The Price of Authenticity

•September 19, 2018 • Leave a Comment

Authenticity is a huge theme in my life, as I believe it is for many of you who follow my writing.  I’d like to share a bit of my own journey with you as a way of connecting to those of you who I don’t know personally.

If you haven’t yet seen the movie, “I Feel Pretty,” go watch it.  It’s the perfect expression of how we hold ourselves back.  We go through life like Mockingbirds, singing the songs we hear back to those who enjoy the sound of their own song.  We strive to be ‘good enough’ to run with the people we see as ideal, when, in fact, they are anything but-  because they are part of the same energy.

As a child, I remember being confused a lot.  I have always had a sense for what is going on beneath the surface with others.  I’d try my hardest to quiet that inner knowing and go with what my 5 senses told me was real.  Every time I believed something based on that logic, I’d find myself regretting it.  I couldn’t explain what I knew, and that made it more confusing.  I once remember telling a family member that I “used to be big (as in an adult)” and remember being told that I was wrong about that. This made me doubt myself.

I remember another instance when I was in 5th grade, and the teacher had left the room.  I was fooling around, like all the other kids, and when the teacher came back in she glared at me and I felt an inch tall.  She later told my parents that she came back to the classroom to an ‘ungodly’ laugh.  It was mine.  Another instance that planted a seed of doubt, and this time, silence.

Sometimes when I ask Spirit for help with a situation, I am shown these memories in my mind’s eye.  Spirit communicates using images that we understand, even if it feels like a memory, which surfaces out of nowhere.  Like most people, I wanted to do something constructive with it and I tried that first.  It soon became clear that there was no task to be completed.  Instead, I was to see where I had learned to be inauthentic.

These instances instilled in me a fear and a secret hurt that it was wrong for me to be who I am.  In the first instance, I learned that my truth wouldn’t be believed, and it made me feel insignificant.  In the second, my joy that was expressed in the form of laughter was not only unwelcome, but somehow offensive and ugly.

I learned to hide myself, and that I didn’t belong.  There are more instances, including the one where I excitedly told my class about the time my grandmother came to see me after she died.  Each one brought about more feelings of being unacceptable and was followed by more isolation.  My parents worried about me as a child because I had a tendency to want to spend time with adults rather than play with the kids my own age.  I still have that tendency to this day, and I think it’s because I have always been fascinated with older peoples’ stories- you know, the things that make them who they are. Kids didn’t talk like that.

As a result of this kind of conditioning, over time, I’ve found that I prefer being alone much of the time, and also to be very selective with who I let into my life.  This isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

These feelings of rejection, judgement, shame and being cast aside, no matter how much you try to push these down, demand to be seen.  It is only when you sit with them, and talk with them, that you understand who you are and how you came to be.  From there, you have choices you didn’t have before, because you become aware.

If you know me at all, you know I do not like games, and I don’t play them.  I won’t.  I make decisions on the company I keep based on a few very important criteria.  First, I trust my gut and my inner knowing.  I’ve learned the hard way that it is my only truth.  Second, I look into a person’s energy for authenticity.  There are other factors, as well.

I share this with you to let you know that being more aware, psychic, spiritual, etc, does not make your path any easier.  I also share because I know how lonely it is to be authentic in a world that does not always appreciate that quality.  It keeps us from being who we are, and knowing who we are.  It also keeps us from really admitting what we want, love and need in this world.  We’re so busy working hard to get the house and the car that we don’t realize these things don’t matter to us. Sometimes losing these things is a huge blessing.  When you are without, is when you truly know what matters.

Embrace yourself today.  And if no one else tells you- you matter.

Today’s card, from the Sacred Rebels Oracle by Alana Fairchild.

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Heart on a sleeve

•September 14, 2018 • Leave a Comment

Authenticity is something I prize.  It’s not always easy, and many times we build up our armor out of fear that in protecting ourselves we are doing ourselves a disservice.  I’m not saying we should all sky-dive without a parachute, but there should be a healthy sense of allowing  when it comes to our energy.  Why do we make people fight so hard to see who we are?  We do we make it difficult for people to share their affection with us?

There is a sense of what we deserve that plays heavily into this, but you know what? We are the only ones that assign that judgement.  Attribute it to whatever you wish- Eve eating from the tree of knowledge, if you like.  But the sun doesn’t judge itself as too hot, too bright, or harmful.  It simply is the sun.  Most living creatures are authentic in this way.  Why aren’t we that way?  Why do we judge our feelings as appropriate or inappropriate?  Why do we think we belong in one place and not another?  I’m not an expert, but I sincerely doubt there is a hippopotamus sitting around feeling bad that it’s not as pretty as a giraffe, or bird ashamed to sing its own song.

We do these things to ourselves, and then we don’t know how to be who we are anymore.  It’s not a question of hiding, over time, it becomes a question of not even knowing who we are in the first place.

It takes a lot of courage to face ourselves and accept who we are, if we’re even brave enough to look beneath the surface.  If we become more child-like in our approach, and suspend our judgement in order to explore and observe, we can see more clearly.  Are you brave enough to look? If you are, it will change your experience of the world.

 

The Secret Struggle

•September 10, 2018 • Leave a Comment

We are all fighting a secret battle that no one can see.  I’m no exception to this.  Each of us, at some point, becomes so good at hiding our struggle, that it appears that no one notices.  And then, you stumble across that one person, who without effort, creates a tiny crack in our fortress, and things come pouring out.

Then what?

We immediately panic.  We pull back.  We hide.  We try to quietly let the crack heal in the private hell we create for ourselves that no one is supposed to see or know exists.

The world tells us that any sign of weakness makes us vulnerable to attack.  I’m not sure which is worse- the fact that we see our authentic selves as weak or that we have to walk around feeling like we are prey.

So here’s what I really want to say, and this was just laying out some groundwork for where this is coming from.

All living things, if they are healthy, instinctively crave love, safety and comfort.  Somehow, we’ve created a world where these needs are looked at as weaknesses, and that is devastating. To deny this is to create a world that thrives on fear and addiction. If we can’t get love, we try to fulfill that need other ways- sex with strangers, drugs, alcohol, over-spending, extreme sports, etc.  Love makes us feel connected and alive, and if we do not have that, we will do anything to find a way to feel those things, even if it’s only temporary and detrimental in the long run.  They always fall short.

The devastating part is that we are all in need of the same thing, and all afraid to admit it- and for some of us, it was a spiritual teaching that brought us to this place.  That’s right, my friends, you thought you were doing yourself a favor by not needing anyone and being ‘strong’ on your own, but all you achieved was isolation, and denial of what truly makes you thrive as a human being.  Looking at it from that viewpoint, the thing you thought made you powerful actually made you quite weak, and easier prey for those who enjoy destroying someone’s spirit.

You thought that by keeping yourself in control of your emotions, you were being strong. Instead, it created a dissociative state that you are now very comfortable with, hence having the thing you truly want and need- love, safety and comfort- become a threat.

Can you see where I’m going with this?

We’ve been conditioned that our ego is evil. I don’t understand that. Ego is your identity in this life, in other words, your gender/ancestry/name, anything that is associated with your physical form. It is not the enemy.  It’s simply your current incarnation.  This physical form will have needs that need to be tended to.  Ego gives us an individual personality and identity, so that Spirit, which is our true identity, can experience itself in its many forms.  Ego IS the purpose of being human.  It’s the experience we came here for.  So why are we trashing it?  Why are we telling ourselves that it’s something that needs to be shed and transcended?

Ego is the incarnation, but it is not disconnected from Spirit.  Spirit also has needs, and they are linked. Spirit craves oneness, connection, and harmony.  These pair perfectly with the needs of the ego, they are not in opposition. Living from this space creates a different experience of the world.

The person who hides their emotions, authenticity and need for love is living in a state of imprisonment.  This WILL lead to the cycle of addiction and abuse. This will yield a fear of intimacy and closeness to other human beings.  It will trick you into thinking you are weak for any need you have and that will make you feel unworthy of those needs.

Hear me.  I know it’s hard to think that anyone would even want to be a part of your struggle, and your lips are sealed when someone asks you about how you’re doing. But living this way is creating a private Hell for each of us.  Jesus said to love one another as we love ourselves.  If this is the way we love ourselves, how can we ever expect to love and be loved as we truly need to be loved?  It’s impossible.

Being authentic means washing away the things we are taught as right and wrong, and reconnecting to the inner-knowing of what those really are.  Destroying other human beings in a quest to best everyone has become the only way to be seen as ‘successful.’  Inside, you know this is wrong, but you are taught that it is weak to be kind, loving and nurturing.

Fuck all that.  I need to be loved, nurtured and to feel like I’m of value.  I’m done pretending I’m ‘fine.’  I’m not fine, and neither are many of you reading this.  I don’t need a professional to counsel me, I need friends who care.  I don’t need a happy pill, I need a sense of belonging.  I don’t need to make more money, I need to feel valued.  We are part of nature, and nature is perfect.  It’s the the creation of these rules that have corrupted us, and it’s time we all admit that we’ve created a false world that will never allow us to thrive as we were made to.

Take All of Me

•July 23, 2018 • 1 Comment

There has been a big movement in the self-help industry over the last 15 -20 years or so that pushes the principles of ‘new thought,’ which is exactly why most would look at this image and think it’s all about seeing yourself in a positive light.  I have personally ventured down the Science of Mind road, and I can tell you that although on the surface it appears to be empowering, it’s actually not.  It sets people up for failure.  In one breath you are told the universe is infinite, and in the next, they want you to subscribe to ONE law- the law of attraction.  In a universe of limitless possibilities, why are they teaching that there is only one answer?

Problems are seen as opportunities to some and traumatic to others.  Some will smile through pain, others will let it swallow them.  Why must there be only one right way to be?  What I see more than anything is a need for a better personal philosophy, rather than a single answer.  Life is complex, and as humans we like our labels so we can feel like we are in control as we navigate through the seemingly good and seemingly bad, but it’s really all a matter of perspective, right?  Sure, but most people are picking a side.  Most people are this OR that, and judge one thing as valuable, while the other is to be discarded.

Nothing is without purpose.  One emotion is not good or bad, or better than the other.  A lower vibration is not less valuable than a higher one. If it was not needed, it would not exist.

If we ever expect to be happy, we have to stop dividing everything and begin integrating instead.  Once you divide something into two groups, you’ve missed the mark.  We truly are in an infinite universe, from one source of energy that connects all living things.  Oneness means everything, not just the things you choose as ‘good.’

Lion eats a lamb.  Good for the lion.  Bad for the lamb.  We can only see things from our own limited perspective.

Acceptance, Empathy and Communion are the keys to happiness.  These may be considered ‘weak’ traits to some people.  Why?  Because (at least here in America), we’ve built a society that thrives on competition, and that drives us to division- be it among cultures, social status, etc.   We are lead to believe that this is beneficial to all of us, but the truth is, it’s not.  It keeps us in a state of struggle, because there’s always something, or someone better, and we continue to feed the fear that we are not good enough.

Look at the image again.  Do you see weakness in the kitten or do you see something precious, that needs to be protected?  Do you see strength in the tiger, or do you see something to be feared?  It’s important to think about the messages we are receiving every single day from media, and even from well-meaning individuals who are trying to help us become self-actualized.  If you dig deep enough, you will find there is always an agenda beneath the message, and it almost always benefits someone other than you.

You may be kind and tender but also fierce in your loving.  You can be protective and forceful, but also considerate in your endeavors.  There is no need to pick a side. Everything we feel and everything we are  has a purpose.  When you feel your eyes filling with tears, cry.  When you feel your soul needing a breath, pray.  When you are filled with passion, let yourself feel.  The worst thing we can do is convince ourselves to kill or destroy a part of ourselves. A house divided cannot stand.   your shadow and allow it to become an integrated part of you.  This is the way to healing and happiness.

Yes You Can

•February 6, 2018 • Leave a Comment

So you want to be a spiritual person, but you feel like you’re just missing something, or can’t quite get it right.  Your mind wanders when you meditate, and no matter how hard you try to bless everyone you meet, you still want to strangle your co-worker who consistently shoots down all of your ideas in front of the boss.

Who’s grading you?

For each of us on our spiritual journey, we first begin our exploration by looking at what’s out there- in other words, ‘which box do I fit in?’  Is it spiritual to disagree with people who seem to be so sure of their beliefs?  Should I keep quiet and politely listen when others direct me on my own path, without solicitation?

**NOTE- before I go any further. There are a number of good people out there who truly care for other people and are doing the best they have with what they were given, both monetarily and from their hearts- Spiritual Teachers included.  This blog does not apply to those people.

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So many people in the ‘new age community’ talk about being in the light, and the threefold rule, etc., but in my experience this tends to be a sign of spiritual immaturity, rather than the message that I assume is intended which is- “I’m more evolved than you.”  I’ve found myself wandering in and out of many groups that appeared to be offering me solutions to my existential struggle, or to remedy the dilemma of figuring out my purpose.  In nearly all of them, I found the same thing at the center- a self-serving guru whose only joy in life is being ‘above’ other people.

Be very careful who you open up to in a spiritual setting.  People tend to approach someone for a reading, for example, when they are at a vulnerable point in their lives, or having an emotional struggle.  This is not the time to evaluate a spiritual advisor.  This is no time for someone to make you feel small, nor is it the time for someone to tell you that you are at fault for your terrible circumstances.  Be open when you are happy and free, make the connection then with someone you feel is a kindred spirit.  Then, when you are in trouble, you have someone to call!

For a time, I became a student of Religious Science, as this was something I found interesting and wanted to better understand.  I spent many hours at Sunday Service, and even took the Foundations class that is the beginning step to becoming a practitioner.  There was a lot of ‘God is Good,’ and fluffy pink lights around every person (metaphorically speaking).  It was common to hear someone begin to speak of a problem or issue, only to have their conversation partner interrupt with ‘No! You just tell yourself it’s all working out for the highest good!”  That kind of advice is little help or comfort to someone who is in distress, and processing very valid emotions.  I watched as a very dear friend with severe medical issues, and was desperately trying to stay positive about her plight after suffering through years of treatments, doctors, surgeries, etc., was facing the ‘accusation’ that she had something wrong in her thinking that caused all of this and it was something that needed to be fixed before she would get well.  Is that what passes for compassion?  Oh, but they just want to help!  Yeah, that’s not helping.  Invalidating her suffering- which was and is real- is not loving.  No principle in the world is worth making someone feel that they are at fault when they are already knocked down a black hole.

Darkness is not the opposition of Light.  It is its compliment.  It is part of the whole.  How can you exist as a whole, when you deem half of yourself to be incorrect?

Let me say this clearly:

You, your emotions, your path, your life… is not a mistake.  God/Divinity/Spirit did not need your help to create Universe and does not need your consultation on what you deem to be incorrect.

Can you be spiritual but not fit into any of the current belief systems?

Yes You Can.

Regardless of the many classes, meet ups, groups, etc., I’ve been a part of, I belong to all of them and none of them.  I do not identify with any one classification I’ve encountered.  The only word that comes close to what I am, is Witch, and to many, Witch is a dangerous word.

If you are struggling to find your path, and you’ve found me, know that it is not an accident. There are others like me, but we are hard to find, and tend to find you when you need us.  Drop me a line, or visit me at the Curious Cauldron.  I’m here to serve.

For you GoT fans- Valar Dohaeris

What is Divine Timing?

•August 20, 2017 • Leave a Comment

It began with a familiar smell. It took me a few seconds to place it, but my mind searched quickly through my memories and I found it. The memory replayed of a place and time in my life, over 20 years ago. I found myself walking through that memory, and instead of just seeing it as I saw it at the time it was occurring, I saw it from the perspective of present day, with Spirit present. You might envision this to be a bit like present day Scrooge, going back in time with the ghost of Christmas past. In truth, Spirit walks beside us, illuminating the way, so it’s not all that far-fetched of a concept, is it?

The smell was from a particular college dorm room, and a time in my life when I was even more impatient than I am now. At every age I can remember, I’ve felt like a caged tiger, never quite able to move past a certain radius and constantly feeling that anxious feeling of wanting to be free.

It was a specific moment in time, when an impulse lead to a decision, and that decision caused me to take one course over the infinite others, as all decisions do. With Spirit by my side, I watched my memory play out, and I realized that the mistake I made wasn’t in exercising my free will, but that my mind, with its limited experience and the anxiety of feeling pent up is what drove me to make decisions then. Spirit whispered, ‘Do you see that if you were patient, and waited for the divine timing, you could have avoided this?’

Spirit’s message was like turning on a light in a dark room.

“Your nature is such that you are compelled to act, but do you see that if you wait for the signs from your Higher Self to show you the way and THEN act, things would be different?”

In that moment, the reality of Diving Timing became crystal clear.

The very quiet voice that speaks to us, which feels like it’s coming from behind at times rather than inside, isn’t meant to undermine our ability or free wil to make our own decisions. It allows us to include the part of us with greater perspective that is in tune with the Divine to guide us in making more comprehensive choices.

In a world that is most interested in power and the construct of a hierarchy, there is no room for true inner development, spiritual connection and non-judgemental reflection. Some of us are fortunate enough to find that place of inner knowing, and NOT have it stamped out by the doubt of others, or being shamed for having a different experience of the world. Others keep quiet until someone who has found that place walks in and there is immediate connection and openness that allows the quiet to become a safe conversation. If you have found me, know that it is not an accident, but an opportunity. Know, also, that it is always well within your right to choose to pass this opportunity by, and move to something else. There are no wrong roads to take, only different paths.

Wherever you are on your path, I welcome the chance to share even a small part of it with you. There’s nothing that brings me more peace, than seeing the recognition in someone’s face when they realize they are connected to everyone and everything, and can perceive life from a higher perspective, I am seeing what I hold most dear- Truth.  I can be reached at healingstarspirit@yahoo.com if you’d like to schedule time with me.

As always- I wish you well on your journey

Battle of the Selves: Ego vs Soul- Mind vs Body

•July 13, 2017 • Leave a Comment

Just because we are aware of, and can identify different aspects of ourselves does not mean they are separate pieces that live a life of their own.  Everything is connected, and we can see differences in our aspects but that doesn’t make them different ‘selves,’ exactly.

For example, take a large quartz crystal and hold it in your hand.  You may notice different inclusions.  Just because one of them may be a black spec, doesn’t mean that the entire crystal is a dark spec!  It’s a part of it, and it isn’t separate! On the same token, a drop of ocean water, is NOT the entire ocean.

The mind isn’t separate from the body, but the body isn’t the mind and the mind isn’t the body.  It’s like saying Montana is the United States and vice versa.  The important thing is the expansion of our awareness to all of the aspects of ourselves without DIVIDING OURSELVES.

Emotions aren’t separate, inconvenient parts of ourselves.  They affect the Mind and the Body because they are part of them both.  Ego self is the human identity.  So my Ego is Nicole, but my entire Being is not just this one aspect.  Nor is my Soul separate from my body.  It animates my body and my body is a manifestation of the energy that is my Soul.

When we have a broken heart, it affects us physically, emotionally, mentally, and on a soul level.  No trauma or joy affects only one part of ourselves.  This is why it’s paramount to pay attention to each part of ourselves and look for the communication that goes largely unnoticed regarding the state of our entire Being.  Physical pain is never just about an isolated mechanical issue with the body any more than a tragic loss is only about our emotions.

When your body speaks, listen, and find the connections to the other aspects of yourself.  When your mind speaks, listen, and do the same.  Emotions are the bridge, so they are most important of all communication that you can receive from your Self.  Spirit is also a part of each of these aspects, and can never really be separated.

In all things, there is an opposing view, but never is there a division other than your own perception.  For example, I am as grateful to have no one I’m obligated to at the moment as I am lonely to have no one that I’m obligated to at the moment.  It’s all about how you look at things.  All of it affects all of me, and as a human I have the privilege to see and be aware of the different aspects of myself.  But never am I alone, separated, or divided within myself.  I am always whole, and no matter how long it takes, I will eventually see all of the pieces and then, like all Souls, I will return Home.

 
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