Saturday, December 29, 2012

Words and the new year.

Love the New Year!

Long have I passed up making resolutions.. oy. No thanks!
Always was a recipe for failure for me...big time!

I adore asking the Divine for a word.
Something that God is going to work into me, my life... a word that brings a centeredness and intentionality to the new year we will be stepping into.
Not something I strive for, but maybe the way to say it, is something of a thread through life inside this next year.

I have been thinking on this question.
Asking God just here and there whenever the thought comes about 2013.

Last year my word was "making peace with myself"

And last week this symbol came to mind.
Boom!
Just like that in the middle of the mundane.




Aaaahhhh.... yes.

Yin and Yang.
Light and Shadow.
Balance.
Wholeness.

I looked up the meaning of ying and yang, and found this.

"In Chinese philosophy, the concept of Yin-Yang (simplified Chinese阴阳traditional Chinese陰陽pinyinyīnyáng), which is often called "yin and yang," in the cultures of Western Civilization -- literally meaning "shadow and light" -- is used to describe how seemingly opposite or contrary forces are interconnected and interdependent in the natural world; and, how they give rise to each other as they inter-relate to one other. 
The concept lies at the origins of many branches of classical Chinese science and philosophy, as well as being a primary guideline of traditional Chinese medicine,[1] and a central principle of different forms of Chinese martial arts and exercise, such as baguazhangtaijiquan (t'ai chi), and qigong (Chi Kung) and of I Ching
Many natural dualities (e.g., dark & light, female & male, low & high, cold & hot, water & fire, etc., etc.,) are thought of as physical manifestations of the yin-yang concept.
Yin and yang are actually complementary -- not opposing -- forces, interacting to form a whole greater than either separate part; in effect, a dynamic system. Everything has both yin and yang aspects, (e.g., shadow cannot exist without light). Either of the two major aspects may manifest more strongly in a particular object, depending on the criterion of the observation. The concept of yin and yang is often symbolized by various forms of the Taijitu symbol, for which it is probably best known in Western cultures.
There is a perception (especially in the West) that yin and yang correspond to evil and good. However, in Daoist metaphysics, good/bad distinctions and other dichotomous moral judgments are perceptual, not real; so, yin-yang is an indivisible whole. In the ethics of Confucianism on the other hand, most notably in the philosophy of Dong Zhongshu, (c. 2nd century BCE) a moral dimension is attached to the yin-yang idea."

O my gosh.. I LOVE that... "Yin and yang are actually complementary -- not opposing -- forces, interacting to form a whole greater than either separate part; in effect, a dynamic system. "
Shadow can't exist without light.
O MY GOSH!
Wow!

It's wholeness.
Both shadow and light.
The beauty in the contrast of both of them.

See, my whole life has been about good and bad... darkness and light. And just stop it!
Stop all the bad things you do.. and the darkness you live in. Just stop it! That was the message I have taken in my whole life. To oppose, resist and shove down and manage all those areas that my community and religious culture deemed as bad.
Well.
um.
It didn't work.
I couldn't stop. It doesn't ever go away. No matter how many times I managed my behavior and my bad darkness.
It.
never.
goes.
away.
And to live with it managed and shoved down, was to literally shut myself down. To live shoving myself underneath a sea of water. without breathe. suffocating.
Yep.
That is exactly how I felt too, now that I look back at me all those years.
Without breathe. Suffocating. Dead inside. Desperate for life.
I am still digesting that one right there, because of all that conditioning and indoctrination.
But I am seeing it more and more. It's coming tho. and it's gorgeous the wholeness that's coming.

The Divine created you and I.
Every bit of our humanity and divinity.
It's no surprise to God that managing a behavior that I have deemed as bad, is not going to work.
It never works. 
It's always right there, underneath the surface because it's a part of me.
It's always right there, ready to pop up and show it's lil' face... and do the naughty deed again. :)
Anways, I just say all that because I have realized that God isn't impressed with my managing skills!
He really isn't.. lol! I think a lot of Christians think He is...but I think it's one of those illusions we have been taught pleases God.
Reality is. I please God.
All of me.
My shadow and my light.
Done. 
(no actions required)

I think the question that comes more often in all areas is "Does this serve me? Does it add to my life or take from it?"

I had mentioned in a couple posts back that I could feel the Divine pressing on the whole "food" area again. It has just come up here and there. food. my old friend and way of survival.
It's interesting as I look back at how dead I felt.. how I was going to a source of life.
Really in a sense, it wasn't that far off.
Food does bring us life, but not the kind of life I needed.
Spiritual life.
Emotional life.
I needed a different kind of food. ;)

I have labeled many things as good and bad, and this whole journey has been about un-labeling and letting be all those good/bad areas. 
Food included. 
My body included.

Realizing everything in life has it's yin and yang... wow! 
What freedom in that perspective!
EVERYTHING.
EVERY PERSON.
It all has it's shadow and it's light.
Embracing that is to live inside of balance and that beautiful space of peace and contentment.

I am so exciting about 2013! I really really am.

I have to be super honest right now.. 
I am in a season where I have never been more lonely. Never been more stretched. Never been more free. Never felt more gloriously connected to the Divine, my husband and my children...while also feeling so disconnected from friends and family. Bewildered in that. Such contrast. But it's the whole, right?
I long to embrace the whole.
All the areas... it's easier to accept the whole of others more then it is to offer it to myself.
Looking forward to more awakening inside that.
To love me. my body. and food.
I am sure more will come up.. ha! sigh.
And you know that you will get to read ALL about it!

So here's to 2013!
I look on each brand new day, and this brand new up and coming year of 2013 with hope and expectation. 

Yin and Yang.
Balance.
Wholeness.
Embracing what is... the shadow and the light.
In me.
and.
In all things.

Would love to hear if you have a word in 2013.
Maybe it hasn't come yet.
That's ok.
It will come.

xo
Amy


Thursday, December 27, 2012

Proof of Heaven by Eben Alexander... a bit of some book love.




I remember the first time I had seen Eben Alexander's face... it was just last year.

My sister was taping all these episodes of a Discovery channel tv show called "I survived...Beyond and Back".
And I would come over and we would have coffee and catch up on all the episodes. Great fun and great discussions!

If your not familiar with that show.. it's a tv show that highlights two different people and their near death experiences.
They will share a bit about their life, how they died, and their experience after dying, as well as when they come back and what their life looks like after the experience.
It's a really fascinating show.
One of the things that my sis and I love about it, is it doesn't matter what a person's religious or non-religious background is. Everybody goes to heaven. ;) Interesting huh?
Each experience is individual to each person tho.

I remember listening to Dr. Eben's story on that particular show.

Months later, I receive a book in the mail... as my sister LOVES to share anything amazing that she has read and happened upon.
She is such a blessing to this journey and to my life. I love her so much...so every now and then I will get love packages in the mail from her...this particular package was the book "Proof of Heaven".

Now, I am not usually drawn to near death experiences...probably because I have heard ALOT of those stories. But because my sister had sent this to me, I knew that it must be a very special story.

Eben Alexander is a neurosurgeon. He came down with a rare case of meningitis that completely shut down his whole brain and left him completely brain dead. The meningitis had caused him to slip into a coma that the doctors said he would never come out of.
Basically, as he explains, he was a corpse being kept alive by machines. No activity whatsoever.

He shares in his book his experience of where he was tho.
For 7 days, while he was in a coma, he experienced heaven... and I wanted to share some of the parts of that experience that spoke so deeply to me.

Three things came to him the moment he met "his angel" and began his heaven journey.
It was a message that was overwhelming to him, he said...but it spoke to me of all that I have been walking through even here on this side of eternity.






1. You are loved and cherished, dearly, forever.

2. You have nothing to fear.

3. There is nothing you can do wrong.


This was what Eben was bathed in, lavished in over and over and over. It was greater then love.. it was greater then affection...it was completely unconditional and completely complete.

These 3 beautiful truths that came to Eben as he entered and continued on his journey while he was in heaven were gorgeous and so resonated inside myself.

Another favorite part of his journey that I adored was his first encounter with God.

Eben actually doesn't call God by the name God.. he calls the Being, Om. (interesting huh?)
Om is the one tonal vibration that has been found to be in everything in the Universe... LOVE that!
No surprise right?

But in sharing his very first encounter with Om (God), Eben shares how aghast he was at the intense love and affection that Om had for him.
How Om knew Eben through and through...but also that Om, for lack of better words, Eben said, was so human like. ;)
Om laughed, and had a sense of humor.
Om had such human qualities.. that was the only way Eben could explain it.
I loved that! Of course...we are MADE in God's image.

And the question came to me...
Is God more human like?
Or am I more Divine like? ;)

There is so much more to the book then just those two things... I could share more, but just wanted to share a couple of my favorite parts!

I adored his heart, and his humble way of sharing his life and experience.

Such a glorious read!
I highly highly recommend for ever seeker on this journey to experiencing God outside of religion.


Before his heaven experience, Dr. Eben Alexander believed in science. He was a very left side brain thinker.. very logical and pretty much an atheist.
He had a scientific solution to every wonder there is in the world.
After his experience, his whole view has changed.

His heart in writing this book is to show the scientific community that all of their explanations of near death experiences can not even touch his.
Because of the nature of what happened to his brain inside of that coma and sickness. His brain was off.
There was no activity.
After coming back, he says he can see now how spirituality and science have so much in common. And they both can learn so much from each other.

Such a precious and humble man.
Really love him, and I have never even met him! lol!


A couple of my own insights after reading this book, but also in collaboration with some of the other NDE's I have heard and read about is that no where...EVER did God lay out the sinner's prayer to ANYBODY.
Ever!
There was never any talk about "believing in Jesus Christ" that was the correct combination to entering into heaven.
Everybody that has experienced heaven, even if for just a brief few minutes was welcomed and enveloped with unconditional love and acceptance.
Every person.
Even this man, Eben, who was a atheist.
That's so very interesting to me coming from a Evangelical Christian background.

Much love and life to you, precious friends..


xo

Amy



Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Righty... lefty...what do you need?

it started about two days ago.

Agitation.
Irritation.
Exhaustion no matter how much sleep I would get the night before.

Today was the peak of it all tho. I am home. Christmas has passed. My kids are home.
After working my ass off for months now... being stretched and growing in said work and balancing family life with that... Emotional from being away from my family for the first time ever this Christmas.
I got a call for a photo shoot. tomorrow. on my day off.
What do I do?
What should I do?
I am exhausted. cranky. and overwhelmed now at the thought of the photo shoot.
Plus it's an hour and half away, I will have to bring my 3 kids with me to the photo shoot (total stress right there) aaaaand it's supposed to snow some more tomorrow.

We need the money.
ugh.
I hate these moments.

So I ask myself what do I want to do?
What do you need, Amy?
What do I do?

aaaand.
nothing comes.
other then obligation to jump on the opportunity for provision for my family.

sigh.

I get an email this morning...with a suggestion.
and seriously I can't think of better timing than today for this.

"Take a pencil in your dominant hand (right for right- handers, left for lefties) and write down a few pointed questions, such as 
“What are you feeling?” 
“What do you need?” and 
“What do you want?” 
As soon as you’ve finished writing a question, switch the pencil to your other hand and write whatever words bubble up. You may be surprised. When your problem-solving mind is fully engaged, trying to master the task of writing with the “wrong” hand, hidden aspects of the self often surface."

I am fascinated by the exercise... I mean it did catch my eye, but I don't do it... I do take a bath and tell my kids I will be awhile. I took my ipod and did a couple of guided meditations.
That was nice. It brought peace and I had a pretty cool experience with God.

But after going on with my day the irritation is still right there... on my chest. ugh.

So I take my journal and pen and go upstairs to my bedroom...



I ask myself 3 questions.... with my right hand.

And move the pen to my left hand, and just write what comes.

wow.
and
wow.






I got my answers in under 5 minutes.
Crazy wow.

What's bothering you?

What do you need?

What do you want?

You can tell which was my dominate hand and which one isn't. My brain was actually frustrated byt this exercise, but my heart is at peace right now.

I am staying home...snuggling my kids by the fire and just giving myself the gift of being, sleeping and slowing down.

Have you tried this before?

xo Amy






Friday, December 21, 2012

Hi! meandering post of randomness..

Hi my friends..

so.

Quickie update'ish post for those that come here to read on that stuff... ;)

Crazy is a word that my life enfolds right now.
Busy kind of crazy.
Work.
Enjoy work. Loving the people interaction. It has felt so good to get out and be and love people.
Hoping to continue working, and interviewed for a position..waiting for the call back on that.

Loving my family on the in-between times of not working.

Amazing miracles have happened this month in the arena of Christmas money... crazy amazing miracles happened this month.

Hard and emotional as my hub and I walk through some stuff with my oldest daughter.
Really hard. raw. and so emotional.

My house is upside down...my floors need to be cleaned desperately .. but my heart is so full and I have never felt more present then I do right now..in this season.
Saying goodbye to Facebook was one of the most amazing gifts I could give myself...especially in this season where I need all my senses to be sharp, being heart lead and full on present.

Food is something that I can feel the Divine going towards.
My very very long companion of coping..food.
That one is going to be interesting.
I feel a renewing happening tho in my mind on the topic of food and healthy.
New perspectives but at a snails pace.
Love that the Divine is never in any hurry. Time is completely null and void to Him/Her.
Loving my body...my whole self... and speaking to myself with love and kindness.
It's a work in progress, but I am feeling a beautiful awakening happen in this area.
It's been one I have wanted to be renewed in, and am giddy happy that it's happening.
:)

Understanding more on the topic of my mind/psyche and my heart/spirit has been way insightful.
Read and amazing book by Eben Alexander... Proof of Heaven.
I want to write about it.
Have a giveaway too.
It was THAT good.
Wow. and Wow.
I am not drawn to books of near death experiences, but this one was just outrageous and beautiful and resonated so very much with my own journey of knowing God outside of religion.
I laughed and cried at the same time while reading it.
Also still reading Michael A. Singer's book Untethered Soul...also a life shifter for me.
Have had to take bite's of that one and savor. It's simple and practical, but also can't be a hurried read.

Aaaaand what else??

Um.. missing this space. missing my bloggy friends.
Been homesick for my family in Arizona... just the life and celebrations part.
Not the drama tho.

The new year is closely approaching and I have been asking God for a word for this year.
Mulling it around inside and throwing it to the Divine.
Last year my word/words were " Making peace".
Making peace with myself...my life.. all the areas I have constantly been in strife with.
My big "ah ha" was the simple thought of, "If I want to HAVE peace inside.. I need to MAKE peace".
Wow! Has that been the awakenings for me this past year.


Oh, I had a photo shoot.. a Christmas photo shoot other then the one I did with my little family.
That was fun. Part of the miracle that happened this month.
Christmas monies! Yay!



How are you?
Would love to know what is happening with you...
What are you reading these days?

If I don't check back in before Christmas..

I wish you a Merry Christmas and I wish and hope for you the gift of peace this year.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Happy Wednesday... :)

Hi my friends.. if you see this it's because I have decided to bring my blog back to public.

After realizing I had some people find my blog, that I thought I was afraid of, I realized I wasn't.

Let me explain.

Fear and shame have been constant companions to me...of my story..my personal thoughts... and my inner life.

I canNOT tell you how grateful I am that my blog was found by people that I thought would judge me harshly and criticize.
I realized something.
I really don't care anymore.
They can judge.
They can point the finger.
But whatever it was that kept me hiding from them is gone.
Totally gone.

Having that happen has also spun my thinking about this blog in a different direction.
Not totally different, but more wholly me.
I realized that there have been things I have wanted to blog about on here.. just simple life stuff... silly stuff.. recipe stuff... other parts of me that I didn't think my blog readers would be interested in.
I think it's time to bring my blog life higher.
Into what I fully am.
All the goofy, whimsical and deep areas of me.

I am going to bring this space a face lift, as well as a new name.

I am not ashamed of anything in my life... this life I am living is real.. authentic and raw.
It's glorious and free...and I get to do it the way I am created to do it.
I want to share that with the world and sing and write and shout of freedom AND what it looks like in the day to day.

So, stay tuned.... 2013 has gorgeous and beauty in store for this space.

Love you all so much... and thankyou for being you and sharing how you do life inside freedom.

You inspire me.

BIG BIG squishy hugs to you...

Amy the Free ;))

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Saturday morning loves.

Morning, beautiful friends..

Have just a minute and have to scoot to get to work this morning...

Read this quote from a friend's blog the other day and thought.. wow! Such the truth!


We mirror our understanding of what God's nature is.

If our understanding is that God is angry, judgmental, schizophrenic, a conditional lover and discriminates, we become that.

If our understanding is that God is love (without any but's), we become that.

~Daniel Alexander


Daniel's thought there reminded me of a question that Albert Einstein asked.. 

"Is the Universe compassionate?"

Because... 

The eye with which I see God is the same eye with which God sees me.
– Meister Eckhart, 13th c. mystic

The more I journey through the eyes of my heart, the more I see how powerful our worldview is when it comes to my perception of God..the Universe.

One dictates the other.

How I view myself, other's humanity and the overall goodness or lack of goodness in the world.

Isn't that interesting?

My sister and I were texting last night talking about this very thing... our culture is a result and fruit of a ego driven society.
Everything has to be defined and boxed up.
And if said thing cannot be defined and boxed up, it is therefore deemed as bad and cut off.
Can't you see that thinking in a lot of our society today?

When in reality, we were created to live life inside the beauty of wonder and mystery...and just enjoy the journey of that.

So... is the Universe compassionate?
Or.
Is it like my friend Daniel said... "angry, judgmental, schizophrenic, a conditional lover and discriminates"?

Just some thoughts this morning.

Beautiful Saturday to you, loves.. xo

Amy




Wednesday, December 5, 2012

New life..

Wanted to share two quotes that couldn't have come at a more perfect time...





new life.
new seasons.

We all long for them, but something I am becoming aware of is that there has to be a death or a completion of the old before the breakthrough of the new.

Have seen this pattern before..and am seeing it again today.

It's so present and before me... thought maybe you are seeing it too.



For anything new to be born, the existing arrangement of

particles and situations must die.

~Martha Beck


“Every positive change–every jump to a higher level of energy and awareness–involves a rite of passage. Each time to ascend to a higher rung on the ladder of personal evolution, we must go through a period of discomfort, of initiation. I have never found an exception.” 

~ Dan Millman, author of Way of the Peaceful Warrior


xo
Amy



Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Devices.

I just came across this really interesting photography project by Zack Arias.

His project "de_VICE" is reaaally interesting.

This pic.. is one that I have seen a LOT around me.



Photography source = Zack Arias

An opportunity for connection, but with device in hand...nothing.

A internal fear of mine is that my children will have a picture of their mom looking just like this man.
My face not looking at theirs, but at my "device".. whatever it might be more times then not.
Computer, phone, tv, etc..

My prayer for a very long time has been that I would always choose what is real and present, and not what isn't.
Because I would find myself choosing my devices over my families' sweet faces.
And that makes me tear up even now.

"Why?", I would ask myself.
Knowing full well that the device was not what my heart longed for.

Something I came to realize is that I was hiding.
From what?
From me.
From love.
From vulnerability.
From emotion.

Hiding behind all these many devices.
Hiding behind busyness and activity.

Longing for connection, but looking for it in the wrong places.
Hiding from the vulnerability of what was real and settling for the safeness of what was not.


Now, please know, I don't think smart phones are wrong...neither is email, computers or social media.
They have great benefits.

But what I am finding is that they are not beneficial for me.

Maybe it's my own tendency to get wrapped up in virtual life...to get sucked in by it.
Or maybe it's my own sensitive nature that is highly affected by it.
I don't know.

Just yesterday, it happened again.

I was sitting down to catch up on my emails, thinking my family was distracted in other things.
Thinking I had a few minutes to read and respond to a few friends.
And my littlest started calling my name from the table.
Just right behind me.
But I couldn't hear her.
Something has happened to my hearing...
not my first level hearing, but my second level hearing of listening.

Hearing and listening are very different.

She must have called my name 6 times before I looked up to respond.
And once I did, she had already gotten to the give up place.
"Never mind." she said with face looking down to the ground.
I stood up.
Picked her up.
Looked her in her eyes.. and said, "I am here. I am so sorry for being distracted by the computer again. Please tell me, love, what do you need."
She needed help with her homework.
sigh.

So.
Once again, I make a internal decision to be present.
To my family.
To myself.
To my life.

I don't want my children to remember their momma staring at a screen, like this man above, while they are in need and calling my name.


untitled-176-Edit.jpg


Choose life today.

xo

Amy