Regret

Have you ever regretted not spending more time with someone after they’ve passed away? Or wishing you would have said something to someone? Sometimes we harbor so many regrets of things that should’ve been said or should’ve been done, a serious case of the should haves. Why don’t we say what needs to be said or spend time where time needs to be spent?

We tell ourselves so many excuses that it becomes washed away in the white noise of living. Our lives are a glimpse in time, yet we spend more time making excuses then taking action. Sometimes we are so caught up in what someone will think, or if we might make them uncomfortable that we lose sight or what really matters.

Yes, sometimes things are uncomfortable to say, or that hug lasted a bit too long and became awkward. So what! If those are your feelings then why not. I tell the people that I love that I will hug them until it gets awkward. It doesn’t matter their gender, a good heart to heart hug feeds the soul.

You don’t need to hide who you are, so many people do that. Shame becomes a self-imposed prison, and we are left with heartache. I’m a hugger and I’m not afraid to tell someone that I love them. I don’t want to pass away tonight and the people who I love the most question how I felt about them. That terrifies me. How can I leave this world without telling those who mean the most to me how I feel? That seems so selfish to me.

I’d rather risk being vulnerable and opening myself up to hurt or rejection then not express myself. What holds you back? Take the plunge and say how you feel. Good, bad, it really doesn’t matter. Why torture yourself with regret later. I just recently told a friend that visited from out of state that I was going to hug her until it was awkward. Her husband knows that I love her. No it’s not sexual, she’s like a sister and I missed her. And as sure as a bear that shits in the woods, as soon as I saw her I grabbed ahold of her and hugged her.

Regret can kill your soul. There is no need for it. Love yourself enough to express how you’re feeling. Follow your instincts, say what needs to be said. If you can’t speak it, write it. Grab a card from the Dollar Tree and send it. The reason I say to hand write it is because when you write, you pour your emotions onto the page. You can feel it. It’s never too late to start. Never. So take a moment today and express yourself to someone you’ve assumed knew how you felt. 

Namaste

Relationships

Relationships come in many types. Not one evolves the same way. Some are for a short time, others are for a bit longer, and some can last a lifetime. The longest relationship that a person will ever have is the one you have with yourself. 

I’m very particular in whom I chose to spend time with. The reason that I am particular is because I’m seeking a healthy reciprocal relationship. Because of this choice I can literally count my friends on one hand. I’m not boasting about this, I’m sharing because I don’t particularly require quantity.

Relationships are broad strokes of greys. There are so many levels of relationships, from the waiter(ess) at your favorite restaurant, to the librarian that you always greet, not to mention all the different types of friends that you have. When you really think about it, each friend is a reflection of a part of you.

If you are blessed, you will have that one or two friends that are a constant. No matter what happens in your life they are always there. Sometimes you give to them, sometimes they give to you, but every time, you both feel love, safety and companionship.

I am very blessed to have a friend that I have a couple friends that I love dearly. One lives very far away, and we talk infrequently, however whenever one needs the other, we are always there. I have another who’s priorities have changed, but we both know that we are there when needed. And the last is someone I love so much. I was so happy she’s found the love of her life. I love seeing her happy, and she loves seeing my wife and I happy. We have a connection that is deep and pure. She is a sister to me, I tend to be a little protective, but I’m sure she knows that short of murder or selling a kidney, I would do almost anything for her.

Do you have standards for your relationships? What about boundaries that you may have? Do you have any? It’s a good idea to write down what you want in a friendship. Almost like a resume. Once you put the energy into the resume, write it out, then say it out loud you’ve placed it out in the universe. You will eventually attract those friends that give you what you need, as well as let you love them the way they need.

Love yourself enough to have these healthy relationships. Be real, be true, be honest, be courageous-be you.

Namaste

Work In Progress

We are all works in progress. We all have our issues that we struggle with, whether we are aware of it or not. Not one of us is in a position to cast a shadow on the other. Yet we do, habit I guess. Sometimes I think that part of human nature is to want what we do not possess. “I wish I was taller.” “I wish I was thinner.” “I wish I was smarter.” On and on and on. Lamenting over what we desire and rarely accepting what we have.

The poet Phillip Larkin once wrote;

“They fuck you up, your mum and dad. They may not mean to, but they do. They fill you with the faults they had, and add some extra just for you.”

When I first read this I was offended. But when I really took a moment to absorb what he was saying, to look at life in an objective manner, it’s a true statement. Our parents did what they could, in the only way they were able. So did their parents, and so on and so on. It’s not easy to look at our parents as humans. The first time I saw my mother as a human being, with all the strength and frailty that is human, it shook me to the core. We tend to romanticize our parents and our pasts. We hold onto the pain, and sometimes forget the good times. Or vice versa. It takes a strong person to look at the entirety of their life and accept both the good and the bad.

I’ll use myself as an example. And yes, I’m going to share some intimate personal faults. Judge me if you choose. However, I’m finally not ashamed of them. I have taken these skeletons out of the closet and dragged them into the light. First, I’m a thief, either by choice or accident. I’ve stolen items. When I was homeless I stole food to eat. I needed shoes, so I stole them. I’ve assaulted others, sometimes it was in defense of myself, other times it was in defense of others. I’ve killed. Does it really matter the circumstance or the species? I’ve judged others, for no real reason then to do so. Sometimes it made me feel better about myself. I’ve given into peer pressure and hurt others. I’ve eaten out of greed, I’ve been lazy just because, and I’ve said hurtful things. Doesn’t really matter the reason. I’ve had sex out of anger, pain and not out of love. I walked away from a blind man when he needed help. I just followed the rest of the herd. Well, this is my ugly. Do I have any good?

I’ve given the coat off my back to another living being in the middle of winter. I’ve given my lunch to someone who was hungry. I gave my shoes away and walked barefoot down the street. I help everyone who needs it. I’ve stopped on the side of the road in the dead of night and in blinding snow to change a tire. I sat down next to a homeless person and shared my lunch. I’ve also done that with a dog. I’ve given love where there wasn’t any, and kindness when it was difficult. I’ve forgiven those who wronged me. I’ve even forgiven the ones who violated me. Does this make me a good person?

Who knows? Do you know? I don’t. Here’s what I do know, I am not without faults. I’m human, and under construction. We all are. If you open yourself up you’re bound to be judged or hurt. If you don’t you’re destined to be lonely. Some would say. So, do you hide or step into the fire? These are choices you make on your own. It’s definitely safe and easy to ignore the dark parts of you. It’s not as painful, and you don’t have to admit that you’re less than perfect. However, if you choose to walk through your own darkness, the reward on the other side is great. You become whole. You know yourself in a way that no one else can. I challenge you to admit to yourself all that is you. You are who you are because of all that is good and bad in your life up to this point. If you’re uncomfortable that’s okay, it just means that you’re growing. Stretch yourself.

Namaste

Compassion

What exactly is compassion? Do you really know? Why do some people see compassion as a weakness? When I was a child, I was often told that I was too soft. I needed to be a harder person or the world would swallow me up. I was weak, and needed to be stronger. If I helped people they would take advantage of me. I appreciate what they were trying to accomplish. They didn’t want me to get hurt. Life lessons are to be lived, that means you will get hurt. That’s life. Later in life I learned that compassion takes courage. It is a strength, not a weakness. In a world where we are literally trying to dodge negativity, how does a person reject self-interest, greed and cruelty.

There are television series that show human compassion. We are touched and marvel at the drive and desire of these humans who put themselves out for all to see. They wear their hearts on their sleeves, to be judged for their compassion. We also see stories of animals showing compassion to other animals. Some that would be natural enemies. Why do humans and other earthling species express compassion? Why doesn’t the instinct of self-interest squash something some may refer to as weak or trivial? Let’s take a look at it.

Compassion is often times confused with empathy or altruism. Here are the broad stroke differences; empathy is the visceral response to the suffering of another living being. You mirror and experience the emotions of the being who is suffering. Altruism is an action that benefits others. There is overlapping here. However, they are not to be confused. Is compassion something that we learn as children or is it a natural instinct? There is research that shows that shows compassion is a natural instinct to all life.

There were studies conducted that show that children to young to understand compassion, demonstrated compassion when they noticed another child in need of help. They even circumvented obstacles to do so.* Charles Darwin coined the term “survival of the kindest.” He proposed and vehemently argued that “the greater strength of the social or material instinct than that of any other instinct or motive.” He believed that compassion was the strongest instinct of living beings. You can see the manifestation of this when you see reports of animals helping one another is crisis. Or human beings demonstrating compassion on a large scale. For instance, with the fires in Australia, there was a news story of a mother fox, providing milk to infant kholas. ** Or the story of Keisha Thomas who literally threw her body on top of a Klans member during a Women’s Rights protest. Not only was she obviously a young African American woman, but she’s a woman. This man was wearing a Confederate t-shirt, and has SS tattoo. Yet, her drive for compassion overwhelmed her own sense of safety when she protected him from a mob. ***

So why do people overlook someone struggling to carry their groceries? Or shake their heads at someone begging for money or food? I believe that this happens because their natural instinct to help is buried beneath self-interest, greed and judgement. So many people have lost touch with themselves. And why wouldn’t they? Our society is an instant gratification, quick fix, a pill will solve everything society. Greed and self-interest are in front of our faces daily. Despite the fact that giving and showing compassion has so many health benefits, we ignore it. The people or animals that express compassion are looked at with awe. Sometimes followed by statements such as, “I could never do that?” As a vegan/vegetarian I’m accustomed to people asking me why I choose not to eat meat, followed by “I can’t do that. I love bacon too much.” Again, self interest is paramount in these examples. I’m not telling you, you should be a vegetarian, I would just like for you to think about why you choose not to.

Let’s be frank, compassion makes you vulnerable. You may be hurt or rejected if you show compassion. No one likes to be vulnerable or possibly rejected. Compassion takes a tremendous amount of courage to express. To me it is the most powerful quality to wield. Because, if a person has the courage to express compassion, they are certainly not afraid to express love. Are you compassionate? Are you compassionate only when it suits you? Or are you unbiased in your compassion and spread it evenly? Why don’t you show compassion?

Namaste

*Max Planck Institute, Germany
**India Today 
***BBC

Pain

What is pain? When someone says that they are in pain, what comes to your mind? Most people think about physical pain. But there are several kinds of pain.

It is true that some people are in physical pain. Physical pain can be a formidable adversary. Some can never rise above it. Much less accept it.

But, what are the other types of pain? These pains are adept hunters. These pains stalk you, and slowly take bits and pieces of yourself, of your identity. Some people succumb  to their pain and it becomes their identity.

Physical pains, sigh. Physical pain can come from a number of sources. Injury or illnesses. Brain hiccups such as Parkinson’s, Multiple Sclerosis, Fibroidmyalgia, Lupus, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, the list goes on and on.

Mental pain, we’ve all heard about that. Depression and PTSD are some of the most common. These pains run deep. Mental pain can come from abuse, neglect, abandonment, bullying, loneliness, sexual assault, and this list goes on and on.

Spiritual pain,a pain that most people don’t even know that they are in spiritual pain. But so many people are. Spiritual pain manifests in feelings of being lost, without purpose, broken, unwanted, not needed, and this list goes on and on.

Every one of these pains can be accepted by you and you can move forward. Some pains can even be healed. What? Yep,they can all be managed. So how do we do that, simple, radically accept it and find your balance. 

Some physical pains that are caused by age or injury are, in some people’s minds not curable and only relieved by painkillers. Let me toss a theory onto the table. Healing energy or physical pain. Did that cause you to scoff at the idea? Well, there are some people who have been cured of their physical pains by people who have been given the gift to do so. People such as Charlie Goldsmith. This man has used his healing abilities to help people all over the world. He has proven results in people of all ages. He isn’t the only person with these abilities. And yet, some people will not even try to explore this. It reminds me of trying to get a child to eat vegetables. So we choose to suffer.

Mental pain is, to me the anguish. Mental pain can rob you of everything. It makes you a prisoner of your mind which in turn affects your body. Mental pain can cause suicide. It can make you feel like there is no end. It will never get better, but I does get better. However, in that moment, you can’t see that. You’re numb.

Spiritual pain is the ultimate sacrifice we’ve made. Spiritual pain is that feeling like you are not whole. You are literally alone. You are so far from the greatest love that you cannot see light. It is that emptiness that is never filled. Nothing you do gives you relief. Some people do not care for themselves, much less have someone to care about them. That pain is…relentless. And can cause the prison of shame.

Now that I’ve given you a glimpse of these maladies, how do you handle them. I previously mentioned “Radical Acceptance.” What exactly is that? Radical acceptance is accepting your pain, your maladies. Most of our pain comes from the brain. It is a neurological malfunction. Most of the time it is caused by trauma. Trauma from sexual assault, sexual abuse, physical abuse, verbal abuse, witnessing or experiencing traumatic events etc. These things can cause your brain to react in a way to try and protect the body. What it actually does is cause the body pain. There isn’t a medication that can heal that pain. Some medications can alleviate the pain to a degree, but cannot cure it.

Accepting your trauma, seeking mental health experts to help you navigate your trauma, and understanding that it is a part of you. You would not be the survivor that you are without experiencing this trauma. It does not “heal” your brain, but it does help you understand why. There are so many people who have accepted where they are, and find the courage to function and have a life. To live, not survive. Life is not fair. But this is your life, how do you want to live it?

Indulge me for a moment, I know a woman who has made her pain her identity. She wields her pain like a weapon. It’s used to gain her sympathy, and for people to do things for her. She feels as though because she has pain the world owes her. Any conversation you have with her, she talks about her maladies, how it hurts, ho much medication she takes, etc. Do you know someone like that?

Then there is another woman that has pain every moment of every day. The pain radiates through her body, her brain screams in pain. And yet, she lives. Yes, there are days when she’s a little more withdrawn. But she lives, she chooses to seek unconventional methods to help her cope. Her malady is not her identity. When you speak to her she talks about everything but her ailments. She’s radically accepted that this is her normal and rises above it. 

What makes these 2 women so different? Well, there are a lot of factors, their background, their will to live, and that fact that one person has actively worked on accepting. Seeking out what is needed to facilitate a healthy life. Most importantly, she has broken the chains of shame. Let’s be real here, people don’t seek out the spiritual cup they need because of shame. They don’t seek out the mental health care they need because of shame.

Please allow my one last indulgence, here is a broad stroke of my pain. I have several physical maladies that cause constant pain. My entire body feels like I smashed it with a hammer. I’m on antidepressants to help with my PTSD, I have medications that help to alleviate some pain, but it does not remove it. I have some natural remedies I use to also help me to move and live. I’ve witnessed war, been verbally abused, sexually assaulted more than once, molested, bullied, shamed, and physically assaulted. I’ve even attempted suicide. People who know about all of this ask me, how do you move? How do I live? How can you love so freely? My answer is always the same. Because I choose to. I choose to accept that I would not be the person I am without living through what I have. I reminds me that there is good in the world. I firmly believe that if I hadn’t experienced these traumas, then I wouldn’t be the person that I am today.

What is your pain? Where did it come from? How are you dealing with it? Is it your identity? Can you still see the wonder and beauty in the world? What is stopping you from exploring all options to help you? Love yourself and accept yourself for the beautiful person you are. Rise above and live.

Namaste

www.charliegoldsmith.com

www.suicidetherippleeffect.com

www.oneplanet.org

www.bornthisway.foundation

www.NoMore.org

Use Care In What You Say…

When someone in the metaphysical world tells you to be mindful and conscious, what does that mean? There are various levels of consciousness. They depend on where the person is in their spiritual development. In this article I will discuss a simple step to help you become more aware of how and what is said.

What we say and think are extremely powerful. We often simply say hurtful things to one another without thinking. It doesn’t matter the reason, we do it anyway. When we think of ourselves and others we are less loving than we are verbally. There lies the problem. Love. Love in all of its forms. We all go through life wanting love, acceptance and to be cared for. What happens is we separate from one another by various methods. We do not make eye contact, we are on our phones, or other mobile devices, we say to ourselves “it doesn’t affect me directly, so it’s not my problem,” etc. The list of excuses is endless.

Here is the problem, the brain cannot differentiate between the present, the future or the past. Nor can it understand that the things you say out loud are not directed at yourself. The ego in our brain is very selfish, it’s always about you. When we have any unresolved emotional issues, our brain sees those issues everywhere and in everyone. This is most likely the reason some folks are incredibly judgmental.

A few years ago a researcher by the name of Masaru Emoto conducted experiments on water and wrote a book about his findings entitled © The Hidden Messages in Water. I recommend this book to give you further understanding and raise your awareness. Masaru Emoto discovered that water is alive. It has a memory. He conducted various experiments, some as simple as writing Love, Joy, Hate and Anger on pieces of paper and taping them to containers filled with water. Then he would look at the water molecules under an electron microscope. What he found is that the water that reflected the words love and joy we beautifully balanced molecules. Those that were taped with hate and anger, were fragmented and glowed red. So what does this mean?

It means that we are completely in control of the way our bodies and minds respond to the world. Our bodies are compiled of 60% water. If Masaru Emoto taped love on a small beaker of water and the molecules were harmonious what does the mean for us if we lived with an open heart of love for others and ourselves? We must understand for every emotion we have there is always an opposite. For instance, Gratitude-Hate, Courage-Fear, Kindness-Anger, Peace of mind-A mind of Anxiety/Depression. The frequency of our thoughts affect our bodies in a profound way. Many studies have proved this theory.

What we think, whether we say it or not becomes a part of us. So I ask you, if you show love, kindness, and gratitude to yourself and others, what do you think those thoughts can do to your body? Meditation and prayer are incredibly important to purge those negative thoughts and emotions. It also gives your mind the discipline that it needs to stay positive. Remember, your life at this exact moment is a culmination of the choices you have made. As I write this I did not take the time this morning to perform my Qigong meditation. All day I have felt drained and sluggish. I made the choice not to meditate, and this is the consequence I lived with today. If you desire for your life to change, to improve and be better you must understand that the common denominator is you and your thoughts.

Namaste

EVIL

*Warning, the following can be very controversial. Understand that what is shared here is based on my own experiences and the knowledge I have gained from it.*

What is evil? There have been several studies about this subject. This subject, like pain is sometimes perception. As a people we can agree on some key points. Murder, abuse, torture, we can ususally agree that these actions are evil. However, we tend to use the word evil as a general term. If a person verbally abuses someone of a different race we call it evil. If someone is manipulative, we can call them evil. Criminals are evil, etc. We are not going to focus on these sociological issues of what we call evil. Instead we are going to focus on spiritual evil.

Would it surprise you when I say that true evil is horrifying. We say that the Devil is evil. But what does that mean? The Devil is the furthest being away from God’s light. If these icons offend you then you can call them what you is more comfortable for you. For the sake of this article, I am going to stick with God and the Devil. True evil is powerful. It is all consuming and merciless. There is a very real spiritual evil. I see people boast that they are from the church of Satan. However, they have no clue what that actually means.

Having been blessed by God to possess the gifts that I have, I have not only seen the Devil, but have been attacked by a demon. I know first had the real danger of the darkness. The most difficult thing to understand is that as human beings, we are a balance of both. Yes, we have that same darkness within us. The psychologist Carl Jung and his theory were the inspiration of George Lucus’s © Star Wars franchise. He posed that each person has the hero and villain within ourselves. Or Luke and © Vader. Although this philosophy was discovered hundreds of years after American Indians told of the tale of the 2 wolves that are within us. One is made of darkness and the other of light. You are the person you are based on the wolf you feed. However, it’s opposite never disappears. We always have both. Evil is, in many ways, a choice. We choose to be cruel to animals, we choose to damage the earth, we choose to injure one another. Admitting that to ourselves is one of the most difficult tasks we can undertake. However, if we look at our darkness, shine light upon it we are better people because of it.

For instance, I used to believe that suicide was an act of evil. I was wrong and ignorant. When I was attacked by that demon, I could feel the weight of it, there were scorch marks on my bed sheets, and where it held me down I had red marks that lasted weeks. Because of this attack, something in my gifts changed. I finally fully accepted them and knew that God was with me. It was like my brain popped open, like a cork from a champagne bottle. I would later encounter people that have commited suicide in spirit form. They wear their pain like wet coats. It takes so much courage to take your own life. And the pain stays with you. The darkness that consumed these souls is so heavy and dark. I apologize if this has hurt anyone, it is what I’ve seen.

Spiritual evil is very real. And the battle between the light and darkness is very real and happens on small to large scales. I hope that this article gives you pause and allows you to perform some introspection. 

Namaste