Tracee

Suffer if You’d Like and be Thankful

The holiday season can be such a mixed bag for some. The expectations that maybe we place on others of doing what we want or acting a certain way and letting those things determine how we feel or what we do. If this is you, this year I’d like to offer you a new option: hold your heart and openly embrace your suffering. As an empath, I have suffered a lot, for myself and others, for people that I know and for people a world away, and most of all for the ancestors who have created the world I live in.

Yes, all the immigrants who came to this country seeking freedom or inevitably learning it. Some learning freedom through their enslavement and some learning freedom by taking freedom from others. Make no mistake about it, over time, from my prospective being a; religiously righteous, entitled, hateful (the illusion of being superior), and ignorant human creates as much suffering for those who express those qualities as it does for those who are their victims.

So if you’re the one that struggles on a holiday to find peace amongst the rediculousness, when you contemplate the conflict of this holiday and it’s origins or reflect upon the current state of politics or what your world is coming to. If the suffering begins to descend down upon you, remember this: your creator gives you suffering so that your heart may open, millions of your ancestors did not have the privilege of suffering openly, and suffering openly and an open heart generate love and tolerance.

Be grateful for the suffering when it comes your way. It is a gift that your heart needs to expand fully into the strength and protection of love. Very possibly you are the voice for an unexpressed ancestor and you are being given the privilege of opening your heart through their pain. Tears don’t make you weak they strengthen your vision to acknowledge the creator’s most awesome possibility for you and those you know if you will embrace it.

This Thanksgiving be grateful for your suffering and the suffering of others, it means hearts are opening everywhere.

Don’t Mourn for Me: Be Happy

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Every day at some point I think about dying. Not just death and dying or other people’s death and dying. I think of how I will die, or when I will die. This is not a conversation I am having because I am getting older. No, it’s a conversation that I’ve had with myself since at least the teen years.

I tend to take quiet comfort in it. I meander on all the interesting ways there are to die.

I crossed paths with a man once whose brother died by falling doublewide trailer. Yes, his brother got up one day and decided to fix something underneath his trailer home that had needed fixing for some time. The trailer was propped up on cinder blocks and just fell. At least that’s how the legend goes.

Wow, I thought, now that’s an interesting story to leave behind.

It leaves the people that you love with a fascinating story and a chuckle at the absurdity without all that pesky fear. The likelihood that you could die of falling doublewide trailer is probably a million to one and every time you thought about it, you’d chuckle and think of Ole Uncle Charlie up in heaven because the doublewide fell on him. You might very well see him smiling and tinkering with things like he always loved to do.

No, so many of us are left with the fear that comes with say: cancer or gun violence. Those of us left behind a loved one that died of some ridiculous disease or random act of violence must confront at some point the possibility that it could happen to us as well.

Not that it will, but the fear that is left behind demands the confrontation.

An unspoken part of mourning is the catharsis of our own mortality, or the possibility of losing those we still have left. Nobody really speaks about the sometimes debilitating anticipation of losing the next loved one that comes with trying to process the grief of loss.

For years after my father’s death I imagined where I’d be when I got the call about the loss of my mother. Who’d be there with me, or would I be alone? Luckily it wasn’t for another three decades and I was as well prepared as I could’ve been.

As a child, this was one of the ways I processed my grief. Thinking it through completely and resolving the end by witnessing in my mind, my safety and wellbeing.

Knowing that whenever and wherever it happened that I would be safe and well taken care of.

As it turned out, I was at the sushi bar with a friend not far from my mother’s home. We had just finished dinner. On the short ride back we laughed a little that the most dreaded moment of my life was here. And,indeed, I was safe and well taken care of.

Somewhere along that path, I began to think about my own death and dying. Where I’d be and when. Then I began to think of how I’d like to die. Disease, murder, suicide, and overdose were so trendy.

And then it occurred to me. Do people die of happiness? Well, that’s how I’d like to go.

I’d like to be so @#%! happy I could just die.

So, now every time I think of death, I am reminded of all the things that bring me happiness.

Life after Unemployment: Anything is Possible

Chances are you’re one of the millions of people who have been affected by the deepest recession in our countries history. Maybe you lost your job months or even years ago, and now you’ve lost your motivation. It’s easy to feel victimized by a world where it appears you have no control and naturally fall into a spiritual depression. If this sounds like you; I have some ideas, a few brain flashes for your consideration.
No Mistakes in Life
Brain flash #1, there are no mistakes in life. If you lost your job or your business, it’s not your fault, your bosses fault, the President’s fault…it’s not anyone’s fault. Consider that you’ve needed some rest and reflection for quite a while and that this was just the perfect time and opportunity to take it. I am not saying that there weren’t many events leading to the recession, all I am saying is that what’s most important is who it affected. Many of the people who lost in our country are traditionally the ones who hold the values and stability for our country by working consistently. When you have a job that eats up 40-80 hours of your week, there’s really not a lot left in there for you to relax, ponder, and re-create your life so that you may dial up the happiness factor. By removing the element of blame, you are able to focus on life outside of the job you’ve had and ask yourself a few questions. Do you even like your job? The people you work with? Yourself? All very important questions when happiness is a consideration.
Consider Your Job Loss an Upgrade
Brain flash #2, what if your job loss was actually a new job in the making? People who go through abrupt or enduring transitions in life experience spiritual depression. Spiritually speaking, depression is an opportunity to naturally reflect on yourself and your life. Spiritual depression reveals to you spiritual, cultural, and ancestral patterns that may be affecting how you perceive yourself, your business, and your life. Whether or not the pursuit of happiness or joy in life is even a factor for you. What you “deserve” is a huge buzz word in the self-help business, it doesn’t really speak to what you deserve so much as what you will have or not have. Nobody deserves to have their life fall apart because they lost their job, what they get however, is a complete do over card and the time to evaluate and pursue happiness in addition to stability and prosperity. You cannot truly prosper without happiness.
Create a New Schedule
Brain flash #3, working a nine to five requires a consistent schedule that often people losing their job let go of or rebel against when their job goes away. Consider that while you have a new found freedom, your job loss has entered you into a new world of entrepreneurship, yes that’s right, you now work for yourself and your job is to conjure up new streams of revenue. Your new schedule may include things like; time to sleep, working through childhood issues, participating with your spouse or children in a new way, taking a few weeks to be angry (which is actually the process of letting go of how things were and accepting how they are), taking a personal inventory of what you like about yourself and what you don’t, and answering the question, What makes me happy? Finally, the most important evaluation of all; over your lifetime, what are the top five things you’ve done with your spare time?
Anything is Possible
Brain flash #4, I find that what people choose to do in their spare time is what they love and enjoy the most. Folks in mid-life can have upwards of 20 years’ experience doing those things…that is actually expert status. How can you use your well known expertise to make money? Let’s say you drank a lot of beer in your spare time, well micro-breweries have been the fad for the last decade and may just be a nice fit for you…considering you don’t have issues with addiction. If in fact you’ve been self-medicating since you lost your job or because you didn’t like it in the first place, that takes the priority. The addiction cycle is your creative cycle; if it’s being used up with beer drinking it doesn’t leave space for actual thought innovation. It is the process of working through uncomfortable emotions, sober, that elevates our hearts and brains to a new level of creativity and possibilities that may not otherwise be considered.
If you can’t see it, you can’t be it.
Brain flash #5, take care of yourself; paying attention to your needs and fulfilling them is paramount to getting a new job. I found a lot of folks who lost their jobs during the recession eventually just lost interest in working at all. It is the same syndrome that affects people trying to go back to work after a vacation. Once you’ve had time to spend paying attention to yourself it can be quite a weight to go back into a poor work dynamic. Know that unconsciously, you won’t truly let yourself go back into a situation that makes you feel bad and not acknowledging that leads to; making excuses, getting sick, apathy, or self- medication. If that sounds like you, make a list of the top five things you need because you’re human and then list the top five things you need in your new work environment. Doing this energetically creates a new career blue print for you to follow and the Universe to provide.
In the process of re-creation it is honesty that beats out positivity any day of the week. Being honest with yourself about yourself and your situation is where you begin. Once you have a firm acceptance of things as they are, then you can feel free to dream a little. What would you do with that million dollars if you had it? Allowing yourself to be imaginative takes you out of the box you live in and stretches you into new possible realities. You can begin the journey to positivity by asking yourself the question, How can I do that (what you’re dreaming of) today? Letting yourself engage in a little hope will change your perception of all things… and that’s positive. Right?

Super Hero in My Mind

Super Hero in My Mind

It’s Just My Imagination
I have always had an “active” imagination. Anything I have ever done, I have spent hours on it in my mind first. It would appear that my personality dictate that I am impetuous and impulsive, but in fact I am not. The countless hours of daydreaming, now called visioning as I am a mature professional. Really it’s just daydreaming; sorting out every detail of an action and its consequences, or every word in a conversation to fully recognize my full meaning and intention so as to own every ripple I make. Daydreaming has even been the way I stay prepared for the world that I live in; picturing myself cleaning my house, dancing without care, and even warding off evil with complete and unequivocal success. It has also been the way I am able to tolerate witnessing for someone some of the most unimaginable sufferings that this world has to offer. My inner crime fighter is a combination of “Storm”, “Wonder woman”, and Bruce Lee. I always loved the way Wonder Woman stopped a speeding bullet, or Storm changed the entire environment with a little focus and arm swinging. Somehow I have always seen that as possible. Obviously, imagining having a better life is not necessarily a new theme but a recent trip and fall triggered a reflection on how many times my meanderings of the mind have prepared me to be safe, sane, courageous, physically adept, and joyful in the physical world.
Stop Drop and Roll, in My Mind
The other day, as I walked down the street to meet a friend at the local café, I tripped. Plunging forward somehow I caught myself, and kept walking. The trip made me realize that I forgot something at home, so I turned back. This time, in the exact same spot, I tripped again. This time I was going down. While on the way down, yes in that split second, I thought to myself…”I will not be hurt by this”. My shoulder automatically turned in and I tucked and rolled. If there had been a little more momentum I would have landed on my feet again. There I lay in the middle of the sidewalk in a little ball, without even a scratch, laughing. I easily got up, and surprisingly nothing hurt. As I walked to the café my heart swelled with joy. You see, I spend a lot of time wondering what I would do if I had to get out of the way of a speeding car, escape from a burning building, or fend off an attacker. So, I often visualize the dive and roll or the round house to the jaw. I imagine that my legs are strong and my form is impeccable. Of course, I don’t spend all day on these things but several times a day I catch myself in little 30 second snippets of what I would do if… I always visualize the answer, and that day I had proof that it is not time wasted.
Hip Hop in My Mind
I love to dance. I went to NYC and dancing was to be a part of my repertoire. I quickly learned that I was more of a choreographer than a dancer, and I definitely was not an athlete. I always held so much emotion in my gut that always found a way to come pouring out. That’s workable for yoga class, but definitely not ballet or even jazz. The thing that I got from dance was moving with the flow of the universe, bending, weaving, and being a conduit for universal life force. Thinking in this way brought to me an ultra awareness of the subtle influx of change and how to move with it instead of against it. To move towards the steps I could do, and do them well. Always seeing myself becoming good at the things I wasn’t good at just yet. Hip Hop dance was just blooming at the time and I was awful at it. You really need great balance to be good at Hip Hop, and imbalance is my specialty. However, in my mind, I am amazing. I can even do flip’s, get up with one leg, NO hands, and the ole slide and spin. I always feel invigorated after a 30 second Hip Hop session in my mind.
Now that brings me to the real world application. I was at the doctor’s office one morning, and walking out the door just before me was a lady who was clearly on her last appointment before the baby came. Her husband was about 20 feet away talking to the desk people when I opened the door for her and motioned her to go before me. She smiled and softly said thank you. Something was not right in her voice. Without thinking about it, my body began to drop to one knee about the same time that I realized that she was going to pass out. It was only a few seconds before I had the full weight of her sitting on the impromptu chair I had created with my knee. Her husband noticed at the point her head fell back on my shoulder. She was out. He and the nurse came running over and we shared an awkward glance, as if to say, “Is this your pregnant wife on my lap?” She came too; they got her some juice and helped her to a real chair. The husband said, “Thanks.” I said, “No problem” and walked out the door and moved on with the day. As I laughed to my car, I thought…”I really love Hip Hop.”
Bruce Lee in My Mind
I had a poster of Bruce Lee in my room literally all my child hood. I always felt a special connection to him and to the martial arts. The concept of using an opponent’s energy against them, or summoning and directing universal chi always resonated with me. However, like I said, I am only an athlete in my mind. So when I took those six months of Jiu Jitsu, it was a bit of a struggle. Sparring just for the sake of sparring did not make sense to me. My Kung Fu was definitely magical like the old Chinese martial arts movies. Flying through the air for a triple running kick… now how could that possibly help me in my future? Well, I found that warding off evil began with making some personal decisions. 1.) Deciding you’re not going to be a victim. 2.) Deciding that you will not be around violence or that violence cannot be within or around you. 3.)Knowing that Universal life force flows through you and aligning with it.
One dark Sunday evening walking down an old cobblestone street on the lower east side of NYC, I saw these two gentlemen walking on the other side of the street, they were eyeing me and I knew they weren’t gentlemen at all. Even though it was early the street was vacant and quiet. I had to cross to their side of the street to get to the train so just as they passed, I crossed diagonally to end up behind them on the same sidewalk. Just as I stepped into the street, so did they. They were causing me to directly confront them. Knowing that the meeting was inevitable, I said, in my mind, “I will not have this. Whatever this is, I will not have it.” Just as we crossed paths in the center of the street, the taller gentleman began to take something from the inside of his jacket, just as his armed raised up to come down on me…I raised two fingers to him…and said, “Uh Uh.” He and his friend were so befuddled by this that he mimicked me, in a fairly high tone for a man, he said, “Uh uh, and sort of waived his hands in confusion. I just kept going and did not look back. When I got to the next block I broke down in tears and cried and laughed all the way home. As it turns out, the two fingered Mudra (hand yoga) that I unknowingly used, means protection. It certainly was that night.
Day Dreaming: More than it’s Cracked Up to Be
Watching the evening news can be tumultuous, for some. Just getting through the day without worry in this sometimes desperate place that we all share is a feat. So, I recommend, once a day in your quiet time; answer just one of those…”What would I do if…?” And since it is your vision, it can only end well for everyone. You never know when it will come in handy.