When No is Not an Option

I have spent more than 50 years of my life helping others to heal their wounds. Sometimes, the changes have been incremental and sometimes, they have been quantum leaps. The quality of my results with others has been completely interdependent on me authentically living the power of a paradigm shift in thinking about who and what we human beings are: we are quantum… or we are not. It really is a choice… a choice that the forces of/for cultural conditioning claim we do not have. Do I have to be of this world in order in order to live in it? Voila! For most of us, this conjures up instant dilemma! Who would cognitively choose dilemma for her Self? And, yet, unaware, we keep on choosing it, just the same. We keep making the choice to join in, to fit in. THAT IS the familiar story that runs our lives. Even when we are aware, the entrainment to drop into the familiar, hoping for a different result, is pernicious.

So we say YES instead of NO. And we say NO instead of YES. I feel a burn in my chest at the heart level and in my throat as I write this and I feel a frontal headache making its presence known. It is all energy and information, - not good, bad, right, wrong. My heart is letting me know that subscribing to living in the culture I’ve come to know as familiar has created the illusion of dormancy: in truth, it is dead in the water. My throat is reminding me that I gloriously get to choose, like it or not. So, what is it that I am choosing and how is that working for me? My head is letting me know that my emerging future is right here, right now; it is NOT floating out there, in a nebulous, rose-coloured future. All time is now. Am I willing to take the next leap? Will I - as I inhale and exhale my life in every breath - welcome the ‘Fool’ that I AM who knows all… the I AM who knows everything and nothing… the I AM who moves, assiduously, in her world, changing her mind - like deciduous trees naturally shedding their leaves - letting go of my choices of the past, even of one second, one breath ago?

I know that this process is the never ending journey of my life. Being committed to the adventure of becoming Self-aware is what continues to propel me forward. And, in this journey, I keep on picking up the scents of the allopathic familiar (fostering an old belief that any ‘new’ shiny strategy that catches my attention might ultimately fix/save me from my ‘problems’), masquerading as the perfect quantum leap forward, when - in truth - it is, yet again, another fall back into line with the culture. OMG! That is when I become aware that I have run an old strategy, yet again. Different story, different shiny, proofing the power of seducing myself into the promise (make that more like the inauthentic platitude) of Maybe this time, it will be different.

I ask the question: Will I ever wake up? Maybe, I just have!

I thank the godForce that I AM that I am continuing to develop, cherish and sustain a ‘nose’ for the insane and the ridiculous which have sounded, plausibly and logically, like answers to my prayers. When one forgets, Self-Seduction is easy, don’t you know?! It is interesting that we continue to allow ourselves to forget.

Just the fact that I have even dared to believe that I was the problem, did problems and had problems would be ludicrous in the quantum field that knows all truth as TRUTH. The more I remember to choose to BE the I AM that I am, the more fluid I experience my life. My truth in the moment is not yours. Your truth in the moment is not mine. It is all still Truth.

Quite simply, I get to choose to hold myself as god in my own unique world, or not. To BE god, I must own the undeniable force that I AM that comes with that choosing; otherwise, my life becomes, yet again, another platitude. It is like being pregnant; one either is or is not. There can be no in-between, except, perhaps in one’s mind, where laying down the endometrium for incongruence will surely abort desire for what is or could be most meaningful to us, if we stopped to even hear ourselves inhale and exhale.

We are born, innocent. Not very soon afterward, we learn very quickly that there is a god and it is not us. And, so, the entrainment to cultural dogma seeds and germinates itself as a way of life, while the innocence of whom and what we are as quantum biological humans is systematically ripped away from us. We grow up and compliance to that external god, whomever she or he is, in any minute, finds traction in the moment-to-moment - and never requited - longing to be loved, accepted, and fit in.

Sheer insanity. We abdicate our Selves - our deep internal knowing - to fit in with feeling safe in the collective AND, yet, we never feel secure, inside where we live. Love and acceptance can never be seeded in compliance to collective expectation and fear of missing out. And, so goes the journey of our lives; we settle to keep the peace in our worlds, especially with those with whom we have our first experiences of power and authority… our parents/guardians. We do it - in some way or another - by ensuring that we shut up, put up, and don’t rock the boat…. then, we might get to live. YES to others becomes the big NO to ourselves.

It starts when we are children. By the time we have reached adult age, we have learned well to pass the crucible of that power and authority into other hands… only to continue and sustain our own compliance… to what? Some figment of our imagination, a voice taking up the real estate of our minds? We hold ourselves as all grown up, yet we are not; we don’t actually FEEL that way. We step into our parent’s home and we immediately become 5 years old again, relative to personal history, habit and habituation. Later, we step into our boss’s office and we take on the same hue. Deny it or not, fear - even as we deny the potency of its internal grasp in our bodies and our psyches - is the vehicle that continues to T-bone our well-being long into adulthood. UNLESS, we choose to wake up to/as the continuing and never-ending adventure of our lives… not always pleasant, not always easy AND always worthwhile.

The subtleties, the finer distinctions of how fear - as energy and information - is playing out in our individual lives, requires a bloodhound’s nose to unearth its odour. It requires a massive willingness and - dare I say - joy to move beyond the limitations of our perceived realities, into what we don’t know we don’t know…. and, even more importantly, into what we refuse to allow ourselves to know that we already know.

Like there is an internal price I pay myself to not know myself (re: the illusion of safety: what I don’t know won’t/can’t hurt me), there is an even more significant fee I invest in myself to both know and not know not just WHAT I know, but THAT I know.

LOL, let that last statement settle in, ‘cause, sure as shooting, your intellect will not know what to do with this thought! The only way to decode such a thought is in and through the body, no exceptions. Your intellect has to take a pass on this one. It is not designed to integrate anything; its only function is to choose, make decisions. So, decoding information - known and unknown - absolutely requires that I own a willingness to be Selfish in myself, for my Self (truth is I can’t breathe for anybody else; breathing is the essential activity in my life that keeps my body functioning to express the I AM that I am). All of that decoding happens inside the body when allowing it to fully breathe itself, free of any story. Ultimately, there is nothing to figure out.

In my experience of myself and others, letting your intellect take a pass constitutes a game of forfeiture that humans, generally speaking, will just not play, given the distorted and deeply seated belief that honouring one’s Self, first, lacks empathy, humility and compassion in contributing to others. THAT is a cultural no, no. Nothing could be further from the truth. We have polarized the notions of give and receive, the idea of reciprocity, to our peril.

Sure, there have been a godzillion times in my own life when I have taken up my courage…. and, I might add, my humility…. to say Yes to myself, knowing that, when I have, I have been saying No to another. It has felt scary and brought up all kinds of peripheral voices and internal feelings that have served to question my RIGHT to BE the YES in/for my own life. It has taken a willingness to step out in front of the choir of the familiar and to turn my view into the countenances singing the current song being sung… and to choose to no longer sing that song, nor to lend my ears to the vibration of hearing that song, anymore.

We have been raised up to hold that NO is not an option. We have been raised up to believe that NO is not and cannot be essential to our vocabulary. And, yet we are told NO all the time; we hear NO all the time. Have we even noticed that we are the only ones who are listening into that? Not only are we listening into that, we are actively listening for it. At 73 years wise, I am noticing where I am still saying YES in my life, where, in truth, consciously choosing NO for my Self, would far better serve to nourish the already nutrient-dense lining that is the womb of germinal reciprocity.

In my life, for my life, who am I going to serve… first? Who am I going to give my life up to/for, first? If the choice is not for me/in me, first, then how will I ever contribute to others in my world? In the world I am choosing to create for my Self as my internal sanctuary, reciprocity lives without condition, without fear (including fear of missing out), without double binds. Since there is no other voice, inside, except that of my own internal representation of what I think I am hearing outside of me, it is my committed practice to owning the truth of my experience in each moment that nurtures my expanding awareness.

So, my question to you is this: Who are you going to serve, first and foremost? What does it bring up inside of you, when you consider this question?

Singer/composer, Bob Dylan, wrote a tune, entitled, You’ve Got to Serve Somebody. I first hear it sung by Nathalie Cole. It’s a pretty catchy tune that brings home, for me, that we are all here to serve our evolution of consciousness. For me, the title says it all. So, whom are you going to serve?

All meaning is context dependent. Remember that you come first. Just like YES, NO in your world is always a viable option. Stop thinking it isn’t. Congruence is key.

Bankruptcy and Becoming the Force Field for the Invitation Home

I received an email from a treasured friend today with a link to a New York times article entitled: Too Little, too late: Bankruptcy Booms Among Older Americans.

My friend knows that I declared bankruptcy 10 years ago at age 62. She also knows that I am writing a book about my experience of that and about what I now know differently to be an authentic and more expanding truth, inside, where I live.

I know this is an important conversation. No matter hold you are when it is declared - whether you are a senior citizen, a younger adult, or a child catapulted into the deep and heavy spray of it, it is devastating. Huge shame and feelings of stupidity, insufficiency and insecurity come with it. A lot or fault and blame and a lot of rationalizing it all, so that we can, at the very least... and maybe at most... attempt to feel good about ourselves.

The paradox is that all of these feelings have lived, out of conscious awareness, out of conscious mind, as the vibratory force field to either support the truth or the untruth of what we have become entrained to believe is our intrinsic worth and value OR not that. If my sense of internal safety as a child is dependent on paradoxically betraying the security of my authentic and internal knowing of whom and what I AM to the prevailing winds of parental dogma - so that I feel valued - I have already stepped into the prevailing yet unacknowledged landmine of bankruptcy. The process of re-entrainment has already begun. That entrainment is the re-enactment and fortification of aeons of intergenerational modelling. It may take generations to catch up... and catch up, it does. Like it or not, modelling is our greatest teacher.

Already, I am seeing the declaration of bankruptcy fast becoming the experience of so many at an older age. This is not an American phenomenon; it is happening the world over.

Bankruptcy. Sadly, it is becoming a big reality for seniors who, historically entrained to an outdated collective meme about safety-nets, security and retirement - are discovering that these old buckets of belief, intended to carry the waters of historically expected outcomes, are now in severe erosion… and have been for a very long time. Not only has the water leaked out, re-filling said buckets - while willfully denying blindness to the obvious erosion and its holes - only ensures further leaking, erosion and holes.

I think that is what we do not or are unwilling to get, deep in the DNA of our cells: leaks propel erosion…. and erosion propels leaks. Holes are inevitable. To continue to fill eroded buckets with water will only get us more of the same: thirst unquenched; thirst parched; bodies and systems in collapse.

Bailing out Wall Street to water the status quo is a significant example of this. It happened in 2008. It will happen again. It can’t not. It is the metaphor of continuing to fill a rusty, eroding bucket. The bottom is in collapse; the bottom is on its way out. Yet, still we choose to not see.

Think of change as the outcome that manifests within the combined action of crucible and spear… in chemistry, think mortar and pestle. A crucible without a spear to move and to ignite a change in construct becomes a vessel of non-movement, resulting, long-term, in stagnation. The reverse also is true: a pestle that cannot touch the walls/bottom of a crucible carries no power to ignite change. Again, an opportunity denied.

Our global denial of climate change is another such significant metaphor for bankruptcy. As a species, we have taken way too much from Gaia and have contributed virtually nothing to(ward) her well being. I’ll save my thoughts about the absence of any reciprocity here for another post. We are in serious overdraft (denial) of our own intrinsic vibration that I have come to know as ‘RIG' (Respect, Integrity and Generosity of Spirit)... an expression that can propel us into our welcomed, future selves well beyond the current, global platitudes for the four-letter word we call ‘Love’ .

Think about it! ‘Love’ has, so often, inauthentically served to saturate the airwaves of our histories with lies adapted and accepted as truths. At a much higher order of thinking, RIG, as the context for all meaning, brings life into the ONE intention of both crucible and spear, mortar and pestle… which is to collaborate, for the sheer joy of creating. RIG, as the living call to what is potently possible, evokes a remembering of our intrinsic value, our intrinsic worth as quantum biological human beings. Consciousness drives it all. Intention, meaning, choice, gratitude, compassion, forgiveness (claiming the internal peace that transcends all understanding, within), and good will are both its stepping stones and its outcomes.

So the question becomes, then: How AM I choosing, in this moment... and the next… and the next... to live as the godForce that I AM in the process of being and becoming, while in the midst of global bankruptcy of all that is presenting? Am I willing to own all of the pre-suppositions that are bedrock to this question? Will I choose to remember that what is presenting is never, ever what my life is really all about?

Breathing is good. We can’t take the next inhale of our evolution without exhaling the last… and, present to that, allowing ourselves to really feel and hear the depth and intensity of our exhalations. No more hiding, no more denial. Owning that any resistance is futile. Integrating it all.

People will have their opinions about that. It matters not. What does matter IS that you and I honour our unique and intrinsic rights to choose - at all levels of thinking - what is deeply meaningful to each of us in the process of becoming the ever-expanding, joyful vibration of Self that IS the invitation to others longing to find their way home.

OWN IT TO FREE IT

My mind is not always my friend. In the moments of feeling visceral triggers of fear and terror that let me know that, 'Shit, I've fucked up again', anger follows not far behind. In these moments, I hear the voices of my 'young-me' teachers, echoing forward through decades of history to where I stand now, 'Sheila, you are your own worst critic'. 

Funny, now, I realize that, in that context, I always heard 'worst' as 'best', yet never quite believed either. I felt mortified to own 'worst' yet couldn't allow myself to own 'best', so scary was the feeling of being vulnerable. 

I wore this chagrin as a badge of honour. Can any of you relate? The harder I was on myself served to fuel my hope that I'd become better. My punishment would be my reward. Congers up pictures of self-flagellation, doesn't it? Do enough penance and you'll be good enough, don't you know? Hope ultimately became the never-to-be-surrendered driver for my life, fed by and camouflaged in my own deep despair that I'd never, ever get my life 'right'.  

Hope is a tease. Faith is a platform. Each is a choice. Choose wisely.

Today, I had such a moment. 'Shit, I've fucked up again'. And, today is also the day, that I actually noticed that I had been holding THAT as a running belief all of my life; that this belief actually had held some value for me. Today, is also the day that I chose, again, to allow said moment to propel me into yet another moment of choice to celebrate: Eureka, here comes my life!

While I own that the statement, 'Shit, I've fucked up again', is evidence of the deep dive I have found myself very capable of taking into the latrines of low-level thinking - serving as the familiar (even if declared un-welcomed) defaults for living -  still, I KNOW better, when I remember to stay awake. And THAT is the 'crux' for each and everyone one of us: waking up and staying awake.

When I choose to wake up - in a breath - I can easily allow as 'true', for me, that the historical default I have once again fallen into - forgetting to take even one breath to stay awake - is neither good, bad, right or wrong. Instead of something to 'fix' and 'make right', it is the starting point for a very different conversation with mySelf.

Here are the questions it invites in me:

  • How's this perspective, now that I recognize it, working for me?
  • Am I willing to change my mind and choose something else that feels easier, lighter and more resourceful, inside, where I live? 
  • Am I willing to change my mind and choose to stop blaming myself... and others who mirror my own discontent?
  • Am I willing to change my mind and choose to stop feeling sorry for myself and others who mirror my own discomfort?
  • Am I willing to change my mind and choose to intend and attend to the Being I would choose, in this moment. to become, right now?
  • Am I willing to change my mind and choose to live with the complete absence of all historical reference points to habit and habituation? In other words, I am I willing to live as if with amnesia of my past? And, most importantly, am I fiercely willing to own, claim, respect and reach for the courage this choice invites me to take up? No past, no future; this moment, right here, right now?
  • Am I willing to change my mind and simply trust that everything is unfolding exactly as it should?
  • Am I willing to change my mind and choose to feel and hear myself exhaling... and inhaling to exhale again? No breath, no life. Point finale.

I live in this world AND I choose to believe that I AM not of it. I believe that the same is true for you. Are you willing to consider THAT as your most intimate and personal truth... in yourself, for yourself?

Honestly,  it takes significant, determined, sustained and internal resolve to walk the uniquely and intuitively-called journey of SELF that naturally eschews all compromise and compliance to any external and mainstream assumptions that serve to disconnect me from ME, you from YOU, and us from each other. End of story, when I forget my courage and let myself fall unconscious into the stinking morass of self-deprecating default that entrains me to 'Shit, I've fucked-up again', I feel the disconnect that comes with having - yet again - abandoned the real essence of whom I AM. There is no feeling of joy in that. My committed evolution of Self for its own sake requires the fertilization of an entrainment to a much higher-order paradigm shift in thinking about who and what I am as a quantum biological human being. Exhale to inhale is a start.

The most compelling question I believe that we can ask of our Selves, in every breath, is this one:

How does the godForce that I AM choose to live my life today? 

The presuppositions (assumptions that have to be true in order for a question/statement to make sense) are abundant here. Thanks to Louise LeBrun (LouiseLeBrun.ca and WEL-systems.com), this question changed my life and my direction for living my life. And, in the eternal presence of the internal unknown structuring my reality, today, this IS the sustaining question that continues to invite me forward into a different reality of my own creation. This question demands of me that I remember.

 So, I encourage you. Live the question, own the truth of your experience, trust your sensory cues, take direction from your intuition as your one-of-kind guide from inner space. And, when a once denied belief reveals itself, OWN it to free it

I just did. Thanks for reading. 

 

Bankruptcy IS..... A State of Mind

I am in the process of writing a book about bankruptcy... and  what it really means as a state of being, a state of mind. I have well concluded over the years I have lived on this planet that bankruptcy, as we have come to think about it in both environmental and financial terms, is the evidential trail of personal dissolution, insolvency, overdraft and the absence of flow in our lives, at much higher orders of thinking. We would not ever consciously intend to live bankrupt lives, yet that is how most of us, the world over, are living. We choose to turn away from the evidence of our choices, so indoctrinated have we become to not that... anything but that. Shame and the fear of shame will keep us in denial, in avoidance, in hiding and feeling inauthentic. We are the frauds we loath. Truth is, by the time a bankrupt person chooses to declare and own the lie she has been living ad nauseam, that she might save her sanity and finally own the clarity of her own thinking, the truth of the lie has been present for a very long time. Modelling is our greatest teacher. I learned by example to turn away from the obvious; self-distraction was key.

So, what follows, below, has been extrapolated from my writing that is in process... and it became a speech  which I delivered at MoMondays Ottawa in October of 2017.

I allow that I am a creative force; I also allow that I take risks. And the one thing that I know is that I have actualized some pretty amazing ideas over the course of my life... not all of them with pretty results. As a creative force, some of those things have been downright messy. AND they are mine to celebrate and to learn from. It all gets down to choice and one's belief about her inalienable right to choose. The best way to negotiate risk is through experience. Sometimes, we leverage our own; sometimes, we leverage that of others. No matter what, our self-education is key. 

My speech:

I am 71 years old. At age 62, I declared bankruptcy. When I arrived at that decision, I had carried a huge burden of crippling debt for six years. I felt old, outraged and resentful. I felt scared, tired and  ashamed. I felt a failure. I denied that to myself, making my feelings about it all even worse. At 62 years old, thoughts about not having enough and being able to look after myself at this senior age felt like a betrayal, a punch to my stomach. I blamed others for this result and I blamed myself. I worried about the impact to my husband. Would we lose everything we had built together and the land he had grown up on?

It was easy to default to the story of what happened. Really, who cares? I could tell you that it was a business failure. I could tell you that it was in Southern California. I could tell you that I had already had eighteen years of experience in Ottawa with the same business. I could tell you that I had done the research, calculated the numbers, drawn up a business plan well accepted by the bank, and applied for a United States VISA to live and work in the USA. I hired a California lawyer to educate me and to facilitate whatever was required to move forward. I was familiar with Southern California and I had already launched a community there which was growing. Even though I believed I had prepared myself, I was about to step into the biggest mess of my life.

I drove 5 days across country from Ottawa to Long Beach, arriving at the end of July, 2002. I was to have access to my new studio on August 15. When I arrived at the of July, I discovered, to my horror, that the ground for the building had not yet been broken. I had planned for an October opening to be ready for Christmas sales. My plans and my calculations were now hugely compromised. Anxiety took over and depression set in.

From there, everything that could go wrong, did. There were multiple mistakes and delays that took months to be rectified. I chose to live a pretty sparse life to respect funds; still, the delays blew out my plans and the financial numbers blew up, more than doubling my well researched estimates. I had to get further financing. I was horrified, terrified, outraged and resentful. I wanted revenge and I talked about a lawsuit; my lawyer talked me out of it. Nine months passed before I was given the keys to the space. Nine months, the length of a pregnancy. And during that time, my sprit was in collapse, my emotions were in the toilet, and my body was in unrelenting pain.

With myriad setbacks, I closed the studio doors only nine months later. Think of it as two very difficult pregnancies, one after the other. My husband flew to California, packed up my vehicle and drove me home to Canada. While I count myself as a spiritual person, not a religious one, the metaphors of finally arriving home to safe haven on Easter Sunday, only two hours after the sun had risen, was not lost on me. A resurrection, it seemed, was at hand.

It was the gravity of my own fear that got me. It felt cellular. For six long years I carried the weight of that financial burden, barely tolerating the emotional abuses of creditors' agents seeking to meet quota through the unsuccessful collection of outstanding debt. I had nothing left to give. It was brutal and it was punishing. Like attracts like, so the worse it got, the worse it got. I was absent of breath, trapped between a rock and a hard place.

It was not until 2007 that a friend pointed out to me that I was not breathing, maybe never had. No breath, no life. I realized, then, that fear, anxiety and high alert had been my life-long standing drivers for living. It meant that I had lived a life of bankruptcy as the metaphor for my own disconnect. It meant that I had spent my life feeling sorry for myself, unrecognized.

So, I share with you that bankruptcy IS a state of mind. Fear gets more fear. Joy gets more joy. Not good, bad, right, wrong, these vibrating electrical signals create a currency of consciousness. These electrical signatures are without morality. They just ARE. It really is a question of whether one chooses to reclaim and own the bad, the good, the ugly and the beautiful... all at the same time. Try as I might to tenaciously hold onto an opposite - meaning a seemingly more elegant - perspective, more and more I know that resisting the truth of my own experience, in the absence of inhaling and exhaling, will bankrupt my life.

I define bankruptcy as the disconnect of my body from my soul; the overdraft of joy through fear. By the time the overdraft showed up in my bank account and in my health, it seeds had been germinating for a very, very long time. Likely for generations. Truth is, these days, I have an easy - and a simple - solution. I purposely inhale and exhale so that I can actually hear myself breathe. I consciously choose to let go. And, I choose to remember that I have not been without success in my life. 

Ultimately, I gave myself permission to choose something different. That was in 2007, when I chose to take the first real breath of my life and let my body stop shutting down my intuition and its signals. By 2008, I made the appointment to see a bankruptcy trustee. The power of paradox cannot be overstated, here: choosing to step fully into the declaration of what I had always feared would be held as the most abominable shame, simply dissolved the shame of it all, rendering it no longer a truth in my life. Truly, acting on that decision changed my state of being and my state of mind that day.

The day I signed the the bankruptcy papers was a cold, bleak, grey Tuesday in early December. I called it Freedom Tuesday. The streets were empty as I entered the trustee's office. When I arrived outside, three hours later, the sun was out, the day had warmed up a bit, and people were happily milling in the streets on their lunch breaks. A veil had lifted. I could feel, hear and see evidence of a vitality starting to percolate. I could feel the air in my lungs. I would live. I had finally stopped feeling sorry for myself.

The only way to the other side of anything is in it and through it. It has taken me all of my 71 years to fully grok and get on board with that. Honestly, it really is the path of least resistance.

Living really is as simple as this: take a breath and exhale, own what you know and THAT you know... and choose.

 

A Matter of Opinion...

It's 2017 and it's July. The last time I opened up this blog was is February. Wow, my state of being has leaped since then! How many times have I told myself that I had nothing of value to say? So this blog, of course, would see no activity. LOL, who really gets to determine that value? At the end of the day..... fast forward to ME!

Lots of things are moving in my world, not the least of which is my desire to simply BE and LIVE as a process that knows the certainty of grace AND the grace of certainly, as core, as essential, to my world. I know that I am creating all of the time. I know that  my unique way of moving, authentically, through an externally created reality is, without exception, projected from an internal world view that lives its truth inside my body.... conscious or unconscious, comfortable or uncomfortable... and EITHER owned and claimed, inhaled or exhaled, as a good thing OR intellectually denied/avoided, as culturally inexpedient.  My body will never deny it's truth; my intellect, however, will; I am the only one who can reframe that for myself. Only when the intellect allows the body to know what it knows... and what it does not know it does not know... can we ever really know the full magic that we are. 

Truth, owned and claimed, inhaled and exhaled, invites comfort's expansion into more of itself and discomfort's release of itself. Hey, 'discomfort', you are now free to leave your what you thought was your entitlement, your real estate, behind. Whose original opinion did you choose to rely upon, anyway? Was it ever naturally yours?

Truth, denied and avoided, sees breathing shortened, curtailed and, ultimately, stopped; When we chose, heels dug into the earth for dear life, to die to be right... well, we invite discomfort to always, in all ways, find it's traction, there. Ultimately, that traction, can dissolve into quick sand.

So, what does an opinion have to do with any of this?  Well, here are some questions to ask:

How do I authentically feel, inside, about what I am hearing? What gets triggered in my body? Am I breathing? When I own the truth of my feelings about it all, do i insist on adding extra locks to an area, where there is no door in site? Alternatively, can I allow myself to see that a door does exist... and that it can open to reveal another possibility? 

There is an old expression that 'opinions are like assholes; everybody's got one'. We can laugh. Still, that anatomical construct is an essential resource to our body's physiological functioning. Truly, the body is the final frontier of expression; it is evidence of the cutting edge of our thinking. Without that orifice, can you imagine how you'd be feeling, how you'd be thinking? How connected would you feel to the essence  - the space, movement and flow - of whom you  really are?

Short, plain and simple, I have, just today, come to view 'opinion' - my own or anybody's opinion about anything - as either a resource to live my life or not. In considering a resource, I'll either feel good about it or I won't; it will authentically support me or it won't. Like any resource, an opinion - created or adapted - is always in line for the choosing; for me, it's got to feel 'right', inside, in order for me to authentically engage and invest. How much of what we invest in at the grocery store, for an example, is simply a matter of opinion? My point is that my universe is a quantum and abundant store of everything, including opinions, like them or not. We get to choose and we have the right to change our minds, again and again, and again. Will we?

So, in this moment, will I choose only that which will congruently satisfy all logical levels of my expression from my highest intention for being here, at this time, to what I ultimately actualize, right here, right now? Or will I default to another's opinion, as more valued than what my 'gut' instinct tells me is true and 'right' for my world?

Territories and maps are not the same thing. There can be many maps for a single territory; designing it is a matter of perspective, a matter of interpretation. It seems we have forgotten, even before we started our earthly life journeys, that maps do not - and were never intended to - define whom we are. They are an opinion, a resource, only - based on personal experience - of 'best' suggestions to navigate our worlds. There can be as many maps as their are opinions as there are people, asking whatever questions they are choosing to ask. Following them - or not - is a personal choice.

The following is what I found myself sharing in an email today with another; this is what propelled me to engage my blog after such a long time away from it; this is valuable to me to share: 

'I agree. What I have learned over the years is that, in conversation, while people, generally, may use the same words and phrasing, those words and phrasing never mean the same thing to each individual. Perspectives and interpretations are always unique to the individual. As such - and at the end of the day - I guess they can only be considered opinions, at best. And, those opinions quickly become ‘law’ in a world that knows fear as its only fuel by which to choose. It takes committed mindfulness, awareness and courage to not fall prey to the cultural conditioning of it all. Thanks for the reminder.'