My Learnings – 2010s

I get emails from Marie Forleo because I signed up for her B-School program back in 2015. She is fun and passionate and teaches valuable stuff to entrepreneurs.

At the end of 2019, she had a series of videos about reflecting on the past decade: what you’re proud of and why, what you learned and why those lessons are important, and what you want your future self to know.

The exercises serve as a reflection on how far we’ve come and can guide us into the next decade with clarity.

I enjoyed reflecting and I felt empowered, encouraged, and enlivened because this exercise met my needs for appreciation, understanding, growth, and celebration. I’d like to share my “lessons learned” part of the exercise.

Everything happens FOR me
This idea resonated deeply with me when I first heard it, maybe around 2014 or so. It’s a reminder that even when “undesirable” things happen, it’s because I’m going to learn from that experience in some way, I’m going to grow from it, and expand my perspective through the process. Even the physical pain I’ve experienced on a monthly basis in the past, I believe happened FOR me so that I could really understand and embody what it means to take care of myself, to set boundaries, to accept what is, to relax into a challenging/uncomfortable situation and be with it, to have patience, to reflect and go within, to reach out and ask for help, and to value my body and its abilities even more when it’s not in pain. I have learned so much through the experience of the past monthly physical pain–even though it was so hard to be in it at times and I had to miss out on doing things I wanted to do. There are lessons even from that.

A definition of suffering = voluntary participation in events, situations, and circumstances that disempower you
Again, when I first heard this (from Iyanla Vanzant via Oprah’s Super Soul Conversations podcast, just this past August) it hit me hard as an empowering reminder that I can choose something else. I can choose not to participate, I do not have to stand there and be disempowered and suffer. Maybe it is more about emotional suffering than physical suffering, though emotions do create a physical response in the body. I went through a lot of emotional suffering in the past because I allowed myself to participate in disempowering situations, to give my power all away to someone else.

I am responsible for how I feel; I let everyone else off the hook
Another reminder (from Abraham via Esther Hicks) that I can choose, that I have a choice of feeling bad or feeling something else, that I have a choice to allow myself to stay in a bad feeling state or situation or choose to shift towards a better feeling state. This is a challenge sometimes and it’s a continual practice that I consciously engage in. It’s not easy but I believe it’s worth it in order to show up for myself and align my vibration with who I really am.

Listening to, honoring, and acknowledging my body; self-care in many forms
Without the freedom to move in my body, my world becomes much more limited, contracted, and it’s hard to keep a hopeful outlook on life. I know this feeling so well. Because of it, I have deeply embodied the learning and practice of checking in with my body to really listen to it and honor it and understand it. Creating some space for dialogue and language to support myself in this. And acceptance and self-empathy for when I’m not able to do what I want to do. This is a continual practice because I still find that I push myself too hard sometimes–my will wants to drag my body along behind it. But I ask it, “What can I do to help?” “How are you feeling?” “What do you need?” And I acknowledge it when I know I’ve pushed it a bit–or even when I haven’t. When I feel good, I acknowledge and thank it for the good feeling: “Yay, we did it! Thank you for supporting me in this.”

Be curious
This is so helpful in learning and to ask questions without the fear of being seen as “stupid” or thinking that we need to know everything or to be “right,” which the mind chatter has a way of scaring us into thinking. Curiosity is so important in the process of expanding yourself, to see what you’re capable of, to see what works and what doesn’t, to move forward with less fear. And it’s fun to be curious. 🙂

Have fun, be joyful
Life is supposed to be fun! Another teaching by Abraham. We are here for who knows how long or for what purpose, but doesn’t it feel good to enjoy yourself and have fun while we ARE here? The fact that we ARE here is a miracle and we get to be in our body which we can move, think, have freedom and independence, and to taste, touch, hear, see, smell is such a privilege. I am so grateful for all of my senses because they allow me to experience the world and my life fully.

Savor what feels good; celebrate
Again with the fun and joy. My teacher, David Ross formerly of the World School and currently at Andrew University, ingrains this into his students–and it’s a fun practice. Savor what feels good because it feels good to savor! And to be able to remember that good feeling in my body for a longer period of time, to be able to create and maintain that good feeling again whenever I want. Celebrate even the smallest victory. It’s a way to enjoy life even more.

I am taking these lessons into my next decade of life, continuously and consciously practicing them, and I’m sure I’ll learn even more along the way. Life is a continual process of growth and evolution, if we allow it to be. And I am allowing it! 🙂

The Path to Healing: A Long Road to Shortcuts

First published on The Green Slate

I’ve realized more and more that when it comes to healing physical and emotional pain, there are no shortcuts…at first.

When you’re right at the beginning and you’ve fallen in pretty deep, into the pain, you’re looking for the shortcut. You want the pain to be gone yesterday. And you do certain things to bandage the pain, to stave it off, and it might be better for a little while. But then the pain is back, and you realize you’ve fallen even further into it.

Now you need even more of a bandage here, but you’re in so much pain that you know the bandage method won’t work anymore. So you allow yourself to stay here feeling stuck in your pain and maybe end up turning to self-pity. “Why did this happen to me? What did I do to deserve this?”

“Why did this happen to me? What did I do to deserve this?”

You are seeing through eyes veiled by pain. This line of thinking shifts you from the powerful human being you are and the life that you want to live, to a place of suffering, and instead generates anger, frustration, fear, sadness, and more pain. You get to a point where you begin to live in this space, feeling like you will never leave this place of pity, pain, sorrow, and even deep loss.

Sugar (of Dear Sugar) is right when she says, “Let yourself be gutted. Let it open you. Start here.” Because by the time you are in a place to choose to truly heal, you will have been gutted, likely by your own actions.

You’ve asked why? a thousand times, you’ve spent days in bed because you just couldn’t do anything else, you’ve spent time forgetting to eat because the pangs of hunger are easier to deal with than your real pain, you’ve spent too much time crying, you’ve allowed yourself to disconnect from your true self, to get lost, you’ve considered doing things to help yourself heal, but you didn’t have the courage at the time to really go for it. You were allowing yourself to suffer. You weren’t ready yet. No shortcut exists for this part of the process. All your actions–or lack of, all your thoughts, and all your pain up to this point were a necessary part of it. You just go through it and it takes as long as it needs to take.

Then you arrive. You arrive at the minute, hour, day, thought, when you say, “I’m done. I’m f*cking done with this.” And you mean it. Because you will be so tired of everything unhealthy that you’ve been doing, thinking, feeling. Something inside you has chosen to surrender and accept, instead of resist. Maybe before, when you were looking for the shortcuts and you proclaimed halfheartedly that you were done, you resisted truly choosing to be done. So the pain wore on. But not this time. Not when you truly mean it in your soul, your mind, and your body. That’s when you’re ready to heal.

Everything happens as and when it needs to happen.

Everything happens as and when it needs to happen. This is where you can find the shortcuts, at this point. This is where you find the people who have the tools to help you heal and potentially shorten your path. You might finally decide to call that therapist. You might have a serendipitous lead to a different type of healing modality that works 10 times better than the treatment you were using before. You might see a friend who you haven’t seen for years and she will see your physical/emotional pain and suggest that you see her “guy/girl” and that will shift your healing path.

Because you shifted your frequency by really choosing to be done and really being ready to heal, your healers will be revealed to you, and your body and mind will be fully receptive. These are the people who can guide you out of that darkness that you thought you’d never leave.

It does take time, the right help, working with love and gratitude, but you will be healed. You will leave that deep, dark place. And when you do, you’ll look back at yourself in that place and remember that version of you that had been there. You might wonder at the fact that that was you, that you were even there at all. “How did I ever get there? I remember that darkness, that pain that felt like it would never leave… I allowed myself to be led there, to be lost. But I have a knowing now. I know I will never have to go back there and suffer like that.”

And you won’t. Now your body is stronger, your mind and heart calmer and freer. You’ve reconnected with your powerful self and gained back the vision of the life you want to live. Because you took a long road to a shortcut, but it was the right path to true healing.

Hello from The Healing Modalities!

The path to healing emotional and physical pain can sometimes be long. Much longer than you’d hope or expect. But in these things, we must be patient and know that the healing is happening. The body, in its divineness, has its own healing mechanisms and knows exactly what to do. However, since ancient times, people in the world have used methods to aid the body’s healing process.

I’ve had my share of healing journeys and understand the pain that can be involved. If it’s something of a physical nature, I like being told that there are natural ways to heal, instead of just being told to cover the pain using any assortment of pain killers. Yes, that is a bandage approach, but it doesn’t address the true cause of the pain in order to remedy it more effectively. Of course, alternative healing modalities will not help you to replace a valve in your heart, but they can help in your healing afterwards. I appreciate practitioners who spend time understanding me, my lifestyle, and my approach to life in order to recommend a healthy healing path and plan. Your full participation and dedication is necessary to achieve your goal.

If the pain is of an emotional nature, this is sometimes even harder to heal than physical pain. It takes a lot of personal work and perseverance. It takes looking inside yourself and seeing some things you might not like seeing in order to clear out those things in a healthy way. It takes re-evaluating how you feel about yourself and if you are giving yourself the respect and care that you’d like others to give to you. Sometimes because of things that may have happened to us when we were very young, we don’t know how to do this. Or sometimes because we are so focused on the way something is “supposed to be,” we lose sight of what IS and may miss chances to heal along the way.

When healing, resistance can play a major role in the process and it is hard to even be aware that resistance is there within you sometimes. But acceptance and surrender also play roles in healing, and they are what we must work towards. Acceptance and surrender are usually hard to come by and take a lot of personal work, but once they are there within you, the resistance melts away and you are in a place to truly be ready to heal.

Here, I’d like to share with you some alternative healing modalities and stories. Eventually I will make recommendations to specific practitioners, but that will come later.