The Elephant In The Room Is Dying

Talking about death and dying is considered taboo. It is as if we have this belief that we will manifest it just by speaking of it. This is no more true than speaking of the sunset causes the sun to dip below the horizon.

Death comes for all of us and yet even that is misleading. Death is not something that comes for us, but that which walks with all of us our entire lives; we merely choose to deny its presence.

Death has been a topic we cover on average once a week in our household; everything from a passing joke about who wants to go first, to a deep conversation about end of life care. I realize, of course, that we are not the norm. 

But we could be – we should be.

Most people when they consider their end of life, discover they are more afraid of they dying part than the being dead part. 

Dying is the elephant in the room. 

With the introduction of hospice and palliative care starting in 1974, we have been cautiously bringing the elephant out from the closet and actually acknowledging it in the corner of the room. With the introduction of end of life practitioners, like sacred attendants and end of life doulas, we are calling the elephant by name to join us in the middle of the room.

Religions refer to ‘life after death’ and ‘eternal life’, which is not a bad perspective. However, focusing on the spiritual eternal life exclusively, often provides a wall of mirrors enabling one to ignore the necessary physical death that segues to that spiritual eternal life. It is a disservice to talk of one without talking of the other. Indeed, this perspective even bypasses the inevitable spiritual and emotional work of dying before the death.

Medical professionals often present treatment options in a ‘this or that’ formula. “Do this or die”, the implication being that “if I do this, I will not die”. Death is presented as an opponent to be overcome in battle at any cost. 

But there comes a point in everyone’s life, when death wins. 

Would it not be better to hold the truth every day that death will come? Would it not be better to live every day with the truth that one day we will have to surrender to death? And that holding that truth might give deeper meaning and richer context to the life we live, up until we die? And wouldn’t that start best with conversations long before we are given a terminal prognosis? 

The message of death is around us from the moment of our birth. Each sun setting on a day is a death. Each new season is a sun setting on a phase in the year. Each New Year’s Eve is a societal sun setting on a year. Each birthday is a personal sun setting on a year. Each death of a loved one is a death of a part of ourselves, and of our life as we knew it, sometimes. Each illness -small or tragic- is a reminder of our mortality.

Acknowledging the presence of death throughout our lives brings a sweetness to each day and relieves us of regret during our dying.

Seeking out someone like a sacred attendant or end of life specialist, to facilitate conversations about end of life choices, long before a diagnosis or prognosis, can allow exploration of alternative treatment options, either along side or in place of traditional ones. It can alleviate making literal life and death decisions in the midst of a life or death crisis. 

It can also result in sharing some of the most real moments of your life with your loved ones.

A daughter said, “we’ve never been here before.” Individually, we have limited experiences with death and even fewer experiences with dying, because in recent times it has been hidden away in hospitals and healthcare facilities rather than in the home.

Our ancestors taught their children that death was a part of life, because they took care of their own at home. Doctors made house calls. Hospitals were reserved for invasive interventions. Homes were built with parlors that were used to wake the body. Mourners were taken care of as well with neighbors tending to the fields of widows and bringing food. Outward symbols of mourning, like dressing in black, indicated to strangers, ‘understand I am grieving’.

That is all changed now.

Today death is seen as a medical event to be avoided, opposed or at least postponed. “Not today” always seems to be the thought, yet in a world where being present and living in the moment is being promoted, ‘today’ is all we have, so at some point, that ‘today’ will in fact, be today.

End of life practitioners have vast experience with many types of dying and death. Drawing on that experience can be priceless to you as you navigate these waters. Turn to palliative care and hospice professionals for end of life medical support. They can help you determine the appropriate course for managing the physical aspects of terminal illness. They also have support staff like chaplains and social workers to manage some of the spiritual and psychosocial aspects of terminal illness.

But not all deaths result from terminal illness.

A son recently said to me, “If someone had told us there was only a 30% chance of survival for my 80 year old mother, we would’ve made different choices. Why didn’t anyone tell us six months ago that this was the beginning of the end? We were robbed of the opportunity for six months of quality time.”

They had four days on hospice. 

Would it have been better for someone to point out that the ability of an 80 year old to undergo aggressive interventions for declining functions was not optimal? Would it have been better for someone to point the way toward six months of ‘last days’ filled with bucket list checkmarks and quality memory making?

The other day a hospital chaplain dismissed the need for my ‘services’ as an end of life doula at their facility because they have an affiliation with a hospice. (Please refer to this page for further information. We seek to complement, not compete. https://willowsongmedicine.wordpress.com/home/ )

In the July 6, 2019 update of the article, The 4 Common Myths About Hospice Care, Angela Morrow, RN writes: 

In 2015, the median length of service for hospice patients was 23 days. This means that of the estimated 1.6 to 1.7 million patients who received hospice services that year, half received hospice care for less than 23 days, and the other half received it for longer than that. In fact, the average number of days a patient received hospice care in 2015 was 69.5 days. 

The Dying process takes time. Because of the highly skilled care that hospice workers can provide to their patients, hospice proves most effective when the caregiving team has time to deliver it. Patients and their loved ones need support, information and medical care. Social workers and chaplains need time to work with patients and their families to bring them to a place of acceptance. Nurses and doctors ned time to optimally manage the patient’s symptoms. 

So, let’s look at exactly what that means in quality time. 

The criteria for hospice admission is a prognosis of six months or less to live. So why is the average stay just 69.5 days? 

In and of itself 69.5 days is not a long time. It is just over two months. Of the long journey many take with a life limiting diagnosis -some spanning years, others months- two months is nothing.

Many do not go into hospice as early as they could because they see it as ‘giving up’. Thus, many – if they’ve even heard of hospice – don’t choose it until they understand that death is imminent. By this time the symptoms of pain and discomfort have taken their toll. There is no opportunity for quality time with loved ones while you are in a state of suffering. 

In their struggle, they haven’t been fighting the disease, they’ve been suffering the disease. By the time the hospice or palliative care teams come on board to manage symptoms and relieve that suffering, the worn out body relaxes and sleeps for the first time in a very long time. 

The time and energy that could’ve been spent taking trips, having last conversations, writing memoirs, saying good byes, enjoying gatherings and celebrating a life well lived has instead been allocated to fighting the side effects of a treatment that did not deliver on the implied promise when the doctor said “do this or die”. 

Because the doctor never said ‘you could do this and die anyway’. 

Now you are (on average) 69.5 days – 9 1/2 weeks – from death once you’ve entered hospice. But those 9 1/2 weeks are not 100% full consciousness. It will take at least one week for the medications protocol to catch up to your pain and symptoms. Perhaps two. There is a lot of sleeping during this time.

Now you’re down to 7 1/2 weeks. People do not often (though it does happen) stay alert and communicative up until the moment of death. Dying takes time. The Hospice Patient’s Alliance states: 

There are two phases which arise prior to the actual time of death: the “pre-active phase of dying,” and the “active phase of dying.” On average, the pre-active phase of dying may last approximately two weeks, while on average, the active phase of dying lasts about three days.

So, now you are down to 5 weeks of possible quality time and again you must allow for decline over that time. While at the beginning of those five weeks you might be alert 6 hours a day, towards the end of those five weeks you might only have 1 hour a day that you feel up to engaging. So, now we are down to hours…

I think you get the point. This is not the recipe for an ideal empowered transition. 

But you might say, “no death is ideal”. Well, let me ask you this: If you accept that your life on Earth has an end time, and that end time is called death, how would you prefer to die? 

Do you envision yourself physically drained, exhausted and unable to communicate the thoughts and feelings of your heart or engage with your loved ones? Do you see yourself connected to tubes and machines or to your loved ones? Do you see hospital staff, sterile environment and procedures, or your family and friends in familiar surroundings? 

I once asked someone what kind of death he envisioned. He said, “fast and painless…but I don’t envision it.” I asked then how he decided what kind of death he wanted, “from seeing the deaths of others.”

There is a cost to every treatment. Sometimes that cost is money. Sometimes it is your hair. Sometimes it is quality time. Sometimes it is just time. There is never any guarantee that an aggressive treatment will give you more time. In fact, aggressive treatment not only impairs quality of life (even temporarily), but it often hastens death.

Just as everyone has a birth story that was written by their mother’s choices regarding pain medications, attendants and location as well as natural phenomena, so too are our death stories written.

There are a million choices between receiving a life limiting diagnosis and the moment of death; each choice is a page in your death story. 

You can’t truly write your own narrative, unless/until you embrace the fact that this Earth adventure culminates in death. Unless/until you are aware of all the options available to you. Unless/until you acknowledge all possibilities.
Unless/until you start having conversations about what resonates with you and what doesn’t. 

Conversing and documenting your death vision years ahead of time, just like a will, relieves you of making those decisions under duress in a time of crisis. More importantly it relieves your loved ones of having to make those decisions for you under duress in a time of crisis.

But if you just can’t imagine doing that, then at least consider utilizing resources like end of life doulas when you have been diagnosed with a life limiting illness or have a significant decline in functioning; and palliative care and hospice when given a terminal prognosis. 

Special note to doctors:

Please, be honest about probable survival rates and the quality of life costs related to the treatments you are suggesting.  

Giving your patients and their families the full picture, is the most honorable thing you can do to enable them to make truly informed decisions. Do not rob them of four months of quality time for six months of extended suffering. Or worst, for two months of suffering.

Do not think that “hope” means four months of suffering aggressive treatment before death, instead of eight months of quality time while nature takes it’s course. 

Explore all possibilities when you have to deliver a life limiting diagnosis. Explain the pros and cons to “doing everything”, “doing something” and “doing nothing”. Explain all the costs -mentally, emotionally, physically as well as financially. Explain that hope may be for survival in the beginning, but for peace in the end – and that is still hope. Explore all possibilities means having a plan b and a set point at which plan b might be enacted. 

And if you cannot comfortably do that, be comfortable enough to bring in someone like an end of life doula to facilitate that.

Patients are not problems to be solved. They are not riddles you must figure out. People are social beings who thrive best, in the worst of situations, with open communication and the support of others. If they are kept in the dark, how will they get the support they actually need? Your patients depend on you for the truth to make the best choices for themselves. This is their only death. You owe it to them to give them all the information as soon as you have it. Remember that while they are not your only patient, you might be their only physician. 

You are part of their death story (even when they survive and go on to die many years later), make sure you are an enhancement to it. 

There are no losers when someone is referred to hospice early. There are no losers when palliative care is consulted right from the beginning. There are no losers when a death plan isn’t needed for several years. There are no losers when end of life doulas are facilitating conversations and memory making a year before someone is actively dying.

Conversely, no one wins when we prolong death by sacrificing quality of life. 

If this resonates with you and you have been diagnosed with a life limiting illness, or a decline in health status, print this out and take it to your doctor as an indication that you want to have an honest conversation about your care.

Soul To Sole Sacred Space

Being raised strict Catholic and then a young adulthood of exploring many religions I find comfort in rituals and know the importance of taking time to connect with Spirit.

I no longer resonate with organized religion, but I do resonate with connecting with other like-hearted Souls with soles (live people, as opposed to just spirit people) and creating a community of both!

Last week I had the awesome opportunity to do the first Soul To Sole Sacred Space devotional hour and it was a game changer. I had the battery power for the difficult week ahead and from the messages I’ve received, it has been a game changer for others as well.

I may not share all my future broadcasts here, in the blog, but here’s the link to the first one so that if you are interested you know where to find us every Sunday at 9:30 am EST. Like me, it is unedited, fresh, authentic and imperfect.

Consider this your formal invitation to join us!

I love you.

~Jade

The Beauty Within

It’s winter here in Michigan and I’m missing the snow. (Oddly enough now that I am ready to publish we are in the middle of a snowstorm!) We’ve had only two worthy snows this thus far and its sorely disappointing. Everyone else complains about the snow, but for me it is filled with magic. To see the surface of the snow sparkle under the morning sunlight after a great storm is inspiring. I can easily find the beauty within winter, whereas most of my friends, cannot.

But what about finding the beauty in a drought? Or a hurricane? Would that be as easy?

To see the beauty within came to me this week with a depth I’ve never known before. Or maybe it just came to me for the first time ever.

At first I thought it meant something along the lines of ‘beauty is in the eye of the beholder’, but that isn’t even close.

The Beauty Within refers to seeing the beauty in anyone, anything or any situation exactly as it is.  Not to try to see what it could become. Not to try to cultivate pearls from oysters. And not trying to change it into something else, or hoping it will be different. But to absolutely love the thing for the thing the thing is…as it is.

It might be difficult to find the beauty in a traffic jam, or a car accident or even being stopped by a train. But if you let your mind settle a bit and you can see it. The time you get to be with your own thoughts in stalled traffic. The lesson from the car accident can change your life and fill you with more gratitude and remind you to stay in the present moment. You find yourself lulled into a relaxed state by the rhythmic trains sounds.

Finding the beauty within ourselves, can be a bigger challenge at times for even the best of us. While we want to be ever evolving, it is vital that we appreciate who we are and where we are at any given moment. With practice, we move from looking at ourselves in the mirror and tearing apart the image nitpicking at our perceived flaws, to understanding that beauty is more than skin deep.

Finding our beauty within encompasses not just the things we are proud of but those things we tend to judge as deficient in some way. Understanding the beauty we are exactly as-is. Not excluding those ‘other parts’ but finding them beautiful too!

It goes beyond ‘seeing the good in others‘ too. Seeing the good in them is not the same as seeing their beauty. Beauty goes deeper than ‘good’. Seeing good in someone is shallow and dismissive. We can even be condescending and patronizing in that. Think of that southern retort, ‘bless your heart’, that is so condescending at times.

Sitting with the memory of someone who pushes our buttons and finding them beautiful exacts far more effort on our part. How can I see the beauty within someone whom I think is hateful?

And what of a situation that has you nervous, worried, anxious or downright fearful? Can you find that beautiful?

That’s what this phrase suggests. Find the beauty within. It’s there. In everything. If you can find it, you can change the person or situation…or yourself. At the very least you change your experience and really when you do that, you change everything anyway.

So, that’s what I’ve been practicing this week. When something has me feeling small and afraid, I am consciously reaching for the feelings of expansion and love. I embrace this awful feeling as beautiful. I revel in this.

I suppose the best way to describe this is if you have ever been really really sick and when you felt better you felt like you had never ever felt that good before in your whole life. I think that’s what this phrase means. This moment of ick? It’s going to lead to a moment of bliss like you’ve never known. There’s beauty in that contrast.

The beauty within…you.

I love you.

~Jade

Lessons From The Water

I recently started swimming again. Who knew you could join the fitness center and pool at the local high school? I certainly didn’t! What a gift!!

barefoot beach blur break
Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

I have always loved to swim. In pools. In lakes. It never mattered. I love being in the water. With my new found pain free existance and my physical alignment, I am moving better and realized how amazing my body feels after swimming now.

What I didn’t realize is the emotional stuff it would impact as well.

Water represents emotions and I knew that going in (to the pool.) I wasn’t surprised that it gave me inspiration, but I didn’t expect it to stir up my emotions. Which is kinda funny, because why wouldn’t I? Why didn’t I?

Movement does that. And movement in water would do that more. I have been paralyzed to some extent for a long long time because of the inflammatory effects of the foods I was eating. This storage system was a perfect keeping place for my body to hold the energy of past events. So, as my body has come into alignment with my spiritual alignment things are being released and experienced as they move up and out of my body. Movement in water, would only enhance the emotional releases.

So, quite literally I’ve been swimming in old memories and the emotions related to them. One after another rises up to my conscious without warning – like they tend to. At first I was stunned. “Why would this come up, now?” “Where is this coming from?” It was a quick minute to realize that this was resurfacing and I did not allow myself to get stuck in the current revisitation of it.

There is a point where you can get caught up in that resurfacing and begin to relive it rather than release it. Its a choice you make. Or maybe its a habit (though a habit is indeed a choice.) It just takes a simple thought to keep us on track, “This isn’t current. This is making its way up and out.”

Though these memories catch me off guard, I have decided I like them. I like that they are resurfacing and leaving my body. I love it, actually. Its new for me, and I welcome it. I do. I feel like this is just another Healing Rite of Passage! Sort of like going through my house and purging out all that no longer resonates and the satisfaction I get at each bag of trash or donation items I take out.

How do I know these are resurfacing to be released? Well, the curious thing is that these are memories I haven’t thought about in years…decades even. They just popped into my mind in relation to a thought about a body part, ie: the throat, for instance. When the memory picture popped up there was only a shadow of the emotions felt at the time. I could’ve easily fallen back into them with my thoughts, but did not. Then, lastly, after that the memory is gone and I cannot at this moment remember anything other than it occurring. No memory of the specific memories that resurfaced.

How cool is that? But that’s not all…

Swimming is more than exercise for the body, it is exercise for the mind (meditation) and for the Spirit (metaphor for the Universe) and for the energetic body (aura cleansing). Water is the elemental representation of the Universe. All the things that are true in water are true in Life.

  1. If you struggle, you drown. (Struggle indicates misalignment aka suffering)
  2. To float you must surrender. (Go with the flow)
  3. When you float you are fully supported by the Universe with no effort on your part. (The Universe is conspiring on your behalf)
  4. It is never good to hold your breath, but rather to breathe fully, efficiently and at the right time. (The breath of life is an even in and out, receive and release motion.)

We are Spiritual beings in an Elemental vehicle. It is a mistake to choose one over the other as more important. You cannot attend to one and neglect the other. And when you attend to the elemental vehicle, using as many of the the elements as possible is important: air, water, fire and earth. Find ways to incorporate all of these into your physical care of your physical vehicle.

Suggestions:

  1. Swimming
  2. Bonfires
  3. Sunbathing
  4. Boating
  5. Hiking
  6. Picnic on the ground
  7. Meditation on the ground
  8. Moonbathing
  9. Brisk walking
  10. Sauna
  11. Hot baths
  12. Floating (in a float room)
  13. Hot yoga

Anything that uses at least two of the four elements will be more beneficially charged. Swimming outdoors on a sunny day in a lake would be the optimum as it incorporates all four elements of air, fire, water and earth.

Too many of us are locked inside concrete walls and have time outdoors marked as superfluous or for special occasions. We need the elements in our daily lives, even if in just small doses at first. In the midwest, this is almost automatic in summer with yard work or #lakelife, but we need to make it a priority in the winter as well. A good ole snowball fight is just as beneficial as time spent swimming in a lake. And out in a snowstorm?! Even better!!!

Let me know what miraculous things happen for you when you use the elements like this!

I love you.

~Jade

 

It Always Comes Down To Choice

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I could have been annoyed or I could be grateful.

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

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

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

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

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

Framing is an art.

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

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

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

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

It is how you make the most of life.

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

I love you.

~Jade

 

 

To A Facebook Acquaintance

I know you are angry.
I know that below that anger is hurt.
And I know that below that hurt is fear.
 
I know.
 
Don’t tell me I don’t know, because I’m not you. It makes no sense. Because you see, you are not me, therefore by your own formula you can’t know, whether or not I know, because you don’t know, because you’re not me.
 
See, the thing is I can’t hear you when you are angry. I can’t hear you when you are screaming. The louder and angrier you get the more I shut down. The more I don’t want to hear you. I cannot focus on your words or your wounds, because all I hear and see is your behavior. Its frightening. As frightening to me as that which you are yelling about.
 
It doesn’t mean I don’t care. It doesn’t even mean I don’t agree, I just can’t be with that energy you see. I can’t align with you there, in that place.
 
Everything is anger with you. Your anger is so loud you cannot even hear those who support you. Your anger is so big it blinds you to those who stand with you. It prevents you from seeing that you are part of the problem. That anger is part of the problem. That anger can never be part of the solution.
 
Solutions live where anger can’t. Anger is not of the heart, it is of the mind. You convince yourself that anger is passion, it is not. It is fear and where fear is, passion cannot breathe. Passion lives where there is Peace, because Peace has no limits. There it can live and breathe unfettered. It can have life and solutions can come forth.
 
But they will not come while you are angry. They will not come while you are screaming. They will not come while you flail your arms.
 
They will not come until your mouth quiets and your mind opens.
Until your heart opens.
Until your arms open.
 
I know there is pain and fear. I know there is hurt. I’m not asking you to put that aside. I’m asking you to let go of the anger that created the problem to find the solution.
 
I’m asking you to BE the solution.
 
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.

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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

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