what holds your talking stick?

A talking stick is sometimes utilized in community settings where different people will get a chance to speak. The understanding is that only the person holding the stick will speak; others will take the important opportunity to truly hear the speaker and respond at the appropriate time.

This is an old practice that has come to us from many, different directions. It is a way of keeping order amongst humans, who have a tendency to become disordered rather easily. Especially when someone says something they don’t want to hear.

One of the reasons I enjoy communicating through social media is that it operates like a talking stick. You cannot talk until I have had my say. There is a lot of potential for healing and clarity in social media, but it depends upon intention and use, does it not? A simple tool in the wrong hands will become a great weapon. Continue reading

7 habits to cultivate healing from trauma

Life is all about habits.

We can become habituated to anything. ANY. THING.

Many of us have become habituated to dysfunction and abuse. Our society acts like these things are fringe social issues, but they are, in fact, the norm. I’ve never met a single woman or man who wasn’t abused or traumatized in some way.

Have you?

As someone who considers herself a Healer, I attract people who may be perceived as broken. I have attracted “broken” people all my life, even before I realized I had a gift for serving those who need it most. At times, I have resented this calling. Being a Healer often means you have to suffer, just so you can internalize and truly empathize with what you have been called to heal. Experience is a wonderful and profound teacher.

Not all Healers have dealt with their own trauma, though. I have met, unfortunately, many Healers who still don’t understand their self-worth, who still don’t understand that they are inherently worthy of the best life has to offer. They became habituated to suffering and never saw themselves as worthy of the freedom they so desperately wanted to share with others.

I don’t think you can share what you don’t even have.

For years, I supported women, but I still had my own work to do and I knew that. I hesitated to be put on a pedestal and I refused success when it tried to befriend me. I just don’t believe in doing anything halfway, you know?

Eventually, I embodied the reality of Abundance in such a way that I just couldn’t jive with suffering, anymore. Like…it doesn’t stick AT ALL. When I’m around people doing great civic work and I see that they are still operating from a fear and scarcity mindset, I realize they are still habituated to suffering. And, I walk away.

To some, this looks callous. To some, this looks like I have my head in the clouds. But the truth is that I know for a fact that Life Is Beautiful. And, I am worthy of all that beauty. Sure, there is crap out there. I know. I have survived a lot of it, myself. But there is also beauty.

I can turn my head and look at what I want to look at. So can you.

If you’re struggling with the habit of feeling traumatized, here are a few steps to help you on your healing journey. We have all been there, my friend. But we don’t have to live there.

1. Walk away. That’s right. Walk away. When something isn’t serving you, when something makes you feel bad, you walk away from it. Distance yourself. Physical distance is best, if you can manage it, but psychological and emotional distance is good, too. Learn when to tell yourself, “This isn’t for me.” And, then leave it where you found it.

2. Focus on gratitude. Crap happens to all of us. But just because something happened doesn’t mean we have to give it a lot of space in our minds. I’m not saying pretend it didn’t happen or distract yourself with mindless games. I’m saying distract yourself with a sense of gratefulness, because just like the bad things that happened, there have been good things. Even if you can only think of one good thing that happened today (and maybe it wasn’t “I woke up”), that one good thing is still a GOOD THING.

3. Meditate on love. Love will change your life. It will change everything about how you view the world. Sit and just think about love. Think about how you feel when you love. Think about how you would like to feel. Maybe you’ve never felt loved before. Imagine what feeling loved would feel like and then…

4. Love yourself radically. Don’t just normally love yourself. GO BIG OR GO HOME. Like, seriously. Say nice, loving things to yourself out loud…no matter where you are. Include others in it. “We look FABULOUS today!” Buy yourself gifts. Literally litter your home with trinkets so that when you see what you’ve bought, you bring a smile to your own face. Get cute every day so that when you look at yourself in the mirror, you like what you see. If you need to make wardrobe or other changes, DO IT. You are the most important thing in your life. Act like it.

5. Change your environment. Okay, you’ve walked away from the messy folks, the folks who bring you down, the folks who are generally miserable. Now, you need to work on bringing positive vibes into your spaces. Put up artwork that makes you feel all good-tingly inside. If you love being on social media, follow a bunch of positive sites…even if you feel like it’s ridiculous. If they’re talking about Law of Attraction stuff, even better. You know why? Because…

6. Remember that Like Attracts Like. I know, I know. You’ve always heard that opposites attract. That’s gotta be why you’re always in dysfunctional relationships, right? Wrong. Because opposites don’t attract unless you’re a magnet. You’re a human. With humans, similars attract. You have got to look at what is going on within you that is attracted to harmful people and situations. You have become habituated to dysfunction and you can become habituated to health. Whenever you find yourself drawn to something or someone, ask yourself why. “Is this a reflection of who I am? Is this a reflection of who I want to be?” Your life is a mirror.

7. Forgive yourself. Maybe you can’t forgive your abusers. Maybe you can’t forgive a certain situation or a certain person. But you can forgive yourself. A lot of us get stuck in the habit of dysfunction as a way of subconsciously punishing ourselves for past mistakes in judgment (even if we were too young to have really made a mistake). It’s not your job to punish yourself; it’s your job to love yourself. And, forgiving you for being a mistaken person in the past (even if that past was 5 seconds ago) is a HUGE part of loving yourself.

It’s possible you’ve never been told this before, so let me tell you, now:

You are precious and worthy of the best life has to offer.

If you need to, print that out and tape it somewhere you can read it several times a day. It’s the truth. And, you are amazing for making it this far in such a challenging world. Kudos!

a favorite human

Sadhguru is a current favorite human of mine. Someone put this video together to him expressing his ideas around yoga or, really, what he calls Inner Engineering. His idea is that yoga is about aligning the human experience with the universal experience. This flies in the face of the way most Americans understand and practice yoga, because we have objectified the human experience. He is an Indian expressing more truth about yoga than many of us understand or practice. I appreciate him.

broken collective (imagination)

imagine a world where food grows abundantly

(you live in that world)

where there is enough food for everyone

(until we cut down all the trees, turn fields to grass, pollute soil and water)

where everyone has a home

(unless greedy folks decree that the earth does not freely belong to us all)

where everyone is free to live where they want

(ibid.)

imagine a world where all children are safe

(because perversion is not considered an acceptable form of entertainment)

where all women are safe

(ibid.)

where all men are safe

(and they are not expected to be perverse)

imagine a world without blatant and willful violence

(because they are not expected to be perverse)

where success is not defined by how much like an oppressor you’re willing to become

(because you are not expected to be perverse)

the only difference between that world

and

this world

is us.

there is no

(they)

in real life.

begin, again

 

I see I haven’t blogged for almost a year.

An unintentional removal of my attention, I assure you. I have simply been feeling overwhelmed and unsure of where to focus my energies. I have been transforming in a most uncomfortable way. Continue reading