Motherless Mothering

Three years ago today I became an ‘official’ Motherless Mother.  I thought I should share the words I wrote two years ago about Mother's Day. 

 


 

 Her last Mother's Day alive,  I had purchased a card for my mom, it was sarcastic and had a picture of a blue haired, heavily pierced girl and said: “Hey Mom, It could be worse, right?”  

I’m infamously bad about buying cards and never actually sending them, so instead, we texted back and forth a little bit. I wished her a happy mother’s day and an I love you. Which was way more than she had gotten from me for many many years. I really couldn’t imagine that only two months later my mom would die.

I remember discovering the card I bought a few weeks after she passed and I realized she would not ever get another Mother’s Day card.  In many ways, I missed my chance to fulfill that part of her that just wanted to be acknowledged for her role as a mother. But in my gut, I wonder if I didn’t send it because it felt so fake to me.

My mom was a beautiful woman; with a vortex of darkness within her that nothing could fix or fill. My mom had more diagnoses’ than I can list, but I think the first few will lay a bit of a foundation for understanding as to what level of dysfunction I was raised. 

A few of those diagnoses I became familiar with included Borderline Personality Disorder, Major Depression, Bipolar, Munchausen's, Anorexia, Bulimia and not to mention Prescription drug and alcohol abuse.

Don't be mistaken, I do have lovely memories of her......if you take them out of context and out of the whole story... 

Borderline Personality Disorder gave my mom a mask that she wore for many years. To the outside world, she was a shining light. She was beautiful, talented, outgoing, and well-liked. She loved to sing and act. She was heavily involved in the Christian Church and maintained active roles as a member.  

 But secretly she was manipulative, angry, spiteful, immature and reckless. She had experienced arrested development and emotionally hadn’t matured much past maybe 13.  I have a mini novel of stories that are textbook examples of this behavior. 

 To the outside world she could look like mother of the year, but in reality, she was stealing money to buy booze and taking us to school while drinking and driving. She bankrupted our family three times, she was hospitalized constantly for everything under the sun. My mom spent much of my life in the hospital for different reasons. 

She needed attention from everyone, all the time. She didn’t want just attention, she wanted sympathy, empathy… she wanted people to feel sorry for her and for the pain she felt inside.

 My mom grew up with dysfunctional parents. Her brother was put into a group home at a young age after suffering irreversible brain damage as a child. Her parents were in a loveless marriage and neglected her. She was molested as a child by a neighbor and was teased relentlessly through school for being overweight. Heavy shit for anyone to have experienced. She never was able to move on from being a victim of these events, she never became a survivor. 

 Those things were too much for her. Her eating disorders were fully developed and full-fledged by the time she was a teenager. By the time my parents met, my mom had learned to put the mask on. She moved two states away to go to college. Met my dad, they fell in love and then one day she up and left him. She moved back home to her parents. My dad went after her and brought her back and they got married. They were 19 and 21 years old.

 Two months into marriage my mom was institutionalized for the first time.  Being from a heavily religious upbringing, it should be noted that the church came to my dad after she was institutionalized and offered an annulment.

My father believed until the day she died that it was his job and duty to stay with her and he committed to her. My sister was born after they had been married for two years. I came two years later, my brother four years after that.

My mom was probably hospitalized at least 2-3 months a year from the time I can remember.  Surgeries, infections, recovery, more surgery, more infection, more recovery. She was noncompliant and would disobey doctors orders, but then put on the face of “ woe is me and why does this keep happening?!” when she’d get more. Again this was because her motivator was attention in the form of sympathy. 

I could list a million stories of how that MASK was so goddamn good at convincing everyone she was fine and just to ignore the vortex of darkness underneath. She was a master of this mask. But it's unnecessary, just something you have to understand about me. My only tool against that mask was intuition.  

By the age of eight, I saw the mask.  I began to try and pry it off, to attempt to heal the wounds that were underneath. I began to mother her. It sounds ridiculous now to think of an eight-year-old parenting, but that’s exactly what I did. I spent the majority of my childhood and teenage years carrying her burdens, in a lot of ways carrying the weight of the mask she refused to let go of.

 When I was 13 she had a huge meltdown. Her parents divorced and her father was remarrying. All of her past issues of neglect were quickly brought to the surface as soon as she stepped off the plane to attend his wedding. Since she had gone alone, none of us knew the full extent of her behavior until after the fact, but she essentially got herself so wasted she never even made it to the wedding. Instead, she got put on a plane back home and after my father confronted her about her behavior, she freaked out. She asked my dad for a divorce, moved out and I’m not going to lie, it was like a cloud was lifted off my family.  I remember being so happy. I wanted her gone. I wanted the pain she caused my family gone. I wanted my dad to be happy. I wanted to have a chance at a normal life.

 

But in true my mom’s true nature, she pulled that mask back down. She fooled everyone again, but I was never the same. She went to treatment for her eating disorders, and six months later she was back. For a long time I wanted nothing to do with her, but eventually, she had even me mostly convinced she’d finally been healed and was on the path to recovery.

 For three years I experienced what it was like to have a mom. She was active, healthy, out of the hospital, held a stable job, was supportive and loving. We got really close.

But around the time I turned 16 I started to notice her losing weight, eventually to the point where you could see her bones through her skin. The eating disorders were back.

I started to put a wall between her and I. Eventually it lead into a breaking point where we got into a fight. I called her out for the first time in my life.  

Her: “What happened to us? We used to be so close!”

Me: “You happened, look at you, look at what you are doing to yourself.”

Her: “SORRY I FUCKING RUINED YOUR LIFE”  

She slammed the door and ran out. My dad looked at me. I had hoped desperately for a “thank you” or an acknowledgment that I wasn’t the only one who’d noticed she had begun to spiral out of control again. 

Instead, he looked at me and said sarcastically, “Good Job”.

 I realized in that moment I was alone in this. I was the only one who saw the elephant in the room and noticed the amount of shit piling up. I was the only one who was like “HEY THERE IS AN ELEPHANT SHITTING IN THE GODDAMN LIVING ROOM!”

 And that was it. Until the day she died, I was the only one who couldn’t live with the elephant in the room.

I got out.

 I have dealt with many years of feeling like the black sheep in my family. For a long time, I thought it was my tattoos and more wild, free,  artistic nature. Instead, I think the separation was that I left, and they stayed.  My sister even told me that part of our rift was that she was jealous that I had gotten out. I began really seeking the healing my trauma around the age of 20. It was 7 years later before she passed and my family was able to start theirs. 

For me,  getting out was not a choice.  Let's be clear about that. 

My own depression, anxiety, and issues began to surface the longer I tried to save my mom. When I realized she couldn’t be helped, living under the weight of her mask started to make me crazy. I started to make poor life choices because I was desperate to break free.  I moved out and went through a lot of pain and struggle before finally seeking treatment in my early 20s for my own depression, anxiety, and trauma from my experiences.  

I decided that I wanted to be a survivor. I didn't want to live my life defined by the trauma I had experienced. I listened to my intuition and sought guidance. 

I would not be where I am today without the help of the many counselors, therapists, doctors, nurses and friends who have helped me throughout the years. They have filled in the role of mother, so I could understand how to be one for myself and for my son. 

 

Calling in the Air

My time in the city has been wonderful. Indianapolis, Philadelphia, St Louis, and now Detroit. As a girl who remember so much of her childhood out in the woods, the city was a welcome change of pace. Detroit is really unlike any city I’ve ever lived in. It has it’s own vibe. It’s been the most “home” I’ve ever felt in a big city. I’ve enjoyed the major conveniences and some of the minor ones as well. I love the cultures, variety of restaurants, and mostly the activities. But since I quit drinking, I noticed that much of this city lifestyle includes booze. I notice that I spend a lot of time downtown, but never leave feeling relaxed or refreshed.

 Now, I can no longer walk through Detroit without being bombarded by the dozen pedal pubs and their patrons (which for some reason makes my blood boil in such  a way that I have a visceral reaction).  Every corner seems to be celebrating a new bar, restaurant,  cocktails, wine and liquor stores. Tigers games leave me surrounded with $12 craft beers and the smell of stale alcohol in the air. I find myself no longer watching the game, but staring at the skyline, the river, the moon.  

 Just as the fans stumble out of the stadium I realize how desperately I’m stumbling too. How much I miss grass beneath my feet, trees above my head, and the silence and peace that coincide with country life.

 I could never imagine I’d be as detached from the outdoors as I am now. Even though I know I was worse a few years ago when I was drinking. In those days, I’d only leave the house for more drinking related activities, but outdoors.

Now I ride my bike, am learning to skateboard, enjoy walks, hiking in parks, and just breathing in the air when I’m not in the heart of the city.

 Yesterday was July 4th and I found myself desperately longing to get away from the people, the fireworks, the hustle. We drove up to one of our favorite parks and realized we weren’t alone in our desire to be outside on such a perfect Michigan day. However, we quickly saw how terrible traffic was. The first beach was so full that the park police wouldn’t allow people to enter the lot. The second beach was filling almost equally as fast. As we drove around looking for a less crowded spot, my blood started to churn a bit. My son was whining in the back and starting to cry because we weren’t finding a park fast enough. He was more upset when I explained that we were going to hike first before going to a park.  I started to get angry, disappointed and restless. I finally insisted that we go hike, away from the crowds, or we go home.

 I needed peace.

 We calmed my son, found a somewhat quiet place to park and embarked down the trail.

Even though the beach was literally overflowing with people, the woods were nearly silent. We ran into maybe a half dozen people walking the trails. We greeted each other with smiles and nods, and we quietly continued down our path.

For about an hour and a half, we walked. We saw deer and chipmunk, we listened to birds, we swatted away mosquitos. It was peaceful, but my heart was still restless. I was thinking about my hikes in Colorado, California, and Utah last year.

My brain was saying, “Fuck, this isn’t where you want to be. You want to be back there. You know you need the mountains, you know you need this stillness." I again kept feeling angry.

I finally resolved that I was not going to find peace in the woods that day. I was going to leave frustrated, angry and touched out. Of course, that compounded with the restless feeling I already was experiencing.

 I walked. I gritted my teeth.

 An example of my inner thought process while hiking at that point:

“Fuck, that’s a blister.

Fucking rock in my shoe.

This kid won’t stop yelling, talking and I’m going to lose my damn mind.

OMG if he walks in front of me and stops again I’m just going to run him over.

I really hope we don’t get any tick bites.

I hope I put enough bug spray on.

I hope my son doesn’t accidentally ingest the bug spray I bought.

How long was this hike supposed to be?

I wonder if I'll burn off enough calories to make up for that giant breakfast I ate.

That’s about as far from peace as I can be.  

At one point I even snapped from the relentless chatter from my son, “PLEASE BE QUIET!” I barked.  (Add guilt to the list of things I felt.)  Soon after though, he found his quiet and we all walked peacefully. I began to breathe.

 We made our way back to the car. Maybe a mile from the car, my son and husband were about 20 feet ahead of me. We had finally been walking in mostly silence for about five minutes when all the sudden a scent caught me like a spider catches a fly in its web.

I stopped in my tracks. I closed my eyes and breathed in the scent. My body flooded with oxytocin, I was covered head to toe in goosebumps.  

Where was the scent from? Why hadn’t I smelled it the previous miles we had traveled? Why does it smell so familiar?

 I didn’t give a fuck.

If I’ve learned one thing, if you find something that causes that much of a positive visceral reaction without any drugs or alcohol, you lean into it a little bit more.

 Frozen in my tracks, this beam of light through the trees captured me like it was the mothership bringing me home.

 The scent.... I closed my eyes and breathed in this smell. The smell of light hitting treetops, the warm smell of the trees and plants, the animals, the wildflowers, the earth.  I let the waves of oxytocin roll over me. I let the goosebumps roll in like the tide.

 In just a few breaths, I found peace. I reconnected to the stillness.

 I fueled my soul for hopefully long enough to get through until the next week or the next hike at the very least.

Sober Dating

Quitting drinking was one of the hardest things I have ever done in my life.  One of the most terrifying things, was hoping that as sober individuals my husband and I could still connect.

My husband and I’s entire relationship was built on the party. From our first weekend together to our last drinking hurrah. We loved to be the life of the party. We loved to have people over for drinks, go out for drinks, go to concert and drink…

In July of 2015, we made the decision to take 30 days away from alcohol. Here we are, almost two years later and we still have yet to drink again. We made the choice to continue our 30-day challenge when we realized how much we felt better off without alcohol physically, emotionally, financially. We had significantly better energy, found that we had to work through our emotions, felt less apathetic, lost weight. I took up aerial silks to give my body something new and exciting to focus on. There is no way I would be the aerialist I am today without being sober. There is no way my relationship would be as strong as it is if we hadn’t stopped.

Connecting with others is really hard. Alcohol was always social lubrication. It made it easier to meet people and connect. But those connections were usually alcohol induced bonds. I used to have a phone full of numbers of people I’d meet while drinking, people I’d share my soul and too much about my life with, people I’d never speak to again.

Where we live the majority of the social scenes involve alcohol. I think because of the long, cold winters it becomes a natural way for people to deal with the cabin fever. It’s liquid apathy. Restaurants, concerts, ball games, socializing and almost every other circumstance seemed to revolve around alcohol. I used to be caught in those traps as well.

How the hell was I supposed to find things to do with my significant other now that our go to was gone?

Dating my husband as sober individuals showed us that our love was so much deeper than our connection to have fun and party. We now had much more intimate conversations, new experiences, and we remember our time together vividly. We try more exciting things now than we did while we drank. We travel more. Live more. Love more. Our friendships are deeper and stronger. Activity-wise we no longer are a slave to being somewhere that serves alcohol. The activities we choose now are usually much healthier too.  Things like walking more, being outdoors, and other more exciting adventures.  I wanted to share some of the experiences we have had and used in our two years sober. Some of these we have crossed off our list, others still have yet to enjoy. I am thankful for the privilege to have shared these experiences together.  I hope they inspire you to spend time together with the people you love, without alcohol.

Date Night, Creative Arts Studio in Royal Oak Michigan

Sober Date Activity Ideas!

 

Creative Ideas

  • Pottery Painting

  • Painting Classes:

    • Most Painting with a Twist type classes don’t require alcohol. Pack yourself a fun Mocktail or sparkling water and enjoy the class!

  • Other Art Classes

    • Glass fusing

    • DIY projects

    • Pallet Board painting

Outdoors: Don’t forget to pack a picnic!

  • Hikes:

    • Our favorite go to!  Cheap, Time Consuming, Accessible. You can determine how much time you have, where you want to go, how far or difficult.

  • Bike, Skate:

    • At 29 we picked up skateboarding! You are never too old to learn something new. Push yourself to try something new or tough.  No one expects you to go pro, there is no pressure so just have fun!

  • Kayak, Canoe

  • Paddle Board/ Paddle Boat

  • Running:

    • My husband and I attempted to run as bonding time, but after realizing we prefer different paces, we decided this wasn’t a date activity for us.  

 

Physical Activities

  • Dance Lessons

  • Yoga

  • Duo Acro

  • Circus Arts

    • Aerial Silks, Trapeze, Lyra, Pole. Whatever you enjoy doing together. Try a variety of classes and see if it’s something you enjoy.

  • Ice Skating

Other Ideas

  • Zoo

  • Aquarium

  • Art Museum

  • Other Museums

  • Amusement Park

  • Concerts

Seasonal

  • Fruit and Vegetable Picking

  • Beach Lounging in the summer

  • Sledding/ Skiing/Snowboarding

Restaurants

  • Avoid Restaurants that are bar focused. We prefer smaller, authentic places. Most of these places don’t have a liquor license and we can enjoy a meal without even seeing a bar.

Meditation for the Heartspace

Last year I had the privilege of recording this meditation with my friend and artist, Bowmanism. It was written and recorded with the intention to help you look into your heart and see what may need revisited, or released. 

When you schedule a Reiki session, it includes a Guided Meditation that is developed in the moment to help you to connect with the area of your life where you need clarity or assistance. 

Email Laurel@GuidedPassage.com to set up your session. 

 

 

30-60-90

30-60-90 Challenge

On July 18th, 2015 I set out to attend one of my favorite annual events, Pig and Whiskey Festival. Barbecue, Beer and Whiskey and fantastic music make this event a lot of fun. This particular year I had been eagerly anticipating seeing one of my favorite bands of nearly a decade.

 The day of the festival I developed a sinus infection. I was not going to let it keep me from a good time. Usually, I’m the last person to reach for anything over the counter. However, I knew that natural remedies took time to provide me relief. I was impatient.  I purchased a Day/Night multipack and started consuming as directed. I felt enough relief that I knew I’d make it to see my band.  

Before we set out for the festival I looked at both of my partners and said,

“Please don’t let me drink tonight. Don’t buy me drinks tonight. I am on cold medication and it alone really messes me up.”  

 Within minutes of arriving at the festival, I had a beer in my hands.

 That night became a hazy blur. All in all, I consumed 4-5 beers that were in the 7-9% range. I was heavily intoxicated. Sadly that amount of beers was “nothing” for me at the time.  I still continued to take my cold medication. Eventually, the combo caused me to black out and have very few memories of that night after seeing the band.  

 

When my husband and I awoke the next morning, he turned over to me and suggested we take a break from drinking. I couldn’t have agreed more.

 This wasn’t my first blackout. This wasn’t my first rodeo. It was my second or third in just weeks. 

 

I’ve been struggling with alcohol since it was first seriously introduced into my life around the age of 18.  I struggle with moderation and in a weird way, I’m like this with all liquids. I tend to quickly power down tea, coffee, or juice. Alcohol was no different.

 

Combine my ability to drink mass amounts of liquid with an addictive personality, and you can see that alcohol was an easy drug for me to reach to. It’s everywhere. The grocery store, pharmacy, the zoo, airplanes, limos, party buses,  every restaurant, special event and even the home.   It is normal to consume alcohol daily, weekly, monthly, yearly.  It’s encouraged to be consumed. It’s glorified.  

 

As a society, many of us know and are well aware of addictions. We are almost all addicted. We are addicted to drinking alcohol, coffee, sugar, cigarettes, sex, and even social media.  We are addicted to doing things under the influence. No longer is going to a concert, special dinner, or event be enough. Instead, we MUST drink to fully enjoy it.

So here my husband and I laid in bed, talking about why we needed to stop drinking and formulating a plan. We agreed upon a 30-day break from drinking alcohol.

No big deal? As it turns out, it was a really freaking big deal.

 Three days into the challenge I noticed physical withdrawal symptoms. Headaches, irritability, cold sweats, and muscle pain. Those 2-3 beers a day had invaded my system more than I’d given them credit for. I knew at this point, 30 days wouldn’t be long enough and added 10 more days to my challenge. I felt like maybe 40 days would give me an opportunity to break the cycle of addiction that existed.

 The temptation over the first 10 days was the absolute worse for me.  I was constantly surrounded by alcohol and it started to make me question my choices by feeling so alienated.

 In the same breath,  out of that feeling, it eventually became a mission to experience the things that had once been a reason or excuse to drink, without that influence. I have attended concerts, parties, special events, fancy dinners, a Major League baseball game, even the Renaissance festival. All would have been accompanied with alcohol, and many many many many people who did chose to drink in those situations.

 As I write this today, I’m 81 days sober. (Upon actually posting this, I’m almost TWO YEARS alcohol free!!)  

My “30 Day Challenge” made me realize I was indeed an alcoholic. My life was ruled by alcohol. Every day I was waking up at least mildly hungover. For years. By 4pm I’d be staring at the clock, anticipating my beer. I’d drink until I felt satisfactorily relaxed.

It was liquid apathy.

My home was a mess. My life lacked so much momentum and motivation. I had no energy.

The first shift I noticed after I stopped drinking was how much energy I had. I required less sleep. I felt more energized. I didn’t feel sluggish and groggy. I had that momentum to do what liquid apathy had taken away.  My thought processes became clearer. Even my gifts started to shift and change.

 I started to examine how alcohol had affected me throughout the years. Sadly, almost every major poor choice I’d made had been under the influence of alcohol. I lacked judgment and discernment. I hurt so many people I loved because I frankly didn’t care.  I was drunk, feeling drunk and not concerned with how my actions would affect my life and the lives of others. Apathy.

 I realized how many times I’d gotten behind the wheel of a car too intoxicated and not realizing it until the next day. The risks I took. The lives I hurt. How many people who shared heartfelt connections with me, I had put the wall of apathy between us. Texts and calls never returned because I was ashamed of my behavior.

 Something profound happened the longer I have spent without alcohol. I see just how much of a grip this drug has on our society. I sometimes become sad and angry.  I can’t tell you how many people...good hearted, loving folks….  who have told me, “good for you! I should try something like that!” and within MINUTES have a drink in their hand.  Consumption is mindless. Abstaining takes effort. Living takes effort.  

Each week that goes by brings a new layer to this journey. Not every day is easy. Not every day is hard either. Some days I 100% believe that I’m done with alcohol forever. Other days I dream about having a drink. Those days I repeat the mantra and make the decision, "I will not drink today." I take this journey one day at a time. Ultimately, I can’t see myself going back to this drug. I don’t want to go back to it.  I don’t want to support something that actively destroys lives and yet is totally encouraged and normal.  

So each day I make the choice, “I will not drink today.” I rinse and repeat.

 Rinse. Repeat.

 I struggle with the people I love drinking. I struggle with the fact that so few people care about how this drug changes lives and how the multibillion-dollar industry has taken over our society. Some days it feels like no one cares. No one wants to care. Some days I feel alone. 

 For the few of us “Sober Warriors”. Please don’t give up.

Please keep trying. Keep reaching out. Keep seeking to heal.

Please know you aren’t alone. It may feel like it, but I stand with you.

 We are not perfect, and that too is perfect.

 If you struggle with alcohol or addiction, consider joining me in a 30, 60, or 90 day +  challenge. Prove to yourself that you can break free from your cycle of addiction. During this time you’ll see and feel some tremendous changes in your life. You may even ditch it all together! 

 


This post was originally written in late summer of 2015.

I'll share more over the coming weeks on how quitting drinking financially impacted my family. It's crazy ya'll. You don't have to drink you living away! 

In the beginning...

I'll preface this post with the fact that I wrote it two years ago. Most of the content was written in some sort of intensely connected flow. Recently I felt called to share my story again.

As I start from the beginning in a new chapter of my life, I was brought back to the content I wrote during that time of intense focus and clarity. It's my hope in sharing it, my story, that I'll be inspired to continue to document this wild journey.  It's my hope that maybe it may inspire someone, comfort someone, or help someone boldly take action in some area of their life where they need healing. 


Whenever I tell my story I have a hard time figuring out where to start.

Do I tell people my name, age, location, occupation?

Do I share my soul?  

My story is long. Sometimes I wonder how at 27 years old (now 29 at the time of publishing this) I came to a place where I realized my story was its own novel.  It consists of many chapters and while most are fairly short, many still resonate and hold guidance in how I live my life today.  

 

As I sit down to start this blog, this journey, this new passage; I find myself feeling much like I’ve spent my life in a raft heading down river. I have fought the rapids, fallen trees, and sand banks. I have been thrown out of my raft and been sucked under, fought and clung to keep my head above water. I have come up for breath to find myself directly under the falls.

 There are moments of peace that come periodically as am rushed downstream in the whirlwind adventure that has been my life.  The peace of surrender. The raft is gone, I’m nearing the falls and I know the only way to survive is to surrender. Will it hurt? Will there be rocks at the bottom? Will the falls be Niagra? Or will I come to the edge and find my footing but choose to boldly dive off? Are these falls followed by more falls or still waters? Will I even make it through the first falls?

 The river is our spirit, it is taking us on our journey. I like so many other spirit seekers, have had so many questions and fears and doubts on my journey. I have had so much adventure.

 

The river that sustains me has had many periods of flooding as well as a few of drought. Both have changed the terrain. The landscape adjusts; trees are knocked down, flowers are watered, reeds grow to provide protection to nature’s fragile creatures during vulnerable life stages.  The animals adapt as the river changes. Some areas are lost and others are given new life. Our beautiful natural cycle. The seasons give birth to changes, the river is constantly flowing and shifting. The seasons force the inhabitants of the river to change. A painted turtle buries itself in the mud for the winter to reemerge in the spring.

This blog is about my journey of losing faith and finding spirit. My soul hopes that in sharing my story and experiences I may help assist others on their path of spiritual or self-discovery.  I get it, this sounds unbelievably Woo-Woo. I've learned to love and accept that word. It helps me keep my ego and imagination in check. But life has moments of awe, it has moments of Woo-Woo. It has moments where you can not escape the power and wonder that exists around you.  

 Let me provide you an example.

In this example imagine that the river is the source of life.  It is a representation of our spirit. Water keeps us hydrated, the stream provides fish for our food, the water nourishes the land to grow plants we need to breathe and survive.  We can not live far from the river. It can guide you on your passage downstream or sometimes we fight with all our might to go back upstream but the current is too strong.

We simply can not go back the way we came.  

 We read and speak thousands of words every day. Sometimes I wonder if we are really understanding what we are saying and using the word as it was intended to be used. Often times in discussion of spirituality or religion we get caught up in semantics.  I frequently hear things like “I’m spiritual but not religious.”

For a long time, I personally struggled with how atheists could find purpose, meaning or happiness without some sort of faith.  It has only been as of recently that I have realized that having faith and having spirit are two totally different things, by even the core definition of the words.

 Spirit is not a religious figure, it is a state of existence.

When I speak of connection to spirit- I speak of the deep connection to my life force, my driving energy, my purpose, that which completes and fulfills me and is necessary for my survival.  So when the first period came where my connection was weakened or disconnected, everything in my world felt out of place. Suddenly it doesn’t matter how well built your boat is if there is no water to go downstream.  

When disconnected from spirit I constantly find myself asking:

Who am I?

What is my purpose?

What makes me happy?

How can I be happy?

How can I be fulfilled?

 

I’ve sought different ways to answer these questions. Different religions, relationships, hobbies, and even drugs. Ultimately, I am beginning to understand that my purpose is to follow the river.  

Sharing my choices, observations and discoveries are what I believe I am here to do. I am here to take everything I have learned and share it with anyone who is willing to listen. Anyone seeking guidance, answers or just companionship on this often lonely passage. 

 A few years ago I had the privilege of telling a little piece of my story to a newscaster who had decided to feature my placenta encapsulation business. We sat down and talked for nearly two hours about just a small portion of my story. She was amazed and intrigued. When the piece came out, I was almost disappointed at first. I had thought they’d sell my business, my professionalism. After a few hours of feeling sullen and a bit disappointed I realized what they had given me is a valuable gift,  Instead of selling my business, they sold my story. Not only was the story featured on the local station, but quickly spread across the country.  

 It was the first time have ever felt like my story wants to be heard as much as it needs to be told.

MBG Reiki Article

Another great post about Reiki! 

Check it out! 

http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-23414/reiki-what-it-is-why-you-should-consider-adding-it-to-your-routine.html

 

For $100 Get your 90 Minute Tarot and Reiki Session! 

The Tarot builds our roadmap for where we go together during our Reiki Journey. These two services combined provide the most insight and guidance. 

Email: Laurel@GuidedPassage.com to schedule today! 

 

 

Featured Astrologer

I'm excited to refer out another amazing astrologer, in case I am ever unable to meet your needs. 

Jennifer Sharron is a professional astrologer and tarot card reader. Her big update comes in March and I can't wait to see what's in store. 

Read your free horoscopes for the 12 signs, learn more about dreams, zodiac mythology, and the different types of astrologies on www.astrologyjunction.com

 

 

 

Global Meditation Scope

I am so excited to announce Guided Passage is part of the Global Meditation Summit on Periscope! 

What is the Global Meditation Scope?

150 BROADCASTERS,

50 Countries,

~400,000 Periscopers~

Connecting The World In Mind & Spirit on Dec 12-­13

72 hours in all time zones

Meditation Facts

1. 20 minutes a day of meditation can improve your focus 10x from where you started.
2. Depression goes down by 75% when an individual meditates regulary.
3. Breathing, heart rate, and energy level all improve with regular motivation.

Join myself and Bowmanism on Saturday at 4:30pm on Periscope for a 30 minute session where we will dive into healing the heartspace. 

New to meditation? NO PROBLEM! These visualizations are for all skill levels. 

DOWNLOAD PERISCOPE APP
ADD 'TATTOOEDMAMMAL' AND 'GLOBALMEDITATIONSCOPE' 

PLEASE SHARE AND PASS ALONG! 


30 & 30

Now offering a variety of packages! Today's featured package is the 30&30.

30 Minute Reading and 30 Minutes of Reiki for $75!

Enjoy an hour of solitude, insight and relaxation. 

 

-Laurel

News!

If you haven't noticed, Guided Passage has tons of awesome news and developments! 

  • I now have a private office located in Royal Oak, Michigan.  Located in the quaint Center for Natural Healing just off of Washington Ave. This gives me much more flexibility with scheduling appointments during the evenings or on weekends. 
 

 

  • Not able to get to the office in Royal Oak?  I now offer appointments online through Skype, FaceTime or GoogleHangouts! 

 

  • You can also schedule your appointments online! 

I'm so excited about all of these amazing updated and changes. I look forward to working with you soon!

 

-Laurel


Illumination: Like wearing a headlamp in a basement

Yesterday was the solar eclipse in Virgo. Boy did I feel some powerful "Get Shit Done!" Energy!

I started my day with getting bit by the bug to clean my basement. So I started by hitting up Costco, then grocery shopping before embarking upon my task. 

As a virgo, delegating tasks has always been a bit difficult for me. I like things done my way. But handling a household of three cats, two dogs and three humans, means I have to be willing to share the load.  The basement has been my husband's job.

Six years, two houses, two basements. Always "his job".

I hate basements. I think this partly stems from some of my early spiritual experiences where I often felt and saw a very dark force at play in my basement as a child. 

Now as an adult my basement reminds me of everything I've neglected. Everything I ignore and pretend doesn't exist until I'm forced to see it. 

My basement is full of boxes unpacked, cluttered with objects and memories forgotten about until they are resurrected periodically.  Cat boxes to tend to. Dust, cobwebs, spiders both alive and dead. God forbid dog messes and flooding.

I'm a little ashamed to admit that sometimes weeks would pass between trips downstairs. Forcing my husband to run laundry so I wouldn't have to deal with seeing them potential mess. 

Yesterday I put on my big girl pants and faced the basement.  I put on a mask, gloves and headlamp and wandered down to face the reality of how bad things had gotten. 

I encountered a lot of emotions while I cleaned. I was disgusted, frustrated, angry, sad, chills kept shooting down my spine. Yet I cleaned with joy in knowing that the state it was in, was no longer how it'd be.  

Sometimes the headlamp would hit a spot I'd cleaned only to show me a new crevice to clean full of spider eggs. I'd laugh and shudder, vacuum away and move onto the next spot.  I spent about 2 hours and cleaned only about 1/4 of the mess, but it was a big 1/4! 

This morning I realized how much the work I did yesterday reflects the work I've been doing in my life lately. 

My basement is my shadow side. I am taking a headlamp to the darkness, to shine light in all the nooks and crannies to help me clean and purge. I am illuminating the darkness to show me what needs to go. Some things I thought I took care of a long time ago. Some things I wasn't ready to see go.  I have found things I'm disgusted with and ashamed of. My spiderwebs, cobwebs and messes that resided for so long, ignored, but I've so longed for a clean slate. But the purge is happening.

Illumination gives me the ability to live in the space I desire. 

It is uncomfortable. It's entirely necessary.

I do not deny the existence of my shadow, I seek to love it with as much wholeness as I love the light.

 

 

 

9.8.15: Everything will be ok.

This morning I awoke early. Being a mom of a busy two year old, I often take an early morning to work, read or meditate. Sometimes I'll read my cards. Sometimes I'll pull cards for my friends. Sometimes I'll catch up on emails. 

This morning I checked my bank account. A regularly scheduled deposit was already one day behind schedule because of the holiday; but was due at midnight. A voice told me "check your account". Deposit wasn't there.

A wave of anxiety hit me.

"How am I going to do this? How am I going to pay bills? How am I going to deal with this again?" 

I thought to myself, "It's 5am, no one is awake. I'll deal with this later." I curled up back in bed with my toddler and began to relax back down. My thoughts were racing so I began my routine of meditation. I started with visualizing myself in a sphere of warm light. Then started working to become a rainbow bridge, imagining light traveling from my crown chakra down through the soles of my feet.  As I'd get distracted, I'd repeat my long time mantra in my head, bringing me back to that light and peace. 

om mani padme hum. om mani padme hum. om mani padme hum. 

Slowly I began to relax. I began to calmly acknowledge my feelings.

"I am angry. I am scared." How could I turn these fears into affirmations?  

I started to visualize my mom. Her physical body left this world a year ago, and I have struggled to feel her presence. However I started to visualize her sitting with me as a child. My head in her lap, she was stroking my hair and soothing me.  

At first I shook off this visualization. I went back to becoming a rainbow bridge and a vessel of light, but yet again I was met with this image and motherly energy. I decided to give into it, become receptive to the presence and the energy there.  

I began to talk with her and share with her my woes, my fears, my anger. 

"Everything will be ok." She reassured repeatedly. 

"But it doesn't feel ok."

"But you have to trust everything will be ok. Do you not have faith in that?"

"I do, but I also have doubt."

"Can you not look at your life and see that you've always been ok? Even when you've struggled, and believed you were done.. Did you not come out of that? Were you not provided for? Sometimes you have to have faith, even when you don't know how." 

I began to realize what she was saying. She was right. I felt a significant release of anger. 

I have suffered, I have hurt, I have caused hurt. Yet I have been provided for. I have been ok.  I am alive. I am here. Breathing. Content. 

I continued to sit in the presence of this energy for a bit longer until I drifted into sleep. 

I woke up less than an hour later, without the anger. 

I checked my account.

The deposit was made. 

Everything is going to be ok.