Tag Archives: empowerment

What Incarnation Were We Thinking? Remembering What We Were Born to Forget

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there-is-really-no-way-to-say-no-to-the-morning-dan-foglebergI recently shared my story about the Spirit Pub at the epic Life Without Instructions conference, an amazing community of free-thinking, unschooling, family-loving, nature-hugging, soul-seeking friends. A few folks asked if I’d written the story down ~ so here it is :)

Long ago, I stumbled across the idea that perhaps our soul, before birth, gets to choose it’s greatest challenges in it’s lifetime. Given my dwarfism and it’s accompanying complications, you’d have thought my reaction would’ve been something like…

HA! What insane #@!% HOGWASH!

Instead, I was intrigued.

A friend and I decided that we’d name this pre-birthday place, the Spirit Pub. If we had chosen our current life-on-the-rocks, we clearly had had one too many.

Or maybe, when we were made of pure star-dust and all blissed-out, the wild Earth roller coaster looked so dang appealing! Birth, puberty, love, marriage, divorce, forgiveness, compassion, plot-twists, faith, disease, drama, darkness. What a thrill! A reality show to top all reality shows!

%22remember-who-you-think-you-are-now-is-only-one-moment-one-grain-of-sand-in-the-vastness-of-your-spirit

So by the time I bellied up to the Spirit Pub bar, I was ready to take on the cosmos. One glance at the ginormous menu, and I knew. The special of the day stood out in lights: “spondyloepiphyseal dysplasia congenita, dwarfism, with a heaping side order of degenerative arthritis.”

The tougher the troubles, the greater the glory.

I turned to my guardian angel, already by my side, and said, “I could really sink my teeth into that one.”

Excellent choice,” she said, sounding a bit like Glinda the good witch. “Let me give you some details: at your birth, the gods of medicine will automatically label your creative earth costume as defective, deformed, disadvantaged and disabled. You will believe and live their truth for years. There will also be many operations, including two brain surgeries.”

I quickly asked to recheck the menu.

But my angel continued on with strangely contagious enthusiasm. “This profound human pain . . . will ignite in you such a deep hunger to heal yourself. The darkness will serve as a spiritual springboard to the light. It will catapult you into alternative medicine, nutrition and empowering ways to care for your costume. These remedies will be a bridge back to your remembrance that healing comes from within. Inside you will be the best medicine of all – the choice of where to put your focus, on fear or faith.”

%22you-are-encoded-with-a-magic-filled-with-a-potential-jennifer-mclean“Furthermore,” she said, almost giggling, “The doctors won’t be the only ones who will take issue with your nonconformities; you will also be a billboard for bullies, strangers, children & adults who will stare, taunt and mock you. You’ll be a trigger for their own deep fears of separation and rejection.”

Before I could interject that I might be biting off more than I could chew, she was way ahead of me.

“My dear, your belief that you are isolated from the world will stir in you such a longing for love & connection. And because you will not be able draw that acceptance from the outside, you will at last turn your focus inside. That is where the memory will dawn – darkness is not a punishment or an accident. It is your soul’s creative catapult back into Oneness, the place inside of you where you can, and you will, remember that you are Light. And so is everyone else.”

“So you’re telling me,” I asked, “that I can’t lose in the end?”

“What the human believes is a loss, the soul experiences as a gain. Your family,” she continued, a mesmerizing pink glow around her, “will be the loving bedrock of your identity. They will not be distracted by your differences and will see and love you for who you really are.”

%22you-are-a-part-of-everythingYay! Good news!

“Out of respect and love for you, however, they will err on the side of silence about your dwarfism and it’s challenges. You will misinterpret that silence as shame.”

Hmmm. A strange pattern seemed to be emerging…

“Your heartbreak, however, will awaken in you such a desire to express yourself. When you turn your focus toward that, it will launch you into true heart to heart communication, through art, writing, speaking and being.”

“Isn’t it ideal?” she twinkled. “Silence leads to communication. Isolation leads to reunion. Physical pain leads to spiritual healing. Are you beginning to see the sacred love story of opposites?

I was. From a distance, it did seem rather remarkable.

“There is one last thing, my dear,” my golden Glinda added, “and it is very important. You know everything we’ve been discussing? . . . You are going to forget all of it.”

I sighed. “That part, I kinda know. Because if I remembered that I was eternal love, that no harm could ever come to my soul, then the earth journey would be like ‘Pin the Tail on the Donkey’ without the blindfold, or ‘Hide and Seek’ without a place to hide. We choose the body-blindfold to make it a really gutsy game. It’s a global treasure hunt where the gems are hidden within.”

My angel shimmered. “The wounds of your forgetting will be temporary, but the joy and wisdom will be yours forever. And remember, my dear, I will be with you at the doorway of birth, I will stay by your side every step of the way, and I will be there when you are ready to lay your body down and come Home. I will never leave you until you have fulfilled your reasons for being.”

I nodded to my fearless angel and I said, “Bring it on.”

%22a-mind-that-is-stretched-by-new-experience-can-never-go-back-to-its-old-dimensions-oliver-wendell-holmesMaybe we all agreed to the crazy ride.

But whether or not our soul chooses our circumstances, the belief that our challenges are for us, not against us, is hugely empowering. It’s not to blame ourselves, or others, ever. It’s the opportunity to take any ugliness and transform it into something beautiful and meaningful. To find out what’s right with what might feel all wrong. A nightmare is not the final verdict; it may end up being the vehicle to our soul’s desire.

There’s divinity in the darkness – let it inspire our brightest light.

~~~~~~~~~

Before you go~

MORE FR*EE STUFF!

Rev. Anne Presuel & Sherry Bowers have invited 100’s of spiritual entrepreneurs to participate in their annual

Your Divine Biz Gifts

 to give you a whole BUNCH of fr*ee products and services.

Things like:

  -ebooks
-scripts
  -audio trainings
  -audio meditations
  -video trainings
-checklists
-assessments
-programs
-free memberships
  -and much more

Register here and then go pick out what you like,

leave the rest behind :)

Wishing you an open mind, gentle heart, courageous soul, 

And lotsa love, always,

Julie

How Will I spend My Heart Today? On BS or Mindfulness?

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Hiya Radiant Renegade,

How do you feel about really truly deeply being seen? Including your insecurities, shadows & secret darkness? I had an enlightening run-in with some of my old BS just last week.

As I’m basking in the quiet of my favorite park, writing by this very peeeaceful pond (in the photo), a noisy group sauntered into my sanctuary and plopped down in the shade behind me.

Ugh.

I continue writing, trying to ignore the prickly feeling of eyes and action behind me. One dude is particularly loud. Generally, I love listening to other languages – I have this excited feeling that I understand what’s being said, even when I don’t. But today, his foreign tongue is like a jackhammer and he seems to be the only one carrying the conversation.

I ask my angels if they’d help !@#$ quiet him. Oh wait. Trying to change him is a disempowering focus. Instead, I need to shift my own intention and response. It feels better to say, Thank you angels, in advance, for helping me tune out the distraction.

Soon enough I notice a tremendous turtle sunbathing on a rock. Some swallows are swooping and playing in the air. A goldfinch flies past. Colorful dragonflies are whisking all around. Ducks and geese are feeding nearby in their funny bottoms-up way. Earlier, a small snake had swam seamlessly through the sunlit water.

While marveling at this wide-eyed world, I forget my cares and remember what matters.

And I’ve been able to ignore, somewhat, the incessant talker, who is still rattling away. My goodness.

It’s getting too warm sitting in the sun and I want to gather up my books, beach chair and snacks and waddle over into the shade, about twenty feet away. But I hesitate. I fear the roving eyes behind me. Oooph.

My residual BS has bubbled up – the old Belief System that fears my dwarfism & I will be judged, rejected, humiliated. I shake my head. Why do I care what they think? What will they do, throw stones? Tomatoes? Call me ugly? Laugh? WHO CARES!

Apparently, I still do.

I take some deep breaths, relax and prepare myself to stand up and BE SEEN. Go ahead Jule, they can’t hurt you. You are free to be yourself in this world. This is a great opportunity to bust through the BS. Reclaim the joy.

I awkwardly stand and . . . you know what?

The chatterbox shuts right up.

Hee hee.

By facing my fear, I get my wish ~ his mouth is firmly muzzled. (My inner BS was speechless, too.)

In the past, I’ve dreaded that hushed reaction to me. The shocked looks. Today, the quiet is my reward.

I grab my gear and shuffle into the shade, chuckling to myself. I am an anti-gab Goddess. A shift in perspective is everyone’s super soul power, available anywhere, anytime.

I sit back down and put my notebook on my lap. Suddenly a white-tailed dragonfly (I Googled it) lands on my writing. I watch in surprise as her tiny velvety body breathes. It isn’t a quick flutter – her whole body expands slowly and then contracts. Wow!

Then I realize her fabulous domino looking wings are perfectly covering just one sentence. I’d written it in the upper corner of my page this morning~

“How will I spend my heart today?”

Will I give away my joy because of other people’s reaction? Or will I stand up and be who I am, in peace (or flat out enthusiasm.)

Will I focus on an argument with an old friend/partner/sibling/kids? Or will I send them love bombs and release thoughts of right or wrong.

Will I try to control the outcome of some ‘uncomfortable’ circumstances? Or will I breathe deeply, expand my heart, my love and my willingness to grow.

Will I judge what’s ugly in me/them/the world? Or will I search for what’s beautiful around me and within me.

Will I spend my heart on self-doubt? Worry? Criticism? Shrink away from my challenges?

Or will I trust life to unfold in spectacular ways.

The dragonfly’s work has dominoed and is done. She lifts off the page, hovers for a moment and then zips toward the open water, taking some of my black and white BS with her.

How will you spend your heart today?

Let me know in the comments, I loooove hearing from you : )

You'll never rise any higher than the way you see yourself

I see you, 

with lotsa love~

Julie 

 

Express Yourself! How Creativity Can Get Your Super Soul Unstuck

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Card #3 copy 3

“Unused creativity is not benign, it metastasizes. It turns into grief, judgement, sorrow, and shame. We are divine beings and we are by nature creative.” -Brene Brown

Even though I’ve often denied it, hid it and spit on it, creativity has kinda saved my soul. On two occasions, in particular. Serendipitously, I started my freelance art biz at age twenty-three. It was fraught with self-doubt, crisis and renewal – all the awesome ear marks of a solid creative breakthrough. Ten years later, I had to give up the biz due to degenerative arthritis in my right shoulder (a condition that came with my SED dwarfism.) The sorry sitch shook me to my quivering core. 

After a year of depression, decline and a seriously stinkin’ pity-party, Dad suggested I learn computer graphics using my left hand. Hmm. Before I could even look at the graphics software, I got hooked on something far superior. Yup, email unleashed my languishing creative soul. 

I never knew I could express myself as a writer. But frankly, our creative voice will take any ol’ outlet provided. My memoir, Nothing Short of Joy, came barreling to the surface. It was the most cathartic therapy EVER.  

The creative process dragged me out of my dwarfed little self. When the shift hit the fan, it brought relief, joy . . . and a lot of kicking and screaming.

Turns out, it can be quite an epic battle to recover our true self. It isn’t always pretty. But the alternative is WAY less appealing.

From an early age we’re taught to conform and stuff our individuality away. Gaining acceptance from the outer world becomes our mission impossible. But the never-ending hamster wheel can’t bring the treasures inside of us OUT. And the goodies have gotta come out! 

Of course, our societal training will scream for us to STOP. Resistance will storm in like gangstahs. 

But hang in there. 

You can learn to talk that chorus of inner critics off the cliff. They’re just trying to protect you. They’re terrified you’ll get hurt again. Just remember, though, the deepest darkest pain comes from allowing those secret fears (the beliefs, people or circumstances that say you’ll never be enough) to smoother your light. 

Stephen King says, “If you expect to succeed as a writer, rudeness should be the second-to-least of your concerns. The least of all should be polite society and what it expects. If you intend to write as truthfully as you can, your days as a member of polite society are numbered, anyway.” 

Heh. The quote applies, not just to writers, but to everyone wanting to live more authentically. I’ve been way too concerned with what others thought of me or might think of me. It’s a gargantuan creativity crusher and suffocates our soul’s call. It leaves us feeling hollow. Like a fraud. A replica. Stuck living someone else’s vision of life.  

I once thought I had to *arrive* somewhere (to be an “expert”) before I could fully express myself and commit to the creative, spiritual path. I’ve since realized that sharing the journey AS IT UNFOLDS is the greatest work. We support & inspire each other as we heal ourselves.

Our creative core, our soul, is an ongoing celebration of every curvy road we continue to wrangle. The things we’ve lost. And the soul-self we’ve won. They make up the whole picture – a beauty that emerges from brokenness. 

My free eBook, “Release the Blocks So Creativity Rocks! A Spiritual Pep Rally for Breaking Up with Your BS (Belief System,) Ditching Polly-Perfectionist & Energizing Ginormous Joy,” is available for download here at my web site.  It’s got 60 packed pages of inspiration, calligraphy, watercolors and oodles of reminders of the Love we were born to forget. I hope it’ll ignite your creative courage. Set-backs and sorrow can be transformed into spiritual springboards to greater self-expression.

Our heartaches & handicaps are creative curriculum. In sharing them we get to 1.) dump personal pain & brutal baggage 2.) realize it’s safe to be wholeheartedly ourselves and 3.) own our unique story and discover it’s actually a universal story. We’re no longer alone. Holy headtrip.

Your life’s work, your genius, is to reveal that singular, amazingly glorious YOU. Then go inspire others to set their own soul free. 

Expressing your truth is the highest & most important art form because you’re the only one who has dibs on it. In the history of the universe, there will only be one spectacular, complex, phenomenal you.

Giving our whole self to our life and our dreams is scary. I regularly try to dodge the job. There’a a lot of gunk to sort through as we get back to being who we really are. 

Being a true-blue you is the most personal & profound offering, prayer and gift you have to give. Don’t cheat yourself and the world by holding back your glory. Maybe you wish you’d started years ago. Today is as good a time as any. (Well that’s what I keep telling myself, and it helps…) 

The masterpiece of your life is to rally the real YOU, remember what’s right with what’s “wrong” and express your exuberant soul. It doesn’t matter the medium – a kickin’ canvas, bodacious blog, dirty dance floor or ingenious engineering – just that you unblock your beaming.

Give your imagination, dreams & creative soul some more airtime. The crusade will be worth it. While you’re taking steps toward positive changes in your life, I’m with ya. I’ll be doing my best to follow my heart, (while fingernail-biting) and face my greatest fears, too. You deserve the real-deal me on deck and we deserve the full-out you. C’mon.

Give us all you got. 

How to Usher in Your Dreams: The Universe is Listening

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FB fire rainbow a

Driving down the Garden State Parkway, I’m on my way to my first solo vacay in New Jersey (no snickering.) I’ve got five days at my friend’s glorious house while she’s in Italy. Since my oldest son’s birth twelve years ago, I’ve not been all alone for more than a day. I’m way over due.

That’s when I spot it. A rainbow. Wait . . . blue sky, no rain. WHAT?! Obviously the other drivers haven’t noticed the humdinger because they are NOT swerving and squealing like a nut-ball. I scramble for my camera like an electrified orangutan.

I pull over and whip out my camera so fast I nearly throw it across the dash. As I start shooting, the colors are faint but grow brighter before my wide-eyes. They trail along the clouds in glory. Mama Mia.

My car and I are drunk in delight, windswept & jostled by the other high-speeders zooming past me and the miracle. I’m still giggling and chatting out loud thanking the angels for the prism show. My breath is caught inside the glee. I’m not alone. Roy G. Biv has got every color on deck. For me.

After twenty minutes, I continue on my drive, dazzled. I spend five delirious days writing. Painting. Breathing in the green of the yard. The stillness of flowers. The pool’s turquoise purr. Outside the rush of my daily life, I really like my own company. Maybe, after all these years, I actually love me. Whoa. The rainbow knew.

When I return home from my retreat, I feel alive. Free. I tell my family about the “fire rainbow” (I’d googled it.) My son says he wishes he saw it, too. The Universe is listening.

At his birthday party the following week, guess who arrives. Yup. I’d never seen a fire rainbow until a week earlier. Hovering above us, is another. NO. WAY. I start yelling to my son and pointing up like a crazed Chicken Little. Rainbows are falling around us.

a fire6 copy

A month later, we’re at the Jersey shore. Yet another appears. Google informs me this one is a “sun dog.” Whatever. It’s still color streaking across my freakin blue skies. My dad tells me that when I was too young to write, I signed a guest book at a relative’s house . . . with a rainbow. They’ve been on my radar awhile.

FB fire rainbow 9:19:12

As a kid, I’d thought that rainbows would be even more awesome if there was a blue sky behind them instead of grey clouds. I’m not making this up. Then I saw it on Facebook – a photo of a colorful ribbon shimmering across a wicked azure sky.

I figured I would have to be in Hawaii or Bali to see such grandeur.

Mais no.

They now follow me in Joisey. Several months ago, I step outside Barnes and Noble (a gospel belt) and glaring right at me is a huge glowing sun dog. I’m agog again. My eyes dart around the parking lot for someone to celebrate the sky with me. Three folks slip into their cars, engines roar away. I call out to one last woman, but she can’t hear the happiness. Her head is bowed as she leaves, untouched by the hot diggity-dog before us.

Are you expecting your job to be stressful? No free time? Your partner to disappoint you? Your health to decline? Murphy’s Law to win? Well when you look at it THAT way, your wishes are the universe’s command.

There’s an area of our brain called the reticular activating system (RAS) whose job is to filter through the endless data that bombards us daily. The RAS only allows into our conscious mind what we are focused on, interested in, or what we believe. It edits out anything that doesn’t confirm our belief system (BS,) which we may have been carrying around since childhood. Our mind is a neutral search engine, looking to prove us right about our expectations.

Ever bought a car you’d rarely seen, in a color you were sure was unique. Then you get out on the road and that exact car is everywhere. Turns out, that car had always been around you, but your RAS never picked up on it until it was a priority.

This isn’t woo-woo. This is science.

Einstein said, “You can never solve a problem on the level on which it was created.” If we stay focused on what’s wrong, the RAS is blind to anything right. What do you expect from the world and what do you offer? Give your dreams more airtime today. Your thoughts and feelings are so powerful that your life is created by their rally cry. Redemption is within your reach.

Just last month, I was rather stuck in the ‘not enoughness.’ Not enough wishes coming true. Not enough Money. Talent. Time. Courage. My life is FULL of great things but I was busy focusing on what I feared was missing. So I rewrote my affirmations. I recommitted to reading them every day. Focus. Breathe. Believe. Receive. 

Yesterday, driving to the shore, my family and I see a massive sun halo (a rainbow circle clear around the sun.) There’s a small pastel fire rainbow at it’s feet. Sweet Jesus. What promise lies about us. What mystery. I want to reaffirm my life with greater faith than ever. Do I face life’s challenges like they are obstacles or opportunities? Sometimes I forget it’s my choice. The skies remember. I got it all on camera.

There are fire rainbows afoot. Keep looking up!