Conscious Living

Years ago, I was in a support group for people who had suffered various childhood traumas.  I had severe depression, anxiety, and post traumatic stress disorder.   Frequently, we’d all share how we spiraled down due to the negative voices going on inside.  One woman, called the voices, “The committee.”  The committee would call her names.  The committee would say she’s ugly, not trying hard enough, a failure, dirty, embarrassing, unlovable, evil, unworthy, and so on.  We all were fighting our own negative messages.   To a certain extent, everyone has to fight negativity, even those who don’t have a mental illness or have not been abused.  We each have a shadow side to contend with.

Since I have healed from my mental illness, I have learned to live consciously, and  set up a new committee in my head.  This committee tells me to keep going when I feel like giving up.  This committee reminds me I am loved, I am beautiful, worthy, and I am strong when I start to feel otherwise or life is getting me down.  This is the beauty of living consciously, I set my own messages and I disregard any that do not agree with me nor serve my highest good.  Any messages now, that brings me down, they’re instantly tossed away.  In doing so, I don’t spiral down.  I use the positive committee, instead, to spiral up!

This is the essence of conscious living whether you are struggling with mental health issues, negative influences or messages from relationships and society in general.  There is negativity all around, but I don’t let it bring me down, instead I consciously choose where my thoughts will go, because thoughts direct our actions.    It means I’m choosing where I go, who I spend my time with, what programs on TV that lift me up and which ones take me down.  It’s choosing what I eat, where I live, and what I breathe!  There clearly are negative influences in this world and then there are the lifegiving ones.  I choose the lifegiving ones that support me, my lifestyle, my personality, and quirks.  Remember, there is always a choice to react to negativity or respond with grace and compassion.

So when the dark clouds come, and sometimes they do, I listen to my new committee, who I sometimes call my higher self, my inner self or soul.  I listen to the voices that give hope, life supporting and ultimately leads to my freedom from darkness, and into the light.  I spiral up, instead of down.    Another aspect of conscious living, is trusting in my heart.    When I’m sad and feeling unlovable and unloved, I place my hand on my heart.  I feel it beating, and tune into it  The heart knows a lot more than my mind.  My heart’s message is, “You are loved.” “You are worthy.” “ You are strong.”  “You are enough!”  “Love yourself!”  As I love myself, I spiral up even higher!  Live consciously by loving yourself, and trusting your heart.


What We All Want

I was standing in my kitchen, sipping on a fresh cup of coffee, when I glanced outside my kitchen window.  I saw my two granddaughters outside laughing and swinging.  I smiled and went outside to have a closer look.  The lawn had been recently mowed and looking fresh.  However, I couldn’t help but notice the dog had recently done his business!  So I got the doggy doodie tools and went to pick it up.  I noticed a couple of others.  I just wanted my grandkids to play in safety without slipping or falling in dog poop!   Just wanted them to have a grand time and not worry about getting poop on their shoes.  I wanted their play experience to be pleasant, even though there’s the occasional fall or cry when someone’s feelings get hurt.  I am well aware of the little trauma moments that children can experience.

As I went around the yard, making sure it was clean, I thought about the recent fear of my granddaughter going to school.  I worry that she could be caught in the crossfire of someone’s shooting spree.  I thought, what has this world come to?  What are we doing to our kids?  Why is everyone so sad, angry and stressed out?

Learning is supposed to be fun!  I remember teaching my kids to use a crayon because it was fun to color a picture.  I remember teaching them to hold a rattle in their hands so they could hear the funny sound.  I remember giving them different toys to see what they would do with it.  Yes, naturally they progressed but still the best learning atmosphere is one of fun, lightness and curiosity.  These children nowadays aren’t having fun!  They are worried for their lives.  They are worried about stresses that they should never ever have to experience.  Let’s not forget adults also work in toxic, stressful and competitive work environments.

Why have we forgotten the meaning of life?  Why have we forgotten to have fun?   Why have we forgotten to laugh at the silly worries of life?   Life can be serious, but the seriousness should not permeate our hearts and souls.  We should be able to relax, knowing that we are safe from harm.  We’re safe from bullying, and we’re safe to be ourselves.  We’re not under judgment, condemnation or an unfair grading system.

The goal in school is not to produce human working machines, but happy and confident young adults who can stand on their own two feet, make tough decisions, and create a life of meaning for themselves.    In order to do this, we must change the environment of our schools, homes, work, and institutions.  It’s not enough to recognize when someone is having a problem, it’s important to intentionally raise our children to be sensitive, mindful, compassionate, and caring human beings, not in competition with one another.    The quality of our lives depends on it.  We all want to live happy lives.  We all want to live in safety and security, but not at the expense of another!  Remember to love one another.  Treat others the way you want to be treated.  It is very simple.

We can do so much better.  We can create the life we want for our children, and future generations.  It starts now with consciously choosing to be the difference, to be the peace, to be the love and compassion we all need right now.   It starts by living from the heart.  The heart knows the way.   Let your heart direct your thoughts and actions to love one another.   Just be love.

Love for Every day

A lot people wait until they’re death bed to finally forgive and let go.   They wait until they’ve been given their last few months and go out to make amends with people, get their affairs in order, tell everyone who is important to them how much they love them.    I wonder what would I do if I was told that it was my last year, my last month, my last hour, or last minutes.  What would I do?  I’ve lived sort of a full life.  I don’t exactly recall anyone I need to go and forgive or someone to go love.  I have strived to live every day as if it were my last one.

So I’m going to ask you, what are you waiting for?  What did you always want to go do?  Who do you need to call?  Who do you want to reconcile with?  What was that argument you had which ripped your relationships apart?  Could you do it?  Is it important to you?  Do you absolutely love your life and the people who are in it?   Is there someone to invite over?

This is not a fearmongering or doomsday type message.  It’s simply your wake up call.  It’s your permission to go and do what is meaningful and important to you (so long as it doesn’t infringe upon anyone’s right to pursue love, liberty and happiness.)   I’m serious here!  It’s okay to call someone I hurt and say, “ I’m sorry for my actions or inaction.”  It’s really okay to take personal responsibility.  It’s okay to say, “Can we start over?  Can we try again?”  It’s okay to say, “I was wrong, please forgive me!”  It’s okay to say, “I forgive you, I love you, whatever it was doesn’t matter right now today!”   It’s okay to say, “I’m sorry for the words I spoke.  I’m sorry I judged you.  I’m sorry I let trivial things get in the way.”

See how easy it is?  See how easy it is to love your self and then love others?  See how simple the process could be?  Maybe the other person won’t be ready to forgive or move on, but that’s a reflection of them, and not on you.  We can all stop with the guilt and shaming of ourselves and others in the name of being right or whatever you want to call it.  I’m telling you, my dear, when the final curtain drops and the lights go out, some things in this life just won’t matter.  What are you making a big deal of right now that won’t matter when this life is done?  Go ahead and fix it now.  Fix it for love’s sake.  Fix it for compassion sake.  Fix it because you really want to.  Fix it because you are ready to move on to other things.  Fix it for no reason, but because you can!

Love is always ready to love again.  Love is always ready to forgive.  Love is compassion.  Love is forgiving.  Love is getting up and trying again.  Love patiently waits and willingly forgives.  Go ahead and give out that compassion, forgiveness and love like candy!  Just pass it out and give it away to those who matter to you.  Give it to the brokenhearted and those in need.  Give it freely from your heart.  Love is always standing by to love some more.  Love is the answer.  Love yourself.  Love your life.  Love is the most important thing.   In the end, only love remains.

The Good Years Outnumber The Bad Years

Many years ago, a good friend told me, “Sophia, someday, your good years are going to outnumber the bad years.” I had no idea what it would look like but I looked forward to the day. The measure for me was that the first 18 years of my life were hell, so I figured after I turned 36, they would start to get better. However, by then, I had full blown major depression and PTSD, and there didn’t seem to be any end in sight. It took me many more years of healing before I finally saw the good years outnumber the bad ones. Sometimes I lost hope, and I forgot about what she said. I just didn’t even want to try anymore. I’d give up, but then a spark of hope would get me going again.

During those years of trying to overcome my past, I had no idea what I was reaching for. I thought maybe I just didn’t want to be depressed. I didn’t know what true happiness looked like. I thought maybe I didn’t want PTSD but I didn’t know what exactly was the alternative? When you have been living with a condition for a long time, it can easily seem like it’s been this way since forever and it’s never going to end. Time doesn’t really heal all wounds, but after a while, our perspectives do change, for better or worse. No one really knows what another person is going through unless they’ve been exactly in the same place and feel the exact same way. We all do have pain and suffering in common but everyone deals with their issues from their points of view, their own life experiences, and sometimes other people just cannot go there with us.

This is why it’s important to let love, compassion, and patience be your guide with loved ones if they’re going through something that you don’t understand, or you think they should be able to snap out of it. It took me decades to reach the other side or to finally get to the point where my good years did in fact outnumber the bad years. Have a little faith and trust in the process. Eventually, I did heal from my past, the depression, and PTSD, too.  For years, I took different psychotropics to manage my illnesses.  I no longer take any medications except one for an underactive thyroid.

Sometimes you’ll have a bad moment, but don’t think it’s going to last.  Or it could be a bad week, month, year, or even a decade or two.   Life really does change.  People do change.  Don’t ever give up. Keep hope alive.   Love yourself!

What I Believe

A while ago, a fan asked me about my testimony. I was somewhat reluctant to share any information about a testimony. I had one and then I decided it was no longer relevant to me or my current belief system. Many years ago, a family member came to me and informed me that God does not give unconditional love. I was a bit annoyed with her at the time. I know she was trying to strike a conversation with me, but coming at me with this was a bit much. I already knew what I believed about God, yet, here she was trying to get me to think of God in a different way. I had way too many people trying to influence my belief systems.
So I decided I just didn’t believe any of it. Despite that I had made statements of faith before, I just didn’t want to go through the hassle of working out my faith, and I didn’t want to wade through the beliefs of others. I didn’t want to be engaged in these senseless conversations. So God doesn’t give unconditonal love, what use is this God to me then? I went 27 years believing in the bliblical version of God. I staked my life on the Bible. I believed with my whole heart, mind and soul that God was real, that Jesus had died for my sins, and saved me from eternal damnation.
Slowly, I made decisions to question every one of my beliefs. I was scared but not of God but from people. I didn’t think God cared one way or the other whether I questioned my beliefs in Him. It’s the people who care and would be concerned for my soul! Yet who are these people to tell me who God is? Who are they to try to influence my beliefs? Isn’t God big enough to do this? Isn’t God strong enough? Isn’t God, God enough to reveal him/herself to me?
My testimony today is that I believe God is love and doesn’t need the modifier of “unconditional” love. I believe God is an energy and is neither male or female or perhaps is both. I do not embrace the biblical view of God. However, I am somewhat of an omnist. Furthermore, I believe none of us have an accurate view or understanding of the energy or entity called God. I also believe some are aware of the consciousness called God and some are not.   Realize I’m not dogmatic about any of these ideas.
Believing in God doesn’t make anyone a better person. It’s our own life choices, the things we do, our capacity for love, compassion, and forgiveness. My spirituality today involves self-love, self-respect, honesty, integrity, and authenticity along with compassion and forgiveness towards others. I strive to follow the Golden Rule which says to treat others the way I want to be treated.  In summary, love is my religion.

Looking Within

It’s not always easy to look within. Sometimes I would rather not see or know what is hidden deep within, but I have a natural introspective and curiosity bent. A few years ago, I began a regular meditation practice because I wanted relief from anxiety and peace of mind. I got a whole lot more! I realized the areas of my life where I was faltering, I saw where I could improve but most importantly I learned acceptance. Prior to this, I was just angry, depressed, and confused. I blamed my parents for my f**ked up life. I blamed the cards I had been dealt. I blamed the people who had hurt me. I blamed everyone for the direction of my life and could not see a way out the darkness and confusion. I had no idea that I held the key to my own happiness. I didn’t know I could choose my own destiny. I thought I would just spend the rest of my life coping, struggling and surviving rather than thriving and living life to the fullest by my own will.

I realize not everyone is willing to look within. If I looked at just the external circumstances of my life, everything looked rather bleak. I was just a bad person with bad karma, and nobody loved me or cared about me. Yet, taking a peek on the inside of me, seeing that my heart hurt, yet had a lot of love to give was a bit of a shock. I could hardly believe that inside of me was a wounded little girl in need of love, acceptance, and compassion. This was a good starting point for me to turn my life around. It was a nice starting point to see where things had gone wrong or I had come to believe I was unlovable, unworthy, and dejected. It was an excellent place to begin to love myself. The more I loved and accepted that little girl, the more my love expanded to all of me, and the more I began to heal all the broken places within.

I’m very thankful I had the courage to look within. From outward appearances, I thought I would see just a dark and lifeless soul, but instead I met the loving, peaceful, and radiant woman I’ve become today. I had to go deep within to bring her out though. It’s not for the faint of heart, but it’s a beautiful gift to give to yourself, the gift of your true self. Look within, you’ll see the light that’s been hidden, you’ll find the true person under neath to accept, love and embrace. This is the person before you were wounded, the one before you were given a label, before you put on the masks, the one before you were told who you are supposed to be or how to look, your true essence of self. I always love and accept myself now.

Freedom from fear!

I’m lying down in bed, propped up by two pillows, as I write this blog post. Sometimes life is exhausting, and no matter how much I want to participate in it, I might shrink back out of fear! I have to consciously break through the fear barriers almost everyday. Every new day, is an invitation from life to come out and work, play, enjoy the world, be alive! Life is constantly presenting itself. Maybe there’s a moment of laughter when you see something funny. Or there’s grief and sadness due to the floods and devastation around the world. Maybe there’s comfort and warmth when you see someone helping another. This is the stuff of life!

I ask myself from my bed, what can I do? Well I can pray. I can write notes. I can post encouraging stuff on mass media. Yet sometimes it’s a challenge to roll out of bed. I can send money or encourage others to send money or goods. It’s all in perspective. Everyone can do something. If you smile at a neighbor, help a friend or take a nap because you’re tired, loving yourself, it’s enough. It’s more than enough! You are enough!

Too many days, I’ve had inspiration come to me and I didn’t act upon it because I was afraid. I wanted to speak up. I wanted to say something nice and helpful or I wanted to speak against something horrible but I told my voice to be quiet. I told myself, “no you don’t do that!!!” Yet today, I’m kicking my fear out! I’m telling it to shut the f**k up! I’m telling it, “you’re not welcome here!” I’m not going to allow it to paralyze me anymore. This is all part of my journey. I appreciate all my friends, family, and fans who are patient with me. Those who loudly or silently stand by and cheer me on! Thank you so much! I appreciate those who understand my secret struggle to come out of my shell and be all that I can be, which is enough!

Anytime you see me posting something, that’s me giving birth to a new version of myself who is not afraid. It’s me shedding layers of fear and and holding back from being my true self. It’s me bursting out of the shell that has kept me in constraints! Maybe this post sounds a bit like I’m self absorbed but I’m really thinking of others. I’m thinking of others who have fears or anxiety of putting yourself out there. I’m thinking of people who doubt themselves or have low confidence.

My writing is really to inspire others. I share about my overcoming just to inspire someone else to overcome, too! It’s because I love myself and I love the world. I want everyone to feel empowered and special. I want everyone to not be afraid to shine their light and offer the gift of themselves to the world. I want everyone to experience this freedom from fear! Loving and accepting others is the best gift to anyone, to release fears, and live in personal freedom and empowerment. I love myself, and release all fears that do not serve my highest good.

Being Sensitive

Years ago, I went to see a psychiatrist because the dentist required it. I wasn’t taking psychotropics but I had honestly answered on the dentists questionnaire that I had been a psychiatric patient in the past. This sent red flags to them! I had to find a psychiatrist to see me to get clearance because my mouth was in pain and needed some dental work. I had to wait a couple of weeks since not many psychiatrists have immediate openings. Yes, I was angry but I was patient and understanding.

So there I was sitting across from the psychiatrist. I told her my story of all the medications I took in the past, the diagnoses I had, and how I was healed and no longer needing the medications. I told her I just needed a note to clear me for the dentist. Her comment to me was that I had many facial expressions! She said I was a bit animated. I was a bit puzzled by it. Was it a good thing?? I remember being on medication though, and being very much like a zombie! She said I didn’t look like I needed medications. She asked me if I felt like I needed them, and I told her I did not. She concurred and gave me the Doctor’s note.
Looking back on that moment, of being told I was animated or had many facial expressions makes me laugh out loud. Hehe. I’ve never actually had a poker face. For a long time, I did look very sad, angry and depressed. I remember a friend told me, “if looks could kill”. She said until she got to know me as the sweet wonderful woman that I am, she didn’t know because of my face!
This brings me to the topic of being sensitive. I tend to wear my heart on my sleeve. When I’m sad, I cry. When I am angry, I look angry, I might raise my voice or pout a bit. I have trouble expressing anger though. When I’m happy, you can just tell I’ve got a glow, smile and laugh. I have so many feelings and emotions which for a long time I hid from them. The medication numbed them which made it very easy to not have to deal with life. However, the fact of matter is that you must feel to heal. Let me repeat that, you must feel to heal!\

I now have a wide range of emotions which I allow myself to feel. I do not hide my tears. I cry easily. I see something sad, I cry. Sometimes, I cry out of joy and happiness! You really have to ask me sometimes if you’re not sure! But sensitive people will grieve for a very long time. A heart break, a sharp word, criticism, condemnation or anything will bring on sad tears.
For a very long time in my life, I didn’t know what was going on. I had so much love and compassion in my heart and these intense feelings. I thought I was going crazy. Or I’d see an injustice and I would get sad and mad, and would want to do something about it, but my voice, I had no voice. I was scared more than anything. How do I explain being sensitive without sounding crazy?
Many people are very sensitive and the people around them are not aware of it. They don’t understand that a gentle correction is more efficient and powerful than yelling, screaming and hollering. Yet, even the sensitive person may not understand what’s happening for them because it seems so out of the ordinary. People tell you to suck it up, grow some skin, or get a back bone. You feel like a little child inside and then people treat you like one as if something is wrong with you, but there isn’t!
There is nothing wrong with being sensitive. There is nothing wrong with seeing something sad and having compassion and feeling deeply about it. This is not a reason for a padded room, medication or shock treatment. It’s a very delicate situation that requires understanding, patience, lots of love and compassion. Yes, sometimes someone might need psychiatric or professional help when it gets bigger than one can manage. However, I suspect sometimes it gets big because we’re told to shut it down, to show no tears, no fear, nothing! Don’t let them see you “weak”.
I feel like it is a grave disservice to people who feel things deeply to be treated as if they’re crazy. Sensitive people don’t have thick skin. It’s not easy to just move on.  Crying is a sign of strength! It’s pure strength to feel so deeply and yet to get up everyday and face the world of people who have put on thick skin or wear masks to face the day. Tears are releasing of all the pain, frustration or sadness. A good cry is a healing balm for the soul. Holding them in is actually does more harm than good and builds up toxic feelings inside. Next thing you know there’s an explosion of feelings or maybe the person can seem to have gone postal or sometimes shut down everything; Or privately cry inside and unable to share the pain with anyone.
The world right now is need of gentler and sensitive people. Sensitive people do not need to adapt, it’s the world who needs to adjust how they treat one another or someone who’s just having an off day. There are times when I stop to think about my life, my direction, what I’m doing and whether it is meaning to me, whether it’s really my passion and lines up with my core beliefs. I really do stop, meditate, ponder and contemplate the state of my life and the world because love, compassion and peace starts with me. When you see me, however I present myself to the world, know that this is me! It’s really me! I’m not wearing a mask and not hiding from my feelings. It’s me and I’m a sensitive soul.

Zombie’s Hunger For Life!

I really try not to think about zombies but every now and then I see them on TV.  The zombie anomaly is very strange. Then one day I got to thinking deeply about it. I do think about things very deeply. Lol. It troubles me that this person who was dead not too long ago reanimates itself. In my opinion, it doesn’t come back to life. It simply muscle and tissues that have some knee jerk desire to seek out human flesh and blood. It has an insatiable appetite. It’s not really feeding itself, but what is it doing? I don’t think it’s really hungry. If it is hungry, it’s hungry for life! It’s hungry for what all of us who are living and breathing and have blood flowing through our veins, which has a consciousness. Zombies do not have a consciousness. They are not not deliberately
feeding on people. They’re not consciously choosing because if they were, they wouldn’t eat me and they’d go sit in a corner or something when done eating. No, instead, they just go look for their next live person or animal to eat.

This all got me thinking about my own life. Am I living consciously? Am I eating consciously? Do I live intentionally? What am I doing or not doing that I want to change? Am I happy with how my life has turned out? I think about these things but zombies don’t. These zombie creatures are hungry for the blood of life! What am I doing with my own blood? Am I experiencing life in all of it’s fullness, beauty, and glory? Or am I just following a knee jerk script that the world says I should be doing? I am a conscious person. I’m alive! I’m breathing! I can play! I can work! I can dance! I can eat when I want! I can sleep when I’m tired! I can daydream any time I want! I can love and be loved! I’m not a mindless machine, I have a soul, a heart and ability to choose. Today, my soul consciously choose love, peace, and harmony for myself and the world.

Seasons Change

I keep going back to the turning points in my life. I turn a corner and I realize there’s yet another corner to turn! I build my momentum and excitement to get to the next corner. Sometimes there’s a huge celebration, other times, I’m thinking, “why did I bother?” Every time I think I’m enlightened, I realize there’s more enlightenment or levels of awareness. Lol. Then I realize, I know nothing about enlightenment!

I’m just very excited. I’m excited about all the twists and turns my life has taken. I’m excited because I was stuck in a downward spiral and now I’m just constantly going upward and just when I think I can’t go any higher, I’m lifted even higher! I seem to be constantly gauging my reactions to the stimuli that life presents to me. I wonder if I’m over reacting, overly excitement, or if I’m not excited enough. I’m naturally analytical and introspective mostly towards myself and the things I’m engaging with in my life.

There have been some very defining moments in my life when everything changed. I’m talking about changing from someone who took numerous psychotropics to none; someone who was very depressed, psychotic, and suffering with post traumatic stress disorder. I have recently discovered that most of the changes in my life, although they came about from a specific catalyst, the biggest factor that took me to a mentally healthier version of me, was letting go of fears. I let go of the fears of the unknown. I stopped worrying about what others would think. I stopped worrying about being judged. I stopped wondering what if something went wrong and instead dreamed about things going right. I stopped the fearful thoughts that swirled around and around in my head. They certainly weren’t working for me!

I also decided to believe change is possible. I decided to bet on me. I decided to try anything and everything to radically switch the direction of my life instead of going with the same old status quo. There really are seasons of our lives. It’s important to recognize what season I’m in, in order to switch between seasons with grace and ease, and fearlessly. It’s nice to add a bit of inquisitiveness. What is around the corner? What is just around the river bend? Where is the bend in the road leading me to? Can I just peek a little bit as I hurry over there? I’m not afraid, simply because I’ve turned so many corners, despite sometimes not even knowing what to expect (although I did expect something good, at least).

The biggest factor which effected the direction I took, as the seasons changed, was questioning my fears, my self talk, and fear mongering. I especially like to question when someone else tries to tell me what is best for me. I definitely question prolific fear mongering in all of it’s forms. Pretty soon here, I’m going to start a rant about fear mongering. The biggest fear mongering that annoys me is the fear of judgement. I will be the first to admit that I used to be very fearful of judgement, especially judgment from God. However, I don’t live with this fear anymore. It was a very long season of my life, in which I feared judgement from God. However, the season has changed. I am happier and freer since I let go of this fear and many other fears. Every now and then, someone will do a little bit of fear mongering to suck me back into it, by telling me that God’s going to come judge me, but I don’t buy into it.

The final indication of the season changing is that I’m willing to write and talk about letting go of fears! I no longer fear what people will say about my changing my mind about fears. I changed my mind about God’s judgment. It’s a brand new season! This is a huge step because it’s sort of the precursor to another book I’ve been writing. The message here, right now, is that people change their minds about things, their beliefs and their ideas, and it’s totally okay! It’s okay to question my beliefs. It’s okay to say, “That sounds like bullshit!” I used to be afraid to question things, and I loathed myself.  Now, I love myself and I allow myself to have different beliefs than others. It’s about being true to me and what works for me. I live from the heart. I ask myself, “what would love to do?” I do this because I personally believe, love is the answer.   Seasons change.