Where do I go from here?
Musings on a well intented life
Self isn’t always followed by ish. Self- care, self-love, self-acceptance…all necessary. #thesouldiscoveryjournalbook #selfcare #selflove #self #selfawareness
Book 📚 Giveaway!
Win a copy of Volume I of The Soul-Discovery Journalbook: An Intimate Journey into Self. In celebration 🎊 of winning Silver 🥈from the Nautilus Book Awards, win a free copy for yourself or to gift to a friend.
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With deep heartfelt gratitude…
2018 Nautilus Book Award. 🥈 🥈🥈Silver 🥈🥈🥈
for my five volume series The Soul- Discovery Journalbook: An Intimate Journey into Self!
Many thanks to the people who helped me along the way, esp. Spirit Speaks Publishing, my family, friends, and spiritual family at Sacred Garden Fellowship. A special thanks to my clients and students who gave me the opportunities to develop new ways of helping them. And finally to all those who’ve had the faith in me and my work, supporting the long years of creative flow and manifestation by purchasing the books. 🙏🏽❤️💖❣️📚😉🙏🏽🥈❤️
Join SGF for our April 26-28 Radical Change Retreat, a deeply introspective psycho-spiritual healing retreat. The Radical Change Retreat is dedicated to illuminating and releasing the stories you tell yourself and others, the stories that keep you locked in a prison of erroneous beliefs, intimately tied to core suffering and fear. For more information on this transformational retreat please visit www.sacredgardenfellowship.org
Co-facilitating this in April! (at Hamilton , New York)
For all the empaths out there…a necessary practice! From my Volume III of The Soul-Discovery Journalbook …a chapter on energy and shielding. #thesouldiscoveryjournalbook #cleansing #notmymood #higherconsciousness #bookstagram
Where’s your JOY? It’s in you! Be it, live it, embrace it…#thesouldiscoveryjournalbook #joy #life #doodles
The repetitive, regular tendencies or practices in daily functioning, those often eliciting our involuntary participation, are known as habits. They become an integral part of our lives as helpful, as well as limiting, entrenchments; the self-care habits that support the health of our physical form stand alongside the pesky, self-sabotage of stress-induced or reactive patterns that become the hard-to-relinquish ruts of daily life.
Habits manifest in all shapes and sizes and are often thought of as an observable behavior. Frequently, our existing habits occur automatically without our consistent or conscious participation, mostly because we lose the need for active focus. Take driving, for example. Once we learn to drive, the methodical thinking through every step to execute the mechanics of operating our vehicle becomes unnecessary. It just organically happens because a habit was formed.
We all have habits of various purpose, creation, and strength – some, borne out of a need for safety, others devised for ease, efficiency, or to fulfill rules or norms. Brushing and washing, for example, live alongside cleaning our room and tidying our home, as well as the larger community care of recycling and maintaining our dwellings and/or properties. Kept in balance, these habits serve to honor our physical temple and proverbial home. Both witness the Divinity within us and all things by loving ourselves, others, and Mother Earth.
As we move beyond our perfunctory and reflexive world to engage in self-reflection, personal growth, and spiritual development, the life of many habits comes to the fore. Some may be easily seen, while others remain an elusive part of our day-to-day operations and reactions and are a bit trickier to detect. Many have their roots in thought or emotional patterns, like the knee-jerk reaction to a perceived negative comment or our slide into self-criticism when we feel we’ve done something wrong.
Taking a closer look at the vast array of habits in our life, their origin is one aspect all hold in common; we can trace our habits’ literal birth from the womb of our beliefs – a belief about ourselves and/or our world. Returning to driving, for example, the proverbial fuel for this American activity lies in the belief in independence, a teenage rite of passage and an alignment with societal norms. Looking deeper into the habits within habits, we might also discover nervous navigation, road rage, or a compulsion to speed fed by corresponding beliefs in danger, others’ wrongdoing, or hurrying through life.
So how can we work with the habits we’ve developed, especially addressing those that don’t serve our highest good? Traveling on the road to discovery and change, we can free ourselves from old habits through examination and relinquishment. Other interventions require intentional re-patterning. Calling, for example, on the Japanese practice of datsuzoku – the freedom from habit, daily routine, or the ordinary – opens us to the new by transcending convention and our personal ruts. Applied, it is the choice to “do something differently”, to break the steps of our routine, or think out of the box in an innovative way and move past our typical ways of operating.
Working at a deeper level we can examine the belief that created our habit in the first place, asking if the habit serves us or we’re serving it. As beliefs that find voice through the patterns of our limiting attitudes become discovered, we can intentionally allow them to fall away because we see how they block us from living freely in alignment with our True Nature. And while releasing these kinds of beliefs moves us forward on our path, the accompanying patterns and habits often remain scored into our psyche like a well-traveled hiking trail until we re-pattern or completely release them, too. In other words, as we liberate ourselves from constraining beliefs, it’s often the habits and patterns that remain intact to plague us, feeling as if they pull our mind and heart back to the ways we left behind, though not nearly as potently as when the attached belief remains active. As we invest energy into new, healthy behaviors instead of our outdated habits, the heavily worn trail of these entrenched neural patterns grows grass again to blend once more with the mossy forest floor of our psyche. Removing all energy from old habits or merely acknowledging any diversion as a tug in the “old direction”, we also practice datsuzoku to move forward on new and exciting paths.
Changing habits, because of their nature and ours, often feels challenging and uncomfortable. But know that discomfort serves as a marker to demonstrate our progress, a sign that we are just where we need to be, even in the midst of change. So hang in there! Remember that habits take approximately eighteen months to form, so their dissolution and/or re-patterning takes time, too.
Listed below is a partial inventory of behavioral, thought, and emotional habits. Those that appear helpful, sustaining, or growth-enhancing remain alongside those that may not serve our highest good. While incomplete, this list shines first light on that which we tend to ignore or do automatically, demonstrating that nearly any behavior, thought pattern, or emotional recurrence may indicate a habit needing our conscious attention. Because we tend to categorically label patterns or habits as “good” or “bad” influenced by our judgment-driven world, in the journeys to come, let’s broaden our scope and instead consider how each habit may be serving our highest good. Are they growth-promoting, health-based patterns, which demonstrate our self-love? Or are they a call to examine what is unhealthy or inhibiting – a notification to shed light on the work yet to be done? For a deeper look, we revisit this topic in Letting Go in Volume IV.
Here lies the opportunity to witness whatever the Universe calls us to observe, re-balance, or shed to be the master of our world, lovingly caring for ourselves on this big, beautiful rock floating in an infinite sky.
“Seeing” a silver lining
Driving a car
Assuming “bad” outcomes
Looking for “the culprit”
Defaulting to frustration
Needing to be right
Doing, doing, doing
For journaling exercises linked to this chapter purchase Volume I of The Soul-Discovery Journalbook Series by visiting www.pathways2innerpeace.com.
Many of us in the healing arts have a magnetic pull to be of help and assist. The vision of seeing/feeling a sentient being suffer, a vision that occurs through our perceptions, can be uncomfortable to say the very least, especially for us empathic folks. That’s not to say that what we witness around us - in our family, our community, or our world - isn’t a call for help. War-torn countries, people racked with famine, homelessness, animals not cared for all exude a level of pain and strife that is difficult to see. We want others happy, healthy, and thriving. Yes?
The great volume of others’ challenges can overwhelm many of us, pulling our heartstrings to ways of helping, consoling, nurturing, and serving. And without this kind of generosity, no doubt, many more may fall into deeper despair and hopelessness. These are the earth angels that donate their time, resources, homes, loving energies, and talents.
If you find yourself in this group, good for you! The world needs your help. Here’s my cautionary note, however. Many helpers, in fact, are rescuers - individuals driven to save the world one person, animal, or plant at a time. Driven is the operative word here…think compulsion and need. As a recovering rescuer, trust me when I say that I know the need (born from my own trauma) to help others out of their pain, especially those with emotional turmoil.
The big challenge of helpers who operate as rescuers is a mindset predicated on the belief of “I’m OK. You’re not OK.” in alignment with the Drama Triangle of Dr. Karpman. Through this role of Rescuer, others are seen as needy, incapable, challenged, at risk, etc. As such, Rescuers attract more responsibility and people in crisis - those lacking maturity or skills to manage their lives. Rescuers often feel the need to put out fires, manage problems, and heap onto their plates more than what is mentally/emotionally/physically healthy, which results often in feeling depleted, unnurtured, and stressed. If this is sounding like you…read on.
So how might we illuminate this pattern in us and the drama it creates in our life? The first step, as always, is to identify how we operate in our lives, making what is subconscious conscious, and bring it fully into our awareness. Here’s a few questions that may help:
1. Do you feel the need to solve others’ problems?
2. Do you attract people or animals who need you because they’re dependent, crisis-oriented, sickly, overwhelmed with drama, or have difficulty function in the world/life?
3. Do you feel highly responsible for others (especially those who by age and functioning could be doing more for themselves) or tend to dive right into people’s problems?
4. Do you pile more and more responsibilities on your plate? Do you have difficulty asking for help?
5. Do you experience fear at the thought of a person in your life managing their own challenges without you?
6. What do you gain from rescuing others - a sense of accomplishment, relief of your own anxiety/grief, etc?
7. What do you fear losing if you stop worrying, managing, and over helping?
8. What fear might rescuing another alleviate in you?
One very important reflection that helps us recognize our rescuing tendencies is to identify the feelings/thoughts in ourselves that become side-stepped because we’ve jumped into over-functioning/rescuer mode to help others, ignoring their innate skills and the opportunities they manifested to grow. Many times, our disproportional focus on others’ problems alleviate the stress and/or pain we need to heal in our own lives. In the words of Greek playwright Aeschylus:
Medice, cura te ipsum.
Physician, heal thyself.