An exercise to clear/heal the 5th chakra

I’ve had chronic neck pain and stiffness for years. I’ve thrown everything at it, but, so far, not the kitchen sink. That could make it worse.

Here’s an exercise that I read in a book and decided to try. It suggests going back in your mind to troubling incidents, and finally saying what you wish you could have said. It’s a very healing process.

What I wish I had been able to say…

…and maybe did say when I was an infant and my mother had postpartum and general depression: Where’s my mommy? Why is no one hearing me? Mommy, can’t you hear me? I need you! I’m hungry and I need to be held! I need your touch! I need to feel connected to you. I need to feel safe. I don’t feel safe. I feel cold. I need your warmth. Mommy, please come. Show me that you hear me. Show me that you care. Where are you? I need to see your eyes. I need to feel you close to me! Ma-a-a-m-a-a-a! Ma-a-a-m-a-a-a! Ma-a-a-m-a-a-a!

...when I was a young teenager and my mom asked me to sit with her while she lay depressed, sinking into the couch: Mom, I wish you didn’t feel so bad. I want to be happy and go outside and hang with my friends. I feel trapped. I feel like I can’t move. I feel like I can’t breathe. I think you might hate me if I say No, get up, and leave the house. I wish my siblings hadn’t left home. I wish you and Dad hadn’t divorced. I can’t handle your pain, Mom, it’s too much for me. It’s too big, too deep. I love you, but I can’t fix you. I just want to run and go have fun and forget you and your pain. I want to escape. I feel I’m being held hostage by the pain of your own childhood trauma. I need to go! I need to go! I need to go! I wish I could stand up, walk away from you, and go.

when I was 16 and my step-mother gave me the 3rd degree over many dinners at their apartment while my dad remained silent, except for occasionally chiming in his support of her: I’m not going to college because, frankly, I’m emotionally stunted from having been raised by a depressed and often emotionally unavailable mother whom my sister and I chose to live with after the divorce because we are girls, after having first chosen our dad because the lawyers and my parents couldn’t bring themselves to make the decision for us and now, hey, Dad, why are you double-teaming me and not letting up when you see tears of humiliation and shame roll down my cheeks because I am unable to give satisfactory answers about college and “Why do you love that boy?” Dad, please! I need you to defend me and tell her to back off, but you morphed into an obedient puppy when you married this loud Jewish woman who is seventeen years your younger.

…when my father and step-mother said that my adult boyfriend of several years could not be included in the family group photograph until we were married because he was not officially part of the family: Well, then all you married people can’t be in it either if you can’t guarantee that you’ll never, ever get divorced. This family photo is just a snapshot of who we are as a family right now, in this moment. (My “boyfriend” and I are still not married, but have been together for sixteen years. One married couple in the photo has since gotten divorced.)

I Love what I Love, but Not what I Do

“Let the beauty that we love be what we do.”
~Jalal ad-Din Rumi (1207-1273)

Why are we here? Is there meaning to this life? These questions we have asked for eons. Maybe there is more than one answer.

More importantly, perhaps, what are we here to do? Each of us has been given a “lean.” What do you lean toward? What propels you? What gets your heart pumping, your blood flowing?

Maybe you’re doing that already. Maybe you’ve found a way to make a living at it. Or maybe there’s a chasm of fear in the way disguised as an “obstacle,” a boulder. Is the other side attainable? Is the chasm traversable? Is there a way around the boulder? A path of least resistance?

What’s stopping you? What’s stopping you from reaching the upper limits of your greatest inspiration, your intention and desire for your work–or play–on this planet while you’re here? Perhaps you’re at a loss for what that greatest desire may be. If that’s the case, how do you go forward?

Try these three steps:

Step 1: Remain open to not-knowing. Let the unknown be OK. It will be revealed to you when you are ready. Don’t force an answer. Try to get comfortable with not-knowing.

Step 2: Get in touch with your passion, with what inspires you. How? Try this:

Make a list of what you love. Try not to think in terms of revealing what to do next in your life. Just enjoy the exercise with no judgment. Think about and write down anything you love. Here’s mine in random order:

Exploring spiritual and physical health and wellness
Writing (fiction, non-fiction, comedy)
Making people laugh
Arts and crafts
Helping others
Babies and children
Warm weather
Water and waves

Now, play with the list however you like. For example, what would it look like to merge everything I love into one career?

I could offer workshops in holistic well-being (with childcare provided) on a tropical island or by a lake in summer using comedy, writing, music, art/crafts, dance, and song.

Step 3: Take baby steps toward your dream. Ask your Spirit Guides (or Whomever for you) for your best next steps. Start with today.

Dream, then do laundry. Dream, then plan. Dream, then send an email. Do whatever it takes. Feel the fear, and do it anyway. Go around, through, over, under. Don’t give up.

“Nothing splendid has ever been achieved except by those who dared to believe that something inside them was superior to circumstance.”
~Bruce Barton (1886-1967)

This post was adapted from my older blog, Words of Wisdom.

The Joy of Conflict?

“Conflict is the beginning of consciousness.” ~M. Esther Harding

Conflict. It’s something most of us shy away from. After all, we paid our dues as teenagers, didn’t we? Oh. Maybe that was just me. But, now as independent adults, we can choose to avoid it, like choosing whether or not to make the bed or do our chores.

What’s the point of conflict anyway? Shouldn’t we avoid it…even when it’s unavoidable? Make cookies, not war…and that sort of thing? Don’t we want world peace starting with the person in the mirror? I’m conflicted about conflict. When given the choice between fight or flight, the latter seems more enjoyable, especially if I’m headed to a tropical island! 

Conflict, though, can be a positive thing, an opportunity. An opportunity for growth and change. Most of us resist change too, happily strolling along until life threatens to create so much conflict or major crises that we are forced to change. Why not nip it in the bud and embrace it?

Hey, Change! I see you comin.’ You’re cleverly disguised as Conflict. Ha! You’re not foolin’ me! And I’m not afraid of you…mostly. Yeah. Watch me bend and let you roll off my back. And if you come back with more, I’ll do the same. So there!

Conflict shouldn’t be about “fight or flight.” It should be about resist or grow, and asking ourselves: What am I seeing about myself in this conflict? What is trying to emerge in me? How am I participating? Where am I needing to grow? Where am I falling short? 

Today I will search for the gap within myself and do my best to close it. I will see Conflict for what it is: an opportunity for me to discover my best self.

Oh, Conflict! Who knew a silver lining was part of your clever disguise, you rascal!

This was adapted from my older blog, Words of Wisdom.