Honor, Not Harm

If you are following this blog you might have noticed a few false publications of this post. Electronics and I have a very symbiotic relationship. While I decided to pull this post altogether and cancelled the publication, the Universe usurped that thought and published it anyway. So, here I sit rearranging words to more accurately express my thoughts and not just my emotion.

Honor

I don’t think I value anything higher than Honor. Well maybe, perhaps integrity, but can you really have one without the other?  Let’s just keep it to Honor today. And yes, I’ll be capitalizing it, because it deserves that.

I have an eclectic intimate circle. Friends and family who are as different as the sun from the moon from the blades of grass. But they all share one thing in common; they have Honor.

Oddly enough, I can’t find my definition of Honor in the dictionary. This is the closest it comes

2 adherence to what is right or to a conventional standard of conduct: I must as a matter of honor avoid any taint of dishonesty. dated a woman’s chastity or her reputation for being chaste: she died defending her honor.

Honor is a quality that is felt more than spoken about, I suppose. I will attempt to capture its essence in words, however. Honor is a combination of Respect, Integrity and Grace. Perhaps even a little appreciation and gratitude? Nah, let’s just leave it at Respect, Integrity and Grace.

Honor shows up in how someone treats you, talks to you and talks about you. Honor is at the base of every relationship I have. When someone exhibits dishonorable behaviors, it is my choice to release them of the bonds of relationship.

It wasn’t always that way though. There was a time I had no idea what Honor meant and I allowed others in my life who behaved dishonorably. I allowed behaviors like lying, bullying, manipulation and deprecation to be a part of some very intimate relationships.

Intimate relationships are ride or die. They are the ones that are meant to have your back, not stab you in it.

What I came to realize one day, after a particularly painful stab is I don’t have friends who treat me that way.

It hit me like a flash of bright white light. I don’t have friends who treat me that way. I just couldn’t believe the profound simplicity of it. I don’t have friends who treat me that way. I didn’t have to decide to not be friends, because I had just realized that wasn’t a friend to begin with. I had only imagined we were friends. (Every relationship has friendship as a base, so this applies to all types of relationships including familial and romantic.)

Here’s the thing, you can’t imagine people to be better or bigger than they imagine themselves. For whatever reasons these people abandon honor in a friendship, it has nothing to do with you. It is their burden to bear; their demon to slay.

As soon as I become aware of the lack of Honor, I’m out. It’s a clear line for me, now. What you chose to do within the relationship is up to you of course. I am not sure my way, is the best way. I just don’t know if it is wise to let go of people so easily. However, I do know that when I haven’t, when I’ve afforded chance after chance I experience additional hurt and betrayal.

Why? Because we teach people how to treat us.

Until and unless we can stand in the space of our own Honor, and Honor ourselves, we can never find honorable individuals with which to share our lives.

And this is really important, because those people who treat you dishonorably? They don’t Honor themselves either. That’s where it has to start and while you might find compassion for that person, they do not have the capability to have compassion for you.

In a relationship, any type of relationship, there is bound to be hurt. Hurt is understandable. There are hurt feelings when we miscommunicate or misunderstand. There are hurts when unexpressed expectations aren’t met. Hurt, though, is not harm. No harm shall come to one within the confines of a relationship, be it romantic or plutonic. When one harms another within a relationship it negates the unspoken contract to which both had entered.

At least in my mind.

I spent many years ‘forgiving’ and ‘understanding’ dishonorable acts. Chalking them up to drunken or drugged influence, unhealed wounds or just plain misunderstanding.  This was my great mistake, as harm followed like the moon follows the sun. But when you are done being harmed by someone you will draw that healthy boundary.

Honor Omnia Superat

Honor Surpasses All Things

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

 

 

 

 

Grief Lies In Empty Spaces

The empty space left by someone you love after they transition is the space that grief fills. The bigger the space, the bigger the amount of grief that will fill it.

adult alone anxious black and white
Photo by Kat Jayne on Pexels.com

 

Everyone you love takes up some sort of space in your life. Some more than others. Some may only have a space in your history and so the grief you experience might just be a moment held in silence and then you go on. Others, hold space in your present and (thus by default your future) so the grief will be proportionately larger.

While the moment of death is the last breath, the moment of grief is less precise. Grief begins before death, in cases of illness. Its called anticipatory grief. Anticipatory grief lies in the empty space in the future. The future plans, conscious and subconscious, you had with this loved one, just vanish. The space where they were held, an empty void. Grief fills that void before the person has even taken his last breath.

At the moment of death grief expands to include not only the future, but the present. There will be no more ‘last’ moments. No more ‘one more time’. No more ‘ever again’. This grief is loud and overwhelming. Quickly there is preparation for the loved one’s last wishes ceremonies and cultural mourning practices. This person, though no longer sharing physical space, still occupies space in your life as several days are dedicated to the loss.

It is the day after the services end that always hits me the hardest. The first day with nothing to do for my loved one. The first day without a purpose that involves them. In cases of illness your life may have been filled with caregiving tasks and anticipatory grief for months…maybe even years, but at least days. Then the days of the ceremonies are filled with loved ones comforting you and sharing their own grief. There are preparations and decisions to be made. It is loud and overwhelming.

The day after is silent.

Ok, maybe not exactly the day after if there are out of town mourners, or left over duties. But there is one day, some one day, after the services are all done and family has left that the empty space looms large and the silence deafening.

It is here the grief really hits you. Because there is no channel now for your grief energy. No task to focus on that seems purposeful and directed. Now, there is just the empty space that once held your love and your love seems like it has no where to go now. There’s no direction to focus your grief, its just sort of all around you like a wind tunnel. Directionless, unfocused, disorienting, numbing, overwhelming and opaque.

Oh, yes, others will tell you that love never dies, he’s in a better place, she has returned to being pure love, etc…and while that may or may not be true in your eyes, it isn’t what anyone grieving that empty space needs to hear.

The fact is that grief is a book mark.

It marks the place where your loved one lived with you. Not in your home, but in your life. And every time you come across that empty space, grief touches you. Days go by and the grief is everywhere. Its even in the air you breathe. It seems as though it gets worse, not better. It gets worse because you are rediscovering all the corners of your life this person occupied.

Grief, like a lot of processes, is not linear.

Weeks go by and you might have half a day go by that you don’t touch that empty space. While it seems like forever, it also seems like yesterday and a kind of guilt at ‘going on’ tries to creep in. Don’t let it. This is your healing. You aren’t meant to live in the empty space. You are meant to live in spite of it. You are meant to honor your loved one by taking the love they gave you and creating a beautiful life including it. Its true, they do still love you and your love for them never dies. (I always twitch a little when people say “I loved him so much”. I’ve never stopped loving anyone when they died.) But the loss of their physical presence is real and in its place the bookmark of grief holds space for us to remember; to touch that love and that loss in ways that bring a new depth to our lives.

Like it or not, sometimes it takes losing a loved one to remember that life isn’t infinite here on the planet and gets us to up our appreciation for those in our lives. What better way to honor those who have passed on, than for us to love deeper, wider and more out loud!

Before you know it, months have passed and a new normal begins to bud. Every time you embark on something new, or you have something to celebrate there will be that grief that your loved one is not here to share it with you. A day or two will pass without that grief being forefront. You aren’t forgetting them. You are beginning to forget the pain of the loss, that’s all. While you will always miss them, you won’t always remember them with grief. Someday, down the road – maybe years, maybe a decade – you will be able to remember them without the pain. There will just be gratitude for the space they held in your life, when they held it.

The space in your heart they held? Well, that never decreases. Never. Ever. But the beautiful thing about the heart is that while it feels like it is breaking, it never really does. (I know, there is no more descriptive phrase for that feeling though.) Perhaps it is not breaking, but breaking open? Perhaps this pain is our heart opening up and showing us our full capacity to love another? Perhaps this also makes room in our lives for others to show up?

I know this is so very true in my life.

Some of the most amazing and loving people have come into my life because of a loss I suffered. And while at the time I might have said “I’d rather keep my old love with me, rather than gain a new.” Now, I could not make that choice. I received twice the love I otherwise would’ve experienced. Maybe more than that, even, because knowing how fragile life is I had far more appreciation for the new relationships and thus I love better and more out loud.

I think the Winnie The Pooh inspired quote says it best, “How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.”

My life is filled with amazing people that I love oh so very much and with each loss I suffer I make sure to love the remaining ones even harder. Yes, there are those who might say that only opens me up for more hurt. What it does is open me up for more experiences of loving and being loved. If grief is the price I pay for a life filled with love then for me its worth it!

I’ve survived worse…like not feeling loved or lovable.

I love you. Really big and really out loud.

~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

 

 

 

 

 

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.

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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

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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”

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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.