Shifting With Grace (Or, “Let’s not be such control freaks”)

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As spiritual beings, we abhor stagnation – our lives are all about shifting and learning and growing. Of course, on a entirely human level, we often crave control, stability, a sense of security and some degree of predictability. I mean, change is scary, right? What if you, *gasp*, DIED?!?  No wonder so many of us have a white-knuckle grip on our need for control.

It stands to reason, then, if you’re experiencing a bout of significant shifting and growing, you might feel off-kilter, scared or just plain stressed out.  These spiritual changes often come disguised as significant life events like losing a job, ending a relationship, moving or incurring unexpected large expenses.  These events aren’t the Universe knocking us down and taking our lunch money, but are designed to get our attention and move us toward a new path.  For some of us, we may get these “plot twists” every few years or so.  For others, we may get them every other month.  Of course, this can be overwhelming and exhausting if you’re viewing them as punishment.  However, it is important to remember that lessons or shifts are neutral from a Universal perspective.  That is, the Universe doesn’t assign “good” or “bad” connotation to lessons as they are simply the vehicle to our growth.  It is we humans who view things like losing a job or breaking up with a significant other as “bad” and winning the lottery as “good.”  The Universe doesn’t attach such labels.  

So if these things aren’t “good” or “bad” then why do we feel such stress when the unexpected happens?  This goes back to our human, ego-driven need to be stable, secure and ultimately have control over our immediate circumstances.  But, guess what… the need for control is an illusion and a human construct that does us more harm than good.  We fight wars out of our need for control.  We lose sleep over our need for control.  We fight with loved ones over our need for control.  Control is diametrically opposed to the Universal constants of growing and shifting.  

As difficult as it can sometimes be, when we find ourselves in the thick of it, we must take a step back and look at the larger picture.  When something ends, the Universe rushes in to fill the vacuum; allow this to happen.  Don’t hang on to the old, stagnant patterns.  Allow these things to flow.  Granted, this is easy when the flow feels more like a lazy river on a summer day, than an intense roller coaster ride.  But hey, roller coasters are fun, too. Remember, it’s all about perspective. So let go, and throw your hands up in the air; and if it gets a little intense, it’s ok to scream your head off.  Just remember, that no matter what, you’re always going forward. 

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Perfectly Imperfect

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I’ve been contemplating the idea of perfectionism a lot lately. Which is odd, since I hadn’t considered myself to be a perfectionist at all. Not one little bitty bit. I didn’t strive for the stock broker husband, 2.5 kids, the house in the suburbs, a place on the PTA, a beige Lexus SUV or any of the trappings of the successful, overstressed, “Perfect American.” In other words, I completely eschewed the typical, perfect American Dream. How Gen X of me…

But then I got to thinking: Wait, then why the hell am I so fucking stressed out? I began to look at my life and analyzed what was putting pressure on me and what the motive was for each stressor (and yes, I’m Type A – a little…). I discovered that in each area (work, home, my love life) I am very successful, and have no external pressure from anyone. But for each portion of my life I found myself saying, “I should have ____,” or “I should be _____,” or “I should do_____.” Where did all these “shoulds” come from? Who put those in my life? Was it me? And if so, I am definitely sucking at perfectionism.

Yet, there it was. I had a my own version of how perfect was supposed to manifest in my life. And it was making feel crazy, out of control and like a complete failure. I was getting hung up on the little failures in my career instead of the huge milestones. I was upset that I hadn’t been able to start a family yet, instead of celebrating the and enjoying the relationships I’ve had. I was feeling imagined financial strain instead of reveling in the fact that I’ve attained a point in my life where my wine budget equals my food budget (heck, I’m drinking wine as I write this). Dammit. I needed to stop sweating the small stuff and start being grateful for the here and now. The minutiae don’t really matter. The fact that my life is pretty damn perfect just like it is.

I’m sure that you have your own version of what perfect is supposed to be. But that’s not the point of life. The point is to let it be a little messy, it’s not supposed to look like the brochure. Ease in, lean in, and let go of whatever you think is supposed to happen. I can guarantee you that whatever you think you “should” be getting/doing/having, that the Universe has something much better planned for you.

Imperfectly yours,
–h

Empathic and Authentic Dating

Dating imageAfter several years of being quite distinctly (and, to my mind, quite permanently) “Off the Market,” I abruptly found myself back “On It,” or “In It,” or however that works.  It was all a little disconcerting, really, since after an epically bad break-up (I won’t flatter myself by saying it was “The World’s Worst”…. But it was up there…), I had absolutely no business dating anyone.  I was so emotionally fragile, romantic involvement was resolutely out of the question.  Until it wasn’t.  That is, I started thinking, “Hey, maybe I should give this another shot.”  What had actually happened was that I realized that I really was strong enough to move forward.  I had done a lot of work on myself, and confronted many deeply sequestered demons.  I had reconnected to who I am and emerged stronger, with a renewed sense of purpose and commitment to myself.  And what if it isn’t terrible the next time?  What if I actually do find love – real love?  So, I dusted myself off and waded cautiously into the dating pool.

Almost immediately, a few things became pretty clear.  First, I must have started out in the shallow end of aforementioned pool.  Next, I realized I had no idea what I was doing.  But most importantly, I realized that dating is veritable gauntlet under normal circumstances, let alone for someone like me.  Several men had made it through the initial screening process (e.g., I was fairly sure they weren’t serial killers), but I quickly discovered there were a whole bunch of other sorts of predators out there.  And, as one of my would-be suitors put it, there’s a lot of “false advertising.”  Which I completely understood, since his online profile said he was 5’9″.  He may have been 5’2″.  Maybe.

But back to the predators.  That sounds like it may be rather harsh thing to say about someone, when in reality, these were actually very nice (albeit, boring) men.  But they had developed predatory behaviors that I just couldn’t let myself fall for.  Not again.  I met men who preyed on my time, my energy and my good will.  I had men lure me in with promises of a bright future, only to catch them in lies.  I have to admit, it was an exhausting process.  And I hated it.  I constantly felt like I was interviewing someone, instead of getting to know them.  My friend Jessica (The Engineer), says that dating is a numbers game.  The more you do it, the more likely you’ll actually find someone worth spending the rest of your life with.  My friend Janelle (The Scientist), said that I needed to give each man three dates so that I could get a statistically representative sample of their personality.  See? Exhausting.  And it just doesn’t work well if you happen to energetically sensitive in any way.

What I was running into was a whole lot of inauthentic individuals who were desperate to be completed/healed/saved/coddled by someone else – namely, me, or anyone. (Gentlemen, if this is you, I am not your girl.)  And I’m not looking down on these guys; that was me for so many painful years.   I am actually really, truly thankful for them and thankful for the immense insight that my previous experience has given me.  Each one of these bad dates was a lesson in reinforcing what it is that I actually want in a partner.  They also reinforced my own method for dating.  That is, I’m a psychic and an empath, and my intuition is damn good (so say my clients, anyway).  So when my Spidey senses say get the hell out there, I get the hell out of there.  But when my intuition prompts me to stop and look deeper, I honor that.  If this process has done nothing else for me, it has helped me to re-learn how to feel my way through, to trust my discernment, to realize that true partnership and love is possible.  The more I honor myself and stay close my authentic self, no matter what is going on around me, the more I can sense the quickening of what’s to come.

And maybe it’s already arrived.  Who knows…

If you’re reading this, and if you’re walking this same path, please take my insight to heart (pun intended).  You don’t need to give your power away to find love.  You don’t need to rely on someone else’s ideology or methodology or psychology to find out what is actually right for you.  You have the same intuition that I have.  You have the power to discern what is right for you and what isn’t.  Sure, you might be a little out of practice, but I assure you that that personal power of yours is there.  Guard it and hold it fiercely.  And do not, under any circumstances, give it away to anyone who will do anything other than honor it.

Namaste

–h

Lighten up!

One of the common themes of almost any reading I do comes from some variation of the following question: “How can I be more spiritual?”

I know that many of you will be surprised to hear this, but you’re probably already doing it.  Really.  Moving to a more spiritual existence means moving towards your highest joy and the highest expression of yourself.  So unless becoming a hermit and meditating on a mountain top for the next twenty-odd years is really the best You that You can be, you don’t need to.  Many people mistake reverence and seriousness with a spiritual experience, but it doesn’t always need to be that way.  In fact, I would argue that some of the most spiritual people don’t even know that they are spiritual.  They’re just having fun.  They’re just being them and moving to their highest joy.  That’s it!  That’s the big secret! Lighten up and just be you. That is all that God wants from you.  You are existing as a spiritual being by simply existing in joy.  Are you disappointed?  I hope not; I hope you’re ecstatic.

If you ever start to take things too seriously, ponder the following:

You, right now, are reading this and sitting on a gigantic ball of molten rock that is spinning wildly and whirling through the vacuum of space around another humungous ball of flaming gas all the while not getting smashed to smithereens by other bits of flying rocks and space junk.  That’s a miracle.  It really is.  Its also ridiculous.  The improbability and audacity of this experience should be enough to snap you out of that new age-y funk you probably find yourself in after reading too much Tolle  (whom I love, by the way, but come on, he can feel a little heavy).

So just be yourself, and leave the heavy lifting to Heavenly bodies.  You’re inner joy is as spiritual as you need to be.  I promise.

–love and light, heather.

Enlightenment Over Greek Food – How I learned to get out of my head

 


I’m not as smart as I think I am and from time to time I still need to be beaten over the head with the most simple of concepts.

The case in point here is the experience I had this weekend while attending the Landmark Forum. First I want to address the Forum itself. In a word, it’s amazing. You will have a love/hate relationship with it until 7 pm on the last day, but really, you need to go anyway. Thats how amazing the last three hours are. The preceding 36 hours are preamble, but necessary in order to get the punch line at the end.

I sat through the preamble throughly enjoying the human drama I was inflicting on my life under the auspices of coming clean about what a jerk I’ve been to the people in my life.  And really, I was a jerk to all of those people, especially my mom. But the drama was addicting and necessary to understand how unnecessary it all really is. Truly. And that was part of the joke. Hang on, I’m getting there.

Now, I read a lot. Incessantly, actually. Nearly every new age spirituality book tells me that the meaning if life is that there is no meaning of life. Either we are making it up, or we’re just energy expressing itself, or we are all just light and information.  Any way you slice it, there’s a whole lot of nothing around here. You would have thought I would have gotten that. But I didn’t. I intellectualized this information along with everything else. Just like I had intellectualized people, my diet and every New Year’s resolution I had ever made. This intellectualization diminished the impact that anything would have on me.  It was as if compartmentalizing things could render them safe and entirely mutable.

As we neared the last phase of the Forum, the “good part,” I was excited.  The ramp-up to that moment was exhilarating, and I was ready to find out why I had spent three days sitting in the world’s most uncomfortable chair.  And here it is: Life is empty and meaningless, and the fact that it’s empty and meaningless is empty and meaningless.  Huh?  I knew that. I had read it hundreds of times before – this world is an illusion, a figment, anything we make it.  So why did I just spend $500 and three days of my life just to get to this point?

To say I was annoyed was an understatement.  At the break I marched up to the Forum leader and proclaimed, “I don’t get it.”  I was near tears and feeling a burgeoning sense of futility.  The Forum leader just smiled knowingly and handed me off to another participant to assist me in sorting out my frustration.  So why was I so frustrated?  Because I was operating under the delusion that it was anticlimactic.  How arrogant of me.  And yet there I was standing firm in my place of know-it-all-ness.  As I poured out my frustrations to my new friends over gyros and hummus, one of them turned to me and said, “I get that you get it. But don’t you see that ‘anticlimactic’ is an illusion?”  I still don’t know what it was about that particular combination of words that was so magical, but I broke down laughing and crying all at the same time.   My arrogance was a blindspot for me, and I was viewing the world through that veil.  I had no idea what a presumptuous smarty pants I had been up until that point.  That was the joke, and it had set me free. In no way am I perfect, but I feel as though I am closer to leading a life free of juvenile constraints I’ve put on myself as a defense mechanism. And that was worth the cost of the Forum.

Staying, Chapter 1 – Grandma’s House

Staying: When the Hereafter is Here on Earth is a book that has been struggling to be written for nearly a year now.  Even harder, though, is the struggle to publish it.  Since this information is something that I feel needs to be released from my creative consciousness and into the All That Is, I am choosing to share this in my own way.  So, I will be publishing each chapter on my blog separately and as they are completed.

Staying aims to explore why spirits choose to stay bound to the Earth plane.  I have chronicled my personal experiences using my psychic lens.  If you’ve lost someone, feel spirit energy or experience the paranormal in your life, I hope to give you a broader understanding as to why “haunting” happens.

Enjoy!

Staying: When the Hereafter is Here on Earth

Chapter One – Grandma’s House

I think it bears mentioning that regardless of my family’s intuitive tendencies, they have guarded these gifts in a haze of fierce denial.  Talking to dead people was not considered appropriate Christian conversation – or even the conversation of rational adults.  Even today, my relatives speak about the work that I do in hushed tones and behind closed doors.  It is little wonder that I suppressed my, shall we say, unconventional talents as long as I did.
It is also not surprising that when I went to visit my Grandma Julie in the summer of 1999, she roundly refused to believe me when I told her that our dead relatives continued to roam the halls of her Minneapolis home.
It was a typical muggy, Midwestern summer when I landed in the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport fresh from my first year of college and eager to escape the teenaged emotional catastrophe I had created back home in California.  My grandma and grandpa bought their modest three bedroom home in the early 1950’s, and promptly began raising a family.  After four children, six grandchildren, and two husbands, both the house and my grandma had seen a lot.  As is typical with older homes, my grandma’s house served as the backdrop for domestic upheavals large and small.  It had that lived-in feel of a home that held many secrets.  It was also the home where both my great-grandmother and my grandpa died.

 
And yet the history of the house did nothing to convince my grandmother that her late husband and mother were wandering around there or anywhere.  To her, they had gone to heaven, and that was final.  I wasn’t so sure about that.

 

Night after night I approached her with, what I thought, was ironclad evidence of the persistence of our dead relatives.  And night after night, she rebuffed my claims, chalking it up to my overactive, and slightly dramatic, imagination.
From the first night of my stay in Minnesota, I heard all manner of strange goings-on in the hallway outside of my room.  This room, I should add, was directly next to the room where my great-grandma stayed during the last days of her life.  Every night, I would hear shuffling footsteps and hollow thumps – like the sound my 94 year-old great-grandma would make on the way down the hall to the bathroom using her walker.  The skeptic in me, trying to talk myself down from near-hysteria, tried to explain the noises away by blaming them on one of the three cats in residence.  But I knew perfectly well that none of the cats would set so much as a toe upstairs after I decided to go to bed.  They would sleep on my bed all day and evening, but the second I announced I was retiring for the night, they would march downstairs.  It was such an absurd show,  I thought I was imagining it.
Finally, the thing that absolutely could not explain away were the intense temperature changes coupled with the over-whelming feeling of someone standing near my bed.  Now, the late summers in Minnesota are extreme.  High heat and humidity coupled with wild thunderstorms made me yearn for the calming offshore breezes typical of my home in the San Francisco Bay Area.  Or at least for air-conditioning, which my grandma never had installed.  So when a cool breeze began wafting over me in the early morning hours, chilling my sweat-dampened skin, I was more than a little unsettled.  I was terrified.

 

As scared as I was, I knew it was more a reaction to the newness of the experience and not to any perceived malevolence.  Whoever was shuffling up and down the hall and standing over me in bed was not evil or demonic.  Once I realized this and got my wits about me, I figured that this presence as most likely my great-grandma and that she was simply dropping by to see me, sort of like a ghostly visitation.  I eventually calmed down enough to recognize this and acknowledge her. When I did, I felt calmer, I felt the presence subside and the cool cloud lift away from me.  My great-grandma had left.

 

Analyzing the experience many years later and through a psychic lens (after acknowledging said lens, of course), I began to understand a few things.  First, my grandma’s house was most likely not “haunted” by anything or anyone.  I was in a place that was familiar to my great-grandma, and that made it fairly easy for her to connect to me.  She had to be a little dramatic about it because I wasn’t paying attention.  But when I did, I realized that all she wanted was to be acknowledged by and commune with the great-granddaughter she loved dearly, but rarely saw.

 

I also realized that sometimes people can be “haunted.”  That is, that some human beings can trigger ghostly activity based on their emotional state or their sensitivity to paranormal activity.  At my grandma’s house, I was a sort of lightening rod for ghostly energy.  You could say I was simply in the right place at the right time.

 

To my knowledge, no one else has had any other type of paranormal experience in that house.  But I’ll never know.  In late 2001, my grandma succumbed to cancer while I was living abroad in Australia.  My relatives sold the house before I returned, and I never again set foot inside.  And while I can choose to communicate with my late relatives consciously, I rarely do.  They are together in the after-life and they are happy and they know that I am happy – and that is all any of us need to know.

A Message from the Angelic Realm

Yesterday I had the privilege of spending the evening with a group of amazing people.  What follows is a message that was channeled from the angelic realm for them, but was so powerful, I just had to share with everyone.

Enjoy!

“For most in the group, you’ve completed a change and a shift and are ready to move onto the next thing.  But fear of the unknown and fear that you can’t ‘handle it’ are keeping you in a holding pattern.

“Release your fear.  Trust that you have manifested the perfect circumstance for the service to your higher soul.  You are in the perfect place at the perfect time.  There are no accidents or coincidences.  Also know that in this space you can not ‘mess up’ or make a mistake.  What you experience and how you choose to react is perfect.  There is no such thing as ‘good’ or ‘bad.’  There just ‘is;’ you just ‘are.’

“Release the burden of self judgement.

“Release unrealistic constraints on yourself.  Be kind to yourself.

“Release self doubt and self loathing.

“Know that you are perfect, loved and whole.

“Know that you are powerful.

Love and Light.

–Heather