Saturday, November 26, 2011

What Is A Safe Haven?

Whether or not your fully committed to the life you're living, you're living it. 

Whether or not you are consciously thinking thoughts, thoughts are being thought of and waves of energy are cascading out into the infinite universe returning to you the spoils of their intention.

Our dreams have a way of confirming this.  As last night's dream did so vividly.

My dreams have always been an extension of my waking thoughts.  Sometimes, they're quite prophetic about the future and sometimes they are grounded in the here and now, as last night's dream was.

The content of the dream is not so important as the thoughts that I've been grinding out of mind on a constant basis.  I'm very well aware of my thoughts and their inconsistencies.  I am also aware of the repetitiveness.  The ones that repeat are the ones I struggle with the most.  The repetitive nature of these specific thoughts are the ones I have to war the hardest against.  They seem to be the ones with the most hold on the magnetic tape in my mind.  They've carved a groove out for themselves and are quite content to play, repeat, play, repeat, if for no other reason than to exist, or is there a more sinister reason for their existence.

I often wonder where rogue thoughts come from.

I know the bible talks about the 'enemy shooting arrows' ---->

Here's the beginning of this Chapter... Ephesians 6

 1Children, obey your parents as the Lord wants you to. This is the right thing to do.
 2`Respect your father and mother.' This is the first law of God with a promise: `So that all will be well with you, and that you may live long on earth.'
 3Fathers, do not make your children angry. But teach them the things children need to know, and tell them what they must not do. Teach them what Christ would teach them.
 4Servants, obey your boss. Respect him with all your heart and try to please him as you would Christ.
 5Obey not only when he is looking at you, as if you were pleasing a man. But obey as the servants of Christ, and do with all your heart what God wants you to do.
 6Work gladly as if you were working for the Lord and not for men.
 7You know that the Lord will pay every man for the good things he does. It does not matter if he is a servant or a free man.
 8And you who are bosses, be good to your servants also. Do not talk loud, hard words to them. Remember that both their Lord and yours is in heaven. He does not love one person more than another.
 9Last of all, I say this. Be strong in the Lord and use the strength he gives.
 10Use everything that God has given you so that you can fight against the tricks of the devil.
 11We are not fighting against people of flesh and blood. But we are fighting against rulers and powers whom we cannot see. We are fighting against those who control the darkness of this world, and against bad spirits who have power in the air.
 12So use everything that God has given you, that you can fight when the bad time comes. You will need to do everything you can do to stand!
 13So then, stand and hold on tight to the truth like you put on a belt. Do what is right. Wear it as a cover for your body.
 14You have the good news of peace. Wear that like shoes on your feet.
 15You believe in God. Take that and cover all of yourself with it. With that you can stop all the poison arrows of the devil.
 16You have been saved. Wear your salvation like you wear something on your head to protect yourself. And take with you the big knife or sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
 17Always talk to God in the Spirit. Talk to him about everything and ask him for what you need. Put your mind on what you are saying, asking God to help all his people.
 18And also, ask God to help me to talk without fear and tell people God's plan about the good news.

Thinking thoughts are not just random, as it may seem.  They are a powerful tool against the snares of the enemy and against free radicals in our own bodies.

The truth is a cover for our bodies, a layer of protection, a grounding or a foundation which you build your life upon. 

A cover or protection against what you ask? 

Perhaps lies from others, perhaps lies from ourselves. 

If we're not honest about situations in our lives, our own thoughts can act as a poison against our own bodies.  If we're repeating negative thoughts about our bodies, or our abilities, it will have a negative effect perhaps in the form of headaches, anxiety attacks, sleeplessness, irritability, etc. A repetitive, negative thought is just like a continuous dose of poison.  You don't even realize your consuming it, until your body needs it to exist and it demands the sickly thoughts just to cope.  The drugs your thoughts produce in your brain:  dopamine, cortisol, and beta-endorphins.

All of this just from not thinking consciously?  Absolutely.

Read what Dr. Ali Binazir states in a recent article I found on HuffPost:

"Here's a rubric I made for making sense of seemingly bizarre human behavior.  If I saw it pop up over and over again -- say, millions of people doing it over the course of decades and centuries -- chances are that those people weren't totally nuts or stupid. There must be some deep biological phenomenon at work here.

You probably know folks who are stuck in terrible relationships, or who keep on having the same bad relationship with differently-named people. Heck, you may even be that person who engages in the serial self-flagellation. You also know people who systematically sabotage their own happiness: by being habitually late; by engaging in self-pity; by putting themselves down.

Turns out there's a dark reason to all of this. Many people unconsciously want to be treated poorly, taken advantage of, or even outright abused. They are seeking to experience self-pity, pain and denigration.

In this case, the biological phenomenon is simple: pain and negative emotions activate the reward centers of the brain, causing unconscious addiction to those negative emotions.

Let me say that again, because it was really, really important:

Pain and negative emotions activate the reward centers of the brain, causing unconscious addiction to those negative emotions.

Ladies and gentlemen -- this is a whopper. People think of the reward centers of the brain as the "pleasure centers," so it makes sense to them when someone gets addicted to cocaine, or crack, or sex. Because cocaine makes your brain light up, makes you high, and then you want more. Duh.

That's the addiction that people know. But you don't need cocaine or meth or crack to create a self-reinforcing addictive circuit in the brain. Anything that activates the beta-endorphin or dopamine pathways will do.

It turns out that pain and negative emotions (e.g. self-pity, anger, guilt) also activate the beta-endorphin and dopamine pathways. Chronic jaw pain or painful thoughts light up those pathways just like the infamous addictive drugs do.

As a result, we can get addicted to those emotions. Now there aren't any thuggish-looking dealers, pieces of foil covered in white dust, or telltale tracks on the arm, so people can say, "Look, I'm okay! Really!"
My friends, the deadliest drug pusher of them all is the one that lives inside your head that no one can see, not even yourself.

The dopamine pathway activates in drive states. Drive states are necessary for survival: getting away from a threat, moving towards food, mating. Cortisol, the chief stress hormone, also mediates dopamine release.

So it makes sense that when you're stressed or in a flight-or-fight situation, your brain releases dopamine.

But why would it release beta-endorphins? Aren't those the feelgood chemicals you get when, say, you have a runner's high?

Turns out that beta-endorphins are also powerful analgesics. If you've ever had that runner's high, kept running for another five miles and came back home sore as hell, you know what I'm talking about.
So let's say you're in a flight-or-fight situation on the Savannah, oh, a million years ago, and you get injured. Then there is real survival value to postpone the distraction from the pain of the injury so you can win the fight or flee to safety. Now it makes a lot of sense that an analgesic would be released during a flight-or-fight stress response.

What's happening with negative emotions is that they tap into these same ancient survival circuits to get us a little bit of that reward drug. Make sense?

This is why the battered wife goes back to the abusive husband. This is why you pick the same abusive girlfriend over and over again. This is why cutters cut themselves.  This is why people pay to go to BDSM dungeons. In sum:

People engage in physically or emotionally self-destructive behaviors to get an unconscious drug payoff.

So that's part of how we are complicit in our own suffering. We're actually engineering it.
To snap out of it, here's the three-step protocol I've proposed before. It's not easy, but it is simple:

1.  Get help. You can't do it alone -- lord knows you've tried. That's why the 12-step programs say you need to appeal to a higher power. As the Course in Miracles says, "Your best thinking got you here." So get help -- friends, family, professionals. Reach out -- physically, literally. Say, "I need help. Will you please help me?" Sure, it's humbling. But would you rather be dead? Because your addiction can and will kill you.

2.  Get away. You need a detox period for your neurology to return to normal. There are receptors, neurotransmitters, vesicles, and reuptake mechanisms involved -- actual physical things that need to be rearranged in your brain. This rearrangement takes 7-21 days. In the meantime, you must get yourself away completely from the noxious behavior and its triggers. Two weeks of detox is a good rule of thumb.

3.  Continue healing. The goal of this exercise is to get your mind back to a homeostatic state. Meditation and yoga are good for this. So is associating with friends who bring out and celebrate the best in you. So is hypnosis that unravels some of the self-destructive circuitry. So is hanging out with a partner who values and nurtures you.

Now, back to my dream.  I dreamt that I was standing along side of my house.  The foundation of the house was massive.  It was marble in my dream or a seemingly impenetrable stone.  It was very much unlike the house I am living in.  In any event, I was leaning on the foundation of the house in a way that was unhealthy.  I was clinging to the foundation.  I was clinging to my home.

In my waking life, this is very much an area of concern for me.  Since my husband and I have decided to separate, where I ultimately live is kind of up in the air.  I'm not sure if we'll sell the house or not.  I'm not sure where I will wind up.  It's an unknown for me. 

This is the first and only house I've ever 'owned'.  I am not very interested in letting it go and embracing the unknown.  I am very content to stay in this home, even if my family isn't in it anymore.  At least I have a place to call my own.

And then the reality of those thoughts comes flooding in, as my dream would make me ponder.  Even while I was dreaming, I was thinking of Luke 21:6.  It was as if Spirit was correcting my 'stinking thinking' about the where's and how's of my life:

“As for what you see here, the time will come when not one stone will be left on another; every one of them will be thrown down.”

We build up these 'states of mind'.  We create these blankets of security in our thoughts.  If only I had this or that, then!!! oh only then will things be okay.  Silly humans, things are okay all the time.

Perception is everything.

Create a safe haven in your mind and your doomed.

Allow your mind to challenge every concept!  Allow your mind to challenge every secure notion.  Take your senses out of the equation, is it still safe?  Can you even feel your way through your existence?

You know, the things we take for granted are the very things that we use to navigate through this realm of existence.

Your mind, your body, your soul, your spirit...these are the only tools you have to navigate and they are all conflicting as it pertains to messages received.  Your body tells you one thing, your spirit another and your mind, yet another.

Which one do you rely on emphatically?

For me, and my house, I live by the Spirit.  The one that loves, guides, corrects, protects, enriches, and blesses, inspires, comforts, loves, gives, heals, teaches, despite what is seen, or unseen.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Funny Thing Evolution - It Really Changes You

While the person typing these words now, is the same as the person who typed the words that began this blog, oh so long ago, the person, me, I am in no way the same. 

Funny thing, evolution.  It really changes you :) hopefully, and consistently, for the better.

I really am a work -  in progress.

My soon to be ex-husband (there, I've said it), gave me a compliment recently with regard to my being able to change for the better, consistently.  I really appreciated that compliment.  It's one of my better qualities that I have worked hard to cultivate.  I say that in a humble and grateful way, and in no way arrogantly.

I appreciate the fact that many years ago, it was not in my level of consciousness to really modify my behavior, unless it suited 'me'.  Of course, once you embrace the divine and you allow Spirit to manifest in your life, that changes everything, and of course, this has been the course of my life.

I started out on a really rocky road, and perhaps the road is not pebble free at this point either, and narrow as it may be, it suits me.

I am contemplating my next tandem skydiving adventure.  I love the adrenaline rush.  Adrenaline is a friend of mine, if it's not too late in the day.  It works very much like caffeine in my body - it lasts, and last, and lasts.  I have a lot of respect for caffeine, adrenalin, and gravity, make no mistake, but I am looking for some radical experiences in this lifetime.  I am not passive in that way.  At least not anymore. 

Life, my beloved, is too short.

I've been, in the last year and a half through what feels like a death in my soul and I am only now emerging.  I was silent because my heart had no words.  I recoiled into myself, metamorphosis in the mind of the soul, to heal and process and become what I am to be.

More than likely a mystic, a shaman.  Karl Rahner was quoted as saying "The Christian of the future will be a mystic or he will not exist at all".  I can totally relate to that.

God has used my mistakes to soften my soul and widen my minds' eye in ways that even I probably cannot comprehend.  I am not the same.

Geez, my forties have been amazing.  Hard and soft.  Bitter and sweet.  Kinda like my thirties, my twenties, and my teens.  I really am smiling and laughing as I type these words because, what are my fifties going to be like?

Well, this much I've learned.

My fifties, which are not going to be around for a while ... I might add, are going to be exactly what I desire them to be.  I am called to pray, ask, believe.

I pray to God Almighty, creator of Heaven and Earth, of all that is seen and unseen.  God loves me with a jealous love.  He abides in me.


and you

if you are receptive

I am receptive to the love and presence of God.  I have a consistent desire to be filled to overflowing with the energy that is of God, which in my soul I know be love from a force of fierce protection, guidance and wisdom. 

He truly gives us the desires of our hearts. 

It's only a question of what we want, and if we can handle what we get as a result of our asking, believing and receiving.

I sit on the front end of a marriage that I would've died for, but couldn't save, as hard as I tried.  A marriage I vowed to honor, in the sight of God and friends and witnesses.  I asked God for this marriage, I prayed for it and it came, God gave our marriage to us.  We were together for fifteen years, married ten.  Would I consider it a failed marriage?  Perhaps, perhaps not.

Failed marriage is a tough pill to swallow.  It wasn't a complete failure.  Nothing is.  We are better people because of it.  Maybe we'll even be better friends.

Jimmy and I will always be deeply connected.  I love him and consider him to be part of my family in life.  Forever, husband or no husband.  It's all good.  My God works all things . . .

By the way, just to honor the Most High God, here are a few basic “God terms” that are commonly used within Hinduism:

Om–God as Divine Sound
Bhagavan–God as Supreme Personality,
Isha–God as Supreme Lord
Purusha–God as Supreme Man
Brahman–God as impersonal force or energy
Sat–Supreme Permanence
Cit–Supreme Consciousness
Ananda–Supreme Bliss
Satya–Supreme Truth
Mahesha–the Great Lord
Tattva–Absolute Truth
Eka–the One

Ahhhh there is power from On High people - can you hear me?

So, I pray for myself, as well as everyone else that unspeakable joy and love, peace, guidance and protection, good health, great relationships, abundance, friends and companions, family, freedom - all the things we basically have now, but even more, would be ours all the days of our lives.

and God, when, in your Grace you bestow upon us even more, help us to hold these gifts with tender care and help us to use them to return to you the great success that you have ordained.

I'm praying bigger this time.

I'd rather risk it all, then play it safe, especially if God is on my side.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

My Life Has Meaning

It looks as if I'm becoming a seasonal blogger and that's not too cool.  I really want to spend more time here exploring and documenting the turns and twists in my life, but life gets busy right?  Season after emotional season.  Even though, not writing since February?  That's just not, I'll try to write more, okay?

Happy Spring!  It's just starting to look a little like Spring around Northern New Jersey.  While the rest of the country is experiencing the most tumultuous weather patterns, we're just recovering from some of the worst flooding this Garden State has ever seen.  Ask any old timer though, this is not new.  Weather has been doing this kind of damage and destruction since the beginning of time.  Still, with the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, the earthquakes in Haiti, Christ Church, New Zealand, and the tornadoes in the mid-west of the U.S. - it's a bit much.  What can you make of it?

But enough about the weather.  I'm just starting to feel like myself again.  I've been going through so many changes these past twelve or so months.  I think God is carving out a special place in my heart for only Spirit to inhabit.  There are so many emotions, thoughts, preconceived notions, and just plain things I thought I knew that frankly, I'm beginning to see, no one can ever know.  Life is mysterious.  Love is even more so it seems.

I'm beginning to think that my heart is called to love on a much bigger level than on a case by case basis.  Sure it's fine to be in relationships and have feelings for one another on a small, intimate scale.  Sometimes, life's most precious challenges are found therein, but I think my Spirit is driven toward the world at large.  I find myself thinking about all of the inhabitants on earth - all my brothers and sisters, and what they're facing, how they're coping, how they're living, and I'm compelled to pray for them, for us.  I'm compelled to hold humanity in prayer and light and send love and healing to them by virtue of intention, and Reiki, through prayer and meditation.  The more I do it, the more I'm driven to do it and it's a constant thought in my head and feeling in my heart.  I'm not sure if I'm putting it there or not.  It's always been there since as long as I can remember.

God definitely is calling me out of the more traditional relationships - or maybe I've just been too hurt by them to spend my energy on something that never comes back to me for the long haul.  I really want to be a part of something that produces fruit.  I want to produce fruit for God's Glory, you know?  I've tried to produce it for my own and it didn't work.  I'm pretty much done with that, at least for now.

Two nights ago, I gave a Reiki lecture at MSU that was really rewarding.  I was afforded the opportunity to speak to young, college minds studying world religion and hopefully some seeds were planted that God will water.  That being said, I just wish one of those students smiled at me while I walked the campus.  I was consciously walking through, on my way to University Hall to speak and while walking, passed many students who just seemed weighed down and disconnected.  This compels me, even more, to speak words of hope into their ears and maybe even their souls, so that they may 'live and prosper', for real.

I did tell them that too.  I told them that I wished just one of them smiled at me.  Turns out, many of them stayed behind after the lecture just to hug me.  They went far beyond what I had hoped was in their hearts.  

I'm so looking forward to the next phase in my life and I seem to find myself saying that a lot, but it's the truth.  For me, life is a world of learning experiences that lead you from one level or plateau, to another.  It's an upward, at times struggling climb that one takes on for the soul purpose of leading a well lived life.  Learning from experiences and becoming a better person, serving the world and community at large seems to be for me, the point of existence.  Helping.  Healing.  Loving.  Serving.  Supporting.  SHARING.  And the list goes on.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Who Am I?

It's been a bitter, cold and snowy event here in Northern New Jersey lately and now, February has rolled up on us. 

February, the warm and fuzzy month, set aside to celebrate the passion and joy of  L.O.V.E. 

I happen to celebrate love every minute of every day, but that's just me. 

For the rest of the world February gets people closer and fired up.  They're taking advantage and using the occasion to make more love, talk more about love, buying heart-shaped, chocolate-filled, champagne-fluted celebrations of love from the local confectioners and jewelers.

But what about you?  Who and what do you love? 

Love isn't necessarily easy to come by these days, and true love seems even more elusive.

"True love" whatever that means.

Personally speaking though, love to me is so many wonderful things, it's probably pretty much impossible to completely describe, but....

I think love is smiling at the woman in front of you with the crying baby who has just about had enough as she realizes she's forgotten the diapers.

I think love is sharing what you have with someone who has less.

I think love is giving of yourself in ways that are out of your comfort zone.

I think love is about patience and compassion.

Those seem obvious.

I think love is the God given ability to see the shimmer of light inside the ice crystals that formed on the snow this Winter in the yard and inside the icicles that hang on the rafters on the side of the house.

That's pretty much the same as the love I see in the twinkling of the stars, especially shooting stars, and the moon and the sun and clouds in the sky.

I think love is the morning sun, accompanied by chirping birds, that beam into my room and wake me up almost everyday and promise me I am not alone - never alone.

And, I think love is the warmth of Mohito's belly when she comes to snuggle with me---ME!!  She chooses to come and snuggle with me.  That's some sweet love.

For me, love lives in my memories, my past experiences with family and friends, moments of good will, charity, peace and tenderness, celebrations and times of struggle.

I love the fact that as a family, ours has gotten through many things. "Gotten through" being the operative words.

You've got to get through.

Believe it or not, for me, some love filled experiences are simpler than that.

They're just moments when a breeze would touch my face or the sun would fill my eyes and I would know that I know that I know - that I am His and that He loves me and all of this is an illusion and that time will reveal all the mysteriousness that I know in my soul to be about this life.

Beyond people, love for me lives in every living thing.  Every plant, every animal, every creature alive even the smallest has significance, otherwise why would it be here.  I'm not so quick to squish.  I pretty much capture, bring to a safe place, and release.  That's love!!

Spiritually speaking, love has brought me to my knees in prayer about my family, friends and circumstances.  Love lives in the spirit and the righteousness of prayers.  I believe that God, in His love, has provided healing for our bodies, our minds, our spirits, and our circumstances through love filled prayers -->

Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. 
James 5:16 (KJV)

I believe that Reiki and healing are based in prayer, truth and love.

I believe that love is praying to God for an understanding about forgiveness, forgiving yourself and those that haven't even asked you yet - by the way, they may never ask but you should forgive them anyway. 

Karma is all about giving. 

Love is giving. 

I believe healing lives in for'give'ness.

Pray for healing for strangers, family, friends, yourself...all filled with love.

Love is prayer. 

And, love inspires healing prayers.

I think love is knowing that God has me and you and it, all figured out and our faith alone will dictate our success.

I think I will die trying to please God, because I love God and I love love.  I love peace.  And, I love you.

This is the most important blog to date.  L. O. V. E.

All you need is . . . love.

Happy Valentines Day! 

"Not because of who I am, but because of what you've done.  Not because of what I've done, but because of who you are....I am Yours."

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

You're Beautiful

Happy New Year!!  2011, can you believe it?  I can't.  Seems like yesterday we were gonna 'party like it's 1999' hahhaa!  Where did the time go? 

Sorry I haven't blogged in forever.  I've been going through life's struggles and trials, coming out the other end refined and purified.  I will get into details, but just not yet.  Let's just say that when two become one, and then perhaps they become two again, it is a very painful and awful process...yet beautiful somehow.

I have a lot to say about that, but as I said, today is not that day.  Today I want to lift you up.  I want you to feel the expression of love that I feel when I hear my favorite song at the moment...I just had to share it with you.  I've been going through so much lately and somehow, God always manages to lift my Spirits...I hope it will lift yours.

by Mercy Me

May God richly bless us all this year, in our comings and goings, in our hellos and goodbyes, in our blessings and struggles.  God loves us and wants to inhabit our praise and wants to help us in our daily living.  Lift your eyes unto the Lord, surely this is where your help comes from.  God be praised. 

May all your dreams come true in 2011 and remember, "you're beautiful".

Love & Namaste,