The traps of parenthood

I’m a relatively new mom all things considered.  My daughter is about to turn 4, but I feel like I’ve learned a life’s worth of lessons with her so far.  Her presence has shown me so many limiting ways of being that I was operating from.  Now that I’ve plunged myself into this journey of self-awareness and awakening to the truth of who I am, I’m seeing more and more how many of those limiting behaviors I still have and I’m seeing more how others are similarly trapped (or more or less so, depending on where they are).

Early on, when Zara was less than 1, I often found myself complaining about her lack of sleep, her lack of doing what I wanted, when I wanted.  It was all around me too, all of us young mothers, complaining to one another, and there were many books out there to support the complaints, such as “how to get your baby to sleep,” “how to whisper to your baby the way this person does,” and the list is endless.  I could have stood at the parenting section for hours and not really known where to start.  It kind of felt like I was being given a chance to start over.  Instead of carrying my life forward from my old ways of being and my old job, where we would work and then complain, work and then complain, I was given the most precious gift of all, a beautiful baby girl with a wise soul, deep eyes and an open heart, who showed me with her presence and her reactions to my behavior and my unconscious energetic rebukes, what I was really doing.  She was giving me a chance to try again, to see if there really was another way to operate, instead of from defense, blame, victimhood and what about me-hood, she was showing me what my actions were doing to her and she was looking at me with those wise eyes, almost as if to say, “I know you can do this, really I do.”

I’ve since come a long way.  In fact, sometimes I’m not even sure I’m the same person who was angry at our little precious one (9 months old is one time I remember) for not going to sleep, and then deciding that if she wasn’t going to go to sleep, then I would turn on the TV and just watch it.  I’ve been learning how to forgive myself lately and whenever those memories of my unconscious behaviors come up and I start to blame myself and feel guilty, I’m learning to be kind to myself and stop, close my eyes and put my hands on my heart and say, “I forgive myself,” out loud.  It feels really good.  I really didn’t know any better, I really was doing the best I could have, and sometimes when I forgive myself audibly like that, I get goose bumps and I know that it’s true, that I’ve really forgiven myself and I’ve chosen self-love over self-beating-up like I used to.

I'm so grateful for Zara and all I've learned from her and the opportunities I've had to go within since she joined us.
I’m so grateful for Zara and all I’ve learned from her and the opportunities I’ve had to go within since she joined us.

I offer some suggestions to those who are/were like me, who are/were trapped in unconscious patterns of relating to the world and to their children, so that they may see that there are options and alternatives instead of just following along.  I offer them from my heart, from my experience, because I think we all want to do the best for our children and we often hate it when we hear those harsh words come out of our mouths or feel ourselves pulling away from our beauties, or even exploding at them.  We’ve all done it and I feel like we can all unite together in this, instead of hiding in shame and learn from one another and most importantly, learn from our children.  We all remember being the child who was yelled at, who was shamed, who was hit or threatened with abuse, we all remember those feelings, let’s assist one another in stopping the unconscious patterns and let’s start honoring ourselves and our children.

Some things that have helped me:

  • Notice how you talk to yourself when you are around your children.  Is there a constant stream of “you little brat, I’m going to make you do this, how could you do this to me, we only have 5 minutes left, what do you mean you have to pee, you just threw your food on the floor, are you (insert swear word here) kidding me?”  From my experience and from reading Eckhart Tolle’s books, all we have to do is notice it to pull out of it.  Sometimes I’ve noticed it so strongly and I have to completely stop what I am doing and lie down and breathe, or I may do something absolutely silly (which was not like me early on) and run around the house 3 times (I learned that from the book “Adventures in Gentle Discipline”) or sing a song.  I do my best not to give up my power to the thoughts in my head, which are not me in the first place.
  • Notice yourself criticizing your children, either directly or behind their backs (especially when they are in hearing range, actually, it’s best to avoid it completely, they’ll sense it anyway).  Children hear and notice everything.  If you are supportive in front of them and then turn around and roll your eyes or slump over in exhaustion so your friends can see (I’ve seen this), they will feel it and notice it.  We are not masters of deception as parents, children are masters of detection, I especially remember this from my childhood.  Ask yourself why you feel like you need to complain about your child, what purpose does it serve?  Does it help people to like you, does it help you to feel like you fit in that way?  I wonder if all parents like to hear others complain about their children and what would happen if one of us parents started saying, “actually it really bothers me to hear you criticize your child, please don’t share those negative comments with me.  I will always support you in finding constructive ways to deal with your situation, but no criticism please.”  I think I may give it a try.  Actually, I’ve already done it and it’s worked!
  • Think about the things you were told as a child: you are fat, you are so useless, you are so stupid, you can’t do anything, you’ve dropped that again, what’s wrong with you, I hate it when you do that to me, etc.  It won’t take long to think about them, because they are stored inside us, in our subconscious minds, like a little program we learned as children, waiting to play over and over again.  Consider what program you want running in your child and speak from there.  For more information about children and their subconscious minds and the beliefs about the self that get stored there, you can check out Bruce Lipton’s, “the Biology of Belief.”  That book was such an intense wake up call for me.  Children even have different types of brain waves until they are 6, and that is so they can soak up as much about the world as possible, including beliefs about the self, and they get those mainly from their parents.  Consider what types of things you say to your child!
  • If your child is always resisting what you are saying, consider why.  From an early age (6 weeks) we followed “diaper free baby”, so that meant we would assist our daughter to pee in a potty, toilet or sink, instead of in her diapers.  It meant that we were in tune with her, noticing her body movements as signals for when she had to go, etc.  It was a really cool process and I’m glad we did it, we didn’t have to wash as many diapers and it meant we didn’t really have to potty train our daughter because she understood what her body needed to do and into where, from a very early age.  I remember putting her on the potty at certain points, maybe when she was 8 months and she would stand up and look at herself in the mirror (I had my hands under her arm pits and the potty was on the counter, so you can picture it!) and she would sing and bounce and marvel at herself.  I felt myself getting so frustrated that she wouldn’t do what I wanted.  I had such strong memories of my father being frustrated at me like that and I could feel the frustration in my entire body.  I tried to “get” her to go, but of course it didn’t work.  None of us like to be forced!!  I read “Everyday Blessings: The Inner Work of Mindful Parenting” and my life and parenting turned right around.  I was mindful and aware of when I was forcing and I was able to pull back and centre myself and sure enough, there was less force, less control and less battles because I had adjusted how I was approaching my parenting.
  • Instead of blame and anger, consider stopping, breathing, getting some fresh air and realizing and knowing that your child is not out to get you, but is there to highlight that which you haven’t wanted to see for a long time:)  Consider thanking your child and moving on from a fresh place.  I’ve had a lot of help in my “moving on” and “letting go” because in my experience of life, it has never been as easy as just saying it and it being done.  I’ve learned about mindful parenting, I’ve learned about gentle discipline, unconditional parenting, making time for myself (still working on that one), allowing myself to say no and meaning it and it being okay, and I’ve also learned about healing and letting go with an energy coach/healer/guide that I see quite regularly, and through techniques my husband has learned on his own path of reclaiming his life (reconnective healing and heartmath, http://www.healandevolve.ca).  I’ve also learned that yoga, nature walks with my family and friends and dancing are very therapeutic and enjoyable for me.

I think there are traps in parenthood and I think they are there for a wonderful reason, just as our children chose us for a wonderful reason, to help us see the truth of who we are and so that we may honor and love them and allow them to flourish and shine the way they intended when they came to this beautiful planet.

These are pictures of me that Zara took.  I was doing "I Am Happy, I Am Good" (please see www.playingfromtheheartkidsconnect.com for info, it's a Radiant Child Yoga song), and she was cracking me up because she was coaching me along to do it with more emphasis and feeling.  It was a riot.  I've come a long, long way.  I'm really proud of me.
These are pictures of me that Zara took. I was doing “I Am Happy, I Am Good” (please see http://www.playingfromtheheartkidsconnect.com for info, it’s a Radiant Child Yoga song), and she was cracking me up because she was coaching me along to do it with more emphasis and feeling. It was a riot. I’ve come a long, long way. I’m really proud of me.

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My daughter will know who I really am

I am fresh from a wonderful healing session where I got down deep into the rejection fears I have had in this life, which have often left me in a serious protection/hiding mode.  I admitted that it is so hard even now to call someone to find out if they want to get together and it was so funny to hear those words coming out of my mouth, words that do not even make any sense any longer with where I have been going, to the light, to the love.  I have found that the more I go inside, to the deeper places that have haunted me so terribly, the more I realize that those fears, emotions and memories were never who I was in the first place.  I’m finding it less scary and intimidating to face what I have previously repressed and shut down, because I know now that they are not real, that they are just there to show me how I covered my true self up, and that I’m still there under them, waiting to come out to shine again.

The healer and guide that I see was encouraging me to put myself in an imaginary coliseum of sorts, where everyone who has ever rejected me can come rushing out at me, ready to hurt me again (the idea behind this is that you totally surrender to the emotion and let it have you so you can be free from it, I’ve done this in other sessions with remarkable success!!).  She was asking me to call out their names as they were coming towards me and it was amazing because she was calling out some names too of people I hadn’t even really considered as rejecting me, but from this fresh perspective, I could see how terrified I had been of what they may have said to me.  It was a wonderful experience, feeling them all come, and knowing deep down now that no matter what happens to me, what any one says to me to try to hurt me, it will truly not affect me.  I felt them rushing at me, but it was like they were melting by the time they got close to me, I was just a bright light that nothing could extinguish.  I said that out loud and she helped me to see that all the work we had done together in that session leading up to that had already dissolved the power that I had given other people, the power to hurt me, so I was free and she had wanted me to feel that with that exercise.  It was truly awe inspiring to be free of that, after so many memories of being terrified of being pushed away, of not being good enough, like there was something so wrong with me that people wouldn’t want me around.

Jean, the guide, was encouraging me to let in the light, to fill in all the places that the rejection had taken up in my body and in my heart, and to shine as me even brighter.  As she was saying that, she stroked my hair at the top of my forehead, so gently, so tenderly, to love me and encourage me.  It was the most tender and beautiful touch I had ever experienced at that moment and it made me so incredibly glad for the journey I have gone on in my life, so that I could step in to myself and be my true self and love my daughter the way I want to, without all the internal suffering going on that was limiting how I could be her parent.  It made me remember all the times I have touched my own daughter like that, and all the yearnings I felt as a child to be held super close and stroked gently.  I know I must have been held that way, but the memories must have been buried under the rejection fears I had.  So, I said to Jean, “I’m so happy that Zara (my daughter) will remember and know what it feels like to be touched this way,” and I was crying as I was saying it and Jean said, “Zara will know who her mother really is.”   I stopped, smiled and knew it as a truth, that Zara will know me not as being the emotions that used to run my life, but she will know me as me, as the love that I am (that we all are at our core, but we all get buried up and covered up by life, unless we are supported in staying as the love and learning how to be in the world without becoming the world).  That is what I appreciate and value the most about Jean’s teachings, it’s not that we are all different, it’s not that we are the emotions and life situations and roles and beliefs and thoughts that we think we are, it’s really that we are all the same, we are all love, and we all have the abilities to shine and to genuinely love ourselves, know ourselves and honor ourselves, and from there, life becomes more fun, easier and so much more free, caring and loving.

Here is what I’ve learned about who I am and what my daughter has seen me move through in the past 20 months of healing sessions:

  • I am the light.  Any thought, emotion, memory I have that is not loving or kind, is not who I am
  • I can help my body heal and regenerate physically as I let go of the stuff hidden inside (I have gone through some remarkable physical changes, that is for another post:)
  • There is an incredible and beautiful essence in my body and it lights up my body, it is my soul, my light, my love and that is my truth, it is me and I can feel it coursing through my body and I can use that feeling to connect with myself any time I feel lost in thoughts, in emotions or lost and scattered out in the world.
  • I can connect to myself and feel my light and amplify it around my body and throughout a room and cause a shift in the energy around me because I’m expanding the love I have inside around me so that I walk in light (and others experience it too) and not have to take on the panic, anger and despair that might be hanging around at the grocery store or otherwise.
  • I am learning that I love working with families to help them connect to themselves through creative movement, yoga, songs, games, crafts, stories and more, and that my heart sings when I am in a room full of children who learn that they can shift the energy in a room just by putting their hands on their hearts and feeling it beating and learning how to connect to themselves!  (www.playingfromtheheartkidsconnect.com is where I describe more about the classes, and the training I’ve had and the tools I use, etc!)
  • I am not alone and I never was (none of us are).  I can ask the universe and angels for help and I will receive it (and she does the same, honestly, to be at this place where I can feel scared and ask an angel to help me and actually feel the difference, the peace in my body, it is such a blessing after feeling for 32 years that I was completely alone in this world and so lost).

I’m sure the list can go on, but it would be more like, here are things I used to think about myself and now I don’t and I think that is a whole other post.  If there was a self defeating thought or belief out there, I definitely had it, held onto it and made it who I was.  I was a victim to everything, it was a role I am very familiar with and may even have won an Oscar for:)

I am so grateful for the opportunity to turn my life around and to live from my heart instead of despair.  May we all get the chance to know ourselves as we really as and watch the magic unfold as we get to experience life, not through the eyes of the hurt, but from the love, and from the possibilities, and may we all remember that we are all the same, beautiful souls on different journeys, giving each other the different experiences we couldn’t experience unless we were here on Earth, ready for the ride.

To see our daughter grow and be free as my husband and I continue the work of going inside and clearing out all that is not us, has been the best gift of all.
To see our daughter grow and be free as my husband and I continue the work of going inside and clearing out all that is not us, has been the best gift of all.

How To Talk To Kids

I’m 32.  I remember being a kid and wanting to be treated with respect and I wanted to be a part of the adult conversations.  I didn’t feel like I was a kid who couldn’t be part of the adult world!

I am reminded of this when I go out in the world with our three year old daughter and I hear some of the bizarre ways that people speak to her. I wonder if most of us forget what it is like to be a kid?  Do we forget that we didn’t like mean tricks, or when people tried to fool us or demean us or treat us like we didn’t know anything, or tell us that we were just selfish by nature instead of beautiful beings of light here to enlighten the world?   Did we forget that we don’t need to treat children as separate little beings who don’t know anything!!  That is exactly what we didn’t appreciate as little ones!

Here are some examples of what people have said to our daughter:

-“Oh that’s a nice hat, can I have it?  Can you give it to me so I can take it home?”

-“That’s a great teddy, I’m going to take it home with me, okay?”

-“You’d better be good while you are in here, you’d better be good,” (she was relaxing beautifully in a kid’s chair in a spa, and she had just told me she was feeling as light as a star!)

Here is how our daughter has responded, in the same order:

-“No.”

-“No.”

“I don’t like it when you talk to me like that.”

I was and am SOOOO PROUD of her.  Not to make this about me though.  She is teaching the world about how to talk to kids each time she does that, she is saying, “hey, respect please, don’t fool me and get me to give you my things, and don’t manipulate me and tell me how to act in a spa when I am a paying customer and am quietly enjoying myself!  How about you have a conversation with me because I am capable of that, despite my young age.”   In fact, an older gentleman so appreciated speaking to her one day when we were in line at the cash, that he bought her a chocolate bar, and she had just turned 3 a week before that!  I wrote about it in an older post, “Taking Candy From a Stranger.”

She is so inspiring!  She is helping me to see that I don’t need to fear speaking up for myself, that I don’t need to fear what may happen if she speaks up for herself and that I don’t need to worry about what people think of her or me.  Enough is enough, as she often says.  Let’s honor the children!  We were once children!   Let’s remember the truth of ourselves as people!

Thank you to Zara, our three our old beauty, our teacher and inspiration.

It’s A Joy To Get to Know You

Imagine if we all heard our parents singing this song to us when we were little,

“It’s a joy to get to know you, it’s a joy to get to know you and I really am liking to

share in your world.  When your love is deep and quiet, I can hear you so clearly,

you’re calling forever to share in your world.”

The first time I heard that song, I was so excited!  It’s how I feel about my daughter, it’s how all of us want to experience our childhood with our parents, but how many of us even felt appreciated, loved, welcomed or valued?

I encourage any one who loves their child(ren) deeply (or themselves too!) to consider listening to this song by Shaina Noll.  It is from her CD, Songs For The Inner Child.  Her songs are deeply comforting, deeply healing and beautiful.

Our three year old daughter said to me yesterday, “I think we should listen to this music more often!”  Of course!  Why wouldn’t we!!  I sang “It’s a Joy to Get to Know You” to her last night as she was going to sleep and she sang it with me.  I’m not sure life can be more precious than that.  I am so deeply grateful for this parenting experience, for learning how to be myself again, for opening up my heart and letting life in more deeply, for the full journey and experience it is meant to be.

Please see this link from Shaina’s website for a video of this song that was made by one of her fans:

http://www.shainanoll.com/mediafolder/media_itsajoy.html

It is a joy to get to know you, you are wonderful just as you are and you always were:)

The Truth About Santa Claus

I just heard today that there is a movement in the United States to change the words of the classic poem/story, The Night Before Christmas.  There is talk of removing the part:

“the stem of a pipe he held tight in his teeth, the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath.”

I can understand that we want the best “model” for our children, but I’m wondering if we should take a closer look at the other parts of our lives and what we “teach” about Santa Claus instead:

  • Lots of people smoke, including the parents of the children who all love and adore Santa Claus….
  • When I think of Santa, I never think of him smoking a pipe, I think of him eating cookies, smiling, laughing, putting presents under the tree, flying through the sky, and loving all the children of the world.
  • If we want to make modifications, let’s first start with the lyrics of Christmas songs, “you’d better not cry, you’d better not shout, you’d better not pout…he knows if you’ve been bad or good so be good for goodness sake.”  Why are we using a beautiful holiday season and a jolly beautiful spirit like Santa Claus to program and bribe our children so they’ll be “good”?  What is wrong with crying and yelling sometimes?  We all appreciate a good cry and how great we feel afterwards, and sometimes you need to raise your voice, especially if you are standing up for yourself.  Do we really want to teach our children some more polar opposites like good or bad?  How about we teach them how to be, just be themselves, the perfect beings that they are.  Why not teach them that we will love them no matter how they act, that they are unconditionally and whole-heartedly loved, not just by us, but by Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy, the Easter Bunny, by all the beautiful mystical beings who exist as so real and so true in the imaginations of our children.  What happens to us that we can no longer believe….
  • Why not teach children and adults the truth of Santa Claus?   Santa Claus is pure love, pure and simple.  Santa is imaginary or real or both, it is up to you, but just because he is imaginary doesn’t mean that he is any less real.  How many of us remember imaginary friends or guardian angels with us, but then because people told us they can’t possibly be real, we ended up forgetting them.  Is it the same for Santa Claus?  Let’s continue with the magic of Santa, the love that he offers to all of us.  We don’t have to give him up or the love just because we are growing up!  We can keep that love in our hearts, Santa has it for each and every one of us, we just have to believe!  We can add to the beauty of Santa and his love and add some details to the story, like how the parents help him with presents, how he talks to us in our hearts, how we can call on the love of Santa any time we need it, not just in December, that he is the spirit of unconditional love and giving, which lives in all of us, and how we can be like Santa sometimes and drop off gifts and delight in the pleasure of giving, not just receiving.
  • Let’s open up our hearts, let’s not talk about Santa from a place of fear, but from a place of openness and trust and love.  He never has to leave us, so let’s keep his spirit alive within our hearts and continue to believe.  The children always will, it’s only because of the way the Santa story has been spun with all the deception and secrets that lends to such disappointment and feelings of deception.  Why let the magic die?  Let’s keep it alive, that is what life is for, reclaiming the love and magic in all aspects of our lives.

from www.scienceblogs.com

 

I so vividly remember my own Santa disappointment.  I remember how much I held onto the belief that he was real, but it slowly slipped away because there wasn’t any support for Santa living on past children being 12 years old (I really held on!!).  As I’ve been journeying to my heart over this past year and a half, I have come to remember the truth of Santa Claus and so I share it with you in this post.  We can change the way Christmas is taught, not with big changes, but subtle ones, subtle changes to encourage children to believe in what they know is true, just like how innately all children know and remember God, even just at the mention of God (our daughter walks around singing a song she made up, “everyone remembers God.”).  Santa is real, Santa is love, love never dies nor does Santa.  Whether he has a pipe, a big belly that shakes like a bowl full of jelly, or a big pack slung over his back, he is real!  He is love, and when you connect to yourself as I have been learning to do (and like we all innately know how to do!!), you see it as an absolute truth, Santa is real, he is always in your heart, loving you and encouraging you.  His biggest gift to you isn’t the presents (although that is fun and he needs our support for that part), it’s the love!!  The LOVE!!

I was talking to a 4 year old girl a month or two ago and she was already getting ready for Santa and that she was excited for him to come.  I remember telling her that she doesn’t even need to wait for Christmas, that she can feel Santa and all his love right in her own heart, and that is where he will always be.  It was very sweet and spontaneous and her eyes lit up and when I was leaving she gave me a big hug and a kiss, right on the lips!!  I hadn’t seen her in nearly a year and it made me realize how very lucky I was and how I was on to something.  Santa is real and he is always with us.  The children know this!!

I was at a healing session one time and there was quiet healing music playing and then all of a sudden, very loud Christmas music started playing.  I remember looking up at Jean (the healer/coach that our family sees) and she said, “wow, how about that,” and some other words about how there were others there with us at the session and I knew it right then and there that it was confirmation for me that Santa was real, Santa and Christmas are real, as real as we want them to be, we just have to believe.  I came from such a place of sadness and disbelief of all love and magic, so for that to happen as I was starting to reclaim the love that I am, that we all are, it was magic, there was no doubt.  From that moment on, I didn’t worry what I told my little girl about Santa, because he was real.  I could tell her my experience with the music turning on, I could tell her that he is love and about giving and sharing love and that we can celebrate that love and giving with the spirit of Santa every Christmas.  So no matter how we tell the story (that he tells us what to buy, etc), it is okay, because he is real and he is love.  Have I mentioned that enough?   Tee hee.

I also read a great book about the magic of Santa and how to keep it alive without ever worrying about disappointing your children: http://www.thesantastory.com/ I recommend for those interested in a deception and worry free Santa experience for themselves and their families!

Love,

Bradlee

Give Kids Back Their Power!

I was so excited about what happened this afternoon!!  Our family has been learning to take back our power from the world, from circumstances, from scenarios, from people, from everything!  It has been so beautiful and so empowering.  I will explain through the example of what happened at our home earlier today.

My husband Robbin and my daughter Zara (3) were going to go to the park this afternoon and Robbin encouraged Zara to go upstairs to get some socks because it’s cold.  Zara said, “if you don’t get me socks, I won’t go to the park.”  I couldn’t believe it.  We so rarely speak to her or around her like that, but she had heard it before, so she kept it inside and used it right back.  I had first read about teaching children about the reasons for things instead of giving them consequences for why they should do it or removing the privilege in a fantastic parenting book called Gentle Discipline.  The book encourages parents to use logic and reasoning when explaining things to their children instead of just saying, “because I said so,” or “if you don’t do this, you won’t get this,” for example.  Very rarely, I have said to Zara, “okay, well I’ve explained that it’s cold out, so if you’re not going to wear your coat, we won’t go,” (which I totally support when necessary!) and she used it right back at us this afternoon.  After Zara said that, Robbin and I looked at each other, wondering what to say and then out of my mouth came,

“Well Zara, instead of making this about Daddy, why don’t you decide what you want to do.  If you want to go to the park, go get your socks. If you don’t want to go to the park, then don’t, it’s okay either way, but by making it so Daddy has to go get the socks, you’ve given up your power to Daddy going to get them, so do what you want to do instead.”

It was beautiful.  Zara heard me, she left the room, went up the stairs and got her socks and was jumping up and down with excitement to go to the park!!

We can all do this, not just with our children but for ourselves!  Instead of leaving our happiness up to someone else, we can stop, take back the responsibility for our own lives and live for ourselves, and voila, you’ve taken back your power from the world and the circumstances you find yourself in.  I am so grateful for this journey of reclaiming my life and actually living my life instead of being a victim to my life and all its circumstances!

Awakening and mindfulness

I started on a journey of awakening, well, I guess I’ve always been on this journey, in this whole life time and many other past life times.  That is our ultimate goal as humans, to wake up past the unconsciousness and to remember the truths that we all still have in our hearts, deeper down or closer to the surface, depending on where you are in your personal journey.

I feel like I’ve always had this inner awareness, this inner voice/presence that would  guide me, that would sometimes look at the world in shock, and that sometimes propelled me beyond what I thought was possible.  I’ve also though, been super weighed down by the collective unconsciousness, by the ego that has many of us in its grip.  My true journey of realizing that I was that inner presence, that inner voice, and not the ego, started last April 2011, when I had my first healing session with Jean Brazeau here in Ottawa, Ontario.  I was lead to Jean, whom I found because she is listed on The Journey website as a practitioner, when our family naturopath was trying to help me on the path to health, and she told me I had to clear out some emotional blocks to truly heal and that the Journey process would help me.  I have continued this deep work with Jean (which is more than the just the Journey I have come to learn!) of looking within, finding what is there that is preventing me from living my true life, and I have been constantly astonished at what I have found.  Many of my past blog posts have been about what I have found on my deep inner explorations.  This post will be about how I see the world now as I awaken, with mindfulness, with presence and with a new awareness that is awesome and sometimes shocking because of what I am finally able to see and sense.   Here are a few of my latest observations:

We have gone so far beyond what any of us ever wanted for ourselves on this beautiful planet.  How did we get to the place where sod farms, flower farms, tree farms and pumpkin farms were ever okay?  I had never ever questioned where sod comes from, and then one day I saw this huge truck driving by and it said sod farm right across it.  The realization hit me so hard!  We have chopped down trees just to grow green grass that we need to cut every week when it’s hot and that we spray chemicals on to keep it uniform and free from weeds.  Whoever decided what a weed was?  Is this really how we want the world to look or are we needing to keep what we can see around us perfect because of the fear of how imperfect and how unloveable we are inside that is driving us?

A sod farm in Texas. From http://www.king-ranch.com/sod_texas.html

Why are we using precious land just to grow pumpkins that will be carved and thrown out?  The same for tree farms for Christmas trees?  I love traditions!!  I super do, but at some point, we all have to breathe in together, one big collective breath and let it out and say, “okay, we are so many on this planet, maybe Christmas trees and carving pumpkins are a bit wasteful, maybe we can create more planet friendly traditions?”

When are tons of flowers at funerals and weddings going to cease being important and necessary?  Where are they growing all those flowers that are in every single grocery store in Canada?  Can we not just keep them in florist shops, to keep the numbers lower, to keep the quality high?  Yes, they may still be grown in the same way, but not in the same immeasurable quantity.  When did we decide that planting a seed and watching flowers grow in our garden was too slow, that we need to be able to go to a garden centre and to buy flowers that are already in bloom.  I know that Canadian winters are very long but there is the option of planting bulbs in the fall and getting to watch them poking out of the soil in the early spring, I really enjoy that!

An artist’s painting of a flower farm in California. From: http://celioarts.blogspot.ca/2009/12/flower-farm-in-gilroy.html

I’m not necessarily saying any of these things are inherently good or bad, but it’s more that they are observations from an awakened, aware and more mindful perspective than I ever had before.  I’m wondering if what is being offered to us and what we are buying, is what we truly want?  I’m starting to feel the force and the pull behind advertisements too and I’m having to be mindful in stores and even just when I’m checking my email to ensure that I am not being led by the advertisements instead of by what I actually need.  Are we just so used to buying and buying and buying (and being influenced by ads to buy more too) and having more and more, or are more and more of us ready and willing to look inside to find the source of that need, so we can slowly stop our unconscious habits?

When did Halloween and Christmas and Valentines Day get so commercial, so overloaded and so overdone?  I went to the party store today to buy balloons and I was so overwhelmed by the size of the store and the vast amounts of “party” merchandise they offered.  There was this huge blow up monster with blood marks on it’s blow up teeth at the front of the store and I was beyond shocked.  When did we all get so senseless (I mean when did we all get to a place where that isn’t horrible and scary) that we think that our kids need that for Halloween?  They even sell “severed” hands that you can put in your trunk so that the hand hangs out the back of the trunk.  Again, that just seems so senseless to me.  I pray that my 3 year old daughter doesn’t see one of those.  I know that I can explain it to her, but should I have to?

How can we explain these to kids and are they really necessary for Halloween fun? I’m not sure I want to know anything about a grim reaper….From http://www.explore-harford.com

We have taken the need to be the best, to have the best, to shock and awe, to impress so far that we now have to have a party store the size of Costco for our parties.  I just wanted balloons! There were aisles of goody bag things, some even pre-packaged, like we are so mindless that we can’t be creative and find some little things that would delight children to have, instead of tons of stuff that costs 35 cents so we can buy a lot?  When did a “Happy Thanksgiving” banner become important?  Wow.

In an age when we in Canada (I can really only write about what I see in my own city, but I feel comfortable generalizing it to my own country, but no further really:)) are starting to see the importance of composting, recycling, buying local, eating organic, meeting a farmer, using public transportation, why are the big businesses not catching on?  Why is every new store being build three times the size that it really needs to be?  I would imagine at some point that we all will shop at the smaller stores because we like customer service, we like knowing the name of the owner, like how it used to be.  I remember being a kid and going to my baseball coach’s party store to get balloons.  That was always very special for me.  I sound like I’m 75, but I’m only 32 and things have changed so much in my short life time.

I know more and more of us are wanting that connection and closeness with others wherever we go.  Our world needs more connection with actual people, instead of just through texting and facebook and twitter.  Again, it’s not that any of these things are bad, it’s more the way we are using them, the reasons we are so dependent on them.

We are all beautiful beings of light who are so connected to each other, to the divine, to the source and the more we teach that, the more of it is available through the internet, through groups, through workshops, the more of us will awaken to the beauty within and the world will change.  We’ll go back to helping our neighbors, to having more time as we pull out of the so called “rat race”, we’ll have more time for our children, family members and friends, and competition won’t be driving us any more.  I look forward to the upcoming new world age, as we step into it and awaken, open up more, and move towards love and peace and we leave the unconsciousness, the fear and the violence behind.

Peace to all.

Bradlee