Sankofa| Looking back

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“My sun sets to rise again.” – Robert Browning

With years removed from what I considered my awakening, I have to admit, I still find myself wondering what happened to me. All-in-all, I believe it was for the good and that it was divine but there is a piece of me that wonders if some of the opinions I received were true.

One person I confided in during that time thought that I was depressed. So I sat with that at the time. I understood what depression was but not for me. I was sad and things could have been better at the time but depressed? Maybe. I was having trouble sleeping. I had a lot of responsibilities at the time. Then there were times when just like that, I would have epiphanies, parable-like dreams and foretelling’s. Does depression look like that? I wondered.

One person thought that I was in spiritual warfare. I thought about this because I couldn’t dismiss this entirely either, after all, I was constantly reading the bible. A big part of awakening had everything to do with questions surrounding my beliefs in God. I became consumed with the teachings of the bible because I was desperate for answers. I look back now and question if my constant studying of the bible caused my night terrors, because they resembled the stories I read before bed.

Today I come across articles often where people are trying to figure out if they have had a psychotic break or a spiritual awakening. And like them, I wonder if something else was going on. I am even afraid at times for people who seek this experience, although I am aware that not everyone has had an unpleasurable experience. The closest experience I have read to what I experienced was the ayahuasca experience. If you know anything about ayahuasca, you know that it’s frightening. Now imagine having that experience without having to consume anything. This is why I am fearful when I read about people who seek out shamans for this experience. I would rather offer a more natural way that I believe leads to awakening.

I believe that examining your beliefs and going within yourself in search of the answers to life’s hardest questions can catapult you into a spiritual awakening. Only your higher source and your higher self can give you the answers you seek.

We only see what we want to see.; we only hear what we want to hear. Our belief system is like a mirror that only shows us what we believe. – Don Miguel Ruiz

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I offer you two important pieces of advice regarding a spiritual awakening. One, believe in something greater than yourself and lastly, trust that this greater source is forever working on your behalf.

What I needed most during this period was the unwavering belief that God was there the whole time. My spiritual awakening further imprinted on my heart and mind that no matter what this life offers me, I can overcome. I wish it didn’t have to take a spiritual awakening, but it did.

Letting Go and Flying Free

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“Incredible change happens in your life when you decide to take control of what you do have power over instead of craving control over what you don’t.” – Steve Maraboli

 

After reading an article about letting go and flying free, I sat there and thought about the times I relied on other people to walk with me into my destiny. I was afraid to go at it alone. It didn’t matter how inspired I was, I needed someone else to be there to hold my hand. I often thought that if I just had someone to walk me, I could do anything. As the years went on, I discovered that if I was going to get anything accomplished in my life, I needed to change my thinking.

The truth is, unless you let go, unless you forgive yourself, unless you forgive the situation, unless you realize that the situation is over, you cannot move forward. –Steve Maraboli

I became disgusted with myself after a while, because I felt like I was letting myself down every time that lie of needing someone surfaced when I wanted to go to an event, go to the movies, try something new, socialize, go out to dinner, etc. So here’s what I did.

For every time that negative phrase rose up out of me, I reprogrammed my thinking and said, I’m never going to get anywhere waiting on other people. I repeated, I’m never going to get anywhere waiting on other people, until it was a natural reaction.

What a liberation to realize that the ‘voice in my head’ is not who I am. ‘Who am I, then?’ The one who sees that. –Eckhart Tolle

Life experience has taught me that, everything is not for everybody. We have to be willing to step out in order to step into our purpose. To rely on others out of fear is an excuse that will only keep us stagnate. I use this wisdom now as a  compass that reminds me that, I’m never going to get anywhere waiting on other people.

It’s easy to blame other people when you’re stuck in your thinking. How easy was it to say that the reason for my lack of success was because other people didn’t go with me?  When I reprogrammed my thinking I became the author of my own stagnation. If I didn’t do anything, the blame rested with me only.

When you blame others, you give up your power to change. – Robert Anthony

I encourage you to read 10 Things I’ve Let Go and How This Has Set Me Free, because it inspired me to take a look at not only what set me free but what else I can do to liberate myself even more.

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I AM HUMAN

“Today I choose life. Every morning when I wake up I can choose joy, happiness, negativity, pain… To feel the freedom that comes from being able to continue to make mistakes and choices-today I choose to feel life, not to deny my humanity but embrace it.” – Kevyn Aucoin

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There are times when the sun isn’t shinning and things are just too much for one person to handle. In these moments we are left with nothing else to do but to let go. We know this and we are good at letting go BUT—there are days when it’s necessary to scream and cry.

It is times when life seems too heavy of a burden, and we may not want to read about happy people and sunshine. On those days we don’t want to be the bigger person. On those days we don’t want to hear our conscious telling us that, “You’re not so innocent yourself.” It is on those days that we don’t want to hear all that expected, yes expected nonsense that people feel necessary to spew like, you’ll be ok, pray on it, ask the “blah-blah” for guidance, do yoga, meditate, etc.

What makes us human? The want to just BE. We don’t want to make excuses for being human. We don’t want to hear ridiculous advice about forgiving people who clearly caused us pain and discomfort.

What makes us human? The want to be angry at times. The want to not like someone and be able to voice it without a fight. We don’t hate them, but there are some people we just don’t like.

What makes us human? The want to scream. The want to scream at people that pretend that they are innocent.

What makes us human? The ability to remember that for every time someone pisses us off, we can recall a time when we did that same thing to someone else.

What makes us human? The feelings of defeat when we feel like we are being pulled in multiple directions.

What makes us human? The want to cry because we feel like things are falling apart.

What makes us human? The ability to choose. It is this ability alone that liberates us. The choice in any given moment to: scream, cry, kick, say no, run, love, punch, walk away, dislike, fall down, accept, lie, curse, cut off, tear up, throw away, write down, record, recall, attend, dismiss, engage, store, soar, shout, crush, step on, deactivate, jump, stand, voice, spend, shake, bow down, quit, relax, piss on, apologize, conform, eat, sleep, slam, pick, laugh, smile, give away, serve, march, spit on, vote for, organizer against, sacrifice, visit—TO BE HUMAN.

Share in one word, “What do you want to do?”

-Wake38

Earth Park

“It is through gratitude for the present moment that the spiritual dimension opens up.” – Eckhart Tolle

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What if I said, heaven and hell had no place in the afterlife? What if I said, that we all just become formless–– wandering about the world? What if I said, that the house we grew up in or the home we lived in right up until the day we died ––the one that we paid the mortgage on for 30 years didn’t count on the other-side?

What if I said, that there isn’t a hierarchy in this sacred space?  What if I said, the people we hate live in our house, invisibly watching our every move? Do you think we all just float up or down depending on how much good or bad we contribute to the world? Don’t we have enough to worry about let alone trying to figure out what will happen on some random day in the future, near or far?

Will we ask ourselves, what really matters when our body melts away? How will we go; without realizing it, will we make a sudden move to notice that we’re a little lighter than before? In that moment will we see ourselves slumped over like an ill-fitting coat that we just tossed away?  Will we panic and rush back to our side, like the hermit crab too scared to strike out to find a more fitting shell, so we hide behind our lifeless body like a naked soul until we’re found out?

There we’ll be without any second chance, without anyone to tell, shifting invisibly from one place to another living among the physical realm. Our own mother afraid to admit that she feels us next to her. We will be too new to know how to express ourselves without our body. We will be too new to send warnings about impeding danger. We will be too new to know how to clear the house of strangers and enemies living invisibly among our loved ones. We will be too new, so we still view them as people with high and low status.

We will still function as if we still had limbs, it’s easier that way. Even a newly severed hand feels functional. Even the amputated leg still kicks at the air. Even the dead dress themselves and mock a routine that no longer serves them––visiting old friends and love ones.

What would it all be for in the end, a pastime? An amusement park we call Earth. Some rides lasting long enough to pull us through the birth canal. Some rides taking forever, round and round like a merry-go-round. Then there are some rides that take us straight ways lasting well into retirement, but of course the lines are longer and some figure too long of a ride to wait. Plus, they heard that it’s not worth it in the end; you get off with a headache and the re-entry takes too long. Why make a fuss if we all just end up at the same end? Some don’t ride at all, they’d rather hear about it and that’s a ride in itself without the pain of dizzy spells or abandonment issues.

Who is the mastermind behind this Earth Park? Every engineer that stands in line, of course. Everyone fooling themselves that they know how to make the park more interesting. Everyone believing in teamwork until they’re next in line switching amniotic fluid for air and what was before fades away with our purpose dissipating in the air. A purpose where all for one, one for all is lost on forgetfulness, but those invisible spirits keep rooting for us, their fantasy-like football team MVP of a lifetime. Will we remember to get the golden ticket and turn on the light of this world and tear the curtain that separates the blind from the seers?

Patterns in Life

“Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change we seek.” – Barack Obama

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When we are mad, we’re mad!!! Has it become normal to get mad and say, “I quit?” Let think about the times in a moment of discomfort that we made snap decisions to: look for a new opportunity, to consider relocating, to work on rediscovering our abs, to get healthy, to read more, to pay down debt, to study harder, to make wiser choices, to meditate, to get serious about life, to leave our no good boyfriend/girlfriend, to quit smoking, to switch banks, and on and on.

Although, it’s great that we get pissed off and decide right then that we need to make it happen, it usually doesn’t carry enough steam to carry us very far. As stated before it’s natural to have all these great ideas about how to effectuate change, but it’s also wiser to be proactive. Why wait until the bill collector threatens us or decide to look for a new opportunity when a colleague upsets us?

Temporarily discomfort doesn’t tend to move people to action that will garner real change. When the event that triggered our want for change has subsided we tend to revert back, don’t we? We forget until we are in a similar situated place and we fall back into panic mode, could’ve, should’ve, would’ve, right?

The next time that happens let’s try to…

(1) Journal/audio record the list of things you desire to change.
(2) Compare your previous entries and make note of patterns.

Most times the list will repeat. This is a great way to discover  patterns.
If every time it is written that…
“I’m over this job.” Start looking for another job and/or start increasing your skills.
“I’m tired of this belly fat.” Start exercising and/or eating healthier.
“I’m tired of these bill collectors.” Start with one bill and pay it down or consolidate your bills.
“I hate speaking in front of people.” Practice talking in front of the mirror, or your family.

Recognizing patterns is just one element but a very important one. It gives us a great starting point. It’s not enough to blow-up month after month at the moment of inconvenience and then let it go. Our life is telling us something and we need to pay attention to it. Patterns are potential paths to creating a new reality.

As we began to see how acts repeat in our lives we can begin to benefit from our observations. We can train ourselves to be proactive by knowing our patterns. If we know our pattern of negative repetition, we can begin to overcome it. The in the moment reaction in a blow-up gives us the insight to change – repetition reinforces the urgency for our need to act. Let’s vow to be more conscious of our patterns; if we are not, let’s be bold enough to admit our part in it.

We Never Really Think About It

“As long as a habit or routine dictate the pattern of living, new dimensions of the souls will not emerge.” – Henry Van Dyke

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We wake-up from a good night’s rest. We stare at the ceiling. We close our eyes and press snooze. We wake-up again. We shift the covers and look at the time. We stare back at the ceiling. We rub our faces and close our eyes. We let our minds drift over task minor and major. We stare at ceiling. We try to recall a dream. We close our eyes attempting to squeeze it back into view. We snap out of it when we feel ourselves falling back asleep. We sit up in the bed. We rub our faces. We look at the floor to make sure there are no sharp objects. We stretch. We yarn. We rub our faces. We rub our hair. We rotate our head round and round. We rub our faces. We contemplate laying back down. We look at the clock or our phone. We place the phone on the charger. We stand.

All of this happens and we are not even conscious of it. The routine set in place over the years that start the course for our day. We don’t need a list. We don’t need to be reminded to do this. We don’t need help. We don’t forget. We just do it.
When you think about it, we are all born successful. We all have what it takes to accomplish whatever aspiration we chose. We have the ability to lay a solid foundation and once laid we can chose at any time to change the elements of that foundation, one small minute step at a time.
Imagine for a second researchers looking into our homes through a two-sided glass.
The researcher will come to the glass of your neighbor’s home and say, “The subject will complain every day about lack of finances but chose to do nothing about it.”
“I have concluded that the subject will continue this pattern for 10 more years.”
The researchers all go silent and document this behavior and move on.

Next researcher, new neighbor, “This subject will wake-up and say to themselves how much they hate their job.”
“I have concluded based off of the subjects’ history that they will continue this pattern for 3 more years before changing.”
The researchers all go silent and document this behavior and move on… to your house. What will the researcher say about you?

If we cannot put our minds around the little goals then the bigger goals will seem to always elude us. If we want to start a venture and have decided before anything is executed to go from 0 to a 100 then chances are we may not be as successful. We need to take a serious look at ourselves because burying ourselves with tasks before laying the foundation equates to: FEAR.

Make it small and succeed. The more we execute those smaller goals, we become immune to fear!

Judging is so easy to do, says the perfect person.

“Love is the absence of judgment.” – Dalai Lama

I understand why we are so quick to judge others but are not so readily able to look at ourselves and see those same fault/flaws in ourselves. We all want to appear perfect and far removed from what we believe are dumb choices.

When will we grow to understand and draw upon our own past for guidance? We are often so quick to put a magnifying glass on others mistakes while passing judgment. In those moments, we need to practice empathy and do some self-talk that dares us to put our own faults ahead of our words and say, I was there once and made those same choices, now how and what can I use from this lesson to share a teachable moment in an effort to offer them tools that worked for us?

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