Freedom

If you were to ask me the most important aspect of my life – what means so much to me at this time – it would be FREEDOM.

Although I’ve known intuitively that personal freedom has always been important to me, I didn’t realize that this aspect of my personality was ‘not negotiable’.   In fact, a lack of freedom is definitely my Kryptonite.

In my life, as I came to a realization that I wasn’t happy – happy in a job, a relationship, a situation – whatever it was – I would initiate behaviours and patterns to get out and get away from that circumstance.  This was not at a conscious level for most of my life.  I also could not name why I was unhappy or unfulfilled in those circumstances.  I just knew I felt contained or smothered and it wasn’t right for me anymore.  I needed out.

I remember having a boyfriend/partner who was incredibly amazing and we had a wonderful relationship.  After several years together, he started to talk about marriage and children.  It scared me and all I could feel was to flee.  I had a sense of loosing my freedom and being locked into something that I didn’t want at that time.  So, I created dissonance in that relationship to justify leaving it.  It didn’t make sense to me except to know that I needed out.

In the last few years, as I grow, heal and know myself better, I am understanding a lot more about why I did what I did and having more compassion for myself about how I did what I did.  I now recognize the paramount importance of personal freedom to me.  So much of my life makes more sense to me now.  I have greater awareness around my patterns and a loving understanding of how to address this primal need with my lifestyle and my life.

Freedom is my ‘soul food’.  It means the ability to do what I want to do when I want to do it (or at least be able to plan for it); to not feel tethered and held back by the density of fear and limiting circumstances.

I need Freedom to: Travel; Teach; Learn; Question; Grow; Create; Believe; Love; See; Change; Speak Up; Stand Up; Agree or Disagree; Be Still; Be Silent; Move; Plan; Choose; Come and Go; To Be Me; To say ‘yes’ and ‘no’.  Freedom to be human and make mistakes.

What matters most to you?  I’d love to hear what your Krytonite is?

 

 

Believe

I Believe…

As a kid, I believed in all the usuals – Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy.  They were mainstays in my childhood memories of things I thought to be true.  They were given to me as hopeful wide-eyed wonder ideals of benevolent beings who ‘had my back’ and were there for me.  I could count on them as a child.

As an innocent, impressionable child I was sold make belief Personas that could affect my life in some way to heighten my joyfilled expectations and monitor my behaviour (I remember trying to be so good especially in December so that Santa would come).  As time marched on, I learned that Santa and his crew were imaginary friends given to me by family and society to serve a purpose in this journey in life.

Looking back, I often wonder, what other beliefs have I been taught, given or taken on that really don’t bear true in the reality of my life now.  So what do I believe and what do I believe in?

I believe at a heart & soul level that we (humans) are capable of so much more than we have ever been taught. My work is to pull back the layers of information and teachings I have been given over the years to feel what is actually true for me and what is a conditioned belief given to our society for reasons not always benevolent.

I believe in the vast potential of the human body & it’s ability to heal.  My work is to take responsibility for my health without blame or shame.  To lean into what feels right for me, eat what fuels my body and move and play in ways that respect & honour my physical needs.  My work is not to jump into the next fad diet or program, but to see if it resonates for me on all levels of my being & then take respsonsibility for myself.

I believe that boundaries are a healthy way to respect, love & honour each other in life.  I am a ‘fixer’ and a ‘people-pleaser’.  My work is to trust myself and my gut responses when I need to say ‘no’, when I need to back away, when I need to slow down and listen more deeply to the messages I am getting.

I believe that I must love & accept myself as I am in my perfect imperfection.  I was taught that it was selfish to love yourself.  I now believe wholeheartedly that I can’t love others as they are unless I love myself as I am.

I believe we need to balance the power and strength of the masculine with the love and compassion of the feminine.  I was taught to compete to get what I wanted in life – to win at any cost.  This system doesn’t work – just look at the state of our world.  My work is to consciously and consistently work in collaboration with others to build all of us up to succeed and flourish.

I believe that every emotion has validity and power to teach us about who we are in this life.  I was taught to hide tears, to not rock the boat, to settle to keep the peace.  My work is to acknowledge each emotion as I experience it, to lean into it and not ignore or repress it.  I am learning to heal by feeling and allowing the emotions to move through me in healthy ways.  I’m living more authentically.

These are some of my beliefs and it’s a work in progress.

What do you believe in?  Do those beliefs serve your highest good & greatest joy? I’d love to hear from you.

Love & light

Brenda

Holiday Wishes

From my Heart to Yours as we close out this incredibly chaotic 2017:

 May this holiday season uplift your energy to levels unfelt before

May you know the immense beauty and boundlessness of your Heart

May you believe in the limitless potential of your Spirit

 

May you be guided by authenticity and kindness

May Truth become a constant ally as you source the depth of who you are

May You find Yourself living fully from the luminosity of your Soul

 

May this time of year allow you spaciousness and inner peace

May you find acceptance for yourself and others as you reflect

May you know the goodness of other people

 

May you Trust in the Magic and the Mystery

May you develop a healthy belief about your place in that Magic

May you know that you co-create the Mystery

 

May your Shadows teach you as gently as possible

May you learn and heal and release what is no longer necessary

May your heart be open to loving and being loved

 

May you know what you are passionate about

May you find the courage to follow those passions

May you be fearless in letting go of what blocks that path

 

May you find yourself in the company of those you can FLY with

May you witness the unfolding of love as it expands

May you delve into the spaces deep within that shine the brightest

 

May you uncover the Truth of who you are

May you forgive yourself & others with an open heart

May you never lose the magic that enriches your life

 

May you be inspired

May you be empowered

May you know – without a doubt – that YOU are enough!

 

From my heart to yours, I am so grateful for your presence in my life

 with much love & light Brenda

Resiliency

Do you like riding Roller Coasters?

I admit it – I love roller coasters and I have since I was a kid.  The absolute thrill and adrenaline rush of the momentary uncertainty facing the wild unknown.  The ups and downs combined with speed and curves create the thrills – the unexpected – the screams and the excitement of putting myself into an uncontrollable (yet controlled) environment.

Life has it’s own ups and downs – they are normal.  I often wonder if my adventurous, roller coaster-riding nature was a precursor – a kind of foreboding – preparing me for the reality of a life consumed with uncertainty and twists and turns in the road.

So many times, especially younger, I fought the reality of life trying to manage it all to stay in the higher emotions.  Worked tirelessly to control and avoid the rocky reality of living.  Looking back, I know now that this focussed behaviour ended up stressing me physically and emotionally aggravating my health.

On a great roller coaster there’s always the anticipation and expenctancy of being scared and pushing the adrenaline rush to the edge by choice.  It’s a tactical way to live on the edge in an environment that won’t last forever.  And, in that type of situation, the adrenaline coursing through the body can be corrosive and damaging to your nervous system if it isn’t balanced and dissipated.

Building resiliency in our body, mind and spirit takes practice and a willingness to live consciously in the realities of this life acknowledging all of it, not just the highs.  When you are fighting life’s natural flow, you are actually stimulating a stress response in your body,  making it even more challenging to create optimal health, to find calm or to slow down.

Sitting here today, looking back over the Theme Park of my life, it’s easy to see and assess the roller coaster rides I’ve taken.  In the throws of living day to day, with little awareness, life seemed fair and unfair – sometimes at the same time.  I found myself trying to control situations and relationships to reduce my anxiety and calm the ride from mountains and valleys to rolling hills.  My strategies were often less than optimal and sometimes damaging to myself and my relationships.

When life is stressful and busy, whether we create the scenario or it shows up for us, the Sympathetic Nervous System allows our body to cope and meet life’s demands by increasing our heart rate, raising our blood pressure, dilating the lungs, and preparing us to take action.

As a counter balance, the Parasympathetic Nervous System—via the Vagus Nerve—decreases our heart rate, lowers our blood pressure and allows the body’s energy to focus upon rest, digestion, elimination, and healing.

To build resiliency and opportunity for greater health, we must find ways to build reserves within ourselves to enjoy more of this ride in life.

Here are Some Strategies I use to build resilency in my body and my life:

  1. Spend time Alone. I make sure I can re-charge my batteries with plenty of downtime. This builds my physical, emotional and spiritual resilency.
  2. Do some Yoga (or conscious movement). I practice yoga, stretching, fascial release almost everyday. Be consistent.  It doesn’t have to be a lot of time – just make it a practice.  This can build reserves on all levels of your being.
  3. Dance (or move) to some uplifting music. I put some 80’s music on or anything I’m in the mood for and I dance around to dissipate some energy and feel wonderful from the inside out. This builds physical and emotional resilency for me.
  4. Drink lots of water and non-alcoholic beverages. I drink 2 glasses of lemon water upon waking up and then I drink Fruit & Veggie Smoothies everyday – sometimes more than one to hydrate my body.
  5. Read a good book. I always have 2-5 books on the go so that in the evenings, I can read before bed (limiting the amount of artificial stimulation via screentime or TV).
  6. Practice Gratitude. I have a practice that when I’m driving, when I see an expensive vehicle, I always say to myself what I am grateful for in my life. It helps me immensely in building reserves that I can tap into as I need it.

Face it, life is going to take you on a ride.  You get to choose whether you ‘white knuckle’ your way through holding on for dear life or take some action to build healthy resiliency.  By taking steps forward, you let the ride offer you a broader perspective and the potential for a more expansive life experience.

How do you manage your roller coaster ride in life?  What strategies work for you?

Roller Coaster Ride lover,

Brenda Dowell