Fraud

I am a fraud

I am a fraud. On the exterior I am all love and light and namaste but on the inside there is darkness. There is self-doubt and feelings of worthlessness. There are thoughts of “I’m not good enough” ringing through my mind like church bells to mark the passing of time. The books I read talk about the power of changing your thoughts; words and thoughts hold mana, spiritual energy, that can affect your entire world. I know this is true; I’ve seen the power that changing my belief system has had on my own life, but there is still that tiny bit of darkness that grabs me by the throat at times and won’t let go.

In the book, Love Is Letting Go of Fear, Third Edition by Gerald Jampolsky, Lesson 3 in his Lessons for Personal Transformation says, ” I am never upset for the reason I think.”  The lesson is this: We think that our feelings are caused by what’s going on around us, but in fact what we see and experience is determined by the thoughts and beliefs in our mind. I think about this every time I get upset.

I’ll give you an example. Today I was upset because my business is not growing at the pace which I had anticipated. I’ve been working harder than ever and have had one of the lowest months in awhile. When I mentioned to my husband that I was feeling sad about this, I felt that he blamed me. I became even more upset and started to cry. I knew I needed some time to think so I took my dog for a walk with tears streaming down my face.

As we walked along I thought about why I was really upset. My whole life I have struggled with feeling unsupported, unworthy and alone. I suffered abuse as a child which was ignored and allowed to continue; I was in an emotionally abusive marriage where I was often left feeling unworthy, unsupported and alone; After my divorce I was a single mom and pretty much had to do everything myself. So this situation today reminded me of all that. I felt alone and unsupported. I felt the weight of the world on my shoulders and I was getting crushed beneath it. But I recognize that those situations from my past are not only different from today’s situation, but they are over. This helped me to disassociate from my current feelings of disappointment and lack of support. I decided to see things differently (Lesson 12 in the book).

So, rather than feeling unsupported I am thinking of how I can offer support to others (Lesson 1: All I give is given to myself). Rather than feeling alone I am thinking about how I can encourage team bonding. Rather than blaming myself for things I can’t control (the past, other people, etc.) I am dreaming up ways to reach out and teach and help and inspire others to have a life filled with abundance, wellness and joy. I am writing down all the things I am grateful for and all the goals I’m looking forward to achieving. I am letting go of a past that no longer serves me and living in a present where I am loved, supported and worthy. I am consciously choosing the light and letting go of the darkness.

Maybe I’m not a fraud after all. Maybe I’m just human.

Privilege

I am privileged. I accept and admit that. Being a white, middle class, educated woman has granted me access to people, places, situations and things that others do not have access to. I have never been asked to leave somewhere or been denied a job because of how I looked. I have never known what it feels like to be hungry and not have access to food. I have always had a place to rest my head at night. I can walk into nearly every establishment and be treated as if I belong there (even if I don’t). I often take these things for granted and forget that not everyone has these same comforts and privileges.

Living in Hawaii is a bit different than what I’m used to. I am not in the majority here. I have, on occasion, felt people’s anger and hatred towards me because of my color. I have been in places and situations where I am accepted only because I am there with my husband (who is Hawaiian). I have seen, first hand what complete assholes white tourists can be and I am embarrassed sometimes, many times actually, to be white.

But just like people of color cannot change their color, I cannot change my whiteness. Despite the fact that I have always gravitated towards people who are different than me, have always had interest in learning about other cultures and have a deep love and respect for those cultures, I am still white. At least on the outside, where, to many, many people, it counts the most. And that is sad because the inside is really where it’s all at. You can look one way on the outside and be someone completely different on the inside. I have to be reminded sometimes (usually by my children) that I’m white. Which is funny. Except not really.

Many of us “whites” have lost our own cultures through the process of assimilation into the American culture. My father’s family came from Poland and France but neither the languages nor any of the traditions that my great grandparents brought with them are remembered or practiced by any member of my family. I know people whose ancestors came from the Middle East or Latin America who see themselves as white now because they can pass as white. And they want that privilege of being white. They want the country club and the big house and the access and the stuff and they don’t care what they have to give up to have it. Some even vote for politicians who create laws that oppress the people with the same racial and cultural backgrounds that they themselves have. And they don’t even realize that they are contributing to the oppression of their own people by giving up who they are to have what they have. My ancestors did this too and I am privileged because of it… but at the cost of losing where I came from and, as a result losing who I am

So yes, many times I am embarrassed to be white: When I read about the atrocities committed here in Hawaii by people who look like me I am embarrassed. When I witness first hand the damage caused to the environment here because of the selfishness and greed of people who look like me, I am embarrassed. When I see white tourists appropriating the Hawaiian culture for their photo ops or enjoyment, I am embarrassed. When I am either ignored or greeted with hostility by people of color when I attempt to speak to them I am embarrassed. I’m embarrassed by that last one but I get it. I get why some people dislike me. People who look like me have been oppressing other peoples for hundreds, if not thousands of years. People who look like me have caused the near extinction of virtually every indigenous people on the face of the Earth. People who look like me have raped this land, poisoned its people and continue to do so because of pure greed. People who look like me continue to benefit at the expense of others and many do horrific things to insure that they continue to benefit and exert their power over others.

There is good reason for me to feel embarrassed for my whiteness; I continue to experience privilege from being white and I most likely will for the rest of my life. I did nothing to earn these privileges and I can’t give them back but I can acknowledge that they exist, I can give back to my brothers and sisters of color with my time, my talents and my resources. I can be an ally to people of color in how I think, how I speak, how I vote and what I do. And I can encourage other people who look like me to do the same. So I encourage you now (whether you look like me or not) to acknowledge the privileges that you benefit from and think about what you can do to be an ally to those who don’t benefit in those same ways.

Sending you much aloha,

Shelly

PS. I know this blog seems random…  one post on Hawaii, then some on energy and one on privilege… I just share what I’m experiencing and if that makes me random, so be it. I hope you’re enjoying my randomness, and if you learn something along the way, that makes me happy. Namaste.

Get Your Chakra On

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Chakra is a Sanskrit word which means a point of energy or power. You have many energy points or centers in your body but there are seven primary chakras that are referred to most often. These are referred to by both their location and by the order of ascent in your body. The higher upwards you travel, the higher the number of the chakra. They are generally described as spinning wheels or vortices of light.

If your chakras are spinning well, they are considered “open” and you’re healthy. When the energy in your chakra slows down or stops, it is considered “closed” or “blocked” and you may show signs of illness in that area. Eventually the whole system suffers as all of the energy in our bodies is connected.

Here’s a quick overview of the 7 chakras:
1st: Root Chakra- This is at the base of your spine, deep within your pelvic area. Many times in yoga this chakra is referred to when discussing “grounding” as it regulates your ability to collect energy from the earth. The colors associated with this chakra are red, black and brown (earthy tones).

2nd: Sacral Chakra- This is in your lower abdomen and sacral area. Many people hold onto pain in this area resulting in lower back pain. Second chakra issues tend to pertain to your community and your perceived place within it, as well as issues of security and safety. It is associated with the color orange.

3rd: Solar Chakra- In your solar plexus, your third chakra carries fireenergy, and is the center of your will and direction. It is associated with the color yellow or light green.

4th: Heart Chakra- In the middle of your chest at heart level, this chakra houses your intent to love and acces unconditional love. It is associated with both pink and green (pink for love and green for healing).

5th: Throat Chakra- This chakra is centered above your clavicle bone in your throat, and houses your intent to create and manifest your dreams as well as to speak your truth. It is associated with a clear bright blue color.

6th: Third-Eye Chakra- This is located about an inch above the bridge of your nose between the eyebrows. It is your highest creative energy center, where your spirit meets creativity. It is associated with the color violet or indigo.

7th: Crown Chakra- This chakra is on the top of your head near where your soft spot was as an infant. It is where you have the intent to receive wisdom and receive your Qi from the universe. It is linked with the color white.

There are many, many essential oils that can help with chakra health. I will be posting some over the next few days on my Instagram feed (follow me @thealohalounge) but you can always GTS (Google That Shit) and find a TON of ideas! Haha

Namaste oily peeps!

Vibes=Vibrational Energy (It’s a Thing)

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Places of worship tend to have calm, peaceful energy.

You’ve heard people talking about “vibes” at one time or another I’m sure. “She has good vibes,” “He has bad vibes”… it really is a thing. Vibes=Vibrational Energy or the frequency at which the energy of a “thing” vibrates (I just have to mention that there really is no such thing as good or bad vibes; it’s all just energy. It’s just our perception that we put on things that makes it good or bad to us). Just to recap… Vibrational energy (or vibes) is the frequency at which a substance is vibrating. And we, at some level, can sense this.

Have you ever been in a certain space and felt calm? Or in another space you feel energized? That is vibrational energy that your body is sensing. Higher vibrational levels can make you feel uplifted while lower ones can have a calming effect. The same with certain foods, or thoughts, or pretty much anything else.

Okey doke… so we’re all clear now- everything is made up of energy and that energy vibrates at different frequencies. These frequencies are measured in megahertz. Just like everything else, essential oils also have vibrational frequencies. Higher frequencies are helpful for emotional work while lower frequencies are beneficial for physical healing. I’m still figuring all this out but I thought it would be fun to take you all along on my super nerdy energy journey. Sound like a plan???

Here we go…

To get you started here’s a quote by Gary Young, founder of Young Living Essential Oils: “Clinical research shows that essential oils have the highest frequency of any natural substance known to man, creating an environment in which disease, bacteria, virus, fungus, etc., cannot live. I believe that the chemistry and frequencies of essential oils have the ability to help man maintain the optimal frequency to the extent that disease cannot exist.”

Want to learn more?
Check out this article about the vibrational frequencies of essential oils. Prepare to have your mind blown.

http://www.biospiritual-energy-healing.com/vibrational-frequency.html

Want to get started using essential oils? Join our oily ohana and have an instant support group of likeminded, healthy people. Check out our About Young Living page to find out how to join us on our journey towards health and wellness.

Inner Peace

I’ve recently added meditation to my daily routine. I’m not gonna lie. ..That shit is hard. I’m told it gets easier, but I have to say that every time I sit down and start to quiet my mind, all these thoughts about how much crap I need to get done start to bubble up and stress me out. Or else I fall asleep. So ya. I need to keep working on it.

I know these thoughts are coming up because of my false beliefs and fears. Most likely something I have stuck in my head is I need to do everything myself. In fact I know that thought is stuck in there. And I need to get it out. Because really, it’s impossible to do everything yourself. Having been a single mom for 16 years, I pretty much had to do everything. By myself. At least that’s what I thought at the time and so I continued to perpetuate that thinking (and still perpetuate it and let it stress me out). But I’m ready to give up that thinking. Right here. Right now. Because it’s untrue. And it is limiting.

My mantra for today is I am a magnet for miracles. Real miracles are shifts in our thinking that free us from our past fear-based thinking and turn us towards love and abundance. It’s not always easy, just like forgiving isn’t easy, but it’s possible if the desire and intent are there. The first step is being aware of your thoughts because thoughts are fucking sneaky. They creep in there and become so habitual that you feel as if you can’t control them. That’s called anxiety. And it sucks.

But the truth is that the only thing that you can control is your own thinking. And that is awesome news because when you control how you look at things, you control your perception and that means that you control your reality. So today begin your journey towards inner peace by realizing that whatever it is that is stressing you out, or making you feel less than awesome, is something that you can change just by changing your own mind. Set that intention and work until you achieve it. That’s the key though. You can’t just set your intention and then go watch TV. You have to work to achieve it. You have to sit through those meditations and consciously work on changing your negative thinking patterns. You need to rid yourself of toxic people and emotions. You need to do whatever it is that you need to do: ask for help, pray, read a book, say a mantra, use some essential oils or crystals, whatever resonates within you to do. I’m not saying it’s easy. But if you truly want it, you will be willing to put in the work and it will happen. Today we can all be magnets for miracles.

Now get to work.

Aloha pumehana

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Yes you are Unicat. Yes you are.

Forgiveness

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On the path to  self love and inner peace there are many road blocks. The biggest one for many people is forgiveness. There is a mistaken belief that forgiving someone means that what they did was ok. But forgiveness is more about yourself than it is about the other person. It means that, regardless of what someone did to you (or what you did that you need to forgive yourself for), YOU are ok. You are who you have always been; who you always will be. It is connecting with your soul and realizing that, despite whatever horrors you may have endured, you are whole and you are at peace.

I am finding myself fascinated with many things about the Hawaiian culture. While I am only beginning my studies, I am already enamored with the wisdom and simplicity of the spiritual teachings. It is like finding pieces to a puzzle that you’ve been trying to put together your entire life. Let’s take forgiveness as an example…

In Hawaiian, the term hala is used to describe an act of wrong doing committed by or against another. Moke Kupihea, in his book The Cry of the Huna says,

A hala was an act that bound the wrongdoer to the person against whom the wrong was committed. It was said that, on the one hand, wrongdoers are bound by the fault they have committed and, on the other hand, those who have been wronged hold the cord that binds the wrongdoer. One, it was said, is the debtor, the other, the person or persons indebted to. The hala, then, is the debt that lies between them. It was the belief of the people of old that if those who hold the invisible cord do not desire to relax it but continue to bear the wrong in mind, or in its active state of wrongfulness, then they are said to “hold fast the fault,” ho’o hala hala.

He then goes on to describe how a wrong can spread generationally and “can travel into future generations of a family, a people or even a nation if such is the vastness of the fault.” This can only make people dissatisfied and prone to violence. It is as if they are strangling on the cord of the hala.

It is impossible to be at peace and to hold a grudge at the same time. No matter how vast are the wrongs committed against you, to hold onto them means to continue to suffer. To feel that you need to wait until someone apologizes or offers reparations is to basically put your own wellbeing on hold. If you’re hoping for reparations, you can still have that after forgiveness has occurred. In fact, it is more likely that the person who wronged you will offer up reparations if you come to them from a place of forgiveness and peace than of accusation and blame. No need to wait. The time for forgiveness is today because, let’s face it… shit happens. Bad, unthinkable, horrific shit sometimes, sadly happens. To everyone. But it doesn’t need to cause endless suffering.

I know you’re probably saying to yourself right now, “She doesn’t know me. She doesn’t know how crazy hateful my childhood was. She doesn’t know about how my step dad sexually abused me for years… ” Or maybe your saying, “Ya, but you don’t know the horrible things I’ve done in my life. I’ve done and said unspeakable things.” You’re right. I don’t know what happened in your past. But I know what happened in mine and believe me, it was pretty fucked up. So fucked up in fact that I had to go to hypnotherapy because I had repressed the worst of the fuckedupness (yes I just made that word up). So if I can learn how to forgive that crazy ass shit, then you can too. Because to not forgive it, is to have your life permanently tainted by it forever.

Now I’m in no way saying that forgiveness is easy. It is hard as hell. But it is possible. For me, it helps to be in a calm, meditative state. I am a big fan of using essential oils to help uplift my emotions so I apply that shit all over (I’m not even kidding right now). Be sure to use the highest quality oils (I use Young Living) or else you’re not doing yourself any favors. Next I envision the person who wronged me standing in front of me. I imagine telling that person what he or she did that hurt me and how it affected me. I then say to that person, “I forgive you. I release you. And I set you free. You are free and I am free.” I’m not gonna lie, sometimes I have to do this repeatedly. Whenever I feel anger or thoughts about whatever negative thing happened bubbling up, I just repeat this process.

You, today, right now, have the opportunity to free yourself from whatever perceived wrongs (no matter how horrific) happened in your past. I guarantee you that you can do it and that you are going to feel so much lighter for having let go of that horrendous burden. Forgiveness needs to take place in the present so that healing can occur in the future. What are you waiting for?

Aloha nui loa

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Dogs always forgive themselves.

Release

A few years ago I read a book called “You Can Heal Your Life” by Louise Hay. This book actually changed my life. Louise was able to heal herself from cancer through forgiveness, positive affirmations and changing her own thought processes. It is her belief that every illness, every pain we endure is caused by our own negative thinking. I have come to believe and embrace this.

One thing I noticed after reading this book is that often my own thoughts had included the words, “I’m not good enough.” This thought had become so ingrained in my thinking that I wasn’t even aware that it was constantly in my head. It took concentrated focus and meditation for me to even realize that it was there. Our thought patterns can become so habitual that we feel powerless to change them. But we can change them. We just have to decide that we are going to change and to keep going no matter how difficult it may be.

Being aware of my own negative thinking was the first step in changing my own beliefs about myself and about the world. My life has subsequently changed dramatically since then. One of Louise Hay’s affirmations that I started using (and still continue to use) is, “I am willing to release the need to feel unworthy. I am worthy of all the best things in life and I now lovingly choose to accept them.” I then go on to add all the things that I want in my life… “I am worthy of love and I accept it now. I am worthy of freedom and I accept it now. I am worthy of prosperity and I accept it now…”

I encourage you to try this. Say it out loud. Write it down. Look at yourself in the mirror and say it. If you’re willing to give essential oils a try while writing affirmations, I recommend a blend called Release by Young Living. Much of our negative energy is stored on our liver. Try applying Release over your liver area (front and back just under your right breast area) in a circular motion. As the feelings bubble up, work on releasing them; just imagine them blowing away in the wind. If there are people (including yourself) that you need to forgive, be sure to practice that as well. I will be talking more about forgiveness this month as well.

The first step towards really loving yourself is to release your need to feel unworthy (if things in your life aren’t going the way you would like, you probably have feelings of being unworthy whether you realize it or not). Apply and diffuse Release and practice this affirmation and I can almost guarantee you that you will realize whatever it is that is causing you to feel unworthy. Hint: it’s always something you made up about yourself and it’s always a lie.

For more information about Young Living or to become a wholesale member click here.

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Radical Self Care

Recently I’ve been introduced to the concept of radical self care. In a nutshell, radical self care (let’s just call it RSC) is about putting your mental, physical, emotional and spiritual needs first.  We’ve been programmed in our culture to believe that this is selfish; that we should be putting others, our jobs, our relationships, etc. first. But, let’s face it, if we don’t take care of our own needs, we aren’t going to be much good to anyone else. People are stressed and disconnected; depression and anxiety have reached epidemic proportions. I seriously know more people who are anxious, stressed out, depressed or all three than I know people who are balanced and happy. This is not how we are meant to live our lives. And we don’t need to.

I’ve been going to a yoga class here in Honolulu and we have been discussing the idea of self love and how that includes forgiveness. The instructor, Jonathan Nery is Native Hawaiian and knowledgable in the Hawaiian practice of Ho’oponopono (reconciliation and forgiveness). He’s been taking some aspects of Ho’oponopono and infusing them into our yoga practice.  I’ve been bringing some essential oils to help with releasing and forgiving toxic emotions. The combination of the two has been very healing! I feel like a new person when I leave that class! Forgiving yourself and others is definitely radical self care. It is freedom.

Take some time right now just for yourself. Think about activities that make your heart soar. Here are some ideas of activities that can be nurturing to your soul: yoga, walking or just spending time in nature, coloring, crafting, exercise (that you actually enjoy), cooking for pleasure, sports, getting a massage, meditating, sleeping in, enjoying the company of friends, unplugging (turning off all electronic devices), creating, living in the moment (mindfulness), reading, diffusing essential oils and just being… There are so many ways that we can honor ourselves. My challenge to you is to spend some time each day caring for the most important person in your life… yourself.