Mental health, Spirituality

Wherever you go, there you are

I have always liked the idea of wherever you go, you take yourself with you. In other words, you can change your physical location, surroundings or environment and that is all that actually is different because you are still you. The idea surrounding the possibility of instant growth simply because your physical surroundings are different is idealistic. We take ourselves, good, bad or indifferent wherever we go because we are creatures of habit. We don’t naturally like change. Change is scary and it upsets our egos. Ego mindset is there to keep us safe and small. Observing and deciphering the story our egos tell us is the first step in creating the real shift that is necessary for actual change.

Happiness is an inside job my dear readers. You can fly around the world, search the deepest forests, oceans and scour the beach for the meaning of life or buy things in attempt to find happiness and still come up short because no matter what you do or where you go, we must still answer to ourselves. Searching the external world for what makes one happy is never the answer for only we can create joy and peace within our own reality. The ability to think is what makes us uniquely human. The ability to understand we are not our thoughts is what allows us to become creators of our own reality. How empowering is that? Very😊

While I was thinking about writing this post, I read an article about the comparison of attitudes that either empower growth or can hold one back. The following are five attitudes that create confidence in contrast to overconfidence in life.

There is a difference between feeling truly capable of handling something versus thinking that YOU are the only one capable of accomplishing something. Now, I will state that I know and believe that the only thing I think I am the best suitable person for is taking care of myself. That being said, in every other situation, it isn’t very productive to think and definitely act like you are the only one who can do XYZ. When one thinks that way, it’s a set up for failure.

Overconfident people will continually talk without hearing others, I mean really listening to them. Confident and successful people understand that it’s best to always be learning while keeping an open mind to hearing something new. There must be a balance between talking and listening. I tell my boys to always remain open to new ideas and concepts because when one stops learning, growing ceases and spirit starts to die. This is a mindset that is easy to spot in others, usually depressed people who think they have nothing to offer the world. When those thoughts arise, recognizing that that is an ego based story devised to keep us small and free from changing. That thought can impede growth and squash all possibilities if one acts upon it.

The right kind of attitude is necessary for success in everything one sets out to accomplish. When I have an unrealistic belief that I’m too perfect to make any mistakes, I am attempting to act like a God. We are human and only God is perfect. Therefore it’s best to keep yourself in check by putting your best effort into achieving your goals. Thriving for your best, effortly speaking, is a better way of knowing that the only control you have is putting your best foot forward. We humans are fallible and will make mistakes along the way indefinitely.

That idea brings me to my next point which is being able to learn from your mistakes so that you don’t have to repeatedly keep making the same ones over and over again! We can either learn from our many mistakes along the way or we can choose to let our mistakes hold us back from actually acquiring the lesson and instilling it within our souls so the next time we remember that feeling and take steps to avoid that kind of self induced pain again.

Lastly, people who are confident work to gain respect from those around them by showing loyalty and kindness towards others while maintaining a down to Earth attitude. Overconfident people demand to be the main attraction and the center of attention. The latter type of person I try to avoid at all costs because they are extremely draining on my energy reserves. They lack self acceptance and are constantly seeking it from external sources.

Honestly, I have recently noticed that throughout my life as an empath, I have drawn in many narcissists and sociopaths. Those looking to drain my life force energy because they are so unsettled within their own beings and have no regard for human emotions. Since my spiritual growth has taken hold and my vibration has been raised, I only attract other like minded people to me. Mostly other extra sensory people, empaths, lightworkers and metaphysically interested people. It’s very awesome and a gift from Universe💜

Through daily meditation, over the years, I have learned to observe my own at times monkey mind. I can’t control what I think because I know our minds love to link information together and at times, tell us lies that keep me safe ….ego stories again. All that is within my power is the ability to put space between my thoughts and my actions. Meditation helps me grow that much needed space by passively observing. That’s when I can decipher what my thoughts are trying to tell me. I’m able to then break down my thoughts into the category of either rational or irrational.

I first learned these techniques while attending cognitive behavioral and dialetical behavioral therapyies. These two courses saved my life in many ways because I was allowing my overactive thinking to control my life instead of me being the master. I found myself in a downward spiral trying to escape my life in unhealthy ways and ultimately in permanence when I attempted suicide eight years ago.

I’ve entered a point in my life today where I feel an intense gratitude for everything! The people I have met, the lessons I have learned, the mistakes I have made, the opportunities I have been granted, the many experiences I can add to my tool belt by living life with am open mind along with my free flowing spirit. I love where I am. I am so grateful for where I find myself today and yes, I have brought myself here.

Spirituality

“Thou she be but little she is fierce”

This is one of my favorite quotes. It’s one I lean on when the weight of the world is on my shoulders. It’s by William Shakespeare from his play, “Midsummer Night’s Dream” from the third act…..
Hermia won’t hurt Helena even if you try to help her. Oh, when she’s angry, she is keen and shrewd! She was a vixen when she went to school. And thou she be but little she is fierce.

This post is dedicated to all the powerful women, soul sisters, a tribe of females who support, remind and inspire me on a daily basis. I firmly believe that I wouldn’t be where I am without these badass ladies. I am nothing if not a woman who sticks her hand out to my fellow female warriors just trying to make sense out of this wild wild world.

As competitive as I can be, I have always believed in rising up as a collective. Not only me but why not all of us, hand in hand together? It does sincerely take a village. There is true strength in numbers my dear readers. When I am in doubt, I don’t isolate myself only relying upon my own stinking thinking. Nope, not anymore because I know I have a solid counsel of women whom I can reach out to and ask for advice, guidance and to throw me a life preserver when I’m drowning in my ego!

I was raised in a family of strong women starting with my Mom’s mother, my dear Nana. If you have been following me from the beginning of this blog, you know I have looked up to this woman as the matriarch of our family. I also have three sisters and lots of female cousins. My Mom is a petite and feisty woman who has taught me to always speak up for myself. Here is a poem I wrote last year with Nana as my muse. Celebrating her beautiful and generous spirit and recognizing how she served as such an influential role model for me on how to treat others💖

Since I was the age of two studying dance, I have always been around more females than males and I definitely feel more comfortable around girls. This sisterhood in which I am a part of share a camaraderie that is unmatched by any other group of women I am lucky enough to call my friends. We have bonded by sharing our growing pains, as young girls transitioning to our awkwardness as teenagers blossoming into women and mothers. Practicing all styles of dance, seven days a week for hours creates more inside jokes, silly stories and laugh out loud anecdotes than I can count, only these ladies and I know. They know who they are and are forever bonded in my soul.

Expressing my gratitude towards my sisterhood tribe is the focus for this week’s post. As the holiday season looms near and the end of 2019 is close, I want to take this time to tell these ladies how much of an impact you have made upon my heart and soul. Your strength, wise words, laughter, hugs, comfort and advice is priceless to me. Love you ladies forever. I see you, I thank you and I love you all 🙌🙏❤

Mental health, Spirituality

Anniversary reaction and the new moon

This October has been very emotionally draining for me. As I realized the date today staring back at me just this morning it dawned on me the fact that every October and November in the past eight years have unfolded that way. Having Complex PTSD is the culprit because there is this little phenomenon that happens called the Anniversary reaction or effect. My body remembers that eight years ago within the months of October and November I endured tremendously intense trauma.

This month also ushered in the Harvest full moon on Oct.13th and in the past two days we have been feeling the affects of the new moon rising in Scorpio. Google defines this new moon as this:

The 2019 New Moon In Scorpio is about embracing the unknown. It’s rare that life unfolds exactly as you want it to. Often, what results is a mess of both success and failure. Even if you get what you want, it might not feel as fulfilling as you thought it would.”

Boy does THAT resonate with me! Needless to say, the combination of energy forces has proved to be quite tumultuous for me dear readers. It’s required me to put more effort into my self care by closely monitoring the daily reflections I jot down in my journal. My favorite tool in counterbalancing these emotional shifts is journaling. Remaining self aware of my thoughts, feelings and behaviors helps keep me in the moment as much as possible when my ego starts whispering lies and goes into full on protective mode.

Becoming more and more “realized ” as an empath, the rapidly downloaded messages I receive from the universe have also kept me on my toes. Here in Dallas, we expierienced a tornado and lots of thunderstorms that caused severe damage. Thankfully, the area of the city I live in was unaffected but I can definitely attest to feeling the vibrational pressure and sheer force of that kind of destructive power. The only option when faced with such strength is to remain as calm as possible by constantly reminding myself that this too shall pass. These temporary effects in nature and the energy being felt has resulted in an overwhelming amount of heaviness on me. Each day this month I felt a varying degree of extra pressure.

The best defense I have found is sticking to my daily rituals. The more my body can expect the comforting aspects of each self compassion tool I employ the more relaxed my hypervigilance is. Granted, this is time consuming and can definitely put strain on my day if I don’t make the proper allowances. Time management is an extremely important part of planning my day.

Another thing I’ve been reminded of this month is to resist making decisions during this period of intense emotional upheaval. Making decisions based in emotion is something I used to do a lot in my past. Afterwards, I learned that those decisions produced unsuccessful outcomes so I must refrain from those knee jerk reactionary responses. This month I was reminded almost daily to chill out. My best defense is to NOT react.

This month is a good example of growing pains. Nothing changes when life is easy and I don’t challenge myself. In the past six months I have conducted a complete overhaul of my internal story, my core beliefs and reassessment of the painful memories related to the traumas I have survived. My brain pushes back upon the new pathways I have built because our brains don’t accept change easily. My fight, flight or freeze triggers have also been in overdrive as I confront the difficult emotions that have long been cemented into my internal story.

These challenging feelings include an unrealistic sense of being abandoned, unaccepted and unloved. A constant, nagging reoccurring thought of not being worthy has threatened to cripple my behavior and how I respond to uncomforbility. I want to give up, throw the towel in. Pushing through these moments creates a feeling of accomplishment that raises my self esteem. I’ve been reminded that, “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” I have leaned on this mantra a lot lately. Incorporating breathwork and meditation is essential for soothing the conflicting messages my brain screams at me. Again, this too shall pass…..if I let it!

Relaxing into the natural flow and unfolding of life by consciously releasing my white knuckle grip on how I think life should be is a daily challenge and one that I meet with head on every morning. Positive self talk sets me straight and gives me permission to accept these difficult emotions. Reminding myself that growth is sometimes painful. Change isn’t easy. It’s natural to have bad days while the process of self healing continues. It’s a never ending journey. Eight years ago I attempted to end it all. Even though this month and next stand as yearly reminders of my painful past, it’s also another opportunity for self forgiveness.

Today, I feel more empowered and I know that I have a choice. That’s a fact I didn’t believe I had eight years ago. I am not my past. I have grown a lot and am continuing to heal. A journey I am grateful to of chosen.

Mental health

Emotional breakdown to spiritual awakening

Since my last post two weeks ago, I have been in the thick of what was first believed to be an emotional breakdown. Now I’m coming to understand that I’ve been experiencing a spiritual shift, an awakening and a rebirth of my spirit. The reiki sessions I had coupled with some introspective meditation has led me to this place of knowing that what has taken place has elevated me to a higher understanding and evolvement.

As an extra sensory person, an intuitive, emotional and physical empath I vibrate on a higher frequency which lends me to experience all these beautiful gifts our creator has bestowed upon me. Sometimes it can feel overwhelming and more like a curse or burden but lately due to the emotional flashbacks from trauma, moon phases, eclipses and shifting planets my world felt extra heavy. That’s when my shadow self appeared.

Over the years on my spiritual journey into healing and understanding of myself, I have learned that we possess both light and shadow selves. One cannot exist without the other. We tend to praise our light beings and have a more positive attitude and relationship with that part of ourselves. Meanwhile our dark or shadow self is cast aside, unaccepted and deemed wrong. It’s not ok to be depressed or sad. We deny it, resist it and try to abolish it altogether.

Lately I’ve been delving into research in holistic psychology and reading about this dark side that we may consciously or unconsciously be aware of within all of our egos. I’ve come to see the beauty and necessity of both sides. Again, one cannot exist without the other.

I have spent two weeks in a thick heavy mud feeling stuck. A roller coaster of emotions from sadness to anger and rage. All these feelings I stuffed, deemed as unacceptable or wrong even “bad” have come bursting out of me. My psyche has been attempting to block these uncomfortable feelings tied to my traumatic events for so many years.

Now I have this awesome opportunity to fully heal BOTH sides of myself. I sat in the mud, I told myself it’s ok to not be ok. I stopped resisting my depression and moved through it. Three nights ago I actually had a spiritual awakening. It was so powerful and left me with this overall feeling of peace and calm.

This is the best way I can describe it. It felt like an outer body expierience. All sounds became muffled and I felt outside of myself just observing the moment. Then there was a shifting feeling, like something propelling me forward. I was walking through the fog into a bright light. I immediately felt lighter, and I could breathe again! I haven’t been able to take deep relaxing breaths lately but now I could breathe a sigh of relief, finally! This sensation lasted for maybe thirty seconds.

Now I can get to work on the next step of my healing process. Eradicating the block I’m having while accessing those uncomfortable feelings during EMDR sessions. My traumatic event and the feelings that are tied to it must be properly reprocessed. I’ve done the soul searching and introspective work by accepting it now I can’t allow it to harm my emotions in a destructive way any longer.

It’s a balancing act really. Acknowledging both sides of myself and accepting both of them as they are. Appreciating the role both play in my personality and how I interact within my relationships with others. I’m moving forward and I’m on my way to feeling whole again.

Mental health

Continuing to peel the onion

It’s taken me a little over two weeks to get back to my writing and posting here on my blog. If you read my previous post dear reader, you understand that I am in the process of healing some deeply rooted emotional trauma from the sexual abuse I suffered as a child. I have been experiencing emotional flashbacks from that time that are quite disturbing to my daily functioning. I have had some really dark days but I feel I am turning a corner. I can now see a light at the end of this tunnel of feelings I tucked so neatly and carefully away man years ago.

I’ve returned to what works best for me which is a combination of psychotherapy and EMDR. I even had an energy unblocking reiki session with a newly discovered master shamanic healer. All three methods of healing have served as a powerful tool in guiding me forward down the path of healing and helping me return to my most powerful self.

This was the third reiki session I have had over the span of almost twenty years. I was educated about energy chords and how empaths develop both positive and negative ones. These chords become tied to our seven chakras and can literally block the flow of energy in our bodies trapping and holding negativity in. I can’t express enough how powerful and freeing this session was for me. I was able to dig deep and release that energy which was no longer serving me and holding me back like a hostage of sorts. I cried, I tingled and shivered internally in a way only those whom have experienced the transformative power of reiki can understand. I highly recommend utilizing this ancient practice for anyone that is interested in peeling their own emotional onion!

I’m so grateful that my job has not only approved a medical leave for me during this crucial time of healing, but they also set me up with a wonderful psychologist with over thirty years of expierience. I have been engaged in some sort of therapy since I was seven years old. I liken the process now to a blind date. I meet with a total stranger and tell them the most intimate details of my life. Again I am thankful that my new therapist and I clicked and were able to quickly develop a connection. He and I mostly discuss my personality type of being an INFJ and how it has affected my relationships and behaviors throughout my life. We keep on the surface really because the details and more of a deep dive into the emotional trauma is for my EMDR sessions.

My latest EMDR session was rough. At first I was able to visually transport myself back in time to the trauma and recover those feelings of intense fear and shame. Suddenly though, I became unable to allow myself to become vulnerable and I started actively blocking myself from feeling and reprocessing the memory of being sexually abused. It’s so frustrating and I couldn’t help feeling disappointed in myself at first still sitting there in her office. Afterwards, I opened my eyes and admitted to visualizing my adult self rescuing my inner child hurting self which is couterproductive to what needs to happen.

I need to gather all the courage I can to face these feelings without fear of disassociating. I am only holding myself back and therefore stunting my own healing. Fear is a real motherfucker for me. It has been the driving emotion that is so deeply rooted in my life experiences. Like a fire burning inside of me threatening to swallow me whole.

I’m grateful to have another intensive week of therapy ahead of me to continue to dive deeper, peeling more layers of and letting go of this trauma I have been carrying for over thirtysomething years.

A dear girlfriend of mine asked me to step outside of my own pain to write a poem for our Women Vetrans here in Texas on June 12. It was like a shot in the arm, giving me the boost I needed by practicing gratitude. It’s hard to feel upset when we are thanking others for their fearless efforts defending and protecting our country. I am honored to have taken part in this event and look forward to many more like it in the future.

On this Sunday night, I think it is important for me to reflect upon my progress and set an intention for my near future. I am walking through the pain and accepting the feelings I thought would kill me to survive. I’m not running away or stuffing them. I am looking at them straight on and I know just like my fellow female warriors, I am not invisible. I will keep going. I will survive❤

Check out Spiritual Metamorphosis’s page at https://www.spiritmetamorphosis.com/
Lindsey Luna is an amazing woman and healer!!

Mental health, Spirituality

Learning to see the forest for the trees

I’m a highly detail oriented person who naturally takes everything in without a filter. Certain things come easy to me while others are more of a work in progress. Emotional intelligence is an area that I have worked hard to understand and master at a young age and I feel is crucially important to one’s well being. Seven years ago while I was in the thick of dealing with many complications from Complex PTSD, I took part in an outpatient therapy called DBT or dialectical behavioral therapy. This psychotherapy is the creation of psychologist Marsha M. Linehan. I enjoyed it so much and (needing reinforcement) I attended it four times! I fondly refer to it as emotional college. I was in a classroom of sorts in a separate wing of the psychiatric hospital I did many inpatient stays at for an entire week, 9AM until 5 PM with only a break for lunch. Our class was small, only 6 or 7 other ladies. We had reading assignments as well as homework. After completing that week I was invited to join an aftercare support group for an entire year.

In many ways those ladies saved my life, helped me learn some tough life lessons about myself and aided me in realigning my mindset, body and soul. Taking an introspective look at oneself is difficult and the desire to change one’s behavior takes lots of patience and practice. At first it was confusing and awkward but after my fourth time going over the educational materials, reading some self help workbooks focused on DBT and spending 2 hours every Wednesday evening with my support group I reemerged with a fresh outlook.

I learned that my intense emotions can sometimes drive me into certain behaviors that are self harming and self defeating. Continuing down that path creates more suffering. Learning and incorporating DBT principles into my life has changed the game!

Like everything in life, it only works if you work it! Over the past few years I like to open that workbook up and give myself a refresher. The main principle that I work the hardest at is definitely Radical Acceptance. DBT uses both behavioral science and Buddist concepts like acceptance and mindfulness to teach better coping methods for people with Borderline Personality Disorder. It has proven highly effective for many mental health disorders as well.

This is Google’s definition of dialetical behavioral therapy:

Dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) is a type of cognitive behavioral therapy. Cognitive behavioral therapy tries to identify and change negative thinking patterns and pushes for positive behavioral changes. DBT may be used to treat suicidal and other self-destructive behaviors.

In a nutshell it taught me that I can coexist between two mindsets, see both sides of an issue, be both comfortable and uncomfortable in any given situation. The definition of dialetic is this:

Dialectic or dialectics (Greek: διαλεκτική, dialektikḗ; related to dialogue), also known as the dialectical method, is at base a discourse between two or more people holding different points of view about a subject but wishing to establish the truth through reasoned arguments.

For me the bottom line is that one principle I mentioned earlier, Radical Acceptance, is the key to ending my suffering. On most days I can clearly and easily achieve the understanding that even though I may not like something or think it to be ok, it still is. It is what it is. I have the choice to respond or react, always taking my emotions into account.

In this last week I have been blessed with so many amazing opportunities. My fiance and I mingled with some A list former professional football player friends of his, had an overnight in a phenomenal luxurious lakehouse and on Sunday I met Mariel Hemingway at a small movie watching party and interview session.

I have admired her life and career for a long time. I even gave her my poetry book, “Emotional Musings” that she asked me to sign! A real “pinch me” moment that I will cherish forever. To be able to meet such a kindred and emotional spirit is so profoundly powerful.

Despite the years of psychotherapy, DBT classes, numerous sessions of EMDR (eye movement desensitization reprocessing) and reading shelves of self help books I still struggle with my core belief that I’m not good enough. I do however understand that I can chose to change that tape that plays relentlessly on repeat through my mind, unpack that emotion from that invisible backpack I wear daily along with the other intense emotions I cope with or I can suffer. Intellectually and logically I get it. Sometimes the disconnect is to my soul. The memories, the flashbacks and unfortunate nightmares that will plague me for life.

At the end of the day, I am growing and evolving everyday. I am blessed and humbled. I have people around me who love and understand me. I’m able to see the many miracles of humanity being an empath. Life is good ❤

current events, Spirituality

Planting seeds of empathy and love

I’m not a “green thumb” by any definition despite the fact that my mother is a wonderful gardner. She and my father loved spending weekends in our lush backyard pruning, planting and cleaning our grounds at the house I grew up in. In this post I want to focus on a different kind of planting and that is in cultivating a more loving society.

In light of the extreme terrorist attack recently at Christchurch in New Zealand, I myself am searching for an answer as to why such violence exists in the world. For centuries we humans have fought over, waged wars even over the concept of beliefs. I recently read an article in The Washington Post, “In the United States, right-wing violence is on the rise” published on November 25, 2018 that discussed the rise of violence from right-wing white supremacists.

Over the past decade, attackers motivated by right-wing political ideologies have committed dozens of shootings, bombings and other acts of violence, far more than any other category of domestic extremist, according to a Washington Post analysis of data on global terrorism.

This violence has been on a steady rise since President Obama but has surged while Trump has been in office. I don’t want this post to become too politically charged however the facts are the facts. People in power do have a lot of influence over our society.

Intellectually I understand that I can only control and manifest change within myself. As an energy reader, healer and communicator, I firmly believe in the laws of attraction. What you put out into this world always comes back to you. Therefore, I choose to love no matter what. Good, bad or indifferent….the one answer is always rooted in love.

I believe our God, however one may choose to define it, intended our purpose here on Earth is to show and practice love with our fellow man. This involves active tolerance and acceptance in the face of adversity and misunderstanding. We don’t have to agree with everybody but we should allow for the differences that exist among each other. I believe if somebody believes in God and then acts in a completely contradictory way, that person has some reckoning to do. God is love. Period.

When my boys were little I used to tell them that they didn’t have to like or be friends with everybody but they must love everybody. It requires courage to love, a vulnerability to allow ourselves to feel for another. Discovering and nurturing our connections is what life is all about. Celebrating what we can relate to and have in common with one another is far more beneficial than what divides us and makes us different. Differences should be celebrated and accepted because uniqueness is what makes each of us an individual. We are a stronger force together than when we are divided into smaller groups.

Today and everyday, I choose to plant the seeds of love, tolerance and acceptance. I choose to stand up and chastise wrongdoings and hate filled violence. Each one of us has to search our souls and decide what we believe is right and what is wrong.

Inclusivity and acceptance must be in the forefront for the future of our society to survive. It is not us vs. them. There is no “invasion ” of any country by immigrants. Rising violence is driving huge numbers of people from their homes to seek asylum in a different place. What if that was your relative or friend? Would you be so quick to chastise that person?

I encourage you dear reader to be a seed planter of love and empathy. Strike up a conversation with a stranger. We must keep the lines of communication open in order to learn from one another. Evolve or die. Learn and grow or wither away. Let’s destroy ignorance by growing more love. The urgency is now and can’t be put off until tomorrow.