Eye on the Prize

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...they lived happily ever after.

…they lived happily ever after.

A quickie.

A quick blog post, I mean.

Had to submit a bio for an upcoming “open mic” night for authors and the excitement vibe is too big to keep to myself.

(This sh*t is becoming real!!!)

 

Bio extraordinaire:

Lynette Landing finally took to heart what her 3rd grade teacher said a few decades ago, “Young lady, you were born to write!” Although not so young anymore, Lynette admits that writing is her purpose. After years of producing course curriculum, she began ghostwriting and penned a category-specific Amazon award winner. Her talent is put to the test currently, as she co-author’s her first novel. Lynette’s former life as a corporate trainer and speaker has taken a back seat as she develops her writing career. Her muse is the ocean, creek, or any moving water (including the shower).

Never lose sight of your dreams. Never, never, never! No matter how difficult. No matter how stressful. No matter what obstacles get in the way. No matter who bails on you!

Keep your eye on the prize and never give up!

*The novel (about a crime that takes place in Philly) is nearly finished. You’ll be the first to know…

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Absorbing negative ions – Longport, NJ

(c) BareNakedTalk – All Rights Reserved.

Ode To Love, Past and Future

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couple-distance-resizedI’m going to love him more than I ever loved you. I know that more and more each day as my eyes open to who I really am and what I really had with you. It may have taken a long, long time, but I’m now fully aware of the fantasy I created while I was with you; the fantasy of a man who loved me unconditionally and was genuine when he said, “You are the love of my life.”

That fantasy belongs to another man whom I mistook as you. Everyday his presence becomes clearer to me as yours fades away. He is stepping into my reality now that I’m finally clear. Like me, he has been personally transformed by his own brokenness. He has humbled and ultimately flourished and become a whole man who has what it takes to be with a whole woman.

Emotionally stable and secure, he is knowledgeable on a wide range of topics and his diverse interests add to his appeal. He is solution driven and strives to make the world a better place by beginning with himself and his personal relationships – because he realizes the world around him is a direct reflection of him. And for these reasons, self-growth is his top priority.

He abhors the absence of interdependence and knows that the world will suffer if it settles for anything less, so in every decision he attempts a “win” for all involved. And he protects those involved by forbidding political camps, triangulation or anything else that lacks integrity.

He is flexible and open-minded and doesn’t cave under pressure (or the pressure of his most valued partner) because mutual respect and emotional support in times of trouble is the truest sign of love. And though he will not enable, nor expect to be enabled, he is keenly aware that the storms come and go for all of us at some point in time.

This great soul looks beyond the surface because he is astute enough to know that a compassionate heart is his partner’s sexiest feature. And it is that very feature that will connect he and I and form a bond that cannot be broken.

Yes, I will love him more than I ever loved you – but it is because of you (and the remarkable relationship that we shared) that I am becoming a worthy partner for him.

And for that, I am forever grateful to you.

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(c) Copyright 2016 – BareNakedTalk – Lynette Landing – All Rights Reserved

***If you like what you read, please hit the “like” button (and share it with others!)  

You may also enjoy the following posts:

By the Grace of God, I Was Dumped!,

Life In the VoidWhen I Break Down, Casinos and Break-ups,

Are You Too Understanding?

 

Faith, Miracles, and a Renewed Purpose

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UNDENIABLE COVER 2014Wednesday, May 4, 2015

From a very early age, I knew my life would have to be fascinating or it wasn’t worth my time. It would have to include the mysterious and the miraculous and take me from very low points to very high points in order for me to see the whole picture clearly. I knew I would take the lessons I’d eventually learn and share their message with the world. Maybe that’s why, as a toddler, I used to line up all of my stuffed animals classroom-style and play teacher. I was practicing.

At 5 years of age, I probably didn’t realize it would take me half a century to finally do the sharing. But some lessons take time…and sharing of the message cannot precede the lesson or it will be unauthentic and therefore useless. It took me forever to get that.

Miracles exist. They are regular occurrences that most of us miss. They require faith. If the word “faith” makes you uncomfortable then substitute it with something else. Use the word “belief” or “anticipation” or “expectation” or “knowing.” Those who believe, expect, anticipate, and know – are the ones that experience miracles on a regular basis.

What has happened to our ability to experience miracles? We rarely hear about them unless we dig deep. Has the media jaded us? Have we become too stressed? Have we lowered our expectations so much that miracles are no longer within reach? It seems that we’ve replaced the desire to experience miracles for the pleasure of complaining. Unfortunately, the art of complaining has far reaching consequences. It breeds negativity that can destroy an entire race.

Isn’t it time to choose miracles again?

This book is about faith, because faith it is the vehicle to miracles. I use the word “faith” because it is the word that was shown to me when I first received the inspiration to write this book on October 21, 2009.

“God” is another one of those words that can make people uncomfortable. Throughout this book, which spans several decades of my life, you’ll notice I use a variety of words to describe “God” depending on where I was in my spiritual journey. I’ve used the words: Goddess, Universe, Source, Creator, Great Spirit, Divine Feminine, Almighty, Higher Power…and even the word Team. These words may hold an entirely different meaning to you; therefore choose what is most comfortable.

On and off, throughout my life, I’ve lost my faith in many things, including God. Which is odd for someone who has not only experienced some of the most incredible miracles, but has also had some of the most fascinating interactions with God. A spoiled brat may reside in all of us. Mine was out of control at times. Losing faith in ourselves can send us spiraling into dark and scary places emotionally. I have struggled with that as well, yet always seemed to bounce back. Recently though, bouncing back seemed impossible, no matter how much I tried to save myself, no matter what I did to change the momentum. When hope diminishes, so does our recollection of purpose.  A string of “bad luck” and heart break corroded my purpose and I felt very little reason to exist.  For the first time in my life, I felt dead inside. In the darkest moment I’ve ever experienced, my faith in God was miraculously restored.

God will use any method necessary to wake us up. In my case, it was a storefront psychic in south Florida, less than one week ago.

When I started this book back in 2009, I never expected it would take me seven years to complete. But I’ve learned that the book is a living, breathing aspect of me that has it’s own timeframe in mind. The book knew I was far from ready to write about a subject as important as faith, even if I thought I was. I had a lot yet to discover about faith before I was permitted to pick up where I left off.

I returned to Pennsylvania from Florida on Monday afternoon with an entirely new understanding of faith. On Tuesday morning, I felt the gentle nudge of God directing me to pick it back up again. “It’s time.” The book is finally confident in my ability to continue as planned.

May your faith in you, in God, and in all of life, open you to the world of the miraculous!

Lynette

(Preface for an upcoming book:  Undeniable: Blind Faith in the 21st Century)

 

(c) Copyright 2016 – BareNakedTalk – Lynette Landing – All Rights Reserved

 

 

 

 

Naked and (Less) Afraid

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the-creation-of-adam-detailGood news… My soul and I are reunited and back in business. According to my soul, we never split up or stopped doing business even if it seemed that way to me. She tells me this:  When your life seemed to freeze up like a rusted old motor, that’s when the most important work began.  Rusted old motor is right! It felt like a piece broke off and jammed itself inside that motor and nothing moved! Life got stuck and became very confusing. My soul assures me: Major work was happening just under the surface.

When I left PA for FL a few weeks ago, I brought only two books with me. Three weeks into my trip, I finally grabbed one and read it cover to cover within three days. I’ve had it for several years, but you know how it goes with books. They’ll sit quietly until the day comes when their message find its way to you. The book, Broken Open (by Elizabeth Lesser) came on this trip to give my recent suffering meaning. It revealed the purpose behind that suffering and removed the confusion, guilt, and self-hatred that almost destroyed me. It helped me to dispel judgements that came at me from the man I counted on the most, and to shed my own judgments towards him for abandoning me while I was flailing around in the dark. There was a greater story going on behind the scenes that I’m slowly beginning to appreciate.

This new understanding isn’t an instant cure, I still have crying jags over many losses, but like rain showers in South Florida, they are short in duration.  Hope was something I feared I’d never have again.  Now I feel a renewed faith and excitement about the future.

In Broken Open, Elizabeth calls this transformational journey the Phoenix Process in honor of the mythic bird with golden plumage. Famous mythologist, Joseph Campbell, calls it the Hero’s Journey.  Lissa Rankin, MD calls it the Space Between Stories. Some refer to it as a Personal Crucifixion or a Personal Sweat Lodge. I called it the Great Unraveling or most recently The Void  Whatever you call it, you’ll be required to go through it at some point in your life, even if its during your last days on earth. And while it ain’t pretty, don’t push it off, because in going through the dark, you’ll find the light, the forgotten dreams, the unseen miracles.

For the sake of this blog, I’ll refer to it as the Great Transformation

The Great Transformation is the Soul’s calling for our internal change (or breaking open). Change is hard. Letting go is hard. Leaving the familiar is hard. And these are all reasons most will resist the process. Some will feel the Soul’s push to change an outdated internal pattern to create a positive change in their intimate relationships. If they resist the call, they’ll miss out on the greatest gift; a miraculous metamorphosis of everyone around them, including future generations. They resist due to fear. They search for an escape route, often with a new partner. And down the road, they’ll sense the same uneasiness they experienced in the past, usually more daunting this time around, because the Soul will stop at nothing to bring them into alignment with their highest purpose. You may be able to postpone the Great Transformation, but your life will suffer grave consequences in one way or another.

The Great Transformation can come through divorce, separation, addiction, tragedy, watching a loved one suffer or die, the loss of a job, or any number of human atrocities.  But keep this in mind.  Not all losses trigger The Great Transformation.  Because the transformation was never about the external conditions of your life.  It’s about the internal you.  Your beliefs, fears, patterns, etc.  The Soul merely uses the external circumstances to get your attention, then it’s up to you to go inside and make the internal changes.

So even if you’ve suffered a major loss or devastating set back, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’ve gone through The Great Transformation.  Years ago, a disastrous divorce left me without a home or a sense of community. It threatened my security, wiped me out financially and cost me many valuable relationships. Although it rattled my world for years, and positively changed me on some levels, it was not the Great Transformation that my Soul was looking to trigger. I was too focused on the external changes and adapting to them.  While I did make some internal changes, I didn’t hit the mark, according to my Soul, who “kindly” gave me another chance 2+ years ago (an earlier blog describes some of the external changes, and even as I wrote that a week or so ago, I didn’t understand what was really required – the deep internal changes that create new life).

As I said, most people resist the Soul’s calling for the Great Transformation, because change and letting go is hard.  But there is something that causes much more resistance.  It is the fear of death and it is something that almost all of us struggle with to some degree.  Death is a strange and daunting cloud that hangs over our heads from birth.  When we are called by the Soul to transform, we resist with every bit of strength we can muster, because deep down inside, we are fully aware that this process demands the death of our former self in order for us to live the life we truly want – to be the authentic person we had in mind when we entered this earth stage.  I think Elizabeth’s book title sums it up perfectly – Broken Open.

If you’ve been through it, you are nodding your head right now. You have the battle scars and have reaped the rewards that come with going fully into the dark. And you’ll agree that OH MY GOD is it ever painful, emotional, tragic, lonely, and frightening as shit!  When my Soul began tapping on my shoulder 2+ years ago, my son had just finished college, my house had good energy, my training business was growing and I was in love. Why mess up a relatively good thing? I ignored the calling. And as I’ve described in previous posts, one thing after another was taken away from me. I assumed with every external change, my life would start “working” again. But it didn’t work again. I just spun my wheels and wondered if I was invisible. And then I plummeted into despair. I intuitively knew that this was an epic transformation that I had to face head on, otherwise I’d have to face it again in my future, yet I kept latching on to the things that were being taken away to gain some sense of control.

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The Turning Point

A stroke of luck…a client postponed their April training until May which allowed me to drop everything and go to Florida for a month.  I knew I had to finish this process and face the death of the old me.  I didn’t realize how incredibly frightening such a process could be!  Someday I will write about it in much more detail, but for now, I’ll just tell you that on the worst days I could feel the angel of death walking with me. No lie. I came to the conclusion one night that I must have agreed to be a human sacrifice (like the women who dove into volcanos). That was the moment I fully accepted the idea of death. In other words, I faced the concept of losing myself completely and stopped searching out some quick fix to feel better.  I embraced the possibility that I was losing my mind and would no longer identify with this world or other humans. I had no choice, I had to embrace that thought. So I let go of fighting to survive or improving my emotional state and I allowed my whole being to be brought into the shadow.  In doing so, I surrendered to the most terrifying thoughts, visions, and judgments.

Miraculously, the broken piece that had jammed up the motor came loose and I actually felt movement for the first time in over 2 years. By movement, I mean I felt the momentum change directions. There was hope!  Within 48 hours, I felt my life kick back on in an entirely new way.  I sensed the flow of life…the connection to my source.  But this was not the “flow” of life as I used to think of it. It’s the one I always dreamed was possible but could never figure out how to get there. As I sat on the beach yesterday, I wanted to record the miraculous change in mindset.  I let my Soul explain it to me as I wrote the words:

The False Flow You Accepted as Real

The former flow of life you thought was real was actually a false construct of this world. A manufactured flow that was anything but real. It was structured and rigid and had rules and restrictions. It enslaved and consumed and constricted creativity. It was fear based and controlling and judgmental. It required long hours of arduous work and little time to enjoy soul connections with others.  It distracted your attention from the very earth you chose to inhabit!

This false flow caused you to trade in nature for cubicles and assembly lines. You traded whole foods for pharmaceuticals. You traded soul-filling messages that come from creeks, mountains, oceans and trees, for energy draining directives of television and computers, where you sit endlessly escaping the hell you’ve grown accustom to.

And you accepted all that as real?  Yes, you (and almost everyone else you know) considered these things the flow of life!  The natural order.  But it is far from that!  You stepped out of the true flow a long, long time ago and blindly accepted a false reality!  This isn’t science fiction or some airy-fairy philosophy.  This is the absolute truth!

true flow

The True Flow Awaits Everyone

It beckons you and everyone else to return to it. Like a lactating mother with no children, she’s suffered her own pain and she’s pulling her babies back to her breast now.  One at a time. They resist. They’re afraid! How can they possibly leave this enslaved life behind? They don’t trust that they will make ends meet. They don’t trust they’ll have food! They’re handcuffed to a daily commute through traffic, endless hours in an environment that is mainly set up for the sake of profit, and micromanages it’s people’s time off. Yet they resist it even still and give more and more of their freedom away. They’ll forfeit their true nature for the peace of mind that the mortgage will be paid, that the kids will go to college, that the car will run efficiently. But it’s a false peace of mind!

When they feel the beckoning of the mother, the true flow of life, it’s like a stir inside their heart. Somewhere deep inside, they know she’s right. They know there is a better way! They know there has to be more than this!  And they’re pretty sure she’ll have their back if they take the plunge… but the “What If’s and How Will’s” scream so loud it drowns out the sound of her call.

“What if I leave my high pressure job for something that feeds my soul?  Who will pay the bills?”

“What if I quit grad school?  Who will hire me?”

“What if I take a hiatus from my family to find myself?  What will they think of me?”

“What if I get rid of my possessions and my “suburbia” lifestyle?  Will I still respect myself?”

“What if I say no to everyone who expects something that I’d rather not give them?  Will I let them down?  Will I lose their love?”

“What if I leave a relationship that seems to make both parties miserable?  Will I live to regret it?  Will I be alone forever?  Will God judge me?”

“What if I break free from a life that feels like a noose around my neck and instead put my needs first? Will I seem selfish?  Will I be the laughing stock?  Will I be shunned by society?”

“How will I possibly survive if I heed the call?”

going with the flow

Let me assure you of something…because you were willing to die to your old self and your old understanding of the “flow” of life, you have now been reintroduced to the true flow of life.  The one you used to believe in before you became jaded and fearful.  Before you lost faith.  Just look around you!  THIS is the true flow!

I had chills when I looked back and read what I’d just wrote.  Nothing every seemed more true.  I thought about it long and hard…

When I made the split decision to come to FL – I was on the auto train within 24 hours at a rock-bottom price. The timing was perfect, the price was perfect, the conditions were all perfect. I found a cycling place within minutes of the house where I’m staying. Everything is convenient and easy. In other words, everything flows without a lot of effort. While spending time in a climate I love and focusing solely on me and my needs, a few unexpected jobs came in – easy, decent paying jobs I could do sitting in the sun, and the income was deposited directly into my bank account without the need for me to even get out of my beach chair.

I’ve been so used to griping through the pain of the Great Transformation, that I barely noticed all the good that had already begun to reveal itself. It took days for me to realize that the past is gone and this is my new reality. It has nothing to do with the external. I can live anywhere I want, be with anyone I want, do any kind of work I want. I simply had to let go of the belief that the “flow” of life I had adopted all my life was the only option!  I have been reintroduced to the true flow of life.

Sometime my mind drifts back to the past and I find myself repeating old thinking, “What if I’m making this up in my head?  What if I can’t trust this and everything comes crashing down again?  What if I can’t get enough work to survive?”  I immediately feel stuck and anxiety returns. But I’m learning how to rewrite the program.  By facing my greatest fears and embracing death, I am assured that the past is the past and no longer part of this true reality where there is nothing to fear. So I simply surrender and breathe and just do what feels good in the moment. Like swim, or walk on the beach, or sit and stare at the blue sky, and immediately things start to flow again. The words come to me so I can resume writing projects, or a new training lead comes through email. Things fall into place easily, gently, with very little effort.  I’m getting use to the new way and less likely to fall back to old thinking.

Going fully into the dark helped me to see the light. 

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The Answer

All my life I dreamed about doing work that not only filled my spirit, but gave me the freedom to travel the world while I was still young enough to see it, and to have a fun travel partner that was eager to join me. In order to fulfill that dream, I needed to get right with myself and let go of things that held that dream back. Over two years ago, my Soul tapped me on the shoulder and said, “Wake up, baby girl, it’s time!”  In order to experience the true flow of life where my dream resides, my Soul helped me to let go of the following:   

Trying to please everyone. Constantly seeking approval. Forming unhealthy attachments to people or things. Constant worrying that I’ll offend others by honoring my own needs. Fearing rejection. Over apologizing for other people’s BS. Lowering my standards just to be in a relationship or have a man in my life. Sticking with relationships that are incapable of change or growth. Taking inappropriate responsibility for others. Forcing others to take inappropriate responsibility for me.  Judging, criticizing, gossiping, labeling.  The need to say yes, when I should have said no. Holding onto material possessions that weigh me down or no longer have purpose for me. Living in a house that no longer suits my needs. Backing down on important issues instead of standing my ground. Denying my own principles to keep peace with others. Absorbing other’s skewed opinions of me or my journey in life. Squeezing into a mold that doesn’t fit me. Maintaining a lifestyle that was stagnant, difficult and completely opposite of my dream. Worrying about rocking society’s boat by letting this free spirit loose on the world.  Believing that the former flow of life was the only option!

As you can see, there was a lot of letting go to do in my case.  That’s exactly why the process took over 2 years.  And holy shit – letting go is excruciating!  Yet we are forced to let go long before we understand why we need to let go!  That’s were faith comes in. Faith helps us to let go without seeing the future.  It minimizes the time and pain involved in the process. (Don’t allow yours to take as long as mine!)  I resisted letting go of life as it was, with every cell in my body, no matter how unhappy I was. Thankfully, my soul wouldn’t let up. And because of that, I am beginning to experience the dream of a life time.  After an upcoming month-and-a-half filled with writing and training, I’ve decided I may head back to Whidbey Island or Mount Shasta; both are truly magical places.  And after that… (I welcome your destination ideas! I’ve got a lot of world to see!)

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Final note:  A few years ago I was invited to Key West to speak to a hospitality association.  I brought my significant other.  The speaking engagement was short and sweet and was over the first day of our trip which left us with several wonderful days to relax and see the sights.  LIke any vacation, we were completely carefree.

At one point, we were in a very cool toy store. There was a small room in the back where people were seated in a circle watching a magician do some tricks.  We quickly realized that the small audience of people were mentally challenged. The magician had a wonderful disposition and catered his tricks for that particular audience who watched in amazement with “oohs” and “ahhs” and giggles. We stood off to the side and were awed by the man with the magic wand, not for his magic tricks, but for his compassion and tenderness for this particular audience. To my surprise, my significant other’s eyes welled up as he watched. He grabbed my hand and squeezed it and said to me with utter confidence,

“I want to do that some day!  I want to give my time to lift people’s spirits, just like he’s doing.  I want to make a difference in the world.  I’ve had enough sitting behind a desk every day just to make ends meet and make someone else rich!  God as my witness, I’ll make it happen!”

(His conviction was partially due to the fact that his boss had cut his pay right before we left for the Keys as punishment for him taking time off – because taking time off was something he rarely did.)

For as long as I live, I will never forget that moment of clarity I saw in him.  I heard his soul speak loud and clear and it made my heart melt. The man who had driven through the same heavy traffic day after day and been tied to the exact same desk for over 30 years had just been given a glimpse of the true flow of life. Unfortunately, the vacation ended and “life” got in the way and that inspiration he experienced back in the Keys withered away. Our subsequent arguments centered around limited time and too many chores and making money and paying bills and tight schedules that left little to no room to develop dreams. We drifted apart. I can only hope the day will come when he too will be broken open so that he can experience the true flow of life.

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(c) Copyright 2016 – BareNakedTalk – All Rights Reserved

Life in the Void

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Void

My friend forwarded me a newsletter today.  She knew it would have significant meaning to me based on current circumstances.  I wrote her back and said, “I don’t think I’ve ever read anything that I can identify with as much as that newsletter.”  It is called “The Space Between Stories” and was written by author, Lissa Rankin, MD.  She does a better job of portraying life in the void than anyone I know.

I gave my friend an update:  “I am raw. I can’t work. Most of the day I stare into space praying I’m not losing my mind. I’m back in Florida where at least the energy is much gentler. I don’t socialize, other than with (my son and his girlfriend) who have been wonderful. I don’t take or return calls from anyone, because I just don’t feel I have much to report. I do exercise, kind of like Forrest Gump. Indoor cycling and a hearty walk on the beach every day remind me that I’m somewhat alive and in control. No doubt, the space between is deep, dark and painful, but like everyone else, I will survive…I hope.”

Yes, I can actually stare into space for hours. Only when I’m in the space between. As Dr. Rankin says, “when you’re in this space between stories, the only thing to do is rest.” Um, yeah, because you basically have no other choice! Forcing myself to work only triggers a lot of tears and feelings of failure, then self-loathing and more tears. Apparently that is not the best use of this time.

The fact is, I have no idea how to proceed with anything right now anyway.  This void I’m in is not about the end of a significant relationship, even if I’ve expressed that in former blogs.  It is the ending of everything I knew myself to be.  I no longer feel like a daughter, a sister, an aunt, a niece.  I’m no longer a romantic partner, or confidant to a man I cherished.  He’s found another to fill those needs and as much as it paralyzed me, I realize the void began long before that event.

I no longer feel like an entrepreneur, as my business has gone into hibernation.  I’m no longer the coach and the motivator that people sought out for direction.  I can barely lift my own chin and find myself actually stepping back from others who seek emotional support from me now (so opposite the old me).  I’m no longer the life of the party, the outgoing, smily, jokester.  To the contrary, I prefer to avoid events if at all possible because I relish my time alone.  Maybe I’ve become a philosopher?

I still train audiences occasionally, but find it increasingly difficult, as my perspective on things change so quickly that I often feel like a fake at the front of the class.

I still have writing projects, including 2 books I’m ghostwriting (1 that is wayyyy past deadline), yet I no longer feel like a writer (hard as that is to admit) and I struggle to find the words.  The only writing that seems to come naturally and have meaning is my journaling.

I no longer feel that my dreams and passions mean a darn thing.  My life long dream of being a published author doesn’t hold the fascination it used to.  It’s not the end-all-be-all for me that it has been the majority of my life.

No.  I’m not depressed (although I’ve questioned that myself many times).  No, I’m not lazy.  No, I’m not giving up on me nor on life.  I’m in the space between.  I’m in life’s transition that strips us down, all of us at one point or another.  This is my time, whether I like it or not.  And after fighting it for over 2 years, I put the boxing gloves down and I’m accepting it, facing it, and I’m no longer running from it.

By the way, my transition may look nothing like yours, but if it helps to makes yours a little smoother, take a peek at mine…

In my transition, I’m learning that I am required to stand naked in front of the world; of course all the while I wonder when I’ll have my clothes handed back to me, thank you very much.  I sometimes think that I may never get them back!  Could this be my real purpose?  To stand here naked in front of the whole world for the rest of my life and explain how it feels?  (The silver lining is that I’ve kept up with all those indoor cycling classes…this naked bod ain’t so bad looking anymore).

I have felt naked on and off throughout my life, but never as prominently and as continuously as I have the last 2.5 years.  It was the beginning of 2014 when the first “garment” was yanked off me.  I felt it happening.  I saw God yank it off of me.  I wasn’t completely sure what was happening so I laughed. A nervous sort of laugh. I pretended it was temporary.  Just God’s way of getting my attention or directing my focus onto something I needed to do.

But deep down inside, I couldn’t lie to myself.  I couldn’t deny the truth.  That the yanking of that one garment was the beginning of the end for me.  The end of who I knew myself to be.  The end of all the silly optimistic goals I set for myself.  The end of accumulating “stuff” to keep up with the Joneses. The end of squeezing into some societal mold (even if I didn’t love the mold, I often felt obligated to conform and that would drive my soul batshit crazy).

Scariest of all, I knew it was the beginning of the end of attachments that kept me feeling grounded, stable, oriented, needed, loved…human!  It was the beginning of the end to security and…the end to logic!  The end to a myriad of beliefs I held in high-esteem.  The end of a paradigm.  The end of me.

But I wasn’t about to accept that!  So I laughed.  I laughed in God’s face (affectionately of course).  I said, “Sure God. Its okay if you take that one garment, but that’s all you get!  You know how long and hard I’ve worked to get where I’m at right now!  You know the obstacles I’ve overcome to get this far!  You know the work I’ve done on myself to be a better person!  You know how much I give to others!  You know I deserve to be in a loving relationship!  You know I have a purpose!  I’m quite sure you’re the one who gave me that purpose to begin with!  I thought you were on board with all this!?”

Then I coerced God into revisiting my plans and purpose with me.  I told Him there was no point in broadsiding me financially (or otherwise) when I was soooo darn close to reaching my goals!  And I assured Him of all the great things I had planned to do once those goals were achieved – saving the world, fixing broken systems, feeding the hungry, etc. etc.

After giving God a full review, I patted Him on the back and thanked Him for His continued support and for providing the things I needed to get the job done efficiently.  “No more setbacks, okay?” I smiled.  When my presentation was over, I basked in the false confidence that I’d gotten my point across, then I went back to living as usual.

He yanked off another garment.

One after another, after another.  Until the only thing I had left to conceal my lady parts, were my own hands (and believe me, two hands don’t provide all that much coverage).

Over the last couple months (especially the last week), my hands dangle by my sides.  I don’t care to cover up anymore.  Its more effort than necessary.  I’m also no longer waiting for my clothes to be handed back to me.  That may never happen.  So, I’m slowly learning to get comfortable fully exposed. As author Brené Brown put it, “I feel like a turtle without a shell in a briar patch.”

The shell is gone.  The clothes are gone.  The old paradigm is gone.  The familiar is gone.  The comfort I grew to expect – all gone.  Relationships have changed dramatically.  Finances have changed dramatically.  Promises of growing old together (with a man I latched onto for dear life), are no longer made to me.  The loss of home, community, career, finances, intimate relationship, etc. etc., I am at least grateful that God has allowed my sense of “mothering” to remain in tact, as my relationship with both my son and his sweetheart grows closer with the years.

I am most definitely in the space between.  But as I understand it from others who have been there, the life that begins after the void is beyond amazing.  That is, if we don’t force that life to begin before its time.  That takes patience.  And more importantly, it takes faith.  Faith.  That seems to be the #1 requirement for living, more now than ever. I often feel I signed up to be a “early adopter” of faith.  To walk the path of blind faith (as much of a baby as I can be walking the path) to lead the way for the majority when their times comes to be in the space between.  I may not always be the best model of faithful behavior (you should see the things I write in my journal!) but I’m getting better at it all the time.

The void can rock your world.  That is what it is intended to do.  To break down all the former systems and provide the foundation for the perfect system.  The true purpose.  In actuality, there is no greater gift.  But, never the less, getting through it can be challenging.

It is the wisdom of loving souls like Lissa Rankin, MD that help a wretch like me to hold on tight through the process.  She says: “If you get overwhelmed, rest in the sanctuary of your blown open heart, where you will know that this stripping down is not a punishment; it is an answer to a silent prayer for freedom that you may not even remember praying.”  (Be sure to read her insightful blog!)

Hang on tight!  If I can get there, anyone can!

 

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(c) Copyright 2016 – BareNakedTalk – All Rights Reserved

 

When I Break Down…

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“Where are all the friends that use to talk to me?” **

eye“All they ever told me was good news…” **

 

Stages of Grief???

  1. Acceptance
  2. Depression
  3. Anger
  4. Willingness to Open Up to Future Possibilities

Yeah, well maybe for some people (according to Elizabeth Kubler-Ross).  She was a psychiatrist who claimed that those 4 stages above are the stages associated with grief from loss, catastrophic events, fear of the unknown, etc.  Well, then.  Where does that leave me?  Because I just can’t relate!  I’ve been looking for stage 1 all along.  Where the hell is ACCEPTANCE?

And maybe it’s just me, but I think Acceptance is probably the LAST stage, not the first!  (In Kubler-Ross’s defense, I do believe she mentions that the stages happen in random order at times). But see, I need clear cut facts when I’m HURTING!  For those of you, LIKE me, who want a more solid roadmap to feeling better – or at least the path to ACCEPTANCE, maybe I can help.

I give you The 19 Stages of Grief According to Lynette Landing.  Do you relate?

Stage 1:  Begging, pleading, groveling, begging…begging…pleading….

Stage 2:  Quiet avoidance and some wailing; rummaging through cabinets for chocolate.

Stage 3:  Inner rage; spitting out tiny metal fragments. (Are these old fillings?)

Stage 4:  Dislodging body organs while sobbing (adams apple has relocated to sinus cavity, can’t figure out how to fix that).

Stage 5:  Unconditional love – Everyone one is beautiful!  You!  And You!  And even YOU who dug my heart out with a rusty bottle opener, flung it to the ground, stomped on it and then kicked it into the gutter. Honestly, it’s okay because it was meant to be this way because of divine order and the universe and namaste and light and all that is.  It’s like this:  I am he as you are he as you are me and we are all together,**** so let me shower us all with daisies!

la, la, la, 🙂 xoxo ❤ 🙂 x 0 x0 x0 <3, la, la, la

Stage 6:  I hate your face!  I hate your parents for bringing you into the world!  I hate your shoe size! Oh my god!  You are the anti-Christ!  The destroyer of lives!  Mine!  Now hers!  And probably the female before me!  You destroy them all!  May you come back in the next life as a cicada that is innocently plucked right out of the sky by a cicada killer who buries your sorry ass 12″ into the ground, paralyzes you with it’s stinger and then lays it’s eggs on you, so that its newborns can host off your lifeless body!

Stage 7:  FORGIVE ME!  I am sooooo sorry!  You did not deserve that hateful wish!  It’s me!  I am the anti-Christ!  Oh my God!  It’s all my fault, every bit of it, including the fact that I was ever born!  May I come back in the next life as a cicada that is paralyzed and buried underground and used as a host for larva to grow into a new flock of cicada killers! No! Wait. That’s not enough – I deserve a fiercer punishment!  I’m so sorry!!!

State 8:  I wonder if it’s time for Match.com.

State 9:  Never!  The thought of dating makes me vomit!  My heart is shattered and I may never fall in love again!  And I’m quite sure that men suck!  Or I suck!  Should I consider a woman next time?

Stage 10:  I can see the space-time continuum!  I’m serious!  It is fully visible!  Just look at the wall in front of me bending back and forth!  This is wild!  (I saw the road twist into outer space earlier!)

Stage 11:  Photosynthesis can be seen without the use of a microscope!  Holy crap!  I can actually see those little molecules moving right before my eyes.  Go little green-pigment-chlorophylled-thingies, go!

Stage 12:   Wait!  Was that…acceptance?  I just felt something for 55.3 seconds – something that felt kind of like acceptance?  I’m not entirely sure.

Stage 13:  Despair.  Squeaking out pathetic painful sorts of sounds that I never knew I was capable of making before.  Acceptance is a f—ing LIE!!!  Kubler-Ross is the devil!

Stage 14:  The desire to smoke things that I normally don’t smoke, nor have access to smoke, nor like to smoke.

Stage 15:  Time for Alan Parson’s Project (I Robot) full album.  The song “Total Eclipse” is some very scary shit.

Stage 16:  Ruminating on the former Good, the Good, the Good—which actually feels BAD and leads me to…

Stage 17:  Crippling despair (for the love of God, is there another word for despair?  It’s no longer despairful enough!)  And where the hell are the tissues!?!?

Stage 18:  I haven’t eaten all day.  It’s 1:44 A.M. and I just realized I haven’t eaten all day.

Stage 19:  I’m……. Okay.  I’m…….actually Okay.  I survived another day.  I am still here.  And, hmmm, there’s a sort of calmness in the air.  Ohhhhhhhhh.  It’s Acceptance.  It’s Acceptance.  It’s going to be okay.  I’m going to be okay. The world is going to be okay.  He is there.  I am here.  We are not together.  It is sad, but somehow I know, even a teeny-weeny bit, that it’s okay.  It’s really okay.

_______________________________________

YOU ARE NOT ALONE!!

P.S.  Grief.  We all go through it at some point – reach out – we are all here for each other!

P.S.S. Kubler-Ross is not the devil.  Read her stuff on grief – it’s very helpful.

love_eye

**Allan Parson’s Project – I Robot – When I Break Down

***With time on your side…
(Day after day the show must go on…)
With time on your side…
(Day after day the show must go on…)
With time on your side…

***Allan Parson’s Project – I Robot – Nucleus / Day after Day

****Lyrics, “I Am the Walrus” by the Beatles

(C) Copyright 2016, BarenakedTalk All Rights Reserved.

Wayne Dyer – New Beginnings, New Audience

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Wayne Dyer, Hay House writing workshop, May 2014

Wayne Dyer, Hay House workshop, May 2014

The first time Wayne Dyer appeared to me in a dream was May 1, 2014.  The next day I miraculously met up with him near the beach in Florida.  (Former blog describes it in detail – click here)  And the day after that he invited me on stage at the writing workshop he presented.  (Me / Hay House platform – YouTube – click here).  Are dreams designed to inspire us or show us the future?

That dream didn’t pack a big punch or anything.  In short, I was in so much physical pain that I fell asleep and dreamt I was in the emergency room of a hospital near my hotel. When the nurse pulled the curtain back, I saw Wayne sitting on the exam table right next to mine. He was friendly and talkative but seemed rather concerned about something. Then I woke up.

During the incredible encounter the next day, he excused himself for taking a call in front of me. It was the call he’d been waiting for from the hospital where his daughter had just undergone a procedure.  I remembered my dream the night before – chills everywhere. Had I picked up on that some how?

The second time Wayne appeared to me in a dream was just a few nights ago. Wednesday, maybe Thursday.  This dream had a bit more substance to it and is well worth describing but unfortunately my morals won’t allow me.  Let’s just say I was working out some long forgotten fantasy I’ve had about my idol – and it was hot!  In the heat of the moment, he backed off to catch his breath.  He chuckled a little and said his heart was beating way too rapidly and he needed to slow down!  Then his smile faded and he had that same look of concern I remembered from the previous dream.  That’s when I woke up.

My initial thought was, “Damn, that was a good dream!”  That was followed by, “Oh God, I hope something bad didn’t happen to him!”  I mean why would I dream about a man I haven’t thought about in quite a while?  I poked around the web relieved to find nothing current about Wayne Dyer except his ongoing travel schedule. No news is good news. The day went on and the dream faded.

Sunday night at 7:55 p.m., a friend sent me this text, “I just heard about the passing of Wayne Dyer. How sad.  I immediately thought of you knowing how much you love and respect him.”  An instant lump formed and I couldn’t swallow.  Within the hour about a dozen similar texts and emails came in. It feels silly to say I sobbed, especially given folks in Wayne’s personal circle (family members, colleagues, etc.) are probably reeling right now.  But I can’t deny the interesting, difficult to describe connection we seem to share. Barely perceptible on this conscious plane, but fully existent, fully engaged on another dimension.

Wayne is the primary subject of an entire chapter in my yet-to-be-completed book. My deep desire was to tell him that and last May, I was given that chance when we crossed paths.  Even better, I was able to hand him a very rough draft of that particular chapter when he invited me to the stage.  When I learned of his passing a few nights ago, I knew I had to write my own tribute to him.  This morning, I realized the tribute was not only already written, but hand delivered to the man while he was still in the physical realm.

In Philly, early 2000s.

In Philly, early 2000s.

I once heard Wayne tell a story about his tennis partner who constantly insulted himself. Wayne told the guy, “Stop bashing my tennis partner! I happen to like him!” I remember wondering how many people had wanted to say similar things to me through my years of obsessive self-berating. If we take the sage advice that has helped to heal our own wounds and pay it forward to the next lost soul, how quickly might we heal the whole world?

I needed help with some projects around the house, so I hired *Hank (a friend of a friend).  He was a kind, hard working man, mid 50’s.  I sensed his sadness despite his good sense of humor.  Within a couple days, I saw the rather fresh scars on his wrists.  Hank was a cutter. Surprising for a guy that age.  I didn’t let on that I knew, just searched my house for additional jobs to keep him coming back and listened while he spewed a laundry list of reasons to hate himself.  According to Hank, he was a loser, misfit, failure…who couldn’t get his act together. With a 3rd divorce in progress, he grieved his wife, his dog and the dream house he built himself (now occupied by the wife and her boss).

One morning, Hank paused his verbal-self-bashing and went outside to grab a tool from his truck.  I quickly ejected the southern rock music from his CD player and popped in one of Wayne Dyer’s audios.  When he protested, I said, “As long as you work for me, I refuse to have you bashing my handyman. I happen to like him, so if you continue, I’ll have to fire you!”

He laughed nervously, “Are you serious?”  I was dead serious, considered it an intervention. I told him I had been through my own hell with divorce, loss, relocation, etc., but the grave that nearly swallowed me was the one I dug myself.  I had been my own worst enemy. Not anymore. I pointed to the boom box, “That man you hear on that audio set me straight!  I use to be depressed and penniless and now my life is so together I can afford your high price for handiwork!”

Long after Hank finished my projects, I received a postcard from him:

“Everything happens for a reason, isn’t that what you said? If it weren’t for you, I hate to think where I’d be right now. I kept up with the “positive” stuff like you insisted, and even bought more of Dr. Dyer’s stuff. (Thanks for introducing me to it). In September, I packed myself up and came to a place I always felt I belonged. I’m living in AZ amongst my peeps. I never thought I’d be able to say I love myself. Thanks to you, it’s easy.  Peace. – Hank”

—-

Years ago my friend Deb, who had listened to me rave about Wayne Dyer for years, asked if I took the time to thank him.  I told her a guy that famous probably gets overwhelmed with all the fan mail.  “So what?” she pressed, “Doesn’t he deserve to know? How do you feel when someone thanks you for something you did that made their life better?”  She was right. Nothing made me happier than an unexpected note of appreciation – like the one I got from Hank. I sat down and wrote Wayne later that day…

The act of saying “thanks” is powerful, regardless of the result. I figured the letter would get lost in a pile of thousands like it, but that didn’t matter. He still deserved to be thanked and sending it was good energy. To my amazement, he not only responded, he did so in a handwritten letter within 2 short weeks and included a gift!  An autographed book.  Then another book months later.  Then a flip calendar…  The generosity was astounding.

I’m sure Wayne’s current audience is chanting “Job well done!”

Wayne, there is no doubt in my mind that you now dwell amongst the Masters where you will continue your work in an even greater way.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

New Beginnings

Wayne Dyer – New Beginnings, New Audience.

*The name “Hank” is fictitious to protect the identity of the actual gentleman described.

(c) Copyright 2015 –  Bare Naked Talk – All Rights Reserved

(Please repost with this link at the top:  Reposted from the Bare Naked Talk blog.)