Creating a Dream or a Nightmare

It’s possible for each of us to create a dream or a nightmare out of our lives. Though it seems we are at the whims of fate, we each have the power within us to veer our lives into territory of love or of fear. Much of this has to do with our thoughts and how centered we are in our hearts. Thinking the highest thoughts and focusing on love allows us to bring more love into our lives, like an internal feedback loop. The reverse is true with fear and fearful thoughts.

I write about this because I’ve experienced both in my life. I entered into huge fear territory after my trauma. I didn’t only create a waking nightmare in my life, I had terrifying nightmares each night. I was wracked with insomnia, anxiety, and depression. I’d like to tell you some form of medicine or therapy fixed me, and while they did help along the way, what truly healed me was allowing God and love into my life to do miraculous work.

Then I was able to begin creating a dream. Love entered and cleaned out my system. I felt closer to God and to my true heart. I began feeling more joy and feeling closer to myself – to the me I had been as a child, before my trauma and the nightmares. It wasn’t as hard as it seemed. A little bit of love made way for a whole lot of love.

Now I can veer towards either one, and I have sometimes found myself going back to nightmare land if I’m not careful. At this time last year, I was beginning to hate my job and feel resentful. I had a very powerful conversation with a healer who recommended prayer, telling me, “you change your life through prayer.” It seemed so simple, and though an earlier me would have scoffed at and judged this advice, I went for it. I began praying and actively feeling grateful for my job and position in life, and asking for divine assistance as I worked to create my dreams. I continued to pray and to up my spiritual practices. It almost immediately shifted my experience at my job and in the rest of my life. A year later I’m still at the same job and I now love it and really do feel grateful for it! I have created time for myself to create my dreams. I continue to be grateful for that which I want in my life rather than resentful for that which I don’t.

Now these kinds of practices are hard to understand for me, because I know we have systemic problems in our world that can’t only be fixed by individual effort. That’s something I think about a lot. But if you happen to be reading this blog, I believe that this practice might be really beneficial for you in particular, since you are here.

So go ahead and pray, connect to God and your heart, and see the beauty in the parts of your life that are difficult. Watch your life transform. Bring light into your heart and your life. You deserve to feel beautiful, happy, loved, and held, all of the time.

I am Not my Body

Well, here I am. I am sorry for being so out of touch for the past week. After some prayer and contemplation I decided to begin blogging once a week while I focus on writing my book and studying for the GREs. I was planning to blog weekly on Wednesdays, which would have been yesterday. However, I ended up in the hospital, where I’m writing to you now. “Heal with Rebecca” indeed!

While I have navigated psychological recovery very deeply, I haven’t had very extreme physical illnesses. The physical ailments I suffered from in my early twenties were, I believe, deeply related to my psychological and energetic state, and I was able to heal them with nutrition, meditation, and alternative healing modalities. Primarily, I used to have uterine and pelvic pain that a doctor told me may be endometriosis. Around that time I started studying Reiki in-depth and deep healing my childhood traumas, and the pain resolved quite quickly. Similarly, I’ve periodically had ocular migraines, which always come on when I’m feeling ungrounded and out of touch with myself. I am usually able to breathe these away with stillness and meditation. 

These kind of practices were radically transformative for me, having been raised in a very medical household where I had easy access to medicine and doctors. I’ve reached a beautiful midpoint between the two worlds, where I am able to appreciate the value of both. I have come to believe many if not most of my health issues had their roots in my spiritual state. At the same time, I’ve learned to see that western medicine is very useful and even beautiful when it is needed. I’m amazed when I think of the years of research that scientists and doctors have conducted while searching for cures for the most difficult illnesses.

That brings me to yesterday, when I ended up in the Emergency Room for spreading numbness in my limbs. Having developed a close relationship with my body over the years, this numbness really took me by surprise. I am used to being able to breathe, meditate, or use healing foods to help my sicknesses and ailments go away, and this was not doing that! The numbness began in my arm on Monday, spreading to my feet and my other arm by Wednesday. No pain, just numbness. Tingling, limbs falling asleep, numbness.

Of course, this is a strange feeling, and reading the internet and talking to doctors can make things seem quite dire. What if the numbness continues to spread? What if I do have a suspected Guillain-Barre Syndrome? Guillain-Barre can be extremely debilitating, possibly requiring a breathing machine as your nerves stop working and paralyze your whole body. Thankfully, it’s temporary, but imagining going through that process is terrifying. 

I came to some peaceful realizations that helped me a lot yesterday as I faced these fears. I was reminded that I have a body, I am not my body. That thought helped me a ton. I believe that my soul lives forever, so even if my body fails me or does some things that are unexpected, my soul is still just fine. I also remembered that God is in charge, and I did some strong, big prayers to God, Jesus, and the angels, and felt very held and loved. And of course, I reached out for prayers from family and friends. Hearing from friends and family thinking of me and praying for me helped me feel so much better.

We’ll see what happens over the next few days. I’ll keep you posted on the blog when I am able to. Maybe it will all resolve and I’ll be back at work on Monday, or maybe it’s a dire situation. Either way, I’m very grateful to have a caring medical staff here at the hospital, a loving God holding me, and the beautiful love of friends and family.

Keeping a Clear Connection

Finding and keeping a clear connection to God and your heart is such a huge part of living an awakened life. Having a clear connection means you are able to feel and sense your heart and God. Just like we get dirty from living our lives and have to bathe, our spiritual connection needs to be maintained if we are to live lives that are whole. 

There have been times in my life when I thought God had left me, especially after my beautiful experience. When I had to learn to life in the world again, it felt like God and my angels took a step back to help me learn to stand on my own two feet. I used to cry and feel completely abandoned. But I’ve learned that God never leaves any of us. God is always in our hearts- always. It took a long time for me to really learn that, and I still work on it. 

Since God never leaves any of us and is always in your heart, if you feel disconnected, take some time to use your tools to reconnect and feel God’s love. Some ways that have helped me maintain a clear connection to spirit include prayer, meditation, clean eating (and sometimes fasting), being in nature, mind-body movement (like yoga), and writing. I can tell my connection is clear because I am able to get centered and feel my heart more easily. 

What are your favorite ways to stay connected? 

From Fear to Faith

Living in fear means being disconnected from your heart, your source, and your true self. Fear can manifest as anxiety, anger, depression, and insomnia, to name a few. It can make your mind race and make you wilt. Though it may seem difficult in the middle of a fearful moment to see the way out, you don’t have to stay there. There is a pathway out of fear, and I believe it goes through your heart. 

After my trauma and childhood, I lived in a constant state of fear. It became second nature for me to live this way. I had difficulty sleeping. I had anxiety. I always felt shut down. Though it manifested as a diagnosis of P.T.S.D., it felt much different than that. It felt like I had a fear blob sitting all around me. I couldn’t do anything. 

I tried to cure these symptoms for a long time by using tools that worked from the outside in, like analyzing my triggers, trying grounding techniques, and going to talk therapy. In the end, going right into my heart healed me, which I had felt calling out to me underneath all the fear. Trusting my heart, going within, and having help from tools like Reiki, mind-body movement (such as yoga), prayer, and of course, my experience of God and of love, all led me out of fear. I still have fear from time to time, but never as badly as I did before I started truly healing from the inside out. 

If you are feeling stuck in fear, I wish you the courage to hear what your heart is telling you. I believe you can find your way out. I believe that you were born to live in love and not in fear. You were born to feel happy, joyful, and free. God created you. God loves you. God wants you to be happy. Give yourself time, be patient with yourself, and trust your heart. 

Prayer

When I woke up this morning, I had my mind set on writing today’s blog about prayer. And of course, today presented me with a thousand reasons to pray. And of course, I often forgot to pray. I wondered to myself, “how can I write a blog about prayer when I can’t even remember to pray myself!” Like everything, it’s a work in progress (as am I).

Several years ago, I had a very powerful dream about prayer. In this dream, I was surrounded by angry people. They were getting angrier and angrier, yelling and scowling. Somehow amidst this furor I remembered to start praying. I started saying the first prayer that popped into my mind, the Our Father. As I prayed, I began rising. I rose and rose until I lifted up into the clouds and was in the end surrounded by happy people hugging me and smiling. It was an affecting dream that I remember vividly to this day.

Though it was just a dream, it was a parallel for my real life. My prayer saved me from the negativity I had been bombarded with. It’s during times like these, when we are confronted with that which we are not, that prayer is so important. Prayer connects us to our hearts and to the heart of God. It reminds us of who we are and why we are here.

I find prayer especially important during times when I’ve lost my way. When I’m surrounded by sadness, depression, or difficulty, prayer rings out like a bell leading me back home. Some of my favorite prayers are simple, and many of them are made up. I will say something along the lines of “thank you God for being with me,” or whatever feels right in my heart. I also like to pray for others by sending them love and saying simple prayers for them. 

I love prayer because it is a simple and effective way of lifting back into God’s love. Prayer can open your heart and your life.

Starting Your Day

It’s helpful to start your day from a centered place. It can seem insurmountable- but it doesn’t have to be. If you have a lot of time in the morning, allot some of that time to a morning ritual that helps you remember who you are and why you’re here. If you don’t have a lot of time in the morning, just five minutes is enough. It doesn’t have to be long or complicated. It can be a simple prayer.

In the mornings it’s very easy for me to slip into “stress mode” trying to get my daughter ready for school and get us both off to work and school. On those mornings an outsider looking in would see a hectic, stressful circus: my husband and I quipping at each other, our daughter running around, the dog barking, all of us scrambling to eat breakfast. And I know our lives are easier than many – we only have one kid, and we are not struggling to put food on the table. And yet, getting centered for a new day takes some time and sustained attention.

I have several techniques I try to practice in the morning, before I even get out of bed. I say thank you to God for another day and say any prayers that come into my mind for that day. I focus on awakening love in my heart by centering my attention on my heart and breath and feeling love arise. I also like to remember the dreams I’ve had the night before and reflect on them. If I have more time I will read a devotional and practice yoga, drink lemon juice, and have some coffee. Most of the time, I just manage the coffee, but each day is different, and each day is a new chance. 

What is your favorite way to start the day?