the mystic

What is your definition of darkness? Does it look like ghost stories someone may have told you when you were nine? Does it feel like a nightmare you had recently? Would you attribute it to a person in your life? Does it have a face at all? A theme maybe? There was a time when I would define it as forgetfulness, a draining relationship, a time of bad luck, or anything that seemed to have negative consequences on my life. That was before I understood it the way I do now for myself. The way I interpret darkness now is that there is none outside of us. It is all a part of us and reflected in the different parts of our world. When we hold onto darkness (in its misconstrued form, read on) within us it appears to be in our relationships, interactions, health, families, homes, careers, etc. It is easy to think that it is somewhere outside of us. But why does it seem to always keep popping back up, sometimes in the same place we saw it last?

I believe there is so much power in knowing that everything is within you, even the darkness. It may seem like a negative thing, but this is so much better. Think about this: if the darkness is within you then all you have to do is recognize it, locate it, and from there you can transform it into something else. It is important to remember that the way we know darkness isn’t you. If you perceive darkness this way, it is helpful know the darkness is only within you. The darkness is not your identity. You are not darkness, you have darkness. We all do. If you are open to a different definition of darkness, then this is no longer applicable. Toss all of that away and enter with a clear mind and heart. What if you knew the darkness as simply Love*, waiting to be awakened? The darkness is now a part of you since you are also an expression of Love. Now you are the darkness and its counterpart, because they are all different forms of Love. There is so much energy behind the darkness as Love because Love is an infinite power Source. You need to be willing to know it as a part of you to ignite that spark within your being in order to navigate its depths.

Once you know what darkness looks like as you, it can become a powerful mentor. Once you are less afraid of it, it has so much to teach you. Once I learned how mine shows up through feeling, I paid attention to how I felt when it would arise. I sat with it, let the thoughts roam wildly through my head. I didn’t try to suppress it. I let it have its space. In the beginning of this practice, I was amazed about the things I was able to know about myself. There are some that I was able to guess and others that were completely unexpected. The ones that are unknown unknowns (the things you don’t even know that you don’t know) arise when you make giving the darkness a space a constant practice. It is unpredictable what you will be able to understand about yourself until you do it.

Once you know the form of darkness, like you would a friend, you can learn to Love and have compassion for its existence. You have infinite Love within you to give to the darkness. What would happen if you just gave this part of you a space and a voice? What would it say to you? What relationship could you cultivate with it? This connection can require some patience. It doesn’t need to take a lot of time. I think that is a very common misconception. It takes as long as you think it does. Why would you waste any more time? Darkness can be transmuted instantaneously into Love. Love is always ready and available. Love doesn’t take a ton of work or hardship. You just need to be open. Your mind may resist because it is simply not used to it and would rather cling to what it knows. In those moments, allow your heart to remain open. At first, it may be confusing to have your mind closed and heart open. That still happens to me, just let it be. The mind opens when it is ready. If you force yourself, you may just have a headache and end up using more energy than required. Love is available to you. It is a force independent of time and space. It is always here, in this moment. It is the relationship with Love and allowing it into your life that could take some adjustment, depending on how open you are to its power.

The darkness has much to offer you as a guide. As you continue to give the darkness a space in your life, you are naturally feeding it Love and that is how it will transform. We all have our own methods of transformation that we are guided towards. Mine is through writing, but it really could be anything. Any and all ways are of Love. If that is where you are guided, that is where you need to be. It doesn’t have to be perfect. When I am in the thick of it and I really feel the darkness, I turn to writing. Naturally, it is a messy process. My journal is filled with thoughts that don’t seem to make any sense, but they are what I needed to provide for myself at the time. I don’t reread anything I write there. I only use it as a vessel to hold a space and give everything inside of myself a voice. The process is what matters, not the words on the page. Journaling has allowed me to just get used to acknowledge the darkness instead of pretending that that part of me doesn’t exist. Now I see so many more dimensions of myself. Find the thing that allows you to see the different dimensions of yourself. Allow the darkness to move you toward what feels natural to you when you need to give it a space. Do it whenever you perceive it somewhere in your life. Notice what this is. Create a space for this within your inner Home.

Now that the darkness has a space and voice, there is so much more to explore. Imagine for a moment that this universe is half light and half dark. Duality is not the only Truth, neither is non-duality, so suspend what you may believe about those systems of interpreting energy. If the universe was half light and half dark, you may have been suppressing half of the universe! Imagine how much more mystery you have to explore, inside and outside of you, now that the darkness is welcome as an expression of Love. The darkness contains its own unanswerable questions and massive riddles of life. By exploring those expressions within you, you become your own visionary. The deeper you go within the dark unknown, the more Love is reflected in your life with the strength of a thousand suns.

There is so much growth infused in being your own agent of transformation. Imagine how much you would expand if every time you met the darkness you greeted it with Love. When the darkness begins to transform and disappear into Love in your own life, you are able to see with great clarity when Love takes this shape within someone else. Having your own relationship with the darkness allows you to easily recognize the darkness no matter where it appears. You recognize it because you know it as a part of you. Remember, the darkness that you have within yourself reflected within other people is yours to transmute. Don’t be afraid, take responsibility for yourself. Everyone has theirs that is reflected in the spaces in their life that they need to heal. It is really all the same force in infinite different manifestations. It shows up in different shapes and colors for all of us, depending on what we need on a personal level. That is the only thing that makes it appear different. Don’t overthink this, even if it may sound confusing. Just sit with this notion and you will understand in your own way. Same force, infinite forms. Sit with this and understand when you convert the darkness within yourself, you do it for everyone. How is this possible? You will no longer see darkness within them, only different expressions of Love. That is all the darkness is. While they may perceive it as darkness, you know its True identity. When you choose to be a guide for them, show up with Love, patience, compassion, and understanding. Remember your own relationship with the darkness and see that they too can transform it into Love for themselves.

Do not let someone else’s form of darkness become your own. It is not yours to identify with. Do not forget who you are. While we are all guides of Love for one another, we all need to discover how to channel Love for ourselves. This doesn’t mean you can’t be there for someone else. Shower them with Love and help them give their darkness a space if it seems like they are having difficulty doing it on their own. We all have this capability for deep Love within us. Sometimes we may need a little bit of help. Don’t be afraid to be the guide for someone else. Think back to a time when you may have needed someone to see the darkness as a form of Love within you. How would you have felt if they offered you the Love that you were unsure of how to access for yourself? When you show up for yourself and are then able to show up for others, the “darkness” of the world begins to slowly transmute into something else we can all recognize within ourselves.

You are forever protected from being controlled by the darkness of yourself and others when you know what it looks, feels, tastes, smells, sounds, etc. like… however it may show up for you. You are not protected from the “darkness” itself, because there is nothing to fear or to be protected from. The “darkness” is Love in another form. You have the infinite power and capability to transform it whenever you like. Dedicate your heart to providing the “darkness” Love whenever it comes and see what changes arise in every space of your life.

When you understand the darkness is another form of Love within you, you can see yourself clearly as Love. You are a clear and open channel for Love. You are also able to know others with this immense and powerful clarity. They too are a complex, yet simple expression of Love.

Naturally, you will have a new Love and appreciation when you have a friendship with the Darkness. The Darkness is everywhere you are, Love, waiting to be awakened. What will you create from it next?

with love, katie

*Love/Higher Self/God/Source/Spirit/Creation/Consciousness/Unmanifested/The Eternal/Soul/Everything/Nothing/All That Is/Infinity/The Unknown/The Witness/Being/… you fill in the blank…

the pilgrim

Think about the most difficult experience or string of experiences you have ever had in your life. I don’t mean difficult as in negative or sad, though it might be. I mean difficult as in they required more Love* and energy to expand yourself. Perhaps uncomfortable is the better word. Discomfort can be painful, exciting, devastating, surprising, and extraordinary all at the same time. Some of my more difficult and uncomfortable experiences have been with emotional abuse, sexual abuse, certain relationships, etc. Those were absolutely painful. There is no way to sugarcoat it. It has taken an immense amount of Love to be able to see how those strenuous outward journeys led me even closer to my heart.

It can be incredibly dangerous to not acknowledge our feelings when it does come to more inherently painful experiences. I used to disempower myself by not taking my feelings seriously. I didn’t think they were justified or real. Meanwhile, I was staying in situations that were absolutely crushing my Spirit. It took me a lot of time, Love, and energy to discover where my power came from. There are infinite sources. One of them was understanding how everything that was happening on the outside was moving me closer to my heart. I didn’t notice it at first because I was at a place in my life where I didn’t believe in things I couldn’t see. I didn’t see my emotions as real because I couldn’t even hold space for them within myself. I bottled them up and dishonored them. No one could see how hurt I was and neither could I. There is no power in that. It was only once I began to honor my emotions that I could see them as a compass that led me on a journey inward. Every relationship that pushed me out of my comfort zone, abusive interaction that has broken my heart, etc. has been an outward and inward journey. From those journeys I learned about the power that comes from experiencing so many different expressions of Love all at once.

How can emotional abuse be Loving? Again, there is no sugarcoating over here. I mean it when I say that the person I have had emotionally abusive relationships with have been the hardest thing I have ever experienced. They truly broke my heart. When I was in those instances drenched with sadness, it was as if I left my body and I could see my heart physically breaking in slow motion. But do you know what else I was able to know? I could somehow understand where it was all coming from. That has been incredibly illuminating. I am not psychic. I wouldn’t say I could see into that person’s history and pinpoint the exact reason why in detail or tell you about their past lives or anything. I could just feel it and know it with great clarity, I realized that it was okay for me to feel deeply saddened and understand where the emotional abuse was coming from. It all happened in the same moment. It was as if my Consciousness was split in half: one half was holding space for me when I was crumbling and the other was reminding me that behind the sharp words there was still a person there. No matter what you believe in, I believe it can be supportive to see the Love within everyone. This doesn’t mean take your own power away by dishonoring how you feel. It can hurt. I have had some very unspeakable things said to me. There are too many to count. There is room to feel hurt; honor and understand your personal pain; and know the Love within someone else. It doesn’t make those things okay. They can not be okay. It is more than possible to honor your own emotions in a way that doesn’t demonize the other person. It doesn’t have to be about you being “right” and because you feel they mistreated you that now they are in the wrong. Your feelings are real. Whatever you feel is real no matter who else can perceive or understand it. That doesn’t have to turn the other person into the villain of the story. You still have the opportunity to see Love within them. The more you engage with this the more you see that there are so many different expressions of Love to connect to. This isn’t just for the heavy stuff. The Wisdom is everywhere. Love has no bounds. It is in every moment of your life. Notice it. Learn about the many different dimensions fo Love. Love will begin to reveal itself in every moment. As you journey through this existence, connect what you are experiencing on the outside to the Love within you.

We are all just people. No matter what someone does or says to you, they are just a person. I have had my fair share of difficulty and in some respects, I have probably had it pretty easy. I am not making light of they heavier things I have been through, but going into great detail would distract from the core of this. I don’t think I could speak for the worst of the worst. I do believe that everyone deserves compassion because of the capability for the Love inside of them. There are many moments when I wished someone could have seen this in me. The more you know Love by paying attention and making the connections between your outer and inner worlds, the more you will understand it within everyone else. You don’t even have to do it for them, do it for yourself. Practice this for how you want to carry yourself along your path. It would have been all to easy to try and hurt someone back the way they hurt me or play the victim when I very well could have. But where does that get me? I’ll tell you because I have done it: sad, confused, anxious, disconnected, hurt, and alone. Now what about compassion? Where would that lead me? I am writing this aren’t I….

Arriving here wasn’t easy. I don’t take it for granted. I wasn’t always able to see the wisdom, experience, and meaning within the outer journey that is this life. I had to practice connecting the Love within myself to my outer world, no matter what. Whether I was just in the grocery store, talking to a friend, or in an uncomfortable conversation, I connected. It is everywhere outside of you and within the deepest parts of your soul. You have to feel it, know it, or however you understand the role Love has in your life. It could be hearing, seeing, touching, etc. It could be anything really. Through cultivating this connection to Love in some of these more intense experiences I have been able to feel it everywhere. Allow this to guide you.

This has the potential to shake up how you move through this world. I have been talking a lot about interaction with other people but it could be anything. I can only write what I know. This didn’t always sound appealing or easy to me. It was only when I tried it a couple of times that I felt so much better, even when it seemed like everything was falling apart. It is a very interesting feeling but you get used to it. Love has so many different manifestations. There are manifestations that you can perceive and understand. Then there are the ones that you may not even know are possible. They will come to you when you need them. If you ever feel stuck, just ask for Love and see what comes through. Infuse it with your outer world. It has definitely surprised me. Feeling Love you didn’t even know existed is just one expression of magic within this universe.

This will radically expand the amount of Love you are able to see in the world. Don’t allow your heart to get stuck. My heart got stuck in moments where I believed what someone would say about me. It got stuck in thoughts about how, “I probably deserve everything that they are saying toward me”, “what can I do to somehow make them like me so they won’t say those things again”, etc. Or maybe I was just being “too sensitive” and making it all up. It could get stuck in the opposite sometimes of, “how could they say those things about me”, “they are supposed to love me”, “what they are saying is just plain wrong”, etc. Embracing the endless amounts of Love and compassion has set my heart free. You become more flexible as you adjust to its rhythm. When you allow Love to move from inside of you so you are in synch with whatever is happening on the outside, you can find expansion, growth, and freedom. If Love is stagnant within you, if you are withholding Love, your heart can become stagnant. Allow your heart to be in motion.

How does Love speak to you? Once you know this and you are comfortable you will see bit by bit how things change. There is an infinite amount of Love to go around. This will protect you on the most fun, exhausting, perplexing, saddening, awe-inspiring adventures. You don’t have to be afraid of anything in this life with your heart in motion.

When you are available for Love to move through you, you allow your inner Spirit to come out. Your soul becomes vulnerable and visible. It cannot be harmed by anyone. Vulnerable does not mean weak. Vulnerability and openness is what allows your soul to be expressed. It lets Love in. Imagine what the world would be like if we all offered this level of vulnerability. Love is natural. As you connect to the Wisdom Love has to provide, you move even closer to your heart and who you are. That is then reflected in everything you do and the result is seen in every space of your life.

Don’t forget to protect yourself, but do it with Love. As I said before, dishonoring how I feel and what I know was harming me prolonged a lot of pain that I didn’t need. I used to think that emotional abuse wasn’t real because it didn’t leave any scars. Nothing. Not a trace. It was only through physical abuse that I understood they are equally painful. My heart hurt either way. You protect yourself by welcoming that Love within yourself. You protect yourself by knowing and acknowledging what you know you need. You protect yourself with Loving boundaries. You protect yourself by knowing you only deserve Love as you move along your path. You protect yourself by knowing when you are coming from Love so you can know when someone else may not be. You protect yourself by also understanding that everyone has the capability to act from Love, even if it seems like they are not in the moment. You protect yourself and identity as Love by seeing the same in everyone in every moment. Also, protect the hearts of others. There will be so many people that move in and out of your life. It may seem like some are more pleasant than others. You may believe they were put in your path. You may not believe anything like that whatsoever. Either way, wouldn’t you want to do everything that you can to treat them with Love and respect, knowing that there is Love within them as well?

You receive what you give. When you are constantly giving Love to those who at a first glance may not seem like they deserve it, you receive Love back. It may not necessarily be from them, though sometimes it can. More importantly, you feel Love because you see yourself and the capacity you have to Love. When you infuse your life with Love, there is Love wherever you choose to go. Then you are always receiving those endless amounts of Love from yourself. What more do you need?

with love, katie

*Love/Higher Self/God/Source/Spirit/Creation/Consciousness/Unmanifested/The Eternal/Soul/Everything/Nothing/All That Is/Infinity/The Unknown/The Witness/… you fill in the blank…

the stone

I was always confused about what it meant to “get grounded”. This concept always eluded me. It is likely because for the longest time, I had nothing to ground me. I had no way to ground myself or any idea of what that would look like for me. My life, mind, relationships… you fill in the blank… were always up in the air and I never felt like I had something to anchor me. I always thought that the route to being a grounded person had something to do with the Earth (I’m not terrible with plants, but I wouldn’t claim to have a green thumb) or being really connected to your family (not an option for me, my family is a mess). Surprise, it doesn’t have to be any of those things. I began paying attention to what would happen when I would describe myself as “ungrounded”. What do I feel like? How do I react to life around me? How do I seem to act out of character? Am I worried? Yes. Am I super anxious? Oh yeah. Depressed? For sure. Weird eating habits? Oi. Drinking? Maybe a bit. Sugar? Definitely a lot. Spinning out? You get it. How would I dig myself out of that hole? Love and Connection. Love and Connection has so many different forms. They have showed up for me in a multitude ways over time. When I was younger, it meant just taking a deep breath in those moments, connecting with myself to get out of my head for a moment, and remembering that everything is going to be okay. Those were the magic words: “everything will be okay”. That brought me back home from the rabbit hole I wandered down into. Now it is a little bit different. Connection to Love* as a force within me and you, however you want to describe it, grounds me.

The wonderful thing about connecting to Love is that it is an infinite force. It never runs out. It is all around you in every moment, person, exchange, interaction, feeling, emotion, plant, animal, etc. just waiting for you to connect in whatever way you know how. Anywhere you look, anywhere you are, there it is. You just need to know how you connect. Not how anyone else does. That couldn’t matter less. I call it Love and Connection here, but that could be anything to you. Imagine what that is. Pull it close to you. I am a huge nature person. This isn’t for everyone and certainly isn’t available to everyone in the same way. When I was at university, there were no forests nearby and that bothered me. I felt like I had no place to go to when I desperately needed it. Fortunately, I discovered that there was a huge botanical garden nearby. Those gardens quickly became my sanctuary. I know how hokey that may sound (it definitely does) but the way it made me feel is indescribable. The force of my special place is unparalleled. It felt like no matter what was happening at school (life was pretty hectic) that anything could be cured by the time I left. I spent all day there to ground in myself. By the time I left I felt renewed. What gives you that feeling? It doesn’t have to be just physical places. I learned the hard way that every time you feel unsettled you can’t rely on having a massive garden with a bajillion different species to escape in. This space of grounding and peace needs to be inside you so it is available wherever and whenever you need it. Love and Connection is independent of space and time. I will always love the gardens, but I don’t have to rely on them. I appreciate them even more now because of this. Once you know how you connect you can ground from there. Knowing this has given me so much security. As I mentioned earlier, my mind can be pretty unstable. I can easily get lost in thoughts and follow one for awhile until I remember to come back. This hasn’t been ideal in situations that need my undivided attention or ones that are emotionally demanding. I don’t worry about those potential circumstances anymore. No matter when or where I am I know I can always ground in Love and Connection. I am always bringing a plethora of Love to anywhere I am. No matter how far off I wander, I can always come back in a heartbeat.

There is so much power and vitality in this very simple way of existing. Now instead of worrying about how things may impact me, that at any moment I could feel ungrounded or disconnected, etc. I know that in every possible situation there is way back home. The world transforms into a space where you can learn from anything and everything instead of having to worry about defending yourself from becoming ungrounded. There is no need to keep that wall up. It is so much easier to be happy, vulnerable, and present. Love takes on infinite different forms within everyone. It is always shifting, transforming and creating within Itself. Think about how much you can learn from grounding in that Infinite Wisdom in every moment. What does Love as a grounding space have to offer you? Connect to that.

Being your own anchor is a gateway to endless amounts of compassion for yourself and others. You have the ability to bless yourself, anyone, and anything else with unconditional love in any moment. The only thing you need to do is show up for yourself. Show up for yourself and know yourself as this space of reliability and permanence. Know this part of yourself as yourself. You are the space of concreteness that allows the rest of you to shift and create.

Being grounded in yourself, in Love, is your greatest guide and ally. It can transform into exactly what you need within the space between your breath. Imagine how many different forms it could take for you. Now for someone else. Love is a force that is independent of space and time. It Witnesses and Sees so much within all of us and yet seems to stay the same. It remains our rock. Remember my messy family I mentioned earlier? I have had the interesting opportunity to spend more time with my family now than I ever have in the past. I have a very difficult time with my parents. Who doesn’t? Due to recent events, I am spending an unexpected amount of time with my mother. My mom doesn’t do well with being inside all day so we have plenty of opportunities to bump heads. The only way I have been able to navigate the upsets (it has only been about a week) with compassion is by staying grounded in Love and understanding. It has prevented me from feeling weighted down, cold, numb or like I have to hold everything in. This simple act is easy to overlook. It is only when amongst the tremendous amount yelling, hot tears, and confusing frustration, you are able to find stillness, quiet and peace that you understand its silent, yet strong power.

The way I write may seem pretty simple but that is because I distill all of my thoughts to their core essence before I write them down. Otherwise, you probably wouldn’t understand me. Sometimes I am even a little unsure of what happens up there. I enjoy experiencing all of the wild thoughts whirling around in my head because they have allowed me to be very innovative in my relationships. All of the innovation comes from Love. I can’t tell you with any accuracy how I can go from being really upset with my mother to understanding and feeling her all within a split second. The only way to describe it is by being committed to grounding in Compassion and Understanding. That looks very different for everyone. Some may know this as presence within Love. Some may know this as taking a deep breath. I only invite you to find your own way of knowing this within yourself. Be creative with it. We all have the same capabilities even if they manifest differently. What feels natural to you? What goes on in your head when you begin to ground? What moves through your heart?

Knowing that we all have this capacity for deep Love and Understanding expands our connection to those we don’t even know yet. Remember, it is infinitely and uniquely complex for every single one of us depending on how we perceive Love and spread it. Imagine yourself in moments when you connect to someone you didn’t even know you could and how they could do the same for you and everyone else. Allow that to expand the amount of Love you thought existed in this universe. Ground yourself in this.

Now imagine how this Love expands beyond what you know. Imagine how it expands into what you don’t know. Now Beyond. Where could it possibly exist? How could it exist? I think it is healthy to be skeptical when people start talking about connection to ancestors, past lives, spirit guides, animal totems, plant allies, etc. Not all of that has to be for you. If you followed me up until this point and now you are like, “nope, not for me”, no problem. Consider this: Love exists in the places you can and cannot perceive a.k.a everywhere. My grandmother passed away within the last year. Do I think she floats around in the form of a ghost? I can’t be sure but I don’t perceive Love with sight. So she absolutely could but that doesn’t come naturally to me. Not yet anyway. The possibilities are endless. I perceive Love through feeling. Do I feel the Love she gave me, my sister and my mother? Everyday. Do you feel it? Maybe, maybe not. Does that mean it doesn’t exist? It is real for me. It can be real for me and untrue to you at the same time. Love allows for all of this. Ground yourself in this.

All that you can do is connect to what you believe, know, feel, hear, see, sense, within yourself. We all have different ways of perceiving Love in our own lives. As I mentioned, I don’t necessarily see anything but that doesn’t mean that someone couldn’t possibly see my grandmother around just because I don’t. I feel her Love and that’s enough. Don’t be afraid to connect to whatever you know to be True for yourself. Truth takes on infinite forms. There is Love and space for them all. Ground yourself in this.

Protect your Truth, relationship with Love and your heart. Don’t let anyone decide that for you. No one ever has to agree with you for it to be yours. If you feel it, know it, hear it, smell it, taste it, see it, etc. within yourself, that is all you need to know. Your relationship with Love is very unique, personal and precious. Be confident in your relationship with Love as you perceive it. Ground yourself in this.

Allow that confidence to fuel new Love for things you didn’t even know you could connect to. Once I realized I feel and know Love, I can appreciate how others may see, hear, touch, taste, smell, (and anything else I didn’t mention) Love. You may not understand it yourself but you can still allow that deep appreciation to fill you and bond you with The Unknown within someone else. Ground yourself in this.

with love, katie

*Love/Higher Self/God/Source/Spirit/Creation/Consciousness/Unmanifested/The Eternal/Soul/Everything/Nothing/All That Is/Infinity/The Unknown/The Witness/… you fill in the blank…