Tag: authenticity

Creative Authenticity in the Workplace

Kelley,  While I enjoy my current job, it has gotten to a stage where I walked out and cannot face returning.  I wish I could make a living from my creativity,  but that seems like an impossible dream. I don’t want to be trapped in my current situation, but the only place I can go is another dead-end job and they may not tolerate my physical and mental illness.  Will I ever be able to follow my own heart-song? Thanks–EJ.

Thanks for your note, EJ.  This stage in your growth is about balance, specifically standing solid in your true self across different worlds.  The core issue is being able to be your creative self and carry that into other, more linear areas of life.  Within you is a belief that you must abandon creativity in order to walk out the door every day, not just regarding day jobs, but to deal with people and life, in general.  This belief generates others, such as “I can’t be myself in ___ company,” or “I can’t interact the way I truly want to in ___ situations.”

This duality of living has set up a  dynamic in which you compartmentalize your creativity, expressing it in the areas you want to and deem worthy of it, while withholding it from areas you feel don’t deserve it. This divvying up of self hurts.

I see sprawling patterns of submersion into either linear, mundane pursuits, or escapist, colorful art–rarely a peaceful balance between both.  One extreme of hardship cannot exist without the other.  Lopping off the artful self to survive in the suit world can only lead to approaching creativity as a wildfire escapist pursuit.  The result is an antagonistic relationship with the outside world and art, whose creation feels like chopping off one of your limbs.  That pattern becomes  self-sacrificial, in which your linear life never gets the best of you, thus can’t prosper,  and your creative world is locked into acting out the anger of that omission.   A push-pull pattern crops up in which these extremes start to feed off of each other and snowball.

Our creativity is our true self, and expressing it must go far beyond breathing it into how we make a living.  We can’t turn our true selves off and on situationally and expect them to carry and sustain us.  Rationing creativity results in bipolarism of the spirit.  Our creativity is also our life force.  When we turn it off and on like a spigot, we start to become less and less able to control the valve.  This manifests in feeling that we’ve lost our artistic skills, collusion of life dynamics that distract us from creative pursuits, and ever-building animosity toward the areas of life that provide our practical means to be artistic.

Expressing our true selves requires a relationship that must be cultivated, like any other. Your guides show me that building this relationship requires full focus on healing that relationship.  Even fun extracurricular activities like studies or travel overtax you right now.  Clear expression relies on keeping the filter for the voice as clear as possible.  To attempt to make art both your survival and soul jobs before doing this healing will only strain the voice further.  There is a deep need to delve in and remember art for art’s sake, and in doing so rekindle the relationship with your true self.

Of course you can’t cloister yourself away from the world to do this healing, though you can greet Life with the agreement that healing comes first.  Healing the fatigue and resentment that has built up from compartmentalizing yourself will improve your worldview as well as your self-view, your art, and your means of earning a living.  By bringing your creative originality and authenticity into every aspect of your life as an ongoing personal spiritual practice, it will just be there in times that you need it to carry you.  Sparse times will become far fewer.

Can you make a living through the expression of your heartsong?  Yes.  The trick is beginning to express your heartsong no matter what, through absolutely everything you do, right now, so that the job that can honor your creativity can come.

Blessings, EJ.

Into the Woods, Running to Dreams

Kelley I have so enjoyed reading your deep and inspirational insights that I seek them, myself. I have reached a life goal, in that I can finally support myself by doing what I love. My eldest child has a three-year-old and a four-month-old, whom I am adore. I love being a Grandmother yet I feel tied down, watching them while she works. She seeks a full time job and she wants me to babysit. I love these kids so much. I wish my daughter could stay home with them and I could help by just filling in, but she says she will never improve her life if she doesn’t start a career now. Am I just being selfish and getting my priorities wrong by not placing the children before my dreams? I want to do the right thing, not something I will regret. Thank you, Trendle.

Thanks for your kinds words and inquiry, Trendle. When I call in the lightbeings who lovingly support you as well as the aspects of yourself who may speak, your High Self comes and does something peculiar. In the sand circle surrounding us, she draws a tiny square then a line out from it, which connects another tiny square to another line, to another tiny square… She does this until the entire circle holding about a hundred beings is filled with connected tiny squares. I realize that she is telling me that you have followed the signals of your life. You have allowed yourself to flow from one point of opportunity to another and have benefited from each point, as well as from allowing the intuition of rightful action. Starting with the first square that your High Self drew, I step to the second, then the third, until I trace the entire labyrinth to its end. When I come to the very last square I find myself standing at the edge of the sand circle, staring into the dark forest.

You can’t turn back. Whatever is in the forest–adventure, hard work, enlightenment, briers–is yours to pursue. There is nowhere else to go, and you can’t stand still. It’s not your nature to stand still. And for right now in your life, watching your grandchildren fulltime would be exactly that. Your grandchildren won’t prosper if you aren’t following your bliss. Likewise, they won’t flourish if their mother isn’t. Your daughter has a dependence on you, and she won’t initially respond well to having to cultivate her own intuitive navigation. The thing is, despite that your keen ability to trust your steps has shielded her somewhat, she was watching your every move, just as her kids watch you both now. Stand in your power and assert your need that she make other childcare arrangements, and she will eventually stand in her power, too. She knows how to connect the squares and lines of her own path, she just doesn’t believe that she can do it on her own. She lacks your confidence, and she won’t find it under your wing.

Part of your daughter’s transition into motherhood is also the bold step into matriarchy–the willing acknowledgment that she will eventually be your family’s wise woman. There must be someone for you to give your wisdom to, someone who can carry that mantle as well as master the range of skills needed to be matriarch of the family. Your daughter will not acquire this wisdom without stretching, a lot. You know that she is capable, but she has to believe that she is. She will need encouragement, but set your emotional and logistic boundaries for what you can give and dedicate your energy to thriving on your path. Let her know that you need her to support where you are in your life, as well.

You can and will watch the children, though it can’t be your full obligation to do so. Approach stepping away with gratitude to your daughter, thankfulness that they are in your life and that you are allowed such precious moments. Know that you are not leaving her in a bind, but that by taking command of your own destiny, you are giving her the room to do the same. All of your lives will blossom with new life because of the changes you undertake to stand in your authentic self.

Be well, Trendle.

Reclaiming “Bless Your Heart” as the Southern Namasté

“Be Impeccable With Your Word.” Don Miguel Ruiz, The Four Agreements
“Bless whatever you can with eyes and hands and tongue. If you can’t bless it, get ready to make it new.” Marge Piercy, What are Big Girls Made of?

Bless your heart. It’s a Southern staple, old and rife with colorful implications. Although commonly heard, it’s an expression that I never found authenticity in; thus, I forewent using. Last year I had an experience that solidified my thoughts of it, and of the necessity of differentiating between judging people and their behaviour, and honoring shadow truth. With thoughts of word choice and how we use them at the fore, this feature isn’t intended for young readers.

Engaging the True Self Class, Image by CarbonNYC at flickr2I never liked the expression. It was too Southern, too religious, too… pitifully cloying, disempowering. In reality, I’ve rarely heard it used with sincerity. Most often it’s insinuated into an off-color remark, such as, “She shouldn’t be wearing those pants, bless her heart,” or “Bless his heart, I can’t believe he spent money on that.” An expression of righteous indignation, the judgemental piety somehow transmutes the fact that its heart is an insult. Ever the wordsmith, that twisted intent never set well with me.

As I began my own lessons in speaking and discerning truth, and learning not to judge, I re-examined the phrase. While not necessarily religious, it should be uplifting. It should be kind and inspiring. It should be a reminder that ‘they’ are no different from ‘us,’ such that the speaker and recipient walk away from the exchange better than they entered. As it stood, the expression was a dead metaphor; no one seemed to remember its original reverence.

My cause to avenge clearly laid out, I began voicing the affirmation. I specifically used it in situations that challenged my truth, such that I genuinely intended a wish of Universal improvement to the situation, the person, the ailment. Then I made a disturbing observation. Whenever I said, “Bless his heart,” the response of those around me was to snipe about the person/situation, or to chastise me for speaking ill. I discovered that the phrase was so badly misused and misunderstood, that even when used with high intent it was poorly perceived. Because the words had long been so carelessly bandied about, no one recognized my heart-centered use. It was perceived as just more glib gab. The reaction of my “community” left me wondering if I perhaps I didn’t understand that the phrase was meant to be double entendre, and that any commentary on ill-behaviour or situation is judgemental regardless of honorable intent. I thought my cause was lost.

A year ago I was working with a longterm client, a gifted Reiki Master who has observably immense compassion. We were engaged in a fairly deep conversation on his experience of recently being hurt by someone. His perspective toward the offending person was intensely stirring and radically calm, which is in keeping with his overall passionate but gentle disposition. In his closing assessment of the altercation, he held up his hand in the Reiki beaming position and said, “I just said, ‘Love and light, motherfucker. Love and Light.'”

My initial reaction was muted laughter. After working together for years, we’d spoken candidly, comfortably. Despite that, his northern need to romanticize my southern gentility most often pre-empted colorful interaction; read, he was more self-conscious than I was. Yet, when he said those words, I understood that was his “bless his heart.” My quest on speaking with intent clarified.

I realized that there is implied assessment in honoring someone after reproach, not for no reason. We must be able to distinguish behaviours that support our truth and those that do not. That distinction can be made without judgement. There is a huge difference between saying, “You hurt me and that was unacceptable,” and saying, “You hurt me and you’re a bad person.” Likewise, we must be able to express anger when our truth is not honored. For most of us that expression comes in the form of potent speech. However expression is manifest, remember that it’s needed. What is stuck creates imbalance inside and outside. Recall as well, that once voiced, words can’t be taken back. Speak truth.

We must be able to bless, without damning, what we don’t like. On some level we are all acting in our best capacity. That recognition doesn’t mean have no boundaries. It doesn’t mean be a doormat, and does not offer license to be mean to someone who has offended. It means cultivate the ability to send love and light to what angers or hurts us most. Don’t overlook its true nature, which may have no one’s best interest in mind at all. Be aware of it, step away from it, bless it, and don’t become it. The challenge is to find the means of interacting with shadow dynamics without falling prey to our own. This isn’t news. “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” “An it harm none, do what ye will.”

In the end it isn’t about judging the behaviour of others, but what we can honor within our own actions when we’ve been offended. It’s about our intentions, regardless of the words coming out of our mouths. I use the phrase copiously now, as a self-check when I’m really annoyed about something, with the hope that my intentions for “blessing” someone might help them in some way, and with the hope that I may be a trendsetter, yet.

Indeed, love and light. Bless your heart.

Relationship Homework

Dear Kelley, I am 41, divorced 4 years. I was only IN love once before, and he died without me ever telling him. Until 2 years ago I never had those feelings for anyone else. I met a man whom I couldn’t get out of my mind since the first hello. He is married, though a year ago we gave in to our desires and have fallen in love. He has a home life similar to the one I left. Am I waiting and believing in vain? Part of me feels like I’m dying each time he walks away, knowing he is going “home”. I need strength to let him go, or faith to hold on for what I believe would be the kind of love most people only dream of. I feel so alone…. Becky

Hi Becky, and thank you for your note. You are still very much attached to this first love who died. I don’t see this as an attachment to him, per se, but more to how wonderful YOU felt about yourself in having such a deep connection with him. This was a time in your life in which you felt more alive than ever, and you thrived in that light. Literally, aspects of you blossomed that had not experienced the right conditions to prior. When I ask your guides about this, I see you standing on an empty beach. You are the only sign of life for miles, by land, air or sea. You stand there for what seems a long time, then I see you dig up your personal effects (some of which are related to this former love) and move on to another space. This scene is very much about you moving into a space and wanting to make connections, yet you do not divulge the deeper parts of yourself. You bury them for safekeeping. The pattern is quite logical for the loss you felt when this man died. However, it is that act of holding out for the conditions to be exactly as you want them to that leaves you “taking your playthings home.” Not to suggest that you shouldn’t create the place in your life to have exactly the love you want and need, but that place has to be created by SHARING your Authentic Self, not by hoarding it until certain criteria are met. Cos in truth, holding back in any fashion in matters of love and truth is not your Authentic Self.

I really don’t see that this lull in your current relationship is due to the love interest not making a decision about what HE wants. In fact, that is a very small factor in the overall dynamic. From what I am seeing, even for this new deep love you have not fully put yourself out there, still burying your most amazing qualities. I understand your reluctance to do so given the status of things. You are waiting for him to make a move so that you can then step out as your radiant Self. You are giving up the ability (control) to just step out and be who are you to a man who cannot make that choice for himself. You and he are in your own ways not choosing to move forward in this relationship. He doesn’t want to deal with getting out of his marriage, and since the death of this other love, you have become afraid to voice true feelings, to live true intent. Regardless of your reasons, energetically, it is still holding back. The relationship, no matter how strong your feelings are for each other, will collapse under this kind of stagnancy. Someone has to make a move, and that will be you. Don’t get me wrong–no excuses for him. He has created his own karma to be dealt with in this, and in his own time he will do just that. I do see him as being your significant partner in this life. The energy between you is very balanced and complementary. I can’t tell you what he’s going to do or when, about his legal relationship, obligations or his obvious guilt about it all. What I can tell you is that you have to be willing to rise up in who you are, and live her when your hands feel most tied. You want to feel the vitality in yourself that you felt with the first love. A vast part, if not all of that elation was coming from living in the present, in your truth, even if you did not get to share it at the level that you wanted to. You have to reconnect with that precious life force, and you have to realize that you no longer have to stifle any part of who you are, or your feelings. You can say it out loud. You can give it power. You are not here to hide your True Self. Remember that we do not love on the basis of what may be, but on what is. You have to love this guy now, and not “some day” or “when”. This is something he is learning as much as you are, and your ability to rise up will be a great teacher to him. You can choose not to teach him anything; rather, you can stand in your truth and decide you can’t tolerate the current status anymore. It is an option. I encourage you to allow the lovely parts of you to come to light, no matter what the situation is with him, and see for yourself what you really want. The possibility of a loving life with him is there. Hold the love you feel for him against this amazing treasure you’ve retrieved from within yourself. Do they coexist well NOW? Do they build each other NOW? It is in that balance that you find your answers for where this relationship is going. You will have to do that homework before you know. Be well, Becky!

Emotional Submission

I am a 33-year old mother of 2 pre-teen boys. Last year my boyfriend and I ended a 3-year relationship that had included our opening a business together. He is 50 years old and we have started seeing each other again. We can’t seem to stay away from each other. When we were together I often felt that we had a connection from another life. We broke up twice in the 3 years we were together. I have to admit that I enjoy the comfort and the wooing that he surrounds me with, though at times I feel somewhat smothered by his love, which seems to be more than what I feel. I keep wondering what are we doing…I love him and he loves me but I have a rough time seeing him in my long term future. Though at the moment, the thought of a serious relationship makes me feel like I can’t breathe. He seems to be ready to wait for me. Should I just put an end to the lover part of it and keep a friendship? Also, is there a way to take some of your workshops online because I live in Canada and can’t get to you. ~E~

Thank you for your note, E. It doesn’t happen often that I see the spiritual manifestation of the object of the question, rather than the poser of the question. However, when I ask your guides for insight to share with you, I see a soul aspect of the man in question, rather than one of you. I see this aspect on his knees brushing up crumbs into a dustpan, and he’s quite intent on completing this task for someone else–it is not of his own initiative that he is doing it. However, it is your guides who give commentary on what I’m shown. They indicate that this is a very old pattern for him, submissive by means of feeling that he owes some part of himself or his service to someone. I do not know who that original someone is. The emphasis is not on the personality, but on the pattern of submission, which he has carried into the present as emotional submission/doting. That pattern of emotional submission is what is turning you off, not a lack of feeling for him. The indication I have from your guides is that if he can resolve that pattern, he will have better emotional boundaries in giving and taking, and you won’t feel smothered. When you no longer feel smothered, you will be able to respond to his authentic Self, not a karmic pattern that happens to be very triggering for you. Being lulled into the emotional comfort zone that he provides keeps you from being true to yourself, and THAT is the real point of focus. This dynamic is in a way drawing out lesser qualities in both of you. It is not the best foot forward for either of you. However, you can’t hinge your healing and growth on what he, or anyone else does, or perhaps, doesn’t do. He may never realize this pattern in his behaviour, and that’s ok. We are each on our own paths. Independent of him (or others) you have to base your healing on yourself, and stand in who you are. There is a delicate boundary between stepping into who you truly are at the cost of losing relationships around you, and realizing when someone else’s lack of being authentic interferes with *your* ability to grow. We can’t just ditch everyone who seems to move us in directions we don’t want to go, or most of us would remain perpetually alone. Ultimately our souls choose the lessons we need, and most often those lessons come in challenging relationships. Sometimes the lesson is in knowing when to step away from someone, and sometimes the lesson is in seeing how those challenging relationships foster your growth. It isn’t about him being overbearing or possibly not feeling the same for each other, but about if he can be on his unique path, and you continue to grow on yours, together. When I see a soul aspect of you, it is incredibly empowered and assured. Connect with this part of yourself. In your meditative space, ask your soul what is right for you to do in this relationship. Ask what action affirms your authentic Self, where this relationship is concerned. Because when you realize that you have everything you need within and stand in your authentic Self, the confusion about this man will resolve.

To note about my workshops and classes–I do not at this time teach them online or over distance. The techniques of journeying really require personal attention and the sacred space that results from communing souls. I do travel to do workshops, where there is a willing host to organize an event. I also do some distance work FOR others. Please feel free to email me with any inquiries, and I hope that we can meet sometime, E! Be well!