New Year

2017 ended with what felt like gale force winds and stormy skies. It was an interesting year for sure. It showered me with a few blessings, a new place, a new full-time job in a career I thoroughly enjoy, a teenager…
 
And it was wrought with pain and hurt, filled with challenge after challenge that tested my strength on every level. The challenges got worse as the year progressed. Physical and mental health challenges, relationship challenges, that teenager… oh what a challenge that one!! Ending…literally days before Christmas… with the closure of my workplace that had felt like home and the loss of that full-time job that had allowed me the shifts that I had made in my life this year.
 
And the weight of the last few months was almost unbearable. I felt myself suffocating, drowning, barely clinging on… almost ready to quit it all.
 
And so I did what I do when the world starts to spin out of control. I withdrew from the chaos and found the eye in the storm, that quiet place within, from which I watch my life and anchor down the things that are spinning out of control.
 
I took stock of my strengths and reminded myself of who I am.
I replayed the mistakes I made and took notes so I can learn from them and not repeat them.
I flexed my emotional and mental muscles so I don’t get crushed by the weight of those painful emotions and negative thoughts.
 
I am not the storm.
I am not the chaos.
I am not the pain.
 
I am stronger and bigger than all of it. And I am more than capable of overcoming these challenges. Because I never give up. And I will never surrender. I will be the change I want to see.
 
Nothing worth having comes easy, and I have always fought to create the things I want in life. I have learned that the things that I want are worth the effort. And so I begin 2018… a little banged up, a little bruised… but stronger, wiser and more self-aware than I was last year. More determined to chase away the demons that plague me and more solid in my resolve to strengthen myself so that I can weather any storm heading my way.
 
For they will come.
 
And I will be ready.
 
Happy new year.
May we all find the courage to face our demons and the strength to weather the storms that are coming.

The Void – Part 3

The void I embraced

I started spending more time in the void.

The more I wandered into it the more comfortable I got with it. The more confidence I gained. The braver I became. More resilient. I took my strengths in there with me and I found it easier to explore. I wasn’t the weakling my fear had let me believe I was.

The more I explored the more I uncovered. There was a whole world of information hidden in that darkness. Like buried treasure. More valuable and precious.

I discovered things about myself. About the world I lived in. About how and why I chose to show up and interact with the world the way I did. Little nuggets of wisdom and insight. Little self-truths that let me truly align with myself. And be more authentically me.

But I was also tired. All that exploration is tiring. Mentally, emotionally and physically exhausting. And the urge to give up my exploration was strong. The temptation to go back to avoiding it and running from it grew stronger the more tired I got. I could just go back to numbing the pain and changing the channel.

But I chose again to fight that urge to run. I had already gained so much. Why stop now?

So I embraced it. The fear. The tiredness. The emotional overwhelm. All those negative thoughts.

And I found my spiritual self. And connected with my energetic self. And that changed it all. I now had all the tools I needed to conquer that void. With my inner connection stronger than it had ever been, I realised I was more powerful than the void. And that it wasn’t scary anymore, just unknown. But I knew myself now, and that wisdom allowed me to face that unknown without fear. For I knew me.

I discovered my strengths in that embrace. And my weaknesses. I connected with all the many parts of myself who all seemed to have opposing views of me. The voices in my head that were mean and critical. They held beliefs about me. Things about myself that I had no conscious contact with. Beliefs about myself that seemed real, but not founded in reality. They were relentless and innumerable. They threw insults at me and showed me just how cruel I could be to myself. Which was surprising, for I was never that cruel to anyone else. Why was I so hard on myself? Why did I treat myself with such contempt?

I discovered in that embrace that I wasn’t good enough no matter how hard I tried.
I discovered I wanted unconditional love but I wasn’t lovable.
I discovered that I wasn’t worthy and no one cared enough to truly see me.

And then I discovered that was all a lie.

Parts of me believed those lies to be true. And interacted with the world as if they were true. So I settled for less. And was over responsible. And too nice. I sacrificed myself and my needs because parts of me felt like I didn’t deserve to have them met. And other parts felt no one cared enough to meet them.

And then I met the real me. That soul who descended to this earth all those years ago. That authentic me who knew she was love and light. Who lived in confidence and compassion. She knew the lies in my head were not true. She knew it unequivocally. She knew that she deserved the world because she was the world. A piece of the universe manifested. She knew love because she was love. Unconditional love.

I realized in that embrace the extent of my being. The depth of my existence. For so long I believed I was the thoughts in my head. For so long I stayed away from the void because it was scary and evil. But I was none of those things.

I was the witness to those things.

That embrace changed me.
It freed me.
It saved me.

I live more fully now. I connect with myself and the world more consciously since I have more awareness of my subconscious. I know the void and I no longer abhor it. I descend into it frequently… For life has a way of pushing you into the depths of yourself till you triumph over the darkness.

For how can light not triumph over darkness? I am light. Light illuminates the dark dispelling it. I just have to J remember that.

So I pledged to explore that void till it was completely illuminated. Till there was no darkness left. Because I’ve learned that you can’t run from yourself. And if you’re brave enough to face yourself you will be whole, and know love, and be free.

The Void – Part 2

The void I explored

I got tired of avoiding my void at some point in my adolescence. Running away from myself proved to be fruitless and exhausting. I got tired of being scared and haunted by this unknown thing that lived within me. It was scary. It seemed ominous and evil. The pain it emanated was fierce. I was certain it would destroy me. A demon from the underworld sent to devour my innocent soul. And so I was convinced that I needed to protect myself from it at all costs.

But nothing I did worked. It was always there… Looming over me. Ignoring it didn’t work. Avoiding it didn’t work. Pretending it wasn’t there didn’t work. Denying it existed didn’t work. On the contrary it seemed to get bigger… scarier… louder… More maddening.

The exhaustion became unbearable. So I threw in the towel and decided to explore it.

I took a deep breath and I descended into the darkness certain at the time that it would destroy me. Certain that I would not make it out alive.

But I didn’t die.

Instead in the other side of that fear I found wisdom. I gained insight into my soul. I learned that the monsters were of my own creation. I had left them there in the dark at some point in the past when I didn’t know I was strong enough to fight them. I ran from them because they seemed larger than life… But they were in fact a figment of my imagination.

But it was just an illusion. My memory magnified them and made them scarier than they actually were. From that place overlooking the void I only saw my weakness. In my fear I had forgetten about my strengths… And all the ways that I was capable of overcoming those fears and facing those demons.

The more I wandered into my void the more I realised I didn’t have to be afraid of it. It was a painful and scary exploration, but one that resulted in freedom.

Freedom from fear and pain.

And I learned that I like living free of Fear.

The Void – Part 1

The void I avoid

We all have a void on the inside. That dark corner in our psyche that we avoid. Some thing inexplicable and undefined that gnaws at us. That deafening silence. That maddening noise. It looms in the far recesses of our minds and it’s frightening. Not always do we know what it is, but even without naming it, the fear it elicits is real, it’s palpable, often crippling.

We will do anything to try and make it go away. It’s often the motivation behind isolation, addiction, rage or psychosis. The drive to fill the void is so intense we often act without thinking in our rush to satiate it. And as a result we try to fill it with the wrong things, relationships, sex, drugs, alcohol, books… Anything to try and quench that thirst. And the void welcomes it all and devours it. It’s insatiable. Seemingly endless. And it just gets bigger.

I used to isolate and drown myself in art and music, seemingly creative hobbies, except that they was compulsively driven. I was a diligent employee, hard working and over responsible. I was obsessively trying to ignore that void. An attempt to quiet that ominous noise within.

It was tiring, that act of avoidance. Some part of me knew I couldn’t keep it up indefinitely. I kept glancing at that void wondering what would happen if I stepped into it? What’s the worst that would happen?

But no matter how many times I contemplated it I couldn’t take that step. I wasn’t ready to face it. It was easier to avoid. And besides I was an artist. And I was rewarded for being a good employee. Why screw that up? So I was obsessively creative. And a workaholic for a while.

I gave into the fear. And I avoided that void at all costs. I kept changing the channel to something else. I kept trying to outrun the thing within me that was chasing me. Drown out the noise in my head.

But what if I could muster enough courage to brave it and explore it? What if I could face that fear and walk into the darkness? What would I find? Is it truly as horrific as I imagine it to be? Or is it conquerable?

 

What is Anger?

The flash of red right before your fist goes flying. That blazing fire that burns down everything it touches, including you. Anger… That destructive force that we all experience but don’t really like or fully understand.

What is it?

Most of us experience anger as aggression. Yelling, arguing, fighting that ranges from verbal to physical. Anger leaves a sense of discomfort and disconnection when it’s experienced as such. And our relationship with it is based on our experience of it as children.

If anger was a violent force in our childhood, we might tend to shy away from it. It’s scary, which will threaten our sense of safety. Or it pushed us away from our loved ones ( if we were sent to our room or isolated in some other way) which threatens our sense of connection. Why would we want to engage in something that is scary and makes us feel alone? Or makes us feel like we’re being mean or not nice because that’s how we saw the person who was anger with us? So we shut down or repress our anger.

For some anger, that display of aggression, becomes a source of power. It helps protect us from fear and insecurities. If something makes us feel small, anger will show up to puff us up and we feel like we have recovered the power that fear takes from us. So then anger becomes your default, and you will use it to maintain that feeling of power to fight off any feelings of helplessness. But you have to then be aggressive as well.

So what then is the balance? What is the point of this emotion? And how do we avoid repressing it and imploding, or expressing it aggressively and exploding? Is there a balance?

Anger at its healthiest is assertion and it’s vitally important for our survival. Anger allows us to defend ourselves. It tells us that something is threatening us and we should take some action to keep ourselves safe. That action doesn’t have to be aggressive. We don’t have to attack the thing/person that is threatening us, but we do need to protect ourselves.

Anger is your friend and shows up when something is threatening you in some way, to help you stay safe. It is asking for you to set a healthy boundary and hold yourself and the other person accountable to that boundary. And if they don’t respect it, it asks you to establish a consequence that will keep you safe from future threats. Anger at its healthiest is asking for that healthy defense, that positive action.

Anger shows up to reach you about yourself. It is your friend if you befriend it. If you take the time to understand it rather than just react emotionally. It will show you your wounds and will allow you to heal them. If you are able to disengage from the energy of anger and drop into your inner self. We tend to step into the energy of anger and often get suck there, blaming or attacking the other person. That blinding force that wants you to destroy something. But instead can you look within and see your woundedness so that you can then protect yourself more effectively? Can you pull back from the emotional response that anger evokes and look at what it is defending? Can you discern what the inner wound is that anger is guarding?

Anger is two parts: the energy of anger and the need for defense. Can you discharge that destructive energy on your own without involving the other person,(go for a run, scream into a pillow, punch a punching bag etc.), then drop into yourself to see what the wound is, and then execute the defense with the other person, by setting that healthy boundary?

Anger doesn’t have to be destructive. And you don’t have to avoid it. It’s just a matter of learning to be assertive, setting boundaries and holding people accountable.

Can you make anger your friend?

Stress workshop

Stressedout

We’ve all heard the word – “Stress”. What does it mean to you?

Stress is known to cause some serious health issues. And it impacts almost everyone. So how do we cope with it? And what can we do to reduce it when we do feel the pressure?

Here are some tips to get you through the tough days.

  • Set aside relaxation time.
  • Do something you enjoy every day.
  • Get enough sleep.
  • Eat a healthy diet.
  • Reduce caffeine and sugar.

Join me this month to learn how to better understand stress and use it to better your life.

April 30th from 2:30pm-4:00pm at Complete Balance Health Centre located at 2896 Bloor Street West.
May 1st from 10:30am-12:00pm at Physiomed Van Mills located at 1900 Fowler drive.

The price will be $25.00. The link for the tickets is listed below. Spots are limited so advance booking is recommended.
https://www.eventbrite.ca/myevents/

See you there!

Namaste