Seeing Beyond

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Everyday, I come alive a little more to things I didn’t even know I already possessed. Its sad to think of mankind living below the level of what is intended and available to us. Some won’t wake up until they’re breathing their last breath and then so blinded by the light of eternal love, they’ll begin to see as if for the first time. My Day 5 painting in the 30 Paintings In 30 Days series reflects the joy of seeing things as if for the first time. It is entitled: Robust Joy. You can follow all of the amazing artwork here www.30paintingsin30days.weebly.com

Walter Lanyon, one of my favorite authors, writes in the Laughter of God,

“I was a child with a small measure at the seaside, trying to carry off a little water when the whole sea was at my disposal, and I understood for the first time the exhaustless sea of substance about me, and that the idea of hoarding was but a childish feat grown into a Goliath by false teaching and beliefs. I suddenly became aware that the substance was everywhere, in everything, out of everything, and the only place of lack was in the hypnotic state of belief—and I alone created and moved in this vacuum.

And the glorious laughter rolled on, searching the very joints and marrow of me—dislodging every belief in fear, sickness, or age. And as it swept over me and through me and round about me, I was amazed with the wonder of it—the fierce, terrible thing which was at the same time so beautiful and free. The wonder of it kept singing through my soul as veil of belief was rent asunder and new kingdoms stood revealed. And the whole thing was as if one just saw a little deeper, as one looks through the surface reflection on a river and sees the pebbles and shells below, that was all; only the Laughter made this possible, for it cleared away all the effort and straining which in its attempt to see God had been halted at the reflection on the surface, instead of gasping into the limpid, glorious depth of Infinity…The glorious Divine ease with which it was expressed made dis-ease impossible.”

What joy and freedom to live in this continual union with Love and Joy. There is no substitute or distraction that is worthy of dislodging this ease. And so it is with this effortless grace that one enters by mere recognition, not labor. What a gift, being so wrapped up in love before we even recognized it.

This little bit of early morning inspiration had me talking to myself about joy during my drive time, in none other than a lovely British Prime Minister-esque accent. The way I used to talk to my dolls about life, all lined up on my bed. We are the perfect captive audience all by ourselves. We should be sure to speak words of life and that encourage and certainly make us laugh!

 

Painting In My Nightgown

Painting in gownsigned

Loss always carries with it gifts packaged and parceled out in unexpected places. Some of the greatest gifts I have received have come through the backdoor. They weren’t delivered with the spongy sweetness of cake or the sparkling enticement of frosting, but rather crept in when I least expected them, disguised by the darkness of night.

 

Loss is a natural catalyst, like lighter fluid applied to charcoal briquettes before the flame is ignited. Loss has away of being the accelerator to the kindling about to catch fire. And so now I find that my mother has left behind some of those precious accelerator gifts that weren’t readily available when she was here.

 

It’s only now that I am free to catch fire, for previously the tussled sea threatened to capsize my attempts at steadying our wobbly craft, dousing my flame with every breaking wave. It’s only now that I can ride the waves of color, become a torch upon the bow, free to stand without fear that the pirates have taken over the ship.

 

It’s the ebb and flow of releasing the struggle to button down the hatches. It’s finding a package of freedom ready to be opened, so I can release every do-good-adulting, because suddenly painting in my nightgown is liberating. When before it meant a two year old was left in charge.

 

Now I open every fuchsia and lime green present, rent to the rafters with see through connection, no separation or confusion about who’s the mom, and who’s the child. I reclaim those forgot years and now I get to paint whenever I want in my nightgown. Apparently you can paint your way into freedom if your mom was an artist that gifted you untold colorful backdoor gifts. Thanks mom for all of your color.

Taking to the Air

 

Butterflyangelsigned

Cashing in one of a series of birthday massages I laid happily under the hands of a skilled massage therapist, evident by the fine tweaking of stress carrying muscles and the release of tears that rolled down my cheeks. I often have spiritual experiences during massages and this one was no different, as butterflies appeared to flutter joyfully around the room. I felt free and alive and then suddenly an almost twenty year-old memory came flittering in.

 

It was another vacationers day of paradise except in our world. My cousin Jeffrey flew in with out stretched wings to rescue my children from the little beach bungalow in Santa Bell we inhabited until we discovered Bill’s excruciating headaches and garbled speech were a result of a brain tumor.

 

Like an angel of mercy, Jeffrey arrived in the middle of the night with tickets in hand to herd my four young children on a plane back to Memphis to my aunt’s house. Meanwhile, I struggled to manhandle our luggage and position my frail husband and myself on an airplane to Boston. We would then go on to Massachusetts General Hospital and begin to navigate the last five-weeks of our lives together, ending on that Good Friday when I said goodbye.

It was not sadness that accompanied this memory, but a breathtaking sense of awe around my cousin’s and aunt’s generosity that streaked my cheeks. Somewhere in the hours before Jeffery’s arrival, while struggling to stay in tact, family was orchestrating magic behind the scenes. My difficulty with asking for help had been superseded without even a request during my greatest weakness and need. This kindness was profoundly breathtaking even as I walked back down the corridor of jagged memories.

 

The butterflies continued to release newness with every wing brush, inciting questions and the ability to view my life from above. Who would I be if I had been able to receive these gifts of grace and not caved under my early conditioning and later church culture?

 

What if I hadn’t been afraid to receive that brand new car my granddaddy wanted to buy me when I was sixteen instead of insisting on the used one? What if I had been courageously unapologetic, settled into being completely loved so that I could have received every gift with wild excitement and open hands?

 

What if the girl that wrote edgy poetry and listened to Patti Smith, who wore wigs in comedic plays and sang in rock bands and musical comedy improve troops had not been dumbed down or, pushed in? What if I had always known that the giver wanted to give much more than I could contain and so I swallowed hard to gulp down every drop, instead of politely folding my hands to the appropriate?

 

Who would that girl be if her Good Friday world recognized the collision of every resurrection permission? I somehow doubt so well behaved and tentative in gulping.

 

These questions circled about me before landing deep within. And with every winged swoop I felt the waters rushing in and the waves rushing out with the grandest baptism of hope and release to soar along with those butterflies.

 

The joyful acknowledgment of complete acceptance frees us to never cower in the face of those happily grounded in their cocoons. Untamed hearts are free to gulp and fly.

Day 22 If You Could Tell Your Younger Self One Thing

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If your older self could write a letter to the younger you, what would you say? I’ve asked clients, workshop participants and myself this same question many times.

 

The biggest thing I would have wanted my younger self to grasp was the permission to live to the depths and heights of the freedom availed her and to be saturated in her fully acceptance and loved identity. I would have wanted her to stop looking over her shoulder wincing at the prickly pears and to dance and sing at the top of her lungs.

 

Nothing Cheap About It Grace

Oh how your grace, your done-deal promise, this love supreme sends my heart racing.

You really did it! Squashed the accuser finger pointer, you set the guilty free.

 

Ridiculous goodness can't be reeled in floating out admits the borderless sea.

Whose gonna chase down their specks to hone in on that tiny gnat, floating away, that sin you abolished and love decayed.

 

Oh the goodness of the goodness giver, toasting to life, celebrating the gift. 

Lift your head all you blind forgetters, drink in the spritz from the ransomed love winner.

Rest your head in your pretty little bed, come home to love's sin eraser. Come home to that nothing cheap about it, grace.

 

What would you have wanted to say to your younger self?

 

 

 

Day 16 I'm A Shaker

Shake it off

I’m a shaker. I'm the kind of gal that resists being squashed or diminished by the crowded in places where broad strokes narrow with every swipe. In fact, you might see me shaking or screaming from time to time as I exit stage right. Those crowded in places of lack of allowance threaten my ability to sing, so to avoid being defined by impotent labels that homogenize and villainize, I shake it off.

 

I get how easy it is to work to pull yourself up into something, having been a savvy striver and rule keeper myself, that is until I discovered the magnificence of grace. Now days, I’m learning  to give myself a wide berth, a big open space, should I stumble upon the watchdogs, the “shoulders” and load heapers staking out my freedom. I’m learning to shake it off.

Like Taylor Swift, “I keep crusing, can’t stop, won’t stop grooving. It’s like I got this music in my mind saying, ‘it’s gonna be alright’…cause the haters gonna hate, hate, hate” and the rule keepers are gonna keep measuring and the finger-pointers gonna keep telling me how to live. The fakers gonna fake, fake, fake, but I’m just gonna shake it off! The fear mongers gonna fear and the judgers gonna judge, but I’m gonna splash in the wide open seas of grace, grace, grace.

 

Does this mean I’ve abandoned what I’ve previously believed? No, it means that I’ve found the grace filled reality of all I believe, which is infinitely  more liberating. The incitement of squabbles and mental gymnastics only expresses the actual juxtaposition of law and grace. And who wants to hangout with the rule keepers anyway? Jesus didn’t!

  

It’s not my job or anyone else’s to police or solve the world’s problems. That’s a burden no human was intended to carry. I’m leaving it to the Expert.

 

Instead, I’m lapping up the invitation to live in the mysteries, uncover and cherish the indefinable, inexhaustible, infallible kaleidoscope of love. That’s enough to feed on for eternity.

 

On the high seas of grace and love you won’t be preoccupied with the things that force feed fear and shackle freedom, because you’ll just shake, shake, shake, it off.

Day 14 What If You Were Complete

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How would you live differently if you believed you were enough right now? How would you live if you lived into questions and mystery, allowing yourself a generous amount of latitude?

 

I lived a good many years thinking I needed to do more, and I needed to be more, until I began to believe, merely chose to alter my lens and believe that I was perfectly complete in God’s eyes now. This does not mean I am perfect, but rather that I house perfection. This doesn't mean that I am stagnant, but still alive and growing.

 

This means that I don’t have to work so hard to be acceptable, or arrive at some new level, because the One who is beyond measurement has already arrived and dwells in me. What a radical shift to breathe in the ease of grace and rest that was given without effort on my part to acquire it. In fact, what I’ve worked and strived to obtain has actually hindered my ability to receive whats been freely given.

 

Who wouldn’t wake up excited to spend another day being fully loved and accepted right where they are? Who wouldn’t want to be loved like that ? I get to spend another day being loved and soaking up this crazy, generous free gift of life!

Day 11 The Grand Reversal

 

Day 11 Things we hold on to

The sales clerk announced that the over priced organic tomatoes that I snapped up (majorly on sale) were actually on the house. The register rang them up at the regular price, so the sales clerk said the store was covering the tab for any inconvenience this might have caused me.

 

What? Someone actually wants to step in, take responsibility and shoulder the offense? That never happens! Although this was hardly an offense or inconvenience, what if she could take some of the rotten tomatoes thrown in my face, the real painful doozies and eradicate them too?

 

This experience got me thinking. I had already seen some very significant reversals in this shiny New Year and even leading up to 2015. And I believe there are going to be a lot more reversals of things that have been miscalculated, wrongly charged and even stolen from our lives. Things are being recovered in 2015 and I am already witnessing grand reversals at rapid speed.

 

I am also noticing the need to set my heart to receive them. After one such reversal, I found myself excited about the change, but also grieving over the pain of what I had lost. Acknowledged my very human feelings of grief, I then choose to shake off the old pain and disappointment and catch up to speed with the new gift I was receiving, recognizing that the only things that have the power to hold me, are the things I hold on to.

 

Letting go of the injustice of the past and choosing to move forward in forgiveness is key to being able to receive the new. Gratitude is the means to accept and receive all circumstances. Every good and perfect gift is from above, so with open hands and a heart of gratitude just imagine what we can receive. Who would want to hang onto the old when presented with the new?

 

Get a glimpse of the breathtaking reversals showing up and the grand reversal that has already taken place to right things on our behalf. This righting of wrongs (yours and mine) has been displayed with fervor and generosity. Our slates are wiped clean and all we have to do is receive.

 

The new highlight reel that is being run in each our lives serves as a glorious reminder and demonstration of the off the chart generosity that never stops giving, never stops loving or moving on our behalf. God is into recalibrating, reconciling and dandy reversals. If your like me, it may take a moment to adjust to the new, but having set my heart forward, I am wowed by this constant gift of grace that is beyond imagining. 

 

Day 9 Lack Rescinded

 

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Do you ever wonder what stops the flow of inspiration? Why does the well dry up and you feel parched and dry when the water supply is within and not out of reach?

 

Sometimes I put myself through mental gymnastics thinking I am isolated and alone, much like I felt as a child. That is UNTIL I realize that even if I feel alone, I've never ever been alone, except in my perceptions.

 

I know its popular to talk about perception, mindsets and shifts these days, but its because we are waking up to a reality that has always existed, but we've failed to see. We’ve had the wool pulled over our eyes, while in actuality the veil no longer exists.

 

We’ve looked outside of ourselves for the mirror image that exists within. We’ve looked for inspiration outwardly, when inspiration is busting at the seams with breath and life, hope’s meter tapping away love's melody, wooing and including us in the passionate dance and resonance of life.

 

When I bump up next to you I feel the spray of breath, inspiration filling the air, new and alive, bumping up against the life of inspiration within me. It’s the patter of little feet, the baby in the womb stirring to the sound of the Father’s voice and likeness in each of us.

 

It’s asking you what you carry, what joy you're pregnant with and what life you have to deliver? Grace announces that lack has been rescinded.

 

Lack Rescinded

 

Starving while the table is set, this gap forgetting where there is no lack.

Swallowed up in Trinity glory, friendship of fullness, ache subsided.

Wrapped in over-loved goodness, caressed and lavished inexplicably strong.

You are not far off as some might be. You are not a wonderer, not like me.

You are steady and sure and constant devotion, like the ocean overflowing the beach.

Lapped up in embrace, no morsels of rationing,

no short sale, no barter for goods. Love completeness, flourishing full.

 

 

Day 8 Wallowing In Goodness

 

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What if I saw everything differently?

You on exhibition in me,

I often fail to recognize,

while muddling in some lesser version of myself,

a team member that forgot her team.

 

Rebel rouser,

fists in air,

defending overrun turf.

 

What if I turned the tables and only saw love?

What if I stopped projecting jagged paths and crooked climbs?

What if I grasped I was carrying all I think I lack?

 

Missed out bundles of all of me-acceptance spilling over,

spacious love that becomes self-love,

a go sign for more love,

a welcome mat when I’ve been unwelcomed,

x-ray vision to see with compassion,

frozen children in grown-up clothes.

 

What if I stopped taking it personally?

What if I loved those that stubbed my toes and saw them as gifts?

What if I wallowed in your forever goodness?

 

 

Day 3 Joy Unspeakable

 

Step into your freedom

I really don’t like it when people of faith shove their faith like a bitter cold slap in the face of others. I don’t like it when rather than love; there seems a need to prove something or to win an argument. When faith is expressed in mere words, instead of through love in action I find the reality incongruent and lacking.

 

That’s probably why I don’t generally push my faith outwardly onto others. I’ve been stung by religious pontificating as much as the rest of the world. I’ve disliked the faith community’s elitism that harmed my family and often continues to be threated by our lack of interest in rule keeping and many things that fly in the face of everything about Christ and the Trinity’s love for mankind.

 

And yet how do I live from a place that is authentic to me, my faith reality, my often struggle with this community and my love for the world in or out of my faith inclination? That has been the dilemma for sometime and so in 2015 I hope to embrace more love for myself in this space and for others who are willing to stand with open hands declaring that they do not know it all, or have the corner on the market. In my book, relationship is paramount (yes messy and imperfect) but without it I am not interested in any gymnastics that may seem spiritual but lacks the reality of love. Activities without relationship are usually counterfeit, or lacking depth at the very least.

The fact still remains that some thirty years ago I had a life encountering, rearranging divine appointment that took me from a suicidal mess, overcome by bulimia and uncontrollable binging, to being instantly healed of a six-year eating disorder that controlled and almost stole my life. Its one of those encounters that really can’t be explained and most certainly can never be stolen, because I know the impact of this divine intervention in my life. I also know the reality of the continuous daily divine intervention I receive, not to mention after being a 36-year-old widow with four small beautiful children carried through the difficult transition with love and grace. And then after seven years of single parenting miraculous being given a brave man to love my children and me when at the time it seemed like an impossibility, because most men ran for their lives. 

 

I know the miraculously reality of coming through many a devastation with a settled sense of worth and identity and more love and joy than I could have ever anticipated. And I know that the joy in my life is no longer contingent on my successes, my circumstances, others opinion of me, or anything other than God’s faith and outrageous love that carries me and is alive within me. This bountiful love is still constantly being demonstrated toward mankind.  

 

Having had such experiences has altered the way I live and see life. It's the reason I experience life as a joyous celebration. So as I look to 2015 from a place of belief, and a joyful and exuberant creative welcome to the new, I'd say its time to step into the abundance of freedom! Today's art journaling image above is not new, but I felt it calling to me, reminding me of the freedom and joy available to us should we choose to recognize it. Day 3 unspeakable joy is on my mind. What does unspeakable joy (even in hard times) mean to you?

 

 

Day 2 Preposterous Good News

Grace

So today for Day 2 of my creative journaling (somedays more play than art) 30 Days of Creative Expression exercise, I just can’t stop thinking about this too good to be true news, this ridiculously lavish grace that grants such outrageous entitlement that flies in the face of finger wagging, bemoaning of entitlement! It’s such good news we really don’t know how to receive it. We collect our add ons and our “buts”, because we fear being like those in this generation that we judge (walking in their annoying entitlement) as we spout, “Who do they think they are?”

 

But what if this generation with all its quirks (like the rest of us) is actually a blazing billboard, a burning bush pointing to the truth of this complete, grace-given life of Christ running through us? What if this generation was a trumpet declaring our very own entitlement! Are you thinking: heresy?

 

This grace gift is certainly not because we deserve it, but more likely because most of those that are broadcasting the good news have taken all of the good out of it and so this generation with its flamboyant finger grasping demands is actually a better broadcaster of this ridiculous free gift of grace!

 

What if we were to reconcile with the Life that has reconciled with us and let it fill our lungs completely. You didn’t think you had any part in acquiring your breath did you? What if we expanded the entitlement we’ve downplayed and let it open up more and more into the recesses of our being with its glorious goodness filling grace?

To have a change of thinking we have to completely disconnect from the old belief even when we don’t fully understand the exchange. We have to stand with open hands of faith willing to receive something better (rather than defend our blind spot) even when we can’t begin to comprehend how the exchange is possible!

 

We have to be willing to say, “I don’t understand this too good to be true gift of grace, but with every fiber of my being I say, Yes!” I will stop the rule keeping and miserly watching with tit for tat eyes, doling it out to those defined as worthy and instead jump in full depth, lap it up in every corner and splash around in this audacious tidal wave of love grace.

 

You can be an older brother keeping guard if you want to (I’ve been you and that’s why I’ve had to steer clear of you so I could instead float in the exuberant waters of refreshment!) Yes, that’s right, I’d rather drown in the intoxicating joy of this unequal exchange, this preposterous grace that I am somehow entitled to than hangout with the unbelieving righteous towing the line for the rest of the world. Honestly, it makes me gag!

 

Today I am joyfully reflecting on this over the top gift, this basking in the presence of love’s overflow, not off in the rafters of holiness, but alive within me. What glorious beautiful news! What do you think about this grace?

Paradigms Need to Be Challenged

Rational mind rejects

What if all of you, every part of us is sacred, everything we do? What if we are the container and can’t divide up our coming or going, our cooking or hiking into sacred and secular, because the life within us is complete, worthy of awe and gratitude, as beholding in a mirror the image of perfection?

 

When we live from a place of perfect approval according to God’s complete knowledge of us (and the extent to which He went to prove it), we are set on the path of liberty. It’s only when we fall for or stay entrained to the tempting idea of “I am not” that was initiated ages ago, telling us that we are somehow far below who we truly are that we get seduced and held hostage.

 

Francois Du Toit says, “And so we have exchanged God’s perfect approval of us, based on his perfect knowledge of us, for our imperfect knowledge of ourselves and of one another…”

 

This seductive alternative perspective is one where we have to work to prove ourselves as if we could master our own being separated from our original Source. And it is this very idea of separation that keeps us striving to try harder and to please.

 

Honestly, sometimes I forget that I’ve left the speakers of the “I am not-tree-system” that Francois Du Toit coined, turned up. When I interpret life through deficiency, instead of through the Tree of Life lens of I am perfect, fully graced, loved, secured and accepted, I disempower myself and knock myself out of the race.

 

It’s this “not-enough” lens that burns with a feeling of alienation, shame, inferiority, and being set aside that trips-me-up every time I engage it’s taunts. It tricks me in two ways.

1. In thinking I need to work my way into favor that allures me to grasp for control, and the need to quantify and systemize everything. It’s this outdated vantage point that whispers secret ego enticements to get me to dance, and hustle and pull the skirt over my head to earn my keep; usually without recognizing I am even doing it.

 

2. Sometimes it throws me out of the game, or I throw myself out of the game when I believe I am separated and flawed.

 

Paradoxically, it is this very sting of rubbing me raw incongruence rubbing that causes me to harken to the truer sound, the beckoning whisper of Love that runs through every crevice of my being, awakening me to the truth and challenging the counterfeit with questions instead of answers.

 

For who can predict the day of their birth, or cause their heart to pulse beat after beat with unstoppable life? Who can separate themselves from the womb?

 

It’s this Love that initiates and celebrates what taunts of “not-enough” only swallow up and confine. It’s this Love that expands realms of possibility and discovery beyond my knowing, taking me on a honeymoon romp beyond time and limits.

 

When my mind has me detained by search light wardens and detention guards, I know that I have fallen for the “I am not” reality instead of my spotless design. It’s only arrogance on the lowest of level that causes one to calculate and measure insider and outsider, sacred and secular in others or myself.

 

What if love is the only reality that never ceases to breath, create, morph, and give life, while transcending all dimensions? What if our measuring the world up into our tiny reality isn’t even in the ballpark of what reality truly is?

 

Do you feel boxed in, because you keep putting yourself under the dead-end system of the law? Are you eating the rotten fruit from the “I am not enough” tree and want to eat from the wide-open spaciousness of the Tree of Life?

 

It’s time to think fresh! Register now for the Moxie Me Please! Awakening to Your True Identity Coaching Group beginning in Jan. 2015. Early bird pricing goes up Dec. 10th. Hurry and reserve your spot today!  For information click here!

Duped By Shortsightedness

Get raw signedIt’s said that only those who know they’re blind can begin to see.

 

If we all stood naked, no designer clothes, no big houses, no fancy cars or exotic spreads to add to our importance, I imagine we’d view each other differently. Suddenly, we’d see each other in a new light. Judgments would disintegrate, superiority and inferiority would find their balance and we’d each be a lot more alike than we imagined.

 

I don’t like the idea of being shortsighted or duped by illusion, but the fact is none of us can see our own blind spots or what’s hiding in the dark below the surface. We each have veils that cause distortion and keep us from seeing clearly, veiled by our experiences, opinions and general shortsightedness. It’s sad, but we’ve judged each other based on our limited beliefs or perceptions. We’ve fallen for the illusion of what we think we see, when we’re actually blind.If we put ourselves across the table from one other maybe we’d see our own fear hiding beneath our finger pointing and indignation. Maybe we’d have compassion for our neighbor. It’s compassion that allows the veil over our heart and eyes to fall off.

 

It’s a hallowed experience when life gives us a reality-jarring look at the garb we’ve chased after to hide our own emptiness and darkness. Truth, however, is never found hiding in the darkness. It always seeks to remain in the light. It’s only when we allow who we are to be exposed that we can come into the light.

 

The life I am determined to live is one where I am free from the compulsion to hide, or posture, but where I courageously continue showing up with compassion and love for others and myself. This is not a life of perfection, but one where the more I acknowledge my limitations; the more grace I open myself up to receive. The more shame I bring out of hiding, the more freedom I partake of.

 

It’s a life where instead of seeking approval from the crowd, I find God’s love and acceptance. When I walk in the reality of divine love, the need to veil myself with armor, reject or disassociate from another becomes an increasingly bitter taste in my mouth.

 

If you want to refocus your sight, grow your self and other compassion, courageously show up, celebrate your imperfections and learn to live wholeheartedly join professional life coaches Nicole Greer and myself for, The Daring Way™ Retreat, based on the work of Brenè Brown. Hosted near beautiful Asheville, North Carolina on May 2nd and 3rd. Do it for yourself! Space is limited, so register today at www.daringinlife.com

 

 

Day 13, Freedom, 30 Days of Creative Expression

FreedomToday I chose the FREEDOM Spirit@Work® Card by Lance Secretan fitting perfectly with the fact that this morning I awoke with the most glorious sense of being alive.

Often we chase down the notion of freedom as an outside force that might come tomorrow, or next week, or next month. We think if we get more freedom to do what we want, make our own choices, get free from the constants, the strains and demands of life, the atrocities, the injustices and the pain surrounding us, we’d suddenly be free. Yet, we’ve all experienced the “getting” of something or another and that is not what made us free.

But what if instead of reducing freedom to an ideal out there somewhere, we experienced it in our being right now? What if freedom wasn’t about removing the bars that constrain us, or swallowing the happy pill and being elevated to nirvana, what if freedom was already ours and we’ve overlooked it?

What if freedom is waking up and knowing that you have the same 24 hours as everyone else and that you get to breathe it in and carry this breathing-life with you throughout your day? What if you’re at the zoo, or at work, or in prison, or in the hospital holding a loved ones hand for the last moments and you savor every bit of the joy and pain, recognizing that you have the freedom to experience it within your beating, feeling heart? You are alive!

I don’t mean to say that there aren’t injustices that need to be righted, excruciating atrocities that need to be ended, and personal pain aching to be healed, but what if in this moment you couldn’t change the world, but you could hear the birds twill, you could feel your own pulse and you could know that nothing was keeping you from being as free as you choose to be right now.

Your circumstances might be hindering you. You’re bank account might not give you permission to do what ever you want, but you and I can recognize the God-breath that makes us free and we can sink in and savor every last drop of sweetness or pain that we feel. 

Today I choose to recognize this freedom as I feel the gift of my beating heart. Will you join me?

Day 8-Joy, 30 Days of Creative Expression

Day 8The New Year has begun with a surge of JOY as if I am standing out in a wide-open space where I’ve always belonged. I credit much of this to my ever-increasing awareness of the unchangeable reality and JOY producing fact that right or wrong, weak or strong, achieving or receiving, I am fully loved. Not much has changed in my circumstances, but my well of being is broadening.

Lance Secretan wrote about the JOY SPIRIT@WORK® Card,

“When our work becomes art, we will create grace, experience joy, and invigorate our souls with freedom and fulfillment.”

Who wouldn’t want more of that?

Some connect JOY with circumstantial happiness. Yet JOY is a lifestyle, not merely a response to life. JOY comes from the inside out, from a place of being, rather than from outside circumstances in.

How does JOY or the lack of it reveal where you are currently, and how you are living from a JOY place of being, rather than achieving?

 

I Stopped Making My Bed

Screen Shot 2013-10-17 at 10.36.40 AMI grew up with the understanding that you make your bed everyday. I was trained to pick up my clothes and keep my surroundings neat with the exception that I'm a piles, not a files kind of girl. I am by no means a perfect housekeeper. I’m not even a good housekeeper, but I do like the idea of order and organization.

For the first time in my life something happened. I stopped making my bed (unless company is coming over!) Instead of focusing on picking up on the outside, I’ve become more concerned with what’s going on internally. Instead of covering up my inner world with outer illusions, I am accepting my little disheveled messes, my piles of books plopped here and there and my outrageously messy studio disaster. Instead of driving myself with rules learned in my Southern upbringing, I am choosing to live differently. I’m continuing to get untamed. I'm jumping on my bed!

I’m letting go of, “I’d better act a certain way, or I might be scolded into behaving.” I’m letting the “good girl” go rogue and be a little bad. I am even removing the judgment around “good” verses “bad”, because it is what it is, not “good,” or “bad.”

This exercise is helping me further comprehend how completely loved I am. It matters little if I make the bed. It matters little if I keep a clean house, or wear the right clothes, or live in a way that is acceptable to the neighbors, the church, or the relatives. What matters is, that I love myself and realize I am fully free to do so. Love makes me free!

The good news is that my value and your value has already been established, by the fact that we exist and cannot be diminished based on our outer performance. We are wildly and completely loved. We don’t have to work at it. We only need to wake up to this reality. Can you hear the wake up call?

Get some help in untaming your heart, order, Untamed Heart, Releasing Your Creative Genius now! Keep a look out for the downloadable workbook soon![product id="2047" sku=""] 

 

I'm In Recovery!

ID-10080991Can I tell you a little secret? I cringe when someone finishes a sentence with an exclamation mark like, “amen!” I cannot stomach Christianese! It immediately makes me feel the need to run for the door, because I smell inauthenticity like day old lobster. I question the rhetoric and parroting. The real person seems to be missing and lacks a clear sense of who they truly are. Although I am learning to see past the camouflage to the person, it’s so close to home that it still causes me to spin, like a sober drunk in a room of drinkers.

I confess I'm in recovery. I’m in recovery from institutional religion. Are you wondering what I’m talking about? I’m talking about trying to mash myself into a misshaped cookie cutter image, rather than be who I am. I am in recovery from a groupthink culture that was slowing killing me, a culture of performance, judgment, striving and preferring ritual above relationship.freedigitalphotos.net

The topic of missing identity that I often write about is real. It’s my story and sadly why much of my thirty-year experience with church culture has felt like a miss hit of smashing my thumb with a hammer. I will be talking more about this in future posts.

Why did it take so long? Why was I trying to be the “good girl” and please so hard? This is what you do if you were the lost child that became the family hero to survive the anguish and emotional abuse of a mom with mental illness. It was in letting go of the ghosts and those that couldn’t bring themselves to make the journey with me that I’ve gotten free. It’s in claiming my true God-image identity that sprung the cage door.

In my journey I’ve stumbled right into a grace encounter, transformation and expansiveness beyond a box sized God into a God that existed before the American church culture’s definition of who God is and who I’m supposed to be. I’ve learned to honor and listen to my inner GPS that signals when I’m betraying myself. I’ve taken up the challenge of vulnerability and authenticity instead of settling for a counterfeit of God, or myself.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAJesus loves me, I love him and much of the rest I leave dangling in the realm of unknowing. I choose to pass on pontificating as best I can. I hope to see and love individuals beyond ego driven, polarizing issues that separate into black and white, either or, as I am learning to live beyond the tightrope of performance. I love my friends that are gay, Buddhist, Hindu and lots of other things. 

Hear this: I am not blaming anyone for my lack of clarity around my identity, or my familiar pull to environments that were unhealthy for me. This is the very journey that led me home to myself. The crazy mixed up way that I got here, the story that reads like a Broadway play matters little (although I can imagine wonderful song and dance numbers that would fit with the movie, Saved!)

The fact that I finally found my path and my way out of the matrix of confusion is the reason I help other women claim their voice, their authentic self and their unique God relationship too.

I don’t mean to offend you, but trying not to offend has kept me small. Trying not to offend kept me on the fence, living incongruently, dishonestly, and inauthentically. Being careful to speak only “what builds up” to be silent when I was told to “keep quiet” kept me controlled and living in decline and demoralization. Now days, I am learning to give myself permission to speak things that don’t always build up, because that’s authentic and something’s need to be torn down before building can begin. That’s what getting untamed means.  It’s about risk and courage to face the gap and not shut the door in fear to those that see the world differently. I’m not writing this for debate, or needing to be right, but needing to be real (although I wouldn't mind a little cheering for standing up in my life in a greater measure.)

Heaven on earth 1I choose to live life as an act of worship and today I choose to invest in relationships over meetings and to be my part in the church all around me. I am not tearing down what you may love and thrive in. There are some awesome church expressions out there, but the truth is church is not a building, or a meeting. You in fact might be someone who sees the faith relationship differently too. This is important to say, because I am learning to care and nurture myself. Warning, please don't post a bunch of Christianese on my page or I will have to delete you! :)

Your struggle may not be with the church. It might be your family dynamics (isn’t that where it all starts anyway?) or a work environment that keeps you peddling faster and faster until you’ve peddled right over yourself. Maybe you understood long ago that the struggle was within yourself and you’ve never tried to please, but abdicated your life anyway. Maybe you’re in transition and you want to start recreating your life again.

You are not late, but right on time to start investing in yourself. The place to start is in loving yourself first.

Maybe you know that this is your time, time to invest in the only life you have! If so here are some ways to begin expanding and investing in yourself.

  • Read the following authors who write about the illusion of ego and faith: Richard Rohr books, New Seeds of Contemplation by Thomas Merton, Jim Palmer books, The Cloud of Unknowing by Elizabeth Obbard
  • Read Untamed Heart, Releasing Your Creative Genius, by me :)
  • Read Daring Greatly, Brene Brown
  • Register for my 12 Week Online Program, Untamed Joy! Discover tools to claim your voice, your identity and your joy!
  • Contact me to find out about 1-on-1 coaching @kimber@moxieme.com

A New Model That Carries Real Weight

ID-10042153As some of you know I just returned from a creative retreat in Nashville. I have attended many creative retreats and women’s events over the years. I even host my own workshops and retreats, but something made this one different. That's what I hope to communicate in this post.

I, like an eager and hopeful little girl looking for the pony in the stall of manure have continued to search for my “community” and “tribe”, even though many a women’s retreat have felt like forcing myself into a small shoe box when I feel more like a pair of boots. 

I find life often speaks allegorically. One of my own personal parables began to surface about five or six years ago when I was traveling to Los Angeles to lead a workshop and was surprisingly upgraded to first class on my flight.

Upon returning to the airport for my flight home I learned that my flight had somehow been deleted during my previous upgrade. By the time the ticket agent got me back on the flight I had to scurry through the airport to make my connection.

As providence would have it I was stopped at the security checkpoint and searched from head to toe before rushing to make my connection. This wasn't just any search. As I approached the checkpoint a guard screamed a warning code to the other agents at which point we were ordered to stop in our tracks, because of a possible threat. A few seconds later we were cleared to proceed being informed that it was merely a warning test.

Hopping on the plane before the doors closed I suddenly noticed that my seat was an absolute downgrade. I quickly surmised that this was the worst seat on the plane! It was the last seat on the last row, up against the window. Since I now had become accustomed to first class, I had a bit of an attitude until I received a divine message and made an adjustment.

The message I received was as follows. We all have the opportunity to seek a high place of prominence, or humble ourselves and take the low seat. We can be certain that we will go through a “security checkpoint” sometime or another to evaluate our choices. A true upgrade of the first class nature comes through humility. It was loud and clear. Put yourself at the head of the table and you could be asked to move. Put yourself on the low plain (plane) and you will be elevated in due time. When you humble yourself you will be a carrier of true influence.

The saga continued. Three years later my son Samuel and I were at the Charlotte NC airport waiting to board a flight to Los Angeles where our family was relocating. We had our guitars with us when a famous band arrived in the gate area. The guitar player noticed our guitars and tossed my son a guitar pic.

After getting settled on the plane I noticed some commotion with an unhappy passenger whose seat wouldn't recline in the isle across from me. The flight attendant found a willing passenger to swop seats with the disgruntled man and suddenly the guitar player was sitting across from me. At that moment I knew some divine configuring was taking place and their was a message for me in the mix.

The guitar player and I spent the flight talking about his world as a single dad, his periodic substitute teaching in his son’s school, along with his years of touring with a mega star. I noticed immediately that there was no aroma of celebrity wafting about from this time tested, seasoned musician as he pleasantly chatted with Sam and I. 

I quickly gleaned the powerful take-away that my divinely arranged airplane travel provided for me and this was it: There are those who will seek to live from celebrity, but there is a greater choice and that is of relationship. The authenticity and humility the musician demonstrated was significant. He chose the lower seat. The attention and kindness he demonstrated toward my child spoke volumes about the kindness God demonstrates toward each of his children. 

The retreat I attended was led by yet another group of accomplished individuals, yes, celebrities in their fields, who humbly laid down their badges for authenticity, transparency and relationship. There was no feeling of striving or controlling to reach a perceived outcome. This was not token humility, talking about humility, but then actually controlling overtly, insisting on conformance, playing by established rules and regurgitating the old as if it were new. This was true freedom! I’ve heard babble about humility for years, but have often witnesses it traded in for the counterfeit of ego and  competition, a lot of the lesser, while forfeiting the greater it many a life, including my own. 

I still can’t get my head around the high level of participants. This was no sissy crowd. The women had been through a lot of “stuff” and were authentic, okay with where they were at, not needing to be fixed or trying to fix others! We were tracking, okay with not having all of the answers, okay with unknowing and with simply being! There was no pressure to perform or to dumb down. OMG! This was my tribe!

Don't misunderstand me. These women are human and have skin on too. But they have clearly made the right choice and it is and it will affect many. True authority only comes with humility. Free welding love makes room and space for true connection above agenda or ritual. I have seen first hand that it will invariably carry the whole flight to a new level. 

Are You Shoveling Crap?

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I felt a blog post coming on when I read this comment to one of my posts,

 “Oh, Darling, I already checked you out and you're just too cool for words. I love a multi-talented dynamo. Yowza!”

This was after I transparently bemoaned to my husband about my misled and often over functioning tendency toward incongruent and double-minded behavior, anything but a dynamo.

I have come along way from the days of giving up all my makeup, wearing a head covering and dressing like a bag lady for Jesus, having moved on to truly understand that I am fully loved and accepted as I am and I don’t have to do a thing to prostitute myself for love.

I get that Love is the biggest and best gift I will ever receive; yet sometimes I still fall back into a loveless trap. Ego lures me round the bend like it did those many ridiculous years ago when I bought into the illusion that I had to work hard to please Jesus, please the neighbors and please the whole damn world.

I found a burst of new empowerment when I read the above quote knowing that the author is a dynamo herself, who has brazenly wrestled down her own “good girl” lies and is honest about the show down.

Women getting free extend the hand of permission to other women. Women uncovering their lies help other’s incongruent illusions fall. When we choose to quit shoveling the crap we become permission's hand extender and recipient too.

When we start to let go of egos taunts and stop playing to the “good girl” chorus we take off the limiting restrictors that define us, the Pope’s, the kid’s principal or the community at large. We get untamed.

Are you shoveling other's crap to earn love, or have you cast off  the "good girl" limiting restrictors?  Need help to reclaim your freedom? Contact me about personal coaching, or get in on our new online program, Untamed Joy! Claim your voice, your authenticity, your life and your joy! Details for Untamed Joy coming soon!

Are You Suffering From Identity Theft?

Identity Theft

 

Missing identity is an epidemic. There are many people who are victims of identity theft, because they're living under an ego driven persona, illusion, or lack of clarity and ownership about who they truly are.

Because I have claimed my once missing identity, I have a keen sense of 'knowing' or discerning when someone is suffering from the vacancy of identity theft.

Sometimes the language and rhetoric that hides someone is so thick you can’t see the person through the fog? Sadly, this is common in certain faith communities. Many have spent so much time concocting a false self that they aren't even aware that the false self is not true and that their real self is hiding.

What a terrible thing to exist but not actually be there! Imagine the joy deficit, the lack of internal freedom, the fragmented and half lived lives of those struggling with identity theft.

Who struggles with this and why are so many suffering from identity theft?

Identity theft is what happens when someone surrenders his or her personal power and allows others to define them outwardly, trying to appease a system of ‘shoulds’, ‘do’s’ and ‘don’ts.’ This misled parroting denies the reality of who one truly is and sets into place striving to become someone they already are, but haven't recognized.

Identity theft takes place when someone does not possess the anchoring of personal ownership, but embraces a hollow, ego driven identity instead. Whenever someone looks for something outside of themselves to define them they have strayed from who they truly are. When someone is missing they are often under the illusion that they are merely a set of values or beliefs. The truth is we all are much more that any set of values or beliefs. There is great identity uncertainty and confusion until one owns their totality.

Claiming your power and identity

1.Learning to be. Learning to be is a powerful step to owning and claiming ones true identity. When one learns to accept themselves as being fully loved and valued apart from external performance, they will find freedom in true identity.

2. Removing judgment. Awareness without judgment is the starting point to remove unhealthy ego structures that have kept one masked, hidden and missing.When one views the world through the lens of either, or they dissect themselves and their perception of the world into unnatural pieces. When they remove judgment they begin to take down masks and the walls of their ego structures.

3. Claiming personal ownership. This is where one begin seeing themselves as they already are and accessing the divine power within. This is not about working harder to improve oneself. This is about honoring the true value that one already possesses. This won't take place until one moves out of illusion and see things accurately. Sometimes it is necessary to  rememeber and rediscover all that one truly possess.

Want Help Reclaiming Your Identity?

Do you want to reclaim: your true self, your beauty, your joy, your freedom and ownership of your life? You are not alone! This is actually a great place to be! There is abundance of grace to uncover and reclaim who you truly are. If you want help to reclaim your true identity and would like to join a 12 Week small virtual coaching group, where you will be led through the process of discovery and reclaiming your highest self, contact me via email for an application to apply. You will be notified if you are a good fit for the group. Email at: kimber@moxieme.com

The group will receive weekly assignments, a weekly audio training around key issues related to identity and 2 monthly Q and A coaching calls to help you process what you are discovering. This is where great hot seat coaching takes place that will help you moving forward into new choices, perception and true identity. You will also be in a private, supportive Facebook Group where you will support each other in your process and discovery. The 12 week program is $997. Don't wait to possess the wealth and truth of who you truly are! Email me today!