Feeling Love

DSC_0022
It was in my twenties when I realized that I was looking for love in others because I felt incomplete. I was looking for love from others to help me to feel whole. This realization didn’t just come to me. No, I had to go through great suffering first. Time after time, it had to be shown to me – how the love that I knew could be hurtful, jealous, critical, shameful, conditional.  It was something that I was spinning in, unable to tell top from bottom.  Love was my favorite roller coaster that would take me to the very exhilarating top and then drop me so hard and fast that my stomach was left somewhere in space.  I lived for the highs and rolled in the mud of the lows. I got dirty and soared- AND… MANY OF THE FEELINGS I FELT WERE BASED UPON HOW SOMEONE FELT ABOUT  ME!  The wall I was banging my head against was hard.

Finally, bloodied and broken and down on my knees-  I found it…the answer.  It wasn’t outside of me, it was INSIDE of me.  I AM LOVE!  My true self is perfect.  I am part of an amazing energy that I call The Universe.  The Universe is divine, therefore so am I.  As this realization came so did the teachers, Marianne Williamson and her book A Return to Love , Deepak Chopra, Timeless Body, Ageless Mind, Gary Zukav, and Clem Chang who taught me Qi Gong.

Since then, the teachers have been far too many to name.  The practice continues.  I am human.  I forget easily.  Through my meditation and mindfulness practice, regular affirmations and surrounding myself with positive people, I can see and feel the love that I am.

 

Take time to play – celebrate your uniqueness!

Image
How do you play? What things bring you joy? For you, it may not be grand or outlandish things that fill your spirit but then again, it may be. Think back to when you were a child. What things were you drawn to? How did you fill your days with play?
Carrie, Jessie and Jennie dressed up Oct. 1973
For me, it was dress up and putting on plays (that is me, age 6, on the left). I loved to entertain people, talk with people and pretend. I loved to direct, to lead. If we played school, I was the teacher. I loved to climb trees and run. I danced. I played and listened to music. I rode my bike and explored different places. I loved the coolness of a cave in the summertime. I loved running through a sprinkler on a hot summer day. I loved libraries. I loved the smell of them and the feel of books in my hands. I loved to read.

Image

These activities are still me. I am a teacher today. I do love to run, ride bike and dance. I love books! If I listen to my child self, I know what fills my soul and what I need to do more of in my career to share my given talents and gifts with others. My gifts are unique to me as yours are to you. There is NO OTHER YOU ON THIS PLANET! You are special!

Today – do something that celebrates your uniqueness!
DSC_0189

Of letting go…Surender.

cropped-dsc_04441.jpg Life is a struggle from the beginning.  It takes all your energy, all of your letting go to allow what needs to happen to happen.  And in that part of the sentence, lies the key.  If a baby were to struggle, fight (which maybe they sometimes do), things don’t get easier, they become more difficult.  The baby might have to be taken with forceps or C-section which is much more traumatic for the baby.   But if the baby naturally goes with the contractions that are meant to ease the baby out, it is less traumatic…difficult, yes, but a necessary process.

I have been fighting a process. The process of the dissolution of my marriage. I sooooo wanted it to work. I was going to fix it- all by myself! I laugh when I say that because that is crazy thinking. How am I suppose to do THAT when the definition of a relationship is the state of being interrelated, connected? I need the other half to connect to and that other half needs to want to connect with me.

So, I have been struggling, resisting, clinging to what I know…the womb. I don’t want to come out! I don’t want to face the unknown! I KNOW what the womb is like…I know how my husband’s arms feel around me. I know his quirks, his routines, his likes and dislikes. I know what to expect and not what to expect. Yet something was moving me. A force bigger than myself that was pushing me out, making me experience the unknown; this grief, this black pit called despair, bringing me to my knees (literally), sobbing uncontrollably.

Through this I am finding that the only way I can survive is by surrendering. Because every time I struggle, things get worse. The noose gets tighter and I fall harder. So I surrender. I have been brought to prayer, meditation, and yoga. And as I surrender, more things come to my aid; a phrase, a kind wish, a thoughtful phone call, a cup of tea, a shoulder to cry on. I have found through surrender a Power Greater Than Myself. I have been standing on the edge of a bridge many days and something gets me off the ledge. That makes me wonder: would I have found such faith had I not been given these struggles?

Someone said something that resonated with me this week. She said, “There is a possibility that things could get better.” I thought to myself, ‘Yes, there is. They could get worse BUT there is the possibility that after divorce, things could be better.’ I am scared. I am not always so hopeful when so much is coming at me all at once but in THIS moment, and this moment is the ONLY moment I can be assured of…THIS moment is good. I am open to the possibilities.

“The reason why many are still troubled, still seeking, still making little forward progress is because they haven’t yet come to the end of themselves. We’re still trying to give orders, and interfering with God’s work within us. ”
― A.W. Tozer

“Something amazing happens when we surrender and just love. We melt into another world, a realm of power already within us. The world changes when we change. the world softens when we soften. The world loves us when we choose to love the world.”
― Marianne Williamson

“God had brought me to my knees and made me acknowledge my own nothingness, and out of that knowledge I had been reborn. I was no longer the centre of my life and therefore I could see God in everything.”
― Bede Griffiths

Why do people lie, yell or steal?

I am re-reading “A Return to Love” by Marianne Williamson.  I read it almost 20 years ago and it changed my life!   Years went by, at times living life unconsciously, forgetting that in order to maintain my connection with SELF, my connection to the Divine or All That Is, I have to consciously work at it.

Marianne says, “When someone has behaved unlovingly – when they yell at us, or lie about us, or steal from us – they have lost touch with their essence.  They have forgotten who they are.  But everything that someone does, says the Course (she is referring to The Course in Miracles), is either ‘love or a call for love’.

This resonated with me.  This is ME!  This is my family, the people who I love.  I have behaved in ways I wish I had not.  But that action, that CRY for love, not love from someone outside of myself but for that love INSIDE, was my awakening.  The negative behavior from others was a cry for love.  Now the awakening didn’t happen overnight… but it comes around.  Right now, the awakening for me has come at a price of loss.  It is a struggle with my ego on a daily, no minute by minute basis to choose love and not fear.   To forgive others for wrongful behavior instead of condemning them.  To forgive myself.  Back to Marianne’s words: “When we are shaking a finger at someone, figuratively or literally, we are not more apt to correct their wrongful behavior.  Treating someone with compassion and forgiveness is much more likely to elicit a healed response.”

I choose LOVE. I choose to forgive. I choose to BE the change.

I imagine that this is what Essence/Love looks like.
Photo by: Carrie Garcia- 7/4/13 Circle Pines, MN
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Get SuperBetter!

Get SuperBetter!

I have started to play this game on-line.  It is a way to help me meet my goals, stay in the moment and appreciate life.

I found out about this game by watching a Ted Talk called “Life Hacks”.  The speaker that inspired me the most was American gamer Jane McGonigal. She gave an engaging speech that included research about four core areas that we need in our lives to stay engaged, and feel good about living.  They are: social, emotional, mental and physical.  SuperBetter sends you on quests to use these four areas and employs “allies” (friends that you can count on) to help you fight the bad guys and reach the next level getting closer to your goal every day.   

I highly encourage you to join me and play.  What do you have to loose?

Yamuna-ing in NYC!

The Hudson river as the sun sets.

The Hudson river as the sun sets.

I completed the first phase of the Yamuna Body Rolling training today. I leave NYC in the morning tomorrow, back to the Twin Cities.

When I wasn’t in training which was 10-5 for three days, I was walking the streets of Manhattan, taking the trains below ground, shooting pictures of the images around me and people watching.

The NYC subway

The NYC subway

It is an amazing city, New York. I love to visit but I would find it hard to find my center here. There is so much external energy coming at me all the time, I find it hard to hear my own inner voice. I guess that would be the challenge wouldn’t it? That is the challenge wherever you are, listing to your true self.

Night image of the West Village.

Night image of the West Village.

Learning the basics of Yamuna Body Rolling for the last few days has been such a in depth learning experience plus a healing venture for me. Body Rolling teaches you how to manipulate your muscles with a variety of different sized balls that are placed on one area of your body and then moved by laying on them and moving your body to manipulate and massage your muscles and bones using your own body weight. Yamuna has created this awesome technique that I can now use on myself daily, won’t harm my body, won’t rip my tissues and will keep me in shape for the rest of my life because it is literally a technique that most people can do at any age.

Yamuna Body Rolling instructor, Scott.

Yamuna Body Rolling instructor, Scott.


The instructor of the class was a Brooklyn born steel/construction worker. He has also worked in a variety of fitness places using other types of techniques but has come to Yamuna Body Rolling because he has weight-lifted, taught Pilates and has found that many other types of exercise are hard on your body. They rip, they tear, they pound and eventually, you can’t do them any more. Sure, you can run for twenty years but eventually, most people have injuries. Then, they go to a chiropractor or try to eliminate soreness by getting regular massages or take medication. Yamuna Body Rolling can align your body, can go deep into the tissues like massage and can eliminate the need for some medications.

So, I am taking this back to the Twin Cities, this knowledge and training, going to body roll myself daily and then in March I will return for Phase 2 of the training. I will let you know how it goes. Stay tuned!!

Yamuna's Flagship Studio, The Village, NYC

Yamuna’s Flagship Studio, The Village, NYC