Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Ode to 2020

Found this on my computer...something I started writing in January and never really finished or edited...just posting almost as a journal entry...

Thank you 2020 for all your Fuckery to wake people up
For people to see that conspiracy theories we’re not just theories.
For people to be alerted to the dangers of vaccines
For people to appreciate a free economy and the beauty of owning your own business.
Thank you 2020 for waking people up to the possibility of losing their freedom.
Thank you 2020 for helping us to appreciate mobility, free travel, and toilet paper
Thank you 2020 for helping us to appreciate breathing clean air and not being silenced
For alerting us to the evils of censorship and
the so very obvious fuckery of the main stream media
Thank you 2020 for alerting us to the truth of the deep state in collusion with the main stream media, Big Pharma, and the Central Banking System
Thank you 2020 for that perfect fucking 20/20 vision to see truth more clearly than ever before. What a godsend you have been to our planet.
Thank you 2020 for showing us that if we curtailed some of our unnecessary travel how quickly Mother Earth will repair herself without being a part of the Paris Accord or other green new deal bullshit.
Thank you 2020 for helping us to see how important our relationships are or just how dysfunctional and fucked they are because we had to spend more time with each other.
Thank you 2020 for helping us to see that we could do a lot more work from home than we ever thought possible, but also that we like going to our place of business for the social and communal aspect.
Thank you 2020 for helping us to figure out that we could design a different life for ourselves, for helping us to find new ways of making money...
For helping us lose jobs that we hated or to lose a business that we loved and how important that really is to us— or not.
Thank you for the downtime to hear ourSelves think.
Thank you 2020 for helping us reevaluate every fucking thing in our lives and for helping us see blessings in the simple things.
You won't be forgotten any time soon.

Friday, March 19, 2021

Range, Transformation, & the Spring Equinox


I’ve been a spiritual teacher for 40 years now…seriously. Around the age of 14-15 I joined this group called Fellowship of Christian Atheltes. When I ws a junior in high school I was VP and as a senior I was President of that group. One of the things I taught were attributes of Christ…what the Bible said about it and how we could be more like Jesus. In college, I was part of a group called Jews for Jesus, and I ran my own Bible study in the dorm while majoring in Theology and World Religions. In my early 20’s, I started reading Deepak Chopra, Gary Zukav and Elkhart Tolle. I became interested in Eastern Religions and ways of life. When the Secret came out, I bought it for everyone I knew, sent it out for Christmas with a note saying, “Here’s what I’ve been trying to say for decades, all in one little DVD. Enjoy.”  

    Then came the Moon Show, that had an almost 7 year run…I get requests all the time to bring it back. And most know I’m a Chopra Certified instructor & and an Ayurvedic Wellness Counselor. Blah, blah, blah…over the past year, if anyone had visited my Facebook page, none of that would have been evident. I took a deep dive into the political arena and current events. Many of my social media followers did not like it, and I lost a lot of “friends.” I’ve had many people let me know that I needed to return to my old Self…that they didn’t like this Laurie, and they wanted all my old posts back. Others weren’t so gentle with their criticism. 

    I’ve been sitting with that for a few months, “toned it down”,  and have been contemplating all of this. Was it a mistake to be so public with my opinions in this hostile environment? Should I stop posting things that are controversial? Should I go back to my peaceful planet? Get my “followers” back? “Ewww” are the words that spill out of my mouth as I write these lines….and a big, “Fuck no,” is my answer. 

It’s like growing up a girl you’re expected to choose—are you going to be smart, beautiful or funny? Because you certainly can’t be all three. And now…am I going to define mySelf as spiritual or political? Am I going to write about how to tap into your inner intuition, find your purpose and passion, or shall I share the horrors of socialism, communism, and experimental inoculations? Hmmmm. Decisions…decisions. 

First of all, I’m certainly not going to allow anyone to tell me what to do—crossed that bridge decades ago—ask my mother. I’ve been the boss of me most of my life. Here’s the deal, people—we can be ALL the things.

 When I graduated from Boston College, I wanted to go to law school and get into politics…I ended up getting married instead and getting into motherhood. Throughout the years, I leaned much more to the spiritual side, and when there where issues that were important to me, I’d speak up—like fluoride in the water, or having to vaccinate my kids (which I did not do). I always felt like politics was such a corrupt system (on both sides) and that there just wasn’t much I could do—no difference to be made—so I stayed out of it. And all those years, my life stayed pretty much the same. I got exemptions for the vaccines that I refused, I traveled the world, bought water elsewhere, and political ideologies came and went with each election. Same, same.

We are no longer in that #samesame place. Shit has gotten real. Our civil liberties, our constitutional rights, our inalienable rights are hanging by a very short thread, and are disappearing with every letter I type. What we do now—makes a difference—to our children, our grandchildren and to our quality of life. To me….those things—freedom, god-given-rights, free travel, what I do with my own body/temple IS SPIRITUAL. It is the classic battle between good and evil. And for me—I’m not about to sit back waving the rose quartz Love and Light Wand, whilst burying my head in the sand repeating meaningless mantras and affirmations. Sorry, NOT SORRY. I have a voice, and I’m going to use it—whenever I feel so inspired to do so. I’m going to share the things I learn, know and believe—my intention is ALWAYS that it is for the betterment, health & well-being of others within my reach. 

This all seems to fall into my old category of #toomuch. Why is it that people want to limit us  and put us into a two-dimensional container they can understand? There’s Susie, she is super hot, there’s Mike he is a techno wizard, there’s Annie she’s a spiritual guru, Andy—he’s a conspiracy guy and Joe…well he’s just a lazy fuck. I think it makes people feel safe, they think they know you, how you’ll respond to things and it makes them feel safe. If they put you in a box, allow you to have your one thing you’re good at or known for—then  at least they can feel superior in a different category. Heaven forbid you are sharing the same gig. 

But that’s not me—and, I’m sure it’s not you either. We’ve got range. I used to say that with a bestie of mine when we were in the dating world. I’m not just a pretty face! I’m smart, too…and sometimes—I’m fucking funny. I have a variety of interests and several areas of expertise. I can have a great conversation with just about anyone on the planet. I don’t fear life…I’m not afraid of people. That makes me a lil formidable I guess…a tad dangerous. I’m not afraid to call a spade a spade or walk mask-less into any given place of business.


I’ve been feeling a huge shift coming on…a transformation of life as I know it. For the past 5 years, I’ve been isolated on a mountain top during the snowiest winter on record, I got rid of all of my stuff (again) to go off and be a humanitarian indefinitely in Romania & Nepal, almost died in India, got the message I was “off-purpose” and was told to go home and write my books. Having no choice as I was literally at deaths door, I came back. And, I’ve been writing for 3 years…almost exclusively, and mostly in self-appointed lock-down. I’ve completed two books, completely different one that is currently being edited, to be released SOON. The other is one in a 4 part series that I hope to have out the end of the year. 

During this “quiet time” I met someone. A perfect some one for me, and he says I am the perfect someone for him. It’s better than I’d even imagined in all my silent manifesting. Could not be happier together….and It’s been complicated. When we met he was in the process of divorcing. As both of my divorces were over in 2 weeks or less because there were no issues—I basically said,”…you can have it all, I’m out,”—twice, I didn’t think it would be a big deal. Well…apparently divorce isn’t that simple for most people, and this divorce is now going on a year and a half. Funny…I’d already started writing, Get A Fucking Divorce, Already and let’s just say, it’s given me a lot more material to work with…coincidence? Ahhh the Universe is always fucking with me in the most playful and humorous ways. Well, I’d like to think I’ve not created this long-drawn-out situation…we’ll see. Ask me next year when my book is selling off the shelves!

    So back to transformation…it’s coming for me. I’ve been a request for it. The quiet life is on it’s way out. I adopted two very active Bengal Cats a couple weeks ago—they’ve already changed my life. I’ll soon be a published author and a bonus mom to 4 young kids! I have several other businesses in the works that will begin unfolding. 

My man and I took a drive to look at some beautiful homes in Park City on Sunday. I barely touched my wrist and my Mala beads of ELEVEN YEARS that I wear nearly everyday, just fell off! I purchased these sandalwood Mala beads at the Chopra Center when I began my certification in the Chopra teacher training program. I was definitely starting a new path—I became a life coach soon after. They have been with me all over the world— Bali, Bora Bora, London, Paris, Rishikesh, Singapore, Japan and through at least 4 relationships. 

Mala means prayer, so they’re like prayer beads, not a lot different from my Catholic rosary. When I put these on in the morning I feel like I’m putting on the “armor of God”, as I have used these “prayer beads” in daily meditation for years. They’re kind of like my security blanket. And just like that, with no strain or pressure, they just let go. A broken Mala symbolizes a broken cycle. It's a sign to bring new intentions into your life as your current ones no longer serve you—which is exactly what I’d been doing. 

It was definitely “a sign” and it wasn’t lost on me that I’d been talking about transformation non-stop. I’ve been actively creating what I want my new life to look like. The day prior, I decided to do an in-depth cleanse for 21 days…felt like it would be the  necessary reset and transition into the next phase of my life. And… I had a chat with my snake, Verdi, of 16 years, to let him know what’s up. Turns out he sheds at approximately the time I’m going through major transformations. That was yesterday for him. Today my landlord said the home I’d been in for 3 years had sold so now a move is on the horizon—so if you know of a magical place…! Meanwhile, the Universe continues to speak of my unfolding transformation…right as the vernal Equinox arrives tomorrow.  

 I look with wonder at all that is before me with gratitude. Goodness, magic and mercy seem to follow me all the days of my life. You can expect that I will continue to broaden my “range”, as I hope you will do the same, ever evolving. I will always be that Spiritual Soul first—that is my come from in all that I do—it’s my core and my foundation. Knowing mySelf, trusting my intuition, and following my heart are what I do best. You can find me spreading my wings and playing the role of author, relationship transformer,  and activist. Time for Laurie 5.5

Blessed Spring to you all…may we cease resisting our own blooming and embrace all there is to unfold in grace and perfection. 

Monday, March 23, 2020

How Do You Curate Beauty?

On March 13, 2020, in the early days of the covid-19 quarantine, I made a very simple post that said this,

“This is a corona-free zone. Don’t contribute to the chaos. Please. Do whatever is in your power to stay out of fear. Your anxiety, panic, hoarding mentality, and chaos contributes to the collective vibe. Energy... it’s a thing. Clean up your space by being positive, sharing your toilet paperπŸ˜‚, talking about your grandkids, your new projects and things you’re passionate about. Be kind. Have compassion. Tell some jokes. Eat healthy delicious food. 

If you’re going to tap into your fear.... maybe dig a lil deeper and see what it’s triggered within and what it’s really about. Do some work around it. It won’t be just about this dumb virus. There will be more. Learn to be the peace within which is your birthright. But it’s a practice, peeps. It requires some conscious effort like meditation, spending time in nature and silence. If you did any of that more than tapping into the crazy, you’d be good. Peace in Peeps.”πŸ™πŸΌπŸ’•πŸŒ™

Below it I’d taken a picture of me in that moment, legs crossed in my fave leggings, eating some delicious organic coconut yogurt with nuts and a bowl of berries on the side, I had a beautiful version of Hare Krishna by Wah! playing in the background. In the picture happened to be this huge book of Buddha in pinks and blues that perfectly matched the rug I’d intentionally placed it by. What you can’t see is that I’d just read a beautiful verse form the Rig Veda.  On the picture I wrote:

Relax People
Eat some healthy food
Read some uplifting books
Listen to some holy tunes
Make yourself a cup of tea and…

I was surprised by how many shares and likes that simple post received. For me, it was just a very typical morning in my life of how I’ve started my day for years and similarly for decades. Carefully chosen organic healthy food, holy, inspiring music and texts, meditation and mindfulness. It has created a rock-solid foundation for me that keeps me grounded and at peace amidst all kinds of storms and chaos. 

I believe that what we seek, we will always find, whether it’s positive or negative. When I was a young teen, I had a poster I’d hung near my bed of some people hiking on a beautiful, sunny, autumn day. The quote on the poster was from the Bible Jeremiah 29:13 “And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.” I kept it for years, brought it to college with me and it gladdened my heart and inspired me so much. I was clear, that if I had a question, I would find the answer. 

I used to say I was a seeker of truth, reading all the holy books, venturing out to all the different churches, investing in a degree in theology from the Jesuits at Boston College. I was a serious seeker. What I’ve come to see is that I’ve concurrently been a seeker of beauty. In fact, I can hardly separate the two. I can so relate and feel straight to my bones the line from Keats poem, Ode on a Grecian Urn:

 "Beauty is truth, truth beauty,—that is all
                Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know."

Beauty—it’s one of my highest values. I see it everywhere and in everything. I find it in places that most wouldn’t, in my own heart-break and devastation, in the joyful faces of people in India living in abject poverty, at the end of fall, just before winter when everything is dead and colorless. I see beauty. I can’t not see it in literally everything. 

I create beauty in my surroundings, inside and out. I decorate my home not by anyone else’s standards, but by that which brings joy to my heart. The perfect whimsical pillows in just the right spot, the fuzzy rugs, and blankets, the holy statues gathered from around the world of Buddhas, goddesses, and planets. I have altars in various rooms and live plants and bonsais that become friends. I place bird feeders out every window and keep them filled to attract more friends that delight my 5-year-old-heart at every sighting. Outside I make every yard I live in better than when I found it, raking old leaves, gathering unwanted debris, planting herbs and flowers, putting up twinkly lights in all the right spots, setting up cozy sitting areas, fire-pits and hammocks. I create beauty.

I curate beauty by knowing who I am and what delights and inspires my Soul. I love this verb ‘to curate’. It means to collect, select and present information or items for people to use or enjoy, using your professional or expert knowledge. A curator is a keeper or custodian of a museum or other collection. A curator has expert knowledge and gathers that which is relevant. Become a ‘conscious curator’ of your Soul and surround yourself with all that brings you joy and nourish your mind, body, and spirit. Do you know what those things are? 

For starters, I buy the healthiest, most delicious organic food that my budget allows. I prefer to mindfully prepare my food to going out to dinners, or take-out. I enjoy infusing my food with love for those I have the privilege to share it with. I surround mySelf with the most inspiring, high calibrating books and refer to them often and share what I’ve found with those around me. I like to buy things that have spiritual meaning and significance to me to place around my home to inspire. I only buy clothes that I absolutely love, in fabrics and colors that I find nurturing and comfortable to be myself in.

It makes sense that I’d also curate my friends and the people I spend time with. I’ve let go of many that drained my energy and vitality with negativity and victim mentality. I hold close to those that are authentic, can tell me like it is, and that feel good to my heart. It’s a much smaller circle, but what it lacks in breadth it more than makes up for in depth, sincerity, and warmth. 

In these more quiet times of quarantine and social distancing, use your time wisely. Remember that old saying, “cleanliness is next to godliness.” I hated it as a messy kid, now however, I totally get it. Messes and disorganization distract us, it’s like background noise you don’t like.  A friend of mine calls it psychic drag. Go through your home, if you don’t love something, give it away or repurpose it. Clean up the piles, manage the paper, hang up your clothes, and organize all your stuff. Now everything you did externally, go within and do some spring-cleaning of your Soul. Let go, forgive, move on, quit your addictions, write the letter, send the text, make the phone call. Integrate, purge, embody, transform. 

Any area of your life you’ve declared a disaster zone, clean it up, fix it or let it go. How can you make these areas more beautiful? First, you can inject love. Love is always the answer, no matter the question, a wise lil owl once told me. Second, you can change your perspective about the situation, by seeing the 10,000-foot view. What’s good about the situation, or what could be good about it? How could you re-frame things to write a better story that is more in alignment with the truth you want to live? 

You have been gifted some much-needed down-time. Ask yourSelf the big questions like who am I, what do a really want and what is my purpose here?  If you find it difficult to just rest in the quiet and be with yourself without turning on the tv, or incessant social media, ask yourself why. What are you avoiding? What don’t you want to see? Survey all areas of your life for what’s authentic and what isn’t. What areas light you up and make your heart smile and which areas feel heavy, no fun and out-worn? Where do you see beauty and where does your life deserve an overhaul? 

The things that are true for you, that are genuine and authentic, will always be beautiful. They will energize and enliven you. The things that are fake and false, that insult your soul, are not for you and will never be sustainable. When you try to be that which you are not, it is life-draining. When you try to fit in at a job you hate, with friends that don’t share your values, or do things just because everybody else is or you feel it’s what’s expected of you, it will always feel heavy. Fake, false and inauthentic equals life-suck and soul-less.  Authentic, true and genuine equals beauty and soul-full.  
"Beauty is truth, truth beauty,—that is all ye know on earth, and all ye need to know." Choose beauty. Choose truth. Choose you. It’s all you need to know. #ISEEBEAUTY

“I am certain of nothing but of the holiness of heart’s affections and the truth of imagination. What the imagination seizes as Beauty must be truth whether it existed before or not. For I have the same idea of all our passions as of love, they are all in their sublime, creative of essential beauty….”~John Keats in his letter to Amy Lowell

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Rescue Mission To Reclaim the Neglected & Abandoned

Photo Cred: @kimzier11 Instagram
Does anybody else love exploring old and abandoned buildings? I've had a passion for this since I could walk. What’s that?!? What is in THERE? With wild abandon I still charge past the no trespassing and do not enter signs, as if they were invisible and certainly never intended for me. Those are for people that live in fear and follow the rules for their own safety and all the other bullshit they were taught. I certainly wasn’t afraid of crumbling buildings, overgrown weeds, or snakes and spiders that may have been lurking around the next corner. Nor did the thought of bums that may have taken up residence concern me, ‘cuz well… I made friends easily. I certainly wasn’t going to worry myself with getting in trouble, because who was going to be in any of these godforsaken, abandoned places anyway? Besides, if some law enforcement happened to show…remember—people like me. None of that ‘what if’ shit ever registered with my head-strong lil Aries Soul. The rules were never for me, and when confronted with one, it always felt like a challenge to be immediately broken, just because it dared to exist in my presence.  

I came across a picture today of an old, deserted Victorian home, similar to the one in which I grew up in Maine. I was struck, as I always am, by my love and intrigue for the abandoned and neglected. My first remembrance of this was as a child, exploring Mrs. LaSalle's all but forgotten, scary building behind her home. She was an elderly, unkind woman and former teacher. Inside this odd building were damp and dusty books with pictures of naked body parts and galaxies that surely contained the mysteries of the Universe to a 6-year-olds imagination. To make it even creepier,  a real-life skeleton lurked in the corner. There was never much light in there, it had a weird smell and you can imagine the crazy stories the neighborhood kids would make up about this mysterious place. I was warned repeatedly not to go in there but the place just oozed with the dark and unknown and I couldn’t help myself. 

I’m taking a couple of classes currently, one on depth psychology and the other on the shadow and astrology, so I decided to explore this curiosity a little more. This fascination of neglected and abandoned buildings has been a theme in my dreams and in life has expanded into retrieving, reclaiming and renovating places like that. The home I’m in now was abandoned for over a year when it landed in my lap, in desperate need of some TLC. Needless to say, with a little help, lots of cleaning, painting, love and sweat equity, I’ve shined it up to a proper palace worthy of this goddess. 

AddPhoto Cred: @szary.burek on Instagram
When I lived on a beautiful property I called The Enchanted Cottage, I went to work (often with the assistance of others—but always driven by my love of the place) at reclaiming the forested acre lot. It was completely over-grown and hardly walkable. By the end of my 10 years of devoted service, there were twig-lined paths, a renovated tree-house, and countless herbs, flowers, and bird-feeders scattered perfectly about. Many of the trees I’d climbed myself to place twinkly lights and hang wind chimes to make it extra magical. 

Why, though? Why couldn’t I just find the perfect spot from the beginning? Why did I always have to feel like I was rescuing something? Well… enter junior psychologist. Maybe it's because I’ve felt abandoned, neglected and unwanted. Hmmm...way to go Sherlock. It's always been my core wounding. I have been reclaiming myself through rescuing birds with broken wings, feeding small, wild creatures, and providing a roof and warm meal to various friends and family members in need for years. I’m the one inviting all those folks with no place to go for Thanksgiving or Christmas over for dinner. I’ve always gotten into homes bigger than I needed just in case…somebody else needs a spot. I’ve never wanted anyone to feel abandoned on my watch, or to feel alone without assistance in a cold, cruel world. Always providing a message of hope for the weary traveler of life. “Ooh, child….things are going to get easier and brighter.” Oh…how sweet, lil Laurie. No….that wasn’t it. 

It was all just bread crumbs from my soul regarding my deepest shadow desire to be loved and nurtured arising from my deepest shadow fear of being rejected and abandoned. For someone to say to me, you…YOU are worth saving. YOU are worth my time, effort and industry to see that you have all that you need to thrive, dear one. I adore all that you are. Every crack and crevice, every shadow and unexplored dark and dreary place within…every pettiness, meanness, and smallness. I will love all of those places inside of you every bit as much (and maybe more) as all your magnificent, outstanding, exceptional and exquisite places. Your brilliant, sacred, and beautiful Soul I will revere along with your grace, freedom, and wisdom. I embrace all that you are, with every bit of my heart and soul. You will never want for anything and I will always cradle you within my arms like the wide-open Universe holds its treasured stars, planets, and galaxies. You will be cherished and adored as if the hope of all humanity resides in your perfect blossoming and unfolding. You are that important to all of creation. 

Is that not our deepest desire? To be loved and cherished exactly as we are in this moment, and all past and future moments? To be so cherished that none would ever dream of casting us off? 

We are that important to all of creation. We are here to heal ourselves from our perceived brokenness over lifetimes. We are here to gather up all the seeming fragments of our Soul over eons of misunderstood abuse, poverty, rejection, and abandonment. We are here to feel all of the rage, shame, guilt, apathy, fear, pride, and grief of those lifetimes and transmute and transcend it all to higher levels of consciousness where all of it is accepted, honored and embraced. Where none of the shadow aspects of humanity are left behind but are loved into wholeness. We feel, therefore we are. We embrace all because we are one.  

Where have you ever felt rejected and abandoned, and how can you go about not doing that same thing to yourSelf any longer? How and where do you deserve reclaiming? How can you give yourSelf that gift? Where have you been orphaned? What aspects of yourself have you just completely neglected like some red-headed step-child? Is it your health? Weight? Spirituality? Anger? Desire? Your passions? What have you put on the shelf and said, ‘you will have to wait’…or 'you don’t deserve this or that' or 'that isn’t important right now'? And how dare you deny your Soul its very life, breath, and passion? Who are you (shell/ego/boss) to say your art will have to wait…finding love will have to wait…taking care of your body will have to wait… being angry will have to wait? How dare you? How dare you deny yourself well-being, vitality, excitement, and joy. For what? And 'til when? (When do you get to reclaim and renovate your Soul?) 

This isn’t about blaming or shaming somebody for not giving these things to you. This isn’t about finding the right somebody that will be all that for you. It's about reclaiming ourSelves, ourSelves. It is about loving ourSelves and our perceived stories of being cast-off, abused and abandoned and making it right within ourSelves by refusing to continue the abuse. It’s about us loving us enough to allow ourSelves everything that we need and desire. It’s about feeling worthy and giving ourselves permission to eat the cake, paint the picture, explore unchartered territory within ourSelves. It's about having the curiosity to explore those hidden depths of our own psyche like a lover. It's about feeling all the love and compassion of our Higher Selves, knowing all was purposeful and for our benefit. It's about giving ourSelves permission to fully love the entirety of our own Selves with the wild, ecstatic abandon of the Divine that resides within us. 

I realized my love for this exploration of seemingly dark and abandoned places has translated so beautifully into my life’s work, mission, and passion. Through reclaiming and renovating my own Soul, by acknowledging, loving and embracing all the parts I felt were unlovable, undesirable, and unwanted within mySelf,  I can now love and honor them in others. Where there was judgment, I now find acceptance.

I've come to the realization that what I find lurking in the shadows of another has become the most beautiful to me. It is their darkness I long to embrace, the perfection in their seeming imperfection that holds my intrigue. Perhaps it's because they hide it from most and I feel honored and trusted when they allow that aspect of themselves out in my presence. Maybe it's because it's the most intimate and vulnerable place within us and as such feels so fragile and everything in me wants to provide a soft landing for its exploration. 
I believe the work of self-discovery into our own depths is the greatest journey we'll ever take. To excavate what we've demonized or abandoned, to find what we've suppressed, repressed, denied and projected in all the various ways and then to lovingly bring it to the surface and into the Light is an act of tremendous courage and bravery. There is nothing more exciting or intriguing to me than the reclamation of seemingly lost Souls (to themselves, only) and their restoration to wholeness. It's always a beautiful thing when our wounds turn into wisdom to heal and bless others. 

So…how do you approach shadow work? Have you taken that deep dive? Do you plunge in head first, with intrigue and excitement like me, or are you the more cautious, trepidatious type? Maybe you’re afraid of what you may find in that abandoned building—a bum, robber, rapist or monster? Maybe it feels like an old lean-to— dangerous, dilapidated, and unsafe in there? Perhaps you read the 'do not enter sign' and you believe someone else knows better than you and you should definitely take heed of the rules. Maybe you fear the consequences of disobedience? Or perhaps you've cast an invisible cloak around your shadow a long time ago and don't even think yours exists. Just notice, what's your typical jam when it comes to this kind of Soul work. 

And if you don't know where to start and you happen to deserve a guide, I may just be your girl!  Blessings beautiful, shadow explorers. May the Light of your own Soul guide you on your path to freedom and Self-love. 

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Peace—A Simple Start

Dear Humans…

So you’re not a world leader…what can you do to create peace on Earth?

We are living in what feels like very uncertain times where nothing feels stable anymore and everything seems to be changing and undergoing massive disruption. Rest assured, this is on purpose. Radical transformation is necessary on every level of life from a world perspective between governments and nations, to our blessed Pancha Mamma in upheaval with fires and calamity all about, to our justified concerns about the quality of our air and water, to the perversion of our food through pesticides and GMO's, to the whoredoms of big pharma at the absolute detriment of our health, to the bastardization of religion at the detriment of our spiritual well-being, to the destructive programming of our sacred littles in public education. (Think Jesus overturning the tables of the money changers in the temple court.) That’s how I see what’s happening in our world right now. Transformation, overthrow, do-over—it’s time. The universe, earth, humans, animals, and plants say ENOUGH! Whatever we’ve been doing isn’t working—or it’s working perfectly to wreak enough havoc so people have to up their give-a-shit-quotient and wake up from their Muggle-Slumber. This won't be a quick fix and will require all hands on deck.

Change is challenging for many of us. And if you're of the ilk that attempts to keep everything in your life ‘status quo’ and smooth-like, this may be an even more difficult time for you. The upset in our personal lives is just a microcosm of the macrocosm. Our current state of global affairs is simply a reflection of our planetary collective (un)conscious. No person, organization, world leader, or institution of any kind, is to blame other than ourSelves. This is OUR collective doing. Every bit of it. We can no longer point our fingers outside of ourselves and blame another because we are the other. We will NEVER heal that way. Separation, duality and an 'us vs them' mentality are what has us in this place.

What can lil old you possibly do to make a difference in this crazy world? 

First of all, you can stop complaining, bitching, moaning and whining. Until we step out of our personal victim-mentality and take radical personal responsibility and ownership for the heaven or shit-show of our lives, and actually do something about it and stop blaming and/or expecting our government, our ex, our parents, our boss, etc to fix it, bail us out, or save us—we will remain in this mess. Nothing will get better and like Edmund Burke said, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men (and women) to do nothing.” Most of us have all been doing NOTHING for way too long, and it is exactly the reason we are here now. Regardless of what we’ve been programmed to believe, we are NOT helpless. We contain all of the power—we just don’t realize it.

How do we fix it? How can we create peace, when we’re not the ones with access to that red phone? I have a few ideas. Let’s keep it simple for now.

1. Stop clinging to a life you hate because of your fear. Let it go. Let go of everything that enslaves you. It's costing you! If you are in a marriage, partnership, job, religion, or personal belief system that feels like it is draining your life-force and vitality, get the fuck out. If you are in a marriage because you are afraid you can’t make it on your own, or your church/beliefs told you to stay no matter what and it isn’t authentic for you—it’s killing you. Same with your job, if you dread it and can not find anything about it to like—it’s killing you. As David Whyte more eloquently puts it, “Anything that does not bring you alive is too (fucking) small for you.” And allow me to add, if it is too small for you, then it is most likely draining you. If it is an energy suck and not an energy boost, your mood and level of consciousness will remain low af. When your emotions are resonating at the frequency of apathy, anger, grief, shame or guilt, your health will also be in the gutter. HOW YOU FEEL MATTERS! If it’s not life-affirming, it’s life draining. Ask yourSelf if how you are living is nourishing your Soul or if it’s toxic? You can not change the world living in a toxic environment. Change it or get out!

2. Follow your heart and your authentic bliss….it will lead you right into your life purpose. What do you care about? What makes you cry? What lights your soul on fire? Almost always our dharma is connected to how we can assist and serve others. What is your gift? How do you bring Light into a dark world? What is that thing you do that always feels like a contribution and makes you happy and proud inside? Do that!! Pursue THAT!! Do more of it! Either figure out how to earn a living doing it or do it on the side as much as you can. It will bring you joy!! Joy is a high frequency!! It will attract more good things and give everyone around you permission to live in their own joy.

3. Cultivate inner peace. No, it’s not that hard. Once you have courageously let go of what is toxic and are boldly pursuing that which is nourishing, you will inevitably experience more joy and clarity. Knowing that you are on the right path of liberation and purpose creates an environment of inner peace and is an absolute byproduct of your clarity and vision. F
rom the alchemist "To realize one’s destiny is a person’s only obligation." When people everywhere start stepping into their own brilliance and power, and not waiting for someone else to do it for them, they will develop a sense of self-worth and confidence. Their happiness will grow when they are BE-ing the Light instead of draining someone else’s. We can not expect peace in the world until we can create peace in our own families, tribes, and communities. If you can’t divorce consciously and amicably without a war, you are to blame for wars between nations. If you’re a hater, you add to the collective hate vibe on the planet. Figure that shit out! It doesn’t take a rocket scientist. As is the microcosm, so is the macrocosm. YOU ARE MAKING A DIFFERENCE—whether you consciously know it or not. Choose to be conscious about what your contribution is to the collective. 

So what can YOU do? CREATE PEACE in your own sphere of influence. Stop pointing the finger of blame elsewhere and look inside yourself. It’s the ONLY place YOU can make a difference, initially. Want world peace? Transform the anger, rage, bitterness, and apathy in your own Soul first. Then, you will be liberated from your chains that bind, your heart will feel light, your mind will be clear and YOU will be BEING the fucking change, already. Imagine what would be possible if you dropped all of your toxic bullshit, you might have beautiful expansive ideas instead of hateful contracting ones. You would be free to pursue your truth and purpose instead of spending your time seeking revenge and placing blame everywhere outside of yourself.

Imagine if we all acknowledged our own part in the devastation of our planet and decided to make an about-face and at least rectify our own negative output with something more authentic and positive. Imagine a wave of that across our beautiful planet. Imagine refusing to commiserate with all the Muggle’s complaints about the President, and world affairs. Imagine instead, sharing your bliss about what you are doing that helps you feel joy and creates peace within YOU. The world is waiting for us to wake up, show up and shine. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. Release your toxic life and relationships, follow your heart, cultivate inner peace and for fuck’s sake, BE NICE. That is the way we TRANSFORM the world. One crusty Muggle conversion at a time.

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

How to Harness the Power of Navaratri & the Goddess for the Processes of Fall

pic found on SewaGroup

Navaratri-Nine Nights of the Goddess 

What I’ve found over the decades of being a junkie for spirituality, is that traditions, mythologies and even megalithic structures from all over the world, not only point to similar things, but most of them also point to the cycles of nature in some way. It is clear to me, that the Divine, spells it all out for us in every direction that we look, that what is going on ‘out there’ (in nature and the cosmos) is also going on within ourSelves. One of those traditions that show up in fall, is Maha Navaratri. I’ve been in love with this holy-day since we first met! 

Navaratri is a  special celebration from the Hindu tradition that honors the goddess and is venerated in India and Nepal. It occurs about five times a year with the most celebrated being Spring and Fall as it marks the turning of the year. It commemorates the dance of the Divine Feminine for ushering in the shift in the seasons. It’s a portal in time, marking a transition between the seen and unseen, spirit and matter, and the dark and the light. It’s a time when we feel like we are straddling both worlds and we are neither here nor there, but somewhere in between in the netherworld. Probably for this very reason, that you hear that the veil between worlds is thin at this time and is ripe for contacting ancestors and angels. 

The most significant/potent of the two Navaratri celebrations is during Fall, that’s why it’s called ‘Maha’ Navaratri. ‘Maha’ means great, ‘Nava’ means nine, and ‘ratri’ means night in Sanskrit. So essentially, it means the great nine nights of the goddess. This ‘holy’-day coincides with the Vedic lunar calendar and is thought to be the most powerful ten days of the year. The ancient seers/rishis of India identified Navratri as the time for the destruction of evil forces due to the power available at this time, to let go, destroy, release, transform and transmute our darkness into light. It is associated with a death cycle as the days get shorter and the nights get longer and life is being called into silence. Being closely linked with the seasons and with nature, it supports transformation, letting go, and healing. It invites our own deep dive into consciousness, awareness and our own inner wisdom.

So the story goes that each year during Navratri, the Great Mother manifests herself in the warrior form of Durga/Kali to battle the evil demon Mahishasura, who represents the dark forces that threaten the existence of goodness. The Goddess/Divine Feminine/Shakti Energy (Devas), descends to the Earth plane to awaken the Earth from a deep slumber. Her mission is to destroy the demons (Asuras) that could be interpreted as all types of negativity, evil forces and disharmony like the ego, greed, lust, laziness, fear, ignorance, sickness, anger, poverty, and jealousy that threaten to destroy our creative life and spiritual progress. She battles Mahishasura for nine nights and is victorious in the demons’ destruction on the 10th day.

It’s the classic battle between the light and dark, the good and bad, and the conscious and the sub-conscious that takes place within all beings. The story shows good triumphing over evil as the Devas/goddesses personify courage, universal love and self-discipline that overcome the Asuras/ego-driven nature of desires and greed. It is also a reminder that what is going on ‘out there’ in nature, when we are in the balance of light and dark, is also going on within ourselves, and that we, like the Devas, have the power to heal, transform and integrate those polarities within ourSelves. 

Navaratri is the celebration of the goddess in all of her forms. In many traditions, she is not simply an energy, vibration or frequency. She is the mega-divine female, the Mother Divine—the counterpart of God the Father, create-ress of the phenomenal world. The invitation during this sacred time is to align with the powerful forces of this Divine Feminine/Divine Mother Shakti energy in the form of Durga, Lakshmi and Saraswati who represent power, abundance and wisdom in their most auspicious forms. They are each celebrated for three of the nine nights.

The power-house of this goddess trinity can be invoked to assist us in these shadowy processes of fall. Let’s take a look at how allowing the glorious light of the goddess to enter our consciousness, can assist us in transmuting our own darkness. It’s only fitting that we begin with Durga/Kali as she is the first aspect venerated at Navaratri and the most bad-ass for our own descent into darkness that initiates our own path to enlightenment. In fact, she should definitely join Archangel Michael as the feminine patron saint of our Beautiful Darkness journey. 

First of all, who is this trinity of feminine badasses? 

Durga aka Kali: She is the warrior goddess extraordinaire—complete with belt of dismembered heads. She wipes out, purifies, uproots, and transforms. She offers protection from enemies and dark forces. 

Lakshmi: She is the goddess of wealth, fortune, beauty and health. Lakshmi is said to bestow inexhaustible wealth on her devotees. She is the goddess of the home and ensures you have everything that you need. She offers support and nurturing in all areas of life.

Saraswati: She is the goddess of wisdom, the creative arts, music, skill, speech  and education. She is the goddess of consciousness. On Navaratri she dons a more ferocious form to eradicate ignorance and impurity in the world. She bestows right knowledge, understanding, creativity and artistry. She blesses her devotees with clarity, discrimination, wisdom and attaining excellence in the arts and sciences. 

In order to have all-around success in life, believers seek the blessings of all three aspects of the divine feminine, hence the nine nights of worship.

I like to think about what it looks like, in our modern world to embrace and embody each of those aspects of the goddess and how I would invoke their energies. For the purpose of the particular work in this book of fall and the shadow, this is how I see these energies manifesting:

As I was meditating on Kali and how I could invoke her for shadow work, I saw her with her sword and her eyes were firey to illuminate truth from bullshit. I have always seen her as a fierce ‘momma bear’ energy, like someone who would be looking out for your best interest in a ferocious way. My request or invocation was that she would embody us, in a way that we could see with her eyes, the truthfulness of our lives. In other words, if Kali were surveying your life (imagine her eyes behind yours), she wouldn’t mince her words, her tongue is like a sword. If she were to see you in a toxic relationship, and you tried to tell her that it wasn’t that bad, she would rip you a new one with clarity and truth. She would call a spade a spade and say, “WTF are you doing here? Do you not know your worth?” She would take her sword and slash that relationship in half. She would pick up that addiction, that you have been justifying as ‘not that bad’, and lift it over her head and smash it to the ground into a thousand pieces—because she loves you. 

I see Kali as an energy that would illuminate and awaken our own consciousness to all of our negativity, self-sabotage, and playing small ways. She would wield her sword of truth to illuminate any toxicity or inauthenticity in your life and in your sub-conscious. Her tenacity and eyes of fire would have you see with brutal honesty, all that is no longer in alignment with the truth of you and your dharma, and aid you in rooting it out. I see the fire shooting out of her eyes, like a super-hero burning to the ground, all that isn’t authentic. 

As you courageously take on this work, you too, will wear your own slayed demons around your belt of accomplishments from that which you have transmuted from your own shadowsalchemically having transformed your darkness into light and power. 

When you use the energy of Kali, just know, blood will be shed—your own. When you see yourself with her fiery eyes, there will be no more excuses, you will instantly be incinerated at the first untruth or self-deception that comes forth from your lips. All your excuses that have justified your bad behavior will evaporate, and you will be left witnessing the harsh truth of you. If that weren’t enough, you will see all the ways you have betrayed yourSelf and your own Soul and you will be left bleeding out on the battlefield of your own interior. 

However, as devastating as this may initially appear, it is the first step on your path to enlightenment, often called the dark night of the Soul. It is a death of sorts, to all that is inauthentic and toxic to your new growth and evolution. But just like the promise of the sliver of the new moon that comes after the dark moon, and the Winter Solstice that celebrates the return of the light when it is at its weakest, when you are lying lifeless from your harrowing battle, Maha Lakshmi comes to your aide. 

Ahhhh momma Lakshmi. She always reminds me of my grandmother, the goddess of the hearth and home. My grandmother was the glue of our family. She had a large, Victorian home in Maine, that you could always count on being well nourished there in her care. She provided us all with home cooked meals, a roof over our head, and a listening ear in hard times. 

How I envision Lakshmi, in our work of the shadow, is the great nurturer and goddess of self care. When you find yourSelf bleeding out at some of the devastation the radical, fiery-eyes of Kali has brought to light, call on Maha Lakshmi. Embody her loving care as you bestow yourSelf with some creature comforts. Put on your favorite sweater, make yourself some warm soup or a cup of tea. Beautify your surroundings with flowers, a clean space, and cozy blankets. 

Do all that you can to nurture yourSelf while you are undergoing this dark process. If Kali were the body/embodiment, Lakshmi would be the heart. To see yourSelf through the compassionate eyes of Lakshmi, picture the grandmothers, taking you in after you just got beat up by life. How would they nurture your Soul? What creature comforts would feel the most nourishing to you at this time? Don’t deprive yourSelf, pamper yourSelf. Show yourSelf some Lakshmi Self-love and care. 

I like to picture Lakshmi as the attending nurse, that comes while my Soul is in the ICU unit. She is going to breathe life back into me and show me that beauty exists on the other side of my pain. She is here to shine the light of hope that all will be well—like the celebration of the Light on the Winter Solstice. Part of the gift of Lakshmi is not only material wealth, but spiritual wealth as well. 

When you have re-gained your strength, are feeling better, and Lakshmi has taught you how to nurture and have compassion for your wounded Self, in comes your wise counselor, Saraswati. She will assist you in turning your wounds into wisdom by processing all that you have gone through. 

Saraswati is going to aide you in comprehending, making peace with, and transforming your past, and your shadows and the masks that you wear to hide them. She will act like an alchemist and transmit to you how everything you have undergone, has had meaning and purpose and was for the growth of your Soul. You will gain great wisdom as you submit and surrender to her counsel. 

You can invoke the wisdom of Saraswati, to know what music would be best for the processing of different emotions, and which essential oils would be powerful to facilitate bringing up and healing past wounds. You can request her inspiration while you use any of the creative arts of drawing, writing, painting, or singing as a means of therapy and inspiration for others. 

Her wisdom will guide you to connect any dots of your past pain with your own dharma and life purpose. Often our greatest strengths come from our deepest wounds, and become a gift when we can share those stories of over-coming with others in their times of need.

Aligning with the energy of the goddess at Navaratri, supports the process of fall and assists us in shining the light of awareness on our shadows, knowing what deserves to be released, and letting go of what is no longer serving our highest, authentic, expression. As we let go of our darkness, we create space for our inner light and wisdom to arise. 

It matters not if you are male or female—the Divine Shakti power that sustains life, exists in both men and women as receptivity, nurturing, vulnerability, beauty, inspiration, fertility, prosperity, joy, intuition, and community and are available to all of us. In a world where It appears that the goddess has long been forgotten, and is no longer a living presence for most people in our modern, industrial, patriarchal society, we would do well to bring Her back into our awareness. When our connection to Her is weak, we suffer financially, physically, mentally and emotionally. The Shakti power brings everything that is enlivening, nurturing and inspiring into this world. 

There is so much more to this power-house trinity of goddesses! What I’ve shared above, is how to utilize the energy for a specific purpose. I’ll be sharing more about how to invoke different archetypal energies with each turn of the wheel of life—coming up next with the Winter Solstice, then the Spring Equinox and culminating with the Summer Solstice. Meanwhile, do your own research, ask yourSelf how you embody each one of those energies and how do they play out in your life. Where have you abandoned the goddess? Which goddess archetype do you feel more aligned? Which energy comes easy and which is more of a challenge for you—the brutal honesty and momma bear quality of Kali, the Self-love, nurturing and compassion of Lakshmi or turning your wounds into wisdom, like Saraswati? 

Embody, invoke or propitiate these goddess energies as your own spiritual practice dictates. Follow your heart. Create your own rituals. Set up a sacred alter. Light a candle. Meditate. Chant an ancient mantra to one of these or other goddesses, or make up your own. Place a picture or a statue of your favorite goddess in a prominent or auspicious spot in your home or yard. Be more conscious and aware of honoring the goddess in all of her forms throughout your day. Bow. Have gratitude. Allow the Divine Feminine some space to be embodied within yourSelf. Love. Flow. Create. Happy Navaratri. ©Laurie Frazier ~excerpt from Beautiful Darkness

Using Crystals to Represent the Energies of Kali, Lakshmi & Saraswati to Facilitate the Processes of Fall

So if using crystals are a part of your practice, or you would like them to be, or if you have no clue what I’m talking about right now, let’s keep it simple. Crystals, rocks, stones, etc carry specific energies, as do herbs, animals, elements, and seasons. Whether they truly have the energy that they’ve been used for for hundreds/thousands of years or whether they don’t, for me, they have the energy ((( I )) bestow on them. It is my intention that empowers the ‘thing’ to hold that energy for me. 

When I have a particular goal, something I want to manifest, create or let go of, I will often set up a sacred space a.k.a. alter, that I put carefully chosen items on to represent whatever it is that I am working on. Just the focused act of contemplating that particular intention, and choosing what I do to represent it, has power. Every time I walk by that sacred space, I am reminded of what I am working on, if only momentarily. The physical representation in my home of my mental construct, assists me in bringing the particular goal into fruition. 

As I intentionally choose the things I do, I am clear in my mind that I am choosing what I choose, for very specific reasons.  Sometimes, the same item will represent different things, at different times. For instance, a feather may represent harnessing the element of air and another time, it may represent something I am letting go of, thus making myself ‘light as a feather.’ The power comes in my clarity and my specific intention for that particular item. 

I prefer to go with the flow and tap into the energy that has already been used for hundreds of years, like a feather representing air, a candle representing fire and a rose quartz having the energy of love and compassion. Like a Sanskrit sutra, which is simply a mantra with meaning, that has been chanted repetitively for thousands of years and is believed to carry the specific energy of its meaning by the mere chanting of it—particular items, because they have been used for thousands of years for specific ends, go with that! Because why not? It’s like a stone rolling downhill—that’s the energy you want to tap into. And, there are always things that hold specific meaning for me and nobody else, I use those just as often. 

So that was a long introduction to saying here are the different crystals I would use to harness/represent the energies of the goddesses above, Kali, Lakshmi and Saraswati as the particular way that they manifest during our shadow processes of fall. 

Kali: Any black stone like obsidian, black tourmaline, etc. Why? Because black stones are known to absorb negativity. I had an experience once, while teaching in an addiction treatment facility, where one of the patients that had just relapsed on heroine, was holding my black tourmaline and this fist size stone broke in half in his hand! No kidding. I was like, this shit is real! So get some black stones/crystals, if it resonates with you, holds it in your hand while you are meditating on these heavy emotions, carry it in your pocket or bra. Maybe on the left side, by your heart ladies, to absorb all that resentment, anger, and disappointment. I suggest that when you use it, you communicate with it and let it know its job. “Beautiful crystal, please absorb any negativity that resides in me.” “Thank you for holding my negative thoughts, emotions, etc.” 

Be intentional. Connect with whatever you are using. Hold it in your hands, close your eyes, notice if you feel anything whatsoever—warmth, vibration, tingling, coolness. Do it often. As you let go of your heavy stuff, you will become more sensitive. Keep tuning in. Let  these items/objects/oils/rocks/plants/etc speak to you. Also, speak to them. Let them know what you would like them to represent for you. Conjur up the feeling, power, emotion you want them to carry, while you are holding it and imbue them with it. 

Apparently, back in the way back machine, crystals used to be used to carry messages from one kingdom to another. Yet another lost art. I digress…

Lakshmi: Although Lakshmi is known most for the quality of abundance, in this work of the shadow, we are harnessing her aspect of being the goddess of health and well-being and invoking her for Self-love and care. In pictures of Lakshmi, pink often seems to be one of the predominant colors. As I meditated on her, and how we could best use her energy in the dark work of fall, she came to me as a nurse and a care-taker, like a really good grandmother. The stone that best represents that to me is hands down, rose quartz. 

Rose quartz is the stone of love and compassion. It feels very Venusian, which Lakshmi also represents being the goddess of beauty and the home. Get a nice big chunk of it for your alter, a smaller one for your pocket, or buy it in jewelry and wear it. One can never manifest or harness enough love and compassion—especially Self-love. 

Every time you see this warm pink stone, ask yourself, “What can I do to nourish me?” “What do I need in this moment?” Also ask yourself where have you not been caring for you and showing yourSelf some love. How is that Self-talk going? Are you being kind to you? Is there an environment of friendliness within yourSelf? If not, please remind yourSelf that having compassion for you, is the only healthy way to do this work. If you find yourself being more of a hater, put the work down. You don’t get to play here without the loving compassion of Lakshmi. Let this pink rock be a reminder to you, with every glimpse, to love you some you. 

Saraswati: Without question the crystal I would use in honoring the quality of wisdom in Saraswati in this situation, is amethyst. Why? Because purple is the color that represents the crown chakra and also the sixth or sixth sense, and both are connected to inner and divine wisdom. Amethyst is a very high-frequency, purifying stone that is not only used to protect against negative energy, but is also known to awaken higher consciousness. 

In other words, because we are invoking Saraswati, to assist us in turning our wounds into wisdom, it requires us stepping out of our egos and tapping into our Higher Selves. Our Higher Selves, can see with different eyes, the big picture. Using our intuition, we can see how everything we have gone through is also pointing us in a direction, cultivating strengths, and creating skills we didn’t have before the challenge. Using the energy of Saraswati, amethyst, and our own intention we can alchemize our weakness into strengths, and make chicken soup, out of chicken shit (as my grandmother used to say) or more pc, turning lemons into lemonade. 

Again, none of this is necessary. Wether you see these goddesses as real for you or merely archetypal, whether you believe crystals and stones inherently carry the energy I’ve shared or they don’t, it matters not. Real or imagined, fairy tale or quantum physics, we are simply pointing to something. We are more powerful than we can even imagine. Our beliefs create our world. I choose to align with those that not only feel resonate to my heart and Soul, but ones that give my life more meaning and a magical quality. 

I choose to be an active participant with the Divine/Higher Self in the co-creation of my life. I like to set clear intentions, and align myself with the energies present for a more effortless and graceful flow to my experience. I enjoy feeling intimately connected to nature, the seasons and the elements—which includes, but is not limited to trees, plants, animals, and stones. Mythology, archetypes and story-telling give me an anchor on which to align my own experience and have a greater understanding of my world. Connecting all of these dots, harnessing all of the energies I resonate with to manifest and create what I desire, makes me feel like an alchemical wizard and magical af—if only in my own mind, which is all that ever matters, anyway.  ©Laurie Frazier ~excerpt from Beautiful Darkness-A Journey through the Shadows to Emotional Freedom