Fire Walking Anyone? Anyone?

Sri Lanka Firewalking
Creative Commons License Photo Credit: davida3 via Compfight
“Owning our story can be hard but not nearly as difficult as spending our lives running from it. Embracing our vulnerabilities is risky but not nearly as dangerous as giving up on love and belonging and joy—the experiences that make us the most vulnerable. Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light.”
Brene Brown

This morning as I was waking, I had a conscious flash that revealed a very real rage… I have been hearing about this rage – that so many of us women supposedly hold.  And although I have worked through many layers of anger and grief related to specific traumatic events in my past, the glimmer of this flavor of rage that I was tapping into felt both comprehensive and collective.  It was a rage felt for a life lived in denial of my True Self.

With just over 40 years to reflect on, for the first time, I was able to tap into how penetrating and constant this rage has been… although almost entirely unconscious until now.  So this raises another question – So what do I do now?  Now that I can see it…what do I do about it?  How do I process through it, feel into it, release it, grieve what has been lost because of it in order to arrive at acceptance?  All of these are steps that I know I must take yet the path through the dark is still unclear.  (Intellectually I can see the end point, yet I know that the feeling work MUST be done… it is non-negotiable.)

I once heard the Truth from a very wise woman who said, “The path to Freedom is messy… meeeeeeessssssyyyyyyyy.”  I know this to be true… the path to Freedom, for me,  requires walking through the fire of vulnerability.  In the past, I had hoped there was a handy secret passageway around the fire pit.  Now I know that searching for those fantasy secret passageways is only a distraction from the real task at hand.  Looks like I have some fire walking in my future.  I do love an adventure… I imagine this will be an Adventure with a capital “A”.

How about you?  What Adventure tips or tools have served you well on your own path to Freedom?

The road to an Amazing Technicolored Life is paved with Shame

This morning I experienced a physical “click” that I was finally “getting” the concept in my bones of enjoying the Journey of this life, rather than being so focusing on the Destination. The last two years have been a roller coaster of unfolding that I would certainly define as “challenging”, yet when I look back on the miraculous process that has occurred I can see it for what it really has been… a whole cornucopia of “Heck Yeah, High Five, Holy Guacamole” kind of fun.

The unfoldment of the soul from fear to love is quite a technicolored ride and one that forces the waking up of every fiber in my being. It requires the stretching of myself to the world of possibility that most people never even get to the starting line of exploring. I am really starting to feel that the work of this internal journey truly is the path to a truly Alive Life – which is exactly what I signed up for this time around.

Watching Brene Brown’s most recent TED Talk on “Listening to Shame” offered another “Aha”moment because it zeroed in on the Big Enchilada epic drama that is at the bedrock core of what has kept me small and scurrying for safety… the active role that shame continues to play in my life. It is a certain flavor of fear that has a decaying effect on my sense of self, my worth, and my ability to lean into all of the possibilities that being anchored in love has to offer.

I can see it is my most wounded child that most needs the compassionate response from my internal parent. It is this child that has been marginalized and lives from that place of doubt and fear and is desperate for the inner parent to come in night after night and tuck her in safely to sleep and remind her of the truth that she is loved, she is kind, she is worthy, she is significant, she is valuable just because she is here and her experiences and stories are of value and need to be heard because they are part of the human quilt of evolution and empathy and compassion building. And it is through the sharing of my vulnerable stories of imperfect exploring and adventuring that I continue to contribute to the knitting of the collective fabric of unity that connects all of us.

I need to tell my stories for myself because they affirm my role in the collective experience of unfoldment and they allow me the channel of creative self expression that brings me delight and wholeness.

I need to tell my stories for you because they serve as a beacon to all of my other selves that we are not separate and we are not alone and that the dance between love and fear, courage and vulnerability, inner being and outer action is a delicate dance that we are all living into and the choices we are making each and every day are the threads of what is spinning our collective future towards love.

If I can serve as a consistent voice that shares towards that collective loving vision, then I am doing my part to embrace and serve and love the whole of humanity through the lens of the moment-by-moment choices I make in how I spend my days with my family and with my creative self.

What is the story that you need to tell for you, for me, for us all?


When Things Fall Apart

photo by Zanthia

I have been observing the inner and outer landscapes of my world and it is fascinating to see how mirrored they have been.  With the falling of foreign regimes, the growing backlash against the financial establishment on Wall Street, and the repercussions of bottoming-out local governmental budgets… it would appear that things are indeed falling apart.

Upon first glance, it can appear rather alarming and down-right scary to see all of these institutions, that have been foundational elements of the world I grew up in, starting to crumble and fall away.

What will happen next?  What will rise up in its place…this is the gap where trust and faith live.  If I bring my attention back to the cycles of life than I am reminded that in order for something new to be born, the old must first whither and fall away.  That is the process we are in right now…the death and dying of those things in the world that no longer serve.

The new way, the way born of love and unity consciousness, the way of collaboration and partnership, the way of service to others via loving service to ourselves is being ushered in.

I can feel this same falling away process happening within myself.   Over this past year there has been a dismantling of a complex structure of protections, safeguards, and safety nets that were all constructed during my early years to “keep me safe” from additional harm.  There were wounds that I acquired via “life” and the result was the building of walls.  These walls became so tall and thick that their original purpose of “keeping me safe” was actually keeping me from really living.

So in a committment to greater love of myself and love of the miracle of life, I have been on quite an experimental journey of deconstructing these walls, these protections, layer by layer.  In the beginning, it was terrifying because I only knew how to view life from behind the protective layer of these walls.

Yet through the beauty of baby steps I have continued to be willing to risk chipping away the inner fortress, brick by brick.  Even though the process has been long, often exhausting, and the immediate process of “the work” has been uncomfortable, I continue to collect convincing evidence that doing “the work” will not kill me as I previously believed it might.

I can feel the truth of the Anais Nin’s words flowing through my inner and outer daily experience.

“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”

It is worth the risk of blossoming, even when it feels temporarily excruciating.  It is worth the risk of living into the fullness of my life both inside and out.  Yet it is a choice that I alone must make for myself.  And it is my hope that each and every other person that I share this planet with is in the process of making a similar choice.  What will the world look like then?

What choice might you make today that will lead you further on your journey toward blossoming?

August 4th – St. Bernard Beauty

St. Bernard Beauty

I took a number of photos today of the beauty I saw on my morning walk. I chose this one because:

1) I was struck by the ironic beauty of the St. Bernard happily out and about during our San Diego heat wave.

2) For the intense joy that sprang up on the face of his owner when I asked her if I could take his picture…this joy she expressed ignited a powerful feeling of gratitude in my own heart.


The Window To My Soul

What are you wanting to see through a fresh new lens?

My name is Amy and I am a Revealer of hidden treasures!

photo by Jan Tik

Looking back as far as I can remember, I have always been captivated by a good treasure hunt.  As a child, some of my favorite memories are connected to birthday party scavenger hunts, endless hours of satisfaction completing entire word search books on long vacation car rides, and playing hide and go seek after school with the neighborhood kids.

I never thought much of this until recently.  And now, looking back, I can see that these were the childhood seeds of a talent that would continue to grow and develop throughout my life, even though I wasn’t really conscious of it.

Glancing back at my former career as a teacher, I can see kernels of how this skill popped up almost daily in my interactions with students both in our class discussions and through the feedback I provided on their work.  I was always on the lookout for those precious moments when students offered those “sparkling” insightful ideas, questions, or glimpses into the most authentic parts of themselves.

Some of my most moving memories came from reading the heart-felt poems and essays penned by seventh graders  just beginning to hone the power of their own unique voices.

Most recently, I have seen this skill deepening its roots even more in my work with coaching clients.  One of the most frequent compliments I receive from clients is how I am able to see things (gifts, strengths, talents) in them that they had previously been blind to themselves.  Often these “gems” appear to them as ugly inconvenient boulders that are “in their way.”  Yet with my offering of “just the right question” at “just the right moment”, it is like a curtain within them rises and they are finally able to see the gem that has been hidden within them all along.

For so long this skill was not something that I acknowledged as a gift.  Yet now I clearly see it not only for the gift that it is, but I also more fully appreciate the real joy that it brings me and others when I am willing to plug into it and follow the “treasure path” where it wants to lead me.

We all have these hidden treasures within us that can often be overlooked if we are not paying attention.  I’d love to read about the wisdom in YOUR hidden treasures!  Leave a comment below sharing one of your authentic skills/talents that may have been hidden from view until NOW!

Unfolding, Unraveling, Transforming and The August Break

Moving forward by taking an August Break

This has been a year of great change for me.  It has been a year of following the bread crumbs around hidden twists and turns.  It has been a journey of faith, of trust, of stretching, releasing, waking up, and reconnecting more fully to my body as well as a willingness to fully connect with my true emotions that have been buried for far too long.

Much of my growth and expansion this year has been primarily internal with only those closest to me being privy to the changes that have been created.  Yet now the seeds of these changes are starting to reveal their desire to show themselves in my outer world.  They are nudging at me to connect with forms of self-expression that I have previously judged as “off limits”.

Yet at the same time, this has been a year of tapping into the voice and wisdom of the Divine Feminine who has had much to say about the role of rest, rejuvenation, and the slowing down of the pace in my life.  The break-neck speed of the skin I am in the process of shedding doesn’t have a place on this current path I find myself strolling on.

So when I heard about The August Break via Bindu Wiles, I knew that this was something that was calling to me as a Big YES.  This “Break” involves posting one picture, everyday during the month of August, here on my blog.  When I think about the reality of following through on this challenge, I feel both the flutterings of excitement and tightening of dread.  The mixture of these two sensations is always an indicator that I am on the right path.  The fluttering indicates alignment to the essence of something that really gets my “fire” going and the dread hints at the fear that rises when I am pushing the boundaries of my comfort zone.

So I invite you to join me here and over on The August Break during the month of August.  I predict it will be quite a ride!  What are your initial reaction to the idea of taking an entire month “break” from the pace of your current life?  What is exciting or scary or both about the possibilities?  I’d love to hear your comments below.