mindingmybiz

This blog is my shared process in working towards integrating self-awareness with all other aspects of life, while on my way to becoming more authentic and whole.

Archive for the category “Uncategorized”

Reflections on Life, While Living…

Life is complex.
Life is simple.
Both are true.

Truth is simple, it’s simply what is – uncovered.
Truth is complex, it’s complexly what is – uncovered.
Both observations are true.

Certainty is my kryptonite.
My desire, attraction, and pull towards knowing and obtaining “right” thinking, “right” beliefs, or Certitude is where my servitude follows.

Certitude is my Achilles’ heel.

Wherefore Art Thou, Certitude?
You are the illusion that seduces me when I’m at my most vulnerable brink.

My logical reasoning leads me with chords of un-ease to the melody of posturing antidotes of Certitude – so alluring, so alluring.

And yet – the more I search the earth’s crevices for You,
The more abandoned I feel.
Left with unending questioning of myself and You,
I find this strange alchemy consisting of pleasure and pain.

Pursuing You, Thou Certitude is an addiction of the mind.
The payoffs are immediate and fleeting,
Though, the tolerance levels are becoming more and more demanding
Leaving me with shorter peaks of peace-of-mind, tranquility, and random moments of bliss
Just enough to keep me hooked.

The mountain tops of truth feel warmer
Until a rebuttal challenges and destabilizes the former

What am I fervently searching for? 
Security. 
Safety.
Truth.

A firm ground to lay and graze in, for me and my loved ones.
This search springs from both love and fear which simultaneously can consume me, side by side.

I contend with the push-and-pull to let you go
For fearing your absence is all I know

The notion of letting You go and accepting that

…You are an illusion
Birthed from human existence and vulnerability…
Birthed in relentless hope and resiliency…

This is not in the many books and paths I’ve poured my soul out to, in search of You.
Perhaps this is part and parcel of the human journey for this soul who sits behind this screen, as both writer and reader.

Answers and Certitude aren’t found in man-made potions or notions
Only illusions with half-truths, disguised as whole truths.

“Truths” that we devote ourselves to, and coerce others into believing, or else!
Then divide over, for your good and mine, of course.

For we do not know fully and with certainty, and yet we still search and proclaim the insane…
That only we have the full, exclusive, equally applicable truth for all; adhere…or else.

This madness, this arrogance
Isn’t easy or simple to spot or stop.
It’s all too often desperately and aggressively ridiculed, while practiced.

Well, this is an integral part of what it means to be in the human tribe.
It’s hard to make sense of.
At least for me, in this season.

And yet,
It will be well,
In this complex soul.

from

All Emotions Welcome

All emotions are welcome to eat, at the table of consciousness.  I affirm the valuable energy and wisdom, equally inherent in all emotions.

I uphold a non discrimination policy regarding emotions.  I also acknowledge that our western culture privileges certain emotions being tolerated, expressed, and openly shared, while other emotions remain underprivileged and discriminated against in the guise of being “virtuous”, “spiritual” and/or “strong” and “having it together”.

A multi-emotional diversity culture is a culture in which we co-create, with the intention of becoming more intimate and consciously aware of our inconspicuously held conditioning which reinforces emotional bias, ignorance and spiritual bypassing.  And then, update and expand this space to fully inhabit YOU.

This conditioning may often privilege comfortable emotions, while implicitly or explicitly, discriminates and devalues emotions that aren’t considered as “acceptable” or “appropriate” because they cause discomfort (to others or yourself), namely unnamed shame.

I’ll call this kind of emotional discrimination: “Emotionalism”

Many of us have internalized emotionalism. It is a form of Self-denial and emotional dishonesty, but can often mistakenly be considered “spiritual” or “conscious evolution” in certain circles.

Perhaps it is.

Perhaps it isn’t.

We can delve into this if you’ve got a subtle but undeniable inkling that there’s more to it. More to you. And, you’re ready to go deeper inside.

Contact me if you feel a curiosity with your emotions, yet can relate to internalized emotionalism. I have personal, lived-experience in recovering and healing from this all too common intrapersonal dynamic. The freedom and deeper level of trust and respect from within, is so worth it. This is a labor of love through Emotional Empowerment Coaching, where we value all your emotions, and can utilize the energy contained within emotions in a life-giving way that does no harm to others, or self.

Because, all emotions are welcome.

Let’s Take a Journey Within!

Often we take up a kind of space inside without conscious awareness of what that space holds, or doesn’t hold for us.

Often, we need a present, presence of another to ask, inquire, pause and reflect with a curious, humble, and genuinely interested person who is focused on making the space to illuminate and bring forward what’s going on inside without knowing what will be found.

The deeper vulnerable aspects of us are often not readily accessible with just any kind of space.  There’s a shyness that marks this kind of space, a hiding, and yet a longing to come out of hiding.  What can call forth this coming out of hiding?

Deep and abiding presence without pretense or a hidden agenda to “fix” you, but rather to know and see you, and deeply respect all that shows up.

I believe this kind of space is healing, transformational, illuminating, and deeply spiritual.  This kind of seeing and witnessing inside ourselves, while another witnesses and holds this kind of space is profoundly divine and yet, based in human to human connection.

This kind of showing up isn’t for the faint at heart.  It takes incredible courage because this is risk-taking in the most profoundly vulnerable level – being fully seen.  This act is one of honor and courage.

We’ve learned many defensive mechanisms to avoid this at all costs, yet we also crave this kind of nurturing presence like a baby craves being safely and warmly held.  It’s innate.  It is also something I’ve found that is contagious.  When you’ve experienced being in this kind of space, you will start to pass this kind of space-making onto first yourself, then to others.  It’s contagious in an empowering and soul-freeing way.

Learning to tune into our emotions on the way to taking up residence in this space is an act of defiance against our self-sabotaging fears, as well as an act of taking back core energies that we need in order to thrive.  This often requires us to do some work in practicing feeling some intense discomfort and knowing that these discomforts come and go, and strengthen us with each passing wave.

Often we need the present, presence of another while we expand our level of conscious awareness while the ego or old survival patterns pull out all of their stops to keep us inside an outdated comfort zone.

My coaching style involves a combination of inquiry, curiosity, gentleness, and authenticity.  This isn’t about perfection or propriety, rather this intentional presence gives you permission to show up authentically with me.  My commitment is to bring in the full presence of my intuition, curiosity, and honoring the trust-seeking to usher in this kind of space where you will also practice ushering in this kind of space for yourself and others.  It’s a practice for yourself that’s so incredibly worthwhile, just like you.  I’d be honored to join you on this part of your journey.

I’m a certified Emotional Empowerment coach and I’m now taking clients!  If this style of coaching and presence is something that calls to you, contact me for more info on emotional empowerment coaching sessions with affordable packages and pricing!

Positivity Isn’t a Virtue

I was recently asked if I was a “glass is half-empty” or “glass is half-full” kinda gal, to which I said “Both. I’m a ‘glass is half-empty and half-full’ kinda gal, because both are simultaneously true when it’s true.”

In certain cases, positivity is more of a vice than a virtue when it’s fueled by emotional dishonesty in my relationships. It’s not virtuous to deceive myself or others, regarding how I think or feel, just to appear or sound “positive”. I believe this kind of emotional deception can actually lead to disconnection and depression, are those “positive”?

It takes a level of courage to practice vulnerability and allow yourself to be fully seen by others. This is vital for intimate connection, which starts with being honest and clearest with myself. Sure, I can admit that I don’t like how I feel or think because they make me feel uncomfortable or unpleasant. But to omit them from conscious awareness and prevent me from attending to these parts of me isn’t a positive attribute in my opinion. It’s being out of touch with myself and, all while deceiving myself into believing this is really a “positive” thing to practice!

This kind of positivity is a type of emotional vanity and shallowness. It bolsters shallow and insecure connections, and is rampant in many religious/faith/spiritual circles, where I would hope to find these spaces to be where I can truly show up and take off the masks.

Owning what is true for me, is a more virtuous pursuit than “staying positive” if that means bullshitting about how I really am. That said, I also understand the sad reality that many people cannot contain the full weight of my truth, so I choose whom I share my vulnerability with, discriminately. As long as I know the truth of where I’m at, and am practicing being clear and honest with myself, and can be seen in this light in at least one other relationship, I think that is a positive thing.

An Open Letter to the 12-Step Literature Approvers…

I’m trying to work through the 12-Steps and keep bumping up against what appears as dogma with the Disease Model of addiction. I’m reading Al-Anon approved literature as well as material written by other addiction experts like Gabor Mate and Jamie Marich and am feeling more and more disjointed.

I’ve been personally impacted by a loved one’s addiction and have entered into recovery myself. In 12-Step recovery I’ve been urged to study alcoholism and the disease of addiction. I’ve been studying this subject for years as I’ve been in relationships with people who’ve either been addicted themselves or been impacted by a loved one’s addiction, or both actually. I’m finding myself feeling confused and disjointed, unless I strictly read Al-Anon approved literature! I’m trying to integrate 12-Step approved literature with non-approved addiction literature and am forming my own understanding with as honest and open-minded of an attitude that the Al-Anon program promotes, probably mixed with some of my own defects of character, in process too.

This is my take on addiction thus far coming from someone who finds this subject matter so relevant to her personal life. It’s become an area of passion and vested interest due to my family relationships being touched by addiction. Although I’m not an addiction professional, I represent a voice that’s been deeply impacted by this subject. I’m forming my understanding from a conglomerate of reading from addiction professionals inside and outside of the 12-Step model. It also comes from my lived-experience of going through a loved-one’s relapse into hell. So for whatever it’s worth, I offer my personal reflections from this vantage point. I’m still making sense of my own lived-experience as well as studying the topic of addiction from a variety of sources as I work through the 12-Steps. In other words it’s still slowly brewing, like me. If this benefits someone who has or is going through their own experience of this, I’m grateful.

So without further ado this is my evolving summation on a very complex subject that touches millions of lives every day.

To the Unnamed 12-Step Literature Approvers


I’ve read addiction and codependency literature, outside of your approval. And this is what I’d like to share as a newcomer member of Al-Anon, who also feels deep gratitude for the service of Al-Anon Fellowship. What have we learned about addiction since the 1930’s when A.A. first formed? That it’s complex. And a coherent narrative of addiction in layman’s terms could be that it’s not merely a chronic disease. Consider this narrative that’s backed by addiction and trauma research, and please integrate your approval for literature that offers more. Perhaps something along the lines of this…

Addiction manifests in its burgeoning stage as an unconscious adaptive survival trait in the presence of feeling overwhelming distress, coupled with the absence of a close and secure relationship to an attachment figure like Mom, Dad, or another caregiver.

Notice the Theme, it’s a Duet: Presence + Absence

A presence of Distressing Emotional Experience (based in past and/or present) PLUS an Absence of a Safe enough or secure relationship.

These overwhelming feelings may not even register on the level of conscious awareness until it over-reaches maximum capacity. Until then, the response to overwhelm is constructing and maintaining a thick wall of emotional armor. Any unprocessed feelings from the past accumulate while current feelings which bare any striking resemblance to the past also gets heaped onto the pile. This occurs all while the Absence part of the equation remains – Absence of a Safe Enough or Secure Relationship.

The Absence is a void. A hole consisting of profound disconnection and isolation. A substance or “filler” which acts as a substitute, is reached for in an attempt to fill that void. The momentary relief from pain, and fleeting sensations of pleasure string you along while making increasing demands that you sacrifice more to get more. The constant pursuit and chasing the carrot-on-a-stick can never deliver what you’re pursuing. Freedom from suffering. As this phenomenon takes root like a seemingly innocuous weed, the human’s soul becomes a host for a parasitic-type entity of whatever addictive filler hooks you.

12-Step Fellowships offer a beautiful solution to the Absence part of the equation. The absence of intimate connection which is a fundamental, hardwired, basic human need – creates a void. Filling that void with non-human substances is often a way to cope and while enabling dependency on emotional vulnerability armor. The core issue is an aversion to emotional vulnerability within relationships. When a substance or sabotaging behavior mitigates this aversion despite negative consequences and disturbances in other areas of life, you’ve got the active mechanism of addiction at hand.

So why do relapses occur even after dramatic changes in lifestyle going from using or drinking, to being clean and sober, occur? Well, the other part of the equation needs to be looked at, the presence of distressing experiences especially pertaining to the past which haven’t been processed and integrated.

What came first, the chicken or the egg?

The etiology of addiction is hotly debated among experts, addicts themselves, and those who love them. What came first, the chicken or the egg? The addiction or the unresolved trauma? They both feed off one another, so does it really matter? Not in order to reduce harm and initially get clean and sober. But to stay clean and sober, heal from the aftermath, and truly make living amends – I believe this is relevant.

It’s my developing opinion based from what I’ve learned from various schools of thought and my own experience, that unresolved childhood trauma provides fertile soil for addiction to take root. Along with family history, social conditioning, lifestyle habits, and genetic factors. I don’t hold to the belief that addiction is merely a disease. This belief is antiquated now that so much multidisciplinary scientific inquiry and findings regarding addiction and the plight of human suffering, have been shared.

The strictly disease-based model that posits addiction and/or alcoholism as a disease, is sometimes a helpful simplification for such a complex phenomenon like addiction. Yet further down the road of recovery after encountering relapse, it’s a harmful over-simplification which can create a false sense of security. I believe it inadvertently creates barriers to healing the roots of addiction when these roots prove to be deeper than what first appeared. The disease-model of addiction can inadvertently bypass critical trauma recovery, which can weaken relapse prevention.

Growing up in family subcultures which are reinforced outside the home by the broader culture, enabling self-ignorance, self-neglect, and/or self-abuse in response to distress – creates ripe conditions for addiction. And relapse. An innocent ignorance or a blatant indifference towards healing trauma in response to addiction recovery, furtively enables the practice of emotional self-neglect which often leads to physical self-abuse/harm through drug/alcohol abuse. When this is tacitly considered “normal” within recovery programs, you’ll find that necessary, deeper recovery is stilted, versus the addiction.

I realize my take on addiction and its development doesn’t exclude many people, including myself. Addiction development is quite inclusive and many will be counted as vulnerable towards investing in its empty promises when you have a permissive culture of enabling trauma denial.

Addiction is a very human struggle. It accounts for the struggle of being human in dehumanizing cultures and environments. In my opinion, relegating it as strictly a “disease” seems ignorant. Much has been learned about the nature of addiction and I wish recovery programs would honor this progress. It would help those suffering from addiction and those who love them.

Spiritual principles make room for progression, because you keep an honest and open minded attitude. How can the spirit of 12-Step fellowship principles include the latest findings of addiction without losing it’s unity?Is there room for a different ideology beyond addiction and alcoholism as a disease? Well, even if dogma doesn’t make room for it, my own understanding of the 12-Step spiritual principles, do.

This goes without saying but I’ll say it anyway – these ideas are a representation of my own evolving perspective. Take what serves you, leave the rest.

And with that, I pass. Thank you for reading.

The Drama of Wisdom

Intruder
Sound the alarm
An uncomfortable thought broke in
Another unpleasant memory with an unpleasant feeling

Back off, you invader
Leave me alone
I will resist you
I will cut you off
You’re an unwelcome

No.

Excuse me?

I said “No”

Who is this “I”?

I am the “I”
You are also the “I”
You’ve forgotten who you are
Just because it hurts doesn’t mean you’re going to die

I can be trusted with your thoughts, memories, and feelings

Yes, push back
Push back the smothering walls in this suffocating house
You can contain more – not less
Make room for what arises

These are not enemies
These are honored guests
Unpleasant at first yet the more you resist, the more they persist

They come from within, not from afar
Where else will they go?
They belong to you

You kick them out
And they’ll return

This isn’t a threat
It’s dharma
, it’s reality

Treat them as allies, not as foes

The choices is yours
This house is laid brick by brick
This life is made, choice by choice
This one life is yours
All yours

The Gift of Rejection

I did it again. Practice makes progress in being, me

I felt our collective discomfort but didn’t sell out
In that trance-like, shape-shifting blurring into “not really me”, me

As usual
I wasn’t paid by your approval
I was paid however, by my own

As anticipated, failed approval-seeking came my way
I now know what I didn’t, so I don’t despair
The fear of rejection subsides
So my authentic self doesn’t need to hide

I know in the absence of your approval, is mine
But when I reject my authenticity
I taste it in my gut
I taste it in my soul
And it always leaves a hole

Damn, the anxiety I once felt when falling in that hole
It left such disparity in my soul
In that disparity I found MY soul
But it never truly left me, it was only but an illusion
The absence of your validation doesn’t cause such an ego contusion
Where once forsaken energy can flow, that which truly satisfies me whole





Whose Shit Is This?

Is it mine?
Or is it yours?

Long entangled strings from old baggage seem to follow,
like a shadow.

The longer you’ve traveled this earth, the more you collect.
In it can be treasures or and, rotten waste.

Open up your baggage! Its damn flowing train is getting too long!
It’s now a tripping hazard for you and for me!

I wish it were as easy as the Baggage Claim at the airport. 
Travelers recognize their own or can check the name tag. 
But this baggage isn’t so easily claimed!
It’s mistakenly claimed as mine when it’s really yours!

Back and forth the disclaimed and misclaimed baggage gets passionately tossed between us. 
Like a hot potato.
Scorched are the hands who hold on too long.

Not all of this will burn.
There are unclaimed treasures inside too.
There’s been a spill from the unfinished business of your past.
It has contaminated everything.

When you indiscriminately throw away your past, it comes back.
Boomerang.
Give and it will be given back?
Karmic energy?

Reclaim the abandoned energy within and between you.
This will be a joint success, a joint failure, or a joint holding pattern; awaiting clearance.
You cannot abandon this energy force, without consequence.

The whole is more than the sum of its parts.

I repeat…

The whole is more than the sum of its parts.

So…
Whose shit is this?
It’s ours.

Your past, my past
Your beliefs, my beliefs
Your experiences, my experiences
Your pain, my pain
Your dreams, my dreams
Your grief, my grief
Your fears, my fears
Your victories, my victories
Your strengths, my strengths
Your weaknesses, my weaknesses

It all goes into one bag.
Like different threads, weaved into a tapestry.

Joint ownership.  Joint consequences.  Joint time limit.

One bag
One tapestry
Many threads
Our threads

We work to carry it together and move on,
Or we toss it back and forth together
And, remain firmly stuck in a holding pattern; awaiting clearance…
someday. Who knows when?

Meanwhile, time passes by.
Time – non-renewable resource.
Time.  No returns, refunds, or exchanges.

Whose shit is this?
Ours.
Whose treasure is this?
Ours.

*This is a poem about coupleshit coupleship.

from

“Freedom from Ego-Illusion” Take #40

Here I am again. Learning the lesson that my ego is so defended against, but doesn’t understand it’s in her best interest to truly learn that I am more powerful than she believes.

I have the power to learn and grow; emotionally, spiritually, and intellectually. That power isn’t dependent on anyone else.

My ability to learn and grow as I go, does not depend on externals beyond my control – this is good news, it’s freeing news. I am free from depending on my partner, children, ex, economy, the weather, my family of origin, the personal choices of others, etc. in order to learn and grow. Am I impacted by these externals? Absolutely. This doesn’t foolishly deny the reality of interconnectedness and interdependence, it collaborates with it.

Opps, I did it again. I’ve fallen asleep to the illusion that I cannot learn important life lessons and grow, unless another is doing “xyz”.

I passionately want to learn and grow as much as I can in this lifetime. A common illusion I often zombie out to is this illusion of dependence within the context of learning and growing that purports: “In order for you to learn and grow, your partner needs to be learning and growing with you, and in similar fashion.”

Bullshit. It’s an egoic fallacy that justifies so much fear of people, places, and things I can’t control – and therefore, try even harder to control.

It was once true, in childhood. And sometimes I admit, I doze off and fall asleep and stumble through life as an adult, forgetting that I am one. Emotional pain is a jarring alarm clock. It’s adult O’clock. This is a discerning reminder that is wrapped in self-compassion, not judgment. Self-awareness at such a keen level requires an above average, adult level of consciousness and self-compassion. So the mere fact that I am aware of this and owning it means, I’m kicking ass again.

I’m up now. This is the lesson being taught through pain:

I am independent and free to grow, learn from mistakes and courageously do my inner work, and release the insane expectation that I can “get” anyone else to do this for themselves (and me). This is messy work because my ego will put up a huge fight because she believes my survival is at stake. This is why my gentle reassurance, and truly sustainable loyalty to her is so important. She fears being left without the support and loyalty of others because she’s lived through that. So, she needs to know how powerful my own loyalty to her, is.

This is where my loyalty can shine – in showing up for myself as a powerful resource and stop compulsively outsourcing my loyalty to others in hopes that they will be loyal in return. Huge waste of energy and time. Huge.

There are tremendous rewards when I wake up to my own presence, that includes both pain and joy. It is freeing. I may will need to come back to this reminder time and time again. It’s sage wisdom that often flows shortly after an egoic break-down. The aftershock of being swept up by my ego’s “good intentions” leads to breakdowns, yet also make room for breakthroughs.

I’ve been known to say “Don’t let shit go to waste, it makes for great fertilizer.” I’m using my shit to grow independent of others. You are free to do the same, my friend. That is way better news than depending on others to change, so I can grow.

Until next time, keep learning, growing, falling down, and getting back up. And remember, you are free to be loyal to your own growth path, independent of anyone else doing so or not for themselves.

from:

Seedling of Power – Enneagram Type 6

There’s a seedling of power within me.  It’s sprouting.

I’m waking up to the subconscious belief I’ve been loyal to for so long as though this was a survival-dependent strategy:

“It’s safer to be weak and unsure, doubtful, and shielded from my inner power.”

The deeply entrenched belief that claims the best source of validation is external, the most reliable feedback is the feedback from others that accentuate my imperfections, that any feedback will do as long as it will protect me from encountering my inner authority and power. Because that is a dangerous place.

For various reason, I somehow internalized early experiences in my formative years which developed into an anxious either covertly or overtly, dependent personality. This personality which is perceptively explained by Enneagram Type 6, is driven by a belief that it’s safer to project my power or any other “threatening” aspects of myself, onto others.

In certain contexts, this strategy had another layer: a callous. I didn’t want people to see how I struggle to fear my own power and even hid this from myself, unwittingly. Some people exploit vulnerability instead of provide protection and guidance, depending on their own internal structures. Sometimes I can’t tell if others will be a “protector” or a “perpetrator”. So when in ambivalence, the best defense is a good offense. This counter move against vulnerability and the fear of being exploited has sometimes made me feel “powerful” or at least, protected. It’s armor. But this armor is not the kind of power that’s sprouting within me.

The kind of power that’s sprouting within is a sense of inner awakeness to my inner world. It’s a very subtle form of awareness sprouting from my internal validation that doesn’t first depend on external validation. This sense of inner trust to what I’m awake to within, is often paradoxical yet hidden in plain sight. It connects me to inner wisdom that trusts myself enough to take risks, and learn valuable lessons from mistakes and regrets. That external validation is important and yet not primary, but supplemental to my own validation. If I don’t get it when I’m looking for it from another, I’m OK. No need to panic or get pissed off and go to combat to get it from a specific source. Nor do I need to shape-shift and contort myself to receive validation that will always miss the mark if I’m shape-shifting in order to receive it.

This conscious awakeness can rest in the faith that there’s plenty of space for seemingly polarizing “truths” to coexist, in harmony. So when I don’t receive external validation, there is no need to worry. That’s where faith fills the void, that there’s enough space for a variety of perceptions, including mine. This kind of faith requires a boldness because it may go against the current of polarization. Yet if this faith isn’t boldly embraced a fallout can occur within me, a split which can be expressed in my relationship with others, and with my worldview because that faith is the bridge. It can be that significant and also play out on a collective macro level, for better or worse.

Who can hold this kind of space where it’s safe to coexist between opposites? An Ennea-type 6 who is awake and has reconciled with their own inner power and authority. This takes tremendous courage and inner reconciliation. Breaking out of that cage of “smallness” requires inner “bigness” which goes against the flow of “safety in smallness”.

I fear my power. I fear my confidence. What if it’s wrong? What if I mess up? What if I get hurt? What if I hurt others? Power can do all sorts of unpredictable things that hurt people.

And

so can abandoned power.

Owned power has the potential to also help set people free from their chains of “what if’s” that focus exclusively on catastrophic endings.”

What if…

you were to own your inner power and live alive and awake in it?

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