Rebirth like an Eagle

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yXTrWPvP0iQ

 

I recommend you watch the link above before you read this post.

I feel like the rebirth of the eagle is not just an act of nature but an obviously life happening of which we could all live by. I am 43.  I am going to be truthful something really did change when I turned 40. Kind of similar to the eagle. My body,hair,skin,mind and thoughts, they all changed.  You look into the mirror one day, notice a few wrinkles, cellulite and a whole lot of sagging. In my personal mirror, I see bags and dark circles. They are unwanted friends. None the less they are present. I tend to wish a lot about my past especially in this area. I wish I was 20 again but to be honest only for my youth and collagen not my mind or wisdom. I started spinning again the first week of January. It’s been amazing. It has helped me not slip into depression in the winter, shed a few pounds. The most important aspect of Black Box spinning gym is the instructors.  The philosophy they hold and the impact they make. It’s not just spinning….. its spiritual. I mean practically every time I spin, I shed a tear. I know this sounds strange but while training on a bike or really any sport that you are pushing yourself, you have some choices to make. Understand that either choice is the right one. You can set back chill or you can fight sweat,cry, push and spin. I feel as while I climb the hills, I am climbing life’s problems. You know the times when you are climbing (fighting) for your family and you want to quit and pull off a few gears because it burns? I don’t know why but climbing to me is such a challenge it reminds me of fighting for my oldest son. Through many many obstacles in his life. I hope he knows that even though he is out of the house, I may be silent and not say much these days but I am battling the enemy in prayer. On those hills, I am kicking the enemy’s butt. I won’t let him win!!!!!!! Chris Russo is a spin instructor at Black Box and though she is an instructor. Although I don’t know her well, I can tell you she is much much more that a spin instructor. She is packed full of wisdom. Full of god and the holy spirit shines through her. I can see it. She talks while she teaches, which in itself is a feat. I can barely count little alone talk. So, props to Chris she is amazing. One Monday she shared the story of the eagle. The eagle at the age 40 has to decide if it wants to die or live another 30 years. The eagle must fly to a mountain top and fight through the pain of banging his beak off, wait for a new one to sprout. Next he must pull out his talons and grow new ones. Finally, he must pluck out feathers that are thick and heavy. Are you for real? I am pretty sure 99 percent of all Americans would die at 40 years old. Would you pluck off all your skin or pound your nose till it was a bloody stump?  How about pulling your nails off?  Pure torture. Straight up served on a ugly platter. My first response was no but as I started to really think about it I realized although we don’t have the extreme physical rebirth the eagle does, we do hold the same choice in our spirit and mind. I could give you personal examples of cancer, divorce, heavy metal poisoned child, alcohol abuse, anxiety, depression, eating disorder, Adhd diagnosis, death, emotional and physical abuse and that is just my family. Tragedy is everywhere. It does not discriminate. It does not have boundaries and it will eat anyone alive what thinks they are exempt. One of my dearest friends lost a child after a battle of cancer. She did not pass on because of cancer. She past on from a systemic yeast infection that the doctors missed. Her Mother tried tell them,  of which no one would listen to her. Side note here if your a medical professional and a mother tells you something is wrong with her child YOU NEED TO LISTEN.  Please allow me pause here and give my deepest sympathies to my dear friend and her precious family. I am pretty sure losing a child is the worst most devastating thing a mother can live through.  I have only known her for 3  years but maybe 8 years go my husband came home from work one day. He told me the story of this little girl and her family.  Trevor  said” Melissa we have to pray for her.” So, we prayed.  I can remember crying for my friend. How she must have been hurting. I did not know her then but I sure do now. This was a bond that linked our hearts long before I ever laid eyes on her. I will never forget when I realized she was the mama and baby I prayed for. We actually both cried in the middle of a Packard Music hall. It blows me away that god brought us together not exactly sure why but someday we both will. She had a choice she could have been swallowed up by grief but she did not. This woman is the purest example of the eagle in my opinion. Although, the pain was and is horrendous she flew to the mountain top and pounded off her beak of depression. Tore out her talons of fear and plucked out every feather of anxiety. To date, she talks and beams with light. I mean true light. She honors her daughter by talking about her and keeping her memory alive with stories of baby girl.  The life she lived and the love she gave to everyone. Kind of like her mama really. I never even meet this precious child but I am telling you I feel like I know her. Sometimes I even think I feel her when her mama talks of her and shares her heart and memory. I am honored to be a part of her story. I don’t know if she knows it or not she inspires so many with her fight to press on in life. Not forgetting what happened but remembering the love they shared and the lives baby girl touched. My friend was pregnant and didn’t know it before baby girl passed on. God gave them a gift in that new baby. I believe they are one. That baby girl is living thru her sister. He gave that family a dose of joy and hope knowing that the years to come would be arduous and painful. Having a little joy in the midst of the storm is all we can ask for in times of pain. I love you heather. I admire your strength. Your heart. Your will to never give up!!! You are a 44 year old soaring eagle that is the glue in holding your family together.

Boundaries

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    Life is a cycle of ups and downs, ebbs and flows, and sometimes there’s not so much flow. Humor always makes me feel better about the raw truth. The last three months I have had a tremendous amount of growth, motivation and enlightenment. But now readers, I have hit a wall. I cannot really explain it any other way than this. If you want to be better in body, mind, and spirit, you’re going to have to Work. I wanted to put this out there so when you’re down you can be easy on yourself and remember THE AS IS. Breathe life in and embrace the mask of your life for the moment. Then dig deep and be brave and courageous and get back on the horse again and ride.

    You all know I am a believer in Dr.Shefali and her work. This last week we have been embracing boundaries. The older I get the easier this becomes. I started about 6 months ago realizing that truth and boundaries are very important for my journey through life. Being the people pleaser that I am has led me down a road of lies. Making others satisfied and not myself takes a toll on the soul. The majority of people don’t set up boundaries due to fear.

    The mother of all lies that we tell ourselves is that if we set a boundary then our mother, friend, child or sister won’t love us or will leave us. Friends this is a lie. If the people in your life leave you over a boundary. I have some not so good news for you. They never loved you to begin with. I am so sorry to be so abrupt. I am struggling right now typing this because I really don’t want to hurt anyone. I know that you know this deep down and don’t want to listen to your real self but I feel prompted to remind you. Real love never fails. That does not mean real love is easy or does not want to abandon ship. What it does mean is that on the days that you have just had it with the world and on the days you do not want to talk or even look at your precious loved one, you stay and you fight. You dig deep and forgive time and time and time again, but with evolution, you set boundaries with your love. Let’s be clear, setting boundaries has to come from your heart and not your ego. I tend to at first to set ego boundaries. It’s my way of protecting myself.

    I will never forget the year I endured a bully named Traci at my school. Let me explain. Traci was a newbee to my school and at first I was thrilled to have a new playmate in the mix. My expectation of our tightly knit group was soon to be shattered. Traci decided that she didn’t like me and would call me names, belittle me, exclude me and the list goes on. My mother went to the principle and teachers for help. Mom tried to help but I guess it was the path I was supposed to take, maybe Traci actually toughened me up for the up-coming years of hard knocks? All I know is that I ended up sick that year with heart palpitations and bladder infections. My body couldn’t take the exclusion of friendship and betrayal. You know I don’t think I’ll ever forget what that felt like. I was so sad and lonely. I believed the lies she spread. So here is where the story takes a turn and I learned something about myself. You can push and push and push and I’ll take a lot but eventually….. I will fight back and you will feel my boundary. One day while on the bleachers, Traci was doing her normal crap and something happened. I snapped. I pushed her she pushed back and eventually ended up in an all out fist fight. I was about 50 pounds and she was about 120lbs. She was tall and I was short. Let’s just say that I lost the fight but won the battle. She never messed with me again. In fact, she wanted to be friends and I forgave her but set up major boundaries with my mother’s help. I run into Traci here and there and we are always cordial. I often wonder what she thinks of herself. I assume she learned her ugliness from her family life and if this is the case, I am sorry for her pain.

    The moral of the story here is don’t wait until your get suspended from school or end up with invasive ductile carcinoma to stand up for yourself and fight. There is that saying out there “fight like a girl” and I would like to change that saying to “fight like a warrior”. I don’t know what girls fight like but I’ll fight for the people I love like a brave soldier. You can only be bullied if you let the people around you affect you. You can only get sick if you let your soul suffer. It sounds simple and I know it’s not. Trust me. I have endured suffering like you. But there is a key to Pandora’s box and that is for you to unlock and unfold God’s mystery for your existence. It is right in front of all of us but it takes work. It’s not easy. Listen, abundant life is not given to anyone. Abundant anything takes a soul mission to figure out. It’s putting one foot in front of the other and working it out. The definition of endure is to patiently wait in suffering. That my loves is what God calls you to do. He calls you to patiently walk the road of suffering and stand in the as is of life. I think what matters in life is the fight and the ability to see the good in the ugliness. When I write this next line please know I am writing to myself. Please stop avoiding pain and pretend you’re not living in fear. Embrace the fight. Acknowledge the experience and know that it’s all a part of the plan…the good, the bad and the ugly. I will leave you with this. Have you ever messed up? I mean like royally messed up? I’m talking like it affects everyone kind of messed up? Well, I have and it’s the worst pain of my life. Hurting the ones you love the most is excruciating. In those cowardly moments you’re not a warrior at all you’re the polar opposite. You let others and yourself down and you cause turmoil beyond repair. Now, let me break this to you gently, you’re not alone. Part of the reason why you did whatever you did is because you were afraid of not being loved and afraid of people leaving you. This is the basis of all tragedy. If you want to get off the midnight train going anywhere, then please do. Kick yourself off, but realize that the answer to your question of how and why is simple…forgiveness to yourself and to others. Embrace the love and forgive, I promise you will be set free. Stop feeling sorry for yourself and fight for yourself and the ones you adore.


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The Man in The Arena

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There are many different paths we can take, but the end result is the same if we desire change. That is beautiful. It is generous. It shows me that I don’t have to save everyone with how I think their life process should be.  God is in charge, not me. Thank the Lord.  I mean that is an enormous load.  I have recently seen spiritual growth as not so black and white. I mean I really want a+b to equal c, but it just doesn’t usually work that way.  I’m sorry but just because I am learning about shame, vulnerability, inner child and ego doesn’t mean you’re going to see it today like I do.  It works like this. When the light bulb goes on in your mind and you can see that a person you love is suffering because their bulb (soul) is burnt out, you may have another bulb in hand ready to supply for help because you want to share the joy life really has but unfortunately they have to say yes to the invitation.  

Here is what I have learned.  We all have our own destiny, free will, and choices. It’s a shift in perspective that happens at a moment in time. Change comes down to this. Am I sick and desperate enough to not do this another day? Can I begin to love myself, my true self? We will all have a choice to take the call that God has for us.  When you have beaten yourself bloody and understand that you can’t do it your way and have real joy, then you have to try something else. Not because you’re not bright enough, but because you are blinded by independence. This is freedom.  It all boils down to the shame we live in, the abandonment we are so desperate to try and run from and the fear that pulses through our bodies at any given moment.  I’m not good enough is the underlying vibration of which we are all living. 

I don’t care who you are, if you let me break off the layers, being not good enough is the core reason we are all walking around broken. Brene Brown is a vulnerability researcher and author who says “You’re not perfect, but you are worthy of love and belonging”. I am determined to teach myself and my kids this principle. If I start when they are young, I hope I can teach them not to depend on other flawed humans for their sense of worth. If I can teach them not to carry and bury their perceived shame and to know that they are loved and that anything else they hear in their head is a lie, then Jesus can take the wheel.

You know I went years without reading a book or learning anything new and guess what readers? I was not happy. I was not happy because I was not living in the destiny God had set for me. Folks you are not going to get there watching The Walking Dead.   It took me all these years not to obsessively scour my home in Clorox and clean my floors on my hands and knees. I was a slave to perfection because I was caught up so deeply in the fear and anxiety of not being loved and accepted. By the way, I created that obsession when I was very young but I carried it through my entire life. I am just now improving. If I could control the dirt, I could control people.

Oh if you could hear my laughter. It is absurd. If I could have all the hours back I spent making my life “perfect”. It’s actually really sad to me now.  I could have played a little longer with my kids or read them a book, but no, I had to freaking clean the freaking floor! For what??????  I had to be perfect. It’s all a lie.   If you could learn this now how set free could you be and more importantly your children?  I have this drive to help them suffer, but not the way I have. Yes, I said help them suffer. Not push suffering and discomfort away but let them sit in it.  Be the suffering and embrace the call to truth and freedom that is in the suffering.  It’s not a plague. Your soul knows this. That is why it attracts suffering.  The real you knows it will take you all the way to the top of spirit.

This last 3 months, I have never felt more alive. I recently met a woman that we’ll call Sue. She is adorable and she’s the kind of girl you know that is just kind and sweet. Sue is the perfect example of what God can do with a soul that is desperate and wants change.  Sue told me about her life as an adult dancer. She was in the industry for 5 years.  She said it was like a black hole that sucked her in every time she tried to get out. Sue took shame and turned it into tangible honor.  We recently have been talking more and it has most often been conversations about my blog.  Be honest to yourself and bare your soul and be awakened and vulnerable about the shame you have lived. Expose it, let the light shine in and through it, and it will flee.  I PROMISE.

Let’s go back to lies for a moment.  Shame is the cousin of lies.  Shame has this funny way of wrapping you in chains.  Shame lies and tells you that you’re not good enough and you don’t deserve to be anything other than that which your past defines you. Brene brown says, “The antidote to shame is empathy”  Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another. Ok so Brene you’re telling me that relating to someone can kill shame? Relating to others in an arena similar to your own who carry the same ugly cross as yourself is the answer? Know that you are not alone and that you are cared for and loved.

I’m going to link this whole blog today back to one area in your life.  Lies…..please readers stop believing the lies you hear in your own head. “I don’t need anyone to help.”  “I can do this on my own.” “I don’t have a problem.” “Everyone ______.”  “I don’t know how to change, I’m too far in.” Lies, lies, lies. This is exactly how you stay defeated and powerless. If you want change, then stand up and fight!

Here’s some raw truth if you ask anyone who has overcome any issue in their life. I promise you they did not do it alone. People who try to change alone fail every time. why?? They fail because God created us to be relational, period, end of story. There is nothing more gratifying than a relationship that touches your soul.  When you experience true love, no matter what it costs the parties involved, this is healing.  This is how we change the world one love at a time.  Never give up!!! If you’re reading this and you want to change, I encourage you to take the first step and have a little empathy for yourself. Get ready to fight because shame will try and knock you out and put you back in the ring for another round of punches.  Stop decorating your pit and climb out.  We will be all waiting for you at the top throwing down ropes to help you.  You must desire to get out of the pit of shame more than anything. 

It will be arduous, but I promise, love and empathy will set you free. Being honest and truthful with yourself is honestly the first step.  If you’re vulnerable you can beat shame once and for all. You are worthy of love and you don’t have to be perfect.  Here’s to fighting for yourself and for the people you love. I encourage you, if you have loved ones trapped in the pit of shame, implore them to keep fighting. And as for you, stand in the gap and love them.


 

“Love is a Battlefield”

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Growing up for everyone has its own story. I know very few people who have had a wonderful childhood. Most people have feelings of inadequacy, abandonment, fear, not being loved, being unwanted, being controlled and the list grows. By age 17, I had made some absolute agreements with myself. What do I mean by this statement? I had made promises to myself. Promises that I thought were really powerful. Promises that I believed would protect me and set me free from anyone that could potentially hurt me or get in the way of anything I wanted to pursue. I think that when people hurt you, you go either one of two ways, in or out of your soul. I chose out of my soul. I did not know this at the time. It took 32 years to figure this out. I made some promises to myself that, until last week, I didn’t really understand what I had actually told myself and in turn my body suffered.

Recently, I learned some things about spiritual malignancy which, in my mind, is what it really means to be diagnosed with any DIS…. EASE. One theory is that, in our minds, we let ego deviate from the program God has for us. This is spiritual malignancy. Let me dive in here. Marianne Williamson teaches that the cells in the body say things like, “I don’t want to exist as a ‘normal’ cell. I want to be my own separate thing and build up my own mass following.” Here are some of the lies I have told myself. No one is going to boss me around and tell me what to do. I listen to me and my own ideas. I think when you try and replace God with things you will eventually feel the sting. It really depends on how stubborn you are. I apparently am seeing how bull-headed I am. Making those agreements with my ego was very damaging. I thought I was protecting my soul but I was actually destroying it with these agreement lies. God was included in this agreement. I replaced spirit with alcohol and shallow relationships… epic fail. The good news is that nothing is wasted. He works all things for my good. That is a song we sing frequently at my church. It is true. Don’t ever believe the lie that time or self is wasted. It never is. The lord has his inconceivable ways of making our messed up lives beautiful even when we mess them up. Every time we mess it up, he is there as a loving Father connecting all the paths to freedom. All we have to do is say yes to the call of the Holy Spirit. Please keep in mind that undoing what you have done sometimes takes time. So be patient with your life.

Remember that song from the 80’s Love is a Battlefield by Pat Benatar? “We are young heart ache to heartache we stand….. No promises no demands……Love is a battlefield. We are strong…… no one can tell us we are wrong. Searching our hearts for so long… both of us knowing….love is a battlefield. Making me go and making me stay……..Why do you hurt me so bad? It would help me know, if I stand in your way or I am the best you have had, but I’m trapped by your love and chained to your side……we are losing control when you turn me away, touch me deep inside…When this all gets all old will it still feel the same. There is no way this will die…and if we get much closer I could lose control….and if your heart surrenders you will need me to hold”

I know this is a cheesy song and it reveals my age (43) but I love it and can’t help the analogy of it all. This song, to me, is the battle that goes on in our body, mind, and spirit. This song, for me, is the ego vs the soul (real self). When we are young, we move from heart ache to heartache, we stand in awe of the pain and confusion. No promises, no demands until we feel the pain and sting of rejection of love and eventually abandon our soul. LOVE IS A BATTLEFIELD. We have such innocent claims to life. We have the highest of hopes. Making me stay and making me go. Why do you hurt me so bad? This line is about the soul wanting to emerge and as it peers out for a moment, that is when we let our guard down and love, but it gets crushed and retreats right back inside and waits for the awakened moment to surface and try again to love. It would help me to know if I stand in your way or the best you ever had. Lol I can’t believe how ironic this song is. Yeah, it would be great to look into the crystal ball of your spirit and ask….. do I stand in your way or am I the best self I could be? We don’t know, especially when we are not awake to the real purpose of life. Who knows accepting our flesh for truth, I am trapped by your love and chained by your side. Yes, yes, yes…… we are trapped by our love of ego and self. It’s all about you, right? Your heart, your love, your desire, you ..you…you? I hope I am not the first one to break this news to you. NOOOOOOOOOOO, it’s not about you. It’s about loving other people. I don’t mean we should not respect and honor ourselves. We absolutely should and this is a very important key to being set free. I mean, lay your life down and love some people! Stop thinking life is all about you and what you want. This is the most dangerous love of self and you’re feeding your ego not your soul. Live like this and I promise you, it’s not if, it’s when your body and mind breakdown you will be forced to deal with the storm you create. Take heart, we all do this and your calling, your will, and your surrender all determine how your own personal journey will end. My prayer for you is to take the call, live out your core desires, and be set free of yourself and the lies you have built to keep yourself safe. There are so many tools out there to do this. The most important tool you will even need is the Holy Spirit. You can’t go wrong when the Holy Spirit guides your path. God is waiting, for you, to answer the call that is already inside of you. All the answers are within your reach. It’s like unlocking a metaphoric door. Your soul is knocking and will keep knocking until you get off your butt and answer the door. God is your soul because we are made in his image and he lives in you. You think he doesn’t want out? To share and love????? He does love. He does.

 

Lies from within

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Take a few breaths and choose love! Abandon your fears and answer the call!

Take a chance on you. Leap into the light and face your fears. Embrace your journey and trust the truth inside. Trust, and be conscious, bold, fearless, and shameless. It’s ok Melissa to be you. You are good enough.

I have a very special cousin who came to visit this Spring. He lives out of town and therefore we don’t get to spend a lot of time together. He is a lot younger than me and still single which has allowed him to live out his amazing adventure with beautiful unbridled courage. He has spent this last year finding his soul and isn’t afraid to tell his story in order to inspire people to find their truth. One night while he was in town, we talked half the night and he left me with a question. He talked about a lot of “soul” stuff. He talked about Joseph Campbell, who studied mythology and how it relates to life. My cousin said to me, “The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek”. He then asked me, “What are you afraid of and what is in your cave?”

Wow, ahhh…… ok… It took me days to really know what the answer was. However, truth be told I think I knew immediately, but was too embarrassed to answer him and was much more accustomed to giving the response that I actually gave him, “Hmm, I don’t know.”

Let me be honest here because it took about 2 weeks of soul searching and courage to make this promise to myself. From that day forward I promised myself that I will not tell myself any more half-truths or blind myself with deception. I also asked God to please set me free from myself.

Drum roll please. What is in my cave is something very deep. It has many strings attached and many emotions involved. It has caused me soooo much bondage and fear. I refused to live in that fear another moment. MY FEAR WAS TELLING THE TRUTH TO THE PEOPLE I LOVE THE MOST AND TO MYSELF. Please let me clarify the type of lies about which I speak. I’m sure you all know the lies I am talking about. I lied because I was putting their happiness in front of my soul needs. I lied because I did not want to confront the truth. I lied because God forbid I tell the truth about how I really feel. The people I love may abandon me if they know my truth. I lied because I was lazy and exhausted emotionally from the internal struggle. I lied because it enabled me to stay stuck in my own self misery. I lied because it stopped me from launching into my destiny and saved me from a lot of work. I lied because it is who I had become.

Honestly, even at this moment I don’t want to send this out for the world to see. I don’t want to tell the truth about who I really am and who I have become. I am afraid and embarrassed.

The truth is that I learned to lie very early on in life because it made me into something I was not or at least I began to believe it did because the real me was not good enough. A child will start to believe the criticism when they hear it over and over again to the point where eventually they become it. Parents, be careful what you tell your child they are or are not. You have a lot more power than you know. You can use this power wisely or dangerously. You can only be picked over so many times before you believe that you are not good enough for anyone. Remember that saying your mother taught you? “Actions speak louder than words.” Well, let’s just say I understand this concept very well. So, I did the only thing I knew to do. I became what I thought everyone wanted me to be including what I thought I wanted me to be. I believed the lies of Mrs. Wolf, my 6th grade teacher, when she said that I would never be more than an average C student. That is a whole other topic that I will write about later. I believed that I was inadequate and did not do anything right and that I was inferior. So, as I grew up, I lied to make myself feel ok and accepted. I learned very quickly that I could become whoever everyone wanted me to be. The problem is that we all know lying is dark and ugly and it comes with a cost. I don’t know if I ever knew exactly why I did some of the things I did in the past until just now……like why I pounded alcohol. I got drunk the first time at the age of 12 and I mean hammered not just a little tipsy. See drinking for me set me free from the lies. I could actually be me. I did not have to do all the work of keeping up with the fake Melissa. She was out and free and alive. Except that this unclaimed reality ended around 2a.m. It always rolled around and I was always left with myself again and the harsh reality that I was still afraid and alone.

The Journey Begins

I could tell you all the details of my life as a child,teen and early adulthood but for today the details do not matter. What matters is that what I have ultimately learned and what this blog is really about. I am going to take you though a journey of cancer, raising children, marriage and finding my true self. Some days the writings will be long and arduous and other days quick and tasty.

Here is the deal. If your sick and tired of being ________ (fill in the blank) and want to be set free then take this journey with me…… listen, I am not saying its OK if someone hurt your or left your holding your heart. I not saying that you have not betrayed yourself even. You may have to forgive yourself for some terrible things you have done consciously or unconsciously. what I am saying is this……..YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR HOW YOU FEEL AND THE MOMENT YOU GIVE YOUR ENERGY AWAY TO ANOTHER PERSON YOU ARE GOING TO BECOME SOMEONE YOU TRULY ARE NOT DESTINED TO BE. If your are going to be the person God created you to be its gonna take HARD WORK. I wont try and convince you how to live but I will share who I am, how I made the choice to start this blog and how I evolved into who I am today. Transparency matters to me.

Now, take a deep breath. I will eventually give you some tools in your belt to live a mindful, present, conscious and vivacious life. God is the ONLY reason I am alive and healed and to God I give all the glory.
I will be discussing healthy living, food healers, holistic life approach and conscious living.