Paint with Love.

Source: xxjenliu.tumblr.com via Casey on Pinterest

Love is the key- the simple solution but often so hard to achieve.

It has been a long while since I have written, at least anything of great length. I was in transition- I believed from bearing my entire soul on each blog entry, which I have done for many years, to something entirely new, although I didn’t know what. But, it turns out that wasn’t really the transition I was making.

You see, there was something going on within me, beneath the surface- a battle of sorts. On my spiritual path, I’ve faced many of these, and the ultimate one is between love and fear. This battle of love and fear is what was rumbling.

In this battle love does not fight. In fact, love gently and powerfully leads the way even, it seems, when it looks like fear is winning. We often talk about choice, especially in this New Age of The Course in Miracles and positive self-help: choose love over fear, these teachings tell us. But love has already chosen us. The work then becomes knowing this in a conscious and connected way. This is our evolutionary route—back to love and what we can choose is whether we want to be a conscious participant or not on this journey.

I have a personal example. Tonight, during a conversation with my significant other, I watched myself move from being led by fear to being led by love. It seemed to have happened instantaneously, but actually there have been signs this transition was on its way. And, finally tonight I was able to put it into practice. I guess I could say I chose this practice of leading with love, but mostly it just happened as a natural course of my evolution of consciously participating in my route back to love.

As it happened, this transition to love, I kept going with it because it felt so good. It was so liberating. Somehow I knew there was a solution here- an answer I had been looking for, a remedy to my present suffering. I thought: so damn simple, but God  how I have suffered. In this one moment, in this exchange with my husband, I kept throwing love whereas I would usually throw more fear. In my fear I don’t give him the benefit of the doubt. I am paranoyed, afraid he might leave me. I cling and control. Nothing gets resolved and only more pain and suffering ensues.

I always thought it was because I was co-dependent and crazy, which yes, there are many moments this appears true, but actually I love this man. I love him a lot. And I guess this love has frightened me, and instead of taking this love and painting beauty with it, I have taken it, hoarded it, been ignorant of it, and allowed it to almost turn preverse and paint ugly with it. (And of course, it hasn’t helped I have been hurt in this relationship as well).

As my fear told me he was purposely avoidng my calls and texts and I began to feel that familiar panic, love was there and allowed me to be honest. To say things about what was really going on inside me. I actually merged with the truth, instead of swimming around it where the fear lurks, and the truth of this moment was—I don’t want to hurt anymore. I will believe him. I will love in the face of adversity, stress and fear. I will love. Love is the safety net, the simple solution—nothing else.

But this simple solution is not always easy to come by, even though we talk about it like it is. The reason why it is difficult to go to this safety net is because it takes quite a bit for us to get really honest and really real with our selves, with what is really going on within us. We are afraid of the fear and afraid of the love and we move around in chaos and confusion until finally we don’t want to hurt anymore. Until finally we want and are ready for a solution to our suffering.

To love, I mean really love in the face of fear and adversity takes preparation—almost as though we must prepare to receive the love that is within us. We must be ready for it, therefore this process cannot be forced. It must unfold, naturally, and it will. It does. It is.

Love is the gentle force behind the fear. There will come a time in its unfolding when it breaks through and shows us its power and lets us feel its presence within us. That is the time of liberation and restoration. And then love can become our practice. Our way. Our truth.

The Soul Reporter

The Greatest Love of All

Today’s Soul Report: Love & Projection

The inspiration for today’s post began with a tweet from Oprah. She was responding to a man, who I now see from his twitter page is obviously trying to get attention by being really, really mean.

Here is the conversation: @Oprah- To me Whitney was THE VOICE. We got to hear a part of God every time she sang. Heart is heavy, spirit grateful for the GIFT of her. In which man who I won’t name says: I did not know God condoned illicit drug use. #Hypocrite. In which @Oprah responded: What I know for sure: God is love. Love does not condemn. I did not know God was in the drug law business.

There was also another conversation on Facebook after Madonna’s Super Bowl performance. A few people felt the need to condemn Madonna and make comments about who she is a person and so on. I felt a need to defend Madonna, maybe to defend the part of me that feels judged, knowing that we are not just what we show- that we are so much more, and at times, so much less. I also responded because I am so over seeing others (and myself) talk shit about people, especially, as a culture, celebrities.

The excuse, as I defended Madonna, is this is what happens to them because of the attention- they get admired and ridiculed, but this doesn’t make it right.

Oriah Mountain Dreamer, on her Facebook page, made an interesting comment about Whitney’s death- she called it “Death by Perfection.” As I thought about this further, the Whitney I loved in the 80’s and 90’s was sweet, beautiful and obviously THE VOICE, as Oprah said. Perfection was projected at her. She was the perfect diva, the perfect performer, having the perfect look, and voice. She had everything. Is it possible, there was a secret she was holding- a secret that said I am not all of those things. I am not as perfect as you think I am. In fact, I recall her telling us during an interview that she has another side, a side at the time, she seemed proud of. Is it possible, part of what she did was show us, and herself, how imperfect she is.

Addiciton or no addiction- just to say it was addiction that killed her doesn’t go deep enough. People say addiction is a disease, but I think it is a symptom of a much deeper disease. Whitney sang a song, Greatest Love of All– not having love for ourselves is our disease, and for most of us, it begins right out the womb, and perhaps before. We are a world of the walking wounded and rejected. Because of this, the culture can’t help but to tell us we aren’t okay- that who we inherently are is imperfect, or just as bad, we are told how perfect we are. We are neither. We just are and should be taken as such, and as such in each moment, but we aren’t. Instead we must define, concrete and project, and celebrities get this in enormous waves.

Life is difficult for us “common” folk, so imagine what it might be like for the famous, regardless if they conscioulsy sought fame out or not or how much damn money they have. Does it make us feel better to ridicule  them becuase we have a part of us that would like to famous, and rich? Does it feel good to be in awe of them because we feel so inadequate? How do you think it makes them feel when we give them all our shit? How do we feel when we are projected upon?

I have a few points to this post, I see, probably running off on a couple tangents. It’s a hot button for me, and from this post, I want us to really consider that we are all energy. What this means is we feel everything that is being projected at us, near and far. If we were a culture seeped in a lifestyle right out of the womb to know, and love thyself- then there would not be projection. There might actually be more love.

Yes, I am of the 2% of the population, according to some test, labeled as “the idealist.” I see what is possible, and I often, almost always fall short myself, and it hurts me more and more to see us so critical and condemning toward others.  My response to the twitter conversation from above: People condemn so to not feel that Love- but it’s there.

I condemned Whitney during the Oprah interview, which was the last time I saw her. Why? Because my mom was an addict, and I was the one who was more responsible than she was. It is a common role, children of addicts, play, and I saw Bobby Kristina being put in that position by her mother. This is my stuff. Truth may be in this for Whitney and her daughter, but at the time I was still angry by the responsibility I carried in lack of my mother’s,  and projected that upon Whitney.

I don’t know Whitney at all. And maybe Whitney probably didn’t know Whitney as well as she would have liked. I mean does anyone really want to throw their life away, as what has been suggested? And is Whitney’s death or life a waste because of what we think we know about her? This was HER life. This is OUR life, and it is of no one to say to us what is a waste and what is not. What is wrong and what is not. What is right and what is not. We come here for our own reasons. Our own lessons. Our own possibilities.

Our possibility, to my idealist mind, is one of the greatest lessons, a lesson that cannot be learned just in school or by some famous person who we want to be our role model or that can even be done in one life, and that possibility is to know our self, all of our self. Not only know it all, but love it all, and from what I see, we have hardly touchded upon the friendship, compassion and deep, deep wisdom that is in the self.

To tweet a respoonse to that conversation was a step forward in my evolution toward that love. I didn’t condemn the man who said this or defend or project. Instead I saw that the love Oprah mentioned is there- in all of us, and we condemn others so we don’t have to feel our own pain. Our pain can’t kill us. We only fear it might, and we get involved in all sorts of destrucitve behaviors because of that fear.

None of us are squeky clean, and when we are, we will be out teaching in love and compassion and not condemnation, superiority and judgement. To have compassion is to understand our human condition. To express love is to know that is what we are. That love is what we all hold and often try and ignore, but it’s there.

I know this wasn’t an ooey-gooey Valentines post, but sometimes we must go beyond the oo and the goo. I will leave you with this video of Whitney singing the Greatest Love of All. What brought tears to my eyes, is seeing how happy this woman was when she sang. That is a look of pure love, that existed even in her so-called dysfunction. That, maybe even more than the voice, inspires, and learning to love ourselves is the greatest gift of all, and it’s a process.

Please spread the love and the message. I’d love it if you did. Happy Valentines Day.

Namaste,

The Soul Reporter

Don’t Try to Love Everybody!

Folks, meet my new spiritual teacher- at least via YouTube.

In this modern day, where spiritual teachers, healers, coaches and gurus are writing books and teaching classes and having sessions both on-line and off, it is refreshing to find one, thanks to a soul-sister over at Life on Purpose, who isn’t all serious and self-riteous about being positive or even saving the world or acting as if they have it all figured out. In fact, when a “student” comes to him/Mooji (if you saw in this video) wanting to make herself love everybody, Mooji says, “Don’t try to love everybody. Try to be fair, but don’t try to love.” He assures it is normal not to. “Be yourself. This IS the way. The rest will align itself appropriately.”

“All good habits manifest spontaneously in the deliberate mind.”

My mother has come to visit. She spent a few days with us, and now she is on a mountain visiting her cousin. Soon, we will pick her up and resume her stay. My relationship with my mother has been tiresome, brought on by a conflict between my child self, which feels neglected and my “self-riteous spiritual” self, which feels I should be over it, and show her love.

The night before she arrived, I said to my daughter- let’s intend to appreciate all the parts of my mother. The part that gets angry when we don’t roll out the red carpet for her arrival. The part that pretends she understands what we are saying, but she doesn’t. The part that wants to please instead of be honest. I thought it might be possible, for I am appreciating all of my parts as well. And I must say, the first round of mother went well.

Sure, there were moments where I was annoyed, but mostly there was a new me- (but more truthfully the ever present me hidden under the conflict), a flexible and observant me, who is not emotionally attached or manipulated by past hurts, and who is free of trying to force myself to love or to be kind.

I hear people say things like, you know I am really relieved this or that is over, but I should really be grateful. Or as the woman said on the video, how can I make myself love everybody. Where did all of these ideas come from? That we should walk around in gratitude all day, everyday. That we should love everyone.  These good habits can not arrive spontaneously or at all if we continue to “should” ourselves. If we think we have to be Mother Teresa like. None of this makes us spiritual. We already are of Spirit. We need not do anything to attain spirit. We only need to BE OURSELVES, and sometimes that means a journey of trying to be anything but.

Namaste,

The Soul Reporter

The Loud Sound of Quiet

There’s a quiet, which happens when the end of something comes. I heard it before and while my dog died. I heard it again a few nights ago. For once, the silence was louder than all the noise outside.

Louder than the traffic noise from the highway. Than helicopters buzzing in the skies. Dogs barking. The yellow utility fan blowing cold air inside the house. A week of homeschooling (child in house all day). Chatter in my head about money. All taking a muted back seat to the silence within.

This doesn’t happen very often. Usually I have to escape the noise and find an external quiet spot to get quiet and even then the internal noise is still too loud. But something is shifting, and I’m listening. In the silence of that moment, I heard the soul whisper, It’s over. The time of so much change and so little abundance. The time of so much pressure and so little peace. So much restriciton and so little freedom. The time of squeezing. It’s over. 

You might say (or truer yet, my Sergeant Williamson says), Nikki there is always abundance. There is always peace. There is always freedom. You just have to choose them. I could defend this, but I am going to let it be. No need. We go through what we must. Handle it as we do. And in time come through to another side.

On the other side of pressure. Restriction. Lack. Worry- is a space of silence and knowing, which whispers, It’s over. Not the kind of over that mimics former president Bush’s sign, ‘Mission Accomplished’ as he boasted an end of a war that was far from over, but more of an over where spring turns into summer and summer turns into fall and fall into winter. Where once summer occurs, spring can no longer be seen. Sometimes not even remembered, until of course it arrives again.

As we try to concrete our experiences here, we forget our life is cyclical. Our movement rhythmical. The darkest times carrying with them pressure and suffering seem to never want to leave. The brighter days, where are souls are happy and free we think will always last, or at least we want them to. During my dark days, I forgot what it felt like to love. I didn’t realize this until I got a text from my daughter- the same moment I was listening to the silence.

Earlier I was at Target, arriving much too late to look at my favorite designer Missoni, and their new wares. All that was left- a pair of black suede pumps. I don’t even wear pumps, but thought I might charge them. I sent my daughter a text with a picture of them, asking for her opinion. I didn’t buy the shoes and her reply came several hours later.

Unless you love them, I wouldn’t get them. 

When I had money, I was open to finding things I loved because if I loved it I felt I could buy it. Living within my meager means of the past several years, I’ve turned that openness off. Yes, I speak only of materialistic means- shoes, clothes, etc but little did I know I turned off my love valve everywhere else as well. I stopped loving my job as homemaker/parent. I forgot I loved to write. I stopped loving clothes because mine were ripping and sadly out of date. I stopped loving my hair that was falling out. I stopped loving the small things, like curling up with a good book or taking a hot, lavender scented bath. I stopped loving going out and participating. I stopped loving life, and then life sort of stopped. Or ran increasingly stale. This has been the cycle of the past several years.

The whisper says, It’s over…

So what does over look like? At present there isn’t a DJ playing Celebration outside of my window. I have yet to see a fat lady sing, unless I start. There is no amount of cash in my mailbox…yet. But spring usually doesn’t start with hot sunshine and cookouts on the beach either. It starts with the appearance of the first robin. A small sliver of grass. Wet patches of water and ice on the sidewalks, that were once mounds of snow.

Here are my signs: I laugh more. A man at 7-11 with a foreign tongue said to me while using a full circle hand gesture, I appreciate you like this. I am finally dealing with my 11-year old daughter- sitting down with her every weekday morning to help her learn the basics of life and school that she hasn’t received. I remembered I LOVE writing. I bought two Missoni items online that I do love. And I am learning Italian, the language of love. But the truest sign, is the silent sound within my soul, the truest companion I know, whispering to me, It’s over.

To hear the silence on the inside is the gift given when we survive being squeezed from the pressure of our dark days. To have the silence override the surface chaos is what it means to live from the inside out, and to do so in a conscious, direct way. To hear the silence on the inside means we no longer get as twisted and turned about by the winds of change, and S P A C E proceeds again for what we love. We hear the silence. We sense the rhythms. We know when one way ends and another begins. We grieve and we celebrate within the two, and we do it all while saying non mi dispiace (Italian for, I don’t mind).

Off to Big Bear for some (more) peace and quiet- and laughter. I will report again next week.

Namaste,

The Soul Reporter

An Ode (auhhh, maybe not an ode, but I like the title) to the Sigh

My children say I sigh. Usually when I am in the kitchen. They make fun of me. Sigh behind my back and giggle.

What are you giggling about? Auhhh…..they say.

Do I sigh? Really? Do I?

Yes, mom. You sigh.

The kitchen at one time pleased me. This time has passed. Now I sigh (so I am told) as I wash the counter. Marinate a chicken breast. Clean a greasy pan. Make breakfast….again.

The sigh, the sound of the martyr. Auhhh. The sound of poor, distressed me. Universal, I suppose amongst many women. The sigh says, Save me from this. Take me away….I am a victim. And I certainly don’t want to be that person, right……?

Well, so what if you are that person in a moment (or several). So what if you are acting as The Sighing Martyr in your one-act play. Hating her moment. Resisting her work. Despising her routine. Bored and frustrated by her life. So what. I never wanted to be The Sighing Martyr. I hate people like that, right? Well I did. But of course me hating that part of them is also me hating that part of me- and hating something doesn’t clear the way. Loving might not either (if you force it), but laughing at it might.

I hear myself sighing now- and before my sigh’s hhh’s hit the air, I laugh. I think of my girls making fun of me, Auhhh-ing around the house (thinking, yeah- you just wait). I think of my inner martyr and how tortured she thinks she is, and how she wants to make everything a dramatic event. It’s funny. And it eases her.

What are you doing right now…………………………..? (Duh, your are reading this…Okay, before this….?)

Before I wrote this most inspired sentence, I was procrastinating. Trying to find a way out of my writing. Help me. Save me. (The martyr is quite adaptable. She can put on an apron and pick up a pen- in this case throw the pen) I watched me act her out, as together we have procrastinated many times. I usually judge myself/her/we for this. This time I didn’t. I loved myself/her/we for it (and I didn’t force it).

I love you for all that you do (and don’t do)– can you say this to yourself? If not, can you at least laugh at yourself?

When we can laugh and love, we take the u out of auhhh and it becomes ahhhh. The u is what gets offended. The u is who carries a story of what you u think u are. What u think u should do. Of what u hate and hope u are not. You are more than what u think/fear/believe.

Ahhhhhhhh…………………..

Namaste,

The Soul Reporter

The Guru Teaches Arrogance- A Tough Lesson

Today’s Soul Report:

For awhile something was gnawing at me. Something big, but not big enough for me to see. A shadow, where every time I tried to turn around and see it, it would be behind me again. It wasn’t until I decided to get real honest with my journal and get real drill sergeant like and demand I see, declaring my readiness to see it- that I did. But first, I had to invite an experience into my life so I could see what it was that had been eluding me.

Arrogance runs deep

The culprit- arrogance. Arrogance runs deep, and comes out in many subtle ways, often barely noticeable, but since working with my own, I see it more clearly and see how subtle and deep this trait goes. It is destructive in its ability to separate and leave the other or others isolated, and it is sly, like a fox. It keeps weaving in and out so we don’t see it operating in its myriad ways.

Here are examples of some of those ways:

The experience I invited into my life was a conversation I never quite felt got finished with Marianne Williamson. I wrote a blog, and in this blog, I was sharing my experience with my inner perfectionist- how she talked to me, what she demanded of me- and I addressed her as Sergeant Williamson, seeing her as a combination of a spiritual teacher (I picked Marianne Williamson) and a drill sergeant. No harm done, at least not in my mind. I picked MW because she is a woman. I almost picked Wayne Dyer, but he’s a man and I wanted to make it relatable for me so I could work with this part of me that was making my life confused, miserable and inauthentic.

Ms. Williamson was adamant I was being catty. That I was harsh, and somehow she must have offended me or I would not speak so badly of her. Well, in my arrogance, perhaps a bit of courage, and the desire to take full advantage of an interesting opportunity to stretch, I tried to make spiritual teacher extraordinaire understand I was NOT talking about her. I wanted to have an effect on her evolution, and also really wanted her to let go of this story because it was not true, at least as I wrote it, so to move this further, I stood face to face with her after one of her Monday night lectures, something I would not have thought about if it had not been for one of her adoring fans telling me I must. I must talk to her. “It would be fun. We can go together,” she said. So I went, and the adoring fan never texted me back. The face-to-face exchange with Marianne was just as it was through Twitter, which is where she first contacted me and email, where she contacted me again.

There was no getting through to Marianne. She just would not get that I was not talking about her, and looked at me quizzically when I told her my process (naming it) of outing one of my parts that creates dysfunction in my life. I guess I was naive. I guess I thought I could have a conversation with someone who talks about God, love and forgiveness with some openess. Well after this meeting, I felt pretty good. Empowered. I stood my ground because I can’t nod my head with something I know isnt’ true. And I thought that opportunity had run its course.

Until…

A few days ago. My husband is a fan of her page and made a comment. Being curious I went to her page to see what he said. I don’t even know what he said, but I ran across a comment from her- “People can translate for themselves, and I appreciate those who don’t project all kinds of stuff onto my words that I didn’t say:)” I couldn’t help myself- and I told her “I know how you feel.” She responded, and said she would try and remember that, and also wondered why she (meaning me) is so intent on attacking her all of the time.

From here, a two day conversation began. Not with Marianne. We never heard from her again, but with some of her most loyal fans. In this exchange I saw many different and subtle aspects of arrogance, so much so it brought out my own- mostly in the form of the rebel who is going to call your shit out as I saw it. What I saw are some of the signposts I view as arrogant:

Subtly number one: People telling us their title, and we didn’t ask. Example, I am a psychologist. A doctor. A filmmaker. From said psychologist, I was told that I wasn’t in a very creative and intuitive place when I picked out the name Sergeant Williamson and if I were I would have not picked out Marianne’s name or Wayne’s. Which, brings me to…

Subtly number two: Giving advice when we didn’t ask. The ancients taught, do not teach unless asked. I didn’t ask for this woman’s advice about my writing (or Marianne’s when she told me she had been doing what she does for 20+ years and should really watch what I write). She was not at my writing desk as I wrote that post, and actually, the moment MW and the drill sergeant merged was one of brilliance that only happens when in the creative space.

Subtly number three: When people say “Been there. Done that.” I tend to be honest about how I feel and what I think and where I am in my evolutionary process. This said, I leave myself open for people to give me a lot of, “been there, done thats,” (and that advice I didn’t ask for) Oh, I used to compare myself to others; (which was said and assumed by a loyal follower from this exchange). Oh, I used to care what people thought of me; Oh, I used to be afraid but now I am not- “Been there. Done that.” Great. Super. Is that helpful though? Or does it increase their superiority and cause further isolation? Why say it, other than to prove you no longer struggle, to let us all know what step you aren’t on in your evolution. And if you are so over your stuff, can I now ask you for your advice because I want to be over mine too?

Subtly Number Four: It’s my way or the dumb-way. This exchange had me pretty much hating new agey, spiritual mumbo jumbo, and I used to be kind of into it, but I think I may have been into it because it was the only thing I thought was there that sort of got me. But, most of it isn’t deep enough. It’s too much about the end result- where we are all singing Kumbaya, and not enough about what it takes to get there or gives space for those who aren’t. For me if I am not authentically feeling it, I am not going to preach about it. And for me the only way I can authentically feel it, means I have to dig within myself and find all the obsrtuctions to my authentic joy. Have I had those moments? Yes. I think so. But I’m not done. I can’t speak on the eternal, authentic anything because my focus is to know thyself, or as Volatire says, to culitivate our own garden and this is ongoing, a process. But see, I’ve been arrogant about all of this. My way is the way, preaching my anthem of- please don’t waste your time preaching and pretending all this love and joy when you have so much darkness inside, that is being projected all over the place, that you aren’t owning. As much as I would like it to be everyone’s anthem and deal with stuff, I can only own it for myself. It is what works for me. If others want what I have in my garden, I will share, but the last few years, I’ve been lost in my own arrogance; my attachment to other’s evolution and feeling the pressure to help it along as if this is my duty, my “calling,” more than tending what I used to tend best- my own garden. And yet, I wasn’t out there enough pushing that either, to get people to go my way or the dumb way, which brings me to this lesson:

The fear of arrogance also runs deep.

My husband said recently, if I want to get my teachings, words, writing- basically myself “out there,” I am going to have to find my swag. Be a little cocky even. Oh, God no- how I could I? I resist being arrogant like that. There has to be another way….I would imagine most who are out there, had some swag/arrogance- or perhps a whole lot. Even Gandhi had swag in his own way. He put himself out there and was devoted to what he believed in. So, probably not too much wrong with some swag. But I was afraid of using it and how it might make me look. The fear of being arrogant was a bigger culprit, it would seem, and it wasn’t helping me not be arrogant. It was making me blind to it. We often become what we fear, and our not looking at what we fear doesn’t make it less dangerous or real.

Conclusion:

I invited Marianne, along with some of her loyal fans, into my life to be mirrors of my own arrogance, and my fear of it. To bring out what was gnawing at me, so I could see it and name it, which is only the tip of the arrogance ice berg, and..

Therefore…

The lesson in arrogance will continue…

Today’s Soul Tip:

Seeing and naming what is deep within is only the beginning. This battle/learning opportunity is not over. It is on-going until I get all the way through it. What I have learned though so far is it is important for me to call out the arrogance. To understand it is a fierce opponent. The fear of it, worse. I don’t have to fear my arrogance, therefore I may begin exposing it, playing with it, at the risk of looking more arrogant than ever before. But I am not ready to own my pure humility, and my rebel certainly isn’t going to fake it.

There is more to the story- and if my focus is to cultivate my own garden, and everything in it, then the story will continue to unfold, and I believe it might have something to do with courage. I hope you will stay tuned…

Namaste,

The Soul Reporter


>Letter to a Young Girl

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My Graduation Day

Recently, I was asked to write a letter to a young girl. I don’t know who she is, but from her story she resembles a young girl I used to know, who still resides in me, and I trust resides in us all.  Here is my letter to the young girl:

Dear YOU,

We do not know each other, but we all know pain and struggle and we all are or have been teenagers, and YOU are not alone.
In your eyes and smile we can see what a beautiful, sweet and alive soul YOU are. There is hope, love, strength, forgiveness and innocence present inside of YOU.  YOU will need to access this part of YOU because life will sometimes feel disappointing and discouraging.

As YOU travel, here is…

My advice to YOU:

~Pay attention.  Every experience, relationship, thought, feeling- everything is a lesson to be learned and understood. It may sound overwhelming, especially when there are so many other things to pay attention to and be distracted by, but if YOU pay attention YOU will come to….
…~Know yourself.  YOU are important, interesting, unique, gifted. YOU also feel sad and alone and maybe think YOU are not good enough.  With all of this inside of YOU, take time for just YOU, listening and comforting yourself through the sadness, and celebrating and laughing with your goodness.
If YOU don’t have one already, get yourself a pretty JOURNAL and make it your best friend. Tell it everything, and as YOU write, YOU will….
…~Come to know the ‘Voice Inside.’  In one of my father’s letters to me, his advice was: ‘Let the higher voice be your guide.’  It is unfortunate many of us are not raised with this truth.  This Voice is what makes us special, and no matter what YOU discover about yourself, I will tell YOU what the ‘Voice Inside’ told me…
~There is nothing inside of YOU to be afraid of.  The thing we are most afraid of is ourselves. Maybe because others told us we weren’t okay, but everything inside of YOU is good- everything. And inside of YOU is something only YOU can do, and if YOU LISTEN, the ‘Voice Inside’ will help YOU…
~Find what YOU love. What makes your heart sing?  What are YOU good at? What are your interests? What do others notice about YOU?  Allow this ‘love’ to  be your primary focus and believe in yourself and what only YOU can offer to yourself and the world, and while YOU are doing what YOU love and everything in between…
~Love yourself– My mom always told me to look in the mirror, and say, “I love YOU.” I would roll my eyes, but YOU know what- Loving yourself is the most important thing YOU can do.  In this love, softness returns in places where YOU were once hardened and protected.  In this soft place, YOU are free and alive and YOU find JOY, a JOY YOU can bring to your life, yourself and others.

When I was younger, in another letter from my father he wrote,  ‘As your life moves on and some suffering comes your way, remember YOU are loved.’ May this advice to YOU always serve as a reminder of just how much YOU are loved, just for being YOU.

Blessings, Love & Truth to YOU, Dear YOU,

Nikki

>My Love Letter to Love

>

Last January, I began the year breaking up with fear by writing it a letter,  My Break Up Letter with Fear.  This January, I am beginning the year reuniting with love in My Love Letter to Love.  But, before I compose my letter to Love, I will give you some background.

I began writing this post a couple of weeks ago, and I began it with this question:  Is the world ending?  It was intended as a joke, but since the events of dead birds falling from the sky and dead fish and crabs washing up on shore, I wonder, maybe it is.  If so, I am glad I am finding the love deeply and patiently stored within my heart.

However, there was a time I would not be glad of such a thing, which is why I began the post with asking that question. When I felt love in my heart, I thought not that the world was ending, but that mine was.  I believed I would die if I expressed my love to those I love.  Sound silly, right?  Seriously. It’s true.

The thinking was this:  I feel love, but if I express it then it means I am dying.  Okay, so this is good because if I do die I will have at least expressed my love, but this isn’t how my mind worked. It worked in the opposite.  If I am dying, which was a thought that frightened me like no other, that fear kept the love away, so instead the love I was feeling was repressed and not given.  This meant if I didn’t express it, I was safe, and I wasn’t dying.  Control issues, wouldn’t you say?

But I can’t run from love anymore- or let me say, I can run, but I don’t want to.  Funny thing is, I didn’t think I was running from love.  I didn’t even know love was moving toward me, but recently it is absorbing itself into my existence.  I’m beginning to see my entire journey is about a continual heart-opening meditation on love, one breath at a time.  I’m beginning to see this poem from Rumi I meditate on is happening inside of me:

Oh, Love. Oh, pure, deep Love.  Be here. Be now. Be all.
Worlds dissolve into your stainless, endless radiance.
Make me your servant. Your breath. Your core. 


I’m thinking Love loves this, and in order to declare Love further, here goes my letter:

Dear Love,


I love you.  This should be all I need to say, right?  I know you don’t need anymore than this. In fact you don’t even need this. You sit there and smile proudly at me no matter if I love you or not.  But I need this.  I need to tell you some things.  

My Husband

I’ve been running from you instead of running toward you.  At times I have run so far I believe the voices in my head that say I don’t care and even hate.  When my family gets too close, and I feel you in my heart I think of a funny joke or some sarcastic thing to say.  When you urge me to reach for my husband’s hand, instead I think of all the reasons he doesn’t deserve my hand.  Did he shower today?  Remember when I thought he was cheating on me?  And my kids.  You nudge me to touch their hair like my aunt does with her daughters, but no one did this to me so I feel stupid, and instead I keep my hands to myself and push you away.

My Alyssa

My Lilli

Strangers.  You whisper to me we are the same.  But they only look different and some speak in foreign languages and that irritates me.  Some dress in frumpy clothes and I judge them.  Just as well.  Don’t need them anyway.  


Oh Love, how I’ve resisted you. Feared and abhorred you. Denied and cheated you. Yet, always curious of you. Is it really all about you, Love?  Come on, you are weak and sad, a frail, little creature, you never defend yourself or get mad.  You are kind of a chump- so just sit back and relax. I will take over from here, and I usually do, pulling sarcasm out of my cap.  Oh, but it does not matter…


Oh my, Love. You are always there, aren’t you? Nudging, whispering, suggesting, offering.  You want me to be close and I continue to be far, far away from you.  But I can’t seem to help it even though I say that prayer: Oh, Love. Oh, pure, deep love- make me your servant.  Your breath. Your core.  Yes, Love make me your everything please. I beg you. I cannot take the separation any more. I need you.  But then, people appear- and I go away again.  Away from you. Away from them. Away from me. I’m scared.


When will I learn to be in your embrace?  When will I learn?  Sometimes I feel I force you into me as if you are waiting somewhere outside of me. And then when I know you are inside, I throw you away, as if I could.  Oh, Love how complex we are.  Oh, Love how pure and simple you are.  When will we learn
When will we learn?


I want to say something more profound to you.  Something to make you love me.  Oh, I get it- this is what I do with other people.  Love me. Love me. Love me.  The entire world screams love me. It is our most silent prayer, and heard everywhere.  You are truly all we want.  And you are everywhere.  Sometimes I feel you. Can I be you? Would you care?  

My Father

I do feel you more.  My small family seems to know you like never before.  My father- every time we hang up the phone: ‘I love you,’ he says, ‘just in case.’  These three words, for a long time, were not spoken. My dad, he’s a kind man.  But we’ve been awkward around you. What do we do? What do we say? We feel you between us, but I think we’ve been scared. 

My Mother

My mom. Once so feisty. Now so frail.  I protect myself from her. I really struggle to release you to her, but I must. Everyone deserves you no matter what they have done, or continue to do.  Dammit, Love I just want to love. Why is it so hard?  I know everything would be so much better if I just completely opened up to you.  What would I lose?  What can I keep? What if I die?  Love through it all, you say. Love through it all.  I’ll try.  I’ll try.  


And here is my final salute to you~



Love- ready or not. Take me over. I’m yours. I can no longer be 

separate. You are what I fight for. What I hold out for, and when you are here, you feel so damn good.  I may not let 

you arrive to me fully- today, tomorrow or on the next return but this 

is my prayer until this time arrives. Love- ready or not. Take me 

over. I’m yours.     


At least now, I know what I’m after.


Today’s Soul Tip:

Stephen Hawking told his children, ‘if you find love in life, consider it the greatest gift.’  Love is everywhere. It’s in you. Find it and give it. It’s all we must do.  










>Independence Day

>
I took one of those silly Facebook quizzes. It asked me what’s important to me- or something like that. One of the choices was individuality. I didn’t want to choose it. I wanted to choose compassion, but individuality glared at me- imploring me to be honest.

This got me investigating individuality….

I guess I notice my individuality most in my relationship. I began it as a “co-dependent.” To claim my independence from my dependence, I forced myself out of the relationship for about 4 years. In this 4 years, I learned how to love, nurture and take care of myself. But I got lonely, and I desired marriage. Ironically, the man I was the most co-dependent with is the one I married.
This tie, shifted me back into my co-dependence, but instead of being all needy, I wanted to show him I didn’t need him. And then I would shift, and be needy.
This was the dance: I don’t need you. I need you. I don’t need you. I need you.
So as I sit here and ponder on this Independence Day what maintaining my individuality and independence will cost me. I realize- nothing- yet (because I had to learn). But I must begin to surrender it now.
There was a time claiming my independence was important but how important is it to me now? If I continue to hang on to my individuality, what am I missing out on? Well, I can see from my Facebook quiz, one of those things is compassion. As it stood next to claiming my individuality, compassion appeared weak and uninteresting. That can’t be a good for moving forward.
I suppose claiming my individuality has now become a mechanism of the ego- to keep me separate and out of touch with something larger and more real, something which could sustain me much longer. Perhaps this thing in which I speak is love.
Love is a power to unleash the compassion which will put a halt to the I don’t need him, I need him dance, and the I don’t need people, I need people dance. Which makes an interesting irony; as I surrender my independence I maintain my individuality, but I no longer have to claim it. I can share it, and revel in it and join in union with others.
On this Independence Day I am outing the glare of my ego, and freeing my need to stake my claim, and choose instead to release the love. I am sure, as with all transformations, what I release, in this case love, will begin as a small trickle. But with patience, faith and conscious choice, this trickle will soon ooze and perhaps, even gush when I least expect it.
This Independence Day claim your independence from whatever it is you are dependent on, and Gush!
Namaste,
The Soul Reporter