Thursday, April 29, 2010

Getting Ready for the Race

It seems like yesterday when I decided I would be running this year. My first goal was a 5k and I can't hardly believe I am two days away from completing my goal. It feels so good, so exciting and energizing because I have been running for months now and building endurance to make sure I make it. It has been a journey and now the first destination is at sight. Like being on a ship and seeing land after being on the sea for months, now I feel I am finally ready for the run.

When I started, I did not think I could run. I felt heavy, ugly, and too big. I thought my knees and ankles would not support me but now, I've been running 4 and 5 miles and feeling like I can do it. I can make my dream come true. I can manifest anything I want. I know I have lost more than 22 pounds and I am finally feeling like I am beautiful, powerful, strong, and intelligent. One time, a person told me the phrase "fake it till you make it." Well, I've been faking it, I've been seeing myself as a runner, light and fast, being able to run for months, to connect with the earth and with my body to feel my heart beating and know when it is time to slow down, when it is time to speed up, and when it is time just to keep the pace. Connecting with the body and making that bond feels like the movie Avatar since I feel I have reached sahelu with my body, I have made the bond and now I am unstoppable. I can manifest my dreams. I am confident. I am strong. I feel there are no walls that can stop me. I am a Queen and I can make every wish a reality.

During this journey, I have learned I can trust my body to tell me what's right and give me clear signs of how to go. I have also learned to trust Goddess to send me the signs as well. Being in the ebbs and flows and not letting it stress me out. When I decided to start running in December, my life was chaotic and things were going crazy. My counselor told me she could not see me anymore because of personal reasons, I felt alone and weak. I felt like everything was going the wrong direction. But little did I know that everything happens for a reason, and now I am connecting the dots. I needed to be on my own, I needed to trust myself and Goddess to provide, I needed to see myself for who I am and not based on the masks that have covered me. I needed to wander alone to find the courage to be who I really am. During that time, I connected with my roots and started working with two wonderful people, one in Spain and one in Argentina, bringing the Goddess to the Spanish speaking people, to my people, and becoming a bridge. While connecting with my roots, I also connected with Goddess and something magically happened, I started getting inspired while running, yes, running - what I thought I couldn't do in December. Well funny enough, I also thought I couldn't write or lead rituals and here I am, writing my blog and writing rituals since January as well. I have also reconnected to my counselor and we will start seeing each other again in two weeks so it feels like coming full circle, reaching my first goal - running a 5k - after being alone and finding my power, and now that I found myself, I am ready to go back to my space, where I can keep confronting my shadow and working on it since I am definitely not perfect.

Isis has sparked my life in so many ways, providing me with an opportunity to meet wonderful people, being able to translate the Fellowship of Isis liturgy, creating the Circulo de Isis, finding a great mentor and building a wonderful community. I can not ask for more and I am deeply grateful that even when I was weak and felt alone, I just put myself on the hands of Isis and let her guide me home.

Now, I have reached the first stop in the wonderful journey of life and being a Priestess. What comes next only Isis knows, but I am ready to accept it and flow with it as I have done for the past few months. I am listening and paying attention to the signs and now I know I am beautiful, I am healthy, I am powerful, I am strong, and I am intelligent, I can manifest my dreams and I am a Queen.


Monday, April 26, 2010

The Real Meaning of Doing Your Best

One of the Four Agreements in Miguel Ruiz' book is "Always do your best" and this can be a tricky agreement because it tunes with the programming we bring from when we are children that are always trying to do the best, win in competitions, do everything perfect, and please everyone in our lives. As we grow up, we realize that "doing our best" may be something we don't need to do to gain anyone's validation or appreciation but something that we do for ourselves. The issue is that our self critic is much worse than any other person in this world, we are our worst enemy because many times we want to do things perfectly and we want to be the best but we don't realize that doing that kills our spirit or makes us angry or depress. It is time for us to understand the real meaning of "doing your best" and knowing that your best my be different from one day to the next. What is your best today may not be your best tomorrow and we need to learn to accept and love ourselves just the way we are knowing that we always strive to do our best but also accepting that the parameter to which we measure our best changes as we change and changes as we cycle.

As one friend called me, I am the "Dot Connecting Mistress" so while reading the book Optimized woman, I couldn't help but connect some dots. It is no wonder why so many women are unhappy, angry and depress in today's world. We strive to live as a man forgetting that we are women. We try to fit the linear thinking while going in spirals and cycles. We try to conform to society's social rules that talk about deadlines and projects in a day to day way instead of working with our cycles and honoring that there will be times when we need to go within and we do not want to be energetic and all wired while there will be other times when we are full of energy and those periods happen within one month. No wonder why women are suffering more heart attacks than men since we enter the workforce and try to become men. We try to do what men do but also do what we did before. We take care of the house, the kids, the bills, and on top of that, we also work eight hours a day if not more, and we don't even have the luxury to honor our cycles. The world wants us to ignore our periods, the world wants us to see that our period is one spot in the month that usually is uncomfortable and dirty but I say, our period is just one part of a wonderful and powerful cycle and it is time for us to teach the world that not everything needs to be on a straight line. We do not need to become men, we don't need to forget what makes us women because that is what gives us power. It is time to teach the world that sometimes spiraling is as good as going straight and sometimes it is even better.

When society says be like a man, play the corporate game, forget who you are, adjust, be aggressive, I say we show the world that it is not necessary for all of us to be men. We can be women and cycle because our cycles bring creativity, bring beauty, bring fertility, and bring abundance. If they say we are PMS, I say "Ashe - try do what I do, as effective as I do it and then we'll talk about it." It is hard not to be angry or upset when we live in a world that does not honor us women but instead tries to make us fit in a role where we don't belong. It is time to claim our powers, it is time to accept that we are always doing our best and honor our cycles so we can be happier and more empowered women. Let's show the world that spirals are as good as lines and that we are proud to be different. We are proud to be women.


Sunday, April 25, 2010

The Power of Cycles

"One day, you finally knew what you had to do, and began" (Mary Oliver). For me, that day was about three weeks ago when I started working on translating the Fellowship of Isis liturgy because I want to bring that knowledge to the Spanish speaking community and that is what I had to do. One thing takes me to the next like one book takes me to the next. While translating the liturgy, I have discovered that I would like to teach the College of Isis and be able to train Priestesses. Isis seems to be guiding me strongly lately and I am just going with the flow and following my intuition and my heart.

While I was reading about Hinduism for my religion class, I couldn't help but notice that one of the central beliefs is the fact that people are part of the wheel of karma and they live through the cycle of birth, death, and rebirth. It seems as we are always cycling in these spirals. For example, now I am about to reach the end of one cycle - finishing school and getting my Bachelors degree, but another cycle is about to start since my Priestess role is growing and I am dedicating more time to it. I like creating rituals and translating the liturgy, I love teaching and making the knowledge available to anyone who is ready for it. Like it is said "the teacher appears when the student is ready" so I believe that the people who reach me are ready for what I have to teach.

Cycles come and go, and we move from experts to beginners to experts again. Now it is my time to become a beginner again and decide what is next. What is the purpose I need to fulfill? Once door closes and another one opens so I am waiting to see that door and make sure I walk through it.

As I am focusing on cycles, I also discovered the book called the Optimized Woman by Miranda Gray and call it synchronicity or not, this book talks about the cycles in a woman's life. The one cycle we have that men don't have - our period and this being our source of power and fulfillment. This book explains how our cycles are different from those of men and how we cycle during the month facing Optimal times for different activities and how if we connect with those Optimal periods, we can feel empowered and fulfilled. I have only read a few pages but so far, I really like how it describes the difference between a cyclical life and a linear life. Men are usually linear while women are cyclical. It is hard to fit a world that is made for linear thinking when we are cyclical so being aware of this situation is a powerful tool for us - women. No wonder why we always feel out of place like trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. Awareness brings power and power allows us to change. By changing ourselves, we change our world. Let's start paying attention to our cycles and how we move through life from beginnings to endings to new beginnings, and "one day, you finally knew what you had to do, and began."


Tuesday, April 20, 2010

What We believe We may become

"What We believe We may become" is the phrase that has been resonating on my head for the past couple of days. I can't help but wonder why most of the programing we have in our lives is negative programing. We hear phrases such as "Nothing I do is good enough" or "Life is hard and then you die" or one of my favorites "Nice girls do more than their share." All this negative programing does nothing to us but prevent us from becoming who we are meant to be. It is time to identify all those hidden messages that are at work in our lives. Do we wake up and look in the mirror seeing how beautiful we are or do we say, geez I look fat!? Do we start the day with the phrase "I am perfect just the way I am" or do we think that we would be better if we made more money or were thinner? All these messages are poison in our minds. Last week I read the message "the first problem for all of us, men and women, is not to learn but to unlearn" and I think it is hard to reprogram our brain to switch all the negative beliefs into positive beliefs but it is not impossible. Anybody can choose to think differently because we have the power to change our beliefs, we just need to have the will to do so.

Starting today, we can choose to switch the phrase "I am never good enough" with the phrase "I am a worthwhile person", we can change the phrase "I am fat" with the phrase "I am in my perfect body weight", we can work on the phrase "Nobody likes me" with the phrase "I am a lovable person." Any phrase can be rewritten in our minds, we just have to be aware when those voices come up and stop, think again, and switch the phrase with the positive one. Even if the positive sentence is not 100% true, there is a saying that says "fake it till you make it" and by faking it, I can assure you that as time goes by, slowly but surely, you will change your mindset and incorporate positive programing in your life that will help you be more confident and be happier.

Remember "What we believe we may become" so just be mindful on what you believe.


Sunday, April 18, 2010

Archetypes and Roles

For the past few months, I've been battling with the concept of Motherhood and the archetypes. I know I am not a Maiden anymore but I kept thinking that I am not a Mother either because I have not had a baby and I am not planning on having one any time soon so what am I?? Not a Maiden or a Mother... what archetype is left for me to play?

Today, I was talking to a great friend and she called me the Connecting Dots Mistress and I realize that I am good at seeing the meaning in everything and reading the symbols even when I am not involved in situations, I can see how the roles are played and what role each person has in the picture. That got me thinking about my archetypes and how they were playing in my life currently since I've been feeling like I am not a mother although I am within the age frame to be one. And then it dawn on me!!! I am a mother!!! I was ordained a Priestess of Isis on July 1, 2009 and I've been pregnant for exactly 9 months when my Circulo de Isis was born! That circle is my baby, it is my creation and my way to be a bridge between Isis and the Spanish speaking community. I am enjoying seeing it grow, connecting to the people that are part of it, and bringing them closer to Goddess. In a sense, I am taking care of my circle as if it was my child, so finally, I realized that I am playing the mother role after all!

Talking about roles, I have been reading the book the Courage to be Yourself by Sue Patton Thoele and in her book she says the following:

"Nice girls don't talk that way.
Nice girls don't act aggressive.
Nice girls don't rebel.
Nice girls don't get angry.


Nice girls do learn to play the victimized, poor-me role.
Nice girls do learn to express their anger convertly, in manipulative ways.
Nice girls do get depressed."

Several times, we choose roles that make us unhappy such as the nice girl role. It seems as society's voice saying you have to be a good girl and never get angry gets branded on our brains and the lack of expression of feelings leads us to being depressed or ending up expressing our anger in passive aggressive ways instead of being up front and saying what is bothering us. I think this is one of the reasons I dedicated myself to two very different Goddesses, on the one hand I serve Isis with her beauty and compassion, but I also serve Sekhmet who can devour people and also heal them by bringing out those areas that we are afraid of, the areas we don't want to express, or that we want to keep hidden because they don't match the perfect picture of what a Lady should look like.

The more I walk the Priestess path, the more I realize that being a Priestess is not about being a nice girl, is not about dressing nice and wearing make up so I look like the Goddess. Being a Priestess is about service and being honest, speaking our truths although at times they may not be what others want to hear, being brave to face those who don't support you, take risks, face your demons, and at times, even if you are all alone and nobody understands what you stand for, still feel empower to stand up and be truthful to what you believe, even if it means being burned on the stake.

While reading the book "The Queen of My Self" by Donna Henes, I found this phrase that identifies the woman I want to be "She has been forced to face and overcome obstacles and hard lessons, including Her own self-limiting tendencies, and in so doing has outgrown the boundaries of Her old self. Impatient with the inessential and restless for authenticity, she sheds all attachment to the opinions of others and accepts complete responsibility and control over her life. She is the Queen of Her Self, the mature monarch, the sole sovereign of Her own life and destiny."


Sunday, April 11, 2010

Bye Bye Perfectionism ~ I am human!

Who is responsible for saying what is perfect and what is not? That the one million dollar question. I am always wondering who sets the standards as of what perfect is because unless we are working on math and we have one answer to the problem, the rest of the areas in life are usually gray areas where there are no right or wrong answers, just answers and it will depend on the recipient whether the answer sounds ok or not for them, but again, it is not right or wrong, it is just an answer.

Sometimes I can't help but wonder where perfectionism comes from, who told us we need to do something one way in order to get it perfect, and again, what is perfect? Something may be perfect for one and totally wrong to another person but in the end, it is like the saying "beauty lies in the eye of the beholder" and it will depend on the person observing to determine what perfect is. Then the question is what is motivating us to try to do everything perfect, where does the little voice in our heads come from that says this is not good enough or perfect enough? Does it come from our parents? Maybe it comes from society or from our education but in the end, I think several times we are prevented from acting our dreams because we want it to be perfect. Is perfect so important that it has more power than allowing ourselves to do what we love? Is perfect so high in our value scale that we would avoid doing something because we fear we will not doing perfectly?

Today, I was reading the book "The Woman's Book of Confidence" by Sue Patton Thoele and the meditation I was working on had the following affirmations:

"I have the right and responsibility to soften my perfectionist.
I am worthwhile even though imperfect.
I loosen up and enjoy life's little imperfections."

So, I decided that starting today, I can choose to let go of my perfectionism.

Bye Bye Perfectionism ~ I am human and I am enough just the way I am.


Saturday, April 10, 2010

One thing the airline companies got right...

Many times I wonder where the concept of care about everyone else's need before your own comes from. I know people may say you are selfish if you put yourself first, your friends may call you spoiled or egocentric but in reality, if you don't put yourself first, who will? Are we expecting others to fulfill our needs? Are we expecting everyone else to know what we need or want? Unless people around you are mind readers or psychics, there is a high chance that they will not know what you need or want. The only person who knows what you need is yourself and that is why it is important for us to start putting ourselves first. This is the one things that the airline companies got right and the rest of society has wrong. When you get to a plane, the first thing they tell you is that if there is an emergency, you are to put your oxygen mask first and then help others because if you can not breathe, you will not be able to help anyone. The same happens in real life, if you are exhausted and you are doing too many things at the same time, there is a high chance that you will not be taking care of your needs and you may be able to sustain the rhythm for some time but after a while, you will burn out and as I tell some of my friends, what is going to happen with your children if you burn out? If you don't take care of your health and end up in the hospital, who is going to take care of your family? That is why it is so important to put yourself first because by doing so, you will be helping others too because you will know you are not pushing yourself to the limits to the point that you will get sick or depressed. Every week, set up a time to see what is that you need and make it happen. If you want to take 30 minutes and meditate, do that. If you want to watch a movie, do that. Do anything that will help you take care of yourself and your needs or wants. If you expect others to fulfill your needs, you may be disappointed and that disappointed builds up into resentment and resentment builds up into anger and then one day you may blow up or get really depressed. Boundaries are also important and honoring them is important too. Every time we say yes when we mean no we are stepping over our boundaries and in doing so, we are giving others the sign that pushing our boundaries is ok. Every time we put ourselves last in the list, we are also giving the sign to others that it is ok for us to be last, that our needs are not important as their needs. That is why my practice for this week will be thinking twice before I say yes. Am I saying yes because I mean it or because I am feeling pushed or guilty of saying no? Do I really want to say yes? And in doing so, I will be putting myself first and knowing that it is ok for me to be the number one in my list because I deserve to get my needs met and in doing so, I will be a happier person who will be able to give more freely to others because I will be in harmony with myself. Like I said before, this is the one thing the airline companies got right, put your mask first before you help others.


Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Women who do Too Much

"Do as I say but not as I do" is my phrase! This week, I was faced with having to take time off to rest. Yes, I started developing a sinus infection on Sunday, but Tuesday morning, my head was pounding and I had to go to the doctor. When I got to the doctor's office, I met this wonderful Lady doctor who as soon as she saw me, she asked me "are you trying to work with this infection? You really need to rest! How do you expect your body to heal if you don't rest?" Well, interesting enough, my life has been like that since I can remember. I am doing fifty million things at the same time - working and studying full time, reading, leading spiritual group, working out, preparing for a marathon... the list goes on and on, and the message that I keep getting from the universe is "you need to rest" "you need to take care of your flame or it will die out" It seems that I don't learn the lesson, that I keep pushing and pushing until I get exhausted and sick and I have to take time off and rest. During the past three days, I have slept so much I don't even recall how many hours anymore.

I know I am usually the one telling others to rest, to take care of themselves, to make sure their lives are in harmony so they don't dedicate too much time to work to the point that they get burned out... yes, I have said all these things but why can't I apply them to myself? I even have the book "Meditations for Women who Do Too Much by Anne Wilson Schaef" and I still don't get it that I need to slow down. I need to take care of myself so I don't burn out. It is easier said than done and I am living proof of that. Every time I get sick, I remind myself that I need to listen to my body more and not to push myself that much.

Where does the need of doing too much comes from? Do I need validation? The more I do, the better I am type of message. Why can't I break the pattern? Why can't I accept myself as I am and know that I am perfect just the way I am? I don't need to do so much to prove myself that I am good, that I am enough. I know that we usually come framed by society, we women have to work extra hard to get the same that a man would get with less. We, women, have to do a lot so we are recognized. We are not appreciated for being, we are not validates because of who we are. Many times, we are validated for what we do. If you ask a woman who you are... she will start listing all the things she does but in reality, it will take a lot to get to the I am part.... I know this because I do it.

Starting today, my new affirmation will be "I am perfect just the way I am and I am enough" I will take care of my needs and I will let go of guilt for not doing as much because I need to find the balance I teach others to have. Like the meditation I read this morning from the Women's Book of Confidence, I allow myself to erase the word guilt from my vocabulary, and I allow myself to be instead of do.


Sunday, April 4, 2010

Going to the Center of the Labyrinth

While connecting with Isis in her thousand names, I was called to perform the Mystery of the Labyrinth from Dea - Rites and Mysteries of the Goddess by Olivia Robertson. Somehow the Labyrinth was calling me and Ariadne was sparking my attention. The symbol of the Labyrinth is a strong one. We can get lost within its passages and never reach the center. We may face our fears and shadows but never find our way back. While in the labyrinth, we need to hold on to Ariadne's thread to make sure that we will have a way to return after our journey to face our shadow and find our purpose, our destiny. When I move to the USA, I felt like I entered the Labyrinth of my life. I had to change my career, I had to adjust, and I was all alone in my journey. My family and friends were in Argentina and this was the time to find out who I really was and also face my minotaurus. There were times when I was tempted to drink the poison cup or derail from my path. One of those times was when I sacrificed my love for English and just chose a job that will provide money not realizing that money is not everything and that money will not equate happiness. We spend so much time at work and if the only thing we can think of when we are there is I just need to get away, this is not what I wanted, all the energies are just disipated and we lose track of our center. Now I see clear where I lost my path and I forgot the thread that would bring me back to where I started so I can start again and this time pay attention to reaching the center. Luckily, in the past two years, I was able to reconnect with the thread and gain some clarity on what I wanted to do and where I wanted to go. Goddess keeps showing me the way and the thread became stronger, it started shining and demanding that I go within, that I follow my true calling and don't let all those things that move me away from my center bother me or cloud my vision. I also learned that the past is just part of the story but I should not let it define me or prevent me from reaching my destiny. My minotaurus is myself. I am my worst critic and with that critic talking to me it is hard to feel that I can make it, that I can make my dreams come true because there is the voice that says I am not enough, that I am innately inferior and that I don't have the power to reach my center and find my destiny. With Ariadne's help, I am able to move past my fears and face my shadow. Now I can see clearly what I am meant to do, I need to regain my passion and light my fire within so I can work on something that will make me happy. My journey to the labyrinth is not over and I may need to go within again and find my center but now I can see the thread clearly and I know I am always connected to Goddess and no matter how much I lose my way, I will always find my way back to the center.


Saturday, April 3, 2010

Finding my Purpose

There are times in life when one wonders why are we on this earth, what is our purpose in life. Lately, the question has been pounding on my head as of what I am supposed to do. What is my purpose? When I move to this country, I sacrificed my love and passion for English in order to survive. I moved from working at a hotel in a day care facility to the place I am today - working for a big corporation. Although money was important for me when I moved here since I could not count on my parents to help me and I had to make ends meet, now that I have accomplished some of my goals, I feel like the time has come to look for something that feeds my soul as well as my pockets. I come to understand that it is not all about money and that money does not equate happiness.

A few weeks ago, I suddenly had a vision and I decided to pursue it. I wanted to start translating some of the Fellowship of Isis materials into Spanish because I noticed that there is not a lot of material in that language and some people are not as lucky as I am to be able to understand English and be able to read it correctly. I also believe that when we work on our spirituality, sometimes working on our native language makes the difference. So I started contacting some authors whose books I love and asking for permission to translate their material and share it with the Spanish community. Some responses were positive, some were not as positive since I was not aware how the publishing world works. In the end, this project led me to figure out what would make me happy, what I would enjoy doing. Yes! I would love to be a translator since that would help me put my love for languages into some kind of income base activity.

A new journey began - how does one become a translator? Do you go to school for that? Do you get a certificate? Well, so far, I have found out that there is no requirements but it is always good to have certification what means I may need to continue studying. I am about to finish my bachelors degree and it is daunting to think about continue on the structured education path, not only because it is quite expensive in this country, but also because I need to rest. I've been studying all my life and I need a break. This journey led me to think about how our world works and how patriarchy always demands certification as if we are not good enough. I have managed to live in the US and finish my bachelors so that should be plenty of proof that I do manage English properly and Spanish is my mother tongue so why do I need to go to a Master degree to prove that I can speak both languages perfectly.... There is a part of me that says, well, I can do this, I know I can, but the other part says that if I want to find a job on this path, I may need the certificate... Well, we'll see. So far, I am glad I have found something that sparks my passion and that connects with my spirituality. Now, let Isis show me the way as she has been doing all this time.

Many blessings!