Taking Charge of Our Vibration

Everything is made up of energy, including us. There is a field of potentiality that surrounds everything in existence. This field is responsible for the events in our world and brings to us like experiences matching the energy and vibration we emit. There are many scientists and researchers that explain this concept in a concrete and thorough manner such as Deepak Chopra and Gregg Braden, to name just two. The concept is as old as Einstein's era and beyond. However, it is not one that we give much thought to in our daily life.  Our vibration and how we direct it is so monumental that it determines the course of our lives. 

Our vibration consists of the energy we give out and the Universe responds to it in a fair and objective fashion. It's somewhat like placing an order in a catalog. If we are feeling impoverished and talking about the lack of money in our lives, we will get circumstances to match this, whether or not this was our intention. Our thoughts (conscious and subconscious) and our beliefs and emotions, as well as the words and actions we choose comprise our vibration. We are in charge of all of these, although we often let the circumstances of our day, our focus on what we do not want, or other peoples opinions, choices, and actions direct it. 

If we were to make a conscious choice to take charge of our vibration throughout our day, our lives would drastically change. We would experience longer periods of happiness and peace. Circumstances would change to create events in our lives that please us. Problems would smooth out and challenges would lesson. So how can such a simple concept change our lives for the better? 


The potential exists in our lives for every sort of event and experience possible, both positive and negative. We often, myself included, progress through our lives on automatic pilot, becoming blown around like leaves in the wind. Taking charge of our vibration takes determination, commitment, and awareness. Envisioning the bigger picture and understanding the way things work is critical. Deciding to take responsibility for our lives and claiming the free will and power we have within us is crucial. 

The next step is to make a commitment to maintain a high vibration level, whenever possible, by doing and saying things that make us happy and give us joy. First, we need to identify what those experiences are. They can be as simple as riding a bike, sitting on a porch swing, petting our cat or listening to music we enjoy. We could get a massage, spend time in nature, take a run or laugh with friends. We might volunteer at a food pantry, read a good book, take a vacation, or watch a funny movie. We need to remain in the moment and release past regrets and future worries by finding joy in the present. Whatever experience brings us joy and happiness is where we choose to focus our attention and time. 

We also have to acknowledge, accept, feel and release painful emotions and experiences; that is an important part of this process as well. Realizing that these feelings will pass is important. 

If we do this consistently, our world will change to match this state of high vibration and we will finally recognize and claim what powerful, creative creatures we truly are. 

Happiness is a Choice


Life often presents us with a number of challenges. I believe we have chosen our particular life experience due to specific areas of soul-growth we want to further.  Although our experience in this place and time serves as our training ground, our classroom in the school of life so to speak, we often find ourselves in a place of frustration and pain. Once we realize that pain is an inevitable part of being alive, it will lead to a place of acceptance, which leads to a feeling of peace.

We have shown up in this particular life experience to heal and be healed, to view the places in ourselves that need acceptance, forgiveness and compassion, as well as the places in others that need the same. Our relationships serve as the primary teachers in this classroom.  All of our relationships contain the potential for transformation, particularly those of our family members, partners, and friends. Within these relationships, we either learn to love and grant compassion and understanding or we choose not to. We have free will and within every interaction there is a choice to either give love or withhold love, for ourselves and others.  The more difficult the process is, the more important the lesson is for both parties.

The relationships in our lives that cause us the most angst lend themselves to the perfect opportunity for growth. This place is a sacred opportunity for both parties to move beyond ways of interacting that do not serve either. This pain often serves to  precipitate an area of growth we desperately need. These are the old patterns we have held onto and our old wounds that need to be healed.  It is important to view these parts of us with love and understanding; from there we can move on to make healthier choices. This challenge is a gift because without this troubled relationship, we would have no need to become stronger. It is now time to move beyond the feelings of anger, resentment, fear, shame and guilt that have become a familiar part of these relationships and have held us hostage.

Our growth comes form the shadow moments in our lives. It is easy to bestow love upon our infant as they gurgle contentedly in our arms. But what about when their cry interrupts our desperately needed sleep for the fourth time in one night? We look on with pride when our toddler plays cooperatively with another, but what happens when they have a melt-down at the checkout counter of the supermarket? We admire our teenager when they receive accolades in school, but what about if they are suspended for bullying another student? It is easy to share our love with a parent who supports us at a difficult time. What occurs though, when they experience depression or become irritable and difficult as they age? This concept applies to us as well; it is easy to love ourselves when we succeed at a goal we strive for, but what about when we screw up again, repeating destructive patterns for the zillionth time? These moments are painful if we resist them, but they are to be treasured; here is where our growth lies whether in the development of patience, compassion, tolerance, acceptance or authenticity.

When we accept our difficult relationships and view them as an opportunity for growth, for ourselves and  another, we experience a feeling of peace that comes from relinquishing control. Our pain comes from believing that someone else in our lives should make different choices and take different action, often to meet our own needs. This judgment keeps our happiness captive. Our happiness is a choice and it comes from the realization that the experiences we are having are presented for our benefit. Our soul experiences these difficult times at a much deeper level and when we view them as an opportunity to love ourselves and others more, we find the peace we seek.

Acceptance vs. Expectation

Most of our disappointment comes from the belief that our experience should be other than it actually is. We proceed through our days, trying to control what happens to ensure our happiness, but unfortunately life does not always cooperate. Along the way, we encounter pain, loss, illness, and adversity.

It is hard to find someone for whom life has not thrown some curveballs. Even those whose lives look uncomplicated  have their share of discomfort and pain.  These difficult times are part of all of our lives and serve to foster our growth as well as force us to examine our choices. They often lead to our maturation and they help us develop strength and fortitude. We have a choice about how to approach these difficult times. We can choose to learn from them and make different choices, but if
we resist them, we cause more suffering for ourselves.

Imagine would happen if we decided to approach each circumstance, no matter how devastating, with acceptance. What if we decided not to fight for our perception of what should be and instead accepted what was? Here is where we would find the peace, relief, and happiness we seek.

Expectation of what we think will lead to our happiness places our power outside of ourselves and that is where our problem lies. It is not an easy concept to understand and even harder to practice on a regular basis. However, it is possible to do, even a little at a time.

Pick an experience in your day, whether it be at work, in a difficult relationship, regarding your finances or your health and decide to practice acceptance. View the situation objectively, without shame, guilt, or anger, and accept what is. Try to release feelings of blame, powerlessness, or disappointment. If you encounter a traffic jam on the way to an important appointment, accept it. If a friend disappoints you, try not to take it personally. If you receive an unexpected bill in the mail, view it with detachment.

Attachment to outcome creates unhappiness. Try not to let outside events control how you feel about yourself and you will be able to view these events from a new perspective, one that you typically have not noticed in the past.

Inspiration

Inspiration is a spark of color in an otherwise bland landscape. It is the voice that whispers "what if" in our ear. It is that idea that won't leave until it gets our attention. Inspiration makes us feel alive and powerful, full of energy and possibility. 

Inspiration is the whisper from the universe that points us in the direction of our purpose. But will we pay attention or will we get distracted by life's echos? This place of creativity beckons us to join it from time to time. However, it is our choice whether to pay attention and follow its guidance or travel the sure-footed path we have planned for ourselves. 

I received the inspiration to write this book after being diagnosed with thyroid cancer and subsequently reflecting upon what mattered to me in my life. Examining my role as a parent and wishing I had the knowledge years ago that I now possessed, led me to the decision to write a book about my experiences and reflections. As a private person, this place was uncomfortable on many levels, but it was sprinkled with many moments of joy, satisfaction, and fulfillment. Those moments were enough to carry me through. 

This book has been a labor of love and has a piece of my heart and soul in it. It has touched the deepest part of me and in doing so, has led to areas of growth and clarity. The words came through me and took on a life of their own, needing to be said and needing to be shared. 

These moments of inspiration are gifts we discover in our otherwise predictable routine. When you have such a moment, savor it and cherish it. Make a choice to envision what could be. Take a moment to ponder "what if" for anything is possible.

Cancer

A diagnosis of cancer is commonplace and many of us have had personal experience with it in some form. My own diagnosis of thyroid cancer came out of the blue, or so I thought. With the advantage of space and time after surgery and treatment, I realized it was preceded by warning signs which I did not heed. All of our physical ailments are directly related to emotional causes and since all of our systems are interrelated, they appear in different form. Cancer develops after a long period of deep-seated resentment, guilt, shame or anger. These emotions fester inside of us if we do not recognize, accept, and release them. I realized that mine developed after a long period of self-blame, guilt, and resentment. This was my body's wake-up call; a message to me that my belief system was not aligned in truth. The diagnosis and subsequent treatment woke me out of a fog of negativity and self-pity. With a change in perception, I moved to a place of clarity, inspiration and power. 

Cancer is prevalent in our society. We are living in a time when we are being nudged to wake up and  become aware of all the possibilities that exist, to claim our power and consciously choose the energy we exude. We are being asked to remember that love is what we are here for, love for ourselves as well as others. When we are not in alignment, we will receive a wake-up call. However, we do not have to let it get to the point where we become ill. 

We have not chosen to be here at this place and time to have everything we desire dropped on our doorstep; this experience would not foster our growth. We are here to claim our innate power to create the world we desire while contributing our talents to the world. That is exciting and powerful; it is the basis of creation. 

Cancer is a suppression of love; love for ourselves and for others. This state of self-loathing, deep hurt,  and resentment of others is about as far from self-love as we can get. Our awareness that this is toxic to us in the long-term creates a desire for change. Accepting and releasing those feelings is the next step. 

 I realize my diagnosis of thyroid cancer was a gift. Although difficult to go through, it shook me out of a place of self-pity and encouraged me to look honestly at my life and my beliefs.  I was led to a place of honesty, empowerment,  and faith. Remaining here, however, is a matter of practice; it is very easy to slide backwards to familiar patterns. 

We have to become aware of our feelings, our motivations, and our beliefs about ourselves and the world. If they are not based in love, they are false. We can use our feelings as monitoring systems that sound an alarm when they become persistently negative. This awareness serves as the basis for change and prevention of illness.

A Child of Dementia

Dementia is a cruel disease – stealing those we love from us slowly; step by step, memory by memory. It is heartbreaking to watch as someone you love disappears right before your eyes. Dementia is an insidious disease that starts slowly; forgetfulness that we chalk up to aging, over-scheduling or becoming distracted. We witness changes in personality - the one we love has irrational outbursts, periods of anxiety or depression, or alienates themselves. This disease leads our loved one and us down a slippery slope if we don’t understand the path. 

What is dementia? Is it a way for someone to transition to the next phase slowly, as I have been told? Is it a way for someone to relinquish life and the challenges it often brings? Is it a form of denial? Is it a medical disease? I am not sure of the answer. I only know it is a difficult journey.

I have watched my mother slip away before my eyes, beginning with forgetfulness and accidents, which led to concerns over her physical safety. It led me to the decision to take away her ability to drive, which was hard for both of us. It led to my sister and I taking over the responsibilities for her day-to-day care, including all financial and healthcare decisions. The decisions we had to make and still have to make are complicated, life altering and important. We do not take them lightly and we always ask each other what we would want in each circumstance. I watched my once fiercely independent mother who had an active social life and job as an artist and teacher become relegated to her home with limited outings and the need for twenty-four hour assistance. The people that we have encountered to help us with her care have been angels that were sent to us, I am sure. We would not have been able to provide the excellent care she has received without these individuals who were often presented to us just when we needed them. I know that is no coincidence and for that, I am forever grateful.

I feel the loss of my mother deeply. Although we had a tenuous relationship while I was growing up, the birth of my children brought us closer and I have to come to appreciate and respect her many wonderful qualities. She is an amazing mother, grandmother, sister and friend.

Dementia changes things; that cannot be disputed. However, we can change as well to adapt to the new relationship. But could this circumstance hold gifts for us that we may have overlooked? The ability to care for someone we love, the opportunity to make decisions with integrity and to focus our attention on what really matters in life are presented to us. Will we view this as an opportunity for our growth, a way to deepen our current level of love and compassion, and to practice patience, understanding and tolerance? This is where our choice lies, as well as our power. This is our opportunity to turn the experience from a painful one into a beautiful one, letting go of what was and accepting what is with the gifts and treasures we now choose to see. Does that mean it is neither hard nor heartbreaking? No, however our power lies in the way we approach all of the circumstances in our life and this one is no different.

The obstacles in our lives are gifts; ways to learn and grow, push ourselves out of our comfort zones, and to demonstrate who we really are beneath what life has shown us. A diagnosis of dementia for a loved one is just such an opportunity. It is important, though, to experience the sadness, loss, feelings of abandonment, fear, anger, and guilt this process brings; they are normal and necessary to feel as we let them pass through on our way to love and acceptance.

The essence of our loved one is still there, just in different form. If we look closely and are patient, we will find it. We can meet every circumstance in our life with love, for ourselves and for others. This one is no different. We have a choice and this is where our power lies.

Am I a child of dementia? Maybe, but more importantly, I am a child of Camille: a soft-spoken, sensitive, kind, and loving soul, an exceptional artist and teacher, the most wonderful grandmother any child could ask for and a mother that is deeply loved. I love you, mom.

Living The Life We Envision


There is excitement in envisioning a life of our choosing. It is enjoyable to imagine how exciting each day could become if we lived it following our purpose, our intention for being here at this place and time. But at the same time, we doubt how we can do this when we have obligations and responsibilities. People are counting on us, organizations need us, and things might just fall apart if we checked out and did our own thing. But what about us? What about our soul, our core inner self that is calling out for us to hear it – to follow our dreams and passions? 
 
There is a balance we are seeking – where we can care for our loved ones and organizations we care about - without sacrificing our own happiness. Living a life of obligation and duty makes us feel irritable and disconnected. Even the shine on our halo does not distract us from our misery. We have to be true to ourselves and sometimes that means moving out of our comfort zone.  This may make us and others uncomfortable in the process. At times, we have to allow ourselves to feel this discomfort – to sit with this uneasiness – and pass through it to something grander. Living a life of mediocrity and obligation is not what we were intended for. We were meant to nourish our talents and to share them with a world that so desperately needs them. 

The decision to pursue what you love and what you are here to do takes courage and determination. Sometimes, you have to force yourself to place one foot in front of the other as you make decisions that terrify you. Writing a book has been exciting but has also led me to places where sharing my vulnerability was very uncomfortable. A larger part of me, though, knew it was what I needed to do. Those struggles, the uncomfortable feelings, are part of the process, part of our growth. If the process were easy, it wouldn’t mean so much when we got to where we want to be.

Forgiveness


Forgiveness is a complicated concept. Often, we hold on so tightly to the idea of being right.  It seems as if it is an impossible hurdle to move to the state of forgiving another for not being who we think they should be. Even though we are not happy in this place, we would rather dig our heels in than move to a place of acceptance about it.

The concept of forgiveness surfaces so often in family settings. We judge each other harshly, not realizing our own happiness is held hostage because of this. We don’t give in and won’t let go because we hold steadfastly to the concept of being right. This happens with our parents, our siblings and our children on many occasions. Even if we don’t agree with the actions of another, our judgment of them and consequent suppression of our love puts us in a negative state.

We all do the best we can with the knowledge and skill we have at the time, however others may fall short of our expectations as well as their own potential. It is a fact that there are many relationships within families that can be better. Sometimes, members are treated unfairly, even cruelly. But what we have to realize is that someone cannot give us what he or she does not possess.

Operating from an unforgiving space only perpetuates what occurred and also places our power in another’s hands. We get so wrapped up in the rights and wrongs of what occurred, that we remain stuck there and it is not good for any of us. When we try to view the situation with detachment and understand we have a choice about how to approach it, we recognize this is where our power lies. If we let our judgment control our thoughts, weigh on our mind, and permeate our system; it will still direct our life in a negative way – even if we don’t utter a word about it.

Acknowledging our feelings about what happened, accepting them, and choosing to release them gives us the peace we seek. Forgiveness doesn’t mean the person was right or even that we have to spend time with them. It means that our energy is no longer tied up with theirs. It just gives us the peace of mind we want when we accept what is, rather than what should be.

Sometimes, all it takes is a statement that says we are willing to forgive - even if we don’t know how it could ever happen. That declaration opens the door that was once sealed shut and allows a miracle to enter and take place.