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My dream Sunday night was filled with such intense worry that I woke up overwhelmed by the feeling. I had been on a high bridge. There were people in the water far below struggling to stay afloat and those on the bridge were jumping in to help them. I decided to do the same, but at the last minute got very scared. It was a long way down and when I looked, I rationalized that I didn’t see people in the water, but just a large school of fish.
I jumped anyway.
Meanwhile another part of me stayed safely on the bridge and watched….and worried. “How could I do this? I wasn’t prepared. What had I done? I should have stopped myself from making this disastrous decision.”
Then I woke up, but the dream stayed with me.
I understand that sometimes I jump into things not fully prepared. I understand that when I get scared, I’m good at looking for excuses not to jump.
Like everyone else I have a strong voice in my head dedicated to protecting me. To that voice I say, “Thank you very much!”
But when does that voice block us from moving forward, from following our dreams, from jumping into the unknown?
How many of us decide to do something that we know is right and then doubt ourselves and spend all our energy worrying, rather than pursing the choice we have made. How can we remain whole and be informed by our worry without being limited by it? How do we keep the lines of communication open with ourselves?
I believe it begins by sitting quietly with ourselves and having one thoughtful, honest conversation at a time.
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“Look what he did to me!”
This became my mantra after my divorce when I was so miserable and broke. I repeated it often and each time I did, my friends gave me a hug and another dose of sympathy.
Then, in the middle the night, a voice as clear as a bell woke me from a deep sleep.
“Not acceptable, Bucko,” was all it said. It didn’t sound like the voice of an angel. I didn’t think angels used the word “Bucko,” but it worked.
It was time to take responsibility for my future, which seemed overwhelming, daunting and terrifying. Even so, I stopped looking at what he did to me and began deciding what I would do for myself. I went back to my previous job as a marketing director with Mary Kay Inc. but soon realized this career was no longer a fit for me. I tried again and decided to substitute teach. Once more, it wasn’t a fit. Next, I interviewed for a job in retail and when I didn’t get it, all I could was mutter “What’s going on?”
Each attempt exhausted me. Nothing seemed to be working. Yet every once in a while, in the midst of all my frustration, I saw a glimmer of hope— something that I wouldn’t have been able to see before. I saw something else that stunned me. By staying miserable and broke in order to gain sympathy, I had given control of my life back to my ex and that was certainly not a fair exchange at all.
Many of us have good reasons to be angry, resentful, miserable and it’s important to honor these feelings. When the time is right, it’s also important to honor the voice that lets us know it’s time to move forward. It may call you “Bucko” or “Sweetie Pie,” “Dear Heart” or “Hey You!” And whether it’s clear as a bell or a gentle whisper, please honor this call to move forward and experience the gifts that are waiting for you.
I eventually found my way. I have a career that brings me joy and fulfillment, I’m surrounded by people I love and respect and I continue to listen for the guidance of voice that called me “Bucko.”
The following is a guest post by Jennifer Kern Collins.
How you think about life is everything. What you focus on in your mind translates to an emotion. Your emotions are your feedback system, indicating whether what you’re thinking in your beautiful brain is in alignment with what your deeper spirit knows and wants for you— and your spirit always wants what is in your best interest.
Simply put, when you feel good, your human thoughts are in alignment with your spirit. When you feel bad, your mental focus is out of alignment with what this “core essence” part of you knows.
Traversing the chasm of divorce will call you to rely on your deeper resources and invite you to rise up into the next-highest level of your potential, of who you are capable of becoming. Identifying and then intentionally managing your thoughts will support you in this process to no end. And your feelings provide the quickest way to recognize what your thoughts are. Hold more of your attention on the thoughts that feel good and you will empower your Spirit to more effectively help you navigate this huge life transition.
In the midst of my own marital separation, as I recognize which thoughts feel best—or most self-honoring—to me, I know those are the ones guiding me to live in alignment with my Soul’s divine path. Identifying and continuously selecting feel-good thoughts requires a skill set, effort and practice, and it’s so worth it.
Some simple examples to illustrate…
Bad-Feeling: It used to be so good between us.
Good-Feeling: What’s ahead of me is even better.
Bad-Feeling: I failed in this relationship.
Good-Feeling: We’ve reach a “completion point” and are simply no longer a match.
Bad-Feeling: I’m never going to make it on my own.
Good-Feeling: I have more strength, courage and wisdom than ever before, and I know I am capable.
I hold the focus on the good feeling thoughts as much as possible, because I want to be the one to determine my emotional state—not the circumstance or another person. I’m the leader of my life, and I want to deliberately choose how I claim my power, positively influence outcomes and flow through this process.
Plus, if a thought feels positive—even if I don’t completely believe that it’s true (yet)—I know that it’s my spirit affirming, “Aaaamen, Sistah! You are on the path of your highest good!”
While grief, fear and anger are a natural part of concluding a relationship as vital as a marriage, you also have the ability to choose how you want to focus your mind and spend your emotional energy, riding the waves as best you can. This is where your true power lies! The next level of your best self is emerging. The more you can align with things that feel good and self-honoring to you, the smoother your transition will be and the sooner your new glorious chapter can begin.
The following is a guest post by Michele Rae of The Center Within.
Energetic alliance with expanding energy is healing. It keeps our mind, body, emotions and subtle bodies in balance and harmony and opens us to the higher resonance and frequencies available in the interconnected web of all that is we call consciousness. There are a number of energetic healing techniques that can provide assistance in clearing dense or stuck energy and enhance or replenish life force energy. Some include Reiki, Therapeutic Touch, Frequencies of Brilliance, Acupuncture, Homeopathy, Chiropractic, massage, Shiatsu, breath work, Emotional Freedom Technique, reflexology, Traditional Chinese Medicine and ayurvedic medicine.
Often, transformational coaches use healing energy and guided imagery to ground, balance and relax our mind, body and heart by connecting with the supporting and nourishing energy of the Earth, our higher selves and spirit. These energies flow through us and the sacred container of space and time we create. This energy supports us as we explore, expose and unblock limiting beliefs, self-talk, patterns, fears, and constrictions. The same flow also cultivates insights, intuition, passion, wisdom, gifts, strengths and expansion.
You can utilize these techniques in your own practice of self-healing and reflection:
- Rest your attention on your breath.
- Relax your body from head to toe.
- Feel your heart, maybe by remembering someone you are grateful is in your life.
- Feel the energy of the Earth rise in your body through the base of your spine, your hands, and feet and out the top of your head. Imagine the top of your head opens to the energy of your higher self and spirit. Feel the energy descending through your body and into the Earth. I often see these energy paths as parallel strands, similar to the configuration of DNA in a helix.
- In this condition of flowing life force energy, bring a question you would like clarity on into your awareness. What does the solution feel like? What pictures arise? What words arise? Is there any fear or tightness around the issue? What expands the possibilities for a creative solution to reveal itself?
- In this energetic state of balance and harmony with all that is, feel your body-mind-heart. Are there any tight or painful areas? Are there places that are aching to expand, express or create? With your attention, direct this healing energy to soften, relax and open these spaces.
As your capacity and sensitivity to feel self-healing energies in and around you grows, notice the energy in your daily life. What depletes or nourishes you as you are making decisions, engaging in the relationship, finding work-life balance, managing stress and contributing to the world at home, at work, and in your community? Investing time, attention and awareness in decreasing constricting energy and increasing expanding energy in your life is a gift to yourself. You are worth it!
The following is a guest post by Theresa Nutt.
As I continue my journey of becoming my own beloved, I have noticed something important: a theme that is really standing out for me right now is the topic of toughing it out. Too many of us have learned to ignore our feelings and other parts of our experience that are not considered acceptable (according to who, I wonder?).
Here are a few of the common symptoms of toughing it out:
- We swallow feelings and let them fester inside.
- Others treat us poorly and we don’t speak up.
- Our needs come last after everyone else is “happy” or comfortable (which never happens).
- We stop pursuing our passions and wait for a magic someday.
- Our body tries to get our attention and we just keep pushing on because there isn’t enough time. Eventually, something big happens and we suffer as a result.
- We are exhausted, but afraid to slow down or rest.
- Instead of living a unique life that speaks to us, we try to fit in and be more like others around us.
Tune In Instead Of Toughing It Out
The obvious remedy is to tune in more deeply to ourselves and our experience. There are times when the most loving thing to do is notice that life is really challenging. Or, that despite our best efforts we can’t seem to make headway.
There are not enough spiritual gymnastics in the world to help us in certain situations. And instead of admitting we are struggling or instead of asking for help when we need it the most, we start beating ourselves up using our inner critic.
What if instead of all the critic’s responses, you found yourself asking what you needed most instead of how can you tough this out?
Help Yourself First Instead of Toughing It Out
Once you tune in, you have the good fortune of knowing what you most need. Is your inner child screaming for your attention in some way? Are you in need of a supportive friend to listen or give you a hand? Do you need some time in Mother Nature to calm your mind and deepen your breathing?
And in the end, if you could just remember that the love, attention, approval, appreciation and every other thing you seek from external sources is a neon sign. The neon sign is reminding you to stop, tune into what is true for you, and love yourself more fiercely than ever before.