Resilience and Compassion

I love this quote. After going through a difficult time, any semi-reflective person is likely to do some thinking on their weaknesses and faults; because how else does one avoid making the same mistakes?

But it’s easy to overdo ‘er. It’s common to not only own one’s errs, but to define ourselves by them, if only unconsciously. When you decide that you’ll never be good enough, things improving seems impossible. And the mental place of “why bother?” is no breeding ground for resilience.

Compassion for ourselves helps us get to a place of seeing ourselves as stronger and wiser for our mistakes, which makes trying again seem worth the effort and potential risks.

And compassion for others is how we become able to look at the world, and the people in it, as potentially trustworthy. This enables us to put ourselves “out there” again, one of many daunting-but-essential parts of getting to a place of resilience.

Becoming resilient is generally a prize that must be hard won, but the goods are mighty good indeed.

A ganja love letter.

An editor had me switch formats so the following poem will not be published anywheres. But, I couldn’t just delete it! It’s a love letter to cannabis, inspired by my transition to needing it medicinally.  I think my fellow herb lovers will get it… So, here:

My dearest ‪Cannabis‬,

I know my love’s grown temperamental since our relationship has taken on this medicinal tone, and I’m so sorry. Now I lean on you like Snoop taught me, and that’s everyday. I’ve started to look to your faults, pointing out where you make me lose track of thoughts—and overlooking how you make my imagination ace, helping to form a thought worth capturing in the first place.

I take you for granted, it’s not enough that you melt the pain in my aching body; I just want you to rid me of more, and I want you to keep it away forever. You distract my mind from pain via whimsical and varied trains of thought, but I get frustrated when the same locomotives hamper my ability to express them.

I love how you give even boring food pizzaz, but bellyache that you’re to blame when I munch too much. You ease my worried mind, you coax anxiety out the door—and yet still, I ask for more.

I judge you by your appearance, and even take a sniff to see if you’re up to par. I reserve photos for when you look your best, sharing only your gorgeous purple tones and crystals; and resort to name-calling when your game is off—I call you schwag that smells of hay, and you don’t deserve that, not even on your worst day.

But, my dear ‪marijuana‬; my pakalolo, my herb, my sensi—the truth is that I love you, that you truly are a kind bud indeed. Since our last vote you’re always there when I need you. (Though, I’ll admit, the price increase totally blew.) Whether we meet via vape pen or pipe, or by rip or a toke, if you grew up indoors or out; you’re always someone on whom I can count.

So I vow to appreciate you, my beloved ganja, to see you for all of your goodness; and there is so much to see—for you even make smelling skunky a good thing! I love you so much, I’d even declare it with a ring.

Everyday,
Meg

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Espavo = Thank You for Taking Your Power

Have you ever heard of Lemuria? It was an ancient civilization that I feel very connected to, and they were said to have a beautiful greeting, ‘espavo,’ which was used for both ‘hello’ and ‘goodbye.’

This word was to help people remember their true place in the Universe, that there was more than the limited reality they saw in front of them. Literally translated it means: “Thank you for taking your power”

Isn’t that fierce? I love how it calls one to service as well as being wildly empowering, like – thank you for standing up, being brave, and doing your fucking thing. Thank you for knowing you belong here and you’ve got shit to do.

GET IT, GET IT, FRIENDS. 🔥

Why you can’t kill Ego.

I just came across a Twitter post by Alex Grey that included a pic of one of his gorgeous paintings.  It shows a man being enslaved by self-hatred—something only possible when ruled by ego.  Its caption says, “Hey Ego, your fears and limits are really getting in the way of my higher calling…”  Some guy commented, “that’s certainly rich for someone so active on social media.”

It reminded me that I’ve been meaning to write about ego.  It’s a highly misunderstood concept; people are always talking about smashing it, killing it, generally making it go away—which not only inadvisable, but totally impossible.

What would someone with absolutely no ego look like?  They would only have awareness of connection with others, and with the world around them.  They would be fully embraced in the truth of our Oneness.  They would see no separation between themselves and others, they would truly always see themselves in Other.

Sounds beautiful, eh?  Now ask them their name. Where they live. How they pay rent.  What they like to do with their time.  Etc.

We need ego! Ego serves us in this life, it defines our separateness, and separateness is what we came here to experience.

An unbalanced ego is the troublemaker.

An overgrown ego tells you that you are better than others. It constantly fuels the mind with reasons why others are inferior, why they aren’t as good as you. An overgrown ego is highly defensive, and ignites easily (though not always verbally). It is constantly threatened that someone will remove this sense of superiority, as it is “who I am.”

A diminished ego tells you that you are shit.  You aren’t as good as anyone else.  You don’t deserve the things that you want.  You don’t matter.  It is an Eeyore, but it’s not so cute in human form.  It is a victim mindset.  It will not stand up for itself when hurt, because being hurt has become “who I am.”

A healthy ego is a strong sense of who you are.  You like you!  (You might even promote your work on social media like Alex!)  You see the beauty in others, and appreciate them for just being them.  You see when you fuck up, you try to see the humor in it, and do your darnedest to correct it.

You understand that “bad” behavior doesn’t make you less than others, and that “good” behavior doesn’t make you superior to others. There aren’t even really ways to behave “good” or “bad”—there are only actions that are serving to yourself and others, and those that aren’t. You get to choose, and sometimes it’s hard to know which is which.

A healthy ego never feels imperiled because it is aware of “I AM”—it is centered and connected whilst maintaining an awareness of the current perspective and its separations.

There’s all kinds of middleground, of course, we rarely hang out in extremes. There will even be days where your ego shrinks and expands in reaction to who and what you encounter! It’s a versatile lil’ bugger, and not one to attempt to squash.

Certainly to keep yer eye on it though! Watch your reactions, that’s where ego really shines. Notice feelings of superiority and of unworthiness, that’s unbalanced ego showing off. Notice these things without judging yourself, and just jump off that there thought train! Eventually, the tracks themselves will change—your mental constructs will adjust.

Get it get it, friends!

The Best Spiritually-Oriented Books Ever to Ever

There are many paths to spirituality, but I think books might be my very favorite. Here are the books that have touched my heart and helped me find my center:

The Celestine Prophecy, by James Redfield: An epic spiritual adventure! Lots about energy, very fun read.

Way of the Peaceful Warrior, by Dan Millman: Follows one man’s spiritual awakening, and a bromance to last the ages.

Energy Speaks, by Lee Harris: Shares the energetic components of life, and brilliant ways to use them to our advantage.

The Power of Now, by Eckhart Tolle: Great advice about staying present, such a crucial aspect of this process. All his books are brilliant!

The Four Agreements, by Don Miguel Ruiz: Focuses on common sense wisdom that is immediately applicable.

Ishmeal, by Daniel Quinn: Centered on our relationship and evolution with the rest of our planet.

Don’t Let Anything Dull Your Sparkle, by Doreen Virtue: Helps sensitives shine by showing us why we stopped.

The Law of Attraction, by Esther and Jerry Hicks: The OG law of attraction, this is where The Secret came from and puts those ideas more in context.

Flatland-A Romance of Many Dimensions, by Edwin A. Abbott: Explores life in 2-D, making 3-D seem realer whilst also making you wonder about what’s next.

Monkey, by Wu Ch’eng En: A 16th century text that follows monkey’s shenanigans on the way to enlightenment.

Tao Te Ching, by Lao Tzu: The basis of Taoism, feel the flow!

The Tao of Peace, by Diane Dreher: A brilliant analysis of the Tao that provides grounded ways of applying the concepts to life.

Jitterbug Perfume, by Tom Robbins: Tom Robbins mixes the sacred and the profane so very delightfully. His writing feels like Pan meets Jesus. (Which happens in Another Roadside Attraction…)

Conversations with God Series, by Neale Donald Walsh: Translates spiritual concepts through a western Christian’s perspective.

Jonathan Livingston Seagull: A story about a bird who knows that there’s more to living than meets the eye, he follows his heart even though the other sheep-birds think he’s bonkers.

The Dark Side of the Light Chasers, by Debbie Ford: This book is the reason I find myself engaging in shadow work daily, she makes befriending and balancing our difficult aspects somehow kinda fun. Genius.

The Valkyries, by Paulo Cohelo: A darker look at personal transformation, occult focused. (Loved The Alchemist as well, so many more of his to read!)

Eat Pray Love, by Elizabeth Gilbert: A woman’s quest for inner peace via traveling the globe; to indulge, intensely meditate, and to learn ancient wisdom from a medicine man.

Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury: A dystopian society, a seeker, and an enlightening young woman.

Proof of Heaven, by Eben Alexander: A neurosurgeon and skeptic falls into a coma and an experience of life after death.

On Asshoolios.

Asshoolios. We all know ’em. Sometimes we even behave like ’em, don’t we? Most of us eventually see our err; and try to make good, hurt as it may. But there’s some that can never ever seem to see their own wrong doings…and these are the true asshoolios.

These guys don’t mean to be mean, it’s usually just their own unhealed wounds at the wheel, but they still hurt people and fuck up lives nonetheless. They need to be taught that this behavior isn’t effective, and, as a society, we really teach them the exact opposite.

When someone’s a dick (even to someone else, even while “joking,” even if they’re the boss) it’s tempting to shrink, to make yourself less noticeable so that heat’s not tempted to burn your way – but then they fucking win, man.

They dominate the exchange, and the heat’s rarely thrown back in their stupid faces; which is the whole point of their debacles, to deflect negative attention from their insecure asses.

Assholes often appear fuckless, but it’s a faux-fucklessness. It might scream “I do what I want!!,” but it’s actually just a precious security blankie, one they have no idea they’re clinging to. A warped mirror offered to the world instead of their authentic soul.

And that authentic soul would be cool AF someday, if only given the chance to play. To grow on purpose, to not only acknowledge their errs, but to make light of them, as they used to do at others’ expense.

They could make growth a shtick, or a company culture, industry standard, or cultural norm – because these fuckheads run this world. And it’s got to stop.

To this end, I vow to call these peeps on their shit more often, and to continuing to offer “yeahHhhhh!!’s” if someone braver starts first. And, more importantly, I vow to always be my weirdass self, even though she tends to take more of this ‘heat,’ it’s just worth it.

So, you with me?

Tips for Fibromyalgia Fighters

I’m so sorry to hear you’re a fellow fibro fighter. It’s not easy to be diagnosed with any disease, but learning that you have one doctors cannot help you with can be profoundly defeating. I understand that you’re probably discouraged, but you’re definitely not alone – even if it feels that way sometimes, and I know it must.

A few tips:

  • Exercise will make you flare. Exercise will heal you. These things are both true, and it sucks: baby steps are key. I started out trying like hell just to get like 30 minutes a week in, done in like 90 second increments (I was bedridden though, hopefully you’re not as far gone). It really does add up, I promise.
  • Many fibro fighters have a mutation called MTHFR (which looks like another, apt, word 🤣). If you have it, you’ll want to cut out gluten and dairy and bulk up on methylated vitamins (especially methylcobalamin).
  • Cannabis help WORLDS! Fibromyalgia may be caused due to endocannabinoid deficiency, so the (exo-)cannabinoids in cannabis essentially act as a supplement.
  • Fibromyalgia has a very high correlation with physical and emotional trauma, which are also known to negatively impact the endocannabinod system; therapy and personal development can help ease your nervous system’s ridiculously painful reactions.
  • If you Insta, there’s a community of chronic illness fighters called spoonies that are wonderfully inspirational and informational.
  • Cymbalta doesn’t help most people and is HELL to go off of. I would never have done it if I knew how horrendous quitting was going to be. If you choose to try it, absolutely do not go off of it cold turkey and have emotional support ready. (Lyrica also did me no good, but Amitriptyline does help me sleep; though not as well as canna capsules.)
  • I discovered the Wim Hof method a couple months ago, which has been proved to release endocannabinoids (which you’re deficient in) and is also said to reset your immune and autonomic nervous systems. Some claim this has healed their fibro. I just do this video followed by a cold shower everyday (no bone pain from the cold, I swear!) and it seems to be helping in a few different ways! 

I hope that you’ve got understanding people around you, and in case you don’t: this is not in your head, you are not crazy, and you are not lazy.

And, most of all – YOU GOT THIS. ❤

On Spiritual Awakening

Spiritual awakening is the process of going from being enmeshed in the traditional “3D” experience of the world, to being consciously integrated into a spirit-centered experience – sounds so breezy, doesn’t it? Hahahaaaaaaaaa.

This quote by Adyashanti sums it up nicely, “Make no mistake about it – enlightenment is a destructive process. It has nothing to do with becoming better or being happier. Enlightenment is the crumbling away of…untruth. It’s seeing through the façade of pretense. It’s the complete eradication of everything we imagined to be true.”

However, I do think that it makes us better, and it’s also totally worth it. (Plus, you can’t stop it anyways! So, unless you dig feeling lost, just lean in.)

Mine started with 11:11’s, coincidences, impassioned spiritual study, a cyst on my pineal gland, and hallucinogens all filling my world in my 19th year. Then there was a 5-day experience that a psychologist called a ‘mental break’ but my eastern philosophy professor dubbed ‘a spiritual awakening.’ After that, colors became more rich and stayed that way.

But there was much to come, especially once I committed, which took quite awhile (I’m telling ya, lean in now). Spiritual awakening is the process of becoming aligned with your soul’s plan for your life, so it usually involves significant change; and my story’s no different, everyone and everything in my life wholly changed. It shifted in phases, and they were not fun phases. But they were filled with magic too, with meaning and significance that made the ick seem almost irrelevant (and infinitely easier to handle).

And, now into my 37th year, I’m sure there’s still much to come! I’ve heard people talk about fully awakened humans (generally referring to themselves), but I’m not convinced that’s actually a thing. I feel like I’d need to master things like astral travel before I could even begin to know what I don’t know yet, there’s just so much to awaken to, to integrate into this worldly life…I’m not convinced anyone can do it all. (I look forward to seeing how I feel about it in my 94th year.)

What’s your take, can we gain fully integrated spiritual awareness from here? Is that what you think of as ‘the end’ of spiritual awakening? What’s your awakening been like? Please comment (or bust out an article!) with your experience and knowledge…

The How’s and Why’s of Meditation

Meditation will change your life. Surely, you’ve heard this before, yes?

And you probably thought in response, “How the eff will sitting there trying not to think change my life?” and this is a fair question. The answer: Meditation is able to change people’s lives because it changes the way we think, and our minds rule our lives

The power in meditation is all about awareness of your mind, and learning to use it as a tool that serves you; rather than the other way around.

When you start to view your mind from the perspective that it’s just one of the many tools at your disposal in your human body, like your hand or your nose, you begin to detach from your thought patterns like they are who you are. The problem with defining oneself by the thoughts streaming through your head is: they aren’t all gems! (Some quite the opposite. 💩)

Our thought patterns are often just conditioned responses to our environment, and many of them are not actually of service to the lives we’re working to create.

When we define ourselves by our thoughts, we feel a need to defend them. This makes change impossible. When you befriend your mind, thereby befriending your ego, you can start to work with it so it serves you better sans all that messy identity crisis stuff. Meditation starts off this process by cluing you into what the heck’s going on up there, crucial info.

And it’s highly likely that you’ll “suck at meditation” when you start, this is totally normal. You’ll probably think the whole time; but you’ll still be highly productive because you’re learning mindfulness, how to cultivate awareness of what your mind is doing. If you stick with it, it gets easier, more relaxing, and will lead to great (great!) insight and inspiration. Here’s the how’s:

  1. Get Comfy. There are people out there who will tell you that you must sit a certain way, and you should ignore them. Posture helps focus (imagining a line going from the base of your spine, pulling through the top of your head), and if you lie down you run a higher risk of falling asleep but I have fibromyalgia and often enjoy meditation curled up in a comfy ball. As always, do you.

  2. Focus on Your Breath. Breathe deeply, focusing on the sensation of air flowing out into your nose, the full feeling of your lungs, how the air feels as it passes back out, etc. As thoughts spring to mind, do as Mooji says and, “Let every thought come and hug you, but you don’t hug anything. Then, gradually, the noise will start to back off.” And when it does, things get mega-peaceful. It’s the shit.

  3. Don’t Get Judgy. You won’t be pleased at all of your thought patterns, there may even be content that you feel ashamed of. Well, knock it off! Your brain has been culturally conditioned by the world that we live in, which encourages all kinds of not-fun nonsense. Just let it go, and don’t be surprised if it takes awhile. The thought patterns (and neural pathways) will start to lose their mojo, and eventually peter out. YOU ARE NOT YOUR MIND. It is your tool, and you can learn to use it as you wish.

  4. Repeat. Start with a 5-minute session and work up from there. Challenge yourself to get up to 20 minutes, and to do it everyday for a month. (If you’re not hooked by then, you get a full refund for this article!) You can also take it out into the world, actively meditating, watching your mind and working to still it, while your waiting in line, doing dishes, or taking a stroll in the woods.

  5. Learn More. There are many more methods of meditation besides mindfulness. We just went over moving meditation, and I’ve recently fallen in love with transcendental meditation, which involves working with a mantra. What else can you uncover?