Isn’t it fascinating how life unfolds for us, often despite our own actions. I enjoy watching people, observing their reactions, choices and way of interacting with the world around them. I often wonder, “did they consciously choose?” or “did they just go through the motions?”.
Life can change within a moment. We forget that, which is a blessing and a curse, I suppose. I catch myself getting caught up at times in the blind behavior of believing that the world “happens to me,” while in truth, I am choosing how I interact with the world.
As I quietly sit tucked away in my “stay-at-home” cocoon, hidden in the branches of my make believe treehouse, I am saddened by what little news I allow to trickle into my world. As a person who has “news fasted” for over twenty years, I find myself even more grateful now to be distanced from the onslaught of hyperbole and disrespect that smatters itself across the page, video screen, TV, and…
Will WE ever learn? Can WE change? Or are WE doomed to repeat our sabotaging human cycle? WE tout ourselves as “advanced,” as “civilized,” as “wiser and smarter” than the people before us. Are WE really?
From what we know historically about the human existence our patterns are blatant, a slap in the face, or pure insanity according to Einstein – “
“Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I’m not sure about the former,”and “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.“
What is that cycle, the insanity we perpetuate? War, revenge, greed, abuse, torture, blame – not understanding or digesting that the “grass is never greener” it is always just different. In the COVID-19 experience we have so far blamed, criticized, panicked and now protest. Are we civilized?
Definition from Cambridge Dictionary: A civilized society or country has a well developed system of government, culture, and way of life and that treats the people who live there fairly.
Pete Seeger wrote a song that lyrically reveals our repetitive tale, just hit repeat and you can play it century, after century (Preformed below by Peter, Paul and Mary).
Could WE look at this time as an opportunity, a chance to pause, a time to come together to make new choices? The song below is one that remains in my memory bank, it encapsulates our human “insanity” as labeled by Einstein.
Buried treasure conjures up images of gold, jewels, gems, silver, piles of money…? I question, will this treasure:
Feed me happiness?
Buy me true friends?
Acquire bandaids for unhealed wounds?
Settle debts of unforgiven moments
Provide me with food when their value set and accepted by humans is nulled or destroyed?
Procure me peace?
As we tour the ruins of previous “advanced civilizations,” are we offered a glimpse into our behavioral patterns? Are they role models of what did notwork, along with what did work?
Shall we continue on our path, believing ourselves to be wise and advanced? Or can we humbly open up to realize that there are soon to be 8 billion different perspectives. Yep, in our “advanced” state, no two of us are alike, so why do we fool ourselves and others into thinking we should be similar, want the same things, see the world the same, etc… This will never be, unless a new virus erupts that brainwashes such change. Personally, I believe the world would be extremely boring if we all thought, believed and wanted the same things. Our differences give us opportunity to learn and grow.
Maybe Dr Seuss’s famous tale, “The Lorax,” should be revisited by us all.
Guess What?… Uncertainty struck! It showed up with earth shaking realism!
And it continues… Idaho has experienced 37 aftershocks following the 6.5 magnitude that rattled everything last evening. According to the National Weather Service it was the second largest earthquake in the world for March 2020.
One would say, be careful what you say, type, or think, for you might get a real life example.
When I look in my review mirror, it is dotted with such moments. All in their own “glory” and unexpectedness. When I sit with those life experiences, really feeling into them and exploring their “aftershocks”, I am humbled, for they all lead to what comes next. More powerfully they have sculpted who I am today. Chiseling out the aspects of myself that did not serve or fit my new expansion.
This time in our world with COVID – 19 is another such opportunity. It is having many aftershocks for us to see and personally know, each and everyone of us is being hit by its quake in some form.
What will we choose to do with the experience?
Will you go back to life as it was?
Will you start out being more thoughtful and reflective in your daily choices, only to shift back to your norm?
Will your children, family, friends have the same memories as you?
During your “stay at home” time did you “numb out”, distract yourself, or embark on a new “self-love” behavior and habit?
Did you take this opportunity to make changes?
Did you reach out and connect with others?
Will you go back to the job you hate or did you work on your resume, determined to create change?
Did you learn to appreciate what you have or continue to take it for granted?
I think the thing that always baffles me is why do we “need a wake up call” to create change? Why do people not take action steps daily towards their dreams?
This time has gifted me with the opportunity to reflect more deeply. I can honestly say that I have never truly given up, despite unexpected derailments and intense uncertain times, I have never fully given up. I still have three dreams that intertwine to co-create the life I intend to live.
They are in process, they are becoming, they are a part of who I am….
I am at choice to enjoy the journey along the way or get frustrated because it has not fully happened yet. Which sounds more fun to you? Personally I prefer the first, for I do respect, honor and know that life is absolutely splattered with Uncertainty! So, I choose to aim my rudder towards my desired destination, celebrating that there will be moments when it is a wild ride (here are a couple of those opportunities). I hang on with a sense of adventure, vulnerable openness and joy for the present moment.
What aftershocks will this time offer you?
Will you be a passive apathetic bystander?
Will you take action towards your dreams?
Will you reach out?
Will you embark on a new journey?
Will you cradle with gratitude the blessings in your life?
Will you empathetically honor and assist those most intimately struck by this virus?
I have grown to understand that some of the most profound changes in life happen over time with small simple daily action. We do not have to have an earthquake, tsunami, or pandemic to create change in our life, we just have to Choose to step, “putting one foot in front of the other…”
On that note, I wish you well on this glorious day, that shall never be again...
The title of my blog site is “Walking Naked Truth”, if you check out the “About” page you will get an in depth explanation of this title. In today’s writing I come to the page wishing to embody and present the “naked truth”, so we may “walk” towards that which we fear and face it.
At this unusual time in our history there is an increased sensation of fear, worry and stress as I discussed in my other blog site – “The Beingness Project”. Where do these feelings bubble up from, why are they on the rise, paralleling the numbers of COVID-19 diagnosed cases?
It has been my experience in this life journey that humans have this belief that they can control. That they are in control. That they “make things happen” and “make things stop”. I marvel at this belief and unspoken desire to force the flow, versus be in the flow.
The raw truth, everything is always “Uncertain” and actually “out of our control”. We merely choose to steer the rudder, or attempt to push life the direction we want it to go. Often there is this feeling or belief that we are making it happen. Is this true? Let’s explore it.
Someone in your family moves away, gets sick or changes an aspect of their life, does that impact you?
A tornado spins through your town, does that change life?
Your boss lets you go, does that impact your present reality?
You win or inherit a million dollars, does that create change in your life?
Your child falls and breaks a leg, will this change daily life for you?
You birth a healthy baby into your life, will life stay the same or be in your control?
You know that I can go on and on and on, for the truth is, one never knows. Often we are blessed to have life flow along as we “think it should”, keeping us in a state of belief that we have it all under control. In a mere second it could all change.
Here is the glorious freedom in accepting that life is a journey of “Uncertainty” , you ALWAYS have the opportunity to CHOOSE how you will react. No matter what is happening, unfolding, or becoming you get to choose how you will BE in that moment. You are also at choice with how you will feel as you decide what you want to do next, create, have, etc… (Explore this more deeply in a previous post)
COVID – 19 has us all staring down the barrel of uncertainty. Sitting deeply in the truth that something we cannot see is actually in control. We can choose fear, we can choose worry, we can choose to be stressed. However, I prefer to choose quiet reflective calm. Breathing into the truth that I can choose how I want to feel right here, right now. (Here is a worksheet for you to play with). I know I cannot change the virus. I know I cannot personally cure it. I know what I can do to support my family. I know what I can do to help others to the best of my ability. I know that it will CHANGE, another given truth. Change is always taking place.
I personally like to look at what I fear, worry about, or allow to stress me out, for as I truly notice and investigate, I quickly discover that in truth “I am okay”. As I calm down and breathe more deeply into BEing okay, I can more easily explore the deeper cause of my concern. In doing this I then realize that by letting go with trust and doing the best I can, the vulnerable open space I step into puts me back into the natural flow of life. I stop trying to swim upstream and force the tide. (See relevant post regarding 2009, when I did “lose” everything)
I invite you, I invite all of us, to breathe deeply. To look at “uncertainty” with the realization that it is not just now that this is the truth, but always. Then we can breathe more deeply into the space with gratitude, for this means we can let go and choose how we want to feel right now. Walking with acceptance and inner knowing that life is an uncertain journey, we empower and accept each individual unique path. There will be bumps along the way, some may even change life drastically, yet, each person is at choice to choose how they want to feel in the NOW moment.
I believe it is a gift to experience the spectrum of emotions we are given as a human – joy, sad, loss, happy, anger, excitement, anticipation, concern, doubt, fear, love, grace, worry, peace, etc… I like to recognize and feel the diversity of emotions life offers me. I get to honor them and reflect on why I am feeling that way, what I want to do with it and if I wish to change it. If I allow it all to flow, versus holding onto the emotion, stuffing it, or blaming someone else, then I am calmly free to move into what I want to experience and maybe even learn from the process. The power I have is in CHOOSING how I will react and BE in the life experience that is always unfolding and becoming.
At this time in history we are being given a chance to see, feel and understand ourselves more deeply. Life is uncertain. I think it would be a very boring journey if we could control everything. Uncertainty stimulates a journey, an adventure to learn, grow and expand into what comes next. Uncertainty is an empowering bridge to a life of choice. It gifts us with opportunities to practice choosing how we want to feel and BE.
So lets look at Uncertainty with Naked Truth and Walk forward into the flow of life –
How do you want to feel?
What about this pandemic worries you the most?
Can you look straight at that worry/fear?
When you look at it from your heart and not your mind (turn off the news), does it shift?
There are two things I love to watch that bring me pure delight – dogs and children. They exhibit such innocence, internal joy, creativity, curiosity, and genuine presence. From the comfort of my home I get to watch a vast diversity of dogs with their humans enjoying the many wonders of the nature path.
Nothing makes me smile quicker than a dog merrily smelling along the trail, wagging their tail in full glee. Sometimes, it actually makes me giggle, especially when they are proudly carrying a stick as though it was the olympic torch.
Watching a small toddler stumble on wobbly legs along the path is also a treat. They are so close to the ground that they notice the small sticks, little rocks, pinecones and leaves. Put them by a pond or river and they are delighted for hours. Mesmerized by a floating leave, a skipping water bug, and the glorious objects below the waters surface.
You and I have this state of being within us. It’s still there, waiting to play. I remember when I was around five years old, I could ride my cedar tree horse for hours. Pretending to travel the world on my amazing four-legged friend. During the frigid north wood winters of Michigan I would bundle up and head outside to my “real home”, a space carved out of piles of snow. I was always a Native American woman, for they represented the life I dreamed to live. A life on the land, co-existing in harmony, with a community that worked and played together. No cars or planes, just the magnificent horse.
Hours would fly by as I pretended to feed my family on the cut out ice snow plates. Going off to sit at the campfire with friends and family. Sometimes we would dance or tell stories. Maybe it was a day I worked on hides, for our clothing, or gathered roots and herbs for our healing and cooking. I loved this imaginary world.
During the fall I lived in my pine needle house. The towering white pine behind the house would share its abundant bounty. To build my home, I would gather the brown-orange needles to create walls with space for door and windows. Later when my siblings were old enough to play, they had to follow the rules – NO stepping over or on the four inch pine needle walls. You could only walk through the doorway to enter our magnificent fragrant home. Time flew by in this make believe world.
Lying on the ground I loved to watch the clouds float past. My mind would wonder to imagining what the passing birds were saying, how did a tree feel in the wind, rain, snow, sun? What were people doing in other parts of the world? What was it like to live in a place with different animals? My mind loved to inquire, imagine and ask.
Watching a network of ants, I marveled at how organized they seemed. I imagined that our busy world must look like an ant mound from the sky. The cars zooming on highways, traveling like the ants to and fro. I actually found this comparison quite funny, for humans thought themselves so wise and ingenious, yet, ants already had it figured out. When I witnessed my first Australian termite mound I was in complete awe of this little engineer, talk about high rise!!
We were born curious. We were born believing that anything is possible. We were born full of imagination. We were born trusting and loving. We were born BEing in the moment, aware only of the NOW.
Can you remember? Oh, I sure can! When I see a dog bouncing along, I giggle with pure understanding. Watching children play with sticks in a pond always reminds me of the amazing “witch’s brew” I stirred up in mud puddles.
During this time I invite you to remember.
If you have children at home get down on the floor and play with them.
Go outside, close your eyes, take in a long slow breath and when you exhale, open your eyes with a new sense of wonder and curiosity.
Look at a nearby tree, truly see it, notice if the buds are new, or is it time for quiet hibernation.
Observe the ground, can you witness a bug on its way with important business to complete?
Did a bird fly over, or serenade you?
If you have a dog or cat, notice the world through their curious exploration.
Sit down and write about your childhood, what do you remember, what are your fondest memories, why???
You are of course free to ignore my invitation, especially if the news brings you more joy. Or maybe worrying feels good. Or stressing about “what might happen”.
I know one thing for sure – you and I each have 24 hours in our daily cycle.
How do you want to spend that time?
What will bring you joy in the midst of uncertainty?
How can you spread good vibrations?
You are at choice 😊! Personally, I love remembering and doing more of what fills my heart and soul. Who knows, maybe it will spread…
I wish I could put it in a bottle for you. A special bottle, unique to you, one that when opened, would release the rich vapors of peace, faith, love and joy. Your body like a dry sponge would absorb the craved sensations, replacing all fear, worry, doubt and discomfort. Like fresh oxygen for your lungs, the healing vapors would fill you up with the inner knowing that all is well. You can and will make it through this time.
I’ve been here before. While it is vastly different, it also drips of immense similarity. Twelve years ago I walked the tightrope of uncertainty. Worry nagged, pulled and poked at the corners of my mind, my head a pin cushion to the uncertainties in my life.
I clung to my home with every raw finger nail I had left. I applied to every possible job opportunity that might work. I topped the charts in creative cooking, stretching the rice beyond its palatable enjoyment.
Despite all my efforts, sleepless nights, fearful pacing and quiet praying, I was at the end of the timeline. The bank repossessed the home where my children were born. The bank quietly towed away our vehicle. My son was finishing 3rd grade, my daughter kindergarten. Standing solitarily in the middle of my home, I breathed a final good bye to life as I knew it and stepped into what came next…
Fear is a massively powerful virus, it will eat you from the inside out. It will age you, turning brown hair gray. It has no prejudice. It does not care how far it spreads. And it exponentially grows, creeping into every crevice.
I stand on the other side of all this. Blessed to examine this life changing time in the rearview mirror of my life. March 2007 to May 2011 turned our world upside down and inside out. I grew up! I learned that the human spirit is “stronger than it thinks”, that together we can keep stepping. Sometimes life is trying to give you something more, even though it feels like life is being ripped out of you.
Today, unlike the financial crisis of 2008-2009, we are ALL in this together. Today, there is worldwide compassion. Today, I get notifications from companies that they will work with me financially. Today, we are interconnected globally.
My humbling journey twelve years ago gifted me in ways that words cannot express. It did change my life, it did push me up against the wall, it did give me gray hair, it did teach me what is truly important.
I wish I could bottle it up for you. A special bottle, unique to you, one that when opened, would release the rich vapors of peace, faith, love and happiness. I know, truly I know that –
What you most desire to feel is already within you. It cannot be bought or sold…
You are stronger than you think…
Within you lies a peaceful space, one that holds preciously your dreams and desires...
This time on our planet can be an opportunity, a chance to reflect, to notice, to appreciate, to choose…
You are not alone…
Here is your bottle – please open it with complete peace, faith and love…
I quietly breathe in the sunset, yellow, red and orange hues kiss the clouds. They dance in sweet surrender upon the reflected ripples of the pond. Ducks scatter the image as they freely sculpt their own masterpiece. I sit in silent reverie, remembering why I started this blog. Why I love to flow upon the page, why I passionately dream for all beings a life of joy, peace, love and contentment in all moments.
Today on my walk I marveled at how nature cycles. This time of year in Idaho, the cold seeps into the earth, it squelches the flow of sap in the trees and slows the water to an ebony molasses. The naked trees acquiesce to the white blanket of snow crystals. Yet, beneath all this layered quiet, I can feel the vibrancy of life, the rich smells of growth waiting for the warm sunshine of longer days. Humans like nature, have much that circulates below the surface. Hidden deep within lies the truth, the dreams, the passions and desires; all of it waiting to blossom, to expose, to share.
“Walking Naked Truth”, what a bizarre title for a blog, right?!? Yet, I still love it after all these years, for it describes what I passionately wish for all people – To BE their true self from within. I describe the title more intimately in my “About” page –
“Walking = In choosing to step forward, we keep our momentum in the present moment. Electing to be open to the possibilities and aware of that which we consciously choose.
Naked = Standing exposed, open, and completely present. Free of walls, attachments, expectations, secrets, or shame. Choosing to be vulnerable, with an open heart and soul.
Truth = An inner knowing. A solid quiet space which resides within all. It vibrates with a sensation to share, and express in sincere, humble, integrity. Free of outside attachments, perceptions, expectations and judgments, it just is….
It is my personal belief that BEing our Naked Truth frees us to walk forth in life with passion, joy, and peace; open to the wonders of the world and each other. It un-encumbers us from staying stuck in victim, blame and shame. Embracing the truth propels us forward, walking towards a life of CHOICE.”
Everyday I marvel at how people struggle to BE their truth; to share what is really going on inside. Why? What are they afraid of? When did we forget how to share? A child does it quite easily, until they are told not to. A toddler freely expresses themselves, with no fear. As the years go by, the walls go up and the truth gets shut up inside. I experience that for many, they do not even know how to hear their personal truth anymore. It has become what they are told. It is what society, culture, friends and family say it should be. Squished into the innermost cavity of the body, it pulses with eager desire to freely express. To open up with exuberant passion, to unleash famished desires.
What if in this new decade you gave yourself permission to live life full on?
How much fun might you experience?
Can you imagine the freedom you could feel?
How might your relationships deepen?
What dreams could you bring to life?
Let’s play together! Let’s open up and share our individual truth, hopes, dreams and desires. Let’s dance with joyful abandon, sing with bravado, play with wild curiosity….
It starts with being quiet enough to hear and feel the truth which pulses within you.
In the quiet, start by asking yourself, “What do I feel in this moment?”
Then think briefly about something you are grateful for, notice what you feel in the new moment enriched by gratitude.
Play with a sad thought, an angry thought, an exciting thought, etc… Allow yourself to become familiar with how your body feels in each emotional experience. How your energy shifts. What your mind says and does. It is all about noticing and becoming aware.
Gift yourself with 10 minutes a day, allowing your mind, heart and soul to wander, to daydream and play – no agenda.
At first this may feel awkward, however as you continue to create time for it, you will begin to truly hear your own heart’s desire. Then you can build up the muscle to share with others.
Gradually increase the time, for in this open free flow, amazing ideas will spring forth. Inner connections with the true self will deepen and enrich.
Attached is a worksheet (click on image below to download) for you to use as you like. It will give you the space to really notice how you physically (body), mentally (mind) and emotionally (spirit) react. Becoming aware of your unique internal and external reactions, empowers you to begin to really hear and understand your inner truth. From this space, you get to joyously choose how you want to feel and be.
I am excited for all that we shall journey and share in 2020!!
May it be the start to you embracing and sharing with the world YOUR NAKED TRUTH…
As you read that title, what is your first response?
What do you hear your mind say the second you read it?
Yeah, sure you hear me!
No you don’t! No one really listens anymore.
I don’t really share, so how can you hear me.
Have you ever noticed how quickly you start to think about what you are going to say to someone who is talking to you? There you stand formulating in your mind what you can say back. What’s the perfect thing to respond? When you do this, are you truly listening, sincerely hearing the person you are with?
If you are a parent, do you really listen to your child, no matter the age, to HEAR what they are sharing? Not just the words they speak, but the body language, the message sent from their eyes, tone, word choice, etc…
What about how you listen to a colleague, spouse/partner, friend, family member, stranger..? Do you listen differently depending on who is talking?
Have you ever noticed how much attention you will give to someone “important and powerful” by societal and cultural standards – yet when your child, friend, family member or co-worker share you only half way tune in? I observe this all the time.
Do you think you fool anyone with regard to your HEARING and Listening skills? People, especially the young and wise elders, KNOW when you are really listening or not. Just watch a baby who has a present or distracted parent. Observe your friend when you really sit and pay attention to their story versus being fidgety to battle for conversation rights. There is an intuitive knowing when someone is truly LISTENING and HEARING YOU.
I have watched and observed this for years and years. Noticing within my own behavior the expansion of my ability to truly HEAR. As I have gotten older and wiser, my ability to HEAR and LISTEN has increased, enriching my life in so many ways.
When I worked in a nursing home, daycare, restaurant, sales rep., customer service specialist, ropes course facilitator and classroom teacher – HEARING was key. Active, Present Listening enriched, expanded and opened all of these professions into glorious opportunities for co-learning and co-growing through genuine heartfelt sharing.
We all crave a safe place to share. The desire to be truly heard is as powerful as the desire to be seen. In the chaos and busyness it is often a challenge to get people to drop into TRUE sharing, however, I have learned that BEing completely present, making eye contact with sincerity and truly Listening opens the flood gates for powerful connection.
I strongly believe that one of the most important gifts I can give myself and others is to HEAR. To Listen with intense complete presence, shutting off my mind chatter. I absolutely LOVE the connection experienced when I truly listen – WOW.., it is intensely powerful. Full of surprises and new understandings.
What if today, you challenged yourself to slow down and really HEAR? What might you learn about your partner/spouse, friend, child, co-worker, etc..? How might you feel as you allow this true connection? What might you learn about yourself and others? Below are a couple of articles that briefly discuss Listening, I thought you might enjoy them.
The title of this blog is likely to stir some reactions, however, I write about one of the most basic human desires and needs – to feel and share touch.
It has been proven in studies that babies need touch to thrive. We do not grow out of this internal craving. The power, grace and gift of touch soothes our very BEing. It is my believe that we under estimate how much we yearn to be touched and to touch.
As a mother, I treasured the soft moments of holding my children, caressing their faces, massaging their backs while they fell asleep. In partnership there is nothing more glorious than the soft warm touch from your lover. Friends and family all blossom with the grace of touch, a hug hello, a touch on the arm to say thank you, a caring goodbye hug full of gratitude…
Touch is one of those things that is directly impacted by cultural, societal and religious “Expectations” and “Domestication”. Everyone is unique in their comfort zone with touch based upon their upbringing, life experience and perception of what touch means. Thus the journey with touch is one we carefully navigate.
I personally LOVE touch. I enjoy sharing it with those who are open to it. I also respect that many people have boundaries. This blog is an invitation to explore touch, to be open to it, to give and receive. Notice how it makes you feel to be touched, to share touch. As one of the five amazing senses we get to experience as humans, why would we not indulge ourselves to enjoy its powerful gift.
If you do not believe me in regard to the NEED for touch, just “Google” it and see what comes up – you might be surprised.
I am a being of love, I enjoy sharing and receiving touch in a honoring, compassionate, caring way.
Today’s Walking Naked Truth Practice:
Play with touch today – see how it impacts others.
A sincere handshake with someone while making true eye contact (Seeing and Be Seen).
Hug a friend or family member.
If in a relationship caress your lovers face and see how they soften to absorb such attention.
Open to receive touch.
Touch a colleague’s arm during an interaction, a non-verbal expression of gratitude.
At the end of the day reflect upon what you experienced.
If you are someone who finds touch uncomfortable, perhaps you can open to explore it with those you trust, for it will soothe and heal.