OutRaged

I am outraged! 

My blood is curldling!

My spirit is revolting!

and

My Heart is weeping!

How could they!?! 

How dare they!?!

Imagine someone having the gentle cure, the thorough medicine, the easy remedy, to plagues that have plagued humanity over the centuries, and withholding it from the masses. Think of the lives it would have saved and the pain it could have spared. Think of the mass fear and hysteria it could have preempted. Think of the progress that could have been made but was not because time, resources, energy, focus was being directed at crisis management rather than on progress and growth. 

Imagine that there is hunger amongst the masses for food, for sustenance, and  for nourishment. Imagine that the masses are plagued by lack, scarcity, and a “not enough” mentality, yet, there is plenty but it is stored away and kept at bay. 

In our earthly timeline, imagine that a group of people had the cure or the knowledge or the insight or the vaccine for such epidemics as the cholera, the bubonic plague, typhoid fever, small pox, measles, mumps, rubella, polio, HIV/AIDS, and the most current one, cancer, and they are holding it back. They are holding it back because they want people living in fear. They are holding it back because they want to control people’s lives and keep them subdued. They are holing it back because they want the masses under their dominion, or as Mick Jagger and Keith Richards penned “under my thumb”. 

That is what the “church” has done to her people and to much of western thought by parsing, by curating, by editing, by cutting and pasting, by withholding Holy Writings, Inspired Scripture, Divine Wisdom, and TRUTH from the people, from the masses over centuries – a mass massacre of the Spirit of The People.

The TRUTH is that past lives and reincarnation are true and real. It was part of the knowledge and truth of the early catholic/orthodox church and christian beliefs up until about Constantine’s time. I know he is referred to as “saint” and “the great”, but not in my books. No longer. Just like he and his entourage took the liberty to “rewrite” the bible and withhold books and truth and Christian mysticism, i am now doing the same thing and choosing to see him as just another spineless man. 

The white paternal patriarchal brotherhood:

I do not trust them. They have lost my trust.

I do not respect them. They have lost my respect.

I do not obey them. They have lost my blind fidelity, for all of eternity. 

It is ironic that he is know for an edict, The Edict of Milan that stated that “Christians could believe what they wanted” (Wikipedia –  “In February 313, Constantine met with Licinius in Milan where they made the Edict of Milan. The edict said that Christians could believe what they wanted.”). Yet he and his entourage took out Truth from Scriptures. They and all those who were in the know withheld medicine and life from countless generations to come.  

I struggled and wrestled with the concept of reincarnation for six years. I actually did not choose the path, the notion, I “stumbled” onto it, or more accurately, was “led” into it. I was at a “Celebrate Your Life” conference in Scottsdale, AZ in 2007, eleven years ago now, when I found my self sitting in a huge conference room. I think I chose the speaker and the subject by a process of elimination and not by desire. In hindsight I now see that The Divine Spirit was masterfully at work in setting me up for massive healing and success. Hmmm, now that I think about it, perhaps Constantine was part of the Divine EntouRage that led me into this room, this speaker, this healing experience, this truth, and this path.

I don’t recall now who the speaker was, but my inkling is to say Dr. Brian Weiss. That session and that seminar and that group past life regression session changed the course of my life. It was the beginning of a new path, a new way, a new age. It opened up my Mind and Spirit to a path and a portal that answered many questions and showed me the healing work that I needed to do in this lifetime if I did not want to carry forward the same lesson into the next. 

When I first began my spirituality journey, there was a stigma put on it and on me that I was “cherry picking” my christian beliefs or that I was being a “cafeteria catholic” – thereby implying my not being in “full communion” nor a “true believer or supporter of Christ” and that “I was turning my back on the one true faith”.  There was guilt, fear, and emotional shunning used as an attempt at  manipulating me or steering me away from spirituality and new age books/gatherings with words and phrases such as:

  • it’s not in the bible, 
  • that is the devil talking to you, 
  • that is evil – thus implying that i am evil or partaking in evil, (in hindsight, i was parting from lies and untruth that kept me subdued and the Spirit of God from flowing through me)
  • that is the devil misleading you, 
  • that is bullshit, 
  • you are being misled,
  • you are being brainwashed,
  • you are so gullible and vulnerable,
  • the church does not believe in that. 

Truthfully though, these voices were my mirror of my inner belief paradigm too. I myself had once thought and spoken in the same manner: condemning and criticizing, but then ultimately and by The Grace of God, accepting and embracing.

These voices were loud and their decibel emotionally demeaning, deafening, and crippling.  They tried to block me, stop me, tackle me, and keep me down, low, and subdued. But BY THE IMMENSE GRACE OF GOD, the Holy Spirit and dispenser of Divine Wisdom and Truth, kept whispering in my ear, in my Heart, and in my Spirit. Sofia kept nudging me along, gently. Sofia kept giving me books and insights and healers and experiences, consistently and persistently. Sofia kept comforting me and consoling me on my seemingly alone journey into this world of eternal Truth and Wisdom, and eventual healing. On the earthly plane there was much resistance, but on the Spiritual plane there was immense support, guidance, and strength. All I had to do was walk by faith, by insight, and by intuition. All I had to do was lean on the crutches of Divine Right Judgement and accept Their grace. All I had to do was listen and respond to the whispers of the ONE TRUE VOICE.

This Voice, His Voice kept whispering to me, “You shall know them by their fruit”. If there was love, stay and learn. If there was fear, run, fast and far.

I found my self being very careful as to how I spoke and what language I used. When I was in the presence of “church people” I avoided Spiritual / New Age language and conversations lest I be laughed at, ridiculed, and shunned. Ironically, in Spiritual circles and healing ceremonies, I edited my church language since there was a strong undercurrent of disdain toward organized religion and its teachings. I was like a double agent double dipping in both gardens. 

At one point I did leave “organized” religion, orthodoxy-catholicism. I did leave control based on fear, guilt, UNworthiness, and servitude. But HE called me back. 

HE said, “Come to Me. Come to My Table. Come Feast at and with and on my Love. Come let Me heal you and nourish you. Come. Come. Come my sweet loved daughter.”

HE said, “Don’t throw out the baby with the dirty diaper or dirty bathwater.” Meaning don’t leave, discard, throw out the beautiful side of the church because of the smelly part. 

HE said, “I know. I see all that is going on. Leave that and them up to Me. I am and will deal with them, in My Way and My time. That is not your job. Your job is to Love Me, listen to Me, and do as I say. Focus on Me and Me only. Receive My Gifts and Me, and let the institution be. Ignore the institution, that is not your work.”

So, I did. I listened to Him. I listen to His Voice. I obeyed His Voice. In doing so He led me to a beautiful Holy Spirit filled community that is based on Love and Acceptance and Healing: a community that is rooted in tradition but not bound by tradition. I am beyond grateful and have been deeply blessed and enriched.

“FORGIVE THEM FOR THEY KNOW NOT WHAT THEY DO”, Jesus

In hindsight those external voices didn’t know any better. In hindsight, they mirrored and voiced back to me at what I was thinking and feeling myself. I’ve realized that while i am on wobbly feet in my own truth and skin, the world will reflect back to me my hesitancy and uncertainty. 

The church, although Divinely inspired is manly managed and run – just ask Galileo and St. Joan of Arc. 

Lastly, since I know that that which moves us to joy, tears, admiration and rage in others is also within us. Thus, I am left wondering how my outrage of the church withholding is a mirror of me. Mercy me! As the adages go, “when you point a finger at someone else, there are three pointing ball at you”, and, “it is a sin to know where the water is in the desert and not tell anyone” – I wonder was this is telling me about myself. 

Always, think for yourself, by the Grace of God,                                                            Irena As I Am                                                                                                      04/23/2018

PS                                                                                                                            Despite all this i still love the church – the hierarchy and institution i struggle with and actually have disconnected from. I also realize that  in any tribe a code of conduct is needed so that everyone is on the same page and that there is unity and uniformity. I also recognize and acknowledge all the good that the church has done: schools, universities, hospitals, orphanages, social outreach, mentoring to name just a few. 

Why do i love her so? Well, she was founded and is ultimately guided by the One Beloved of many.

Gracious Host

In mid January of this Anno Domini year of 2018 I was walking in a parking lot toward my vehicle when my attention and line of sight was drawn downward to a slip of paper on the asphalt. I saw that it was a fortune cookie message. “Oooh”, I thought, “A delightful message from the Cosmos. Just for me!”, and I gleefully picked it up. 

It read: You will be the guest of a gracious host within the month.

“I like it and I’ll take it.”, were my immediate reactions. In the top right hand corner I dated my fortunate message and put it in a little compartment next to my steering wheel. Meanwhile my mind began envisioning an elegant evening gala. I and other women were dressed in beautiful sequenced gowns and the men were sharply and neatly suited up in tuxedoes. In the background there was a live quartet playing soft classical music. The stars were sparkling as we engaged in meaningful conversation and I sipped sparkling mineral water, accented with a sprig of mint and a splash of cranberry juice. (Alcohol is “against my religion” – my “personal religion” – that is unless there is a super extra ordinary event. Then I will issue myself a temporary dispensation and have a sip or two. In the last ten years there have been only two such extra ordinary events. I like my crown chakra open to the Divine Flow and my thoughts crystal clear.) The meal was clean, delicious, and nutritious … my imagination kept building a beautiful event with this “gracious host” as I drove home.

Life went on it’s normal, peaceful, and calm on-course and I forgot about the fortune cookie message. That is, until Ash Wednesday. On St. Valentine’s Day I received ashes on my forehead as I replied in the affirmative that i am and i would “turn away form sin, and live and love the Gospel”. 

The next morning I was burnin’ burnin’ burnin’ up. 

Those ashes still had some live cinders in them and they lit me up with a fever. The fever completely halted me and grounded me. Life stopped. Everything that seemed important yesterday and needed to be done today, vaporized into nothingness, meaninglessness and irrelevancy. For the next three days and three nights sleep became the new agenda and put itself on the top of the list. All I wanted to do and all I had the energy to do was sleep sleep sleep, and sleep some more. In the day i slept on the couch and at night i slept in bed. I awoke in the dark in soaked pajamas as my body released all kinds of nitty gritty energy. The past was vaporizing.

Even my stomach got into the game with some of its own action by regurgitating an attempt at a meal.  This I had not done in at least a decade or more. At first I was baffled as to why I had gotten so feverish. I could not even recall the last time I was in such circumstances: ten, fifteen years? What had brought it on? Where did I “go wrong” in taking care of myself to be served a fever?  It took about a week for me to feel strong enough to leave the house. Thus, being physically and energetically immobilized, I had a lot of time to think. And think I did. Being the optimist that I am, and always looking for the silver lining, deep down inside I knew that there was a Gift in this situation.

I recalled how a medical intuitive once had told me that when we complete a healing journey on the inside, that is when the body then develops “symptoms” on the outside to release or expel that energy from the body. Thus, I began to review in my thoughts all the lessons, all the encounters, all the shifts, all the trials, all the emotions, all the setbacks, all the failures, and all the victories that had been on my path and that I did not back away from. I embraced them. I embodied them. I wrestled with them. I danced and sang with them. I loved them dearly and at times cried bitterly too. And then, I moved on because that  was part of the Cosmic Plan, part of the Divine Design of my Soul’s earthly sojourn. Whew, no wonder I was exhausted. Just thinking about it made me feel tired. I realized then that this fever was a Gift. It was my Graduation Gift wrapped in a package that allowed me to REST, recap, and bring closure to a large segment of my journey. 

Fire is purifying and the fever did just that. It burnt away all the remnants of the bygone battlefield. It purified my body, spirit, and memories. It left behind the ashes of a skin/identity that was no longer needed nor necessary for the new journey and the new era. Now that I think about it, the involuntary regurgitation of food was like the old way of ingesting, processing, digesting, absorbing, and releasing was also being “thrown up”. It was a symbolic cleanse and parting of ways of the old way and making room for the new way. All that sleep gave rest, calmed me down, and reset my system.

I also had developed a cough. I KNOW that whenever symptoms arise around the throat, that my throat chakra is not fully open or not being used as it should be. My voice had become small and meek. I KNEW that I needed to once again give voice to that which was within. I KNEW that I needed to use my voice, lest my voice be lost. I knew and know that a lot needs to be said through the voice. And in time, it will be. 

Toward the end of February, I once again found that fortune cookie slip in my vehicle. When I read it I laughed and laughed and laughed. I laughed because of the disparity between what my vision had been of the “gracious host” and what the Cosmos actually delivered. There was a huge disparity. However, in hindsight, I am now BEYOND GRATEFUL for the feverish “gracious host” that really did show up. The host did fire me up so as to de-light me temporarily and put me out of commission in order to in-light me for the next segment of the journey. 

Life is a Gift – and sometimes we need to expand your vision and shift our focus so that we see the Gift. “Let those who have ears, hear (and those who have eyes, see – with their Heart, and Soul).”, Jesus.

Abundant Grace, Wisdom, Humility, and Strength,                                                        Irena As I Am

A Beggar and A Slave

Quite frequently in the Bible the passage about not being “slaves” and the healing of “beggars on mats” pops out at me. For a long time I dismissed these passages and messages about liberty and instantaneous healings from immobility as irrelevant and not pertaining to me. After all, on the surface I was not behind prison bars, nor was I sitting on a mat for cripples on the street corner with my hand out asking for alms. So plain of sight obvious – right? Well if there is one thing that I have learned about the Words in the Bible is that sometimes I need to approach them literally, while other times figuratively. 

This week, by the Grace of God I had one of those profound “aha” moments where it dawned on me how the above two topics did relate to me and were meant for me. I was shown just how much of a beggar and a slave I had been. In my healing journey I have noticed a pattern. The awareness of an unhealthy situation and the labeling of it, is half of the remedy. The other half requires effort on my part. I then need to implement and adopt permanently the newfound pearls of wisdom in my thoughts, actions, and life. The good news is that when we commit and ask for Divine Assistance, They always show up and help. 

LIFE OUTSIDE THE GARDEN

Unfortunately, no matter how hard we try, life outside The Garden of Eden is predicated on conditions – including love. There is the condition of gravity – we, trees, mountains, ants, buildings all stick to the earth because of gravity. It keeps us and everything grounded and from floating away into the eternal ethers. There is the condition of the flesh – our Soul needs the body vehicle for its earthen journey. Although the Soul is clean, pure, and holy, the condition of the body needs almost constant care, attention, and cleaning. Upkeep takes time, energy, and work. It is not enough to wash our face, comb our hair, and brush our teeth once, it has to be done at least a couple of times a day. In the realm of our Spirit, we constantly need to nourish it with hope, faith, and prayer to keep its energy balanced, strong and focused on Trust.

unCONDITIONAL LOVE

So too it is with human relationships. No matter how hard we try, there is always a condition on our love or on others’ love for us. The complete opposite would be the love that God gives us and offers us, TOTAL ACCEPTANCE always, in all ways and in every moment of who i am and as i am – the brilliance and especially the shadows. We all adore and admire the beauty of the rose, but do we give thanks to her thorns or the fertilizer/manure it took and takes to keep her blooming gracefully. We tend to overlook or dismiss the messy and smelly parts of the journey and focus on the final and closing act of the blooming soft petals. 

How many of us have the capacity to offer total acceptance to another – no matter what they do, how they behave, and the attitude they exude. I have tried it many times over, and it is just not in me. I do not have the capacity nor depth of graciousness for that kind of love. I have tried to keep “turning the other cheek” over and over and over again and again for years upon years. I thought I was holy in doing that. On the outside it may have appeared so. For my ego it was a bolster, but for my Heart it was a blister. For my Soul it was purification, but for my Spirit it was petrification. On the one hand I saw my self as a victim, but in truth, I was a voluntary martyr. In this there was pride too – “just look at me and the immense cross that i am carrying” was written all over me. The invisible sign on my forehead read “o woe is me – can i get a pity pence please”. But I was not aware of this subtle victim pride mentality back then. I was doing the best that I could with the love and level of awareness I was at. 

LOVE FOR AN ENSLAVED BEGGAR, AN INDENTURED SERVANT

In this period of my life, I thought that God’s love was predicated on my “turning the other cheek”. I knew others loved me because I was conforming and contorting myself to their projection of me. I thought I loved me. But then, I just could not take the pain anymore of being an indentured love martyr. The chains of earthly love became too heavy to bear. Thus, slowly and gradually by the Grace of God and much trepidation, I began to shift and change in my awareness, attitude, and resolve. It is said that “good fences make good neighbors” and thus I began building my wall, brick by brick, day by day, encounter by encounter. 

I began to set boundaries of what was and was not acceptable and respectable behavior toward me. I saw and felt the waves of disapproval toward me. I was no longer being praised but rather reprimanded. I began to wonder if I loved this new version of me since others were no too happy about it. But the most terrifying question of all was “did God love and approve this new version of me”. At that time I had equated human expectations and conditions of love and approval with Divine Love. It was a long and treacherous journey that freed me from this mentality. And, I am discovering there is always another subtle layer. I am on a journey of discovering and allowing God’s Love. It keeps amazing me pleasantly. 

LIBERTY

By the Grace of God, I discovered that I do not need to beg for Divine Love and Acceptance. Conversely, it is a Gift which liberates and gives life to the Spirit. I also realized that it was my misconstrued paradigm of what human love and Divine Love require that kept me enslaved in unhealthy ways of being and relating. I realized that the respect that I give to myself and to others, is the respect that I receive from the Universe. Karma, or “do unto others”, or the energy and vibe we put out, does truly come back to us. I have also realized and am continually discovering that the Divine version of Love is sometimes completely different from the human construction of love requirements. Love is not for rent. Love is the deed endowed on our Souls. Love is our Soul’s Essence. Embracing and embodying this Divine Love is really scary, and ultimately liberating. It takes a lot of courage and Grace to deconstruct or unsubscribe from the human love laws. 

The real Gift I am realizing is that this concept of discovering and living Divine Love is not limited to our relationship with others – this is just the beginning. It extends to our relationship with God, ourselves, our body, feelings, image, finances (income, investing, spending (needs and joys), and sharing), contribution, leisure time and fun activities. The adage of “how we do anything is how we do everything” is also very applicable to love received and love offered. 

As I have expanded my notion of love and accepting love, I have also expanded my giving of love too. It no longer is from a place of duty, obligation, must, or a should. I do my best to give what God is asking of me and to set the boundaries that are healthy and necessary for my well being. My journey went from the Law of Rule, from stone tablets  to the Spirit of Love, to the tender Heart. My journey continues expanding in this space of eternal potential. 

LAWS FOR SMOOTH FLOW 

I do understand that we need basic rules of behavior toward one another so that we are all “on the same page” of what is and what is not acceptable. Just like traffic laws keep traffic flowing smoothly, so too do we need a basic framework of respect and dignity for one another. This framework is a guide for every day smooth living in a society. Ultimately though, discern and let the Spirit of Love flow out of your Soul and into the Universe. This is true Divine Alignment. This is the ultimate service to God. This is what gives Joy to the Heart, life to the body, and Love to self and others. This to me is the ultimate pursuit or journey of life, liberty, prosperity, and joy. 

Now when I come across the passages about being freed from bondage and being chained to an almsgiving mat, I ask the Holy Spirit to show me how and where I can release human constructs and get my self with into greater Divine Alignment. By myself this is impossible, but by humility and abundant Grace, I KNOW i am assured victory.

God is God, and only God can offer total and complete Love and Acceptance. We as sojourners on our healing and wholeness earthen journey do not have this capacity. As we work on becoming more whole we need to ensure our safety and integrity by employing the Gift of Right Judgement from the Holy Spirit. With this Gift we know how vulnerable we can be or how closed off we need to be in order to be safe in each encounter.

Abundant Divine Wisdom, Humility, Strength, Grace & Love,                                         Irena As I Am                                                                                                      04/10/2018

Just Admit It and Feel It

I am the queen of positivity, optimism, hope, and rainbows. It could be the storm of the decade outside, but on the inside i choose to look for and focus on the blessings, the gifts, the joys, and the lesson. Deep down on the inside, I know the storm is only temporary and it WILL pass.

I don’t know if I was born this way, learned this way, or by virtue of necessity adopted this way. Maybe it is a combination of all three, and whole lotta Grace. But I do know that it has served me well in life. It has helped me get through some very dark days, months, and even years with minimum emotional collateral damage. When a curve ball has come my way in life and knocked me to my knees or put my face in the mud, over the years I have developed a tried and true program for catching my breath, getting backup, and living again.

ADMITTANCE                                                                                                               The initial response may be to “fight it”, resist it, deny it, run from it, numb oneself, or self-medicate. These coping tools work, but they are only temporary feel good band aid solutions. They do not actually address nor get to the root of the problem. It is like pulling the weed leaves while leaving the root in tact. It is a feeble cover it up. Pretend there is a tiger in the room and you throw a blanket over her, she is still there whether you see her or not. No matter how masterful you become at distracting yourself from her presence, you still always KNOW that she is near and ready to pounce. Your Heart can not rest in peace.

This denial phase can be anywhere from days to months to years. I’ve realized it takes more work, more energy, more stress, more drama, more of one’s life force in the long run to deny what is, than to actually face it, label it, feel it, and then work or Flow through it. You are stronger and braver than you think you are. You CAN handle feeling the feelings. The denial of them actually piles on more pain, more messiness, and the prolonging of the issue. The feeling of feelings actually makes you stronger and braver. It also builds your awareness and self-respect muscles. The admittance of the situation and one’s true feelings, I KNOW are half of the healing and wholeness journey. 

FEEL THE SHOCK, THE FEELINGS, and THE REALITY OF THE SITUATION       How does one actually feel when they have been suppressing and denying their feeling from arising? The first step it to STOP. Stop ignoring them. Stop running from them. Stop distracting yourself from them. Just stand still, be still, lay still. They are actually a Gift. By opening this Gift up and taking it out of the box (your being, Spirit, Heart) and working or playing with them, you will actually transmute them into something beautiful. By being still, feeling them, and letting them Flow, they don’t build up on the inside and boil over on the outside. Feeling them is the pressure relief and release valve. It is your saving Grace. Once they are released, you are less at their mercy and their charge. You then can focus your energy on the solution.

DIAGNOSIS                                                                                                                   The best way that I know how to address a situation is to name it, label it, or give it a diagnosis. When we have an accurate understanding and no longer dealing with vagueness, we then can proceed with clarity and confidence. We know which mental and emotional work or therapy to seek out. At this point, the remedies seem to come out of the Universe’s woodwork and present themselves on our path. 

HEALING and PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY                                                               In this stage of healing, Grace and Humility are essential. We need to try different approaches and need to be open to approaching things differently. That is why prayer, mediation, journaling, and a trusted and wise advisor are some of the best Gifts we can receive. By turning to God, our healing can be gentler, more graceful, and in a timely manner.

It is vital that one also take personal responsibility in the situation.  During the healing phase there will be many temptations or little quizzes that test or resolve and commitment to living a more aware and whole life. It can be easy to revert into old patters of thinking or habit. You thought you needed Grace in the healing phase, you need it even more in the new path so that you stay on the whole and holy path.  And if you do stumble and revert to your old ways, be gentle with yourself. Get up, or if need be, crawl forward until you get the strength to stand up and run again.

With God, anything is possible and any journey completable. Just do you best and keep turning to God for strength and guidance.

Abundant Blessings,
Irena As I Am                                                                                                      04/07/2018

Eight Stages of Anger

Anger. It is a subject not discussed very much, nor do we like to admit to it, especially to ourselves that we are angry. But it is still there not matter how much we try to ignore it or distract ourselves from it. Just like toxic waste buried in barrels into the ground that eventually seeps into the water and causes a chain event of lethal deaths, so too does unaddressed anger. It can take on a variety of forms: passive aggressive, cynicism/criticism, channeled into obsessive behavior such as work/working out/hobbies/shopping/gambling/addictions, self destructive behavior, and lastly taking it out on others.

Since I have been one who has had difficulty in using my voice to set boundaries or let someone know when they have been hurtful, I had become masterful at being passive aggressive. From early on I was taught not to speak back to authority figures nor elders. They were always right and always had the right of way. Always and in always. Being a girl, society also told me that we were “sugar and spice and everything nice”. Thus girls were not supposed to get angry, just like boys were not supposed to cry. These adages and paradigms of restricting expression are cruel. They prevent a person from being a fully expressed human being and processing normal life emotion in a healthy manner. It is confinement of the Spirit. It is like caging up the Spirit. It is putting the Spirit in a straitjacket.

When a person is continually stuffing down, suppressing, and oppressing their anger or tears, eventually, just like a volcano, it reaches a boiling over point. Hopefully at this point, one has the presence of mind and the humility of ego to reach out for help and heal in a safe and gentle manner.

Boiling Over Point (Image credit: CNN)

Until I learn or learned how to use my voice to set boundaries or let people know that their words or actions have caused me deep pain, I was one who kept “turning the other cheek”, stuffing it down, and using passive aggressive means as forms of coping. In hindsight, I now see a pattern.

1. Awareness of Anger or Justified Anger

Just like Jesus was righteously angry at the exploitation of pilgrims at the temple, so too are there times in our lives when others have truly caused us hurt, pain, loss, suffering. When we become aware of anger, a feeling of indignation begins to rise up: part of it is at the other, and of part of it can also be at ourselves for allowing it. At this point it is wise not to act or react because at this point we can be at the mercy of our emotion. This can be dangerous and can be like pouring gasoline on the fire/heat of the moment.  At the awareness point, it is wise to take a deep breath, step away, process the anger, then dialogue with the other. Depending on your expert level of awareness and ego refinement, the step away moment can be a few seconds or a few months/years.

2. Payback: The Silent Treatment  

In my novice years of anger management, or rather anger suppression, the only way I knew how to let the other person know that they had hurt me was to withhold my “love/attention/me” from them. I used the silent treatment until I felt they had “suffered enough” for their misdeed.

3. Space for Healing 

On the flip side, I also now see that this silent treatment period was a also a period of healing. Since I did not know how to communicate my feelings of betrayal or dialogue about it calmly, I needed the space and time to process, heal, and forgive.

4. Personal Responsibility 

When we are slighted we can feel like victims or like life is happing to us, rather than for us and because of us. Being in victim mode or having that mentality is an invitation for more misdeeds against one’s self. We keep recreating the same scenarios and slights. The people and places may change, but the same transactions keep repeating themselves. At this point we need to do some deep Soul dives, self reflections, and recognize how we have contributed to or even invited such personal affronts.

5. Rewire our Thinking and Behaving 

Upon taking personal responsibility for how others treat us, we then have the work of rewiring our minds of what respect looks and feels like to us, how we communicate our boundaries in a graceful and effective manner, and lastly behaving in such a way that invites respect from the self and others. This stage takes a lot of work and a lot of effort. But I have found that when we are working on a new self-evolution project, the Universe sends us MANY and abundant opportunities for practice and growth.

6. Forgive 

It is so very easy to stew and to marinate in our anger or silent treatment or acting out. If we are not careful we can stay in this phase for months, years, or even decades. Lord have mercy! If we are not careful, our pride and self-justification or self-righteousness can build a house on our anger, rather than just temporarily pitch a tent upon it. The healing time is a time where we build faith in ourselves, life, and the other(s) again. This is a time when we become strong and whole whole again. Forgiveness is a decision. It is work. It is a Gift we give to ourselves and all of humanity. We are the ones who benefit the most from forgiving because our journey becomes lighter and more joyful.

7. Move on. Love, trust again AND maintain healthy boundaries or communicate what is and is not appropriate. 

After healing and forgiveness we live again. But this time, we take and employ our newfound personal responsibility, self-respect, voice, strength, and communication skills for a healthy and joyful life.

8. Gratitude 

The final step in forgiveness is when we look back and see just how much we have grown, learned, evolved, become stronger and a more complete and whole person. At this point we realize that the slights and hurts were a Gift as they helped us transform. They were for our benefit and refinement. We even get to a point where we are grateful to the person(s) for the lessons and grown that their slight brought to us, if we do the work of forgiveness. It can be done with and abundance of Grace and Humility.

Anger is an indication that something is not right. It is a warning light. It is an invitation into healing when we step into it and embrace its lesson. Let yourself express your anger in a safe and healthy environment that does not hurt another. Do not judge yourself when you are purging yourself of these dark emotions. Always keep in mind, you are not these dark emotions, they are just the byproduct of a challenging experience.

Forgiveness is Beauty.

Ask, invite, beseech Divine help in your forgiveness journey. Do the work They present to you. You will be in awe and wonder at all the miracles along the way.

Abundant Grace, Wisdom, Healing, Humility, and Forgiveness,                                      Irena As I Am                                                                                                       03/27/2018

We Are Messed Up

His name is Maverick. He is a dog. He lives with his human companion in our neighborhood. I think about him quite often even though I have had only several brief encounters with him in the past five or so months. Normally, most dogs when out on a walk are very friendly and looking to be lavishly loved upon by any willing passer by. But not Maverick. Every time I have come across him he growls viscously, bares his teeth, charges at me, and barks like he means it. It is not an honorary “I’m doing my job” dog bark, but rather, he barks like he wants to sink his teeth into some flesh. He barks like his life depended on his bark warding others off.

After a couple of these encounters, before I knew his name, I asked Maverick’s human companion who had a tight grip on his leash, whether Maverick was friendly or not.

The man holding the leash replied,                                                                                 “We just got back from Iraq from a tour of duty.                                                           We’re messed up.”

“Oh. Dear God”, I thought. And, I was so caught off guard by that TRUTH and the depth of its emotional repercussions, that I did not know how to reply. I think I said something that I hope that they both realize that they are in a different place and space, that they find peace and calm, and that they realize they are in peace and calm.

Then, as they went their way and I mine, and we passed by each other within a few feet, I FELT them. I felt their emotional struggles, their pain, and their fears: the fear, stress, and strain of always being “on guard”, the constant fear that their safety is never a sure thing, the fear of watching every step, the fear of not knowing if the ground below is safe to step on (IED -improvised explosive device), the fear of who or what may be around the corner, the fear that at any moment a  bullet may come from any direction, the fear that everyone they meet may be “out to get them”, the fear they may be killed and not live to tomorrow. Even though they were out of Iraq, Iraq was still not out of them. Iraq was still in their mental framework. The constant hyper-vigilance was still in their system and aura.

The Bunker Effect                                                                                                            A couple of years ago I attended a one day seminar with Rob Bell and Elizabeth Gilbert*, author of “Eat, Pray, Love” and “Magic (and other books too) at Los Angles’ Wanderlust. At one point a lady in the audience spoke about a period of about 10 years in her life  where there was much chaos and tumultuousness. However, she was now in a peaceful and calm place, but because for such a long time she was always on edge and tense waiting for “the other shoe to drop” that she could not relax and calm down. She was still always on edge. Rob Bell called this “The Bunker Effect”. The war is over on the outside, but on the inside the person is still in hyper-vigilant mode. Then he gave her some tips on how to relax, calm down, and settle into this new reality of peace.

The Soldier and Maverick were in this phase of healing The Bunker Effect, or as is commonly known PTSD, post traumatic stress disorder. That’s just part of the emotional exchange/download that I felt or experienced when we passed by each other. There were also all the images that they had seen and that had been imprinted on their Beings. The images of poverty, abuse, bombed out buildings and streets, and children and people with scars, wounds, and missing limbs. The images and experiences of their cohorts – some of which may have not come back. All of this, and more I am gathering was in their being, their sphere, their aura.

As we passed each other, I did not  actually “think” all those above things, it is only now in writing about the encounters that I am conceptualizing/articulating the flooding of emotions I felt  upon passing by them. In the most recent encounter I was heading toward my vehicle when I came upon them and that is when The Soldier told me why Maverick was so vigilant and constantly on offense mode. We spoke for not even a minute before they went on their way, but as I sat behind the steering wheel, the effect of that brief encounter triggered a flood of tears out me. I sat and cried until the tears stopped flowing. I have learned it is much better and healthier to let the flow of tears take their natural course as opposed to opposing and suppressing them.

Here Come the Tears                                                                                                        I cried and cried and cried. I cried with them. I cried for them. I cried for the soldiers, civilians, birds and animals. I cried for all of humanity. I cried for peace. And, I cried for myself. My tears were my prayer and my offering. My tears were my urgent plea for greater Grace and Healing  in the Minds and Hearts of suffering men and women. My tears were for the softening of Hearts and the opening of Minds. As I write this, again i am crying for Maverick, The Soldier, All, The Birds and Animals, and me. The suffering of one is the suffering of all (and vice versa too). Thanks to them, I soaked several tissues.

This is one soldier and one dog on their new path of healing their past journey and memories. As I begin to extrapolate this couple to all the soldiers, dogs, civilians, animals around the world that are or have experienced such trauma in their lives it overwhelms me. If I harp on it too long, it paralyzes me emotionally. This is why I can no longer read or watch the news. I had asked for the Gift of Feeling, since for a large portion of my life I suppressed and oppressed my feelings, and I received that Gift, abundantly. Little did I know that in The Gift of Feeling it not only attuned me to me, but to the Oneness of us All. With everything there are two sides of the coin, a blessing side and a side of responsibility in living with and managing the blessing.

I also saw and felt the bond and closeness between Maverick and The Soldier. I felt the deep love and trust they had for and toward each other. I saw how Maverick, who was an Iraqi native and was found and trained and served with and then brought to the USA by The Soldier, was wholeheartedly devoted to protecting his friend, family, and companion. I saw how The Soldier was fond of Maverick and that the canine’s presence was soothing and comforting to him.

They kept each other safe, sane, together and composed as best as they could. Their love gave warmth and comfort to their Hearts and lives. This side of their relationship was a Gift to behold.

And then I thought, maybe they are my mirrors. “They say” everything and everyone are a reflection of some accept of ourselves. My fears do not revolve around actual bombs, bullets, snipers, IEDs, and ambushes. But there was a long period in my life where I too had been in constant hyper-vigilant mode. We all have those periods where “We’re Messed Up” or where we come out of “The Bunker”. Then a new season comes in and it then takes an enormous amount of awareness, humility, and energy to let go of one season and embrace the next. Alone, this is not possible. With Grace and with The Gift of Others whom God places in out lives, this is very possible and doable. All we need do is invoke God’s Wisdom and Grace in each and every day, hour, moment  of our lives.

May God grant us all the Grace and Humility in being present and trusting to and in each season.

God Bless You,                                                                                                                  Irena As I Am                                                                                                           03/08/2018

*NOTE about Elizabeth Gilbert                                                                                           In the weeks and days leading up to this seminar, I really really really wanted to see Elizabeth Gilbert in person, outside of the seminar. And lo and behold it came to pass. It was outside the restroom. I walked out of the restroom and there she was in the hallway waiting in line. I knew the Universe set this up for the two of us. We had a brief chat and then exchanged a warm hug**. Her books have had a profound effect of my life and thus, seeing her in person and expressing my gratitude was a Gift beyond joy.

**NOTE NOTE about hug with Elizabeth Gilbert                                                                  The chat was going really really well and we were connecting, Soul to Soul, and then my ego stepped in and asked if I could take a picture with the two of us. At that point she closed up and the conversation ended very shortly after that.  Ah!

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: CNN.com)

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,

THEN

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.

TapTapTap•TapTapTap•TapItAway

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