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

 

 

 

 

 

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

Heal Your Feminine

Everything in this world is a balance of Yin and Yang – feminine and masculine energy. Both are equally important and thus must be equally nourished and fostered. However, yang qualities tend to be favored disproportionately.

In short, Yin has the qualities of darkness, moon, feminine, shade, rest, sunset and North. Yang has the qualities of light, sun, masculine, brightness, activity, sunrise and South. Because Yang energy is active and our society values active (doing) it tends to be Yang heavy. Think of how many times you or someone you know has said “I can’t just sit and ___________, I have to be DOING something!”

There are even some platitudes to help with this programming! How many heard your mother say “idle hands are the devil’s workshop”?

Yang gets the glory, but Yin requires some acknowledgement as together they are the foundation of our dualistic experience here in life on Earth.

We avoid the dark to find the light. We embrace the sun, only occasionally glancing at the moon. We have been taught feminine as weak and masculine as strong. We throw ‘shade’ as an insult. We say one is ‘resting on laurels’.

For decades now women have put their femininity to the background to prove their worth in masculine traits because feminine traits are not seen as equal. To be treated equally it was required that we mimic men.  Then when we did we were called ‘bitches’ or ‘sluts’. What was good for the goose most certainly was not good for the gander!! And in fact, it shouldn’t be!

In order for life to continue in balance we need masculine and feminine energy. We need to celebrate them both!

The world needs us to heal our feminine! Whether you are male or female, it is time to start paying attention to your Yin to balance out your Yang tendencies.

I have had a series of injuries to my left side (left side is feminine), not coincidentally I spent much of my life diminishing my Yin trying to operate fully in Yang to prove to males in my life that I was of value. My Yin traits were judged as silly, impulsive, irrational and lazy by more than just one male in my life. This left my left side vulnerable to injury because my Yin had not been nourished or cultivated.

While the masculine is about creating manifestations, the feminine is about allowing manifestations. We participate actively in the creation process, but part of that process is stepping back to allow what is meant to come forth. This is just as important as any active step, maybe more so.

Honoring our Yin means we rest to fully restore our energy supplies; take time to reconnect with nature, to plug into Mother Nature; gaze at the moon with as much admiration as we relish the sun; find beauty in the dark and not just the bright.

Above all of this I want to emphasize the importance of the quality of Yin’s allowing.

Allowing manifestations to come forth at their own pace after you’ve put in good faith effort. Put the project to the side and forget about it. Transcend the impulse to force something into being. Find peace in knowing that what is yours will come as long as you are open and aligned. Allowing permits us to surrender to the process and really understand the magnitude of our manifesting capacity.

When we let go of control we can truly understand just how much control we have.

I believe the condition of the world today is the result of malnourished Yin. Yang has run amuck and without the balance of his partner he becomes destructive.

Love your Yin, my friends.

I love you.

~Jade

 

 

 

 

 

Victim Mindset

Overcoming one’s traumas and the victim identity can be a tricky thing.

While we tend to think of victim thinking as ‘poor me’ thinking, that is only one type. Victim thinking can take many forms.

Think about trauma like conquering a mountain. The midst of the trauma is tantamount to scaling the mountain . You are at the mercy of the mountain. The mountain and your survival is what consumes you. Every step you take, every decision you make is because of the mountain. At any moment the mountain could claim your life. Your whole goal is to get to the top alive. You suffer because of the mountain, therefore you are an active victim of the mountain.

One day you find yourself on top of the mountain! You are done scaling! You commemorate your victory by planting your flag and do a dance! You sit atop the mountain and look back on the terrain that you overcame and you celebrate it! Rightfully so! You still suffer the mountain though, so you are still a victim of the mountain…a surviving victim, but a victim, nonetheless.

Then comes the time to descend the mountain. Every decision you make is still dictated by the mountain, but things are easier now. You are working with gravity and using tools that make the decent much more rapid than the ascent. You are (re)covering the terrain of the mountain and understanding from a different vantage point just how daunting the task had been. You still suffer the mountain, so you are a recovering victim, but a victim nonetheless.

At the bottom of the mountain a transport waits to take you back to a little city in the foothills of the mountain, where you get a hot bath, sweet-smelling soaps, and a hot meal, as well as a clean bed to rest in. You stay here just long enough to regain your strength. You get the proper treatment to set your wounds and injuries on the right path to healing. You debrief as others ask you questions about your adventure and you relive the accomplishment while telling the tale. You rest and begin to rise again in the aftercare, but still you suffer the effects of the mountain so you are a recuperating victim, but a victim nonetheless.

After you are recuperated you discard the equipment that was damaged in the climb, pack up your gear and head off for home. A place far away from the mountain. In your new home you put up a picture of your victory moment and store away your survival gear. Your home is decorated with many aspects of yourself, but only one picture of your conquering Mt. Trauma. Initially, new people in your life will be curious about the picture on your mantel and they will ask about it. Or you might be in a coffee shop and in conversation about what you’ve been up to, you would naturally mention that you recently conquered Mt. Trauma. After some time, however, Mt. Trauma would not come up in general conversation and you are moving away from being any kind of victim of the mountain. You are a transcending victim.

Eventually, Mt. Trauma would just be a picture on your mantelpiece. Then one day that picture might go into a scrapbook and only be revisited once in a long while along with a lot of other memories. This is the point where you have truly conquered Mt. Trauma and are no longer its victim. You have transcended victimhood and become you’re own hero!

The whole process is necessary for complete healing. You can’t skip a step. You can’t jump from survivor to transcending. Coming down from the mountain, telling your story, getting loving support to recuperate and working through to establish a new norm are all vital in getting to transcendence.

If you get stuck on top of the mountain or in the foothills you are still a victim of the mountain. You cannot stay atop the mountain yelling about how you conquered it, and not still be its victim. You cannot take up residence in the cozy foothills, repeatedly telling your story and not still be its victim. You can’t decorate your house predominantly with pictures of Mt. Trauma, plaques that say you climbed Mt. Trauma and display your survival gear as wall decorations and not still be a victim of Mt. Trauma!

If your identity is centered around how you overcame the mountain, then you have become an inside out victim of the mountain.

What is an inside out victim?

It is someone who’s whole identity revolves around being a survivor. As we’ve discussed, a survivor is still a victim. Many of those in the helping professions, including motivational speakers and self-help phenomena are doing nothing more than glorifying the victim status by disguising it with cute little catch phrases. Continuing to highlight the fact that you were once a victim only serves to perpetuate the victim status. Much like you can’t not think of an elephant when someone tells you not to think of an elephant. They are relative terms. One does not exist without the other. You cannot hear ‘survivor’ without associating it with that of which you had once been an active victim. So even though labeling yourself a survivor sounds like a healthy thing to do, you are continuing to subject your subconscious to the victim dichotomy message.

When things in your past are taking up a lot of space in conversations in the present there is a problem. Inside out victims can often come up with some elaborate schemes to present as noble and healthy individuals. Often they put themselves on display where they can show off (without making it look like it) their success at overcoming their past, setting themselves up as an authority and “help” others overcome as they did. The problem with this is that the repeated retelling of their story is the indication that they have not transcended it at all. In fact, it would be my suggestion that this person never did the recovering and recuperating necessary to reach transcending. My thought is that they kept it deep down hidden, rarely talked about it, until they came across something that seemed to give them a pass straight to transcendence. It doesn’t work that way. There are no short cuts in living authentically and healthy.

This is not to disparage all self-help motivators. The most amazing ones can offer changes in perception so drastic that they change lives. These motivators rarely reveal their own past and when they do, it is mostly in snippets to establish credibility or connection with their client. They don’t advertise their story over and over. They don’t give you fancy terms to identify yourself. They give you real tools that enable you to live a well-lived life that don’t include looking at Mt. Trauma in the rearview mirror.

You may ask why looking at Mt. Trauma in the rearview mirror is not desirable. When do you look in your rearview mirror when you are driving? When you are backing up and when you need to see what is coming up from behind you. If you are moving straight ahead there is no need for a rearview mirror.

I love you.

~Jade

Intuition: The Soul’s GPS

Over-reacting; Too sensitive; Emotional; Reading too much into it; These are a few of the words used to describe me over my life. This is how I was shamed out of relying on my intuition. In fact, at one point it was so bad that I purposely made choices opposite of what my intuition told me.

person holding string lights photo
Photo by David Cassolato on Pexels.com
You might imagine what a mess that made of things.

A real mess. The worst decisions I ever made in my life happened during that time period. Our intuition – and everybody has one – is our Soul’s GPS. It is meant to guide us on our journey through life. It is the closest thing to an owner’s manual that we have. So why do people try to talk us out of it? Because they don’t want us to see their deceptions.

The deceptions they have created to hide their own insecurities – not only from others, but from themselves as well. They don’t want to see what we see. They don’t want to feel what we feel. They don’t want to hear what we hear. So selfish. Other people putting their fears onto me, making me doubt myself, making me feel crazy, just to keep up their appearances.

This impacted my life in such a huge way. Sometimes, I feel like that whole dark time of my life was wasted. Our intuition is a part of our light and when we deny it we are flying blind. I would’ve lived a whole other life, because I would’ve made different choices – the opposite choices, actually. But regret is not an option, because everything happens for our highest good and so I hold to that.

Understanding now that my intuition was a gift meant for me to navigate life consciously, I look back on the dark time with new eyes. As I reflected upon the truths I knew but were denied, I felt anger initially and then power.

Yes, power.

I was, am and always will be powerful beyond measure. I knew what they tried to hide so fiercely from me. I knew. I knew and that unnerved them. I knew when I wasn’t wanted. When I was lied to. When I was betrayed. I knew and that scared the crap out of them. They would do anything to keep their secrets. That’s on them.

As I reflect back on that time with these new eyes, it’s as if I did make all those other choices. It’s like I never lost power. Never lost a step. Never made the wrong decision. Which means, of course, there was never a wrong decision in the first place.

Its empowering, enlightening and enlivening. Its a new day. This awakening has caused a huge shift. Huge. Suddenly it is as if the movie of my life went from black and white to high definition resolution full spectrum color. Now, when I see it in my mind, it is no longer dark, but illuminated.

Follow your intuition.

Easier said than done? I know. I get that. I didn’t even know what intuition was (primarily because those who would’ve taught me needed me to ignore it). How do you understand something that has no words, just vibration (before you even know what vibration is?)

It’s the parent’s responsibility to teach their children to honor their inner knowingness. If parents support a child’s intuition, even when (or especially when) they are picking up on something you don’t want them to know, then they will learn to follow their intuition. Not discounting or dismissing their feelings is the only way to teach a child how to use their intuition as the gift of navigation through life.

While it might be uncomfortable to talk about when they ask you why Daddy is sleeping in another room, tell the truth. Because when you try to hide such life events from them they feel conflicted between what their senses are telling them and what you are. This creates such great self-doubt. You are not protecting them. You are harming them.

Our job as parents is to prepare our children to become independent contributing members of society. So, even if we could, protecting them from the events of life wouldn’t be doing our job. Life is full of events. Some are harder than others and cause us to expand in ways events of pleasure cannot. It is a disservice to the adults our children will grow to become when we fail to prepare them by showing them how to deal with the unpleasant.

But what can I do now?

You as parents develop the future by how you raise your child, but what can you do now to develop your own intuition? The answer is ‘sooooo much!!!’

Start with simple things like anticipating which elevator door is going to open. Guess the time before you look at the clock. Guess who’s calling before you look at caller id. If you haven’t gone into a metaphysical shop to look at crystals, put that on your calendar. Go in and hold the ones that appeal to you. Hold them and see how they feel. What comes up? Do you feel heat? Cold? What does your intuition tell you about the crystal? Is it for you? If so, purchase it.

The best thing you can do to develop your intuition is communicate. When you sense something from someone you trust, ask them about it. Take the risk and express what you are you sensing. Be prepared that they may not fully disclose. What you really need is the practice expressing your impressions. The more you do it the more you will be able to discern when people are not being honest with you. When they give your their answer and you are not satisfied, when you feel ‘something isn’t right’, then you know your intuition is right on.

It’s ok. When it’s their business they have every right to keep it private. That isn’t what this is about. This is about you and learning to trust your gut. By expressing what you are sensing you are actually expressing belief and confidence in your ability. That’s all it needs to grow.

When you can see through the veil someone has put up, its unnerving. So it’s understandable that people get nervous. Let ’em off the hook. Let ’em have their secrets because you now have the key to all of it – it doesn’t matter if they validate you. No one needs to validate what you sense in order for you to know it is true. You will feeeeeeeel it.

What next?

Start making decision with nothing but your intuition. Start with something inert, like trying a new restaurant. Then by picking out a book to read by just the title. Maybe take a drive without a destination and see where you end up. Intuition is a beautiful beautiful thing. It will take you places your brain could never dream.

Don’t second guess. Trust yourself. Trust that voice within you. Before you know it you will be making the bravest leaps with no logical reason and experience the most amazing outcomes!

 

The most important thing to remember…

If you ever wonder, “Is this my fear speaking, or my intuition?”

The answer is SO simple! Intuition moves you towards something. Fear moves you away from something. My intuition never feels like fear. It feels like “nah, I think this instead.” Fear on the other hand is all “I can’t. No way. Never. I shouldn’t.”

 

One more thing…

I love you. Always have. Always will.

~Jade

 

 

 

Integration

img_20170728_151936

What do you know about integration?

To integrate: “verb [with object] 1 combine (one thing) with another so that they become a whole: transportation planning should be integrated with energy policy. combine (two things) so that they become a whole: the problem of integrating the two approaches. [no object] (of a thing) combine with another to form a whole: the stone will blend with the environment and integrate into the landscape”

Wow. Doesn’t that sound important? How often have you integrated new information on personal and spiritual development? How often have you heard healers, mentors or advisors speak on it? I’ve never heard anyone mention it.

When we introduce something new to our bodies, environments or minds we need to allow and effort to integrate the new ways/thoughts/ideas with what remains.

My husband and I are in the process of adopting a new dog. We have two already but there are many years between them and we thought the younger one would appreciate a playmate. When you bring a new dog into a family, you have to integrate it. You don’t just toss it in and hope for the best. The dynamics change and a new order must be established. You can expect fights, bites, growls and howls. You can expect at one time or another someone is going to be ready to call it quits (this might be you). You can expect that it will take time to do all these things.

The key is to keep your expectations low and your alert status high. Keep a watchful eye and nip any aggression in the bud. Redirect and allow for time out as necessary. Eventually things will fall into their own rhythm and peace will reign in your new expanded family.

The same is true for Rolfing (any energy healing too). If you’ve read my previous stuff you know I’ve been rolfing to attempt to relieve some physical symptoms I experience. Between sessions seven and eight she allows for integration. A period of time where no new sessions are done so that the body can catch up with the work that has been done and come to a new normal. A better normal. Thus the body integrates the new ways of operating.

During this time you can experience detoxing, aching, flu-like symptoms, fatigue, irritability and general discomfort. It might even get worse before it gets better (healing crisis). In short, you can expect fights, bites, growls and howls. You might even feel like calling it quits. Once your body adjusts and settles into the new commands your connective tissue is giving your muscles though, peace will reign in your new expanded body.

Our minds are no exception. When we discover new paradigms of thoughts/beliefs and introduce them into our lives we must allow for integration. Some old outdated thoughts/beliefs will be exchanged out simultaneously without issue. Still others will be forced out as the new set in. Still others will sort of fall off, without much mention, after the new has been allowed to integrate.

During this time you can experience irritability, discomfort, fear, anxiety and restlessness. You can expect fight, bites, growls and howls. You might even feel like calling it quits and just go back to the old paradigm. But once you introduce new paradigms it is hard to go back. Once you settle into the new rhythm, peace will reign in your new expanded mind. Then your Spirit will be joyous because your experience of it will be expanded as well.

Integration is likely the most important step of all -especially in personal/spiritual development- yet it is often overlooked. We live in an instant gratification society that leaves no room for integration. Today it is seek-find-ingest-move on. Where is the integration? It’s a little like shopping-purchasing-chewing-spitting out. Where is the digestion?  What good is the food if you are not digesting it? None, that’s what.

Integration of personal and spiritual development information allows for movement, acceptance and expression of the new shift.

  • Movement – allowance for the new balance to be established by the introduction of the new and replacement/reduction of the old.
  • Acceptance – to allow the new to work in your life on purpose, not default.
  • Expression – to practice this new way whenever possible – not to just ‘think it’ and retain old bad habits associated with the old (aka walk the talk).
But How?

Sit with it.

When you are introducing a new spiritual paradigm of thought, meditate on it. Sit in silence with it. Notice where it resonates (or doesn’t) in your body. What thoughts come up around it? What feelings come up around it? What emotions come up around it? Do you feel smaller or larger consciously because of it? Does it expand you?

Stand with it.

Challenge other related thoughts and beliefs you hold against the resonance of the new. When you’ve sat with something and decided that it does indeed resonate with you then weigh it against related beliefs that you’ve long just grown accustomed to. You might find that they too have outgrown their usefulness and will be replaced or just merely drop away. How does the new fit in with the old? Look for consistency and congruence. Something that is true will be true in all scenarios (with some exceptions, perhaps), so play devil’s advocate with yourself. Challenge yourself to think bigger with this new paradigm. See what else it shakes loose.

Walk with it.

Take it out for a spin around the block. Start conversations with others about it. If you don’t have any friends who get into this sort of thing there are many people on the internet exploring just these subjects (hint hint). Reach out. Conversations about such things are free. While asking for free advice on specific personal issues is not appropriate, opening up exploratory conversations is generally welcomed by all. Share your process, your conclusions and your expectations of what this new paradigm could do for you. Entertain whatever questions or doubts they might share with you. This is your chance to see if what you’re integrating has merit.

Then wear it.

Don’t be ashamed of your new shift. Wear it proudly. While it may be tempting to ‘shout it from the rooftops’ that can be obnoxious. So shout if you must, but expect you’ll turn a lot of people off. If that helps you integrate, then by all means don’t let putting people off deter you. I however, prefer to just wear it into a room. What that means is that I let the Universe determine when the information needs to be shared. When a subject comes up that relates to my belief I share it. I do it in the best possible way for it to be heard. Sharing things in certain ways will guarantee rejection before that other person really even hears it. Wording things in a non-threatening manner allows for the maximum amount of people to hear it and expand with it.

That’s integration – in a nutshell.

Questions? Start a conversation with me at jadewillowsong@gmail.com or in my too quiet facebook group https://www.facebook.com/groups/willowsongfirekeepers/

And as always remember…

I love you.

~Jade

 

 

Let’s Talk “Spiritual Bypass”

affection blur buddha buddhism
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Have you heard this term?

It has become a new buzzword in the personal and spiritual development worlds. First of all, I find it redundant. What I understand spiritual bypass to be is nothing more than regular old denial/distraction, with a spiritual flavor. No need to call it something else.

Secondly, its really convenient for those who wish to stay stuck to have a really special name to discount the next step of growth.

Spiritual bypass: just another name for denial/distraction

Denial is ignoring that a problem exists and when we are in denial we tend to distract ourselves from the work to alleviate the problem.

If you’ve been following me you’ve probably heard me say at some time that anything can be an addiction. Anything. ANY. THING.

When we think of addiction, we think of things like recreational drugs, alcohol, and prescription drugs. Then we might think of gambling, shopping and sex. Rarely will you think of work, exercise or even relationships. Anything is an addiction if you are using it to avoid processing something.

That said, spirituality can indeed become an addiction and used to usurp the current human experience you are facing and deny yourself the experience of feelings. This, from what I understand, is spiritual bypass. But its not just a bypass, its an addiction.

Spiritual bypass is when one avoids the icky sticky messy feelings of our experiences by explaining them away as ‘meant to be’ or ‘serving our highest good’. It isn’t the philosophy (‘meant to be’ or ‘serving our highest good’), its the using of it to dismiss the experience and not engage in it in the moment.

Every event in our lives needs to be processed. This is why repressed memories reap issues many years later. Like undigested food in our gut, these memories unprocessed by our mind and spirit will infect our body. Can you imagine what would happen if we had undigested food sitting in our intestines for years?

We can’t develop shortcuts to avoid the real work. Just like you can’t eat junk food, take diet pills but work out obsessively to be healthy.

Convenient label

More than a few times I’ve had the term ‘that’s spiritual bypass’ thrown at me while discussing changing perspectives to look at something in a new way to find healing. There’s no questioning, just a venomous application of the label and attempt to incite an argument.

How convenient. How nice to have a handy little term that relieves you of your obligation to improve. Don’t like what someone says when you want your victimization validated? Just accuse them of spiritual bypass. And wait until you see how many people are ready to jump in on that ambush! WOW!

It’s easy to understand how some could see it this way. In fact, there was a time when I also had that same response (without the label) to something the Dalai Lama said about attachment or suffering. I’m not sure, because now, no matter how many quotes I read, I can find nothing that resembles what I thought I read back then. What I remember clearly is this visceral reaction to someone taking away the justification I had for experiencing more suffering than is necessary.

I remember thinking, ‘that is usurping the human experience’. But as I continued to expand spiritually, I came to realize that honest emotion is not suffering – and not to what he was referring. Honest emotion are the normal human emotions we are meant to experience as part of this human being-ness.

That’s what we can’t shortcut our way through. The other stuff though. The stuff implanted into our brains by well-meaning and not-so-well-meaning individuals that creates premises that foster unnecessary suffering.

When we understand things as ‘meant to be’ or ‘serving our highest good’ after feeling the emotion of loss (for instance), we use the painful experience to expand. Pain is not equivalent to suffering. Suffering is the unnecessary struggle between your highest self and the conditioning of society. Pain is the wound, suffering is the infection.

The wound is grief after the loss of a loved one. Suffering is, after the initial period of grieving, delving into deep depression because of a belief that we only get one true love in life and you just lost yours. Suffering sets in at the time that healing should be beginning.

A compliment

More recently the term spiritual bypass was tossed at me in response to an inspired post I made about a tough subject. I love important discussions and this one was/is super important. Not only did someone I consider a spiritual mentor suggest my thoughts were spiritual bypass, but another suggested it was ignorant.

I was taken aback, to say the least. Not about the the second one, but about my spiritual mentor. I was shocked and shock leads to shift. (Ever notice that?) I realized that the image I had created in my mind about this ‘mentor’ was entirely fabricated. It was based on ego – mine actually – my idea that this ‘mentor’ was something I wasn’t and had something I didn’t. So, I was totally shocked when she couldn’t see my point and mentioned spiritual bypass. I could see so clearly how this situation is just a further evolution of the spiritual laws and beliefs that she and I had discussed and that she teaches. Why couldn’t she?

It wasn’t until writing this that I realized being accused of spiritual bypass is a compliment if you’re living resonantly. If you are living resonantly, you can’t inadvertently slip into any addiction, let alone spiritual bypass. You can’t. You spend too much time analyzing, weighing and pondering the vibration of things to be in denial! Those vibrations don’t align! Someone telling you that you are ‘spiritual bypassing’ when you have given your idea much thought and reflection is a great compliment. It means you’ve vibrated past wherever they are and have been tasked with presenting them with an opportunity to expand! What a gift that is to both!

If you are one, quick to call ‘spiritual bypass’ make sure you aren’t the one on bypass…

 

I love you.

~Jade

PS – The June 16th event is closed. July 14th is the next available Healing Rite of Passage Me-Treat and Workshop. Make sure you register before this one closes too! If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to feel pure joy, heal old traumas or do energy healing. We’ll be doing all that and more. If you’ve felt blocked or stifled on your journey then this is the perfect opportunity to explore alternative therapies and perspectives that will enhance your experience of life.

 

 

Surviving Vs. Living Resonantly

 

“When you’re surviving you can’t dream.”

No truer words. How simple and yet so powerful. Its true, when our focus is on surviving there is no room or energy to dream. And yet dreaming is how we move beyond surviving.

Living resonantly means living in such a way that we make decisions and choices based on how they resonate with our soul. This man is a perfect example of living resonantly. He’s made choices that resonate with his soul all along the way and see how it comes out in his voice!

When we live resonantly we find our voice! We find our strength! We find true selves! We don’t have just one passion, we have a life filled with passions!!! And one passion leads to another!

Surviving is about competition…’survival of the fittest’. It is filled with the intention of lack. There isn’t enough to go around and if I don’t grab this I will fail to survive. The whole goal is on surviving not thriving. And life is meant to be about thriving. About living with purpose, intent and passion. Anything less is a waste.

As Simon says, ‘it isn’t about technical…it’s about being Real.”

That makes me think of my favorite childhood story, The Velveteen Rabbit.

“Real isn’t how you are made,” said the Skin Horse. “It’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.”
“Does it hurt?” asked the Rabbit.
“Sometimes,” said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. “When you are Real you don’t mind being hurt.”
“Does it happen all at once, like being wound up,” he asked, “or bit by bit?”
“It doesn’t happen all at once,” said the Skin Horse. “You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”

We can’t be ugly, or imperfect, or not worth it, or not enough or…or…or…or…or to anyone except those who don’t understand. That is no reflection on us. We are not responsible for their unhappy filters that they perceive the world through.

It doesn’t matter if someone doesn’t like you because you are not their physical type, or the color of your skin, or the religion you believe in. It doesn’t matter. Those people are not your people. Those people do not understand. We cannot force them to understand by any legislation or tactic. We can only effect change by being a shining example of being Real. Because when they feel the resonance of being Real, they will notice the difference.

I thought I was just going to hit ‘share’ and be done with this. That’s what living resonantly does…it takes you places you didn’t expect but never any place you regret.

I love you,

~Jade

Your Body Tells Your Story

yellow and pink flowers view behind broken glass
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

If you know anything about me at all by now, it’s how strongly I believe in the connection of Body, Mind & Spirit and that everything physical issue has a metaphysical root.

A few weeks ago I suffered great pain in my left shoulder. My clavicle kept popping out of place according to my chiropractor and I was out of options. My acupuncturist suggested I try Rolfing. While I had heard the name I had not researched the modality at all. The best way I can describe it now is a cross between a massage and physical therapy.

The entire therapy requires ten sessions each one focusing on a specific part of the body. It was last week’s session, number five, that really clicked for me. During each of the previous sessions she found connective tissues doing tasks they were not designed to do. Things that are meant to go sideways were attempting to go forward. As well as facia pretending to be bone.

During each session she runs into a challenge or two. These challenges are resistance living in my body and reads much like a herstory book. During session four while working on my sternum she informs me its supposed to move, but mine didn’t. After a minute or two she says, “Good Lord, I don’t even know how you breathe!”

While these different comments make me laugh, even more they give me insight. As soon as she says something like that I nod my internal head and say “yes, I remember when that was born.” How often did I find myself holding my breath waiting for the other shoe to drop or for the storm to pass?

As I meditate on it, I hear the Voice say “The ties that bind”. Hmmmm….yes, that is right. The ties that bind me emotionally translated in my body. Yes. That resonates. For so long I had held onto beliefs that worked against my highest good. As have been my muscles and connective tissues, it seems.

Today she said “Its like your muscles have to work against your restrictions just to survive.” That’s when the Voice said “You did whatever you had to do to keep it together and survive.” So often in life I felt like my hands were tied…and then my feet. Truthfully, my hips (the key to moving forward) have felt like they had a resistance band tied around them.

And there it is.

In order to survive I had to stay as small as possible. My body listened to this and did it’s best to bind itself. Now that I no longer believe this, my spirit is breaking those ties that bind. Has been for quite some time, I just didn’t realize that’s what was going on! In a way, its growing pains!!! My Spirit has outgrown the restricted physical vessel and is requiring it to make changes. The pain is my body’s resistance to let go of the story.

If I hadn’t worked on this stuff already I would probably be sobbing now. I might be a puddle, but I’m not. I’m good. And I am so very grateful for my body!! What a task she undertook, helping me to keep it altogether for so many years! Contorting herself just to help me bare my burdens. Little did I know the extent of the damage the pressure I was under for so many years caused, but my body tells the story. I literally tied myself in knots trying to keep things together, make everyone happy, never disappoint anyone and do what I was told was right.

My body has held onto that story.

Despite my every effort to allow my body to release that story, she couldn’t – not on her own. I needed to release the old so that the new story I’ve written can take it’s rightful place. No wonder my body was wracked with pain, the old story was not serving it and needed help releasing. Holding on to that which no longer serves is painful. Unnecessarily so. As my Rolfer said at the very end of my recent session, “It feels like you’ve been bashing your head against the concrete!” Then,  “This is me making you less hard headed.”

She doesn’t know me like that, my friends. She doesn’t. But my body does and she told her.

For much of my life I felt responsible for ‘holding things together’. My mother wrote a letter to my sister and I, that was found after her death. In it, she speaks to me of how knowing I felt like her slave. She went on to explain that upon returning home from her extended hospital stay after a fatal car crash, she found her household in chaos. It struck her how she needed to train a replacement and being the oldest she felt she needed to prepare me to take over should anything ever happen to her again. Yeah, I’m pretty sure that’s how I got the idea that it was my job to keep things together.

But how the message was programmed is not nearly as important as understanding the impact the message has had.

During the most troublesome times of my life I distinctly remember saying to myself, “keep it together”. I said this at times when I wanted to fall apart emotionally as well as when circumstances seemed as if everything around me was falling apart. It’s been my gift to “keep it together,” for better or worse.

I was always the one cool, collected and taking charge in a time of crisis. Made for excellence as a social worker, but not as a human being. I held it together and then often would fall apart the second the crisis was over. Except then those around me would say “Its ok now, its over. There’s nothing to cry about.” What the ever-loving hell? Don’t want to experience emotion during a crisis, but after a crisis it’s too late? What an f***ed up thing to tell someone!! When was I allowed to experience my emotions? When? When was the right time for me to be authentic?

Now I know better.

Sometimes falling completely apart is what is needed. When I was in the middle of my divorce someone said something to me that really resonated, “sometimes something good has to fall apart, for something great to come together.” That stayed with me. At the time I thought my marriage had been something good, turns out that was an illusion, but the quote remains important to me anyway. Its the first time I really let things fall apart and discovered that things then are free to fall into the places they were actually designed to be in.

When we put such great effort into ‘making things happen’ the way we think they are supposed to be, rather than allowing them to become what they are meant to be, we create suffering.

Letting go, allowing and trusting that the Universe has your back offers so much more freedom and comfort than keeping it together ever did. It’s no longer my job to keep things together. Not a marriage. Not a friendship. Not a job. Not any relationship. Nothing.

It’s my job to show up and be authentically me. I don’t lie. I don’t hide. I don’t cover up. I don’t pretend. I listen to my higher self. I do what resonates with me. This is the only way I have found to experience pure Joy. In all the years of twisting myself into a pretzel by people pleasing, trying to avoid disappointing people and going against my intuition I never experienced Joy.

I also never experienced pleasing all the people or not disappointing someone. It was lose-lose.

It is by living in resonance that I summoned Rolfing to me to finally release the story my body had experienced and begin a new volume on clean paper. Not only that, it seems my Joy is contagious. While twisting myself into knots I achieved neither Joy nor pleasing anyone, since living in resonance I experience Joy on a daily basis and I no longer disappoint others. I may not please them, but because I am clear in my communication they know what to expect from me, they cannot be disappointed.

This brings me to my mission. I am not a Rolfer, not of the body anyway. My Healing Rite of Passage Me-treat is sort of like Rolfing (aka physical therapy and massage) for the Spirit. It is designed to purge the old story from your mind and energetic fields. It includes techniques you will be able to use for the rest of your life to help you live resonantly.

I am open to a few seekers spending a day with me in my little paradise in progress (remember I am renovating my home). The Healing Rite of Passage will be open to 16 people for $250, healthy lunch included. The day will include QiGong, chanting, energy healing, healing rituals, relationship building, friendship, love and so much more. If you might be interested please email me, jadewillowsong@gmail.com I am looking to do this in September so that we can do our healing outside in nature. The exact date yet to be determined.

I am looking forward to my next Rolfing session to see what other tidbits my body is holding onto and is ready to release. With that I leave you as always, in love.

I love you.

~Jade