How Not To Let History Repeat Itself

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Have you ever had the experience of looking in the mirror and seeing your mother (or father) reflected? It could just be a split second impression, but that doesn’t make it any less startling.

Or maybe you’ve heard her in something you’ve said to your kids, your partner, your best friend, and it freaks you out a bit.
We carry our history with us, the lineage and genealogy of all who went before us. Even if you come from a close and loving family, this sometimes makes the path of spiritual growth and change feel a bit precarious…maybe even impossible. After all, as many teachers have pointed out, “if you think you are enlightened, go spend some time with your family!”
How do you honor your lineage without letting it hold you back?
 
Partly it has to do with your ability to allow opposites to exist. The tendency is to revert to all or nothing thinking, that old dualistic dance — that’s good, this is bad. I love you, I hate you. Your parents were neither angels nor demons, but perfectly imperfect beings doing the best they could given how they were raised.
  • How have you been able to take what you were taught — either through words or actions — and use it to grow up at various life stages?
  • What can you leave behind that is no longer serving you or your emotional wellbeing?
  • Have you been able to forgive your parents for past hurts as well as asked forgiveness for any transgressions on your part? (Either directly or within your own mind and heart?)
In some ways, growing up goes on our entire lives. Even though I am a holistic healer and teacher, I couldn’t get my mom to give up smoking or white flour or sugar, even as she suffered from inflammatory diseases. In order to grow up as her life was winding down, I had to love her anyway, try in every visit to be less snarky about her “poor choices” and allow her to be who she was without thinking I knew better. Oy…
Not always easy. Clearly not some of my finest moments. Definitely hard lessons in holding on to the good, and releasing what doesn’t work — both in myself and in her.
Be both gentle and firm with yourself in this…growing up takes a lifetime, and is definitely worth the effort.

{By the way, that’s my mom at age twelve in the upper left of the photo, surrounded by cousins and nieces. We look so much alike that once upon a time a woman — who knew me but not her — tapped her on the shoulder in our hometown supermarket and said “You must be Sharon’s mother!” It’s a story of connection we both treasured forever after.}

What Dreams Need To Thrive (and how to nourish yours)

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Look closely at the image above. That’s an orchid clinging high up on a palm tree, and blooming beautifully. What tenacity! What chutzpah! What resilience!

Given that this photo was taken in a botanical garden, I’m sure it was purposefully placed and helped along. But who decided it belonged or might even thrive there?
Life is just like this sometimes. You feel out of your element and as if you’re hanging on by a few tendrils in unfamiliar territory. You reach for the heights and then get dizzy wondering if you have what it takes to hang in there.
What was truly amazing about this botanical garden, besides the sheer beauty of the plants, was that:
  • It was incredibly diverse.
  • It was an ecosystem where the whole was greater than its parts, and they all thrived because of their relationship to one another.
One of the things I hear over and over from the women I work with is that they are longing for a deeper sense of connection — with others, with their core spiritual truths, with themselves. And it keeps feeling harder, despite the growing “connectivity” of our digital lives.
I’m going to step out on a limb here (pun fully intended) and declare that you and I and everyone we know are part of a larger ecosystem. And that ecosystem is hurting badly. Our world is literally dying for each of us to step forward and claim our wholeness so that we can hang together and heal and thrive.
I usually speak to you as an individual in my weekly missives, but the truth that we are both individuals AND cells in one body needs to be addressed. You most likely dream of having greater inner peace so that you can feel better and deal more effectively with the winds of change that blow your way. But are you aware that you add to the healing of the world every time you take time to focus on healing yourself?
That’s why I’m crafting the Four Weeks to True Peace teleclass (weather won’t be an issue, it’s all done by phone and computer!). It will be an opportunity for you to:
  • Experience new levels of peace.
  • Receive expert guidance as well as the support of like-minded women.
  • Learn and integrate tools that will allow you to dip into this feeling as needed.
  • Clarify what practices work best for you and what don’t — so you can stop barking up the wrong trees!
The full details will be in next week’s post..however, you can find out more and get a taste of what’s to come (or just come get this taste) in next Tuesday’s *free* teleclass. Simply click on the link below to register. The four week class will be limited to 6 participants, but the *free* class is open to all!
Yes, it’s winter. Everything feels harder. And there is no better time to cultivate the soil of your being so peace can take root and thrive. It’s good for you, it’s good for the people you live and work and play with, and it’s good for the planet.
*Ready for a sweet Taste of True Peace?*  
Then join me for this *free* teleclass
(Yes, if you noticed a title change, you are right!) 
 
 Tuesday February 18th from 7:30-8:30 ET
Mark your calendar now and register via email: sharon@heartofselfcare.com
Simply put “Free Class, Please!” in the subject line and you are in. Details will follow.

The Worlds Within

We all have many worlds inside of us, tiny universes of being that don’t always coexist peacefully. Wife, partner, mother, daughter, aunt. Business woman, single woman, pacifist, activist, artist. The one who drinks, the one who prays, the one who fights, the one who hides.

Walt Whitman said it so well in his poem Song of Myself: “Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself, (I am large, I contain multitudes).”
How do you make peace with your own contradictions?

When I was learning a form of healing based on Kabbalah (generally known as the mystical path of Judaism), we sang a lot of chants our teacher composed to lead us into states of oneness and openness. One that I loved and still sing a lot is a repetition of one simple line: God please reveal your Torah to me.
 
The Torah is a scroll containing the first five books of the Bible, the core of Jewish ritual life. But in this instance, we focused on the fact that each of us holds a scroll of wisdom within, kind of like the world reflected in the drop of water above. And if we can learn how to read and decipher that scroll, we become healed and whole.
Life pulls us in many directions. Yet the journey within is as fathomless as it is fulfilling. It is the journey that makes everything else not only worthwhile, but make sense. And sense is often what it missing in the mishmash of our lives.
How do you make peace with the worlds within you? What prayer or chant or ritual will guide you into your wholeness today? As always, I’d love to hear about it, so please share what this has stimulated…