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Lighten Up

I felt some relief when I saw a post from Glennon Doyle this morning about how she hasn’t written a word in a while. I know better than to seek validation from the outside but there was something comforting in seeing that the most-talked about writer right now is also a bit blocked.

I can take that post as permission to continue to stand still… or I can exhale and see things differently (which clearly I did because I’m writing to you today). Glennon’s words just took the pressure off… taking the pressure off has been a theme for me lately. Release that self-inflicted pressure valve.

Two weeks ago, a memory popped into my head of my mother telling me to “Lighten up” when I was younger. Mommy, if you’re reading this THIS IS NOT A BAD THING. You were absolutely right. You never said it as a put-down. You said it when I was being ridiculously hard on myself… but I didn’t really know what that meant, to lighten up. That’s exactly what I needed to do, and often still need to do. Just like RuPaul’s 10th grade teacher told him: “Don’t take life so f…ing seriously.” I find it no coincidence that I too teach 10th grade.

I just never knew how to lighten up. Sure, I could have fun… but I always craved, and often still do, this intense structure, control, a formula to know for sure what would happen next. I needed to choreograph, to conduct, to construct. Lighten up… I would love to! But how? This is how I felt programmed to be. This is what feels safe, or at least predictable.

Lighten up. Be the light. Love and light. “Slow down, sister”, as my teacher Gabby Bernstein says. Messaging all in the same vein… take the pressure off. Flow.

And I’ve done that, in spurts, in moments, as I’ve grown in my spiritual practice. Take today, as the perfect example. I could have sat at my desk and forced myself, self-inflicted pressure valve tightly closed, thinking: You haven’t written in weeks. it’s Sunday morning. Sit here and write! But instead…

I’m sitting on the steps of our backyard deck right now, laptop in my lap, as the name intends. I would be sitting in a chair but they are zip-tied to each other and to the table from our last crazy storm. I’ve never written out here. I was stuck in the pattern of writing at my desk because that’s just what you do. But, my goodness, lighten up, loosen up! There’s a whole world out there. Charge the battery and go somewhere else (safely of course). Sitting at the desk for the last 9 weeks, or is it 10 now, I’ve been all in my head. Grabbed a hoodie, walked a few feet outside, and bam… it’s all flowing onto the electronic page. Ah, sweet release.

In those moments, where you find yourself clenching, perhaps your shoulders are up to your ears, your tongue is mashed to the roof of your mouth, your jaw feels wired shut, your thoughts are nearly paralyzing, try lightening up with me. Now, we don’t want that to become the equivalent of telling someone to calm down when they are upset, so let’s craft a practice to Lighten Up (or am I controlling again? See how quickly self-judgment kicks in for me?! Lighten up, Denise).

And please, don’t confuse Lighten Up with making a joke of something or ignoring something. Let’s make Lighten Up our mantra for when we need to see more clearly into a situation, illuminating what’s really important and releasing the judgments and needs to control.

Our Lighten Up Practice

  • Gently close your beautiful eyes, if you feel comfortable. On an inhale, observe the clenching, gripping, grasping, whether in the physical body or in the mind.

Often, you’ll find it’s in both and you’ll notice patterns within yourself. Noticing the patterns is a good thing! It will help you feel better faster when you slip into the tough moments.

  • Exhale, sending your attention and breath to the physical tension. Envision those parts releasing, flood them with a soft purple light.

 

  • Observe your thoughts. Ask yourself: What’s at the core here? How can I “lighten up” the situation?

 

  • Inhale, seeing the situation in your mind’s eye. As you exhale, see the issue flooded with a soft, healing light. Put yourself in the center of this vision.

 

  • Sit in this light, in this vision for as long as you need to feel better, just one notch better, one turn of the pressure valve released. As little as 17 seconds in this vision can bring relief.

 

  • Return to your Lighten Up practice as your body and minds calls for it. YOU are the light.

 

Much love.

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angels Believe Energy Purpose

Book Club

No one cried at book club today.

It’s a rarity. We are an emotional bunch… and while I’m on the subject, can we remove the negative connotation from emotional? It’s really darn good to be emotional. In fact, if you are devoid of emotions, you’re missing out, at best, or you’re going to explode, at worst. That explosion can be literally deadly.

But I digress.

Book club.

Book club is inextricably magical. My spiritual running buddy Dina and I started this book club, dubbed Bright Spirit, and it meets at her store Amityville Apothecary in Amityville, NY. Yes, the same Amityville from the scary movie.

We choose spiritual and personal development books to study and discuss. This month, we discussed Light is the New Black by Rebecca Campbell. We read from our favorite pages. We talked audio vs. paperback. We shared our light, celebrated our journeys thus far and lauded the next steps we plan to take.

We are all lightworkers of different varieties and we shine so brightly together.

Not long ago, I felt alone all of the time. It took tremendous courage for me to tell the Bunny-Daddy that I felt like I had no friends. Sure, there were people around… but not friends. Loyal readers, you know the stories surrounding this. It took me seeking out my truth, my authentic self and not some version of an image or ego that I was trying to project to ultimately call in my tribe.

Now, I’m lit up beyond my wildest dreams because I have the honor of sitting and working beside gorgeous spirits in my volunteer work, my metaphysical work and, of course, my hours at book club.

Local loves: There’s always a seat for you. Our next meeting is March 31st.

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Believe Energy Purpose

Stall-Out?

Napoleon Hill wrote, “The whole world is undergoing a change of such stupendous proportions that millions of people have become panic-stricken with worry, doubt, indecision, and fear!” in 1938.  Nineteen-Thirty-Eight. One Nine Three Eight. Do we know people who are in that mode now in 2018? Two-Thousand-Eighteen? Two Zero One Eight?

So, have we not progressed? Not yet learned the lessons?

Or do we take comfort, knowing that we’ve made it another 80 years despite those despondent feelings?

This is what I was contemplating, sitting in the service department of the car dealership early this morning—not to worry, just an oil change.

Have we, the collective, stalled out in modes of worry, doubt, indecision and fear? If so, was the time Between the Acts when Hill wrote the first slip into that stall out? Or was it the Revolutionary War? Or perhaps some trauma programmed in our ancestral DNA from conflicts in Mesopotamia?

And, I don’t know about you, but I’m not sitting in the comfort of these uncomfortable feelings. I’m rising out. I suspect you are too, since the Universe has brought you here with me.

Just like I took my car in for service, we must maintain ourselves and, in turn, our maintenance will keep the world from stalling out.

From wherever it stems, you can say NO MORE to worry, doubt, indecision and/or fear in any aspect of your life, starting today, in this very moment. No need to wait for a new year, a program to start or even another type of sign. You are your sign. Your feelings are your guides. Trust them. It does not feel good to doubt or fear. It probably feels comfortable (meaning familiar, not comfy-cozy) because you’ve been there for decades. Are you ready to replace the worry with wonder, the doubt with delight, the indecision with determination and the fear with confidence?

The world needs you to be ready. Darkness will not prevail in the presence of your light. Shine brightly, so Hill’s message doesn’t have to ring as true in another 80 years.

And, if you need a hand turning on or turning up your light, follow me here.

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