Is Christianity Really Monotheistic

Is Christianity really a monotheistic religion? That is the question that has been swirling around in my mind for quite some time now and not giving me peace. Not my Heart though, my Heart is at peace about my relationship with the Divine in its many forms, manifestations and expressions. It’s just that my mind needs a definitive, cut and dry, black and white definition. It needs a tidy answer and not one with loopholes and variations.

Christ Himself spoke about and to Abba, the Father. He also spoke about the Holy Spirit or the Ruach Elohim or The Spirit/Wind/Breath of God. Jesus, Yeshua also said, “I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying.” John 11:25. There are the three, the Trinity. One body, different parts. I get it. I accept it. And, I live it.



Theotokos (God Bearer) / Mother Mary

Having been born into the Ukrainian Greco-Catholic faith/religion, (Ukrainian = national church of the Rus/Ukrainian peoples, Greco-Catholic = orthodox faith originating from Constantinople which is in communion with the bishop of Rome, the pope), and having been a very ardent participant in it for most of my life there are other entities to whom I/we had prayed to. One of them is the Theotokos, Mary, the God Bearer. Yes, I know that technically we don’t “pray to her, but ask her to petition the Son, her Son, our Son, the Son of Man/Woman” just like she did at the wedding of Cana and He listened and responded by turning water into wine.This is an explanation and maybe even a justification for reaching out to her and praying to/through her with the Rejoice*/Hail Mary.

It is very comforting at times reaching out to a feminine version of the Divine. It is as though sometimes in life we need the gentle, loving, and nurturing embrace of a Divine Mother. On earth we came through a masculine and feminine, a mother and father. Both provided a different kind of support and comfort. It is balanced between the male which is analytical and strong with female which is feeling and gentle. Both of these qualities and energies are in each one of us. Thus, why would they also not been the Divine Realm in whose “image and likeness”, Book of Genesis we are made.

Now, I am primarily a practicing Roman Catholic. When I made the switch I felt I was turning my back and being unfaithful and adulterous to my “mother church” and my spiritual mother. But it was she who kept pushing me out of her nest and every time I went back, she made it very uncomfortable and uneasy for me. She said, “Go. Leave. There is nothing for you here. Spread your wings. Grow spiritually. Savor, learn, and nourish yourself with other faiths, traditions, and understandings of the Divine.” I did, even though it broke my Heart and tore it to pieces to do so. But mother knew best. She was right. In hindsight I realize now that I worshipped her and her traditions more than I worshiped the Divine. My religion had become my golden calf. Had she not pushed me out of the nest, I never wold have fallen in love with the Divine. My love affair would have remained with religion, the earthly vessel to the Divine, instead of the Divine Themselves.



In both the catholic and orthodox faiths there are saints. Whatever your quest, query or quiver may be, “there’s a saint for that”. The technical term is “venerating” the saints as opposed to “praying to” the saints. Serious saint followers are ardent around saint relics and objects. It is a sight to behold – much significance and power is projected onto the items. Or maybe, subconsciously it is a practice in raising and attuning the vibration of one’s own energy to that of the saint.

I myself have at times have called upon and called in the Spirit and energy of certain saints. Growing up, Saint  Nicholas was one who was near and dear to me. I sang to him a lot. But I’m not so sure that I listened to him. At that point in my life, it was one way communication with the Divine. I had not learned how to listen yet. Then there was a period in my life when I was in a serious battle, a battle for the essence of my life, and Saint Joan of Arc and I, it felt as though we were One. Her strong, bold, courageous, determined and single minded trust in The Voice and Its message of ‘we can beat the odds and drive out the long-standing invaders’ energy was all around me, within me, and running through me. I do not think any of these saint connections were conscious choices but something that rose up from within me.



In both the Hebrew and Christian texts there are stories and accounts of Angels. We each have been assigned a guardian angel or two. There are rote prayers to angels which we recite either at bedtime or in the morning.

Angel of God, my guardian dear, to whom God’s love commits me here; Watch over me throughout the night, keep me safe within your sight.


Angel of God, my guardian dear, to whom God’s love commits me here. Ever this day be at my side, to light and guard, to rule and guide.

A times I find great comfort in reciting these prayers, either in my Heart or out loud. In my journey of delving into the Divine realm, I learned that just like with saints, there are angels for different needs in our lives, and that there are different levels of Angels. Now, I call upon specific angels for specific assistance.

I’ve also learned how to look out for their signs and methods of communication. They may use numbers, feathers, pennies/change on the street, songs, feelings, dreams, persistent thoughts, coincidences… to get our attention and direct our steps.

Angels are always in our midst. All we need to do is ask for assistance.

Icons & Statutes 

I like having visual aids and reminders in our house of the Divine Realm. I like seeing Them and being surrounded by them. They are reminders to me that I am never alone on either the earthly or the spiritual realms, regardless if a person is next to me or not. They raise my thoughts to the heavenly realm and remind me to “take the higher road” in my thoughts, attitudes, speech and actions. I do not think that I worship the icons and statues, but they do assist me in my worship.

Mother Mary, or The Theotokos, The God Bearer

The Fourth Commandment 

“You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. 5 You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, 6 but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.” Exodus 20 (NIV)

Every religion and every faith and even the way of spirituality has Divine “tools” and customs – even the Shamans. If the Divine is Spirit, then any and all Divine writings, paintings, statutes, traditions, trinkets, amulets, talismans are technically in violation of the Fourth Commandment. The Spirit is always flowing and always in a graceful dance with the Divine leading The Way without the need of any props or objects. Thus, are we all not in violation of the Fourth Commandment? Will we all be summed to the jurisdiction of the Divine Supreme Court of the Fourth Commandment? If God is Spirit then any material representation is a “no-no”.


Divine Hedonist or Divine Expressionist 

And yet, I do it. I bet you do too. Even atheists do it when they attach a certain meaning toward  any object  – even if that object is themselves or their intellect. We use the objects and traditions as a vehicle or a tool for worship, focus, grounding, centeredness.

I know this is taking it to the extreme. I am a purist though. I like to swing with the pendulum to both sides. It is in these extremes that I then can find my “just right” middle of the way.

By turing to all these different God “forms”, am I on course or am I off course? Am I being a Divine hedonist by indulging in all these Divine Expressions? Why don’t I just pray to God? Period. Or, are all these Divine forms nuances of that which is non-explainable, non-shapeable, but rather EXPERIENTIAL. In our life path and journey we encounter variety in everything. In life we need to be both fixed and malleable. Just like in relationships, cooking, painting a wall, or fixing a lawnmower, we need a variety of tools with which to approach the situation and get the job done, with Love.

Perhaps the fourth commandment may be all right with us having Divine “props” for our human nature. Perhaps the fourth commandment is telling us to not let anything that is earthly come in-between our relationship with God, be it work, relationships, hobbies, goals, ideals, religion, spirituality, tradition, and even objects.

Perhaps, at this stage of my journey, I am playing with the notion that Christianity may not be a monotheistic religion. Or maybe I am just not at the stage of my development, where my practice of Divine Worship is monotheistic. The road ahead will tell.

And on that note, let us remember what God said in Genesis 1:26, “Let us make wo/man in our image, after our likeness”.

Abundant Wisdom for All,                                                                                             Irena As I Am                                                                                                      03/12/2018

*Rejoice/Hail NOTE:                                                                                                        The term “hail” was a greeting used by Roman soldiers. The more accurate translation of the Angle Gabriel’s greeting to Mary is “REJOICE”.

Not Too Thrilled About It

Confession that is. Or, as it is now called, reconciliation. But I still go anyway because my Soul yearns for it, needs it, and nudges me toward it. Sometimes the nudges are gentle, and sometimes they are persistent, imploring, and demanding. Either way, the Whisperings of the Holy Spirit in my Heart can be like a bear for me to go and bare my soul to a man whose vocation is the priesthood. And when I do go, afterwards, a deep inner and profound peace both descends upon me and rises up from within me.

Yes, I know that technically I don’t need an “intermediary” between me and God. I know I can speak with God on my own and present to God how I could have done better or how I have “missed the mark” (sin definition). I know I can whisper it to God in a quiet moment when I am reflecting upon my day. I know I can speak it out loud while praying privately, driving, walking, or stretching my body. I know I can even yell it out loud, and I have, if it is a particularly disturbing feeling. I know I can cry it out of me when I am feeling profoundly moved by my shortcomings. I know I can journal it out of me and lay it down on paper which came from a  tree. I know I can then light a candle and burn away my indiscretions and turn them into a burnt offering.

I have done all these things, and more.                                                                           But it is not the same as an in person confession with a priest.

The entrance to that Sacred Space and Place where one bares their soul and relieves their conscience: a confessional.

These days, where things are more in the open, one has the option of a face to face confession (door with a window), or if one prefers there is the private confession where one is in a separate room with a privacy screen between the priest/confessor and the confessed. It is all a matter of personal preference and the promptings of the Holy Spirit in one’s Heart.

I have also worked with a variety of healers and healing modalities – reiki, hypnotherapy, reflexology, polarity/cranial, EFT/tapping, acupuncture, kundalini yoga, numerology, intuitive healers, books/CDs, angel cards, shamans – where we have worked on and through my blocks and misconceptions. I am eternally grateful to and for all the healers that have helped me identify, move through, process and heal my lower karma. The transformations have been miraculous and eternally altering. The healers have been Heaven sent. Without them i never would have made the progress i did. But it never felt quite complete. It always felt like there was one more piece, one more element missing in the completion and closure in the healing journey of a certain issue. I always felt like I had to bring it to Jesus through one of His anointed, appointed, and ordained representatives, a Priest at confession. When I do and after I do, it is like I am “washed clean”. My being, my Heart, my spirit, my whole essence feel lighter. It literally and figuratively feels like tones of weight are lifted off of my shoulders. I walk with less heavy weight on me and in me.

It is an unloading in a Holy Space and Place. Time is non-present and eternal in a confession/reconciliation. All of time is there and none of time is there. The ground, the earth, the building where the “Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.” Psalm 51:7, take place is blessed and holy with the tabernacle holding the Holy of Holies near by, The Eucharist. Yes, I know all of earth is blessed and holy for it is God’s Creation, but just like Sedona, AZ has its vortices of intensified energy, certain sites are appointed as extra special or holy because of their intended purpose. “For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” Matthew 18:20. Thus too when people, priests, bishops gather, bless and proclaim a certain piece of land or building as a place of worship it holds that energy of its blessings, intentions, and the sum of all the worship energy that has taken place there. By taking the time, energy, and effort in our lives to go present ourselves before a priest in a tabernacle designated for the offering of our guilt, shame, fear, shortcomings, anger, frustration, helplessness, hopelessness, sorrows, pain, unworthiness, struggles… one is partaking in a sacred act of humility before God. One lays their ego down before God. One acknowledges their human frailty before God. One asks for the Grace to continue on with even deeper Grace, Wisdom, wholeness, and holiness.

Just like doing yoga at home is not the same as practicing yoga in a class with a guide/teacher/instructor, so too is a “home made” confession/reconciliation not quite the same as one in a church/office with a priest. Just like watching a ballet performance or sporting event at home on tv, or listening to a symphony on the radio, is not the same as being at the event in person, so too with the bearing of one’s burdens before the Lord is a much more profound and healing experience when done in person before a priest. Just like Jesus’ lineage is traced back to King David, the lineage of the priesthood is a vocation that through apostolic succession flows back to and from Christ, Jesus. Just like Jesus worked with the humanness of his apostles and disciples (male and female), so too does He work with and through the humanness of His current day priests and priestesses (Anglican Church). The words spoken in the Holy Space and Place of a confessional or reconciliation room, I have found for me have been mirrors, guide posts, soothing and calming, sometimes provoking (opened up another area for healing), and always liberating. It is one of God’s wonderful Gifts which bring us closer to God, in greater alignment to God, and deeper holiness and wholeness with God.

There have been periods in my life where I have gone once a week to confession and sometimes even more – after a Daily Mass, private office confessions, and once even on a bench under a tree. Had it not been for these confessions, I would still be stuck in some metal mental state of confinement. With each confession, a bar or two or more would melt away in my mind and opened me up to a life yoke of greater Light and Love.

A times I have seen these encounters as confessions and other times as reconciliations. In the confession paradigm is when I know I have fallen short and transgressed against, God, myself, and my neighbor –  all one and the same as we are all one of the same Source.  Confession is when I feel have done something offensive –  a sin of commission. I have been at the mercy of my ego, my lower self. On the other hand, I feel that I am in reconciliation  when I know that there is a different way of being and of living, but it is still vague and in vapor form for me. It is when God is asking another version of me to rise up but I am either afraid or unaware of the Divine Truth and thus am fumbling around in the darkness, or stalling.  This is omission and I am asking for Grace to help me reconcile myself to God’s version of me. Just like we reconcile our checking accounts to that of the bank, so too I feel I am reconciling myself to God’s best account of me.

These days one has two ways that one can partake in the Holy Sacrament of Confession / Reconciliation. There is the traditional confessional booth where the confessor, priest / priestess is in one room and the confessed, me or you in another room with a privacy screen in-between the two.  Or, there is the new way in which the confessor and confessee sit in the same room facing each other. The latter takes a whole lotta more gumption, or Grace. I’ve done both versions, including office and impromptu out door confessions. The Holy Spirit will let you know which is best for you in each circumstance. I have spoken my confessions from my Mind and Heart as in the Flow of the moment. I have also spent much time reflecting upon what I would like to bring to Jesus and thus have written out my confession and then read it to the confessor. Again, the Holy Spirit directs each encounter and healing session.

If you have not been to confession at all, why not try it this lent, before Resurrection Celebration (Easter) and see what it does to your Heart, Mind, Spirit, and body. A lighter conscience will lighten the body and help you move forward in life. If it has been some time since you have  been to confession, perhaps this article is your sign and “nudge” that it is time. It is a very humbling act. It is also very rewarding and liberating.  It will help you breathe easier and be more relaxed.

Abundant Grace , Wisdom, Humility, and Peace,                                                          Irena As I Am                                                                                                      03/05/2018

Stay Free

“Stay Free!”

“Stay Free!”

“Stay Free!”

Was the message the Angels were showering upon me, all around me, on the outside and on the inside.

There was a juncture in my life some time ago where I had left and was led out of a longstanding super committed relationship. I had poured all of me into this relationship and into the other and all the others around this longstanding super committed relationship. Later on I was to find out that I and the other have had many lives together in the past. This other  person and our relationship were the sun of the orbit of my life. And I used all of the sunshine  within me to lighten and nurture the other and others. It was my duty and obligation. And then it imploded. It was no more. It vanished. It became a nothingness, a vastness, an emptiness, a vacuum. And I lost all sense of me, my identity, my purpose, my purse, my meaning, my reason for being. Like an astronaut untethered from their spaceship floating aimlessly and in eternal perpetuity, I too was untethered from that and those that shaped who i was, why i was, and where i was going. For a period of time, my body was here on earth but the “i” in me or the “eye”  of me was floating in a black hole of nothingness. It was as though I was a walking, living, breathing shell of a body whose soul had departed. I knew not where my soul had gone, nor if it would ever come back and fill me up again. I knew I still existed because I could see and touch my body. That much was there and true, but the inside was hollow, like a dead tree. It was the weirdest sensation I had ever had over a period of time. I knew what depression was and how it felt. But depression was kindergarten to this sensation. At least in depression I felt something. With this encounter, I felt nothing.

As the adage goes, “The Universe abhors a vacuum.” and thus, in time another was brought into my life who could and would help me have a reason for me. Everything that I had wanted from the first other that I did not get and which had caused me great angst, this second other gave easily, freely (or so I thought initially), and abundantly. This second other was lavishing generous gifts upon me, flying cross country to see me and spend time with me – and all I had to do was “say the word”. Conversationally, this new other was brilliant and had a genius mind. To me and for me, this characteristic gave me an inside natural high. This was my own fairy tale unfolding before my eyes. I was excited again. I was alive again. I was feeling again. I had hope for the future. I began making plans for a future of togetherness, of “happily ever after”. But lurking behind all of this abundant external positivity and fortune, I was being hounded and stalked by a feeling from deep within of uneasiness, unsettledness, and like I wanted to RunRunRunRun.

This was a period in my life where I was a neophyte to understanding and responding to my feelings and to the messages my body was sending me. I was on the border, in that liminal zone between discounting them, ploughing through them, or bulldozing them down with the might of my bull-like will and to actually stopping, feeling them, discerning what they were telling me, and then proceeding with this newfound wisdom. Interestingly, one of my major mantras back then reflected this shift. It was, “Stop. Feel. Think. Then Act.”. I even had a t-shirt made with this slogan. I needed to wear these words and have my body and being absorb this lesson and way of being and living.

Even though my mind was elated and my Heart alive again, my body was SCREAMING something completely different and opposite. My body’s wisdom and intuition was feeling, reading, and responding to the vibes in this encounter. My body, God bless her, was figuratively and literally saying RunRunRunRunRunRunBabyRunRunRun! I am sure that you Dear Reader can figure out and make the connection how the RunRunRun… part manifested itself in my body. But just to give you little hint and clue: whenever I left my house, my predominate thoughts and concerns were, “where is the nearest rest room” and “how long before I reach the nearest restroom”. Get it? My body was so anxious and so distressed that she was always on the run from the present moment.

Around this time I was reading books on how to develop my intuition. I wanted to know how to hear and respond to God, rather than to the whims and desires of others. God responded by presenting to me in my path books about intuition: Laura Day, “Practical Intuition” and “How to Rule The World from Your Couch”, Sonia Choquette  “The Psychic Pathway” are the ones that I remember now.

Meanwhile I was teetering and tottering between co-joining my path with this new other or go at it solo. A wise person suggested that I visit and spend some time with this other person in their home and native land. And so I did. And oh Dear Lord what an eye opener this was. My trip was slated for seven days but after about day three or four, I KNEW I wanted OutOutOutOutOut! I called the airline and they wanted almost eight hundred dollars to re-issue my ticket to a flight a few days earlier. Um, maybe not. Maybe I’ll just tough it out, I thought. There is always a silver lining because if before my “no” was the size of The Rock of Gibraltar, after the extra few days my “NO” solidified from the surface down to the core and it became the size of the Rocky Mountain Range.

The Universe in It’s part was also signaling to me Their View on the situation with Their communication. We were driving in the city and a bus stop advertising caught my eye. It’s prominent message was “Stay Free”. Then while we were stopped at a red light, an elderly couple crossed the street right in front of us. I looked at them and they looked and felt MISERABLE. In that moment, I had a deep impression and feeling that said,                  “Irena if you co-join your path with this other, you will be this miserable couple down the line”. On my! Not good grief, but miserable grief. Later that night as I retreated into the safety and sanctuary of my hotel room, I had something happen that had never happened to me before – and at one point in my life I had done a a lot of business travel and hotel rooms had been my second home, so I had a cache of reference points of what a good hotel experience should look like and feel like. I had taken a long hot bath to wash the day away and then enveloped myself into the cocoon  of white bed sheets. I finally relaxed when I heard someone fidgeting with the door. By the Grace of God, I had engaged the chain door latch. I got up to see what was going on. The hotel staff had somehow mixed up my reservation with someone else’s who could not get into their room, which was my room. They tried to get in but could not. I was fuming mad! But in hindsight, it was just another sign along the way. I now see the innocent mistake of attempted intrusion in to my safe space as a signal of what would happen down the path line: my i would be intruded and invaded. Since I was so stressed and anxious, my monthly visitor, the feminine kind, came early. I always travel prepared and reached for my feminine product. Although I had used the same brand for years, it was as though I saw it for the first time. It read “Stay Free”. Need I say more! I laughed with deep gratitude at the affirmation and confirmation.

I could not wait to get into that metal cylindrical man made bird, sit into my seat  and fly home to my little safe nest. I thought I was home free. Again, at one point in my life for a few years, I had gotten on a plane several times a month and had always had a pretty good experience. Not this time though. The flight was delayed couple of hours due to an electrical issue related to the set belt safety light overhead our seats. All the passengers remained on the plane while the service crew repaired the short circuit. Meanwhile, I prayed and prayed and prayed. Finally a few hours later we were airborne. Home safe! I thought! Not so fast, said something else. About an hour into the flight the seat belt light started flashing uncontrollably, the pilot came on and said that although it was not a major issue and we could continue flying, regulations required that we turn back. WHAT! TURN BACK! NoNoNoNoNo!!! Turn back we did. Change planes we did. This I had never experienced before. Eventually, after much hassle, fuss, inconvenience, we made it to our destination, safely.

“Stay away from this person and this path. Very Very Very Far Away.”, the Universe not only whispered, pleaded, hinted, but screamed too. By the Grace of God, i listened and i obeyed, even though on paper and to the naked eye the positives were in abundance. This time I didn’t override The Holy Spirit. This time I took Her Eternal Wisdom and heeding.

Upon my return home, I severed ties with this person. Within a relatively short period of time, my body calmed down and stopped “running”.

Grateful beyond words.                                                                                                    Take Charge of you, your choices, your life, your health, your outcomes,                      Irena As I Am                                                                                                      02/23/2018

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.


“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

And Lead us With The Gifts of the Holy Spirit

I have been on my journey of deepening my intimacy with The Word and becoming more aware of the power of the Word since about 2004 or so – about 13 years now.
God SPOKE and crafted and created Creation with Their Words (Book of Genesis).
It is also written that “life and death are at the end/tip of the tongue”.
The tongue is a very powerful instrument which we are well advised to use it WISELY and for the good/blessing of ourselves and others.
Within this background,
and combined with spending a lot of time in understanding the power of affirmations
and then seeing the evidence with Dr. Masaru Emoto’s water study (see YouTube video),
I found myself
(almost restrained and refrained from deep within)
the last parts of the “Our Father” for a few years now – the part that the pope is talking about in the video below.

Lord's Prayer | ABC News December 8, 2017

Pope Francis wants to change the Lord’s Prayer line “lead us not into temptation” to “do not let us fall into temptation”. He fears the original suggests God can lead people to sin.

Posted by World News Now on Friday, December 8, 2017

The deep feeling that had come into my Heart was “why are you paying homage to what you don’t want – to the seducer and deceiver, to the one who sows doubt and fear, to the lier – and out loud too, with your voice, and with a group. Say instead what is good and Holy and how you do want to live”.
Thus, for the last few years, in this last part, and when in a group, 
I silently replace “that part” and instead ask for the
Gifts of the Holy Spirit:
I’ve also added,
The “I am not worthy” part bothers me a lot too. I just does not sit right, nor feel right. Worthiness and feeling worthy is a lifelong journey of acceptance of ourselves, and we need a lot of help, a lot of GRACE in feeling worthy. Thus, it does not feel right nor good to add with my spoken word and to speak these words over myself and in the presence of others. We all need the opposite affirmation and prayer – feeling worthy of all of God’s Love and Blessings so that we can be a blessing onto others.
What the pope is proposing is good,
but not enough.
This I deeply feel to the marrow of my bones.
I commend him for the courage he has had to even bring up the subject and I pray that The Holy                                                                                                                       Spirit of Truth
Spirit of Love
Spirit of Understanding                                                                                                      Spirit of Wisdom
overshadow him and all the Human Family.
When we change our language,
We change our vibration and reality,
Irena As I Am
They don’t tar, feather, and burn people
at the stake any more.
Do they?
It’s a fear that I’ve had to overcome in the past several years that I’ve been sharing on social media.
At one point I was so afraid of excommunication that I actually went to talk to a priest about it.
I was already pretty sure that I couldn’t be burnt at the stake – but it still did not stop me from looking over my shoulder every time I posted something dogmatically risqué.
It’s a past life thing, and I/we are healing that fear this time around.
I sat on the fence for about six years of the past life notion. It was not until I had my own past life answer sessions which helped me answer questions and understand my own patterns of behavior, that I embraced the concept.
Had I not, I would have stayed stuck. Instead, I received the gift of knowing what I/we needed to resolve and dissolve this time round. Otherwise, I would never have been freed.
In those six years of undecidedness, I read/listened to many books, had countless conversations, and attended numerous seminars in order to acquaint my self with this notion.
The UGCC (Ukrainian Greco-Catholic Church), who is a bi-ritual priest, meaning that he can celebrate both the western Roman Mass and the eastern Divine Liturgy told me he was aware of only one case of excommunication in the UGCC. He said that there had been a group of monks in Western Ukraine who had decided on their own to excommunicate the Bishop of Rome (the pope), and then in his place they themselves amongst themselves voted in and ordained their own “pope”. Thus by virtue of
excommunicating the Roman pope, they had excommunicated themselves too.
Then after some time their new founded “vatican” was not working out so well, so they disbanded it and asked to rejoin the Vatican in Italy. I think (?) this was in the time of pope Benedict, and I don’t think leniency and clemency was in their favor.
This story made me chuckle,
My excommunication fear had not been unfounded, for I had found myself “excommunicated” in another area of my life.
It was because I spoke my truth which I had held inside for a very long time. Had I not spoken my truth, it would have eaten me up from the inside out and just left a hollow shell of a woman and an existence. Yes, it did set me free. Yes it took herculean courage to get it out. It took herculean strength to withstand the back lash. And then it took herculean humility to reconcile. Actuality it took ABUNDANT GRACE & Humility on all parties involved for reconciliation to take place.
(It also helped me that I went on a three day water fast – water only for nutritional intake – to break the spirit of pride and entitlement (to my anger) that had overshadowed me. Around the same time too, I had me a field trip to the ER (not related to the fasting). Sitting there, lying there, all vulnerable and scared, sure put things into perspective: instantaneous clarity.)
It is the Eucharist that had brought me back to the church when I had wondered off and away.
It is the Eucharist that keeps me in the church.
There is nothing more Holy, more powerful, and more grace filled than receiving the Eucharist.

Come to Me

Once upon a time, a long long, LONG, time ago, it was 2:49 am on a southern Sonoran Desert winter’s night. I was snuggled warmly and safely in the arms of a blanket and a bed in a retreat house in a little corner of Holy Trinity Monastery. My sleep was peaceful, deep and restful. And then, The Voice came, hovered in me and awoke me.  Oh, The Voice always comes at the most unexpected times.

“Wake up.”, were the words whispered into and onto me.

I awoke and was immediately at attention.

Then I heard, or rather more like, felt on my Heart these words,

“Come to Me.”

“What!”, was my response and defense and denial.

“Come to Me.”, came back softly, gently, lovingly, and understandingly, for He too had been in flesh once and knows very well its frailty.

“But it’s 2:49 am. It’s the middle of the night. It’s SCARY out there. There are no lights. There are “things” out there in the night, in the wilderness. Unimaginable things that may do unimaginable things to me.”, was my plea and retortion, to no avail.

“Come to Me.” The Voice said, but now it was more insistent.

“Yes.”, I finally acquiesced with my Heart.

The Voice did not have to tell me where The Voice wanted me to go. I just KNEW in my Heart where I was being summoned to. I knew that He was calling me to Him. I knew He wanted me to visit Him at the foot of the “old rugged cross”. I knew He wanted me to spend some time with Him in the middle of the night, in the dark of the night when it was quiet and still. I knew He was testing me. He was testing my faith in Him. He was testing my trust in Him. He was testing my love for Him. He was testing my devotion and commitment to His Way. And, He wanted to prove to me, just how trustworthy He truly was. This, of sorts was an invitation to an initiation. It was an initiation into a way of life of obedience to Him, no matter how I felt, how things looked, or the defense my mind was preparing. It was His High Way or I was going to be on my own and at the mercy of my thoughts and the thoughts and expectations of others. Luckily, Grace stepped in and bolstered me with a heavy dose of Spirit Courage and Humility.

Even though I had a choice, if I wanted peace in my Heart, I knew I had but one choice, and that was to listen and respond. With this in mind, I got out of bed and since I already had pant pajamas on, I put on a warm jacket, shoes, and went out into the dark night. My Heart was beating, my mind was racing with fear thoughts, my belly was squeezed tight, and adrenalin was flooding my body. As I stepped out into the night and walked down the gravel road, I tried to be as silent as I could so as to not draw any attention to myself from whoever or whatever may be peering at me from the dark forest. I kept my head low and my gaze focused forward. I dared not look sideways into the darkness. In my mind and Heart I was not just praying, but begging for strength and courage. And They gave it to me. But the plot thickens, because I also had to walk past a cemetery. Oh yes, They always make a Faith invitation an interesting course.

But with all this inner noise and turmoil going on I did have the presence of mind to notice that the moon had been so large and so bright that I did not need my flashlight. I noticed that I could see very clearly and distinctly. I noticed that from the light of the moon, I cast a shadow on the road ahead of me. My shadow was the scariest thing that I had encountered.

I knew that I had to walk and not run the distance to the cross which was about a city block long.  By forcing my self to walk and not run, I was keeping the fear in check while still being able to keep my presence of mind. Had I ran, I would have let fear overcome me, overshadow me, dictate my behavior and then I would have lost all sense of me. Thus, as I walked past the cemetery and up the hill toward the cross my main goal was just to take the next step, and breathe. Just take the next step, and breathe. Just take the next step, and breathe. I was totally and completely in the moment. Nothing and no-one else existed anywhere, but my breath, my step, and my Heart attuned to Divine Support.

When I got to the cross, on my knees I immediately went, without even thinking. My hands wrapped themselves around the wood and my forehead touched the rocky ground. I was called here to revere the life giving cross. I was called here to take up my cross. I was summoned here to make my bond with the cross. I was going to take cues from the cross in how I was to live, in return, the cross would espouse me and wrap His arms around me and my life. It was our union. It was our reunion.

The cross has remained faithful to me, even though at times I have wavered and hesitated and delayed in my love response to the cross. This is the human condition. This is normal and nothing to be ashamed of nor scorned. But rather, gently accepted for what it is, live with it gracefully, and just do our best in each and every moment.

When I did make it back to my retreat room, and closed and locked the door behind me, I signed a huge sigh of relief. I am human after all: and humans waver. Otherwise we would not need the support of Love. As I snuggled back into the cocoon of the bed, I was in awe and wonder of what had just happened. I savored every moment like lovers savor every glance and  touch. It was also a profound lesson in observing and feeling the fear, but doing it anyway. It showed me to not be at the mercy of my fear, but rather at the mercy and grace of Love.

Little did I know back then, that this was just the beginning of these invitations to trust. There were going to be many more in the years ahead. But the good news is that each invitation to trust was accompanied with the Grace of The Universe at my back. I was not alone. I was not expected to do it alone. I was surrounded by Love. Love imbued me with strength, courage, power, wisdom, gratitude, and profound humility toward The Voice.

Abundant Wisdom, Grace, Courage, & Humility to All,                                                      Irena As I Am,                                                                                                                      In His Service and In His Love

OMg – My Dear Zeus god

Omg – My Dear Zeus-god

Ladies & Gentlemen,
Boys & Girls,
Introducing the likeness and image of the god with whom I grew up with. I now like to call him my formerly beloved, or rather much FEARED zeus-god.

Zeus-god for some unbeknownst reason to me was always ANGRY at me and with me. He was always DISAPPOINTED with me. I could never please him. I could never live up to his expectations of me. He instilled great insecurities and self-doubt. I could never live up to the standards he set. Just by virtue of breathing, I seemed to break some law or another of his – I was inconstant sin, sin, sin mode, thereby gladdening and satiating his ferociously fierce appetite for lightening-bolt punishment.

This caused me to always be looking over my shoulder so that I could gauge  zeus-god’s fickle mood de jour. I was always ready to duck should a lightening bolt come my way as atonement for my being “bad”. And if I managed to duck the lightening bolt because he happened to be preoccupied with bad boys and girls in another village, well then, zeus-god always kept the eternal flames well stoked for my long term “warmth”.

A Herculean Effort
Fortuitously, or rather, an Ocean of Grace intervened and said,
“Let Us show you a different Way.
Let Us show you what and how
Free Will
Peace, and
in and with Us look like and feel like.”

They brought books, teachers, radio/tv evangelists, and friends into my life that showed me how to TRANSFIGURE my fear biased and based zeus-god relationship to one of
I learned how to develop a friendship with Him, with Jesus.
I learned how to make Him, make Jesus, my BEST FRIEND EVER and ALWAYS, my lifelong BFF.

They also showed me how to practice being loving, forgiving, accepting, and merciful with me, no matter what I did or did not do. They showed me that I am always WORTHY of these Gifts, and that it is i who at times can withhold these Gifts from myself. Lastly, They showed me that the more that my Heart grows and is anchored in these Truths, the more I will be able and capable of offering Them to others, to those whom I encounter.
The healing becomes the balm for others.

As our intimacy developed and grew, I realized, and still am realizing, and will continue doing so for the rest of my life, just how wonderful He is and just how wonderful I am.
It’s a day by day and moment by moment journey.

It’s all about Love.
Love is Good, always.
as i was
as i am
as i will be