Limiting Beliefs 

So what’s your limiting belief? Why do we think we can or can not do something?  This great life we have is half spent struggling against a set of rules and limitations that, for the most part, at least as adults , we put on ourselves.   

I had not entirely realized that it’s kind of a big deal to state publicly what I think about the Christian church.  Every day it becomes even more clear : the chains it has on so many, and the grand disfunction it grows that we’ve just come to know as ‘normal’ and therefore accept as a drug of choice.  The drug of certainty.  

As the tradition I was born into, I can now see many beautiful and helpful spiritual practices that have been passed on for many years like contemplative  prayer,  centering prayer or the daily examen to name a few.   The thing that is funny is when people freak out about calling these practices meditation.   Same thing, just  different language.   

It’s ok people… no one is keeping tabs.  Well, maybe a few of you are but  For THE LOVE…. what is your motivation to be right and exclusive?   A limited belief?   An addiction to certainty? Fear of the unknown?  You are actually SUPPOSED to question and struggle with theology.   In a sense, you have to always  be struggling to find your way.  AND WHERE EXACTLY IS THE LOVE?  One of the biggest themes in the Bible is “do NOT fear”~. You could listen to that and work through the fear and struggle.  I do think it’s worth it.   
There is so much love and beauty to be found and touched upon in this world 🌎 yet we treat the planet and each other as dispensable cutlery most of the time and especially , especially once our thoughts or beliefs don’t match up.     I use you as I need you then I put you in the trash.   Especially if you are not serving me in the way that I want you to serve me.   WHERE is the love in that? 

How much judgment do we need to let go of? How much of these exchanges in conversations and arguing is teaching us about who WE are and the necessity to grow and evolve as humans?  Humans with a real Christ Consciousness and not just a set of rules to live or die for.  

We are all ONE.  And we are yet so tribal.  My group, your group, that group.  

May we open our eyes and heal as we can.  Meditate, pray,  nourish our bodies, souls and minds.  May we learn from others, from other traditions and cultures, may we travel and dance many dances~   May we be well, May we have peace.  May we fall so in love with our selves that all we can give out is more of this love and compassion. ❤️ 

Does this sound  like a lot of work? It is.  But could that fact also be a limiting belief?   The work is DO-able.  It’s a better way to live. To Thrive. To Love.   You can do it.  Seek healing.  Investigate your motives. You are loved.  Do the work. 

Moving Forward~ The after church party~ 

So what led to this leaving of the church? As I began to pay attention to the places that were hurting,  asking questions, seeking guidance, investigating the soul ~ this beautiful breakthrough developed.   I had to take a DEEP look at all that just felt wrong and false.    It’s been 18 months in the making( or more).   I was stuck returning to church every Sunday attempting to be a ‘loyal soldier’.   But how long can we fake continuing to live in an unhealthy way? Where is the spiritual growth and transformation for just being a ‘loyal’ follower?   

One of the  questions I am getting asked recently is,  “Where are you going to church now?!’   Well, if you must know….. : I’m going to ,’The Church of Rest and Relax on Sunday”.  😎😃.    Continuing to gather with friends and celebrate life on a regular basis as we did before-  THIS, I have found , is more spiritual and transformational (and fun) than checking the box for attendance at a religious service.   

Obviously I continue to feed my soul with spiritual practices, disciplines to BE STILL and ponder and meditate and pray. Always giving of our lives to others as we can.   And these ‘practices’ have been a part of my life for years- these practices have saved me.  As well as reading and listening to many others that have had similar struggles with the gift of the disappointment of the church  institution, government and mythology.    Others who have been brave and paved the way to a deeper spirituality and simpler life,  a life of traditions and practices to feed our souls and sit in awe of the mystery of God.  Others who were onto the dysfunction of a religious ‘rules of inclusion and exclusion system’.   It’s called Spiritual Evolution Baby!!! 
Still I admit there is a bit of grief.  For a loss of an ideal. For waiting so long to speak up.  

 I was having coffee with a dear friend of mine who is currently in a position of leadership at a church.  (She has been one of the graceful ones that is my friend regardless of what I think or do 😍) and at one point during our conversation about this shift and journey in my life  I felt tears coming down my eyes and a bit of sadness.   She very gently  jumped in and asked – Why the tears, what are you feeling??   Grief I suppose.   Grief from the loss of an ideal?   Grief that it took me so long to get rid of the hindrance of not speaking up just because I was taught to ‘believe’ in things without ever questioning?   Sadness of the awareness that many friendships were just sitting on performance and belief  based approval?   Most likely.  I mean it really is pretty sad.  And so I sat there with her and I welcomed the sadness.  Because it’s good to acknowledge that there is grief when we lose something.   And as emotional beings we have the need to process and FEEL.   Including feeling the bad or difficult emotions.   
Also, as I sat there I  remembered that it’s not the first time something like this happens — this is just the freshest wound.  

Breaking free from BS can start as a lonelier road at times- but it really is one that I have traveled many times before.  
Growing up I didn’t like all the lame and limiting  ‘society’ rules and expectations of needing to be proper and quiet and thin and so pretty so that you can succeed and find a rich husband or hang with the right people.  So I went on my own- and soon found other renegades that also knew we were meant for more.  And for each other.  ❤️

It can be hard to be free when your mind keeps pulling you back to what you have learned and programmed as the ‘right’ thing.     I think this is why we choose other ways to cope as we fight for this FREEDOM.  I used alcohol for a while.  And did my thing.  Fighting against the machine with music, art, revolutionary ideas.   Half ass most of the time because of the ‘booze  use’ to cover up the shame of not fitting in or meeting the grandparents / parents/ church and society’s expectations. Not all of us are born to fit the mold. I certainly was not.  I really don’t even think ANY of us are: we just choose to comply or not.   I’ve also used the drug of perfectionism.  That did not work either.  

Every time I heard, ” Oh Gris,  the rebel w/ out a cause”.  Blah blah.  Listen people, – there is ALWAYS A CAUSE.  It’s a deep known fact that we are meant for more-   You think because you have a roof over your head, decent food, a faith group to belong to and a family that ‘works’ that you don’t have a ’cause’.  Causes might be relative- but there is always a cause.  

The deep, unconscious knowing that we are being told lies. Held back. Controlled. Society and low level conscious adults molding us – telling us what to feel, think and do since we are in elementary school.   I know we can care and still hold loving kindness values, justice and respect for ourselves outside of a formal institution frame.   

I decide now to make my own mold. And it’s a good one.  I can choose to decide to allow my kids and my other loved ones the space to BE.  To LOVE authentically and without limits.  To find and give kindness to our world while we are here and have the time.  
The path is rocky. But I can hike. With a heavy bag on my back- and a light one too. And so can you by the way.  

Part 2. Of Why I left the church. Again. 

I want to make it clear that many of the the friends and community that I’ve found in the church have been the best part of going to church.  The people.  The love.   I write my story without the intention of attacking anyone in particular. – I write to express my views on how I believe the church (and society for that matter) conditions you to believe in something that imprisons you.  It asks that you believe  in something that you can’t see, feel, or make happen.

But they tell you that’s ‘faith’.  And they preach love BUT it is conditional and it can be clicky. And when you are part of the ‘in’ click this can take longer for you to see.

This is not about personalities as much as it is about lies, myths and being guilted into paying for it.

Nobody can talk shit about some of the religious leaders. But they can sure shun you if you don’t go along w their plan.
OBVIOUSLY not everyone in the church is like this. I’ve had beautiful friendships and tons of support. Oh my goodness it can be a great place to start a journey of faith when you end up in a healthy church for sure.
Religious or not, There is really no need for anyone to take this personally.  This is MY story.  MY journey.  And May it BE of benefit to anyone in a similar path.  A journey of wanting more. Of KNOWING there is more to this. A journey of evolving thought and growth and spirituality and  learning ~ a journey of hitting the roof w the limited growth that the government of the church can restrictively offer —  and then going for more.

A journey of knowing and following the urge to move on to a DEEPER spirituality.

A life of Authentically loving and living life without religious restraints or superstitions. It’s hard work. Intense digging and leaning into the discomfort. But so worth the fight.

It takes courage to speak and know that you will no longer ‘belong’ to a certain group that you’ve associated yourself with for a while.  ‘Balls of steel’ like my friend Normita says.
I’ve lost a few friends because of this. So the reality of who really was your friend and who friends you just because you are in the click or not comes out.    This can be painful.   But it is also a gift. Better to live for real than for fake. I’m glad to be one of ‘those’ — the ‘ those’ that Jesus hung out with.

And maybe those religious hearts think they are doing the right thing _ obeying their Santa Claus god.     I just don’t see how kicking you to the curve because you don’t think the same thoughts is love, or a God thing.

I figure this. Bring it on. We are all gonna die.  And life is short and a beautiful GIFT.   I don’t want to live under the cloud of pretending and being proper just so that you can be comfortable. Like Brene Brown says, ” it’s not my job to make you comfortable.”   Nope. It’s my job to live out loud, seek healing , learn to Love unconditionally and be a benefit to this world.

Why I left the church. Again.

grisserI was recently had to write down my spiritual journey for an application to a “Wilderness Within Camp” out in the mountains that I wanted to attend.  In a quick paragraph I went through the story pretty quick, the jest of it being the following:

I was born in Mexico city, grew up catholic(sort of) my mom got into scientology when I was 8 yrs old—So my Catholic Dad freaked out and moved the family to the Tijuana/San Diego border.  Once in Tijuana we continued to go to mass every Sunday but I always thought it was pretty lame.  I went to school in San Diego, my best friend was Jewish and we had amazing conversations about religion, faith and humans in general but I always thought of myself as an existentialist.  At 16 yrs old I tried some mind altering substances and was sort of addicted until 24 yrs old.  My Conscious Spiritual Journey begins with 12 step meetings, meditation and recovery retreats. (I say conscious because I didn’t have the language then to realize the spirit is always alive).  Anyway, I then choose Buddhism as a source to meditate.  After 4 years it was too hard for me because I craved certainty and I was going through a pretty hard time.  I prayed and prayed that my ‘higher power’ would reveal to me who or what it was.   As if somehow knowing this would remove all hardship and suffering.

I then get invited to a bible study, reluctantly attend, I argue with the preacher about the exclusivity of Christianity but in the middle of the argument I have this crazy supernatural experience and I figure it must be Jesus.  A few weeks later I end up in a cool and modern American non-denominational church in Chula Vista.  The music was cool , the pastor had ‘recovery’ experience and just plain made sense.  The people were super nice and we found community but I always knew deep down there was still some BS happening.   Especially when they would ask me when had I been saved? What? Like 2000 years ago or something?   I then dive like crazy to study the bible and church history, meanwhile my catholic family thinks I am doomed.  They tell me that I am in the incorrect denomination and going in a cult.  I press on because it felt right, we make good friends but…. I keep getting in a bit trouble for critical thinking and asking hard questions.  I am told to believe blindly.  And I try…but.  Then we move to a different neighborhood, different church and I continue to host meetings at my house and walk many through the steps of recovery.   My husband and I decided to always host some type of meeting  at our house because it keeps us healthy.    There comes a time where I deeply yearn and know there is more to this than just showing up at church and waving hi to everyone.  I decide to go to Haiti to help out kids in an orphanage and my husband tells me that maybe I should just go right across the border to Tijuana and help there. He asked “Why all the way to Haiti?”   At this time some friends move to the neighborhood to start a church in a sort of low income neighborhood and instead of heading to Haiti we decide to join them.  It was well intended work, lots of new fun and awesome friends and I was busy again.  I somehow end up as an elder and leading groups.   I really thought this was great, until I realized it was back to square one.  Nice people, but fundamentalists.  A bit of the same as the catholic story, but worse.  There was no space for critical thinking, no space for free doubt, no space for any different opinion than the literal vs literary view of the bible.   Turns out it’s the same BS. Exclusive or Inclusive depending on your thoughts or behavior.   And the fundamentalism was drowning me. I couldn’t stand it.  How could anyone make Christ so small? So rigid? So exclusive?  I always knew God was love.  How can exclusivity be love?

I wished it would work, just believing like they did.  But it is hard to see transformation happening just because of a specific thought or belief.  It is much more complicated than that.   People need therapy.  Contemplative practices.  Freedom to think out loud and not be condemned.   And at the level of consciousness there in lies the frustration, ” Why don’t people just get it already?”  “Just believe and get well.”

It got worse for me every day.  I felt like I was betraying my friends, but I also felt like a bit of a fake by not speaking up.   The interesting thing is that this had really been happening since I was like 7 years old and went to mass to take communion one day.  I had not officially done my “first communion” sacrament but I went for it anyway because I figured I was gonna get me some of that God goodness.    I got in a bit of trouble then as well but I figured it was a cool thing that I got away with.   I got to God despite of the rules.  The government of the church was just so messed up.  The turmoil of doubt and fear had sent me on a search for more knowledge, more DEPTH.   Love led me to some beautiful people that were waaaayy   ahead of me in this journey of an evolving faith.  A contemplative practice spiritual director who helped me discover what I already knew, friends that listened, understood and allowed the space for me to develop and grow in my journey to becoming.  Back at the evangelical church I finally spoke my thoughts and was asked to resign from the board.  Best. Decision. Ever.  I grieved the relationships obviously, but I once again feel FREE and FULL of love.  Like I escaped from a prison or woke up from a bad dream.   Also, my kids are thrilled.  🙂    My teenager called BS since the beginning.  I guess some kids just KNOW and don’t have the need to pretend.

 

Today I am still at a place where I go back and forth between feeling free form religion and not knowing exactly how to move forward and precisely express to others what I am experiencing- without feeling afraid/ or judged.  I feel closer to god than ever. Peaceful and relieved.  The REALITY of love and the Oneness of all humans is carrying me like an overwhelming hope.    I sometimes struggle still, obviously, but I know that I am powerless over the desire for certainty, but I also remember each day that certainty is not necessary, it is a hindrance.   It sits well with me to accept the Mystery of God.

 

And so I quit the western modern evangelical system.  I quit religion. I leave the church once again.  The government part of it.  The part that makes the Christ small and limited.  I want to go discover more.  I want to love more.  Live more.  Sometimes I feel like my mind is a wilderness but I want to head on the fear.  I look forward to learning, to the Adventure of the wilderness with others that might have similar longings as me.  I have been called a rebel- and I love it.  Jesus was a rebel. So we rock on.

Do not conform any longer to the patterns of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind”   St. Paul really was onto something.  Thank God!

 

#talesofrecovery #lovenerfails #lovewins #freedom #journeyofbecoming #evolve #love

 

 

 

 

 

You can’t control others. Period. So suck it up.

It’s a powerful thought to remember.  We can not control other people, change them or help anyone that does not want to be helped.  You can pray all you want to whatever god you choose, you can wish people well (or ill) day in and day out BUT the reality is that we can only change ourselves.   At a low level of consciousness most of us know this perhaps, or at least we can say we know this as a fact.  Yet the funny thing is how us humans can so quickly fall into pointing the finger at others,,,blaming or complaining about how our lives are soooo bad because of what other people have done or are doing. It is also funny how we love to just talk smack about other people in general, just for fun, whether it affects us or not.  I find it so interesting just how difficult it is for us to take daily and constant personal responsibility.

One of the most impact full practices that I have learned has been sharing at any 12 step or growth meeting BUT … wait for it….only sharing about ME.  No one else.  Keeping the focus on myself.  Literally, at any meeting,  as soon as you started to talk about the neighbor, or your mom, co-worker etc., some good soul in the group had the task to stop you and scream out loud, “Tell me about YOU”.   Always bringing back the experience you were recounting to your own personal participation in whatever circumstance you are re-living at the time.    This practice is not to deny that other people can be jerks and can certainly hurt us, but a decision to choose my perspective and my part in how I process and allow this to affect me.

It is a constant exercise of awareness and it is really no joke. It is a hard practice.  It takes discipline and accountability – it is a lot easier to focus on others than to turn the camera on to ME.  Self examination.  The only one that can change, the only one I can direct.  Is me.   Same goes for you.

Perspective is everything. 

All moments are holy and beautiful when you have the right eyes to SEE.  

Even in our suffering, we can learn to see with awakened eyes

Accepting life on life’s terms. Accepting without fighting, taking it all in as is it.  Willing to work on ourselves to walk through the tough, the pain, the struggle.  

We take life as it comes and press on to conitue to LOVE and live in AWE of this amazing gift of life that we have~ 
How do we do this? Practice. Practice feeling our emotions, practice sitting still and observing our thoughts instead of just allowing them to run our life.

Practice choosing to learn, to meditate, to pray and love. Asking for help to get these practices going has been the best choice I have ever made. 

One life to live. What is your perspective? 

School Bus Life 

So I’m looking at this school bus. On this road. And am thinking how this is LIFE. A journey on the school bus LEARNING and LAUGHING and getting in trouble sometimes…because we will have lame ass teachers and amazing and loving teachers and guides and sages and love and hurt everywhere we go. ~// I want to keep on riding, keep on learning, keep on adventuring, keep on healing and keep on LOVING. 🚌 #letsridetogether #itsneverover #journeyoflife #journeyoflove

The ‘Present’ thief~

Have you been robbed today? So far.. it is about 12:30 pm on a Monday morning and I’ve witnessed about 3 thefts on instagram, one really bad one on Facecrack and when I was about to head to twitter I remembered that I needed to stop the thief.   

Stop the thief. 

The thief of the Here and NOW.   I mean I love IG, blogs and  twitter, online classes,  tumbler etc.  The thing today is I have figured out why this is SUCH a successful thief.  My theory on smart phone love is the innate knowledge of how important our present moment is.  It is ALL we have.  The here and now.
Just for today,  do not worry about tomorrow for tomorrow will take care of itself, be here now, and so on.   All great spiritual truths lead to this statement.  Are we created to KNOW this yet fall far  behind in the awareness lesson?  Could this misguided innate  knowledge  be the reason why we feel the need to be in OTHERS’ present so often?   I could be breathing in my NOW moment but first….. let me go check yours?  

Then your neighbors, then the link below, then click on that other selfie and next thing you know my Present is ran over by someone else’s.    This could also be the reason why we feel the need to post everything we do, eat or read.  Information and wisdom sharing is a gift and I absolutely love it.  But just being aware of the why… WHY? Why do you want to post everything you do or see what everybody else is doing right NOW? 
Because NOW is the BEST AND NOW is all we have. This moment. NOW As I write this, and now and as you read this.  

We have the portal to brain sucking power as well as the portal to amazing and constant information.   Balance is key. Oh how I long for balance..

My teens hear me all the time when I ask them to leave their phones at the door once we get home for the day. Why? Because we now get to rest the brain, talk in person, write a song, read a book, or just stare out the window.  In peace.  Sans the thief.   It’s a struggle, but worth the fight. Worth the awareness.   Enjoy your NOW.  ✌🏽

The Practice of Love

It seems so simple to say, just practice love. There are, however, so many obstacles and learned judgements that get in the way of pure love and convert it to conditional acceptance.    I used to think it was because of the cultural background or family you’d be born into…. but i guess it’s just a common human condition thing~

How can we begin to LET GO like really really let.that.shit.go and live in constant acceptance without being called a hippie?  I keep running into a brick wall when I hear the words about love your neighbor as yourself BUT then make sure they are following the rules or else….out they go.  It’s hard to handle that limitation today.  It feels so exclusive.  It’s what I’ve been fighting my entire life.  Exclusion.  

We all get excluded in some shape or form growing up.  It’s like a tribal instinct I guess.   But what is up with the  need to separate? I mean I can choose who I hang out with but the judgment and separation this exclusion way of thinking brings carries on into our adult lives and Just (in my opinion) gets in the way of living a life of love. 

Three sweat friends of mine died about 6 years ago, and all within a two year period. Being with them in the last days of their breaths here on earth and with their beautiful families was an experience that changed my thought patterns of certainty.   All we talked about in the end was that they got to love people.  Nothing mattered then but love.  Not what they accomplished in life or how much they traveled the world,  not what they believed,  or how hard they tried.   Just how they got to love and be loved.  And the knowledge of how quickly this gift of life can end is electrifying. 

I can not be certain of how many days I have left to breathe here on earth.  How many more times I can hug my husband and look into my children’s eyes as they tell me about their friends or what they are going through today.    So I often find myself saying, ” We are all gonna die”..  not to be morbid- but to constantly remind myself of the importance and privilege that it is to LIVE.  

I practice this reminder and I practice how to better love.  Sitting quietly everyday opening up my mind and heart to the divine prescence and action within me.  It’s in there….somewhere.  I just need to PRACTICE daily so it can flow easier and that I can be reminded of its power.   No time for judgement or complaining.  Just healing and more healing.  I figure this is what we are here for : to live and heal so that we can better know and practice love.   

Maybe this is why we all love celebrating so much.  At least I know I’m all about the party, the celebration, the fun event, happy hour, family reunions (well…this last one varies on how much I’ve been practicing ha!)   We really do know the preciousness of life and love,  it’s recorded in our cells.   But of course  life and difficulties come and we fight and complain and suffer when we could accept life as it is , embrace some of the suffering and peacefully wait until we can walk out solutions.    This might be a whole other practice in itself .   For today: I will practice love.  May you feel and know how loved you are . May you practice love and kindness to yourself today,.  You ARE love.  ❤️✌🏽

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Telepathetic? or you’re trippin’!

My daughter and I made up a word today:  TELEPATHETIC.  I actually messed up and said this word instead of ‘telepathy’.  But saying the word out loud made me realize how I can be telepathetic…. and I think it might be a common thing.  Here  is the definition I figured out for telepathetic: 

 Telepathetic: When you somewhat obsessively  think about things that might  happen in the future … or that might possibly be happening in other people’s minds that is just pathetic.  As in my thoughts are pathetic.. One example of your thoughts being telepathetic is if you think worse case scenarios constantly in the future.  Anyone?  

Another example can be when You assume that others are thinking you said something stupid. Or that you said something wrong or they took it the wrong way.  You assume they think you are crazy, or maybe just dumb. 

I guess  telepathetic is like catastrophic thinking but worse.  Because I also make up what you and everybody else is thinking therefor the “telepathic ” root of the word 

So there you have it. Telepathetic defined for you.  Which is basically: are you trippin’? Or tripping if you have grammar perfection issues.   I can tell you that I am an expert in telepathetic abilities. 😜 I am constantly re-thinking about what I said vs what you think I said. Or another telepathetic ability :   What did he mean by that? He’s angry for sure. Did I mess that up? Is he lying? He must be lying….. Wait, I should have said this instead blah blah.  
Ok goodnight.  That is all for today.  I’m going to have to cut back on the Charlie Brown books. #goodgrief #talesofrecovery #telepathetic #funtimes #loveandlaughmuch #ironmomma #freedom