My Mother, My Mirror

Woman Cleaning MirrorI had lunch with my mother on Saturday to celebrate her birthday and I found myself scared to go. You see, on our last lunch occasion – to celebrate my birthday – I found myself being criticized and judged for my lifestyle choices. I was blamed for bringing perimenopause upon myself as well as my water line break and troubles with my homeowners association.

 

I know my mother meant well. That in her way, she was expressing concern over what was happening in my life. But as my counselor said, her delivery sucked. Is it any wonder I dreaded this month’s lunch?

 

Yet, gone was the criticism this time around. Instead, she talked about the fact that her brother had just died and her sister blamed her for it. That she hadn’t had a day off in months and was putting in 10-hour days every day, trying to replenish her savings account and get back in her feet financially.

 

The parallels between her life and mine did not go unnoticed. Her sister blames her for things that aren’t her fault just as she blames me for things that are not mine. She is just beginning to pay me back for a loan I gave her last Fall, as I am still paying off my credit card bills for my recent water line break repair.

 

But it’s more than that. Last week, I worked with my peer coach and best friend Kami to discover that in the past, I’ve defined my worth by what I do rather than who I am because: 1) what I do makes me feel significant, and 2) do-ing allows me to escape from any uncomfortable emotions I might feel while be-ing and helps me avoid conflict and confrontation over my feelings. Yet, that’s no way to live life.

 

What I finally realized today is that I inherited these tendencies from my parents. My mother is my mirror. And as much as I may wish to clean off the reflective surface and not see her looking back at me, I have some work to do. Because right now, it could have been me having a conversation with my daughter when I’m 68 talking about my 10-hour-a-day, 7-day-a-week job. It could have been me blaming someone for something she did not do – or, even worse, blaming myself.

 

And that frightened me. Because I don’t want to be suppressing my feelings, placing blame where it does not belong, and working as a coping mechanism when I’m 68. I don’t even want to be doing those things at 41. Yet, here I am.

 

The difference is that I see these tendencies in myself, I know where they came from, and I am armed with the skills and knowledge to break old patterns and move forward with my life.

 

So what am I going to do about these lessons?

  • Dive back into self-love, self-care, and self-appreciation. I am so much more than what I can do for people. Sometimes I need a reminder – healer heal thyself and all that. J
  • Dive into my emotions – even, and most especially, the uncomfortable ones. I plan to start with daily emotional check-ins and nightly journaling about what went on that day that brought up an emotion. Our departmental administrative assistant died over the weekend. She was in her 20s. This saddens me and brings up other thoughts about death and dying as I am nearing the 5th anniversary of my father’s death. You can be sure I will be diving into my sadness and grief tonight. I don’t want to keep carrying it around with me; yet, I know I will if I don’t face it head on. That being said, I don’t plan to get swept away by my grief. I know I have the ability and skill set to pull back into third-party/psychologist mode if I find myself entering pity party land!

 

What lessons have you learned from your mother? How have these lessons made a positive impact on your life? What changes will you make so that you don’t repeat her old patterns?

Intuition – Clarissa Pinkola Estes

“And that is what the intuition is for; it is the direct messenger of the soul.”

~ Clarissa Pinkola Estés

But My Feelings Were Silent Inside, You See

Young woman showing quiet handsignLast week we talked about intimacy (Into Me You See) and how intimacy is not sex, not love. It is its own construct. Yet, it is more than just seeing into another person. It is hearing and listening to them. It’s feeling like you can speak your truth and not be judged. Like you can speak your mind and hold nothing back out of fear.

I was a guest on The Rebooted Body this morning and the host Kevin and I were talking about how adults born in our generation, most especially women, were taught that children should be seen, not heard. That their voice didn’t matter. And many of us kept this way of thinking as we grew up. Feelings should be suppressed, especially the negative ones. If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all. But what if we were hurt by an interaction? Were we not supposed to speak up about our pain? Were we to remain there hurt, silent, and go on with our lives as though nothing had happened? For many of us, yes. That’s exactly what we believed.

When I was married, my ex-husband never asked about my day. He didn’t want to hear about it – he actually told me that on more than one occasion. He felt free to tell me in excruciating detail about his day, mind you, but he didn’t want to hear about mine. Apparently wives should be seen, not heard as well.

And so I kept it all in. My feelings were silent inside, you see.

But they weren’t, not really. When your feelings are forced down, suppressed, they are still there. And they are in no way silent. On the outside you may present a calm front, the eye of the storm; but on the inside, a war is raging. A war of anger, fear, contempt, resentment. Your feelings wanting to get out, wanting to be heard. But I wouldn’t let them.

My feelings were silent inside, you see.

Until one day when I could hold it in no longer. One day when I realized my Inner Goddess was going to be heard, no matter what. That was when my life turned upside down, felt apart, shattered.

But I came out of it, voice intact, a much stronger woman than I was before. Is the programming of “seen not heard” gone? No. The Universe frequently gets its jollies by putting men in my path who love nothing more than the sound of their own voice. Men who never once ask about my day. The difference is, those men are no longer welcome in my life.

My feelings are no longer silent inside, you see.

And I have found that when you say what you feel, sometimes that upsets certain people – especially the ones who like to talk about themselves incessantly. Their voice is threatened, apparently, by someone else speaking. But those are not the type of people I want in my life anyway. So good riddance, I say.

My feelings are no longer silent inside, you see.

As a woman, I know I have struggled with self-expression. Feeling like it is okay to share my feelings. To let people know when they’ve hurt me. To listen to my own voice and trust it. If you suffer from this as well, I encourage you to join me on this month’s free telecall: Self-Love: The Art of Self-Expression (How to Say What You Mean without Fear of Rejection).

Doubting My Path

dawns readingLast week, I shared a powerful release ceremony with you that I used on New Year’s Eve to heal my heart. After releasing 2013, I spent New Year’s Day planning and prepping for 2014. (If you haven’t done that yet, I highly recommend Leonie Dawson’s Life and Biz planners! I use them every year!)

But I found myself stuck, unsure of what I want to create in 2014, unsure of my life’s path. After the turbulence that was 2013 and the end of my sabbatical, I find myself at a loss. Yes, I have goals. But when you’re working full time and none of your goals have to do with your current job, when are you supposed to find time to accomplish those goals?

Then it hit me. Something has to give.

I was fortunate enough to be asked to tea with a group of powerfully intuitive women on Saturday. One of them offered to read my cards using the Moon Oracle Deck. As the deck features not only the phases of the moon but several of the Goddesses featured on this site, I couldn’t pass that opportunity up.

The question I had in mind when drawing my cards was, “What should I do with my business in 2014?”

I had the reader do a Past – Present – Future reading for me, which helps illustrate how your past informs what is happening today, which will inform possible future courses of action.

I didn’t like what the cards had to tell me. They were dead on, mind you, but they only served to make me more confused than I was going in.

The first column of cards represents the past. In bold red and black hues, the past revealed that the masks I was wearing had come off (which makes sense given my Rude Awakening in April 2013), I had escaped my prison (hello divorce!), and I had spent a considerable amount of time resting and recharging (thanks to my broken heel).  All good so far.

The middle column represents my present. Bathed in earthly greens, I have accepted a responsibility to and for myself and am choosing to marry myself rather than my job or significant other. In doing so, I must pull from Athena’s wisdom and courage and practice self-love and self-care in all things. It’s not an easy lesson to accomplish, but one I have been actively working on for months.

The last column in reds and purples threw me for a loop. It warned against me getting too competitive in my business – which I strive not to be despite what marketing gurus tell you. If you read down the line of cards, the message is clear: if I get competitive, my palace (house, business, world) will turn upside down and people will try to manipulate me. When I drew another card for clarification, Ishtar, Goddess of Boundaries, came up, warning me to set my boundaries early and clearly to avoid my possible future.

Being a people-pleaser and “yes” woman, the idea of setting boundaries – as much as I know I need to – truly scares me. The first place I went was to one of giving up. As in, if I just give up my business and go back to being solely a professor, I can avoid all of this. Of course, my Inner Goddess loudly objected to that idea. Still, I’ve come so far and knowing that I am dealing with people that don’t have my best interests at heart is frightening.

So what am I doing? I’m journaling, contemplating, trying to figure out how to best achieve balance in my various businesses and between my work and personal life. You can bet that I will be calling on Athena and Ishtar quite often in the coming year and that I will be avoiding competition and those who advocate it like the plague! In the meantime, I am halfway through Leonie Dawson’s workbooks and I’m okay with that. I feel I need to sit with the goals I wrote down and reflect upon whether they are realistic or not and whether they have my best interest at heart.

I do so from a place of Love, knowing that my Inner Goddess has my back and will always steer me to the right decision. All I have to do is open my heart, trust, and say Yes to Her wisdom!

 

Featured GODDESS: Isis

Ancient egyptian womanIsis

 

Goddess of Motherhood, Magic, and Fertility

“The magic you seek is within you. Call upon me to help uncover your greatest strengths.”

Traits Isis Embodies:

  • Fertility
  • Nurturing
  • Magic
  • Inner Wisdom
  • Inner Knowing

 

How to call on Isis:

[Okay, this story is kind of gross, but you’ll understand why she was Goddess of Motherhood, Magic, and Fertility.] After Isis’ brother Set murdered her husband Osiris and cut him into 14 pieces (those ancient Egyptians were vengeful!), Isis trekked across the world to find the pieces of her husband Set had scattered. Having found 13 of the 14 pieces, Isis used her magic to put Osiris back together and then sought the help of the God Thoth to craft the missing piece (Osiris’ penis). Fully equipped (!), Osiris was able to impregnate Isis. She then gave birth to the skygod Horus. Call upon Isis when you need help calling upon your inner magic to fertilize and give birth to your dreams.

 

Prayer to Isis:

 Isis, Great Mother, Goddess of Magic and Wisdom,

Hear my prayer!

I am having trouble with [insert problem here]

I need to unlock my inner wisdom

So I can resolve this issue and give birth to a better version of myself

Please show me the way.

Thank you Isis!

 Say this prayer right before bed as the answer you seek will likely come to you in a dream.

 

Tribute to Isis:

Isis’ symbol was the star and her flower, the rose. Plant a rose plant in your back yard or on a pot on your back patio under the light of the moon and stars and watch your life flourish!

 

Tuning Into the Wisdom of Your Heart

heart broken openGrowing up, I was taught that logic should win over intuition, science over ‘gut feelings’, brains over heart. But that left me feeling rather cold and unnourished and felt too ‘masculine’ and ‘academic.’

Deciding to drop everything this past Fall so I could focus on my healing, I rediscovered something unexpected: my heart. Buried under layers of hurt and old wounds, I had sheltered my heart so I wouldn’t get hurt. That’s how I was able to stay in a loveless and unfulfilling marriage, how I was able to keep doing a job that didn’t feed my soul, how I survived.

But when the Universe keeps hitting you with Cosmic 2x4s – my divorce, move, breaking my heel for the second time in two years – something has to give. I’ve shared how I had to change my thinking to focus more on be-ing instead of do-ing, how I’ve had to re-learn how to walk in my power, and how I’ve had to learn to let go and trust the Universe to provide. But what I neglected to do was to throw my heart into the mix. I was scared. I didn’t want to get hurt again. I thought if I protected my heart, I would – in turn – protect myself. I was wrong.

Something happened to me in late November. Three months after getting a divorce and moving, I met a man. I wasn’t looking. I didn’t want a relationship. I wanted to focus on healing. And then he walked in my front door. Literally.

And my little heart that had been hidden beneath those layers of pain broke open. And re-awakened. And hurt. Goddess, how it hurt. But I realized that that’s what I needed. You can’t heal – not truly – while keeping your heart sheltered. You have to open up and put everything on the table, knowing your heart might need to get broken again in the process for you to truly heal the past wounds.

And let me tell you, there have been days when all I wanted to do was slam the door to my heart shut again. Days when it just hurt too much. Days when I was blinded by my tears.

And so I journaled and painted and am working through my old wounds. Is it comfortable? No. Does it need to be done? Absolutely.

As another year comes to a close, I encourage you to examine your heart. Are there any wounds that need to be healed? Are there any past grievances that need to be forgiven? Any old grudges that need to be let go of?

This year we are fortunate enough to have New Year’s Day fall on a New Moon. Before you go out and celebrate New Year’s Eve, I encourage you to hold a release ceremony to let go of any past hurts, wounds, and grievances so you can begin your New Year with a clean slate.

Ask your heart the following questions and journal her answers:

1)      What wounds do you still carry?

2)      What grievances or grudges do you still hold?

3)      How are these serving you?

4)      Are you ready to forgive, let go, and move on?

5)      What do you want to let go of? (Be specific.) Who do you need to forgive? (Don’t forget to include yourself on your forgiveness list.)

Release Ceremony

Get out a blank piece of paper and fold it into three parts. On the first part, write: I forgive. Then list the names of everyone you need and want to forgive. On the second part, write: I let go of. Write down everything you need to let go of. On the final portion, write: I release. Write down everything you need to release. Re-read your paper to make sure you didn’t leave anything out.

Once you are satisfied, get out a lighter (or match) and fire proof container. Rip your paper into the three parts along your folds. Light the first part on fire, dropping it into your fire proof container, saying: I forgive you. Once that has burned completely, light the second strip, saying: I choose to let you go. Once that has burned, light the final piece, saying: I release you, I release you, I release you.

Sit in silence for a few minutes.

Get your journal back out. Write down everything you want to attract in the New Year. Keep this list somewhere safe but where you’ll see it often – in your wallet or purse, perhaps. Look at it often to remind yourself not only of what you’ve let go of but what you want to attract into your life.

Let your thoughts, feelings, and actions follow your dreams.

Happy New Year!

A Dose of Self-Forgiveness

4th chakra

As I’ve been working my way through healing my chakras and learning to love, honor, and respect myself again, I realized something: instead of being my own best friend, I’ve spent most of my life being my own worst enemy. Plagued with self-doubt and self-criticism, I let go of the important qualities of self-trust and self-forgiveness.

So as I put the finishing touches on my heart chakra painting and began to work on the throat chakra, I realized that for me to love myself and speak my truth, I had to ease up on myself and forgive my past mistakes. So I spent my weekend trudging through some of my worst decisions. Not with the purpose of blaming myself yet again for my perceived failures, but to allow myself forgiveness and begin to rebuild the self-trust I lost long ago.

What I realized is that self-doubt, self-criticism, and self-blame were what lead to those perceived errors in judgment. Had I listened to my inner wisdom at the time I made those decisions, I likely wouldn’t have made them. But at the time, I made a different choice. A choice to please someone else. A choice based on what other people thought or wanted me to do.

Yet, when we make decisions from a place of fear, we will usually be led astray. But when we make decisions from a place of self-love, self-acceptance, and open communication with what our Soul truly desires, we make decisions that honor us.

As I went through past mistakes made my 20-year-old me, 36-year-old me, etc., I used this eye of self-awareness to retell those stories. Rather than blaming myself for not making the ‘right’ decision and following my inner guidance, I forgave myself for not trusting my inner wisdom. After all, I spent most of the last 20 years with blinders on – preventing me from even knowing I had an inner guidance system, yet alone being able to trust it. Fortunately, it’s much easier to forgive yourself when you realize you were doing the best you knew how to do at the time. Even if those decisions were made to please someone else. Even if those decisions were made from a place of fear. Even if in those decisions, you sacrificed yourself. There’s nothing to blame yourself for. You were doing the best you could with what you had at the time.

As my mother likes to say, “All you can do is all you can do.” And that’s true, but I’d like to add something to that: Act from a place of your highest good and you will always make the best decisions for you in that moment. Then let it go. No second guessing. No ruminating. No wondering, “what if…” And if you do make a choice that’s not in line with your highest good, you should be the first person in line to forgive yourself. You’re only human after all.

If you find yourself in a place of self-doubt over an impending decision, answer these questions:

1)      Which choice will be for my highest good?

2)      If I am drawn to make a different decision, why would I choose something that wasn’t for my highest good?

3)      If I make a decision not in line with myself, will I regret it? How will this impact me in the long term?

4)      What’s one thing I can do to make it more likely I will trust my inner wisdom in this situation and make the right decision for me?

And if you’re going back and second guessing a decision you already made, ask yourself:

1)      Why did I choose to make this decision?

2)      What about that decision was good for me? What about it was bad for me?

3)      Did I feel pressure from external forces to make a decision that wasn’t in line with my higher good? If so, who was involved and why did I choose to give them my power?

4)      The next time I find myself in a similar situation, what should I do?

Then listen to your inner wisdom. She always knows what’s best for you. If you need a little help, call on Sige, Goddess of Silence and Wisdom. She can help steer you in the right direction by teaching you how to go within and listen.

Until next time, trust in yourself. You’re the only one who can.

 

 

Featured GODDESS – Sige

Young woman showing quiet handsignSige

Goddess of Silence

 

“In the stillness that lives within you, you find all the answers you seek.”

 

 

 

 

Traits Sige Embodies:

  • Inner wisdom
  • Silence
  • Rest
  • Softness
  • Surrender

 

How to call on Sige:

According to Gnostic philosophy Sige is the Mother of All. She existed before anything else, the true feminine within all of us. Her partner, Proarche, was the original masculine energy. Together, they birthed Thought and Will. All wisdom and knowledge comes from Sige, as she is all knowing and all seeing. To call on Sige, you simply need to go to your own inner silence. Focus on nothing, let your mind still, and let your inner wisdom take over.

 

Prayer to Sige:

Sige, Silence, Mother of All

Hear my prayer

I know the answers to what I seek lie within me,

Hidden beneath the shadows.

Help me unveil all I need to know, to understand

Help me to trust my inner voice, inner knowing

In this I pray

Thank you, Sige

 

Tribute to Sige:

Sige loves it when you meditate. That is the ultimate tribute to her. Silence your mind and let Her wisdom flow through you.

 

Featured GODDESS: Cerridwen

Celitc Mysteries Cerridwen

Goddess of Wisdom

“The answers you seek are within you. Call upon me to help reveal them to you.”

 

 

Traits Cerridwen Embodies:

–          Inner wisdom

–          Knowledge

–          Magic

–          Truth

–          Inner knowing

 

How to call on Cerridwen:

Cerridwen had a son, who had no power, so she sought to make him as wise as She was. For a year and a day, She brewed a magickal potion that contained all of her knowledge and wisdom. Needing one last ingredient, She left the brew in the care of a young boy with the instructions to stir but not taste. Of course, he tasted the brew and gained all of Cerridwen’s knowledge. Knowing She would be furious with him, he ran, turning himself into an animal in the hopes She wouldn’t recognize him. It didn’t work. She chased him all over the world, finally catching up with him after he turned himself into a grain of wheat and eating him. She later gave birth to him, and he became the greatest of bards. Because Cerridwen is known for her Cauldron of Knowledge, she can be found in the kitchen when you’re whipping up something for yourself or your family.

 

Prayer to Cerridwen:

[Note: This is best done right before bed]

Cerridwen, Goddess of Inspiration, Knowledge, and Power

Knower of the Unknown

Hear my Prayer

[Describe your problem]

I know the answers I seek are within me, but they are clouded behind veils of misperception

Please push back the veils and reveal them to me.

[Sit for 15 minutes and see what Cerridwen reveals to you. If the answer you seek doesn’t come in that time frame, you may sit longer or go to sleep knowing the answer will come to you in a dream. Remember to thank Cerridwen before you go to bed and again once the answer comes to you.]

 

Tribute to Cerridwen:

Cerridwen’s symbols are the cauldron, pigs and grain. You can prepare a meal of pork and wheat in her honor. Alternatively, you may wish to forego pork and wheat for a period of time to show reverence to her sacred symbols.

 

 

My Guides are always with me

“I am a child of the Divine. My Guides are always with me, and make their presence known to me.”

 

~ Jasemine Moonsong