Digging Deep: Releasing the Emotional Roots of Physical Pain

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I have grieved a lot in my life.

I have grieved over the past and the future, for my pain and for other people’s pain. Grief has left me on my knees with no breath in my lungs and no thoughts in my head but “Why? Why? Why?”. In these moments, sadness and loneliness seem endless, dark abysses seem welcome and the tears go on and on and on, unless they don’t. Unless the apathy takes over. The numb staring at the ceiling as I laid in bed on my back, not caring that it is 2:00 in the afternoon and there are places I am supposed to be. Not caring that friends were knocking on the door and slipping love notes through the door frame.  

I used to believe that when people leave, or die, or just stop caring out of self-defense, that a part of me died with them. I believed that I started off as an infant, whole and intact, but with every crushing moment of abandonment, a new part of me was stripped away. Death was inevitable, inconsequential, either I died doing something stupid, or some random accident happened, or I lived until there was no more of me to strip away and then grief would take me into nothingness. Either way, it would be over, and that was okay with me. I never really believed I would live past 30. Maybe that’s why my 30th birthday this year felt so…consequential, so big.

Today, I live a different life.

A life where each part of “me” that is stripped away brings me closer to experiencing the whole of ME. Grief seems to exist only to point out, through contrast, the awe inspiring brilliance of life and to be a part of what it means to fully heal. Every once in a while, grief pours out of unexpected places, hidden underneath the layers of resentment and rage that I never allowed myself to feel before. Hidden under layers of archetypal stories, linking lifetimes of mistakes and the growth pains of being human.

(*For more on anger click HERE)

Society defines the significant events in life as the weddings and the funerals, the acceptance letters and the graduations, the building of homes and the birth of children. However, whenever I sit down to write about the moments that really changed my, the list is filled with tiny BIG moments that no one else viewing the movie of my life would have even noticed.

The times I crawled in bed next to my mother to say goodbye before catching the bus to school in the morning. The warm smell of comfort, and being able to pretend to be a child for a while, before reality locked its cuff around my wrists.

The first time I so coolly and casually said “I love you” to someone, but meant it with all my heart, and the way it felt to keep from crying until he closed the door behind him for the last time. The feeling as my knees gave out and slammed against the wood floor as all the breath in my lungs was taken away and the feeling of not wanting it back.

The time I planted a poem under a Sourwood tree for a friend that I wasn’t sure if I loved or not, but knowing that now, I would never get to find out.

The first time I really had the courage to say “NO!” and the moment that I decided inside my heart to forgive what I once believed was unforgivable.

The day I found out how deeply I had abandoned the person I loved most in the whole world and the guilt that settled deep into my body, but had to play if off as no big deal.

Love flows through us, Joy flows through us, Elation flows through us leaving happy memories and a sense of expansion. But grief, anger, resentment, self-loathing, guilt, shame, they tend stick to the deepest layers of the body because they are the emotions we were taught to never fully feel. We were taught to be afraid of discomfort not to allow it to flow with gratitude through our body and into Mother Earth. So the grief, or fear or anger or resentment, hides inside our very bones, causing chronic pain, so easily rationalized and explained away as something superficial, something that makes sense.

Recently I was meditating and intentionally releasing some chronic pain that I had in my lower back for about a year, when my attention was forcefully relocated to my right hip instead. I have had on and off hip pain for over 10 years ago, “it was from a rock climbing accident” I told myself, “I worked it too hard at the farm today” I would explain.

However, when I started to breathe into that space, a tiny door that appeared in my mind. I opened it, shone and imaginary light into my hip and called a timid “Hello?” into the dark, I was in for a big surprise.  

I was confronted by a past life version of me. A woman screaming in rage and grief “How could they do this to me?” over and over again. She looked like me, but not like me at the same time. They had taken her toddler away, stripped the child from her arms and took him away. The pain of that separation ripped through my body and the woman turned into my teenage self, then my adult self and I instantly knew all the ways this past life experience related and explained my tendencies, behaviors and chronic emotional grief, guilt and pain in this lifetime. The details of which, I will not go into here for it is a long story in and of itself.

The moral of this story is that it is okay to grieve, the feel rage and hurt and disbelief that life happened the way that it did, but we need to acknowledge that if unresolved, these frequencies, these energies cause chronic dis-ease in the physical body. They cause stress and tension and inflammation and so much more.

For most of my life, I didn’t make the connection. I didn’t know how to allow pain to flow through me, so it was stored by default. But now that I know better, it is my responsibility to stop rationalizing away my physical pain. It is fine to see a doctor and to treat the symptoms, but I also need to begin digging deeper into the emotional root and clear that with breath and intention.

In this case, I experienced about 10 minutes of extreme discomfort, but in exchanged I was granted lifetimes of knowing and patterns and connections that left me feeling lighter and able to love myself more than ever before. I intend to continue this physio-emotional exploration and look more closely under the sensations that I have rationalized aside as insignificant for far too long.

I wish you the best of luck with any explorations you attempt and encourage you to gather your support system closely around you, because you don’t have to do it alone this go ‘round.

 

Love you all!

 

Ana

The Power of Presence is the Power of the Question:

Take a moment now to close your eyes and breathe deeply three times. Allow tension to ease and calm serenity to flood your body. Smile, and be here now.

When we breathe and come fully into the present moment, we can see our internal and external environment more objectively. We step into the space of being able to ask meaningful questions and therefore receive meaningful answers.

Breathing into the present moment allows us to disengage from the Ego’s tendency towards judgement long enough to accept what is. Acceptance of what is, soothes us enough to get curious. Curiosity temporarily cures judgement, so that we can stop asking the universe “Why me?” and start asking “What does this situation have to teach me?”.

When we ask, an answer is always given, but that answer is not necessarily the answer we were hoping for and it doesn’t necessarily happen on our timeline, and it doesn’t even always happen with words.

If a verbal answer does come into the quiet stillness, it often comes in your voice (not some deep booming voice of GOD). This makes guidance easy to dismiss as just another thought, especially if it doesn’t seem logical or if it challenges you to change your perspective.

How do you know that you didn’t just imagine it, that it isn’t your Ego just making stuff up? Besides just Knowing, you can tell because not only will it be the exact answer to your question but upon further investigation an answer from the Universe will always be based in love and unity, and an Egoic answer will usually be based in fear or doubt or separateness.

For the last few weeks, I have asked the Universe “What is it that still needs to click into place when it comes to my purpose and what I am meant to do and share with the world? What would you have me do? What do I need to do, I feel so lost?” and for weeks, I didn’t get an answer. I got guidance on a lot of other things, but no clarity of purpose.

Today, I asked when I felt at peace, when I was calmly in my heart, and I received an answer immediately. It was my voice, but gentler and slightly sweeter than I normally talk to myself.

“Can you be happy not knowing?”

To me this was answer enough.

Being in the space between, in the Gap, is a pattern for me. Changing cities or jobs or lovers was a common theme in my life and I am currently in a Gap where I am trying to establish a new career that will allow me to share my love with others and support others in finding themselves and their deep inner love.

This Gap time is another chance to learn that happiness and purpose and fulfilment is not something to be found externally but is rather something that I must cultivate in my awareness no matter what is going on in my environment.

When I can be happy without knowing, the knowing will come.

So, I deeply encourage you to take time to breathe in any way that feels intentional and powerful to you. Breathe and step back from the Ego identity into the Observer state and start asking questions. Big questions, small questions, fun questions, scary questions, just ask and then know that they will be answered in divine timing and through your path of least resistance.

Cultivate joy and peace in your heart in the present moment and notice that when you ask from that place of no resistance, how the answer is right there for you to hear or see or sense.

 

Sending my love to you as always!

 

Ana

Here is the video (it is a little rambling, so I tried editing it down for you, not sure if it worked). I am back to work at the farm and so trying to fit in my regular blogs and videos, so I apologize for the tiredness and the farm attire =)

A Letter from My Belly....

I have been thinking a lot about how I might be kinder and more aware of the needs of my physical body.I have a tendency to get caught up in masculine energy (still) and I know that my feminine energy is most intense when I can get fully into my body in a loving and appreciative way. This was an intention that I set for myself this morning.


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*** SHORT STORY***

So it is my husband’s Christmas break, he’s a high school teacher, and so he doesn’t have to get up early. I am feeling a little sick and so I gave myself a break and set the alarm for 7am instead of 5:45am. I get up, drink some tea and sit down to meditate, as usual. I was given very firm instructions to appreciate and take care of my body more and GO. BACK. TO. BED! Which led to a lovely and relaxing morning and meant I didn’t start working until around 11:30.

But this made me start asking “How can I be better about allowing my nurturing feminine energy to balance my masculine energy? How can I love and take care of my body better?

So a day of work goes by, studded with long breaks and then at 7:30pm, I went back into meditation to get some inspiration on what I need to do for the rest of the week. This turned into a full on information DOWNLOAD that was way too big for my conscious brain to even get all of it.

At the end of this crazy experience I went back to thinking about my theme for the day. I began asking myself more questions like….

What is my least favorite body part?
What would that body part say to me if given the chance?

Then Download number 2 happened and this is what it said...

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A letter from my Belly:

I see that you are trying
You look in the mirror, 5 seconds, 10 seconds
“I can work with this”, “It’s not beyond saving yet”
You have come a long way,
Then you glance away, can’t yet keep eye contact, 
Looking for reassurance from a part you that feels safe

You hide me in black, confines
Elastic band after elastic band
As if maybe you can squeeze me away
All the pinching, prodding, pulling down and away,
Like maybe if you pull hard enough I’ll stay
So you might see something flat and hard and perfect 
underneath

In my folds you store all your guilt
Every piece of birthday cake and every regret
Not trying hard enough, not fasting long enough 
Not measuring small enough to measure up 
To standards you found somewhere and decided were truth

I forgive you, I am there for you
I hold with such gentle care your future for you
And I soak up every shred of love you can muster
Hand on me gently at night before sleep
Hidden under over-sized shirts, under sheets and blankets and darkness

I am your center, your core
I create the balance that you take for granted
I am the goddess
I am the mother you came from,
I am the child who loved to be photographed
In me are the memories of generations past and to come
There is magic within me, yet to be tapped, recognized and celebrated.

I know this truth, when you do not

I can see that you are trying 
But for all the times you cannot love me
This is my message to you…

I love you anyway
I accept you anyway
I forgive you anyway

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Powerful shifts are possible when you ASK QUESTIONS and go into meditation consistently to listen for the answers!

What is your least favorite body part?

What would it say to you if it had the chance?

How would it move your body if it had the chance?

How can you love it, even just 2% more on a regular basis?


As for me…

I accept that I have room for growth. I accept that I am trying and I will continue to try and extend love to myself more and more.


Love you all!


Ana

If Knowledge is Power, Then Emotions are Superpowers!

This is something that I am super passionate about! I wanted to start by giving you a little background on my story and then the 5 concepts you need to know to turn your emotions into your superpower. If you would rather watch the video, scroll to the end!



Emotions were not always my superpower!

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In fact, they used to be more like my Kryptonite.

I spent many years of my life completely denying the emotional aspect of myself. From a young age, I grew up in a household where mental illness was prevalent and (no matter how loving and nurturing and awesome my upbringing was) I was acutely aware of how seriously debilitating depression, anxiety and PTSD can be. In my mind, I associated all intensely uncomfortable emotions with mental illness, and I was terrified by them. I was terrified of being emotionally overwhelmed and then diagnosed with a mental illness and I was terrified of being put on medication (even though I knew on a mental level that they could be truly helpful) and no longer in control. So instead of feeling my emotions, and accepting them, and learning from them, I stuffed them deep down and tried to throw away the key.

I immersed myself in my masculine energy and focused on developing and valuing my masculine traits. I put my head down and pushed my way through every obstacle. I tried to solve every problem by working harder and longer than anyone else. I avoided friendships with women and worked in male dominated industries (tree work, landscaping, etc).

The problem with pretending not to be emotional, and stuffing down all emotions, is that every once in a while (more like once or twice a month) I would have a full on emotional breakdown. A huge tidal wave of emotion would completely knock me flat and I would barely be able to do anything for days. I would sink into these deep depressions and this would simply reinforce the beliefs I held about emotions.

I believed that emotions were scary, that they were a weakness and an obstacle that needed to be overcome. I believed that if I gave my emotions any leeway, they would completely take control over me and every time I experienced this severe emotional overwhelm, I would “prove” these believes right. I was also terrified to seek help because I was afraid of that diagnosis, of medication and of my fear that something was really wrong with me, being proven true.

Then I found an outlet that allowed me to explore my femininity, aerial circus. I found a way to control my emotions to some extent by using my physical body to turn them into art. I was able to move my body in an emotional and feminine way and then I was able to perform and share that part of myself with other people. This did not “solve” my problems, by any means, but it did begin to relieve some of the pressure.

I started to slowly look at my emotions in a new light and today I have had a complete change of heart. Today, I view my emotions as my biggest superpower! My emotions are my most effective tool for uncovering my beliefs and knowing myself as the deepest levels.

This practice of using emotions as a tool for self growth and self-knowledge has improved my life in so many ways. It has allowed me…

  • to develop a self love practice that felt true and powerful for me

  • to feel like I can confidently solve problems and get to the bottom of what is causing my emotions as they occur

  • rescue my relationships by allowing me to be vulnerable and authentically communicate what is actually going inside of me in a way that others can understand.

  • to develop this amazing tribe of people who love and support ALL of who I am, emotions included!


So let’s get into the 5 “C’s” behind using emotions as superpowers!

  1. CONTROL:

 In order to gain control over our emotions, instead of letting them control us, we need to STOP denying our emotions and start embracing and accepting ourselves as emotional beings. Be open to the idea that emotions are actually here to help us, not harm us. We need to stop hiding our emotions away and shaming ourselves for having this natural, normal, amazing human quality.

Our emotions are our guidance system. Like the pain that comes from leaving our hand on a hot stove, uncomfortable emotions make us acutely and immediately aware when we are creating our reality using fear based beliefs. In the same way, extremely good feeling emotions let us know that we are on the right track and that our beliefs, in that moment, are in alignment with the higher truth of who we are. Our emotions are there to guide and teach us about our beliefs and give us that “warmer or colder” style feedback about the decisions we make (whether that be thoughts or behaviors).

When we decide to view our emotions as an asset and use them as a tool to get to know ourselves at the deepest level we step away from that victim mentality and take our power back.

2. COURAGE & CURIOSITY:

Emotions can be intense. It is easy to develop the fear that if we fully FEEL our emotions, that we will loose all control and sink so deeply into the hurt or sadness or rage or anxiety that we will never be happy again. That may read as a little melodramatic, but to some degree, if you are this far into this blog post, you know what I am talking about!

We are also afraid of taking responsibility for the beliefs that caused these uncomfortable emotions in the first place. We are afraid that something is actually really wrong with us because we have been trained to put so much emphasis on the power of beliefs, instead of the concept that beliefs are just thoughts we keep thinking and they can be changed.

It takes courage to face all this fear, to be willing to actually FEEL your emotions and sit in the discomfort, to acknowledge and accept the emotions as they come up, and to get curious and dig into your own depths to take responsibility for uncovering the beliefs that are causing those emotions. This process can take a little time, especially in the beginning and there is a lot of fessing up that needs to happen and a lot of responsibility that needs to be taken. But this is where your power lies, in your ability to take responsibility for your beliefs, but to believe in your own ability to change.

3. COMMUNICATION & COMMUNITY:

A large part of why we communicate is to collaborate on solving problems. However, it is impossible to communicate something effectively, or problem solve efficiently, if we do not fully understand what we are communicating about.

When we do not know WHY we are getting emotional we tend to just blame it on whatever triggered the emotion. We blame instead of taking responsibility. We blame our spouses, our friends, our work, our family member, the weather, the neighbor’s cat (you get the picture), and this means that we end up communicating about problems on a very superficial level and making the other party put up all their emotional defenses in the process. When we neglect to figure out the underlying cause of a problem or an emotional trigger, we are never able to come to permanent solutions because we are not addressing the underlying beliefs that caused the emotions in the first place.

As we develop our courage and curiosity and we become more efficient at uncovering the beliefs behind our emotions, we are able to communicate on a deeper, more vulnerable, more efficient and more authentic level. It is like two doctors discussing “who gave the illness to who”, instead of talking about what caused the illness in the first place and what to do about it!

4. COMPASSION:

The more we know ourselves, the more compassion we have for ourselves and others. As we build up evidence for the idea that we get to choose how we react to our emotions and we get to choose to identify (or not) with the beliefs behind those emotions, we begin to naturally veer towards being more compassionate with ourselves. We realize that it is okay that we feel uncomfortable emotions sometimes. In fact, it’s great, because it’s a new chance to learn about ourselves.

We also begin to have compassion for people who have not done this work and we can step back enough from them to have that compassion because we no longer blame them for our own emotional reactions. When others act out of ignorance and fear, we can empathize and we also know that there will be plenty of times STILL when we will fall back into those same patterns and that is okay. We are all on different parts of the same circular path.



5. CREATE CHANGE:

Training our emotional superpowers gives us a foundation for change. When we know WHO we are and What we believe, we can start to decide what we are going to do with that information!

We can ask ourselves the big questions at anytime, questions like…Who do we want to be, Why are we here, How do we want to feel, What do we want to believe, How do we want to show up in the world? But without a solid foundational understanding of where we are starting, we cannot effectively answer these big questions.

The big questions are great. They give us a compass, a general direction in which to travel, but it is the small, everyday decisions that make up the road-map. Our emotions tell us which way to turn at every crossroads. They are as equally crucial in small scale decision making as they are in answering life’s big questions and we need both to have a successful life-long road-trip!

In other words, using emotions to understand ourselves, is a super important part of creating the reality that we truly want to live!


Thanks for sticking with me through this post. I am still working on articulating my thoughts in a clear and concise manor on video, so I like to write them down in addition to posting the FB lives. But if you want the video version, feel free to click the link below.

Don’t Forget! I want to start a conversation around these topics, so PLEASE leave your comments and questions below and I will be happy to reply!


Love you all,


Ana


How To Walk Away, without leaving your past behind.

This is the time of year when we make a lot of promises and vows to ourselves that we do not (or cannot) keep. We have an entire lifetime of past mistakes made out of ignorance or when we simply forget the fullness of love that we truly are. We create suffering and pain for ourselves and then learn and grow and create new desires from that pain. We hold on to beliefs and old fears and emotions that no longer serve us, but how do we let go of the weight and walk away from our past suffering, without leaving behind the facets of ourselves that made us who we are today?

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We are many faceted beings and our “Self” has many parts. We are in a constant state of evolution, with new facets of ourselves constantly being created with every new desire and every lesson learned.  We harbor past selves, future selves, the parts of our current self that feel connected to love and the parts that feel separate and lonely.

When a part of us begins to believe that we are the creator of our own reality, it is easy for that facet to want to just break free and continue the journey towards enlightenment without all the other, heavy, shadowed parts of us. We want to create instant manifestation, we want instant change and we want nothing more than to cut away all the parts of us that are holding us back. We are told to just let go of our past, to put down the heavy weight and walk unencumbered into the sunrise.

Honestly, I am guilty of wanting instant change and faster growth, but lately this notion has felt bittersweet to me. The idea is appealing, and I feel like I “should” want to be free of my past, but at the same time it feels like a betrayal and I wonder if there is another way. A way that all of me, all the parts, all the facets could walk into the sunrise together as one whole being.

I know one thing for sure…

Whenever I discover a “should” in my life, there is always a new perspective nearby.

So right now, I am tuning in, listening and writing down what comes up, in an attempt to shift and clarify my perspective on letting go of the past, just a little bit. I want to fine tune this notion of letting go just enough that I can clear away the “should”.

I also know that to find a new perspective, I need to ask some new questions. So my questions are…

What if all the past versions of myself were all worthy of love?

This includes all the shadowed facets, all the “selves” that I feel ashamed of, afraid of, guilty and blameful about.  What if these past selves are just trapped in darkness and shackled by ignorance? What if there were a way to free all these facets and become one, bright, weightless whole?

This is where I believe that self-forgiveness comes in. I believe that…

“Self-forgiveness is a tool we can use to counteract the blame that arises within us when we begin to truly believe that reality does not happen to us, but rather that we are responsible for creating it.”

It is the tool that we can use to set our whole self free of the heavy weight of past mistakes and part beliefs and to prevent mistakes made in the future from adding to that weight as time passes by.

When a child makes a mistake in ignorance, is it right or just to hold that mistake against them forever? Of course not! What would harboring all that blame accomplish? Nothing, it would simply be a weight in our hearts, holding us back and limiting our growth.

All the heartbreak and pain and suffering I allowed myself to endure, all the people I hurt, all the mistakes I made, were made in ignorance or in forgetfulness or because my beliefs were based in fear and not in love.

There is no need to blame myself for the pain of my past and there is no need to blame other people (because no one can create MY reality). Blame, shame, hatred, and loneliness are all based in fear and are what create the darkness and weight of my past. Holding onto these perceptions of the past is what weighs me down and holds me back. Every facet of myself is equally worthy of love and light and I believe that this is equally true for you!

Forgiving ourselves for the reality that we created in the past and for the mistakes we will make in the future is how we release the weight without cutting away our past selves.

I want to think about loving and healing my past and bringing it with me as evidence of the lessons I have learned and as documentation of my journey towards becoming more myself.

There are many times, in meditation, where I have gone back and held my past selves as they screamed and cried, just giving them love and repeating to them softly “I love you, I accept you, I forgive you, you are not wrong!” and I may have to do that many more times before they are able to stand up off the floor and accept that love.

But I am willing to do that work, because I do not want to leave behind all the beautiful past versions of myself, I just want to set them free and give them love and forgive them. I also realized, that I can ask other people for forgiveness (and I have) and I can ask the universe, or god(dess) or source for forgiveness (and I have), but that does not change the fact that I still need to forgive myself before I can move on with the freedom I desire.

I hope that this perspective gave you something to think about or at least inspired you to revisit your self-love and self-forgiveness practice. I hope that, if you have never tried self-forgiveness, that you are able to find ways of practicing that work for you and feel right and powerful to you.

For me, when I feel an old weight from the past trying to limit my present, I sit with the feelings as they come up with acceptance and love and forgiveness. Then, when I have the time, I meditate and visualize the past version of myself that most represents that old weight that came up most recently and I have an interaction during which I extend my acceptance and forgiveness and ask for that in return. I have found this to be a very humbling exercise and it tends to make me realize the extent to which I have been harboring resentment towards myself as well as irrational levels of pain caused by old beliefs I didn’t know I had.

I am sure that there are many, many other ways to practice self-forgiveness and I would love to hear about your practices in the comments below.

 

Sending my love to you as always,

 

Ana

 

Negative self talk getting you down? Here's a quick tool.

Hi Loves,

Merry almost Christmas and Happy Holidays.

I had a serious case of negative self talk come up for me the other day and I used this tool to allow this negativity to pass so I could move on with my day.

Negative self talk was a plague that I lived with for most of my life and I used to manage it by shoving it all down and locking it up inside of me. I was depressed and constantly sick as well.

This time though, I listened to that negative self and replied to each statement with loving acceptance and forgiveness. It seriously felt like cool balm being placed on a burn. This is the power of self love and I wanted to share this tool with you.

I love you all,

ana


What are you just "Not Available For"?

Hello everyone. This is just a short FB live re-post about Facing our Fears and saying

“I am NOT AVAILABLE for that fear of ______________, because the reality of my situation is ____(insert how you want to be instead)_______________!”.

My biggest fear that I am no longer available for is that …

No matter how hard I try or how authentic I am or how much content I create, I will never succeed.

That is a pretty big fear that has the potential to do a lot of damage to be and my business. So I am deciding to just not have time for that @#$@ and am no longer available to entertain that idea.

Instead, the reality of the situation is, that I am a powerful creator of my own reality. I am attracting people into my life who can benefit from my story, my experience and the method and tools around personal growth that I have developed.

The reality of the situation is that I Am Valuable and I have everything I need inside me in this moment to create a successful and purposeful life.

AND SO DO YOU!

Anything that you can dream up is already available to you. You are THAT POWERFUL! So don’t waste time dreaming up all the ways you can limit yourself, dream about all the ways you can succeed, because sometimes…..”ain’t nobody got time for fear!”

Love all of you. The links to the video and podcast I mention in the video are below. Enjoy!

I mention Marie Forleo’s video and the Angie Lee Show podcast in this video so here are the links for those resources if you want to look them up!

Marie Forleo’s Year In Review Video: https://www.marieforleo.com/2016/12/year-in-review/

And the Angie Lee Show podcast is here: https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/angie-lee-2/hungry-for-more-podcast