the truth about Perception

the truth about Perception

Know this…

I am a pretty tough chick. I can change my oil and brake pads, plug a tire, change air filters, climb ladders. Fix, repair, tighten and cut (yes I have three kinds of electric saws and I am not scared to use them). 

But …

Let a spider cross my path and I am climbing furniture, screaming for someone to rescue me. 

I’m not sure how this began for me …

Maybe my mother hated them and seeing her fear conditioned me to be ever so vigilant. Even creeped out to the point of abandoning the premises until someone much braver that she (or I) resolved this horrifying issue. 

A student recently shared a picture of a child doing a very challenging yoga pose with such ease and grace that it amazed us both, yet as I reflected on his pose and his even bliss within this posture, it suddenly struck me that he had no fear. So what if he fell. No one had told him it was scary or he should be hesitant. So … he dove right in. 

That is the same for all the fearless acts I have done … that I am proud of. Climbing 12 foot ladders. Moving furniture 10 times my size.  Trying new things that will expand my mind and my thinking (and my muscles too). 

I don’t fear until I see others scared. I don’t gently glean the edges of experiences because others incredulously tell me how stupid it is to try. But sometimes, if I am not mindful, their self speak becomes my own. I don’t attribute this to a weakness in my character, more so a reverence others experiences. But their experiences are their own based on their prior conditioning. (That is a huge ball of yarn for you to unravel) …

or

we can take a different approach. 

(Insert my amazing young child, fearless and soaking up every experience around her). 

Enter the fuzzy-legged spider IN my bath WHILE I am in it! 

Dramatic scene to say the least which may have involved streaking through the house naked pleading with her to come to my aide. 

After the fiasco and water spillage was resolved, like a mother to child she insisted I sit beside her and we have “a talk.” She began by telling me I was the bravest person she knows, then the litany of reasons followed. 

Yep … waterworks then humiliation. 

She consoled me (oh these wise babes we have raised) pulled me towards her and whipped out her phone. She said she wanted me to watch Lucas. And watch it over and over until the edges dulled and I could see these little harmless critters with more compassion. 

https://youtu.be/Xw23Ypo_FWo

This was three years ago. The conditioning often creeps back in but now I am more mindful of my perceptions and my reactions. 

Today I went to the beach. Unpacking my chair and towels I had retrieved from their winter hibernation in the storage room. 

As I shook my towel to lay across my chair, out crawled my little Lucas. Instead of flipping my chair or tossing things about (as I may have years ago) I freed him to the sand and thought…

Oh, how glad he must be to be freed from that dark storage cavern to enjoy the sand and breeze and sea…

Just like me…

So here we sit. 

Micki Beach, owner and lead instructor at Tree of Life Yoga Studio in Oak Island, NC, is the author of 10 Little Rules for Finding Your Truth. Her book is available at www.10littlerules.com, on Amazon, and at select retail stores and in her studio.

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the truth about Pausing

the truth about Pausing

Remember a time when you actually had to pick up the phone and dial someone’s number and ask for them on the other end of the line and wait patiently. Maybe you wanted to share a story with them, something you saw or heard on your drive home from work.

Our access to technology and social media has made everyone impatient, aggressive and an instant reporter.

You know this story ….

As soon as we see some tragic, sad event we feel the need to grab our phones (and I say grab with a slight eye roll because most people have them in their hand all the time anyway these days) to share this witnessed event with everyone.

Is it for recognition? (The alternative is much more heartbreaking.)

I’m not quite sure but as I’m riding home from work today I noticed a terrible accident in front of one our local delis. These two cars collided so hard that they both ended up in the front yard of the establishment.

Yep, then the horrendous traffic ensues. You know these events. There isn’t actually a car in the road disturbing the flow of traffic yet people begin slowing down in their cars and taking pictures …

of other people’s desperation.

And I just got to thinking …

Years ago we would’ve looked at that scene of an accident and been heartbroken for the tragedy. We may have even said a prayer or sent a blessing out that everyone was ok. We would have driven home, shaken and slowly processed what we witnessed …

My parents may have even used it as an opportunity to teach us kids how important it was to pay attention. Drive slowly. Let the other car go first. Smile and wave them into traffic.

We would have had a discussion about what those people must be going through … how sad it must be for them.

And with all this, we spent time processing, encouraging and self checking.

By the time we felt the need to talk someone about it (if ever), the heart mind had taken the place of the logical mind.

How have we lost our compassion?

I refuse to believe that we have turned into a world of one uppers, soap box preaching, nit-picking people. This is not who we are at our true essence and until we realize what may be the driving force behind such behavior, we can never correct it. The fact that someone references “Karen” in my daily Facebook feed just forces a shameful sigh and an avoidance of the platform altogether.

We don’t allow things to sit and settle within us before we exploit, share, degrade, or complain about the them.

I think the really big question is why do we feel the need to do this??

Maybe sometimes we need to find those “commercial breaks” again …

those pauses to step away and really process information.

They gave us time to decompress, think about things, and understand that our words have affects on others.

Choose wisely what you put out in the world.

Love,

A PSA from the empath author who soaks up all you are putting out there.

Micki Beach, owner and lead instructor at Tree of Life Yoga Studio in Oak Island, NC, is the author of 10 Little Rules for Finding Your Truth. Her book is available at www.10littlerules.com, on Amazon, and at select retail stores and in her studio.

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the truth about Wandering

the truth about Wandering

I am a beach girl. Plant me, park me and leave me be and I couldn’t be happier. But my soul speak begins to stir and the aching to explore the length of the beach, the plethora of shells, even all the human interactions takes over. I used to love company on my walks and but it seems that all my chosen partners rushed the explorations for one reason or another so the ease and fulfillment that came from my adventures slowly turned to a hurried pace and worry for my companion’s comfort. 

The company I longed for on excursions became an albatross around my neck until their lack of enthusiasm became my own. 

Their dispassion for my comforts slowly took the thrill from me. 

Until I sat… stagnant, uninspired. Even grumpy most days. 

I was not filling my cup. 

Recently I travelled back to my old college stomping grounds. Wistfully revisiting old haunts and memories. Happier times. More spontaneous and adventurous. I hadn’t been back for over 20 years. 

But ever so slowly my companion allowed me to direct each adventure, slowly refilling my cup in those cool mountain springs and out of the way bookstores. Rambling with no purpose. Just driving and exploring, not knowing what was around the next bend or “hollar.”

I reflected one treasure I had kept since my college days, an old bumper sticker. Purchased my freshman year and always proudly displayed in my dorm. “Not all who wander are lost”.

It struck me then …  and continues to. For some reason I never stuck it to anything permanent. I felt like it needed to be fluid just as the printed words reminded me to be. I have lost this little treasure time and again in all my moves and transitions in life, only for it to resurface in some box or stuck away book it seems, exactly when I need the gentle nudge again in my life. 

Even to this day. 

Our passions are our own.

We can not expect others to blaze the trail with us.

And we most certainly can not let others take the thrill of such passions from us. 

Seek your truth. 

Protect it.

Live it and know it. 

Go Wander!

 

Micki Beach, owner and lead instructor at Tree of Life Yoga Studio in Oak Island, NC, is the author of 10 Little Rules for Finding Your Truth. Her book is available at www.10littlerules.com, on Amazon, and at select retail stores and in her studio.

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Vinnie’s Spoken Word: One Thing Vs. Many?

Vinnie’s Spoken Word: One Thing Vs. Many?

Creativity in its purest form is creating the life that you were meant to live … fully and joyfully with no regrets.

Vinnie sure knows that is real for him! I consider myself a good cook, but he taught me some lessons about variety, cooking and creativity.

Creativity is much more massive than the attempt or ability to paint a picture,  produce a screenplay or teach dancing. It begins and lives within every single thing we do and say, each and every day.  

Recently I had a discussion with someone about the value of knowing your why. I do think it is everything, in terms of eliminating second-guessing,  self-doubt and indecision. 

Knowing your why is the catalyst for owning your energy signature and will guide you to consciously making decisions that work for you in living the life you deserve and desire.   

It is your niche … a place or position that’s particularly appropriate for someone or something, especially due to being very specific and different from others. That, I believe, is where narrowing down on a personal and deep level will get you the most focus and clarity about the direction of your life. And you have to use your creativity to get at what is truly meaningful for you; what will get you up in the morning.

There is where Vinnie comes in. Boom, bang, fast, intentional and unafraid. He got me to thinking about how creativity comes into play with cooking.  

He swirls around like a windstorm, rarely landing. He doesn’t like nor does he want anyone in his kitchen. That is A-OK by me. I was on vacation and when at home I do all the cooking. Living in Michigan and shutdown for a year has tested my cooking creativity to the max, so It was truly a treat to be waited on as if in a restaurant, as plates of deliciousness magically appeared in front of me.

He knew what he was going to cook. It was well planned and everything was bought and ready. But the one thing he knew he was going to prepare was just the beginning of a creative cyclone that brought in the many. Vinnie’s words, paraphrased:

“When I eat, I want a lot of flavors, various versions, and many different kinds of food. I don’t want to eat one thing.”  

What started out as waffles, turned into a mound of soft, thick, and with a bit of crunch waffles, top with some sausage that was seasoned with dozens of spices, underneath fresh blueberries and topped with real organic thick maple syrup (laced with butter) that was heated. I could not stop that  sentence from being so long because it is one memory that reads in my mind just as I wrote it. Not just waffles but lots of tastes, textures and flavors adding to the final creation.

He did the same thing with shrimp. We’ve had shrimp about 5 different ways already.  Even the melted butter for the crab legs was laced with garlic and some other mystery flavor. If you’ve ever watched Forrest Gump you’ll remember his friend listing the many ways shrimp can be prepared and eaten.

Creativity can be a planned action…knowing you are going to paint a picture, prepare a meal or write a book. If you trust yourself and let your soul feel what it feels, there will be some stirrings that pop to the surface that are inspirational, unexpected and full of delight. Add as many pop-ups as you can and see how and if it delights you and adds flavor to your life.

Don’t be afraid to let in some funky, some soul, or some unexpected ingredient into your creation. It might surprise and delight you! And if no one else notices, no matter. Focus on how it makes you feel. Does it help you feel that what you are doing matters? Does it add to your yummy life, help you hear your whispers, and bring you bliss? Does it help you live the life you’ve always imagined?  

This is what matters. 

To thine own self be true.   Allow others to do the same.  Do no harm.

Rita Long is the author of 10 Little Rules for Your Creative Soul.

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What is your creativity trigger?

What is your creativity trigger?

Sometimes it’s the things that ignite us, like the depth of the ocean and the roar of her waves, that bring us the clarity and focus we need to get excited about creating our lives.

Not the life we imagined, but a life re-imagined. A life consciously created, moment by moment, based on how we feel, listening to our whispers, and taking our own counsel. 

So it was for me recently when I realized Covid was taking control of my life, and I did not recognize my life as my own. Covid became a negative trigger for me. It triggered fear, suspicion, anger, sadness, loneliness, doubt, loss of freedom and security and even life itself as we once knew it. What a rabbit-hole a negative trigger can lead us into!    

A decision was made. Living a life of creativity is based more on curiosity than on fear, and the plans had been made before the ‘rona visited. I call it the Covid Connection because, in retrospect, it wore away at my soul and my psyche. It wore me down, it made me weaker and it made me doubt a lot of things during those 9 months of lock-down and social distancing. And I took a lot of Vitamin C to fight off the virus as well as build my immune system.

Realizing I needed healing, and knowing that when I really, really need healing I go to the sea, I decided to make the journey to the waters edge. Airline tickets were cancelled and very long, arduous car drives were added. I needed Vitamin Sea now. Vitamin Sea is one of my positive triggers that turns my brain into a creative force like little else. 

The Sea … she lifts me up and grounds me all at the same time! There’s a humbling insignificance I feel as I watch her relentless, consistent, unexpected and never-ending magistracy as it goes on-and-on, day-after-day, year-by-year and through the centuries of time.

The sea has always been a trigger for me. I am in awe of the massive creativity connection I have with water.   I feel all of my senses come to life as soon as I begin to smell the hint of salt in the air miles away. As I drive closer to shoreline, I seem to vibrate with hope, anticipation, passion and purpose. Sitting watching the waves, the surf, the bold power of the sea gives way to feelings of connection and oneness. How can it be so powerful and yet variable? How can it be destructive and yet so alluring? How can it be so strong and yet so intriguing and inviting?

So…here’s my question for you. What are your triggers? Those things, sounds, feelings, sayings, looks, songs, memories, etc that stir you up and kick you into high gear?   Good or bad, it’s important to notice. They pull you much like a trigger on a gun. They can cause you pain or create joy…it’s still a trigger. Figure our what YOUR creativity trigger is and your life will become magic.   Figure out what YOUR down-the-rabbit-hole trigger is and your life can become magic when you learn how to manage and take control of it’s appearance and impact on you.

Contrast can be good if we observe and learn. The problems come when we are emotionally out-of-touch and bounce back and forth not truly owning the feelings we are having or why we are reacting as we do. If something feels wrong to you, ask yourself why? Do you have any control over it? Is it serving you? Or is it getting in your way of joy and love?

Our whispers speak to us about our truth, our calling, our vision and our contribution.

Our creativity allows us to life the life we were meant to life, in our own certain way.

Rita Long is the author of 10 Little Rules for Your Creative Soul.

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the truth about Squirrels

the truth about Squirrels

Mach speed.

I move at no other pace and often get impatient when others aren’t keeping up with me.

It’s been labeled as “controlling” and “bitchy“ in the past … neither of which did I fondly adore!

I was dubbed squirrel because of the unnerving pace my mind switched gears.

A recent quote I just saw online (respectfully quoting unknown source) “Feeling the need to be busy all the time is a trauma response and fear-based distraction from what you’d be forced to acknowledge and feel if you slowed down.”

Yep…. Take a minute and reread that.

Does that hit you in the feels like it did me?

My ex husband used to ask me to just sit down. Be beside him and watch TV and just be still.

I could do that in the beginning of our relationship but as things started to detiorate my stillness was less and less. I was spiraling in a constant need to work, clean, garden … anything. I just had to keep moving. Because if I sat still, the full impact of the distress in my heart would land on top of me and bury me alive.

I told myself I was strong. I had been through worse and survived. I had rebuilt my life time and again from the mere hope buried in my heart. Somehow that seed that I felt had hardened over, time and again, kept receiving light and water and warmth from some pretty mysterious sources and would crack open once again.

The healing I needed this year after ending a marriage with a man I held dear in my heart for 30 years was nowhere to be found. I wanted to lay down and never take a breath again. All transpiring in the months immediately before the pandemic, this dissolution of a marriage that I thought was finally my forever, left me shell shocked and unrecognizable to myself. Cue the news unveiling the virus, stay at home orders, my beach closing … my friends withdrawn and my studio doors closing.

I have worked years to understand my empathic abilities through much pain and sadness. I have struggled to find the right combination of healing through poses, and salt baths, which stones steadied my shaking hand and which foods nourished my soul. I had my toolbox. Every little thing I needed. I would not fall into the abyss THIS time … although I wanted to.

And as the months passed and my studio doors stayed closed, my tribe all isolated away from me, those tools I pulled out one by one were no longer working. I found that although I have been able to take pain and sadness from others … help them carry their burden … they had also done the same for me all along.

I had not talked about my separation with anyone. The details or the pain. I smiled and continued to provide the support others needed until my dearest friend Carol came and sat with me one day on my porch and broke the dam. She allowed me to share my painful story and sat quietly as I cried and yelled and spewed the madness from the pit of my stomach that was my life.

As I settled, she took her leave with a loving embrace reassuring me I was a warrior. This too, I would rise from.

Carol, who is also an empath, reached out later saying she had taken her leave from my porch because she didn’t feel well and shortly after arriving home was sick to her stomach and regurgitated.  As saddened as it made me that I had released all that negative energy into my friend and it had made her so ill … I experienced the most profound gratitude for this woman who allowed me to do so … and not only let me release, she “took” the pain from me so I could finally rest my soul.

These are your tribesmen my friend. Ones who see you, your pain and take it as their own. They carry your banner when you cannot and then throw that blazing shaft into the sky to herald the call to all others out into the world reminding us to stand strong. Because we will not only survive but we will thrive as we lift each other up and sing their praises from a faithful heart.

Micki Beach, owner and lead instructor at Tree of Life Yoga Studio in Oak Island, NC, is the author of 10 Little Rules for Finding Your Truth. Her book is available at www.10littlerules.com, on Amazon, and at select retail stores and in her studio.

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the truth about Emergence

the truth about Emergence

Are you one of those shy people like my child who likes to observe their surroundings before stepping out and into the chaos?

Or maybe you are more like me, a person that has no fear taking headlong leaps into the dark abyss?  For nearly  10 months we have lived in a constant state of fear, for ourselves, our families and friends. We have hidden away and locked ourselves up tight in hopes or preventing the spread of a virus that until recently held us gripped in panic.

As the vaccine begins to spreads and we carefully take a step back out into the world, I wonder with what type of outlook and open heart we are emerging. We have lived isolated, cut off from every single source that fills our cup. We have replaced social human contact with electronic devices that more so that not have spewed anger, frustrations and even accusations to a world that is filled with soulful human beings who are just as confused and saddened as the rest of us.

Our sighs have deepened and not for an energetic release and recuperation but more so of a deep-seated sadness that resides in the pit of our bellies. We have tried to replace the nurturing touch of other humans with electronic devices that have numbed our sensibilities and compassion for one another. I see the side stepping of people who once open heartedly embraced me. The scowls of people in stores when their safety is at risk by an incorrectly worn masks. The quick tempers, the irritations and validations of irrational opinions based on unproven facts. 

At what point do we embrace our emergence? Who or what are we allowing to dictate we have the all clear to live our lives?  We will all step back into the world completely different people, there is no doubt. But I ask you, how will you reemerge and share your gifts and grace with the world? With bitter temperaments, anger from loss  … or gratitude for the gift of life?

Every human soul is born with love and grace in their heart. Every. Living. Soul.

Step out and seek to find that seed that may be buried deep in your neighbors, your co-workers, even distanced relatives and try to look upon them with compassion as we all tentatively take in a deep breath. Emerge slowly if needed. Your conscience and heart need to be fully awakened as you step out. But my friends, it is time to release the anger, the sadness and impatience with one another and wrap our arms around each other and heal this incredible loss of life, family and freedom we have experienced this year. It is time to move forward and emerge with hearts blazing.

Micki Beach, owner and lead instructor at Tree of Life Yoga Studio in Oak Island, NC, is the author of 10 Little Rules for Finding Your Truth. Her book is available at www.10littlerules.com, on Amazon, and at select retail stores and her studio.

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the truth about Manifestation

the truth about Manifestation

man·i·fes·ta·tion

ˌmanəfəˈstāSH(ə)n,ˌmanəˌfesˈtāSH(ə)n/
noun

an event, action, or object that clearly shows or embodies something, 

especially a theory or an abstract idea.

 

I am always looking for a great book to read. I found out some of my Oak Island, yogi friends were reading E2 by Pam Grout about manifesting your intentions. 

Small 48 hour experiments for even the most steadfast skeptic. 

I am done Existing.
I am done sitting back and patiently for the universe to send me what I need.
I now feel worthy … almost.

It’s time. My time.
So I bought the book and I started reading. 

Let me preface what I’m about to tell you…

I believe. 

Most days… 

But here is the catch. 

I doubt sometimes… 

kinda. 

Whether it is self esteem or those pentacostal teachings of humbleness or greed… 

there is always a tiny seed of unworthiness or doubt deep in my heart.

But I was ready to give this E2 experimentation a good old college try! 

As a child, I remember spending sun soaked days down at The Point on Oak Island. It was a peaceful time. We swam and sailed and threw sand and chased gulls. If we needed our mother, we could always find her knee deep off the sand bars with a bucket full of sand dollars and one of shark’s teeth. 

Every. 

Single. 

Time. 

 Buckets full! 

So here I was. 

Remembering that I had never found a whole sand dollar on the island.

There were only pieces that teased that they were just beyond my reach. 

 

 

And, of course, my mother had found hundreds of them. 

(So can I)

So I cast my net so to speak. 

 

“I will find a whole sand dollar today.”

I went to The Point. I sat and enjoyed my view where the Intercoastal Waterway meets the vast ocean. I talked with a friend. I prepared my paddle board for an evening ride. 

I guess I was giving the universe ample time to get that sand dollar and put it in a place where I was sure to find it. 

And I said my intention over and over. 

Out loud and in my heart. 

In my mind…

and again out loud for good measure. 

I nudged my friend…

it was time. 

As if I was professing to the universe… “Wake up. 

I am ready for my gift from the sea.” 

We headed right to the sand bars. Got down on our knees and began to dig. We laughed and played and talked. 

(No need to doubt right?). 

That’s what the book says. 

We dug for at least an hour…

dug to China, 

pulled embedded shells out of our knees and rubbed our sore backs. 

No sand dollar. 

So I decided it was time to take a walk.  

(Surely if the universe didn’t bury my sand dollar in the exact location I chose to dig, it would just be lying out in the open on the beach for me to find… despite the other 400 beachcombers out that day). 

It WAS just waiting for me. 

We walked…

I professed… 

I didn’t cling…

I only doubted … a tiny bit…

as the sun started setting. 

Soon we would take to water and paddleboard a bit. How long could I encourage my friend to be patient with the universe? 

In all fairness 

(I told myself), 

you ARE supposed to allow 48 hours for your manifestation to be revealed to you.

It had been what, 4 hours?  

But I have never been known to be patient. 

We walked the sandbars and dodged crabs. I stopped “looking” for my treasure/gift from the sea. I just rationalized and schemed how I would find time to get back out to The Point within my 48 hour window.

I didn’t make excuses or lay blame or chastise a busy universe. I just decided it was time to enjoy my day and stop searching. 

It would COME to me. 

That’s what the book said…

I didn’t need to search for it. 

(That was my Type A kicking in) 

So as we rounded the last sandbar and casually discussed our children, I ventured toward the water to rinse the sand from my hands, one last time before paddle boarding. 

The slow ebbing wave eased out to be part of it whole again. 

There…

in the sand…

poking out just a bit..

Oh my god! 

Get! 

Out! 

I reached down. 

Rubbed my fingers over the knobby exterior. 

Its color brillant. 

Buried almost fully. 

I dropped to my knees and had to tug to free it from its grainy home… 

It seemed as if it wanted to stay and again become part of the earth from which it came. 

On my knees, 

The Universe spoke to me. 

Not a whisper. 

Not a reassurance. 

It bulldozed me! 

and I cried. ​​ 

This…

This was not my sand dollar. 

My friend looked confused. 

I could not speak. 

I rinsed it, turned it over, 

rubbed and loved my channeled whelk. 

My friend offered to place it in our bag and I refused. 

To hold it for me…

I refused. 

This moment was undeniably one of the most profound in my life. 

I held my friend’s hand…

then began to explain when I saw his confused gaze. 

“When I set my intention upon the universe earlier that day, there was a streaking thought.”

“I wish I could find a large conch.”

“But I never find them whole or even bigger than a finger. Not ever.”

“So … I conceded …

I will ask for a sand dollar. My mother found millions here. I WILL find a sand dollar today.” 

And so my mantra went…

It was a self assuring way that I knew the Universe WOULD NOT, 

COULD NOT let me down. 

But here I was, 

on my knees holding the largest conch I have ever seen, let alone found, in its natural habitat. 

Full.

Unbroken.

Beautiful. 

The Universe told me loud and clear…

“You deserve everything!”

“Never doubt me!”

Be Yoga. 

Namaste

 

Micki is the author of 10 Little Rules for Finding Your Truth. Originally posted on Tree of Life Yoga Studio’s website on Our Voice Blog.

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