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To Whom It May Concern – I have a Week to Live (A Writing Exercise)

Hi Friends.  I’m doing this writing class right now and the just of the question is…Write a letter or a story or a poem in your last week to live.  What would you say?  What words do you want to leave behind…

joyThis is what I said….

To Whom it May Concern,

Turns out I have about a week to live.  Life kind of flashes before your eyes as you approach death’s door and it’s interesting to think about what you’ll take with you to the other side.

Much of my teen years and twenties were spent trying to become something.  I felt this pull to do better, do more, achieve, achieve, achieve like it were a drug that fed my worth and my ability live life.  I sought out titles and medals for accolades because it was the only way I knew how to fill my bucket.  I needed things, recognition, celebration and external success to feel good enough.  It’s a cultural phenomenon so who can really blame me.

But in my late twenties and early thirties I learned a different way of being.   Life knocked me down off my high horse so I could see the beauty of the underworld.   I learned the gift of just Being…and to unite with my wild, colorful, tribal roots.  It was my connection to my wild soul that was really the secret to life all along.  I felt full for the first time ever, not from the outside but from within.  It wasn’t a desperate reaching for something outside of me in order to feel loved or good enough, it was a natural oozing out of my Source, a release, a letting go of all the shiny beams I was holding inside.  I didn’t have to do a darn thing.  I beamed light because I was light.  I had danced in it, swirled through the hoops of its’ company and I leaked out golden rays of life in my world.  My bucket was finally full because I released who I really was out of me and into the outside world.  It never really was about becoming anything, but Being myself at the Sacred.  It was about enjoying the Sacred in every possible moment in my life, even if it were doing dishes or running a cleansing bath for my son.  I approached each task like it were an active prayer.

I learned to soak in the energy, the magic of the moment like were a sponge and ring it out into my world.  I absorbed all life had to offer me by feeling it and rolling in it like it were a colorful explosion of dust on the ground.  My pen was my gateway between the worlds, inner reflection and outer resolution, it were really a life line to my Divine.  I have nothing left unsaid, unfelt or untouched for I have loved every moment, even when I didn’t think I did.  I see how all the crooked trails, all the painful sorrows, were all part of this life’s equation, to come to the answer of a life filled with love, Being and connected to my wild.

So as I sit and reflect what I will take with me to the other side it is not roles or titles or accomplishments, it is my son’s smile, the pulsating high of endorphins that rattle my chest because of the love I have experienced with my husband.  I will take the still moments when the moon shone brightly in the dark night sky, or the gift I received in seeing the beautiful crystallized snowflake on my dog’s nose.  I will take the soft caress of the wind on my face and the warmth of the sun against my cold skin.  I will bring home the magic that this life had to offer and I will gallop on my wild horse to the gates of the other world.  Look for a trail of golden dust, it shall sparkle in the sky as I paint colorful clouds all the way there.

For whoever reads this note, this last little bit of sharing I have left, start Being in your life. Focus less on becoming something and plant your feet right in the sacred moment, the exact pearl you are standing in the thread of life and indulge joyously in the crisp, juicy taste of its magic.  It is Divine all around, soak it in.  Life is art baby, go live it!

And so it is.

Xo

Crystal

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Booyah! Your Body is Calling, Pick up the Phone!

BODY IMAGELoving your body is an inside job.  It is recognizing that She, your body, is your soul in form, an extension of the deepest part of you.  Loving your body is really about connecting to your Essence found WITHIN your body.  This can be a bit of a foreign concept for some of us who were taught that Spirit is outside of our bodies and the body is just a place of sin and weakness. I challenge this assumption.  Hogwash I say!  Your body is a Sacred Keeper and the physical form of the deepest part of you. This is called Embodied Spirituality, where connecting to your body is really connecting to the Divine.

Can you begin to have the intention of uniting your mind and body in a sacred union, a true and loving kinship? This means approaching your body as an equal, even as captain of the team.  This is a much different way than treating your body like a thing to dominate and a thing to push past it’s limits.  It is letting go of mind over body mantra and instead following the body’s lead.  It is opposite of everything we have learned and it will take some unlearning, believe me, I too lived that mantra.  I played competitive sports and we trained until we puked, pushed to the limits and beyond and called that success. My body has since rebelled as I continued to live a life of overdoing.  She has said no more, too much, no you won’t overdo, over-extend, over push, over carry, over burden me/us anymore.  She has put her foot down with the manifestation of an autoimmune disorder that I believe has evolved out of refusal to hear Her and slow down.  Now, I have no choice but to pay attention.  I’ve had to find another pace, another gear and slow way down in order to do life or I will have an autoimmune attack and end up in hospital.

Marion Woodman, a Jungian Analyst who specialized in the Lost Goddess said in a speech for Conscious Femininity, “You know, you must wander in a culture where autoimmune break down is the most prevalent of diseases — lupus, AIDS, cancer, chronic fatigue syndrome — these are all illnesses in which the body refuses to play host to the soul.” Booyah! That kinda hits you in the gut doesn’t it.

In mind-body therapy, we look for the metaphorical message in the illness.  Illness is often accompanied with unresolved emotion or belief patterns. In the book The Secret Language of Your Body by Inna Segal, autoimmune illness is associated with “…an inability to stand up for yourself.  Weighed down by responsibility.  Always putting others first.  Anger, resentment, blame and guilt…” For me, I regularly pushed past my limits, over committed, over did things, held everything on my shoulders and did not ask for help.  I didn’t stand up for my own limits, I didn’t stand up for my body’s needs or my souls needs.  I put other’s needs ahead of my own, and I sacrificed me time, down time or rest time in the name of getting more things done or to squeeze in an extra workout.

Autoimmune illness is literally the manifestation of the mind attacking the body.  For me, it is the manifestation of my mind pushing my body past it’s limits continually, never checking into see how things feel or where the body’s energy levels are at.  It is keeping it up too late, feeding it too little, forcing it to exercise extraneously, stressing it with life, having a thousand and one commitments to tend to and pretending there is no emotion within about the way I’m doing life.  It was living with an “I am fine” illusion when I wanted to cry at every stop sign I sat at. In fact, I pretended I was superwoman and to say I was struggling would have ruined my facade.  I rarely rested or fed my soul through creativity or stillness.  I only collapsed in exhaustion or used alcohol to disconnect from the exploding reality trying to burst out of my insides that I couldn’t manage the pace of my life any longer.  Then one day, I collapsed at work and life was never the same because an autoimmune disorder was born.

We must balance DOING with the Sacred Task of BEING!  Being is experiencing life with a pure intention of peace, joy, fun and play. It is not checking off the to do list or creating things for the purpose of getting accolades. It is refilling the energy tank, the love tank, the self-esteem tank, and the feel good to be alive tank all in one. It is experienced through stillness…conscious stillness, reflection, journaling, even when you really don’t want to or would rather watch TV and zone out.  It is also creativity, creative expression, and a dumping out of the emotional tub inside. It is walking outside and feeling the wind caress your face or it is sticking your tongue out and tasting a snow flake.  It is life lived at a slower pace, in the moment, focused on the beauty and wonder around us. It is connecting to the Universe, the Divine, to God & the Goddess, the Creator, the stars, the moon, the wind, the water and fire, because we need and crave meaning, spiritual connection, and emotional release in our lives.  We need to do less more often.  Did you hear that…do LESS more often! We need to have way more fun and play in life and accomplish less.  (This statement might get some great comments lol)

When we are so busy, over doing, over extended, over exhausted, there is no room for the soul, we don’t take presence in our own body.  We don’t step foot in our own two feet, we just float around in our minds going through our life tasks spiritually vacant.   Maybe we find ourselves wanting to cry out of nowhere and we aren’t sure why…this my friends is the soul’s tears.  They will leak out in the moments of stillness right before bed or when things just keep getting compounded and challenging that we can’t keep it together, we burst at the seems.  That moment is a gift, a call home to your Essence!

sacred body2GRATITUDE JOURNAL FOR MY DIVINE BODY.

So take five minutes and for today, write 5 things you are grateful for about your body.  Thank your legs for carrying you from place to place and the ability to move.  Thank your hands for doing such amazing work tending to the children or cooking meals.  Thank your gut for digesting food and helping you have life force energy to go about your day.  Thank your ears for the ability to hear a beautiful song or your child’s laugh.

Let’s appreciate our life giving, soul holding bodies today and everyday!  Let’s take things a little slower, a little gentler, a little more focused on fun and less on outcome.

And so it is 🙂

Crystal

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