Today, I’m beginning a fun event for me and perhaps for you. I’m sharing a short synopsis of life as a coach, writer, painter, podcaster, and a person being human. Within each week there seems to be a theme – regardless of the area of my work/life. So this may be interesting, educational or entertaining for you – that all pleases me! And if there are enough viewers, a short coaching session may be offered to someone on the live Facebook.
Spiritually Transformative Experiences? What the heck are they?
There is an organization that birthed itself about 10 years ago, called The American Center for the Integration of Spiritually Transformative Experiences (ACISTE.org). Their mission is to train therapists, psychiatrists, spiritual guides and ministers, and life coaches to support individuals who have experienced realities beyond our 3D reality, and who need assistance to integrate these experiences into their lives.
This is not about Network Marketing… what the??? …No, I’m not selling anything-promise!
My intention in sharing this blog is to invite you to question your cultural norms – not only regarding business models, but all models of reality that we believe are the “only” models of reality. Just for 5 minutes…ready?….Here we go!
80% Are Unhappy in Their Jobs
As a coach I hear quite often that my clients aspire to do what other people are doing, for either the money, the prestige, or the power others seemingly have and my clients want. Life would surely be better if I was doing _____ instead… Of course, they don’t take into consideration that 80% of those people hate their jobs or aren’t happy for a good portion of the time that they are working. As my seven year old grandson Andrew would say: “What The ?????”
I find it fascinating that so many people live the majority of their day hating what they do and wishing they could do what they love to do instead. No wonder therapists are busier than ever with people who are depressed and unhappy. No wonder there is more disease and health care issues stemming from the workplace. No wonder addictions are rampant, not only in food & substances, but also in gambling, debting, pornography, etc. People are trying to deny, ignore, avoid and distract themselves from the restless, irritable, discontent that they live with Every. Day. Of. Their. Lives… Um…. It’s not working!!!
10 More, 5 More, 3 More…
I can’t tell you the number of people who admit to being unsatisfied in their work, yet believe there is no way out! “I only have 5 more years before I can start receiving a pension check. I can stick it out.” The person that said this got throat cancer, and ended up taking early retirement. Now he regrets having postponed living his passion for so long.
Living the American Dream
Especially in the US, but also in pretty much every other first world country, we are driven and inspired by chasing the “American Dream,” an ideal life that we should all aspire to live. At the same time, we are told we can’t make money doing what we love, and are chastised for thinking we can have the life we dream of. This doesn’t add up! I hear Andrew again: “What The ????”
Isn’t it Logical to Hustle?
A client of mine named Mandy ran into a stumbling block as she shared her ‘truth” about reality as she saw it: It isn’t okay for her to have the freedom, fun and flexibility she craves if she is to make the money and have the lifestyle she dreams of. “Millionaires say you have to HUSTLE to be able to have what you want. It’s the logical way of making it big. There’s no room for ease in my life if I want to be a millionaire.”
My response to Mandy was this: “Does hustle give you love and deep relationships?” Mandy said, “No.” “Does hustle give you positive health and well-being?” Mandy said, “No.” “Does hustle give you freedom and time to enjoy being with people you love?” Mandy said, “No.” “Does hustle give you time to be doing the things you love to do?” Mandy said, “No.”
I finished my little diatribe by asking: “Where is the logic in Hustle? Unless you are passionate and love, love, love, what you are hustling for, you will most likely end up sick, alone, and unhappy, and maybe a millionaire.” Mandy was silent.
We live in a crazy paradigm with contradictions all over the place. Why is it that it doesn’t occur to us to question reality? Why are so many of us like Mandy, who believes it is logical to hustle (ie: suffer, settle, deny oneself of what you want to do to chase the dollar bills), even when research and statistics say that to hustle alone won’t work?
I’m a Covert Fairy Godmother
Part of my practice as a transformational coach is to act as if I’m a Fairy Godmother (I am a Fairy Godmother, but our current paradigm for life doesn’t allow me to admit that!). When I’m acting as if I’m a Fairy Godmother, I wave my magic wand – yes, I have a magic wand, and I ask my client: “By waving my magic wand, I empower you to have exactly what you want. What is it that you want?”
In that moment, the energy shifts from tension and angst to relaxation and relief. There is a big sigh and the client unburdens themselves of their shoulds and shouldn’ts, if only for a moment. In that moment they know who they are and they know how they want to be in their lives. It is a moment that will carry them into discovering all the ways they limit themselves from living in the truth of who they know themselves to be – the fullest expression of their essential Self. I love these moments!
My job, whether it is through writing, coaching, speaking, and being a Fairy Godmother – in other words, doing what I love, is to invite you to have the most magnificent life imaginable. If I can do it, there is no reason you can’t do it along with me.
What’s the point of hating your life? I’d love it if you would actually answer that question! I have no doubt that like Mandy, you have a very logical reason for hating your life, and I want to hear it!!
FOR ACTION: make it social by commenting here on my blog or on the Facebook post for this article. Let’s start a conversation about how we justify living a life we hate. Perhaps we’ll spark some transformation!
One of the challenges of being a Transformational Coach, at least for me, is that during sessions, my own unresolved issues are sometimes stirred up by my client’s circumstances. It is as though my clients come to me partly to heal themselves and partly to bring deeper healing to me – healing I didn’t ask for – healing I didn’t even know I needed, but nevertheless am now required to be with!
The intention of me sharing this with you is that it is good to know that no matter how much personal work you have done, inevitably, you will be delivered a surprise package of self-awareness, and all you can do is sigh and say okay – let’s open this package up!… SIGH!
On this particular occasion, the surprise package arrived during a session with Barney, a new client from New York. Barney has been with his girlfriend Nancy for four years, and loves her tremendously, yet he continues to meet with women in an escort service. He shares with me that his sexual relationship with Nancy is unsatisfactory – and he admits it’s mostly because of him – not Nancy. Barney says “I’m not using Nancy for love. I just know she will leave me if she knew I was doing what I was doing.” Oh Boy!!! I just got stirred and shaken by Barney’s sharing. He is lying and he doesn’t even know it!
What got stirred in me wasn’t judgment of Barney. What got stirred was the truth of all the times that I said those very same words as Barney – “I’m not using them/him/her, I just know that if I tell the truth, then I will most likely be left and rejected.”
Self-Awareness Doesn’t Always Feel Good
As I sit here writing, I experience emotional discomfort – a lot of discomfort! I experience the Nancy aspect of me. Barney loves Nancy but isn’t loving Nancy. He isn’t in integrity with her, nor does he respect her to the degree he openly explores how to have a more satisfying sexual relationship. For me, I’ve lived in many relationships where I knew myself to be insignificant – not mattering enough to actually experience lovingness from my partner, and therefore didn’t receive it.
On the other hand I experience the Barney side of me – that part that is so afraid of his own insignificance, he hides it in his denial, in his justifications, and in the way he compensates for where he believes he is powerless and hopeless.
All of this is me – still – after decades of being open to knowing myself to greater and greater degrees. Now I open myself to this! Sigh!
I am Barney; I’ve lied to protect myself, I’ve used people, and I’ve made choices that were self-serving, but I never meant to hurt anyone. And I’m Nancy; I’ve been lied to, I’ve been used, and I made choices to ignore this truth, thus in fact using other people, even though I acted as if I were the victim, but I never meant to hurt anyone. Sigh!
Why Do We Lie?
In my coaching practice, what occurs more often then anything else is that people lie to protect themselves from humiliation and powerlessness. The experience of being found out is excruciatingly humiliating. The experience of finding out you’ve been lied to is also excruciatingly humiliating. Coming out of denial is one of the hardest human experiences I know of. There is an implosion into nothingness – annihilation of reality as it has been known, from which there may be an explosion of rage, anger, & hatred as an expression of the powerlessness and the betrayal underlying it all.
Humiliation is a shattering of our ego-created reality. We avoid that experience as if it were the Plague! However unless we shatter our denial – AKA, Don’t Even Know I Am Lying, we are trapped in brutalizing ourselves. Barney hates himself because he is living a lie. Nancy will hate him if he tells the truth. He is in a dilemma!
I remember a moment in my life where I confronted myself with the lie I was living. I knew the moment I revealed that lie to myself my marriage was over. I couldn’t live with the truth of that lie any longer. In that moment I chose to be significant in my own life. It is sad to say that deciding to be significant in my own life meant the end of my marriage, however the dynamics of conditions I created with myself and my partner had it be what it was. Sigh!
None of Us are Bad or Wrong
I believe each of us are doing the very best we can with the conditions we were given. One way I have come to be with this whole aspect of life – the degree to which we create a reality based on lies, is using the prayer Jesus spoke as he was dying on the cross: “Forgive them Father for they know not what they do.” I say: “Forgive them Rosie, for they know not what they do.” And, I add: “Forgive me Rosie, for I know not what I do.” This helps a lot!
Being with the raw reality that we lie, and we are lied to, is hard to be with. And, I think each of us is attempting to protect ourselves from the fallout of this reality. It is a hard and necessary practice if we want any degree of peace, serenity, and prosperity in our lives.
I’m finding there is way to shift this dynamic: I’m teaching myself to witness when I’m lying. I’m teaching myself to stop lying. I’m teaching myself to say what I mean and mean what I say.
Most of this lying now only occurs with myself – and I’m vigilant to only speak my truth with others. It is a big practice, but now absolutely necessary for me. Why? Because to do otherwise violates my human-spirit. Where this was once normal it is now no longer acceptable.
And so it is in being with others as they confront themselves that I teach myself to be in integrity with my truth. Thank you clients for healing me softly in moments that sometimes feel like Killing Me Softly!
I’ve been home for a few weeks now from my incredible adventures in Bali. The retreat was wonderful, I met some beautiful new friends, and my time with new and old friends blessed me with what I’ve dubbed “Bali Moments.”
Bali is a destination that could be easily experienced as beautiful hotels on sandy beaches with a plethora of shops with incredible bargains. It’s very inexpensive to vacation and shop there. However, like any traveling worth the time and energy – at least from my perspective, creating opportunities to experience the essence of Bali is the true adventure. That meant “goodbye tourist zone; hello authentic Bali!”
For me, what made this an adventure is that I had to overcome internal obstacles of my judgments and perceptions. In developing countries such as Bali, it isn’t difficult to see the way things are and interpret them as insane, crazy, wrong, unhealthy, corrupt, sad…. I was stirred and shaken by the realities of this island. I’m glad that I was able to be in Bali for a month, because it gave me time to truly witness the perception machine within myself that caused me so much discomfort and fear for the world.
Truth is, what I experienced and judged as good and right, or wrong and bad in Bali exists everywhere in the world, including the U.S. It is the Samsara – the Isness of what is, the exquisite state of human existence on this planet, in it’s current state of consciousness. My Bali adventure required courage and strength to see beyond my judgments and to live in the Lila of it all! This allowed me to exercise my fullest capacity to experience the exquisite beauty alongside the horrors of ignorance, along side sorrow and compassion. And like the Hokey-Pokey, that is what it’s all about!!
As always, I’m grateful that you are part of my life and part of my network of passionate and compassionate individuals, who desire nothing more than to bring healing and fulfillment to every individual on the planet. Please let me know how I can continue to support and empower you to do what you love!
I Don’t Know What I Want
The most important question, and the initial question, that I pose to any new client when starting a new coaching relationship is, “What is it that you want?” You’d be surprised but more often than not, people are challenged to articulate what they want. More often than not, they have trained themselves to want what they “should” want, or want what other people want. When faced with “what is it that YOU want,” their knees go weak and their mind goes foggy and they go into a muddled abyss, not knowing how to answer the question.
I Want But I Can’t Have
My client Michael is at another stage of this Wanting Game. He articulates clearly what he wants. He has a whole list of what he wants, including writing a book, which isn’t happening. In essence, Michael can want, but can he have what he wants? He doesn’t think so.
Tim wants a happy marriage with his partner Tammy. It isn’t happening for Tim right now. He feels powerless and hopeless that he will ever have a loving marriage with this woman that he fell in love with not so long ago. He is ready to leave her. Though he wants a happy marriage, he questions his worthiness of a happy marriage. Tim doesn’t believe he is worthy of having what he wants.
For many of us it is okay to want, but in the moment when we are about to make our dream a reality, all sorts of judgments and interpretations arise – as does anxiety and fear. And we wait for the day when there is enough courage to not only say yes, but to make yes into a reality.
Having What I Want
Last year, there was no chance in Hell you would find me going to Bali. For years I’ve wanted to go to Bali, but, like Michael, Tim, and so many others, I had the capacity to want but not permission from myself to have what I want. Though in my mind it may sound like: “I can’t afford it. I can’t take the time away from work. I can’t travel alone….” The source of all of these statements is the belief “I am not worthy of having what I want.” My life is full of wants and few true fulfillment of what I want. But something is shifting lately….
Okay – I’ll Go to Bali!!
Allowing oneself to have what they want can be like pulling teeth. Some force seems to be at play that creates a resistance to actualizing wants and desires into manifestation. To have what I wanted meant and means having to take a leap so that having what I want is a good thing and not judged as a bad thing. Saying Yes to Bali was the first step. What follows, as many of you know who take those steps to manifesting wants into having, is actualizing a plan.
If, perhaps, the source of my not having is that confounding belief that so many of us live with: I’m not worthy, then transitioning through this process can take some conscious and mindful practices in order to ensure fulfillment of my wants. However, more often than not, when I want to fulfill a desire I check to see how relevant it is to my work. I can justify a purchase or a trip if it is related to work – that makes it “worthy.” But am I worthy? I will spare you every twist and turn in my adventures down this rabbit hole, but here’s the gist:
As I prepare for this trip and imagine what I want and need, I realize I’ve been questioning everything based on do I really need it or do I just want it? This whole adventure thus far has guided me toward the practice of letting go of needing to need things, and allowing me to have what I say I want. And I haven’t even left Orcas yet! You see, as we weave Heaven and Earth, we have to let go of those beliefs which limit actually having what we want. Otherwise, Heaven is unattainable – even when you are in Heaven!
Creating Heaven on Earth, or Not
I believe we are here on Earth to realize that worthiness isn’t even an issue to having what we want. And certainly other issues such as: is it safe to have what I want? Is it okay to have what I want? are thoughts that, in truth, are based is fear. And in fear, there is no room for fulfillment of any kind. Thus, no Heaven.
I’m so fascinated with this process of letting myself have what I want. It is actually the foundation of any Life Coach’s work – to assist people in having what they want. And, to witness for myself all the strategies in place that have limited my joy, my creativity, my playfulness and happiness, I see that the source of all these limitations is the resistance to allowing me to have what I want. I can easily see it in the Tim’s and Michael’s – in short my clients, but it is only through this process of going to Bali have I been able to see it in me. Oh What Fun!
We still have room for you in the Bali Retreat: Weaving Heaven & Earth. Click here for more information and to register. Or, email me if you’d like to talk about what you want in life and what you want to do with your want – fulfill it or delay & deny fulfillment!
In my most recent session with Mandy, a beautiful and brilliant woman in her mid-thirties, she shared with me that she was thinking seriously about attending the Weaving Heaven and Earth Retreat in Bali. But at the same time, she believed wholeheartedly that spending time and money on such an experience was frivolous.
“How can going on excursions into beautiful environments, and talking about how to experience Heaven on Earth contribute to my needs for shelter, food, and clothing? I just can’t wrap my brain around doing something like this. I mean, it sounds fun, but frivolous! Aren’t my survival needs all that really matter? I shouldn’t even be considering this!”
I almost laughed out loud when Mandy asked her questions and shared her genuine beliefs. You see, Mandy is all about bringing vitality and joy into the world. Ironic, isn’t it? Her graduate work and extensive studies in body-mind-spirit connection are reflected in her exuberance for life and her desire to share this exuberance with the world. I was fascinated with how she can be so in-the-world with her vision for a thriving and joy-focused healing practice, and also have this part of her that claims, “if it doesn’t contribute to my survival needs, then it must be frivolous and I shouldn’t want it!”
I am very familiar with the judgment of life beyond survival needs as frivolous—I spent many years in that mindset myself— so I have no judgment of Mandy. And, since Mandy raised this issue for herself, she allowed me to also reflect on that part of me that perhaps sees this upcoming retreat in Bali as frivolous, ludicrous, and a waste of time, energy and resources.
Mandy even balked at the idea that spa services are included in the retreat package. “Really Rosie,” she asked “spa services in the retreat that are mandatory rather than optional? It just seems so frivolous! I’m not a frou-frou type of woman! I don’t want to spend money on that!”
But what I told her, and what I want you to know is that I’m not talking about mani/pedi’s like you get down at the neighborhood strip mall to gossip and sip bubbly.
The spa services in our retreat are sacred rituals in Bali, typically taken before a major rite of passage in life, and are chosen as a initiation, a coming home to oneself, so that we can go deep in our inner work. It’s not about being “silly girls and boys and playing with makeup.” it’s about restoration of the body, mind and soul, and preparation for the inner work to come. It’s about allowing yourself to be cared for and held in this space of heaven on earth. In fact, each activity in this retreat is carefully chosen for us to prepare us for our inner work together.
Even as that sank in deeper, and seemed to appease the logic-oriented inner protester, Mandy still seemed reluctant to let herself want it. I get it.
Mandy has yet to be at a retreat, workshop, or training with me – Dr. Rosie. She has yet to experience the integration of joy-full play with deep hard work; She hasn’t yet taken full grasp of the requirement to participate consciously in her own transformation. And, like so many of us, Mandy has yet to see that such intense focusing on her fears regarding survival needs makes it nearly impossible to bring sustainable joy, happiness, love, and connection into her life, or into the lives of the people she serves. Without joy, happiness, love, and connection, life on Earth can feel painful, hellish, and sometimes despairing. And, just as a matter of fact, science has shown that laughter, play, and connection are super important to health and well-being. Who can argue with science?!
This left Mandy at a crossroads. She looked at choosing to either continue down the same path of solely attending to her fears of survival (even though she lives amidst amazing abundance), or, she can choose to walk the path of seeing, experiencing, and bringing more fear-less presence into her life. More intentional joy-filled moments.
As it turned out, through this depthy coaching conversation, Mandy got it! And, with trepidation into this new perspective on how she wants to be in life, Mandy stepped into a “yes” for the Bali retreat, but not because I persuaded and convinced her to say yes. She realized that saying yes was in alignment with how she wants to be in the world, the joy she wants to be a living expression of, and her strong desire to live a fully-expressed, playful, joy-filled life. This makes us both gasp in giddy excitement — a great start for her to begin weaving Heaven and Earth.
You might have noticed that, although the context of these Bali-focused newsletters has been the Retreat in Bali, the message I’m wanting to impart is that the way each of us chooses to choose to live our lives is reflected in any one aspect of our lives.
For me, it’s not about whether you choose to join me or not join me in Bali. What matters to me is how you choose to go or not go to Bali – how you say “yes” and how you say “no.”
Mandy is choosing to practice saying “yes” to those elements of life that she has a lifetime of judging as frivolous: happiness, joy, love, and connection, because she realized that, in the end, these experiences support basic survival in all ways conceivable.
What will have you say “yes” to Bali?
If you have thoughts or desires to join me in Bali and you’d like to talk them out with me, please feel free to email me or reply to this email. I’d be happy to support you in making the choice that serves your highest desires for the fulfillment of your human-spirit. Yes, even if that means you end up saying “no!”
I leave for Bali in a few weeks, and as the time draws nearer I find myself terrified of traveling to a part of the world that I’ve never been before. What comes to mind is “no.” What comes to my whole being is an experience of fear and trauma. Part of me wants to back out! It’s too scary!!!
I realize that I have a choice in this moment to avoid and ignore the sensations of fear and trauma, or I can explore the source of these sensations and fears. I’ve discovered over time, that to immerse myself in this inner exploration allows me to undo the tethering to hellish ideas, memories, judgments, and sensations. Energies of trauma and fear will dissipate, and I will then experience the heavenly peace and freedom to just be me.
To some of you this may seem far-fetched, however, to allow myself the openness to explore the cause of my terror reveals to me either a direct personal experience, perhaps a past life, or a collective-conscious experience of so much brutality, hatred, and horror that has occurred that it has me paralyzed in fear. Truly, it doesn’t matter which part of the Earth one travels, for war, genocide, forced poverty, and famine have existed everywhere, and continues to exist. There is no place on Earth that hasn’t experienced human suffering. I have no doubt that most of us carry within our cells the memories of Hell on Earth, whether it is in this lifetime, or in the lifetimes of our ancestors, or our own past lives. And in this moment, my body is re-membering scary stuff, and it doesn’t want to repeat any possibility of that scary stuff happening again. It’s called PTSD – post traumatic stress disorder. The disorder part is the degree to which we remain locked down in our fears and traumas. For some, it is mild, for others it is a BFD!
Resistance and reluctance to say “yes” to any life adventure rarely has anything to do with making a rational and intelligent choice. Usually reluctance to saying yes is based on fear, and our fears are primarily formed in the past, from experience of trauma – of one degree or another. We want to avoid any and all sensations related to trauma, and so we end up saying “no” to an adventure that may light us up.
In the field of addictions, the Big Book says that restless, irritable discontent is the source of all addictions. My curiosity has me ask the question: what is the source of my restless, irritable discontent in this moment? The workshop on Deep Recovery that I’ll be facilitating in Los Angeles on Feb. 24-25th, focuses on this question specifically. However, in this moment, as I sit in this practice of articulating this process with you, the sensations of discomfort are almost too great. My fingers don’t want to type, I stop breathing, I experience anxiousness, irritability, and I have a tremendous desire to distract myself with any number of “funner” things. However….
I have to come back to what I know to be true. What I know is that Heaven resides on the other side of my current state of Hellishness. What I know is that to deny myself the current moment of the truth of my experience of Hell denies me the liberation from Hell. What I know is that I always have a choice to either resist what it is I’m experiencing in this moment, or to surrender into the sensations I’m experiencing, which can feel like Hell, with no way out!
Because I’ve been at this choice-point many times before, and because I’ve trained myself to surrender into the exploration for the source of my discontent, I have no doubt that I will soon experience myself within a Heavenly place. I’ve gently lowered myself into the depths of what I’ve always interpreted to be Hell, over and over and over again, only to un-conceal Heaven!
My invitation to come to Bali with me may instill just a matter-of-fact “No, this isn’t for me” reaction in you. My invitation may create in you uncomfortable sensations, which for now, has you say, “I’m not ready.” It may stimulate a “Yes, but . . . the timing isn’t right.” Or, it may create a “Yes, and . . . I’m afraid.” I totally get it, as I’ve experienced all of these for myself. What I want for you is a “Hell Yes – I’m going!” And if it is a “Yes, but, . . . ” then I encourage you to explore the sensation, the fears, the worries, and other sources of your trepidation. Heaven awaits on the other side. ;)
If you have questions or thoughts that you’d like to talk to me about, that could help you decide more clearly for yourself to go or not go to Bali, please email me, or call me, and let’s set up a time to talk. I’d be so happy to assist and support you in any way I can.
Life on Earth has been very frightening for most of us at some time in our lives. For some of us, quite recently. To embrace the possibility that we could actually weave Heaven and Earth can seem unfathomable and an unbearable task to take on for some. I know that place intimately. And, I know that you will experience the strength to cultivate courage, and the courage to cultivate the strength, to make Heaven on Earth when you are ready. I have no doubt that this is true for you.
Are you with me?!
Bali is calling you. This retreat is calling you. I’m calling you, back home to your fullest expression of who you know yourself to be. Join us in co-creating Heaven on Earth.
It’s been about a month since I’ve written for Orcas Issues. I’m in the midst of preparing for my big adventure to Bali as well as putting together the program for my Retreat – Weaving Heaven and Earth. I’ll tell you, who ever said aging is boring didn’t get it right.
The Aging – Who Me? group at the Senior Center has been running for a whole year now. Happy Birthday to us! We have been meeting two Tuesdays a month with pretty much the same 11 participants – with a few leaving and a few joining us. You’d think our conversations might be on the boring side – what could possibly be the point of old people getting together to talk about aging over and over again? But the fact is, every conversation is rich and dynamic, because each of us, at the heart of our being, is rich and dynamic . . . how could it be otherwise? So when there is space to share the truth of what’s really happening in the midst of aging, things get really interesting, even juicy and yummy. For instance…
Madeleine is getting to the point where she can no longer deny that she is aging. Up until just recently she has prided herself in being self-reliant and independent. Over the holidays, while with family and due to bad weather, Madeleine experienced an inability to driver herself around. Plus, she had to rely on her children to take care of her more personal needs – something she never ever considered before.
During our check-in at the beginning of our session in the New Year, Madeleine shared how rich it was to have her children attend to her every need. She had never experienced such loving care in her whole life. She wept as she touched into how vulnerable yet beautiful it was to be receptive to receiving. And, as if to dismiss this poignant moment of self-disclosure, she quickly moved onto the next bit of sharing.
Later in the discussion the topic of receiving popped up again, and Madeleine and a few others reiterated how difficult it is to receive loving care, especially now when it is most needed.
I asked the group, “What is it about receiving that is so uncomfortable for people?”
There was a long pause, then Sharon spoke the word: “Pride.” And then she said, “Pride is really important to me. I feel vulnerable and humiliated if I need to ask for help. I don’t like receiving help – never have!” Madeleine backed up Sharon by saying, “I’m the very same way. I don’t like having to receive! It’s a pride thing.” I found this interesting, given Madeleine’s initial sharing of the session about how wonderful is was to feel appreciated by her children.
Howard spoke up next and shared that he loves being generous and being of service, but feels really uncomfortable when people are generous to him. He gestured with his hands, as if pushing off any nicy-nice offerings that were coming his way.
It is amazing to notice that just through the process of sharing the ongoings of one’s holiday experience, this whole context of life regarding receiving entered the room. Not only the stories but the challenges of allowing oneself to receive.
One of the many dilemmas of being human, and of aging in particular, was surfacing in this conversation: On the one hand, we all desire connection and engagement with family and friends – in essence – giving and receiving, while at the same time allowing pride and vulnerability to interfere with the pleasure that is experienced when in the act of true receiving. There is a disconnect, and an inability to allow the enriching experience that receiving actually is.
In essence, as we age, most of us will face that time in our lives when all we can do is receive. I’d say we are lucky if we reach that point in life! However, this moment presents us with a choice-point: Do I receive with grace, humility and honor? Or, do I resist and resent the reality of what is, which leaves me angry, withholding and withdrawn? This is a big question that takes us on a whole new not-boring adventure.
A beautiful crescendo occurred in the group – lightbulbs lit up as most of the group could identify with enjoying being the giver, and, in this fresh new awareness, saw how they had dismissed the true experiences of receiving. Marlin had a sparkle in his eye when he realized that truly receiving a gift is a gift to the giver. My heart hurt as it experienced Marlin expressing this moment of self-realization, as the human being within the 80-something person he thought he was. Marlin was beginning to realize that there is so much more within himself, and I saw that he was becoming more curious about who that is. The potential for a whole new adventure was awakening for him.
As we evolve within the ever changing body of tissues, blood and cells, it is easy to get caught up in the attitude of decrepitude – that because our bodies continually move into less and less ability, functioning less and less the way we want it to, then our true self is moving in the same direction.
This belief cannot get any further from the truth.
And it is easy to capitulate our power and sacrifice our soul, sliding into depression, isolation and despair. It takes courage and strength to not only see it but to live it another way.
Marlin, Howard, Madeleine, Sharon and the others in the Aging – Who Me? group, are discovering that there is a lot more to who they are. They are cultivating curiosity and fascination about who is inside the sagging bag of bones. They aren’t as likely to compromise their human-spirit as they once were. As they listen to others and reflect within themselves, they are finding the inroads to a whole new world to discover. Aging is guiding them onto the path of the inner journey – the biggest adventure of them all!
There comes a time when the adventures of exotic parts of the Earth aren’t beckoning us as they once had. But this doesn’t mean that life has to be boring and stagnant. Aging provides so many opportunities to adventure into the “Me” inside the body. As with all adventures, this too can be arduous, requiring courage, strength and guidance to remain present and on the path. After all, who want’s a boring life?
Perhaps you are curious about my 7-day retreat in Bali, Weaving Heaven and Earth, and you are up for the opportunity to adventure out into rare pockets of beauty on Earth, and at the same time desiring to explore the exquisite inner world where Heaven truly exists. Click here for more information, or email me. I’d be delighted to answer any of your questions.
Currently, Aging – Who Me?, the in-person discussion group is closed to new participants. However, if you’d like to join an online discussion group, please email Dr. Rosie to encourage her to make this available.
You may not be able to join us in Bali this year, though you desire it greatly. But that doesn’t mean you cannot create Heaven on Earth for yourself at home.
The intention for this retreat in beautiful Bali is to cultivate an environment within which each participant can truly realize a paradigm shift. It provides an opportunity to focus on ground zero of one’s orientation in life -in essence: are you focused on a heavenly life on Earth; are you taking complete responsibility for every aspect of your life; are you willing to create an environment at home where total immersion in the process of integrating Heaven and Earth is allowed to unfold?
Creating Loving Trust of Oneself
In any deep spiritual work, set and setting are foundational to creating a space within which an individual can feel safe enough that they can let go of what may limit them from going deeply into themselves. The trajectory of one’s journey is important to attend to, however, what is more important is to attend to those limiting beliefs and perceptions that cause hesitation, doubt, procrastination or total avoidance all together of what you truly desire. We all have these limiting beliefs, and we all have the ability to transform our fear-filled life into a life that is fearless. This is the life within which you, yourself trust fully. Can you imagine that?
The Synergy of Weaving Heaven and Earth
The inception of this retreat occurred a few years ago, through conversations with people who have had near death experience, and through my own personal immersion into creating Heaven on Earth. Trusting that this retreat will occur if it is mine to do, I held my intentions with gentle fierceness. It would come in its own Divine Timing if it was in Divine Order.
In the book Oneness by Rasha, a sentence that has become a mantra for me is: “The highest possible results are automatically forthcoming” (page 206). To make sense of this phrase, I added for my self… “If the results that I believe to be the highest possible results are not forthcoming, then I’ve got more work to do, in un-concealing those limiting beliefs that keep me grounded, so to speak, and unable to enjoy the results I desire.”
By surrendering control of, well, everything, I’ve come to live in a greater sense of loving trust of myself and the Universe, God, Oneness – whatever name you call it. As I surrender, I often feel like a fledgling – a bird on the edge of its nest, about to leap, with no idea that I have wings, which give me freedom to soar.
The synergy of my desire to manifest this retreat met up with my friend Heather’s desire to host a retreat at her beautiful hotel in Northern Bali. This synergy brought to us Jessica Ruby Hernandez, who is a yoga instructor extraordinaire and so much more! The synergy of the three of us together touches you and many others, who have considered Bali as a travel destination and who desires a life where Heaven on Earth is real and doable!
I’ve witnessed the synergy of intentions and desires take wing in ways I’ve never imagined before – how could I? I’m experiencing the expression of our intentions go out into the world in such breathtaking beauty that I didn’t see as possible – how could I?
I’m touched by the people who have registered for Weaving Heaven and Earth, thinking still that it is unfathomable that my imagined desire to facilitate a retreat such as this would come into fruition. Again – how could I know, having stayed on the edge of my nest for as long as I have, not yet having the courage and the strength to release myself as I’ve never done before? My nest has given me the safe space – the set and setting, to prepare and ready myself for another big adventure. I’ve cultivated loving trust in myself and the world, enough that I’ve taken the leap! I am soaring!!
I have no doubt that by you giving yourself the safe and sacred space to cultivate loving trust of yourself and the world, you too will discover that you have wings that provide you with unlimited freedom and power to soar. At home or in Bali, I’ll be soaring with you!
The synergy of this retreat continues to desire expression. While in Bali, I plan on creating short video blogs – VLOGS, that will share with you some of the highlights of the retreat and themes we are exploring. If you are interested in receiving these VLOGS, let me know! And, of course, to register, click here.