Wherever You Stand

Rumi

One of my favorite Rumi quotes is “Wherever you stand, be the soul of that place.” Now, more than ever, that’s true. Being kind is simple. Being compassionate is effortless. Being love is always the right choice. This does not mean we allow ourselves to be taken advantage of, or to be abused. Having self-respect and boundaries is an aspect of self-love. That’s essential. Yet, in every moment we can pause. We can maintain our dignity while doing whatever boundary work is necessary, even while walking away from people, places, and things that are harmful or destructive.

We never have to be cruel. We never have to diminish another as we go about our own evolution here. Any relationships I have found it necessary to terminate, I have terminated with an explanation, including my divorce from my ex. Being battered physically and emotionally was excruciating, yet I still found a way to be kind in my goodbye. I understood his mental illness. I understood I would likely die if I stayed.

Even with narcissism at an all-time high, there are still heroes everywhere. Even with the nightmare stories of sexual abuse flooding the news, I know for a fact that there are loving, caring men out there that would never do such things. I’m married to one of them. So it’s up to us, the kind people, the loving people, the empathic people, to be the soul of whatever place we find ourselves in. To choose to believe in good over evil, and that goodness will always prevail.

Be the light the world so desperately needs right now. Be kind to a child, an animal, a stranger, a friend, whenever possible. If someone makes it impossible, fine, walk away and don’t look back. Don’t be hurt by it, it has nothing to do with you. Keep being love. Because that’s what’s authentic in each of us. It’s that simple. Wherever you stand, be the soul of that place. Somebody has to, right? It may as well be you. Because you know how to do it. Me, too. We rock. Blessings, Judith

The Bridge To Nowhere

Very often in life, Empaths, therapists and healers end up being a bridge. We help people to remember the truth about who they are, or who they were, before traumatic life events impacted them. We use everything we are to help reconnect people to their authentic self. The key component in building a bridge is the foundation the bridge is built on: a willingness to engage in one’s own evolution. In Chinese medicine, this willingness, this concept of self-empowerment and responsibility is a manifestation of Kidney Qi. One of the hardest things any healer has to face, at some point, is the lack of willingness that some souls have to do the necessary work on themselves that evolution and change demands. In my work, I don’t encounter this type of client very often, but I see it a lot out in the world. We have a culture where this is rampant, especially now. Let’s explore what that looks like, so we can all avoid the energy drain of being in a relationship with someone not participating in their own process, and expecting us to do all the work.

There are a lot of ways for someone to numb themselves. The most obvious ways include drugs, alcohol, work, constant busyness. There are more subtle ways that are harder to pick up on, unless you’re looking for them. The victim role is one of them. So is denial, the refusal to see what’s happening. One of the most difficult ones to deal with is psychosis. Now, when most people hear that word, they think of someone having hallucinations. Yes, that’s an extreme form of it. I grew up with a mother diagnosed with Bipolar 1 disorder. Bipolar 1 disorder is the one that cycles from depression, to hypomania, to mania, with psychotic breaks and hallucinations. This can be managed fairly successfully with a combination of medications, including antipsychotics. What I’m talking about here, is what some people do, where instead of denial as a coping strategy, they create an alternate reality that they live in, that cannot be challenged by evidence, facts, or truth. In fact, if one attempts to challenge their construct, one is met with either hostility or rage, because the person’s emotional survival depends on keeping this alternative universe going. Encountering this kind of psychosis is far more common than you might think. One of the kids in my practice, having a conversation with a friend who was clearly living in her own bubble, and absolutely immune to the realities of her life, exclaimed ” What color is your sky? ”  That sums it up perfectly.

Being in a relationship with someone invested in creating their own world, and then defending it, is exhausting. Whether this is a spouse, a friend, a lover, a client, an adult child, trying to build a bridge of communication to someone that is not willing to participate in their own life through a process of self-reflection and honesty is an emotional sinkhole. It will suck the life force right out of you, because what is missing in that person is willingness. The willingness to look at themselves. The willingness to feel. The willingness to change. To grow. To evolve. Part of that is Karmic. Souls that avoid taking spiritual responsibility for themselves have a pattern of doing that in other incarnations, just as souls with a pattern of OVER RESPONSIBILITY have a pattern of doing THAT. Part of our invitation is to stop building bridges for people that don’t want to build them, but want us to do it for them.

All healing is about healing the spirit, and that is why we’re here. A powerful realization is that we can’t do the work for anyone else. We can attempt to inspire people, to empower people, to be the light that helps them find their way out of the darkness. We can teach people how to build their own bridges, a bridge to the heart, a bridge to spirit, a bridge to serenity. What we can’t do is build it for them. A bridge we build for someone else has no foundation inside of them for it to stand on, so it keeps collapsing, and we keep trying to support it, using our precious Qi, our life force, shoring it up. This becomes ” the bridge to nowhere”. It’s exhausting and debilitating for us, and the person on the receiving end of our efforts learns nothing about self-empowerment. Rather, we reenforce their beliefs in their own fragility, and create an unhealthy dependency  upon us, and a dynamic of resentment between both parties. This is toxic for all concerned.

Ultimately, each of us has to learn our own lessons, at our own pace. We might wish that that learning process would not need to be as painful as it sometimes is, but that is between the person and their Higher Self. Cultivating acceptance of the soul’s right to learn or not learn, has been a powerful part of my curriculum here. With humor, love, and grace, I can say that I’m finally finished building bridges to nowhere, and instead, choose the path of the spiritual architect, available for consultations. I expect to have a lot more energy, and potentially, a lot more free time to build the bridges in my life that I want to build…. May we all build those bridges to joy, laughter, love, beauty, and abundance, and steer away from the choices of others that cause them to remain stuck where they are. They have Free Will. I accept their right to use it in whatever way they choose. May your bridges be glorious, constructed of light and love, and take you into your destiny. Blessings, Judith

Cultivating Stillness

Photo by Jamie Mclaren

Stillness is essential for connecting to Source, for accessing our inner wisdom, and for internal alchemy. Unfortunately, we live in a culture of distractions and busyness, going, going, going, doing, doing, doing. Taking the time to quiet the chatter of the mind, and to go within, to reflect, takes discipline. One of the teachings of the Christ that I love is ” I am in the world, but I am not OF the world”. Refusing to be dragged into other people’s drama, or the constant bombardment of fear and negativity, is the invitation.

We can cultivate stillness in a number of ways. Meditation certainly helps. For me, it’s relatively easy to turn off the mind. I close my eyes and surrender into the Void, and feel nurtured by All That Is. I can feel the sentience of it, feel it breathing, surrounding me, flowing through me. The illusion of separation from it is dispelled, and with that comes a deep inner peace. Serenity. Some people find stillness through nature. Some, through movement, yoga, Pilates, walking, hiking. Whatever works is fine.

Unplugging from the earthly details at least once a day allows us to be replenished by the energies of the universe that the mind is incapable of experiencing. We are not our mind. We have a mind, but we are far more than that. We are a soul, with a curriculum that has to do with our evolution. How can we change, how can we evolve, if we are never guided by anything other than mind?

Our Spirit resides in the Heart. Quieting mind, and sitting in the Heart, experiencing its wisdom and compassion, is a pathway to enlightenment. The Heart heals everything it touches. Bringing our pain, our hurts, our disappointments into the presence of that Divine Love within us grants us immediate peace. Freedom. Hope. We need to set the Heart as our compass, not our mind. It always knows the true destination: Love. The mind does not know love. The mind is a computer. It doesn’t feel. It can’t. To achieve peace, serenity, grace, and joy, we have to come home to the Heart. The Heart is fearless. It is the eternal flame, lighting our way out of the darkness of fear.

One of my favorite songs that reflects the spirit of love is ” As”, by Stevie Wonder. For me, it’s an anthem about love. Sheer genius. Some of the lyrics are: ” Did you know that true love asks for nothing? Her acceptance is the way we pay. Did you know that life has given love a guarantee, to last through forever and another day. Until the day is night, and night becomes the day…. ALWAYS. Until the trees and seas just up and fly away… ALWAYS. ”  ( It’s worth printing out the lyrics to this song. It’s inspirational.)

We are each a part of that principle, that universal love. Stillness is the way to feel it, and to receive it. Open your heart to it, at least once a day. Be warmed by it. Be restored by it. There is no refuge or warmth in mind. Our sanctuary is, and always has been, the Heart. It’s that simple. Blessings, Judith

*** Thanks to my youngest daughter for this photo, taken up here in the Catskills.