In the Chaos of Change

“We should be grateful for all situations that make us the most uncomfortable, because without them we would not know there is something unhealed in us.”

-Ken Wapnick

We all have our own truths. They come from further back then our own lives take us. Many of them are created before we’re even born. They are based on what our families passed down from generation to generation. Was there a lot of love, fear, joy, sadness, athletes, artists, addictions, scholars, prejudices, etc.? As we grow and experience world, our beliefs can shift and change, sometimes with quite a bit of chaos as we fight our history with the person we want to become. Sometimes it takes a moment in time to make us realize change is necessary, other times the lesson can go on for years as we suffer through what we are resisting to learn.

Take this experience: Years ago, I was at my dad’s townhouse. I was in the upstairs bedroom doing something. The window looks at one of the community’s dumpsters. It’s fenced in, so it’s not an eye sore. I see a man pull up fast in a dark car with dark tinted windows. The man has gloves on, we live in Florida so this isn’t common. He gets a small bag out of the car and takes it to the dumpster. He seems to look around then quickly put the bag in the dumpster and drive off. I’m frantic. My heart is racing. Is that a gun he’s putting in there? Did he kill someone? What do I do? I run to my dad. My fear has me physically shaking as I tell him what I saw. He goes down to the dumpster and searches it. Lucky for him, not much is in there since they had recently emptied it. He found the bag…Dog shit. Yes, you heard me.

My present moment and history told me that the world was a scary place. By this time, I experienced the fear and horror of 9/11; watched countless shows about real life murders; and watched the news. I put my focus on my negative beliefs: I was in an unhealthy relationship; focused on the villains of humanity; and was a victim of my own personal universe. The world was against me. I kept these beliefs alive and spreading as I spewed my negativity to whoever would listen.

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At the time, I was watching those shows about real life murders every night. I didn’t even think of the possibility that it could be someone home on his lunch break to walk his dog. That day was an instant wake up call for me. How could I have let my thinking get so dark? After that day, I stopped watching shows about what’s messed up in the world, and I tried to make sure I watched or listened to something positive before I shut my eyes. That was my first step to finding a way out of my negativity. I was tired of being what is wrong with the world. I wanted to be what is right.

After a few years of being in a really good place, I’ve felt the negativity crawling back in. The negativity started with the year and half of watching people attack each other leading up to the U.S. Presidential election. The negativity slowly started feeding into my every day life. I became more negative in all my relationships and in my perception of current circumstances. I snapped more while driving. Though, that can be easy living in a coastal town in Florida during tourist season. In the meantime, I’ve experienced two great losses in my life. I also realized, I was attached to certain plans for my future that are now gone because of the losses and the timing.

All the ways I usually use to lift my spirits back up are not working. I know logically that this isn’t a good place to be and I’m aware of when I’m being negative. Currently, I’m reading The Universe Has Your Back by Gabrielle Bernstein. Using some of the tools that she mentions in the book has opened me up to seeing all the areas in my life where I’m being judgmental and how it’s affecting my life. The book is helping me to stay focused on prayer, and through prayer and the help of others I’m getting the signs of where I need to take my next step.

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Here’s an example: when I was questioning whether or not to go to therapy, I got a call from a counseling center saying that my doctor had referred me to them. Now this meeting with my doctor took place more than a month ago after losing my grandmother, which was the second person within two months to die. I knew I needed help but I didn’t want meds. He wrote me a referral, but then his office called me saying I didn’t need the referral, I could just go on my own. I put it off and even forgot about it. Then when I questioned going, they called. I set up an appointment and went in for the evaluation. They were so backed up they couldn’t fit me in. It was ok because just knowing I took a step in the right direction and listened to the signs was making me feel better. I even told my friends and family that when I really need the therapy, they would be available. A couple weeks go by, and all the sudden I start letting life knock me down again. I start crying in prayer to God to help me. I’m fighting an anxiety attack, trying to calm myself by talking to my mom, and the phone rings. It’s the therapist office saying they have a last minute cancellation. Would I be able to make it in by 1:00PM? I know my power comes from connecting to Source energy and that will get me through all of life’s curve balls.

I went to counseling and discovered grief was having a larger effect on me than I thought. Then we mix in the weight of being a single mom, while going through a number of challenges no parent ever wishes to go through. My patience level with my kids became almost non-existent. I started feeling like a fraud. How can I write about living from a loving place when I don’t know which way is up? My whole world feels like it’s spinning, and I’m waiting for it to stop in order to fall down and find my stability. Then I know I can get back up and start walking in a straight line again. Instead, I feel all wobbly and like I’m walking on unstable ground.

Why am I telling you this? Because I know I will get out of it. I know I will find my footing and be stronger, better, and braver than I was before. I know I’m doing what I’m supposed to be because when I call for help, the Divine always shows up. I know this is all part of the process and I’m learning exactly what I need to get to the next place. I’m telling you this, because I know I’m not alone in feeling like no matter how much work I do on myself, sometimes life becomes a challenge. I’m not perfect, and don’t belong on any pedestal. No matter how much I look like I’m together, I still have times where I am just struggling to get through the day.

“Thank you Universe for transforming limitation and doubt into creative possibilities.”

 -Gabrielle Bernstein, The Universe Has Your Back

What’s different for me now, I’m aware that this situation is temporary. I’ve come so far since I felt like I was an unlovable waste of space. I’m not turning to self-abuse anymore. I question, I pray, and I feel my way through.

I keep getting signs that I’m being taken care of and my prayers are being heard. I’m reminded that I’m looking through a straw-hole view of my life. I can’t see the big picture, but the Divine can and I’m being led exactly where I’m supposed to be going. I also have been reminded multiple times to stay within my 24 hours (See link by clicking)   Doing this makes my life manageable. I’m not reaching back to the past or out to some unknown future. What do I need to get done today?

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I’m in the midst of change. Everything is stirred up around me. One of my spiritual growth spurts is upon me. The chaos of change is opening me up to see where old beliefs aren’t working for me anymore. I don’t know how long this growth spurt will take, but I know it will be for the better and help me live my life from a more loving place. I just need to take a step daily that directs me to the life I want, and pray that I remain open to all the lessons and signs  from the Universe.  Today,  I stop resisting the lessons, and I choose to be better.

With Love & Gratitude,

Rachael Wolff

Prepared to Learn: Getting an Unexpected Lesson

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I recently attended the final Hay House I Can Do It conference in Ft. Lauderdale. I was amazed with all the speakers. I took tons of notes and listened to every detail that I could get to stick. I was surrounded by over 1,000 positive and loving people  in one room. The energy of the room lifted me up to amazing levels. I was in learning mode. I expected to get a lot from the speakers over this two-day event. Day One, I was overjoyed with all the powerful information and tools I was getting to take on my day. I was charged…

So, with all of that going on, how could I be attacked with such rage and anger? As my two friends and I were coming in from eating our awesome leftovers from Mellow Mushroom, I was excitedly engaged in a conversation about all the amazing information and inspiration. I had one eye in front of me and one focused on my friend. Our other friend was walking a few steps behind. All the sudden my foot hits a foot in front of me. Baffled and confused, I of course apologize to the usher I tripped on, but I had no idea how I had missed her. I was looking ahead. She instantly jumps into attack mode, got in my face, and started screaming at me at the top of her lungs. “Watch where you are going! Do you think you can just walk all over people?…” My friends and I were in total shock at this interaction. Fight-flight response took over. I went into feeling like a scared little girl being blamed for something I didn’t do and didn’t understand. My friend on the other hand went into fight mode, but luckily with all the great energy we had sucked in, knew it was best to talk to a supervisor and simply say, “Bless you!” Our other friend, who saw the whole thing, just kept repeating, “Do not engage, bless you, bless you, bless you.”

After we walked away,  I was told the woman had sped around me and was aimed at cutting around me but had to walk in my path to avoid the people sitting on the bench. The reason I never saw her is because she cut over into my walking space and I couldn’t catch her in my peripheral because my head was turned to the right. I was in such shock, my nerves were on edge. Every usher I passed made me feel like a scared little girl trying to avoid a dangerous stranger. I walked with complete tension and my heart wouldn’t stop pounding. I couldn’t understand how this could have happened here of all places. I needed this conference. I needed to be filled with the energy to get me out of the grief I’d been facing because of the recent passing of my “Gifted Mom”(my dad’s partner). I just had surgery on my face and needed to stop being so focused on that. How could this have happened here and now?  Haven’t I gone through enough in the last six weeks?

We went back to our seats, and I knew I wasn’t up for reporting the incident. I just needed to get myself out of the trauma and into a better head space so I could enjoy and absorb the rest of the event. I knew if I stayed where I was,  I wouldn’t get what I needed. So my friends went off to report the incident and I sat in silence.

Deep breaths and connect, deep breaths and connect. I know this happened for a reason, I started with a prayer: “Help me to figure out the reason for this lesson, so I can move on from it and stay connected to the energy of love and gratitude.” Deep breaths, deep breaths, I was so grateful I had just heard techniques to get me out of this. Davidji talked about the power of connection and mediation, “Connect to our guardian soul.” was one of the messages I wrote down. He also talked about the fight-flight response and what happens physically and emotionally to us when its happening. He quoted Pema Chodron, “The things you cling to make you unavailable to learn something new.” I knew I had to re-connect and get passed this. The situation with the usher happened after I just heard all this. My friends came back and told me the manager apologized and they would look into it. They were going to meet her again after the next break. My breathing steadied, but my adrenaline was still coming down and had a ways to go.

Kris Carr  was up next, somehow I knew I was going to get the answers I needed. She quoted Louise Hay who said, “It’s only a thought, and a thought can be changed.” My mantra, “Deep breaths, connect, deep breaths, connect.” Mastin Kipp followed Carr.  Kipp said, “Negative emotions are a call to awareness.” YES! YES! YES! My Aha moment arrived. One of my biggest challenges I’ve faced in my life is my connection to being blamed for something I didn’t do. It stemmed from when I was a little girl. This negative exchange took me right back to being that defenseless little girl. I have been dealing with this negative thought pattern for a long time. It had been so long since it was engaged, I buried it. When I was in high school, these thoughts made me suicidal. Luckily, or I should say I was protected because both times it happened I was in places where I could get help immediately. I needed to once again face this fear, but this time with fresh tools to get through it.  I once again was protected and in the perfect situation to get the help I needed.  I will tell you, nothing makes techniques stick better than applying them right away.

After the next break, we found out the woman thought that we were 19-20 year olds. I like to think I look young, but that is a little drastic. She didn’t see us at all. She was wrapped up in her own head feeling walked on by the younger generations. Her reaction had nothing at all to do with me. I knew that logically, but knowing she had no concept of the fact that we were all over double that age, I knew I was looking at a very hurt and wounded woman. I could see her with eyes of compassion and pray for her healing. I could also look at how far I had come from my younger self. I got exactly what I needed, which made me think of something Mastin Kipp said, “What’s the spiritual lesson in this?…This is happening for you, not to you.”

The rest of the day, I continued to get what I needed. Cheryl Richardson asked, “Are you willing to take your own heroes’ journey?” My reply, “YES!!” Gregg Braden was the final speaker. He showed us a technique to help the heart and the brain to work together. The coolest part is it was all based on science. Very interesting findings!! The event was over, I left better than I came and in a very short time, I grew.

How we look at things and deal with the people and events around us is so important. If we are responding negatively to our situation, we are putting that hurtful energy into ourselves then breathing it back into the world. We need to ask ourselves, is this what we want? Are we going to miss opportunities from being caught up in a fight-flight response? Are we getting caught up in negative thoughts that can change to more positive ones? What is my lesson? How can I be and do better to serve myself and humanity?

With Love and Gratitude,

Rachael Wolff