Burning to Emerge…

When I started writing about my “climb up the mountain” of weight loss…there was nowhere in my wildest and crazy thought processes that I could envision where it would take me on my soul’s journey…

 “Don’t hoard the past. Don’t cherish anything. Burn it. The artist is the phoenix who burns to emerge.” – Janet Fitch.

This segment of the path is not completed…yet, I have come further than I would have imagined in a short about of time…

Tears have fallen like a molten lead flame…rising from a broken heart…sliding from beneath my eyelids…the soul rendering grief as I whimpered…sobbed convulsively…moaned…and cried seemingly endless tears…the agony of grieving hurts like hell as the saltwater of tears burns through the wounds… burning past chapters of my life…some I have saved and hold tight within my memories…most I am burning and letting go…“Even a spineless arthropod sheds what’s no longer useful and leaves it behind them. Are you not greater than they?” ― Jason Versey

 “Darling, you’re not falling apart. You’re getting rid of the pieces that no longer serve your purpose, this is a surgery of the spirit, and it can be painful as hell.”

Kalen Dion.

Excess weight has been a survival mechanism that I needed…and I find myself still “eating” as a means of grounding myself when the world “feels” overwhelming…why?

Being an empath is difficult and has often felt like a curse, more than a blessing…how do I explain what an empath is…it has become a more commonly accepted way of being…so much that neuroscientists and psychologists now accept and use the term…

“The term ‘Empath’ has become popular in recent years, often used to describe someone with a higher-than-normal degree of empathy. Empaths absorb others’ energy to the point where they feel like an ‘emotional sponge’. They do not have the filters most people do, and they seem to feel other people’s stress and feelings in their own bodies”https://eggshelltherapy.com/empath/

Probably brought on due to the trauma of my childhood wounding and “growing-up” years…it became a survival mechanism that I needed to have to tune in to how my narcissistic parent (which is also caused by his own childhood wound) was feeling so I could do what I needed to be “safe”… Being empathic makes it easier to notice other people’s emotions, thoughts, and feelings

I didn’t understand what was happening and as life progressed and I continued to draw narcissistic people into my life…the emotional load became too much…I always felt overwhelmed and not grounded in my own body….the food that I have craved…are heavier vibrationally dense…foods and drinks that are processed and lost all of their natural energy…alcohol, caffeine, dairy products, GMO foods like corn or soy, soft drinks, beverages with added sugar, wheat and products containing gluten, unhealthy fats and oils…the added weight adding an additional benefit …serving also as an added blanket of protection…both physically and emotionally…


“Highly sensitive people are too often perceived as weaklings or damaged goods. To feel intensely is not a symptom of weakness, it is the trademark of the truly alive and compassionate. It is not the empath who is broken, it is society that has become dysfunctional and emotionally disabled. There is no shame in expressing your authentic feelings. Those who are at times described as being a ‘hot mess’ or having ‘too many issues’ are the very fabric of what keeps the dream alive for a more caring, humane world. Never be ashamed to let your tears shine a light in this world.”
― Anthon St. Maarten

So, what’s next on this journey…definitely continued healing…releasing the outdated offensive energy blocks (the pain and hurt) that I carried for years…and filling those empty spaces with more love…learning how to serve as an empath without losing my own identity…it is a process that I must be patient with and love myself through…

I had my first meeting with a psychologist last week to help guide me in this continuing expedition up the mountain…the first meeting was more about mapping out the journey of my life up until now …I was blessed to connect to the right one for me…her suggested reading was The Source written by a South African Tara Swart…“a neuroscientist and MIT lecturer that shows how science supports the Law of Attraction as a tool for discovering the authentic self”…

How synchronicitous is that…it is a rather exciting process for me…like the cage doors are opening and I can finally be free…do you have any idea of what even the thought of freedom means for the Aquarian freedom loving person🤣…like air…necessary

I haven’t lost any weight yet …but it really is ok…I will as I learn new skills to cope…and I know that my optimum weight is about 130…I have so many exciting things to look forward to…and losing the weight is just a fraction of the blessings that I am in anticipation of…

I choose to share the journey to be brave and bold …to view my scars is to know you are not alone …much love, joy, and magic for your day❣

“Vulnerability is the birthplace of love, belonging, joy, courage, empathy, and creativity. It is the source of hope, empathy, accountability, and authenticity. If we want greater clarity in our purpose or deeper and more meaningful spiritual lives, vulnerability is the path.”

 Brené Brown, Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead

There is a new story that will be written from the ashes of the old…

The Fork in The Road For the Empaths

Dear Empathic Soul

It is terribly challenging

to live with little or no filter;

To hear every drop of tears from near and far away;

To see human and non-human expressions of sorrow;

To every day have the world’s pain piercing through you;

To sensing the lies and hypocrisies when others don’t;

To feel trapped in your heightened sensitivity and perception.

At some point, you reached a fork in the road

where you had to decide:

Either to stay here with us, in this imperfect world, or you float up, dissociate, and leave.

I bet you have tried them all:

The spiritual bypassing, the closing down, the tuning out, the numbing using addictions, or dulling through drugs.

The desert offered transient tranquillity, but eventually led you down a path of emptiness, deep aloneness, meaninglessness and eventually,

despair.

Boredom is a result of fear—

It was all too edgy to sit with, so you left.

As you withdraw from the heartache, you also leave behind your hope and love.

At some point, you will reach another fork in the road

where you have to decide:

To stay, or to leave.

A yes or a no to the marriage with life.

The key to moving forward is ‘commitment’;

You either commit to being a part of humanity, or you divorce yourself from it all.

You might have thought that you were too weak, too porous, too soft

for such a commitment.

Yet something magical happens when you say ‘I do.’

The words clear your path, the intention gives you strengths.

How does this work?

By committing to staying with the world, you must also live with other people’s limitations and dysfunctions.

Then, you come face to face with your shadows and your own dysfunctional parts.

Your heart softens, and you learn the art of unconditional love and acceptance of yourself and others.

By committing to cohabiting a space with others, you deal with the daily irritants, inconvenience, and transgressions.

In doing so, you come to embrace life for what it is, rather than constantly trying to change it to the way you want it.

Eventually, you become strong.

With all the terrors comes glory.

As your commitment to the world ripens, it rewards you with richness, joy and strength.

So you were born an empath.

Where do you go from here?

Do you rise to the occasion, yield to the path that you were given,

let it shape you, and allow Life to use you as a vessel,

Or do you hide, shrink, and leave?

Ultimately, you root to rise

not because it is moral, or even particularly honourable,

But because it is the only way to go.

https://eggshelltherapy.com/empath

Walking the Path…

When I started writing about my weight loss journey…little did I know that it would take me through this dark journey…and never would have thought about sharing…but I do so in the hope that it may be a guiding star in someone else’s darkness…

I cry almost every day, right now …and often feel like I have no skin and my innermost being is raw … screaming internally with every breath of air…irrationally I am not depressed…I know that there is an end…this is only the beginning to a beautiful ending …this is the beauty of the darkness

 When you feel like you need to cry, when you want to just get it out, relieve some of the pressure from the inside – that is true pain. Because no matter how hard you try or how bad you want to, you can’t. That pain just stays in place. Then, if you are lucky, one small tear may escape from those eyes that water constantly. That one tear, that tiny, salty, droplet of moisture is a means of escape. Although it’s just a small tear, it is the heaviest thing in the world. 

Chase Brooks

The analogy that comes to mind is the treatment needed for third degree burns …my past traumas caused damage to the very depth of my being …I hadn’t realized the severity …I numbed the pain to survive…the best way I could …anaesthetizing the deep inner wounding and brokenness in whatever way I could manage… now the scar tissue must be scrubbed clean …and it hurts like the dickens …

Instinctively I knew that this healing would be painful …I humbly submitted to God that I would walk the path …it is my “valley of death” that I am walking through …not to live in or die here …but to walk through …releasing the infectious thoughts and beliefs that have kept me small and hidden (out of fear) …definitely, “It would be easier to keep playing life without being whole …it is done all the time …but that is not what I choose …

My first session with the a registered clinical psychologist and pastoral therapist is still about 10 days away …I am responsible for my own life and have been experimenting with spiritual practices to find what works for me …EFT tapping helps with anxiety …many people swear by its weight loss attributes … I haven’t gone that far with it yet definitely helps in several ways for me…

“We are not human beings having a spiritual experience; we are spiritual beings having a human experience”

Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

EFT Tapping has been used successfully in PTSD survivors … a lot like acupuncture without the needles …EFT uses fingertip tapping to apply pressure to the meridian points …points in our body which the Chinese believe that our energy flows through …

There are several steps …but the one that spoke to me first was the “setup phrase”… a common setup phrase is: “Even though I have this [fear or problem], I deeply and completely accept myself.” …affirmations are about what we want to become … not acknowledging where we are and loving ourselves in spite of those imperfections …

So much of my issues stem from not knowing how to love myself …something I never learned as a child to do …that statement I deeply and completely accept myself” along is very healing …self-acceptance even when I am not that “perfect” version of myself I feel I need to be to be accepted and loved …EFT tapping has worked for me in shorting the overload of anxiety when I use it …

Learning to heal the inner child …is my biggest challenge …. “adulting” is not something I really learned to do well …I had no role models …and my parents were unable to provide the knowledge I needed to navigate the world due to their own traumas …and being kept secluded in the cult” gave me no other options to come across any …

“When our emotional health is in a bad state, so is our level of self-esteem. We have to slow down and deal with what is troubling us, so that we can enjoy the simple joy of being happy and at peace with ourselves.” ― Jess C. Scott

Today I completed a YouTube Video Yoga for trauma healing …a gentle yoga not focused on hard poses to master …a way to safely connect with my body …slowly starting to release the lower vibrational energy that I have stored in my body …helpfully liberating tension

That is how I view the extra weight that I carry with me …a lower vibrational energy that I stored with every bite of food that I used to stuff anger, hurt, fear and all the other negative emotions and feelings that food helped me to manage in a more societal acceptable way …

“The fact is, all of us are living with the invisible wounds of some kind of war. Yoga helps you to let go of the things that don’t serve you anymore.”
Dan Nevins, yoga ambassador and US Army veteran

Tomorrow will be a new day …new hope …a gift to be opened with grace and gratefulness …this is not the end, only the beginning…there is a reason that I wear a butterfly tattoo🦋

Across the miles ..I send you love…with prayers for all the laughter and magic you can hold❣

Conversations…My Dragon & I

“Don’t fight your demons. Your demons are here to teach you lessons. Sit down with your demons and have a drink and a chat and learn their names and talk about the burns on their fingers and scratches on their ankles. Some of them are very nice.”

Charles Bukowski

Making peace with one’s self is so much easier than making war…well, maybe not easier but less bloody…Incredibly adverse to the hatred that it takes to kill something…even the thought of killing something within myself was abhorrent…

So how to reframe it all… losing weight…which is letting all the trapped trauma go…self-sabotaging…self-hatred…to lose weight without limited massive willpower… and keep it off means changing something deep within myself…so here I am taking the time to talk to my big personal dragon of self-sabotage…why does he decide to burn down every attempt to cross this mountain…

My Protector and I

It made no sense when I was so confident that this was the time… Determination was at an optimum level…I was going to conquer the mountain of weight loss come hell or high water…becoming healthier, more confident, and happier…and then I quit…BLOP…sat right now and quit…doing the same thing over and over gets exhausting…

During introspection, I realized that I had been in a situation that triggered all of my fears of being “not safe”…being “pretty” when I was younger brought attention that was dangerous and hurtful…the fear (Fear is a powerful, deeply wired reaction that is designed to keep us safe from perceived threats) of being taken advantage of again caused the “inner child” to freak out again…huge anxiety…

There are several reasons (smaller dragons) that have caused me to sabotage my weight loss…feeding worry and anxiety… a way to soothe, rewarding myself and suppressing feelings…but the biggest one is fear in all its incredible glorious form…

Recognizing it is the first step…the fear is irrational…I am in a safe place with a man that loves me for who I am… understands and is supportive of where I’m at…acknowledgement has been a good beginning…I have started talking with a therapist and we’ll see where that leads and if it is helpful…

The trauma of when I was younger apparently was horrible enough that my self-protection has blocked my memory of most of my life between the ages of 5 and 18…our brains are such beautiful… I don’t know if I even need to remember or if I ever will…and that’s ok…I have forgiven and I am no longer a victim…my focus is staying mindful and being in the moment…”sucking the juice out of every moment that I am blessed with”…

Now it is taking one step at a time…loving myself and the dragon that I live with seems to be a smart step right now…gently acknowledging the fear and learning to love myself…

Daily self-love is being gentle with myself…focusing on doing at least one productive thing per day that I can do towards my goal…living the fact that being healthy makes me less vulnerable, not more…

Helpful Book-The Mountain

This week I have been Intermittent Fasting 16/8…it’s easy and I enjoy the feeling of not being weighed down with food or worrying about what to eat…even though there are periods of hunger…I have made an appointment with my nutritionist for Friday…I will meet with her once a week for support…

Making friends with my dragon so we can learn to fly together …my dragon and I

Much love, laughter, and magic for your day❣

Tame the Dragon…

“Never judge another knight without first knowing the strength and cunning of the dragons he fights.”

Richelle E. Goodrich, Slaying Dragons: Quotes, Poetry, & a few Short Stories for Every Day of the Year

Admitting that I’m imperfect, in a world that worships perfection, is not an easy thing…you see influencers on social media and their lives look flawless…exempt from pain or any flaw…

I would think I would have it all figured out and life would be a smooth walk by now…yet there is a deep chasm between where I am and the mountain that I want to be at…day-to-day resistance…a struggle that is painful…self-sabotage at work…

The faucet of emotions has been dripping for a long time…that’s easy to handle…to sop up and hide it away somewhere…I was always fearful that if I had to release it all that it would overwhelm me, and I would suffocate under the weight of it all…

I am not angry or do I feel like a victim…I believe in the goodness of God…grateful for the life that I am so gifted with…overcoming many obstacles in my life…but I’m stuck…a deep soulful yearning for that exquisite view from the mountain top…

Yesterday I heard of an artist that committed suicide…someone who gave his whole life to helping the less fortunate here in South Africa…the question is “why”…what pain did he live with that he couldn’t bear anymore…

I have been there… sitting in my bathroom at the age of 35 and the soul pain so unbearable that I wanted to die…ripping through the fabric of my being…again and again…until it became so excruciating …so agonizing …that even 35 years later it twists the very being of who I am…wringing tears from my heart that I thought I had cried…

Now I must face the monster to get where I want to the place I have been drawn to all of my life…Oprah Winfrey said it well, when she said...”I want to fulfill the highest expression of myself as a human being (a spiritual being having an earthly experience)…I want to fulfill the promise that the creator dreamed when He dreamed the cells that made up me”…

“Ultimately, we know deeply that the other side of every fear is freedom.” ~Marilyn Ferguson

I’ve tried to fix the problem with band aids…but I keep running smack dab into a wall…hitting bottom…living in the dark…facing buried childhood trauma is difficult…not blaming anyone…everyone does the best they can…I have forgiven…but the script that were installed as a child keeps playing…”you’re not worth anything as a female”…”you don’t deserve to be protected”…need to be erased and rewritten…not an easy task at any stage of life…

I have already come a great distance by myself and with support and love… crawling through continuing abusive relationships that reinforced the belief system that I wasn’t worthy of care and love…a friend once asked me, “if I didn’t feel that I deserved better”… and subconsciously I didn’t…always trying to prove my worth by being perfect…in literally everything…catering to every whim and desire of the people in my life…to the point I ended up with PTSD…curled up in a ball…totally and utterly exhausting…

I’ve been protected and carried even when I couldn’t walk anymore…with buried sparks of dreams that I was given before time…I thought most had been totally obliterated…I have worked hard to grow healthier and stronger…a lifelong journey of study…so I understand where I am at…it’s a final frontier…

I’ve been at the lower mountain camp for several years now…navigating the first forty pounds through sheer perseverance…then my husband’s cancer, covid and loneliness in a new country brought me to the open crevasse that is before me…

Which Danger Are You Experiencing?

I see the beauty on the other side…and freedom…freedom to just be…

A spiritual being having a human experience come trailing the breath of the ancestors yet but trailing the breath of the angels and understanding that because I am connected to the source of all that is all that is possible is possible for me”

Pierre Teilhard De Chardin French philosopher and Jesuit priest 1881 – 1955

It feels like the Valley of Death that I must walk through…the “dark night of the soul”…that miserable process where we undergo for a significant transition …

“There can be no rebirth without a dark night of the soul, a total annihilation of all that you believed in and thought that you were.”― Hazrat Inayat Khan

If I die trying…for it is guarded by a dragon…who if I turn my back on will devour my soul…plant a field of wild flowers for me where butterflies will forever be free….schreech…hard stop…been through too many battles…I WILL CONQUER…I will scale the mountain…and come hell or high water…I will come out on the other side…and if I can’t slay the dragon, I will tame him and ride to the top of the mountain…and plant my own damn flowers and watch the butterflies…create my own fairytale

Tame the Dragon

“They’re telling me that fairy tales are for learning how to slay dragons. But I’m telling them that I would never slay a dragon. I will mount the backs of dragons, I will fly with them. And if that doesn’t happen in fairy tales, well then, I’ll write my own.” ― C. JoyBell C.

“How to get the best of it all? One must conquer, achieve, get to the top; one must know the end to be convinced that one can win the end – to know there’s no dream that mustn’t be dared. . . Is this the summit, crowning the day? How cool and quiet! We’re not exultant; but delighted, joyful; soberly astonished. . . Have we vanquished an enemy? None but ourselves. Have we gained success? That word means nothing here. Have we won a kingdom? No. . . and yes. We have achieved an ultimate satisfaction. . . fulfilled a destiny. . . To struggle and to understand – never this last without the other; such is the law. . .” ~ George Mallory

“Woo-Woo” or Just One “Woo”…

Vibrational Frequency of Food…

Thought I would stir the pot…so to speak with the spiritual aspect of the foods that we eat…a little whoo-whoo for some…but relevant for me and at the very least…thought-provoking🤔

…I am mulling it over too after I listened to Alan Carr’s book…he had made comments about why humans are not because I am sensitive energetically…I had become aware of the concept…but really wasn’t ready to embrace it…and honestly…I am not there 100% yet…it’s not that I don’t believe it…just not ready to become a full vegan…but I have started to make some changes and I do feel happier and healthier…repeatable small changes are more manageable for me…therefore, often long lasting…”not as much will power required”

“True life is lived when tiny changes occur.” ~Leo Tolstoy

I know that I used food to “stuff” my emotions…more specifically, it was about “not” feeling…not feeling angry…not feeling depressed…not feeling lonely…and the foods that I used were the lower vibrational foods…it stopped me from feeling as much angst…I have experienced the opposite also…when I eat “healthier” I am happier and definitely more energetic…

Back it back up…

How does the food we eat have vibrational energy?

Even Einstein once said, “Everything in life is vibration.” …Followed by Nikola Tesla who said,” If you want the secrets of the universe, think in terms of energy, frequency, and vibration.” …just food for thought (pun indended😂)

I could go on for hours about the scientific data…quantum physics and now even quantum biology is a real field that is studied in universities…recently science is beginning to take the woo-woo down to at least one woo…and I love that fact the science is now beginning to be able to confirm what ancient cultures around the world…the shamans, mystics, and healers have known and understood for thousands of years…

For those that want a less mystical explanation…”Any kind of food that you consume in its pure, raw form—the way it exists naturally—contains energy from the sun, and that energy causes it to vibrate at a high frequency that benefits both your physical and spiritual health.” https://www.learnreligions.com/eat-foods-that-raise-energy-vibration

Just stop and think about how you feel happier or sadder with each of the items on the list below…even if the thought of vibrational energy doesn’t “vibe” 😄with you…

Other Ways to Raise Your Vibration (How Good You Feel)

Very curious…about how you think about the food you eat…do you believe that the foods we eat have a vibrational energy?

Much prayers for peace in our world …peace, love, joy for your day…throwing in just magic to make your eyes sparkle…❣

Witnessing Thoughts…

Meditation or Mindfulness

“Don’t do anything…watch whatever the mind is doing. Don’t disturb it, don’t prevent it, don’t repress it; don’t do anything at all on your part. You just be a watcher, and the miracle of watching is meditation. As you watch, slowly, slowly mind becomes empty of thoughts…. As the mind becomes completely empty, your whole energy becomes a flame of awakening. This flame is the result of meditation. So you can say meditation is another name of watching, witnessing, observing—without any judgment, without any evaluation. Just by watching, you immediately get out of the mind.”

Osho, Mindfulness in the Modern World: How Do I Make Meditation Part of Everyday Life?

Life is such an adventure itself…my favorite quote is from Helen Keller who lived and loved life though she was born blind and deaf (and you thought you had challenges) “Life is a daring adventure or nothing at all” … I am embarking on another challenging aspect…challenges are invigorating to my psyche…until I lose (I am not a good loser…just ask Mr. P 😆(we check our Fitbit’s in the morning to see who had the best sleep score and losing at our games of chess…oh, we won’t even discuss that) …adventure/challenges …the reason that I haven’t taken up sitting in a rocking chair…smiling and waving at the world going by…

Photo by Kyle-Johnson

To increase the probably of success on this particular expedition…I am preparing more deliberately…preparing a life with every tip and technique that I know is best for my unique personality…there will be many things that I will not be able to control during this trek up my mountain…but there will be things that I can control and that will definitely assist in making the best decisions in those uncontrollable places…

I face challenges that have tripped me up…the reason for my skinned elbows and knees…I am sure that most everybody has heard of HSP’s …Highly Sensitive Person…sounds like a trumped-up excuse for someone that is just “overly sensitive”…as much as I have disliked this particular personality trait…feeling broken…it makes life easier to navigate with the knowledge…and yeah! I am not alone…supposedly 15-20% of the population are in my “tribe”..

Was it something that I had developed in childhood because of the trauma…I thought that it might be due to my need to be highly alert to any changes in parental behaviors to protect myself…scientifically being an HSP is genetic…https://www.futurity.org/highly-sensitive-people-brains-2559912-2/…although it did have an outsized effect on my ability to navigate life…

HSP’s have a fundamental difference in our brains…Sensory processing sensitivity (SPS) is a biological trait where our central nervous systems experience acute physical, mental, or emotional responses to any stimuli…

The best explanation that resonates with me is this…

I like to describe the difference between sensitive and non-sensitive people this way: every morning each of us gets up and tunes in to the world. For a non-sensitive person, tuning in to the world is a lot like tuning in to a radio station. The non-sensitive person tunes in to the one radio station to connect with the larger world. Sensitive people also tune in each morning. However, in the case of sensitive people, the experience feels like receiving all the radio stations in the world all at once. As a result, sensitive people are inundated and since this is caused by a physical characteristic, the nature of our nervous systems, we cannot turn it off. No off switch! https://sensitiveevolution.com/unique-frequency-sensitive-people/

So, what does being an HSP and witnessing thoughts have to do with each other…good question

Meditation/learning mindfulness is one critical component of the mental training for my endeavor …recently I was trying to find a way to increase my sleep score (😂 to beat Mr. P) and meditation was one of the suggestions…my mind never seems to be calm enough to sweetly drift off on the magic carpet of sleep…many years I took over the counter sleeping pills just to relax enough to get to sleep…not an answer…my sleep patterns were still horrible…but at least I got a few hours before I woke up again to face the racing thoughts…(my brain trying to make sense of all the static and messages that bombarded me that day)

I thought I should at least give it a try…for scientific purposes…always thought it was a bunch of hooey and mumble jumble…there are thousands of programs, apps and You tube videos…tried a few…none of them really felt harmonizing to my soul…I haven’t learned how to meditate without assistance…I have been using Waking Up app for over a year…***just a personal choice that works for me and no payment for my endorsement…my sleep score has improved once I started meditating…mornings are my preferred time of meditation…10 minutes to get me in a calmer frame of mind…

Back to how this all connects to becoming healthier…you thought if you just “dieted” and “exercised” several hours a day…short term it may work for some…for me it is not a sustainable or long-term remedy…well, not really even short term…more than a day or two at the most…

Mindfulness helps me to manage the stress and control the emotional eating…being able to just stay in the moment and watch my feelings…not being attached and feeling the need to soothe and alleviate them “right now” by overeating…they pass…the feelings and emotions do pass…really…really…if you let them…

Meditation allows us to shift through thoughts…question the foundation that we make our choices from…our bodies are only the outward manifestation of what is going on in the inside…if we do not change how we think…any physical change will only be temporary… that is the reason that 99% of people (I didn’t look up the actual amount, but I know it is a lot)that lose weight, gain it back and more…

Meditation and mindfulness affect the body as well as the mental “stuff”…it helps to reduce the stress hormone cortisol…the nasty thing that just calls to the sweet, fatty, and salty foods for immediate surge in energy for the “fight or flight” those stressful situations used to call for…

Because we do not need to run from the caveman next door…most of the time, anyway…it doesn’t have anywhere to go and usually starts hanging around our belly button…maybe, it’s looking for a way out🙃…our bodies complain by feeling more depressed and tired…and that’s so that’s why it is important in my preparation to consistently continue the habit of mindfulness…

“It is never too late to turn on the light. Your ability to break an unhealthy habit or turn off an old tape doesn’t depend on how long it has been running; a shift in perspective doesn’t depend on how long you’ve held on to the old view. When you flip the switch in that attic, it doesn’t matter whether it’s been dark for ten minutes, ten years or ten decades. The light still illuminates the room and banishes the murkiness, letting you see the things you couldn’t see before. It’s never too late to take a moment to look.”

Sharon Salzberg, Real Happiness: The Power of Meditation
Love, Laughter and Magic❣

BTW – 10,000 steps (564 calories)1336 calories (which included a gin and diet sprite) …developing the habit of exercise and keeping a food diary…more preparation still to go…little by little…

Turtling On


― 

You’re Not Broken…

That’s the name of a book that I am reading…You’re Not Broken: 5 Steps to Become Superconscious and Activate Your Magic By Christopher Michael Duncan

Yet, I have felt broken most of my life…not the broken into pieces that you can pretend look like diamonds… the ugly destruction that feels irreparable…

JUST PUT A LOCK ON THE DOOR

And I did…locked myself in and everyone else out…I would peek through the cracks of broken places and see the world happy and full of pretty lives…but I knew that that the world was dangerous…full of lions and tigers and all kinds of monsters that ate your soul… only in my solitude could I even have the remotest possibility of being able to guard myself from further devastating damage and pain…

“There are many things I don’t know, but quite a few I do. I know you can’t be lost if you know where you are. I know that life is full of precious and fragile things, and not all of them are pretty. I know that the sun follows the moon and makes days, one after another. Time passes. The world turns, and we turn with it, and though we can never go back to the beginning, sometimes, we can start again.”

Megan Hart

I bled for many years…that slow drip that allows you to stay alive but ever so slowly drains the life from your very soul…no band aids or special glue to hold the shattered parts together… so pulverized that even the faintest breeze blew part of my heart somewhere where I could not retrieve it…

The pieces can be put back together…over time…I found a piece here and then another piece there…someone would come along and hand me a piece that they had found…with the help of other broken people… I have been slowly putting myself together…like beautiful broken pieces that make up a mosaic ……there are still missing pieces but there is a reemerging design…to give other people a vision to know that there is beauty that can be created out of the trash and destruction of past hopes, dreams, and lives…

I still sometimes feel sorry for myself that I must keep crawling around on hands and knees in the grey dinginess of past destruction…looking for the pieces that are still not there…

When I started thinking about this week’s writing…I thought I knew what I wanted to share…my photography blog is less profound but here I wanted to be a bit more reflective…in the hopes that there might be even one person that might feel they are not alone in their struggles…I have no answers…everyone’s path is different…I am not a doctor or psychologist…but I can walk beside you…maybe shine a light so you can see the step ahead with hope…it is one step at a time…sometimes it is the proverbial two steps forward and one step back…I’ve even rolled completely down the hill to start all over again😂..

When you feel that you can’t breathe another breath…just hold on…one more second…one more inhale…one more exhale…


“Beneath the rust and grime which dulls the shine of our weathered hearts, joy patiently waits to be rediscovered”
― John Mark Green

There is one door that stays locked no matter what I do that I feel contains a key to more freedom and happiness…anything from my past that can still control me limits my freedom…while we are on this earthly journey…I believe that we will always have lessons to learn and ways to grow…that’s what we are here for…

That’s how this feels…I unlock one and I find ten more rusted locks behind that one…

Because of where I have come from and the beautiful life that is being unfolded…with every ounce of my being…I know that there is an opening to this conundrum…but it’s getting old …this not finding an answer…

Some of us that deal with abuse and trauma in our lives…we all have painand we all look for ways to alleviate the pain…do not know how to deal with the pain that we feel…and we devise coping mechanisms that changes our brain chemistry and function over time…ways that we can administer a healing salve…and we become addicted to the relief…even if momentarily…that addiction hijacks the brain…”the brain goes through a series of changes, beginning with recognition of pleasure and ending with a drive toward compulsive behavior.”https://www.helpguide.org/harvard/how-addiction-hijacks-the-brain.htm#:~:text=addiction%20hijacks%20the%20brain.%20This%20happens%20as%20the%20brain%20goes%20through%20a%20series%20of%20changes%2C%20beginning%20with%20recognition%20of%20pleasure%20and%20ending%20with%20a%20drive%20toward%20compulsive%20behavior.

Addiction involves craving for something intensely, loss of control over its use, and continuing involvement with it despite adverse consequences. Addiction changes the brain, first by subverting the way it registers pleasure and then by corrupting other normal drives such as learning and motivation. Although breaking an addiction is tough, it can be done

.https://www.helpguide.org/harvard/how-addiction-hijacks-the-brain.htm

So, the truth is that I have an addiction that has controlled my life for over 30 years…it was a gradual dark demon that grew as circumstances continued to become overwhelming to the point that I would have taken my life…I had no control over anything…and two children that depended on me and the life that I lived …

“I have absolutely no pleasure in the stimulants in which I sometimes so madly indulge. It has not been in the pursuit of pleasure that I have periled life, reputation, and reason. It has been the desperate attempt to escape from torturing memories, from a sense of insupportable loneliness and a dread of some strange impending doom.”

Edgar Allan Poe

My addiction is not alcohol…nor narcotics…gambling…compulsive shopping…smoking…stimulates or sedatives…approval is another one…although it would be such an easy switch…and a few beckoned most beguilingly and ensnared me for a brief time… never released its tendrils…only like a python…wrapping itself around me and crushing my hopes and dreams of being free…slowly squeezing tighter as I exhaled… my addiction is respectable...FOOD…do I sense some disappointment that it is not something that is considered more detrimental to a human’s well-being…

“Sugar, for example, shares the same neurochemistry and neural pathways as cocaine. Sweetened chocolate mimics the effects of alcohol and opiates. Flour modulates moods and anaesthetizes pain just as many drugs do.” ― Vera Tarman

It is as life threatening as any other substance that is addictive…our brain works the same…the same thought process that make us screw up day-after-day…time-after-time…yet, unlike alcohol addicts…we cannot totally alleviate the drug that keeps us locked in that suffocating cage…we cannot stop taking the tiger out of the cage or walk out with the door open…the tiger just comes with us… Three times a day we must face the fact that it will never be an all-or-nothing type of recovery…perfection will never be attainable…

“The brain chemistry that drives the addict to seek pleasure beyond the point of satiety is similar, whether the user favours Jack Daniels or Jack-in-the-Box.”
― Vera Tarman, Food Junkies: The Truth About Food Addiction

I have tried picking many of the locks on this cage door…studying for years the causes and tried every solution…spent enough money on hopeful solutions repeatedly that someone in the billion-dollar diet industry was able to have bought a Mercedes or a house or two…

So why am I sharing this gut-wrenching story…so much as changed in my life…I have support and love…cleared debris from emotional wounds that need to be healed first before I could even see beneath the weeds to get at the locks…

Am I scared…beyond any comprehension…to put out into the public arena to be judged…for something that I have failed at so many times at…it is no longer to maintain beauty and the beckoning siren’s call of the feminine body that lures…although not an undesired art of the outcome…

Aging has its own definition of beauty…not the same one that we whip ourselves with when we are younger…healthy…energy and vitality are the important outcomes that I am looking to attain…

And releasing that python grip on my body, heart and mind…

I was blessed to be able to release fifty pounds 2 years ago through low carb, intermittent fasting and a great deal of exercising…but it was very strenuous…and too difficult as an HSP…I was not able to maintain the momentum…but now I must unlock the rest of the cage to be able to walk free of the bonds…maybe a struggle the balance of my life…but hopefully more manageable to stay out of the cage…There is so much left to see, do, and share…why would I not keep trying to conquer this addiction in order to experience the gifts that I have been handed…

This is for me a spiritual journey…most things are deeper than just the manifestation of physical symptom’s…the feelings of unworthiness… The feelings and emotions…finding ways to find joy and pleasure outside of food…letting go of my crutch…my friend…and embracing the love I now have in my life… Delayed gratification…so many threads…

This is part of these writings…definitely not all…there is so much beauty and my heart is filled with gratitude and joy for my life…I am blessed beyond measure…now I am opening and repairing that locked room in my soul that I may experience more and share that joy and abundance with others…

Natural effervescence…Diamonds in the Sea

Sending love, joy, laughter, and plenty of sparkling magic for your day…you are loved more than you know❣

Looking for the Future…

“The fog of illusion, the fog of confusion is hanging all over the world.”
– Van Morrison.

Lost in the misty fog of life…that’s how I feel most of the time…unsure of where to head next…how to proceed forward into a place that I’ve never been before…I wish we were handed maps when we were born that would lead us directly to the path toward the purpose we were sent to fulfill…

I probably still would have tossed the map out the window…I have never liked being told what to do and imagine all the excitement that I would have missed…

“Sometimes when you lose your way in the fog, you end up in a beautiful place! Don’t be afraid of getting lost!” ~Mehmet Murat Ildan

Often when we feel lost…the mind and heart are not working in harmony…it does not mean that we’re doomed to wonder around in the cold misty gloom that blankets us…for often it is just a knocking at our heart… a call toward something better…if we were contented with the status quo…there would be no impetus to search for the warmth and light we yearn for…satisfaction of the soul…

It is good to feel lost…because it proves you have a navigational sense of where Home is. You know that a place feels like being found exists. And maybe your current location isn’t that place but, Hallelujah, that unsettled, uneasy feeling of lost-ness just brought you closer to it.”

~Erika Harris

Venturing into that grey unknown frontier is intimidating and downright scary…that cold tight knot in the pit of your stomach that never seems to go away…it’s really just butterflies waiting to be released to fly…leading you to an enchanting place of freedom and possibility…

It really is OK

I promise…we all feel alone and lost at times…everybody…no matter how bleak the road appears you won’t feel that way forever…but how we travel through is important and can make the arrival time of our destination appear on the horizon more expeditiously…

“I give you this warning: your journeys will rarely go as you plan. You will make mistakes, and you will feel lost. Whenever that happens, look to the light and keep moving forward in faith.” ~Seth Adams Smith

I am not a doctor or a psychiatrist…and I don’t have a magical quick fix (my wand ran out of fuel and is in the shop)…but I humbly offer what works for me…

Sit with the feeling...The first step for me is just to sit with any turbulent and nightmarish emotions…just watching while they swirl and dance their crazy black tendrils…and not becoming overly attached or overanalyzing (which I do a lot)…knowing it will be ‘ok’…although it may take awhile…”Sitting with our emotions simply means allowing them, resisting the urge to get rid of the pain and not judging ourselves for having these emotions”…it is a lot more difficult than ignoring and/or dismissing them…it’s painful…often the first thing we do is to try and numb those feelings by a glass of wine or three…food…work or anything else to soothe the discomfort…the key is to ‘avoid’ those distractions…distractions that often just adds to our exhaustion…

Stay in the Present...it will help you get your bearings…figure out where you’re at… you have lost your compass…that vision of your life and the future..at the moment…wandering around aimlessly can be very dangerous…it’s a survival necessity to pause…like getting lost on a trail in the middle of the forest when the sun has descended…Stop, throw on an extra layer, relax, have a brew, and then pull out the map…often a sleep and a new day will bring new light…

Healthy Habits…Eating…this is critical for me...I crave carbs when I am stressed…it is a natural serotonin booster…and makes me feel better (for a little while until I crash…then crappy)…Exercising…A good cardio workout…Yoga is significant in unlocking of stuck energy for me…Meditation…doesn’t have to be traditional…just sitting in quiet…focusing on your breathe…reciting affirmations or scriptures….whatever makes you feel positive

Change Your Environment...Taking a walk in the fresh air and just concentrating on what’s around me changes my perspective…grounding or realigning your electrical energy by reconnecting yourself you to the earth…walking barefoot…lying on the ground… even swimming or wading in a lake or stream…sounds very woo-woo…I love this and is extremely calming…one central theory from one review study Trusted Source is that grounding affects the living matrix, which is the central connector between living cells…before you just throw the idea out…it wouldn’t hurt to try it…..

Take Action...Read…Listen to Podcasts or whatever presents itself in your search for self development and understanding…Seek and the teacher will come…Journal a lot…writing helps me to put all the jumble on paper and often I can sort through the threads that need to be thrown away and those I need to continue to follow… Deliberately be grateful…even if it’s just for your gift of that moments breath…

Go out and do things that make your life feel full of purpose and meaning. Identify what it is that you love doing (Not your mother, sister, husband or friend…especially society and social media), what brings you joy and get out and do more of it. Remember, nothing changes if nothing changes…do things to create meaning and purpose…

And never ever be afraid about Asking for Help…Friends…coaches…doctors…you are a valuable part of this world…very important to those around you..so many people care and would love to support you…they’ve been there…

“Light is coming to give back everything the darkness stole” @Naijamisfit

Love💓, laughter🤣 and magic🦄 for your day…

Is Art A Spiritual Practice…

What do you get when you shake and stir the emotions of feeling selfish, silly and way too old…a painful anxiety of unmasking my soul to critics…fearful that if I expose that creative dream to the light…”poof” like dandelion fuzz it would disintegrate again…worrying that it is an egotistical pursuit…sprinkle that with the musing with that following my joy might divert me from my mission in this life…hmmm…crazy exhausted with the overwhelming smell of burning rubber in the background…(which comes from stepping on the brakes and gas at the same time)…

Every artist dips his brush in his soul and paints his own nature into pictures.  

Henry Ward Beecher

My lifelong personal mission statement has always been to be a conduit of God’s love to this world…and it feels less than noble to be so excited about sharing my photographs and words…receiving wonderful support from those who view my work…isn’t the spiritual life meant to be hard and painful…

Wrestling with the dilemma has been a hellacious struggle…the creative dream and growth in writing and photography fills my life with happiness and joy…so I prayed…begged for guidance…as always, when it’s time…the teacher will come…not in my desired timing…of course…but when I was ready…it did…

Two books…one that I held for a while…but never read…The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron and a lesser known book called The Soul of Art by Alfred J. Garrotto…both very supportive of the idea that creativity and spirituality are intrinsically linked…

The heart of creativity is an experience of the mystical union; the heart of the mystical union is an experience of creativity…” The Artist’s Way, Julia Cameron

Last week I entered 8 photos into the PSSA(the Photographic Society of South Africa)…it was my first time for National entries…and only the second time for entering my photographs…I was fortunate to be able to enter free of charge because I am a newbie here…a level 1…but then everyone has to start somewhere…these are the ones that I submitted..my first entries were given gold and even better a certificate of merit…so now the question definitely needed answering…

Each photograph was taken with love and appreciation…some with exquisite joy in the beauty…some with pain…to be reminded of the poverty of the world…physically, emotionally, and morally…

It is said that, before being born, each soul is kissed by God. Then it goes through life always, in some dark way, remembering that kiss. The soul measures every experience in relation to that original sweetness . . . . To be in touch with your heart is to be in touch with this primordial kiss, both its preciousness and its meaning.

The Restless Heart Fr. Ronald Rolheiser, OMI

“As an artist, we are channels of the divine, fingers pointing heaven-ward. We are not the source of our gifts. We are individual points of light among the billions of stars that Creator-Spirit has splashed across multiple universes.”

Artistic imagination fills that void, showering us and our planet with wonder and hope. Artists’ message to our audiences is, “There’s more” . . . more than what we see and feel, more than the sum of our daily anxieties and fears. The Soul of Art, By Alfred J. Garrotto

I have done nothing to deserve these gifts and I am not worthy…any talent that I may have is unearned and unmerited…truly a gift of grace…to an imperfect human from a perfect God…to honor the gifts that I have been given, I still must do my part to cultivate and use them to make the world better…to share with an open and joyful heart…not as an egotistical pursuit or for personal accolades…it can easy to do…

All of us in the arts need to hone our craft through dedicated study, rehearsal, repetition, practice—even when we don’t feel like doing it and especially when we think we’ve maxed out our potential. How can any of us know that we do not have one more, or multiple, works within us that may exceed anything we have yet produced?  Am I too old to keep going? Too sick? Or just too wearied by past failures?

https://www.scribd.com/read/336109402/The-Soul-of-Art#

Perfecting the crafts of writing and photography will be a delightful lifelong challenge…I must put in the work that the gift requires to be more effective in touching lives…not allowing self-doubt and the fear of failure and criticism to bury my gift that may be used to return beauty, joy or inspiration…to lift humanity from its daily muck and mire of routine…causing someone to stop and breathe…if only for a moment…

May my heart always be filled with compassion to share a journey of hope and vision in a world of hopelessness and seen in all it’s ugliness…may I be given the virtue of humility realizing where my gifts come from to make the world a better place to live, joyfully sharing my gift with an open heart…for I have done nothing to deserve any gift that I have been given

I am only the “pointer” to the one that is the originator and creator of gifts…I am only the steward…a guidepost…so to speak…along this journey of life to the compassionate presence of a loving God..

I am only a conduit of God’s peace and love…allowing God’s love to flow through me...my service to others is my artists’ purpose…may my gifts to the world be wings that lift those that experience my words or images to be lifted out of the routines of the day to day and remind them that there is more…to discover within themselves their magic…their passion and joy…their own art and what is best within themselves…

Artists channel Creator-Spirit’s beauty, compassion, and love. Our mission and call is to bring some-thing into being where before there was no-thing.  Our ultimate gift is that, like Creator-Spirit, we do not hoard our transcendent experience and its fruits. Art is our “voice.” We cannot, we must not, remain silent. If we engage in the arts merely for our own gratification, we risk forfeiting our claim to be artists. Recall that art, like love, requires that it be given away. ~Alfred J. Garrotto

Any talent that I have is God’s gift to me, and my gift to Him is what I do with it…

I am a humble artist molding my earthly clod, adding my labor to nature’s, simply assisting God. Not that my labor is needed, yet somehow I understand, my Maker has deemed it that I too should have unmolded clay in my hand.  

Piet Hein

Dedicated to the love of my life Mr. P…who pushed me to fly and is the “wind beneath my wings” every day…and the support and encouragement of all my friends and family💓...I could not walk this path without them

Sent with prayers for Love, laughter and magic in your day

The View at the Top

As a writer, I often muse about what I have learned in my life and would want to leave that if people heard with their heart would make a difference to their lives…it would be…

NEVER, NEVER, EVER GIVE UP…ON YOUR GOALS, DREAMS, VISIONS AND ESPECIALLY YOURSELF..❣

No matter how many times you failed, no matter how dire the circumstances seem…or how long the fight…how much you feel like quitting

No matter how tired…rest awhile and get back up…just get back up

I have read so many articles and books…listened to every available video and program that I could get my hands on after my dissolution of an 18 year marriage in my mid-30’s…I had to walk away with nothing to my name…I had no means to keep my children…one child that really needed my help…the other opting to stay with his father because I did not have the money to give him the things his father promised to give to him…living in a car…and on and on…the knock downs and knock outs kept coming..

In the years in between…everything I tried to accomplish failed…the dreams I held in my heart and would not leave me alone…all shattered…there were successes…but there always seemed to be more failures and falling short of the cherished desires that I held unto tightly…wrapped in dirty discarded disappointments…

But I couldn’t give up…there was always a spark hidden underneath all the ashes of my life…I would read something that came my way…and the dying ember was fanned into a small fire and the rekindling of hope keep me hanging on through the years…

Recently I woke up on a quiet morning and realized that many of my dreams/wishes had manifested…I had been given the gifts that I had asked for on my “Christmas” list…not in all the exact physical detail that I thought I wanted…but definitely the “feeling” that I wanted in my life…

After my divorce, I made a list of the attributes of a partner that I felt would be a “soul mate”…someone that would be a yin to my yang…I spent years…literally😣 on dating sites searching for the “one”…there are definitely plenty of fish in the pond…over the years I went through over a thousand profiles…hundreds of online conversations…a few I thought might be compatible…but no one fit…and I felt I was too old and maybe just a friendship would be satisfying…

Then one day in 2018..26 years later…I received a pen pal request from a man halfway across the world in South Africa…a nice gentleman who offered to help me turn my profile photo right side up…we shared a love for photography, traveling and the same spiritual beliefs…he was intelligent, well read, gentle and kind…although an engineer is about as opposite to a creative personality…but yet the same…enjoyed music and art…he had even taken dance classes…

We wrote, and messaged daily for months…it was easy being open and free to express myself to someone that I shared so much with and was thousand’s of miles away…and would probably never meet in person…he was easy and gentle…very accepting and I felt that I could be supportive with some experiences that he was dealing with at the time…I had been there and done that…

There was no way that I could ever have come up with the way that this part of my life unfolded…a definite surprise package…now living in beautiful South Africa with a man that has made my life so incredibly magical every day…

Although life hasn’t all been wine & roses…especially when his cancer diagnosis was said out loud…just a little over a year after I arrived…9 months later after surgery and heart rending chemo side effects…we reached the other side…Mr. P rang the bell after his last chemo treatment was a few weeks ago and he has been given wonderful news that his stats are normal…full of gratitude and would not change one second…

I had several businesses that I had to abandon or didn’t get off the ground for one reason or another…one wish I have always had was to be able to leave a business for my children…a few days ago one of my children asked about helping with a business idea…how awesome is that…

I wanted to travel…see the world…and now our plans include Turkey and France…🤞 this year

I had lost a photography business when my divorce occurred…now I have photographed some of the most exquisite beauty in nature…

I carried a story around with me or some years and now I am writing a fantasy novel…which may take me awhile, but is so much fun…

I do think that maybe there are things I could have done to expedite the expression of my desires…I think there were times I was stepping on the brakes at the same time I was stepping on the gas…but I believe a large part is that is that I just wasn’t at the place I needed to be to or it wasn’t the right time…

And there are still things in my life that are waiting to be realized…but you have to ask and believe…trust and hope…God said, “Ask and ye shall receive”…He will give you the desires of your heart as you wait and trust in Him…and believe me, there will be things that you don’t receive that later on you will be glad that you didn’t get…

Never ever give up and enjoy the journey and if you are in a place where that seems impossible…sit with gratitude in nature…keep the flame burning in your heart…if all these things have been “gifted” to me…a simple girl born in the cold snowy winter of a small farming town with one stop sign…then it will happen for you…

With much love and magic for your day…

Renée🦋