In the Now

Art work by Carina Francioso

In the Now _ L' oggi

In the Now

What keeps us from living in the now?

Perhaps it is nostalgia that binds us to yesterday

or hope that leads us to tomorrow.

And yet there was a time in which the present

belonged to us, remember?

As a child there was no space for the past

Everything was a game, a discovery, a passion

Until we moved further away from ourselves.

– from the Italian poem “L’oggi” by Anna Ciardullo Villapiana,

English Translation by Carina Francioso

 

A sweet friend of mine sent me a book with Italian poems as something to pass my time while my fractures are healing. As I am reading the poem above, I am listening to the sounds of spring that enter through the open window. There is the humming of a lawn mower, birds chirping, a few children playing outside, and I am involuntarily transported back to my childhood.

Afternoons felt long, Sundays back then seemed endless. There was this feeling of a whole wonderful day stretching in front of me. Time for leisure, for play, for stillness… rolling down the hill or just sitting on the lawn, feeling the earth underneath and the lush grass, picking daisies, connecting them to a reef to place on my head; looking for four leafed clovers, and feeling so lucky when I found one, knowing that I just had to look long enough; dandelions weren’t weeds back then, they were marvellous wonders in their white costume to be blown all over the back yard.

As children the present really belonged to us, our mind could so easily just be in the now. Today, I need my daily meditation or a vacation—or two broken legs—to be in the same way, to be completely in the now. Sometimes I long to be five years old again to feel like time is standing still, like I have nowhere to go, nowhere to be but here.

That longing inside comes from our soul, which needs to stop to contemplate our humanness and the journey that we are on. It needs to feel gratitude and joy. It needs to slow down at times, right down to almost stand-still, to feel our true essence.

 

True-Essence

“True Essence”  by Carina Francioso

If you enjoy my posts, you can follow Greendoor to receive an e-mail notification whenever I post a new blog. All you need to do is to click the “follow” button in the right-hand corner of your screen.

Angelika, greendoorrelaxation@yahoo.ca, 905-286-9466

Steam Kettle

Have you ever engaged in any of the following behaviours, short-term or long-term? Most people are familiar with at least one of these responses.

– addictive eating, drinking or smoking

– taking drugs or medications

– engaging in workaholic behaviour

– addictive exercising

– gambling

– shopping to feel better

– addictive consummation of media

What is going on with these behaviours? These are all short term coping mechanisms to distract ourselves from unpleasant emotions. We have been conditioned to respond to pain, sadness, grief, and stress by eating, drinking, smoking, or distracting ourselves with any of the other above mentioned activities.

Short-term, these activities might feel like they give us some relief, but we have not addressed the real problem by engaging in these behaviours. We have taken our emotions and stuffed them down with food, alcohol, drugs or we have distracted ourselves from acknowledging and feeling them. We are doing what we have learned as children when we were comforted with food. Our caregivers didn’t know that the cookie to sweeten the disappointment, or the tub of ice cream for the heart ache, or the cake to stuff the anger down would become our automatic go-to and our basis for any addictive behaviour.

steam kettle cropped

Do you still remember those old fashioned steam kettles which sat on the stove with a flame burning below? John W. James and Russell Friedman use the example of such a steam kettle to explain what is going on. These kettles were fitted with a whistle to notify us when the water has reached the boiling point. Instead of responding appropriately to the whistle and dealing with the hot water, we have been trained to jam a cork in the spout. The cork represents our beliefs that sad and other uncomfortable emotions are too painful to feel and should be kept under wraps. A steam kettle without a cork can release built up energy right away. A steam kettle with the cork builds up to an unbearable amount of pressure. As a result, we engage in one of the addictive or unhealthy activities above to relieve the pressure short-term. They help us to temporarily forget or bury our emotions.

Unfortunately, emotions are energy in motion. Energy has to go somewhere. It ends up stored in our bodies and manifests as energy blockages, pain and illnesses. Suppressed emotions consume tremendous amounts of energy. We need all our strength to keep the cork in the spout and all our concentration to ensure the steam kettle will not explode. The more emotions we push down, the more energy is required. Unresolved emotional issues have a negatively cumulative effect. We lose our health, wellbeing and joy.

Stem Kettle - When you welcome your emotions

To change the addictive behaviours and to regain our full energy potential, health and happiness, we need to learn to deal with emotions differently. Instead of pushing them down, we need to look them straight into their face; instead of judging them, we need to let them be what they are; instead of blaming others for our emotions, we need to take responsibility for them and forgive others for triggering them.

Nobody makes us feel angry, sad, “not good enough” or any of the other many emotions. Other people and circumstances are not responsible for how we feel inside. If somebody brings low energy, addiction, victimhood or other states of mind into your life which you do not want to partake in, set clear boundaries. Then take responsibility for your own emotions and do the “happiness work”. Decide to work thought and release what you do not want and bring joy and happiness into every day. Gratitude, joy and laughter are a choice; they are your choice!

We also need to teach our children that they are strong enough to feel any emotions. All emotions are good because they give us feedback. Anger is the brightest warning light. It gives us the feedback that something is not right. Underneath the anger, there are usually other more vulnerable feelings. We can teach our children to listen to what is really going on, that their needs matter and that they can share their feelings and needs.

Steam Kettle - Your emotions are your best friend

Emotions inform us. Sadness, for example, gives us the feedback that we are missing a person or object. Grief is long-term sadness due to a loss or change we’ve experienced: something is still incomplete in regards to this change and needs to be completed. Depression could be hidden grief. Frustration lets us know that something is not working, that our needs are not met. Fear and stress are a sign that we need to change our stories and beliefs, which cause anxiety and overwhelm.

However, before we can address the needs these emotions inform us about, we need to remember that all emotions are good. To shift out of our unhealthy responses to emotions, we need to accept them, love ourselves with them and take responsibility for them.

In my one-on-one sessions as well as in the Shadow Energetics workshop, I teach an emotional release process. By applying this process, we change how we handle emotions and we have a tool to effectively release stuck emotions from our body and field. Once we have released the emotional charge, we can understand the message and address our needs appropriately.

Angelika, greendoorrelaxation@yahoo.ca, 905-286-9466

If you enjoy my posts, you can follow Greendoor to receive an e-mail notification whenever I post a new blog. All you need to do is to click the “follow” button in the right-hand corner of your screen.

 

 

To My Daughter on Mother’s Day

I got married in 1991, and a few years later I was told I would never have children of my own—or so the doctors believed. I suppose I never liked being told “you can’t”. I had a strong calling to be a mother and was going to manifest that experience even if it meant taking detours.

To My Daughter on Mother’s Day- obstacles

By the beginning 1994, my first husband and I had taken in a seven-year-old foster daughter with the intention of adopting her. We moved to Asia with her. Another year down the road, I ended up in a doctor’s office with alarming symptoms. I had almost fainted on a school trip to the Zoo in 45 degrees heat, followed by memory loss and speech problems.

Sitting in front of his desk, I was scared to hear some terrible news about having had a stroke. I recall up to today how this Indian doctor looked at me and said, “You are in the family way.” I remember thinking, “What in heaven’s name is he talking about?!” It required some further explanation and adjusting to the unexpected changes until the news fully sunk in. That was the beginning of my journey with my oldest biological child.

Over the next 20 years, many other life changes occurred that needed adapting to. Our foster daughter left us, my younger daughter was born, we moved to Canada soon after, and we separated and divorced a few years later and much more.

Fast forward to this year; two weeks ago, I had an accident and broke both of my feet, leaving me unable to walk or take care of mundane everyday tasks that we all take for granted. My family stepped up immediately and without hesitation, with my 20-year-old daughter becoming one of my main caretakers. I am in awe of what this situation brought out in her and how it has further strengthened our bond.

When I think of saying thank you to a mother or mother figure this Mother’s Day, I think of this remarkable young woman who is heart-centred, dependable and tender. She is an outstanding human being who I am very proud to call my daughter.

To My Daughter on Mother’s Day- baby Cara

 

To my daughter on Mother’s Day,

I am incredibly proud of you, this year even more so than ever. Ever since you were 5 years old and you asked the midwife to show you how to change your new baby sister’s diapers, I knew you had a special caring side in you. You also have a strong sense of loyalty and responsibility, sometimes holding you back from taking care of your own needs, at other times a wonderful trait.

Your calm and sensible attitude was incredibly reassuring when the accident happened. Without hesitation, you stepped into problem solving mode, while still being loving and comforting. Thank you for repeatedly holding a loving space for me when I was going through excruciating pain over the last two weeks and for trusting me that I can take it. Thank you for being extremely practical and such an amazing planner and team player here at home. Thank you for communicating clearly and making sure everybody is on board.

Being helpless brought up moments of great vulnerability. I am so grateful to you for recognizing how important even the smallest sense of independence and dignity is. But most importantly, thank you for your sense of humour and thank you for laughing with me. That we could joke around as you were taking care of me was incredibly healing.

Thank for never making me feel like a burden, even during the last three days when you had to go back to your exhausting shift work. I could see the tiredness in your eyes and in your smile. Yet, you still mustered up the energy to lovingly take care of me for a bit at the end of a long day. I love and admire you more than you can imagine!

When you were a baby, I used to think I needed to help you to grow into the woman that you are today, but I had things upside down. Instead of me shaping you, being your mother taught me so much and made me the woman I am today.

Your sense of responsibility and caring is really boundless. With each day that my legs are healing, I hope that you will treat yourself to rest and to more “play time” for yourself. Each mommy needs a break, each mommy needs to have her needs met, and so do you.

Your mom

 

HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY

to all the amazing mothers, step-mothers, mothers-in-law,

and substitute mothers who take care of their loved ones.

 

To My Daughter on Mother’s Day - M O T H E R

If you enjoy my posts, you can follow Greendoor to receive an e-mail notification whenever I post a new blog. All you need to do is to click the “follow” button in the right-hand corner of your screen.

 

Empowering stories versus disempowering ones

Everything has a vibration, every thought, feeling, word, and action. In each moment in life, we choose which vibration we want to be in. Do we want to have an experience of doom and gloom, feeling like we are a victim, or do we choose to vibrate at a higher level of trust, peace and love? Fear is our enemy and influences what stories our left brain is able to create.

I have written before about our left brain being a “story teller” (Jill Bolte Taylor). We are faced with facts A, B and C and the left brain gives those facts a meaning based on our beliefs and past experiences. It literally fills in the gaps between the neutral facts with an interpretation which either makes them “good” or “bad”. The bare facts I was confronted with over the last ten days are “I fell” (fact A), “I broke both my ankles” (fact B), and “I am not able to walk for a while” (fact C).

There are countless ways I can tell the story around those facts. A victim story would sound: “Poor me, I fell and I broke both my feet. How terrible is that. I did not deserve such a tough experience and all this pain. Now I am completely helpless and need to be looked after. I can’t do anything anymore. I can’t take care of myself or work. And I bet this will take a looong time to heal. Meanwhile I am missing out on summer and on all the fun events going on which I was planning to attend. Poor poor me!”

A self-blame story would go like this, “How stupid was that of me to fall! If I had just not gone back down the stairs in the dark I wouldn’t be in this terrible situation. Now I have to pay for this stupidity for weeks and weeks. I deserve to suffer for being so careless…”

Or sometimes we choose to tell a story which blames others for our perceived misfortune. “If I hadn’t been alone, if so and so hadn’t turned off the lights, if I hadn’t been so tired because I had to do this or that for so and so… bla bla bla…” Or we might tell a combination of the victim and the (self-)blame story.

Empowering stories - bookshelf

I choose to tell neither of these dis-empowering stories. I choose to trust in the Universe and everything happening in Divine order, bringing us beautiful gifts and amazing lessons. God or the Source is loving and benevolent, not punishing, revengeful or chaotic. We are being “hit over the head” with the proverbial “baseball bat” when we don’t listen to a message, when there is no other way for us to learn our lessons. We can refuse to learn the lessons and tell victim or blame stories, or we can grudgingly learn them or we can even joyously learn what there is to learn and find the beauty in every experience in life.

This experience for me is an experience of how creative, adaptable and resourceful I am. Through different mobility devices, I have become as independent as possible and I have shifted my work to skype for the time being. It also is an experience of how blessed I am to have so many loving and giving people in my life who support me in so many ways.

I am amazed that 99% of our family and friends either consciously or intuitively understood the importance of not letting fear write our life stories for us. I overall encountered true empathy instead of pity, amazing practical help instead of meddling, and most of all trust instead of fear.

Sometimes we come across people who are not really able to be empathetic or supportive but plain nosey. Their prodding and digging for something negative might come from a place of fear. They might be thinking, “If I know how this happened, I can prevent this terrible disaster for myself”. Or perhaps it is our media which conditions us to sensationalism instead of looking for the bright side and the beauty in life. Just as we have the choice to watch the news, or not to watch it, we also have the choice to allow somebody to pull us into a low vibration, or not.

Empowering stories - baseball

When life throws us a curve ball, we have the choice to whine about how unfair that is or we can adapt and make the best of it and gracefully win the game. My family and I choose to fully focus on the light and the gifts in this situation. We opt to address this situation with laughter and strength instead of focusing on suffering and fear because we have a choice.

If you enjoy my posts, you can follow Greendoor to receive an e-mail notification whenever I post a new blog. All you need to do is to click the “follow” button in the right-hand corner of your screen

Angelika, greendoorrelaxation@yahoo.ca, 905-286-9466