On being stuck in traffic

A good playground for being totally present and going with the flow in a chaotic situation is in heavy traffic. This was one of my biggest ah-ha moments ever. I had gotten off work early one day. It’s a rare treat to get off work early, so I ran a few errands downtown. I rarely go south of where I work, so a trip to downtown usually is a headache. This was the perfect day for it! After my errands were all run, I wanted to get home quickly. That should be easy at 3pm, right? Wrong! For some reason it was a very early rush hour and this really soured my mood. It takes an hour to get home as it is. How could I be stuck in traffic? It’s a lovely day and I want to be home quickly, enjoying the sunshine and my animals!

During this rush home, I was listening to a favorite guru, Eckhart Tolle on my iPod. He was talking about presence in the moment from his book The Power of Now. One of my favorite passages is where he talks about not resisting what the present moment brings. I was wholeheartedly agreeing with him about being in the present moment one minute, and complaining loudly to myself about the non-moving traffic the next. [Angrily] “How unfair life is that I’m stuck in traffic on such a gorgeous day!” [Happily] “Yeah, live in the moment as if you accepted it yourself!” [Angrily] “What is with this traffic?”  

I did this mental and emotional badminton a few times until…Shazam…I realized what Eckhart Tolle meant about not resisting what the current moment brought, and laughed at how silly I was being. All this time I was agreeing with the author about living in the moment, and the next thing out of my mouth was a complaint about what was happening. I knew it was time for me to stop complaining about anything. Complaining is non-acceptance of What is. This goes against all my new found philosophies of going with the flow, avoiding chaos, etc. 

That was a defining moment, and a really big insight into my mind chatter. I found I could make that change inside and live a happier life on the outside. I immediately switched to a relaxed mood, turned up some good music, and enjoyed the sunshine and beautiful skies. I sent a good feeling to other cars around me and relaxed. I realized I had been making myself miserable for no good reason. Now it didn’t matter if I was ‘stuck’ in traffic or zooming along the road. You get to choose the mood of the current moment, regardless of the outer circumstances. This makes everything in your life much smoother, happier, easier to experience. Fun even! 

Through the Law of Attraction, we attract what we are signaling. Our inner vibes and energy signals what we want more of. Now I get it. Now it makes sense to me. I was complaining, frustrated and angry. If I continued down that road, I’d only be experiencing more of the same. This was like finding a key that fit every door!

Try using slow traffic as a way to practice mindfulness and patience. Another way I practice patience is to think of the worst scenario of being late. For me, that’s being late for or missing a flight. Even in that instance, you can catch another flight. Maybe you might miss an event. When I feel panic about missing, let’s say, an important event like a wedding, I remind myself that everything happens for a reason. Everything has what I call, divine right timing. Relax and enjoy the moment. Since you are not curing cancer, don’t sweat it! You could be delayed by Spirit because there may be an accident ahead. There are many reasons to just go with the flow and trust in divine right timing of all that is unfolding around you.

 

Pay attention to dreams

For many years now I have been keeping track of my dreams. A private online blog is the best way for me to have a journal I won’t lose, and it’s easy to search. Spirit communicates to me mostly through visuals, although I have had experiences of taste, smell, hearing, feeling and knowing. Mostly I am a highly visual person with super detailed dreams.

After you track your dreams for a while, it will become obvious what to pay attention to, and what to dismiss. The disjointed, out of focus, blurry and gray dreams are what I call garbage can dreams. They are an amalgamation of recent events, worries and other flotsam and jetsam floating around in my psyche. The other type of dream for me to not pay much attention to are what I call spaghetti dreams. When I eat pasta, I eat a load of it. Then I have the same type of dream only going warp 10 and a bit more crazy activity. Those are a bit more fun, but just as disjointed.

There are other dreams that are as detailed, deep, and visual as high definition 3-D movies. The dreams that go quickly, almost like a two or three second snapshot, are the ones I have learned to pay attention to. I find in those two second dreams, time slows way down, and sometimes the detail is turned up. My dreams are mostly visual, with hardly any sound. Spirit tries to get my attention by slowing down time, turning up volume, boosting color on an object, or taking color away.

The other night I had a dream that was only a few seconds long. In the dream I was listening to music and there was this really odd sound of crackling like either a burning fire, or electrical wiring gone haywire from my speakers. I hardly ever experience sound in dreams, so I was paying attention. My ear was close to these speakers and I wondered, what am I hearing? What do I need to know? It was as if the part where I was listening was slowed way down. Upon waking, I noted my dream in my journal and wondered if it was a message from Spirit to fix that one last bedroom of mine with old wiring. Okay, that’s already on the to-do list and electricians out in the sticks/in the mountains are rare as hen’s teeth. Duly noted. I’m on it. Let’s get on with the day.

That evening when I was watching TV my electricity went out. Dang, it was the first time during the weekend I had slowed down to have some time to myself. Okay, I checked the breaker box which I am intimately familiar with. Nothing wrong there. I texted the neighbors, and sure enough, electricity was out in my small town. We all have this system, I call it the coconut telegraph. We get on our phones texting or calling to urge each other to report the outage. This was the 4th of July, totally major holiday, and we needed to let the electric company know there was a problem. The more people that call means the electric company know it’s a wider area experiencing problems and they fix it sooner.

In the mean time, I was happy to sit and read, with actual peace and quiet! There was enough light coming through my window at 6pm. Yay, reading time! I had four books I was exploring at the time. Thank goodness my a/c, ceiling fans and swamp cooler had done their job earlier, keeping my home relatively cool. With power outages you realize how much you have to be thankful for. A ceiling fan swirling overhead. Ice cubes! A fridge full of unspoiled food. Cool air. Light at night. TV, internet and so on. I was fine, but my neighbor needs to keep the oxygen going, it’s a dangerously hot heat wave, etc and so on. The power company did call a few hours later and say that there was a part of a carport (or some other object) that was broken loose by the wind, and crashed into a power line on the pueblo, putting out electricity for over 2000 people in three areas. Yikes!

As I was settling back in to watching TV after the power outage, my thoughts turned back to the dream I had from that morning. Holy crap Batman, my dream foretold of this outage! It was not a dream about me necessarily, but about the area. That’s never happened before, where the message was for something greater than myself. When you start getting messages like these, it’s not necessarily so you can go out and save the world, prevent bad things from happening. This is Spirit very clearly communicating with you. A premonition like this is one way for Spirit to say, your antenna is up, intact and working just fine. Stay tuned for more messages. It’s very affirming to have communication like this.

The interpretation part is up to you. When I was first getting signs from Spirit years ago, it was almost like they were doing ‘testing, testing, 1, 2, 3.” It was more about the process than the message at that time. Be patient and observant.

For me, communication, premonitions, affirmations, visions, and synchronicities go in cycles. The best come between 4 and 6am. I let the dogs out at 4am, go back to sleep, have great dreams. I will have a great number of them for weeks or months, and then nothing. I hate the nothing part! But that’s how it goes. It gives you a sort of down time where you can process things and get back to your waking-world life.

Your personal experience may be totally different from mine. Maybe you don’t remember your dreams, don’t have many, or any. I used to keep a pen and paper by the bed. Sometimes I keep a dry-erase marker in the bathroom by the large mirror in there. I quickly scribble a note about the general contents of the dream when I’m up for a bathroom break. You may get messages some other way from Spirit. You might hear things, know or feel things. Keep a pen and paper in your car, you may remember things if you spend a lot of time in your car like I do. Information may pop into your head that you should pay attention to. We are all different. Everyone has the ability to receive communication from Spirit, if it is nurtured and worked on. That’s my opinion anyway.

Whatever way that Spirit might contact you, keep track of it over time. Note what the process is, not just the contents. Work with it. Be curious and ask for more clarity. Explore. Have fun with it! Be a good investigator and totally feel free to talk to and communicate with Spirit. Believe me, we are not alone, and Spirit is always there, listening, hoping to be of assistance, waiting for your communication. This is one of my favorite topics and I will share more in the future.

Feel free to share your own stories, I’d love to hear them! Click on the headline for this entry and you will find a reply section at the bottom. 

 

 

 

Compassionate or doormat?

Being compassionate and being ‘the wounded healer’ and wanting to help others is a good thing to do. But be careful you don’t overdo it in terms of being a doormat. You should never come away from an experience in compassion feeling used, spent, foolish, tired, or drained. And certainly you should never feel you have been taken advantage of.

Several years back, a local I knew and liked came knocking on my door in a rainstorm. Let’s call him The Farrier. I knew, as did everyone in town, he was recently on the outs with his boss/landlord. He had been kicked out of the place he had been staying, and lost his job. He was at rock bottom. I could not turn him away in the rain. Looking back, he had it timed just right, how could a person turn someone away in a downpour? Once I realized he needed more than shelter from this storm, I made it clear, this was to be temporary. I offered him three months stay, as long as he helped himself to get ahead in the world, not just lay around sleeping. He needed to earn his keep in working toward his future. I stressed it was more important that he work toward his future, than do chores around my home.

At first things went well. He started gathering firewood in the mountains to sell, and he was a farrier, so he had employable skills. He kept his part of the house clean. His needs were few. But I let things go too far too fast. He wanted to constantly borrow my car—a total no no in my book. He needed money all the time, and ate me out of house and home. After only a week his teenaged son and him were reunited. This really complicated things to say the least. His son did not live at my home, but he visited often and of course I had to drive him back and forth, usually a 60 mile round trip. I already drove 84 miles a day round trip Monday through Friday for work. On weekends I strive to never get in my car at all because I am burnt out from driving to work and back.

A few weeks later, on my birthday  (just after Christmas) the Farrier’s son called me. He  wanted to come live with us. Us? Us who? There is no us. I said no, flat out. I think that was the first time in my life the word no came out of my mouth so quickly and so definitively. I patted myself on the back for that one small victory. A few weeks earlier I had been diagnosed with trigeminal neuralgia, an extremely painful, nerve condition. I spent most of my time in bed, in the fetal position trying to figure out how I would have the energy, mental or emotional capacity to carry on with my job and my life. My family was far way, and I needed them. I could hardly manage my own life, much less take on another person in need. Instead of feeling cared for and nurtured, I was the caregiver to two very needy users.

They were nice to me to my face, but together they made my house look like a tornado hit it. They listened to music that was extremely rude toward women, and never helped with a thing. I fed their unending hunger, allowed them to do laundry, shower, and socialize at my place as if it were a flop house. Things were totally out of control within one week of these two reuniting. The son didn’t live with me but it sure felt like it! He was out of school and had no plans of returning—a high school dropout.

The factor that really kept me from kicking both of them out was this 15 year-old kid’s mother had kicked him out and given up on parenting him. All he had was his dad, who didn’t have the financial or mental capacity to deal with him. Emotionally speaking his dad was at the level of a 12 year old. He treated his son like a buddy, not offering any discipline. What would happen to him if I kicked his dad out? Where would they stay? What would they live on? His dad had given up on any sort of employment. He was flat broke. He’d be on drugs so fast and I didn’t want that to happen. Yet I hated myself and them for making me feel like the world’s biggest doormat. When I did suggest they clean up, etc. the change was short lived and things reverted back to chaos and drama. How to resolve this?

Before I gave them both the heave-ho, my compassionate side agonized with my rational side. I kept rolling this problem over and over in my head. How could I deal with this successfully, give this guy and his son the platform and foundation they needed for a better Continue reading

Coping patterns

“Don’t take anything personally. Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality. Their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.” —Don Miguel Ruiz

For many years after traumatic, chaotic, emotionally and mentally abusive events occur, your body goes through the motions of post-traumatic effects. Your body and you create what I call coping patterns. My brain tells me the daily abuse is over and I am healed, but my body doesn’t care where the attacks come from. All it know is it is time to ride out the storm for a few days if something happens that is not part of a normal day. Even one person, or a group of people in a meeting talking over me loudly ignoring what I have to say, will set off an episode of what I call hunkering down. These are big triggers for me. Your body has a way of remembering how you got through the abuse. It gets tired, slowing you down, making you sleep a lot. Maybe you eat your way to comfort, or drink yourself to sleep. You cocoon. You repair. You sleep.

Your body will hold onto past trauma, this has been scientifically proven. That’s why doing body work such as yoga, Tai Chi, breath work, meditation, and other physical techniques are beneficial. Doing these activities can help your body release old trauma. Also simply recognizing you are having an episode can help bring you out of it and help you cope in a better way.

For me any trauma would have me laying low for three days. I would experience a crushing tired/exhausted feeling near the end of my body’s processing of the perceived trauma. I knew from experience it would take three days for my body to adjust to something my mind was okay with. I call it ‘perceived trauma’ such as a verbal attack or challenge. In my marriage, I was constantly belittled, verbally attacked, torn apart, and mentally and emotionally abused on a daily basis. After a while I did not know up from down. Just getting through a day with no bumps in the road was a small miracle. I kept trying to please my husband and I would work my tail to the bone and still he was unhappy about some part of his life. He took it out on me. He told me, it was always my fault! Almost anything would set him off, and it was usually nothing to be upset at. Nonetheless he would batter me and badger me and make my life miserable. That takes a toll on a person.  Continue reading

The long exhale

The two years of unwinding on all levels after my divorce was a period I refer to as The Long Exhale. Being in a poisonous, dramatic, very chaotic environment for 18 years did some major damage. I recall the first day after my husband was kicked off the property by the police and the divorce was proceeding. I knew there was a huge shit storm coming my way, because he was a supreme manipulator and a huge drama queen. He hated being challenged or bested and he was the ‘never give up’ kind of guy. I was in for the ride of my life, but I knew divorce was at hand. My life depended on it. The first day back at the property after I had just arrived home from work, I got out of the car, was greeted by my animals and heard myself say out loud “I’m going to be just fine!” I don’t even know what part of me said that! But it was nice to hear. I was a very happy camper to finally be out of that nightmare. I was now the captain of my own ship!

During the time of The Big Change, I dropped so much of my old life by the wayside. Dropped bad habits, old outdated ideas. I got my self confidence back bit by bit. The support came from many places: friends, Buddhist lectures, work and co-workers, taking up a life with horses, etc. Help manifested itself in so many ways. I had much to dump, much to relearn and so much to explore. It was like shedding an old skin that no longer suited me and being totally reborn, from head to toe. But it took a long time for this to happen. This sort of deep change comes slowly. But is well worth it.

The single life suits me very well and I never in my life thought I would be totally content and happy being single. My new life is very different than my old life, and all of it is by my own design. Things I want in my life are there, or coming into being. Things I don’t want have been tossed out, abandoned or given the heave-ho. In order to get to this new life, it took a lot of work, exploring, research and guts that I didn’t know I had. I would never trade this new life for anything else on the planet. But it took a lot of work to get to this point, this new level of living co-creatively.

If you have been through a rough patch, regardless of the length of time you were in it, please give yourself time to heal, adjust, renew, replenish, explore, test, and invent your new life. You have an opportunity to reinvent yourself. This will be a great time of growth. Give yourself and your body a huge break from being perfect or meeting anyone else’s expectations, especially your own. You may need a long exhale too.

Personal power and those ruby slippers

Looking back on my very difficult, abusive marriage, I realize I always had a choice. I could have left the instant my instincts said this was a bad pairing, a bad marriage, a very bad experience. Like Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz story, she found out about the magical powers of her shoes late into her journey. Many people would have been angry at finding out so late, that they had the power to fix things all along. But Dorothy had no regret in the difficult, mysterious, scary path she had taken that seemed out of her control. 

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She had a fantastic journey and met many friends along the way. Had she chosen to use the power of her magical ruby slippers sooner, she would never have found her voice and her own personal power. Without this difficult journey, she would not be the same person she was by the end of the movie.

I felt the same was true with my situation. Even though my marriage and split was hard and seemed out of my control, was full of pitfalls, daily emotional and mental drama, and frustration at every turn, it made me stronger and is still giving me insights. Through this baptism by fire, I found my voice and my personal power, and no one can take that from me, ever again. (Cue the happy ending music!)

The most life-changing insight of all was that I always had a choice. As hard and painful as the path had been to get to this insight, I was happy to be where I was at once I was on the other side of all the drama and chaos. I have no regrets about the past, nor do I feel I ‘wasted’ my time, as some people say about a failed marriage. It was the path leading to my own personal freedom and power, that taught me to be a compassionate person toward others. I would not give it up for anything! It was hard won and now I own it. I am fully in charge of my life, co-creating my future, compassionately, lovingly. Our paths have many joys and many pitfalls. All experiences are for our highest good, even though at the time, we may not think so. 

The Big Change

In some posts I talk about The Big Change I went through. And so you will know when I mention this in future blog posts. I was married for over 18 years to someone I loved. Over time this person become volatile, chaotic, overly dramatic and downright cruel. Every day mental and emotional torture and anguish were mine to deal with. I kept trying to keep my marriage together, but it didn’t work. Hanging on way past the time I should have left was foolish, but keep in mind the idea of Divine Right Timing. You do things when you are ready. Time was running out and I knew I would either be dead shortly, or I would have to get out of the marriage. Our split would mean this person would go kicking and screaming, would make my life miserable, with more drama than any drama llama could muster. It all happened as I suspected. But all that is water under the bridge.

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The Big Change was not living in that very abusive and demoralizing situation where I constantly undervalued and ignored my own needs. The divorce was not The Big Change as many might assume. The Big Change was the seven or eight years after the split where my spirituality and love of anything I was denied during the marriage were explored deeply and passionately, with huge doses of cowgirl common sense thrown in for good measure. My ex hated God, religion, or the idea of anything greater than himself. He especially hated and abhorred anything metaphysical. Now that I was no longer being held down by him, I had my time to explore, have fun, and really dig into many areas of life that had previously been shut off to me.

In returning to what I call a new normal, many things that I was exploring were Continue reading

Be the space for

What does that mean, to be the space for something or someone? For me, it means detaching from the drama, the chaos, and the emotionality of what is unfolding. It also means to hold space for what is occurring to let things be for the highest good for all concerned, without your personal bias. It’s on an energetic, vibe level that you are holding space. That’s holding space or being the space for something or someone.

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Being the space for two people, let’s say two good friend who are arguing, would be to detach emotionally, stay present, send love and don’t hope for any particular outcome. Remain neutral as possible while supporting the space for this to occur. It is very important to make sure you are not biased in the outcome whatsoever. Make sure it is for the highest good of all concerned.  Continue reading

What exactly are vibes?

Yes, I use fluffy words like vibes, energy, and intuition. That’s part of who I am after the big change after my divorce. I am a changed person for the better, but man it was hard work and very humbling. Yet a big part of me is the same old Pat. Back to the subject at hand. Vibes and energy are a big part of the new me and my new knowledge and experience. The following is what I have learned through experience.

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Certainly vibes are part of the energy all around us, part of the Universal Flow of energy, and part of having a loving intent. But what exactly are vibes? How I explain it to students is like this: Imagine at your core is one guitar string. Each morning you wake up you pluck this string to activate your inner vibe, your inner energetic hum. What will yours be set to? Happiness and joy, or frustration and anger? Helplessness and feeling trapped, or self-actualized intent? This is another way you can be in authenticity as the author of your life.

Imagine a large guitar string at your very core, the length of your body, going from your head to your feet. Imagine plucking the string even before you get out of be (if this is possible!) Set this vibe to something happy, joyful, inquisitive, helpful, and fun. You decide. It’s your life, your day, your vibe. This will affect people around you, and honestly, the entire Earth vibe picks up on it. You are contributing to a whole. Make it good!  When you pluck this string, Continue reading

What are you attracting?

If I could tell people about my greatest truth or personal discovery, my answer would be Everything is Energy! It is my own philosophy that came through observation and my own life experiences. If your current inner hum or inner energy or vibe is frustration, that is what you will attract more of. If it is happiness, that is more of what you will attract. For me, that’s a fact, Jack! You can feel the energy in a crowd of people, in a small group, or in one person.

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I have felt the energy of an event or person to make an informed choice. I use my intuition every day doing many routine tasks to feel the energy of What Is, to make the best decisions going forward. You can too.

This does not guarantee life won’t throw you a curve ball now and then. But the only real power or control you have is how you act in regards to the outer circumstances. You can use your knowledge of the energy of a situation or person to guide you.