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Years ago, I was walking on a treadmill next to an unknown woman with beautiful long silver hair. The energy emanating from her was of peace, serenity and composure. I kept sneaking glances at her and trying to figure out what it was about her. Finally, I gave in to my inner voice and told her how beautiful her energy was. She turned, looked at me and said, “Thank you.  And you are a beautiful teacher.” I stammered, “Oh no. I’m not a teacher. I’m an ex-banker.”  She smiled tenderly and said, “No. You are a teacher.”

I’ve thought about her and her statement quite often. It occurred to me that yes, I AM a teacher. I’ve been teaching for most of my life. Early in my banking career I trained the new hires, then created manuals and then taught people the correct way to adhere to those manuals.

When I found Reiki, it never once occurred to me I wouldn’t teach this beautiful healing craft. In fact, I knew within minutes of experiencing Reiki that I would someday teach this to others. My banking career allowed me to know what I wanted (and didn’t want) in a curriculum and in my teaching style.

Now, it seems, I’ve accepted the responsibility of a different type of teaching. This ‘job’ will be full-time for at least 18 years. It’s funny that I never really thought of being a mom as being a teacher. I didn’t view my parents that way and I’m not sure they viewed parenthood as being teachers either. Maybe this is a knowing you get when you are an older (much older) parent. I’m positive I wouldn’t have viewed my role as a teacher if I would have had a baby in my 20’s or even my 30’s.

As parents, we unknowingly teach our children our bad habits as well as our good ones. We do this by just living our life. If we have been doing something the same way for most of our life, it comes naturally to us. It IS us. We may, while in the presence of our children, swear a blue streak at a slow driver (or the Minnesota Vikings) or pitch a huge fit complete with foot stomping and slamming of doors. We may also use derogatory slurs we learned while growing up. 

We will be teaching our little ones so many things including how to deal with anger, jealousy and resentment. We will be teaching our babies how to deal with losing, aggression and general meanness. We will be teaching this sometimes without saying a word. They will closely watch how we react and then that’s how and what they will learn. If we are prone to drama, I bet they’ll be prone to drama. If we feel it’s acceptable to make fun of others, then they will feel it’s acceptable to do the same.

Are you getting where I’m going with this? We, as the adults, have choices and most of us have fully functioning minds that understand what WE do, they do. We, again as adults, do not have to be like our parents even if they were the only role models we had. We do not have to pass on the silent treatments, the swearing, the spanking, the yelling and the ‘change your attitudes’ to our children.

Trying to be my mom didn’t work for my starter marriage (see Abuse blog). But it was the eye opening experience it took for me to understand I didn’t have to be her.  I have been weaning out the old and embracing the new ever since.

As far as my daughter goes, I knew I would not spank her. To me, spanking didn’t teach me a lesson. Hurt or pain didn’t help me understand why my behavior wasn’t acceptable. What it did was cause me to fear my dad (he was usually the punisher dole’r out’r) and to keep my emotional distance from him. That fear affected me well into my late 30’s.  

If we yell and swear at our children, we are teaching them to yell and swear. In reality, yelling and swearing are both ways to try to get the other person’s attention. So why not choose a less abusive and more respectful form of communicating? Perhaps one that may yield positive and nourishing results instead of fear, dissension and anger.

I wish my parents would have utilized a different form of punishment, but the forms they used were what they knew. It was how they were raised. But I’m telling you, I want something different from myself and for my daughter.

I don’t EVER want to see fear in her eyes when she makes a mistake or has an accident or even intentionally misbehaves. I want her to know her dad and I aren’t the only role models in her life. I want her to know how to resolve her upsets without being verbally, physically or emotionally abusive. This, in part, is the legacy I want to leave behind. Then, God willing, I can watch how my daughter adapts and changes that legacy for her own brood.

I vow to sincerely try to break the cycle of abuse. I do not want to teach abuse and I do not want to be abusive. Will I succeed? I don’t know but I’m really, really trying. As the Virginia Slim cigarette slogan goes, “You’ve come a long way baby.”

 

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Abuse

Last night I was privileged to sit in on the last session of an 8-week Wellness program. I wasn’t expecting the reaction I had. When the group was asked what progress they had made, one beautiful fighter said, “I’ve lost 190 pounds. This morning, after years and years of trying and struggling, I asked my husband to leave.”  Gahhhh.   It wasn’t her words that got me; it was the energy coming from her. It was the fact she was finding herself again and had the courage to start taking back her own Power. It awoke some pretty powerful personal memories for me.

Two other women shared their stories and I had similar responses to them as well.  Then I focused on the moderator. I know her personally and professionally and I know what she’s had to overcome. The fact that she was taking a piece of coal and turning it into a diamond by supporting, encouraging and empowering these women, moved me to tears again.

Super. I’m there to do a meditation and I’ve teared up four times already. In 15 minutes. How professional!   But, I do have a blog forming in my mind on crying so I’ll save my thoughts on that until later.

Whenever an emotion hits me so strongly, I’ve learned I need to examine what it’s triggering inside of me. This one was rather easy. I did survive an abusive marriage. I did find the courage to walk away. I did find the strength to examine my part in the abuse and the death of what I now call my ‘starter’ marriage.

Let me take you a little deeper into my old life. I won’t go too far as the pain is, even now over a decade later, still achy.

I married for life and I loved the beautiful man I’d married, when he was sober. When he was drunk, he became a man that scared me. I used to call it the ‘Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde’ syndrome. Again, this man was larger than life to me when he was sober but when he wasn’t? I was afraid of his temper and the man he would morph into.

Was he like this when we dated? Yes and no. We both drank a lot. I just thought he’d ‘outgrow’ the drinking part once we were married.  My thought about his drinking was this: going to the bar is a social thing you do when you’re single and looking. I thought once we were married there wouldn’t be so many nights spent at the bar and more nights spent at home.

Well, I was half right. I spent more (lonely) nights at home and he spent more nights at the bar.

Yes, we went to counseling and while that was a disaster for us as a couple, it did help me personally.

A one point, probably one of the lowest points, I remember sitting on our stairs thinking, “I’m either going to kill myself or I’ve got to leave this marriage.” I wasn’t sure which would be easier or which one I would choose. I didn’t believe in suicide but…. When you are being mentally/emotionally abused, your self-worth/self-esteems goes right into the crapper. You start to believe what you’re being told (‘you’re the reason I drink so much’ or ‘if you wouldn’t have said that, I wouldn’t have drank so much.’). The person you were slowly fades to a mere shadow of your former self.

I tried to find ways to cope. Those ways usually involved alcohol, trusted friends and avoidance. I blamed him for everything when in reality I held an equal share of the blame. I didn’t discover this aspect until years later when I had forgiven him and myself for so many horrible things.

Back then I wasn’t spiritual. Not at all. I didn’t even know I was intuitive or I had the support of God. I felt all alone, as most abused women do. My mom was gone and my family was not a huge source of support for me.

One night after a particularily horrible fight, I curled up in a tight, protective ball in the corner of our walk-in closet. All the doors were shut and if they could be, they were locked. I was so damn afraid. I was shaking and crying uncontrollably. Counseling later taught me you NEVER engage a person who has been drinking. NEVER. But I didn’t know that then.

I called my sister who, being 18 years older than me, had literally helped raise me. My mom was sick most of my childhood and teenage years so my sister stepped in even though she was a state away and raising her own family. I trusted her. I needed her. I relied on her. She was, essentially, my second mom. Unfortunately, this conversation did not go well.  Or maybe it did, depending on how you look at it.  I had made the call when I couldn’t get a hold of myself. When I apologized for calling, she responded, “Well, Mom’s gone now and I guess this shit falls on my shoulders.”

Whaaaa? I’m bleeding out here and that’s what you say?! I felt like I’d been slapped in the face. Hard. But that little sentence was the catalyst that started the change within me. And change me it did, deeply and profoundly. Something (fear maybe?) started to die inside of me and something that felt cold (determination, maybe?) was replacing it.  I wasn’t angry with my sister and the cold feeling had nothing to do with her. Even back then I could recognize that this was all about me. It was as if, after all my life of depending on others to take care of me, I stopped being the child and became the adult in that instant.  Or if you’d like to look at it a different way, I stopped being the victim and started being the survivor.

I don’t believe in coincidences. My sister, saying what she did WHEN she did, was divinely inspired. I didn’t think so at the time, but looking back, that ‘tough love’ sentence was exactly what I needed. To this day, I believe that was the turning point for me to start taking back my power and getting control of my life.

And with that, my friends….you’ll need to wait until the next blog entitled, “Abuses.” Awww…I know, I know. But, as my friend Ganesh says, “I’m not worried about a happy or sad ending…it’s the story leading up to it.”  😉

Impatience

Man, I don’t know what’s going on lately, but I have reverted back to being over-the-top impatient. I’m not impatient on everything, just stuff that I think should have happened by now. Here’s why I think impatience happens; I think we become impatient because we’ve glimpsed something we desire very much but it has yet to manifest on the earthly plane. It’s as if we can remember everything about it (whatever ‘it’ is for you) and all of the emotions associated with it, but we don’t physically see it. And this is something we really, really pretty-please-with-sugar-on-top WANT!

I put impatience behind me back in the early 2000’s.  I mean, I’m the one, if you’ll remember, that had to wait like FOREVER for the stars to align so I could bring our daughter into this world (and that’s just one example). You can read (re-read?) my blog on “Control” if you need a refresher. I don’t like being impatient. Nothing good comes from it. So why now? What’s going on?

I had a client the other day who said, “If it can go wrong, it will. The last couple of months my world has gone to shit. I feel overwhelmed, frustrated and very chaotic.” Now this is a woman who is very glass half full, full of life and optimistic. To hear her say this (and have her thoughts intuitively validated while she was in session), well, that got me thinking. This is kind of what my life, and my husbands, has felt like for the last couple of months. I’m hearing similar stories from other clients, too. Hummm. Putting one and one together here (no small feat as I abhor math!).

This stuff from the last couple of months has GOT to be energetic. It’s just happening to too many of us. It’s frustrating, especially when impatience just isn’t who I am anymore.

Oh HO ladies and gentlemen! Surprise!! It seems this blog is to have a guest appearance. I’m being asked by my Guys to channel some information directly to the masses. Oh man. I didn’t see that coming when I started this blog. Well, who’s up for some words straight from the horse’s mouth, so to speak?  Here you go. Public, meet my Guys. Guys…oh never mind. You already know the public. Hey! For the cool factor, see if you can ‘feel’ how the energy is different from my writing style to Theirs.

“Little Ones. We do not wish to cause you harm or timidity.  (Melissa’s note: The Guys like to use bigger words than I can get my Norwegian/German/Mutt brain around.)  We are expressing great sorrow at how this latest miscalculation on our part is affecting your sweet souls. We were not given a rule book as some may think. We are making this up, or as you humans say, ‘Flying by the seat of our pants’ as we go. We have skill doing this so do not dismay. You are all in safe hands (if we had hands).  (Melissa’s Note: They usually do not joke, so I must have tapped into a little bit of their funny bone.)

You ask, Dear One, on behalf of those you tirelessly aid, “How much MORE!?” Will you be angry with us if we use the old saying, “Two weeks”? (Melissa’s Note: GRRRRR!  Yes!  Angry! Stupid ‘two weeks.’ I know all about those two little words! It means that this part of the energetic shift will be over in two weeks BUT that doesn’t mean things will get better. OOOOH NOOOO! It means a new energetic phase – for better or worse – will begin.  ‘Two weeks’ is also a loving joke between the Guys and me due to my, uh, constant questioning in my younger years). We love that you get our joke, Little One. You are such a delight. (Melissa’s Note: Guys, puhleease! I’m blushing here! Ok, I’m really not.)

We will continue, if only briefly, for we have the masses to attend to. You ask, in earnest, when this portion will be finished. We tell you we truly do not know. There seems to be some clearing, if you will, in a few short weeks, possibly around the end of your month of March. We see that your calendar date of April first will usher in new, fresh energy once again. You can look for the stars to align and the grass to grow and all to fall into perfect rhythm once again. We will not disappoint, in fact, we will dazzle. (Melissa’s Note: I’m being shown a night sky with shooting stars. Meteor shower, maybe?)

We will leave you now but are thoroughly glad you allowed us in, Little One. Be patient and you will see the wisdom of our words.  All will return with the onset of the spring rains. There will be a ‘rebirth’ of sorts.  All that is old and outdated will fall in the gutter. But do not dismay, these old thoughts or feelings will be replaced with shiny new ones. Ones that all of you will polish and keep clean and treasure unlike anything you have treasured before. It is our gift to you. Watch and see how it transpires in your life. We are most anxious to see you smile and for you to raise your heads to Heaven in joy and wonderment. For far too long your heads have been bent toward the earth. Be well. All is well. Be at peace for that is what you shall have. Peace. Wonderment. Joy. We promise this.”

Ok……uhhh…”we PROMISE this” is not Their usual wording especially when this blog has the potential to reach hundreds, if not thousands of people. So, will hundreds or thousands of people find peace, wonderment and joy? I don’t know, but They said it and I trust Them explicitly.

Control

I once told a new client I was a recovering Control-a-holic. Her face whitened, her eyes widened and her posture changed. She said, “You mean, you’re going to use handcuffs or tie me down during session?!”  Blink. Blink.  Whaaa!??? NO!  Oh my!  What I was trying to communicate is that I would thoroughly explain what was to take place during her intuitive Reiki session. Yikes!

My early spiritual growth was intensely painful only because I didn’t listen the first 947 times God gently tried to get my attention. I was determined (read: stubborn), self-motivated (read: impatient) and enthusiastic (read: obsessive). Therefore, I respectfully overlooked (read: ignored) a lot of what could have been much easier lessons for me to learn.

I believe there are several stages God (or the Universe or whatever you want to call it) goes through in order to get your attention. It may start with the “Soft, Gentle Whisper.” If you repeatedly ignore that, you’ll get the “Loud Booming Voice.” Ignore that and you’ll hear the “Banshee Yell.”  Then it moves on to the “Punch in the Gut” and to what I like to call, “The Fetal Posish.”  I like to think that last one was created just for (or because!) of me.

Because of the aforementioned attributes, I have personally experienced the “Fetal Posish” several (hundred) times. {Cough} I didn’t know then if I would have just dealt with the ant hill the first or even the ninth time I heard the whisper, I may not have had to deal with the seemingly insurmountably painful mountains later on.

In hindsight, if I had simply (simply?! Pishaw!) given up control, I might have been living on Spiritual Easy Street.  Instead, I spent a fair amount of time living on Agony Avenue because I tried (‘tried’ being the operative word!) to control people, situations and outcomes. Hey! It’s what I knew. It’s how I was raised and it was comfortable. Change can be scary.

As my girl Susie often said directly to me (ahem!), “Control is an illusion.” Man, I just didn’t get it. What do you mean, it’s an ‘illusion’??! I didn’t even begin to understand the truth of that statement until years later.  I mean, in the physical world, if I worked hard, I was promoted. If I was promoted, I earned more money. If I earned more money, I could afford nicer things. Wellll…..in the spiritual world, it doesn’t quite work that way.

If you’re trying to advance or grow spiritually and you’re a control freak, you’re going to have to go against what you’ve done your entire life. If you push and push in the spiritual realm, you can bet on a whole lot of nothing, except frustration, coming your way.

You see if you push, you muddy the spiritual waters. This makes it harder for you to see what needs to be done and for your Astral ‘Managers’ to do their job, which is manifesting your wants/needs/desires. Think of it this way. Trying to force things to happen in the spiritual realm is a lot like trying to push a string; it just gets balled up and snarled.

So what do you do?  Well, here’s what works for me.

  1. Get out of your way. Whatever that means for you. Maybe it’s letting go of ego. Maybe it’s being kinder to yourself. Maybe it’s practicing forgiveness (that comes up a LOT in sessions!).  Maybe it’s stopping the pity-pot meltdowns and foot stomping when stuff doesn’t appear or happen on YOUR timeline.
  2. Trust. You can’t see oxygen but we need it to live. Same with Trust. You cannot advance spiritually unless you know how to trust. Trust in yourself, trust in others and trust in things you can’t see, hear, touch, or smell.
  3. Let your Universe know exactly what you’d like, not what you don’t like. Believe me, there is a difference. Write it down. Post it on your fridge. Make it your computer password.
  4. Repeat steps 1 and 2 as needed and repeat step 3 every now and then. The Universe HAS heard you.

There it is! These four items, in my opinion, are the backbone of it all. Let go of control. It ISN’T real. Seriously. The only person you can control is yourself and sometimes we don’t do a good job of that, either. If you want to try to control something, maybe take a look at how you express your anger. Does that need to be changed or tweaked?

I’ll leave you with this. If the thought of letting go of control fills you with fear, panic and/or anxiety, then you may be in for a lifetime (insert echo here) of “Punch in the Gut” and “Fetal Posish.”  And what’s worse? I believe if you don’t learn the lessons you came here to learn, you’ll have a least one more lifetime in which you get to repeat the same (or worse) mistakes. The same (or worse) experience that result in the same (let me hear it! OR WORSE) hurt/frustration/agony. And you may not start out with the ‘Soft, Gentle Whisper’ next time. Nope. You may start out with the ‘Banshee Yell.’ Lovely to think about, isn’t it? NOT!

Do what you need to do to grow. Don’t worry about anyone else, as they’ll need to deal with their own set of illusions, whispers and gut-punches.

George

For anyone who was a fan of Seinfeld, this title is sure to evoke fond memories. Doing ‘The George’ is second nature to me now, but it wasn’t always the case.

In 2001, I found myself climbing out of a self-imposed hole. My normally healthy self-worth had withered to a mere fraction of what it used to be. I let ego and fear take over my life. I became a person I did not like.  I was needy. I was controlling. I was co-dependent. I was angry. I was in emotional pain.  I blamed others for the person I’d become. I said awful things to those that I loved, especially the ones I believed were responsible for my emotional distress.  In essence, I was the poster child for low, dense and negative energy.

Climbing out of that hole took guts as I’d been in it for so long. First, I had to realize I was IN a hole. Ding ding. Then, I had to acknowledge I’d not only gotten myself into this hole but I’d bought a shovel to dig even deeper.  Lastly, I had to get myself out. No one could do this for me. SUCK!  That meant I had to take responsibility for being so miserable. Double SUCK!

As I was flailing around still trying to blame everyone else, two amazing women entered my life.  Both of these women were highly spiritual and brought different gifts to the table.  Both were my salvation.   One taught me to live for myself and not be concerned with what ‘everybody’ thinks.  She taught me to try to live in the moment and not do things that I really, truly did not want to do.  She taught me it was OK to say no, especially to ego.

The other indispensable woman helped me grow my intuitive gifts and calmed and soothed my spiritual soul when I was afraid and panicky. I called her my ‘personal aloe vera plant’ and with good reason. She’s the one who gave me this fabulous tidbit of spiritual advice when I had asked, “But, how do I know if what I’m doing is spiritual or not?” She replied, “Just do the opposite of what you would normally do and that’s usually the spiritual way.”

One of my first acts utilizing what I now call ‘The George’ (aka Fake It ‘Till You Make It) was trying to figure out what my priorities were and what invitations I really wanted to accept.  This meant I had to examine my very loud ego and why I was really doing what I was doing.  Was I saying yes because I felt I HAD to or ‘everybody’ would be disappointed?  Or was I saying yes because I really wanted to do said event?   I found saying no became easier when I listened and responded to my own needs first.

My ego became quieter and putting myself first was rewarding.  I was saying NO to guilt and YES to me for the first time since childhood. This didn’t make me shameless or selfish, it made me empowered.  I was no longer doing things because I felt ‘others’ or ‘everybody’ expected it.  I was no longer saying yes to things and then praying for an excuse to not attend.  It was liberating!!

After about six months of really working this George concept, I began to see a positive change in me.  I was less apt to listen to my fears and insecurities and more likely to have faith and trust. I had gone from spiritually crawling on all fours to taking a few tentative steps. Or maybe it was more like learning to roll from my belly onto my back.

By doing the opposite of what I wanted to do and was used to doing, I gave up some control and got my feet wet in the Patience Pond. I even allowed a few of my emotional hurts to heal and watched as those scars faded.

By letting go of some (!!) control, my long lost friends, self-worth and self-esteem returned.  They brought along a little dash of confidence and a pinch of sassiness. After what seemed like years, I was able to glimpse what my World was like above ground once again.