Ashely Foreman, Awakening the Bear
Do you believe that everything happens for your higher good?
When things are going well, this seems absolutely true but when you are currently facing obstacles or have struggled in your past, it is more challenging to believe. It’s just like saying you trust in God or the Universe but then try to control how things unfold.
I just participated in a Shamanic journey to discover my blocks and I have to admit that although I believe I don’t wallow in the past, it still has a hold on some aspects of my life. I find that I am really good at being positive in the present moment but what my meditation pointed out to me was that I need to acknowledge my true feelings about the past especially the anger and the hurt. In my day to day, I feel pretty fantastic and if I happen to have a moment and digress, I use my principles to bring me back to the moment. The concern is that I have not yet healed the parts of me that experienced trauma, rejection and abandonment.
What I was guided to do was to write my story…the painful parts and then release each one. I tend to see things from the perspective of the other person, tell myself that it’s over now and reflect on how my experiences, the good and the bad, have made me into the person I am today. That’s great but…there are still those parts of me that are almost frozen because I have not yet released the anger and pain associated with those moments in my life.
The past acts as an anchor until you release and let go of negative beliefs and memories about it. I describe to people that in order to really heal, you need to revisit those moments and send love and acknowledgement to that part of yourself. Even when you think you have healed or you aren’t consumed by the feelings anymore, you never know when one of the memory tendrils will weave its way around you and tighten its grip, forcing you to look at the experience again and do some further work.
I’ve wanted to write a memoir for as long as I can remember but every time I write, I get stuck on how to describe the painful parts of my truth. It was revealed, in my meditation, that it is not yet time for me to share those parts with others. For now, all I need to do is write for me….for my eyes only. I have no idea how long it will take but I believe that once I do this and then let it go, in a special way like a burning, I will be free. That freedom might not be forever but I think it will have a significant impact and will allow me to get out of my way when it comes to my success.
During the meditation, an animal came to me as a guide. It was raccoon and the message he left me with was to not only remove my mask but to uncover my eyes. Raccoon represents many things but what resonated most to me was that it is a symbol of transformation. Raccoon’s mask is a mark of their secrecy and in a way, buoys their courage as they take risks to get what they want. The problem is that I may be using a mask to hide from people and problems, decisions and consequences or maybe I am hiding myself from truly being seen so that I can avoid judgement and once again potentially be viewed as not good enough. I also hide my eyes from seeing the amazing possibilities in store for me.
My conscious self can lift my spirits when I am down and remind myself how awesome I am, how far I have come and that my potential is limitless. The subconscious me…the one that is never really acknowledged still fears rejection. I think we all have this within us to an extent but some of us, have specific instances that we need to take a look at with a loving, omnipotent eye so that we can see outside of ourselves and begin the healing process.
I am ready to remove my mask, at least to myself. I will begin to write my story…the parts that I need to embrace and then I will burn them and release the pain so that I can then, one day, write the story of my journey to self-awareness that will be shared freely, without hesitation and with no worries as to who might read it or what their opinion may be.
Do you know that poem, that Samuel L Jackson reads? If you aren't familiar with it, you should check it out. It is exactly how I felt last night and I have to tell you what ended up happening early this morning, at the crack of dawn!
Lucy is still nursing and at times, it is exhausting especially when it seems like she is using me as a soother in the middle of the night. That's what it seemed like last night and around 5 am, I had enough!
I told her that there was no more milk and she lost her mind. She cried for at least a half hour but I refused to give in. My husband had woken up and didn't know what to do since usually I just nurse her when she's upset.
The screaming went on and all I wanted was for her to be quiet and go to sleep so that I could go to sleep too. She didn't want to come to me or her dad so I just lay there with my eyes closed trying to ignore her.
A voice came into my head and told me that I should send her some loving energy from my heart. I was like, I am too damn tired to do that. I could seriously see a small little light from my heart centre and then it fizzled out.
My inner voice told me to try again so I did. I took a deep breath, visualized that light in my heart, and imagined it growing bigger. It was golden and green with pink mixed in. I sent it out toward Lucy and instantly, she stopped crying, came to me and put her head on my chest. I couldn't believe it! I quietly told my husband what I had done and in that instant she started crying again and pulled away from me.
I focused again and she came right back, quietly lying her head on me. I told my husband that he should go downstairs and he was gone in a blink. I can't blame him. LOL.
In my mind, I told her that I needed to go to sleep and could she lie beside me. She did! No word of a lie! She moved herself off of me, lay on her back with her one arm still resting on me. I lay there contemplating my next move. In my head, I told her that I needed to get more comfortable so I was going to move a little. She didn't budge.
I slid down and got comfy on my pillow, her breathing had deepened which indicated to me that she was now sound asleep. WTF?!? I tried to go to sleep but I couldn't. I couldn't believe what had happened. Finally, thankfully, I dozed off and she slept until 8:20 this morning.
I asked my husband about it over a cup of coffee...we both needed it. I asked him if her had witnessed what I thought had happened and he agreed that it was exactly as I am telling you right now.
I don't know if it will work again but it is worth believing it can. I just hope it is not tonight. March break is over and I need a good nights sleep.
Did you read my post from yesterday? If you didn't, you should because this one will make a lot more sense!
This evening, my family and I were doing a promotional shoot for Bright Lights Windsor through an amazing company called Suede Productions. We strolled, we laughed and played the part of an extremely happy family enjoying the beautiful light display. It wasn't that hard since the set up is gorgeous, the night was reasonably chilly and we love each other.
Lucy and I were finishing up the shoot on the train and when we returned Kareem, my husband, was missing. I asked my older children where their dad was at and they told me he had gone to the bathroom.
Now, I know public washrooms are not that great but when he returned he looked positively ill. He told me that he had lost his wallet somewhere along the pathway during our hour and a half photo shoot. The baby had enough by this time so we went back to the car. He had already checked in with the auxiliary police so there was nothing left to do with a fussy baby in tow.
When we got to the car, I told Kareem and the kids to go back and take a look while I warmed the baby up in the car. They were gone for about 10 minutes and returned heavy hearted and empty handed.
We drove home and not a word was said. What could we say? When we got home, Kareem went off to double check and I told the kids that we should send out a prayer message to the person that had their dad's wallet.
My daughter said that was all she had been doing during the ride home. I told her that I had been doing the same thing. My son said that he had called on the archangel who helps you find things. Ummmm...who is that? He told me he didn't know that name but had called on this angel before. Whatever works!
I brought Lucy up to get her ready for bed and all the while I sent out a message. No longer a prayer but now a positive intention/affirmation..."He will get his wallet back".
Not even 10 minutes after we had gotten home, Kareem's phone rang. It was the lost and found at the park. His wallet had been turned in. Kareem left the house with his shoes in his hands. LOL!
When he got back, he was so thankful and relieved. Not only had the wallet been returned but so was the $160 USD he had inside.
I guess I'm not the only one who does what is right because it is right. Talk about a teachable moment for the kids right?!
Thank you to the person who found my husband's wallet and turned it in. Blessings to you!
I had been sitting in my office reading Wayne Dyer's, 'Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Life'. I had decided, the other day, to randomly choose a page to read. For those of you who don't know, this book is a guide to understanding the Tao Te Ching.
The verse I chose today was #38 and it was really interesting and really fitting for what I have been thinking about lately. In my words, it was all about being good without trying to be good. You just are because you are a piece of God and therefore it is in your nature to be good without any concept of bad. Does that make sense?
If you can not be good, you turn to being moral but that is based on standards of right and wrong which then leads to rituals or laws...creations of men/women about what is right and wrong as well as the consequences for not following the rules.
According to Wayne Dyer, when you are artificially good, you are letting others decide where you fit on a goodness scale. Goodness is not obtained by obeying laws, it is what is within your true nature.
Well, my true nature was about to be tested...
I was happily reading away when I had a thought that I should go to the bookstore at the mall. I told my husband and set off on my own. My daughter was in the bath so she couldn't come and my son just wanted me to bring him to Tim Horton's and then back home which, to me, was an inconvenience. So, off I went.
I looked around, got a couple of great books, a journal and card for a friend. I was standing in line with no one behind me. I turned my head at some point and looked down noticing a large bill by the Godiva chocolate display. My heart started to beat faster.
I went to pick it up and noticed another large bill nearby. I picked up both, no one having even seen what I had done.
I was stunned to say the least, happy to find coins on any given day. Anyway, there was a moment of hesitation. Do I keep this money? It was a lot and I had just spent an unexpected $200 on a vet bill today.
I got to the cashier and told her I had found a large sum of money. I told her that I was not going to turn it in because if anyone was going to keep it, it was going to be me but what I wanted to do was to leave my name and number in case the person who lost the money happened to call the store.
I have lost money before...a lot of money and I had to release it since no one turned it in. I told myself that the person who found it would have been beyond the moon with happiness and that I had done an unintentional good deed.
I wanted to be the person to do the right thing though. The right thing because it just seemed that the person the money belonged to should have it and maybe because I tend to live my life as though I might be on an episode of 'What Would You Do?"
I found this experience to be a very amazing example of me trusting my intuition which if you saw my post from yesterday, is what my year is all about. If you read this far, thank you!!
Here are some tips for being more mindful and positive in general.
1) When you find yourself particularly negative or complainy - get grounded* and go back to gratitude**
* place your feet firmly on the ground, take a deep breath and imagine roots growing from your feet into the ground. See the roots going deep and spreading wide. You are secure and are exactly where you are supposed to be right now. It's even better if you can get outside to do this and put your bare feet in the grass!
** I am grateful/thankful or appreciate ______________________ because ____________________. Be grateful for the good things in your life, the things that challenge you and that which you take for granted.
2) Take some time away from electronics. That's it!
3) Get out into nature. Go for a walk without distractions. Use your senses.
4) Meditation can be done in so many different ways. What relaxes you? Do it with intention.
5) You are #1! Make yourself happy first and foremost because your joy will have a ripple effect and positively affect those around you.
6) Everyone has an opinion and it is not up to you to try to change it.
7) Change is inevitable and will bring you to something better even though it may not look that way at first. When you resist, it just makes you stuck and more miserable....the change will still happen regardless,
8) Take responsibility for your own life. Blaming others gives them power and control over you.
9) Be kind to everyone and everything. "I am you and you are me!" Stop judging especially yourself! Everyone is exactly who and where they should be right now. If they aren't, be a positive person in their life as a role model. If they are too negative, know when to move on and send them love from a far.
10) Focus and surround yourself with positive people and information. Do not watch people who are hurt or are in pain if you are not willing to help.
11) Send out love and light...or a prayer as much as possible. Start with yourself! Send it to others when they come into your mind. Send this positive energy even to those that bug you...they need it the most.
12) It's ok to say no. Take a moment to think about why you are saying no. Is it due to fear, laziness or are you just not interested? If this experience will not bring anything positive into your life or help you grow then it's absolutely ok to decline.
There are so many other pieces of helpful advice so if you have any to add, please mention them in the comments!
I have faced so many challenges over the course of my life journey yet, for some reason, I still get into the negative mind space where I go all ego driven and start doubting myself,
I just posted a live video on Facebook (check it out below) and I can't begin to tell you how long in the making this has been! I kept putting it off because I thought I didn't look good enough, I didn't have anything to talk about and that I would no doubt just look and sound like an idiot. Oh my goodness...would you let anyone talk to you like that?? Probably not but have you ever let thoughts like that about yourself enter your mind and keep you from doing something?
I have been a worrier, an over thinker and an anal retentive planner for most of my life but I have learned that there is very little we can control (almost nothing in fact) and the best thing to do is to let go a little.
I just had a conversation with my good friend Debbie A. Anderson ( www.vibrational-energy.com ) about how we are both people who can get a little worked up sometimes while our partners both tend to be more relaxed about things. We could both agree though, that at times in life, it is great to be us because we get sh&^ done since we're the ones that focus on the details.
I digress and yet, at the same time, this side note fits perfectly into what I am talking about. I have worried that I am too much, that who I am is not what people might like and therefore, I spent a great deal of time and energy trying to be "better". It turns out that the more you are, exactly you, the better your life experiences.
So, today, I did my first live video. I faced the fear and did it anyway! Thanks to another good friend, Tammy ( www.facebook.com/hairbytammymaxinesabra ) who shared this with me the last time we connected, I decided to finally just do it! The video is just the beginning.
I need to remind myself, every day if necessary, that who I am and what I have to offer is awesome. I do what I do with integrity ( thanks Janna www.painfreedommethod.com ) so I have nothing to worry about., What I bring to the world might not be for everyone but that's ok because the more I am my true self, the more people, who would benefit from what I have to offer, will come into my life.
My final word today is to be exactly who you are, trust your instinct because it will lead you to where you are meant to be. Face the fear and do it anyway....what is the worst that could happen?
It took me a day but the signs and symbols I received yesterday are finally making sense and I felt the need to share the story and encourage you to pay attention to the synchronicities in your life.
We needed a new couch. Ours is 12 years old and is not only looking raggedy but it's also uncomfortable. A couple of months ago, after something spilled on one of the cushions, my husband and I decided to get a new one. I went online and found one at IKEA that looked perfect so we decided to order it.
Before I pressed the button to confirm the purchase, I decided to do a 'yes/no' tarot spread. I don't remember what I pulled but the cards suggested I not purchase the couch. I did it anyway. I remember being excited but there was a noticeable niggle in the pit of my stomach that was telling me I had made a mistake.
The day before the couch was due to be delivered, I received an email from IKEA telling me to call because there was an issue with the order. Ah ha!!! I called and the lovely person on the other end told me that unfortunately, they couldn't deliver it on Tuesday since Monday was Family Day. Would Wednesday be ok for delivery? That's it? Ummmmm...yeah ok,,,,
After agreeing to the delayed delivery, my gut pushed me to ask if I could cancel the order completely. I thought that maybe we better head out to the IKEA location in Canton to check the sofa out before making the purchase...just in case. She canceled the order for me and agreed that it was probably for the best. Whew!
When we saw the couch that weekend, it was nice but it wasn't as nice as we had thought it would be so were we both relieved that I had canceled the order. Fast forward to yesterday!
I recently came in to some money....that is an interesting story in itself but for another time.
On our way, I noticed 11:11 on the clock and I told my husband how I had been keeping track of numbers that stood out to me over the course of the month. I have just been jotting down the date and the number on my phone. I took it out to show him and commented that I was surprised at how many times I had noticed 11:11.
After a bit, both my husband I thought we saw a butterfly go past the window. (it probably wasn't since I have since learned that butterflies can't fly if their body temperature is below 86 degrees) Anyhow, we continued to the store hoping we'd find something we both liked.
The very first couch we saw caught our attention. A sales person came over to do her thing and she told us the price the matching love seat. I wasn't really paying attention. My husband on the other hand, asked her for clarification to make sure that it was, in fact, $813. At that moment, I noticed the price of the coffee table listed at $813 so I thought he must has misunderstood. The sales person corrected me and confirmed that the couch was also $813. Hmmmmm...I laughed and mentioned that I should 813 to my list.
Linda, the sales lady was great at what she does and helped us to find a couch that fit our needs and budget perfectly. Off we went, excited and satisfied with our purchase.
This morning, I decided to look up the meaning behind 813. I was amazed that the first thing I noticed was that 813 is a sign of spontaneity, inspiration and the drive to do something new. Wow! At the top of the page there were some images of 813 and the first thing I noticed was that it happened to look like a butterfly which reminded me that I should look up the meaning of butterfly while I was at it.
Butterflies represent personal transformation and change but if the message fits....
I have been on maternity leave for almost 10 months and money is tight. Receiving this unexpected windfall was in divine timing and I think we made the best decision to purchase this piece of furniture for our home.
There are so many signs and messages that I received regarding this purchase, I am in awe and so grateful that I am able to see and trust these messages from the universe. The more you believe, in my opinion, the more you notice. What is the universe sending you as guidance??
Lucy has a cold. It’s one of those mucous filled, hacking cough kinds. It didn’t seem to bother her too much during the day yesterday but last night…she was really struggling. The coughing kept her from getting comfortable and while she coughed and flopped around, I tried to figure out what I could do to make her feel better.
She’s only 8 months old so there aren’t really any medications she can take. I had put a little Vick’s Vaporub on her chest and then read that it can actually cause mucous formation so I wiped it off and decided that it was just going to be a very long night and I would have to do whatever I could to make her as comfortable as possible.
In the back of my mind I recalled reading about how putting a slice of potato against your feet while you slept would help with cold symptoms. I figured it was worth a try. I cut a couple of thin slices and put the damp, cold potato pieces against her little baby feet, much to her irritation, and covered them up with some socks.
The hacking continued for a bit and then it stopped and she slept…soundly for a good three hours or so. Around 1 am, the hacking started up again, along with crying. I checked the potato slices and one was quite black, the other one only slightly darkened. I took them both out figuring that they had done their job.
The mall parking lot was packed when we pulled in. I knew it would be busy, what with Christmas right around the corner but my phone had died and I needed a new one. It was busy but not Black Friday busy so I was actually enjoying the walk with my daughter to the cell phone store. It’s funny how you can be around so many different people and not even take notice of what they are doing. Most times we don’t even care. Each of us goes about our business and then carries on with our day. I had the same intention, however I soon found myself engaged in a stranger’s meltdown outside the store.
I was on the phone with my husband trying to get his advice when I overheard a woman talking to her partner. They sat on a bench and had three small children with them; the oldest, a girl about 6 years of age. The woman was questioning the man about whether or not he actually wanted to be her boyfriend. I couldn’t hear his response and quite possibly he said nothing at all because in the next moment she got very angry. She told him that he needed to make a decision. She got up then, as did he, and she continued on with her tirade, more heated now than before.
I couldn’t focus on my husband who was still on the phone. I saw the kids and this woman who was losing her sh$# and a man who may have very well wanted to be sucked into the earth. I wasn’t embarrassed for her but my heart ached for her children, especially the little girl. I don’t even recall the middle child, he might have been around 4. There was a baby in the stroller and he was maybe a year old. That little girl though…I felt that she had seen and heard this all before.
How many times had her mom yelled at her because she was the oldest child and was expected to do more than others her age? How many times had her mom told her about her frustrations and worries more like a friend than a child? How many times had she felt that maybe her mom’s life would be better, maybe happier if she did more and got in trouble less? How often did she cringe, or cry, or feel alone?
This woman was crying now. The man had already started walking ahead and I think one of the children dropped something. She called out to him to stop. “I need you”, she pleaded. “I can’t do this by myself.” Everyone around her was looking. If they hadn’t been already, they were now. I had already hung up on my husband telling him I would call back. The woman stood there, crying angry tears, her daughter standing by her side.
I looked in my wallet. What could I give her? I had no money but I had a gift card. It had been a gift to me and I had only used $20 on it. It was worth $100 and it was for a children’s clothing store. There wasn’t a lot of thought behind the actions that followed. It was all heart driven which is me a lot of the time.
I went up to her and in that instant everyone else seemed to disappear. I said hi and asked her if I could talk to her for a moment. I reached out to touch her arm. “Don’t touch me!”
Calmly, I asked her again if I could speak to her and without waiting for an answer I continued. “I have something I want to give you.”
“I don’t want anything from you.”
I explained what it was and she softened. “Why would you want to give that to me?”
I told her that I saw her pain and that I could relate. Sometimes I feel so alone and overwhelmed. I give so much to others but I need to be nurtured in return. I cook and clean and take care of everyone else…but I don’t really take care of me. “Can I give you a hug?” She nodded her head yes. I hugged her and I said that it needed to be a real hug, as though we knew each other. I told her that I had learned that “I am you and you are me”.
She might not have known what I meant and it didn’t really matter. She was a woman just like me. We probably have very little in common yet I could see myself in her. I could feel her pain and that of her daughter and all I knew to do in that moment was to not let her cry alone in the mall.
She hugged me and when we were done, I handed her the gift card. I told her that it was a big deal for me because I am on maternity leave right now. She once again told me not to give it to her and I told her that she was worth it. She hugged me again with fresh tears in her eyes and I told her that I loved her. I stroked her hair and told her again, “I love you.” She told me she loved me back.
Her baby fussed then and I looked him in the eyes, patted his chubby leg and told him that it would be ok. Would it? Here was his mom both pushing away and clinging on to a man that couldn’t or wouldn’t see what she needed. His mom, in a public place, was yelling and crying much like he might if he felt his needs weren’t being met.
When I turned away from her, the man started to speak. He tried to tell me what the real “issue” was. I interrupted him and told him that I hoped he had a good day. I had already given away more energy than I had to spare.
They went on and I returned to my own child who was watching from the sidelines. I just wanted to get out the mall. I wanted to cry. Before we even started walking away, the woman’s angry and desperate voice rang out over the din of the crowd. It was almost as though nothing had changed. “It’s like you don’t even want to be with me…”
I took a deep breath and we continued on our way. The other people stopped looking and things began to go back to normal….back to being focused on ourselves and whatever it was that we came to the mall to do.
I felt heavy for a while and the desire to cry lingered. I told myself that I did the right thing. What it really was, was how much I could feel her pain. My hope is that when she is in a happier state she uses that gift card and remembers the stranger that came to her when she felt down and out. I just want her to know that she is not alone. Something told me to go to her. I believe it was her guardian angel who tapped me on the shoulder and I went. I have been that person and someone has been there for me. It’s something we need to pass on.
I wrote this poem a couple of years ago...long before Phoenix Rising existed. The fact that I spoke about rebirth in this poem says a lot. This spring brings with it a whole new level of rebirth and a new baby is on the way. It is not only the coming of a child but also some sort of awakening for me as well. Enjoy this wonderful first day of spring. May you find your own rebirth in the coming days and months. <3
This long winter has me aching for spring but right now
The sun is shining through the window of my door and
I notice my dog curled up basking in its rays while he sleeps.
My children are playing in the yard and they are throwing
Snowballs and splashing in slushy puddles all at the same time.
As I watch them, a robin lands on a bare tree branch and I
Think to myself that soon there will be buds and
Flowers bursting forth from the ground that is
Right now still frozen deep where the bulbs rest and
Wait for the right time to begin the journey to the surface.
As I'm thinking about the rebirth that comes with spring
I feel the sun on my cheek and it's like a promise,
A soft whisper of warmer days to come.
When I experience something that makes me think, allows me to learn or provides an opportunity for growth, I'd like to share it with you.
Windsor ON, N9E 3E7