THE VOICE by Suzie Daggett
In the middle of my twelfth year, I was sitting alone on a patch of hot scraggly grass at a small Catholic school. It was odd that I was alone since I was a ring leader and top noise maker at recess. While sitting there, I distinctly heard a kind loving voice say: “What you are being taught is not for you.” Huh? You mean the information imparted from school, religion, society and my family? Who was this voice? Was it an angel, my higher self, a protective spirit? I had no idea. I innocently said ok to the voice and myself, jumped up and ran to join the others. Interestingly, I was not afraid or bewildered as this interaction seemed perfectly natural to me. At my young age, I had no idea what to do with this message. I did not tell my mom or friends. I allowed it to be.
A few days later, a stronger light bulb went off. I was walking behind some nuns and overheard them discussing what the parish priest wanted them to teach us. I instantly knew that the information they would teach was required by the church and priest rather than what they deeply believed in their hearts. Aha! Their internal beliefs were not theirs or mine – this information was not intended for me. Good to know.
From that moment of insight, an interest in learning about the mystery of life and the human condition was imprinted on my heart and soul. I did not understand the full ramifications of this moment until much later in life. It took 30 years to understand how this incident changed my inner and outer life. I now know those spoken words have directed me in ways I could not have imagined.
The words and energy of the voice have helped me:
Investigate my inner soul world and live intutively
Appreciate the mystery of life
Bring awareness to the public around alternatives beliefs in body, mind and spirit
Be a spokesperson for what really matters
Listen to and follow my bodies’ wisdom rather than the dictates of professionals
Be proud and unafraid of birthing my children way past the normal age
Using my written and spoken voice to explain less than popular notions
Always question cultural and societal standards
Speak my truth with ease (this took some time)
Live, love and appreciate the wisdom that is me
Since my late teens, I have learned to check with my intuitive guidance to see if something culturally, spiritually or famililal is out of cadance with me. I do not take anything written or spoken as the gospel truth. Situations which may be right for some could be off for me. I have relied on my finely honed intuititve sense and a committed inner awareness to keep learning more and more of who I am.
A few instances:
When my husband and I were first married, my grandpa asked if we were going to church. I said, no, we go to the mountains to pray to God – not good enough he said. But, it was good enough for me and still is. I stood by my convictions, hoping he could hear me.
Having children at ages 40 and 45 could present problems to some, but to my husband and to me, it was an opportunity to live more fully. We accepted what the Universe kindly offered us – two of the most fabulous healthy soulful humans. I knew was not a statistic no matter how the kind doctors tried to influence me.
In my fifties, when I broke my elbow, the doctor said that a fracture like mine would result in limited mobility. I walked out of his office, not allowing him to cast my elbow. At home I healed my elbow to it’s previous healthy condition. My choice was to not agree with the doctors’ limited belief.
Taking the words of the voice to heart has allowed me to live a life with deeper soul/human consciousness and life affirming awareness. I am eternally grateful and continue to listen with awareness when information comes to me.
I FLUNKED MEDITATION – Did You? by Suzie Daggett
Starting a meditation practice can be so confusing. To some who follow an established Eastern or spiritual approach, the cushion, body alignment, chanting, no thought and special breathing techniques approach is mandatory. It is part of their discipline and teachings. Those who practice this type of mediation are satisified.
For the rest of us, confusion reigns. Our knees will not bend right, our back hurts, we do not follow a guru or specific way of life, our thoughts are roaring loudly the moment we shut our eyes, we do not like to shut our eyes, we do not understand/comprehend/like the sound of chanting, we resist the idea of traditional meditation, we don’t know how to breathe deeply and thus, we feel we have failed. We flunked meditation. Lots of us.
But wait - just because you are not practicing mediation the way it has been done for thousands of years does not mean you are a failure. Mindfulness mediation is now mainstream, opening a gentle approachable door to inner awareness.
Do you love to sing, play a musical instrument, practice yoga or tai chi? Float in water, garden, run, hike, bike or walk your dog? Knit, sew, paint, write, design, photograph, manufacture or create saleable items? All these activities and countless more are meditative – this includes anything that switches your mighty fine but overly busy left-brain to your creative open right brain. Anything that puts your mind front and center smack dab into the present moment. This can include doing your chores or cooking with intention, staring into space, getting lost in the feelings of your heart, observing nature or even yourself. All are useful for making the jump from a thinking mind to feeling state. Pet your cat with awareness, muck your horsey stuff with love, tend to your family in the present moment – no devices, no TV’s, no extra chatter, just your full attention appreciating the dialogue, the scenery and smells. Meditative.
Can you begin to see that what you already do naturally might be meditative? If so, give yourself a pat on the back and start recognizing the moment for what it is – quiet, calm, inner focused, aware, heightened senses, open heart fuzziness, energetic aliveness, spacious and a connection to something other than the controlling past or future. Meditative.
When you discover your particular way to meditate, embrace it! Love it, follow it, allow it to lead you deeper into the magical unknown world of your inner self.
There are countless benefits to meditation including embracing a life of conscious awareness. Let your mind drift and float down river with ease, allowing bothersome ideas to disappear, let go of what you think needs to be done or is right or appropriate, breathe deeply at first then relax. Allow deeper feelings of love, gratitude and harmony to surface. Practice, practice, practice – this is meditation. No matter how you sit, stand, move or create. Meditative with an A+ that’s you!
TRANSITIONAL TIMES REQUIRE LASER-BEAM FOCUS by Suzie Daggett
Transitional times may be pushing you to discover your true self. You may find you are ready to shed old personality habits, old life styles and old emotional actions during this creative and deeply thought provoking time. With the loss or change of a job, partner, home, spiritual upset or sense of purpose, you may be suddenly presented with a blank slate of the unknown. The old model of highly structured ways is collapsing, making way for a softer more spacious way of being. This means you will need to be resilient while remaining open and courageous while watching things crumble around you; adventurous as you test new waters; intuitive as you journey through roadblocks.
To activate your new self, it is important to find what really lights you up – what makes you tick, what makes you different from others? What causes you to feel deeply and smile broadly as you discover that which you love. Perhaps you have forgotten about your childhood dreams, your young adult desires, or your deepest soul intentions?
How do we find what lights us up?
To begin, take some deep cleansing, relaxing breath’s and continue with conscious deep breathing until you feel you have established a good rhythm. Now, take a moment to be fully in your body. That may sound strange, but many people live in their head (thinking, thinking, thinking) forgetting their bountiful body. In this process, you will want to feel deeply into your body’s inherent knowledge. Start by wiggling your toes, shaking your hands, shrugging your shoulders, sending awareness to any sore spots or old injuries, as you breath with a deep commitment to feel rather than think. Put your right hand over your heart area as you connect to your center of being.
Questions and answers
Do this exercise by yourself or with a friend as you create an open question and answer conversation. Record this process for ease of remembering. Ask yourself or have your friend ask the following questions, then, as you answer, quietly listen to what you have said. Do not try to fix or change your answers. This process is about hearing your immediate first answer. Your job is to openly hear the questions and neutrally listen to your answers. If you find yourself in the “shoulds, woulds or coulds” take a breath and remember your first answer, not the one you wish to hear. Your goal is to bypass the sticky ego, which loves to keep you in your old reality. You are aiming for a more soulful deeper expression of self.
Questions to answer:
a. what do you love to do?
b. why do you love to do (add your answer from above)
c. what is stopping you from doing (add your answer from above)
d. what would you need to change to do what you love?
e. are you ready for change of any kind?
Now, take time to process this information – a day, a week or a month – let it gently perk within you. It is a big deal to answer these questions, but if you are ready, prepared and present, you will be amazed at the answers you carry within. If you find you are resistant to answering or your mind keeps trying to direct you to the negatives (ego), it can be useful to find someone who does spiritual direction, hypnotherapy, intuitive consultation or soul work for clarity.
If you have found answers, it is time to implement the changes. This is where laser beam focus is of utmost importance. Say you have always loved to sing, but your career took you into banking. You now have time to pursue your singing – how do you start? Who would want you at your age (ego talking here)? Plenty of people will (soul desire!). However, you must put a beam of focus on your intention to sing, laser energy into believing it can happen, while you specifically ask the Universe to help. Take small purposeful steps, as you stay focused. Universal timing will chime in, however, you may not know when or how. Give yourself the gift of permission to listen to your inner guidance. Sing. Believe. Try. Keep trying.
Laser focus, belief in your inner self, a positive attitude and gratitude to Source energy are the keys to making this transitional time useful to discover your new self. Ask, listen, find your laser focus, trust, and believe. It is possible to do what you love.