Monthly Pilgrimage

Heavenly journey of delicious, nutritious, and conscious  joy

Once a month I make a pilgrimage to Delux Burger in Phoenix. I’ve been doing this for years and years now. It satiates my red meat cravings and my body’s nutritional requirements. When I first started going there for my burger craving satiation I was not fully aware of why I was led there. But in time it became clear to me. They use meat from conscious cattle ranches. I am quite sure they have other meals on the menu but I only and always get the same dish: Delux Burger, medium rare, lettuce wrap it please (occasionally, I’ll bun it up), sweet potato fries, and all aioli sauce, (hold the ketchup – why would anyone want ketchup when the aioli sauce is so delicious – i could drink it as a milkshake – not quite, but almost), please. I have tried other burger places, but I always gravitate back to Delux.

Initially, I ate, consumed, enjoyed the burger mindlessly, not fully aware of what I was doing and the ripple effect I was creating from a simple act of feeding myself one meal – well in actuality two for me. That is until  I started becoming more and more sensitive to my purchasing decisions, to the animal spirit world, and to energy. This awareness and Gift opened up a whole world of blessings and HUGE responsibilities. The blessings came in the form of me choosing food and personal care products which were clean, conscious, and Love based. The responsibility came in the form of now that I knew better, I could no longer in good conscience not do not better. The double negative said another way is that  in knowing and feeling the energy of what I was eating or putting on or in my body, I could no longer choose food and personal care products that were not made with integrity and love.

In an earlier HerStory article of mine called “It’s Very Complicated”, I shared how difficult it became for me to eat meat. I began knowing and feeling the Oneness with everyone, animals, nature, and inanimate objects. I began seeing animals as my soul brothers and sisters. It repulsed me to eat meat of any kind because I felt like I was eating my sister or brother. That’s how sensitive and attuned I got. Many people are experiencing these shifts in these days. There were times when I saw others eating meat that I wanted to throw up because it was so revolting to me. During this period I visited the Biosphere 2 in Oracle/Tuscon, AZ. There I learned that the human inhabitants became so close to their animal companions, which were supposed to be their protein food source that no one could do the “deed” (slaughtering). Thus they became vegetarians for the duration of the experiment and the animals were spared. Life was mirroring back to me my inner and outer journeys of what I was struggling with and working through. Although I was not raising any animals, but because I became so sensitive, such an empath, that I felt them and was at one with them. I did not want their blood on my hands. I did not want to be responsible for their slaughter. I was not going to be a cannibal. I would live without eating my brothers and sisters. Or so I thought and so I tried.

Over a period of three to four years several times I went vegan. Each time I lasted about thirty to forty days. Each time I almost made myself sick because I felt so depleted in the nutrients provided from meat. Each time when I went back to eating meat, I would crycrycry and then cry some more, feel tremendous guilt, and apologize profusely to the sacrificed animal, my sister, that I was eating her. In this phase I would tell people that I outsourced or subcontracted my killing or murdering. Oh yes, I dragged others along on my inner guilt trip. On one such occasion, the person responded back by saying that “cows are delicious”. This statement haunted me for years. Yet, on the other hand, I also felt much better after I did eat meat, I felt like life was coming back into my body. I felt strong again in ways that plant, legume, and nut proteins could not fulfill. It was a heavy duty catch twenty two. If I ate meat, I felt selfish. If I did not eat meat, I felt the life force leaving me and me becoming weaker and weaker. That’s what happens when you become closer to feeling and knowing Oneness with all of Creation. You feel deeply every one and everything that enters your orbital sphere.

As always, Grace came riding in on a white horse sweeping me out of my emotional quagmire, my mental conundrum, and my energetic dilemma. Grace showed over time through various books, conversations, and insights how it does not have to be an either/or stance, that it can be both. It can be an “and” way of life. Grace rescued me from me.  Grace eased my mental and emotional anguish and showed me how to make wise, loving, gracious and gratitude based choices. Grace showed me that everything and everyone is a gift, a blessing, and a sacrifice. We are gifts to each other. We are a blessing to each other. We also offer ourselves as a sacrifice to each other. The sacrifice looks different for everyone. Each has their own path, their own mission, their own passion.

Passion = pass + i + on. We pass on the “i” of us to others and thus to God. We pass on our i or eye or essence to Creation. This passing on of ourselves nourishes others and is our redeeming gift and privilege.

With this shift and insight, my burger eating experience took on another dimension. I became deeply and profoundly grateful for the nourishment and the joy in the journey of my nourishing . I went form being a mindless consumer where the end justifies the means to a grateful participant in the entire circle of living life on our earth biosphere bubble. Now, when the hamburger is presented to me and before me, I don’t dig into it. I stop. I take a breath. I think of everyone involved with getting this burger on the plate. There is first and foremost the Holy Spirit of the Cow which was sacrificed; there is the farmer and all her/his helpers; the veterinarian; the people who helped build the barns and the fences around the pastures and the suppliers of the barn and fence materials; there is that person who did the “deed”, or the person who invented the machine that is doing the “deed”; there are the people, knives, packaging, and electricity it takes to then dismember, package, and refrigerate the sacrificed cow; then there are the trucking companies and drivers and distributors; then there are the restauranteurs with their art and helpers of creating a delicious meal. It takes the whole village to keep the village going. The globe is the village. Lastly and most importantly, there is God for sending sun and rain and grass and the Gift of the Cow. Now I can begin eating and enjoying my hamburger, consciously, gracefully, graciously, and gratefully.  I now know just how many people it takes for something simple to appear: many, countless.

Just like the Native Americans used to thank the Buffalo Spirit in advance of their hunt for offering itself up to them, we too need to take a moment to practice mindfulness and gratitude before a meal – especially if there is meat in it.

I still remember the first time I consciously ate a wild caught salmon. I had been purchasing my fish from regular food stores but in this awareness journey I began purchasing some of my nourishment at Whole Foods. They have a fresh fish department whose focus is on sustainability and they will cook the fish for you. Since my kitchen is primarily for display purposes only (very basic cooking is what I do), I loved that they prepared the fish. I was so excited to bring home and eat a salmon that was not farmed but one that had roamed the wild seas. The night that I ate the wild caught salmon I had a dream. I dreamt that I was in the ocean swimming with the salmon and then I and the salmon merged – our energy became One. We became One. We/i swam in the cold waters off of the coast of Alaska. The sense of freedom was wonderful. The feeling of the freedom entered into my blood, my veins,  and my energy. It was after this meal and this dream that I realized that we absorb and we become the energy that we eat. “Irena, now that you know this, be VERY MINDFUL of how you nourish your body.”, was an imprint onto my being. I am and will always be grateful to the Holy Spirit of that Salmon that gave me that Gift of merging with him.

The opposite is also true. If one eats the soul&spirit of an animal that has been raised in tight cruel quarters, that energy will also merge with theirs.

I have come full circle in my meat eating journey.

Take Charge of your life, nutrition, and experiences,                                                      Irena As I Am                                                                                                        02/21/2018


24 hours: no food, no water. The result, major detachments.

Want to get on the fast track to spirituality, then go on a fast? Fasting will turbo charge your spiritual progression in ways unimaginable. When you progress and deepen spiritually, all other aspects of your life benefit.

The most obvious, common, and traditional association to fasting is food. All the religious paths embody it, promote it and encourage it. On this practice the religions are all unified. The duration of the fast can be anywhere from a day, to a week, to a month, to forty days. If one marries religion with spirituality then the fast can be extended to a quarter (three months) or longer, or even a lifetime. When flowing and aligning with the Divine Spirit, then one listens and responds, or joyfully and lovingly obeys the ebbs and flows of one’s path/energy as it is riding on Love’s Current. A this point one rises from the letter of the law to the Spirit of Love. The letter of the law prescribes how to fast, when to fast, and when to stop. This religious approach to fasting is like spiritual training wheels. Since life requires much energy and time to keep up and stay up, most people do not have the time nor energy to devote to spiritual learning and practices. Thus, the religious calendars and holy days are very beneficial and act as an aid or guideline for followers to incorporate into their lives. But it also creates a unified force or unified field when all the participants are focusing their mental, emotional and physical energy unto fasting, unto something greater than themselves. It is like a world love-in joined together by the outflow of all the Heart Intentions. Since “the whole is greater than the sum of the parts” and when members of a religious group fast throughout the world, it raises the spirituality frequency of Love, Light, and Healing of the entire planet. Whether we practice a certain religion or not, we all benefit when the Muslims, Jews, Christians, Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists… fast as a community. Everything is energy and energy raised through prayer, meditation, or fasting, affects everyone, positively.  There have been scientific studies that have measured and recorded a lightening up and healing of the earth during such events. Fasting within a religious group is a commonality bond that builds community and unity with its members.

The fasting from food/beverages can take on many forms. It can be as simple as not eating or drinking the “indulgent” food or beverages: i.e. sweets, candy, chocolate, cake, dessert, ice-cream, alcohol, coffee. Another and more involved level of fasting is when we abstain from a certain food group: i.e. anything made with traditional white flour (no nutritional value), sugar (sometimes referred to as “the cocaine of the masses”), processed food (which has zero nutritional value), high fructose corn syrup, dairy, meat. The terms vegan and vegetarian are the vernacular terms and practices that have grown in popularity and population as people are taking it upon themselves to deepen their  personal relationship with themselves and the Divine. As personal spirituality, development/growth, and  self-help have grown in popularity so has information, products, food, and services related to supporting the masses on their inner and outer journey. As the masses are taking back their personal power, they are thinking for themselves and acting in alignment with their Hearts. As the masses are taking personal responsibility and accountability for their thoughts, attitudes, feelings, words, actions and how they spend their time, they are strengthening their channel, communication, trust, and chord to the Divine Realm. These people are called “mystics out of monasteries” (term used by Carolyn Myss) . They are living (eating, reading, speaking, watching, entertainment, hobbies) and eating clean because they feel compelled to do so and because they know that their actions not only affect them, but the whole world. Many and inconspicuous are the mystics out of monasteries.

Just like in sports, in fasting too there are the extremes. One such extreme fast is that of no food and  no water for 24 hours, or sundown to sundown – modeled after the Jewish Yom Kippur, The Day of Atonement fast. Another is where one only drinks water, and that is their only form and source of nutrition and hydration for one day, three days, or seven days (and some even go longer). These require mental preparation in advance of the fast as the mind will RESIST and SCREAM  as to why this is not possible, plausible, nor a good idea. It is easy to fall prey and victim to one’s mind when preparing for these fasts. It is easy to quit before even trying when such thoughts flood one’s being. This mental preparation stage is an integral part of the fast for the success and completion of the fast.

I have done many times the “Yom Kippur” fast of no water/food/beverages for twenty four hours. Only once thus far have I done and been called to do the three day water only fast. What I have discovered is that by following through and completing these fasts is that afterwards I feel much lighter with my attitude and outlook. I feel stronger. I feel like I can trust myself. I am self-trustworthy. I feel like I can rely on me to keep my word to me. Thus, I respect myself. In addition, after each fast or cleanse, I have noticed that by my detaching or abstaining from food temporarily, my ego is humbled and subdued, and I detach on the inside from something that no longer is of Divine Service. In this widow of the taming of the ego or opening myself up to Divine grace and humility, an unhealthy or shadow emotion, notion, or attitude is released. Or said another way, I am freed from a notion, emotion, thought pattern, or attitude that has been unhealthy, a lower vibration, a stronghold, or had a stranglehold on me. It is a shift to a higher gear of Light and Love. It is truly miraculous.  And then when I do return to food again, I see it with different eyes, I am more grateful for it and have a greater joy in eating it.

Outside of the above two extremes there are more gentler options such as juicing, cleanses, oil pulling, detoxing, herbal teas, and one fruit food for x days. The juicing can be done exclusively for day(s), or as a single meal cleanse/detox. I’ve heard of people eating one fruit only, such as  bananas or watermelon for a number of days. Herbal teas made for a specific purpose are powerful when sipped with focus, intention and feeling. Oil pulling cleans the mouth – and a clean mouth affects the entire body. It should be done twice a year for forty days each time. In between these bi-annual cleanses, one can do it several times a week. The Master Cleanse is a favorite of mine. I have done it off an on for about twelve years. The duration has varied from one day to fourteen days. Each time I am in awe as to how many internal “masters”  or task masters, I am  liberated from. Lastly, the other favorite is the Liver & Gall Bladder Cleanse. This one tunes up the gall bladder by gently and naturally pushing through and passing out the stones. It resets the digestive system and intestines by emptying them out completely. In Chinese medicine the gall bladder is associated with anger. Stones are seen as the hardening of built up anger. Thus, by passing the stones, one is releasing the anger from one’s body. Oooh yes, get that toxicity out out out!

In addition to the traditional understanding and practice of fasting which revolves around food and using the body as the vehicle toward purification through abstinence, we can also think of fasting as an inner abstinence: For instance, try fasting from

1) Shadow Attitude

2) Complaining

3) Gossiping

4) Criticizing

5) Noise

6) Jumping to Negative Conclusions

Easy. Right. Watch you, your life and your situations change when you are Divinely called, decide, and commit to a practice of fasting. It is work, but it is well worth it and the dividends are amazing in improving your quality of life, both inner and outer.

Sometimes, when people face a major health issue they make radical nutritional and lifestyle choices. Don’t let this be your impetus for clean living and eating, choose it on your own accord.

May Abundant Grace and Wisdom guide you,                                                              Irena As I Am                                                                                                      02/12/2018

D+Anger = Danger

D(enial) + Anger = Danger

The denial of anger could lead one to danger.

“The anger of a friend toward a friend, and the anger of parents toward their children – and of God toward men – is not a storm that uproots the tree, but a wind that strengthens the tree, and rids it of rotten fruit, so that the healthy fruit will increase in number and beauty.”  St. Nicholai of Zica

This is a very interesting perspective on anger. This anger journey I have taken, or rather, The Flow of Anger, took me on its journey. It was like getting into a river raft boat and heading down into class five rapids where one gets tossed about and tossed out. But, I did not even know I was angry. That is the scary part. I was so unaware of the deep deep deep underlying seething anger that I just plodded along on life’s path by covering it up, running from it, and dealing with it in two ways: being a super-being, and being a passive-aggressive being. The super being me showed up being as super positive, super congenial, super people pleasing, super accommodating, and, in super denial. That is one side of the coin. The other side of the coin my anger came out by my being passive aggressive. I would be angry on the inside, pleasant on the outside, but my actions  revealed my true inner state. Rather than facing and expressing my feelings, or god-forbid, me discussing my feelings, I would counteract with my stubborn stance. It was subterfuge. It was a veiled protest.

Even though I was a married adult woman and a co-partner in a successful business, underneath it all I saw myself as a girl, a little girl. This inner little girl, about five years old was the real person showing up in the adult life. She did not know how to stand up for herself, speak up for herself, and provide for herself. This little girl had to maneuver and navigate in an adult world and in her adult body, even though her emotional developmental age stood still and had not progressed past her tender five year old self.

She did not see nor feel herself as an adult, nor the successful businesswoman everyone said she was. But rather, she saw herself as this little girl pretending to be an adult. It was a scary high tight rope she was on. She was tip toeing on egg shells. She was doing her best to please the adults and their expectations. Like a duck is drawn to water, this little girl had two imprints on her that dictated her attitude and behavior. The first being – little girls are to be seen and not heard – thus, stay quiet, keep quiet, and, the corner is your place of abode. The second being – little girls do not get angry – it was a big No.No.No! The expression of anger was not allowed, it was shut down, it was frowned upon, it was not the way sweet little girls ought to behave. They must be sweet at all times.  (Note: “Must” is a word that i disdain now.)

Oh my! Dear Lord have mercy! Abundant mercy at that! Not just a dollop scoop of mercy. Not just a bucket full of mercy. Not just an ocean full of mercy. But the Eternal Mercy of the Cosmic Consciousness of Christ.

Interesting Side Note: Since I grew up this way, observing more that speaking, my observation skills became laser sharp and super astute. I became a masterful surveyor of human interactions, nuances, and intentions. I also became an accomplished listener. I was the go to therapist for adults and strangers. In this respect, I advanced well beyond my years. See, there is always a blessing in everything, even though we do not know why at the time and even though it may seem  like an injustice. God always uses the clay of our lives to make something beautiful, in time and with patience. Then there is the deeper and more eternal perspectives of Soul Contracts, Karmic Debts, and lessons needed for growth. These were some of the other reasons for why I was set up the way I was by the Cosmos in my journey. Deep deep deep are the layers.

Add to the above formula or imprint the Christian mentality that was in my head: turn the other cheek, forgive forgive forgive – seventy times seven hundred, and anger is not a Christian virtue. Oh no, not anger – a good Christian girl/woman does not get angry, let alone display anger – no no no, a big ‘NoNo’ at that. Oh yes, I would on occasion point to Jesus turning over the tables in his anger, but then I would quickly retract and laugh, out loud. It was my way of putting my toe in the water of anger, but not actually swimming in it. I did not think that it was acceptable, nor did I even know what that would look like. I had to learn how to express my anger.

Now I am not saying that I never got angry or expressed anger, because I had. But it was superfluous anger, not working with and through the real source of it,  and it was projected at people and things that were irrelevant to the truth of my anger. It was at small slights. It was at world events. It was at politicians and leaders. It was directed at things, events and people who had nothing to do with the cause of my anger and were not even in my life.

Meanwhile, deep within me, like a volcano, the anger fire was building and rising slowly to the top being stoked with each occurrence. It was dormant for a long time just hovering at the surface but not exploding or boiling over. YET!

Volcano boiling over after stewing a long time. (Image:

I now see the expression anger as a basic human function and necessity, like going to the bathroom. Who in their right mind would deny themselves the gift (and joy) of the relief and release of going to the bathroom.  Emotions are just like that too. The two are analogous. We have a life experience. Likewise, we eat a meal. From each meal our body savors, processes, digests, absorbs the nutrients, and lastly releases the leftovers, the waste. No one would even think of holding it in for days, years, let alone decades. If it does not come out, it becomes toxic and lethal. Likewise with emotions. We have a  life experience. It can bring us joy or heartache. Joy, laughter, and the rainbow emotions are very socially acceptable in their expressions. It’s the shadow ones that are shunned, shut down, and discouraged. We the people are very uncomfortable when someone has or is expressing the shadow or the moon emotions. We try to distract ourselves and others. We deny them. We ignore them. We stuff them down deeper with food, substances, sugar, work, sex, and obsessions over gossip, sports, politics, hobbies and other people’s business. We runrunrun from  them by being busybusybusy. But that does not erase them nor negate them nor heal them. Healing them is by feeling them. Healing them is by stopping to look at them, acknowledge them, name them, and express them in a safe manner that does not harm others.

I know. I’ve been on both sides of the coin: the denial and the healing. In 2008 I  was in a marriage counselors office when the counselor said to me a most preposterous and false (I thought) statement and question,

“Why are you angry at your parents (and a number of other people).”

My knee jerk response was,

“I’m not angry at my parents (and a number of other people).”

(Note: The stronger the denial, the deeper it is buried and suppressed.)

Oh my! Lord have mercy! Mercy on me! Mercy on the heavens! Mercy on all the people in my life! Mercy on the next TEN YEARS of my life.He not only opened a can  of worms or a Pandora’s Box with that question, he opened up a cistern full of toxicity and set the tone and theme for the next ten years of my life. Such a simple little question did that.

Just the awareness and then the acknowledgment of anger, or any issue, is, I feel half the way to healing. One can not heal or work toward wholeness if one is not aware nor willing to admit that there is a hole that needs the Love and Light of God. But once one says, “oh yes, I have a booboo” and then if one invites and invokes  Divine Assistance in healing the pain, the prayer will be answered.

The journey of anger and working with it and through it was
HEART WRENCHING, emotionally taxing, physically exhausting, and
humbling humbling humbling humbling. I thought it would only be a few months or so, but it ended up being YEARS. When there is decades worth of built up anger, When the anger was not in my awareness, When the anger was suppressed, oppressed, ignored, denied, covered up, not socially acceptable to bring up or discuss or work through,


the Healing also had to be radical to get me to acknowledge it and then have the courage to work with it and through it, until it was all out and healed.

I also realized, or rather it was shown to me, that I did not want to (and that it would not be wise to) live or go through life with that “toxic energy” in me and worse yet, seeping out of me onto those I encountered and loved.

This was all done with an ABUNDANCE OF GRACE.                                                           i am Humbly Grateful,                                                                                                                          irena as i am                                                                                                             02/08/2018

PS                                                                                                                                    Now, my encounters and engagements with the other(s) is MORE AUTHENTIC, grace filled and LOVING because there is not this ball of “uckyicky stuff” between us. The communication lines & channels are more clean and more authentic by the Grace of God.

How i processed and dealt with that anger…well, that is another story for another day.

I Almost Quit!

At the beginning of January 2018, I received a strong impression that I needed to detox. I needed to cleanse my body and in cleansing my body I would also cleanse my thoughts, spirit, and my being. The Universe was telling me it was time to do some internal spring cleaning. There were a lot of dust bunnies that had accumulated in the corners and the attic of my mind and Heart.

It was time to pull back the curtains, open up the windows, get the stale and fatal air out, and bring in some fresh air. It is stale and fatal thoughts, notions, and emotions that keep us stuck, spinning our wheels, and frustrated. It was time to do an internal sweeping, dusting, polishing, and tidying up. It was time to make room for some new thoughts, notions, and emotions.

Said another way, it was time to go into the garden of my mind and Heart and pull up some old old weeds that had become overgrown and were suffocating the flowers and the fruit. It was time to get the hoe out and dig deep so as to pull out the weeds at the roots and not just trim them at the stem.

“Okay”, I said, “I’m game. Show me the way. Help me say yes. Help me stay committed. And help me follow through to the end. Thank You and Amen”

I have found that prayers of petition that revolve around being faithful, reverent, and obedient to the whisperings of the Holy Spirit are prayers that are filled with abundant Grace because they bring us into deeper Divine Alignment.

Within about an hour, I was led, in my thoughts and then I followed through with my actions to a hot yoga web site. Initially I did not make the connection that this was one of the Divine Prompts and Answers, but I bought a package of fifteen classes that had to be used within sixty days. I had tried hot/Bikram yoga many years ago and abandoned it due to the headaches I was getting the day or two  after a class. I was not able to rehydrate and replenish my electrolytes in proportion to the radical and profuse loss in the sweating. I was not able to reestablish my internal balance and equilibrium. After a hot yoga class most people look like they just came out of a pool. Upon the suggestion of a seasoned hot yoga instructor, I had tried replenishing with blackstrap molasses. I also added mineral drops to the beverage. But this did not help. (Note: I am not a fan of Gatorade – the artificial coloring and the high fructose corn syrup do not appeal to me or my “clean, delicious and nutritious” mantra.) I also found myself eating more bananas. Even though I remembered this past non-positive experience, I still felt drawn and compelled  to sign up for this class. Divine Promptings are like that: sometimes the guidance we get in this leg of the journey is totally opposite and contradictory to the guidance we have received in an earlier leg of the journey. The Gift of Right Judgement helps us discern in Divine Alignment.

After the second class, I was ready to quit. I was thirsty for days after a class. I had a slight headache in the back ground. I dreaded going to class. “Who needs this?”, I thought. I wanted to quit. I wanted to bail out. I was going to call and see if I could get a refund, but life was happening so fast that I did not get around to it. In the meantime, articles from New Age sites on my Facebook feed spoke about  when we shift or release toxins or are in the process of raising our vibration there is temporary discomfort. One of these symptoms is headaches.  I did not connect the dots right away. But by the end of the week, I realized what was happening. I realized that I needed to continue going to hot yoga. I needed to continue with my purification. I needed to trust that the head discomfort was only temporary and will bring me to a higher place, eventually. And so I did keep going and it is getting easier. I also added coconut water to my post class replenishing ritual. I now see these classes as wonderful opportunities for peaceful and graceful healing. How blessed and fortunate am I! It was all by the Grace of God.

Interesting Coincidence Side Note:

As I was processing the above,  two conversations that arose in passing with two different people were on the topic of sweating – they brought it up, not me, but since I was working with it in my life, the Universe mirrored back to me others in the same boat. Both people spoke about the “not pleasant” side of sweating and body odor. They said how unpleasant and embarrassing it was. Yes this is true especially when we are in close proximity to one anther. But, when our bodies are detoxing, the body odor that arises, or is released, is a good thing, a really good thing. It means that the body is releasing toxins, icky yucky stuff. Let it. Don’t stop it. It is healthy for you. Instead of buying antiperspirants, buy deodorants. Since our body absorbs into her/him everything that we put on him/her, please buy the clean (health food stores) and gentle animal friendly kind (not tested on animals – no animals had to suffer or be pained in the process of making the product).

But that was not all. There was another angle to my detox journey. The yoga is the physical but I also needed a mental house cleaning. About two months ago a friend mentioned to me that she was listening to Hay House Podcasts. Louise Hay and Hay House authors, speakers and seminars have been integral in my healing and wholeness journey. But I had “forgotten” about this tribe of healers and forward thinkers. But this tidbit of info triggered something in me to go and check out the podcasts. In doing so, I listened to Jessica Ortner and Nick Ortner’s separate podcasts. Their relation is siblings and not marriage. Their healing modality is Tapping or EFT, Emotional Freedom Technique (see/read “TapTapTap•TapTapTap•TapItAway” Article  at•taptaptap•tapitaway/  ).                         It is something I had “stumbled” on to, or more accurately, was led to about 10 years ago and had used extensively, but over time I had filed it away. In listening to their podcasts I tapped along but I spoke out loud things/issues that I was working on releasing and transmuting.

As I tapped on this issue, it led to that issue, which led to another issue. It was like a string or a series of knots that were being released and untangled. In tapping through the issues/knots I felt my body get lighter and easier to carry. That old stuff was being released from my meridians, from circulating in my body, from radiating in my energy field and from my mental paradigm and constructs. I also journaled to get it all out. Remember the adage – things/thoughts untangle themselves from the lips and through the fingertips – meaning speak and write it out, right out of you.

It was like a brain and energy unloading and dumping. This too is Grace in Abundance at work in my life. Again I say, how blessed and fortunate am I! Grace is at work in all of our lives. Have eyes that see and a Heart that is humble, responsive, and grateful.

Then, when I was at my dental cleaning appointment in early January, the dentist again mentioned to me the practice of “oil pulling” and that it should be done two times a year, for forty days each time. The last time I did it was in the summer. Thus it was time. Again, The Universe was telling me here is another opportunity and avenue for you to detox and clean house. This means that I need to get up half and hour earlier to do oil pulling: twenty minutes of swishing in my mouth organic coconut oil, followed by a salt water home made rinse, and completed by brushing my teeth. The dentist also mentioned that oral health and cleanliness is a good indicator of over all body health. Message received. And again and again I say, the Grace of God is eternal and in our simple every day lives it blesses us with an abundance of opportunities for healing.

The last angle has been my usual cleaning and cleansing method: tears, tears, tears, and more tears. I’ve become a professional crier. When I feel them arise, I let them flow. It could be while I am driving, on a restroom break, on a walk, in church, mediation, journaling, or… Most of the time the tears know we have lives and they do come at convenient times. But not always. Honor them. Let them flow, and they will bless and heal you, and those in your midst too. When I first began this healing journey I was petrified, mortified, embarrassed, and felt like a weakling that I cried so much. Oh how wrong and off the mark I was! I now see tears as a Great Blessing. They cleanse. They purify. They release. They give relief. They restore joy, strength, and dignity. They are a Gift of the Holy Spirit. They are gentle healing. Let them flow. Don’t hold them back. Don’t hold the Holy Spirit back. Let Her heal you  gently, gracefully, peacefully, and graciously. Yes, that is what I found out in my journey: tears are gentle medicine.  You know the Holy Spirit is at work within you when you experience three things: tears, warmth/heat in your body, and deep peace.

It also just so happened that January’s full moon was particularly strong and intense in Her tide. Her powerful yin magnet drew out of me (and others as I listened and observed) and to the surface deep mis-alignments or mis-Light-terpretations (interpretations) for me to feel, process, work through, transmute, and lastly transubstantiate into wholeness or holiness.

I almost quit hot yoga because I was feeling uncomfortable. But by the Abundant Grace of God, I received tremendous assistance and support along The Way. I am so grateful that I stayed faithful. The Universe is always setting us up for success!

Had I quit, I would have missed out on some massive shifts. But Grace kept me in the game.

I pray that God’s Truth, Wisdom and Healing blesses you abundantly.                                 I pray you say yes. I pray you stay committed to the end. Amen                                   Irena As I Am                                                                                                           02/05/2018

Warrior One Pose. I call it Peace Pilgrim Pose One. I journey in peace with myself and all. I look up to the Heavens for guidance, support, and confirmation.

Half Lotus Prayer Pose. Eyes are closed – looking and listening deep within.

Child’s Pose. The head is below the Heart. The head/mind is bowing to the Heart.


It’s called EFT, Emotional Freedom Technique, or just simply, Tapping. And, I stumbled on to it about ten years ago, or rather, I was led to it.

It was 2007 and I had just finished reading a book by a healer whose office/practice was based in Old Town Scottsdale. I don’t remember now neither the name of the author nor the title of the book. Since for a number of years I had dubbed myself as the Queen of Clean, the book has long since left my domain. (Actually, in all of my “spring cleanings”, books were the hardest for me to part with.) I was so impressed by her approach and efficacy to healing that I went in search of her in Old Town Scottsdale. When I arrived to the address that was in the back of the book, she was no longer there but there was a sign on the door that she had moved to Scottsdale Rd & Shea Rd. Her neighbors confirmed that that is where they knew she had moved to, but they had lost touch with her. Thus, off I went on my quest to find her.

When I arrived at the professional office park and looked at the directory, she was not listed to my disappointment. But around this time I was listening to (online and audio books), attending seminars, and reading awareness and Hay House authors, and specifically Doreen Virtue’s work about Angels. She would say “follow the bread crumb trail”, which meant, follow the hints, signs,  and promptings that the Angels leave for us on the path of life. When I am on such a quest, sometimes I hum or sing a song from the movie “The Wizard of Oz” called “We’re Off to See the Wizard of Oz”. I see myself as “follow(ing) the yellow brick road”. And, most important of all, trust the path, however illogical, silly, or clowny it may seem. It’s almost like a treasure hunt with clues, but it is a real life game of following the path of Light suggestions. The office park directory did however list a different healer, a naturopath. My ancestors have a saying, “everything you need to know is at the tip of the tongue”, meaning, ask. Thus, I decided to walk over to this naturopath’s office and ask if they knew the whereabouts of this author/healer.

Side Note: If you think healing has to be painful and complicated, think again, just look to The Word, The Bible for instances where it is simple and easy. All that Namaan had to do to heal from leprosy in 2 Kings 5 was to plunge in the Jordan seven times. In the Book of Tobit, sight is restored with an ointment and a woman’s spiritual and earthly fortune returned by a simple sacred ritual in chapter eight. Tobias’s companion on his journey was in human form but in actuality was Archangel Raphael, the angel of healing. You just never know who is in your midst. Angles love disguising themselves!

I walked in, greeted the receptionist, showed her the book, and asked her if she knew the whereabouts of this healer. She said she was not aware of her but that the naturopath, who was not in at the moment, would be glad to assist me and she gave a tour of the office. During the tour she asked what I was needing healing for. I told her of my physical misalignments and that I was looking for a natural way of healing from the inside out. She said that she works in conjunction with the naturopath and her offering is  an energy healing modality called Reiki and emotional healing. She then asked if I would be interested in a session.

Now this was the moment of Truth. Would I proceed based on what was presented to me, OR, would I decline because it was not as I had expected it to be? By the Grace of God, I said yes, and it opened up a whole new world for me. It was like I had stepped through a door, a portal that was mysterious, magical, and I soon found out, gentle and effective. This receptionist was a Reiki and EFT practitioner. Although at the time I had no clue what that meant or what it had entailed, I was open and willing to try. It scared me to my core, and it opened up the core for gentle healing.

I laid down fully clothed on her massage table in her healing room, or womb of healing, a sacred space.  She lit some candles, put on some New Age music, asked me to relax, close my eyes, breathe deeply, and just allow. ‘Ok, I can do that’, I thought, even though I was slightly hesitant and  trepidatious. Then she pulled up her rolling stool, sat on it, began by calling in weird sounding names of people or spirits (Usui and Madame Takata), saying things that I had never heard before, and hovered her hands over my head. Part of me was curious, part of me was terrified, part of me was thoroughly confused, part of me said, “just be still” and another part began to feel deep deep relaxation and calmness. Fear was telling me several things: what if she is calling in the darkness, what if others found out what you were partaking in, what if she harms you in ways you are not even aware of, what would the church think of this, and the church would most certainly disapprove of this. This last thought surprised me but it would hover around me over the coming years as I went deeper and deeper down the path of spirituality and the New Age way.

This, my first ever Reiki session lasted about 45 minutes. My troublesome and worrisome thoughts aside, afterwards I felt much lighter, more hopeful, positive, and stronger. I was amazed, perplexed, surprised, and grateful for the relief I received, with seemingly no side effects.

Then, as I opened up to her about my emotional angst and tensions, she suggested we try a technique she had just learned and been certified in. It was called, EFT, Emotional Freedom Technique, or simply put, “tapping”. She said that our bodies hold the energy of our tension and by voicing the feeling along with tapping on the body on certain meridians, channels of energy flow (chi), it would help release the insanity, intensity, and the grip it had on the body and mind. Again, because of my fraught emotional state and distress, I was willing to try anything that did not involve pharmaceuticals. As I spoke outbound my issues, she asked me on a scale of 1 to 10 how intense they were. It was usually in the 7 to 10 range. Then she tapped on her body and asked me to tap in the same places on my body (head, face, upper chest, hands, and underneath the arm pits) as I continued to speak my pain. I would begin with “Even though I feel _______________, I deeply and completely love and accept myself.” Then after we went through all the meridian points, I would do eye rolls and sing something happy, like “Happy Birthday”. Then she would ask me to rank the issue again.  I was amazed, perplexed, surprised, and grateful for the relief I felt by doing something as simple as speaking and tapping on my body. I also felt silly doing the practice. Now I take it very seriously and have embraced it whole heartedly. It literally lightened me up. It was like tonnes of emotional weight and baggage had been lifted off of my mind, Heart, shoulders, chest, and psyche. It all went somewhere. Where I am not sure, but it worked. The emotional intensity had downgraded from a 7-10 to a 0-3. It was miraculous, really.

I had another nine sessions with her. Just when I was becoming too depended on her, too needy, like on a narcotic, she moved to another state. God, The Universe was telling me, “She was Our instrument. She did not provide the healing. We sent it to you through her. You no longer need her. Let her go. Time to move onto your next teacher and healer.” This too would become a common theme: don’t get too attached, and move on to the next teacher.

Little did I know it then, but one day, I too would take the journey of Reiki attunements. But that is another story for another day.

Healing can be natural, gentle, simple, graceful, and peaceful.                                        Tap It Away, Gently,                                                                                                                  Irena As I Am                                                                                                      02/01/2018


“We don’t believe in transubstantiation. We only believe that the bread and grape juice are symbols of Jesus’ Body and Blood.”, said the former catholic young man turned Mormon, to me right before a Mormon Sunday worship service.

I can still picture him in my mind some nine years later. There I am in a Church of Latter Day Saints trying to look as inconspicuous as possible, trying to blend into the crowd and the back pew which was placed against the back wall. I chose the back pew against the back wall so that I could easily back out if I need to, inconspicuously. (In front of the back pew was the walkway to the formation of pews facing the altar.) But when one enters into a Mormon church one enters into a house of welcoming and curious hospitality. Blend in I did not, no matter how hard I had tried, and several people greeted and welcomed me as they walked past me to their pews. But this one particular young man, who I now see as a Divine Messenger, a prophet really, did more than just greet me, he asked questions and he engaged me in a conversation. He wanted to know my faith background. I on the other hand just wanted to be left alone so that I could observe, absorb, and experience. He was intruding on my solitude and contemplation.

Reluctantly, I gave him my faith elevator speech;

I grew up in the UGCC (Ukrainian Greco-Catholic Church). She is a national church whose origin is from Constantinople – “We no longer knew whether we were in heaven or on earth” is what the emissaries who went “shopping” for a religion reported to Prince Volodymyr The Great of Kyvian Rus (current day Ukraine) circa 987 AD. She is the orthodox faith with her own patriarch. And, she is in communion with Rome and the Bishop of Rome (the pope).

I also told him that I was done with religion, the church, the patriarchy, the rigid rules, the use of fear to control. I had stopped going to church. But, I told him that I was bored on Sunday mornings and wanted to go out and explore and see how other people saw, experienced and worshiped God. I was curious. And with those statements, I wanted to set a strong boundary and short circuit any potential recruitment into any church organization. I was just passing time and sampling God on a Sunday morning.

My attitude, my tone, my demeanor, my energy projected: Done.Done.Done. I was now free to choose as I want. To live as I want. With no one to tell me nor judge me on what constitutes good behavior. I was untethered. I had flown the coop. I was cage free, but not yet free range. The last thing I needed and wanted was church membership.

Then he said something that was like a curve ball from the Universe,

“I am a former catholic. My wife and I are now Mormons. We also distribute and receive Communion, but we don’t believe in transubstantiation. We only believe that the bread and grape juice are symbols of Jesus’ Body and Blood.”

“What did you just say? What is transub-WHAT?-stantiation?”, I thought and said. I had never heard that term before.

I now see his words as prophetic. He was a prophet. God spoke to me through him. Those words changed the trajectory that I was on.

A this point I was only about two months into my free-wheelin’ religion-free lifestyle. I had kicked the habit. I was two months clean. This meant, no church on Sunday’s, no belonging to any organized religion. No religious and no patriarchal associations, affiliations, accreditations for me, thank you very much. Done.Done.Done with having them judge me and dictate to me how I was to live my life, which was in complete shambles, shrivels, and tatters because I had followed the protocol. Because I had followed the rules, the written, the spoken and the loudest and strongest of them all, the unspoken and unwritten rules, laws, duties, musts, and obligations. It was a heavy yoke which shut down any whisperings of The Holy Spirit. The rule of law superseded the Spirit of the Law of Love. I also visited the Unitarians, variety of New Age gatherings, SWIHA (Southwest Institute of Healing Arts), Lutherans, Baptists… other non-denominational Christian churches, Scientologists, private Light & Love worship gatherings, Shaman ceremonies, unofficial and self-proclaimed catholic services, and awareness centers. I was on a spiritual quest to sample the different flavors of God. I was tired of eating the same spiritual food. It had lost its flavor and sustenance.

He replied that, “Transsubstantiation means the belief that the bread and wine turn into the actual Body and Blood of Christ.”

“Oh.” was my highly intellectual response. And then I was saved from furthering the conversation by the beginning of the Sunday service.  Grace is so merciful at times.

But he got me thinking in ways I had never thought before. In all the years and decades of going to church and receiving Communion this was the common belief. It was just like common law: because everyone did it, everyone believed it, and everyone subscribed to it. This common belief had become an implied belief in me. But it was an unexamined belief. Did I believe it with the entirety of my mind, Heart, and Being? Or, did I believe it because I was programmed that way? Initially my response to my self was “I don’t know”, but I was open to discovering it for myself. I was open to taking the journey of examination of conscience and beliefs.

My answer soon came to me within a relatively short period of time. I found myself thinking very often about a nearby chapel in whose center was the Eucharist. I found myself DRAWN, like a magnet to this chapel. I found myself spending time in this Eucharistic Adoration chapel in the presence of the Eucharist. It was as though He was the moon and I was the tide. He beckoned. I responded, with all my cells.

Eventually my life would revolve around Him, The Eucharist. He became the Sun around which the orbit of my life revolved around. Prior to that, my life had revolved around people, customs, expectations, and pleasing them all. He had become the filter through which I would mold myself and my life. Or rather, He molded me in His image, and continues to do so. It is and will be a lifelong journey. Now my job had become to please him.

Eventually, I needed to spend time with Him every day and I needed His nourishment in my Soul and body every day. Eventually, I began attending daily Mass, more or less on a daily basis. But this time I attended because of the deep joy it gave me and not because of an obligation I was fulfilling. Eventually, He told me to “don’t throw out the baby with the dirty bath water or the dirty diaper” when I pointed out to Him all the hypocrisy I saw in the church. He said to instead focus on the good, focus on the Him, focus on the sacraments, focus on community,  focus on the love and healing, and He will take care of the hypocrisy. That was His job, not mine. He will do the pruning of the vine and I am to partake in the fruit of the vine.

See, no matter where you wander and where you go, Love & Grace are always with you in the Flow. Trust the journey. Trust the process.

Trust and respond to the promptings of the Holy Spirit in your Heart,                            Irena As I Am                                                                                                           01/30/2018

Relationship Status: Very Complicated

My relationship status with eating meat, and especially beef, is very complicated. Aaaahh, I thought that becoming more aware and more feeling would make life simple, and it has, but it has also made it much more complex.

Long long time ago, before the awakening of my awareness and my deep deep feeling, I used to eat meat easily, readily, heartily, and frequently. I was a voracious carnivore. The flesh of another was my sustenance. None of them were safe: pigs and piglets, cows and calves, chickens and other avians, fish and crustaceans – all were fair game.

That was, until my journey showed me what was truly happening and how it was affecting me, my energy, my vibration/frequency, and how that was coming back to me: boomeranging back at me with greater intensity.

As I delved deeper  into eating clean and living clean, into understating how my nutritional choices and product choices were creating ripple effects into my body, my energy, my life, and even into the world, I began to realize, see, and feel just how “ONE” we really are with everything and everyone. When I asked for this Gift, I thought I would get a simple formula. On the contrary, I instead received a “world tour” of how my choices affect the Universe. Furthermore, these choices are like avalanches or a tsunami, they start small, but build in strength, power, force, and impact. My, your, our choices are not inconsequential. They reflect our values and priorities. They reflect how and what we LOVE.

My journey unfolded in three different area: meat, personal care products, house hold products, clothing. Here and today, I will only discuss meat.

MEAT                                                                                                                          When I opened myself up to being more aware about meat several things happened. First, I came across vegans and vegetarians and PETA. They were everywhere: people I met, conversations that arose, social media feeds, auto stickers, youtube vides, books, articles, TED talks… Then the movie “TEMPLE GRANDIN” showed up in my path. She is an autistic woman who has a doctoral degree in animal science and revolutionized the cattle industry. I saw things in the movie and other videos that disturbed me, troubled me, and made me crycrycrycrycry. Event now when I think about it I am crying as I write this. Next I saw PETA videos of animal “factories”. These did more than just make me cry and break my heart, they sent me into a deep pit of sorrow and sadness and even despair, borderline depression. The violence. The sadness. The agony. The torture of being caged up with no room to move.

How could I eat meat after seeing all these images? The images would appear to me if I even thought about eating meat. How could I condone and be a contributor to all this violence by partaking in it? How could I put this violence energy – the slaughter, the factory conditions – into my body? I couldn’t (for a long while). I could feel their despair. I could feel their fear. I could feel their incarceration. I could feel their slaughter. I wanted noting to do with this violence.

The next level of this Gift was my journey into Shamanism. Here the animals showed me their Minds, Hearts, Spirits, and Life Force Energy. I no longer saw them as objects and separate from me. I now felt at one with them and at one in their soul’s journey. I now saw them as my bothers and sisters in Christ. My soul was in a hu/wo/man body, while their soul was in an animal body. We both need and want the same things in life: peace, health, safety, joy, love, expression, FREEDOM, community, and prosperity. (Side note: everything has a soul: a rock, a tree, a body of water, house, vehicle, smartphone, spoon, hammer, towels… Everything is soul. Everything is God Energy. Everything is Holy.) Thus, I began to see, feel, and know them as me. A hamburger was no longer just a hamburger, for me it began to feel like I was eating my sister, or eating a part of me. I felt like a cannibal.

The natural and obvious solution was to become a vegan or a vegetarian eater. Several times over the past decade I have tried. Th longest I lasted was about thirty to forty days. Each time toward the end of the journey or fast, I reached a point of shakes, lightheadedness, very low energy, and just a feeling of weakness and inertness. I began to feel as though I was shutting down and opening myself up to serious mental, emotional and physical consequences. I just knew that if I did not eat meat, I would die in time. And thus the very complex dilemma: in order for me to not just survive, but thrive, I needed to eat the flesh of another; another had to sacrifice their life for me; another had to die so that I could live; another’s blood shedding was my blood’s enlivening. The death of another meant that I could live. It was the Cross. It was the voluntary act of Jesus going to the Cross. It was the Blood of Christ enlivening and strengthening my Spirit.

(Note: He was not a victim. He said “YES”, a trepidatious “yes”, but it was still a “yes”. Before His Blood was shed on the Cross, It first seeped out of His Pores in the garden the night before. That’s how afraid He was.)

Saving Grace

In the angst is also the relief. Grace opened me up and showed me the shadow side of this journey on earth. Grace showed me that sacrifice is part of The Way. Sacrifice is heart wrenching and necessary and a requirement for and by all. Grace also gave me the coping tools with which to nourish my body without crying and feeling guilty.

The first Gift was the book “Eat Right for Your Blood Type” by Dr. Peter J. D’Adamo. I am blood type O, the universal donor. Blood type Os need red meat.

The second Gift was Pablo, a friend who grew up on a family ranch in Arizona. He told me how at the age of ten or eleven his grandfather made him go and put a bullet in between the eyes of a cow the had raised as a calf, his friend. He was also required to do this to rabbits and pigs. He told me how sick it made it him to do it. He also told me how necessary it was. Listening to him mirror back to me my inner workings gave me validation, justification, and a little bit of peace of mind.

The third Gift was the Native American Way. They were/are masterful shape shifters. They could/can visit/enter/meld with the SpiritFlesh of an animal (temporarily – such stories I have heard). They lived/live at One with Mother Nature. They understand Her. They respect Her. They receive from Her sustenance. I learned that before they would go on a buffalo hunt, they would pray/mediate/chant in advance and connect with the spirit of the sacrificing  buffalo. They would thank the buffalo spirit in advance for offering him/her self up to them as food, as sustenance. They understood that it was a Gift from the buffalo. They understood that it was also a Sacrifice on the part of the buffalo. It was a mutual understanding. It was a Soul Contract. Even though at the Spirit level both parties are aware of this, it still does not make the doing of the “deed” any much easier.

The fourth Gift  was a brief minute conversation in passing. I was at a conference and outside the lecture hall was a table/booth set up by the Arizona Beef Council. The representative was a young lady who had grown up on a family ranch. I told her of my inner turmoil when I ate beef. She gave me a perspective that shed a different light on things. She did not call it “slaughter”, she called it “harvesting”. A euphemism, I thought and said. But she went on to explain that every part of the cow is used for something. Nothing goes to waste. Beef byproducts are ingredients for a variety of items such as surgical sutures, tires, instrument strings… Wise stewardship is being practised. Even if one as vegan, the chances that animal byproducts are in their life are high.

The fifth Gift was Whole Foods. When I first entered this store, long long time ago ( and long before the Amazon marriage), I thought I had entered a different universe. The products, the origins of the products, the focus of the products, the labelling, the people were all so unique and foreign. It was “conscious capitalism”, or a conscious market place. It mattered where the ingredients came from. It mattered how they were harvested. It mattered the impact the product had on the farmer and the environment. It mattered that the farmer was being paid well for their contribution. It mattered where the animal came from and how they were respected in their life journey.  If I were going to eat meat, if I was going to put the energy of the flesh of another into my body, if I was going to absorb the life force of an animal and their experience here on earth, I was going to do my best in making choices that were based on love, respect, and dignity.

The sixth Gift was my understanding and feeling of energy. I realized, or it was shown to me, that if I eat of an animal that is caged all its life, like chickens, I bring in that “caged” energy into my being and my frequency. By eating this vibration I am being this vibration: like attracts like. Thus, it became imperative for me to eat eggs from chickens that roamed in the fields, felt the sunshine on their bodies, stretched their wings, and lived as pleasant a life as possible. Happy hens make happy eggs. Hens who roam in the fields, feel the sunshine, and scratch the dirt and grass, make wholesome eggs filled with LOVE.

The seventh Gift was the Bible. Although it sends contradictory messages when it comes to the eating of meat (and in other topics), it resonated with me that it was ok to do so.

This meat eating journey has taken me deep into the shadows, but within the shadows there were guides and Light sent to show me The Way out and how to eat meat, righteously. I see this same pattern in all my journeys. Each time a new path of Awareness is presented to me, it is by going into the shadow that that is where the Light out is shown. The awareness comes, the light is shone in the darkness. The supposedly  random meetings and conversations, well, they were all preordained and predestined. Then we have a choice to make as to how we will live our loves and lives.

I have also realized that the more wholesome, clean, and as much organic as possible the food that I eat, the less of it I need because it is more delicious and nutritious. My body is satisfied and satiated with less food. My meals are also more simpler. And, I’ve stopped taking vitamins.

In this journey I’ve realized everything and everyone is a sacrifice: even the carrots, beets, apples, walnuts, and fresh cut flowers. We are called called to sacrifice ourselves for the other. The BIG question is, “how do I sacrifice?”, “what am I called to sacrifice?”. The answer is with the Divine, and not the ego or others’ expectations. When we sacrifice in alignment with the Divine, it is filled with Grace and it is life giving to both the giver and the receiver. Remember, Christ’s crucifixion was only one day in the entirety of His Life. The remainder of His Life was relatively “normal” of eating, drinking, sleeping, grooming, working, gathering, worshipping, preaching, healing, and sharing. He chose to go to His crucifixion. In doing so He Rose and filled us with His strength, power, mercy, forgiveness, and LOVE.

Thus, be not afraid of the shadows dancing about you and inviting you in. Gird yourself with Love and Light, and trust the journey already has a predestined Light Out-Come.

I invite you to think about or research your purchasing decisions that you make all the way back to the source. Consider all the people it took for your product or service to arrive to you. Consider their working conditions. Consider the lives of the animals.

Consider if you could make a choice based on more LOVE.

Abundant Grace, Wisdom, and Love,                                                                                Irena As I Am                                                                                                      01/27/2018

Fork In The Road

Lean not on your own understanding – Proverbs 3:5

One year ago, in January 2017, I was at a major crossroads in my life. I was at a fork in the road of my life. My choices were to either continue on the path that I was on, or pull up my tent pegs and move far far away. I was thoroughly confused. There were pros and cons for each path. Actually, on paper, logically, one path, the new path seemed like the more logical choice both in the short and long terms. It had more pros than cons on paper. What to do? What to do? Which way to go? Oh, it was confusion central. My Heart was in a deep fog about the direction of my life.

Since in the past I had kept everything inside and had always been very private about my inner going ons, I thought that this time around I would share with those in my life about my dilemma. There seemed to be voices echoing both the pros and cons of each path. There seemed to be voices lobbying for both options. Actually this is a pattern that I have noticed in my life: my inner state is reflected in my outer life, conversations, and the circumstances I find myself in. Life was mirroring back to me my inner turmoil, flip flopping, and indecision.

It seemed like the confusion grew with each conversation. No one had the answer that I wanted and needed. No one gave me clarity. No one conversation was the magic wand that gave me instantaneous clarity, direction, and peace. What I did do with with each conversation was that I observed my reactions to people’s comments. What each conversation brought me was inner reference points of how they made me feel, think, act, and react. Like an attorney working both sides of a case, I was building an inner feeling and reacting cache of evidence.

Since I did not know what to do, I did nothing on the outside but on the inside the Work began. I turned to God and asked God what God thought I should do. After all, we see and know only the moment that we are in, in the moment, in the now. Our thoughts and emotions can be fickle, willowy, and changing from moment to moment with new stimuli.  Yet God knows what the moment will be 10 minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, years, and even decades from now. God the Omniscient knows what the best path is for us now, and in eternity.

With this in mind, it took some of the pressure off of me to decide “!!RIGHT NOW!!”, even though at times it seemed the issue was pressing in on me or that I was wasting time in doing “nothing”. But I would rather take my time and know for sure from God, than take a course of action outside of what God thinks is “best” and then have to deal with the clean-up or the fall-out. I have done this in the past where I have taken matters into my own hands rather than waiting on God’s response. The result is ten times the work and energy expended with a small harvest or a huge clean up. But, when I have consulted with God and waited on God, it is the opposite. God provides the energy to do and the circumstances to proser and flourish.

In the evidence building phase and in the waiting on God period I also did some feeling work. On the inside, in my imagination, I took both life paths for a test drive, or a test walk, or a test live. I spent time in and on both paths. Then, I listened and felt what life would be like on any of the given paths. This gave me a huge clue and insight. I also had an experience where I walked into a room filled with people. I heard familiar voices and singing. In a flash of a moment I had deep feeling in my being just how much I loved this group and how integral they are in my journey. In that instant I felt just how much I would miss these encounters and gatherings. This feeling was a huge sign and signal.

It took about half to three quarters of a year for me to “know for sure”. The path that i chose or the path that I was shown is the one that over a period of time gave me a deeper and deeper inner sense of peace.

Most important of all, pray to God to set your feet upon the path of Truth. Sirach 37:15

Don’t hang on to anything or anyone too too tightly lest you suffocate your direction or affection. Do however cling to God. When it comes to earthly things hang on with an open palm. This way God does need to pry our fingers open for us to let go. The prying process can be not fun. But if we are in a state of openness and gratitude for what is, we acknowledge its blessing without squeezing the life out of it.

BIG SIDE NOTE: I say this oh so very easily and casually. I know this in theory. But in reality, it takes great practice, humility and trust in living this way. That is why I often turn to and cling to Proverbs 3.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;                    in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.

Do not be wise in your own eyes; revere the Lord and shun evil.                                    This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones.

Honor the Lord with your wealth, with the first fruits of all your crops;                             then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine.         Proverbs 3: 5-10

Trust is the peaceful, wise, and gentle way of Love,                                                        Irena As I Am                                                                                                           01/22/2018

Fulfillment Time

Beloved, do not let this one thing escape your notice:                                                   With the Lord a day is like a thousand years,                                                                  and a thousand years are like a day.                                                                                   2 Peter 3:8

Have you ever received a Divine vision, a Divine promise and be thoroughly excited about it? You begin doing the work toward making that Divinely inspired vision an earthly reality. You are faithful to the doing the work for a few weeks or months or even years, but nothing happens or the outer reality does not align with the inner knowing and you lose faith, hope, and the steam to keep going. You begin to wonder if what has been your motivating factor was really a Divine inspiration or a wacky tangent you’ve been on for days/weeks/months/years. You begin to doubt yourself and your path. You begin to question your choices. You being to reassess your direction. You wonder if your wandering was just one big waste of time.

Can I get a witness? Yes. me. I’ll witness.

If there is one thing that I have learned in the past fifteen or twenty years since I’ve began my journey of awareness and trying to live in Divine Alignment is that God’s time frame is very different from my human time frame. What I think should take three to six months, God may think that five years is the just the right amount of time to bring something into fruition. I may think I am ready for a new season in my life and look up to the Heavens and say “bring it on God”, “I’ve got my ducks in a row”, “I. AM. READY.”. But sometimes it seems like God is dilly dallying or off on vacation. Sometimes it seems like God may have changed His mind about our initial conversation and agreement. After all, Amazon or FedEx sometimes seem to do a better job of “delivering on time” than God does. Isn’t God the ultimate fulfillment center of them all? Doesn’t He have a magic wand that can make things appear and disappear? Doesn’t God have a multitude of Angels at His beck and call eagerly awaiting to get the nod from Him to come down here to earth and move obstacles out of the way for us, instantaneously?

So then why doesn’t He? Why does He make us wait? Why does He seem to change the longing in our Hearts and have us take a different direction?

There is an adage about how God answers prayers: God answers prayers in three ways. Yes. Not yet. I have a better plan for you.

Like everyone else, I’ve experienced both answered prayers and unanswered prayers. When I get a “yes”, when a prayer is answered I am elated, grateful, humbled, and feeling set apart and pretty good about myself, life, and God. It gives me fuel for the journey. It is an affirmation from God that I am on the “right path”. It emboldens me to keep going and keep trusting the whisperings of the Holy Spirit within my Heart. It helps me see and know just how powerful and amazing God is. It humbles me. Lastly, an answered prayer deepens my gratitude toward God and then it presents the question of how do I express my gratitude and be generous with my many blessings. Very often, God soon presents someone or a situation where the blessing that I just received could be put to service. It is in these moments that I pray for the eyes that see, ears that hear, and a willing, humble, and generous Heart to do what is asked of me. In times when I have been open and sharing, the blessings are multiplied for all. In times when I have been greedy and hoarding my blessings, I have withheld, from others, God, and myself. In contracting my Heart or generosity, the world around me contracted as well. Thus, in receiving we have a Divine responsibility in giving and sharing. In receiving, we are the channel for delivering Divine abundance to others. In receiving we complete the cycle by giving, as Divinely inspired to do so, and not as driven by our ego or external pressures.

However, when a long-standing prayer is unanswered I can get deflated, frustrated, humbled, dejected, feeling set aside, forgotten, and my faith, hope, and trust in God may even begin to wane.  I also begin to doubt myself and my abilities. I begin to wonder if I am wandering aimlessly and if I discerned Divine Directives correctly. When I doubt or the path seems foggy, it seems like on the highway of life I get off at every exit and rest stop to check, double check, and sometimes even do a U turn and head back in the direction I came from. I am testing the path, feeling the path while doubting the path. Are the signs telling me to keep going forward or to go back or go sideways? Does it feel better this way or that way? Does it make more sense to make a change or stay put? These thoughts, feelings, and the array of actions can lead to confusion or even greater fogginess. They can stir up the dust around us even more thus taking it even longer for us to see The Way. In times like these it is VITAL that we stop and listen, that we pray, meditate, journal, or change our routine or scenery. Sometimes, the answer presents itself when we stop being frantic in looking for it. This is when God says “not yet”.

In the “not yet” answer, patience is our saving grace. In the “not yet” answer, we are asked to just relax into the journey and InJoy the journey: InJoy the waiting and the anticipation. It is like when a baby is conceived, it is not born immediately or the next day. The conception of the baby is the promise of a new child, but the birth and reality of a baby is a “not yet”. It takes nine months of gestation. It takes time for the baby to fully develop so that they will be fully equipped for their earthly journey. It also takes time for the parents, family, and friends to fully absorb and also grow into the idea of a newborn baby entering and becoming a part of their lives. It takes time for the parents to prepare, not just with setting up the nursery,  buying clothes, toys and developmental items, but also thinking about how they will raise their chid.  While the baby is growing physically in the womb, the parents are growing mentally, emotionally, and relationally into this new role, responsibility, and joy that Love has brought them. They too are in their own gestation period of the parenthood journey. Sometimes, an answered prayer is like this. The seed of the promise has been planted into our Hearts, but we are not yet ready or mature enough into receiving it immediately. In our wait time, in our gestation period, we need to be wise and do our due diligence in preparing for the upcoming blessing. When the blessing does arrive, we have matured and can handle the answered prayer. And, just like a newborn, an answered prayer is a blessing and a responsibility.

The hardest of them all is the “I have a better plan for you” response to a prayer. In this scenario there will most likely be much pruning, especially if we have an attitude of

‘this is what i want and only what i want and nothing else will do’. 

Oh my!

This is a sure mentality for setting oneself up for  a lot of frustration, heartache, wallowing, self-pity, and even anger toward God. There was a point in my life where “i wanted a baby”. It was the next logical step in my and our journey. It made sense. It was the normal course of married life. Others expected it and hinted at it by quoting  Genesis 9:7 of “go forth and multiply”. I, we, did everything “right”. Years passed and nothing happened. This “wanting” of mine always hovered around me and my life like a dark cloud. The onset of each menstrual cycle was like getting onto a roller coaster ride of hope and anticipation. It was also a downward spiral of despair and desperation since it meant no conception this month. Medically, we were both fine. A few years into this journey, I even had a laparoscopy procedure through my belly so that the obgyn could get a better look at my uterus. I kept the op report for many years. It said that my uterus was “pristine” and “should” conceive. The doctor and others  said you just need to “keep trying” at the “right time”.

By this time the “keep trying” had become a chore, a task, a duty, an obligation. Upon hearing the results of the laparoscopy my Heart both rose in elation and sunk in despair and questioning. I was relieved that all was well on the inside, and simultaneously, I was devastated because some part me understood that it was not meant to be. It was a deep knowing that we were not meant to conceive and bring a child into this world. Even though I “knew” this deep down inside, in my stubborn taurus nature I still forged ahead with the “keep trying” attitude. I ignored and shut down what I did not want to face. I had my own agenda.

In my stubbornness of “wanting what i want”, I brought the misery onto myself.  I thought God had completely abandoned me. I took consolance in reading about Sarah (and Abraham) or about Rachael (and Jacob) in the Hebrew texts. I put on a brave face when people asked if we had any children or when we were planning having children. Then there was the “you are not getting any younger you know” comment that was like a spear into the Heart. I bargained with God. I also pointed out to Him how women on the streets and addicts were giving birth and here i was a “good clean person”, a regular church goer too with a “husband and a home”, and God wasn’t delivering to me. How dare He not!?! How dare He “curse” me so!?!  Why?Why.Why?Why God are You being so cruel and mean to me!

Oh my! Oh my! Has anyone else out there tried to use emotional manipulation, emotional hostage taking, guilt tripping, or bully tactics to get God to answer a prayer?

There were one or two lone voices who said that “maybe God has a different plan for you”. To these comments, I would figuratively close my Heart and ears to and sing “la-la-la-la-la” so as to drown them out. It was easier for me to continue with my agenda rather than stop, ask and listen to what God was saying. Now, many years later, what I thought was my greatest “god-curse”, I now see as one of my greatest Divine Blessings. I now see that I wasted a whole lotta energy being self-absorbed rather than doing the work of listening and changing.

Thus this is why I now pray for Divine Humility. With this Grace, I ask that I “get on board” with God’s plan sooner rather than later. I also ask for the Divine Wisdom where instead of asking “why”, the better question is “what”. What do I need to see? What changes do I need to make? What is the Divine Way? What notion or emotion do I need to let go of? And do this journey of metanoia peacefully, gracefully, gently, graciously, gratefully, humbly, calmly, patiently, lovingly, and in a timely manner. Amen.

Things take time. We need time. Life takes time. Have patience with yourself and the process. Have the grace and humility to align with God’s Way. There is always so much more going on behind the scenes than the eye and i can see.

Abundant Divine Wisdom, Grace, Humility and Obedience,                                           Irena As I Am

Who’s In Your Head?

Who is in your head? Whose voices are running amuck in your thoughts? Who has the most prime and the most pristine real estate in the world,

the thoughts in your mind which govern your life.                                                                 

Do you know who is pressing your buttons and determining your actions or reactions? Are you aware of who installed the operating system (thought pattern/paradigm) of  your mind? Do you question the source, origin, validity, and relevance of your thoughts and actions or reactions? Have you ever audited your thoughts to determine if they are reliable and/or if there are any fraudulent thoughts? Have you ever tested other thoughts to determine if there is a better way of doing things, of living life – a way that is more peaceful, calm, joyful, relaxed, pleasant, efficient, healthy, prosperous, powerful, loving, and wise –  a more Truthful and Divinely Aligned way of living?

If not,                                                                                                                                  it may be time to call in your thought auditor and do a thorough analysis of who and what makes you tick. We upgrade our clothing, shoes, hair, style, look, technology, home decor, vehicles, and the operating systems on our technology… . Well I say to you, it may be time for a thought operating system upgrade. It may time to upgrade the software (thoughts) operating you in your head.

Runaway thoughts can cause runaway actions. Runaway actions can lead to a runaway life. But, thoughts which have a Divine Origin lead one to more Divinely Aligned actions and life.

There was a point in my life where I realized, a Gift of Grace, that I was in auto-pilot mode. I felt like I was sitting in the pilot’s seat with my hands on the wheel of the plane of my life, but my course, my flight path and responses to the external weather conditions/stimuli were already pre-set, pre-programmed. I began feeling that I was a rubber stamp pilot. I began getting a sense that I was a minion. I began realizing that my choices and responses were robotic, and not organic or mine. I began seeing myself as a clone. I felt like rather than a pilot I was more like a drone at the mercy of some central command somewhere other than in me, or from God.

But before I came into this awareness, I remember a story a wise lady told me in the mid 1990s. Why she told me this story I don’t know. Maybe she saw me being at the mercy of the voices in my head and the voices of expectations of others. But unbeknownst to me, this story would surface to the forefront of my thoughts at very frequent intervals for many years and then later  serve as an impetus for my doing a thorough thought inventory and overhaul of my thought system. The story is about a mother teaching her daughter how to bake a ham.

A mother and her teenage daughter are in the kitchen. The mother is teaching her young impressionable teenage daughter how to bake a ham. She tells her daughter to slice off the two ends of the large ham, place the center piece into one roaster pan, place the two end pieces into  another roaster pan, and then bake them separately, one after the other.

The daughter pauses and thinks for a moment. 

Then she asks her mother why they cut off the ends and why not just bake the entire ham as a whole. The mother looks puzzled for a moment and says that she does not know why but that is how her mother taught her.                                                                              Oh my!                                                                                                                           The daughter then says that they should ask grandmother why she did this. They called grandmother and asked her why she taught her daughter to cut off the ends of the ham and bake them separately. The GrandMother  replied saying that is how  her mother  did it and so that is how she taught her daughter to do it. It’s a family generational thing.         Oh my!                                                                                                                           The grand daughter then asked the grandmother why the GreatGrandMother did it this way. The grandmother laughed and said, it was because her mother , the GreatGrandMother had a small wood burning stove and oven  into which would fit only a small roaster. The entire ham could not fit into her small oven so she cut off the ends and roasted them separately. She also said that because our ovens are big enough now we really don’t need to do that any more.                                                                              Oh my! Oh my!                                                                                                          

Naturally, I laughed and laughed when I heard this story. The mother and daughter, living in modern times were being silly and unpractical for living and for doing things according to the circumstances of their ancestors who lived in a very different time and age, in the age of the horse and buggy. But my laughter was not just at them, it was also at me! For in time I would come to realize that I too had been following in the footsteps of my ancestors. I was trying to live a twenty first century city life but much of my thought DNA or thought genetic/energetic  programming was that of my agrarian ancestors from eastern Europe, or western what was then called Rus or today, Ukraine. In addition, I was also smitten with the modern day: movie stars, sports figures, magazine adds, movie themes/messages, songs/rock & roll, political figures, religious influences, tv shows and commercials, the books I was reading, friends, and the general pop culture. All these voices in my head were a thought soup made of ingredients from other peoples lives and thoughts. My identity had become a melting pot and a patchwork quilt of my ancestors’ belief system, my life experience,  and the ocean of external messages. I had become a parrot, a chameleon, a projection of others’ expectations, a cookie cutter mold cookie, a robot. And the result of my chasing or basing my life on others’ thoughts, rather than turning to Divine Guidance, was mass confusion and a sense of helplessness.

*SIDE NOTE*                                                                                                                   I’m not saying that my emotional and mental DNA from my ancestors and external stimuli was all “bad” or totally irrelevant to my life today. What I am saying is that in order for us to love and live in the present moment in alignment with the Divine Flow of our lives, we need to pause, reflect, and discern whether our thoughts and responses are Divinely Inspired or societally pre-programed. Our best life is when we are in obedience to God, to Love. This is how Samuel put it:

Obedience is better than sacrifice, and                                                                submission than the fat of rams.                                                                                             1 Samuel 15

I find it interesting and reassuring that no matter how distant or close we are to listening and responding to the promptings of the Holy Spirit in our Hearts, the Holy Spirit is always surrounding us with Her living and loving Wisdom and Guidance. All we need to do is pay attention and respond. It is that simple. In addison to the ham story, the other notion that the Holy Spirit blessed me with is introducing me to the concept of generational curses and generational blessings. Generational curses can last up to the third/fourth generation and are the result of the fallout or distancing from God or living apart from God. But, here is the wonderful news, generational blessings last up to 1,000 generations.

The Lord came down in a cloud and stood with him there and proclaimed the name, “Lord.” So the Lord passed before him and proclaimed: The Lord, the Lord, a God gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in love and fidelity, continuing his love for a thousand generations, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion, and sin; yet not declaring the guilty guiltless, but bringing punishment for their parents’ wickedness on children and children’s children to the third and fourth generation! Moses at once knelt and bowed down to the ground.                                                                                                    Exodus 34: 5-8 (NABRE)


Know, then, that the Lord, your God, is God: the faithful God who keeps covenant mercy to the thousandth generation toward those who love him and keep his commandments, Deuteronomy: 7:9 (NABRE)

Little did I know then, but these two themes would become a major work assignment given to me by the Holy Spirit, my guide and my Counselor in the University of Life. The Holy Spirit invited me into the journey of pruning my thoughts and responses so that they became more aligned with Her Holy Promptings and Divine Wisdom rather than the pre-programming life and external stimuli had installed. My “yes” response was based on two feelings; one was desperation and the other was hope. I was desperately confused as to who I was and I was profoundly hopeful in discovering who I would be and what life would be like if I partnered up with the Holy Spirit. This decision and the journey of pruning and discovering was not a shazam moment of transformation. I was not in one moment one person with one set of beliefs and in the next moment a completely unrecognizable person with another set of beliefs and responses. No, it has been and continues being a life long journey. It requires patience, trust, and complete fidelity to God’s Word in my Heart.

I initially began the transformation journey as a rebel and warrioress. Saint Joan of Arc and I were the best of pals. She was my inspiration. We convened often. But, that mode took a lot of energy and drama. It took its toll on me. My journey has humbled me and humbled me and humbled me…  . And when I thought the humbling was done, there was yet another round of humbling. Thus, in time I have made peace and parted ways with my inner warrioress energy, and instead adapted and grown into the gentle peace pilgrim journey. I like it that way now. I went from a raging river to a gently flowing channel.

I made my relationship with God my most important relation+ship. I made listening to and responding to the Voice of the Holy Spirit my priority. I made pleasing God my choice and my service of love. The result: the voices in my head have quieted down and I am continually awed as to the wonderful ways of God.

It was all Grace. It was all a Gift.                                                                                     And continues to be.                                                                                                     irena as i am