How to Feel on the Anniversary of your Trauma


bright-light-pathIf you are new to my blog, and to my business, you don’t know that I have been through things that most people can’t even imagine.  When I look at my personal trauma, I see that it could have been a lot worse and that there are many people out there who have suffered a lot more than I have.  It’s all about perspective.  Everyone experiences and deals with trauma in a way that is completely personal to them.  We never know how much a person has been through, and we can’t predict what tiny – or unimaginable – event that will send someone into a tailspin of PTSD and mental health issues.  When someone experiences trauma, many times they are too numb to have any reaction at all, and may experience guilt at having no harsh feelings.  The people around us have no idea how to react and often say things that are detrimental to our healing.  They may not see how much we are suffering in silence and take that as a sign that we are ‘over it’.

I was blessed this morning to be able to chat with a young lady that is coming up on the anniversary of her rape.  She contacted me because she didn’t know how to feel, and was worried that all of the horrible nightmarish feelings would flood back to her.  I had never really stopped to think about this before – that we could have times where we aren’t sure of how to feel about our own traumas.  I thought back to when I was 15 years old and had just been raped, and I realized that even though I had plenty of support around me, I still ended up on that path of self-medication.  Alcohol numbed a lot of the feelings that I had at the time.  So much so, that I can’t remember now what exact feelings I did have.  I can remember guilt, shame, self-loathing – I know that I thought about dying.  But to try and drum up my true emotions – I just couldn’t.  I realized that I did not know how I was supposed to feel either.

The wonderful thing about being in the place that I am now, is that I have the experience to know how you are ‘supposed to feel’; but I also have the wisdom and knowledge to know how you can change that!  I gave this young lady some advice that I would love to go back and give my 15 year old self.  I told her that she didn’t have to feel the negative feelings.  I encouraged her to have a party for herself on that day and celebrate the fact that she is a survivor, and not a victim.  It takes a lot of courage to move forward on your path after you have experienced trauma, specifically sexual assault.  Celebrate the infinite you that can kick that trauma to the curb, and go forward knowing that you have the knowledge to help someone else that needs to hear some advice.  Go ahead and feel what you need to feel, but try not to dwell in it.

You are supposed to feel whatever it is that you are feeling.  You are unique – celebrate that!

Spiritual Healing


I have been spending time today updating my services and website.  I have recently taken the second level of “Awakening the Soul” which has certified me as a Practitioner of the Light,  and I have booked in the Reiki Master and Teacher level of training for myself.  As I work on all of these new things, letting go of the old, and letting in the new  I have realized that the following article, even though I wrote it some time ago, deserves to remain in my website.  I am completely amazed at the changes that I have gone through in the last few years.  It has been a rapid morphing of energy and even though I have gone through many things that have knocked me on my butt emotionally, mentally and physically – I am still here and I am a better person for it.  I have more empathy and understanding and feel better equipped to help others with the knowledge and tools that I have gained.  I am truly grateful for every single person who has been a part of my journey.  Enjoy this old article:

 

Many of our healing processes begin with a deep healing at a spiritual level. It doesn’t matter what your particular spiritual beliefs are, whether they are church based or more of a spiritual nature, we all need to look to our Creator and to our inner selves to enable healing from the inside out. Spiritual healing will facilitate healing at a cellular level, thereby initiating healing of the mind, emotions, body and spirit. When we begin to connect with the Divine in a profound way, we can begin the healing process in every aspect of our lives.

Start by letting go of some of your outdated beliefs – they no longer serve you and tend to harm the beliefs you have about yourself. Begin the healing journey from a place of non-judgment…do not judge yourself or others. We are all here to learn our own lessons and we each have our own spiritual path to follow. Spend some time writing down any negative beliefs you have about yourself, then take a half hour or so replacing the negative ideas with positive ones. You may be surprised at how silly those negative beliefs seem when you really look at them! Think about someone positive in your life that you admire – what qualities do they have that you like so much? Now really think about these qualities in relationship to your own personality. It is very likely that you possess the exact qualities that you admire in someone else. What qualities do you dislike in another person? Examine these qualities and ask yourself if this is because you see these negative qualities in yourself, or will those particular qualities actually hurt you? If not, learn to look beyond them at the true spirit of the person you dislike. If they will actually hurt you – dismiss them and move on. You do not need to spend time in a relationship with someone you are constantly butting heads with. Learn the lesson you were meant to, and carry on.

Spend the next month changing the way you see yourself and others. Think of everyone as being a soul on a mission. The more time you spend changing your negative beliefs, the more positive things you will attract into your life. Let your spiritual healing journey begin!

Spirit Haven is Now a Reality!


Hello Everyone!  After years of study, experience, and quite frankly – finally following my true path – Spirit Haven is now a reality.  I am so excited to be launching my healing practise.  Everything has fallen into place and I have been blessed with the opportunity to learn from many great teachers who have given me the courage and the confidence to lead others in their own healing journeys.  I plan to continue my own learning, while I help teach and guide you.  There are so many wonderful opportunities just waiting for us to embrace them, we just need to learn how to listen to our own inner guidance.

I chose to launch my new practise on the weekend of Remembrance, because I honor the sacrifices that have been made by our veterans, both past and present.  It is because of these brave men and women, many of them my friends and family, that I am free to express who I truly am – without persecution.  I thank the Divine every day for my freedom.

Please keep an eye on my page here for upcoming events and specials, and for new articles to be posted.  For those of you who live close by, I am holding an open house and introductory meditation on Sat. Nov. 16, 2013.  Event to be held from 2pm to 5pm, with a short guided meditation at 3pm.  I feel blessed to have each and every one of you in my life, and I am so happy to be able to share with you.  And please remember to honor our veterans on Nov. 11!

Any Soldier’s Battle: Part One, The Arrival


The following is a sneak preview of an upcoming book.

He walked off the train in Anytown, shielding his eyes from the brightness of the sun.  His combat boots made a hollow banging on the wooden boardwalk as he walked slowly towards the crowd of people anxiously awaiting his arrival.  The whole town had turned out, and he felt a little self conscious in his dust laden khakis.  The journey home had been a long one and he felt exhausted to the bone.  The military had taught him to be brave in the face of the unknown, so he pasted on a smile that lit up his whole face, at least most of his face, anyway.  That smile could not reach his eyes because he had lost his soul and if your soul is gone, how can the light be there?

Everyone that had gathered here was excited to see him.  They were proud of the Son of their town.  He was over there…somewhere…keeping them safe from the enemy.  They felt blessed to be able to live their life of freedom because he was willing to lay his life on the line for them.  When he left 2 years ago, he was full of courage and excitement; he promised everyone that he would rid the world of darkness.  The people of Anytown carried on with their normal lives trusting that their Son would keep them safe.  They lost no sleep for him while he was gone; after all, he was only there on a peace keeping mission.  Just yesterday the ladies in the beauty parlour were discussing how the men who had returned from WWII never talked about anything bad that had happened while they were overseas all those years ago, so most certainly it can’t be that bad serving your country.  In fact, it is an honor that everyone should take advantage of!

He looked at the faces of all of these people that he had known since birth.  They were all out of focus, like there was a heat haze forming on the desert sand that he had come to know just as well.  They looked the same as they had two years ago when he left them, yet they were different.  They were different because they had not changed at all in the time he had been gone.  He was over there fighting for equality for women and children, he was there fighting for freedom, he was there fighting for the safety and well being of all citizens – yet these people still held the same prejudice for the things that they didn’t understand.  He shook his head to let go of the anger he felt at the people he loved.

The band was playing a lively rendition of “When Johnny Comes Marching Home”, but all he heard was the bugle in his mind playing “The Last Post”.  He couldn’t help remembering how many friends he had watched die in the name of peace.  When he went over there, he thought he was going to be a voice for so many people, but he had been taught to be silent.  Keep your mouth shut about the things you see and hear, and hopefully you will live.  He had tried to come to the aid of an elderly local who was not standing up for himself, and ended up watching the man die a gruesome death.  Keep your mouth shut about what you see and hear and the military will honor you with medals, yet he had to watch the honor of so many young girls stripped away as they were raped by the very men sent there to protect them.  Yup…it sure looked like he had made some huge changes in the world, unfortunately the only changes he had made in his mind, were the changes to his life only.

Living with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder


My Spirit is in here, wrapped in the darkness that shields me from the pain.  I want to break free, I don’t want to live here, but the fear drives me deeper yet into the protection of my safe place.  All around me memories surface, causing ripples in the mirror I gaze at – in that mirror is a haunted face, a shadow of who I used to be.  You can’t see what I see…I see an ugly monster rearing it’s head behind me.  When you look at me, you see a reflection of the real me…the me that has been in the public for so long.  The real me is hidden, shattered in a million pieces on the floor.  The real me feels ugly, defeated and utterly useless.  The monsters outside my door have made me that way.  You tell me that there is beauty within me, and there is beauty in the world all around me, but as I struggle in my darkness I cannot see it.  I have shielded myself so well that the light cannot break through.

I go through the motions of life.  I appear to you as being happy and well adjusted.  I continue to go to work, school and attempt social interaction whenever I can.  You can’t see the fear I am feeling whenever I walk out the door.  I have learned to hide behind a mask that is socially acceptable.  I should suck it up and put the past behind me, but you don’t understand that my reality is not the same as yours.  At times I wish I were dead, but my conscience keeps me here.  I don’t want you to feel the pain that I am feeling.

There are many of us here in the darkness, attempting to reach out to each other and keep that fragile thread of life going.  We all have different monsters, but our realities are the same.  We are going through the same process of healing.  The healing takes a long time, and I know that you feel helpless.  It’s okay.  There is nothing you can do for me except to hold me when I let you.  Don’t give up on me, my Spirit is still reaching out to grasp the lamp that you offer me.  Don’t push me too hard, though at times you are feeling frustrated with me.  I am fragile and at some point my Spirit will once again enter my shell of a body.  I will get there on my own.

At times you do not understand my strange symptoms.  For awhile I am able to face my battlefield with dignity, then suddenly I am defeated once more and the anxiety is too much for me to bear.  I am trying, really I am.  The Depression and Anxiety are the worst symptoms of my illness.  I am filled with darkness and despair and no amount of consoling on your part will help me.  Please don’t take it personally, it is not about you, it is about the demons that follow me everywhere I go.  Sometimes I don’t see how I truly look to the outside world, my reflection is distorted.  I might think I look happy when I don’t, or I see myself as ugly and worthless when you see me as beautiful and giving.

Along my path of healing I will have many setbacks.  The visions and realities of my monsters will throw me off balance, but I will get to a point of semi-sanity eventually.  Don’t hold it against me for it isn’t something I wish for, it just is.  I do not feel sorry for myself, I am just a mere human trying to slay my monsters.  I love you for caring, I really do – but please allow me the freedom to find wholeness again.  That is all I wish for as I struggle with the side effect of my monsters, as I heal from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Sometimes You Have to Get Your Feet Wet to Follow the Right Path


I had a dream the night before last that stuck with me all day yesterday and today as well.  I pondered it for about an hour when I woke up because it felt so real, like there was a deep message within it for me that I was supposed to remember.  I got it…with lights flashing and bells going off.

I was standing at the edge of what first appeared to be a cliff, but when I tuned in to my surroundings, I realized that it was merely a chasm that was about 10 feet deep and 20 feet across.  At the bottom was a small stream – wider and deeper at one end than the other.  There was a sandy beach lining each side of the stream, but at the narrow end where you could jump across, there were also sharp jagged rocks.  At this end of the chasm, the drop was straight down with nothing to hold onto, but at the deeper end of the stream, the ledge was more gentle and inclined – you could easily slide down this end without getting hurt.  The landscape on the far side of the stream exactly matched the landscape on which I was standing.

There were two people standing on the far side of the chasm.  At the end of the stream that seemed the hardest to traverse, the person was telling me to choose that path.  It was rocky and full of obstacles, but I wouldn’t get my feet wet, and in the end I would be rewarded with fortune and fame.  At the other end, the person just stood there, not saying a word – a hand outstretched for me to grab hold of.  I had a sense that by crossing at that end, I would live a mundane and boring life; feeling like I was never making a difference.

I jumped straight down into the chasm, my clothing catching on rocks and twigs on the way down.  I remember thinking, “That wasn’t so bad, and I didn’t hurt myself when I landed.”  Dodging the sharp rocks, I managed to easily step over the narrow end of the stream.  I was eager and excited to be reaching my goals so quickly!  I struggled up the far embankment, trying to climb the rocks that jutted out from the side.  I fell off a few times and ended up with scratches and bruises, but I kept trying.  Never once did the person at this end reach out to help me.  Every time I got close to the top, it seemed as if the top moved further and further away.  When I fell yet again, I sat there sobbing in desperation.  I felt alone and wounded, but the pull of reaching my goals kept tugging at me.  I closed my eyes and tuned out the sound of the voice just above me.  It kept saying, “Come on, come on, this way is better”.

As I tuned out the person who was trying to tell me what to do, I ever so slowly tuned into my own inner voice.  Suddenly I felt a strong wave of energy pushing me towards the other end of the stream.  Half way down, I felt like there was an invisible force stopping me from moving forward.  I looked around, trying to come up with a solution.  There was nothing else to do but to climb back up the way I had come down in the first place.  It turned out to be just as difficult trying to get back up this side, but just as I was about to give up, I realized that I had faith in my own abilities and that no one else could tell me what to do.  Before this thought even finished formulating in my head, I felt like I was being lifted back up to where I had stood before.

Once again, I surveyed my surroundings.  This time, the drier end of the stream didn’t seem so appealing.  I felt filled with peace and confidently walked down the gentle incline.  I trudged through the deeper water, getting thoroughly soaked – but as I climbed the gentle slope on the other side, my clothes were dry.  I reached for the outstretched hand, and got a glimpse of hundreds of smiling people doing ordinary every day things, but you could tell that they were happy and appreciated the work of every other person around them.

When I awoke and thought about this dream, I realized that it was very profound.  I have been struggling and struggling to find my path for years now.  I always thought that there had to be more to helping people than what I was doing.  I had no confidence and kept listening to other people tell me what I should be doing, and have missed out on the things that truly bring me joy.  What I finally realized was that you have to trust what your intuition is telling you, and that all of the small stepping stones you tread create the entire path in your journey.  I also learned that when you finally let go of the end result, your path becomes clear of obstacles and you are free to enjoy the rest of your journey, wherever it leads.  I wish you all joy and success in your journey!!

The Separation of Church and Faith


Every church and spiritual tradition seems to be going through enormous upheaval at this time.  Numbers are down; people are questioning the dogma of their faith.  They are questioning the rules and traditions that have been passed down for countless generations, and are finally calling on their leaders to be held accountable for the various moral crimes of their predecessors.  People no longer follow religion with blind faith, but are allowing their heart to tell them what is right and wrong.  Many people are feeling like there is something missing in their lives, and rather than searching outside of themselves, they are beginning to understand that the answers lie within them.  Many churches still call judgment upon their congregations, teaching them to fear God and to judge each other in the name of God.  The masters and teachers who were born to create change all came to this earth with basically the same message, live your life in love and have faith that you are loved.  This was a very simple concept, but our human ego’s have created religions where people have started to feel unloved, unwelcome, and judged for every single action.  People are shunned from their churches and become spiritually lost because they feel like they have lost their link with the Divine.  They are afraid at times to explore alternative spirituality because they have been taught that they will go to “hell” if they consort with “pagans”.

A universal separation of church and faith has occurred.  People, by nature, are pack animals and crave companionship in the quest for common goals.  The church is no longer meeting their needs so they are becoming solitary in their spiritual time, creating a break in the universal energy which is God/Universe/Divine Intelligence.  We are meant to share in the journey with other people, “where many are gathered, miracles occur”.  Incorporating ‘new age’ beliefs, and a return to earth based worship, into existing churches could help to heal the cracks in the foundations of religion.  It is not necessary to practise traditions and rituals that make you uncomfortable, only to embrace the individuality of each person’s divine spirit.  Jesus did not preach in a church, nor did he demand that his followers hand over half of their paycheques to keep a building open.  He taught in the open air, where people naturally felt a connection to God, and most importantly, he taught everyone to live life with love and without fear of judgment.  Judgment is a human, not Divine, concept.

Whatever your spiritual beliefs are, it is time to start mending our churches and opening our eyes to the connection that every single religion or spiritual practise on earth has to each other.  This connection is simple yet mind boggling at the same time.  We are all connected to each other, and to our Divine Source through the universal energy of love.

Thanksgiving Paradox


It is Thanksgiving weekend in Canada, and just like I do every year, I am sitting here thinking of all the things I am thankful for.  We are asked this question every year at this time, and spiritual people ask it of themselves every single day.  Sometimes your life is topsy turvy and you honestly can’t think of anything to be thankful for.  No matter what your life situation is, there is ALWAYS something you are grateful for.

I am Canadian!  I am very thankful for this.  I am thankful that I live in a country where we are allowed freedom of speech and freedom of religion.  I am thankful for the diversity of culture brought to us by people who came to North America to escape religious persecution and genocide.  I embrace their beliefs and experiences and truly feel their emotions; the joy and the pain that they bring with them to this wonderful new land.  I am appalled by the things they had to endure in their home countries, but I see what is happening right here in our “free” and “safe” world.  Fundamentalist Christians are negating the rights of other people by protesting the beliefs of other children of God, telling them they are dying because they are gay.  I believe that everyone has a right to their own opinion and belief system, but not when it is harmful to others.

I am thankful that I live in this enlightened new millenium!  I am grateful to the women who forged ahead fighting for the rights of all women, some of them in my own lifetime.  I appreciate that I, as a woman, am free to make my own choices and follow my own path.  Yet, I also feel the burden of such a responsibility.  If I choose to be a stay at home mom and homemaker, I am sometimes made to feel that I am not contributing to our new society.  I feel just as shunned for those choices as my Great-Grandmother might have, had she chosen a life in politics.

I am thankful for our safe neighborhoods, and that my children have the privilege of receiving education in peace.  I am thankful for all of the parents like myself who have taken active roles in abolishing bullying.  So how do the children feel while they are being bullied on the school grounds and the streets?  The responsibility has not been taken seriously enough by some.  It breaks my heart when I hear of a child committing suicide or murder thanks to our vigilance over bullying.

I am thankful that I live in a time when we all understand what it means to take responsibility over our own actions.  Through the great strides in psychology and stricter laws, every law breaker understands that they have the right to a fair trial.  What rights do the victims have when they face their attacker time and again because they escaped punishment due to a technicality or imagined neuroses?

I am thankful that I am free to share my opinion without judgment, even though some of you will judge my words harshly.  My wish for this thanksgiving season is that you all think about what you are thankful for, and to accurately gauge how strong the willingness is  in your heart to truly fight for those things.

Simple Meditation for Children


Ever since I discovered how much my son was being affected by the energy from his classmates, I have been on a mission to come up with ways of helping him cope and protect himself from the onslaught of inevitable roaming energies. Children and teenagers tend to be more open to receiving energy from other people because they have not yet learned that the energy from other people is invading their own space. They tend to become overwhelmed and this is when it becomes hard for them to concentrate; many times it may cause them to lash out at classmates, teachers and parents.

Luckily, I have personal experience with the benefits of meditation. It relaxes us and helps us to cope with the stresses of day to day life, so why wouldn’t it also be beneficial for children as well? I have done some research on the subject of meditation for children, and was surprised to find that there are several schools in the country that have incorporated meditation into each school day. Speaking with teachers and counselors, I found that they are beginning to see the benefit of meditation during class time. They feel that it would help the students relax and focus better when done at critical points in the day when most behavior issues start to develop. So, I began my own quest to find suitable meditations for children.

It is hard to find good meditation books for children, and not everyone has the resources or knowledge to find just the right book to use with their children. Many people have never meditated before – some don’t understand the concepts of meditation. A thought occurred to me…most of us are already leading guided meditations with our children. A guided meditation is simply reading aloud passages that provide visual stimulation and steer the mind away from the constant chatter in one’s head. It allows a person a short respite from their own physical existence and allows the mind to go to other places enabling you to relax for a few moments and go within your true self to find answers to daily problems.

Every parent, teacher or caregiver that spends time reading to their children is actually leading a guided meditation! If you choose a story with vivid, non-threatening descriptions; a story that teaches a lesson and engages the child’s thoughts; a story that they can relate to themselves in some way; you are, in effect, leading them in a relaxing meditation. No matter how old your children are, start putting some thought into the kinds of books they are reading and even if they are in their early teens, start reading to them again! Spend just a half hour in the evening reading to them and you may be surprised at how much they relax. In the long run, they will be able to focus better and you personally get the benefit of some bonding time.

When One Door Opens Another Closes


You’ve all heard and even used the expression, “When one door closes another opens.” What do you think it would do for your life if you changed those words around a little bit? For instance, what if you want that storm door to close and it just isn’t happening? Perhaps you could just use your own free will to open the screen on the inside door just a little bit. Maybe you could just walk outside and slam that door shut! Sometimes we are just so stuck in a situation that we are constantly waiting. Waiting to sell the business. Waiting for that big promotion. Waiting for a job offer. Waiting, waiting, waiting. Waiting for the good stuff to start happening in our lives, when all it would take to get the Universe moving in your favor is to start taking the baby steps necessary to move along a more agreeable path.

“I don’t have time.” That is the most untrue statement ever spoken! We use that excuse when we are fearful. Everyone is fearful of change, and if you say you are not, you are not being truthful with yourself or anyone else. We get really excited when a new opportunity presents itself, we feel the push in the right direction and want it desperately, but the door on our current circumstance has not closed yet. We can’t move forward because we are spinning our tires and we were taught to never let go of the wheel. Our life has consumed us and even if it isn’t the right path for you to be on, even if it is the most uncomfortable ride you have ever been on – it is familiar, so you hold on for dear life. What would happen if you let go of that wheel and just veered off your current course? Sure, you would be afraid at first, but suddenly it becomes thrilling.

When you finally make that conscious decision to follow where your intuition is leading you, even if you do small things every day to bring you one step closer to the life of your dreams, that is when the door will finally close on the life that is holding you back. You are making the effort to take charge of your destiny in small ways, which allows the Universe to finally take the wheel and steer you in the right direction. In effect, you are allowing another door to open before one door closes. Quit making excuses, and start opening doors!