YOU (24/30)

Powerful, gorgeous December. You are here and now and so beautiful. I love this month. My birthday happens to be the very first day of December (go number one!!!) but within this month lies endings, beginnings, seeds for celebration and moments of contemplation. The approaching solstice and many holidays are a joyful reminder of the light in the dark. Getting used to it getting dark at 4pm is a doozy, and I am excited for December 21st because incrementally, we gain a few more seconds of sunlight each day.

This has been a powerful time of review for me. In addition to my birthday, I have plans to both create a deeper, more comprehensive foundation for myself so that I can show up for my work and what I want to be offering. I am always amazed at how easily I get in my own way and right here, right now I want to change that.

Today’s prayer prompt, as ever perfect, is YOU.

Today I acknowledge and love myself with an open and full heart. I allow the Divine to be a part of this beautiful embrace of me and my many gifts. I now know that I am safe to love myself. I now know that I am a wonderful human being with a brilliant spirit and I now choose to allow myself to both believe and actively support this reality and truth.

I am so grateful to say YES to the Divine life force that flows through me and the love that animates all aspects of my heart and soul. I allow that love of me and who I am to flow freely and fluidly. So be it.

30 DoP - Day 23

December is upon us and 2018 is drawing to a close. How time flies will never fail to astound me. If you’ve read any of my prior entries here, you will see that I didn’t post at all in November. This wasn’t the plan, but it became my reality. Knowing that 2019 will be here before we know it, my intention for this month is to approach it mindfully and create a clear plan for the new year.

This may come as a shock, but I am not one for lots of structure. I do very well with it, but I also rebel against it. Maybe it’s my Sagittarian nature, or perhaps my lack of attention span, but when it comes to creating and implementing a plan, I am both fiercely independent and situationally dependent on others to help me push my vision into action. I find this dichotomy frustrating, but I’m reassured by the fact that it all boils down to ME and what decisions I am making.

Something i struggle with is maintaining my enthusiasm when I am in the trenches. Hard work is exactly that - hard -  and with my associate’s degree in procrastination, I am uncomfortably used to shrugging the heavy lifting off for a lack of wanting to do the hard work. I do my best not to beat myself up, but the criticism, disappointment and shame can creep in without me noticing it and before I realize it, I’ve set up shop in the dumps of my emotional terrain.

All of this leads to this moment. My birthday was a few days ago and there’s a new moon coming tomorrow along with Mercury, the planet of communication, moving into a direct path after languishing in its retrograde phase. The time for forward movement is imminent, and I want to greet that new dawn with a clear vision in mind and my first steps ready to be taken. I am someone who tends to have a lot of pots on the front burner and I am ready to change that habit and replace it with breaking down my myriad passions and pursuits and turning them into road maps for achieving my goals. If I screw up, that’s human and it’s also easily corrected. I am willing to see my magic through to manifestation!!

The prayer prompt for today’s post is Vibrancy.

 

Today, I name and claim Divine Energy as my Source and as the all-pervading force of the Universe. 

Where I perceive discomfort, frustration and a sense of separation, there is only the vivid vibrancy of the Divine.

I allow myself to acknowledge this pervasive presence of love as the bedrock for my life and existence. I offer myself time to pause and feel this presence in my heart as I offer my gratitude for this force of Love that is always with me.

I now know that when I connect and tune in to my higher self and to Love that I am revitalized and reborn vibrant and whole.

So be it ❤️

30 DoP - Day 22

A new day and a new post. There’s some powerful astrology going on as I type. There was a full moon in Taurus this morning and there’s a whole lot of Scorpio energy present too — Sun and Venus retrograde. If you don’t know what any of this means, I recommend you hop onto google and read up on these if they are of interest to you. We are living in times of unprecedented change and challenges and I find the more information I can glean to create deeper contexts for what I am experiencing is immensely valuable to me.

I watched the NY Times in conversation with Jill Soloway and Hannah Gadsby today and it was amazing. I am so grateful for their relationship and what they share in here. They used a term - foot soldiers of the new world - and I found it very powerful to have such revolutionary ideas discussed so openly. They touched on a lot of what I’ve been thinking about lately, but what really impacted me was their visibility. I find it incredibly brave to stand up so loudly and so clearly for what one believes in, and these two were a badass example of that for me.

I’ve been thinking about things that are broken a lot. Our government, our trust with it, so many systems of governance and of power that are so profoundly broken and irreparable. For whatever we witness outside of ourselves is merely a reflection of what is going on inside of ourselves. When I witness hate, rage and anger, my heart cries out to be a force of love and yet to show up as a force of love in these times scares the shit out of me. I realize this is a path that requires me to be brave, to be led by my heart and trust my gut always. Courage comes from the French word coeur, meaning heart. These times are asking us louder and louder who do you want to be in this world? What forces are you contributing to with your actions? If you truly want to be the change you see in the world, are you willing to be led by your heart through the darkness of what ultimately is your own shadow in order to create the conditions that your eyes long to see and your heart sings for? This is something I am thinking so much about. My own personal negotiation with how I am choosing to show up in the world is a flowing ocean. Calm some days, rough others, but with a deep trust that here I am no matter what, and each day holds new choices and possibilities that I have the agency to say yes or no to. In that, my fear is transformed into faith, and I know that no matter how tempestuous the conditions of my life are, this is exactly where I need to be doing exactly what I need to be doing because I am on my path and that is what truly matters.

But going back to broken…

I found myself, in thinking about all things broken, remembering a card I saw by Emily McDowell:

Screenshot 2018-10-24 16.22.14.png


And I am considering this. The image of repairing any cracks in my heart or being by sealing them up with gold is a beautiful image that brings peace to me when I think about it. When I was searching for this card on google, I couldn’t remember the exact verbiage, and first typed in cracked pot with gold and found so many biblical references. This image of the cracked pot with God shining through is apparently a popular once, and also one that resonates deeply with me. What a wonderful thing to stumble upon while searching for something else.

Today’s prayer prompt is Visible, which as always is super perfect. To be seen in my truth is what I am stepping into and I know the fear is healthy because it is showing me what I need to do if I want to get where I am going. To be seen and heard is tonic for the soul and the body, and I am now willing to be visible in my truth and power.

Visible

Divinity is present in every moment and aspect of our lives, but our eyes are ill-equipped to see proof that the Divine is, has always been and will always be here and now.

God is unseen, yet God is everything I perceive. Knowing this, I can relax into feeling safe, loved and supported with every step I take because God is present today and always.

The Divine is joyfully providing abundant good for me behind the veil of my perception and five senses.

I am now willing and able to focus on the unseen made visible. The love, goodness, and grace of the Divine are here for me to perceive today and always.

I offer my deep gratitude to the Universe and allow It to now be made visible for me.

So be it.

30 DoP - Day 21

They say it takes 21 days to form a new habit on average. I assume those days have to be consecutive... 

I’m writing this blog post via the app on my overly fancy new phone. I love technology, but not when I feel I am beholden to it. Lord knows I am grateful for the gadgets and being able to afford them and I in no way want to come off sounding all first world problems woe is me etc. It just feels like too much sometimes...

The prayer prompt for this entry is “letting go.” We are in the season of autumn and according to Traditional Chinese Medicine, the action of letting go is very much aligned with the season. We are moving from the high yang of summer to the low, deep yin of winter. This is a time of construction, of inward movement, of descent. The emotion that is connected to autumn according to TCM is grief, which is the emotional response to loss. Whether it’s the loss of summer or the loss of things greater or even smaller, it is so important to honor the sadness and to give it a voice, 

As fate would have it, I literally just got a text that a dear friend lost her dog today, her steady companion of 13 years. The synchronicity of this is reverberating in my heart right now. 

I’d like to dedicate this prayer to Stanley, one of the most handsome and kind dogs I have ever met and to his mama Gina. May we all breathe in to the wealth of love, connection and presence that is present in our lives so that we relax into the richness when the time comes to let it all go.

 

There is a universal force called Love that surrounds me always. It animates who I am and all that I know and I feel it’s support in every cell of my body. 

 I trust that I am one with this force and that I am a powerful co-creator with this Divinity known as Love.

Today I let go of my attachment to the unreal, to all that is in conflict with my true nature of Love. I let go and receive the deep knowledge that I am here to create and the only thing that can stop me is me. I release my fears and my beliefs that I am not good enough and replace them with the deep, unwavering faith that I am here to Love and that God is with me always and has my back no matter what. 

I am eternally at one with this universal force and it’s guidance. I now say yes and welcome in its presence to shore my heart and reassure my body that all is well because I am loved by a force that animates all life as we know it.

I am so deeply grateful for this truth that is mine forever and ever amen. So be it ❤️ 

 

 

30 DoP - Day 20

I am typing this on a rainy, cold Saturday morning. Three days ago, it was hovering near 80 degrees. Now, it’s barely 50. A change in the weather can happen so swiftly and can sometimes leave us looking for shelter, a warm layer of clothing or comfort or just a lovely cup of tea. I shold also note that as I type I have a cup of tea, a cup of coffee and need to go find some socks to put on because lord it’s cold!

The energy of change has been so present for me, and for many others too. Change is the only constant in life, but there’s something about the here and the now where the emotional volume and vulnerability is turned up much higher than normal. This heightened emotional volume may make our nerves feel more brittle, or even bring up strong emotions that lie in wait just below the surface of our behavioral veneers.

I recently had a huge emotional upset that left me feeling raw, sick, upended and profoundly shaken. It took me weeks (literally 3 of them) to come back down to a resting heart rate anytime I was reminded or recalled the situation. It is not resolved yet, but I was determined to reclaim my inner peace from this situation, and so every time my anxiety spiked or I felt a wash of cold battery acid-like feelings over my body, I would come back to my breath and repeat “I now transform my fear into faith” until my physical response to the increased emotional volume got turned down.

I was amazed at how consistently this worked for me. If you have read any of my prior posts, you’ll know that I struggle sometimes with consistency and showing up for myself on a regular basis. This whole process felt like bootcamp, and the stakes (being my physical and mental/emotional wellbeing) were sky high. I am so pleased to say that, despite the unresolved tail end of the issue at hand, I am feeling much calmer and any time I feel the rumbles of anxiety, I take a deep breath and repeat my mantra. It works so beautifully for me, and if it appeals to you, I invite you to try it out as well.

This week was spent at one of my spiritual homes, Kripalu. My life has been struck by spiritual lightning repeatedly at this incredible place, and every time I return it feels like I am coming home. I am developing a whole new line of work and a new focus within my many favorite fields - mainly burlesque and healing our relationships not only to ourselves but to God as well - and I spent this week at Kripalu gaining tools to facilitate transformational workshops the likes of which I can’t wait to bring to the public. Lots of new tools to practice with and to bring into all my work from this point forward…

It’s nothing less than perfect that the prayer prompt today is “Start”

Today, I know and trust that the Divine is all around me and makes up every part of the world I perceive and belong to.

In ways both big and small, I am surrounded by the Divine today and always.

Today, I take a step toward making my dreams a reality and I know the Universe will rise to meet and support me with every step I take.

I am profoundly grateful for this Universal support. I now feel it in every cell in my body as I take a nourishing, deep breath.

I don’t have to make any plans. I start at the starting line and just take one step forward, allowing the Universe to do the rest for me.

And so it is.

30 DoP - Day 19

Have you ever made a commitment only to have the universe test that commitment by throwing everything it can within reason into your path? That is exactly what I am navigating and exploring as I sit down to type all of two and a half weeks after my last post. This process has been a very telling one for me.

I have struggled with commitment for most of my life. Some things, no problem. I show up and make it happen. But most things? A commitment made slowly goes mushy, losing its contours and boundaries and starts to melt and disappear like a sand castle when the tide comes in. I’ve said this before, but commitment is a decision. You either decide to do something or you don’t. The delivery of said commitment is its own process, its own journey. When it involves showing up for myself, my own relationship to commitment and to myself is laid bare. It has been so much easier to show up for joint/group commitments than it has been for my own. This makes me both sad and reflective. If these words or thoughts are burning in my heart and asking in whispers and hollers to be let out onto paper or a keyboard and screen, what stops me from following through? It’s a deeply personal question as it involves a big navigation of failure and shame for me, two things that have had some inescapably sharp barbs. But here’s the thing - I’m doing this for me and for no one else. So why am I being so hard on myself? It’s because this is what I was shown. If I don’t follow through, I have failed, and if I have failed, I am a failure. Guilt and shame and some nasty kicks in the gut fill this negotiation for me, but to bring it back full circle, I hereby make a new commitment:

I now commit to loving myself no matter what, and to come back to the tasks at hand with a gentleness in my heart, knowing that when I complete my commitment, I will feel satisfied and so happy with my hard work done.

I’m willing to walk with this and make it happen, because life is too short to be held back by my own limited beliefs. I am willing to fail, because then I get to start again and develop a deeper level of resilience that I know will serve me beautifully.

And, as ever so perfectly, today’s prayer prompt is Connect.

Today, I know that I am at one with Divine Intelligence. I experience the feeling and knowing that I am connected to everything on this planet and beyond, and this brings me deep comfort. Feeling the connected to all of life is manna to my heart and soul and I am deeply grateful that I am willing to participate in this comfort and joy.

Through this energy and presence of connection, I know that I have already attained all that I desire for I am already and have always been connected to and a part of it. I now surrender to Divine Intelligence and allow my dreams, desires and prayers to be made manifest.

So be it.

30 DoP - Day 18

I knew some time had passed, but it’s been 6 days since I posted - !! That went by quickly…

The last week has been a blur. I am typing this while sitting on an Amtrak train on my way down to the city where I will continue my day of travel onwards to JFK and then into Salt Lake City where I will be attending the doTERRA annual conference (fun fact - I’m a distributor and wellness advocate of these gorgeous essential oils. Want to learn more? Click here.) I love traveling - I always have and I likely always will. There’s something about the change of scenery, staring out the window with only my thoughts to keep me company that brings me great peace. The last few days have held some surprisingly emotional and difficult challenges, and although I’m not at 100%, I am breathing a sigh of relief as I watch the Hudson River flow by outside my window.

One of the highlights about posting these blog entries is the inclusion of these prayer prompts. As you’ll likely have noticed, these are not your typical prayers with typical prayer structure. This style of prayer writing is called affirmative prayers, and I find them very powerful tools to call in the support that I need. If you’re interested in trying out this 31 day prayer challenge with my wonderful teacher and friend Jennifer Urezzio, you can go to her website here and enter code AB in the PO/Invoice box. You will receive as a gift a personalized prayer from Jennifer herself along with the 31 days of prayer prompts that are AMAZING!!!!!

I am grateful for today’s prayer prompt. As I navigate some very uncomfortable and muddy waters, I find that when I reconnect with the energy of Love and the force of light that surrounds all of us always, I can take a breath more easily and my thoughts soften into awareness and gratitude. I am acutely aware of lots of floating anxiety right now that comes crashing in like waves every now and again. Right now, I choose to breathe, and write this prayer from the bottom of my heart.

Self Tithing

I am made of the Love that animates all life in the Universe. I am one with this Love and it supports me in every way possible, always.

Today, I self-tithe. I generously give myself love, acceptance, soothing, comfort and security. Today, I know and trust that I am worthy of these gifts and these expressions of Universal Love and I say yes to them.

My heart sings with thanks and gratitude because I know that as I receive, I give and allow the Universe to love me with joy and unexpected gifts of prosperity.

So be it.

If you’d like to learn more about self-tithing, Jennifer explains it beautifully below:



30 DoP - Day 17

I’ve been watching the news all morning. I usually like to start my day by checking various news websites instead of watching the news on various channels or streaming services. Today, I wanted to read about Hurricane Florence and the forecasts of its brutal forthcoming impact.

Major storms and disasters hold a fascinating place in the human psyche. Understandably, the hold supreme importance for those in their path for the sake of safety, health and staying alive. I remember various hurricanes hitting when I was younger (Andrew sticks out particularly), but the news back them is not the news there is now. The warnings are certainly warranted, but the fear and obsessive coverage creates and perpetuated its own galaxy of fear and needing to hang onto every word and to stay tuned no matter what. In so many cases, the fear that gets built up dwarfs the reality of the storm. In this case, however, it looks a lot different. I pray for the safety of everyone in its path, and may this be a wakeup call not only to our changing world and its climates but also that we as human beings are one. There is no division or separation in the eyes of God, only our own. A storm will hit and hurt anyone in its path - it doesn’t care who they are or what they look like or how much money they have in the bank. Unfortunately, the response to these stricken areas is very much codified by these factors - just look at FEMA’s response to Puerto Rico, or even the black neighborhoods of New Orleans in the aftermath of Katrina. The racist beliefs of those in power hurt my heart and dent my confidence in our country’s leadership. I am very much willing to see a new possibility rise, however. The possibility of a well funded FEMA that serves everyone equally, and the possibility of swift, thorough governmental response are what I hold in my heart and in my mind’s eye. We are living in scary times, and unfortunately, many people who have safely lived under the shield of privilege are being rudely awoken to the reality of our country and its policies. It is a heartbreaking situation, but one I feel is leading up to a unified awareness of our oneness. I am concerned it may require catastrophic loss to arrive there, and I pray that I am wrong. We have been given the gift of this country and it is up to us to hold the government accountable when it fails its people.

Deep breath. Wow. Wasn’t planning on going that deep or even in that direction.

Today’s prayer prompt is one that is near and dear to my heart. The prompt is My Body. I have realized that part of my mission and path in this lifetime is to help people make peace with their bodies and begin to love themselves radically, fully and compassionately. I once heard a beautiful quote that said something along the lines of “where we have been wounded is where we hold the greatest capacity to heal both in ourselves and in others.” That has always stayed with me. There is a beautiful archetype called The Wounded Healer. It’s based and clearly seen in the myth of Chiron, who was a centaur in Greek mythology. Chiron was responsible for bringing medicine to humanity, delivering it to Asclepius who became the human father of medicine (this staff intertwined with snakes is still a widely used symbol for medicine). According to Greek mythology, Chiron could heal anyone and anything. When the centaur wars happened, many centaurs were killed and wounded. Centaurs were immortal and could live forever unless violence was inflicted upon them. In the war, Chiron was wounded badly but didn’t die. He carried this wound with him for the rest of his life, and he was unable to heal himself. Hence the archetype of the wounded healer.

Growing up, I hated my body. I inflicted so much negativity upon myself, and it hurts to even write that now. I have trouble looking at pictures of myself when I was younger, because all I can see is my beauty and innocence and I know what lay ahead in my path. It breaks my heart to think about it and brings tears to my eyes even as I type this now. This body wounding cut me to my soul, and I am in no way surprised that I am shifting my work into healing this wound in others. The thing is, we can only heal in others what we have already healed in ourselves, and for as far as I have come, there is still work to do. This will be a journey of a lifetime, and for as painful as my past has been, I choose to look ahead with hope and the distinct possibility of changing people’s lives for the better.

So thank you, Jennifer Urezzio, for creating this amazing prayer program. It is feeding me in ways I couldn’t ever have imagined!!

My body is created from the all-present Love that makes up the Universe. All of this Love resides in me and my body is a vessel of its Divine expression.

This Divine frequency and presence of Love can climb every mountain and swim every sea, capable of great feats of wonder and awe.

Today, my body is a reflection of this Divine Love and radiates health, wealth and contentment. My body is healthy, alive and a tool of the Divine in its expression of Love on Earth.

My body vibrates in full alignment with the power of Love, and I receive this vibration as confirmation that I too am Love.

I take time to pause and be thankful for the gift of my body. My body is the way I experience and perceive life which is a profound and Divine gift in itself. My body is my temple through which I can know the presence of God within me and the all-pervasive force of Divine Love that surrounds me and imbues me with its presence today and always.

I now release any pain and conflict that I have in and with my body. I now allow the Universe and my body to be in alignment and to guide me toward the highest and best way I can nurture, support, nourish and love my sweet body.

So be it.

30 DoP - Day 16

I’m over the hump!! My 30 day challenge (now 30 post challenge because timing is apparently harder than I thought) is now halfway complete and it feels great!! This may be the coffee and black tea speaking, but I feel so good about this! As I mentioned in earlier posts, commitment and follow through are two of my biggest bugaboos in this lifetime, and I am DONE with being held back by this unfulfilling habit. When I look into the ‘why’ of it all, I hold myself back because I don’t feel like I don’t have anything of value to offer. THIS is the biggest bugaboo of them all, because I do have something to offer, something invaluable that cannot have a price or measure put on it. I am now willing to receive the bounty that my soul has to offer and make happen what is in the core of me that has been trying to be expressed for decades. Everyone is being challenged right now, and everyone is waking up at their own speed. I am very aware of the challenges that I am facing, and I realized that if I apply myself to this one task, it will make a world of difference to that sad little girl deep in me who was repeatedly shown that she didn’t matter and neither did her dreams. I started doing burlesque because there was a firehose of energy rocketing out of me anytime I came close to it. The first time I ever performed, I walked home in a light-filled daze and could barely sleep that night, because I knew that I had found something huge for me. Burlesque lit me up like the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree, and now, 12 years later, I have the same light, the same passion, but the focus has shifted slightly. Burlesque is still very much a part of it, but it feels more like a vehicle of consciousness that is transporting me deeper into myself and further along my soul’s journey in this body. Where it goes, well, I guess I’ll see when I get there, but for now what matters is the here and the now. I’m doing this for me, and that’s worth its weight in gold. I can only imagine what the next 14 posts will hold - !

Today’s prayer prompt is, as ever totally perfectly, It's Happening Now 

There is only one force in the Universe, and that force is Love.

This Love can create everything and do anything, and that means that I too can create and do anything I wish.

It’s all happening now. The Love, its transmission, existence and grace. It’s all here. Right here, right now. I say yes to it, and receive its presence with joy in my heart.

I am experiencing this Love and the joy and peace that comes with it right now, in this very moment.

I am profoundly grateful from the core center of my heart, and I offer my gratitude to the Universe for the Love that I feel and am experiencing.

This acknowledgment and acceptance allows me to release my fear and trust life, fully supported by the Universe

So be it.

30 DoP - Day 15

It's a rainy, cold Monday here and I have to say that I am loving it. I have always enjoyed cooler weather and bundling up to leave the house this morning felt very comforting and reassuring. This being said, it went from being in the low 60s at night to suddenly upper 40s which was a bit of a shock. I'm game for cool weather, but I really enjoy a gentle lead in with a gradual decrease in temps as opposed to a 20 degree drop out of the blue. 

The sudden drop in temperature made me think about a woman I met here this summer. I taught an anti-anxiety class for free at the local library and she came to both of them. For the first class, I offered a meditation about connecting to your own heart and listening to the messages in there, and she had a very emotional reaction. I went up to her to check in and see if everything was okay and a story came tumbling out of her that had me feeling shocked along with a sense of the despair that this woman has to live with every day. She shared with me that she was homeless and that she had nowhere to go. This was in July, and she returned again in August. We spoke for a little afterwards and she shared how she had nowhere to go and had been sleeping behind one of the local supermarkets. She said how it was sort of okay for now, but that she didn't have anywhere to go for when the temperatures dropped. There are apparently no homeless shelters around here, the only one being about 45 minutes north of here that is apparently full of pretty dangerous people. She didn't know what to do and I didn't know what to say, apart from that she is in my thoughts and if I could help in any way for her to let me know.

Fast forward to this morning and me waking up shivering under the quilts on our bed. I got out of bed to put a sweatshirt on before climbing back into bed, and I thought of her. Where is she? Was she warm? Was she safe? I felt simultaneously helpless and up against a wall in some ways. It wasn't up to me to "save" her but I didn't know what to do and not feel like some privileged a-hole. I still haven't found an answer, but I am thinking of her and sending her my energy, love and prayers that she has found safe shelter and is being taken care of. 

What do we do when we can't help? Are "thoughts and prayers" enough? In many cases, they are the only things that we can offer up to people in situations that are impenetrable to us. I practice focused prayer and send reiki when I am made aware of disturbed situations and people, and I wish I could do more. 

Today's prayer prompt is Receiving

The Divine is a master of giving and receiving, the eternal flow of energy. I am a blessed receiver of love and support.

Today, my heart opens up to receive more joy, love, prosperity and freedom.

I am ready to receive the bountiful gifts of the Universe and know and trust that I am worthy of receiving the conditions for realization of my dreams.

I am so grateful for being a part of this giving, generous, loving Universe which is providing me with everything I need to be a great receiver. I know that I don't have to figure it out all on my own, I just need to be willing to be guided and to receive exactly what I need in each moment.

I ask, and I receive.

So be it.

30 DoP - Day 14

Woke up this morning with some old fear tapes running but they felt very current indeed. Dialoguing with fear seems to be my new hobby, and coming into contact with some deeper stuff somewhat unexpectedly has pushed this dialogue to the forefront of my mind. When I feel fear, I freeze. My central nervous system tells me to stop dead in my tracks until the threat has passed or at least been downgraded. There's a lot of talk about fearlessness, but when human lives are brought into the picture, it shifts both the context and nature of the dialogue. It becomes more pressing, more urgent and calls for braver, more immediate answers. I mention human lives because I've been thinking about racism, homophobia and sexism. I've also been thinking about intersectionality and how I can respond if any of these things get thrown in my face. I most certainly benefit from white privilege, but I do not want to accept its existence blindly when black, brown, gay, trans and female lives are threatened daily if not every minute by these forms of hate.

I do my best not to think about the president and his followers because there isn't a whole lot I can do about them or their deeds and actions. What I can do though, apart from voting and letting my voice be heard in conversations and yes, even good ol' social media arguments, is to focus on the why. Why are these people spouting such anti-human life sentiment? Why does this level of hate and bigotry exist? I feel helpless when I ponder the depth and gravity of these things, but what brings me back is focusing on each person, one at a time. Hate like that is produced by profound fear. White supremacy is founded upon and fueled by fear. I think about my white friends and family who have a really hard time talking about racism and privilege and how we can all help turn the page to a brighter, more equal and inclusive future. I had (and still have) a really hard time regulating my emotions when these topics come up, but I know that the problem at hand is way more important than my emotional fluctuations in that moment. Yes, of course I matter to me, but education and growing pains can be super f-ing hard and really uncomfortable, and that's ok. 

So going back to that fear/hate thing - I find that when I focus on the question, 'what is this person afraid of', it allows a deeper opportunity for both compassion and communication. Anyone who is operating from their limbic brain that frequently has likely experienced pain far worse than I'll ever see (thank god.) The limbic brain is the center of the fight/flight reaction in the body, and it is a non-verbal space. When something happens that triggers fear, the limbic brain kicks in and starts to call the shots unless we create a different reflex response to that stimuli. Just by taking a breath, it gives us the chance to move out of the limbic brain and into the frontal lobe, the center of logic and reasoning. Even just asking the question, "is my life threatened right now?" can be an invaluable tool in de-escalating threats. I realize this may be easier for some to ask than others, but it is highly effective in relaxing the nervous system and moving out of reaction into a space of response.

I'll continue to walk with this question for a while, and I hope that one day I gain a whole toolbox of skills and awareness to help me and many others dialogue with this complex issue. There are no easy answers, but I feel that when we are willing to step up to the plate in full control of ourselves in order to have hard and necessary conversations, real and lasting change can happen.

Today's prayer prompt is very perfectly this: Transforming Pain

All that exists is Divine love and grace.

These Universal forces of love and grace are all around me and within me.

These forces can neutralize and release pain, conflict and the belief in separation. I am of this Universe and of this love and grace, which means that I too can release and neutralize all that limits my true perception.

Today I acknowledge the presence of these forces and know that when I accept the reality of love and grace that surrounds me, I also accept that my fear is transformed into faith and my pain into peace.

I give my heartfelt thanks to the Universe for supporting me with unwavering love and profound grace. I am so grateful, and the love I feel in my heart and my body grows and heals all pain as I step into gratitude.

So be it.

30 DoP - Day 13

13 is my lucky number, and this day and this post and this timing couldn't be better aligned.

Today, Legs Malone turns 12. To me, 12 is the age where adolescence creeps in and when everything begins to change. The whispers of adulthood drift through every system in the body around this age, changing the endocrine system and creating changes in the body and mind that we are not always ready for. My 12 year old self was thoroughly traumatized and harangued by life in general, but this 12 year anniversary (at age 40) feels like a dream in comparison to that time. But I digress...

Today, not only do I celebrate my 12th year onstage as Legs Malone, but I am also celebrating everything that I am. I am so much more than a burlesque performer, producer, teacher and entertainer. I am also a healer (or healing arts practitioner for those who wince at that word) and a dance teacher and someone who is here to help people feel as good as they can in the bodies that they were given in this lifetime in a variety of ways. I am also a daughter, a sister, a wife and a friend, and it's time for me to show up and claim who I am in my fullness.

I have purposely hidden myself for years, keeping my muggle self and glamorous stage self separate for fear of exposure. On stage, I can (sort of) control what I expose, but when it comes to the internet, forget about it. 

So in the spirit of saying yes to who I am in my fullness and enoughness, I present to you this:

ABH-Final-8-20-18.jpg

My name is Anna Brooke, and I am Reverend Legs Malone. My mission is to help people reconnect to their hearts, and I hope that by sharing everything that I do that I can be a benchmark or stepping stone for you in your own awakening. We are here for a good time, not a long time, and so on this special day of new beginnings. I say hello from my heart and soul and invite you to join me on this beautiful ride called life.

For those who are just tuning in, I'm in the midst of completing a 30 day blog post challenge AND a 31 day prayer challenge created by master prayer writer Jennifer Urezzio. If you're interested in joining me on the prayer challenge, please click here and be sure to enter AB in the invoice box to receive a special, personalized prayer from Jennifer!

Today's prayer prompt is Safety - how totally perfect.

There is enormous Universal love that surrounds me today and always. I now feel that love around me, nurturing and caring for me. I know that I am made of this love and it is in every cell of my body and every particle of my consciousness. I surrender my fear to this Universal Love force and know that when I do so, the fear is transformed into faith, safety and love.

Today I experience profound safety and support. I receive the nurturing care of Universal love and trust it, knowing that all is well.

I offer my gratitude and love to the Universe and to everyone in it. I am so grateful that I am able to release my fear, surrender to love and know that my prayers are answered.

So be it.

30 DoP - Day 12

Oh boy - so much for maintaining a daily commitment to posting. When it rains it pours and it is monsoon season! I set an alarm on my phone every day to go off and remind me to post. I have been staring at the alarm from a few days ago, telling myself to post something, anything to maintain this commitment to myself. The thing is, I’m a bit of a perfectionist and want to put something up that feels good to post. This 30 days of posts project is for me, and yes I'm posting it on the internet for everyone to read should they choose, but I am writing from a profoundly selfish place in doing so. I am posting for these 30 days (more like 30 posts - the day challenge was lost long ago....) to show up for myself and say, hey, I can do this for me because my dreams are worth pursuing and worth achieving. On a deep level, I need to see and experience this for myself and although you get to read these ramblings, it is in the doing where the magic and work resides for me.

So so so much happening right now. I’ll be able to share more fully down the road, but for now I am focusing on my breath and responding to any anxiety with the thought “I love myself” repeated until something shifts. 

Today’s prayer prompt from my friend and mentor Jennifer Urezzio is Power.

 

The greatest power that exists in the universe is Divinity. I am a part and a piece of the Divine. By connecting and collaborating with the Universe, I am safe to embrace my power and create my work from a place of peace and strength.

Today, I say yes to my power and experience it with grace and ease. I now use my power to move through any limiting beliefs in order to assume the throne of my own consciousness and full, loving connection to my Creator.

I am experiencing gratitude in every cell of my body for the profound gift of my life and the power that is mine. I trust the Universe and allow myself to release all fear and surrender to faith, receiving the prosperous blessings of the Universe. So be it.

30 DoP - Day 11

Hoo boy - two days flew by with no post. I have a mountain of emails to reply to, but I wanted to get this in because this matters to me, and if I'm not showing up for myself, who can I show up for then?

So much massive creative output happening on this end. Working, strategizing and getting clear on my solo and joint projects is both exciting and daunting. By time you likely read this, all the projects I'm being very vague about will have been defined and announced, but please know that birthing this stuff on the back end is a massive undertaking...

In the spirit of my prayer challenges, I think I'm going to end all my posts with a prayer. As a new-ish Reverend, I'm still getting used to speaking about spirituality so openly. I look forward to including prayers and reminders of our connection to the force of Love more frequently...

Today's prayer cue is "I nurture" and here is mine:

Today I feel the nurturing love of the Universe. I feel it surround and infuse me, and it is reflected to me in the beauty I perceive in the world around me.

I am now willing and ready to nurture my own heart and emanate the love that I feel within and without.

Today, I nurture my inner child and my full consciousness and all aspects of me reflect back the radiant love I embrace and acknowledge in every aspect of my life.

I am so grateful to know that nurturing is a choice, and an easy choice at that, and all I have to do is express my heartfelt thanks to receive nurturing.

I now allow the Universe to nurture me and reveal my path so that I can embrace the gift of my life and the love that is ever-present.

So be it.

30 DoP - Day 10

My voice matters. Your voice matters. Each and every one of our voices matter. 

I've been rubbing Myrrh oil on my throat for the last several days at the direction of a dear friend and colleague. Myrrh is the oil of the Mother and has been used for millennia in childbirth and post-partum care. I've been rubbing it on my throat not only to support my thyroid (center of nurturing) but to help me be more balanced in speech. Practicing being aware and mindful of my emotions has shown me how much anger can spike at the smallest irritation. It was shocking to realize the ferocity of said anger as I am generally a pretty calm person. We all have stories, though, and histories. Mine includes feeling like I had no voice as a child, and so it makes sense that there would be anger present.

According to many different sources (glad to cite if need be), anger is considered a secondary emotion. This means that when anger is present, there is something else lying beneath the surface. Sometimes it's sadness, sometimes it's grief, but when my anger spikes, I take a deep breath and ask myself, "what lies beneath?"

So today I walk with this. What lies beneath the surface? What actions or histories are informing the actions that I witness and embody? Can I speak my truth and be willing to hear myself while being willing to be heard? Therein lies today's rub...

Today's prayer prompt is "today I choose." How totally perfect...

There is a powerful force in the Universe called Love. I can feel this force flowing within me and all around me, supporting and nurturing me through my process of awakening and relaxing into the flow of my life.

Today I choose to experience this profound energy of Love in every single action I take. Today, my life is full of opportunities to make proactive choices to fortify my trust and acceptance of Love so that I deepen my connection to my self. I am joyous to have this opportunity and embrace my ability and willingness to choose Love always.

I am deeply grateful for my choices to enrich my life. As I express my gratitude, I release any resistance to allowing the presence of Love to be with me, and let the Universe guide me in a perfect way to making the perfect choices for me. As I focus on these words, I know them to be true, and I say So Be It.

30 DoP - Day 9

Shorter title for these fingers to type!

Today I am navigating my fear about other judgements of me. I just had a session with my incredible teacher Ron Baker (look him up - he's incredible) and he shared with me some deep wisdom. It's not what others think, it's about what I think about myself and what I am doing - that is the most important thing. I was raised to constantly be monitoring the thoughts and feelings of others to a detriment, and as I re-educate myself, I am coming up against some deep, tectonic layers that hold this consciousness. Not easy but so frigging necessary...

In the spirit of shifting old thoughts, I want to share a prayer I just wrote below. I enrolled in the excellent Jennifer Urezzio's Power of Prayer class several months ago and it was excellent. I'm upping my investment by doing a 30 day prayer challenge wherein I write a prayer a day. Here goes nothing! The theme is being enough...

Today, I know and accept that I am surrounded by the energy of love and fulfillment. I experience this love and fulfillment in everything I perceive and experience.

I know that because I'm a part of this abundant, all-providing Universe, what is true for the Universe is true for me too.

I am experiencing joy in every cell of my body in being enough in every part of my life today. The fulfillment and happiness of knowing that I am enough is reflected back to me in every interaction I experience and in every relationship and exchange I have.

I am so grateful for this knowing, and thank the Divine for providing so lavishly for me. I now let go and receive the full support of the Divine, reminding me always that I am enough. So be it.

30 Days of Posts - Day 8

I must say, a part of me is really enjoying this regularity of posting. It makes me marvel at writers and their process. I've heard for years how writers structure their days and the challenges they face. Writer's block, lack of inspiration - all of that is real. Here I am, whittling away at 30 days of posts and asking myself, "what on earth am I going to write about today?" I am bursting with so much but then there is the question, what do I share and what do I withhold? How much is too much? I realize that last question has sort of flown out of the window given the current cultural climate, but it's a valuable question all the same. As you can see, I'm working out what it is like to be posting every day and wondering to myself, if and when anyone reads this, what will come of it? I guess that's sort of a silly question, because the importance here is in the action - the commitment, the follow through, the publishing... not what people will think. 

Focusing on what people think is a surefire recipe for stunted progress and messy rollouts. Speaking as someone who was raised to be eagle-eyed about what people think about me, this is a particularly sensitive negotiation. I would like to think I've moved past the worst of it, but that reflex to make others' thoughts and feelings more important than my own feels like conditioning at a cellular level. Sure, I have those moments wondering about higher visibility discussions or comments made that create tides of opinions and responses (and reactions too) that in turn make me worried or fearful, but I know I can take a breath there. As long as there are people on this planet, there will be opinions. Those opinions will take many forms and will be delivered in an array of ways. And I will be okay if any of those opinions come my way. That's my biggest negotiation - the fear. 

I've seen the phrase that fear stands for False Evidence Appearing Real, and I can definitely get on board with it despite still very much being at the effect of it. There are moments where I feel fearless and other times like I'm crushed by a gigantic boulder of fear that is keeping me pinned to the ground. This is where my most important, new work comes in - to show up for myself despite the fear. To follow through on my commitments even if I feel the blunt edge of resistance being pushed by that deep, internal fear. To say hey, I matter, and I'm going to do this no matter what because I deserve to see this through. It's very selfish in a lot of ways, but it's also deeply personal and very dedicated to ME who happens to be the most important person in the room. I'm more than ever willing to believe that and show up for myself so that I can see how much I matter to myself. That inner development of resilience is an investment that I will pay into for the rest of my life, because that inner strength and inner love is what will carry me when I feel weak, or sad, or scared. I will be the one carrying myself, of course with the Divine help and love I made peace with and now allow in to my energy field with increasing willingness and gratitude. Breathing into the love that I have for myself is the deepest way I know of saying yes to love. 

Deep breaths, and the ramble continues.... <3

30 Days of Posts - Day 7

Have you ever gotten tired out of the blue when a new project comes up? I'm working on some really cool new stuff that I am delivering in early September (stay tuned!) and I have been battling fatigue for what feels like all day long. I had two cups of coffee this morning and left my caffeine consumption at that and am, as I type, wondering maybe I could slip in a black tea for the extra pick me up...

I remember years ago, one of my teachers talking about how tiredness during work or interactions is a form of resistance. When we undertake something that part of us isn't ready to do, fatigue can show up like a big, wet dog. I'm working on some super cool stuff that I'm actually incredibly excited (and nervous and anxious and and and) about and I'm not that surprised that my body is showing up like this. To see my own stuff through to completion is a bold new move on my part, and this is no exception. Rebranding, repositioning and telling my story in a fuller, more comprehensive way is frankly scaring the shit out of me. Yes, there are the "what if"s (ie what if I fail!? What if people think I'm crazy?! What if I get kicked off my own proverbial island?!) and I am quicker and quicker to tell myself to relax and breathe. All those 'what if's don't actually exist. They are our smaller self or ego's way of throwing doubt, confusion and fear into our paths. When one is a creative individual (which we all are) and creating brave new work (or just new work for that matter,) I don't think it's ever not scary to show one's art or creation off for the masses to experience.

Being seen and showing up in fullness requires seeing things for what they are. When we show up, we are choosing to be seen. This, I feel, is incredibly bold. When we tell the truth of who we are, we begin to see more clearly. With clearer sight comes clearer perspective, and with that comes responsibility. How do we choose to respond vs react to whatever information is coming in? Therein lies the rub...

30 Days of Posts - Day 6

I missed two days worth of posts. Distractions, house guests and not making the time to get back in front of my computer. I know that's an excuse, but it's the truth. Fitting in a new commitment like this is a negotiation and when everything goes up in smoke (proverbially speaking), it's surprisingly hard to come back to 1 as it were.

Breathing is the best thing I can do to come back to my proverbial 1. I love new ideas and starting new projects, but if I get distracted, the game might as well be over. 

SO today I'm breathing. It's Sunday, and I have a very full week ahead of me. I find myself getting pulled into repetitive thinking that brings nothing but stress, and to pull myself out of it, I have to take a deep breath as a kind of neural interrupt. Here is my micro process:

Distraction.

Scattered thoughts, spinning wheels, etc.

Deep breath

"What matters right now? What is my priority?"

Deep breath again.

Begin again.

The rinse and repeat on this cycle is more frequent than I'd like to admit to, but to have the check in and begin again reflex is new, and so supportive.

So today, I begin again. And I breathe. 

 

30 Days of Posts - Day 5

Commitment is a decision. I sat down at my computer just now with several important things on my to do list, and was reminded to post on this here blog. My initial response was, oh lord. What will I write about? And an inner voice said commitment, because that's what you're coming up against right now in this internal negotiation. 

Commitment and the consistency of showing up for it is something that I haven't been great at when it comes to my own vision and work. I have so many ideas and floods of inspiration, but following through and seeing things through to completion has been probably the biggest bugaboo of this lifetime for me. It very much boils down to worthiness and me believing enough in myself to push my creations through to reality. I've worked with amazing coaches and teachers who have shown me that follow through rides on the coattails of firm commitment. When we decide and commit to something, the path is laid out before us even if that path is created by our own feet walking through the wilds of uncertainty. Commitment and goals have the endpoint in mind, like how in archery the trajectory of the arrow is dictated by where we aim. When we pick up the bow and arrow to shoot, we're not thinking about each point in space that the arrow needs to hit - we're thinking about where we want it to land. 

To be perfectly honest, commitment has been a very scary thing for me because it feels pre-programmed with failure. This, I acknowledge, is my own shit at work. In the tides of change that are crashing upon my personal and professional shores, it is time for me to make different decisions and shift my relationship to commitment. Commitment is not a jail term - it's simply structure. The beautiful thing is, it can be changed at any time, meaning we get to make the decision about what each of us wants to do and how. 

This leads me back to this very blog post. I have been urged and told to write for longer than I can remember. I do love writing, but as I said earlier, consistency has not been my strong suit. When I typed up that first blog entry, I did so because I needed to create a new relationship to structure and output that was not dictated by something outside of me. I'm doing this for me as an exercise in commitment. Yes, there's resistance. Yes, there's judgement. Yes, there's fear and worry and and and.... And I choose to do it anyway.

If I don't begin, how much longer can I tread water, waiting for something to come along? I need to be the change that I want to see in the world, and it's all up to me as to how I choose to go about it. But I want to do this. I want to push through the resistance, the judgement, and the barriers that my self-sabotaging ego is throwing in my path. We hold the possibility to change in every single moment and in every breath we take. I choose to say yes to this potentially completely arbitrary assignment because it's not about the blog posts. It's about me showing up for myself and saying, hey, you matter and this commitment matters.

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.
— Excerpt from the speech "Citizenship In A Republic" delivered at the Sorbonne, in Paris, France on 23 April, 1910

My personal negotiation of this feels like a sandbox version of this famous Teddy Roosevelt quote above. I may not have dust, sweat and blood on my face (more like tears, coffee stains and crumbs,) but the deeply personal, interior navigation feels like one of the bravest decisions I'm ever made. 

I am sure I will come up against more of the same as I move through the next 25 days of posts. For the first time in my life, I welcome it and choose to show up despite all the criticism, the worst of which comes from within me. I matter, and this matters. I'll keep repeating that to myself when (not if) I hit a roadblock. I will use it as a divining rod to discern what I choose to put my energy into.

I feel this is an incredibly meaningful next step for me, and I thank you for reading along on this very self indulgent exploration. If it fits, may you too be willing to commit to your own development and blossoming. It may not be cute the whole way through, but it doesn't matter. Other people's opinions only matter as much as we listen and put weight into them. Here's to saying me first from a place of deep love and commitment to ourselves, because we really, really matter.