is? Why does this person who doesn’t know you and can’t know your triggers keep tripping them? And why are you not taking responsibility for those triggers?

Yes, responsibility for your triggers, lies with you, not anyone else. It’s not anyone’s job to walk softly around your triggers. It is your job to understand your triggers and defuse them like the landmines they are. I usually add in a ‘thank you for showing me this’, if not to the person, then to the Universe itself.

I have also processed out loud with groups of like-minded individuals. I don’t pretend I have it altogether. I completely am transparent in disclosing that this is hard for me and I can’t figure it out. “I know this and such, but I can’t get my mind on board” kind of thing. In fact, I just did that in one of my groups, facing one of the biggest challenges of my life. You know what? People respect that and appreciate it.

Please, when you are looking for ‘expert’ advice. Research who’s advice you are taking. Do they tell you what you want to hear, or what you need to hear? Do they tell you things that expand into your highest best self or shrink into someone else’s mold?

Be you and if you need help with that, find someone who has mastered themselves.

I love you.

~Jade

 

 

 

Keto WOE vs Keto DIET

Let me first start out by saying this was supposed to be a private thing. This was written for two Facebook support groups. One called “Push For Your Better” and the other “Ketogenic Diet – motivation group”. It was denied approval by both groups. I am disgusted and will be leaving them both. Or maybe not, maybe when you are done reading you can explain to me why this would not be approved. *edit So, it appears that the link to my blog is the problem with the post and why it was not approved. In fact, it got me essentially kicked out of a third group. 

My Keto Friends,

I have been watching, mostly from the sidelines, as I traversed my own Keto journey. Lately I have been feeling overwhelmed by the emotions behind the posts ‘I’ve been doing Keto since _______ and have only lost ___ pounds’. Some are super heartbreaking, in that they have been doing it a long time with proportionately little loss. While others seem to be skewed, being on the protocol a few weeks with what I would deem a proportionately significant weight loss.

This has been haunting me.

Why? Well, let me share a bit about myself so you can get the clearest picture. I am a Life Enhancement Specialist. I am an energy healer with a 30 year career of social work to go with it. What that means is I’ve taken all the experience from my years working with humans in their worst moments and combined it with my equally as long career of metaphysical healing work (sacred work) to facilitate opportunities of growth and healing for others. I help people connect what is going on with their bodies to what is going on in their mind and heart.

I have struggled with weight issues since I was 24 and started on birth control. I’ve struggled with body image issues though since I was 15, 5’2” and 115# when the doctor said, before even looking at me, “So, I see you’re carrying a little extra weight.” Though not particularly athletic, I had an athletic build. He changed his tune after examining me, but the seed was planted and took root.

I am a hippie-dippie, gypsy, tree-hugging, lie naked under the moon, health conscious, holistic, naturpathic and homeopathic woman of 53 years. I know that the physical body is only mirroring the emotional and energetic bodies. I have worked on my internal stuff religiously and openly, while assisting others on their path of healing. None of this work helped me lose weight, though. Not that I intended it to, but do you remember the time when the big tag line was ‘it’s not what you’re eating, it’s what’s eating you’?

Well, sometimes it’s not.

Sometimes it is the food you are eating. Which is where I am now. Learning how the ‘healthy’ way of eating that we were taught, and that I’ve been following religiously, has made me sick. It started in January 2018, when I learned about the Whole30 protocol. I went 42 days. I only lost 10 pounds, but I also lost ‘Fibromyalgia’. Since day 21 I have not had a single Fibro symptom! FOOD! Food was the cause, but no doctor ever even suggested that could be an issue. They just offered me pills.

I stayed true to Whole30 for the next three months. I added back what I really wanted to, and what didn’t seem to affect me. Despite this by June I had only lost two more pounds. Something was still not right. Then I found Ketogenic. I was grateful for the Whole30 start because switching to Keto was a breeze. I had rid myself of most of the carbs and addictions by then. It was just a matter of letting go of the sweet potatoes and the high amount of veggies I was eating. Plus I got to add back in dairy, which I had missed. Easy.

Still the weight loss has been slow. It even prompted me to write about it in my blog, finally. The scale is not my friend. Everyone is different but the stories of rapid weight loss were weighing on me (pun intended). I didn’t get on the scale often but that almost made it worse, because I would think ‘after this long the scale must have moved a lot!’ It hadn’t, yet I was fitting into clothes that I was originally wearing at a lower weight. I found myself disappointed, de-motivated and ready to give up. But I don’t allow giving up, so that caused me to once again look inside.

Why was an arbitrary number holding so much value for me? I delved into it and wrote about that, here https://willowsongmedicine.wordpress.com/2018/09/08/its-not-about-the-diet-its-about-life/

What I realized is that I put more value in the number on that scale than the myriads of other evidence showing me that this is a resonant path for me. It revealed my dependence on external validation. It was a huge breakthrough for me. If you have the time, read the post. It was really powerful for me.

So, that brings me back to today and why I think so many of your ‘I’ve only lost____pounds….’ posts are haunting me.

This is a way of eating (WOE). It is not a diet. I see a lot of you saying that, but you aren’t living it. If you are relying on the scale for validation of a job well done, then regardless of what you say, you are looking at this as a diet. If you are looking at your life and seeing validation of a job well done in many places, then you are truly seeing it as a way of eating. Does that make sense?

It isn’t the scale or the protocol that is in question, its your perspective (which is developed from your programming.)

Our bodies, our minds and our spirits are intertwined. You can’t fix one and expect the others to magically align. You have to work on them all simultaneously. If you are looking for a scale ‘high’ to replace the ‘high’ from carbs/sugar you aren’t addressing the real issue…your need for a ‘high’. That’s addictive behavior. The need to see fast results (whatever ‘fast’ means to you) instead of realizing you are just doing something good for yourself. That’s a dependence on immediate gratification; the underlying premise of addiction.

When you are accepting a new way of eating you are changing your whole lifestyle to a more mindful experience. Without that awareness you are just doing a fad diet.

You are doing yourself a disservice if you are not doing your inside work along with the Keto WOE. I believe that it is those who do not do both sides of the work that gain the weight back or struggle the most (going off and on, can’t get back on etc.)

So there it is. My thoughts today. I hope they help.

*end

So, now this becomes a full on blog post rather than a little group post. Which is me being extremely transparent and breathing big. 

I love you. 

~Jade

 

It Always Comes Down To Choice

There are only two ways to live your life: as though nothing is a miracle, or as though everything is a miracle. ~Albert Einstein

This simple quote affected me in quite a magnanimous way. Suddenly, everything made sense. It all comes down to what we choose to see.

Today I was in Meijer, grocery shopping. I’ve had a stress-filled couple of days including 9 hours in the car. I didn’t feel like showering or putting on make-up but we needed food. So, I threw on a tank top, some yoga pants and ran a brush through my hair.

As I walked through the store, I noticed how my body is moving differently. With all the foods I’ve eliminated, the inflammation in my body is also being eliminated. I notice muscles that seem to have been too paralyzed to move before. I notice how I walk differently, using different muscles, standing straighter…feeling straighter.

As I gathered the items needed I was also creating a recipe in my head. A roasted garlic cheese dip, to be exact. I hadn’t found a recipe that sounded quite right, so I’m creating it in my head as I shop, hoping it will be finished so I can gather all the ingredients.

One of the things I love about Michigan is the people are so nice here. More noticeably so than anywhere else I’ve been. I love making eye contact, smiling and exchanging greetings. Everyone this morning seemed to be particularly engaging.

I was walking through the store, with my recipe creating in my head and also thinking how really awesome Life is, and how the Universal Laws are always in effect…even if you don’t believe they exist. I had such deep gratitude and admiration for how things have shown up at my life, at just the right time as I’ve become more in alignment. All pieces have to be in place in just the right order for them to be most effective. But the beautiful thing is, you don’t have to know what that order is, you just have to work on your alignment and they fall into place!

Everything in Divine Timing. You might want to work on one thing, not realizing that something else, or multiple things, need to be aligned before that original thing.  It might be months or even years before that thing sees results, which can be disheartening if you aren’t paying attention to all the other issues coming into alignment.

The past 4 years I’ve been on a roll, even though it hasn’t felt like it. This year though it is quite evident, and I can see exactly why events needed to take place exactly as they have. Exactly.

Back to Meijer…as I was standing in the baking aisle, attempting to find sugar free chocolate chips with no artificial sweeteners, it happened. One of those crystal clear revelations. I was standing, staring at the shelves of baking chips, when this woman interrupts me to tell me about this great mixed nut find she uses as an alternative to other nuts for baking crusts.

She just started talking to me. She didn’t ask me a question about what I was looking for or what I was baking. She just offered her expertise. I found myself wondering why she chose me to reveal this secret to. I have no interest in this information at this point. I’m not even looking at the nuts.

And then I thought, “I’m really glad that I am someone with whom others want to share their experience. I’m glad she felt comfortable sharing this with me.” She was brief, didn’t take up much of my time (though time surely slowed down for all this awareness to happen.)

And in that moment, I realized I had made a choice.

I could have been annoyed or I could be grateful.

I was crystal clear on that moment when someone makes that choice. It was as if I was out of my body watching the whole encounter.

Is this one of the surprising side effects to being in alignment? It’s so strong that others are compelled to engage with you? As an empath I’ve always been someone with whom others share personal stuff rather easily, but it hasn’t always been healthy. I remember once, being trapped by a woman in a Kohl’s bathroom because she had positioned herself between me and the door and wouldn’t stop telling me about her life problems. My friend actually came to find me and pull me out after a half hour of waiting for me. But this doesn’t feel like that. This feels like something else altogether. This feels magical. It feels like a reward; sweet, kind and without boundary violations.

Life is an illusion of our own creation. That’s it. In a nutshell. You can either paint with all the colors of the pallet or stick with brown and black. It’s completely up to you. Everyone gets the same pallet, but a different canvas; it’s up to you to choose what colors go on that canvas.

monochrome photography of frames
Photo by Jimmy Chan on Pexels.com

My friends used to call me the Queen of Reframing…and I am, I suppose. Have you ever picked out a piece of unframed art? You fall in love with this piece on canvas and then begin looking for the right frame to really bring out the parts you love about the piece. The frame changes your experience of that painting. The right frame can turn a simple insignificant piece of art into a masterpiece. Of course, the opposite is also true. It can completely ruin a piece and make it undesirable. 

Framing is an art.

So (as it so often is in my writings) it is in life. At any point we have the choice of which frame to put on a particular painting.

When I get up every morning I choose the types of frame at my disposal. So when that lady approached me in the grocery store, it wasn’t random. That frame is in my energy field which communicated a resonance with her. This is how she knew it was safe to share with me. I walk through my life with that energy following me, preceding me and surrounding me.

The really beautiful thing is that it has a blossoming effect. You start with the mindset…that choice of frame. That leads to an improved vibration which feels good. This goes out into your energy field and resonates with other like-vibing things (people and events), which draws them to you. These improved experiences resonate with you on a higher vibe which feels good and improves your mindset. You then respond with an even higher vibration and the cycle starts all over again.

This is how it works. Life. It’s what people mean when they say you get back what you give out. It isn’t about usurping the natural process of life that ebbs and flows. It is about maximizing those flows and managing those ebbs, though.

It is how you make the most of life.

And that is where I shall leave you for today. In the very magical place of choice.

I love you.

~Jade

 

 

It’s Not About The Diet, It’s About Life

I’ve had the shiftiest week.

It started with swimmer’s ear. Look, I walk the walk. I’m not just going to point out that your left knee pain is connected to your ability to easily move in your Femininity; Or that your relationship with your brother is causing the pain in your right shoulder, only to then totally ignore (or hide) my own right sided ear ache! I walk my talk, my friends.

After nearly 6 years of living with and trying to manage Fibromyalgia, my persistence paid off and I have been asymptomatic since doing the Whole30 protocol (January 2018) and discovering precisely how my body reacts to certain foods. Through that process I relieved myself of every single ‘fibromyalgia’ symptom, additional hip pain, migraines, daily headaches and wheezing. Oh yeah, I lost a few pounds too. I did not get the ‘energy’ that most people talked about, though.

Five more months of living fairly close to the guidelines, yielded no more weight loss and no energy surge. It was then I was introduced to the Ketogenic diet. Now, normally I stay away from anything at all with the word ‘diet’ in it. I am not a quick fix girl. Clearly. Or I would’ve opted for the Lyrica that the doctors wanted me on for my fibromyalgia (although I did try it and it was no ‘fix’ at all.)

Backstory note: One of the basic premises of my life is, and has always been, ‘there is no problem without a solution’. I may not always like the solution, but there is always a solution. So, no matter how long a problem goes on, I never ever give up on finding that solution. I know that when I am in the right vibration, that solution will present itself. 

So, that said, I am not into quick fix diets, but I am also one to listen to the Universe when it speaks to me. It spoke to me about Whole30 and look how that turned out! So, time and time again I was running into this ‘Keto’ thing. Finally, a woman friend I respect a great deal told me of her struggles and her resulting triumph with Keto. She referred me to a Netflix documentary called, “The Magic Pill”. (I honestly resisted watching it based on the title alone!) But since the Universe had gone out of its way to put all these pieces together for me, I opted to watch. I’m really glad I did. If you haven’t watched it, take some time and do so. It was well done and informative. It makes a lot of sense, to me.

And so I began my Keto journey.

But this isn’t about the diet, its about life, so just hang with me here while I get there. I have struggled with weight issues since I was 24, when I got the Depo Provera shot for birth control. If you learn nothing else from this piece, let it be to never mess with your hormones! I would spend the next 29 years paying the price, until a solution (perhaps not thee solution) would show up.

The ever supportive medical community literally told me to ‘eat more veggies and push away from the table‘, while my friends empathized with me because they knew how ‘healthy‘ I ate. I say ‘healthy’ because as it turns out, what has been deemed healthy eating in the dietary guidelines by the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, isn’t actually healthy for me.

Now, I am heading to my third month on Keto. I have not been perfect. However, those slips have given me vital information that now fuel my drive for success. I can see with my eyes, in photos, what foods are doing to me almost immediately. I don’t need to rely on a scale for feedback. Which brings me to one point of this piece: External Validation.

While I focus primarily on NSV (non-scale victories) I still wished very much for the number on the scale to go down. I’m not doing this for the weight loss. I am doing this because the weight gain is a symptom of some imbalance that was created nearly 3 decades ago. Losing weight would be super awesome, but until I get that inner balance achieved it won’t mean a thing, even if the scale moves downward.

After the period of slippage from the Keto path, I weighed myself and despite doing really well before that slippage, the scale had not moved at all. I don’t weigh myself regularly, so it isn’t like I had a weekly weight to gage by. No, I weighed myself, then started Keto, then weighed one week later, then two weeks of ‘good’, then three weeks of ‘bad’ and then one week of ‘good’ and then weighed again. So, you see, it was super not helpful at all. Too bad I didn’t figure that out before I stepped on the scale. It was exactly where it had been after that first week. And I was so disappointed.

Not ‘give up’ disappointed. Just the opposite, I was fueled by it. More determined to ‘do this perfectly’ (which has its own set of land mines, to be sure). I was really hard on myself for not being stronger of will during that period of time.

Then it hit me. This is the ultimate experience of contrast. This shows me exactly what isn’t working for me, therefore narrowing down what does. Ok, good. That’s point two of this article (yes, I’m still working on disclosing point one, you haven’t missed it.) We can’t know what doesn’t work for us, unless we feel how it doesn’t work for us. We need to internalize the experience to really ‘get it’. I was gaining valuable information specific to me, not a diet, about how food reacts in my system. Ok, so I stopped being hard on myself, but remain fueled to use this information to continue to narrow in on what is healthy for me.

I made a vow not to get on the scale again until January 1, 2019 because every once in awhile I noticed the feeling of disappointment still lingering regarding the scale not moving downward.

I didn’t know how powerful that vow would become.

I stayed focused and re-experienced all the original NSVs; increased energy, better sleep, faster healing from scrapes, less bruising, clothes fitting better and even some too big and most visible of all, less bloating and puffiness. I was getting really really excited by it all. I even began swimming again daily, which is not something I’ve done in forever. I was feeling downright magical! In fact, I was feeling so good I wanted to see what the scale said!

But I made a vow. And I always keep my vows.

So, I stayed off the scale. Still that lingering disappointment niggle would find its way into my thoughts. I found myself eager for vindication! While it was easy enough to tell it to shove off because I made a vow, the curious part of me – the part that walks my talk – wanted to explore this persistent niggle. (How long will it take to get to point one, I wonder?) Why with all the other evidence of benefit that this way of eating was showing me, did I feel the need to see the scale?

And then it hit me…external validation (oh there’s that point one!) So the question became, ‘why with all the other evidence of benefit did I need the scale to validate my success?’

Man that hit me head on. Why did I need any other validation than what I’d already received? The weight was and is only one small symptom, yet it is the one I feel most judged by, I suppose. So, I guess it’s the one I’d like to see remedied the quickest so that I can be validated -or rather- my efforts can be validated.

Now, to drive home that point one!

Then I realized this wasn’t about the diet at all. It’s about Life. This is how it is throughout Life, with self-development. Often the changes we make on the inside aren’t enough for us. We want to see external results of them quickly. We want empirical evidence of how we are feeling. In addition, we often cycle…we make changes internally and we recognize their benefits immediately, we feel better, then slide back into old habits, realize how truly terrible that feels within us, get back on track and then still look for external validation of our efforts.

Isn’t that the foundation of ‘The Secret’ and all other ‘manifesting’ programs? That you make a change inside to solicit a change on the outside. Yet, my research, experience and teachings all reflect that to make a change inside with the purpose to achieve a specific desired outcome, is a mutually exclusive construct because you are actually efforting to change something outside yourself, which is impossible. This is manipulation. “I will change myself so that someone/thing else will be different” with the unspoken end to that being “and then I’ll be happy.”

Instead, the motivation for change must be for the change you are making itself. “I will change myself because that change resonates with me.” Everything else then is a side effect. It could be a pleasurable side effect like increased health or wealth. Or it could be an unpleasant side effect like a break up or job loss. Yet even those unpleasant side effects usually end up revealing very pleasant pay offs (isn’t it ‘wealth’ to be rid of soul sucking relationships and jobs?)

So, my needing the scale to validate my health efforts is like looking at my bank account to validate my abundance mindset. Its not healthy. Its a need for external validation. Remember when I said up there that until that inner balance is achieved it won’t mean a thing, even if the scale went down?  Well, the same is true here. Until that inner balance is achieved it won’t mean a thing, even if my bank account went up. The need for an external validation, is a need to use a measure deemed valid by society to measure myself against. Which means that there is programming within me, still running, that says ‘my own experience isn’t enough validation’.

Oh, how fucking powerful that one is. (Pardon my language, Aunt Dorothy!)

Really, I had to sit down for that one. The shift was so powerful and immediate that I was light-headed for a couple of minutes! Those are life changing moments, you know? When something hits you that hard, you know you hit a root. I knew immediately, precisely when that premise was sealed for me too.

I have always been empathic, intuitive and ‘touchy feely’. However, my father was not wired that way and demanded logic to everything. I remember distinctly when I finally ‘got’ that my way wasn’t the ‘right’ way, in his eyes. We were in Minnesota visiting two College campuses. I had spent the first night on the College of St. Teresa campus where I was given a room and a Big Sister, a full tour, dinner with Big Sister and her friends, invitation to partake in activities, etc. I was really made to feel at home and loved it. I didn’t really want to visit St. Mary’s after that, but my parents thought it pertinent to keep our plans.

I had an awful experience at St. Mary’s. I was given a brief tour after which I was left on my own for the rest of the night…dinner in the cafeteria, tv in the lounge and sit in the empty room with pipes that banged mercilessly. It was ghastly. I never felt so disregarded in my life. Talk about an experience of contrast! In a span of 48 hours I had the experience of exactly what I wanted and exactly what I didn’t!

In the morning when my parents picked me up and asked how it was I told them I hated it. I gave them a detailed description of my night, at the end of which my father asked which school I would prefer. I would’ve thought it would be obvious. CST hands down. “Why?” he asked. Had he not listened to a word I said? “I just told you. It was a horrible experience. They don’t seem to care about me.” To which he replied, “That’s not a reason.”

He continued to grill me for reasons that satisfied him. He pushed me to the point of hysterical crying.

Yup. That right there was the cement that sealed the deal on the premise ‘my own experience is not enough validation’. Basically what went down was I said ‘it doesn’t resonate with me‘ and he said ‘that’s not valid‘.

When in fact, it turns out, it is the only validation that matters!!!

And of course, every premise has a counter balance that is automatically instilled as well. Which means, if  ‘it doesn’t resonate with me‘ isn’t valid then neither is ‘it resonates with me‘. So the whole thing boils down to this ‘my feelings are not valid’ which leaves one vulnerable to a whole lot of exploitation.

See, I told ya…its been a shifty week!

So that’s why I was negating all the benefits I felt from my change in eating and looking to validate them with reason (aka the scale).

And then I realized how often this same premise shows up in my self-development work. How often I am looking to validate my success with a big client roster, my expertise with references, my effectiveness with financial gain.

All external references. Reasons to prove that the risks I’ve taken and the choices I’ve made are valid. Internally, I have all the empirical evidence I need to know that living by resonance rather than reason works and that I have the skills to help others apply it to their lives too.

Just like I don’t need a scale to tell me I am doing right by my body…

So it is on the Spiritual journey as well.

I kept looking at where I still wasn’t (instead of where I’d been) for validation, devaluing all the gains because they were not what I had planned. That’s when I realized the similarity between how we feed our bodies and how we feed our souls.

It works the same way. When we feed the body junk food (junk to our own body, not necessarily junk by dietary guidelines) it weighs us down; and when we feed the Soul junk food it too weighs us down in the form of depression, addiction, sadness etc. Can you feel how ‘heavy’ those energies are?

Then when we seek to make a change, those changes motivated by resonance rather than specific desired outcome (reason) will have lasting results rather than quick fix schemes that are short lived. For example, a mindset shift rather than simply thinking positive thoughts. A new way of eating rather than a weight loss diet.

Do you see the correlation? Everything in nature is laid out for us as a sort of guide map of how to get the most out of this life. There are hints everywhere in nature. From the rivers flowing into the oceans to the bears hibernation. There are messages and hints like one giant scavenger hunt, with each of us having our own set of instructions that lead to the same place, Heaven (but not the colloquial type of Heaven).

The state of Heaven on Earth that resides in us all (but that’s for another post).

Now, back to the third point of this lengthy writing, that I actually mentioned first; the right-sided ear ache. Not only are there examples in nature to give us clues on how things work in the Universe, we also receive very specific-to-us messages by way of events, dis-ease and dis-orders. In short, our bodies are also telling us what is up and giving us validation, or invalidation to be more accurate.

Since resolving the fibromyalgia, I have had back to back underlying issues to resolve that I believe were caused by the constant state of inflammation I was in. The inflammation causing other damage. So, I’ve been patient with my body attending to its every communication. These past two months it had been a left hip and left shoulder issue that ran me to try Rolfing for the first time. This actually exacerbated the hip pain as things were put back into place and one last piece remained woefully out of place. This was fixed with one visit to the chiropractor and one session with my beloved energy healing group.

I had begun swimming because it initially seemed to relieve some of that hip pain before the chiropractor visit. I absolutely adore swimming and after so many years of not moving so freely, being in the water again was like being reborn a mermaid. The activity is active meditation for me and the benefits are so numerous. Far above ‘just good exercise’, but that’s another post.

I was so excited to be feeling this good that I neglected to consider swimmer’s ear. I’d had it a couple of times and it was quite easily remediable, so perhaps that’s why. I had been swimming almost 5 times a week for three weeks with no issue, until last week when I ‘had to swim’ as a coping mechanism because I was confronted with a current situation that is tied to my past marriage. I knew swimming would make me feel better, so I dove right in (see what I did there?)

In the meantime, I was processing this current event with a friend of mine who suggested that I needed to allow the assistance of the masculine energy in this situation. This required some thought from me. Yes, I could feel my reluctance at accepting this help. This goes back to the days when I was taught that it was weak to ask for help. But I was over that wasn’t I? Apparently not. Accepting masculine assistance. Ah, yes, I can see how there is resistance there…

The very next day I began to feel fatigued and a slight pain in the ear. The following day when it became a little worse, I used the stand-by alcohol/vinegar mix. Getting worse. Then the garlic olive oil mix. Worse. Tea tree oil. Worse. On and on this went. I made trips to the health food store for ear candling and homeopathic drops. Not worse but only better for a short time.

I delved right into analyzing the ear situation. What had made this right ear vulnerable to such attack? Right ear = masculine. Ok, gotcha. We talked about this masculine energy, right? Ear = hearing. What am I not listening to? Good lord! When I am I not listening??!! I can’t possibly listen to anything else or I quite simply will not be able to function in society! That cannot be it. It can’t be anything I am not hearing, either, because that is another way to look at it. I mean really, I have made myself annoying to others going on about listening and hearing etc.

So, I dug deeper into the actual way the ear works, to find my answer. Since this is already the longest post I’ve ever made, you can find a half hour video with those details, on Facebook

Simply put, the ear symbolized, not hearing or listening so much as, receiving vibration. And in this case inflammation was blocking my ability to receive vibrations and inhibit the translation of sound. Since this came on the day after the revelation of my resistance to receiving masculine assistance, it is a side effect of growth (inflammation is expansion, is it not?) Sometimes inflammation is a sign of infection, sometimes expansion…in the metaphysical realm that is. This would explain perfectly, why the more healthy I became emotionally and spiritually, the more I sick I became physically. (Because I was becoming more and more physically sensitive, as I became spiritually and emotionally sensitive.)

It takes a lot of self-knowledge and living by resonance, not reason, to figure these things out.

So there ya go. There’s my shifty week.

It’s not about a diet, or how much you weigh, or how much is in your bank account, or how many likes you get on Facebook. It’s about living by resonance and not by reason. You can be logical, that’s a great quality to have, but never ever let logic rule you. You are equipped with a system that tells you when you are doing right by you and when you are not. This is your resonance. Never ever let anyone convince you that you need to justify those feelings with reason. Sometimes there are no words to explain it if you wanted to.

Know that the most important changes you ever make, may be ones that no one ever notices. And that’s ok. You’ll know and that is all that matters.

I love you.

~Jade

 

 

Personal Development Is More Than Just Meditation & Positive Thinking

I grew up hearing Robin Leach’s voice chiding, “Champagne wishes and caviar dreams” while most people were ‘living on a beer budget’. Thus the era of DIY was born and stores like Home Depot, Lowes’ and Menard’s got their boon.

My husband remodels and renovates homes for a living and the pitfalls of DIY are prevalent. An abundance of flipping and fixer-upper television shows has only made matters worst in recent years. Good for us, as their ‘oops’ keeps him in business. Why all the ‘oops’?

There are things you can’t know, you don’t know.

You just have to look at the myriads of ‘Nailed It‘ Pinterest posts to really understand how something ‘so simple’ can go ‘so wrong’. Now imagine that with two by fours and tile.

In the eighties, health clubs were the ‘in’ place to be and a slew of personal trainers hit the market. Everyone who was in the vicinity of being physically fit was calling themselves a personal trainer and charging outrageous fees for their time. Not everyone who has gotten themselves into shape have the skills and tools necessary to help others in their goals, however. Yes, you know how your body responded, but everyone’s body is unique and you can do real harm. There are things you can’t know, you don’t know. Eventually the industry began to regulate itself, some standards were put in place and now there is some consistency and quality in the profession.

Today I see that same thing happening in the area of personal development, self-help, and/or spiritual evolution whatever you choose to call it. A lot of people are hanging up their shingles with titles such as Wellness Coach, Lifestyle Coach and Life Coach (to name a few), offering their services to patrons who might not really even know their own needs. Yay that you raised yourself above your situation, but again there are things you can’t know, you don’t know when working with other people. Just like the Personal Training industry established standards to ensure consistency and quality, I have every faith that the personal development industry will do the same. In the meantime though, it is buyer beware.

Concerns

There are two categories that concern me. The first is the “I Just Went Through A Really Hard Time And I Want To Help Others” type. And the second is the “I Walked Away From A Six-Figure Corporate Job To Follow My Dream Of Being A Coach”. Some of these may or may not have a certification to do such a job.

Honestly, a certification is just an attendance indicator. It certifies that ‘this person attended/participated in this training and fulfilled all the requirements’. You have no idea what those requirements were. You have no idea what the qualifications of the certifying institution are! You have no idea how well the person integrated the information presented. You have no idea how well the person implemented the information into their own life. Do they walk the walk or just talk the talk? Think of it in terms of a degree or diploma…you know the person graduated but you have no idea what their GPA was. No wise employer hires someone strictly on the basis of having a degree alone, they always do an interview, right? They ask important questions and listen to the answers. This is how you need to hire any kind of personal development professional, but I’m getting ahead of myself.

Back to the two concerning types:

“I Just Went Through A Really Hard Time And Now I Want To Help Others…”

This type is well intended. They are on a high from their shift in perspective and want to do something more! They have the drive!! That’s awesome, however that drive really needs to be applied to their own further development. DIY personal development is awesome, you certainly can get very far on your own with a few tools, this however does not translate automatically into your being a good teacher for others. I see so many starting to work with others before they are even done working on themselves.

There is a personal inventory that needs to take place. Yes, you have left this relationship and you feel amazing, but have you adjusted the things that caused you to call that into your life in the first place? Just understanding it wasn’t good for you and making the decision to end it does not mean you now have the skills to have healthy relationships, nor does it mean you have the skills and tools necessary to help others do it. I’ve been watching online entrepreneurs in this arena for the past four years. I have seen the majority of coaches ‘out themselves’ and I don’t think the anyone is paying attention. I have seen this time and time and time and time again…

They start off with promotions of beautiful professional photography in front of houses, cars and relationships they’ve ‘manifested’. They have great copy talking about how great their life is and how they can help you too. This goes on for awhile, then one day you might realize you haven’t heard from them in a bit. They disappear only to resurface later with new promotions; “I’m six months sober and I have learned so much. Let me help you too!” or “I finally walked out of my abusive marriage and found the love of my life. Let me help you too!” I am left wondering how many of their clients in the meantime wasted their money -or worse – were damaged while these ‘coaches’ were still figuring out their own lives.

Before you begin your path as a personal development professional you have to have your big ticket items handled.

Beyond that, you have to have a certain amount of time with them under your belt, because you don’t always know you have it mastered until you are challenged again…that’s how the Universe works. This is not to say that as Personal Development professionals we do not have things we still need to work on, nor that we won’t have situations come up. There is always room to expand and life always has curve balls, but how that is handled distinguishes the professional from the amateur.

The second type: “I Walked Away From A Six-Figure Income To Follow My Dream…”

What have they done exactly that might indicate they are good at being a personal development coach? Ok, so they had a six-figure income. That alone is not a measurement of personal development, we have only to turn on shows like “Real Housewives” to prove that. How does having that background indicate higher evolution? What credibility does it lend? What have they done exactly? Ok so they followed their dream. Do you know what that dream was? How long did they follow it that now their dream is working with others? Or is this just a way to make more money than their dream affords? They have left a high paying job, to pursue selling themselves to others as an expert at something and yet actually proclaim nothing. Ok, so they quit, learned to meditate, spout positive thinking and this makes them inspirational? I don’t think so. I think they have cornered the market on self-promotion and that is all. They are selling the unsuspecting buyer on their image with no substance. Personal development is more than meditation, magical thinking and motivation.

How can either of these types help their clients build solid foundations for getting through challenges and improve their experience of life? Foundations that will last the rest of their life? Maybe they know what worked for them, but how do they know what will work for another?

Personal development is real and deep work. It doesn’t happen by just repeating affirmations, stating goals and thinking positively. Nor does it happen by mimicking what another has done.

There is an influx of ‘coaches’ in the personal development field. A wave of well-intentioned motivated individuals dedicated to help others traverse rough terrain in Life. In truth, I love it. I love that so many who have done their work are breaking free of the problem focused models of Psychiatry, Social Work, Therapy etc. to embrace a more solution-focused model. What I don’t love is those who haven’t done the real work to move on to the next step in being a personal development professional. This isn’t about ‘being new’ because everyone has a starting point. This is about 1) doing your work, honestly and truthfully and realizing that you must always stay on top of your own stuff; and 2) about doing the additional work to gain the skills to help others.

Its about understanding why what worked for you, worked and why it might not for another. Its about understanding how the human mind works and why it works that way. Its about understanding the Soul and how it works within the elemental body.  Its about understanding the differences in learning styles and how one problem might have several solutions. Its about knowing how to facilitate for others so they can determine which of those solutions is right for them. Its knowing how to set someone up with the right lifetime tools for them. Its about understanding how every problem has a unique origin and a single cause as the same time.

Ya ya ya, but do I need a professional?

So now that I’ve laid all this out, how do you know how to choose the right sort of personal development professional or even if you need one?

Let’s start with how to determine you even need a personal development professional. It isn’t a question of how to determine if you need personal development. I happen to be of the mindset that personal development is a lifelong journey. As long as I am alive I am developing personally. Some don’t have that notion. They would not be interested in personal development and that is certainly ok!

So you are interested in personal development, you don’t have any self-limiting beliefs or irrational fears, things are going great in your life, and when bumps come up you have a healthy network of supporters and excellent coping skills. You understand that the Universe conspires on your behalf and you see that clearly, even when things don’t go the way you expected. You don’t need a personal development professional. 

You are interested in personal development, you have a ton of self-limiting beliefs and irrational fears, things are not going according to plan and you notice you keep dating the same sort of person who may or may not remind you of one or both of your parents. You smoke, eat sugar like its candy (hee hee hee) and don’t like to talk about your problems. You need a personal development professional.

You aren’t opposed to personal development, have everything you could ever want but you still are not what you would call happy. Something seems to be missing. You have a good job (or not) but it doesn’t fulfill you like you thought it would. You struggle in relationships often wondering if something better that might come along, but a bad relationship is better than no relationship. Your friends don’t seem to have this figured out anymore than you do. You need a personal development professional.

Of course there is a full spectrum of examples, but this should give you some kind of idea.

Now for you DIY type people, I suggest you re-read the first part of this post, and possibly look up some Pinterest-gone -wrong posts as well, just as a refresher. You are a responsible grown adult (assuming) and you have all the capability in the world to DIY personal development. The thing is, you don’t know what you can trust. You can’t trust your programming because you’ve already decided it hasn’t been working thus far. You can’t know, what you don’t know. This programming has been installed since your birth by your parents, community, school church and peers. It is this programming, insidious in nature, that is creating the problems you haven’t yet been able to isolate, eradicate and replace. You can’t see you from where you are sitting. In some instances this would be like cleaning your house with the lights off at midnight. Technically, you could do the job, but it will take you much longer and you are bound to miss stuff that will show up when the sun rises. Fresh eyes on the task, not to mention a fresh brain with a wealth of new resources to pick, will make for swifter success and results that are more likely to stick.

Whom To Choose

Wow, now that one is not so easy, because no matter how hard I try I will forget (or not be aware of) someone. Forgive me if you are personal development professional and I’ve left you out.

There are money coaches, mindset coaches, life coaches, business coaches, love coaches, relationship coaches, NLP coaches, manifesting coaches, holistic health and wellness coaches, transformational coaches etc.. (Are there any without the term ‘coach’? I couldn’t find any.) There are the metaphysical types; psychics, mediums, intuitives, empaths, and energy healers.  Energy healers include Reiki, QiGong, Crystal, Therapeutic Touch, Shiatsu, Bars and so so soooo many more!  This list is not exhaustive by any means, but you get the idea.

How do you possibly choose? Good question.

First of all decide whether you want a more metaphysical or practical approach to your adventure. That cuts things in half right there. Secondly, decide what you want your focus to be. Do you need extra help with your relationship with money or in romance? Is that your focus? Or do you see yourself needing to address issues across the board of your life? Is your business your main focal point? Are you experiencing some chronic or acute physical issues? Answering these questions will further narrow down your search.

Once you’ve narrowed down your focus you need to start googling what you can expect of that genre. If you think a money coach is what you need for instance, google money coaching and see what comes up. Educate yourself on the trainings and programs out there. Research those institutions, look up their curriculum/accreditations/qualifications. Note which sounds most responsible to you. Then start looking for individuals. Remember that certifications are just indications of participation. Do not let them be your only criteria. If someone has raised themselves from rags to riches that’s pretty good criteria, too. (Just be sure to vet the story, as stated next.)

After you’ve selected a few individuals its time to do your due diligence in researching them, too. Cyber stalk them…well, not really, but flush out their social media presence. Do a deep dive, don’t just take their website’s word for it. Go hunting on social media platforms. Note if they have all positive messages one week but then go on rants the next. Google the snot out of them. If a recent arrest record comes up, you can easily scratch that one off the list. What relevant jobs did they hold previous to this? Scroll back on their personal pages as far as you can (send a friend request if you can’t). Look for discrepancies in their timelines. Note if they might have a personal profile and a separate professional profile, what does that say to you? Yay or Nay? Research them thoroughly, you are about to put your life in their hands for remodeling. You don’t want to treat that lightly. If you see reviews on their social media business page then see if you can message that reviewer to get more information.

Narrow it down to no more than three individuals and schedule interviews. From their professional side of things they will call it a ‘discovery call’ or a ‘free consultation’, but you need to control that narrative. You are interviewing them as much as or more so than they are interviewing you. If you don’t feel the vibe, then pass. Use your intuition rather than your logic. Too often logic takes us away from what we need rather than towards it (because logic is instilled programming and is highly influenced by fear-based propoganda). We can be ‘sold’ on something because it can seem logical, but in the long run not actually in our best interest.

Finally

So there you go. My manifesto on personal development professionals. I never intended it to be this long, but if it serves its purpose (to get the right client in the hands of the right professional by educating the consumer) then my work here is done.

Personal development drives me. It has driven me ever since I can remember. It drove me into Social Work, where I had less occasion to assist others in this manner than I envisioned. And it drove me to pursue opening up to assist others in a full-time professional capacity as well. I love it. I love everything about it. I love how we hold the truth within our own selves and how amazing that realization is when it comes. I love how we have the power to heal ourselves in so many ways! Sometimes we just need a little guidance on how to focus that power, that’s all.

I’m here if you need me. You know that.

Oh…

and I love you.

~Jade

 

 

 

 

 

“I’m Tired Of Being Strong”

No you’re not.

I heard this the other day and this truth hit me so hard…

If you are tired of being strong, you’re doing it wrong.

Strong doesn’t make you feel weak or tired, it invigorates you. It inspires you. It supports you. It gives you more strength. If you are tired of ‘being strong’, what you are, is tired of the struggle based on an incorrect definition of strong.

I used to think that ‘being strong’ meant keeping a brave face to the world, not crying, not expressing your feelings or basically to pretend that you are not hurting. Being strong was doing ‘it’ (whatever it was) alone. That you didn’t cry if you hurt and you didn’t complain – and complaining meant expressing any disagreement with what was going on, btw.

I spent my childhood and young adulthood in this mode. I can’t tell you how damaging it was…oh yes I can. Here is a perfect example of how ‘brave’ I was.

I was in high school, vacationing with my friend Mary Miller and her family. We were going on a camping trip. Along the way we stopped at a General Store where they had a mule outside in a pen. Mary and I made our way to the mule where others were standing. The mule came over to me and I began to pet its nose. After many minutes of this the mule started to lick my hand. And then he bit it. Hard. And harder. Very hard. Very very hard.

Here’s my thing. I had learned it wasn’t ok to cry and it wasn’t ok to ask for help. Ok. Now what do you do? My internal mechanism was set to laugh (instead of cry) when in great pain. I did it all the time. I laughed instead of crying when I sprained my ankle, all three times. Its what I learned was acceptable. So, here I am, laughing uncontrollably while this mule is biting down on my hand harder and harder. I am laughing so hard that I cannot tell my friend to get help. I also cannot tell my friend it even hurts, because I’m laughing so she’s thinking its funny. (I don’t know if it is true or not, but I heard many years later than a mule cannot release its bite until it has bitten all the way through.)

Anyway, eventually, after perhaps 10 minutes my friend’s dad catches on that this is not awesome and laughter gives way to tearing. Notice I said tearing and not crying. Yes, that is true. Still keeping up the brave face. He begins to bang on the mule’s nose until it lets go. We put ice on it in the car ride and it healed nicely. No broken skin or bones.

That’s not strong. This notion that strong is appearing as if nothing is hurting you is ridiculous, outdated and serves no purpose but to create dis-ease.

It takes far more strength to let others witness your rawness than it does to put on a mask to hide it.

When I think of strong people, I think of those who faced adversity and did not feel ashamed of how it affected them. This kind of raw authenticity is inspiring to me.

This is how I live my life now. I don’t try to put on a ‘brave face’ (what a nice euphemism for mask), I let it all out. What you see is what you get. If I am hurting, I will not pretend I am not. My inside world matches my outside world quite nicely now. I am not ‘tired’ at all. I am full of life. Dealing with events straight on, without the requirements of camouflage make life simpler, which eliminates the struggle, see? Is this making sense? Its the pretending that the situation is different than it is, that makes us tired. That’s not brave.

And while it may be that the challenges we face make us weary, showing that does not make us weak. Not believing in the beauty of your human-ness, that is weak.

Authenticity is a super power we are born with and we were proud of it, until someone shamed us into putting it away in a chest giving us a plastic smiling mask instead. So much is lost in moments of inauthenticity. Smiling in the face of tragedy is not strong. Falling to the ground, crying as your heart is ripped out then picking yourself up without wiping the tears from your face…that is brave and strong.

Too much running around wondering if this is right or that is wrong. Wondering who is judging you. What does it matter if they judge you? Just accept they are going to judge you. They will either judge your authenticity or your fake mask, it doesn’t matter because judgers never come to a positive assessment. So why waste your energy worrying about what they think when they are always going to think poorly?

That’s the struggle that makes you tired. That false presence. Not saying what you need to say and not expressing the true feelings you need to express.

Think about the people who are important in your life. Who has made an impression on you? Who do you find yourself more interested in? I am willing to bet they are all the people with whom you’ve shared authentic moments. Not the ones with whom you’ve experienced ‘perfect masked’ moments.

Be truly brave and take off the mask…the beauty behind it is breath taking.

 

I love you.

~Jade

 

My Divine Quest

I have been on a quest as of late, to discover -for myself- an understanding of ‘Divine Feminine’ and ‘Divine Masculine’.

The Quest started with my search for the Divine Feminine and how I could connect with it more, since I have been experiencing left sided physical issues. The left side is energetically aligned with Feminine energy. To the best of my knowledge, I’ve been aligned with the Feminine for some time now, so what the fish is going on???

Back Story

I was not raised to honor the Feminine, much less think there was anything Divine about it. I was taught that my menstrual cycle was a curse, that women assist men and that my body is something to hide from men’s attention. I learned to dismiss my femininity. I learned to not say anything when someone made me uncomfortable or touched me inappropriately. I learned I did not have a right to say no. I learned to turn the other cheek and look away.

What I learned best is that masculine = acceptance.

Not too much though, because then you swing over into being rejected again because you are ‘too masculine’.

Masculine is not bad, its just not Feminine – and to operate effectively we need a balance. As a young child I had loved going down to my father’s service station. I was only two or three, but I have snippets of memory that show up whenever I smell the inside of an auto repair shop today. I also shared a dream with my best friend to be the first female players on the Chicago Cubs National League Baseball team. This was not denying our femininity, it was expressing our unique combination of masculine and feminine energies.

However, when your masculine energy is encouraged and your feminine energy is shamed, you learn to emphasize the masculine.

As I look back, I recognize all the ways I was instinctively drawn to the Divine Feminine. Everything from thriving at a woman’s college, to exploring the feminine deities of several religions. Growing up, I absolutely adored and was fascinated by my aunts and their friends who were nuns.

Instinctively, I was searching for something to fill the void I felt operating with an excess of masculine energy. It’s no surprise that I married someone who also negated my femininity. Someone who did not appreciate my yin qualities. Someone who called me needy because I wanted quality time. Someone who denied the best parts of me and I denied them too.

On my journey I have intuitively found my way to the Divine Feminine. Starting with my love of Mother Mary right through to my obsession with Quan Yin, Kali and Green Tara. I appreciate my body for all it provides. I love that it served its purpose in cradling my beloved daughter. I love that it knows what to do better than I know what it should do. I love that it has unique curves and nuances. I love how amazing it is.

All that though I kept rather hidden in my private life.

Real women act like men

I was taught that to be successful, a woman must behave like a man, dress like a man and most of all think like a man. I was taught that men would appreciate this and respect me for it. Thus I opted for Logic over Intuition, Rationalization over Feelings and Empirical Evidence over Internal Guidance to name just a few.

So, while I was instinctively drawn to the Feminine, I was externally trained towards the Masculine and it was an imbalanced affair. This is how those ailments afflicting my left side took hold.

In short I was trying to be something I wasn’t.

Oh, in case you were wondering…contrary to what I was taught, no man ever respected me for this.

The Quest

So now we come to the present day Quest. In an effort to rectify this left-sided dis-order, I set out on an adventure to explore the Divine Feminine and see if I could find my missing piece.

In my Rolfing experience the practitioner mentioned the possibility of right sided imbalance causing the left sided pain. As I did my research it became clear that metaphysically this could be the case as well.

While my childhood was filled with improper training contributing to this, my marriage of two decades only cemented the fate of my left-side. While married, I was essentially single carrying the load of both parents, mother and father.

In my profession, I also continued the dual role as I worked in a field populated by women, yet ruled by men. While healthcare and social service workers are predominantly female, the positions of power are almost exclusively male. I found myself constantly minding how I might communicate issues, with masculine verbiage, to my superiors in order to achieve harmonious resolution and existence.

So, I decided to dig deep. And in digging deep I realized that I truly did not have a clear idea of what ‘Divine Feminine and Masculine’ was.

Enter the disclaimer.

What I am about to share with you is purely personal. This is my interpretation. My understanding. Mine and mine alone. I have read everything from blog posts, to books, to oracle cards; then I meditated on what I’d learned. I had visualization journeys around it as well. I let it all sit and marinate until I could form some sort of organizational chart around it. Whether or not I am able to communicate this idea via the written word remains to be seen, but I am going to give it a go.

It could also be that this is not new to anyone but me and I’m the last one on the bus, so to speak. If that’s the case, then that’s ok by me, but I will be disappointed that you didn’t share it with me as soon as you found out.

Defining the Divine Feminine and Divine Masculine

We recognize there are two distinct energies in our Universe; Masculine and Feminine. This duality concept of Feminine and Masculine is akin to the Taoist philosophy of Yin and Yang. While there may have been lifetimes or Universes in which the Feminine reigned supreme, in our recorded history on this Earth the Masculine has had an ever encroaching reign of power.

First let me share with you some examples of Feminine and Masculine energy.

The Divine Feminine vs The Divine Masculine 

  • Feelings vs Rationalize
  • Intuition vs Logic
  • Thinking vs Action
  • Receiving vs Producing
  • Emotional Body vs Physical Body
  • Internal Guidance vs Empirical Evidence
  • Meditation vs Physical Activity
  • Creation vs Adventure
  • Nurturing vs Guarding
  • Playful vs Protecting
  • Nature vs Industry
  • Moon vs Sun

If you are like most people you will read that and find yourself on both sides of the list. That’s because everyone (and every thing) has a balance of Masculine and Feminine Energies. Imbalances do exist, however. You will find some people are heavily down one side or the other. Let me point out that this list is not a breakdown of female and male characteristics. Every human being has a unique recipe of masculine and feminine energies in their make up and it is not related to gender in the least.

Each person’s make up is as unique as their fingerprint and it is only when it becomes pathological (severe imbalance) that we need be concerned. Pathological can be what I call straight ticket, down one side or the other, or a mix of pathological from both sides, but I’ll get to that in a minute. Simply put, you are imbalanced if it is not serving you.

We all have aspects of each one of these characteristics, this is not an ‘all or nothing’ kind of list. Its a matter of  which ones are more prominent than the others. The more self-actualized we become and further along on our Spiritual evolution journey the more we will hit right in the middle of the two characteristics, striking a solid balance. This optimal balance is Divine.

Divine is the highest expression of Source we can achieve through our personalities here on Earth.

If Divine is optimum, then Pathological is the antithesis. It is a complete imbalance of Feminine or Masculine energies. On the spectrum it sits at the furthest point away from the Highest Version of your Self. On our journeys we will find ourselves at multiple points on the spectrum at any given time. As we raise our awareness, our vibration rises and this is evidenced in our behaviors.

The Feminine Spectrum: Divine / Pathological

  • Gentle / Afraid
  • Authentic / People Pleasing
  • Introspective / Isolated
  • Guidance / Passivity

The Masculine Spectrum: Divine / Pathological

  • Honor / Greed
  • Diplomacy / Conflict
  • Leadership / Aggression
  • Adventurous / Reckless

Putting It Together

It is important to emphasize that every person, every situation, every life lesson, every single encounter with another human being has elements of Feminine and Masculine energy and may occur at any point on the spectrum. If you truly wanted to examine yourself you could plot your qualities on a Cartesian plane (four quadrant graph).

Divine Femine and Masculine

As you can see, the Divine Feminine and Masculine energies work in complement not in competition. Complement here, would be Divine Feminine and Competition would be Divine Masculine. Competition is not categorically an undesirable trait. Competition in games might be desirable, competition in a partnership would not be.

This is the Divine Partnership.

What I’ve Learned

My quest has offered me a new paradigm of relatedness when it comes to understanding our Spiritual Journey here on Earth. I learned that my left sided issues are a result of avoiding the Divine Masculine action that makes me uncomfortable by opting for a more comfortable Feminine one. For instance, I employ Diplomacy (Divine Masculine) well in an effort to avert Conflict (Pathological Masculine), but occasionally conflict happens and when it does, instead of remaining in Diplomacy (Divine Masculine), I tend to switch to Passivity or being Afraid (Pathological Feminine) instead of standing in Guidance or Gentleness (Divine Feminine).

Does that make sense?

The theory being, if Conflict (a pathological Masculine) arises despite employing the Divine Masculine quality of Diplomacy, then a Divine Feminine quality (not a pathological Feminine) would be required. Hence, the strain on my left side. Another example would be if I were employing a Divine Feminine quality instead of the appropriate Divine Masculine quality. Say a situation requires me to employ Leadership, but I am not comfortable with that so I opt to employ Guidance instead. The optimal setting is a nice balance of all Divine, not one Divine over another. One should be comfortable in one’s Divine skin, as it were.

As I went further down this rabbit hole, I came to a new understanding of the Expression of Source in our lives. Source is “All That Is” and has no duality, therefore the Divine is the fullest expression of Source on Earth with its duality being the Divine Mother and the Divine Father. That the Divine Feminine/Masculine is the Divine Mother/Father. *It’s important to note this is the energy of Divine Mother and Divine Father, and not the Earthly gender roles* From there the devolution of the expression of Source on Earth splits into just plain Feminine and Masculine (this is sort of the neutral point – as much Source as Ego), then to Female and Male (a smidge more Ego than Source), to Matriarchy and Patriarchy (much less Source and more Ego – gender bias power structure), with the least evolved being Hierarchy (the least amount of Source to the greatest amount of Ego – arbitrary bias power structure). This is not to say that the amount of Source in you is less, but that less of It is showing. (Think of it like a dimmer switch.)

Divine Expression (1)

So, Now What?

Now, I have knowledge and understanding of that knowledge and can get to work really balancing out my expression of the Divine Mother and the Divine Father. I can see clearly now how this has led to my imbalances and I look forward to applying this new understanding in my self-healing.

I also look forward to sharing my results with you at a later date!

I love you.

~Jade

Alignment: My Best Advice

I have so much rattling around in my brain, I don’t even know where to start. I’ve been traveling the past several weeks and so much has come to light that I want to share. The ideas are coming in so fast I have not been able to sit down to write any of them down.

As I sit and let things marinate, it all comes down to one thing; alignment. The best advice I can give anyone is to work towards alignment in your life. For those who are unclear, the goal is to align your energetic vibration of your mind with that of your Soul. Making decisions that bring you closer to your highest self and head you towards the best version of yourself.

Why is that the best advice I have to offer?

Alignment/misalignment affects absolutely every aspect of your life. Every. Aspect. On my travels these past weeks, I’ve encountered those aligned and those misaligned. Those misaligned age poorly, engage in unhealthy behavior, have poor relationships, encounter health challenges and suffer with mental health issues. It probably goes without saying but their stress level is off the charts.

If you are online exploring the world of self-development then you are no stranger to the myriad of various ‘coaches’ around. It seems as though everyone is getting certified as some kind of coach. Don’t let this recent surge of coaches fool you. You can’t measure alignment by material gains. Alignment does not show up as new cars, big houses, new relationships or money in your bank account. I mean, those things can show up when you are in alignment, but those things alone do not symbolize alignment. We all know individuals with nice cars, nice big homes, lots of money in the bank, who are miserable. Do you think that is alignment? Why then do you fall for the tactics of coaches marketing ploys of professional pictures and statements of “I did this and manifested alllllll this” type of hype???!!!

I’ve been following some of these coaches a long time. A long time. You can watch them to. Do it. Watch someone before you hire them and see how inconsistent they are. I’ve seen those who have ultimately confessed to alcoholism, domestic abuse, drug use, other addictions etc. months – some even years – after they have been promoting themselves as coaches. Some just blatantly misrepresent their accomplishments or ‘exaggerate a little’ for marketing purposes. There’s more to being a coach than having survived something. You have to have actually overcome your demons. Not just one of them but all of them.

Now someone is going to tell me that isn’t possible. But it is. There is a difference between demons and issues. We always have issues to work on, that is true, but our demons are something altogether different. You have no business being a coach if you still have demons. It goes without saying that if you have demons you are not aligned.

four rock formation
Photo by nicollazzi xiong on Pexels.com

Alignment is measured by the presence of a being. An aligned person has quality relationships, engages in healthy behavior, looks younger than their age, remains present in the now and has a life full of love. This will bring you more abundance in unlimited ways than any other ‘formula’ someone wants to sell you.

I will tell you this, too, the kryptonite of alignment is safety. If you are making safe decisions -decisions designed to safely deliver an expected outcome- you are not making decisions that will bring you to alignment.

I have those around me who have done the ‘safe’ thing all their lives and they have nothing to show for it. Yes, they have nice bank accounts, marriages/relationships and nice houses, but they have lost the Light out of their eyes. That Light that comes from a Soul so in touch with its host that it can’t help but shine out!

I have done everything these people cautioned me not to do. Every. Thing. Yet, now these same people are telling me how my eyes and smile look different than they did just a few years ago. If I’m honest I can see it too, in the mirror. It’s my Light.

Alignment.

That’s what I’m doing. And everyone can do it. All you need is the discipline and determination to follow through on your intention. If you need assistance in doing that, understandable. Don’t fall for advertising though. Do your due diligence and really listen to what someone is saying and watch them for awhile before you hire them. Watch them for at least three months and note any inconsistencies.

In the meantime, make decisions that make you feel brighter, not darker. Ask yourself if this is bringing you closer or further away from your highest self. Do you even know? If you can’t tell, you could probably benefit from hiring someone to jump start your transformation.

Alignment would be the most natural thing we do, but for those along the way who sell us a bunch of goods intended to take us further and further away from alignment. Why? Because it is easier to control someone not in alignment. They are easier to manipulate with fear. Someone in alignment will never participate in something just because every one else does it. They do not get caught up in mob mentality. They don’t fall for fear based propaganda. They know what is true in their Soul. They know what resonates at a high vibration. They know.

Alignment is the most powerful health and beauty technique available, yet millions of dollars a year are spent at department and drug stores for anti-aging, weight loss and beauty products.

No man made product can replace the Light in you that has gone out.

In alignment we find peace in the most chaotic environments. It won’t matter what is going on around us because we know the truth. We know that a steady boat can weather rough waters. A boat with sails flapping and an unsteady hand at the helm, cannot navigate rough waters successfully.

Make one decision today that brings you closer to your highest self. Tomorrow make two. The next day make three. Do it that slow if you need to, but do it. You will never ever regret it.

I love you.

~Jade

Perspective – It’s All You

Your entire life experience is filtered through your perspective. Your perspective is your filter. Its been formed throughout your life by those most influential in your development: parents, siblings, community and teachers. 

You come to understand the concepts of right/wrong, good/bad and should/shouldn’t, but they aren’t written in stone.

You have little to no control over this process as you are growing up, however as an adult you absolutely have the obligation to examine these concepts to see what actually is yours and what is not.

To bottom line it; if you emanate from negativity, your experience of life will be negative (and vice verse.)

Now, if you emanate from negativity you will defend your perspective citing evidence that backs it up. You will show me exactly how life has been unfair and has handed you one bad blow after another. You will have beliefs echoing the thought of ‘waiting for the other shoe to drop’. You believe that bad events follow good events.

Although our stories are all individualized and unique, the basic premise is the same: ‘there is nothing good or bad but thinking makes it so.’ (William Shakespeare)

“Good” and “bad” things happen to everyone, you’ve only to listen to someone else’s story to understand that…but how an individual tells their story varies. How can someone who’s had so much tragedy speak with such joy? How can another be so burdened by something we think is such a minor disappointment?

Perspective: It’s all you!!!!

When you choose to seek validation from outside yourself, you will be starved for it. This will result in negativity because you will be left in a void. External validation looks like waiting for praise, seeking acceptance and needing sympathy. What happens then is you keep score with the subconscious expectation of achieving 100% positive. You look at every ‘bad’ event as taking away from that 100% goal. The things that don’t go the way you’d like end up being scored with more value than things that do. In fact, you might discount ‘good’ events by explaining them away as coincidence, luck or charity. You have stacked the deck against you. Without knowing it you have actually set yourself up to continue to have a negative experience of life.

Conversely, when you validate yourself you live in surplus and any additional external validation is just icing on the cake! When you believe that who you become through your experiences is the point, not the events themselves, your perspective shifts dramatically. You get it that the control is all yours. Internal validation looks like accepting praise gracefully – but not relying on it, feeling comfortable in your own skin and having empathy for others. You don’t score your life in any kind of way. You take the good with the bad. You make every effort to create some good out of the bad. You’ve stacked the deck in your favor and have set yourself up to continue to have a positive experience of life.

And let me stop you before you say, “I can’t help it! I was raised like this!” Our programming is not permanent. It is meant for us to outgrow. Or more importantly, it is meant for us to overcome. We are adults. We are responsible for our own thoughts and beliefs. With new understanding and information we can make our worlds bigger and brighter. We don’t need to be confined in a world constructed of misbeliefs and misunderstandings. Our beliefs are just thoughts we think are true and keep thinking them.

So think again.

When you find your mind wandering in the negative look for three positive things to counter it. This requires a lot of paying attention. Awareness is key to making these changes. You can’t be satisfied just doing the same old thing – or rather, thinking the same old things. You have to examine everything with new eyes. Don’t just accept anything at face value, no matter who’s belief it is.

Not sure you’re thinking a negative thought? Its easy to tell, do you feel lighter/brighter or darker/heavier while you hold the thought(s)? The most positive of thoughts will make you tingle so much you feel it throughout your body.

Conscious daily practice will yield the quickest results. Pretty soon all your thoughts will be positive ones and you won’t remember any other way!

Ok, now off you go to do your positive thinking work!!!

I love you.

~Jade