Sunday, June 24, 2012

For the Girls, Part 2

As I wrote in my previous post, I think there is a serious problem with female self-esteem these days that borders on epidemic. In talking to friends and hearing their relationship trials, listening to my younger co-workers discuss their love lives, in doing Tarot readings for women, as well as my own experiences in relationships, I am seeing a common theme. We feel as though we are not being treated as we deserve, and not getting back as much as we give. In my last post I suggested we stop with the victim mentality and take ownership for the fact that we are helping to create these unsatisfying relationships. We are the ones allowing the bad behavior, even rewarding it! We allow a man to call (or even worse, text us) at the last minute to get together (or “hang out”, or “hook up”.) We act like we have no lives and no self-respect. We allow them to show up, however and whenever it suits their schedule and their needs with no regard for our own needs and wants. Then we wonder why our needs and wants aren’t being met! We need to wake up to the fact that WE are the ones who set the value on our time, our bodies, and our hearts. If we give everything away to someone who is giving very little in return, what message is that sending about what we think about ourselves? Why should they value us, if we appear not to even value ourselves?

I think the solution is actually very simple, but not necessarily easy. First and foremost, Love Yourself. If you do not truly love and value yourself, no one else will either. By becoming your own true love, you remove any “need” from your relationships, and we all know how unattractive neediness is! But how does one learn to love oneself, in this world where “perfection” is held up as the womanly ideal, everywhere you turn? Here are my suggestions: 1. Get up every morning and write a list of 50 things you love about yourself. It can be the same list everyday, and you can love your physical attributes, as well as your personality traits, but something about the act of writing these down is mysteriously powerful. When I first started doing this, I had a difficult time finding even 10! But as time went on and I started to see that there really were things I loved about myself, the things that made me unique, the list began to grow and I started to truly feel good about myself. 2. Write yourself love notes and leave them around the house where you will find them. 3. Look in your own eyes in the mirror every morning and say “I love you! You are a beautiful, wonderful, love and light-filled creature. You deserve only the best!” You may feel silly at first, but this affirmation is also extremely powerful.

Secondly, Treat Yourself Accordingly. Give yourself a warm, clean, nurturing home environment filled with things that you love and have meaning for you. Throw out or give away anything worn, broken, and less than you deserve. Find ways to remind yourself how much you are loved. I have 2 large frames that contain collages of photos of friends and family. Every time I look at them I am reminded how much I am loved. I save voice mails from people I love so I can listen when I feel blue, and the sound of all that love washing over me is so wonderful! Do small things like buying yourself flowers every now and then, and whatever else makes you happy. The point is, give yourself the life you deserve, stop waiting for a man to show up and give it to you.

Thirdly, GET BUSY! Busy people are happy people. Get busy building your life around YOU. Build a circle of friends, male and female, and go out and do things. Concerts, movies, museums, wine-tasting, things that make you happy. Don’t wait for a guy to show up in your life to have one! Take classes, accept every invitation, get out and live. “If you’re not busy living, you’re busy dying.” When you are busy and happy, feeling loved by yourself and others, you are much less likely to drop everything to just “hang out”. A guy will have to make plans in advance, (what a concept!) in order to catch you coming or going. They will have to show up in a big way to get your attention, and they will value you much more for it! If they aren’t willing put out the necessary effort, then they weren’t going to treat you the way you deserve anyway. You might as well find out now, save yourself the time and grief.

The bottom line, and the ultimate point I’m trying to make is that your happiness is your responsibility and is in your control. The best way to find a loving relationship is to build one with yourself. How we allow other people to treat us is a reflection of how we feel about ourselves. We attract what we are. If you want love, become love. Have a love affair with yourself. Put a high value on your precious heart for the beautiful gift that it is, and chances are you will find a man who does too. But even if you don't, you will be happy, and you will be loved!

Sending much love and light.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

This One's For the Girls

What happens to girls? It seems to me that in so many cases, no matter how happy our childhood, no matter how loving our parents, girls somehow arrive in their teen and young adult years with very poor self-esteem and low confidence in themselves. For no apparent reason, despite evidence in our lives to the contrary, we decide that we are unlovable or unworthy of love. Is it due to the pressures of society to live up to a false ideal of beauty and desirability, as created by Hollywood and magazines? I look back at photos of myself at 18, 22, 25 and think "Wow, I was a babe! I was beautiful! How could I not have known?" I remember being painfully convinced that I did not measure up to the idea of perfection in the world. Only now, with the wisdom and distance of years can I look back and see how beautiful I really was, in my own way. And even though I was asked to model, on runways and in photographs, and even though I had my share of male attention and boyfriends, but inside myself I had made the decision that I was not beautiful/worthy/lovable, and so nothing could convince me otherwise.

I think this lack of self-love and low self-esteem is the biggest issue women face in our pursuit of a happy romantic relationship. It causes us to self-sabotage and act in ways that convey the idea that we believe that we have little value, then we wonder why a man ends up not valuing us! We make ourselves way too available, giving the impression that we have nothing better to do than to wait for "him" to come around. We allow men into our hearts far too easily, without making them first prove that they can be trusted with it. We give away the most precious part of ourselves, before we know whether they are worthy of such a gift, or even appreciate it. We act grateful for the small scraps of love and attention they give us and then complain to our friends and wonder why we're not getting enough of their attention.

My therapist, a lovely man in his 70's, once said to me when I came to him heartbroken, and wanting to get to the root of why this kept happening; "Let me tell you something about men. You can never let us be too sure of you. Even after you are married, he cannot feel that you are a "sure thing." If we feel like you have built your whole life and happiness around us, we begin to take you for granted. The reason for this is that men are programmed by nature to be hunters. Once they acquire the thing they are after and they know there is no danger of it being lost, their attention automatically turns to the next challenge." This makes complete sense! What does the world consider to be valuable and precious? That which is scarce and difficult to obtain; gold, diamonds, etc. It stands to reason that if we give our heart too easily it will not be appreciated or valued.

The advice that wise, wonderful man shared with me was not about playing games, or pretending to be something I wasn't, in order to get a man's attention, like so many "advice" books about dating. He was telling me to quite literally "Get a Life!" I needed to stop waiting for a man to show up in order to be happy, to get busy living which would make me much less likely to give my heart to the first guy who showed up and was nice to me. He was advising me to learn to love myself first, to stop waiting for someone else to fill that hole, so I wouldn't be emotionally needy when a possible love-interest did enter the picture. By being an emotionally healthy person, I would be able to make much better judgements about who I should give my heart to. The great thing about following this advice is that it automatically makes you much more attractive. (We all know how unattractive a needy person is!)

It is true, "We teach people how to treat us." We demonstrate what we believe our worth to be by what we allow, or require in the way we are treated. We as women allow way too much bad behavior on the part of men towards us, and then we blame them for not valuing us. I think it's time to acknowledge our inner goddess-ness, and to realize that, in the words of Sarah Ban Breathnach "one of the worst things that can happen to a woman is to be with a man who doesn't deserve her, and doesn't realize it." I think it's time to stop blaming them, and start taking responsibility for how we are treated, and for our own happiness. We deserve the best. It's up to us to make sure we are treated that way!

To be continued...

Sending you much love and light, as your beautiful heart deserves!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Divine Synchronicity

As I've written before, I don't believe in coincidences. I believe in divine synchronicity, everything happens for a reason. I believe we are sent signs, messages, and nudges everyday if we are only awake enough to see and receive. The nudges are the most important. They're Spirit's way of trying to keep you on your path, or get you back on track. If you ignore the nudges, they become pokes. If you ignore the pokes, they become an elbow to the ribs, and then a baseball bat to the head, until you are on your knees, wondering "what just happened?!" But sometimes the messages we receive are confirmation that we are on our path, and to keep going.

Something like this happened to me this week, after writing my last entry about learning that my true self is my soul, not my body or personality. A couple of days later, I "happened" to watch Oprah talking to Gary Zukav, the author of "The Seat of the Soul". He said many profound things (I think I have a little crush on him, he's so spiritual/wise/cool!)  but this quote seemed especially heaven-sent/meant for me to hear: "Your soul is the essence of you that is immortal. It existed before "you" were born, and will continue to exist after "you" die. It is that part of us that holds intentions of harmony, cooperation, sharing, and reverence for all life."

He also talked about creating "authentic power", or as Oprah calls it, "learning to co-create your life" with Spirit and the Universe. "Creating authentic power is developing the ability to distinguish between love and fear, within yourself and then choosing love, no matter what is happening inside of you, or outside of you." This is deep because it suggests that you can develop the ability to stand aside and observe your own thoughts, and then make a conscious decision, no matter what you are thinking or feeling, to choose to think with love, and let everything else go. I guess this is profound to me because it suggests that one can learn to live from the viewpoint of one's soul, coming from your higher self all the time, not the ego or personality.

The other quote that really resonated with me was this: "The soul is like the mother-ship or 'internal guidance system'. When you are sailing in the same direction that your soul wants to go, your life fills with meaning, purpose, and joy. If you are sailing in a different direction, your life will empty of meaning, purpose, and joy." So many things in my life are bringing me this sense of purpose, meaning, and joy right now; writing this blog, helping people through my tarot readings, living in Hawaii, learning about Hawaiian spirituality, meeting my beautiful rainbow ohana here. I feel so blessed and know it means that I am "aligned" with my higher self and "co-creating" with Spirit. Gary Zukav says that the more we follow the "the mother-ship", the more the personality and soul merge into one, and we become our truest selves; pure love.

Thank you Gary, thank you Oprah! Thank you Spirit, for sending me the "signs" that I'm on the right path. Just gotta keep going!

Sending much love to light your path.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Can you imagine?

I believe we come into this world as little bundles of pure light, love, and joy. "A little sack of sugar", as one of our aunties used to call my baby brother. As small children we are free and innocent of fear, knowing only joyfulness and playfulness, feeling love for everyone and having to be taught the concept of a "stranger". Our parents love us as only parents can, but they are also human beings with their own flaws and issues. Just as we inherit our hair and eye color, our height, blood and body type, it seems inevitable that we also inherit some of their emotional issues, that were usually handed down from their parents and grandparents.

Most of us live our entire lives with a self-image that was created by others, usually when we were too young to understand or question what was happening. If there was a parent who was unhappy with themselves, or very fearful, that was projected onto us as children causing us to feel that it was somehow our fault, that we must therefore be bad or imperfect or "not enough", making us ultimately unlovable, or unworthy of love. I am learning that the secret to happiness is "unlearning" these deeply ingrained beliefs, uncovering them for what they truly are, a pack of lies that my egocentric child's mind misunderstood and mistook for "truth". And through this process of uncovering what I am not, I am discovering the truth about who I am. I am not my body. I am not even my mind, or my thoughts, or my feelings. I am the one inside this body, looking out through these eyes. I am the one observing my thoughts passing through my mind, like clouds floating across a blue sky.  I am my soul, the "higher self", the part of me that remains the same as it was the day I was born, a being of pure light, love, and joy.

As I begin to understand this truth about myself, I am able to more easily see the love, light and joy in others as well. My capacity for empathy and compassion is expanding in direct proportion to this understanding. For years I have said that dogs and cats are "pure love, wrapped in fur" and "angels wearing dog/cat costumes." Now I realize we are ALL angelic beings, visitors to this earthly plane, having this human experience, challenged to learn to return to our divine essence. It has finally dawned on me that I am pure light and love, wearing a "human costume" for this brief time!

I think our biggest challenge in life is to understand this concept, and to return to the innocent, love-filled state that is our true nature, at our deepest core. To unlearn the fear that dominates our thinking, usually without our even being aware. We've been taught to be afraid, that we're not good enough, smart enough, attractive enough, or just plain not enough!

What would the world be like if we all came to this realization, simultaneously? If we all grasped the concept of our true nature, and that as sparks of the divine, we are actually all One? Like rays of the same Sun, or drops of water in an ocean wave, we cannot be separate from each other, it is only our human mind/ego that perceives it to be so. Imagine what the world would be like if we all woke up and realized that everything we think is real is an illusion. Imagine how things would be, how people would act if we finally understood that LOVE is all there is.

"You are not a human being having a spiritual experience. You are a spiritual being having a human experience." Just imagine if we all truly understood this......just imagine.

Sending you love and light.

Friday, June 1, 2012

My Hawaiian Adventure

My Hawaiian Adventure, or "I Love My New Home!"

I can't believe it's been 8 months since I last posted. My only excuse is that for 3 of those months I was prepping to move to the most remote land mass on the face of the planet, and the other 5 have been spent settling into my new home. Yes, I've been living in Hawaii for 5 months now, and I can't believe how much I LOVE it! I knew that I would, (duh!) but it has exceeded even my expectations, and I am SO incredibly happy with my decision to move. (I guess it's time to change the name of my blog too, uh-oh.)

I've been visiting the Aloha state since I was nine years old, including coming here on business several times a year in the mid-nineties. Like so many people, I've always loved it, but it's only been in the past four years that I began to give serious thought to living here. I began to feel like Hawaii was calling me, to the point that when my flights would take off to return to Los Angeles, tears would begin to flow as I saw the islands receding in the distance. I felt as though I was leaving behind a part of my heart. My soul was clearly trying to tell me "this is your home!", and that's when I intuitively knew that one day I would make the permanent move.

It was a BIG leap of faith. I had a good, stable, secure job in LA, a comfortable life, lots of good friendships built over 7 years there. But I've never been one to settle for just "comfortable". I'm a wanderer, and a seeker. (I blame my two gypsy grandmothers, but that's another post for another time.) I love moving to new places, especially places like Santa Fe and Hawaii, where the local culture is so different from my childhood home of suburban Texas. I love experiencing those new cultures, learning my way around new towns, meeting new people, discovering, exploring, having adventures (and misadventures!). However, there is always a challenging transition period involved in the process where you feel like a fish-out-of-water, and I have definitely been experiencing that. I am out of my comfort zone, most assuredly, but that's where the learning and growing occurs, and that's exactly what I was hoping for! Whenever things have gotten uncomfortable or scary, I've just reminded myself "It's just growing pains, and that's exactly what you asked for, GROWTH!"

Besides the physical beauty of this place, the lush green mountains, the turquoise water of the warm ocean, the soft white sand, the profusion of fragrant flowers, there is the beauty and spirit of the people here that is so incredible. I have been welcomed "home" with open arms into a warm, wonderful group of light-filled people, as if I am long lost family. There is such love and joy here. A relaxed attitude that everything is good, everything is easy, and if it's not, let it go, for in the end it won't matter anyway.  The Hawaiian culture focuses on what is truly important, what is real. Caring for the land-our mother, our home, taking only what is needed, and treating it with respect. Caring for each other, honoring our differences, but choosing to emphasize our commonalities, joy, laughter, music, family, food, being happy, playing in the ocean, valuing the wisdom of our ancestors and elders, and being fully present in the world of Spirit, or Ke Akua. I know this is what my heart was seeking when I felt drawn to be here, that it is truly my spiritual home.

When I decided to make my leap of faith and move to Hawaii in January, the main factor was my love for this gorgeous place, but I also felt intuitively, that this move would be mainly about my spiritual and emotional growth. I felt I had reached a place of stagnation in Los Angeles, and that Hawaii, with it’s beautiful culture, so deeply rooted in ancient spirituality would be exactly what I needed. Wow, was I right about that!! I’ve been here only a few months, but I feel that I have already learned and grown an incredible amount. I've encountered obstacles that have challenged me to keep the faith that I had been led here, and that all would be alright in the end, despite any temporary "evidence" to the contrary. My belief that everything is unfolding exactly as it should, for my greatest good, is stronger than ever before. The Universe has presented me with incredible opportunities and divine synchronicities, including even a lot of unexpected financial support. I've been led to a beautiful spiritual center that emphasizes our own divinity, and has LOVE as it's main principle. A series of heaven-directed "coincidences" brought me to my Hawaiian spirituality "Kumu", or teacher. Through her love and extraordinary talent, she has helped me to open my own "channel" to the world of Spirit in new and amazing ways, and helped me to understand my higher purpose in this life. So many gifts, so much learning and growing in such a short time, so many blessings!

Making this move across 3,000 miles of ocean has certainly been one of the scariest, most emotionally-challenging adventures of this lifetime so far, but the leap has already been rewarded, ten-fold. Without a doubt it was the right decision for me, and while I may be temporarily "financially challenged", I am blissfully happy and fulfilled, and I know that I am truly "home".  This experience has reinforced my belief that when you listen to your soul, and you follow your heart, your bliss, the Universe will rise up to meet you and support your every step in that direction. The first 5 months have been so amazing, I can't wait to see what the upcoming years hold in store!

Thank you to all who have welcomed me into their beautiful "rainbow ohana", I am so grateful for you all.

Sending much love, light and aloha!