Thursday, February 28, 2013

Hitting Bottom.. it's a gift!

One of the greatest tools I've received from a few different spiritual teachings I've been involved with is to be willing to take my "own inventory" and disregard the "other" person's flaws or wrong doing entirely. To put my full attention on what is arising in me and to take full responsibility for my own experience.
I got the same message from Non Violent Communication training and many other empowering communication teachings. Practice making "I" statements, look at "my" part, what am I doing specifically that is contributing to my own pain, misery and suffering. 
This "shift" to focus on myself is a process and something I've had to commit to fully over and over. It's a complete 180 from what I learned growing up which was to blame, point the finger, indulge stories of how others were falling short and therefore deflect and ultimately "manage" the disappointment and pain I felt around not being loved, valued, met, seen or cherished by others.
I know that for me, the judgments I've had about "others" (especially those that I've most wanted to love me, accept me, approve of me, include me) come from this very young part of me, the part that feels that it "needs" this love, approval, care taking in order to survive. The hurt and at times devastation I have felt when I've felt rejected, unloved, not taken care of, etc. has seemed to take me over and I've developed a pattern of moving away from, trying to numb out, avoiding this pain at all costs. 
At some point I got really clear that the ways I tried to avoid the pain did not work anymore, I could not drink it away, smoke it away, eat it away, shop it away, blame it away. I may have been able to bury the hurt for a time, but it always arose again, and I began to see that my avoidance of these afflictions actually seemed to fuel them.
I experienced this as "unmanageability" in my life and it showed up everywhere, in my relationships, finances, with my family, in intimacy, with my kids and with myself. I was at war with myself, resisting what I felt I could not handle, seeking my well being and contentment in my relationships and always being let down and disappointed. Afflictive thoughts, painful feelings, and challenging experiences and my inability to "manage" these when they arose brought me to a desperate state.  
I've actually found myself in this place many times over the past 22 years. I'd call it "hitting bottom", physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. Each of these "bottoms" has opened me up in different ways, cracked me open, helped me to see things and given me clarity. Ultimately I've needed to face myself, to face everything, to take full responsibility and to "open myself up fully" to life and ultimately to discover that the "opening" is how I discover the depth and fullness that I am. 
Eventually I could see that "all the experiences of life" are gifts (even the most afflictive) in disguise, they are "for" me, in that they are here to open me to mySelf, to help me to discover my own ground, my innate stability that is always available but I'd not known before.
Facing the greatest challenges in my own life has given me the ability to have an unshakable serenity in the face of any calamity. 
This is an invitation to face yourself, discover yourself, meet yourSelf, show up for yourself. I've walked this path and I can provide guidance and encouragement for you to do the same. Where ever you are in your journey to discover your wholeness, your ground, your peace, your life satisfaction. I'm here to illuminate the next few steps, to offer clarity and perspective, to point your back to your power, to reinforce your capacity to face what's here, to cheer you along and offer you the direct benefit of my own experience. 
So I'm wondering, what's up for you now, what specifically you are struggling with, where do you feel stuck, and if you know, what's the story you are running. What are you struggling with, what is a major judgment (story) you have about "someone" who you think has hurt you? What's a pattern in your life that is not serving you? What would you like to let go of?
You can post here or email me at and I'll address questions at
You can also find out about how to find your own liberation here

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Find your contentment here.. here... here..

I took my kids to the Boulder Film Festival today and we saw the firm "Little World". It's a true story about 20 year old Albert who travels the world with no money in a wheel chair,. He's been traveling for 5 years since he was 15, following his passion to travel and roam in the biggest adventure he can imagine by meeting people along the way who offer rides, food, lodging and companionship. Every day he explores just what he can do with no money of his own. It's remarkable how he is provided for and he is always content with what shows up. He is always naturally finding something to be grateful for! My experience is that this appreciation is both a practice as well as the natural expression of being aligned with your truth, your hearts desire, reality itself.

Alberts life message is that you've got to do what you love, do what makes you happy and be happy with what you do!  His commitment and perseverance to take each next step of the journey and enjoy it all is inspiring.  He is fearless and never complaining, criticizing, blaming or making anyone or anything wrong!

This is the exact commitment I've made and it's transformed my life.

I came to this commitment because I had deeply explored blame, criticism, making others wrong and the result was that I felt awful, like a victim of life and totally disempowered. These ways that I was resisting life ( blame, criticism and making others wrong) and not taking responsibility for my own well being (in my belief that others could bring me well being or take it from me) became a habit that I felt trapped by.

Gratefully we come to reality or realization through desperation or through inspiration, and I seem to have this incredible commitment to truth and growth which is forever clarifying and illuminating my misunderstandings.

Reality seems to keep coming back for itself, truth is unrelenting in clarifying what's actually happening and what actually works. In a moment of clarity, I made this commitment to remember who I am, to find my center and to live from that center rather than complaining and criticizing and indulging the story about what's wrong.

It's like I just got into the habit of driving down blame lane, cruising along complaint corner, focused on  "what I thought was wrong" highway. Through the practice of remembering who I really am, acknowledging my true nature, consciously keeping myself in the flow of what is by not resisting, I just naturally spent less time with these habits until I felt released.

I started to notice that i was just "accepting life" more, fighting less, resisting less, going with the flow and enjoying myself and naturally feeling more empowered and of greater service to myself and those around me. When my kids would "act up"(refuse to cooperate), I felt this growing capacity to see them for who they really are and I saw that I had so many options to respond with love and tenderness. When disturbing thoughts or feelings arose, I could just relax and feel this stable ground under me and I noticed that I did not have to be swept away by my stories and create drama about what I was thinking of feeling. I could pause, relax and notice what was here when I was still and not distracted by thoughts.

I discovered that by allowing what is, by bringing myself into agreement with what was happening, I continued to be in the flow of life. By not resisting what was arising, both internally and externally I found that I had a greater capacity to stay open to the infinite creative and wise responses and ability to contribute in a kind, loving and respectful way.

Kids are really quick at moving through things, they may have really big surges of feelings, but 10 min later it's gone with no residue. They can have a fight, hit each other, call each other awful names and 10 minutes later, run off and play together with no residue of what transpired just minutes before. They live in now, they feel what they feel and if allowed express what's up for them, it releases and they move on. They are much more easily in the flow of life, less conditioned, more present, less encumbered.

We all have access to this for the "unconditioned" presence as it is actually what we all are at our essence. This neutral open ground that underlies all of the descriptions that we normally layer on what we are is where we find our natural contentment. Not content because we are getting what we want, or have what we think we need or we like our circumstances, but content because we are in awareness of who we really are, what our actual capacities are. This contentment is available in all circumstances, however we feel, what ever thoughts are arising, whatever circumstances are present. This is the ground of being and it's here, here, here..

Love to hear how you are recognizing this..