What You Look For – You Tend To See

I believe that we are energy.  I believe energy is our source (which we entitled God and mistakenly believed was outside ourselves.)  I believe We are God.  You are.  I am.  Everybody is.  I believe that you can learn about how our energy works and improve the quality of the lessons we are faced with in life.  Through reading Anodea Judith, I learned that personal growth can come either “top down” or intellectually through a crown chakra that was encouraged to be open during childhood or “bottom up” or through energy or physical methods through a root chakra that is nurtured and encouraged to be open.  The minute I heard about these possibilities, I knew I was a “top down.”  According to Judith’s theory, my root chakra took a hit being born prematurely and living in an incubator before I even met my parents, but my crown chakra, which is about spirituality and religion, was given only one real rule and boundary.

God is love.

My parents belonged to the Christian Science church, but they never attended.  I only attended Sunday School there for one year.  Other than that, my Sunday church was usually spent outside in the sun.  I realized when my mother took to her death bed, my parents really hadn’t done any due diligence on their choice of religion because it seemed they didn’t know very much about it.  My mother had received weekly teachings by mail but routinely failed the Albert Einstein test of being able to explain it to someone else when I would ask anything about it.

In 2008 my mother had a stroke.  Her style of Christian Science didn’t look too much different from denial.  I was out of town when it happened and returned home to that answering machine message.  The one where someone in your family has had something that has forever changed them and you are hearing about it days later.  I had been on vacation in Vegas.  I had a cell phone with me.  My father never called it.  The word “stroke” was cautiously whispered while I was informed the my mother believed she only fell.  She no longer could straighten her left arm fully, but it was only a fall.  My cousin, who lived about 1 block away from my parents, did receive a call and was present when the paramedics arrived.  According to my cousin, my mother said the one thing, whatever that is, that ties a paramedics hands and requires them to leave you, untreated, where they found you.

The first thing I did when I got back from Vegas was buy a new bed for my mother.  Then my father and my significant other/aka fellow I worked with at the time, moved my mother downstairs into my old bedroom.  The only time she left it was two years later when she died.  She never received any treatment other than a Christian Science Practitioner who would come to the house every week or so.  When she was coherent, which seemed a little less than half the time, she would tell the Practitioner how people were telling her she had had a stroke.  Said in tones of course, suggesting that the people telling her she had had a stroke WERE the root of all of her problems.

I grew up familiar with the concept that our reality was not necessarily real even if I wasn’t quite onboard with my mother’s waved hand while she said “None of this is real.  It’s all just an illusion.”  Things felt pretty solid for not being real.  It certainly didn’t feel like we were causing or had ordered up a stroke.  We simply witnessed the outcome and labeled it.

After my mother died, my father studied Christian Science in huge hand and mouthfuls.  He took a class with the practitioner, almost continuing on to become a practitioner.  He filled his iPad with Spinoza and other philosophers I had never heard of before and talked about almost nothing else.  The next thing I knew he had a stroke.

I felt like a sleeper cell who had been called into action.

Most of the things I had been terrified about while picturing that day did not come to fruition.  Unlike my mother, my father didn’t fight the paramedics and I watched him arrive by ambulance to the hospital.  I didn’t have to explain a murder/suicide.  No one asked me “to put them out of their misery” or kill them.  I didn’t have to beg my dad to be treated.  None of those fears happened, while things I hadn’t thought about did.

My father’s body was not frozen from the stroke, but his brain took a hit.  His memory was all over the place and sometimes he couldn’t think of what word he wanted to say.  Sometimes he simply said “Sine-aid” instead.  I’d lived a life where I didn’t feel like I had very many rights on my parents front and now got treated to a lecture from the staff at the Rehab Center he went to about how HE had rights.  That happened because I wanted to meet with them privately to discuss his future.  I wanted to meet privately because I was terrified what he might do or say at that meeting. Instead he was wheeled in, looking almost triumphant and grinning.  I was gutted, but tried to sit calmly and not look like as if life had handed me a turd.

I don’t think the meeting really came out any differently than it would have anyway.

We brought him back home outside of Calistoga where he lived with his yellow lab Archie.  I arranged for caregivers to come in for about four hours every week day.  I tried to visit him every weekend.

Tried.

It wasn’t easy.

I hated being there most of the time.  After he died, I learned the notion that I had been self perpetuating his attitude on my own end.  Or, when someone shows you how bad they can be, you can end up only being able to see them in those terms.  I only realized I had done a bit of that in hindsight, but I also had quite a bit of head wind.

His doctor, as a Christian Scientist he had never had one of those before, diagnosed him as having dementia due to the stroke.  The diagnosis caused an immediate revocation of his driver’s license.  I was glad for the letter informing him that was the case because until I showed him that, I was always the bad guy who wouldn’t let him drive.

HIs memory was so scattered I was afraid he would wake up one morning and drive to his old place of employment, Mare Island, which was a 40 minute drive that had changed significantly since the last time he had driven it more than 20 years prior.  As usual, my fears were unfounded, but at the same time he did drive by himself several times, or so he claimed.  While he was still at the Rehab Center, I had tried to confiscate all of his guns.  (Growing up there was at least one in every room in the house and I was always supposed to assume they were loaded.)  I never could prove whether he drove the car or not, but he shot a heron with a gun he had successfully hidden from me..  He didn’t just claim to shoot the bird, a caregiver, one of his best incidentally, was standing next to him on the porch when he did it and ended up quitting for the same reason.  Friends and romantic partners thought my father was hysterical.  I thought he was a nightmare and wondered why everything just had to be so hard.

He started getting constipation problems from his various medications.  I brought him some sort of medicine for it on the weekend and by Monday, he wanted me to get him some more.  I read the instructions on the medicine he already had and told him he hadn’t given it time to work yet.  I said if it didn’t work then I would get him some more, but give it a chance to work.

He said, “So it’s like that then?”

Eerily, I heard the sentence underneath which was something like “you’re leaving me to die then?”

Nothing different than good old co-dependent guilt dished up and served.

“Yes.  it’s like that then.”

The next weekend at some point he delivered a line that he was dying, but it was said very non emotionally.  Quietly.  Matter of factly.  The truth is I don’t think it was a month later that a caregiver called and said he wasn’t doing very well and she was going to call for an ambulance.  I never really even understood what was wrong with him during that last trip to the hospital.  I think the medications had caused a bleeding ulcer, but truthfully the way he ate aspirin all of his life, I’d be surprised if he hadn’t already had an undiagnosed one.  I visited him at the hospital, an Adventist hospital in Angwin.  At one point I stood outside on a large veranda and marveled at the view.  I’d lived in the Napa Valley since I was three years old, but it took my father’s death to see one of the most extraordinarily beautiful views.  While I looked at it, I mostly thought about how lucky my father was to be at a hospital where he could witness THAT view from his window rather than look at a city street or a brick wall.

The last time I saw my father was at the convalescent hospital they sent him to afterwards.  He has written his roommates name and address down on a piece of paper and wants to keep in touch when they get release.  He looks small, like a little boy watching tv, when I leave the room.  Somewhere in the middle of the night, around 4 am, an attendant called.  She was so shy about what she was saying I had to ask her point blank if she meant my father had died.

I always got hurt by my parents because I had long ago learned that they were hurtful and I just couldn’t see them any other way.  I couldn’t even imagine there was another way to see them.  My energy, whether it was in response originally to their energy, now called their energy to respond.  I see that now.

My mother used to throw out cereal a little too early for my father’s tastes.  She was afraid of bugs.  He said, “It’s like you’re LOOKING for bugs.”

Yes.

What you look for, you tend to see.

***************************************

A couple of years back I attended a Mardi Gras BBQ up in Calistoga.  One high school friend had invited me and I ran into several others.  I don’t want mention names because there literally is no point in doing so.  One of the people was the brother of a high school friend who had died.  As I talked with he and one of his sisters who was also at the event, I suddenly realized a couple of things.

First, the sister received me fondly.  She was friendly and sweet and clearly enjoying the nostalgia.  Second, the brother might as well have hated me.  It was clear that, despite the fact I hadn’t seen my friend for more than ten years prior to her death, her brother thought I should have done something more than I had.  (Essentially I had done nothing as I had heard about everything after the fact and hadn’t seen the family in even longer than it had been for the friend.)  I was friends with the brother on Facebook and I had never sensed anything, but in person, it was clear he thought I was a pretty bad and selfish person.  I chose to keep my distance.

About a year after that, the brother posted a “We Fund” campaign on Facebook for his daughter.  She wanted to travel to Europe or some place as part of a school choir or sporting event.  I like contributing to that sort of fund and I hurried over there.  I’m sure I thought I could make up for the slight by helping my friend’s niece.

The campaign wouldn’t take my money.

Remember I said I liked to give to that sort of fund.  I’ve contributed before, but that campaign wouldn’t take my money.  I think I even found another campaign, a similar one benefitting a complete stranger, and donated just to prove it could work.  I’m pretty sure I did.  After I had tried about three times, I shyly contacted the brother and told him that something wasn’t working in the link.  I told him it wouldn’t let me donate.

“It took MY money.”  He said.

I tried one more time after that in case it had been broken and his donation had signaled it was working again.  Energy is a really amazing thing.  I don’t think he specified, don’t take money from this woman and named me or anything, but I think his energy blocked that money.  I almost wish I had sent a friend who didn’t know anything about the family to the link and had them donate.  I’m betting it still wouldn’t have worked.  I think his energy blocked that money because he didn’t want anything to do with me, even if it could benefit his daughter.

My path has become a two fold one.  First, to learn to never block any beneficial things heading my way with my own negative energy.  Second, to not see that others have done just that.

To see it, to recognize its existence, is to perpetuate its existence.

What you look for, you tend to see.

Writer/Photographic Artist/Law of Attraction Certified Coach

Human crow who enjoys colorful shiny things.

How Do You Know When You Have Changed?

Strong people pride themselves on having survived and knowing they can and will survive whatever comes because they have done it before.  I was a survivor and what that also meant was I divided the world between the weak and the strong.  In other words I ranked the people in my world like Patton would have ranked his troops.  My first inspiration to face my fears came from watching the movie “Defending Your Life.”  Albert Brooks’ character Daniel’s fear realization triggered mine.  Daniel gave me the inspiration to be more than a survivor, to be more than strong.  He gave me the inspiration to be courageous.  

I seemed to think overcoming splashy fears like rappelling or zip lining would abolish every day fears along with them.  Fears like loneliness or isolation.  Fears I would never know love.  It didn’t exactly work that way.  The most important element was changing that column.  The confidence that came with being strong and a survivor, for me, was a shaky, tenuous thing.  After all, the Old West’s new best gun slinger would be built by a single bullet. It left me sticky with sweat and always feeling isolated and alone.  I knew all too well that you can’t win every time, but by framing it as survival, failure becomes irrationally unacceptable.  The confidence that came from switching columns to the one labelled “a capable person” felt like hope.

Rejection doesn’t look anywhere near as bleak when you love yourself.  I still found it starkly shocking.  I couldn’t figure out why, when I was confident I had improved as a person, more people suddenly found me intolerable.  I know I am a kinder, gentler person with every change forward.  When you love yourself, your outlook towards everybody else tends to be loving too.  Without having to muscle through the psychology or mechanics of it, I arrive at the awareness a rejection says far more about the rejector than it actually does about me pretty quickly these days.

It’s the same with boundaries.  I don’t need to worry about where to set boundaries because I love me.  No love for anyone else could cause me to compromise myself.

How do you know you have changed?  Because you will find yourself changed.

I’ve noticed something else too.  You know those people you know who never do seem to change?  They will be the ones who will cut you cold.  They will see your change as a sign you were a liar or not real in the first place.  I tell you this not because it is actually important, but because until I understood it, I kept TRYING to understand it.  Understanding is a path to empathy.  Understanding shines a bright light in the dark scary corners of fear.  Understanding allows the setting down of burdens.  The problem is we humans carry an awful lot of burdens we never should have picked up.

Instead of worrying why someone rejected us better to love those who love us.  That sounds very much like caring what other people think, but it actually works like this:  Follow your bliss.  Hang out with people you love.  Do what you love.  Be happy.  When you are happy, you will attract happy people into your life.  You won’t encounter people who behave meanly anywhere near as much and when you do, you won’t have any question that it isn’t about you.

Writer/Photographic Artist/Law of Attraction Certified Coach

Human crow who enjoys colorful shiny things.

Looking Back On a Year

In July 2015 a friend and I attended the 2015 Vortex of Attraction Alaska Cruise.

It’s funny. There are thresholds to awareness.  That is what I keep trying to say.  Over and over.  The choices I’ve made in my life have caused me to pass over more than one of these thresholds.  That is how I know they are there.  It is my voicing inadequately my experience in an attempt to share.

What’s more I can remember how I felt in many of the other Angela incarnations at least to the extent where I know why I felt as I did.  I understand my motivations.  I feel most keenly the awareness that I truly don’t feel a lot of my earlier negative biases.  So much so I sometimes find it hard to empathize with my own earlier positions.

That is change.

I was getting ready to work out and thinking about my body and that Alaskan Cruise.  I am a different Angela.  In physical ways that Angela still carried a very large fibroid and while her intentions were all about change, some of her habits were lagging.  Recently I posted one of my videos talking about having manifested stairs at my house,

Angiece Cheerleader of Life #14

It is as obvious to me that I manifested that fibroid surgery as it is that I did those stairs.  I see it like this.  I embraced the change I wanted in my life and where I could do so, I changed.  The Law of Attraction attracted me the rest.  It took a woman who has been slowly ice picking her way up an alpine slope of personal growth and change and gave her an express pass forward 20 years of work.

Last year at the Vortex of Attraction Alaskan cruise I was a woman who had experienced many wonderful things.  Things I knew I had had no small part in bringing to my life, but I still had enormous doubts as to whether or not I was worthy.  This year, approaching the Vortex of Attraction Cancun land-cruise, I have twice dipped slightly out of my vortex only to jump back in with the simple reminder that I have witnessed both magic and miracles in my life explained only by the law of attraction.

I was inspired to write this when the metaphor of the two different experiences struck me.  In Alaska, we watched iceberg calving, where a huge chunk of ice will break off and float away from the larger berg.  That’s sort of what happened to me between the vacations.  A huge chunk of unwanted emotional and physical baggage calved off me.

I don’t know what Cancun actually is because while I am there RIGHT NOW as this publishes, I’m actually writing it on Sunday April 10th.  My best guess right now is that Cancun will be warm, lazy and relaxing with daily bursts of clarity and outrageous inspiration.  I do know whatever Cancun brings, if it is a metaphor for my year?  2016 is going to be fantastic!

Writer/Photographic Artist/Law of Attraction Certified Coach

Human crow who enjoys colorful shiny things.

A personal miracle & epiphany

Originally written October 2015

I had to have surgery.  Laparoscopic hysterectomy.  The fact of the fibroid never quite found a place in my head all the time it was growing and suddenly I was faced with a doctor telling me my uterus was the size of a 5 month pregnancy and she wanted to take it out.  I was so out of the loop I actually said I’d probably just keep it.  THAT was when she mentioned the 5 month thing.  I think she was trying to shock me.

It turned out the fibroid was causing my red blood cell count to elevate which made three blood letting trips necessary.  It was only near the end of the blood trips that I remembered being in Coos Bay, Oregon with my ex-husband.  We were on vacation and I was doing all of the driving.  I woke up that morning doubled over with cramps.  I realized that was that same fibroid way back then.  I thought about my mother telling me she had been anemic when she got married.  She was a Christian Scientist.  We never talked about why she was anemic.  Only that she was.  I realized that probably meant she had had a fibroid too.  It just never got as large and it probably shrunk after menopause.

A good part of the time I honestly didn’t know what to think.  I do know I never thought anything negative.  Really I’ve gotten so good at not being negative.  Even recently the urge to tell you all of the negative pitfalls I resisted falling into.  Even recently I wouldn’t have perceived the irony of that situation.  Which means I’ve been doing this bizarre dance lately.  I have to think about who I am, who I want to be, who I know I really am and then reconcile habitual behavior and determine whether it is one I want to keep or set free.  Because it is tied to a different way than how I want to be.  I guess without being creepy about it.  I am a lot more aware of my behavior.  I am a lot more aware of how I feel in the moment and sometimes I will become aware that a habitual behavior has caused me to feel uncomfortable.  Nearly every time it will end up that the behavior no longer is in agreement with who I want to be.

Anyway.  I’m having a blood test followed by blood letting once a week and I’m realizing I’ve had this fibroid a very long time and that it is probably somewhat of a family thing.  I’m trying not to judge anything.  I’m trying to stay positive.

I also think I was mostly grounded in a secure belief that everything is alright with me.  My life was good.  I was happy.  I didn’t feel bad.  I just couldn’t picture anything being wrong with me and on top of that, I KNEW it was a bad idea to even try.

I’m sure there was an element of resistance to jumping through the hoops.  A certain sense that, even though I’m not this body, it’s the body I came with and I’d prefer to leave it in tact.

I really think the words, “You don’t understand.  Your uterus is the size of a five month pregnancy,” were meant to shock.  They did, but not like a slap in the face; more like putting a very large puzzle together having already looked at the picture.  I still was on the fence rather to keep or rid myself of it.  I leaned slightly towards it being a gift I owed myself, getting rid of whatever bit that fibroid contributed to my poor body image in visual form.  The day of the surgery approached.  I had numerous telephone appointments.  Then one of those telephone calls said my red blood cell count was too high and the surgery needed to be postponed.

A coaching friend who had been trying to talk me to a spontaneous healing went out of his way to catch my attention.  Fibroids of the size I (have) cause anemia in pre menopausal women, but can cause this high red blood cell count in post menopausal women.  “Don’t let them convince you it is something else!”  Actually, he said something else, a bit longer, and there is no way I could accurately repeat it, but that was the essence.  He probably doesn’t know just what a fantastic hand reaching for me he was in that moment.  I was beginning to slide.  The blood problem led to an appointment with a Hematologist.  If you’ve never been to one of them, their offices are housed with Oncology.

If man had known his true nature, he would never have allowed words like cancer.  Words that send a chill down your spine like a verbal boogy man.  I was sliding downwards from “I have no idea what you’re talking about, I feel fine” to the anger of “God Damnit there’s nothing wrong with me!”

In other words, Dr. Henry Kahn, you extended a hand when I was in danger of a very bad fall.  Thank you forever for that.

Thankfully the doctor said exactly what we wanted him to say, that the fibroid was what was causing the high red blood cell count and gave me a solution.  Three phlebotomy or blood letting sessions.

It’s hard not to joke about leeches and this sort of solution going out with the nineteenth century.

Yesterday I finished the third of those sessions.  I have not been a very good patient, but it isn’t for the lack of trying.  On session one and session three, the blood stopped flowing.  I didn’t even know that was a possibility.  It’s funny.  Between session one and session two, I cut my finger badly.  Badly enough I called Art to come and bandage it for me.  Check if I needed stitches.  That sort of thing.  Anyway, if blood can’t come out of my vein consistently during one of those sessions, why did the knife cut bleed normally? Perhaps it really shouldn’t have surprised me.  Long before nurse practitioners began accusing my blood of being too thick, I had found it becoming difficult to feel hydrated.  I had sort of blamed California’s long and unrelenting drought.  I’ve always been a creature that craved long wet winters.

Either way I was prescribed Lorazepam for the second and third sessions and while I was no Robin Williams as Patch Adams or anything, I think my more open and friendlier personality brightened a couple of people’s days.  I like’d to think so.  I’d like to think there is a purpose to this.  Some sort of bigger picture.

Two weeks ago I had a huge epiphany.  Recently I had realized that the summation of my life would be the word “disappointment.”  Two weeks ago I realized I was disappointed at myself.  Disappointed that I had this thing.  Disappointed I couldn’t do one of these blood appointments without taking a “happy pill.”  Disappointed I haven’t just spontaneously healed myself.  Disappointed I had lost the love of my life and disappointed I had ever thought that he was.  Disappointed I hadn’t just up and moved away on my parents.  Disappointed in every time I ever felt small or didn’t speak up for myself.  In other words, I had a bit of an ACIM (A Course in Miracles) moment.

I forgave myself for ever believing I could be hurt.

Sort of.

Only it was in the form of being sorry I ever believed I could be a disappointment when I never could make a bad decision.  I never could do anything wrong.  The best way of describing it is “I will either win or learn a lesson.”

So here I am.

Now.

It would be easy to say, here with my diagnosis of a fibroid the size of a five month pregnancy.

That is some descriptor, isn’t it?  Very visual.

No.

Here I am.

Now.

 

Writer/Photographic Artist/Law of Attraction Certified Coach

Human crow who enjoys colorful shiny things.

Enlightenment

I once read something about how people become post-enlightenment.  (I’m awake, but I don’t know to what degree or if I could call myself enlightened, but I can relate to the story.  The first group reaches enlightenment, basically each person high fives themselves and just continues on.  The second group, each person who has attained enlightenment reaches a hand back, wants to guide other people to bring along too.  I no longer agree with the division mentioned in the story, I see it as a continuum.  When people first become awake or enlightened, they want to help others overcome what they themselves have overcome because it is still very close to them.  They still are attached to who they were and whatever they needed to overcome as well as all the why’s of who and when and how.   It is a final way for a person’s ego to catch them and prevent them from changing.  By gift wrapping change as something to give to others by talking about all of your stories as much as possible.  Which = talking about all of your stories, which = never actually overcoming or transcending your past conditions whatsoever.

IF a person doesn’t get caught up in that, I think they continue on to the other group.  Where they are enlightened and simply acting in whatever way interests or benefits them and they are less guided by a need to bring others along because they no longer relate to the stories all of those people are telling .  In truth, they no longer recognize the struggle.  They see only enlightenment.  No discord.  In other words, they have achieved a “if it ain’t broke, don’t try to fix it” place.  They don’t see anything broken.

I see myself as right between the two groups.  I can still see what I went through in other people’s comments and memes.  I still want to evangelize everything I have learned to a degree.  Less than I used to, the word “evangelize” seems a bit strong, but still.  I still see so much of the world as “broken.”  At the same time I recognize as long as I perceive there is a problem, there will be a problem.

I DO NOT believe I am simply my mind or my body.  When that slimy grey matter is gone I will live on.  It is intrinsic to everything I believe.  If you go back to the Secret or other materials about the Law of Attraction, things are rather polarized.  Positivity vs negativity.  Abundance vs scarcity.  I don’t know if you’ve ever listened to gamers talk, but they talk about their character’s alignment and list terms like Lawful Good or Chaotic Evil (and yes you can have Lawful Evil or Chaotic Good as well as a bunch of others.)  I am Positive Abundance.

I have taken the things I have picked up along the way from self help to Buddhist guru and kind of made up my own belief system or religion, I guess.  I believe a set of things, but I also know that they are not set in stone. They are fluid and grow with me, but the underlying essence hasn’t changed since the notion first arose in me.

First I believe we are the instruments of evolution.  I believe that once needed to be more about body physicality, potential and comfort.  During our time, I think it is more about learning our true nature and emotional maturity.  I believe that a scientist reaching though a glass wall with those attached gloves to touch something harmful to his body would be a metaphor for what we are doing IN our human bodies.  Our human body is simply the glove.

Secondly I believe, I am told, both in predestination AND free will.  I believe in predestination because I believe we get together to a certain degree BEFORE we are born and construct a rough game plan of what are trying to achieve with “this trip.”  I don’t believe in an anthropomorphized god.  I believe we ARE god.  You are.  I am.  We all are.  So by that interpretation, God set up a rough game plan of what any one of us was trying to achieve with “this trip,” but I don’t see it like a big CEO telling us what to do or anything.  I see it more like a Search and Rescue team and we have a confab before we enter the earthquake or other disaster site and do our different jobs.  I believe in free will because I believe once we are born into one of these human bodies, unlike the gloves attached to the glass wall, it begins to influence our way of thinking.

It seems to me that Buddhism, in particular, but other religions as well, spend a lot of time trying to convince us that we are more than our body and that our perspective in our body isn’t that accurate or important.  Personally, I tend to look at it a bit differently.  I look at it like this:

  1. I am a “soul” who is wearing a meat suit or a body.
  2. I CHOSE to do that.  So ….
  3. Just like it isn’t smart to spend ALL of this life asking what happened to you in your last life, maybe there is a reason I wanted to be in this meat suit.  Maybe there are things you can only do or experience when you are in “meat suit” mode.

And here I have to stop because simply trying to explain it to you got me thinking once more.  I was assuming free will was the meat suit’s choices throughout our lifetimes.  The way I’m explaining it, it suddenly seems to me though, perhaps free will IS the choice to live a meat suit life.  Meaning ..  choosing to do it .. despite the sickness and sadness I will likely encounter and the fact that we meat suit humans are easily dragged into unnecessary dramas.  Maybe free will is like knowing human life is going to drive you bat shit crazy, but choosing it anyway.

Why?  That is THE essential question.  Because we obviously find some benefit in doing so.

I had thought that putting on the meat suit is roughly equivalent to wearing your somewhat drunk neighbor and that the difficulty was achieving our objectives while forever struggling with that drunk neighbor on our backs.

I love myself.  I know that I do and I know how I got there.  I am happy, content, and excited about my future.  For me, a belief system is a set of “givens” a person takes for granted or believes BECAUSE IT BENEFITS THEIR LIFE TO DO SO.   In other words, they are happier and their life feels better with the belief system than it did without.  So .. I suppose that is why I am trying to share my belief system or philosophical way of life with you.  Because mine has benefitted my life in what are actually measurable ways to me.

Writer/Photographic Artist/Law of Attraction Certified Coach

Human crow who enjoys colorful shiny things.

Changing Columns

In 2001/2, a friend gave me my first audio self help course for my birthday.  A set of VHS tapes, audio cassettes and a workbook by Lucinda Bassett.  It was a shocking moment for me.  Someone close to me had given me a self help course!  I could take it the way my mother would take it and get offended or I could recognize that since I was actively pursuing improving myself, my friend was giving me the great gift of taking me seriously.  He was taken me at my word and trying to give me a leg up.  I felt the knee jerk offense response, but my desire to improve was sincere.  I took the gift and listened to it.  I even may have thanked him.

Honestly I couldn’t relate to a lot of the material.  I don’t remember what she said.  I only remember what I took from what she said.  I understand it much better now, but essentially, we feel emotions in our body and give them a label.  We feel them and place them in context to decide whether we are having a good time and then label and categorize the event.  In part it is how we habitualize our behavior to our belief system.  Excitement and fear are in the same physical range in terms of how they feel to us, but we categorize them contextually and once we categorize an exciting moment as an unpleasant fearful one, we are likely to avoid similar moments in the future.

I have been afraid to be alive.  Or more accurately, I have been afraid to live.  I spent my parents’ lives in resistance.  I felt that I was behind enemy lines doing only what I needed to do to survive.

It’s a sort of a “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” sort of way of judging myself with monumental negative spin.  We really don’t want to go there in these pages.

There is an internet meme somewhere out there that says something like no one can walk your path for you.  They can walk beside you, but not for you.  In those days, I wanted someone to walk for me.  THAT was me at the beginning of my marriage.  Not at the end.  On the way to the end, I got tired of always deferring to someone else’s opinion.  Especially those many times when I thought his opinion was stupid and mine was infinitely smarter and better!  Ego driven?  Absolutely.  It’s as I heard Abraham-Hicks say (many years later) aim for a higher level.  Aim for a little bit happier feeling.  Ego driven anger is apparently up from wanting someone else to live your life for you.

One of the first things I did after I divorced was go to Moaning Cave in Montecito, California and rappel into a cave.  It’s a lot easier than it sounds and it was part of the foundation for everything good that happened to me after.  In those days you could enter the cave by a spiral staircase or you could rappel into the cave.  There was a charge to go in by either method.  I think the staircase cost half.  For me, it wasn’t a question.  I had made a special trip that weekend.  Friends and I were staying at a fantastic Villa in Murphys, California (just one of the perks that begin to fall into your lap as you really choose you and your best interests in life.)  The only reason we were in the area was to rappel into that cave.  My intention was much stronger than my knees and my stomach as I got out of the car.  My excitement felt very physical and I would have sworn at the time that it was fear.  By the speed of my racing pulse, it was terror.

Rappeling that day was one of my best experiences.  There is no better feeling than overcoming fear, but at the same time, there was that circular staircase.  The one I could have paid half as much to walk down.  As I rappelled into the cave, people did walk down, and I heard them talking about me.

“Is that a woman?  Look at her.  I could never do that!”

That was a powerful moment.  To be in the moment of taking an action and to hear someone admire it like that.  My life had been divided into the people who were allowed to do things and have a life and the people who were not.  It was the first time I changed columns.

Writer/Photographic Artist/Law of Attraction Certified Coach

Human crow who enjoys colorful shiny things.

Hidden Limiting Beliefs

I am undone!

Life is simply a process of learning a bunch of judgements only to unlearn them again on the back half.

I question everything.  Oh.  No.  I question every “conventional” everything.  As for the true “everything,” from that I question nothing.

All of those things we’re told.  The ones where, if we ask why, we are told “because I said so.”  Layered by years upon years.  Entire generations.

I already questioned those.

What I mean is that insidious beliefs are hidden even deeper.  The beliefs that are betrayed by the validation of our actions.  What we actually do will always depict much more accurately what we really believe than any ideals we may speak poetically about.

It is the reason you sometimes see people whose actions completely contradict everything they say.  Intellectually they aspire to be one kind of person, but they are caught in the habitual motions of the beliefs they already own.  I have crossed that threshold too.  The one that is the line between just talking the talk and beginning to walk it.  Once in awhile I’ll even be able to stop and change the behavior.  Not always.  In the end, love is always the best choice and when I am having difficulty changing an old behavior and it was born out of love in the first place, I generally decide there is nothing broken here that needs to be fixed.

Interestingly, I used to think the verb to be undone was a negative one.  I thought that to be undone was a negative thing.

Now

to me undone means to be the observer and not the ego.

The Ego is a bunch of rules and line items based on who we believe we should or need to be that need to be done or achieved.  The observer is.  To be undone is to be yourself.  To be undone is to be free.

Writer/Photographic Artist/Law of Attraction Certified Coach

Human crow who enjoys colorful shiny things.

Woman & Cat #Caturday

Fade in:  Bright sunlight as seen through the eyelid backs of closed eyes.  We can hear a cat purring and chimes intermittently sounding.

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When the first woman and the first cat met, they bonded immediately in a symbiotic way.  The woman would reach out and pet the cat and smile touching his softness and the cat knew he was loved.  The cat would purr and turn infinitesimally this way or that accommodating and leaning into her hand and the woman knew she was loved.

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Peabody & Sherman FB page

Writer/Photographic Artist/Law of Attraction Certified Coach

Human crow who enjoys colorful shiny things.

Root Chakra

I was an only child.  On my father’s side of the family, I was an only child of an only child.  I might as well have been the same on my mother’s side because she and her sister never spoke.  More accurately, they could go for 20 year spans extraordinarily pissed at each other and not speak and then on year 21 make silent, unwitnessed amends and not only speak, but combine judgmental forces to make the rest of the family uncomfortable.  That was my story.

Stitched together from times of awareness, I grew up in the rural land surrounding the small town of Calistoga on the northern end of the Napa Valley.  I spent a lot of time in relative quiet by myself in nature.

I can look back at my childhood now and see huge unrecognized assets.

Before I knew about the root chakra and that its associated color was red, I was painting my living room red after my divorce.  Nearly simultaneously to the moment my ex-husband moved out, I began seeing red.  Not “seeing red” as in being angry.  Red simply kept catching my attention.  Red cars.  Red walls.  Red blankets.  Red motorcycles.  It was like the other colors were all dimmed down and only the red enticed my vision.  I had already been through that experience and it had really caught my attention as did its obvious meaning interpreted through the chakras.

The root chakra’s color is red.  The root chakra is your survival center.  It has to do with your feelings of safety and security on the physical plane.

At a time when I had only just learned not to tell jokes that I may live under a bridge.  At a time when I was willingly embracing facing life with only my paycheck, which was less than half of my husband’s.  At a time when I was outwardly making choices that seemed less secure, I was reassuring myself.

I don’t think it was the only time.  Looking back on four driver’s licenses, I am wearing a red sweatshirt in three of them.  It is only the more recent driver’s license, taken AFTER I was aware of chakras that I am wearing a multicolored shirt.

It doesn’t take a lot of guesswork for me to know I’ve face root chakra difficulties in life.  Theory has it that being born immature or spending time in an incubator can impact your root chakra.  Check and check.

When I was a kid we went to the drive in movies a lot over in Santa Rosa.  We would have a hamburger from whatever was their favorite stand at the time, take a short drive in the country before ending up at the drive in lot just as the sun was setting.  More than once during one of those country drives my father would announce:

“Uh oh, I think we’re lost.”

It would freak me out when he would do that.  I hated it.  It scared me.  Sure I also worried we wouldn’t get to see the movie.  Especially if it was one I had wanted to see, but it also scared me.  It was simply a mildly unpleasant reminiscence of my childhood back when I used to tell “my story” until someone asked me why I was scared.  After all, she reasoned, you were with your parents.  When you’re a kid how can you ever be lost if you’re with your parents?

How indeed.

My parents shaped both my childhood and my adult lives.  The first was bad enough that the second has been spent vigilant at avoiding being them.  It’s the sort of thing where I guess you had to be there.  When I no longer lived in their household, my parents had to be more gregarious  and began to actually meet some of my friends.

When I was a kid, they never attended my school events.  My dad would drop me off and pick me up.  Once he watched thirty minutes or so of a track meet I was in.  I had one friend who confessed she hadn’t actually believed I had a mother.

I was surprised when my friends seem to think my parents were funny and charming.  They seemed to genuinely enjoy interaction I found excruciating.   The difference was my parents had already colored in the blank panels of everything they would ever do in my mind’s graphic novel.  I found them to be hurtful and mean.  Even before the incident which ended up in my diagnosis of PTSD, I had learned to modify my behavior to keep my mother friendly.  After the incident, any authentic thing that actually brought me any sort of happiness or peace?  Was no longer any of their business.  It is very fair to say that any love or affection I had for my parents died during the incident and didn’t resurface until years after their deaths.

I have now referred to the incident so many times I have to describe it.

At age 11, my sixth grade teacher Mrs. Aske praised a story I wrote.  I didn’t get a lot of compliments from adults.  That combined with my love of reading made me decide I wanted to be a writer.  The book I was reading at the time?  Go Ask Alice.  I was nowhere near Alice’s caliber of hot mess. I had smoked cigarettes.  I had tasted beer.   I had kissed a few boys and let them touch me on private places on my body.  I had written my own porn on a toy typewriter my deceased grandparents had given me.  I had written a diary.  Like Alice.  It was 90 percent truth and 10 percent trying to write like Alice.  While I was at school my mother found the diary and read it.  I came home to a slap across the face and the question, “Are you still a virgin?”

In a very real sort of way, I died that day.  I don’t know how long my parents yelled at me.  I don’t know where they hit me or how many times.  They did a lot more of the former than the latter.  Certainly my life became measured in before that moment and after.  I spent the next five years of life at my parents’ essentially under house arrest.  For years I caged myself as a person who could be no better than I was that day.  I felt worthless. I felt that my parents felt that I was worthless.  I riffed on variations of that damaged, half dead Angela from age eleven until I began picturing red everywhere during my divorce.

Unquestionably I have had challenges to my root chakra throughout my life, but consider this.  Even before I knew about chakras I had no debt.  When I got a divorce from my husband, we owed nearly $100,000 on our house.  I paid off that mortgage by myself and I was able to save enough money on my much smaller paycheck that I began investing in the stock market.  When my parents died, I was able to sell their house and pay for renovation for my house which included $85,000 for a new foundation.  I am worth more money than any individual in my immediate family ever has been at the time of their death.  I know that through cleaning out legal papers from my father’s estate.  Neither set of grandparents had a savings account.

Not bad for someone with a less than pristine root chakra.

Writer/Photographic Artist/Law of Attraction Certified Coach

Human crow who enjoys colorful shiny things.

Time

“The problem is you think you have time.”

This is generally credited to Buddha, but is actually a Jack Kornfield quote from his book, “Buddha’s Little Instruction Book”.  I looked it up because this morning, I read it an entirely different way.  Instead of the tired old warning that life is short and then you die, which feels very unBuddhist like to me, by the way.  I read it as the problem is you think you HAVE time.  Like time is something we own or that exists.  Time is actually a human creation.  Outside of Disney’s Alice in Wonderland, you don’t see many white rabbits with pocket watches running around saying they are late.

Time, whether it is a week, a year or ten years, is made up of moments which play out in our perception as the present moment.  That is all we ever touch.  The present moment.

Think about it one of those moments.  Our days are very structured and framed.  Here I’m sitting typing this at 2:26 am.  Most people would say go to sleep.  Did you know Wayne Dyer frequently wrote at night?  Did you know inspiration whispered in his ear in the early morning hours?  Inspiration, for an artist, is, well to borrow a metaphor from Life Coach Bianca West, who I met at an Achieve Today retreat, it is like trying to teach a donkey to follow you.  If you try to force the donkey by pulling it with a rope, it will resist and a game of tug of war will begin.  You have to cajole and entice the donkey to want to follow you.  It is the same with the Tinkerbell-like creature, inspiration.  You cannot trap, confine and hold onto it.  You can only be watchful for when she appears.

By that thinking, how can a human achieve his best confined within the imaginary limiters called time?  Where does that allow for inspiration?

The happiest most successful people in the world have solved that question.  They have found a way to allow for inspiration and have given themselves the wings with which to follow it.

Writer/Photographic Artist/Law of Attraction Certified Coach

Human crow who enjoys colorful shiny things.