Freezing Rain and Frozen Programming

My new habit installation process is going fairly well. I am only allowing myself renovation in three “rooms” of deeply internalized sites at a time. I am on day 13 of the hypnosis programme on You Tube for removing childhood shame. I continue to work out using weights or stretching every day with the goal of recovering the facility I lost when I was sidelined with a broken wrist. And I have written some form of self expression every day.

Find a Perch

It is interesting to see what the mind does as I repeat the same You Tube self hypnosis every day. A particular expression of words will appear like a whale head out of the ocean. Was that there before? Could I have just sailed past that formation and not seen nor heard it? Absolutely. We hear what we are ready to hear and disregard the rest.

It was on day ten that I heard, “Respect the programming.” It is what Eckhart Tolle says when he encourages us not to resist or do battle with the ego. What I have laid down in my neurological patterning must be seen, respected and allowed. That is the only way to shift it. So today I heard that I was working on “bringing in a higher consciousness” and not wrestling in the mud with Gollum.

keeping the goal of strong body

I had a particularly interesting day with my coach at the Y yesterday. I could feel the under tow of self anger, the siren call of failure on the wind, the swooping down of the seagulls of despair wanting to pick out my eyes. “Holy shit,” I said to myself, “you are a wreck. You are an old ship wrecked on the shore of age.”

When she asked me to simply contract my abdominals to lift my butt, nothing happened. Then she said, “Let me help you.” She lifted me up and as soon as she let go I caved in again. She could feel that I had NO muscle in that area.

So we went back to doing the easiest possible strengthening possible. I had to push back hard mentally. I wanted to make self deprecating comments in a humourous manner. The old reliable strategy of let me stab myself before you do it to me.

But I didn’t. And I didn’t allow myself to feel lesser than. The temptation was many layered. I am lesser than I used to be. I am lesser than you expect of me. I am lesser than the others around me in the gym. I need to go home and hide my weakness.

Seeing oneself

Nope. I didn’t do that either. I just did the stretches she set up for me yesterday and today.

So the entire exercise of growing in life comes down to trusting the universe and trusting the future. If I keep my three promises to myself, I will improve.

I liken it to shooting an arrow while blindfolded into a landscape I have never seen.

Something is bound to happen.


We Can Not See

I was sitting in the bath today soaking up epsom salts. When I turned on the radio, I was told today is Blue Monday. A day has come each year which has been by some strange methodology considered the most depressing day of the entire year.

I thought about personal growth; the new year; intentions; taking baby steps. As usual, my mind went to other’s lives. It is always easier to see what others are doing that is unmindful than to clearly see my own self sabotaging behaviour. I kept thinking about the person who has a wounded, broken spirited loved one under his or her wing.

each on a branch

Some that I know have a child who is handicapped in a physical way. Some that I know have a person that they have decided to hold up and not let them go under. I did that for 18 years and eventually if the loved one is an adult, one has to let go and let them learn how to swim.

Others have husbands or wives deeply entranced by recurring stories of victim hood.  These are the teachers. These people are in our lives to take us very deeply into our own growth. Learning how to learn… is the gift and the struggle.

And my mind went back into my own inability to see that I could not rescue anyone. No matter how much I loved that person; No matter how much I leaned into his or her life: No matter how many books I left with them, videos I sent them, or questions I asked them nothing worked. We are alone in the lesson, inevitably. And for me, I learned that my co-dependent addiction was not helping either me or the poor person I was focused on at the time.

I was in the epsom salt bath clearing my own issues. What others have decided to take on is not a puzzle I can any longer put together. The most difficult thing in my life has been to learn it is about my feet on my own path. Any time I can clearly see “what he should do,” or “what she should do,” I know that I am off my own path. It is how I have gotten lost for so many decades. The muscle I need to build to be a healthy woman can only be laid down when I pick up the weights and focus on my own grounding.

All I can do with a person who I love and who is struggling is to bring myself back to the “NOW-HERE”. We sit across from one another and I think, “I love you. I love you now as you are.”

Instead of becoming entranced by what I think I know, I feel lighter, happier and more content just being a student. I wish the best for my friends, for my loved ones, for myself and know that  struggle is the motivation for learning. I can’t do their homework for them. That is cheating. I have my own big pile of work sheets to bend over and figure out.

And as I look out of the window, I see each black bird sitting on a separate branch together but separate. The beautifully silhouetted message against the sky reminds me.

The Ice Mountain Physio Challenge

After breaking my wrist, I was so carefully in submission to my body’s need for healing. I envisioned my bone mending and did all I could to support that process. Since I had never broken a major bone before (pinky toes don’t count) I knew little of the result of hibernation for six weeks.

I skipped along to the hospital to have the cast cut off and discovered the snipping of the support opened up a world of pain. Diligently, I pushed through and twisted my hand into the shapes the physio recommended.

And then the snow came. The shovel and I became a team. I cleared a “landing pad” for my car out in front of my house by digging the blade of the shovel in, doing a mindful squat, supporting the majority of the weight with my good hand and then carefully twisting my left wrist to deposit the snow. My goal in this game of reclaim was to have the ice mountain gone that had been build by the snow plow and various clearings.

blue snow

Today the sun is shining for the second day and just a mound about the size of two tires stacked together sits out in front of the house. It is like my debt… such a small percentage of the original blockage is still sitting there. The joy of going after a goal and completing it is within a 100 scoops of my shovel. Every victory is to be celebrated. And the result has been a stronger body after six days of the snow workout and a much more responsive hand.

The mountain in the way of self confidence can be removed… one habit at a time. Every victory is to be celebrated.

Sunshine and Dissolving icicles.

I am keeping my promises to myself and managing to only focus on three habit changes. Posting lessons and meditations on social media is garnering gratitude from other people who are trying out various ways to work on their relationships with themselves.

I was listening to a teacher today who suggested that you write down an intention that is in the area of your thick, crusted scar tissue. The ego by pass is to figure out what the benefits to you for stepping into that intention would be. And the next step is to see how you can spread out those benefits into the life you are already living.

So my desire for excitement could send me to Iceland, or it could lead me to having coffee in a new coffee shop that I have never experienced before. My sense of cocooning boredom can be broken open by finding new music to dance to in my upstairs apartment. Taking a mindful look at the actual rewards that I seek by going after that intention and building them into my life as it is, is brilliant.

The Cheetah Chimp ego will not become enraged from the jungle green tops and scream out at me. “Too much. Too risky. Who do you think you are?”

Nope. Who I am is changing constantly and poor frothing with energy teeth clenched Cheetah is just going to have to get over it.

In my conversation with myself I am learning to start with the “power lead.” Get right into that word flow and throw down the big glowing positives before Cheetah can show up and fling pooh at me. And it works.

Resistance and Growth

Gay Hendrick’s book The Big Leap is like a hefty, sculpted magic key. It is relatively small and fits into the hand with no effort. But the structure of it is challenging. To wield it to unlock the heart’s desire doorway requires acknowledging the survival mentality ego habits that frequently run my life. It is not an easy passage.

As I listen to the book again, I redirect my mind into the areas of greatest resistance for me. Freedom from constraints is the error illusion on one side and the habits of forced labor work addiction reside on the other. It is a wonderfully constructed pathway to confusion.

Getting clearer and clearer at how my ego works in my life, allows me to see those areas that I let fear be the conductor of my cacophony musical accompaniment. No single melody soothes me.

Anxiety about money has been in a way a gift because I have used 40% of all my income to pay down my debt. Forcing myself to develop a habit of creating freedom in my future at the cost of frivolity in my present has been rewarding. (Or so I think.)

However, the big goals… the heart’s desire goals are still floating out there on the mirage lake of my future.


I refuse to set up a schedule and stick to it. The push back is: “You were tied to a schedule for 30 years. You need to be careful of work addiction. Look how fit, healthy you are now. Your system is working.”

But the cacophony of confusion is how my ego keeps me blindly chained. It is in not knowing that I must get lost. Leaving behind control is growth: controlling actions is growth.

I never want to be in a position where I am pushing, punishing, persisting to the point that I become ill again. That particular path has been explored.

Some people second guess themselves… I have a cat’s cradle of patterned string of intertwined guessing that is brilliantly woven.

And the ego lies that most often come up are found in scarcity mindset.
1. There is not enough time. Why embark on a journey that can never be complete because the hours are short; you are at the end of your life.
2. There is too much time. Sitting and waiting for the day, for outside influences to trigger action means that hour after hour there is the flat prairie of no visual connection.
3. Be careful or you will disappoint you, others will disappoint you. Lower your expectations and keep your small cell tidy and calm.
4. Look at you. You are more muscular, more fit, more radiant, more creative than any other 73 year old you know. Why do you have to grow more. Be content.

Oh I am so aware of the spell casting my ego has done in my life… the magical thinking… the ability to confuse myself into submission.

It is almost with admiration for my gift of confustication that I listen to the one voice become ventriloquists of chaos. At my best, I find it immensely amusing to be able to think two contradictory thoughts at the same time in order to sheep dog me into paralysis.

Strategy is important now for me. I have begun writing down what it is I did the previous day that is a break in habit and is to be celebrated. I am training myself to see what it is I actually am achieving. The patterns I intend to address are all those mastered by fear.

As you are following my blog, you can see that I am no longer hiding my challenges. Saying what I need to say is becoming easier. I will work with my therapist on my anxiety about money and my utter fear of getting into an intimate relationship again.

The biggest struggle for me is to accept my choices and to stay focused on how I am growing. I am done sending myself to my room and shutting down when I have simply been human.

Yesterday, I went out with a neighbour and had coffee and a cookie. (So shoot me!)

It was allowing. Learning how to be a friend is fairly new for me. And I am doing well. I am working out consistently and can see the muscle building in my body. My debt is down. I am writing frequently. I have learned difficult (for me) technology. I have begun to believe that my hermit/healing phase is complete and that I am up for a journey. I sit listening at the door for the knock calling me to step into the adventure.

And most of all, I am feeling the opening up of my inner space. The moments of deep peace and being at home with myself are more frequent. Gently, gently walk the path. And I know that it will bring me home to a more loving relationship with myself and all others I encounter.

Learning to allow my ego to 12 tone scale in the background without resisting or reacting, is kind of invigorating. Maybe it is just the kind of gritty energy I need for my movie.

New Year… sparkle of intentions

I feel lit up. I feel grounded and strong. My feet like tree roots connected deeply to my past, to time behind, to experiences lived. My body is becoming strong again as I lift the smaller weights and rebuild my left arm that I fractured from not paying attention in October.

And at the same time the ego is running around like a Roomba… telling me the 50,000 things I could/should/must do. As soon as I feel a jolt of possibility striking me, the old patterns are activated.

intention lost in circling

I can paint the base boards in the bedrooms of my B&B. I can write a new book of poetry. I can walk the wet, mythic lands of my ancestors in the North of England. I can send in my manuscript; bleach my teeth; clean out my car; empty my shed; sell my art; get my files straightened on dropbox and my computer.

I have a surge of energy and then the entire cattle drive goes on the run. Each intention runs off of a cliff or into a ravine.

I am far enough along in my ability to step back and watch myself to not be annoyed or angry. It is hugely amusing. I can sit and see the source of comedy in this default setting. Man… my mind is funny.

I start out as an adult and then end up running around the coffee table like my 2 year old grand daughter. Circle faster, circle again.

So as the New Year begins I can feel the brightness of having a starting line. The larger self wants to make sure it is a straight line and not some caucus race to get dry run in the surf by the ocean. Alice in Wonderland had much to teach us about the nature of reality.

I breathe out… stay in the now of it and just feel the gratitude of being able to sit in the joy of new beginnings.

Buddha grounding my home

Wearing Bifocals… what do I see?

Christmas is a challenge. Yep. Can’t get past that one yet. It is like wearing new bifocals for me this year. I see two fields of reality at once. I move back and forth by simply tilting my perspective.

Seeing oneself

Christmas is dark. I am alone. I will never be loved. The world is frighteningly aggressive. That is the old lense. That is the familiar vision. That is the ego narrative yammering at me.

And then I pressure myself for perfection. Why aren’t you more _______________? Fill in the blank. So in the way of my mind habits I criticize myself for criticizing myself.

We are the love we seek


I spent two days last week undressed, wrapped in my red bathrobe with pink polka dots watching Netflix. Oh, I had a companion. And it was a gluten free cheese cake. Over a two day period I cut off slices of the cake until it was gone. Only then did I force myself to get up and get dressed.

So through the one lense I see how far away from the person I want to be I am at this time. The old wounded stories are still there… playing in the background. My vanity parody self comes out and wants to strut around on some runway of validation to the applause of thousands. There are all of these tethers of mind habits that tug on me.

Working with my childhood

Tilting my head, I see that I have attended to sundry physical problems and gone after support and coaching even when I am at my darkness cave pit of depression. I will seed a positive outcome for the future. I have signed up for a punch card at the Y and gone in for a person training program. And then come home to lay in bed in the dark watching netflix.

I have set up physio therapy sessions for my recovering wrist and work on the program daily so that I am fairly constantly in pain as I open up possibilities of movement. I see my new counsellor and am working on the programs we have designed.

Much of the absolute terror of my past has been uncovered and I have sat with it.

trusting my guides

So when I tell myself I am stalled:When I tell myself I am too small for my spirit:When I tell myself that I am feeble and weak: I realize these are all ego past thought habits. And I look to what things I am doing at the present time.

What I know for sure, if I just tilt my head for the distance vision, is that I am dealing with my connection with my body and with my past. It is not small work. It is not the work that a coward undertakes. It is a stage of preparation.

I rest in the knowledge that all growth serves me. Inevitably it will allow me to be a better friend; a better mother; a better spiritual fitness coach. I guess, I learn to trust most effectively by releasing the need for outside validation. I trust because I trust. It is actually quite simple.

December Darkness: Do we have to be giddy for Christmas?

Lately, it has been kind of a layered darkness. I am doing physio on my fractured wrist and getting the use of my hand back is an uphill climb. For the first ten days the constant throbbing was interfering with my peace of mind. Then the flu hit. Everybody, apparently, has this flu so there is nothing particularly dreadful about it other than it is generally dreadful.

Christmas itself is always very difficult for me. A long holiday with my parents shut up in the house with us was like a prison. The fact that it was “normal” for adults to have a rainbow bar full of various types of booze did not help the situation. Learning the skill of being a frozen faced actress helped me. The rage was volcanic and just under the surface. Who would be screamed at and then thrown against a wall next? The cheerful Christmas music in the background ran as a counterpoint to the reality we all were experiencing.

My spunky grand daughter decorating the tree

So the pressure I put on myself to “get over it” wrestles with the triggered depression. This year combined with inhibiting hand pain and the trembling in the bathroom flu experience has left me at odds with my ideal self.

Every single Christmas commercial causes an outbreak in tears. God help me if somebody shows a kitten with a tiny hat on its fuzzy head. When I was phoning Green Shield today, I could barely get through reading my number. What I was hearing in my head is “This is all too much. What if they misunderstand me? Why is the number so mixed up and complicated? Why do I have to repeatedly untangle issues with institutions? Why am I such a wimp?”

the desire to glow

So I put the fireplace on the TV set and listen to the Cinnamon Bear radio show that was a bright spot in my childhood Christmases. As my little brother and I lay on the carpet in front of the towering console radio, it was an anticipated shared pleasure. The series ran every night from Thanksgiving until Christmas. My mother sat in a chair doing something… mending or sewing. And I cannot remember one time when my father raged during the program. I found the show on You Tube and sent it to my brother.

Cinnamon Bear

His reply, “Good times.”

And I know full well I have a lot of work to do on my hand to get its use back. The flu will eventually be defeated. And best of all, Christmas will be over.

Maybe then, I can stop forcing myself to live some lie of cheerfulness. It is a difficult time for me and may never get easier. Learning to be at peace with the struggle is what I am hoping for.

Christmas Contrast

Yesterday I went to the Mall to mingle. There are times when I just wish to “participate” in the socially constructed delusion of purpose. I still remain outside. Even in my dreams I stand outside of a scene in which I am reliving a past even.

So I encourage myself to walk as many steps as I can while checking in on my fit bit. I stop and visit with Rose at the Bay behind the jewellery counter. She has warm, soft and sweet energy. When I see her, I check to see if she is busy and then if she is free, I walk to her.
“Hi Rose,” I say with a big genuine smile on my face. “How are you?”

We talk and as we are exchanging words I think, “I just love you.”

In the submarine hallway of the dark winter shopping center, I stop at the kiosk packed full of young clerks in their black sales costumes. They are kind to one another and to customers. Even though there are four or five of them jammed into a small space there is no competitive striving for territory or sales.

I call them the “better in black” crew and always stop to throw out some trivial words and exchange smiles. They are working so hard to make a life for themselves. They take a bus home and are unlikely to own their own residences any time in the future. But they bend over helping confused people figure out their phones, their plans, their sense of not knowing how to proceed. It is a kindness in intention.

There are opportunities to see a father holding his kids’ hands; a young couple stopped in front of a window enjoying some new style programming experience. The tribes of teen girls have somehow lost their coats and parade in the eye catching attire that they believe gives them value. Groups of young males insult one another and walk in unpredictable lurching playful patterns. There are in jokes exchanged and sudden out breaks of laughter.

                          How to fit in

Crowds have shown up because there is a yearning for village in a place that sprawls out over the landscape. So many towns have a central street to walk upon once a week. Everyone comes to stroll. Everyone comes to see the new baby, or the new shoes or to hear about the child who is living somewhere else pursuing opportunities.

And now, we are apart. We live in enclaves without a central Malacon or Main Street. We spend hours a day looking at the blue/gray light of a screen. But at the mall at Christmas, people are buying presents to ship to those far away. And it brings us together.

We are a reflection.

I have happened upon people I once knew, I once worked with, I once served on a board with, I took a class with when I was in the mall and it provides a certain continuity in my life. It brings back my history and memories of who I once was. It brings the lie to the sense that I am an outsider and not connected.

Every action I have taken in life has in some way connected me to others in either a positive or a negative way. It is good to remember. Watching the village crowd into the mall is a way to remember that we all share an energy.

Going Under the Story: part two

What I am currently learning is that the sense of emptiness that is under my story cannot be disappeared through work, accomplishment, addictive entertainment binges or by achieving some illusive validation badge from society.

For years I have been meditating; keeping the house spotless; using self discipline to attend to the small, bothersome things first. The result has been a lack of passion. The result has been a deep moat of isolation around my being. No matter how hard I worked I could not drop the underlying sense of fear of making a mistake that would upon occasion arise like some horror movie violin screeching warning. I had to keep myself under control.

After eight years I am no closer to being in a loving relationship with a man. Art sits in my studio unseen, un-marketed and unsold. My books sit in a cupboard unheralded. The sense of loneliness becomes more and more pervasive.

I have grown in so many ways. I no longer awaken screaming from my nightmares. I have lost four sizes and made my body far more healthy. I have totally reconstructed the sense of power in my physical being. I have paid down a massive debt from my “reverse dowry” divorce.

The friends I do allow close to me are supportive, can be counted upon in illness and show me a model of compassionate growth. They are willing to accept all of me, all of my story.

Nevertheless, what lies underneath is The Upside Down World. And the flashlight I am using to go into that dark place is the word “naturally.” Who I am flows out “naturally” as a consequence of from what happened to me as a child.

Once, in a shamanic retreat, I saw myself as a child under the age of three laying in my bed with freshly broken bones and bruises. The room was dark and I wanted to cry. I was overtaken by the consuming pain of knowing that I could not cry out. He would come into my room. He who could hold a pillow over my head until I passed out; he would come in and this time he could kill me.

And since this memory came back to me as a woman in my sixties, I could allow myself to weep. I sat in a group of supportive people and once again came to the thought, “I didn’t do anything wrong. I am so scared. I am so scared.”

All of my energies as a child shifted as soon as my father arrived through the door. I was on hyper-alert and the assignment was to stay alive. Which of his six shifting personalities would arrive. Would he be the small boy who rocked and cried? Would he be the violent abuser? Everyone has seen movies like the Story of Eve, but I lived with it.

My entire life the survival tactic has been to say, “it was not that bad.” My self encouraging, warrior voice told me to just get on with it.

It was like being in a war zone and the buildings were collapsing, so you look for a path through the rubble. There is no point in sitting and grieving. Getting on with it is the only way to live another day. Keep moving.

But now, I am going under the story. What lies beneath in The Upside Down World is darkness. My bones are broken. My nose and cheek bone are broken. I was used as a sexual anesthetic for a sick man’s pain and my mother stood by and allowed anything at all. Anything at all.

And now I am connecting with “her”. I see “her”: the 18 month old; the three year old; the seven year old. For the first time in my life I am not afraid that feeling compassion for “her” will somehow kill me.

The big journey right now is to understand how absolutely terrified I have been most of my life. Because I am strong enough now, I can see how important it is for my future that I feel into the past.

And underneath it all is the chaos; the terror; the sense that if I did the wrong thing he would kill me this time.

The habit of mind of constant conflict that I hold at all times of my day is to ask the question,”What should I have done? Did I just make a mistake, a wrong choice?”

I can never be sure because I was dealing with an adult with multiple personality disorder. What would please one “being” would enrage another.

My patterns, my coping systems, my rigorous guarding of my boundaries make complete sense to me now. As I go down into the dark, underneath, I see how it has created a field of energy that has flowed out into my life.


My child; my little girl was left alone to deal with terror and there was no adult to comfort her. Until now. Until now. I am with her.