With Autumn Equinox approaching at the end of this week, I willingly let go into an invitation and cyber-cosmic dance with beloved Mentor Coach Helene Van Manen (via her iRetreat blog and this Femme Fire blog).
Coach Helene, Buddhist Master Thich Nhat Hahn, and Spirit are my guides in this wonderful opportunity to listen closely to my inner voice and respond on my blog to Journal Questions that Helene shares on her blog posts in the coming week. This is an interesting self-care experiment.
What fun! You’re invited to join us! Helene shares the lines of poetry from Master Hahn …
Life is precious as it is.
All the elements for your happiness are already here.
There is no need to run, strive, search, or struggle.
Ahhhh… taking in deeply these simple lines of verse feels wonderful and therapeutic. Sounds simple and easy to just be.
My responses to Helene’s initial Journal Questions:
Make a list of the qualities that best describe your real self. =>> In my essence, I am love — compassionate, empathetic, kind, nurturing, sensitive, unbounded, and also vulnerably human — a heart wishing to be in service to humankind. In touch with my heart-mind, I rest in a still pool of trust, faith, abundance, openness, gentleness, and overflowing creative imagination. I hear an inner calling from a creative force that desires embodiment in my words and deeds, a deeper authenticity through creative expression. In my identity conjunct with inner calling, I am a Ceramics Artist, a Writer and Poet, a Social-Change Activist and Organizer, a Sensitive Empathic Healer, a Small Group Facilitator and Retreat Guide. I’m also a Mother; a Caring, Supportive Friend; a Gardener, and a Prospering Woman of Power and Purpose with an Entrepreneurial Spirit. I love our world.
When do I feel most like myself? =>> When I am exercising creative expression and allowing Spirit to flow through me in surrender and acceptance of the Gift; when I am stepping into a timeless, eternal Flow, allowing my small ego-self to step aside, sending the Inner Critics packing to do good works elsewhere, and simply ALLOWING the Doer to be and to give from an overflowing cup of love.
When do I feel like I am pretending? =>> When I get lost in the endless chatter, external noise of the world, and distraction of mind and ego striving for perfection, fame, money, fear, struggle, loneliness, escape. When I allow mass marketing and old social conditioning to get the upper hand and then give away my inherent spiritual power, courage and strength; and choose, instead, to listen to the voices of fear, lack, not enough, victimization, the inner critics and naysayers in the world.
If the definition of ”authentic” is ”when your insides and outsides match,” then when am I out of congruency with myself? =>> When I stop making the time to listen closely within and intentionally create space for self-care, deep relaxation, and inner peace with nutritious foods, inspirational readings, yoga, meditation, walks, swimming, retreat and rejuvenation periods that suit my desires and needs of the moment. When I forget to listen and honor the needs and feelings of my True Self, whatever those may be.
Are there people I don’t act myself with? =>> I have learned to be silent when I am uncomfortable around people with whom I don’t feel emotionally safe. It is an old survival strategy and emotional defense. In truth, I carry my home and my sense of emotional safety within my own being, my own heart. I am at home and safe wherever I am and have never been alone.
I intentionally choose love and trust from moment to moment.
Who do I act like then? =>> Sometimes I act like Super Woman and/or the Perfectly Good Girl. Sometimes I am an angry victim banshee in the safety of my therapist’s counsel, as a move through an existential/spiritual crisis to breakthrough. Sometimes I feel powerless and wounded when I am processing, fully feeling, and thus healing wounding that has happened to me as a human being. At those times, I become an energetic swirl of grief, hurt, loss, confusion, anger, pain and suffering.
That is when I know it is time for a RETREAT PAUSE of whatever duration is necessary to get back to my True Self and the Ground of Being. Then it is time to CONNECT.
Maiden Mother Crone
Poetry, coupled with Journal Writing, is an excellent vehicle for awakening and self-care!
I am sooo excited about joining a new circle of awesome SF Women Poets next weekend to honor my inner poet and the onset of autumn.
Feeling so Grateful for the sacred journey to where I am now and the friends, guides and mentors, like Helene Van Manen, who help me along the way. Thank you, Universe!