Tag Archives: Healing

We Cannot Defeat Darkness with Darkness

Listen, I’m no expert at this life thing. I’m not. I’m not claiming any superpowers when it comes to understanding and diminishing the shadow inside of me. I’m just as flawed and wrecked as the next person. But, I can tell you one thing that I’ve learned:
We can not defeat darkness with darkness.

We can certainly fight darkness with darkness. We do that all of the time. We’re seeing lots of evidence of fighting darkness these days. We’re in a monumental battle on earth right now. Actually, many battles are taking place. Of course, I’m referring to the recent (horrifying and heartbreaking) terrorist attacks in Paris, Beirut, and other places, but also the more personal wars we’re waging in our communities, families, and bodies. The (ever-futile) war on drugs comes to mind. The war on disease is another example.

Photo compliments of unsplash; www.unsplash.com

Photo compliments of unsplash; http://www.unsplash.com

Yes, mankind has always waged epic fights with darkness. We’ve written books, penned plays, and produced songs about our struggles. We glorify negativity when we feel it’s justified. We vilify evil behaviors on the part of others, but honor those same debased behaviors on the part of ourselves when it suits our particular viewpoint, religion, beliefs. But, the threats to humankind always remain. Every single threat to us remains despite our best efforts. Why? Well, I’ll tell ya: It’s due to our very consciousness. It’s due to where we place our focus as electromagnetic beings. it’s due to the fact that we create our realities in every detail. More on all of this in a minute.

Humans largely believe that to defeat darkness of any kind: terrorism, cancer, drug addiction, violence, war, greed, differing opinions, and so on, we must physically destroy the threat. We must eradicate all traces of the threat or at least, control the threat. But, the problem with this approach is it’s IMPOSSIBLE to destroy something without becoming the very thing that you are seeking to destroy. The act of thinking about and then destroying the threat makes more threat. It’s about where we place our attention.

The thoughts associated with war perpetuate war. The thoughts tied to “I hate cancer” make more cancer or other illness. It’s true. What we emanate brings more of that energy into the world and right back into our personal sphere, our bodies, our day-to-day existence. By design. It’s physics. What we push against always steps closer to us and oftentimes has aligned with other like energies in its travels back to us and comes back in bigger. Every.Single.Time. It’s because of our consciousness and where we place our attention. Don’t believe it?  This video provides a great grounding in quantum physics and helps explain how our consciousness creates reality.

The defeat of darkness cannot come from sanctions, confinement, condemnation, declarations of war, exclusion, terror, bloodshed, threats, or bombs. We cannot bomb the way out of our human condition, bad feelings, loss of control, or the scary (subconscious) shadow that lies at the core of each of us. We cannot completely kill or stop the darkness in the world, because it’s inside of us. The darkness (threat) is inside of our psyches, our minds, our human consciousness, our behaviors, our thoughts. We contain the very threat that we seek to destroy. In.Every.Case. 

You think the terrorists are bad, evil, wrong, bestial, or fill in the blank? They are human. They are all of us. We are all of them. Don’t believe it? In your life, have you ever been cruel to a child, a friend, a lover, your body? Yes, you have. Have you ever hurt another person? Yes, you have. Maybe you’ve even thought that bombing the sh*t out of the Middle East will “fix the problem”. Yes, many have. I even said something to that effect in a particularly vulnerable and anger-fueled (aka, fearful) moment. No, I’m not proud of it, but I did say it.

Well, news flash: that is a living example of the darkness, the darkness of fear. I’m afraid. We are afraid. We’re afraid that others have power over us. We’re afraid that other people can disrupt our lives, steal our precious iPads and iPhones, take our cars, our money, our women, and hurt our children. We believe these things and we argue for these beliefs because we see evidence of them in the world. We see the news reports. We see the killings, evil, and negativity all over the place. I’m not saying that these atrocities don’t exist in the world. They do. BUT, WE CREATE THEM FIRST IN THOUGHT and then we maintain them out of ignorance, lack of responsibility, and blame. We make these things bigger by believing that we are victims. It’s not true, but we believe it. We believe that we can’t control these things and because we each create reality, we then manifest more of these things in our personal experiences without realizing that we are maintaining these “negatives” and, in fact, making them bigger through our awareness of them.

We often make decisions from a place of fear. We steep in our fear. We justify our fear. We eat our fear. We run from our fear and then when we can’t run any more, we turn and blame other people (or circumstances) for the way we feel and the quality of our lives. We’re afraid. And, human beings who are afraid are dangerous. All of us. Welcome to the darkness, humanity. The darkness is inside of us and we’re largely running from our responsibility for creating darkness.

Listen, I get that there are lots of people in the world who want to “kill Americans”. I get the threat. I do. BUT, what I’m trying to convey is that the threat isn’t “out there”, it’s inside of you and me; it’s inside the house, inside the body, inside the psyche. It’s not external to you or me. The external is merely a very visible and compelling manifestation of the internal state of being, and in every single case. What you see in the world, you posses inside of you and that’s where the work lies for us.

If violence bothers you, it’s because there is violence inside of you and you feel afraid of it. You feel like you can’t control it. Work there. That’s your work. If poverty bothers you, it is inside of you. You believe in poverty and think that others can take stuff from you. You might think that other people with more means ought to pay for you, take care of you, help you. It’s not true. You are responsible for your life in every detail. You are responsible for your conditions, not other people. You are not a victim of others no matter how vehemently you believe it or argue for that viewpoint. It’s not true. YOU are responsible for your life, the happenings, the thoughts, the feelings, the circumstances, the quality, the behaviors. YOU. What you perceive in the world is your own creation. It’s physics. It’s proven. Dig around. There is proof available. Find it.

If you were not a vibratory match for ___________________________ (fill in the blank), you wouldn’t even notice it in the world. Does it mean that a particular evil or negative doesn’t exist? No, it exists for the people who align with it, but it doesn’t have to be that way for you. You can evolve. You can do the work. You can grow past the need for any particular negative manifestation. You are the pilot of your life in every single moment, in every single thought, and down to the tiniest detail. You can own this truth and change your conditions no matter what they are. You can fix it.  You can turn your mind toward that which pleases you instead of looking at that which displeases you and you can tune your physical vibration to align with health, happiness, wealth, love, and joy. We all can.

Did you know that there are some people on the planet who cannot see the violence on earth because they are not aligned with the vibration of violence? Not kidding you. There are people on the planet who have so elevated their energy stream that they cannot perceive or experience disease or lack or strife with others. We’ve had so many fine examples of this throughout history. Mother Theresa was famously quoted as saying: “I was once asked why I don’t participate in anti-war demonstrations. I said that I will never do that, but as soon as you have a pro-peace rally, I’ll be there.” She got it. She understood that conditions are a result of attention, thought, and awareness. She celebrated peace, not war. She tuned her vibration into what she wanted, a positive, not a negative.

If you have an anti-war rally, to what are you you paying attention? War. Violence. Bloodshed. Harm. Hurt. If you have a war on drugs, to what are you paying attention? Lack, harm, addiction, pestilence, bodily damage, and so on. If you have a peace rally, on the other hand, you are looking at peace, the light, man’s potential for greater positivity and happiness. You are looking at the good, not that bad. If you celebrate utter health and well-being and keep your mind largely on that, the negative that you see in the world, diminishes. You don’t notice it as much. You are no longer a match for its vibration. Period. It takes work. It takes honesty and courage and willingness to be responsible. It’s not easy, but it is very possible to do this work. Many have and many do.

Photo compliments of Unsplash; www.unsplash.com

Photo compliments of Unsplash; http://www.unsplash.com

Am I advocating that we all sit around in a circle braiding each other’s hair and singing Kumbaya? No, I’m not. But, I am advocating for man- and woman-kind to do more inner work. It’s really time for us to go inside and learn about ourselves. It would be a very good thing for us to get to the bottom of our thoughts and feelings, hold and honor our wounding, walk toward the pain instead of hiding it or running from it; it’s time for us to understand our role in creation, take ownership for our emanations, and heal. This is our work. We agreed to this work by coming back here and living again.

It’s not up to other people to change so that we feel better. It’s up to us to change ourselves so that we feel better (despite the world and external conditions). This is all an inside job. It’s time for us to grow up and value both the hard and happy lessons coming to and through us. It’s time to take responsibility for our darkness so we can diminish it and take our place in the light.

We CAN largely diminish darkness by standing in the light, living in the light, letting the light prevail inside of our own journey. You can only do that through recognizing and healing your wounds and consistently choosing honesty, responsibility, truth, and love.

Some ideas that might help:

  • Accept that your feelings are always right.
  • Accept that your feelings always lead back to thoughts that you’ve been thinking.
  • Identify your feelings.
    • This is anger. This is sorrow. This is relief. This is frustration. This is guilt, shame, happiness, etc. I feel these things. These are my feeling based on the thoughts I’ve been thinking. I accept my feelings.
    • Feelings (and their associated thoughts) are always based on our experiences, our beliefs, our stories. They are indicators of thoughts and thoughts are not always true.
    • Know that when you’re having feelings, you are being given a chance to identify the thoughts that you’ve been thinking and you have an opportunity to question if the thoughts are true.
  • Accept that you create your thoughts.
  • Identify the thoughts you are having and their associated feelings, and then question the hell out of those thoughts.
    • Why am I thinking this? From where does this thought come?
    • Is this thought true or is it a story that I have practiced based on past experience and beliefs?
    • Is this thought serving me to maintain? Can I change it?
    • What is the feeling associated with this thought? How does it feel when I simply sit here and hold the feelings?
  • Question as many of your thoughts as possible, especially when paired with strong feelings because usually, that points to a “story” you have adopted, which is not necessarily reality.
  • Accept that no one else makes you think or feel anything. Your thoughts and feelings are a choice. Always. Without exception. They are your creations and you are responsible for all of them and the conditions that result as a result of them. In every case. In every way.
  • Accept that you are responsible for your life in every detail.
  • Remind yourself often of what is working in the world, in your life, in your body, in your experience. This brings more of those things toward you and it brings you to gratitude. The more you can live in gratitude, the better your life will be.
  • Think about things you very much want and concentrate on those things, not on the lack of them or the fact that they haven’t shown up yet in your experience.

The more we work on our inner stuff, the stuff we actually can control, the better our lives get. Let’s work on revealing the darkness within, working with it, healing it, and then choosing otherwise so we can step into the light of healing. Defeating darkness in the world can only come by largely defeating it inside of ourselves first. Well, we won’t likely ever fully defeat darkness because it teaches us and we learn gobs from it and we agree to come back and experience it, but we can greatly improve our lives by doing inner work, taking ownership of our creations, and standing courageously inside of our own healing process as much as possible. It’s time. Join us.

Trapped in a Big Fat Trap

Very recently, I’ve realized something that I have felt for a very long time. I’m in a trap. A trap that I’ve obviously constructed with great care and precision but haven’t been able to step out of no matter how hard I work on myself. I’ve articulated this through some tune-up therapy sessions with a remarkable psychologist here in Sedona and was able to express how big this is for me. In all of my many lifetimes, the collective experiences, exhaustive nuances of emotion, endless thoughts, and activities have created a near-constant sense of claustrophobia or “stuckness” inside of me. I feel trapped. Alot. And, like any trapped animal, hmmm…well, I fight it. In fact, I often feel like I’m chewing a leg off to get free, but free of what?

So, I’ve been drilling into what this idea of being trapped means and why it seems to be coming to a head in this life now. And, believe you me, it’s coming to a serious head right now. I’ve been looking at what these ideas mean for my lovely body. I’ve been asking myself why I often carry an underlying current of anxiety and unease that is closely tied to feeling stuck. I’ve been asking if I am in fact really stuck or is this such a common refrain with me that I’ve gotten used to it and believe that I am stuck. I’ve also been able to isolate that feeling trapped is a “theme”, in most (if not all) of my lives; this feeling is not new to me at all; it’s very familiar, though it feels like it hasn’t been so sharply outlined until now.

I’ll give you an example of one of my more recent lives where I felt so incredibly trapped, I invented a way out of that life at an early age, because I just couldn’t take the pressure, pain, and confinement anymore. In the mid 1800s, I was in a convent in England. Both of my parents had died. At age 12, I was shipped off to live with the nuns in the countryside. I was unruly, loud, restless (hmmm…sensing another life theme here, too?!), disobedient, and constantly punished by the nuns for being so wild and disruptive. Eventually, the nuns grew so tired of my outbursts and having to scold me all of the time that they sent me to live out in the barn with the goats and other animals, where a mute nun named, Mary took care of me and raised me alongside the goats. Mary and the goats were the highlight of that entire lifetime. Anyway, at age 15, I was “purchased” by an older wealthy man, a total stranger, and he moved me to France where he then proceeded to rape me as soon as the carriage pulled up in front of the house. He impregnated me immediately and at age 16, I died horrifically in childbirth.

This is just one of many examples from my past of being confined, stuck, powerless, and abused. And, lest you think what happens in our past lives does not influence the present-day life, think again. It’s all in there, recorded inside of our souls, and it’s all exerting influence whether you believe in this stuff or not. It comes out. It finds a way.  And, oh, mama, is it ever coming out in my life now. In this particular life, I’ve felt:

  • Trapped in a family of angry, dysfunctional people
  • Trapped by poverty and circumstance
  • Trapped in my jobs
  • Trapped by workaholism
  • Trapped in a body that hasn’t been my ideal (until the last 20 years or so)
  • Trapped in relationship
  • Trapped by my own thoughts, feelings, and need for expression
  • Trapped by my ego
  • Trapped by my desires
  • Trapped in an existence that has long-ceased being fun
  • Trapped by societal rules, regulations, gender definitions, and codifications for behavior
  • Trapped by friendships and other people’s expectations of me
  • Trapped by my rampant anxiety
  • Trapped by religion
  • Trapped by a psychic ability that scares the livin’ crap out of me and which I greatly stifle

On and on and on….

In this life, I’ve felt huge resistance to being in yet another body, being in yet another difficult and painful incarnation. I’ve often felt chained to my psychology, bound by my emotional struggles, glued-in-place by yet another abysmal childhood, and suffocated by my intensity. Many times in this life, I’ve turned my eyes heavenward and pleaded with Source/Creator/All-That-Is to release me from this earthly trap. I’m still here. Healthy as a horse. Yes, even with over 20 lung embolisms (in both lungs) in 2012 and a clot the size of Kansas in my right leg, plus six surgeries in three weeks to treat the effects of the clots, I’m still friggen’ here. Trapped. Always caged. Always bound to the earth plane. Always suffering. And, the worst (best?) part of it: always painfully aware, awake, full-feeling, and unavoidably sober. I cannot escape this. I cannot go back to numbing myself (like in past lives). I cannot take the edges off. I cannot get relief except by walking through the fire and burning in it. And, oh, how I burn.

trap

So, why this realization and revelation now? Why is this such a strong sense in me now? What does it mean for my beautiful, long-suffering body now? What can I do about it? What does this situation need from me to shift it? How do I shift this? As you can see, my questions are copulating like bunnies and making even more questions. Maybe it’s partly due to my age. I’m 49 and rabidly menopausal. So, maybe some of these feelings are just what “women do at this time in their lives”. But, what does it all mean? Dunno yet. However, I can tell you that I have an urgency inside right now that is really strong. And, I feel trapped in my work/life situation.

The trapped thoughts/feelings are stemming from confining myself psychically, mentally, and physically. I’ve worked myself into a stupor for 30 years. I’m talking about 80+-hour weeks for 30 straight years. I’ve let life speed past me while I sat at a keyboard tapping out words for corporations and making them gobs of money while allowing myself to remain chained to their success instead of my own. I’ve not rested or relaxed or sat still. I’ve take only one formal vacation in my life (in 2010) where I left the country, but what did I do for most of the vacation? I worked in my hotel room. Work is my addiction, my distraction, my drug. Choosing “paying work” keeps me from doing my deeper self-work. It has distracted me from living in the deepest depths where I want (and don’t want) to be. It has kept me from drilling down on my “sensitivity”, my psychic ability.

Sure, I’ve gotten a crap-load of stuff done. I’m not a total slug. I have more energy than most and I have made tremendous strides on myself despite my work addiction. I’ve come a very long way, but right now, I’m feeling so, so stuck because of these commitments that I’ve made and “must see through”. Seriously, a very large part of me wants to move to a huge mountain, live in a tiny cabin, chop wood, grow vegetables, ride my Harley, work only when absolutely necessary, write my books, meditate, do yoga, and breathe. That’s it. I want to check out. I want to feel the earth, listen to the earth, be fully awake on the earth, and rest for my last 27-odd years here.

So, this week, I processed these thoughts/feelings with my awesome psychologist and he gently reminded me that “being trapped” is a thought that I am attaching to; it’s a “story” that I am identifying as reality, but it is not reality. I’ve been believing my thoughts about being trapped. So, the thoughts are the trap. Isn’t that interesting? But, the reality is: I am not trapped. I am free. I can walk away. I can change my circumstances. I can come and go. I can move. I can fly anywhere in the world, if I really want to, and I can do anything I want. What’s important is the feeling attached to the thought of being trapped. It’s what’s below the stories that I tell myself that is most important to trace and then understand. What’s the feeling? What’s below it? What’s causing the pain? Pause…pause…pause…

Sitting with it, I learned this: I feel HUGE fear and pain below the story of “being trapped”. Fear of taking true responsibility for myself, of standing up for myself, and speaking my truth. Why? Okay…go deeper…deeper…yep…right there…got it. When I stood up for myself in childhood, my mom physically and emotionally abused me. She routinely tried to destroy me over the twelve years that I lived with her and she tried in multiple ways. Other people in the past have done similar stuff to me, too. Feeling trapped is tied to this core of fear, pain, and mistrust. People sometimes hurt me when I stand up and tell them what I think, when I reveal my tender underbelly, when I get vulnerable. People have maligned and shamed my expression. People sometimes use my words against me later. People often judge and criticize me for my feelings. I’ve been hugely damaged when getting real and trusting others.

And, as an aside, like many people do, I’ve “shielded” with my body. I’ve used my body to keep people at bay, keep the world away from me, to keep people out of my tender core. My body has dutifully guarded my innards by being larger and denser. She’s been my “protector”. She’s been my insulator all of these years, my padding against the weapons people have waved at me and used on me. How I love my body for protecting me and doing exactly what I needed from her and couldn’t even openly articulate. I have the best body on this planet. I know it. She’s the best one.

Anyway, on the outside, I know that I want to stand up for myself because it means greater clarity and greater expansion as a consciousness, but when I do stand up for myself, I get stomped. So, inside is a huge feeling of being unable to stand up (trapped) to clear the way for my expansion because that comes with huge pain, familiar pain, unwanted pain. There. That’s it. This is all a natural reaction to past experiences and damage. I can identify with the thoughts that are a lie or I can go deeper and unearth what’s below the thoughts, which is the truth. The feelings are the truth. My feelings are here for a very good reason; they make perfect sense. The feelings never lie.The feelings are the path through the darkness.

Now, my real work comes. What to do with all of this? How to “act” in integrity and clarity around this revelation? How to invite understanding and communication with myself and others on this. How to heal this? I’m going to continue looking at it and going below the surface of the thoughts. For now, that is enough. When I can, I’m going to speak my truth to others and regardless of their reactions, I’m going to know that it’s enough for me to have spoken my truth. They do not have to accept me or my expression. They do not have to validate me. I do. I’m opening the trap and stepping from it. I’m walking into the unknown, into the soft air, into the arms of the mountain. I’m freeing myself.

Step Away from the Body!

Sometimes…you just have to get away. Peel out of there like a shot. Bail. Abandon ship.

There are moments when it’s nearly impossible to be in the body, to stay with the body. I’ve found that this usually occurs in times of intense feeling, trauma, anxiety, or fatigue. If you’re anything like me, your feelings are massive, earth-shaking, and, well, bigger than the universe. Feelings are messy, deranged, reckless, momentous, and impossible to contain. Our feelings are so big that we’re often afraid of them and sometimes so raw that it feels like they’ll choke us (or at least, do tissue damage). Damn emotions. 😉

Whenever something gets too close, hurts too much, or feels too big or confusing, I bail on my body. This is called disassociation; it’s pretty common in people who have been abused. I do it subconsciously, of course, and it happens so fast that I can’t stop it. Most of us disassociate to some degree. When you daydream, that’s disassociation. When you drum, you enter a disassociated state. When we trance while listening to music, deeply relax, or even when some of us do yoga, that’s a type of disassociation. But, some of us disassociate dozens of times per day (or more) to avoid feelings. Some of us live more “out” than “in”. I lived more out of my body than in my body for decades.

For the longest time, I didn’t know that I was employing this type of coping mechanism. I didn’t even know what it was until I went through therapy. Analysis revealed to me that when the sh*t goes down, I leave my body effortlessly and instantly. My spirit vacates. Again, for years, I did this without realizing it. And, it was a real process to identify my penchant for disassociation.

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Unsplash art is free and fabulous; check ’em; http://www.unsplash.com

I was in my second year of high school and going crazy. Years of living with abusive parents (four of them between both sides of the fam) and siblings (two of them between both sides), plus gobs of other physical and emotional trauma, had literally brought me to the edge of sanity. I was a complete and utter wreck. I was anorexic/bulimic and torridly addicted to cigarettes (1.5 packs) and caffeine (1200 milligrams) per day. I ate one meal per week. My life was imploding all of the time, but, hey, I looked competent. I acted brave. I was thin and beautiful. People thought I was well.

At the end of my Sophomore year in HS, I was trying to move out of my dad’s insane household and struggling to pay for food, school supplies, clothes, and the bare essentials. I was working under-the table at a video store and putting in as many hours as I could get, in addition to going to school. So, there was intense pressure in my life, intense pain, and heaps of childhood damage that I was doing my best to hold down and avoid. It was a truly awful time. And, being in high school, with all of its pressures and torment, was the last thing I needed or wanted. But, of course, I went to school every day, because if I hadn’t, my dad, (read: bad-ass cop/investigator), would find me and drag me back into the hell from which I had escaped. He warned me that he would. I knew he would. So I toed the line, stayed in school, did my time.

“Doing my time” included a stint of living in my car, which was preferable to actually going back and living with the damn-family. Yep, it was pretty bad. But, my ego had me convinced that I was fine. What other 16-year-old lives on their own? I didn’t need any help. I just needed to stay away from my crazy family and work harder, that was all. This was the stuff my ego was routinely telling me and since I was rarely ever in my body, it was easy to believe my ego, easy to believe that I had things under control.

In talking with an older friend of mine one day (who was a regular at the video store where I worked), I let some of the “crazy” out. I admitted that my childhood had been pretty abysmal and I was often so depressed that I had trouble getting out of bed. He suggested that I call a therapist with whom he had worked and gotten some help.  At first, I balked because “everyone has families like mine, right?” He assured me that no, what I suffered through was actually far worse than what many people go through; it had damaged me; I clearly needed help. His words burned me. They did. I felt them pinging somewhere deep inside of my body as he spoke them, and I knew he was right.

I called the shrink soon after, made an appointment, and in the consult with the doctor, I begged her to help me. I offered to pay her $10 per week for our sessions, because it was all I had. I ended up going to her for three years. And, despite the fact that my therapist tried really hard to turn me into a Christian (a story for another post), the therapeutic process actually saved my life. In my sessions, I finally caught up with the damage that had been done to me. I saw and re-experienced, in garish detail, the abuse, the trauma, the heartbreak, the devastation, the agony. I crawled through the dark woods of myself over and over and got lost inside of those woods many times and sometimes for days on end.

I learned about disassociation and how I had used it exclusively to avoid my feelings. I learned when I do it, how to catch myself doing it, and how to stay in my body (or at least, how to return to it faster and catch some of the feelings that I was trying to avoid). And, while therapy made me feel like sh*t, often, it also began to work in subtle ways, ways that I couldn’t articulate until much later. I learned how to descend into the body and hold the feelings that I was running away from. This work was harrowing, painful, awful, and at the same time, illuminating and beautiful. Analysis helped me so much. I loved and hated it. But, I did the work. I kept going.

Truthfully, even now, it’s a daily struggle to stay present and descend into the depths of my body versus pop out and retreat to my mind or somewhere “out there”. Sometimes, it’s such a chore to dig in on my feelings, trace them to the thoughts I was thinking, ask questions, wait for the answers, and not run away from my emotions. Sometimes, I just can’t do it. I have to leave. And, I’ll be honest, I like bailing. I like being “out there”. It’s safer. There are fewer feelings “out there”. But, I’ve learned that it’s not always helpful to bail.

While disassociation is a coping mechanism that serves a purpose, is necessary, and even arguably “natural” for human beings, when we do it too much, it can keep us from healing our inner wounds and fully living. It also cements a less-than-healthy relationship to the body because you’re not fully feeling the body or living in the nuances of experience from the body. You know what I mean. We all struggle with body image issues. We all reject our bodies sometimes. I had to learn how to dig in versus bail out and I had to learn how to  walk into my wounds. When I did that regularly, when I did the work, huge transformation happened for me.

So, tell me about your experience. Do you disassociate? How does that feel for you? What is your journey with it? Have you come up with some ways to manage your departures? Tell me about it in your comments. Let’s talk.

This Exquisite Madness

People often say to me: “Lizzy, how can you possibly feel all of the stuff that you write about? Where does it come from? You can’t possibly process this much, channel this much, can you?” I smile. I look into their eyes and ask them in my mind: “What do you think? Do you not feel the worlds of movement in my writing? Do you not see the soul peering back at you when you catch my eye? Do you not grasp the immense, unfathomable, endless infinity of experience, emotion, and thought when you stand beside me?

But, here’s the secret: all of that is exactly what I feel when I look at you, when I stand next to you, when I peer into the soul of you. This exquisite madness, this thing that we’re all doing here together, as in, expanding mankind’s consciousness, is the only raison d’etre any of us really need and it’s our only important work. We are doing it together. It is happening.

So, yes. I really do feel everything that I write about. I came here “on” and there is no holding back, no tapping out, no turning this off. Admittedly, this madness scares people, people who are not ready for someone who is so awake. I’m not bragging when I say this, guys. This is simply the case. I’m awake. It’s acutely painful at times. It’s lonely at times. But, it’s worth it. And, you do this, too. You’ve gotten to your own version of “here”. Your exquisite madness is more lovely than mine, I venture.

So, for those of you wondering how it feels…

When I eat food, explosions of emotion erupt inside of me. I can feel the soul of the food entering my cells. I can feel the essence of how the food was grown, how it was handled, packaged, and shipped. I can sense the atoms of sunlight bursting on my tongue. I can hear the messages from the food, the acid in the soil, the alkalinity of the water that fell on the plants. I can feel my consciousness changing shape when I consume food, when I feed my lovely body. The plants hold ideas for us. I decipher them with my senses. I close my eyes when I eat often because the feelings are so full, so big, so voluminous. And, I’m giving myself over to the experience. I’m fully receiving the experience.

When I listen to music, the notes expand inside of my body, shake feelings from the deepest recesses, spin my head with such dizzying movement and joy. I cry alot when I listen to music but not from sadness, from fullness. The lyrics burst through me, become me, live inside of me: glowing, radiant, energized, and precise. Music stretches me out on my back, opens my limbs, changes the structure of my cells. I love laying on my yoga mat, blasting house music, and widening my entire body to it, my psyche taking off like a shot through the universe.

When I’m writing, words shake me at my desk, the phonemes strangle me with energy; it’s a ravishing experience to be taken like that, to yield to it, to let go. Words are not just words. Words are life essence. Words are the conveyance system for me. They are so important. You want me to fall in love with you? Use your words. Tell me what you feel inside; go there, find the emotion, locate it inside of you, tell me where it is. Tell me how it is to be in your body, to stand on a mountain, to be seeing creation, to be pulling life through you. I’ll love you forever. And ever.

unsplash_bird

Lovely art, compliments of lovely unsplash; check ’em: https://unsplash.com/

When I touch his hand, my body opens, drops, undulates like a flag in high winds, receiving, pulling in, and emptying out. I feel his energy crossing, entering my veins, filling my insides, living inside of me, in all parts of me. When I look into his eyes, my whole body vanishes and I’m suspended there for a millisecond, floating out to edges of the universe, holding the beam of energy between us, riding that wave, feeling that spark, that atomic connection crossing the distances between us, over and over. When I merely think of him, my cells jump up and dilate, tasting all of the moments that have transpired between us, the words, the sentences, the laughter, the love, reliving everything, drawing it all in, holding it, teasing apart the meanings. And, there is sooooo much meaning between us.

Yes, this is real, people. This is what it means to be fully awake. This is how it feels to accept what comes, to enter the garden of the self, to know that all of my experiences have been drawn to me, by me, for a reason. Each moment, whether positive or negative, holding a gift in its hands for me. To live life fully awake, means, at bottom, to demonstrate a willingness to be vulnerable, a willingness to search for personal answers, to open your rib cage and let life trifle with your innards, to look inside of the psyche, hold what’s there, ponder the self, and above all, to be honest about the self, regardless of how messy or real or uncomfortable.

It takes courage to do this work, to lower one’s defenses, to head out toward an unknown horizon, and stay this open, but in the process, we see colors, feel feelings, have thoughts, and taste experiences that we would not have otherwise had and we grow profusely in the process. Yes, it’s acutely unnerving at times; it’s scary at times. I have been punished, rejected, ridiculed, hurt, and misunderstood in life because of my open, full-feeling nature, but it hasn’t stopped me; no one has dimmed my light and no one ever will. This is how it feels to channel the madness of sages and saints and shamans. This is how it feels to be “on”. Come with me. You know this road. You’ve stood on this bridge. You built this tower. Come stand beside me.

Being on Fire, All of the Time

Admit it. From reading the title of this post, you think this is a diatribe about menopause, don’t you? I would. I mean, yeah, everyone who is in female body this time around goes through it. Most of my readers are female. And, many of you know that I’m knee-deep in the “change” and physically hot much of the time. But, no. This post is not about menopause. I’ll spare you that particular madness today. LOL!

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Artwork, thanks to unsplash, which gives us beauty, freely: https://unsplash.com/

 

No, this is a post about living wide open, living on fire. It’s about allowing our bodies to channel energy, consciousness, feeling, thought, and experience in a greater capacity; it’s about accepting that we are conduits for spirit and aligning ourselves with that primary thought. It’s about how to lay down the barricades, let experiences live inside of us, pull deeper meaning from the tissues of the body, grow from the exercises, and contribute a more authentic part of the self to all that is. In short, this post is imploring you (and me) to turn “on”. I want us to walk forward in life, gilded by the fire of self-awareness, knowing that we are never alone, never abandoned, never truly damaged by anything, not even death.

Ambitious, I know. Not sure I can do this topic total justice, but you know me: I’ve got lots of words and I’m going to use them. I’ll do my best and am counting on you to tell me if I fall short.

oneFirst rule of being on fire all of the time: Accept that everything you feel is good, right, makes sense, and has a place. Everything we feel is right. Are you feeling so angry that you could kill someone today? It’s okay. That feeling is right. You have every right to feel that way. Those are not “bad” feelings. They are just feelings. Feel your feelings. Know that your emotions are always there for a reason. You aren’t making this shit up. Some people suck. Some people are cruel to us. Some people, in the expression of their own harm, offer harm to us (that we then decide to pick up, let in, and work with). Your feelings about anything going on in your life are always right, true, good, and useful to you.

It’s what we do with the feelings that counts. It’s about digging out, from deep inside of us, what the feelings mean, and their origins. So, how do we accept that our feelings are always right? We think about them. We observe when we are having them. We identify them. For example, “Oh, this is anger. I’m angry. Why am I angry about this? What’s below this anger? What’s the message that I’m taking from this person’s behavior? What are my thoughts associated with this episode of anger?”

We can then seek to dialog with the feelings and trace them back down into the depths, into the core places, to the beginning. Why am I angry? Pause. Let the question float into your body. Feel it there. Find the spot where it lives in your body. Your epiphany will come. “Ah, I see now. This person’s behavior triggered some thoughts in me that go all the way back to childhood about feeling less than okay in my family. Ah. I see. This person’s behavior is a message that I maintain about not being good enough. Okay. I get it now. These feelings are valid and merely indicating a part of me that I’m animating in this moment. I want to dig into this more. I want relief from this and I want to take responsibility, so I’m going in…deeper…”

This practice of accepting feelings takes some people an entire incarnation (or more). Just this one step. But, if you can get to the place of largely accepting that your feelings are right and a result of your thoughts, your core beliefs, you are living on fire. You are living a more healthy life. It’s a simple-sounding thing to do. But, it takes real work. It takes astuteness. It takes being awake and being present. It takes a willingness to be responsible. Your feelings and thoughts are your responsibility. You created them. If you can also accept your emotions, you are ahead of the game. Now, go forth and own how you feel, invite your feelings in, hold them, understand them, ask questions of them, get to the source of why you react the way that you do, know that your emotions will shift when you are ready, and thank your feelings for telling you about the thing that you wanted to explore. If you do this one thing, you’ll see your life open up in miraculous ways.

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Second rule of being on fire all of the time: Accept that there is more going on in your life than what you can physically see. The physical manifestations of energy, what we physically see in the world, are varied, rich, and infinite, but they are only half of the picture. There are truly countless things happening below the level of our perceptions, in what I call the soul-level consciousness, that directly impact how we move through and create this world.

I love the Pierre Teilhard de Chardin quote that says: “We are not physical beings having a spiritual experience; we are spiritual beings having a physical experience.” Yes. Like it or not. Believe it or not. We are spirit in physical form. We come back here to earth for a core reason that is often only known to us in our souls. Some people can get right in there and find out what that core reason for their being is and then move on it. While, others struggle to understand it or grasp it and may never know. But, it changes nothing. What we see is not all there is, regardless of what “ology” or “ism” or “non-belief” you might entertain in this lifetime.

How can you sense this? Close your eyes. Call in one of your spirit guides (whether you believe in them or not). Ask your guide to give you a sensation in your hand or leg. Wait for it. If you train yourself, you will be able to feel them show up. You will feel something. Still not convinced? Walk into your room angry and see how your dog or cat reacts to you. Watch the energy emanating from your physical body in the reactions of others. THIS IS WHAT’S REAL. You are sensing the invisible realm that is at the core of all life, the spirit, the Source of all that is, the impetus for all things, and it is each of us. We are extensions of Source energy in physical bodies.

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Robert Lanza, M.D.

Need more? You can read this life-changing book: Biocentrism: How Life and Consciousness are the Keys to Understanding the Universe by the esteemed and amazing, Robert Lanza, M.D. (AKA: God in the flesh). I guarantee that this one book will change your life forever. You could read 500 other books and never arrive at the shores of this particular truth so concretely and so satisfyingly. Yeah, the book is dense and quantum-physics-central, but don’t let the math and density scare you. If I can get it, you can, too.

This book explains mankind’s “universe” in a mere 207 pages. You will never, ever be the same. You will never look at your feelings, thoughts, or behaviors in the same way. You will be freed from your past, freed from your limited focus, freed from your narrow ideas about what it means to be alive. You will finally understand that true life is what’s going on in the invisible realms and it includes the physical stuff, but the physical is just a result of the invisible, the consciousness called you. Physical manifestations: bodies, cars, books, trees, mountains, etc. are all coalesced by your consciousness, my consciousness, not the other way around. We create matter. Plain and simple. We do. These things do not exist at all without our consciousness directing them, shaping them, molding the molecules. And, humanity is getting very close to proving this.

threeThird rule of being on fire all of the time: Accept that your body is your fastest and biggest ally in growing your consciousness. You cannot get what you came here to do done without your physical body. You cannot live without your body. Your lovely body is how your spirit advances. It’s how you get what you came to manifest manifested. Your body is vital to your growth as a consciousness, a soul; it’s necessary, right, and good. Your body is the quickest messenger and “manifester” of your thought and feelings. Your body is your first and closest barometer for the direction of your thoughts. Plain and simple. If you’re sick, that means you are resisting something. What? Find out.

If you can get to the point where you can accept that your body, right or wrong, sick or well, fat or thin, is your chance to expand as a soul, you’ll be living on fire; you’ll be living a more authentic experience. The fact is, our bodies are giving us lessons that we chose to work on before we even got here. Don’t blame your body for the lessons that you chose to come in and work on; it’s not your body’s fault that you are unwell. Your body made an agreement to work with you and you need it, so love it. Your body (like everything you experience) follows your thoughts, every time, without exception. The more compassion and love you can show your body, the faster you will expand, the quicker you will heal, the faster you will get your lessons done, and the richer your experiences will be.

So. Let’s make a vow to live on fire all of the time. Let’s make a decision today to let life pull through us and accept the permutations of experience that we draw to ourselves for the purpose of expanding. Let’s know, at our core, that what we feel is right, that we can act from feelings without consciousness or we can act from feelings with great precision and reflection. Both work, but one brings us greater gifts. We can decide to accept our feelings, accept the unseen help and support that is all around us, and accept that our bodies are a very vital part of this journey. And, finally, we can use the fire that we generate to eliminate what no longer serves mankind: self-recrimination, fear, hatred, judgement, lack of responsibility, and so on.

I don’t know about you, but I’m burning. My office is now filling up with the sweetest smoke. 🙂

Body Poetry is Craaazy Cool!

Lately, I’ve been writing what I call Body Poetry and it’s pretty cool. What is Body Poetry?  It’s poetry that bubbles up from the body consciousness to the mind, not the other way around as is typical with writing poems.

This is how I do it. I sit for a few minutes, close my eyes, breathe deeply into my core, and ask my body to give me sensations, feelings, or words. I invite my body to talk with me. It takes a long time for me to center and still myself long enough to hear, really hear my body, and not trample what I’m receiving with my mind. But, I’m getting better at “hearing” my body with practice. Sometimes I get physical sensations in a particular area. I then zero in on that area and ask “What do you want to say to me? I’m listening.”

The first few things that came through me were really odd, like stream-of-consciousness stuff that seemed to have little coherence or meaning to my current circumstances; here’s an example of something that recently came from the area of my chest and ribs:

yellow curl
heart-scape sealed
grab air
nothing
float
closed

My heart said these things, or “breathed” these words to me as I meditated. I had to wait a while for the words to come up from my body and settle softly in my mind. It’s hard to describe what’s actually happening when I do this, but the words flit through me really fast from way deep in my body. I didn’t understand the meaning of the words that first came through me, but I made sure to hold them, welcome them, feel each one, and live there inside of them for a few minutes. Then, when I traced the words back down into my body, they were crowding my heart area and their meaning became clear. I realized that I had been guarding my heart toward someone because I was recently offended by them. At the time, my mind had quickly and dismissively characterized the whole episode as “their problem”, but when I held the feelings and traced them deeper, I found that my heart was actually still stunned and a bit sore from the exchange between us.

So, my heart’s message was one of curling inward, yellowing, and sealing off. In looking for a connection with the other person and getting nothing in return, my heart then went away with a residue of pain and carried this pain until I asked it to tell me what was going on. And, when I held the words and asked where they were from, the person’s image loomed up in my mind and my heart constricted. Ah-ha! To get this message from my heart was profound. To see that my heart has its own code, it’s own language, and its own presence, aside from the rest of me, was so moving. And, it’s only continuing to deepen as I continue to do this kind of work.

So, I’ve been practicing this a little each day. I can tell you this: My belly wants to and likes to speak. My belly often speaks of force, strength, will, and drive. It often holds a simmering impatience and irritation. But, staying with the static from my belly longer, reveals something else inside all of that bluster and bravado; there’s a supple tenderness, a wish to protect, a yearning to be really seen and considered and loved. And, oh, my Goddess, my belly loves to be touched! She asks for it all of the time. 🙂

Anyway, I’ve found that the loudest feelings are often covering up my more gentle ones; the loud stuff is masking my vulnerability. It makes sense, but until I actually “lived there” with a deep concentration, I was missing all of this.

I have a particular person in my life, whom I adore and who is energetically in my body alot. This person gives me unending pleasure to ponder, sift, feel, and hold inside. When I dial in and ask for belly emotion, his face sometimes looms up inside of my mind, and then I feel such body joy, such pointed awareness of his physicality, his “essence”.  I get chills and radiating blue electricity inside my core and can actually feel my Chi radiating outward; it’s so pleasing. He’s incredibly tangible and physical for me. So, with the help of my belly (and some attention from my mind also), I wrote this poem:

Wanting to gently pull from youjournal_pages
a confession
softly uttered
in the stillness

of
a never-ending night

the barely audible
but steady
timbre of your voice
carrying the weight
of a thousand years
inside it
carrying me open
and down into your
body
as you bare
who you are
at that moment
in the darkness
and use your
missives
to ease the
latches of
my core places
open and
loosen points of
light
into the eaves
where they breathe
and blink above us
like night on
the mountain
whispering
your name
through me
over and over.

This is my belly wanting deep recognition, a confession that he feels as much as I do; it’s a sweet, soft, and pure recognition of the fact that he and I have known each other before now; it’s a longing to hear his words about that experience, our experiences together, then and now. As he speaks, my body opens and becomes his body; parts of me that are usually hidden are gently unlatched and the light of those energies is freed into the corners and eaves of the room where they blink like stars in the night, on the mountain, which has its own messages and mantra. It’s about trusting that this person, whom I’ve let into my core is gentle enough and reverent enough to know what a big deal it is for me to have him there. Few people make it into my core, so this is a significant shift in my energy paradigm. To be honest, it scares the hell out of me to have someone so inside of me like this, so deep, and so prevalent, but my belly largely dictated this reality, so I’m going with it. I’m holding the energy despite my fear.

I think I wrote about this before, but some years ago, I had the pleasure of talking with a psychic that could receive messages from a person’s body parts. She told me that my left knee was unhappy about some of the things I had been saying about it to other people. I was stunned at first and then incredibly apologetic. I begged my knee to forgive me. I simply didn’t know that the body listens to us so intently and never regarded the body as having its own code, it’s own consciousness, its own “life” outside of me, the soul and psyche operating it. Well, I learned such a valuable lesson that day. The lesson has obviously stayed with me. The body poetry work that I’m doing now is an extension of that work from so many years ago. It’s delicious.

Today. These are the words that came from my body:

Heart says: “blue haze quiet longing”

Belly says: “sifting
memories through layers
touching
edges of meaning
holding you
holding you and me”

My left knee says: “walk into future”
My lower back says: “need change need”

Interesting. So, so interesting. I have a feeling that big shifts are coming for me. My body is telling me in advance. I can feel it coming and I’m ready! What about you? You wanna try this? Please do and leave some comments about your experience; or, better yet, write a guest post. Would L<3ve that!

Put the Needle In

I’m an addict. I freely admit it. I’ve had this problem for a very long time. Um, lifetimes. I’ve struggled and battled with a pervasive, all-encompassing urge, a hot need inside of me that feels larger than the sun.  When I rest my head, it’s there whispering through me, easing me to sleep, asking me to give myself over to it. When I wake up, it’s there softly chanting in my blood, singing from the edges of my consciousness, pulling me into another day of deep feeling and longing.

Every face I peer into tells me about this desire of mine. I see it in other people’s eyes, I can taste it from the air around them. Every time I stop for a few moments, the tingle of this thing washes through my body, stirs my mind. It’s an invocation, an asking from my highest self. It’s a relentless voice at the core of me, asking…asking.

I’ve tried (unsuccessfully) to push past it, brush it aside, ignore its plea, stay out of its way, but it always catches me. It always catches up. I’ve gone into each living day full of hope that I can beat it, that I will not make the same choices, but I know that I won’t beat it. I will choose this over and over. I won’t beat this thing. Even when I rail to the heavens and ask why I came back here to this place, I know that I’ll succumb. Again. I always do.

needle

What is this addiction of mine? Living. Despite the pain it causes. Despite the heartbreak. Despite the loss. Despite the countless, exhausting, relentless, and charmingly beautiful experiences chronicled inside of my soul (Akashic records), I come back to this loathsome, but breathtaking planet over and over and over. I’m addicted to being in a body. I’m addicted to life. I’m addicted to feelings and thoughts and other people. And, like all addictions, there are all kinds of results.

Now, before you roast me for being cavalier about addiction, which I assure you, I’m not being, and have had my struggles with (work addiction, anyone?), hear me out. In my belief system, we humans plan lots and lots of details about each life we enter into before we get here. We sit in a classroom of sorts, with our guides, and choose core parameters around each life and the lessons on which we hope to work for each incarnation. We do not plan down to the minutia, but we place high-level markers in our path for specific lessons that we want to “advance” or “master” in a particular lifetime. We place agreements with other souls, in our plan, so that these people will come into our path and work with us on advancing. Yes, we make agreements with the so-called “good” people and the “bad”. We invite all of it.

We control lots of aspects of living before we live yet again. And, then we come in, hit some of the markers, live the experiences, and do our work of advancing as souls. None of life experience is “bad”. None of the stuff we do is “wrong”, nor for that matter is any of it “right”; it just is. We come in, live the plan (roughly) or deviate from it wildly, in some cases, and gain from it all. Our consciousness expands and grows and ripens with each experience. All of life experience serves us on a soul level. And, we ask for all of it, even the bad stuff.

When we are out of bodies, it all makes perfect sense, this pain, this torture, life’s hardships, and the joys. When we are in bodies and solely focusing from within an incarnation, however, life sucks so bad at times, we hate ourselves and every living thing on the planet. We struggle. We are stunned, injured, happy, depressed, angry, joyous, sad. Life hurts. Bad. Life is also excruciatingly gorgeous, heady, and beautiful. But, it hurts more than it is beautiful, in my experiences.

So, how does all of this relate to addiction? Ha, glad you asked. I, my friends, am addicted to life. I’m addicted to coming in here and going another round. I’m a classic “A-type-overachiever-perfectionist.” And, I know that these traits are core to my soul signature like I know that I have a physical face. I know that I choose really difficult lifetimes so I can advance “faster” but in so doing, I make myself pretty damn miserable. Alot. For, like, lifetimes.

How do I know this? My guides gave me the entire “download” one day as I sat talking about life lessons and reincarnation with my bestie. Behind my eyes, without warning, I saw a vision of me, an amorphous blob of soul sitting at a table, pouring over my records, and saying with a childlike exuberance:

“Oooo…ooo! I know! I’ll come in and be abused. YES! That’s what I’ll do. My mother will be a monster and she’ll help me work on trust, so let’s mark that down. I’ll then have incest experiences with a psychotic/sociopathic stepfather and my narcissistic brother and then, oooo!! I’ll be raped at age 12 and then go anorexic! Yes. THEN! I’ll have an abusive first husband and after that, I’ll get really fat and be workaholic and try to work myself to death at a young age…”

Yep, the entire thing played out for me in my third eye in a hot flash. I knew it was the truth because I heavily edit my “psychic ability” and ordinarily do not let things like this through. But, it busted through my firewall like nobody’s business. I “saw it” all before I could clamp down on it. And, then, I started laughing so hard because in that moment, I got total clarity. That moment led to others in which I was able to then see the decisions that I made and take utter responsibility for my path, my pain, my problems, my choices. It also led me to deeper understanding of my wiring, in this life and many, many others.

So, here’s the truth: I load up my plate with all kinds of pain and hardship before I get here and then when I get here, I bitch about the choices that I made in my planning. I bitch about how my life if going because it hurts. It’s true. I get here and forget that I’m eternal. I get here and I forget that all of “life” is an illusion and the real stuff is what happens outside of life (and in the soul). Life is just a play that is playing out on a stage of my own creation and I can change every aspect of it or none of it. I get here and forget that no matter what choices I make, I am loved beyond measure. We all are, by the way. I get here and complain that “life is too hard” or “my body hurts too much” or “that person is disrespectful” or, “why do I keep coming back here” or a real biggie for me, “I can’t advance fast enough”.

Shit, man. I am so good at bellyaching. And, this complaining that I do keeps me in victim mode. So, the first few steps in changing this pattern is to accept that I’m addicted to living, embrace that I’m getting what I need from my lifetimes, no matter how challenging they are, and writing this blog post to tell on myself. I want to accept that I am a spiritual being having physical experiences and that I will reincarnate, out of choice, not force. I want to stop pushing against my spirit guides, stop threatening them for sending me back here. I want to stop pushing against my psychic ability, my true nature. I want to embrace my lives and extract every ounce of precious learning that I can and I want to be okay with the pain. Truly okay with it.

In 2012, I got really, really sick: lung embolisms, a huge clot in my right leg (due to birth control pills), severe anemia, gallbladder loss, an ablation to my uterus, surgery for a filter to be placed in my vena cava, then an unsuccessful surgery to remove the filter seven weeks later (on and on). It was a crazy few months. I think part of that journey was a planned “way out” for me, a window that I worked in prior to getting here where I could “pop out” if I wanted to. Part of me didn’t want to face the rest of my work, even more work, the hard stuff that I’m now actively doing. But, I chose to stay. I’m still here.

I’m not afraid of dying. I mean, I have moments where it kinda freaks me out, but I have a strong sense that I’ve lived before and I’ll live again. I have this sense because I’m so close to the veil between here and there. I’m so close to the Other Side that “death” doesn’t scare me. What scares me is reincarnating again and going through this crap again and being in physical and emotional pain again.

A psychologist friend of mine, Robert, said to me recently (when I was… yes, you guessed it, bitching) “You’ll stop incarnating when you no longer care that you do”. Ha! Son of a… Ahhhh…the sweet truth, in a tidy little package of delicate little words, from a guru. God, how I love that man. Anyway, yes. he’s right. When I embrace my addiction to living, have gotten everything I need from it, come back here just to serve others, and question not what creator sends me in to do, then and only then will I no longer come back and face ever-grueling, painful, but illuminating and precious life in a body.

So, from the bottom of my bottomless soul, I say to each of you: “Hi, I’m Elizabeth H. ‘Liz’ Casey, aka, BigLizzy, and I am an addict”.

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