Tag Archive | spirituality

A Shamed Life? (Reposted from 2012 April)

shame

 

~SHAME~

What does that word do to you may I ask?

Does it conjure up thoughts and then feelings about a time or event in your life that at some point even now causes a shame response?

I know that shame is not necessarily a bad thing. Shame, or the knowledge of the consequence of it can serve its purpose I suppose when one is weighing whether or not their actions could be shameful in someone’s eyes? But whose eyes count? Is it something that we carry with us in adulthood from events that happened while still maturing? I have no real answers to any these questions for anyone but myself. Especially I would never condone that what I am feeling or writing about how I feel or think is the best for anyone else. I don’t. I don’t because I come from a different history, I have different beliefs and thoughts on things than anyone else. Just as you do. We may be like-minded in many ways BUT WE STILL ARE Individuals with individual outlooks.

Shame is something that will cause us to have to pay for the excess baggage. Its expensive. It’s a cost that is likely to cause extreme hardship if allowed to continue to fester. Shame comes in many forms, comes from many things, and is insidious if left alone. Especially the shame that you have had no say in. Shame that was being played out like a maestro orchestrating an orchestra.

I know shame well. And shame knows me well. I am going to add a frame of reference to this post that is rarely my custom. Referencing my past, or my childhood; I’ve spoken about it in simplistic good terms before; the good out of the bad because 99.9% of my time that is just how I see my childhood. There were both. Just as there is in every one of us. For the purpose of this post and for my own journey I hope that you’ll indulge me and maybe even relate.

THE REASON FOR THE SEASON OF LENT

This quote from the Preface of Lent may seem surprising to those people who are accustomed to thinking of Lent solely as a time of penance: “Each year we are given this joyful season when we prepare to celebrate the paschal mystery with mind and heart renewed”.

Lent is certainly a period marked by somber seriousness, but contrary to certain stereotypes it is also a time of joy

We become aware of our sinfulness and our shames, however not by remaining fixated on ourselves, but by contemplating the love of Spirit. The readings for Mass during Lent certainly denounce sin, but at the same time Mass proclaims the divine mercy which is about forgiveness, 

For those who do not know I am a recovering Irish Catholic. I mean no disrespect or offense to those who are practicing Catholics, it is my personal spiritual choice based on personal history that made no sense to me to continue being under the direction of The Church that protects physical and sexual abusers. Priests who have obviously disobeyed their vows and promise to God. My abuse albeit not by a man of the clergy but was inflicted by one who should have been an even more trusted member of my family-the paternal grandfather. I was barely 8 yrs old.

Suffice it to say that I find no purpose in regurgitating up the details to be read here. I shall take no part in allowing anyone to “Float their boat” by reading a post here that is intended to help, not hurt. The only thing needed to be known is this was my start to shame. Something that I did not have control over, yet all the same I wore the shame of it like a red scarlet letter.

Growing up, and then growing out of an alcoholic home where parents had their heads in some other game than parenting, seeing violence, arguments were the norm and drunk parents at any time was my fear. I could not and would not let my friends see it. I would try to protect them from it just as hard as I tried to protect my baby brother of 4 years from it. But I could not. This was beyond my control and led me to believe that this was also my shame. I vowed to never as an adult allow events and other people to have power over my life again. The shame of others would never be mine again. I could master my culpability in life, but own no one else’s.

It’s taken me 50 plus years to realize that shame causes guilt of the hidden kind  and that I don’t have control and never will. As long as I let whatever happens around me to engulf me spiritually I would continue to try to make it my own. AS long as I allowed my own children who are adults now to accept their shame and guilt I am keeping them from owning what they need to heal.

Spending time on Ash Wednesday, the start of Lent reading and praying I asked Spirit to help me quiet the chatter in my mind, and to still my heart so that I may get closer to letting go of what does not serve me. What can I do to bring my mind more open to Spirit? What can I do to lend my heart to letting go of all old pains? What is keeping me from that complete openness that I will no longer need childish things? Letting go of guilt and shame whether I own it or whether it belongs to someone else will help guide my quest.

I need to let them all go and take down the screen that has helped me keep a guard up around my heart. Hanging on to shame is hanging to resentments, it’s akin to hanging on to an old lover who abuses your right to be happy. I can see ever so clearly now that what I held onto as baggage  was a way for me to remain a victim. To hang on to events that are past whether years ago, or yesterday, they only keep a screen of falseness up between myself and the spirit of contentment in my life.

Taking responsibility for events not in my power were bricks that through the years the mortar began to crumble. I had no idea why only that I knew there was this hole in my heart where I placed all shame. Shame has been keeping me from a lot of things for a long time. I did not feel worthy despite all the teachings I was forgiven. I had no idea I also had to forgive myself.

I need to let it all go. I’ve hung on too much too long, so long that I feared the idea of being without this coat of hidden shame. This is what happens when you own something too long that never belonged to you in the first place. Yet I stumble, I look over my shoulder, I run the other way and shame wants to follow. I will have to master this letting go.

Letting go of shame may sound difficult, it may not even be what is thought of as the typical fasting for Lent. Yet it feels so right in my heart, and my mind knows how much I need to let it all go.

This Reason For The Season of Lent I am giving up my shame. Letting it all go  and turning it over to something far more powerful than myself. I will cleanse all my resentments away, all the shame will leave my heart. Not just f several weeks until Easter Sunday, but for always. My heart will no longer be abuzz with painful shame, and my mind’s self chatter of times gone will be free to be open to just today. Just this moment. Living in splendor with a whole heart, with a mind that can relish the now, and a spirituality that is quiet, true and free.

Goodbye Old Shame, it’s been real.

 

©tjhelser2012

 

 

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Transformations by David C Deal & Company ~ A Journey of Transformations Through Music

transformation edit_album cover

” Sometimes, in the midst of a perfectly ordinary day one is unexpectedly flooded by the magnificence of “what is.”  Perhaps that moment of awesomeness and clarity arrives while watching a storm or absorbing a piece of art or kneeling with intention in a church. If blessed echoes of the past and visions of the future fade from existence as the unknowing silence of the INFINITE PRESENT emerges. With patience and grace one comes to know the incredible richness of “what is” as a revelation of GOD”S face and the mind is forever transformed into a MIRROR OF CREATION. 
~ David C Deal’s Transformations
Intricacies and nuances that go beyond what a listener can hear with just one journey through this album; “Transformations” by composer, musician and producer David C Deal with the contribution of many *talented musicians I found to be wonderfully true.
After several listens its depth of layers still captivates.
Transformations is aptly titled, as the listener is taken through a definite transformation that for this writer resonates deeply within.
A journey of self-revelation through song is a personal quest, yet the genuineness of what musician, songwriter, & producer David C Deal created with this odyssey resonates easily within ones own spirit. With the above quote from the album’s CD cover I think there’s not much more that necessarily needs to be said, but I found myself after many listens feeling compelled to share this album with the world. And there’s no better way for me to share it, save for being within the sound of my stereo, than to write about it, and to spin it on my radio show.
Opening the album with its intro of the first strike on piano keys by David C Deal’s with the addition the beautiful earthiness of the flutes by both musician’s Andrea Bak and Earth Songs (Native American Flute) sets the ambiance for this journey of “Transformations.”  The journey begins to unfold with intrinsic feelings when one’s own spirituality is touched upon, immediately with the organic feel of the instrumentation and the beautiful organic feel to the track “Graceful.” we have begun.

From the first track be ready for this amazing odyssey to begin. As I listen again for countless times the second track “First Contact” creates for this listener an intensity in my spirit that with its cascading piano building the emotions,  it seems to have stay with me even long after I turn my stereo off.

 
This album and its significant spiritual journey through the music and lyrics composed by David,  each track feels representative  of the ‘phases’ we all might well know personally on our own spiritual quest for transformations.
 
I’ve been thinking about what I want to accomplish by writing this review, for the many who have heard this album they know first hand the awesome experience this music is. So what I write I decided must not interfere with a new listen for anyone. I thought about expressing what each song brings to one’s heart and soul from my perspective, but in the end decided that if I did that it would be an absolute spoiler for someone’s first journey through this collection of music.

Suffice it to say that because of its spiritual impact on me, which I wasn’t expecting from a progressive rock point of view, I was and still am in awe and blown away. Blown away by the impact on me personally, where my life is today, and how easily each song resonates within myself. Blown away by the complex music compositions, and blown away by the sheer beauty that the musicians execute in every stanza, and in every note. 

 I have been living the album daily for several weeks, added to my daily devotional time, it was while reflecting about what it was I wanted to say in this post here I realized that much beyond remarking on the phenomenal musicianship and talent of each, and the messages of faith and hope, it would deny the new listener the experience of discovering for themselves the messages held in each song. To discover yourself the emotive ministry that comes from these collaborations by these amazing talented people should come first hand in my opinion..

 I will add that I truly believe that your enjoyment and experience would be greatly enhanced with your listen through headphones and zero distractions. I even will go as far to suggest that your first time listen you intentionally set a time of solitude and a quiet environment to listen and experience Transformations. I also suggest that you may be inclined to feel things not felt before, if so; allow yourself the gift of embracing everything this music inspires within your heart and your soul. 
I will simply close with three additional details. 
 
. * Credits to the masterful musicians:
David C Deal – composer, keyboards,vocals, producer
Kevin Peters – guitar
Tim Vargo -guitar 
Tom Hannah -guitar
Les Brooke- vocals, bass
Cynthia Lugo – vocals 
Ned Clark – vocals 
Andrea Bak- Flute
Earth Songs – Native American Flute
David Coonrod – bass
Andrew Vargo – drums 
 
 Transformations is available for purchase @ http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/daviddeal
and for more about David C Deal and his music @ http://www.davidcdeal.com/
Lastly;
I believe in sharing forward that which touches me to my core; which is exactly what this beautiful odyssey through music does…over and over…and again.
So significant I find it that with abundant honor I will be sharing David’s “Transformations” in one set to open up my Barefoot Rock n Blues radio show for 2015.
THIS SUNDAY HEAR THE ALBUM IN FULL!
January 4th – Sunday 8pm eastern 
Join David & I in the chatroom during the show.
 
 
 
 
 

 ttaylor 2015

Life’s Desire’s

If life is just all about surviving, getting by, and keeping things the way they are, then how can we explain imagination?
If it is just about sacrifice, selflessness, and altruism, then how will we explain desire?

I also wonder; if it is only just about thinking, reflection, and spirituality, then how can we explain the physical world?

I think the answers are in the big picture, I like to think it can be all-inclusive, and that wanting it all, that desire, that’s what helps mold and shape who we are, and our interactions with our world.

I think.

©ttaylor2014

On Mindfulness: This Moment In Time.


Through all these times 

I wondered about:

 the wounds of my soul,

all the mistakes, 

and all of the miracles.

~

Through the tears,

through the laughter,

along the side.

I obsessed.

I sighed.

~

And then

I begin 

to let go. 

~

Sighing,

 finally

letting go,

 always returning 

to the silence.

Over and over.

It heals my soul.

 

I am certain this is not news to anyone that trying to live a philosophy or concept you believe in 100% can still be trying. 

For instance just the day to day logistics can try to get in the way, and old habits are hard to break even when you want to. 

 

Some say Being Mindful of the Moment is just an expression, I disagree. “No surprise there” I hear someone saying. 

it’s true I believe mindful is a verb.

 

I often use to find myself feeling needy of knowing what tomorrow would bring. Today I know this is a feeling I do not have to react to, it is not my need to know what tomorrow will bring. 

Because in all honesty my future is not where I want to be. I want to be mindful of just this moment. I want to be fully present in the here and now.

But because often with that needing to know I could also make myself wicked crazy waiting for the answers.

 

I could. 

I did.

For some time. 

 

It has only been in the last decade of my life that the realization and wisdom come to me that fretting over what tomorrow or even hours from now will bring serves no rational purpose. Least of all it does not serves me.  

I’ve researched, studied, observed, absorbed, and experimented with ways to help myself remain mindful of Staying in the Moment. I needed some lessons, teachings, or maybe some magic tricks that would help me remember to be mindful.

It is too easy to fall back into old habits, old ways of thinking, even when we are trying to change our thinking to grow and enhance our life’s journey

 

Once I had some logistics in place, some ‘teachings’ I could grasp, that which allow now to be gently reminded to remain in this moment by practicing these lessons daily. 

 

First three teachings:

1. Practice Self-Love.  (Another verb.)

2. Practice Self-Compassion 

        &

3 Practice Self-Forgiveness

 

Practicing even one of these teachings helped me remain grounded, to retain a balance in my small world in the beginning. I say go slow..

It was quite remarkable how when I chose just one teaching that seemed like magic in that it helped decrease my level of predilection for wanting (read need) to know what the future is going to bring. 

 

How do we remain in the moment, to stay mindful of the here and the now? It’s the only space of time that matters. This time.. right no.w

In the spirit of this blog I’d like to share the teachings that work for me. My wish is that you are able to take something away, and please be welcome to leave something behind in your comment.

  • I wear or carry “totems” (an Native North American term) sometimes also referred to as prayer beads, worry stones, or even amulets. My affinity for doing so came from my youth. I found great comfort in a “smoothed by time” river rock in the shape of a flat heart.  I found beautiful comfort in holding its warm stone between my forefinger and thumb, or in the closed palm of my hand. I loved the connection with earth as a girl, I treasure it now as an adult woman.

  • *On Mediation: I prefer to mediate regularly; typically it is once every day for at least 15-20 minutes. I found it is that regular practice of meditation that really starts to shape my mind and the way it works. I have heard that this has been backed up by the latest brain studies. I find it easier to maintain focus, have that stillness of mind I am looking for. Being mindful is becoming my norm.

 

  • Journaling: This is probably not a surprise to those of you who know a bit about me. Keeping a daily journal of my goals and my accomplishments while articulating (what I like to think are wise thoughts) into my way of living can be remarkably effective. Absolutely it’s a habit that requires practice. A lot of practice. Journaling at night when I can’t sleep and reviewing in the morning helps keep these teachings alive throughout the day.

  • Reminder Notes: By placing inspirational/motivational notes, and self-affirmations around my small world (as done even on this post) these become helpful reminders for staying grounded and not getting distracted. This can be favorite quote, important concept, notes from loved ones,  or even a short narrative or a poem. A personal favorite are two prayers sent from a very good friend who is one of my spiritual mentors.

 

  • Mind-fullness Alarms:  I loved this teaching especially when I began my quest of mindfulness. Although I don’t do this as a norm anymore; setting alarms to go off at regular intervals throughout the day can be a very effective teaching to help kick-start good mindful habits. This is especially helpful when marathon writing by the way. Having that reminder alarm helps me to get out of my head for a time with regularity.  


It is also important I believe to note of what to be mindful of. Buddhists refer to this as the Right Thought and Right View. 

 Things that consume us during the day, like anger, fear, worry, or frustration, comes from unwise or misguided perspectives. Having a wider & more open mind to other perspectives than our own is a big help. I heard once about a very effective practice of referring to the issues of certain circumstances in our life as “third-world problems”. This is short-hand for a reminder that while dealing with issues we think are monumental, we might instead be mindful that there are people in our world who don’t have access to enough to eat.

It is all about perspectives.

And how we think.

 Can this kind of daily practice of mindfulness achieve a state of bliss In The Moment? 

For thousands of years, practitioners have reported greater happiness and tranquility when we are able to stay In The Moment’ 

 

 So….I think… I shall stay right here in this moment….this here and now – and absorb it for all its worth. 

And this moment in time? 

Priceless!

 

 

Signature 2013

Soaring Message

 Snippets of journaling from the past few months prompted this post. It has been a self exploratory two years as of this month, healing is not always an easy thing to feel and absorb.
But it holds so much promise.
** Miss Judy Collins has been with me since 1966. Her voice, the lyrics she tells stories through have always been a guiding energy in processing my life. Today is no different.
 
Recently for very personal reasons my writing has become even more important to me. It always has been. But when I pick up my journal today and open its door to the pages of my feelings I realize how blessed I am to have this blogging community to share with. You my friends,you are my walls. you support me.
I still journal long hand, there is a certain sense of satisfaction I receive from filling up paper pages of artful fancied bound books & good old-fashioned black ink.
Yet there is also a great satisfaction in writing your heart & soul’s thoughts and having these viewed by those who care enough to share & add their own thoughts.There is also many friendships that have grown from this interaction, and I trust I will be blessed that more will bloom into my life. I don’t blog for numbers. I rarely look at my stats page. Not my agenda. I blog because it’s what I need to do. It is like breathing now. I write and I need to share said messages
.
I am meeting the most treasured people who are all the best reasons outside of my writing (getting out of my head) to stick around and continue putting my thoughts out here. Not that there is anything earth shattering in what I have to say. I say it in my way and that folks helps feed my soul.
Life is like an orchestra. Wanting to be able to hear all the parts, all the sections at once, it is not often possible to the untrained ear.
Like an orchestra, seeing all we are meant to be to the untrained heart & soul keeps us paying forward the messages we were born to give to each other.
We are all waiting to cross paths with one another.
Waiting so be greeted by each others smiles.
Waiting to share messages from lives led, with wisdom gained.
We all have a unique message to give one another.
I hope to be listening loud.
How can I be fully engaged in living my life if I shadow my own light’s message?
If I don’t let my light shine?
How do I do that?
Our convictions and conveniences may not live in the same sentence but they guide us into action. I made a renewal of an age-old commitment with myself & the universal power’s to be; to listen to my soul, to search out & live out my divine assignment. The authentic me. My own truth.
I am willing to let go of the things that are standing in my way of my truths.
I am willing to get emotional & spiritually naked.
Yeah, that sounds quite graphic for this Baroness. I know.
So just what do I mean?
Nothing to hide, nothing to protect, nothing to defend.
Frightening? Maybe.
But if so… than even more reason to bare it all.
Though admitted it is not easy to bare all. To do so means discovering things that will make you question yourself and feel vulnerable.
Realizing that unless there is a feeling of safety in that vulnerability you shut down. you might get uncomfortably numb.
An option, my choice,  on the table for myself is to be living bold, living true, live my authentic life.
It’s my life assignment.
I am not counting the times when I was knocked down, but instead I am counting the times I got back up on my own two bare feet. I need to be willing to harness my life lessons and give myself permission to stand tall and share my message.
 I have always had it, have always know it has been here, I just needed to know I am enough as I am. I am on this earth as is… because of someone’s life’s message shared with me.
Remarkable

I am still striving to live the authentic me, and I know that comes with all my past mistakes. It is those mistakes that brings me here to this point. It is part of my journey. I take full ownership. Proudly so.

I need to be willing to go the edge spiritually & emotionally. I need to be that transparent woman I strive for, to be comfortable in her skin.
I want to walk this walk, and talk the talk, telling my message, my history, my life assignment.
I will live with no regrets. I will spend my days doing what I was meant to do.
And my friends I am gladdened in my heart that our paths have crossed.
That we all have this life to share our messages.
So, please be welcome. and come through the open door.
I’ll be here. Feeling my wings soaring ~
**** From Judy Collins Live At The Metropolitan Museum Of Art.  Live album available on CD October 30th, 2012. The DVD released on November 20th, 2012. Directed by Pierre & François Lamoureux.
Signature 2013