May You Succumb to the Danger of Growth.
– John O’Donohue
As the year ends, we often look back and take stock of what we have or have not accomplished. What items did we cross off the “to-do” list? What items got moved ahead to next year’s list? What items did we decide were unworthy of our attention and we threw them on the Samhain fire?
It may seem early to be talking of growth when we’re still caught up in the season of light, but I ask you to slow down for a moment and consider gifting yourself the “Danger of Growth”. Growth can take on any form you choose – you may be the one who opts to get out more or the one who stays quiet. You may choose the growth of exploring a new spiritual belief or simply being in nature with Spirit’s wondrous delights.
You may choose to grow through fun activities or deep studies, walking the Camino de Santiago, exploring the Amazon Rainforest, or the concrete jungle of New York. What you choose to Be, Do, or Have doesn’t really matter. It is answering the invitation that matters.
What makes your ego perceive Growth as Dangerous? Did you fall one too many times? Are you afraid you won’t get back up this time? Yet haven’t you always?
Think of a time in the past when you succumbed to the Danger of Growth. Was the payoff greater than the risk? Were you happy you did it?
One of my greatest Danger of Growth moments was traveling to Peru to work with Ayahuasquero and Maestro Huachumero healers. If I had listened to my friends and family I would have stopped in my tracks. This is just a sampling of what I heard: “Don’t you know there are poisonous snakes in the jungle?” “Seriously, you’re going to the jungle to take drugs?” “What about malaria?” “It’s a third-world country, you’ll die there!” “What the hell, are you crazy!” and from my partner at the time, “If you go, We. Are. Done.”
Yes, it was scary. But I knew, without a doubt, that I was meant to do this. I had always known, always, that I would work with Shamans. I won’t lie to you the first ceremony was brutal – I wanted to come home. I threw a hissy fit that would make a hangry two-year-old proud. Fortunately, Don Howard gently convinced me to stay, and I am so grateful! Beyond that initiation came the real growth. Once I purged the anger and rage, the insight and wisdom were able to break through. That choice changed my life!
I came home after those twenty-six days and changed my life completely over the next two years. The best choices of my life were made then, and I have built on that foundation to create happiness and fulfillment I could only imagine were possible.
You too have choices to make:
What do you want to be?
What do you want to do?
What do you want to have?
What do you want to be?
Are you in the health industry but have you always wanted to go to NYC and try your skill on Wall Street? You want to be a shark, make big money, and live in a fancy penthouse in the city that never sleeps! What stops you? Write down the reasons you can’t, and then write down the Truth – which is YOU CAN. Write down all the ways that it is possible. Anything is possible, if you are willing to risk, be creative, work hard (yeah, they always leave this step out), risk some more, create some more, and work harder. Once upon a time, I majored in nursing, then that class came when I found out we had to give shots. Shots? Shots involve needles! I HATE needles! I can’t even look at a syringe without panicking. My nursing career was over. Fortunately, many years later I discovered alternative healing – Shamanic Reiki and Spiritual Life coaching. I can now use my gifts – no needles necessary! How can you BE all you want to be?
What do you want to do?
Do you want to sing on The Voice, fly planes, learn Reiki, meditate longer and more often, hike the Grand Canyon, build your own website, paint or write or sculpt, stay home and nest…what do you REALLY want to do? Make a list of at least 25 things you want to do. Choose the top 13. Get to work on making them happen. I would suggest that you choose activities that challenge you to stretch and grow.
I am never going to bungee jump (that thing could break) but I have walked on fire, parasailed, and slept in a remote cave for three nights alone with just water and a few blankets. There may be some limitations to what you can do, if you don’t have a spectacular voice, you may not get chosen to sing on The Voice, but you may be able to share the gift of singing in other ways. There is only one significant difference between those who do and those who don’t do what they want – Belief. We don’t have to convince Spirit that we can do it, we have to convince our tiny little Ego that we can Do It!
What do you want to have?
Do you want fancy cars, multiple homes, and luxurious vacations? Or are you more the cabin in the woods, hiking and meditating, working enough to buy the seeds for your small garden, type of person? Are there specific items you want to have like those stated above or do you seek qualities in your life like joy, peace, creativity, and security? Again, take the time to list out what you want to have this coming year.
When working with qualities I love to do this exercise. First list the top seven qualities that are most important to you. Next, reduce the list to the top six. Then the top five and so on, until you get to your top One quality. You may find that the list changes as you winnow down. For instance, you might have your top three as Love, Peace, and Happiness. Then when you get to Two you realize you forgot Creativity. Now you realize you have to add Creativity, but what will you eliminate? See how that works? My final work surprised me, but then again it didn’t. As it morphed and changed, when I finally got there–and it didn’t take long–I knew it was the perfect word.
What’s my word you ask? FREEDOM
What better gift to give yourself than to…
If not now, when?
Love and Light,
In all these categories, when you make your lists challenge yourself to stretch and grow. Your lists should inspire, excite and be just this side of dangerous!
If your Choices don’t Light you up, I would love to help you Create that Fire!
Email me to set up a free consultation: firstname.lastname@example.org
Recently I realized that I still have insidious worms in my head. They writhe around, mushing my brain into slimy toxic waste! My fear based ego loves them, it feeds them regularly, giving them special treats so they can get bigger and fatter. GROSS!!!
For years, instead of knowing the Truth for myself, I have allowed the worms to eat away at who I really am. I allowed them to create my stories.
When I got lovingly honest with myself I came up with these insidious worms (stories) and the fodder the ego feeds them:
I am afraid of success. Yep, you should be, if you get really successful you won’t have any privacy, you’ll be gone all the time and your husband won’t love you anymore.
I am a procrastinator. Maybe, but you could miss something really important on Facebook.
I am afraid of failure. Damn straight, it hurts to fail!
I am not a good writer. Seriously have you read John O’Donohue? That’s a good writer, you are a hack with a couple of ideas.
Mamacita answers other peoples’ questions, but not mine. Mamacita has much more important issues to deal with than your whiny stuff. She’s not supposed to help you, just others.
With all the people I have taught these principles, why don’t I put them into action? No kidding, you must be unteachable.
The truth is these are all just stories I have been telling myself for eons. No matter what my “story” of the day is, I can change the ending. For instance, I used to have” victim consciousness” because my father sexually abused me for years. I lived from that “victim conscious” for a good part of my life, until I realized that I didn’t have to live there anymore. I healed that wound and changed my life. Now that I know I can heal something that big, I can surely heal being afraid of success or failure, or stop procrastinating, or listen to Mamacita, or practice what I teach.
It’s as simple as withholding the worms fodder and feeding my brain and psyche some new material, such as:
I am successful. I am in control of my time, my life is balanced
I choose to complete my marketing and then write or read.
I love failure, it’s one step closer to finding the correct way or the genius answer.
I practice, practice, practice my writing. I love sharing my ideas through my writing.
Mamacita and my other guides are always available for me, they love helping me.
As I teach others these principles I learn them myself. I am completely honest with myself.
All those stories we tell ourselves, they’re just worms! We can eradicate the worms, if we will just stop feeding them!
Let’s ask ourselves right now:
What are the stories I tell myself?
What do I need to release to change a particular story?
Changing my thinking and my perspective, how do I create my new story?
How can I put the new story into action?
If something is hard it’s because we are out of integrity. We must ask ourselves, “Where am I not being true to myself?”
I am going to be in integrity with myself, eradicate the worms and watch how easy it gets. No matter what the story, with a new perspective, I CAN change it – I can change the ending.
If you know someone who could benefit from reading this in any way please share it with them. In fact I’m going to be really BOLD here and ask you to please share this message with at least one person, Thank You!
Here’s my BIG announcement….drum roll please!
Once again Mamacita leads me down a new path!
I have been given an incredible opportunity to manage a new wellness center right here in Uptown Sedona along with the founders. They are beautiful, loving lights who are creating a gorgeous space, which will be dedicated to promoting emotional, physical, mental and spiritual wellness. We will open Labor Day weekend and I am thrilled to be starting this new adventure! Until then, YES, I am still available for private sessions-readings, coaching and reiki here in Sedona, by phone, Skype or FaceTime.
Please contact me for your appointment as my time is limited:
I will continue to do my sessions at the new center when we open and will send details as we progress.
I used to hate Mormons. No, seriously, as the past State Coordinator of the National Organization for Women, Mormons were my nemesis.
I debated them, picketed their temple and even made fun of their beliefs. I was certain that everything I was for they were against, and everything I was against they were for. I knew that all the men were racist bigots and kept their multiple wives locked up at home barefoot and pregnant. And I even met some Mormon men who did treat their wives like that.
In 2003, a few months after my 50th birthday party, a casual friend was passing hateful propaganda about Muslims on email. Propaganda that claimed that all Muslims take a vow to kill us. It went on and on, I’m sure some of you saw it. I wrote this woman and told her that not all Muslims are hateful killers, that indeed she may have held hands with the Muslim couple that were at my birthday party as we sang “Let There Be Peace On Earth”. I told her that this couple are beautiful, fun, peace loving people just like we are. I told her that radical, hateful extremists can be found in almost every religion be they Christian, Muslim, Hindu etc. and every country from France to Russia to Pakistan to the USA. I reminded her that some Christians in this country bombed abortion clinics – sometimes wounding and killing people. She wrote back and apologized saying she had never known any of “them” (Muslims) and that she had believed all the awful diatribe about “them”. Our conversation ended peacefully.
Yet even after that incident, until about a year ago, I would have claimed that Mormons were my nemesis. That indeed I knew that “they” were against everything I believed in and vice versa.
And then I met a beautiful and faithful Mormon woman. A woman who is spiritual, metaphysical, peaceful, who believes that loving service is the top priority in her life’s mission. A woman who goes to drum circles with me, who shares Reiki healing, who helped me pack my house for a big move, a woman who loves movies, crystals, chocolate and her family, who regularly attends temple and has a deep belief in God. A woman who spent hours sending Reiki healing to my dog — who has become one of my best friends. A woman who shattered every myth I held about Mormons, including that they are all Republicans.
And I had to face my fears – my deep seated beliefs about “them”. I had to step up and recognize that when I put anyone in the “them” slot, the different than me slot, I contribute to the separation that causes hatred and violence. When I fail to meet someone and know them as another human being, regardless of their race, creed, religion, gender, sexual orientation, political affiliation or any other differences, I contribute to the imbalance. I contribute to dishonoring another human. And I dishonor myself in the process.
In the many years that I worked seven days a week for women’s rights, for gay rights, for equality for all, I remember the people who met me and said, “You don’t look like one of them”. And yet haven’t I said the same?
When I look at anyone different than me in any way and pass judgment based on those assumptions , I give up my chance to know the real person, to relate to another human being at a deeper level…the level where love exists. For at the core of the majority of humans, I believe there is infinite light, I believe there is powerful love and forgiveness. I believe that most of us are good – that we want peace – that we care about each other. I believe when we take the time to go beyond our judgments, our assumptions and yes our expectations, that we will find another human being who wants the same things we do, who desires love, peace and freedom.
I commit to reach out to “them” the next time. I commit to take the time to learn who “they” are.
And I commit to remember, when I point a finger at someone else there are three pointing back at me!
Please feel free to add your comments below…thanks!
Ladies the Women’s Retreat is filling fast…sign up NOW! November 16-18 in Sedona More information can be found here Dance in the Light Retreat.by
What can I say about change that hasn’t already been said? Yep, it’s inevitable–just like the sun coming up today.
My Mama used to say, “This too shall pass”, which is great when times are tough and we’re up the proverbial creek without a paddle. ( I used to always tell her to pray anyway!) Honestly though haven’t you always made it through? Right! You did or you wouldn’t be here. So why does change scare us so much? What is it about change that makes some of us sweat like pigs (have you ever actually seen a pig sweat?), quake in our boots or have nightmares of epic proportions?
I had a small challenge with change while visiting our friends James and MaryAnne in Ottawa, Canada last week. James as you may recall if you’ve perused my website is a demanding hike leader and my grappeling coach. He took a day off to lead us on a hike as only James can do! It was a gorgeous day–we were very spontaneous–stopping to see these beautiful rock sculptures along the river, visiting Andre’s first home and then finally arriving at the trailhead.
I had asked James to make it an easy hike because André had hurt his hip and I figured there was no reason to make it worse.
As we climbed two sets of steep stairs, sheer granite rock faces occasionally with just hand and foot holds and then pulled ourselves up a rope on another steep rock face, I became angrier and angrier. Mother Bear came out and wanted to protect her husband from any more pain or discomfort…the night before he was moaning in his sleep from the pain! When we finally reached the top of that gosh darn mountain, I knew that I had to get the anger out into the light, so I could move on and not spoil my day. I spoke my truth, hopefuly without blame or judgment–following Angeles Arrien’s wisdom. James, bless him, listened lovingly and explained that this was an easy hike. What the heck? This was an easy hike? We just pulled ourselves up a rope over a steep rock face and climbed sheer granite where there were maybe 2″ ledges to grip with our boots and 1/2-1″ handholds….EASY?
Mary Anne wisely stated that maybe we should have confirmed before leaving what an easy hike was. It turns out that the hike I would have probably rated a seven, James and the others would have rated a three. WOW, we were just slightly out of sync on this communication. Once I spoke my truth and James explained his take, my anger dissipated, all was forgiven and we continued down the mountain to a gorgeous, cool waterfall with little ponds to play in. If I hadn’t released the anger I could have seethed and stressed the rest of the day. James , rightly so, would have probably trotted my sorry butt back down the mountain and I would have missed the waterfall, splashing in the pond, and the beautiful boulder hopping hike following the creek down the other side. Not exactly the hike I had in mind, but an incredible adventure when I was willing to embrace the “change”, oh yeah and let go of the idea that I needed to protect André.
My lessons from this “change” were multi-level:
- Ask for clarification when going on a hike with the Master.
- Speak your truth without blame or judgment . –Angeles Arrien
- Anger brought into the light cannot subsist.
- The change I fear may turn out great – it was an awesome hike and afterward André actually felt better .
What “change” are you facing this week? If it seems unclear ask for clarity. If your fear rises up and becomes anger, frustration or turmoil bring it to the light. Talk about your fear and express your anger, always coming from a place of love. Brainstorm the positive possibilities that could come with this change. Allow the brainstorming to be as farfetched and crazy as you can imagine, along with rational, logical ideas. Explore the possibilities, allow yourself to imagine an incredible new adventure, full of magic, full of joy, and just maybe with a waterfall at the end!
Have a life changing week!
Many blessings, BakeR
And remember if you need support I offer a FREE 30 min. coaching session!
Contact me now.
And speaking of change here’s a great video by Carrie Underwood that I had never heard….yes, it’s true I don’t watch television!