Balance

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an even distribution of weight enabling someone or something to remain upright and steady.

a condition in which different elements are equal or in the correct proportions.

I try to do yoga 4-5 times a week. Yoga is all about balance, much like life is. Often times one of my sides if off balance and I cannot get into a pose really well or hold one as long as the other.

If you are into any type of energy work or spirituality, then you know that the right side of the body represents masculine and the left side represents feminine. I am fascinated by this when people complain of aches or pains on one side of their body and I wonder where they are off balance in their thoughts, actions, and feelings.

The masculine side is characterized by logic, facts, systems, and self-interest. The feminine side uses intuition, feelings, openness, and the unselfishness of our nature. If we see them as separate, instead of embracing both qualities within us, then we are living in duality.

If both sides are in harmony, then your masculine and feminine energies are balanced and you have better health, harmony, and are conscious to all beings. You may have heard the terms divine masculine and divine feminine; this is unity within, which in turn, will foster unity without.

In order to have healthy relationships with partners, nature and everything in-between, there has to be a union of these two energies within us first. But most of us do not have this and our relationships will reflect where we are off balance.

We are currently off balance at this particular time in history. We are anxious, fearful, panicked, overwhelmed and angry. Shelves are empty and people are scared. We are ignoring one another instead of helping and staying as far away from anyone that we even perceive as a threat.

Where is the humanity in any of it? Human touch is what makes us all thrive, yet we are afraid to even look at one another.

I don’t know about you, but I refuse to buy into the fear. I cannot control what happens tomorrow, nor can you. The best that I can do is be responsible, make smart choices that don’t put myself or others in danger and keep doing what I do.

I’m not wearing a mask, I don’t have any Purel, I haven’t stock-piled toilet paper, and I most certainly haven’t stopped my yoga practice or auditions. In fact, I think I might go out to eat later and enjoy a nice dinner with a glass of wine.

Call me irresponsible, call me crazy or call me ignorant. I don’t care. I’m calling it living without fear because feeding into it, only creates more hysteria and I don’t operate from that place. If I have learned one thing on this journey, it’s to respond not react; there really is a difference.

All that is being asked of you at this moment, is to remain balanced. To stay calm. Love those in your life a little more because you are being forced to be with them now and maybe that’s not such a bad thing. Look at the positive and stop focusing on the negative and all of this will leave as fast as it came.

Nurture the feminine aspect of yourself and the masculine one as well. We are not at war with one another, in fact, we are in this together. This is an opportunity for us all to unite and make conscious choices that will raise the vibration of our planet, instead of ones based on fear that lower it and send us all into a tailspin.

Love, laugh, play games, share meals, talk. Everything happens for a reason-maybe this one is simply to appreciate what we have and those who are in our lives, just a little more.

Mirror Mirror

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Man In The Mirror

I’m a sucker for Disney movies! I watched Snow White this week and as the evil step mother looks into the mirror and asks, “Who is the fairest of them all?” I had a revelation.

I used to hear the word “mirroring” all the time when I was forced on this spiritual journey. You know what I mean by that because, well, you don’t really have a choice. Once you start seeing things differently there’s no not seeing them, so you have to just keep going.

I digress.

I would hear spiritual teachers say, “You don’t like that person because they are mirroring something back to you.” What did that even mean? The more I thought about it, the more confused I got.

I mean, there were some women in my life with a resting bitch face that could be sold on Halloween. And the men? Equally as ugly. They disregarded me, treated me as though I were beneath them or tried to control me, just to make their disempowered selves feel  more powerful. Was I them? As hard as I tried to see it, I just didn’t, because I knew I was nice, so I couldn’t grasp how I attracted so many meanies into my life.

Well, it took me a very long time to get this one, so I am going to share it with you just in case you are wondering what the people (we’ll call them mirrors) you are looking into are really reflecting back to you. (You should get excited now..this is a game changer!)

They are mirroring YOUR unhealed wounds. Things that happened to you in your childhood. You see, at some point in your childhood, someone either made you feel less than, disregarded, abandoned, unsafe, bullied, controlled, disempowered, unloved, and plain old not good enough. All of the big ones!

And because no one cared what your feelings were, you were just a child after all and what kind of a voice were you allowed to have…you learned to stuff it all inside. And now, years later, you’re wondering why you keep attracting the same boss, the same men, the same women. Blah blah ad nauseam.

This little kid, now a grown ass adult, has been trying to get your attention for a long time. But you keep shoving it down, ignoring its pleas and outright dismissing any wrong doing to it, much like the adults in your life did to you. But now the little kid has had it, so all of that pain is surfacing, begging to be healed once for all, by way of the asshole standing in front of you, making you feel horrible.

This is mirroring. You are not, nor have you ever been this horrible person who is making you feel bad. This person who puts you down, embarrasses you, makes nasty comments, tries to control you, takes advantage of you, lies to you or maybe even dismisses you altogether, is someone from your childhood.

Your response in your body is a telltale sign that you are being triggered by them and is an opportunity for you to finally listen to that little kid who was shut down. The way you feel when you are around this person, their tone of voice or something they say, the way they look at you or even roll their eyes when you talk, are all clues that this mirroring is happening to you.

Your unhealed traumas from childhood show up in random people as a gift. I know that sounds ridiculous, but once you see these people for who they are, you will no longer be controlled by them. You can look at each of them as a door that is opening, until finally that little kid is set free.

Who were when you came into this world, before the adults in your life gave THEIR shit to you? I’ll tell you…amazing, limitless, lovable, strong, talented, brilliant, beautiful and innocent.  Take that back! You have the key, but as long as you keep holding onto the stories that were given to you, instead of making your own, you will attract the same people who disempower you, until you do.

The step mother in Snow White saw this purity in her step daughter and she was jealous of it. People who put you down, treat you poorly and judge you are really jealous of you because they see all of these qualities in you but do not know how to give it to themselves, so they take yours instead.

We all possess beauty, inner beauty. There is no need to disparage someone else to have it. If someone is doing this to you, then it is because you have unhealed childhood wounds that are needing attention.

There is no need to look at people who don’t love you unconditionally anymore. We’re done with that! Lesson learned! And if you haven’t yet gotten it, then ask yourself what it is they are showing you that needs to be healed. Do you love yourself enough to finally get this?

See all of those people as alerts: “Danger Will Robinson!” your inner child is saying, begging you to look at it, hear it, help it.  We only ever attract people into our lives who mirror how we feel about ourselves on the inside. Does that make sense? I hope so!

Stop looking for mirrors, unless you’re doing your makeup or hair. Look within! That is where all of your answers are and your freedom too.

Apology

a regretful acknowledgment of an offense or failure.

It’s Too Late To Apologize

Is it ever too late to apologize? I’ll leave that answer up to you.

The other day I got released from a really big job. My manager (the most amazing woman ever) apologized to me. It was completely unnecessary because that’s just the nature of the business, but she knows how hard I work and understood what it meant to me. She followed it up with a “I  believe in you.” It was truly heartfelt and I appreciated her acknowledgement of me as a person and an artist and the struggles that we go through.

But sometimes people apologize and don’t mean it. If you’re one of those, you should know that an apology without meaning is really manipulation. Have you ever had someone say, “I’m sorry you feel that way.” This is the worst apology of all because it really isn’t one. What it is, is a passive aggressive way of saying I’ll let you think I am acknowledging your feelings, when really I don’t give a crap about them at all.

I have had a few turdy people do some pretty shitty things to me in my life and I have never expected an apology from any of them nor do I want one. An empty person can only beget an empty apology which leaves you feeling emptier, and I don’t know about you, but I would rather be at a table with those who bring something to it, in lieu of those who only know how to take.

Here are my thoughts on an apology.:

1)An apology is not a confession. If you’re confessing, you’re only thinking of yourself and not the person you are apologizing to.

2)An apology should not be done with an expectation either. This is called an agenda and an agenda is all about you.

3)An apology is not some magic pill that you think is going to make you feel better once you do it. You’re swimming back in the me waters again. Save that shit for the confessional!

4)An apology should not be done because you think it will make things better in a situation, like a family thing. This is called acting. A person in touch with another person’s feelings will know when they need to say they are sorry, it won’t be scripted.

5)An apology is not something that requires the right time or the right circumstance. If you think this way, then you live in denial, because there is no much thing.

In it’s simplest form, an apology is the acknowledgement of another person’s feelings and how you may have trampled all over them. In order to know this, you have to have empathy. You have to have the ability to understand the feelings of someone else and be able to share those feelings openly and honestly. If you can’t do that, then don’t bother with an apology because it won’t be taken as one. (See 1-5 for where you are coming from).

But there are those times when we think we might need to apologize to someone, when it isn’t necessary at all. I think these apologies are from our own guilt because we know we did something that may have upset someone else, but it wasn’t intentional. An apology with an energy of fear or trepidation around it might be some program you’re running which has absolutely nothing at all to do with the person you think you need to apologize to, and you might want to look further into that.

My gauge for apologizing is simple. If I can see, hear or sense that I have upset someone in my life that I care about, then I do not hesitate. The relationships I have are far more important to me than my ego, so I acknowledge my part in someone else’s sadness, anger or frustration because my heart becomes lighter when I do so. A heavy heart is a burdened one; let that shit go.

Relationships that matter to us aren’t always easy. Sometimes things are said or weren’t said, and we wish we could go back and do things differently. But living in the past doesn’t work for anyone because it’s over. It is the present that counts.

Our time, our energy, our attention lets the people we care about know that we hear them, see them and understand them and that no matter what is going on in our world, we honor them by noticing what is going on in theirs as well.

And at the end of the day, that’s all any of us really want, isn’t it? To be honored, seen, appreciated and loved for who we are, by those we care for most.

 

 

Feeling

an emotional state or reaction

a belief, especially a vague or irrational one

When it comes to feeling, there is absolutely no logic behind it. We just feel. Whatever that feeling is.

But so many of us avoid feeling anything, and instead, try to logically work our way through and around things. We keep thinking about a future that hasn’t happened yet or staying locked in a past and we forget to live in the moment. To allow whatever is happening to happen without being attached to an outcome.

This need to control everything and everyone essentially keeps us in a cycle that has been playing out for so long, we have now made the story ours even though it never was. We must do this! We must do that!  Why? Because our parents did, their parents did, we did, society tells us to.

But what about what your heart wants to do? What about the feelings that arise that spurn us on to dare and do what we want instead of what others want for us?

Maybe a person challenges you and you fight to force your way upon them; to try and control a situation that you have absolutely no control over. And even if you did, why would you want to disempower someone like that?

We can be on auto pilot for awhile and stuff our feelings deep enough inside but eventually something happens and we are forced to feel.  It may be anger, regret, grief or resentment that you feel. You may feel so broken inside that you are afraid to feel, but it is a necessity in order to be free of everything that has kept you bound.

Why deny yourself the gift of feeling? What’s the worst fucking thing that could happen if you just feel? If you stopped for two minutes, turned on some music and just allowed your feelings to arise. To let it go! To finally be free of all that shit that has been keeping you hostage. The lies that you have told yourself that aren’t true.

I tend to feel joy most days, but there are those where I am feeling a bit introverted and may want to explore what is going on under the surface of my usual mega watt smile. It doesn’t take much to make my cry when I listen to certain music or make me dance.

Here are a few of my favorites. Have a listen and maybe just maybe you might feel something, too. Crying, dancing  and embracing your inner warrior optional!

Fyrsta

Fever 

Near Light

You Say

Chaos is a Ladder

Water under the Bridge

No Ordinary Love

Power

Being at Peace

Peace: freedom from disturbance; tranquility.

I feel like I have been traveling for several years now with no destination in mind and have finally arrived at this place called Peace.

But before I landed here, I faced so many ups and downs. So many uncertainties. So much utter chaos. I once found the unknown simply intolerable, now oddly enough, I find peace with it.

I no longer look for an outcome, I only look at what is standing right in front of me.  Every now and then I look over my shoulder, but only for a moment, to reflect on what was being taught to me.

I see everything as a lesson now. A glimpse into the parts of me that have been begging to be healed; essentially wanting to be freed from some jail cell I put them in. They show up in the strangest ways. And if I was not conscious, I could quickly become triggered by them.

A girl at a McDonalds withholding the key to the bathroom for me, after seeing me standing and waiting for 4 minutes. Moving closer still as she swept, eyeing me up and down, until finally asking me if I was waiting for the bathroom. When I replied yes, she asked if I was going to buy something.

I laughed to myself. Here we go again with that pattern! Having to give something in order to get something in return. I’m so done with that!

“Sure!” I said. I really had to go.

In turn, she laughed at me; playing out her programs of disbelief right in front of me. I wondered how many people had lied to her for this to be her response. She then cocked her head back and proceeded to unleash her anger in another language at me, as she reached into her pocket and took out the keys.

The old me would have been angered by this. The new me knew it was an insight into how powerless she felt in her life, to have to keep a bathroom hostage. Which obviously was a reflection of how powerless I have felt in mine. How many times have I kept parts of myself hostage because I thought I had no power.

I thanked her for showing me how powerful I was and left.

We not need be triggered by people. We need to see what it is that they are showing us that needs to be healed. Once and for all.

The world is full of people who are miserable. They refuse to take accountability for where they are in their lives and only want to blame others. Judge others. Keep others in the programs that make them feel safe. They do this by control.

But that’s not how I roll. That’s a false sense of safety. Having to give something to get something in return? Having to pay a price for acceptance, love, or a bathroom entry?

No one should have to pay a price for anything. But if you don’t know your self worth, than others will guess it for you and you will continue to pay a price until the day you don’t.

When life throws someone your way who gives you attitude, take note. Whatever part of you gets lit up, is a part of you begging to be released from the prison you have put it in. Feel the feeling, acknowledge the part of you that is begging to be freed and then let it go  once and for all.

 

 

 

What Would Love Do?

I find myself asking this a lot. You know why? Because the world seems to send someone my way more often than not, who cannot help but show me how powerless they feel by wasting the most precious commodity I have; that any of us have.

In their warped worlds they think if they get a response from me, it somehow translates to them that they matter. If they choose to ignore me or yank my chain in someway just to try and get a reaction from me, it has the same effect for them.  A narcissist thrives off of other people’s attention, no matter how good or bad. It has an insatiable appetite and will stop at nothing to make sure love never has its way with it.

But guess what? Love doesn’t give a shit if someone needs to feel that important, that guarded, that controlling. Love just loves cause it feels good to the person who gives it. In fact, the more love I give, the better I feel.

I asked myself this morning, “What would love do?” when the woman who was supposed to meet me for a pilates session didn’t show up, even after I agreed to move our prior commitment because that worked better for her, even though she cancelled 20 minutes beforehand.

The old Gretchen would have lambasted her! Gone all out white mom on her ass. But as I sat in the empty cold hallway waiting for her arrival or a text or phone call alerting me that she was not going to show,  a range of emotions came over me and then I decided on love.

Love would do nothing. It would just accept that this person who had stood me up twice now was in her ego. She had made it clear that her time was clearly more important than mine, as was she. It was then that I knew she needed love more than I ever would.

You see I love myself too much to get entangled in other peoples shit anymore. I see it all around me. People everywhere defining themselves by their accomplishments, by others accomplishments too, like they had some hand in it. But not when things are going bad. When things are going bad its always someone else’s fault.

Most people do not appreciate what they have or who they have, they just appreciate how it makes them feel. And always at the expense of others. This is what the ego does. The ego gives to itself that which it takes from others in order to feel better because it lacks compassion and soul.

Love would never do that.

So if you have ever wondered what love is or even thought you might have the audacity to think about what unconditional love was, you probably live in your ego.

Love just loves. Plain and simple. It doesn’t take from others in order to make itself feel better. As a matter of fact it does the exact opposite. It gives. It gives so much and keeps giving more cause it just feels good to do so. It doesn’t worry about being screwed over or what people will think because it knows love is all that ever matters. How is it that the most simple thing somehow eludes us most?

May we all have the courage to live every day in love, because the absence of love is fear and there is nothing more crippling than that.

Unconditional Love

is known as affection without any limitations, or love without conditions. This term is sometimes associated with other terms such as true altruism or complete love.

But how many of us love this way? Without conditions?

For most, loving your children is without conditions. I know personally, if I had to throw myself in front of a semi to protect one of my boys, I would do it in a second. They also know to throw me in front of one or the M72 when I get too old to look after myself.

Love without conditions. Can you imagine it? I can! I love myself without conditions. I’m quirky, have my faults, am certainly not perfect and yet I have learned to love every little thing about myself.

I had no choice. This is what this journey is about. And I know if you have found my blog, then you are on this journey, too.

I do not share my blog with anyone. I don’t post it on Facebook or tell friends I have one. Okay, maybe one friend knows, but I have known her since high school and she digs all this Universal stuff as much as I do. But aside from her and a few others, there are very few people I let into my inner circle.

And while I have learned to love myself unconditionally, I love others without conditions as well. No matter what they say, what they do or how they may have perceived that they have wronged me on some level or I at one time felt that way about them,  I love them.

This Journey is all about getting to a place of complete surrender. Once you reach this point, loving others without conditions and accepting them for who they are is all you will ever know, be, or show them.

Love without expectations. Love without words. Love of another that transcends all rhyme or reason.

Love for those you once found intolerable because you have reached a state of complete clarity and you finally realize that not loving others is not fully loving and accepting a part of yourself they are merely mirroring back to you begging to be healed.

This is unconditional love.

Is it so hard to love this way? It must be, because so many of us struggle with it. We demand from people, we try and control them, we are co-dependent, we have limitations, expectations and everything in-between, all under the guise of love. This is not love, it’s what we have been conditioned to believe it is.

Real love is the one that makes your heart skip a beat, puts a smile on your face for no apparent reason and gifts you with an inner knowing that no matter what you do, it’s not going anywhere.

Real love is all that matters. And if real love is all that matters, then loving without conditions should be all that matters too.