If I Could Turn Back Time
June is the start of my absolute favorite time of year! It feels like a promise, that everything will be alright. Tiki torches and fires will be ablaze and “the” moment I wait for, the first firefly. The word June comes from the Latin word iuniores, meaning "younger ones". I immediately recall the years I’ve been putting on my favorite bikini top and peach sunning shorts. I suppose I’m engaging in a rite of the return of the golden sun, and my youth. I feel as if I’m reborn. I believe that I am.
In 1981, psychologist Ellen Langer did a five day study on aging, called the “counterclockwise study”. Eight men in their 70’s were taken to a retreat designed to totally reflect the year 1959. They were immersed in the news, current events, music, politics and life as it was back then. After a week, their strength, eyesight, hearing and cognition improved, and they looked visibly younger.
She also did a study with maids who didn’t see their very physical jobs as exercise. They were told certain tasks were like working on exercise machines. They experienced reduced blood pressure, an actual shift in body-mass index and weight loss. Other scientific studies show that just thinking about working out can cause actual physical changes! Langer’s next study will be to take women diagnosed with stage four breast cancer back 10 years in time, when they were cancer-free. Her hopes are to see tumor sizes reduced or gone altogether. Imagine that.
Every June I go back in time, to when I felt as if my whole life was ahead of me. In some ways I feel healthier than I did then. The world was my oyster and it still is.
We're All Girls in the Beginning ~ International Women's Day
I am better from the women in my life. I am stronger as I see my sisters breaking through the societal and religious ideas they were raised with. I am better for hearing them use the F word, not caring if the world thinks they are nice girls. I am proud at the sharing of their success rather than shrinking, so as not to offend or make someone else uncomfortable or appear to be too strong.
Honoring the Warrior of the Divine Feminine AND the Mother. The Activist who is mad as hell at the raping of our Earth Mother, AND the Healer who wields Magic at her fingertips, with her words and her very life and ability to birth another being.
The original meaning of the word virgin is "A woman unto herself". Independent, free, autonomous and single, not 'untouched' before marriage. Countless women who discovered scientific breakthroughs and inventions were not credited for being the creator or creatress shall we say? Some not even mentioned as being part of the research, as was usually done even if they were the discoverer. May we continue to burst through glass ceilings and un-write history to herstory. In the womb, we are ALL Girls in the beginning!
On a misty morning last week, the fog was so thick it looked like surely I was in a movie. It looked unnatural. But at one point I felt myself slip into another realm. Lately my morning practice starts with writing in my journal, tuning into how I feel and how I can feel better if the rating is not so good. I'm surrounded by some of my favorite books smiling back at me from my sun-room shelves. Trusted and loyal they are even if I haven't read them all the way through yet. No pressure.
The light is the best in the mornings there, two big windows to see the sparrows singing in the day. I wonder do they get cold in the winter? Journal open, most mornings Hina, my "sleepy girl" lays on me while I write and together we slip into meditation. She knows where we are going, to take a deep dive. Hopefully it will be deep I think to myself as I close my eyes. Sometimes it's not easy to slip in, between breaths. I was trying too hard and my chest was tight, so I opened my eyes and flipped to a random page in my Bella Grace "Field Guide to Everyday Magic" magazine. I'm obsessed with these magazines!! They have a way of taking you straight into the heart of a moment, almost as if you could measure it, or make it more real. As if you could slow down time.
Thank goodness for my morning practice I said to myself...for these minutes I give myself. I opened my eyes to the sun making a beam across the floor. A tinier one than what we get in the spring and summer. The beautiful, mythic picture I have in view of my morning chair of Titania, Queen of the Fairies playing a harp in a forest, caught my eye. I took a sweet sip of coffee from my favorite current ceremonial cup that says "Hey gorgeous" and closed my eyes and exhaled. I felt my whole body relax and then it happened...the slip into another realm. The place we call magical or enchanted. One of my absolute favorite places, and I got there all myself. I knew that I was taken care of and felt it to be absolutely true. I felt held like a child in the arms of the Universe, in the ALL of Everything. I took a few more breaths and opened my eyes. I chose a random page from the book on my lap to read this quote.
"Life is made up of moments, small pieces of glittering mica in a long stretch of gray cement. It would be wonderful if they came to us unsummoned, but particularly in life as busy as the ones we lead now, that won't happen. We have to teach ourselves how to make room for them, to love them and to really live, really live." ~ Anna Quindlen
The world is conspiring on my behalf if I can capture moments like these.
Be True to Yourself
Staying true to yourself can make those around you uncomfortable. Rediscovering your true purpose or choosing to follow the path of spirituality that resonates for you can disrupt a whole family branch or community. You might feel pressure not to change, to not the rock the boat, or do it like those before you. We don't get to choose a whole lot about life and it can take a nose dive for long stretches. We can't choose when work starts and ends. People get sick and need attention. School wants holiday treats for your little one's class. But you don't have to drop everything that matters to you and you shouldn't. Someone has to take care of you and our little sprouts need to see us powerfully choosing for ourselves and setting boundaries. Adulting isn't putting yourself last on the list and giving that job to someone else.
I wish my Mom would've taught me that. Firstly so I would've learned early on that I am worthy enough to go after what I want in life and someone believed in me. That my job wasn't to look after her, babysit and clean the house and I ached for her attention. Maybe I wouldn't suffer from anxiety now. Secondly, because she most likely would be alive today. I'd like to think our relationship would've been different, maybe unrecognizable, and she wouldn't be dead from neuroendocrine pancreatic cancer. However I doubt I would be the psychic-intuitive that I am today without how I grew up.
Metaphysically the pancreas is the sweetness of life. Her pain and ultimate demise continues to make me search for happiness and cultivate joy. I'm going to take big giant bites out of life even when it seems to serve up crumbs. I'll open my arms wide to gifts and opportunities. I'll open my heart to compliments and I'll give that back. I will choose for myself the best that I can. I'll put my heart and soul into who and what I love. We all came with divinely-given gifts and talents. For me, the phrase "being spoken over" means I won't take the gifts I've been given and put thousands of hours into for granted. I'll have years, months, weeks, days, hours, and then only minutes left. I won't take that for granted or squander it. I hope I look back and feel I did pretty good at that.
I will create peace and stability in my life. Every waking moment of my childhood I was on high alert. My nervous system still suffers today and it's my responsibility to do whatever I can to change those patterns of generalized anxiety disorder. You can't delete war out of someone but you can tell another story and thrive. I will think good thoughts in the face of my limits and do the best I can, which at times doesn't feel like much.
I can choose to not react when someone judges me or comes after me because they think I have something they don't, something they aren't willing to go after for themselves. Jealousy is just seeing your own brilliance in someone else. Believe me, I have been on both sides of that! I'll continue to believe in rainbows, unicorns, love, healing, forgiveness and that people can change...including me and that you can create your own reality. It's my right to pursue happiness and be the captain of my soul. It's my job to take care of myself and ask for help when I need it. It turns out she did teach me to believe in myself, on my own terms. She taught me to be the free spirit that I am. It's my life and I get to do that.
The Big Bold and Beautiful in You
It's easy to be influenced by all the messages we hear daily. Every few minutes a commercial comes on the TV advertising a new product with a positive name as a brand and if you buy it you will have strength. You will be miles ahead of the rest.
Magazines have pictures of the so called standard of beauty leaving many of our fellow humans out. We subconsciously compare ourselves to these limited images and we don't even know we are doing it.
Even so called positive thinking or affirmations can cause a discontent in the back of our minds which is so not the point at all! We wonder if something is wrong with our asking. How much we are believing. Are we doing it right? We see others who we believe are successful and happy and we think to ourselves...hmmm they must be.
Lately I have found myself comparing me to earlier versions. When I can do that again I will feel better. When I can feel, do and be like who I was ten years ago I will feel empowered and healthy again. I will be myself again.
Seeing others out there doing what you want to do, or what you used to do can bring up conflicting feelings. Being super happy for them exists right alongside another part inside that falls slowly into discontent. You might find yourself feeling sad and conflicted like I have been. Fear has me thinking challenges have kept me from my purpose. Fear has me thinking life has finally gotten to me, or there is something wrong with me now. And yes life has brought me to a totally new mountain to look off of.
The great Anne Lamott said "My mind is a neighborhood I try not to go into alone." My mind then tries to tell me I am less than now, because things don't look like they did during the times I felt really good about life. My ego joins that block party and it's all downhill from there. I am on the bad streets. I recognize the neighborhood and I do know the street signs.
During times like these its important to have mentors and role models who are paving the way. Who would we be without the strong and able before us? We do get inspiration and ideas from people doing what we do out there. But we fool ourselves into believing we've lost something, or lost a part of ourselves or we will never feel that glorious again. And that is total BS!
The Universe has lots more in store for you my dear. How will you know, or be able to hear it if you are lost in the bad part of town in your head? Oprah said once if we feel like we are off track it's a sign to change direction. It's a sign to focus your eyes on your own lane and listen for what is next. Be open. Take your self out of the past. Stop comparing yourself to an older and outdated version. Get it? Older and outdated?
If you are feeling like you are lost and can't get back to who you were at a good time in your life, know that you still own that lane. There isn't anybody in your lane who came to do what you came here to do. Follow your heart. Focus on what to do next. Listen to repetitive messages that keep coming up. Time to get out of that bad neighborhood and back to your own lane.
Own it baby!!