Bare Hands to Bare Bark

With grief in my heart, I walked to the car begrudgingly willing to start the day. But start I could not and my solemn energy could not force my body into the driver’s seat. Instead, my feet propelled me toward the nearest tree, the Comfort Tree, and as hands touched bark I felt a semblance of peace that has eluded me for so long.

I did naught but stand – bare hands to bare bark, feeling. The tree’s energy a comfort in a time of discomfort.

God grant me the serenity…” whispered in my mind. Yes, please God, serenity.

Surrender

May thy will be done on Earth; show me how to do my part,” slipped softly from my lips.

The leaves rustled overhead drawing my gaze upward giving me a view of open sky framed with the vivid green of July leaves. The hawk circling high was my message. Spirit was with me. More peace washed over me.

I let the peace soak in as I walked to the adjacent tree…Snake Tree. The tree that has offered me both fear of and gratitude for my snake friends and the spiritual guidance they’ve offered. Bare hands to bare bark again – and I felt more like myself, or at least not as lost.

The wind blew – or perhaps I called it as I am prone to do – and as I thanked Snake Tree I turned – stepping into the flow of the breeze. It cleansed me in a way I didn’t know I needed.

The minutes were ticking past and the later the morning hour became the later I was to start the day. Though I was more filled-up, my feet stepped heavily and somewhat drug as I made my way toward the car. My gaze lifted to the sky and I gasped; the waning gibbous shown above me. Her ghostly softness, ethereal in broad daylight, cast her magic all over me.

I walked past the car.

Bare hands reached out gratefully to the Healing Tree, its greatness staggering above me, its energy surrounding me immediately. So strong was its love that my vision blurred and for a moment all I could see was thick moss covered bark. I felt it. In that moment the tree was God and love covered me.

Gratitude filled my heart as the energy of Healing Tree flowed into me. It helped fill me up more. So much more that I realized I hadn’t known how depleted I had become.

Birds flew all around and my attention was drawn upward to Grandfather Tree and high in his branches shone a spider’s web woven intricately within the leaves. The light of the sun, creeping through thick leaves and crooked branches, ran through the web in such a way that it glowed with light of color fuchsia. I knew this was what Grandfather Tree offered me today and that he did not require my touch.

However, my attention shifted to the Struggling Tree, the one that is planted precariously and only flourishes on one side. The other side falls mostly barren. I noticed that it mirrored the side of Healing Tree that keeps losing branches and considered that there is a call-to-action here at that place between Healing and Struggling.

I reached for the Struggling Tree – bare hands to bare bark, and let it love me as I offered my love in return. The struggle and the healing – one mirroring the other, interdependent with each other, not separate from one another. A knowing overcame me: if transformation is to occur I must face them both, accept them both, surrender to them both. The birds flew all around. The sun dappled through the trees. I inhaled and exhaled deeply.

I kissed the Struggling Tree before I turned to start the day.

 

© M/Gatlianne 2018

07/05/18

Faith Ahead of the Coming Storm

A vison of mary
In any way that we are wanting life to be “like it was” – when we were “happy, loved, peaceful” or in any way we are wanting life to stay the same and not bring “the pain that will surely come” we are living outside of our present moment awareness.  Why does this get in the way?
It keeps us from accepting what is happening right now.
It keeps us wishing for a past, and the pleasure it may have brought, that is over.
It keeps us wishing for a future, and the pain it may bring, that isn’t here.
We cannot change what actually happened in the past…
…but we can change our thoughts about it.
We cannot know what the future will bring…
…but by focusing on what we fear will come we are praying that fear into existence.
Neither of those options bring peace now.
Peace now is “the truth that stands when the world’s on fire.”
Peace now is complete trust in the events of present moment and not trying to make them right or wrong.
Peace now is faith – real, deep faith that isn’t attached to any theology.
Peace now is trusting that you are safe.
Peace now is remembering your Divine truth.
Peace now is understanding that all things are a part of the Divine big picture and, as you understand you are a part of humanity’s spiritual evolution, you are willing to accept all things without judgement – while advocating for love to cover fear.
Attachment to past pleasure is a fear state. It means, “I fear I won’t ever have that again so I want to cling to that long-forgotten memory.”
Aversion to future pain is a fear state. It means, I have to control everything right now because I believe I will feel that pain again and I don’t believe I’m safe.”
Both keep you from the peace of present moment awareness. Both keep you from trusting. Both keep you from making your faith deep.
Both bring stress, not peace.
Both keep you from love.
I chose the artwork “A Vision of Mary: Impending Storm,” by Adam Abram, very purposefully to convey this point.  Whether you view the Biblical story as literal or allegorical, my point rings true:  In the painting you see the storm clouds behind her, indicating the great change that was coming – the death of her son, Jesus.  Yet, in the foreground she is peaceful in white. She continues on. She is soft in her acceptance. She knows that “Letting go” and accepting – is for the highest good of all.  She knows that what is occurring is a part of something so much bigger. And her faith is deep. 
You never know when the “worst” event of your life is setting in motion the greatest of great change. You never know how you are being refined in order to help issue in great change. You are being refined to love, dear one. And fear/ego likes to dig in its heels and leave claw marks instead of surrendering.
Surrender.
It is not weakness.
It’s the strongest, bravest, most courageous thing you can do.
Past pleasure, Raga in the Yoga Philosophy, is over.
Future pain, Dvesa in the Yoga Philosophy, isn’t here.
What do you have RIGHT NOW when you allow the attachment and aversion to fade away?
Love,
M

 

From Pain to Peace

When I believe and accept Divine Love – really open my heart and let it in – I am in a new cycle. I am now in the cycle of Love instead of Pain.

In the 03/29/18 Blue Independence class I led a Blue Talk (Running from Pain) about pain and the cycle we as humans get in to seek relief from emotional and physical pain. This talk came about after I attended a seminar led by Tim Hilton. The seminar was called “The Addicted Brain” and in it Mr. Hilton explained the pattern and cycle of addiction, including how it affects the human brain physiologically. In the talk he presented an interesting formula for the cycle that addicts get in.

Pain +      (Drug of Choice)     = Relief.

Fill in the blank with your own personal Drug of Choice. If you think you don’t have one, look again: drugs, alcohol, food, television, sex, social media, working out, another person, fixing people, sleep, shopping, etc. These are just some of the ways we, as humans, try to get relief from pain. All of these are codependent behaviors – the addiction to look elsewhere…to seek relief outside of ourselves through whatever means.

This week, being willing to face and accept pain, I have been introduced to pain I didn’t know I was running from. My perceived wound of Victim is really asking to be healed and I didn’t realize just how alone in this world, spiritually, I’ve been believing I am. I see how much, and how often, I react from the space of Victim. And in reality, that belief…that “pain” isn’t even real. It’s just something my mind (ego) made up. I’ve been running, trying to find relief, for something that Isn’t Even There!!! Unworthy and Undeserving have come up too. Again, they aren’t even true! But my belief that they are is causing me to be in this seemingly endless cycle of validation seeking! “If I can just prove that I’m enough then this pain will stop!” “If I can just prove that I’m worthy then I won’t feel like this.” And the thing is – when I’m in this cycle, I’m not actually FEELING my emotions. So, I don’t really know what I’m feeling. I’m reacting solely from belief and mindchatter. In that space, I tend to be ungrounded, scattered, and in fight-or-flight mode. Anxiety is more prone to sneak in and I see people around me as enemies waiting to attack me. In that space, I don’t see God. I don’t feel God. I don’t trust. I don’t believe I am safe. I begin to shy away from prayer & meditation because to be still would mean facing Victim, Unworthy, and Undeserving – and if I had to stop to be with those shadows I would “see that God doesn’t love me or want me and I am a disappointment.” In this space, I am 100% caught up in the illusion of my ego that I am separate and alone. I don’t in anyway see my Christ light. I am living as the small self, in spiritual ignorance (avidya), having forgotten that who I AM is the higher Self that is a constant state of Grace.

All because I am caught up in the illusion that I believe I am an unworthy, undeserving victim.

Be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind.” (Romans 12:2)

If I change those thoughts, I remember what’s really true when I take off the Maya (illusion) glasses. I see from spiritual eyes instead of human-ego eyes. I remember that I am safe. I trust. And I not only see God – I feel and experience God. I am more compassionate. I operate in self-love and that reaches outward into the world.

When I am willing to both transform my mind and be transformed by God through this work, I see that I could never be a disappointment to God (nor to any human being). I see that I am loved, period the end, and that NOTHING I could ever do would change that. Then, when I believe and accept Divine Love – really open my heart and let it in – I am in a new cycle. I am now in the cycle of Love instead of Pain. I no longer seek relief from the illusion of pain. I am no longer led by the wound. I am led by love. So, what if I changed the cycle? What if I looked at the pain cycle in a new light?

Pain + Love = Relief.

And I’m talking about real, Divine love. I’m not talking about romantic love, ego based “love.” fear based “love,” or what A Course in Miracles calls “special relationship” love. I’m talking about the love that brings “a peace that surpasses all understanding.” (Philippians 4:7) I’m talking about a love that comes from gnosis (knowledge) – and it is the deepest of spiritual knowing (vidya). This is true knowing that comes when I don’t just believe it – I feel it…and feel it so much that I really get that I AM it. Because, let’s be clear, seeking Divine Love outwardly is being caught up in both codependency & the pain cycle. That love cannot be found outside of you. It can ONLY be found within you because that’s the only place it has ever been.

So, to really break free from the pain cycle, to know love and know peace you must remember what you’ve forgotten you know. And to do that – you must be still. When you are still, yes, you might feel the pain. But you must feel it to heal it. But when you face it, and feel it, something changes. It’s not quite the big bad you thought it was. Your perspective changes because you are no longer looking through the eyes of fear. You true vison (citta) is not quite as clouded with illusion (Maya) and the mindchatter (vritti) slows down. As more stillness comes, the more you feel connected…the more you feel Divine Union…the more you experience God (samadhi.)

Be still, and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10)

This is The Yoga: “Yoga is the stilling of the fluctuations of the mind.” (Sutra 1:2) And the point of that stillness – is to experience God with no separation.

When the fluctuations stop – the peace comes. Then the formula changes again:

Pain + Stillness = Peace

And the more the fluctuations stop – the more the illusion of pain dissipates. Then the formula changes again:

Stillness = Peace

And from that space – Love and True Nature are remembered. When you remember them within yourself – you see them in others.

Then there is no pain. There is only Love.

 

I see you,

Rev. M

How Deep is Your Faith?

Somehow, I’m on an email list and I get emails from “My Higher Self,” “God,” “Spirit,” etc. When the emails come in it says, “Marianne, I have a message for you…”

The emails are always great. Again, I don’t know why I get them. But I’m glad I do.

Today, I received an email from My Higher Self – I only read the first line. That’s as far as I’ve gotten!

What did that first line say?

“It’s sometimes hard for you to trust, isn’t it?”

You don’t know me!

Oh, but yes it does.

My favorite line from the Bhagavad Gita is from the translation by Jack Hawley (The Bhagavad Gita: A Walkthrough for Westerners):

“Make Your Faith Deep.”

Is my faith always deep?

Nope.

Do I always trust?

Nope.

Is Spirit reminding me of that today?

Yep.

FYI – this morning my card of the day was the Archangle Michael card from the Keepers of the Light Deck. This card comes up for me at least once a week. What does it say?

“Trusting Heaven: You are safe. Angels stand close. Surrender your concerns and allow a miracle to come.”

Well played this day Spirit. Well played. (Well played every day.)

PS:  I am totally singing “How Deep is Your Faith” to the tune of the Bee Gee’s “How Deep is Your Love.”  Go on – you know you want to sing it too.

 

💙
M

It’s Time to Heal the Wounds

The current online group series at The BlueRoof is Blue Independence: Releasing Codependency for Personal Freedom.
I’ll admit it – this series is uncomfortable, even for me who has done codependency and inner child work for years. Because in offering this series I have been offered the chance to uncover another layer of truth and heal some old and very deep wounds.
I’m willing.
Codependency generally stems from our inner wounding. And those wounds are from multiple ages so our inner child is actually our inner children. When we are unaware of this – we react from various ages instead of acting from the adult we now are. We are essentially tall children running amuck having temper tantrums and emotional reactions because we are speaking from our wound instead of our truth.
Then, along comes someone who pushes all our buttons, i.e., pokes at all our wounds. This person comes to help you heal those wounds. And you can help them heal theirs.
And most of the time – you have NO idea that’s what’s going on! They don’t know they’re poking your wounds and you sure don’t know that’s what’s happening! Chaos ensues. And more inner children are running amuck (amuck, amuck, amuck)!
There’s is a bigger picture at play here. There is a spiritual perspective that we aren’t always aware of or are so far in our wounding that we can’t see. Our perception is fogged in the veil of illusion.
It’s time to shift our perception. It’s time to let the Divine Feminine rise and come into balance with the Divine Masculine. It’s time to stop re-wounding ourselves and stop blaming others! It’s time to stop blaming God/Goddess/Divine/Consciousness. It’s time to Love, really.
It’s time.
💙
M
Check out this excellent article on Twin Flames & Codependency by ConsciousReminder.
 

The Year of Transformative Action

This morning I was prompted to answer the question:

Have you acknowledged yourself lately?  

Self-Acknowledgement is so important in general and it’s certainly important for those wanting to step forward in life, for those in a service aspect where they are creating something for others, and for those who are feeling the call of their life purpose. Please read my response below.  Writing it offered me deep gratitude for my life and for the journey to January 2018.  It also gives me heartfelt excitement for what’s to come!


Eight years ago when I moved into my house I looked longingly at the worn down building behind the house and hoped it could be something more. As the years went by I only saw a worn down building that I’d never be able to afford to fix up. I looked at the struggling swimming pool and believed I’d never be able to afford to have it filled in so create a sacred meditation garden. I looked in the mirror and saw someone who “couldn’t do it,” “was incompetent,” and “not enough.” I longed to step forward and serve women, longed to have a space for women to gather.

So, I turned the inside of my home into that space: hosting women’s circles, yoga, and personal growth classes. Fast forward to Summer 2016 – my students started holding the space in a big way. And I started holding the space in a small way. Through their encouragement I found my own. In Fall 2016 not only did I have the funds to fix up the building – I began construction! And by January 2017 – we were using the space! I continued to do my deep personal growth work, getting more and more out of my way.

Mid 2017 my students started holding the space for, what they called, Blue Live – online options of what I offered. Little did they know that this, too, was something that I longed to do. In fact, I’d had some of the equipment for two years and hadn’t even taken it out of the box due to the self-doubt! In late 2017, I began posting videos in a private Facebook group that coincided with a live class I was doing. This sparked an inner flame. I enjoyed it so much! I was truly in joy when doing the videos! They held the space for me until I could step forward. Doing my work made all the difference – as did the support, love, and encouragement of my students.

In January 2018, not only am I offering a stand alone online women’s group – but I’m beginning the process of offering passive online courses and classes. I had to get here. It took sacrifice and hard choices.  I stepped away from leading a lucrative Yoga Teacher Training because I knew it was time.  It was scary but I was ready.  I was ready to say no to that so that I could say yes to what the Universe was calling me to.

It has taken a lot of personal growth work to uncover the potential in my that I could not see. But now that I see it, now that I am truly tapping into my self-worth – I am able to step fully and solidly into my life’s purpose. I’ve come so far and am filled with gratitude for not only my students, but the process – the journey, and for myself.


I hope that you read this and understand that, though being Spirit led and walking in faith is a huge part of the journey, so, too, is action.  I do acknowledge myself. I have overcome so much self-doubt because I was willing to face it, because I was willing to do the uncomfortable personal growth work, because I was willing to tell myself the truth, to forgive, to accept, to do deep shadow work and inner child work.  I accept my students’ love, support, and encouragement.  I’ve been raw, and real, and vulnerable. I’ve allowed myself to be seen. I’ve stepped out of codependency and into personal independence.  I have listened to the guidance of Spirit. I’ve looked in the mirror at the person I doubted and looked at her eye-to-eye and heart-to-heart until I could love and support her again.  I have done the work to get where I am. And I am, again, grateful and excited at the work to be done.

For me – 2018 is the Year of Transformative Action.  It’s time to take the next step. It’s time to do the work to get there. It’s time to say yes to the Universe through your actions!

Who’s with me?

Love to you all,

M

I acknowledge, love, support, encourage, honor and accept this woman!

Marianne - -51

Spiritually Refined

I’ve been lax in posting for a few months – I’ve been in both a creative process and a refinement process.  My hand has been in many pots and I’ve been slowly pulling back my energy and refining my vision for The BlueRoof Path. But the refinement process doesn’t end there. I have also been being refined spiritually.  There have been times of darkness when I believed I had no purpose, times of light when I could see the path clearly, and times of peace when I stopped to surrender and be led by Spirit.  The latter has made all the difference.  The Yoga Philosophy calls it tapas; the Bible calls it the Refiner’s Fire…they are speaking of the same things.  It is the process of spiritual refinement that we souls-in-human-form undergo on our journey.  As humans, this refinement process can be incredibly uncomfortable.  Did I put enough emphasis on incredibly there?  The big growth – it doesn’t often feel warm and fuzzy and in fact can feel like a tilt-a-whirl caught between dueling fire tornadoes.  This discomfort is a signal that something is on offer  – that you have the opportunity to clear away some of those pieces that don’t fit the puzzle that is you.  When you are attached to the little i-ness, that is – the ego-self, then you can get caught up in the heat feeling lost, scattered, overwhelmed, and alone.  But when you surrender into the bigness of you – the I, or Higher Spiritual Self, then you have an inner knowing that can sustain you.  You can then not only withstand the heat – but you can relax into it and see what it has for you.  Deborah Adele says, in The Yamas & Niyamas, that tapas is “the willingness to be both burned and blessed.”  Zechariah 13:9 says, “I will refine them like silver and test them like gold.”

This refinement, the heating up in life, carries a blessing.  If you resist – it can get quite hot and uncomfortable, much like when you resist surrendering into Warrior II and become rigid.  When you relax into the posture, just like when you relax into what life is offering you, then you can refine your experience of the posture, refine your experience in life, and allow yourself to be refined spiritually to relax into the Truth within you and see the lesson (gift) on offer.

Have you experienced your own Spiritual Refinement?  Could you tell a difference from when you surrendered and when you resisted?

I see you,

Rev. M

The Blessing Tree

Writing out your blessings can be a powerful thing and, for those who are more visually inclined, putting those written blessings on display to view can make the experience even more powerful. Why not add a Blessing Tree to your Blessing Altar?  I used dried magnolia leaves and gift card tags to add written blessings to twigs I got on clearance at Family Dollar.  You could also use sticks and twigs from your yard or a small tree. You could also make your tree a garland instead and string your blessings up to hang on the wall. There are so many options for how you can visually see your written blessings on a daily basis.  Both writing and seeing your blessings cultivate daily gratitude.

And remember, you are writing blessings for all events, circumstances, and people in your life.  Here are some examples of blessings on my tree that show how you can cultivate gratitude in all ways and all things:

  • I am grateful for a low bank account because it teaches me to be financially aware.
  • I am grateful for lack because it teaches me I am not living in my abundance.
  • I am blessed by Mitch because he mirrors what I don’t like in myself.
  • I am grateful for my childhood because through it I learned to overcome and have been able to help others.
  • I am grateful for Crystal because through the ebb and flow of our friendship I have learned I am not in competition with anyone.

 

Use magnolia leaves, or similar, for your longer blessings.

(I use a metallic marker to write blessings)

 

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Use smaller bay leaves to write blessings that you like that can be portrayed in one or two words.

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Use gift tags to add the names of people you’ve been blessed by – remembering that even those we believe have hurt us also brought us blessings. Use the back of the card to write how you were blessed.

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You can also use the tags to write about how certain emotions or behaviors brought you blessings, like looking at how noticing resentments offers you a chance to practice forgiveness and acceptance.

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I will add blessings to my tree throughout the month until I put my Yule tree up. Then, I’ll transfer my Blessing Tree branches and blessings to the Yule tree. 

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More Blessings posts to come – if you want to see these posts in your inbox subscribe!

Gratitude for All Blessings

November has become the month of gratitude; we see Facebook status updates changing daily with posts on gratitude. But often, people only look at one type of event in their lives with gratitude – the events that they liked!  When events in your life occur that you didn’t want, that you didn’t like, or that you believe shouldn’t have happened – it’s often hard to have gratitude for them.  In some ways these events brought you pain, sorrow, unhappiness, anger, or hurt. Why should you be grateful for those events?  Many would argue that not only should they not be grateful but they should be downright angry the events occurred.  This is a victim mentality that comes from a space of fear and resentment.  All events in your life are for you – yes, even the ones you didn’t like and didn’t want. And yes, even the ones that were painful.  Even if you couldn’t see it when the event occurred, and even if you can’t see it now – chances are, the event offered you some sort of growth. That is a blessing.  All events in life are a part of your journey; they helped shape you.  How they shaped you is a result of what you believed about the event.  When you look at all events in life from the standpoint that they are all blessings then you are shaped in a much different way than if you see yourself victimized by life. You are no victim. Life is always for you and playing the victim limits you and keeps you from expressing as the beautiful spirit that you are.

Instead of just expressing gratitude this month for the things in life that you like I challenge you to also find gratitude for the things in life you don’t like.  A blessing altar will allow you to honor both the events that you wanted in your life – the events that you liked and have obvious gratitude for, but also the events that were perhaps painful and unwanted.  Both offered you blessings. By having gratitude for all the events in your life you can truly live in peace and acceptance of any moment.

This is a picture of my blessing altar. Yours can look similar or completely different; that choice is yours.  I will be adding my blessings to the branches on my altar (these additions will carry forward to my Yule tree) and will be journaling about the events and people in my life that were blessings. You may choose to also add to your altar, to journal, or to simply speak your blessing out loud. Whatever your process, a blessing altar can be a powerful way to shift into a space of forgiveness and acceptance that you can take forward into the reflective time of Yuletide and Solstice night.

Blessings Altar Main