Believing in you

There was a point not that long ago where I didn’t trust myself. It’s strange to remember this struggle because it no longer dominates my thinking. This isn’t to say I don’t get scared or feel vulnerable — I do, and paradoxically it was precisely when the ego was in charge that I felt that vulnerability was a weakness to overcome. Not so. I see my strength in my vulnerability.

What I’ve realized is that a lot of my inner work was removing the brushes and brambles that were getting in the way of truly seeing and hearing the part of me that is connected to source. Like when you garden and so many of those fast-growing weeds take over, you can’t truly see the glorious plant hiding behind all the distractions. Once you remove it you can see clearly. Once you start to see clearly, you are much more aware when a weed pops up and you remove it swiftly.

There comes a point where it’s no longer a debate about whether you can trust in you. It is not an arrogance or a hubris but a quiet strength and inner-knowing. Of course you can do it. You were born for this.

If you aren’t there yet, just keep swimming my friend! You will eventually get there. It takes work and perseverance. I believe in you! But like my beautiful spiritual mother always says, it’s not whether I believe in you…do you believe in you?

“Awakening – Leap of Faith” – beautiful art by Holly Sierra Artwork available for purchase on Etsy

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The greatest help

The greatest help we can give to others is doing the work to reach ourselves.

We can’t control what others project onto us, but we can determine what we send into the world. When we are our own best friend we are able to heal, transmute, align, and BE who we came here to be.

It’s easy to get lost in the hall of mirrors when you look for the answers outside of yourself, or try to “fix” or “help” others. What you need to address is within.

When you reach yourself you become an example to others who are seeking the same within themselves. And that is truly a help.

Beautiful art by https://www.cristinaacosta.com/

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We are called to be tiger warriors

Contrary to what you might imagine based on the title of this blog, I am NOT a fan of “love and light” when it comes to spiritual work. My entire spiritual path has been one of deep, transformative shadow work: staring into the dark corners and finding the light hidden within. Spiritual bypassing is the opposite – the idea that we are all “love and light” and therefore need to “keep our vibes high!” The risk of this thinking is that you avoid the intense shadow work necessary to help you and other to grow and evolve spiritually. You also risk letting your shadow rule you if you are unwilling to face it directly. (One example that reaaaaallly gets my goat – the idea that “we all just need to come together and see our unity!” and erase the concerns of BIPOC voices. You see this a lot in spiritual circles. HELL NO! to this.)

In this time and space we’re being called to embrace our inner tiger warrior. I learned about the tiger warriors from my spiritual mother/teacher Magdala Ramirez. The Tiger Warriors are part of the Mayan/Aztec lineage and were trained to understand that we live in a world of “smoky mirrors” that is here to teach us lessons, though it can also easily trick us rule us if we don’t stay vigilant. (See that link for a great book she wrote about the smoky mirror.) It’s always a choice how you respond to the darkness of shame, guilt, fear. The tiger warrior is one who understands their emotional triggers and doesn’t let them rule them. They hunt them down and transmute the wounds, or simply discard the outdated beliefs that no longer belong.

May you embody the tiger warrior and face your shadow with courage and strength. May you hold onto the knowledge that you are LOVE and prepare to kick to the curb the stories that deny this truth. May you observe your emotional reactions and not be ruled by them. May you call upon the part of you who knows how to do this and ask for their guidance. I believe in you! Be strong, warriors of light!

Aztec warriors as depicted in the Codex Mendoza at URL: https://www.ancientpages.com/2016/03/28/fearsome-aztec-eagle-warriors-and-jaguar-warriors-of-mesoamerica/

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Shine on you beautiful soul!

You, my friend, are a divine spark. You are LOVE! ❤️❤️❤️

The system defines your worth in relation to the outside—status, degrees, consumption, skin color, sex. It tells you to relate through pain and suffering. Victims and predators. Biases and separation. That’s all hogwash.

Your worth is inherent. Your true body is a body of light. When you can honor it in yourself, you can honor it in others. The system falls from within when you see it holds no meaning. What we see shaking on the outside is a reflection of the shaking on the inside—the realization that it’s all forking bullshirt!

“Dear universe: can you stop sending me so many @!!holes to deal with…”

“Dear universe: can you stop sending me so many @!!holes to deal with. I’m very tired of some of the actors who’ve been sent to interact with me in my hologram. I’d like to request some recasting or maybe even fun guest stars or scene changes! Thank you for your attention to this matter. Sincerely, Sarah.”

Oh goody! A response. That was quick! Let’s see what it says:

“Request denied. Life lessons in progress; see: honing skills in entrega (surrender)”.

Hmmm….there must be a mistake, how do I appeal this? Oh, here’s some fine print on the back:

  • “Did you really think we’d have an appeal process? Own your power, align with the one who created you, you got this!”

Ok, I see how you’re gonna play. Fine. One star review coming your way….

  • “Review feature currently disabled. We are not interested in your ego’s review of the situation.”

—-> Do you have any complaints that have been rejected like mine? Let me know how your your requests are being received because this is getting ridiculous!

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Love what arises

Love whatever arises to be healed. Forgive yourself or others for their role in the lesson. Release so you can keep walking your path.

Find me on Instagram at @justfollowthejoy

Using hard times as fuel to take you up

Think about a time in your life where you had a leap of consciousness. What were the circumstances that brought you to a new understanding of yourself? When I think about my own life, the times of greatest and most significant leaping occurred during times of enormous friction.

There was the dark night of my soul in my early twenties when all the trauma that had been suppressed made its way into my consciousness — painful but a huge leap into new awareness that led to healing and newfound growth.

There was that moment of choice I made where in a place of deep pain I realized I no longer needed to suffer, and in deep surrender to the divine, I experienced a profound spiritual awakening.

Emotion can provide a fuel, and circumstances can give great friction, but it is up to use to determine what we do with it. Do we attach to emotion and the story we tell ourselves about it (that we deserve nice things, we aren’t worthy of love, insert-crappy-ideas here), remaining stuck? Or do we choose to learn the lesson and say “no more of this nonsense!” and go UP?!

I share this as someone who at points in my life was…how shall I say this…very much the long suffering sun-in-Pisces, moon-in-cancer-martyr who dramatically chose to carry the pain and suffering of all humanity on her back. I can laugh about it now but there was absolutely nothing funny about to me at that time, thank you very much! I was wearing my serious face doing my serious spiritual work rooted in painful melancholy! And much agonized poetry writing!

That being said…let me be clear : I don’t think the only way to grow as a soul is through pain and suffering. Rather, I believe that difficult situations can be a great AWAKENER to show us to true nature of our reality and existence: that we are love, that the universe is one of love, and that really our soul is hoping we get the lessons once and for all so we don’t have to repeat them.

Which reminds me of this quote my sister sent me when I was wallowing years ago in the pain and suffering of grief…bless her for poking at me and urging me to shake out of it!!

21 Paramahansa Yogananda Quotes to Unveil Your Inner Light
Wise words and beautiful locks to boot

Yep, ain’t that the truth. Well, the good news is that 2020 is bringing us all sorts of delightful ways to awaken!! HA. You ready to use the friction as fuel to take you higher? Roll up those sleeves folks, you can do it!

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More thoughts on freedom

What if freedom isn’t freedom from something (pain, suffering, third dimensional stuff) and instead is the embodiment of your true self, the love that you are? What would that look and feel like?

I’ve been thinking, where am I stopping myself from being free? Where do I cutoff flow, where do I give away my power, where do I shy away from the call of my heart, from the embracing of who I truly am, which is love?

Freedom is available every moment, every second, if we choose it!

Things are feeling a little…intense

How are you doing? If you feel anything like I do today then you might be feeling the pressure that 2020 keeps laying on thick! We get it, 2020, you are shaking us awake and won’t go away until we FULLY embody the lessons that this year has to offer. PHEW. Breathe in, breathe out!

I was listening to a video the other day and the person shared the story of an initiate who said to her teacher: “Ok teacher, I’m ready to be done suffering.” That’s how I personally feel! Are you ready to be done suffering? Joy is our birthright! But it won’t be given to us. Neither will freedom. It must be claimed!

I used to view freedom as almost like a bubble of nothing bad every happening but my view has shifted. I’m working on freedom being that I can hold that space in myself that is pure love no matter WHAT surfaces or appears around me! I’ve been working a lot with a teaching that my teacher Magdala Ramirez brought forth (she talks about it on her website and talks about it a little bit in her podcast this week, too.). It’s the idea that we have two hearts — once connected to source, an endless cup pouring love!!–and another smaller heart that is connected to all the pain and suffering we’ve experienced in this lifetime and others. When we hook into that little heart we get stuck. It cuts us off from our own divine nature. However when we tap into that large heart, well, everything changes. The wisdom of the multiverse becomes available to us and we can heal ourselves.

Yesterday I was reading something about the astrology of this coming year (ahem, pretty intense) and all of suddenly felt a whoosh of panic. A tightness in my chest. I was able to observe it and not become it or become swept up in it. I spoke to this part of myself that reared its head: I love you, you are ok, I got this. That was the big heart pouring love into the little heart.

Right now we are being challenged to step into the big heart that we all have. It’s hard. The more potent the emotional trigger the harder it can be to “unlock” from whatever pops up. But we also have so much assistance available to help us through it. For me, I’m taking it moment by moment, tapping into the love I AM, and finding freedom even in the midst of all this commotion.

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Confronting my white silence

This is a post written by a white lady for a white audience– especially those well-intentioned whites who believe that if they vote the correct way and don’t wave confederate flags then they have done their part and are not racist. We need to talk about that.

I went back and forth on posting –I do not want to add to the trauma or grief that black and brown folks are experiencing, and I don’t want to center discussions on white people whom frankly we hear enough from thank you very much–but I also firmly believe that white people have not stepped up and had these discussions for like, forever, and the burden of this work cannot remain on the shoulders of people of color to fix or solve a problem THEY DID NOT CREATE. So – if this is not your cup of tea, feel free to go “Thank you, next” on this piece. If you are still here, let’s carry on!

White people, we need to get our collective sh%t together! Doesn’t matter if your people didn’t own slaves, doesn’t matter if you have suffered your own life trauma’s that made life hard. The bottom line is that if you are white you benefit day in and out, since the moment of your birth (even the manner of your birth or the fact you or your mother survived birth), from a system of white supremacy. We are fish swimming in a sea of supremacy. We live it, we breathe it, we benefit from it. And it’s time we end it.

If there’s one thing I hope to be true during the past few weeks in America it’s that well-intentioned white people like myself maybe, just maybe, are finally starting to truly see the truth in themselves–that good intentions are not enough. It is your ACTIONS that matter, even when difficult, hard, uncomfortable and foreign to your way of being.

This isn’t my first rodeo in addressing my white privilege and the ways I maintain racism, but damn if I’m not seeing a whole new host of issues in myself that I JUST TRULY DID NOT SEE, and they just keep popping up like whack a mole game. I address one within myself, I face the shame and guilt, I move the energy, and the next ignorant belief I didn’t see comes rising up. In the beginning of all this I was feeling raw, ashamed, like I wanted to hide. But I stuck with the discomfort. I don’t say this asking for pity, but just to encourage you to sit in the discomfort and keep going. Too much depends on it!

I won’t bore you with the details of all the realizations I’ve had, but I will share that the biggest of them is finally seeing with wide open eyes the ways that I’ve maintained white silence.

I’ve seen how I’ve subconsciously maintained white allegiance rather than stir the pot. I’ve chosen to be “nice” and “comfortable” rather than make waves. What I’ve come to realize is that my silence in the face of every small micro-aggression toward minorities was me going “Nah this system is cool, I’m just gonna sit back and let it be.” In those moments of silence I acquiesced and aligned with an energy that sought to demean another human. Damn if that isn’t dark.

Why do we continue to do it, even when we know it’s wrong? Even when the racist uncle or colleague says something that makes our stomach churn, why do we carry on like we didn’t hear it, or laugh uncomfortably?

I think many white people — myself included –we have thought, what’s the point of speaking up? Me pointing out my uncle’s racist view will do nothing to change his mind. But that logic can no longer stand. It is time we take responsibility, reclaim our honor and dignity and use our power for good.

What I’ve learned, especially in the course of my spiritual work, is that if I am love itself, why would I stand for any action, words or thoughts that don’t align with that love. My actions on the outside my align with my heart– no more disconnection, no more indignity.

It means reclaiming my power and my responsibility. Confronting the part of myself stuck in shame and guilt and healing it. Addressing the parts of me that feel dis-empowered and moving it.

Imagine that the world we live in in the United States is setup like a large white supremacy system Jenga game. When you see something racist but let it stand, you allow that Jenga piece to stay solidly in the system, propping up the whole. You tell yourself that your one piece seems meaningless, but if every single person decided to make choices aligned with their humanity, and called out every racist act, or chose to align with efforts to dismantle racist systems–basically chose to use their power for the highest good of EVERYONE–well, eventually that entire stack of bricks would fall. You can’t see it when you are only thinking about yourself. It requires you to be an active, diligent, engaged, and dedicated human being who minute by minute, day by day, chooses over and over again to align with humanity. It requires you to be conscious.

Sound exhausting? It is–but in my experience only at first. The reason for that is because you are overcoming a resistance that lies within yourself, and there is a tension there. An energy that you must overcome. (Of course, imagine the flip side of this….feeling that pressure against you all day everyday, aimed at destroying your spirit, your livelihood, your existence. I don’t know what that feels like, I haven’t lived it, and I don’t think most whites have the resilience or grit to get through even a day of it.)

White people, it’s time we choose the kind of world we want to be a part of. Do we want to keep swimming in that nasty water of white supremacy, swimming along like everything is cool when our brothers and sisters of different races aren’t able to breathe (literally and metaphorically?) Or will we choose as to realign with our humanity and stand united with the dignity of all human beings, in words, in actions, in thoughts?

I hope you’ll roll up the sleeves and commit to doing the work. What do you think? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Like I said, we haven’t spoken about this enough. It’s time we break that silence.

with love,

Sarah

I want to share Andréa Ranae’s perspective on silence and the consequences of silence. WOW. Checkout her instagram post and follow her at @andrearanaej:
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Silence is not violence. Silence is a decision. Every decision comes with consequences. Consequence: the effect, result, or outcome of something occurring earlier Consequences are not inherently bad or good, they just are. A consequence of silence might be that you get to rest or reconnect with what’s true for you. A consequence of silence might be that violence continues on without intervention. A consequence of silence might be that you’ve made space to listen to the unheard. A consequence of silence might be that other people assume you’re doing nothing. A consequence of silence might be that the rest of us may never get to experience what you have to contribute to the world. Whatever decision you make in any moment comes with consequences and you are responsible for those. Meaning you are able to respond as you see fit. If the consequences you’re experiencing are not getting you what you want, you can always make a different decision. “Silence is violence” often comes with a binary of right and wrong and an accusation of “if you’re silent, you are wrong.” White supremacy thrives off these rigid binaries and absolute truths without space for complexity. Silence is a decision. You get to decide when and how you use silence. Only you can discern whether that decision is aligned with your integrity. Only you can discern whether the consequences you’re seeing/experiencing from that decision is what you want or if you need to pivot.

A post shared by Andréa Ranae | she/they (@andrearanaej) on

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This excellent piece about being an anti-racist white educator has some great tips for everyone, not just those in teaching professions.