It Always Comes Down To Choice

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I could have been annoyed or I could be grateful.

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

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

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

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

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

Framing is an art.

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

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

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

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

It is how you make the most of life.

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

I love you.

~Jade

 

 

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

I’ve had the shiftiest week.

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

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

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

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

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

And so I began my Keto journey.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Now, to drive home that point one!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So it is on the Spiritual journey as well.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I love you.

~Jade

 

 

“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