Category Archives: vulnerability

What Tick’s You Off?🕷Death and BS in the Circle of Life  

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Hiya Radiant Renegades 

💙💚💙 I arrive at Green Diva Meg’s magical home, ready for a delightful stint of dog sitting. 10 days in the woods. 10 days of quiet. Daily walks around a beautiful lake with her devoted dog, Gracie. I get to hang with the heron and gab with the geese. A sapphire sky sprawls out before us. It’s heaven on earth. 🌳💦 🌊

Until. 

The cool camouflaged snake

A sign appears on my first walk. A snake!🐍 I feel so excited to have noticed her, wonderfully camouflaged along the trail. So much exciting life in these woods! 

Ten minutes later, my mood plummets. I see half of a mutilated snake, jaws gapping open in wide-eyed shock. Did it suffer? It’s just the circle of life, I say, trying to soothe my heart. I’ve always loved animals. But I’m pained by predators and not at home with the ways of the wild. 

The next morning, I notice one of the unique brown squirrels… and an adorable baby bouncing behind her! AW! 🐿 I watch them closely, totally enjoying their twitchy athletics. Later that day, I feel a sudden nudge to grab the binoculars and look out the front window (which I’ve never done – it’s partially blocked.) As I’m peering out across the lawn, a fox runs right into view! WHOA! 🦊 I follow the fox with my lens, feeling SO happy that I listened to the nudge. Then I notice a soft bundle in her mouth. Oh. No. As she’s running, she drops it! What the?   

Sunset on Meg’s lake

 The fox zips out of view and I swing my lens back to the motionless furball. What is it? Please not a baby bunny. Please. My heart is dipping into sadness & shock, once again. I wait awhile, but the fox does not return for the meal. I feel horribly compelled to go look. But I can’t look. But it’s right on the path where we walk. Crap. I have to look. No I don’t want to look. 

I’m gonna go look. 

I walk out across the expansive green lawn with Gracie, for comfort and courage. My eyes are glued to the spot where the sweet bundle lies. I’m braced for the bunny. 

But it’s a baby red squirrel. 

What. The. Hell! 

The circle of life… again!?!

I stare bleakly, as Gracie sniffs the adorable baby. Death makes me droop. Is the mama squirrel distraut? Why can’t I accept that death follows life?

The universe is being very loud. What’s the message? 

A few hours later, the lil body is still there. I’m hoping it won’t go to waste. 

Vulture perched above us

As Gracie and I head into the woods, there is a a loud flurry of flapping. A huge vulture lifts off the path and perches above our heads. 

All this LIFE in the woods, and Death will NOT shut up.

I text my hubby the eerie deets of the day. He sends a photo of a ginormous feather he found in our yard and writes, “it’s from a deep doo-doo bird.”

OMG vultures are circling.

Live snake. Dead snake. Live squirrel. Dead squirrel. Vulture. Vulture. Is someone gonna die??

Vulture feather (deep doo-doo bird)

I wake up the next day and find a deer tick embedded in my side 🕷 Nooooo! And there’s a bloody bull’s eye, already! ACKKKKKK! Invaded! After some pulling, pain and panic, I finally remove the beastie, but it’s black grappling hooks are left in my side. 

This is NOT fair! Nature is where I feel at home, in awe, connected, but now the glory of the Great outdoors is circling the drain! Why would the Earth attack me?

As I drive to the health food store, and talk to the naturopath, I resist the answer.

Mother Nature isn’t betraying me. My BS (belief system) is. My fears already had me circling the drain. I’m a wilderness wannabe, but I continually worry that my dwarfed body isn’t safe in this world. Vulnerable. Victim. Ah ha. I’ve become the prey I feared. My BS is confirmed! (BS would rather be right than happy.) 

Bonus BS – I have a deep distrust of the medical world, even though it’s come to my aid in the past. I DO NOT WANT antibiotics! But I know I can’t fool around with Lyme disease. I worship (and cling) to natural remedies. But I’m working to blend the two worlds, of medicine and metaphysics, without judgment.

I’m still terrified. And totally ticked. This tiny pain in my side brings old issues to the surface… and it feels like everything’s all WRONG… but maybe it’s to help me see that in the bigger picture, I’m always alright. 

Magical pond at Meg’s, early morning

At the doctor’s office, the nurse tells me she’s had Lyme’s for 28 years. As she’s leaving the room, she turns back, as if nudged from beyond, and says tenderly, “you know, ticks are a part of the circle of life.” 

My jaw drops open like the wide-eyed snake. 

“I canNOT believe you just said that,” I tell her. “That’s been going through my mind for two days!” 

“I couldn’t understand why God created ticks,” she said, “so I read up and found that ticks help clean up the environment. Like vultures. 

“No. Way.” I stared at her, gobsmacked. I feel a profound awe and relief. 

The lake where I stayed

We live in a dynamic, interactive ecosystem. It breathes through us and speaks to us, as us. Animals, water, sky, nurses and even ticks. Life and death are divine dance partners. We came here to take the crazy, complicated, courageous steps. To walk in each other’s moccasins. To dive into the dark and remember our own reflection of light. And to lovingly @#$% embrace our belligerent BS.

When we’re in deep doo-doo… it isn’t the circumstances that cause the lasting pain, it’s our beliefs about them. Fear tells us we’re alone, wounded, and the vultures are circling. The truth says we’re One with it all. We draw to our side (or embedded IN our side) whatever will bring up our BS so we can return to wholeness… and let go of the grappling hooks.

FYI I learned that ticks are a major food source for birds, reptiles etc. If we erased them (or mosquitoes, fleas, poison ivy etc…) we’d further mess with the balance of nature.☯

We already live off the Earth quiet mindlessly, and yet she’s a forgiving host. We complain about insects and inconvenience… and yet our collective footprint melts glaciers. Kills bees and trees. We’re the predators. In my tiny tick-attack, the tables were turned. Circle of dark and light.

What ticks you off?
What’s sucking the life out of you?
What fear needs to die, so something better can be reborn in you?

Meg’s dog, Gracie & the setting sun

Fighting our troubles is a form of violence against ourselves. We add to our suffering by insisting that life be other than “what it is.” When we reject what the foxy universe presents, we miss the hidden bundles that heal our inner wild. 

When the old BS is circling, our prayers are bringing unexpected answers. Take that leap of faith. Accept life with an open heart. Trust your soul’s nudges. And smile across the mysterious wilderness.
With a deep bow.

💞✨ Sending lotsa love and light,
☀💚 in the circle that moves us all,

P.S. The oldest known fossilized tick was discovered in a piece of amber in NJ (where I am, lol.) It’s 90 million years old! They must be doing something right. So let’s keep on ticking… just like they do.

 

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Photo from my favorite park and pond

From Self-loathing to Self-loving. Thank you Dad

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Last week, I fell into a nasty abyss. My reliable defenses searched for a reason, outside myself. It must be the change in seasons. It must be the tragic world events. Then, in the recesses of my mind, I quietly (unknowingly) decided the darkness was somehow my hubby’s fault. I’m admitting this to you because the sooner I share the shame, the longer it stays lifted. (Old BS does not understand the word goodbye!)

Apparently, I’d been in need of a pitstop for rest and recharging. But instead of taking a break, I proceeded to royally beat myself up for it. Why can’t I be a 24/7 vehicle of eternal joy and inspiration?

For the love of Chrysler, Julie.

Let’s back up, shall we?

I drove through August with awesome self-care. Every day I was taking a long walk in the evening, while listening to powerful podcasts and webinars. Every day, I was eating well and making my super-nutritious-green-smoothie-liscious drinks. Every day, I was practicing fabulous techniques to say sayonara to ol’ BS (belief systems). Every day I was using EFT tapping, declaring fierce affirmations and plentiful prayers. Every day, I was supporting myself, my family and my clients with zest and love. By September, I was so impressed with my progress that I became extra intent (read: obsessed) on staying in alignment with my soul, if it was the last thing I do!

Well okie-dang-dokie. Do you feel the car-wreck comin’?

I didn’t.

I thought it was the best kind of Blissipline. Consistent. Enthusiastic. Dedicated driving. But I guess that’s what snapped my inner pit-crew awake. Progress threatens the well-being of BS, after all. They got very confused and afraid. Do you think that healthy sh*t means you’re good enough? Ha! The winner’s circle isn’t for sloths and slackers. You can’t compete on this road-trip! You’ll just lose, over and over. It’s not worth the pain! It is NOT SAFE out there. You’ll drive merrily straight over a cliff. Not on our watch!

You’d think I’d recognize their scare-tactics by now. But nope. Joy down-shifted to doubt. I whipped out my control-freak’s manual for old wounds – apply more pressure. You can do better. More GAS! Go, girlfriend, Go! My inner taskmistress grabbed the wheel. She’s a dogmatic driver, quite convinced that she can bend the road of life to her will.

Sometimes there’s a thin line between positive personal-growth …and FORCING the matter.

I added a faster second walk in the morning. A second round of tapping. I got serious.

Still, I didn’t see it.

Then my unsuspecting hubster said something slightly snide to me.

Oh snap.

Perfect deflection material for the blamer-babe. Ah HA! It’s HIS fault that I’m not happy! An argument ensued. Blame, defense, avoidance, punishment. We know the drill.

I spent two days driving in angry circles (in silent retreat from my family, to protect them from unfair treatment…)

It’s his fault!

Oh crap, it’s my fault!

No it’s his fault!

Oh Lord… It’s all my default.

When I’m busy tearing myself down, it’s hard to love anyone else. Intellectually, I know I’m responsible for what I see in the mirror of my family. Self-help 101. But first. I tend to take a detour into self-punishment.

I’m such an idiot! I deserve to feel miserable – that MIGHT just keep me from mistreating anyone in the future! I’m not allowed to just self-love-myself out of my repetitive mistakes, again and again!

In the midst of my poop-party, I dreamed of Dad, who passed two years ago. The first time I saw him in a dream, I found myself yelling, “It’s Dad! It’s Dad! I love you, Dad! I love you!” I was over the moon. It was Dad! Then I realized his back was to me. Why didn’t I hug him or talk to him?!

In the next dream, Dad was helping my sister. I squealed with glee, “There’s Dad! It’s Dad! Wow Dad! Hey Dad!” I woke up happy. But again, I stood apart.

I saw this beautiful wing and fire rainbow on a walk!

Carl Jung’s dream theory says that everyone (and everything) in the dream is an aspect of ourselves. Our emotional response IS the message. Why wasn’t Dad looking at me? Why wasn’t I making it happen? Was Dad a projection of some ignored side of myself?

The next few dreams were similar. But. Each time I was getting closer to him.

A few weeks ago, I almost hugged him! I was elated! I wrapped my hands around his forearms; I could feel the crunch of his old coat. I hooted and hollered, “Dad! Dad! It’s YOU! Dad!” He looked at me very seriously and said, “let’s just get down to business.”

Huh?

When I woke up, I realized that my abyss of anger had been my “serious business”… about being better. Me. Bill. Doing better. Me. Bill. How can I feel the joy in my life, when I drive myself harder? When I insist that a fender bender deserves a life sentence?

Two nights ago, there was Dad! He was smiling into my eyes for the first time! He hugged me! And he whispered one tender word in my ear. He called me, “Kitten.”

In life, Dad would not have called anyone Kitten. He loved us deeply, but he was not overly sentimental.

Kitten? It wasn’t like him. Or me. Dad could be demanding. Black and white. Hard on himself and others.

Hello. That’s what I’ve been doing.

I repeated “Kitten” to myself, the way he had, with empathy. Understanding.

Then the tears hit. I’d been feeling downright hatred… for that kitten inside. The vulnerability. The need for validation. Reassurance. Rest.

When my inner perfectionist insists that it’s all or nothing, it’s easy to “fail” my high expectations. When I feel I’ve missed the mark, I punish myself by becoming stingy with love, as if THAT will correct my bad behavior. I assumed Bill’s snide remarks meant I didn’t deserve nurturing, because that’s what I believed!

Would I punish a kitten for not trying hard enough? For falling down? For being too soft? Can I scare her into doing better? Would I drive her to grow faster and just be a damn cat already?

I thought back on my BS band, which had come out to play. What they wanted was to be hugged, healed, and then relieved of their instruments. Especially those mental drums at midnight. Instead, I’d felt ashamed that they were assembled, at all.

I am tough to please.

The harder I chase my own light, the longer I stay disgusted by my darkness. Judging and denying my imperfections, leaves them feeling orphaned. When my friends, family and clients are willing to look into the face of their fears and BS, and embrace them, I’m thrilled! It means progress! Accepting our humanity! But sometimes, I forget to invite myself to my own love-fest. So my cowardly-lion-crew roars out from the scary jungle, hoping I will honor their human-mess. This time.

Welcoming the “worst” of ourselves to the party, is a humble road to freedom. A brave path to our Divinity. To love our embarrassingly disconnected parts means to give them what they continue to need – to come back Home.

Today, I’ve returned to celebrating. Accepting and singing my own slower-paced song. Smiling at my sacred silliness. Sending love to a world in need. Bill and I are laughing again. This spirit-led road is actually a real healing riot.

Next dream with Dad, sky’s the limit! I’m ready to rock the casbah! Climb trees, watch birds, and relax in the light. Cat’s meow.

So. When the next BS ball of yarn rolls my way, maybe I’ll remember that accepting and loving “what is” transforms a loathing lion into an innocent kitten. Paws crossed.

with lotsa love and deep thanks for being there :)

xoxo Julie

FYI – I’ll be interviewed for a powerful upcoming Summit starting Monday October 23, 2017, called,

THRIVING AFTER DIVORCE: Powerfully Reclaim Your Life and Turn Your Breakup into Your Breakthrough!

I was thrilled when my friend and colleague, Tanya Marie Dubé, told me she was hosting an interview series all around the topic of mindset, confidence and motivation. THRIVING AFTER DIVORCE was born out of Tanya’s difficult divorce and her extensive research on how women can TRANSFORM their lives after a massive life change. Wait til you hear Tanya’s personal story (I got to interview HER!) She had incredible childhood challenges making her personal transformation all the more inspiring! Register here to watch the free series!

This summit is for you if you are going through a divorce, have just gone through a divorce or are contemplating getting out of a bad relationship and don’t know how to get your mindset around what is going to happen (or happening to you now). During this summit, 21 awesome entrepreneurs (including me!) have joined forces to share our stories of personal, sometimes extreme adversity, how we used our pain to create a whole new life for ourselves and help others.

A handful of experts will be talking specifically to what comes after divorce including dating, becoming an entrepreneur, co-parenting and helping your children succeed, starting an online business, coaching, psychological personality disorders, self love and healing, and building up your mind and your memory so that you can let go of the feelings of being too tired to start over or to start something new.

Register here for the summit!

If you’re going through major adversity, this summit will offer coping skills, techniques and strategies for getting yourself up and over feelings of loneliness, abandonment and fear. Although I’ve never been through a divorce, my clients, friends and family sure have! I deeply relate to how  these devastating events can trigger past pain, hold us back from our highest potential, and leave us questioning our worth.

Together, we want to support you in feeling empowered and inspired to THRIVE AFTER DIVORCE so you can have the life of your wildest dreams.

I hope you’ll join us for the Thriving After Divorce Summit!