Nothing is “good” and nothing is “bad”

Written by Amie on June 30, 2013 – 2:55 am -

I wonder what lesson this is bringing me?

Nothing is “good” and nothing is “bad”. Situations and experiences are just that, they just “are”. They don’t have to be good or bad, right or wrong. Everything that happens in my life is for the purpose of my spiritual growth. By labeling my experiences, I distract myself from feeling them authentically. We have been conditioned to label everything that happens to us. It is what we do as humans. I am learning to step back and observe my experiences, trying not to label them. This is hard work. Not an easy practice. My mind wants to label everything, wants to put each experience into an organized file so to speak. But what if you don’t call something good or bad, right or wrong? What if you can step back and say “hmmm….here I am experiencing this, I wonder what lesson this is bringing me?” Everything is for our growth, it is up to us as to whether or not we choose to “see” the lesson. If I think about the labels of right and wrong, they conjure a feeling of shame. I believe these words are used to invoke a feeling of guilt and shame in people. Who gets to decide what is deemed “right” and what is deemed “wrong”. Obviously I am not speaking of murder or things like that. That is another issue. But seriously, right and wrong…interesting topic. Where did this list of right and wrong come from? And why is it needed when it comes to an individual’s life, if everything happens for the purpose of our personal growth? I even think about people who say things like, ” he was wrong to do that to me”. What if it turns out to be the best thing for the person’s growth? It is easier to blame someone else and make them “the bad guy”. It is easier to become the victim than it is to really look at why certain things are happening in your life. And also, really looking at your reactions to them.

I wanted to label it “horrible”

Recently, I caught myself labeling my experience of being cut out of someone’s life. I wanted to label it “horrible”, and “a terrible thing”, and I also labeled it  “a relief”. While I was busy labeling, my heart was hurting. Even though I told myself I wasn’t surprised that this happened, I was grieving deeply for the relationship I never had. The relationship I have dreamed of. So, I allowed myself to just feel the pain. It is difficult to explain my experience without also labeling it. So I will just say, my body was heavy, tired, and my stomach felt sick; I believe this to be grief. The longer I allowed myself to grieve, the more my experience became about my body sensations and an inner *knowing*, rather than a story. The process was pretty cool. As I just allowed my emotions to flow through me, the pain lessened. I started feeling lighter. Sadness is still lingering, as well as some fear. But, overall, I feel better and I have come to the understanding that all is well even though this experience appears to be “horrible” if I were to label it. I know that it is all happening for the growth of my soul. I know it was “meant to be”.  I go in waves of being okay with it and being deeply sad.

I am exactly where I am supposed to be

I always come back to a *knowing* that things are exactly as they should be and I am exactly where I am supposed to be on this journey. I know that if I can just allow my emotions to be as they are without judging them or labeling them, they will flow through. This doesn’t mean there won’t be pain, but as long as there is truth and allowing and accepting, the wave will flow smoother.It really helps me to keep a neutral outlook. Life isn’t simple, but it can be easier if we can just let it flow without calling experiences good or bad, right or wrong. Sometimes things happen that appear to be terrible, and they may not be easy to feel, but at some point it will be clear as to why they happened the way they did. If we can stay in truth instead of trying to hide in denial, the message or lesson will be revealed.

This is one of my new favorite songs…I hope you enjoy it. You are loved!! “I Am Light” by India.Arie.

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A retreat, a mantra, and who I know I am

Written by Amie on November 14, 2011 – 1:54 am -

My new mantra: “Be Who You Know You Are”

Before I get to the part about creating my new mantra, I want to share my weekend experience with you. I’ve been digging deep for the past three days, focusing on inner growth. I went on a retreat called, “the art of living”. Writing, creating art, singing, and movement were all included. Even though this is something I chose to do, I arrived with feelings of resistance. This is pretty typical for me though. It is an interesting process. So many times when I know I will be doing deep processing, I feel resistant to it. I know it is fear based. I think it is normal to be afraid of what I might find when I start digging around! In the past, I have often chosen to run from the experience, but for the past few years I have chosen to push myself past my comfort zone. As long as it is *my* choice to push myself, I am able to do it. If someone else tries to push me, that is never a good thing. Growth has to be a personal choice. Each individual knows when and if they feel ready to look within, and if they feel safe enough to share with others. For me, safety is a very important detail. I completely shut down emotionally if I don’t feel safe. It is the way I protect myself from being too vulnerable with someone I don’t trust. We all have things we do to protect ourselves, and this is a very good thing.

I made too many choices based on the conditioned belief that I should please others before considering my own truth

The nice thing about the retreat was that we always had the option of not participating. I suppose I could sit on the sidelines and never participate, but then what would be the point of going? It is so incredible to be in the company of others who are on a similar journey of self discovery. When others share what is true for them, there is always someone who is helped by their sharing. What a gift! I participated in some of the exercises on Friday and Saturday. I also chose not to share during a few of the exercises. It was interesting to notice how empowered I felt by knowing it was *my* choice whether or not to share. That, in itself felt great. I think this is a very important part of the healing process. I have to know *for sure* that it is my right to make choices and decisions for myself. This did not come easy for me in the past. I made too many choices based on the conditioned belief that I should please others before considering my own truth. I can say this is definitely no longer the case! Step by step, I have learned to speak up for myself and to put my foot down when something doesn’t feel right to me. It took me a very long time to trust my inner voice and to follow it. It was scary at first for sure! As I have said so many times before, depression will stay with you as long as you keep choosing to drown out your true voice. It is a process, so be gentle on yourself!

More about the retreat

Singing in a circle of women is so incredibly powerful! It is amazing to me how beautiful all of the voices sound together. Many of the women have been afraid to sing in the past. It was something new to them to hear their singing voice. I was always a bit shy about singing. In the past year, I have been focusing on my throat chakra, which has steadily helped me gain confidence in my singing voice. Feeling the vibration of my own voice is just amazing! Feeling 20 other voices along with mine was just beyond words. It felt wonderful! I really encourage you to use your voice as much as possible! Sing in your car, sing in the shower, sing whenever you can! It really is a healing tool. The more you sing, the easier it becomes to use your voice to speak your truth.

This has always been one of my favorite body movement videos. Always listen to your body, as it will tell you exactly how it wants to move. The key is to notice the judgments going on in your mind if there are any, but don’t believe them.

The people that bug us the most are our biggest teachers

Another part of the retreat was movement. I have talked on here quite a bit about how moving my body helps me release emotional energy. This happened again for me at the retreat. As I said at the beginning of this post, I was feeling resistant at first. I finally broke through it on the morning of the last day. We did a meditation/movement exercise, and the flood gates opened! I cried and moved and then cried some more. It felt so good to release a bunch of stuff I had been holding onto this whole week. Without going into too much detail because other people are involved, I will just say I lost trust in one person this week, and two people did things that triggered one of my biggest wounds. Each situation seemed insignificant at the time. However, after reacting to 3 different scenarios with the same core feeling, I knew it was a healing opportunity for me. One of my core wounds is that of feeling disregarded. In the past, I felt as though my voice, my opinion, and my true self were not heard or considered. Because the Universe is so amazing, it keeps giving me chances to heal this wound. People are in my life to help me heal. I know that sounds weird, but it is true! The people that bug us the most are our biggest teachers! Really, I promise you.

Helpful tools used in my journey through depression

All of the exercises we did at the retreat are tools I have used on my journey through depression. The retreat gave me the opportunity to go deeper in my healing. I am grateful for this. Now I will finally get to the  part about my mantra. I want to share this experience because I want to encourage you to make one for yourself. I have had many different mantras in the past few years. They are so comforting, empowering, and nurturing. It always amazes me to hear what others come up with for their mantras.  The process requires you to really listen to your inner knowing. When you ask yourself what your mantra should be, your body will respond. You may have to listen closely, and you may have to change it around a few times before you feel it is the right one. I had to play around with mine for awhile before I knew it was right. Also, we were asked to put a rhythm to the words. Some people even put body movements with theirs. I knew in my body when I found the exact words needed for my mantra. After the events from this week, I knew my mantra had something to do with being who I am and not being afraid to be that 100%. So, my new mantra is, “Be Who You Know You Are”.

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