a compassionate february

I have been waiting for February. February feels like fresh air and moving forward. Not ‘moving forward’ as in doing a bunch of things; in fact, as I write these words, I feel utterly exhausted. I can barely grasp the gravity of what’s happening in the U.S., and the tragedy of the Quebec mosque shootings. It’s all slammed me in a way I wasn’t expecting.

Which is why I’m taking extra care to be aware of, and conserve, my energy as much as possible. 2016 brought into sharp focus the consequences of not honouring my energy. So much of my attention was directed outward, and I felt the severe financial, emotional, and spiritual impact. What I thought made me feel good was actually draining my life force, slowly but surely. By the end of 2016, I was running on empty.

It’s hard to imagine 2017 being more intense than last year – but it likely will be. How are we going to handle it? I don’t tune in to social media or the news, but that’s not necessarily the solution. This isn’t a time to bury my head in the sand. (It wouldn’t work anyway; I’d still feel what’s going on globally. We are interconnected.)

purple-tulips

January was about wrapping up loose ends and completing, or moving forward with, projects and commitments I’d procrastinated on. At times it felt like a bit of a slog…but I’m glad I took care of these things, because the more I clear the energetic cobwebs, the greater space I have within. And the better equipped I am to handle what 2017 will bring. The good, the bad, and the ugly/beautiful.

On another note – or maybe it’s completely related – I recently attended some mental health training sessions as part of my new job. Though I registered in these courses to assist those I work with, the training unexpectedly helped me on a very personal level. Not only did I come away with a greater empathy and understanding for those with mental health issues, I felt self-compassion and insight into my own journey.

We never know what’s going on in someone’s interior world. Our assumptions, wounds, and projections are so strong that we can completely miss the humanity in another (and in ourselves). These past few weeks I’ve realized that I often assume others are ‘okay’, when maybe they’re really not. This all feels very timely and relevant to the world stage.

Many of us are grieving. Collective healing begins with self-compassion; when we acknowledge our own vulnerability, we recognize it in those around us. Compassion dissolves our hardened walls. When we cut out the superfluous ’stuff’ of our lives, we draw on our inner resources and share them with others. We become creative in totally new ways…creative with people, love, and relationships. We become leaders in our own lives.

Reaching out to others is courageous; it’s much more comfortable to stay in our cozy little spaces. But withdrawal and isolation won’t work. Our survival as a species – if that’s what we want – hinges on the awareness that we need each other, now more than ever. Baby steps quickly become leaps and bounds. Compassion is the way.

I wish everyone a peaceful February.

LA, my birthday, Abraham, and meeting blogger #2

Last week I spent an amazing few days in warm and sunny Los Angeles, celebrating my birthday, seeing Abraham Hicks live for the first time, and meeting up with the beautiful Katherine Starseed of A Blip in Time.  This is the second blogger I’ve connected with personally and, like the Shamanic Tracker (whom I met last Fall), I know I’ve made a lifelong friend.

As some blogging friends know, I am a big fan of Abraham Hicks.  Having read their material, listened to their recordings, and watched hundreds of their Youtube clips over the years, it was totally surreal to be sitting in the conference room of L.A.’s Glendale Hilton, waiting for their seminar to start.

loving california palms...

loving those california palms…

I couldn’t stop smiling as I sat there.  The enthusiasm and energy of the crowd was infectious; we were all buzzing with excitement. The familiar intro music played; Esther Hicks came onstage; and three hours of uplifting, positive, and often hilarious messages ensued.

Say what you want about Abraham Hicks – and people have many different opinions – any philosophy that unwaveringly affirms messages of love, worthiness, expansion, joy, and appreciation, is good with me.

It’s so simple and we make it so complex – do whatever you can to stay in that feeling good, appreciative state.  Don’t beat yourself up when you slip from that state.  You are worthy of being there – it is your natural state.  I realize how many justifications I have made for not allowing myself to feel good.  Though all these explanations felt right at the time, most don’t wash anymore. (Karma is a big one.)

That’s not to say I don’t go into darker states, or that they don’t serve a purpose.  But I am fine-tuning those receptors that allow me to know, sooner and sooner, when I am going into excuse/auto-pilot mode.  I can sense when I am being attracted to the thought magnet I’ve been most familiar with, making it the ‘easiest’ place to go to.

I can therefore more easily discern alternate ways of perceiving.  I can catch when I’m able to make new emotional pathways, creating a ‘new normal’ for myself.

Being in a more consciously joyous state is not going to make me selfish (in the negative sense) – a fear I carried for some time.  It is not going to make me forget about those who are not in that state.  But it could open the channels for others to find that state of being within.  It could give me more energy, so that I operate from a place of joyful service, not fatigue or obligation. Joy powers up the world.

view of california coast sunset from pacific coast highway

view of california coast sunset from pacific coast highway

So one week later, these are the impressions I’m left with after the workshop:

Every question I wanted to ask Abraham, I already knew the answer to.  I realize that I can hear my own guidance and authority.  I am my own unique expression of Source energy – how could I not know what’s best for me? Do I really need to consult healers for the answers I already hold within?  And how can I know what’s best for others?

Why do I want what I want?  The power of creation lies not in analyzing the perceived lack or negativity in my current situation, but in imagining and visualizing what I do want. And this is often about cultivating feelings first (e.g., freedom and autonomy), rather than manifesting the physical specifics. The external ‘things’ will emanate from the feeling.

I can’t engage in conversations centered on complaining, negativity, or why things don’t work. And when I do, I feel icky.  I have previously indulged such conversations, thinking I’m not being polite or nice if I disengage.  I’ve thought that I was avoiding reality by not giving attention to certain things that other people find important. But I see now that this has drained and fragmented me. I don’t want to be sucked into a train of thought or emotional state I don’t wish to cultivate in my life, so I’m learning the balance between compassion and detachment.

Abraham often says that you have to care about how you feel more than anything.  Caring about how you feel also means not doubting or second-guessing how you feel. These days, if something feels good, I let it. I try not to analyze why it does, or why it shouldn’t.

It’s all about softening. Being hard on others means being hard on myself.  Not new information, but it’s sunk in at a deeper level.  Hardness creates rigidity and resistance, and inhibits receiving and allowing.  Cultivating more softness, ease, gentleness, and relaxation – with myself, others, and life in general – feels really good…like relief.  This past week I’ve caught myself sighing audibly (in a good way) more than a few times!

Fun is a priority. ‘Nuff said.  Driving up the coast of California was utter joy and freedom. Why do we view fun and freedom as the exception, and not the rule? Not me.  I’m going to seize the opportunity for fun whenever I can. Never too late!

I can say with confidence that I had the best birthday EVER, and I am very thankful to be ever-poised for creation – and yet know that there is nothing I have to ‘do’ to win the favour of myself, or anyone else.

Namaste.