The beginning of living free from co-dependency

Co-dependent living is the main way I have lived.  What it means is that I have mostly lived based on other people’s experiences of life.  More specifically, if someone I was with was mad, it was hard for me not to be mad.  If someone was feeling dismal about the state of affairs in their life, it was hard for me not to join them.

I remember one instance more than 10 years ago when our group at work moved offices and one of my colleagues was very grumpy and frustrated about all the things that went wrong.  I hadn’t set out to be grumpy, but I remember somehow watching myself grow grumpier and grumpier and there was this awareness in me that was watching me do that, but I didn’t feel like I could choose my own experience.  In a way, I was co-dependent; I was unable to determine and decide how I wanted to approach the situation, I was caught in her reaction, literally feeling choice-less.

It wasn’t until early last week that I started seeing how I could make a choice about how I experienced each situation, instead of only relying on others to show me how I should respond/react/handle a specific circumstance.  Last week, I was with my daughter and I realised that I was getting panicky and overwhelmed and that was my default way of handling the situation.  From within, I somehow stopped, breathed and decided that I could have my own experience of the situation and that the feelings of overwhelm and panic were trying to guide me, to show me that I was outside of my own experience.  They were like signposts.  None of it had anything to do with my daughter, she was acting perfectly fine, but my response showed me that I was outside of myself and that I could come back to me and make my own choices about how to handle the situation.  It was really like an aha moment, where I could see the reality of what was going on and literally take a step back and reclaim my life from my default way of experiencing life.

Through that small realisation and change in relating to the world, things now seem easier.  I somehow found it easier to talk about my opinions and feelings, without being scared, most likely because my well-being was tied up in how others were going to react to a situation any longer.  It was like I gave myself some space and permission to be more me; to know that it was safe to be me and that I didn’t have to gauge my well-being based on how others are experiencing life all around me, but solely based on how well I could stay with myself and inside of my own experience, instead of abandoning myself for the sake of how other people were reacting.

It is funny, because I feel like life has given me a myriad of unique experiences in the past two weeks, almost as a way to nudge me back to myself, so that I could find the peace that could come from having my own experience of life.  Yesterday and today, I literally felt myself going into someone else’s experience (and because I am quite sensitive to energy and feelings, I also felt them coming into me), and I was able to make the decision to come back to me, and make a choice about what was best for me in my experience.  It was so effortless and instinctive!  I really am grateful for life for guiding me here and to all the beautiful people who are playing various roles in my life, helping me to turn around, breathe and to choose me. Through choosing me, I am learning to deeply love myself, so that more of me can emerge and shine through, which is such a gift that I can then share with others in return.

May we all be blessed with the clarity to choose love for ourselves!  May we all be blessed with the courage to have our own experiences and to love ourselves when that isn’t possible.

What if our pain is golden?

What if your pain is calling out to you?

What if your pain is you, trying to get your own attention?

What if your pain represents all parts of you that were deemed unacceptable, unworthy, or wrong?

What if your pain is really just you, trying to come home to you?

 

May we all open our hearts wide to our pain,

to the lost, banished and shamed parts of ourselves,

to the aspects of self who are so desperate to come home that they hurt and we hurt.

 

May we all open our eyes and senses to what our bodies are telling us

To their messages hidden within the pain,

So that we may feel the longing to come home to our own selves

The longing to stop seeking outside for a resolution

But to turn around and find it within ourselves.

 

Like riddles and puzzles our pain calls to us,

It gives us clues to solve the simple mysteries

Of coming home to ourselves and uniting

Within ourselves.

 

May we all be blessed with the courage to say,

Pain I love you,

I welcome you,

I honour your mysteries

And I ask you to share with me

So that I may love you as me

And welcome you home into my heart.

 

As we take these bold steps toward loving everything that

Happens in our experience, may all hearts be touched by our

Courage,

Our bravery

And our deep desire to be in harmony within ourselves and

With life, no matter what circumstances occur.

 

May we rise up as the divine beings we truly are

And embrace our pain as the secret messenger of our

Innocence, purity, power and everlasting love.

 

– Written in honour of Matt Kahn’s pure teachings of love

 

Jumping

It felt really good to write this 10 days ago!!

“Oh my goodness.

I am sooooo tired.
I am tired from thousands of years of trying too hard, of worrying what other people think, of wanting to do the best for others that I always can.
I get it now, I really do, and I am ready to go with the flow of life and to stop trying so damn hard.
Take me in life, whether I float or not is not even an issue, just take me, I am yours and I am willing to go where you want me to go, with ease, grace and humility and no complaints about twists and turns or unexpected outcomes or feelings or experiences.
Take me in, I am ready.
I love myself too much not to be ready.
I’m jumping.”

Emergence

What if all the longing I felt my whole life was just so simple?
What if I thought I longed for another, when really,
I was just longing for myself?
For my own attention,
comfort,
care,
compassion and
love?
What if every time I longed to be passionate about a cause like my friends
or to have a boyfriend or
a romantic encounter,
all I really wanted was for me to turn around
and take a look at the beauty and rawness that was always there?
What if all of the external things were only traps
that I unknowingly fell into again and again,
feeling the press and pressure to fall in
from society
from family
from what is expected
and normal
and what should be done?
What if now I’ve fallen enough times?
What if I choose to be done climbing out of the holes and traps?
What if I choose to turn around,
to be bold and brave
and to embrace the me that has always been here;
the real me,
the one who has been patiently waiting for me,
the one who never longed, desired, craved or grew angry?
The one who accepted me and all of the distractions I got caught up in,
knowing that at one point,
it’s love, benevolence and grace
would catch my true attention.
What would happen then?
What did happen…
I learned to turn around and
I found a raw, pure and innocent part of my being that has always been with me.
It has an unbroken connection to infinity
to the stars
to the universe
to the divinity within all.
I went for it.
I stepped toward it and it has been entering me and filling me since.
Where it will take me, I don’t know, but I’m not falling, I’m only
cycling with the waves of emotion that are rising up within me
from such a radical
yet obvious
choice.
Through a willingness to have an open heart,
to live from vulnerability instead
of from fear and protection
and a realisation that all of my dreams had come true
before I had even noticed,
I turned around.
At that point, the gateway to my vulnerability opened
and it was gently guided by a beautiful soul with whom
I have shared past lives,
who whispered to me,
who helped me turn around and thank myself.  He helped me
to realise the beauty in my own heart and
to feel the purity and innocence within me;
radiating and pulsing like a star about to be born.
I am grateful to be here.
I am grateful to be emerging.
May I fly like the firefly,
landing gently on the arms of my fellow brothers and sisters,
reminding them of the light that is within them…
if only they would just turn around
and look.

Remembering

The light of the Creator shines in all;

The man serving your pizza

The woman cleaning the toilets at your work

The bus driver who lowers down the bus to help a little old lady climb on more easily.

 

There is that same spark in all of us and

It connects each and every one of us with its warmth

It’s light and it’s limitless possibilities.

 

May the man serving you pizza re-ignite the light within you.

May the smile of the woman cleaning your work toilet spark a remembering within you.

May the bus driver’s small acts of kindness remind you that you deserve the most kindness you can ever give anyone.

An Open Letter To All Hearts – a poem

I wrote this poem a year ago and it is feeling more like the right time to share this with others.  I was fortunate to share it recently with a few special people and their feedback encouraged me to share it more openly.  May the words within this open letter find their way right into your heart and may they melt away your limiting beliefs about yourself. May you know you are supremely worthy and beautiful. Love, Bradlee

Pre-amble

This morning I was on the bus and I was so inspired by the number of people on the bus and the myriad of experiences they each must be having as they live their own lives.
I saw a young man run from the back of the bus because he saw a girl near the front of the bus whom he probably really liked, and he stood squished next to her seat for the whole
ride, just so he could talk to her.  I saw another man and woman on the bus who were talking and they looked like they may fall in love and get married in the future
and they were just passing through that awkward stage of getting to know one another.  I saw an older gentlemen wearing a suit jacket and he had his eyes closed and his face was relaxed and smiling.  I saw a young woman quietly reading the Bible. During this ride, I felt an opening in my heart as I watched these beautiful people, living their lives.  My heart filled with love and the following words came to me:

An open letter to all hearts

If only you could know the beauty that you are.
You are so radiant in all that you do and all that you are.
I see you and I love you.
I see you and I see God.

The majesty of your grace is indescribable with words.
The curve of your neck to your shoulders is as smooth and flowing as a river running through the land.
The color of your hair reflects all of the color that the rainbow wouldn’t even dream of reflecting.
The softness of your heart shines around you and melts my own.

May you know the grace that you are, always have been and always will be.
May you sip the sweet nectar within your heart as it nourishes your body,
sparks the creativity in your mind and carries you through life.

May you be blessed to look in the mirror and love yourself.

May you be blessed to honor and appreciate the magnificence that you are,
that I see in you.

May you know you are never alone, that you are loved both from afar
and within.

May you feel the honor it is for our planet to have us here
as she patiently allows us to destroy her, as part of our journey
to discover the beauty that we are, that she is, that all is.

May you dance the dance of joy that is waiting to radiate
out from under your feet, from your arms, your smiling face,
your fluid spine.

May you be filled with the force of life and may it surround you
in it’s warm blanket of comfort and possibilities.

May you rejoice in who you are, no matter what you have been taught
to think about yourself.

May you know you are worth it.

Higher than I thought possible

A new beginning

It has been nearly two years since I wrote on this blog.  I was (and still am) undergoing huge changes in my life and I needed a break from putting my thoughts out for others to read.  It was an intensely beautiful time of sharing my thoughts with myself, and starting to feel and know myself from a place of more kindness, instead of always wanting to get to the next healing and next place inside that was broken.

Today is June 24, 2016 and it feels like a remarkable day, like a day for a new beginning, once that has already started, and possibly started way before I was born.  Today, I listened to my heart, that so sweetly and preciously encouraged me to contact my colleagues to see if I could start teaching yoga and breathing and relaxation sessions at work.  I have done similar activities in the past, but this step forward was different.  I felt it rise up from within me, with no regard for judgement from others or fear about what others might think of me.  It was like a deep power rose up from within me, a passionate power that was ready to shine and share its gifts with the world. It was an honour to feel that strength and passion and to fully connect with it and allow it to guide me.  I recently met a part of me that has been shut off from my awareness for what feels like hundreds of years.  It is a part of me that is passionate, vulnerable and willing to be open and fearless.  I wasn’t able to recognize it at all at first, but it spoke to me urgently, asking me to pay attention, to nurture it, to acknowledge it, to welcome it back home into my heart.  I figured that out this past Tuesday and there has been a growing opening within me, where that passion and freedom is taking root and is helping me spread my wings.  It is both awe inspiring and slightly scary, because it has no regard for limitations, fears, or anything that has held me back before.  It is also humbling, because I feel that the timing is so beautiful and that life is holding me so tenderly and preciously so that I can accept the amazing gifts of passion and courage that have been locked away within me, waiting for this very time in my life.

May you know it is safe for you to shine too, just as I am allowing that safety to envelop me during this highly transformational time.  Many blessings of peace, love, courage and faith to you.