How Energy Clearing Saved Me

 depression        Depression is not a cut that needs a band-aid.  It’s a cancer that needs a battle plan.        ~ Ann Voskamp  

I’ve battled depression and all over body/joint pain most of my adult life. 

“Something is wrong with me,” was my constant mantra.  

I hadn’t suffered trauma, loss, cancer, divorce or abuse.  95% of the world prays for the life I have.  That alone made me more depressed about being depressed because it brought on guilt for even feeling the way I did.

I have not confessed to many people about my bouts of depression because sometimes people look at you like you have a mental illness and treat you differently.  There are enough “real” problems in the world to think and pray about, I certainly don’t want people worrying about me.  I also didn’t want to be sharing my story for a desperate need of attention or to give excuses for why I am the way I am.  I’ve only shared with those who have opened their hearts to me because it’s their story, too.   And, to my dear closest friends.

Doctors said I should be tired and exhausted, I had four children and a job.  Tests always looked good, so they’d prescribe me iron, or more potassium, or magnesium, or B vitamins. I’d leave, relieved I wasn’t dying, but never felt healed.

Over the last 15 years, I became a student of my own depressed experience. I analyzed every possible cause for to find the root of this despair. Thinking it was physical, I eliminated bad habits of caffeine, coffee, Diet Coke, alcohol and processed foods.  I did detoxes and cleanses, exercised regularly, got into nature, conquered addictions and reduced stress.  I buried myself in books to learn about my mind – maybe I was crazy and it really was in my mind.  I devoured Eckart Tolle, Byron Katie, Penny Pierce, Wayne Dyer, Deepok.  I learned all about my ego, consciousness and how we are our thoughts.  I did daily devotionals, prayed, vowing to become more spiritual – maybe it was God missing in my life.  I thought is was my work, perhaps I wasn’t being true to who I was.  So, I began to write, filled art journals, and painted.  Of course, I figured it was my marriage – my resentfulness perhaps is what’s taking its toll on me. I sought therapy and tried depression meds, only to find I was in Fog City.  St. John’s Wart, the same.  Perhaps, it was midlife changes, so I sought out self-help books on mid-life, menopause, had a hysterectomy, and did some serious soul searching.  

Then the world of energy came into light.  I was introduced to Reiki, by my niece, Micara Link, as a way to heal ourselves, so I took classes and learned about how we can heal with energy, focused on releasing blocked chakras and worked on my subconscious blocks buried deep from childhood.  She introduced me to clearing, but I guess I wasn’t ready to embrace it just yet.  She also affirmed my belief of being a highly sensitive person.   This, just a dent in my quest for an answer.

I made strides – big ones.  

But, I was not cured.  

The Big D kept coming back.  Always, it followed me around like lost puppy.

I then met Bridgette. Bridgette and I met in a Facebook group of friends brought together by Kelly Ray Robert’s online class, Flying Lessons.  Bridgette is a  women’s empowerment coach, who also does energy work, intuitive coaching and is psychic.   We conversed online, became companions at a writing retreat and I later, continued sessions with her over the  phone to receive guidance in reaching my goals and learning about my mind, body, heart and soul and how it all needs to align.  

I didn’t know then, that she would be the one that would unlock the door to my depression/pain quest.

The most powerful gift Bridgette taught me was about energy and how it affects us.  I knew some of this, but not to the depths I needed to know.  You think you know – but really, you don’t.

I learned that I am not just a highly sensitive person, but I am also an empath.  Google that.

As a HSP (highly sensitive person) and an empath (I know-sounds like a real head case, huh?), we absorb the energies of others whether we want to or not.  I was not only absorbing the energies of any person I was with at the time, I was also absorbing the energies in groups of people, in my surroundings, in meetings, in my entire world.   And, carrying it with me, until my body felt heavier, more in pain and more depressed.  (I remember learning this with Micara, but I think I was at the surface of just learning about energy then and did not take in more than basic understandings.) This explained my agitation and exhaustion after being at the mall, large group meetings and gatherings and even in my working environment of an elementary school of almost 900 people.

I needed help.  A game plan.  I could not quit my job.

Bridgette gave me tools and taught me two main practices to combat this problem:

1.  Energy Clearing to clear all energies from others that I absorb on a daily basis

2.  Creating a protection barrier around me to protect myself from the energy of others.

Bridgette did my first energy clearing for me, over the phone!  I was skeptical, but I did believe in energy and the law of attraction.   The next day, I felt 20 pounds lighter, had a skip in my step, my depression and pain lifted and I was me again.  I honestly FELT “cleared”.  A peace and lightness flowed through me.  It was a miracle.  

But, it didn’t last.  By the next week, I was back in my bed again, barely able to peel myself away from bed to get to the shower for work.

I called Bridgette.

She said I had to learn to do these clearings on my own, and on a regular basis if I was going to survive my job.  I found that I needed them twice a week, usually over the weekend to clear from the week and again by Wednesday.  I also learned to create a morning ritual for myself before going into my work that consisted of meditation that focused on creating an imaginary protective barrier around me so these energies could not penetrate through my own energy auras.  And also, a disconnection ritual at the end of my work day. Yes, it all sounds crazy in a Cosmo-Rica-woo-woo kind of way.

But, you know what? It worked.

And if something makes me feel better and chases away the pain and depression I suffer, I’m doing it.

You know how I know that it was mainly the energies of others that was causing my depression and pain?

It’s July 2nd today.  We’ve been out of school for one month already.  I have not had ONE day of depression or pain and have not had to do an energy clearing or protection meditation since school let out.  I’ve been home.  Mostly by myself or with my husband.

I have never felt better in my entire life.  I still abide by everything else I’ve learned to stay depression/fybromyalgia free and healthy.  And, I do not believe I would have learned a fraction of all I now understand about our body, mind, heart and soul had it not been for the relief I was seeking. The daily, conscious effort and monitoring of where I am at is a commitment.  But, if I want to be of service and help for others, it’s one I refuse to stray from.  

But now, I’m at a fork in the road  and my question is, “What now?”

We are never fully “healed” and more and more is revealed to us every day about who we are, and right now I feel a new knowing that there is something more that I feel called to do.  I’m not exactly sure what that is, but I do know part of my purpose is healing, helping and teaching others and I can do that through sharing my story and  the workings of our body, mind, heart and soul, along with how energy affects us.  

Since discovering these newfound paths of healing that work for me, God has guided others my way that need this. Synchronicities has compounded and I am blown away every day. I certainly didn’t think that I would be here sharing with the world my depression journey and teaching others about energy even two years ago.  God unfolds for us in a very mysterious way.  I just followed the bread crumbs. I’m not exactly sure where the next crumbs will be, but I do know it’s time for me to open up and share with others the understandings, tools, and practices that I’ve been taught to battle depression.

If I can even help one person, then I know I’m on the right path.

Healing may not be so much about getting better, as about letting go of everything that isn’t you – all of the expectations, all of the beliefs – and becoming who you are.  ~ Rachel Naomi Remen, MD

Shari 🙂

To Push Through The Pain? Or Not

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It’s 2:20 am and the biffy is calling my name.  Sadly. . . I can’t get out of bed. Every muscle in my body hurts; abs, thighs, arms, neck, you name it.  I was not in a serious car accident, no.  I did not run a triathlon.  Nor, did I do hard physical labor all day.

I worked out this week. . . not once, but TWICE!

About every other month, I decide I need to get in better shape, ummmm. . . I mean, in shape.  I usually only walk a few of times a week during the school year otherwise, so when these urgent calls from my body tell me to pay attention and strengthen up, I tend to jump right in and try to fix it.  Too much, too soon, too much pain.  Then, what do you think finishes off the cycle?  Yep, I rest and kinda quit.  And, the cycle continues.  Been goin on fer years now.

I wasn’t always this way.  Throughout my first 40 some years of life, I was obsessed with exercise, my eating, weight, and perfection.  Then,  a surgery that put me down.  I softened.  In a good way.  And, I started liking who I was becoming.

So, now, almost 50, I’m listening more to my body and she’s telling me I have zero core strength, I’m pretty weak and my flexibility is nadda.  But, keep up the walking – daily, Lady.  Oh and by the way, your arms are starting to look pasty and, well. . . whatever, you are almost 50.

Well, that kind of talk gets me riled.  I become driven to fight back, so I pop in those DVD’s and do everything that perky young thing tells me to do.  Push-ups? Sure.  Squats?  You got it.

Here’s the rub.  Now, my body is cuuuuu-rying!  First, she wants it, then she doesn’t.  She says to push through it and then she says to rest, it’s too much.

My daughter Lauren, who is 25 and a wellness coach, scolds me, “No pain, no gain, Mom. Push through it.  You gotta keep it up or you won’t see any results.”

“Yeah, yeah,” I tell her.  I’m her worst client.  But, I can be that way to her.  I’m her mother.  She rolls her eyes.  I’m sure I frustrate her. She says these words with love, but it’s my own voice that I hear in the background. Yes, that’s her in the photo above.

My friend who is my age consoles me, “Shar, we aren’t 25.  We’ve been down that road.  Accept who you are.  We are ok.”

I love my friend because she understands me and where I’ve been, and my daughter IS only 25.  I should rest.

But, the whole world screams, “NO EXCUSES! YOU ARE ONLY AS OLD AS YOU FEEL.”

It bothers me that I even spend time thinking about this when I could be doing something constructive, like writing or reading.  It all seems so ego-driven.

Bernice. (said like Seinfield says Newman)

I’ve grown wiser with age and have learned to not strive for the perfect anything anymore.  I just want to feel good; mind, body, heart and soul.  If any of these “friends” is left out, the others suffer.  It’s a constant state of mindfulness I need to be in, always checking in with each.  Wait, I hear a small voice of reason. . .

“Just move your body, Shar.  It doesn’t matter what you do.  Move.”

Aw, somebody with sense.  Heart and Soul are speaking up for Joy, my body.

I think I’ll just go for a walk today and do a little yoga. 🙂

Who do you listen to?  Do you push through and work through the pain?  Or, do you rest – and forget what you started?

(And, this doesn’t just pertain to exercise, you know. . . )

Shari 🙂

Learning From The Struggle

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There is a lot of pain in the world right now.  Loved ones are hurting.  Entire communities are confused and in shock.  Others are feeling too much – from others and from their own hearts hurting.  Some are worried and fearful of what is to come.  A dear soul lays still, hopeless, stuck, and not knowing which way to turn. Everywhere I turn, someone is carrying some kind of heavy load.

The cause of our pain is a result of countless reasons: physical illness, thoughts we play over and over in our minds and can not let go of, negative energy we accumulate in our bodies from others and from ourselves.

Every single one of us have been in this place.  And, yet, somehow, we paddle through to the other side.  If we are growing as spiritual beings, once we arrive on this other side, we recognize that we are changed.  We are not the same human we were before.

As I hop online today, I receive similar messages everywhere.

“Sometimes not only do you have to fall. . . but you have to hit ROCK BOTTOM to find out who you are, and who you want to become.”   ~Beth Shoutler

“Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly.”   ~proverb

 

“Just when go through a hard period,  When everything seems to oppose you,

When you feel you can not even bear one more minute,  Never Give Up.

Because it is the time and place that the course will divert.”   ~Rumi

These were just a few subtle shouts that these words needed to be heard today.  Not only for my ears, but for these other souls who are hurting, to bring understanding about our journey here on earth and that there is hope, for this too shall pass.

The real shift happens when we recognize these heavy moments. This place of despair means that something must change. Something. It wakes us up to dwell inward and ask for guidance about what it is that is meant to learn.  What is the newness that will evolve and birth itself?  Challenges are brought to us to teach us more about the truth of who we are.  We spirits, in human bodies are never done evolving on planet Earth School.

This sounds all poetic and easy to say, especially when you are in a good place at the moment.  Sometimes, recognizing what we’ve learned does not happen until we’ve dug out way out of the hole. Sadly, this makes the time in the hole long, dark and scary. We can’t be deciding to stay down here in the hole or it gets darker and darker. . . and harder to come out.

Instead, to quicken the process and benefit from the learning, it’s important to train your mind to think differently.  By the way, there are lots of ways to pull out of darkness (get into nature, exercise, watch a funny movie), but it’s the new understanding from that challenging place that must evolve for it to benefit you. Otherwise, you will end up right back in that same place, in a different situation, and not know why.

Here are some ways that I’ve learned to help myself move through a challenge and transform into a higher level of understanding about who I am:

1.  Ask yourself,

“Ok, who is not happy here?  Mind, body, heart or soul?”

We first have to narrow our pain to where it is coming from.  I have found many times that the root of my pain comes from my mind in focusing on obsessive thoughts that are pulling me down. Our mind can be our worst enemy and we need to immediately recognize when this happens.  I call my mind “Bernice”, so that I can separate it from “me” and quiet her more easily.  I am not my mind.  Meditate. Still the mind.

Sometimes, it’s my body that is not happy.  My body is named “Joy” for the joy it brings me when it is at optimal levels.  We all know that lack of exercise and eating unhealthy are going to effect you.  Illness will swirl you into gloom (especially if you let your mind get it’s way and tell you that the pain will never end or you are going to die).  When our body is not ok, that means something is wrong and we need to fix it.  Paying attention to the subtle signs our body gives us will help us to prevent bigger challenges later on.

Meet “Rose”.  She’s my heart.  Maybe it’s your heart that is hurting. A person in your life has left and there is an emptiness there.  Or, perhaps your heart has been closed to stay protected.  Someone has hurt your heart too many times, so you think best not to open it and allow love to flow through. If it’s your heart, you will know. You feel pain there – or you feel nothing.  Sometimes the love we need to open our hearts to, is to ourselves.

It may be your soul.  Your soul is who you truly are (it makes sense that I name my soul “Shari”).  Your soul is your truth and purpose – what God put you on this earth for.  If your soul is not being heard and you are not living your truth, your soul suffers.  This purpose inspires us and feeds us.  Your purpose may be teaching, or healing others.  It might be creating beauty for the earth. Perhaps it’s to be an advocate for nature.  If you do not know what your purpose is, spend time with this.  If you do, analyze whether you have been living it or not.

Your mind, body, heart and soul (I call them my friends) need to agree with each other – or align.  My dear friend, Bridgette Doerr, a women’s empowerment coach, taught me this through our coaching sessions.  One of “the 4 friends” can not be overpowering all the time or you will find yourself in a state darkness over and over.

2.  Be an observer of your emotions, feeling, judgements or beliefs about a challenging situation and ask the question,

“What do I need to learn from this?”

This is huge.  Once we choose to allow our emotions and mind to take over, we spiral into a dark cloud uncontrollably.  This magnifies the moment we tell the story over and over again as it intensifies with each retelling and becomes harder to let go of to see the other side.  By being able to breathe through the emotions and ask ourself what the learning is, we can come to an understanding as to why God gave you this challenge.

3.  Again, be an observer of an event, words said, emotions felt and ask yourself,

“What do I need to let go of?”

This is the highest form of reflection and conscious awareness and takes practice (eternally).  I wish I could say I can always do this, but I am such a work in progress.

In Michael Singer’s book, The Untethered Soul, Singer talks about making challenges and struggles a game, especially when we feel strong emotions or judgements surface. The goal is to release all old negative narratives that drag us down.  If we believe that each day is an opportunity to allow these old stories, or samskaras (in yogic terms), to be released, we can just be a silent observer of when the emotion arises and then determine if it is attached to a old negative story that we live by.  If it is, YAY!!!  All you have to do is to acknowledge it and breathe through it – let it pass right through you and release it forever.  I like to say a little good bye prayer when another one bites the dust.  Yes, it sounds easy.  It honestly is.  But, you have to pay attention.

Know that you are meant to learn about yourself every day through your trials, twists, turns, bumps and bruises.  If life was as smooth as cupcakes, how would we grow?

Shari 🙂

A song just for you ~ Press On 

A Pinterest Board just for you ~ Transformation

An after addition:  If you are in crisis, turn directly to God.  A Tribe Writer friend, Dayna Bickham wrote about this today in a very  powerful post about tools you need to survive in a crisis.

Being A Stuffer Doesn’t Help

I’m a stuffer.  Yup.  First Class.  Deep to my core.

Not a stuffer in that I stuff myself with food (well. . . I have done that on occasion, too) or stuff junk in my closet (my closet is a mess though).

I am a stuffer of my emotions.

I’m not sure how I came to be this way.  As the oldest sibling in my family, I think I felt a responsibility to always know what to do,  to model behavior and certainly not to get angry at my younger siblings if I was being responsible for taking care of them.

As I grew into my teenage years and adulthood, “being nice” was of the utmost importance to me.  Frustration, anger, sadness, or jealousy were emotions you did not display for I feared others would not like me.  And, I desperately needed people to like me.

Well, it continued into adulthood and I still battle “stuffing” as a wife, mother and teacher. Being known as a nag, squeaky wheel, difficult or flat out “drama mama” has never been very attractive to me, and again, people might not like me then.  And, I thought I was just having patience.

Stuffing can be disguised as patience.

So, I’m curious how this affects my inner organs.  We have outer toxins and these inner toxins. And, frankly, I’m a little bit more concerned about my ability to feel, show and release my toxic emotions than I am of the dirt on the cucumbers right now.

Through lots of reading and research I learned some interesting stuff.

I discovered that when we are angry, jealous or resentful, we are putting our liver under stress.  Yes, our liver.

The liver ensures that energy and blood flow smoothly throughout the body.  Liver is considered as the seat of anger; it stores not only your anger but the anger from others as well and the toxic energy stored will eventually affect the organ’s function. When this happens, one can have a liver imbalance and you may notice symptoms such as menstrual pain, headache, irritability, inappropriate anger, dizziness, dry, red eyes and other eye conditions, and tendonitis.

This summer,  I released a lot of built up stress, anxieties and resentments when I disappeared to the cabin, of which I will continue to write about.  Since arriving home, I have a revived sense of inner peace and love and I have been able to maintain that through meditation, creativity and spending time on myself.  Through this Reset, I know I am releasing even more, deeply embedded toxins that have maybe been there longer.

I anticipate feeling miraculously amazing when the Reset is complete.  However, fall is in the air and the leaves are already turning yellow, which means my profession will be calling my name.

Autumn signals school to start.

I fear the stuffing will begin to compile again.  I need a game plan.  I deeply care about my health and I also know that when I feel good physically, mentally and spiritually, I can more easily love those I am surrounded by.  And, that is what’s important to me.

I’m going to work on writing a disciplined plan for myself and eventually share it here.  First, I need to do a bit more research.  If it’s going to be long term, it also has to be realistic.  It’s easy to find a bunch of ideas online and make a long list here, but, that’s not going to help me if I don’t live it.

I will, however, share one method of releasing emotions that worked for me  yesterday.

Spend time with a pet.

I was frustrated yesterday over an event that happened and I spent five minutes with Sandy, our yellow lab, and her love, her attentiveness, her presence and her silliness helped me to shift into a completely different emotion.  My anger lifted and soon, I felt joy seep into my being.   A loving pet can do that.

What about you?  What do you do to lift and release your anger/resentments?

Please share. It helps us all when we share what works. 🙂

Shari 🙂

What Toxins Live in YOUR Body??????

Day 8 (day 2 of the detox week) of the Beachbody 21 Day ReSet has been my most painful.  As I write, I am lying in my bed taking deep breaths just trying to allow the back pain to pass.  My body is alive with aches and pains and fatigue today.

I should have expected this.  The first week was all about preparing our bodies for THIS week – the “Detoxification” week.  I have been doing ample amounts of online research to determine the justification for this pain.

I keep getting the same message.

My body is releasing toxins into the bloodstream.

The importance of drinking tons of water during this phase is also crucial.  This finally flushes those toxins OUT of your body.

My 24 year old daughter, who is also doing the Reset, is feeling no pain.  I, on the other hand, almost 47, have been around longer to absorb theses toxins.

So, what ARE these toxins anyway?????  I feel stupid for even asking the question.  But, really, I am fairly healthy.  I don’t live near a chemical plant or garbage dump.  I don’t smoke.  How can my body be so filled with toxins?

You would be amazed.

I did some research and found a few sites that have totally creeped me out in how much badness there is to contaminate our bodies.  I had no idea (well. . .some, but not enough to really freak me out).

Toxins are in our shampoos, make up, perfume, soaps, cleaning products, paint fumes, plastics, sunscreens, sick buildings, vaccinations, flu shots, fabrics, pesticides,  and even our cell phones and computer screens emit toxins into our bodies.

I am deeply troubled though, by the amount of toxins that enter into our bodies on and in our food.  There are thousands of chemicals intentionally added to our foods, not to mention the additional chemicals added during processing and storage.  Aughhhh!

But. . . thank goodness!  There is hope!

When I finish this Reset, I am making some life changes in order to reduce the amount of toxins I consume.  Here are a few of them:

1. Buy fresh produce.

Not in bags, not frozen, not in cans.  FRESH.  Better yet, buy from a farmer’s market.  Better than that, figure out how to grow a garden and freeze and can for winter.

2.  Buy an Ultrasonic Food Washer.

Even if your produce is fresh, they still contain chemicals and toxins. Washing them throughly is critical.  This food washer is the answer to eliminating the majority of those baddies.

3.  Start buying organic beauty products. . . shampoos, soaps, etc.

I’m nervous about the quality and cost compared to what I buy now, but that is a bridge I’ll have to cross.  By now, surely, you’d think some companies have created some quality products.  If you know of any, please let me know.

Along with eating clean, drinking tons of water, exercise and epsom salt baths, this will be my new beginning!

What kinds of life changes could you make to live a healthier life without toxins?

Shari 🙂

 

(illustration from http://www.nativevilliage.org

Re-Setting My Body

In an earlier post, I write about my frustration with how I feel at a good place in spirit and mind, but my body won’t cooperate and join the team.  I vowed to ask my daughter, Lauren (she’s a personal trainer), for help. . . and to actually listen to her this time.

My body, with its years and years of toxicity due to stress, eating and drinking the wrong stuff, inconsistant exercise has finally screamed so loud at my mind and spirit that it’s time to take serious action or I will never achieve balance.

The first thing Lauren is having me do is  The Beachbody Ultimate Reset.  This is a 21 day, no-starvation, life-changing, cutting-edge, cleansing and detoxing inner-body tune-up.  You can read all about it here.

I am on Day 4 and am feeling amazing, I have to say.  The food is fabulous!  Except for one recipe that contains this nori seaweed, but we substituted romain lettuce leaves.

Lauren and I are making a You-Tube video of our journey, as the sweetheart is doing it right along with me.  Talk about support.  I am excited to share this experience with others and if one person can take something away that helps them, I’ll be happy. 🙂

If you’d love to follow my journey, click here for Lauren’s You-Tube videos or you can find them on Lauren’s facebook page, which is here!

This morning, I choose one of my Soul Coaching Oracle Cards to give me guidance for the day and the card I randomly choose said, “Commitment”.  Hmmm. . . go figure. 🙂

Shari

Shari 🙂

Listening to My Vulnerability

I am lacking some pretty serious direction today. Kinda feeling heavy, stuck, and frustrated. So, I grab my jug of coffee and trudge up to my studio to see what whispers I might receive about what avenue to take next.

I turn on my Pandora Helen Jane Long Radio station, burn some sage (for cleansing all that junk in my mind) and just sit.  Breathe.  Breathe again.  One more time.

I am anxious.  I can’t listen to the message if I’m anxious.  Well, I usually get this way towards the middle end of July.  I am a literacy coach and the summer is over half gone.  My todo list has, ummmmm, well. . . one thing crossed off.  That would be my 2 week vacation of solitude.

And, of course, I’ve started some new things that have to do with writing and art.  My soul craves to keep that creative part of me growing, yet my rational mind is thinking about the things that need to be done around the house yet, and planning New Teacher Training in  August.  Work is creeping into my creative brain.

But, more than any of these things causing anxiety today, is my body.

K – I’m sorry for complaining here, but, I feel like crap.  Getting carried away writing and painting and reading cause me to retreat inward and then I lack of consistent, vigorous exercise.  I’m talking more than the half hour walk with the dog.  I’m drinking way too much coffee lately and not enough water.  Meals?  Not telling.  It’s summer!  Grilling and an evening drink so hand in hand with summer, right?

Well, maybe not hand in hand with this body.

This body is screaming for attention.  My joints ache, my skin hurts even, my back feels out of whack and my stomach is acting up, not liking the garlic and onions I put in my food last night.

Why is it that it seems like when you finally feel at a good place with your mind and spirit, the body cries.  I’m afraid that if I get all hooked on exercise and the health track, my mind and time will be consumed with this and peaceful mind and spirit with suffer.  I’ve been obsessed with exercise and every bite of  food I put in my mouth before and I just am so not there anymore.  So much of it was vanity and my ego – so I let it all go when I figured that out.

So, how do I get back to a healthy balance?

I have lacked balance my whole life.

So, I check my emails before I write this morning.  I should not do that, I know.  Write first.  And then. . . worse than that, I check face book.  Another no-no if you are trying to write every  morning, first thing.

But, the message came through face book this morning.  A friend had posted this picture on their wall:

Thank you, Debbie May, for finding this for me today from Jenny’s blog.

Vulnerability.  This word described me to the T this morning.  I clicked on it and soaked up Jenny’s words.

And cried.

Do you do that when someone’s post touches your soul so deeply?  I often think I’m a pathetic mush, but, I’ve realized that when I cry, it’s my soul either crying is sadness or gladness.  This was gladness.  Because Jenny gave me the direction I needed today.

Jenny wrote about her transformation through fitness and how it’s guiding her creativity and her life.

My soul was screaming, “I wanna be fit! Your entire being will align if you feel better physically, Shari! Do something!  Do it today!”

Well, I didn’t have to concentrate to hard to get that message.   And, I don’t have to go too far for help.  My daughter, Lauren, is a personal trainer.  She is the epitome of commitment and strength.  I have never seen someone so dedicated to fitness and health.

She doesn’t live far from me either.   She still lives at home with me.  In my house.  Who is blessed enough to have a personal trainer live with them??????

Lauren is constantly giving me advice as to what I should eat, how I should eat, what exercise would help me the most.  I listen to her sometimes.  She doesn’t hound me.  She often tells me, “It’s a good thing you don’t pay me!”  I’ve told her I should get her services for free since she lives here, but. . .I’m her worst client.

Maybe I need to start paying her.

Maybe it’s time I’m serious about my health.

If I pay her, I’ll feel guilty if I DON’T listen to her.  So, today, I’m asking her for help.  And, I’m paying for it.

Sometimes, asking for help is a sign of strength, not weakness, right?

Shari

Finding Solitude

My wish for every woman is for them to have a place that they can retreat to.  One where they have no responsibilities, no worries, and no fear.  At this place, their mind can clear away all the clutter of their every day lives.  Breathing happens.  Listening happens.  A reconnection with your soul to hear the whispers of what to do next.  To feel the presence of the earth around you. . . and embrace it.

Without making time to ever get to this place in our mind, body and soul, we are racing through our lives mindlessly without

I am so blessed to have this place, a little primitive cabin in the remote woods by a pond in northern Minnesota.  It’s not mine.  It belongs to a paster friend of my husband’s and he rents it out for 35.00 dollars a day.  You heard me.  35.00 dollars a day.  The only cabin on the lake.

I sat there for two weeks straight.  My kids came and went, all older and with jobs.  My husband, on a fishing trip of his own in Canada (and work).  Most of the time, it was just me.

Without the lure of the internet (there was no service), I was able to rediscover myself.  I wrote over 200 pages in my notebooks.  I read four books.  I filled pages in my nature journal of butterflies, dragonflies and mushrooms.  I made egg sandwiches just for me, and I tasted each bite and savored them.  I had to bathe in the lake each day.  I took leisurely walks and discovered plants and flowers that I had never seen before.  Actually, they had probably been there. . . but I was not.

“In our lives today, we are racing from one frenzy after one elation after one enthusiasm after one hysteria after another, always yelling and running somewhere, because we are afraid life is going to be over that very afternoon,” as quoted by Ray Bradbury.  We miss the meaning of why we are even here on this earth.  We miss the birds singing.  We miss the gentle breeze blowing across our face.  We miss our child’s expression on their face that says they need us.  We lose being present.

It took me four days to wind down at this cabin before “my body and mind slowed down enough for me to find a basic restfulness, before I could even begin to nibble at the edges of solitude” (Rolheiser).

Father Ron Rolheiser who writes in Our Northland Diocese, tells us we are in solitude when we fully taste the water we are drinking, feel the warmth of our blankets, and are restful enough to be content inside our own skin.  It is not something that can be turned on like a water faucet.  It needs a body and mind slowed down enough to be attentive to the present moment.

As mothers, as women, as human beings. . . we need this presence in our every day lives.  This is when we really see, hear, taste, feel and smell our world, our lives and other souls put on this earth at the same time as ourselves.

If you have not had an opportunity to find yourself at this place of presence yet, it’s still mid July, you have time before the leaves start to turn.  I realize I am a blessed soul who actually has a place to go, children who are old enough to take care of themselves and a loving husband who understands how much I need this solitude.  Somehow, make your own retreat at home.   You are creative.  Use your gift of creativity to find that way to honor your soul and find solitude.

Then, share with us that experience.

Peace and Love,

Shari 🙂

At the Cabin. . .

I have been at a cabin in northern Minnesota for a week now.  There is no internet and rarely even cell service unless I go out in the lake.  Most would be a little edgy, but, I tell ya. . . it’s heaven.

I set some goals for myself for the duration of my time there ( two weeks – yes, I’m way spoiled and I’ll talk about this later).  One of which is, to write.

Well, I came home quick today, to restock food and see if the house was still intact.  I only live an hour away from this slice of heaven, how lucky am I? I decided to get caught up on my emails, facebook (and do bills and such. . .yuck.)  And, I realized that I am even more blessed than I realized.

I got on my computer and realized I am backed up.  My friends on facebook are amazing.  Artists and family are reaching out to connect in ways that only facebook can.  So many souls that post things on their walls are totally inspirational to me.  When I am away, I want to be home, connecting with friends and creating art in my studio and writing, and when I am home, I want to be away relishing in the solitude of nature.

How does one retain a balance?

By the way, I have written over 200 pages in my writers’ notebook over the course of this week. I’m pretty sure I have the makings of a book. .  or two.  Or at least a couple dozen blog posts.

Stay tuned. When I return home, there will be much to say.

Shari 🙂