Letting go…

What defines an end, and starts a beginning? I do not think there are such things, it’s just what I tell myself on the path of believing better.

I went to see my numerologist friend to get her much needed advice. Truth is interesting. It’s a cord that resides in us always, and when someone says something that vibrates that cord we immediately know what they are saying is true. Everything starts from within.

In turn when someone speaks an un-truth I have an abrasive sensation that rubs against my Truth cord in the wrong way, and I feel that something isn’t ‘right’.

So she tells me I’m getting ready to graduate and I need to pass the test. The next few months will have some challenges and to stay in touch to get through it.  “If you don’t pass you’ll repeat these lessons, do you want that?”

“Hell no!” As I said this, I had a flash as to what the challenge would be, and knew what she was saying was true. I swinging-on-the-swing-set-143858did not like it. So I went right into denial, and tapped into that carefree feeling, like swinging on a swing as a child. I love that feeling. It’s an instant feel good. This need created a familiar chase and in came the chaos.

The drive home was funny, in hindsight. :) Went something like this…

“Darn it! I’m gonna pass this test and I don’t care if I slide in sideways, with my last breath, bleeding! Wait! Change the test! I mean you, (looking upward), can change the test. I’ve come a far way and I don’t need that. I mean who am I proving myself to anyway?  Myself…so I don’t need to prove anything…..Damn it!”

Insert happy song. More denial, through singing this time.

“OK. OK. I got this. I can do it. And I can do it better. I don’t have to be on my ass when I face this challenge. I can do it with grace! Oh crap! That’s the real test isn’t it to stand up, be a woman, honor myself, my voice through it all?” The real burden comes and I know this is true.

My brother told me many, many years ago, “there are three sides to every story: what you say, what they say, and the truth.” One of the best nuggets I’ve received.

The pursuit in life, is connecting to truth more than not. The problem is that it is subject to our whims, desires, needs and confusions. With maturity comes discernment.  So what really creates an un-truth? Attachment.

If I have an attachment to an outcome, I may alter my words, and personal truth to co-create that need. Behavior can only be learned, it is not innate. Truth is innate and from it stems goodness. If my behavior is not attached to Truth, and it is manipulated to suit the false need, there’s going to be a consequence that won’t make me happy! That’s inevitable.

When I faced my demons, and this challenge, I had to face all the sentences that I allowed into my life from this person, that discounted my humanness, and in turn Love. They would even back track on their words, and pretended I misunderstood them. Turn the phrases around to things like “why would I say that?”….it’s an intentional mind game.  I kept asking myself “where is the Truth?” And I immediately heard exactly where the lie was.  I hold myself responsible, because they would never have spoken this way if I didn’t allow it. This was one of the hardest conversations/conflicts I’ve faced. The words that spun circles around me were “I told you what you wanted to hear.”

Never say these words to another. They destroy everything. (They are intended to do that.)

run hafiz

In a way, I’m glad they denied the words.  It’s a hard thing to face admitting you said that to someone. They already decided they didn’t want me in their life and the use of the sentence is evidence.  I was living the result and didn’t know it. When the conflict came, I was not going to alter my voice to suit. We all want to know we matter. That is why we try to connect with each other. We want to know our struggle in this human world, stumbling around, making mistakes, and trying and trying, matters for something. If we have made a connection that resides in falseness, or the person is not being truthful during the experience, it removes our own existence from the experience. We may as well not have been there. That’s how those words made me feel. It erased my existence.

truthNothing is hidden. Nothing. It’s the lie we tell ourselves to keep the attachments at hand. If someone can be unkind to one person, do ‘wrong’ to me they will do it to others, and they likely have a trail. Behaviors are choices. We all get to choose what is in our lives, and how we want to live.  Actions are the template, and we are always showing each other who we really are.  Remove expectations and the truth is seen.  

So how do I let that go? By facing the needs, expectations, and attachments I’ve placed on this person.

Let me say, in friendships, if you can’t trust the person that’s supposed to have your back then it’s a mind f***! This person took my trust and violated it. I also know the reaction those words will cause. It’s still true. When you give trust and someone, intentionally, abuses it, it is a violation, of your words, your life, your body, your soul, your emotions…everything. There is an expectation in friendships that this will not occur. So the trust is real for the person giving it, it is not real for the other person, even if they are claiming they are receiving it.  It’s their lie, hence, they can violate it as easily as the next breath of air.  

So back to how do I let go? Cutting cords with someone is not easy. It’s really about cutting cords within yourself. The questions begins and ends within. It’s a question of:
“What is it that resides in me that allows these actions in my life?”

I let the answers come, and I cut the cord to each answer.

No more running from myself and excusing and pointing fingers. The past will NOT hold me back. Nor the people that do not have my heart in their actions.

Letting go is growing up, and stepping away from childish games. Learning to speak as a woman takes courage, because you’re often doing it alone. I do not need ‘buy’ in from others. They will either see who I am, or they will not. Maturity has nothing to do with age, it has a voice, it has no use for things not of service, it has no use for ‘takers’, it has no use for things ‘wrong’.

Yes there is right and wrong. I used to think these two words were too categorical and unforgiving. I’ve come to see that was my excuse for keeping my false needs alive. Truth is not subjective. Facing Truth is HARD, that’s when you know you’re looking at it. Love cannot take part in harming itself, those are the other things.  Nor can it stand by and watch it be destructive to people I love. Saying “no” to certain actions is crucial to maturity.

Oh this is the best, from my numerologist after I explained this difficult conflict, she said “aren’t you glad to be you, instead of them? I’m proud of you, you trusted. You don’t trust and you did it. Keep being you.”  I am proud of myself.  In the height of chaos I held onto that inner fiber of Truth.  I let it guide my shaking, crying voice.  I spoke up however I could.  When you look toward service to guide your path, everything that is disingenuous, and does not serve must be seen.  Then it’s time to choose.  

Life, living, happiness, joy, love, all starts with Truth. It cannot be otherwise. If so, it’s a chase into nothingness. And the chase starts every second till you’re worn thin. I remember.

The chase ends. The beginning begins.

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Writing the Script

Things I’ve learned this year, and everything that’s lead to now….

1. Age has nothing to do with maturity: One just happens with no control; the other is a conscious act, entirely within our control.

2. Words and actions: Stop expecting loving support from people that aren’t expressing from love. Their expressions should match the love they claim to have for you. Caring is a conscious act of deliberate, thoughtful, expression.

3. Expectations vs Needs: Know the difference and not be ruled by either.

4. When someone says “What is she going to do with poetry?”, giggle and walk away.  I will no longer squeeze all that I am through those 8 small words. That opinion is not mine to carry, it is their burden to bear. I will leave it where it is spoken, and any other sentences that are a belittling expression of all that I am.

5. Urge vs. Intuition: know the difference. One is a chase that drains energy, sits on and from, externals; the other IS Energy and the fuel for Life, and it only resides internally.

6. Intuition holds hands with Empowerment: I know that these two things are interwoven. One cannot be separated from the other. When I walk in trust of my Intuition and witness the results, Empowerment surges up through me and that bond is forever. When I used to give my power up to the external voice my internal power shrunk. I stepped away from believing in myself and the pain of that was more than I could bear. I trust that Universe/God/Energy has an intelligence that is far greater than any human judgment or opinion of myself. I exist here and now and will never be again. I have purpose and am living purpose. 

7. I’m learning to say “I deserve better.”

8. Hold me in reverence. I will only share my heart, my dreams with others that hold me, my thoughts, and dreams in reverence.

9. Laugh and laugh a lot.  Spend time with people that know how to laugh from their hearts, and throw their heads into the wind, until your faces ache with the love of it all.  

10. When I love I will continue to do it with abandon.  

There’s more to come. Blissfully more…thankfully.

the sweetest deceiver

the mind is weak,
when torn into a million pieces
the heart weeps when broken,
and still churns toward the path
the body wears from carrying both

This has been my year. It seems the memories of my mother ripped me apart, and wide open, at the same time. Emotions were magnified and everything hurt like hell! Now all I have left are tears and they won’t stop coming. I’m crying when I cook, when I drive, before I sleep, and first thing when I wake. I’m crying writing about me crying.  I’ve never been much of a crier so this must be the years of accumulation.

For a while I wasn’t able to write.  That was the worst.  I felt incapable.  So I hid from this blog, the empty page, a pen, the lines, everything.  On top of it all, I thought a friendship was over.  I even felt and saw the contract end.  I did ask if this was the end and all I kept hearing was “no”…..pissed me off!@)*&&!!  The heart has a path and won’t listen to what I want.  !#$#@#$!!!  I need to meditate.

I’m ready for the New Year. Yes, yes I know, I’m supposed to be in the now….screw that! I’ve had enough!!  The sweetest deceiver is ourselves.  I’m good with it.  Painting has turned toward me and I’ll hide out there.  At least hidden deep in a canvas, there’s no lying.

"forgiveness" my red runs blue into salt, and sea and the ocean breathes me into eternity and forgiveness

“forgiveness” by Arifah
my red runs blue into salt, and sea
and the ocean breathes me into
eternity and forgiveness

 

bravery in weakness


Last week was a hard energy week. Everything came at me and I was raw. Recovery has been slow. I’m immensely thankful that I had a busy week with work, otherwise I would be on the floor.
A friend said “I can see why Robin Williams made that choice.” I totally get it. I hadn’t felt that much collected pain in a long time. It brought up some old wounds, some fresh ones, and I was reeling.
I felt like a cosmic washing machine for collected energy. 

Sometimes, I too want to pack it in. I don’t want to feel all of this so deeply. I just want my life. This may explain my desire to hide out from the world in a small shack somewhere. I don’t want obligations, expectations, commitments….nothing. Just the clothes on my back and a few other things. I get how people get to this place.
Pain is distorting when it gets to those levels. I know I’m not thinking clearly and I also know what I’m experiencing is bigger than me. It’s teeter tottering between two worlds and I feel like I’m being pulled apart. Thankfully, I was able to meditate today and it was sooo good. I just want to spend all day wrapped in cosmic dust. I need the healing.
I think last week was magnified because I had to make a decision to walk away from a project. I knew it was coming just not so quickly, and the decision was made before I said it. The hard part was hearing some judgmental opinions based on my actions. It still hurts to hear some comments. I wonder if I’ll ever be strong enough? I took these hurts into the next week and it makes sense why I would be knocked over.
I wish the Universe would give me a warning before the tidal wave comes. 
As for Robin Williams, send him some love. He’s a brave soul, living openly as he did. I love all the cherished message across Facebook giving him the respect he deserves. We’ve come a long way when we are able to embrace the bigger message.292304_10151235635703356_1185720136_n

Manicures, time, and things of love

I was never really into fashion. That was her thing and I didn’t want anything in common with her. I was a silly child. I don’t know when the interest started but suddenly I loved all things designed. This was definitely her eye I was sharing. Secretly I wanted to bond with her as distance stood between us. I craved her touch and love. She was so very gentle and I starved for that. She was such a torn flower, hanging onto the shriveling stem. What little was left in there, keeping her blowing in the wind, was a secret she kept.

Instinctively, I knew connecting with her had to be done without fuss and genuinely so. I didn’t want her to run away again.

I started by giving her manicures. She was hesitant and gave a shy smile. I knew this could work. I loved my mother’s hands. One of the things I miss most. Her touch was sensitive, soft and loving. This moment I cherished and did it every week.

He even had the audacity to ask once, “what about my hands…aren’t you going to show me love too?”

“No”, my eyes held his telling him everything. I gave him my back and he never brought up the subject again. I was fourteen, and unknowingly learning how to love.

On the weekends, I would look at “Style with Elsa Klensch”. All fashion! Who knew I would turn out that way. Running to her asking, “Elsa Klensch is coming on do you want to watch it with me?”

I remember holding my breath in the hopes she would.  She did but didn’t like it.  I’m laughing again.  My mother’s sense of style was not modern and yet it was.  There was a simplicity to her dress. These moments went something like this…

“What is that?  That’s not even cut for her body.”
“Is that her breast?”  She whispered this, hand on mouth, shocked.
“Who wears that color gray?  No one can or SHOULD!”
“Such a waste of fabric. Oh my gosh look at that fabric how can they do that?”
“Is she naked under there? OMG she is! Arifah what are you making me watch?”

She became increasingly frustrated and I more, and more happy. Witnessing her come to life and sharing passion was a dream. My held breath carved out the moment, uninterrupted. I did this as often as time would allow me to collect.

I was quietly visiting a local boutique and got to know the owner. She would tell me when the new lines would come in, and I would run to see the new collection. One day she asked me, “Have you ever modeled? I can use you. It’s not hard, no need to get nervous.”

I was excited, but had to convince my father and knew the odds were against me. That’s why I didn’t tell him. I told my mother. Yeah, I was learning strategy from early on. I approached my mother cautiously.

“Mom, you know Mrs. X of ‘…’ shop?”

“Yes,” an equally cautious response.

“Well, she asked me to model at a show she’s having for the new line, and -.”

“What? You are going to model?”

I thought I was in trouble for making plans without asking her first. I was praying to make it out alive. “Yes…well…what I mean is that I’d like to -.”

“What are you wearing? Did she show you the dress? OMG, the shoes! Always! Always! Choose the shoes. Don’t let ANYONE choose the shoes for you. They make the look.” She was gushing, eyes excited and not looking at me, but through me.

“Mom.”

“Yes,” she inhaled, and instantly knew she had to tone it down, or I would run away.

“Do you want to see what she wants me to wear? I have no idea what shoes she wants.”

“Yes!”

“But, you have to let me talk. I don’t want you doing this for me. Don’t tell her anything about the shoes. I want to do this myself. Can you do that?” Trepidation flooded my face. This was the first time we spoke as equals. I felt exposed, vulnerable and didn’t want her turning away again.  We were so delicate, a few spun webs holding us together many strands broken.

“OK.” She quickly agreed.

This makes me smile. I love that she knew how important this was to us, me. She immediately took off her apron and turned to the staff and said we’re leaving for a bit, and put my sisters in charge. In the 1/4 mile walk she talked my ear off. Telling me why the shoes mattered. I was suddenly walking with Elsa Klensch.

She behaved in the boutique never once interrupting me. She talked with the owner, and once all the mothering questions were over she handed the conversation over to me.  I made plans for trying on the clothes and yes, I did ask about shoes.  She smiled.

Oh yes, when it came to my father it was all matter-of-fact. She just told him this is what I was doing and that she approved and that’s that. You should have seen his face it all happened so fast. There must have been something distracting him because this quickly became unimportant.

Did I ever tell you how she taught me to walk? Let me say, my mother could walk the cat walk. She knew how to hold her body and saunter across a stage. I was stunned. She got rid of my tomboy mannerisms, but that was years earlier and another story.

Creating bonds are delicate and intricate – easily broken, trampled, ignored and shattered. Sometimes it can’t be done when the person is here, walking Earth. I had to do it afterwards. I had to break the cycle that kept me trapped living the pain of my mother. I carried her burden for years as a karmic undertaking. It wasn’t mine to carry. She had more freedom residing inside her that very few knew of. I was too young to know. She was before her time. Circumstances can dictate shallow actions that skew truth. It’s heart, and moments that have quietly spoken love, that reaches through all times, and after death, to mend everything.

Another excerpt from “Art of Receptivity”, my memoir.  So strange to write those words, the title of the book and knowing it’s mine. There’s anticipation, and I don’t feel that too often.

the love of silence

Writing a memoir is some hard work. Everything comes to surface. Everything. You cannot hide from yourself, and if I am…well the writing will suffer. For someone that loves silence and privacy this is beyond challenging.In a recent conversation about art I was shown a piece about a vagina. I immediately laughed and said “awesome”. I’m provoked by art that’s deeply intimate because my work is similar. This piece wasn’t vulgar it had depth. There was clearly a struggle for understanding that stood out beyond the striking force the obvious stated.

Immediately I’m on a quest. I ask “why?”

After some floundering and struggling with an answer they said “I don’t have one. I can’t explain that place and this is what I want to do. I’m tired of the bullshit artist say, that statement they repeat. A lot of it is just bullshit.” I knew they didn’t want to share and I relate because I don’t like to either.

I laughed in admiration. I said “say that…that’s your voice. Tell them it’s “none of your business”. What they see is the experience they are supposed to have because they can’t have the ‘why’ that created that piece. It’s private. Own that fact that you want to be private.”

It’s such a struggle for wanting to be heard, seen and remain unseen at the same time. Because we know that many people are trying to connect to artist because of a “cool” factor. Some of us run for the hills from that, because it’s so removed from connection, and that’s what we’re really seeking, and not.

It’s a mind trick.

For me, I’ve lived silently because it’s easy to become invisible when abuse is rampant.  It’s a defense mechanism.  I became an observer and content with being unseen.  Silence is a comforting friend and it knows me.  I don’t need to explain who I am or why I hide.  I’m OK in silence.  It’s a cocoon.So how do I write those things that thrive in darkness?  I was comfortable with them there. This has been my block, I’ve been resisting writing it all down.  There’s some silences that no longer serve.

What I’m doing is preparing myself for being open when I love being closed.

They asked “when you finish writing the memoir, will it end?”
“No. It will become something else.”Absolution is a yearning that stretched from the soul into the human. We strive to feel it while in form.

 
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Surfacing

 

I’ve started seeing a counselor that’s an empath. This is one of the best decisions I’ve made so far. I actually didn’t make the choice. An amazing friend pointed me to this help, and I jumped. 
It’s such a relief to speak ‘as I am’, an empath. I don’t need to explain myself away…thin down my experiences so they can be understood. I’m also not feeling the judgment that comes from a lack of understanding. This is such a relief. Because judgment feels like knives, or hitting a brick wall. The energy of this space has always challenged me and I typically have to run.

I’ve always struggled with the advice “create a shield of protection around you”, to keep negative energies out. It felt like I was closing myself off from receiving, and it never worked. In one of my sessions, she said “create a sacred space around you, and this way no one can just enter. It’s a violation of your space”. I’ve never had it explained this way before and it immediately clicked. I could breathe, and felt unconfined.

Finally, solution.

As I was driving away from a session, I felt open and fully free. I wasn’t hiding any longer. I can’t express enough how wonderful it is to feel your own body, your own feelings, your own thoughts….to not feel crazy. To have understanding eyes look back and say “it’s OK.”

I told a friend about this post last week and how I was just writing to be selfish and didn’t want to publish it.  As soon as I spoke the words I knew I had to post this.  I don’t want to share this part of myself. I like it when I could keep my center safe. Now that’s no longer enough. I’m sitting in a sea of Divine Love, my sacred space, and I am safe. They’re pushing me hard to break free of my own chokeholds. I’m no longer allowed to hide away. I’ve given myself ‘Up’ to this process. My heart is wide open, I’m vulnerable, scared, and not.

I’ve told my children “it’s not about knowns, it’s about ‘knowing’, and this helps you through unknowns…that’s what I’m preparing you for.  If you can learn to trust your heart, where knowing resides, during the unknowns well…”  I needed to listen to my own advice, and was likely saying it more for me than them.

"Surfaced" It's not about knowns, it's 'knowing', this helps your through the unknowns.  Part of a series of pictures "Love Train: 365 days of hearts"

“Surfaced”
It’s not about knowns, it’s ‘knowing’, this helps your through the unknowns. (This image is part of a series called “Love Train: 365 days of hearts”)

I just know I can’t go back to not feeling my skin. For years I couldn’t. It was just 4 years ago those sensations came alive. It happened when I told myself “I can’t live a lie anymore”.  In that moment I felt touch, and was stunned with the realization of how many years I was living numb.

Being authentic is hard and easy. Now that I’ve tasted life this way there’s no going back. I’m not resisting the painful crawl on gravel anymore. I’m allowing and things are moving much faster. Thankfully relief is feeling the other side hold my hand and say “it’s OK…we’re here, we’ve always been here.”

It’s not balance we’re creating, it’s harmony. When I’m able to feel the field of love that’s constant, my center – me, there’s harmony with what ‘is’. This harmony gives me the capability to cope with the imbalances that’s always around.

I see it.  I feel it.  I’m getting to ‘there’.

 
 

 

if only found

We are not human beings having a spiritual experience.  We are spiritual beings having a human experience.
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
 
I couldn’t agree more.  My soul choose this body and all of the crazy emotions I’m experiencing.  I’ve recently been through a low and my human friends swooped in and rescued me.  I’m learning how quickly life changes when I’m humble. Humility is the sure way to ‘receptivity’.  In bowing down my heart opens.This next year, I’m dedicating to my friends that have stood next to me during the last three years.  They have done it with immense love and honor.  I didn’t know love like this before.  I think “love isn’t a description…it’s a discovery”.

So for the next 365 days I’m taking a photo of a heart.  I find them everywhere.  The collection will be called “Love Train”.  LOL! Yes, this song has been playing around my mind for the last week. Here’s the first in the series….

064

“if only found” by Arifah

…to ease

 

There’s this reaching from the other side into this side. Maybe it’s always happening and I’m really just noticing. Yes, that makes more sense.

It’s interesting watching the intuition and how much louder it is now. Things are happening rapidly. Well I’ve said I love change…and I do, but it’s time for a change.  I’m going to start saying “I love flow and things coming to me with ease”. :)

Yep!

tHE eND

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