Mother Divine, My Little Boy, and the Right Use of Power

A seemingly little something happened just over a week ago, and I still feel so fired up about it that I’ve decided to put it out here in writing, before speaking to the person involved.  I think that on the surface this post is about the dangers of ignorance and inexperience in a role of authority, but, I realize as I wrestle with this, it’s also about people with a legitimate claim to authority, lightworkers who have earned their spiritual stripes, needing to rise up and claim that authority, exercising their power and sharing their wisdom with confidence, so that rather than feeling flustered and outraged by the actions of neophytes, they can respond with courage and compassion.

Well, there.  I’ve processed it now.  I’ve got my personal take-away, my moral of the story.  And I no longer feel fired up.  But I’ve come this far, so to proceed with this cautionary tale:  A lightworker and two shiny, bright souls walk into a metaphysical shop… (I guess that could read ‘three lightworkers’, then.  Or ‘three shiny, bright souls’…)

But to put it plainly.  The kids and I popped into a store one Friday.  It was a lovely metaphysical shop, and I wondered to myself upon entering why I had never been there before.  Lovingly decorated with crystals, incense, wands for smudging, goddess and witchy esoterica, it felt very right for me to be there.  I recognized the woman behind the counter, and as I approached her to say hello I noticed that the two women she was assisting were interested in Doreen Virtue’s Goddess Guidance Oracle Cards.  As the cards were shuffled, pulled, and reviewed, the women remarking over their beauty, the woman behind the counter, whom I learned was the manager, new to this position in a spiritual establishment, declared, “I love this deck.  And I never let men use it.  I only let women use it.”

I’m a vocal gal.  So even though I wasn’t in the conversation I piped up, “Really?  Don’t the boys need the Divine Feminine too?”  I meant men (so I probably should have said ‘men’), but I thought that ‘boys’ might soften both her perspective and the fact that I was challenging her.  She considered it ever so briefly, then said something like, “Maybe, but I’m just so tired of so much misogyny… I only want women to use it…” and something-something-something.  I said that I supposed that was her prerogative as the one doing the card readings, and that I understood that while equality was the ultimate goal, there was so much work to be done to even begin to bring the scales of male and female, masculine and feminine back into balance that I guessed I could relate to her wanting to tip the scales in women’s favour for a time.  Okay.  Smile, smile.  I felt for the lone man in the store, and wondered at the effectiveness of the manager’s mini manifesto as a business strategy, then returned my attention to my children and wandered around the small shop.

My littles love pulling oracle cards, and having spotted the goddess cards when we arrived at the store, they were waiting for their turn to use them.  Henry was busy with a holistic newspaper and Reine was poking a rose of jericho when the women put down the cards and I made my way over to pick them up.  Clear and attune the energy, shuffle shuffle, out flew Sedna, Inuit goddess of the sea.  Live near water… Yes.  Breathing life into my wild fantasy of buying a VW van and moving out to California.  Here was Reine, beside me now.    Isolte.  The love that you send into the world is an important part of your Divine purpose.  That’s Birdie, for shizzles.  I looked up at GG, but he was all cute and focused on his newspaper, seemingly indifferent to his sister and me at the counter.  I admit I was grateful for this, so I could pack up the cards and shuffle the ding-dongs out of the store.  A lovely visit.  Time to go.

Sigh.  It wasn’t until we got into the car that my sweet, little, innocent son, raised by his mama to know that we all come from God, that every living being (every living thing, nay) is worthy of love and respect, that angels are everywhere, Jesus is amazing and Kuan Yin loves us all, confessed to me in a small whisper, “I really wanted to do the goddess cards.” “Oh!”  I exclaimed, “Why didn’t you?”

Again in a small voice, conveying hurt, confusion, the beginnings of shame, “Boys aren’t allowed to use them.”

Sweet Mother of God.  I rallied to the task of warrior goddess with another “Oh!   Well let’s go back into the store!  She didn’t mean you, she just… well she shouldn’t have said that.  She just… [not the time for further schooling on the history and absolute fucking bullshit of gender inequality]…Let’s go back in the store.  She made a mistake.  You can use the cards.”

But the damage was done.  He was too shy to go back in, which I understand.  On the five-minute drive to their dad’s I sought to process and explain, “Remember how I told you that men used to say girls weren’t as good at things as boys were?”

Reine’s keen.  “Yeah– like ‘run like a girl’,” she blurted, “when girls can run!

“That’s right.  The men who said that were dumb.  They didn’t know.  Or they were scared–”  Five-minute drive, Mom.  Keep it brief. “Well, maybe the lady in the store was mad about that.  Maybe that’s why she wants the cards to be just for women.  But that doesn’t solve anything.  I’m sorry you felt left out, Hen.  You had every right to use those cards.”

So my son was fine.

I, on the other hand, was not.  The implications of what I now perceive to be a well-intentioned but relatively inexperienced woman’s power blunder were beginning to land all around me, parachutes of troubling awareness dropping into my field.  As a lightworker in the service of L-O-V-E, and a passionate proponent of the energies of the Divine Feminine at work on the planet today, I felt outraged to have witnessed this abuse of power.  I just kept thinking “WRONG.  MISTAKE.”

Would Mother Mary deny a soul connection to her loving, restorative energies because he was a man?  Saraswati the access to higher wisdom?  Would Kali reject any soul with the courage to do their deepest and darkest work?  NO!  The very attributes of femininity are flow, acceptance, and nurturance.  This is its power.  There is no members-only access in the service of the Divine Feminine!  The energy here is open, allowing, and receiving; because it is utterly unafraid to be so.  The Divine Feminine is the Mother: tender, supportive, soft.  And yes She is fierce and ferocious, but She is not petty.  She is far too great and powerful to be so small.

So there’s that.  That if you are the manager of a store ostensibly devoted to women’s empowerment and connection with the Divine Feminine in all Her forms, you have a responsibility to brush up on what that means, and act accordingly.  To be a worthy ambassador.  This work is too important to be approached with ignorance.

Here I would say, person towards whom I am remembering to channel compassion, for I have certainly misspoken, or made the mistake of thinking I knew more than I did myself, your words have had the ironic effect of perpetuating misogyny.  If I were the man in the store that day, I’d think “Fuck you,” or “Grow up,” and not return.  If my little dude didn’t have me there to do my bit as Warrior Mother, Ambassador of Healing and Justice and Love, he could easily have taken away the message that women don’t like men.  As a man-to-be, what would he make of that?  That men are bad, somehow?  That he is bad?  Possibly.  And there ain’t no need for misplaced shame to enter the picture here.  He might also have begun to formulate the opinion that it’s women who are mean, and bad.  An ‘if you don’t like me then I don’t like you’ reasoning, very fitting for a six year-old.  So then you’d have planted the first seeds of misogyny in the next generation.  Yikes.

You want to right the wrongs, though, yes?  Oppose injustice?  Fight the good fight?  Well here’s a thought.  What if, when feelings of retribution and righteous indignation rise up, you go higher?  Higher still.  Okay.  Now throw open the doors of your heart.  Rip those fucking doors right off.  Allow your heart to stretch, widen, open, to encompass the entirety of the world.  Encompass the Universe.  Ground deep into the earth, your being absolute, heart enormous, arms outstretched to embrace and contain, and love it all.

That is how I conceive of the Mother Divine.  How I imagine Lakshmi, Ishtar, Isis.  There is no need for you to fight Her battles for her.  There are no battles for Her.  There is no fight at all.  She’s got this.  She has so, so, GOT THIS.

 

nova-zeme

I found this picture only after completing my post.  It wasn’t until my proofread that I noticed it depicts exactly what I had described!  I had been picturing one entity, not many; but this image matches my words exactly.  Looooove that…

I found the image here:  http://cestakduze.webnode.cz/news/aa-sandalfon-nase-schopnost-rezonovat-se-zemi/

 

 

 

Is Kindness All It’s Cracked Up to Be?

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Kindness.  So essential to our flourishing as living beings.  Like a first sip of wine moving through your body, bringing with it warmth and a soothing invitation to relaxation.  A long, slow, beautiful exhalation.  A glow.  Comfort, camaraderie, and safety; the spark and reassurance of a healing soul connection.  Kindness is both simple and profound.

And yet…  (here I cringe… I squirm… I imagine the Dalai Lama shaking his head, “Noooo, Robin…”)… And yet…  Well yes it is all it’s cracked up to be… But.  Let’s just say that while yes, kindness is crucial, kindness is key, and kindness wins the day one hundred percent of the time, being kind does not mean that you have to take shit, either.

I don’t think His Holiness would shake his head at that.  He might smile at me with his mirthful eyes and encourage me to explain.  Thank you.  (And happy upcoming birthday, by the way.)   I think  I have been too nice.  I have taken the Dalai Lama’s beautiful words, “Be kind whenever possible.  It is always possible,” to mean be nice.  Play nice.  Just let that go; don’t say what you really want to say; try to get along with everybody, and we’ll all feel good because we’re all being nice and it feels better to get along with someone than it does to be in conflict.  

They are reasonable goals, really.  Harmony and connection do feel so much better than discord, and letting things go just keeps you lighter, healthier, and more centred in the present moment.  But letting go of challenges before you’ve had a chance to deal with them isn’t particularly aligned with wisdom.  Fast-forwarding over pain and difficulty in an effort to let it go is not true healing, but a ‘spiritual bypass’.  And continuing to open your heart to people in order to be liked, and likeable, and ‘nice’, when these people are incapable of seeing or honouring your light and beauty, is not to be confused with kindness.  It sounds more like a sad devaluing of self-worth to me.

It’s a wonderful thing about growth, that it expands with its own chugging momentum.  After writing about assertiveness in my last blog post, I stepped more decisively into my power.  I felt it immediately in the non-guilt I experienced after locking the kids in the basement.  (Just kidding.  I spoke sternly to them, which is not uncommon.  But it felt good to not feel bad about it for a change.)  So with my awareness expanding and my personal power growing, I began to notice, to my great dismay, all the situations in which I diminish myself, allow myself to be diminished (those two are the same, really), or have been painfully  unaware of my own worth.

There are certain people, for example, to whom I would say I’ve been spinelessly nice.  This stems from my genuine kindness and good-will, and my desire for love and connection.  I want the happy-good feelings that come from friendship, mutual respect, appreciation, affection, and even love.  But here’s what:  I don’t think these people even like me.  Or that they ever have.  So we’re all nicey-nice when it is necessary for us to see each other, me being effusive and open and even playfully self-deprecating (Noooo, Robin); but our exchanges are insincere.  Their kindness is surface-only.  There is no connection to be made.

And I’ve realized:  Enough.  It is possible for me to be kind, and even to send love to these people, without my behaving like a bubbly circus clown, or worse, like a military taskmaster, barking at my kids because Reine is trying to kiss me good-bye like a soap-opera star again and I feel stressed, fearing the scornful judgement of so-and-so.  (I remind her often, “Kiss me like a kid, Ren,” which I understand to mean cute, closed, puckered little lips.  But maybe swooping in to smooch me with her eyes moony and her face moving side to side is little-kid-like, in its sloppy, innocent way.)  It is possible for me to be kind without seeking to endear myself to these people;  without thinking that in order to do so, I must downplay my power and authority, laying down my sword, as it were, so as to appear non-threatening  (“See?  I’m not strong!  I’m likeable!”); and without ever again caring one way or another what these people think of me.

What will I do instead?  Take deep breaths before and during encounters with these individuals.  Ground myself, and feel my deep connection to the earth.   Smile, but speak only if it feels necessary.  Take my time, establish eye contact, and remember who I am.  In this case, because our interactions centre around the children, I claim my natural authority as Mother to Reine and Henry.  (I feel a capital is necessary there.  Maybe even All Caps.  Or a flashing neon sign.)  I stand in my power, confident in myself, LOVING myself, and utterly unconcerned with their opinion of me.

Heart open, but no wild gesticulating to invite them in.  Light shining, but energetic boundaries strong.  Radiating love, integrity, and consummate self-worth.  (And also maybe imagining that I am Boudicca, the Celtic warrior queen.)

What emerges for me as the moral of the story here is that we can be kind, and care about other people, without caring one little bit about what other people think.  This is an important point, and a challenge for me, because indifference to others’ opinions can seem like coldness, and coldness doesn’t seem very nice.  (I once tried to order dinner like Claire Underwood, the powerhouse character portrayed by Robin Wright in House of Cards.  I channeled her icy elegance, her level, unflappable demeanour.  And when the server arrived, I balked and buckled.  I could not do it.  Even just ordering brussels sprouts, I could not pull off ice.)  But in order for us to be kind to ourselves, and to tap into our power and amazingness as the unique beings we are, I think it is essential for us to set others’ opinions aside.  To say what we want to say, do what we want to do, and be who we want to be.

Sigh.  There is a situation in my life in which I’d say I’ve taken quite a bit of shit in the name of amicability.  And even last night, preparing to put the final touches on this post with “Kindness does not mean compromising integrity!  If integrity calls you to speak up, speak up!”, an incident arose that set my heart to racing and put my conviction to the test. Was it really going to be necessary for me to take a stand again?  To engage in what was sure to be a futile, ultimately hostile exchange, shining the harsh light of truth on this person’s endless fucking lies and inconsistencies?  Again?  And then mercy arrived in the form of an unexpected phone call, which softened the situation and freed me from my truth-telling, take-no-shit responsibility, and I was hugely relieved.

So peace prevailed.  And the conclusion gets amended.  Loving ourselves, knowing our immeasurable worth, and not being afraid to radiate our light out into the world mean that sometimes we may court disfavour.  And we want not to be so concerned with others’ opinions of us that we censor ourselves in our powerful expression.  Kindness to others does not require that we compromise our integrity.  But honouring ourselves is not an incitement to confrontation, either.  Our power can be gentle.  It is possible for us to shine our light without blasting it at full wattage.  You decide.

But I’d advise those not rocking the highest vibrations of truth and love to keep a pair of sunglasses handy, just in case.

Lovey-Dovey Hard-Core Mom

I am not nearly as soft or lovey-dovey as I thought I’d be in my mothering role.  I have until now bemoaned this fact, rather unkindly overlooking all the squishy affection I offer those ding-dongs on a daily basis, to focus instead on the moments of sharpness, sternness, and short-temperedness that I have guiltily sought to eradicate.

“Path of peace…” I’m always muttering to the children, my face wizened and haggard and the light in my eyes beginning to die.  “Make kind choices,” I admonish in defeated tones. Because I want peace.  I want the lovey-dovey, the happy, the content, and I so desire serenity in our home and hearts that I will scream at my screaming kids in order to get it.

Um-hm.

This push-the-river attempt to end all ludicrous arguments for all time (“Reine said she won’t invite me to her party when she’s ten!”  “Well Henry said I can’t be in his spy club after school!”  “Would you two STOP this???”  I shriek.  “Henry doesn’t even HAVE a spy club–“  “Yes I do!  We’re going to sneak out tonight when everyone’s sleeping!” “Henry you are FIVE YEARS OLD there is no WAY you are going to wake up in the middle of the night and walk across town to do your spy club– and Henry, Reine’s SEVEN!  Why on earth are you two fighting about something that isn’t even HAPPENING??  This isn’t even REAL!”)  stems from the sweet belief that if the kids stop fighting about stupid shit, or, ideally, just stop fighting altogether, I will be calm and serene and able to be the soft, loving nurturer I always thought I’d be.

But I see the error of my well-intentioned ways.  And it occurs to me:  what if instead of pushing them to be something that they are not (reasonable adults inside cute little-kid bodies) so that I can be something I want to be but am not (a serene bestower of blessings and affection, gliding almost levitation-like, patting little children’s heads with a loving smile) (Jesus, basically.  I’ve set my parenting bar at Jesus), I make peace with what is, and not only accept that I can be a hard-core mom, but celebrate it?

I love this idea.  I wrote about dichotomy in my last post, and this is a little bit like that, with its opposition of tenderness and ferocity, but it’s also just plain human.  More than that– it’s universal.  We are comprised of and surrounded by seemingly oppositional energies– light and darkness, masculine and feminine, the energies of sun and moon, but, as it’s stated in The Kybalion, a metaphysical text on the teachings of Hermes (from spy clubs to man-gods; what can I say), “in everything there are two poles, or opposite aspects, and… ‘opposites’ are really only the two extremes of the same thing, with many varying degrees between them.”  Love and hate exist on the same spectrum.  Softness and hardness are, in nature, the same.

So.  My being hard-core and assertive is not the absence of softness, but a varied aspect or expression of it.  It’s all One.  (I’ve just had the thought to summarize everything I ever say with that line.  Like to sound wise, when I really have no idea of what I’m talking about, or to end conversations… “It’s all One, really…”)

Anyway.  The reason I am contemplating my assertive nature in the rearing of chilluns’ is because it is Henry’s sixth birthday tomorrow, and we are (who is we?  The kids and I?  I am) hosting a little backyard party.  Last year my ‘path of peace’ was to outsource his party to a great big expensive play-zone, but this year it felt better to go sweet and simple. Baking cakes and delighting children with party games are not really my forte, and I have been fretting about this supposed-to-be-fun event.  (Jesus Lord we’re in trouble if it rains.  The basement is our Plan B, but neither the spiders nor the dried piles of vomit deposited by our aging barf-cat have been cleaned out of there in months.  Sunny day, sunny day, sunny day…)

Anyway again.  The cake is currently in the oven, and the balloons are waiting patiently on the table beside me, awaiting the prana with which I will soon be bringing them to life.  (Hopefully while watching Netflix.)  I am in good position.  All is well.  It’s all One.

But something was bothering me earlier this week concerning the party, and an element of kids’ parties that I’m not really all that into:  the kids.  I am only slightly exaggerating when I say that it turns out I don’t like them.  Not all children, it turns out, are being raised with manners, respect or consideration for others.  Even kindness isn’t always a given.  This is a topic that I actually feel quite passionate about, given that we’re, oh, guiding the future of humanity here, but instructional tips on how not to raise a sociopath might cramp the ‘Henry’s Birthday!’ vibe, so I’ll keep it brief.  I was worried about how I would handle disobedient, sneaky kids at the party, particularly if their mothers happened to be around.  Bite my tongue and hope the moms would speak up?  Spend the day in stress-mode, speaking sweetly but braced in fear of breaking glass and stomped-on gardens?  Snap and scold and feel awful about it?  Get drunk?

No, I decided.  (Unfortunately I do not have any wine.)

That ruminating led me to embrace my assertiveness as a strength, rather than a weakness.  Sheesh.  We are not all meant to be meek and mild.  We can’t be, any more than we can all be authoritative and commanding.  It’s a balance, and if I view my ability to speak up as a gift instead of an embarrassment, honouring my leadership abilities rather than resenting my having to use them, then not only am I in greater balance within myself, but the situations in which I am present may be brought into greater balance as well.  Know Thyself.  (That’s more Ancient Greece.)

As for parenting, my kids have themselves an authoritative mom.  My dictionary defines authoritative as “commanding and self-confident; able to be respected and obeyed”.  What a compliment!  Yes, please!  So I balance the squishy cuddles with the face that says Do not fuck with me.  Gentle and strong.  Nice.

For the party-goers tomorrow:  we’re all good.  Just stay the fuck away from my flower beds.

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“Fuck It” as the Key to Creative Liberation

I’ve had a blogging epiphany.  And this is just a paraphrase, because it was more of a feeling and flash insight than a literal decree, but loosely translated, it’s FUCK IT.  Not dark or angry fuck it, but energy bubbling up from inside fuck it, smile creeping up one corner of my mouth fuck it, sweet Jesus lord I’m really going to do this and say FUCK IT fuck it.  I am going to just say what it is I want to say.  Sweary and messy and real and quite possibly inappropriate.  Me.  Still honest, like always, but not measured.  Not careful.  Not ‘Who on earth would come to me for counselling if I told them what I said to Henry today?’ or ‘How can I be viewed as a credible healer if I’ve just confessed to feeling like a total fucking mess for the third time this month?’  Who.  Cares.

(I am sitting on the front porch to write this, and it is literally swarming with life.  The ants and potato bugs I could do without, but I am amazed by this jungle of bees, ladybugs (and do ladybugs give piggybacks, or are these guys really humping as they walk?), butterflies, dragonflies, moths and wee spiders.  Life is out in full force today.  A nice parallel to this coming-alive feeling I am experiencing now.)

I like dichotomy.  And I think that the more I embrace the many seeming contradictions in my own self and life, the more at peace with myself I will be.  It is only our minds that tell us these things are separate, after all:  fierce but gentle, fiery but loving, connected to Spirit but swears like a motherfucker.  A mother’s very nature is a positioning of opposites, no?  Open to perhaps unprecedented depths of softness and love, while  emboldened by a claws-bared ferocity that would leave none unbloodied in the cause of protecting her child.

The dichotomy that’s sprung to mind to make me write this is an image I have of myself coming to life.  I’m a grey, crumpled creature, hunched over, wings ashen and rounded about myself protectively, like a cocoon.  And then (cue the bugs in my porch-jungle vista): I return to life!  Rise up from my still-life slump, return to full colour and majesty, open and shake out my wings.  Do I shout “Hallelujah!”?  No!  “Glory be!”?  No!  As I shake off the dust from my huge, feathered wings, they snap open with a crack.  And “Fuck THIS!” is my celebratory proclamation.

Dichotomy.

Writing this is healing for me, you see.  The freer I am to share with you that I feel like a screw-up, the more I realize that I am really not a screw-up at all.  And in terms of my life purpose, over the fulfillment of which I am quite constantly fretting, my soul seems to be stamped with teacher and healer.  But I don’t want to write prescriptive blogs.  “Top Five Signs You May Be Creatively Blocked.”  Fuck off.  Here’s one:  you’re listening to people who tell you you should be writing prescriptive blogs.  I still love my healy, feely posts, and I’m still going to write them.  My spiritual insight stuff.  But I don’t want to have to write that.  So while mastering the art of the expletive may not in fact be my soul’s calling, right now it feels better to be doing that than trying to comply with some so-called spiritual coach-appropriate way of writing and being in the world.

So that’s the epiphany.  With “Fuck it,” I have declared my total creative and personal freedom.  This is me.  Liberated from self-imposed shackles and bullshit shoulds.  With more to come.  Much, much more to come.

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“Let Love Break You Open”

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I saw this meme on Facebook this morning, and it resonated with me right away.  As a single woman, I am ready for new, true love, but I have apprehensions about it too.  Lissa Rankin’s words, “Let love break you open,” and the photo that goes with, filled me with faith and reassurance.  That it would be safe and welcome to be broken open with another human being is kind of like my dream come true.

Just a few moments ago, I sat down to meditate.  As I closed my eyes and deepened my breathing, my thoughts floated to love.  Who do I love?  My two children.  More than anyone or anything else in this world.  With my mind quite dutifully quieting and my feelings free to be, tears began to stream down my face.  Then I began to cry in earnest, eyes still closed, but face contorting and my body beginning to shake.

I was allowing myself to feel the full force of the love that resides within me.  To feel the HUGE, gigantic, unfathomable depth of LOVE I have for these children, which I do not allow myself to feel every day because I think that I must protect them from this, from me, from the parts of Mommy that are broken open.

And then I wasn’t really meditating anymore.  I still had my eyes closed, because all of these insights were inner life stuff, not meant for the outer-world light of day, but my mind and my heart were in action together, ON this.

No, we do not want to be emotionally dependent on our young children.  To expose them to issues that are far beyond their years.  Our work is our work, not theirs, and as a healer I cannot advocate strongly enough that we heal our hearts heal our hearts heal our hearts.  We are responsible for our thoughts, feelings, beliefs, the actions that stem from these, and the effects of all of these on not only our bodies, minds, and spirits, but on those of the people who are closest to us.  Here, I speak of our children.  Let us not put our shit on our children.

BUT.  Let us not make the mistake of thinking that by striving to ‘have it all together’ for our children, by sugar-coating or skipping over feelings, by being more ‘capable’ or ‘effective’– being better able to accomplish 392 things in one day with a couple of quick hugs and a lot of “Go!  Go!  Go!” that we are winning the game, either.

I am a very feeling Mommy.  I often wish, for my kids’ sake, that I had my shit together more often.  That I was more of an ‘Okey-dokey!  Let’s go!  All’s well!  Yay!’ kind of mom.  I understand the desire to shield our kids from our darker, messier feelings.  To have our five year-olds be slightly less adept at the use of the word ‘fuck’.  (He’s not really that adept.  I don’t think he knows ‘fucker’ yet.)

But if Love, true, deep LOVE is so much more than what is packaged and presentable, if Love is allowing ourselves to be broken open and real (again, assuming that we are conscious parents, have done some emotional healing and are not taking out on our children what might better be expressed in therapy), then why are we protecting our children from that humanity?  (And not just our HUMANITY, but the very force that is our DIVINITY?)  Why do we feel such shame for being who we are?

Aren’t you loveable?  Wholly loveable, and forgivable, just the way you are?  So you break down and cry.  You’re human, Mama!  You lose your temper.  Oh, Dad.  I wish I could give you a hug to let you know you are so not alone here.  You swear.  Well you know?  That’s actually one of the things I find most endearing about you.

What if it’s all okay?  And what if, instead of protecting anyone from anything when we struggle to ‘keep it together’, we are actually blocking the deepest and truest, most beautiful expression of our Love?  Those tears that rolled down my cheeks today– while the kids weren’t here to see.

A cage to protect others from your darkness also bars them from your Light.

In the words of Sarah McLachlan, from Fumbling Towards Ecstasy (my favourite album of all time):

All the fear has left me now
I’m not frightened anymore
It’s my heart that pounds beneath my flesh
It’s my mouth that pushes out this breath

And if I shed a tear I won’t cage it
I won’t fear love
And if I feel a rage I won’t deny it
I won’t fear love

Let’s let love break us open.  I think we’re going to like what we find.

Trust is a Must if You’re Rocking Your Dreams

I believe that life can be easy.  I believe that there is no such thing as a definitive reality, but that we each create our own realities–and all of the circumstances that play out in our lives– through our thoughts, feelings, perceptions and beliefs.  I believe that as such, “I had no choice” is a lie, always.  We always have a choice.  I believe that we are here to prosper, and that that in no way involves ‘hard work’.  I believe that we are here to do what we love.  To follow our hearts and believe in our dreams, believing in ourselves enough to see these dreams through to fruition.  I believe that our having the courage to heal and love ourselves heals and opens the hearts of others, and that our happiness raises the vibration of happiness and love on the entire planet.  I believe that we are plugged in to the Divine Source in every moment, and that we are guided and provided for, always.  I believe that as spiritual beings, we… the earth…the Universe…Consciousness… are always evolving; and that foregoing the illusory notions of the “rat race” and “work force” (just consider those terms) for paths of lightness, joy, faith, trust and peace is the next step in our spiritual evolution.  I believe in magic, in faeries, in dragons, in myriad realms beyond those we perceive with our physical senses.  And I believe that behind it all, and above and below and throughout and within and surrounding it all, is Love.  Infinite Intelligence, Divine Wisdom, and we-can’t-even-begin-to-fathom-it,-I-don’t-think, Love.

Is that too much for an online dating profile?

Given this proclamation, you will understand me when I say that learning to trust myself has been one of the greatest challenges of my life.  I was not raised on sage or patchouli.  (In fact, I often think of my mother as I reach for my lighter to ignite the day’s fifth stick of Nag Champa incense, or settle into my chair with a coffee and note the line of smoke rising from the sage burning beside me.  We are strikingly similar in our affinity for smoky rituals. Except that it was never incense my mother was burning, but DuMaurier Ultra Lights, twenty or thirty times a day.)  The God of my childhood was the Father of the Catholic religion, who bears almost no resemblance to the gentle, loving, and accepting Spirit that I know today.  And making my way in the world, I went for the mainstream; left-brained, rocking ego, ambition, and determination all the way.

So I have travelled far to come to this place of radical proclamations.  I have trekked deliberately, and mostly on my own.  And staying true to myself in the shift from mainstream to mystical has not been easy.  Trust yourself, Robin.  TRUST.  Relax, Allow, Let Go.  You are on the right path.  You are supported.  BREATHE.  TRUSSSST!!!  And I will.  I have.  I have acted in faith; I have made brave choices.  I have stood up for myself and spoken my truth.  I have continued on my path, and persevered.  But every three seconds for the past ten years, I have stopped to look around, to look back, to call over to people who are 5 or 6 paths over– not even aligned with where I am or where I am aiming to be– and asked, “Really?  Are you sure this is right?  Am I crazy?  Am I totally delusional?”  And while I have never given up on myself entirely, I have doubted myself, I have doubted my life’s path and purpose, and I have doubted the willingness and power of the Universe to protect and direct me.

Until now.  And that is not a ‘wishful thinking’ declaration.  I get it now.  I GET IT.  With manifesting abundance as my goal, I have been committed to my own healing and spiritual growth for more than a decade.  And I have healed.  I have grown.  But I have also struggled beyond reason.  (Rereading that:  yes.  Beyond reason.  Good.)  I have struggled to appear normal–sane, still lovable– to those who could not understand me;  struggled to pay for food;  struggled to make sense of a calling that seemed so cruel, and of instincts that could be keeping me so stuck in desperation.  But as I said.  I get it now.

FAITH has been the point of it all, for me.  Faith.  That is the lesson behind this entire journey.  I am here to master faith.  And with this clear recognition (oh sweet Jesus thank you for this revelation) I see:  It is easy to have faith when it’s easy.  If you are mastering faith, things might have to get a little hard.  But as soon as you realize this, the lesson is over.  You have faith, and the struggle falls away.

Doubt is not a helpful little tool for keeping us safe, savvy, or aligned with good common sense, as its ambassador, the ego, would have us believe.   Doubt is fear.  And it shuts down instincts, inspiration, and dreams.  If you have a vision for yourself and your life, a goal you would love to achieve, a path that you fiercely believe in:  FOLLOW IT.

Analyze, if you want to.  Intellectualize.  Discuss, and make notes, and hold off on action until you feel you’re ready to go– if that’s what feels good to you.  Or embrace the opposite:  know, from deep within yourself, and go for it.  Leap.  Cut the ties.  Dive in.  Just do not let anyone, or anything, convince you that you’re crazy, or wrong, or ridiculous.  Please do not allow yourself to believe that because someone is more successful than you, they must ‘have it right’.  That because they love you, they must know better than you what is in your best interest.  Or that because they have helped you, you kind of owe it to them to follow their advice.

Your dreams and desires have made themselves known to you because they are meant to see the light of day.  And they have arisen within you because it is only you who can bring them into being in the way that they need to be expressed.  Your path can unfold with ease.  All that is required of you is faith in that path; trust in the worthiness and validity of your dreams; and total, unwavering belief in yourself.  It sounds like a tall order, I know.  But it is so worth it.

CEw0F0CW0AA8KBi I am right there dancing with you.

You Are So Loved

I am not usually a fan of ‘do not waste another minute of your life’ maxims.  I feel scolded by them, criticized for wasting talents or wasting time or just generally not doing or being enough.  And I find them pushy, and pressuring.  “Go go go!  Do do do!  Act Now! Act Now! Act Now!” they shout, and incite anxiety within me, and within our already fearful culture.  “GO WHERE???!!!  DO WHAT???!!!  ACT HOW???!!!”  And we all spin in circles with our hearts racing, desperate to find the thing it is we’re supposed to be doing because the CLOCK IS TICKING and we are DOING SOMETHING WRONG.

When a person is ready to hear those words, they may come as inspiration.  But if a person is learning to BE, and love herself and accept herself and trust in uncertainty while she does not know where to go or what to do or how to act, those words can trigger freak-out panic.  So I have tended to ignore them.  Bless them and their senders, and dismiss them as not being very helpful to me.

But I’m going to use them today.

Dear beautiful souls:  Please do not waste another moment of your life in ignorance of how beautiful, lovable, and how truly loved you are.

These sweet words of wisdom, the lesson in my own life, came to me two weekends ago as I sifted through old photos, in search of a shot of Kelley Powell and myself to use in my RR +KSP +The Merit Birds post.  I was down in the basement, squatting on the cold cement floor, making peace with the tiny brown spiders I had disrupted when pulling the photos out from their storage space.  And my quick-quick mission to grab the photo I had in mind and zip upstairs turned into a moving and eye-opening hour.

What I saw, squatting and then kneeling and then sitting there, looking at pictures of me in happy, drunken embraces with high school friends at Kellie’s cottage (different Kellie), and then smiling and silly (mostly also drunk) at university, was love.   I was loved

See here’s the thing.  I bought a cute little book recently called The Soulmate Secret, by Arielle Ford.  (I flipped through it in the bookstore for about twenty minutes, and was pleased with myself for being whimsical and inspired and deciding to buy it.  As I walked out of the store a handsome, soulful-looking man with a man-bun was walking right by.  Did I smile?  Take that as a chance to be whimsical and inspired?  Non.  Oh Robin.  I thought, “That can’t be him– I haven’t read the book yet.”)

So you know how we talk about limiting beliefs and how they can hold us back?  Well, invited by my new book to do some digging, I uncovered a whole set of subconscious beliefs that had been messing with my self-esteem and relationships since grade school.  I realized that I had been carrying ‘I am undesirable’ around with me since the 1980’s days of my crush on blue-eyed Robbie Dodd.  (I think they were blue.  Blond hair, anyway.  So cute, when we were ten.)  ‘Boys may like me, but they will never choose me’ was a part of that belief.  And ‘it is a challenge to love me’ evolved easily from that.

It is incredible to fathom the power of our beliefs in determining the course of our lives.  I was a pretty confident girl.  But I would have interpreted these boys’ disinterest, awkwardness or immaturity as evidence of a personal flaw, developed the theory that there was just something about me that was not love-interest material, and hardened that into a belief as my expectations of romantic failure were fulfilled again and again.  With a belief in my undesirability running the show, it didn’t matter that I was smart, funny, or thought I was pretty some of the time.  The law of attraction had to comply with what I was emitting energetically.

So I was attracted to boys who would always pick the other girl.  Young men who felt powerful playing with emotions.  Men who may have taken an interest, but who were incapable of taking action.  And if exceptions to that rule did show up at my door with flowers (I think someone sent me chicken wings once… but never flowers), my ego was so invested in being right about my undesirability that I would send these suitors away.  I would show so-and-so that loving me was hard.  There was something wrong with me, after all.  And if he couldn’t see it then there was obviously something wrong with him. (I wasn’t sure what ‘it’ was, exactly.  But I soon came to doubt the very attributes I had viewed as strengths.  I reasoned that  funny wasn’t sexy, smart wasn’t sexy, and pretty wasn’t… well, with small breasts, pretty wasn’t sexy either.)

This subconscious belief stuff is fascinating to me.  I hadn’t even realized until just now how insidious this programming was.  It’s not like I believed deep down that I was undesirable, but continued to function happily in other areas of my life. (Which is what I’ve been thinking until now.)  I came to believe that everything about me was undesirable.  YIKES.  And that extends the reach of these slithery roots beyond just my relationships with men.  Unwanted as an actor.  Undesired as a coach… writer, mother, sister, daughter, friend.  Yeesh.  I’ve got to go back and update my affirmations.

I love affirmations.  They have always worked really well for me, and I enlisted their aid two months ago when my ‘undesirability’ program first came to light.  “I am desirable, and I always have been.  I am desired.  I am loveable and loved.”  And then some special wording for the lover-man.  “My soulmate and I are drawn to each other.  We connect easily and ___________.”  (Blissfully, happily, romantically, nakedly.  Whatever.)  Thankfully, I had done enough heart healing and Robin-loving up to that point that releasing and replacing my negative beliefs was actually easy.  I was mindful of my affirmations moving forward, and put the past behind me.

Cue:  the basement.  I was looking for a photo of two nineteen year-old girls in red t-shirts and coveralls, when Kelley and I were ‘gaels’ in our second year of university.  It was our esteemed and intoxicated job to lead frosh groups– gaggles of first-year students– through their first week on the Queen’s campus.  This Soulmate Secret stuff was no where near my mind.  I did find the photo I was looking for, but also found Kelley giving our photographer the finger.  (No selfies in 1994.)  Not the best pic to promote a respectable author.  So I kept looking.

And as I’ve already written, what I saw in those albums and envelopes was love.  I had a group of guy friends in high school who were all rather good looking.  We partied together, mostly; a close group of girlfriends and ‘the boys’, at cottages, in bars underage, in basements, in bars when we were of age.  And I was certainly attracted to one or two or three or four of them over time.  But I was always just ‘Robin’ (insert neutral tone here) to them.  The friend.  The one who liked amaretto.  Danced to Abba.  I was never the girlfriend or the lover or the wanted one.  Or so I thought.

Now I’m not saying that these guys were in love with me or pined over me or still think about me every night of their lives and are so happy I’ve made this discovery and are going to call me this evening (every single one of them) and arrange that we live happily ever after.  But right there, in photo after photo, making me sadder and sadder as I stared in awe, was something I had never seen before.  I was liked.  In those embraces I had ignored as perfunctory, I saw caring, and connection.  Interest.  Affection, appreciation.  Possibly desire.  I had mattered.

And I was stunned.  “I didn’t know….” I said out loud, to the spiders, and the ether.  ” I didn’t know…”  On a surface level, I was holding evidence of romantic interest I had not known existed.  Okay.  But the longer I flipped through the photos, from high school through to the end of university, the more deeply the significance of this registered.  A world of possibilities had been open to me– LOVE had been open to me– and I’d never even known.  With my recent shift in perception, my reality had changed.  I was never unloved, or unloveable.  I was never undesired, or undesirable.  I was never un-anything.  God was always there, in everything, as love.  I just couldn’t see it.

So what to make of this gigantic epiphany?  Regret over opportunities missed?  Guilt over wounds I’d inflicted in ignorance of my lovability?  Blame and self-flogging?  Panicked declarations of ‘Never again!  Never again!’?   Those lasted briefly.  What took a little longer to come in but has stayed with me still is grace.  The invitation to question what it would feel like to come to the end of my life, look back, and realize that I had always had everything I’d ever wanted, right there on offer to me, and that I’d missed it.  Can you imagine?  The pit in your stomach as you look down from above and see that everything was available to you?  That the Universe had felt such love for you, that God had answered every prayer, and that Love, and Abundance, and Health and Happiness were always right there… but you hadn’t seen?  You hadn’t known?  That brings tears to my eyes.

And it opens them, too.  I asked myself where I was blind to the blessings within and around me now, and saw that I’ve not come close to perceiving the love that is present in my life.  To my father, my sister, and faraway aunts and uncles, to my mom in the non-physical realm:  thank you.  To my children:  you are love-pumping machines, and I have not fully appreciated nor opened to receive that incredible flow, until now.   I am so loved, becomes the new affirmation.  I have always been so loved.

I have so much, is my new reminder regarding wealth and material possessions.  I have always had so much.  Truly, everything that we desire is here now, and we need only eyes to see it.  “This now is it.  This.  Your deepest need and desire is satisfied by the moment’s energy here in your hand.”  That’s Rumi.  And he seemed to know.

I have since made the peaceful (and not panicked) declaration that I will not waste another moment of my life ‘not knowing’.  A lot of women I know, especially after becoming mothers, have looked at photos of themselves from ten or twenty years ago in complete amazement of how good they looked then, compared to how they see themselves now.  This is the phenomenon of not seeing what is right in front of us.  And I say let’s do away with that now.  Let’s SEE, with eyes of love and truth.  Let us not waste another second of our lives in ignorance of how SO, SO LOVED we are, now.  How BEAUTIFUL.  How ABUNDANT.  How WORTHY.

I have heard men say that what they love about their girlfriend or wife is that ‘she does not know she is beautiful’.  Here I alternate between stone-cold stare and retching motion.  No one likes vanity, je comprend.  But if she does not know her beauty, inside or out, she is not living in her power.  She is not radiating her light into the world.  She is diminished.  And if that is what you like about her, well, God bless you both with eyes to see.

What happens, when you are in your power?  When you know you are lovable, and loved, healthy and wealthy and beautiful now, as you are?  Well then you are aligned with the vibration of Truth.  You are consciously connected to the Source of all Creation, in the flow with the Infinite, and you are truly and totally free.  And you feel that.  You can do anything.

So in every little thing you behold– the chives in a jar on the table because the purple blooms are pretty, the cat (who just barfed and is now curled up asleep), the way the sun is beginning to set after the rain– see the Truth.  Feel that.  And know:  You are so loved.  You are so loved.  You are so loved.

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