Who Am I? When You Take It All Away…

I’m trying to find myself

When you take it all away

My heart fought for heaven’s wrought

My soul can never ever be bought

But I sure as hell can give it away

What if to discover our “destiny” we must first accept mediocrity? And, no I don’t mean to sway from excellence. But, if we are always preoccupied with some other time and space — how can we be of excellence now if we can’t be here NOW? What if hanging up a drive for greatness  is how we align with the very things we ultimately seek—love, peace, joy?

There’s nothing more sobering than sitting across from the lifeless body of a loved one to say goodbye, as an epiphany ensues from the old adage — it’s not what we did, but rather how much we loved.

After almost ten years of pursuing a vision, one of which propelled me past the turmoil of my entire adolescence — to go on to lose both of my brothers by the time I’d reached thirty — my lens around “purpose” was transformed beyond measure.

The city had always represented the world condensed into this fold out pocket of opportunities. The rapid pace, the diversity, show business — I was mesmerized. Eventually after a decade of clawing my way through it — from green Alabama girl — to a wiser, maybe even a little colder, but nonetheless hard-earned city woman — I‘d grown tired… very tired, actually. What were grounds for permission “to be,” enclosed into a suffocating bubble. Eventually, it came to a point where I needed to walk away because of my fears around what it meant if I didn’t stay. I knew the very thing I had to do was, in fact, risk it all — to know that nothing outside of me determines my worth or purpose — to be brave enough to discover who I am when it’s taken all away…

My musical identity pretty much was already demolished, but following my last brother’s death, changes within me continued to accelerate at rapid speed. I began seeking to understand who I am without the external dependencies. I will always be an artist, but it was time to discover who I am without something I had “created.” The rise and demise of my identity intrigued because of how there was real power in it for so long, in my power to create. However, as life moved, I was confronted by the divine creative force — the ultimate artist — in a larger way. As I surrendered to the recognition of life and myself as products of this force—everything— including creativity itself, began to take on newer meaning.

So, I let go of the plan/destiny I thought defined my life and truly opened myself up to whatever it is the ultimate artist designed for me. I surrendered while remembering—

You know what, you’re right, I don’t know shit. You created me after all. This may have been my vision and the truth of who I know myself to be, but I’m ready to open myself up to infinite possibilities. I am a vessel for your expression. These gifts, you gave me. Who am I to say what is supposed to be done with them? They can be taken away, after all. 

None of it is truly ours. Anything outside of us is a false sense of security. We are here to co-create and yes, this is where will comes in. This is not about manipulating vibration to have “abundance” and fan the flame of our ego’s desires. Often intention can be misplaced, rooted in needing more to feel complete. Peace will never come as a result of obtaining. I believed my vision needed to be achieved because then its existence would validate that I made it happen — “I did it.” But this separation from the ultimate creator means somewhere down the line I’d likely step into the hole of wondering what’s still missing.

What I want to offer is this— for one, I became  too attached to my gift—and also, entitled to its rewards. A gift is just that — something given. I was blessed enough to receive, but the reality is gifts can be taken away. And so, then what? Now who am I? If we can start living life from this perspective, we can accept ourselves as co-creators. We can accept our mortal limitations and surrender to the thing that bestowed these gifts. In doing so, you give the ultimate artist the chance to guide you to your destiny.

The HEART is Where Home is. (wild card pick)

The HEART is Where Home is.                 (wild card pick)

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Chakra Oracle Insight deck

“I’ve been changing like the seasons / Can’t get no sympathy for my demons

I’ve got plenty of scars to show / From all of the many wrong roads.”  – my song, Home

When my brother passed away the year before last, I felt compelled to speak at his funeral. I am a writer obviously, but because of the spiritual limbo I was in, it was important to me to share a message about what life and death had taught me. It was unconventional because, of course, we were there to honor him. But, I’ve lost both my brothers now, and I know that Patrick would have wanted me to do what my heart felt called to do.

It was an enlightening perspective that a healer I worked with a while back had bestowed upon me. I had a history of reliving abandonment by attracting it to me through my interpersonal relationships—more specifically romantic ones. Control has been a life long lesson. Just like all of us, I’ve had many things stripped away from me to be reminded that I do not control the greater plan—much of which happened through tragic and traumatic circumstances. I’ve learned the long, hard way about relinquishing control through surrender, and where my real power actually lies—within.

What this healer brought to my awareness was—I aligned with the sides of people that triggered my wounds and allowed it to dictate how I interacted with them. This was an unconscious form of control. We all have our baggage, and my baggage was creating a superiority over others’ baggage. I became vulnerable through the behaviors that made me afraid and pushed them away. I self-sabotaged, so essentially, it was over before it even began.

My motto was along the lines of—in that condition, you are unlovable, because I can not deal with you like that.

What I’ve had to learn to do is reframe overtime—that’s a version of you that I don’t want to line up with, so I’m going to line up with this version of you.

Perpetuating a vibration of what I want and lining up with one’s highest version, instead of a version I want to fix.

Our minds are powerful, yes, and it is important to be mindful of what is going on with our thoughts, because our thoughts create feelings. Really though, our emotional state of being (our hearts) is actually the most powerful of all. Our emotions create vibration, and there is a momentum generated by our vibration. (*This was my prior attempt to explain the importance of having a high vibration to create the reality you want.)

The feeling generates a momentum of vibration that goes out, bringing back its match. We know like attracts like. I had a habit of manifesting the same story, different face, because I was allowing my wounds to align with the unwanted versions of people, rather than their highest versions.

We are all divine beings; we are also all human. But, what this healer offered to me was to integrate the unconditional side of myself so that I could become “one” with the conditions of others. We don’t have to self-sacrifice to accept people as their total imperfect selves. We assimilate what works in our lives through healthy boundaries.

I spoke about this newfound understanding of “conditions” at my brothers funeral, because when someone dies, the conditions of their reality here in the physical plane all of the sudden mean nothing to us. My father spoke about all the wonderful attributes of my brother for the sake of memory. I wanted to share the awareness that these wonderful memories are exactly what we remember when our physical selves go and the beauty of our spirit remains. His flaws became irrelevant as he transitioned to the other side. So, why do we hold each other hostage to our humanity so much here in the now?

My intention to share this was in hopes that on behalf of my brother’s life, we could all then appreciate the preciousness of life… a little bit more. And, not only life but each other—our connection as divine equals.

The truth behind the vulnerability of my wounds was abandonment. I was looking for a feeling of “home,” but I was looking in all the wrong places. The heart is where home is. Learning to understand our wounds of the past helps us to be more conscious when creating our realities now.

 

I later wrote a song called “Home” that was inspired by this conversation about looking everywhere for this feeling… this feeling of home. When really, just like Glinda the Good Witch once said,

 

You‘ve always had the power my dear, you just had to learn it for yourself.”

The WILD CARD pick is from the Chakra Insight Oracle deck:

INSIGHT

The color purple is associated with the Third Eye Chakra that rules our spiritual paths and highest selves.

Reflect on areas where your wounds may be dictating your life. How can you integrate your unconditional side without sacrificing your boundaries? Where can you set stronger, healthier boundaries? Where can you forgive and have more compassion? Remind yourself that we are all divine, yet, we are all very much human. See the purest form in others and set an intention to align with that version of them.

We’ve all heard it before—if you are living with a grudge towards someone, how would you feel if they were gone tomorrow? The unconditional side of you knows…the answer is where the heart is.

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WIDE OPEN. (Wild Card pick)

WIDE OPEN. (Wild Card pick)

Liquid Crystal Oracle

Spent too much of my life, livin’ in the dark

‘Til you made me see I’d rather be livin’, than not livin’ at all

Sometimes it’s hard to keep the faith, but you know it’s all we’ve got

Better to let love take over than to be afraid to fall

‘Cuz I have learned a thing or two, from you

If I let your love in my heart, it’s gonna carry us through

and if we are all just mirrors, I wanna be more like you,

I wanna be wide open, with you

I am about as Plutonian as they come; I’ve always had an undertow of intensity. I also lived much of my life with massive walls. Of course, this was a means of control. It was easier to keep everyone at bay than it was to do the work necessary to heal my heart. Experiencing a tremendous amount of pain meant doing whatever it took to prevent more pain. Of course, this actually caused me more pain.

I was fortunate through a series of events to have hit a crisis period in my twenties that woke me up to see that my fear of intimacy was at the root of much of my chaos. Pretty much everything was a means of control. When trying to control we close ourselves off from the blessings of the divine. I began the uncomfortable process of change and healing by doing the work to face my pain and to learn about building healthy boundaries as a means of keeping myself safe.

I am a survivor of abuse and I’ve used abused dogs as an analogy many times to give insight behind the walls of a survivor. Imagine how timid a dog is that has been rescued and clearly mistreated. A dog can go years, sometimes forever, afraid of people or certain things/situations, and you are not going to get close if so. You can sense fear all around the dog and it will definitely remain in fight or flight mode, ready to fend or flee. It doesn’t know you! It doesn’t know what you’re capable of, alright! All it knows is what happened before.

Obviously, it’s the same for people. However, we have the intellectual capacity to recognize that in adulthood we have the power of choice. We get to choose who we are now in the present moment. We have the ability to rationalize and understand that we all operate off of our capacities—what we know by what has been modeled for us. Through this acknowledgment, we can ignite the current of forgiveness. We can forgive those that have hurt us or were bad examples. We can choose to develop the tools to honor our worth and protect our hearts—again, through healthy boundaries, not walls. We don’t have to keep our hearts closed, because we have the power to assimilate through self-trust.

I met a man in Bali that I experienced love at first sight with. He was so open emotionally that it was confusing to someone like me that had lived closed off for so long. Naturally, I made him my muse; he inspired the lyrics I wrote above. He mirrored to me at the time, what I wanted to be more like. I wanted to be completely wide open.

Coincidentally he was from Brasil.

Today’s WILD CARD pick is from the Liquid Crystal Oracle deck:

AMAZONITE

(The Middle Road)

Amazonite is derived from the Amazon River in South America.

The color green is associated with the Heart Chakra.

Set an intention to forgive the conditions of yourself and others by lining up with the unconditional. How can you open your heart just a little more, forgive, and grow? Consider how far you’ve come in your life and celebrate the middle road. If negative thoughts creep in, see it as a reflection of your humanity and use that as an opportunity to cut others some slack as well. We are all representations of God and through this understanding, we remain connected to our spiritual selves. Open your heart to see beyond judgments and dichotomies—yes/no, black/white, right/wrong. Allow yourself to see all the colors of life. Be brave enough to tear down walls and learn to live life… wide open.

“…[make] windows where there were once walls.” – Michel Foucault

I’d like to offer—try smiling or saying hi to everyone that walks by, at least for a day. Don’t give with an expectation to receive in return, do so because you are making an effort to open your heart. Trust that when you give love, it will come back to you in some form or another.

 

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Kill the Script, Write YOUR Story.

Kill the Script, Write YOUR Story.

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Denise Linn’s Native Spirit Oracle deck

I advise you to stop sharing your dreams with people who try to hold you back, even if they’re your parents. Because, if you’re the kind of person who senses there’s something out there for you beyond whatever it is you’re expected to do – if you want to be EXTRA-ordinary- you will not get there by hanging around a bunch of people who tell you you’re not extraordinary. Instead, you will probably become as ordinary as they expect you to be.” – Kelly Cutrone 

My entire life has been a journey to silence the noise and listen to my heart. I grew up in the south of the U.S. and I never quite fit in. Very early on, there was always a script it seemed one was to follow—college, job, marry, kids—and, there ya have it.

I wanted to tell my own story, not the script of my peers, nor the script that my family wanted for me—my own. I grew up in a privileged, cookie cutter community. My mother actually worked, unlike many of the PTA cheer moms, because lo and behold, I came from a divorced family. Not only did she have a job, but it was the source of survival. Like many heroic mothers, her sacrifices were for education, amongst the other usuals.

Oh, and we didn’t go to church.

Now, as a young girl, I felt tremendous pressure to meet the mold. I had our family become members of a church (non-denominational, but still). I would drag us to church because I felt so inadequate when my friends would share that their seemingly perfect families—both mom and dad included—would religiously go every Sundee. There was also the time I delusionally (and quite insanely) fantasized over this immaculate house that I wished was ours, as if my poor mother that already struggled enough to keep the lights on could ever dare dream to afford. Did I mention I was in elementary school? Needless to say, I was constantly concerned about creating in comparison to what everyone else had.

It wasn’t until I reached high school that I began to steer away from the projections of my community and start to realize I could give a shit less about any of it. The destined rebel heart began to pop at the seams and set itself on big city lights as an escape route. However, the path to get there would never be in silence. When I finally made it to California, still so many back home had something to say about the way I chose to live my life. Interestingly, when I left California to travel the world, I experienced the same. Even amongst my California folks, I often receive similar blank stares and mumbles in response to me expressing adoration for my life here in México.

Fortunately, traveling the world taught me a lot about ignorance, a lot about figurative noise, and a lot more humility about just living life and learning to find peace from within.

Wounds from the past I still contend with from time to time, claro. But, my life changed when I decided to say, PEACE OUT to the script that was outside of my control, to start writing my new story. And, to live a life that I declared as meaningful, with nothing to prove to anyone else.

Today’s Wild Card pick is in alignment with the Full Moon Eclipse in Leo. It is from the Native Spirit Oracle deck:

STORYTELLER

This card asks you to be the hero of your journey. You get to decide the interpretation of your story. If the old script does not serve, write the new one. Don’t let others tell you how it is to be told or what it means for you. Validate yourself by following your heart.

Are you living someone else’s script? Is your script filled with the voices of what everyone wants from you?

It takes a lot of courage to strike out and live your truth.

The light of the full moon never fails to reveal. In the sign of Leo, it’s the perfect landscape to be the star of your own show.

Go dazzle.

  

Happy Full Moon!

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Silencing the Noise. (Wild Card pick)

Silencing the Noise. (Wild Card pick)

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Many of us have heard of “The Secret” and the basis for the law of attraction. I’ve never really been sure how I feel about Tony Robbins, but I agree with him when he says that the law of attraction is ‘part of it.’ It’s part of getting what you want in life, but it’s not everything. Obtaining through the law of attraction is more like a symptom of maintaining a high vibration. Clarity and specificity are important, yes. But, I believe what Tony was alluding to in his own way is that there’s more to the upkeep of high vibe than simply thinking happy thoughts.

Self-care, putting ourselves first, being of service, these are all ways to sustain the glow, but vibrations resonating at high frequencies occur effortlessly from silenced noise. This is how we sit into the seat of consciousness.*

We discover our spiritual self and our inner voice—the divine whisper that is our road map from “God.” Through trusting ourselves and in a plan beyond “the self,” we watch the miracle of life unfold with more adventure, more zest. Setting an intention while you are at a high vibration is positive attraction, but it is the art of surrender through objectivity and non-attachment in which we can find peace.

It is the voices, the dialogue in our heads that Michael A. Singer points out so vividly in the first pages of his book, The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself,* that interfere with our state of consciousness. They bombard our understanding of the “true self.” He poses questions such as—what is the actual real self? Which one of those voices is the true inner voice?

It doesn’t make any difference what {the voice inside] is saying, you are the one who is aware of it. As long as you think that one thing it’s saying is you, but the other thing it’s saying is not you, you’ve lost your objectivity.” – Michael A. Singer

The objectivity he speaks of, standing back and observing the voices rather than creating them into a hierarchy is how we can begin to develop and move closer to our “intuition.”

When I was in Bali, I felt like I was on this otherworldly ride to understand the necessity of silencing the noise. For one, by simply being away from it, but then to learn to develop self-trust, our relationship with our intuition.

Where I am from in the United States, particularly Los Angeles, a city I called home for quite some time—it’s a rapid pace. There are so many expectancies, projected voices, technologies/communication technologies being spit at us from every angle that it’s difficult to not be plagued by the noise.

Leaning back as Singer suggests, from it, is how we become the spectator, not a willing participant in this falsehood of reality we create with mental chatter. We develop a relationship of trust within ourselves when we can rely on our objectivity. We can begin to understand who we really are, that is—which voice it is.

Today’s Wild Card pick is from Tosha Silver’s Change Me Prayers oracle deck:

INTUITION

Set an intention to transcend the noise of your mind by learning to be a spectator of it. We earn self-trust through the relationship we have with our inner voice, our intuition. We can begin to trust in a higher plan by trusting we are always being guided to that which serves us. Consider how you can give your self more love through self-care to keep your vibration elevated. Be willing to be outrageously open and release expectations. Trust that your relationship with your inner self is a reflection of your relationship with the divine. We are always being guided if we can silence the noise to listen.

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Tosha is author of Outrageous Openness: Letting the Divine Take the Lead, a guide to living a life of surrender and trust by putting your faith in the divine’s greater plan. {She designed this deck that I often use to draw a mantra/prayer as part of my daily spiritual practice.}

                                                                         

THE MASTER. (Wild Card Pick)

the master

“The master welcomes the disciples not because he wants to lead them, but because he has so much to share. Together, they create an energy field that supports each unique individual in finding his or her own light.” – Osho

An intention I have set this new year is to be more mindful of my presence and how I present myself to the world. This is not because I want to be dependent on how I am perceived, but because I want to be aware of my energy and how I am distributing it. I want to show up for myself because—I matter. This allows for me to stand in my power and have quicker access to it when it falters. When we know that we matter, we more readily nurture practices that support this. We beam light that radiates our worth. There is nothing to prove because by showing up for ourselves we already know we matter.

I spent much of my life preparing for what everyone else was going to think of me before I really stopped to think what I was putting out there altogether. I am a singer and I was always a little girl with a very big voice. However, rarely did I share my voice. A big reason why I did not let myself shine was that I codependently concerned myself with not dimming others’ light. I could not share because I also did not know how to receive. We are automatically expressing gratitude (we give thanks) when we share what gifts we have been given. Through gratitude, we open ourselves up to receive more. I was too afraid of the opposition, of someone mirroring their insecurities off of my talent. So, instead, I hid and bottled my gift. Or, I used my preoccupation with others as an excuse to hide and allowed this excuse to trick myself into believing I wasn’t worthy of my gift.

I once dated a guy whose favorite quote loosely articulated something along the lines of—the only way to change something is to leave it the way it is.

I found that to be a bizarre way of looking at things (to his credit, it could have been a language barrier). Despite my judgment that the delivery could be more eloquent and less selfish, I agreed with the root of its message. We can not change people to be the way we want them to be. We must grant people time and space to choose their own paths. We can inspire others by mastering our own path by living out our highest versions, then we inadvertently (not manipulatively) lead by example.

We can not control how people respond to the various parts of ourselves, either. We all know, not everyone is gonna like us. But we can learn to love and accept ourselves enough that as we walk down our blazing paths of glory, our beams of light can inspire and guide the way for others.

Imagine literally pushing someone that is cemented exactly where they are, and you’re still pushing, yet they are going nowhere. Waste of energy, time, and all the above, right? Let others be as you stand in your light.

Today’s Wild Card pick is from the Osho Zen Tarot deck:

 THE MASTER

This card represents being a master of the self and therefore giving back to others by presenting your best self as a teacher for them.

Set an intention to surrender control to that which is outside of you and focus on mastering yourself. How do you present yourself to the world? Show up for you, first. Watch your energy be reflected back to you. Share your gifts like the dance as if no one is watching quote. Share your gifts for the sake of giving, even when it feels like no one cares. By sharing you are expressing gratitude for the abundance in your life, and this is how we open ourselves to receive more. 🙂

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ENOUGH. (Wild Card pick)

ENOUGH. (Wild Card pick)

Chakra Insight Oracle deck
Chakra Insight Oracle deck

Just as I faced the bridge leading me into another year, it so happened that some events near the end of the year led to a projection of an old wound staring profusely back at me. In a moment of desperation and a plea for change, I chose to sit in the uncomfortable feeling of outdated energy and charged emotions that no longer represent who I am, but instead where I came from. I knew the only way out of it was to walk right through, straight into the wound.

It’s amazing how quickly we can actually make it out to the other side when we allow ourselves to feel, understand, and accept the pain. Already I feel I am walking on new ground. My mantra that has set the preface for cliche resolutions—the simple, but powerful notion—I am enough.

What occurred at the end of the year was that I walked away from a burning reality that I had, yet again, settled for less than I am worth. How could this be after all I’ve done to heal myself? The old wound that reared its ugly head was an exhausted one of abandonment. I let somebody back into my life that had already demonstrated their lack of capacity to give love. How convenient—I chose the person that does not have the capacity to give love because clearly, I had not fully acknowledged my own blocks to receiving it.

Before I had initially broken ties, I looked for distractions and diversions outside of me to fill the void in the interim. When I consciously cut everything out to make a change, I found myself alone. And, true to love-addict grappling, I battled grief over a commitment-phobe. There I was suffering over someone unable to give love instead of giving it to myself. I was upset that I even felt pain at all having known this truth.

But there ya have it, an old wound. It wasn’t even about this guy—same story, different face? Fortunately, I had a lingering awareness to be grateful for, so to end the cycle I broke down to break through. I had to forgive myself, for the wound is there to stay. I accept it as part of who I am because I have a choice. I choose to say, enough, to settling.

“Forgiveness is giving up the hope that the past could have been any different.” – Oprah

The more I began to envision something better, knowing I am worthy of it, the lighter I felt and more gracious I felt in forgiving the pain altogether. For-give to- get love, as Iyanla has spoken. Clear out the old through forgiveness to make room for the new. If we are seeking love outside of ourselves, chances are it is because we don’t believe we are enough. Trying to understand the pain can leave us trapped in it. Realizing it is there and accepting it for what it is, something that happened to me a million years ago, I could begin to step out and away from the perpetual experience of it. When we know we are enough and invest in our worth, our vibration will bring us our match. We don’t need to look. By investing in ourselves so that our cup is full, we can begin to let the extraneous surplus pour over into that special someone’s cup—and no, not just the closest available thing.

The Wild Card Pick is from the CHAKRA INSIGHT ORACLE deck:   

Self-Esteem

Ruled by the Solar Plexus Chakra

Set an intention to empower yourself by knowing you are enough. Vote for you, first. Begin healing old wounds through the practice of self-love. Line up with those that reflect your highest version. 

Know that as you focus on yourself, you will draw the right person to you. Believe in their arrival—they are worth the wait because you are worth the wait.