North Star (part 1)

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I was recently reading (I know how to do that. It’s math that’s tricky for me) an article about what book changed your life. I have one of those books I’d like to share with you. Without it, I’m not sure I would have had the courage to do what I did or become the person I am.  

The book, “Finding Your Own North Star” by Martha Beck was the inspiration I needed to quit a job before I had another lined up. Not a big deal for some of you but for this girl, it simply was NOT done. I had rent to pay, groceries to buy and two parents who had ingrained in me the absolute need to get another job before quitting the current one.

I was 40 when I read this book and made the leap without a safety net. Looking back, there WAS a job waiting, I just couldn’t see it yet. It was called Inner Focus Reiki.

The following exercise is designed to evaluate your ‘essential self’ as Martha calls it. See where you are in your life by taking the following “I’m completely in HELL” exercise.  I’ll blog the “I’m SO on my correct path” exercises later.

There is so much more to this book but hopefully this experiment will help open your eyes, even if they are squeezed tightly shut.  Like I said, it was life changing for me.

1.  Energy Crisis – Try to remember three different events or type of events (i.e. dental appointments, jobs, classes, social functions, etc.) where you HAD to show up but felt reluctant and low-energy.  Circle the response that has the most negative association for you.

A.

B.

C.

2.  Sick, Sick, Sick – Try to remember three times when your health was below par.  What was going on in your life during each of these three periods? List each situation (they can be the same as in Energy Crisis) AND the physical symptoms you suffered.  Circle the worst symptom.

A.                                                        Symptom:

B.                                                        Symptom:

C.                                                        Symptom:

3.  Forgetting – Write down three types of information you find difficult to remember (example: people’s names, school schedules, important documents). Circle the type of information you forget most often.

A.

B.

C.

4. Blunders o’ Blunders – Write down three stupid mistakes you remember making.  Circle the most disastrous mistake.

A.

B.

C.

5.  Social Suicide – Name three people who bring out your very WORST social behavior (like every time you’re around this person you feel like a complete ass, you revert to being a child or you need a complete lobotomy).

A.

B.

C.

6.  Fight or Flight – List the times when you couldn’t sleep, slept poorly or slept so much you felt groggy or squalid (squalid? Uh, OK).  List the three problems in your life that cause sleep dis-order.  Circle the issue that most disrupted your sleep.

A.

B.

C.

7.  Addiction – Name ONE (yes, only one) bad habit or obsessive pattern you’ve been unable to eliminate (for me, it’s biting my nails.  Hey! I only had to pick ONE of them!).  Now remember what happened to trigger this bad habit the last three times you fell off the wagon.  For example, for me, it’s overwhelming stress that I feel I have too much on my plate and I’m not talkin’ dinner plate. Circle the trigger that is most likely to make you turn to your addictive habit.

A.

B.

C.

8.  Moody Blues – List the last three times you experienced a VERY bad mood or a mood that seemed inexplicable, unjustifiable or extreme.  Again, note what was happening in your life at the time these moods occurred.  Circle the one that brought out your worst mood.

A. 

B.

C.

You did it!!! That’s it for the questions. Now comes the ‘fun’ part which is getting your essential self (or soul) to speak to you.  Go back and review the items you’ve circled. It’s fill in the blank time, boys and girls. And this isn’t gonna be pretty.    Ready?  Take a big gulp of air………

YOUR OWN WORST CASE SCENARIO:

Imagine for a moment that you are in/at (response from #1 – lowest-energy situation) ________________________________. You are surrounded by (#5 – all THREE names on your list) ________________________________________ You’re not feeling your best, in fact, your (#2 – worst medical symptom) ______________________________ is bothering you more than ever.  You’ve been given a lifetime assignment that involves working with (#3 – most forgettable information) ________________________.

All the people in the room are authorized to watch you constantly, criticize your performance and punish you if you make any mistakes.  Speaking of mistakes, you’ve just done (#4 – stupidest mistake) ______________________________ a fact that was noted by your three supervisors.  Your life in general is pretty difficult right now; that whole thing with (#6 – sleep disturbances) ________________ is happening all over again.  You’re also trying to deal with (#7 – worst bad habit trigger) ___________________________. To top it ALL off, (#8 – bad mood situation) ___________________________ is more intense than ever.

Just when things are at their worst ________________ (#5 – the person who makes you the most uncomfortable) walks up.  He/she orders you to stand up, politely smile in a way that is both humble and worshipful and say to the entire assembly, “I admire you so much.  Thank you, THANK YOU for letting me be here.  You are such a terrific person and this is just what I deserve.  I want to live this way for the rest of my life!” 

Gaaahhhhh!!!!

How about that?!  How ABOUT that?! Feeling like kaka?!  If you can vividly imagine this horrible situation, you’re experiencing your own blend of anger, despair, illness, etc. It doesn’t feel good, does it?

Are your eyes opening? Are you learning anything about what you essentially need?  This book clearly states no one is supposed to EVER feel this way.  EVER!!!  And yet we do, don’t we America?

Think about this scenario for a while or until you throw up, whichever comes first.  I’ll work on Part 2 (it’s much better, I promise) and you’ll see (pun intended) where I’m going.

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Crying

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Do you apologize to others for being happy or for being afraid? Sounds odd, right? But how many times have you apologized for crying in front of someone? Aha! I’m willing to bet almost every time.

Why? Why do we do this?? Crying is a human emotion. It’s no different than anger or fear or even joy. And yet we don’t apologize when we’re feeling happy. I mean, how many times have you heard, “Oh gee, I’m so sorry. I can’t seem to stop smiling. I’m SO embarrassed!” Uh, like NEVER!

I was raised by a dad whom I never saw cry. He certainly may have but he didn’t do it in front of me. My mom was just the opposite. When she was sad, frustrated or hurt, she openly cried.  I was a momma’s girl so it’s no surprise I cry openly, too.

If you’re lucky enough to have two parents as a child/young adult, you had two role models in which to create your emotional behavior. If you related to the ‘unemotional’ one, then the one who cried is going to be perceived as a baby or weak. If you connected with the ‘emotional’ one, then the other one is going to be viewed as unfeeling or cold.

I can’t tell you how many times over the years I’ve heard, “She’s such a strong woman” or “I’m trying to be strong.” Both of these statements infuriate me as they imply that crying makes you weak. Quite frankly, I’m fed up with this archaic and untrue line of thinking.  It doesn’t matter what gender you are, either. Crying (emotion) does not discriminate. Both genders should feel empowered to have a good ol’ crying jag without fear of being viewed as weak. Oye!!  

When I’m seeing a new client, I cue them that they may have an “emotional release” while receiving Reiki. I let them know that they shouldn’t be embarrassed by the tears or hold them back. I tell them that crying is therapeutic and by crying it often triggers the healing process to begin.

The most common reason we cry is due to stress, sadness, grief, anxiety and frustration. But we also cry tears of joy or when we feel overwhelming relief. Is there a difference between the tears? Yes. According to several websites including 5 Health Benefits of Crying, there are more toxic byproducts in tears that are shed for emotional reasons than say, in response to an onion or the birth of a baby. Oh HO!  

Something else I found interesting was if you were to compare crying to say sweating while exercising, the same detoxing and destressing process occurs. If you hold back your tears, you can increase your stress levels (duh).  This can lead to health issues such as high blood pressure, depression and fatigue.

Crying helps your mood. Plain and simple. Studies show a good cry can elevate your mood by releasing endorphins which allow your emotional and physical body to feel calm again.

It can help with cold and flu prevention, too. Tears contain natural antibacterial and antiviral solutions that work to fight the germs we get in our eyes. Our tears are capable of killing up to 95% of all bacteria that enter our eyes within minutes. What the WHAT?! WOW!

Last, but not least, tears literally enable us to see. Kind of a biggy, don’t you think? Tears moisten our eyes and prevent dehydration. You don’t say! Well then, how come every time after I cry my eyes feel like a sand pit?!

Crying is essential to healing grief as it helps us process loss. Tears are a sign of courage, strength and authenticity. I couldn’t agree more. Please remember that the next time you’re feeling embarrassed or ashamed of an emotion whose very purpose is designed to help us grow, heal and cleanse.

 

The Guys

How do I even begin to describe the voices I hear or the knowledge I am asked to pass on to my clients? Maybe I should start by how I incorporate Their words into my Work.

I affectionately call a bunch of Arch Angels, Spirit Guides, Guardian Angels and Ascended Beings the ‘Guys.’  It’s not a term I can take credit for as I adopted it from my mentor.

I call my Work “Intuitive Reiki” for two reasons. The first is I intuitively move my hands versus following the traditional Usui Reiki hand positions. The second is, well, I am an Intuitive.

What’s an Intuitive? Intuitive/psychic. PotAYto/poTATo, although I do not personally like the word “Psychic.” For me, the word ‘intuitive’ feels more professional and seems to embody the spiritual aspect of what I do. “Psychic” has a bad connotation for me.

So what IS it that I do? The short answer is I am a channel or a portal for Ascending Beings to communicate with and through. That could mean a relative (alive or deceased), an Angel or a Guide.  I hear, see or sense the energetic outcomes to most physical, spiritual or emotional questions.

Do I see whom I’m talking to? Sometimes, yes. Especially when a relative shows up, an animal totem appears or maybe even a Guide that is there to assist with the Healing. Mainly though, it’s the Guys and I don’t see them as They are pure energy, kind of like air. I just never know who’s going to come to the party.

My Work mainly deals with the spiritual, meaning the Guys want to tell you about your spiritual progress.  They do so in several ways. Sometimes They show me pictures and I’m left to interpret the message. Sometimes They talk and sometimes it’s just a knowing I have.  Sometimes it’s a soft voice, sometimes it’s loud and sometimes it seems to come from several fused voices.

While you’re thinking I’m going to get all Oda Mae on you, my Work isn’t like that. I can’t control who shows up, there’s no rocking of the table and I know my eyes don’t roll in the back of my head.

The Guys are ecstatic to have an open, uncensored, clear channel in which to communicate.  My Guys do not try to scare you or cause fear. These Beings are of high energy and Their first priority is your spiritual growth. The messages I am asked to relate are all aimed at helping you grow.

Sometimes people think I can see that they’re the ones who put the empty milk carton back in the fridge or whatever assorted ‘things’ they are embarrassed by. I assure my clients it doesn’t work that way.  Again, if the Guys are concerned with your spiritual growth, They are not going to waste time telling you that you shouldn’t have tied Tommy’s shoe laces together in the second grade. They have bigger fish to fry.

Part of my charm is that I can only validate what you know. Never should I tell you anything that you are not already aware of. This stuff might be buried deep inside you or housed in your subconscious, but it’s all stuff you know.

I most certainly can answer questions about physical stuff as well (‘Do you see a boyfriend for me? Will I get the promotion? How many children will I have?’).  What I see/hear/sense is accurate for that moment. Because God gave us free will, I make sure each client knows they can change absolutely anything (physical or spiritual) I say.

It should also be noted that it’s not up to me to make your dreams come true or bring to life the visions I’m seeing. I am a mere mortal, after all. I may be able to give you a road map, but you’re going to have to figure out which road to take.

Why? Well, the Guys speak in a very esoteric language. It’s not a ‘do this’ or ‘don’t do that’ approach. With a lot of Their messages, you have to figure out what the meaning is or what you’re supposed to do.  Yes, the Guys DO give specific answers on some stuff, but for the most part, it’s up to you to find the path that leads you to your end goal.

Sometimes, the beauty of the Truth lies in the exact wordage used by the Guys. It’s verbiage that comes from the client’s repertoire, and it’s often repeated back to the client. So if you are an artist, I may find myself saying all sorts of words dealing with color and texture. If you are intelligent, I FOR SURE will be stammering over words I don’t know how to pronounce. I used to be embarrassed by this but now? Pshaw! It’s old hat. Besides, the words are meant for the client, not for me.

There have been cases where I’ve spouted out something like, ‘jambalaya’ and my client doesn’t understand. Gee, I wonder why!  Jambalaya?! When words like that appear or other words are constantly repeated, I have learned to write them down. When our session is over, I look up their meaning (if I can figure out how to spell them, that is). Almost all of the time the words have a spiritual meaning that is relevant to my client.

I’m really no different than you. Truly. We are all intuitive but I chose to grow my gifts so I may be of service to others. My Work is to empower, enlighten and inspire. I believe the Guys help me do just that. In spades.

Abuses

(This blog is a continuation of my previous blog entitled, ‘Abuse’.)

And take back my Power I did. It wasn’t easy though. Don’t be fooled into thinking it was. I had opted for divorce over suicide. Good decision, don’t you think? But you have to understand, when you’re in something that is so harmful and most of you is gone, you think you don’t have a choice. I was caught between strongly wanting to honor my marriage vows (I did marry for life, after all) and not wanting to leave a marriage that wasn’t ‘all that bad.’ Again, when sober, my husband was everything to me. Why couldn’t he see that? Why couldn’t he change?!

Well, maybe it was because he wasn’t ready to change or maybe it wasn’t for him to change. Maybe it was for ME. I don’t know. You can only change yourself (I learned that in counseling, too).

As any woman who has been in an abusive relationship knows, there is a ‘cycle’ or a rhythm that happens.  This cycle will not change until one person decides to do something differently. For me, the cycle was: drink, fight, sober, apologize. Then, one month, one week or one day later, it would all begin again.

I’d tell myself, “This is the last time. If it happens again, I’m filing for divorce.” And then it would happen again and I wouldn’t be ready to take the next step.

When I was ready, I did break the cycle.  I told my husband I wanted a divorce and he laughed at me. He said “don’t threaten me with that.”  I leveled my gaze and felt 90 feet tall. I said, deadly calm, “Do you honestly think I would joke about this?! I. Want. A. Divorce.”

Either his laughing or thinking I was bluffing was all it took to get a little bit of the Melissa I used to be to assert herself into the Melissa I had become.

Listening to the women’s stories the other night triggered some powerful memories and emotions for me. Out of those memories/emotions came these blogs.  I know there are so many of us (men and women) who are suffering abuse. Abuse can come at the hands of another or at the hands of ourselves. Sometimes I think the abuse we heap upon our own shoulders is the most insidious.

Who hasn’t thought, “I’m worthless. I’m a failure. I’m fat. Nobody will love me. I’m stupid.” If you’ve never had a thought about yourself like that, then I applaud you.  At times, thoughts like those plagued me and sometimes still do! Told you I was a work in progress. But, as with external abusers, you don’t need to put up with that.  As with anything, if you want it to change, then change it yourself.

One of the things I did to combat my negative self-talk and heal from the death of my marriage was to find things that were empowering to me. I hired a personal trainer to help me feel physically strong. I broke the ties of most of my old friends and found new ones that supported and encouraged me. I found fabulous spiritual mentors who helped me see the World through different eyes.

How? I’m so glad you asked! I believe we incarnate to learn lessons. Some are powerful and some are gentle. Sometimes we learn them and sometimes we don’t.  For me, I think I came back to learn I had the power inside of me to help myself and I didn’t need to give that away to anyone else.

I’m fully at peace with what happened during my first marriage. I forgive my ex-husband and myself. Sometimes though, I really want to ask him if he can forgive me. You see, I believe he and I agreed to come together in this lifetime in order for one or both of us to learn powerful and profound lessons. I love him for the part he played in my spiritual/emotional growth. That sentence took a whole lot of healing on my part, but that’s where I am. For all I know, he saw a glimpse of what I’d become if he did this or that and he decided to give up some of his own happiness so I could become radiant. I don’t know. But there are no coincidences in life. That I DO know.

I will not stand for abuse in my life. I’m by no means the authority on it, but I know what I deem as abusive. Remember, abuse takes many forms. If you are belittling yourself and calling yourself names, then I’m telling you that’s a complete travesty to your beauty. Stop it. Stop it right now. You do not deserve to see yourself as ‘less than’. You do not deserve to treat yourself so poorly. Ever. You are a child of God, no less or more important than the next person.

Choose your internal/external words wisely or you may be unknowingly teaching this kind of abuse to your children.  I’m betting the legacy you’d like to leave is filled with positive, loving and uplifting words.  I know that’s the legacy I’m trying to create for our daughter.

If you’ve glimpsed yourself in these two blogs, do what you need to do for you. You are just as important as the next person. Believe it. Own it. Know it. You DO have choices. What will be your catalyst for change?

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.

No

Let’s face it; we are a society who says ‘yes’ when we really want to say ‘no.’ For example: ‘”Melissa! Will you watch my second cousins daughter’s liter of newly born pups? All 15 of them need to be fed every hour, cleaned and bathed twice a day and read to for 6 hours. They prefer ‘The Cat in the Hat.’ Then, you’ll need to heat milk and let the puppies individually lap it off your arm.” Uh….sure?  I then spend my remaining unencumbered time wishing for a cataclysmic event or a merciful Act of God so I can graciously not do what I’ve agreed to do!!

Wouldn’t it be easier if we would politely and respectfully say no to the issues or the items that absolutely don’t resonate with us? I tested this theory several years ago with one of my besties.  She’d asked me if I wanted to do something and I simply said, “no.”  Actually, I believe I said “no thanks” as I am a student of Miss Manners.   She blinked a couple of times and said, “Ohhh. Uhhh Ok.”  She later told me she was somewhat taken aback by my directness as she was used to people saying, “I’ll get back to you” and then never doing so.

What she lovingly allowed me to do was to speak my truth. It was empowering and liberating. I had dipped my toes in the ‘Just Say NO’ pond and it went very well! I wasn’t missing any appendages or a best friend!

That whole seemingly innocent conversation allowed me to find my voice.  I found the courage to honor what my inner self needed. In doing so, I took back my power to make decisions, even if they weren’t what the asker wanted to hear.

I now listen closely to my inner voice when it asks, ‘Does this resonate with you or do you need to think about this before you commit?’  I find by doing this, I am able to positively stand by my decisions instead of wishing for a cloud of locusts.