Removing the masks

Something’s been building in me and it’s this desire–really, more like a lion’s ROAR!–demanding I remove ALL THE MASKS that I wear. To let it flow. To be 1000% authentically me in every interaction whether with my family or friends or colleagues or strangers at the supermarket.

When we put on a mask we cut ourselves off from source. When we wear the mask we lower our vibration to meet those around us in a desire to fit in, not realizing that we are love and don’t need to seek it from anyone outside of ourselves.

For a long time many of my masks have involved hiding my spirituality and the wisdom of the teachings that have been shared with me. In hiding the teachings I dishonor them, and I don’t want to do that anymore.

What are the masks you are tired of wearing? Let’s toss them into a great bonfire and light up the skies with our freedom!

Just Follow the Joy on Facebook & Instagram for more joy and inspiration!

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:
・・・

View this post on Instagram

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

//www.instagram.com/embed.js

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

Sometimes you are the glass door, sometimes you are the nose slamming into the glass door

What happens when three highly sensitive empaths face a busted-up nose emergency?

It turns out that yesterday’s energetics were full of “thanksgiving chaos” (see astrology report from Tara Greene Tarot) AND BOY WAS THAT THE CASE.

The first one (and oldest one might I add) starts yelling at the victim of the accident – he’s so overwhelmed by all the feels that he cannot handle it!

The second one (the youngest) cries and is then is compelled to run over with first aid and weep while comforting the nose victim.

The third — the one with the bruised nose and ego — cries not because her nose hurts or is bleeding profusely but because a. her husband yelled at her and it hurt her feelings (for real) and b. she is SO EMBARRASSED that she ran into a glass door. Seriously. You can’t make this up.

She then asked to be alone so she could cry it all out. Why she was so sad she does not know! IT WAS JUST SO UPSETTING, upsetting all of those empaths!

For real, the whole experience was very intense. Welcome to my household of highly sensitive folks! My daughter and I snuggled for a while and talked about how even if mommy has a broken nose she will be ok! Heck, maybe she can upgrade to a new nose like Jennifer Aniston did!

OH, and to ensure that I never walk into a glass door ever again, my six year-old made cutouts to tape onto the door. Like those bird silhouettes that keep birds from flying into windows, because apparently my connection to birds extends to their inability to see glass. Except instead of making bird silhouettes my daughter made noses with sad faces, because she is amazing like that.

Sad nose face to prevent sad nose run-ins with door

I hope thanksgiving was safe for all you empaths out there!

Just Follow the Joy on Facebook & Instagram for more joy and inspiration!

I’m grateful for you!

First an announcement — I had issues posting my blog post yesterday and want to make sure you see that I’m giving away some art and stationary to my readers! You can enter by clicking here and entering your email (just so I can contact you if you win – I won’t keep it!) and you can get an entry by commenting on my post or viewing my facebook page. That’s it! I hope you win!!

Wishing you all a beautiful day of thanksgiving. As I type I have a sick kid playing with intagram filters on my phone, two old beagles barking at a little old man with his dog outside, and a cold coffee with no milk because we ran out. I’m thankful for all if this beautiful mess of life!

May your day be filled with a bounty of pie and streaming netflix. So much love to you all and thank you for reading, subscribing, liking and commenting and sharing!

PIE!

Just Follow the Joy on Facebook & Instagram for more joy and inspiration!

Receiving and giving, it’s really the same. (Plus, a giveaway to kick-off the giving-receiving season!)

Image from Magdalas.comfollow her Facebook page for all sorts of lovely insights!

When I read the above quote it kind of blew my mind in that things started to click for me in a new way around flow, abundance, and giving and receiving.

I viewed flow state as sort of its own thing. Separate from a giving-receiving thing. I saw it as a one-way street. I think many of us do! I wasn’t seeing how this act was part of a whole. I did that “3d separation” thing.

Just a week or two ago I was in this lovely flow state of giving and creating. And what do you know, while I was in that lovely energy I started receiving so much. The receiving came in all forms–some of it was monetary, some of it was the sharing of my words with a larger audience, but all of it a beautiful gift that was part of a huge loop! A giving-receiving that was connected. Yes! I see it now!

I want to open my arms to the receiving because to do otherwise creates a block. Does that create resistance in you, thinking about the receiving end? So many of us, especially women, are taught to give it ALL without daring to receiving. That is not what the great mother wants for us! What might be holding you back from receiving–is it about worth? Is it about scarcity? Can you let it go and heal those parts that feel unworthy? Open your arms to not only give but receive?

To help get us in the spirit of giving AND receiving I’m giving away some of my art from my Etsy shop–one set of notes and two art prints including matting! Three winners will be chosen and each wins one item. Starts now and ends 11/30 at 12am.

To enter, click this link (sorry I couldn’t’ figure out how to embed this due to javascript!) – – you just enter your email and either comment on this post or on my facebook post and get a point for one or both! (Any questions or issues entering, email me at hello@justfollowthejoy.com,) Thanks and GOOD LUCK! I hope you win! Happy giving and receiving this holiday season. ❤

Enter to win…

Cardinal art print
What if I fly art print

To recap: To enter the giveaway just enter your email on this raffle widget I setup. You can either comment on this post or comment on If you don’t want to use the widget or have any problems you can also email me at hello@justfollowthejoy. That’s it!

Just Follow the Joy on Facebook & Instagram for more joy and inspiration!

I’m your messenger (and you are mine!)

Image from Pinterest

One of the big messages I’ve had lately is how we are all messengers for one another. Me to you, you to me. The birds. The stranger at the grocery store. We are all connected to one big beautiful consciousness. When we share what’s in our hearts we have the ability to pass along a message for another to receive at just the right time for just the right purpose.

I’ll give an example. Recently in meditation I said, I need help learning how to own my power! I need to put it on and pull this together! Within a week my dear friend Jen contacted me to see if I’d do a 21 day meditation course…on empowerment! Ahh so beautiful. Of course I said yes! Thank you my messenger friend!

One of the reasons I write on my blog is to pass along messages. I pay it forward by sharing what’s in my heart in the hopes that anyone who needs to hear a message at the right time will receive it!

Messages can come from anywhere, not just humans. Animals send all sorts of messages. The vulture tells us we are transmuting emotions. The woodpecker tells us it’s time to build something new. . .I could go on and on. I receive messages from animals pretty much on the daily and sometimes it’s so in my face that it’s funny (though sometimes freaks me out a bit). Recently when I was doing a lot of intense work on healing the wounded father (the system wound) I was walking and thinking about it when a raccoon jumped right into my path. In broad daylight. Then it gave me a freaked out look like, what am I doing here? and it jumped back into the bush. Its message? My power was being stolen! (They are little thieves those raccoons!) Was I ready to retrieve it and reclaim it?

Once you start looking you will notice messages everywhere. If you you engage with the world and ask it a question, see what answers come your way. You might be surprised!

Have you received a message at the right time and place recently? Please share! Let me know if anything I’ve shared has come at the right time as well — I’d love to hear!

Just Follow the Joy on Facebook & Instagram for more joy and inspiration!

Learning Something New – Be Like a Toddler — Find Your Middle Ground

I’ve received not one, not two, but THREE messages today about needing to embrace my freedom the way a toddler does. . . and what do I see in my blog reader but this beautiful post that captures just that! Enjoy this post from Find Your Middle Ground and be sure to follow her lovely blog!

Love, Sarah

This re-post is dedicated to the people I have the privilege of teaching and mentoring. ooOoo As adults we are so used to being competent and knowledgable…. at least in some areas of our lives! So when we take on a new challenge or want to learn something new it can be difficult. I teach […]

Learning Something New – Be Like a Toddler — Find Your Middle Ground

When ABBA speaks directly to your soul!

I’ll confess: I’m a DANCING QUEEN. Mamma mia let me tell you I love their songs. I had a dream I was their biggest fan. It’s the name of the game right? Knowing me, knowing you, this love-fest could go on forever.

Those red boots though.

There is a point to all this I promise. (You are all like, gimme gimme gimme the point to this already Sarah…sorry I couldn’t help myself!).

ANYWAY, the point of this post is how song lyrics will suddenly appear in my head as a message to myself. It’s so fun. Especially when they are from ABBA songs!

Today’s message from myself to myself is…take a chance on me.

Sure, the song is probably written about a guy or gal pining for a lover. But take the message as being from your highest self to your little ego self saying, hey, will you take a chance on me? What if we all took a chance on ourselves. I wrote recently about what if we we became our own best friend…same idea.

Read these lyrics with that in mind and it is SO beautiful. Take a chance on me, your truest self is telling you, ‘Cos I love you so! My love is strong enough. Beautiful right? Who knew it was all hidden in an ABBA song!

TAKE A CHANCE ON ME song lyrics

Let me tell you now
My love is strong enough
To last when things are rough, it’s magic
You say that I waste my time
But I can’t get you off my mind
No I can’t let go, ‘cos I love you so

If you change your mind, I’m the first in line
Honey I’m still free, take a chance on me
If you need me, let me know, gonna be around
If you’ve got no place to go, if you’re feeling down

If you’re all alone when the pretty birds have flown
Honey I’m still free, take a chance on me
Gonna do my very best, baby can’t you see
Gotta put me to the test, take a chance on me

ABBA “Take a Chance on Me” Lyrics

If ABBA spoke to your soul today what lyrics would be speaking to you? I’d love to hear!

Just Follow the Joy on Facebook & Instagram for more joy and inspiration!

The magic of finding flow and dropping struggle in parenthood

I’m done with pushing. I don’t like it, I don’t want it, you can have it back thank you very much.

I’m talking about the energetic pushing. (Not the physical pushing – though definitely not into that at all!) The powering through, or powering over, a situation. Not my jam anymore. The results of this shift into flow and out of struggle have been pretty awesome too. Like for example, our struggles with THE READING LADY. (YES ALL CAPS.)

The reading lady might as well be THE CHURCH LADY

My daughter recently started seeing a speech therapist for reading challenges. We were referred to a woman by an Occupational Therapist my daughter loved. But from the get-go the speech therapist rubbed me the wrong way. It’s the kind of thing that you can’t exactly pinpoint though now I can see it: she was a pusher! She was someone who embodied powering through and over challenges. (Plus, she just wasn’t nice!)

So of course since I’m working on finding flow and not PUSHING I instantly decided not to see this woman again and found someone else, right? Oh no, of course not.

Yes, for several weeks we got up SUPER early for a butt-crack of dawn appointment with this woman, who pursed her lips when my child dared to let her eyes wander off the written page, and gave warnings when my daughter played with the shaving cream a little too long as they practiced making letters.

It’s no surprise to hear my daughter started to push back against going to these early morning, super-not-fun sessions! I couldn’t blame her. I didn’t like the lady either! So why exactly were we there??

And then I remember I’m done pushing and forcing. As fate would have it our reading lady was gone on vacation for a bit. During that time I found a new therapist. I ignored the part of me that said “oh but why can’t you be grateful for the person you found” or “yes she is grumbly but she knows her stuff!” or “What if you can’t find someone as good? What if you end up with someone worse?” and alllll that nonsense we tell ourselves. As soon as I shifted my focus asking for divine assistance to help me connect with someone who would serve the highest good in this situation, friends provided not one but two recommendations for therapists who were closer, kinder, and weren’t described as being at all like Dana Carvey’s church lady.

Fast forward to today: we LOVE our new therapist. My daughter looks forward to her appointment! And interestingly enough, the new therapist did mention that she observed my daughter doesn’t always keep her eyes on her, but that she also observed that she is retaining the information even though she appears distracted. The therapist was fine with this but wanted to let us know in case a teacher complains that my daughter isn’t paying attention in class. Fascinating difference right?!

OH, and my daughter is soaring with her reading.

No pushing! Finding balance and flow!

Now it’s time to graduate from kindergarten so to speak and apply this concept to the mother of all struggles we’re currently facing: bedtime routine. (DUN DUN DUN!!!)

Have you found the flow and dropped the struggle in any area of your life? How’s it going?

Just Follow the Joy on Facebook & Instagram for more joy and inspiration!

What if we became our own best friend?

The ego does not like unknowns. It wants certainty, plans! It wants control.

And yet, all our gifts reside in the place beyond the ego. The vast field of love that is our wider consciousness is just waiting for us to conspire with it.

What if we took a leap of great daring and allowed it to surprise us?

What if we bet on ourselves for once and became our own best friend? What magic might unfold?

“There is freedom waiting for you,
On the breezes of the sky,
And you ask “What if I fall?”
Oh but my darling,
What if you fly?

— Erin Hanson

Artwork my own. Free with any purchase through November 18th.

(Heads up – I’m giving away this print for free in my Etsy shop with any purchase made now through November 18th! May it inspire you to take a leap. While supplies last, yadda yadda fine print!)

MAY YOU FLY, BEAUTIFUL ONES.

Just Follow the Joy on Facebook & Instagram for more joy and inspiration!