How to Come Out of the Spiritual Closet

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“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom”. – Anais Nin

Coming out the spiritual closet can be terrifying. I know.

My journey to owning my gifts has been an ongoing relationship of love, acceptance and surrender.

I feel that most days I am uncomfortable but in my practice of being human I remember that I am not separate from others.

If anything my gifts brings me closer to connection, trust and vulnerability.

Talking dreams, spirit, intuition and all the things that are still becoming mainstream can be scary but yet invigorating.

I find liberation in my practice through yoga, pranayama, journaling and meditation. I find answers that I otherwise don’t get it in my waking life.

The process to discovering, owning and then sharing our gifts with the world is a delicate journey.

Some people leap right in and for some of us it takes time.

I like to remind myself that on the other side of fear is freedom.

It is a constant practice of sharing my gifts with the world.

This is true for anyone passionate about anything. Artists, writers, creatives, chefs, craftsmanship. It all requires a sense of mastery and surrender.

Letting go of the effect but trusting in the process.

Coming out of the spiritual closet requires:

  1. Remembering “WHY” we fell in love with the art of spirituality
  2. Having a vision that we are committed to, i.e. I teach people life-changing spiritual tools so they can live free, transformed and intuitively guided lives supported by the universe.
  3. Surrender, i.e. surrendering to being present with every moment being a gift to share something beautiful about ourselves in hopes of helping another
  4. Trust; trusting that there is a reason and purpose for what we feel to be true in our nature and relationship to self and the universe.

Start big, start small. Mainly just start.

The first step begins now.

On the other side of every doubt, fear, insecurity is a new gift waiting to be received.

When Your Family Hurts You & It’s Time to Let Go

“At some point, you have to realize that some people can stay in your heart but not in your life.”

Blood is thicker than water or so they say.  All my life I’ve been taught that no matter what happens you will always have your family and to never turn your back on your own blood.

However, what if the people we call “family” end up hurting us more than loving us? Do we hold on and forget our feelings? Or do we let go and realize that sometimes we have to love even our family at a distance?

Recently, my brother who I haven’t spoken to in two years (of his own doing) sent me a series of hateful text messages. Mind you, the last memory I have with him is hugging and wishing him a safe deployment.

Upon his arrival home from Iraq, he dropped off the grid with his wife and isolated himself from me and all of our close cousins. We tried numerous times to contact and connect with him but he was adamant on cutting ties with all of us.  We had no idea why and couldn’t understand what could have possibly happened. So you can imagine when I woke up to hateful text messages two days before my birthday, I was in shock, appalled and hurt.

These messages were filled with hate, anger and curse words calling me every name under the sun and disowning me as a sister. I couldn’t believe he was okay with talking not just to his sister but a woman in such an abusive way. It was a wake up call about the relationship I have and tolerate from my parents and brother.

Through some sleepless nights of crying and feeling sorry for myself, I realized I had to let go and really say goodbye. It’s never an easy decision to close the door between you and your own blood. In the end, I realized the only person who I could change is me and that my family had been only bringing me unhappiness and toxicity.

I couldn’t allow them to drag me into their own dysfunction and abuse again. I had to reclaim my power as a person with feelings and boundaries.

Often times in situations with family, we tend to feel guilty or shame if we decide to cut ties or lessen communication. However, if the relationship is becoming extremely unhealthy, abusive or toxic it is necessary to place some space between you and them for your own well-being. Someone once told me that sometimes you have to teach people how you want to be treated.

If you are in a similar predicament with family or close loved one, here are some tips to help you cope with the loss of saying goodbye:

1. Set boundaries- I have always had trouble expressing my boundaries with my family. I always feel like they never understand my perspective. However through the years I have learned boundaries aren’t for them, they are for me. Whether they choose to listen or respect my concerns is on them, I know I have voiced it. I can then decide how to move forward with the relationship and evaluate whether it is healthy to be in communication or not.

Don’t be afraid to set boundaries with your family and express them many times if need be. If they aren’t listening or understanding your concerns then you may have to reassess what type of family dynamic is healthy for you.

2. The Funeral- This is an intense and powerful exercise if you are faced with the decision of possibly saying goodbye to your family or cutting all ties.

Write down letters to the family members who have hurt you. Make sure you to do this in a quiet and undisturbed space where you are most clear and at ease. Write from the heart and don’t be afraid to share how you feel. These letters won’t actually be read by those family members.

Imagine that they have passed and you are attending their funeral. What would you want to say to them? After you finish writing your letters, burn them and find a place to hold a memorial or ceremony with their “ashes”.

3. Release Guilt & Blame- If you are feeling guilty about putting space between you and your family, don’t. You are a person with feelings and don’t deserve to be treated less than. Don’t blame yourself or start thinking if you were a certain way or behaved differently perhaps they wouldn’t be the way they are. You are not in the wrong. Whenever anyone treats with you disrespect or abuse, you are never in the wrong. Let go of your guilt and don’t blame yourself for their actions or dysfunction.

Lastly, love yourself and start the journey to heal from the wounds of the past. You deserve it. You are stronger and braver than you know and no one can take away your power unless you give it to them. Trust in your decision to take your space and love your family from a distance. You are giving yourself the best gift of all, true self-love.

How to Prepare for the Unexpected

It’s so easy to make plans in life. We live each day with a certain expectation and routine that we sort of already know what is to come. But what happens when our routine is disrupted by an unexpected event or circumstance?

Being a New Yorker, there are constant unexpected detours and changes throughout the day with commuting and subway issues to apartment problems. Just recently I was away and returned to my apartment flooded due to a frozen pipe that burst. Needless to say I was extremely irritated and annoyed that my entire schedule had to be reworked including where I was going to sleep because they were working on fixing the walls.

I asked those questions every person who experiences a tiny or large disaster asks, “Why me? What did I do Universe? What am I supposed to learn from this?”. Granted everything in my apartment was okay and is going to be okay, it’s just one of those things that made me question what was I doing to attract this energy in my life.

Luckily, friends offered their houses to me and I stayed with a friend for the weekend while repairs were done to my apartment. During my staycation away from home I realized a few things unexpected and unforeseen circumstances can teach us or at least taught me.

1. Take everything in stride

We can’t control everything that happens to us be it a breakup or a natural disaster. When it’s happening our worlds may feel turned upside down but just remember everything happens for a reason. Keep calm and take it in stride meaning don’t allow it to have so much emotional influence on you. Relax and try to see some of the positives.

2. Let go and let ‘God’.

I’m not a particularly religious person but I am spiritual and do believe there is a God-like energy in all of us, that we are all one and co-create with the universe. There is magic in letting go of a particular circumstance and surrendering it to God, Universe, source energy, whatever you want to call it.

Do the best you can with what you have and the rest leave it up to the Universe to orchestrate. There is magic behind every perceived negative event that occurs in our lives even if we don’t see it right away.

3. Ride the wave of change.

I’m an extremely disciplined person and it takes a lot for me to just calm down and relax my mind without thinking of the next step. It’s hard for me to accept change as it comes without thinking I’m being punished for something. When change comes embrace the good and bad feelings that may come. Initially it may all feel like a shock to the system but I’m sure there will positives to every change that arrives. Just ride it and see where it takes you.

4. Have fun & do your best.

Lastly, enjoy the journey. Wherever this is taking you, see it for what it is and do your best. Nothing in life is permanent. Allow yourself the opportunity to be open to where it leads and what new experiences will come from it.

“What can we take on trust in this uncertain life? Happiness, greatness, pride — nothing is secure, nothing keeps.”
~Euripides, Hecuba