It’s not easy for me to self-promote my first published book, which I have held close for so long. Yesterday, a friend on Facebook asked me how long it took me to write my memoir, and I told her a partial truth. That I started A Girl Named Truth ten years ago, nearly to the day I hit the button to birth its release on the night before my 44th birthday two weeks ago. This is true, but the journey leading up to putting the words on paper is perhaps what is most significant, for it is a journey of silence. A journey that started at my birth.
Even when I was a young child, I knew what I wanted to do with my life. Some may call this lucky, but it is also a bit of a curse. Putting words onto paper, even in journal form, always felt like exposure. It felt hugely vulnerable, like I was opening myself up to censorship in the worst possible kind. Instead, I wrote stories and poems inside the pages of my mind and kept them neatly tucked into the folds where no one could venture but me. Then, one day, after enduring two years of debilitating IBS, I decided I need to write. Really write, the words waiting, not too patiently, inside the folds of my body.
IBS, when looked at on a metaphysical level, is a disease, or dis-ease, of the lower chakras, or energy centers of the body. The first (in the seven chakra system) is found at the base of the spine, and is the energy center that connects us to everything around us. It is our root-center, or our tribal connection. When we feel disconnected from our tribe/family unit, or are wounded by our tribe, this energy center will be compromised.
Our second chakra, located directly above it and surrounding our sexual organs, relates to our creative fire. Here is where we start to form and birth our individual gifts. How we related to others on an individual basis affects this chakra. If we feel secure in love (in all forms), this chakra will be vibrant and healthy.
The third chakra, located in the middle of our abdomen, is also referred to as our power center. Here is where we assert our individuality. Those who are confident in who they are, without being aggressive, will express a healthy and active third chakra.
I am telling you this, because I had none of the above, and if you read my memoir, you will learn about why. IBS, being a disease of the lower charkas, is a red-flag that these centers are out of balance in some way. I didn’t know this when I decided I needed to heal, I just knew that I had reached the point when I could no longer contain the trapped emotions inside of my belly. Each night a storm raged inside of me, and on a deeper, more subconscious level, I knew the storm was fueled by words, and more importantly truths, that needed to come out of me.
So I began to write and heal. As I wrote, my body began to talk to me, realizing that I was finally ready to listen. As my bloated belly birthed each word that had waited so long for release, I began to learn, really learn, about the little girl inside named truth. I learned to love her and to accept her. I cried her stored tears and relived her pain. Her timid, quiet voice began to discover its strength, and together we realized we had a story to tell and share. A story, that although individually unique, is every’s story. The quest for inner truth is universal. I wrote A Girl Named Truth to heal the inner child, but I compiled and bound it into a book in the hope that it may help others heal.
Alethea is a writer and owner of Inner Truth Healing. Her memoir, A Girl Named Truth, is now available at Amazon and Amazon.co.uk. To learn more about Alethea, please visit her website, aletheakehas.com
Yesterday, I had the pleasure of speaking with a young woman about her health challenges. The Universe, in that uncanny way it has, brought me a mirror of my former self in her image. Here, before me, was a girl suffering the side-effects of trapped emotions held inside a swollen abdomen. She is only 16.
As I spoke to her, I thought, What are we doing to our youth?Before me was a young woman already wrapped up in a culture of belief that to be still is wasted time; that to do more means a day well spent, even if our bodies cry out for rest. Her doctor (wisely) told her that her intestines where suffering from anxiety and stress. She is only 16.
Yet, she too is wise, beyond her years. Although she struggles with a drive to go, go, go, she knows that healing will be easier when she can learn the act of being still. Unfortunately, stillness has become something one must learn, an “action,” many of us must master. We are too used to over-stimulating our bodies and minds. Simply sitting, standing, or lying in stillness takes, in some cases, great effort.
Often, a busy mind and body is a mask for a soul in need of healing. We can fall victim to filling our days with activities, often multi-tasking in the process, in a subconscious effort not to go within. A quiet mind hears the truth.
Again, What are we teaching our youth? The younger generations learn by example, just as we, older generations did. They look to their parents, but they also look to their peers and the media, who are often feeding the notion that more is more, and to keep working harder to be “better,” and to “succeed” in a society driven by greed and competition.
I know it’s not an easy life to shed. When I am quiet, which I have learned to love, and even relish, sometimes the ego’s guilt will step in and tell me I need to accomplish more with my day. A quiet mind and body is open to receiving the vibration of Love and Truth.
A quiet mind/body/soul is in harmony with the Universe and receives its infinite wisdom and healing.
How humbling and gratifying it was to stand beside this remarkable young woman and hear her speak to me about her efforts to be still. She is taking yoga classes, something that was not common when I was her age. There is so much hope for our future and for the younger generations. Can we teach our children to be still, and, in doing so, be embrace the stillness of being ourselves?
I think we can. I think we need to. I think we have no choice.
Sometime Spirit likes to hammer the point home until we get it. I find this happens when I am really being called to shift and get rid of old energies and systems of belief that are not serving my highest good. Since my mind likes to work with symbols and metaphors, I often get these messages in the form of animals and vividly detailed dreams. When I put all the pieces together the puzzle becomes complete and I really “get it.”
I’ll share my most recent series of messages as an example. It’s rather amusing when one lets go of self-frustration. Two nights ago I had a series of vivid dreams, of which I would now recall in more detail had I written them right down after waking. But, I think what I retained was enough to get Spirit’s point across, especially when combined with the other messengers that ensued.
In the dreams I found myself in a landscape of water (the element of emotion). The water was an ocean, and it was rising. As I made my way though the water I encountered a large (too large) seal. It was alive, but unmoving, floating like a buoy with its bloated belly turned toward me.
The seal as an animal messenger beckons us to awaken our imaginations and creativity. In his book Animal Speak, Ted Andrews writes, “If a seal or seal lion has shown up as a totem, it is time to do some questioning. Are you getting out of balance.” (pg. 311). Considering that my seal was bloated and unmoving, I would have to say yes. Since I am a writer and my soul needs this form of creative nurturing, the seal was a “gentle” reminder to find space to feed this part of my soul.
What of the bloated belly though? One mind say that the seal in my dream was over-fed. Now, let me tell you about the other vivid image that stayed with me from that night. Without going into too much detail, let’s just say I was on a toilet and a lot of waste was moving through me. Our physical bodies are responsible for storing, processing and getting rid of the energy we take in. Sometimes, when we harbor fears, these energies find a home within us and grow – they quite literally bloat our bellies, or cause dis-ease of some kind. As a former sufferer of IBS, I know too well this type of energy retention and the body’s struggle for release and balance. Although, two nights ago, I was not literally having an episode of IBS, spirit was showing me that it was time for a release of fears.
The following day, I went for a walk with the dogs and my eyes were pulled to the side of the road where a black snake lay curled in the sand. Again, my animal messenger was unmoving, although alive. The snake as a messenger seems to make an appearance in my life when I am in the process of, or am about to undergo, a big shift. As a totem/messenger, the snake awakens the dormant energies inside of us (it’s associated with the awaking of the kundalini energy at the base of our spine), and, through its ability to shed its entire skin, calls us to release our old self and rebirth.
The snake energy is associated with the 2nd chakra, where we house our sexual and creative energies. A chakra area that has been calling for attention and healing in my body. The point of Spirit was really starting to hit home, but there were still two more messengers to consider.
Over the past few days I have, much to my dismay, encountered more than a few ants in my house. Through much investigation and cleaning, I discovered the lure – a jar of honey with a loose lid. Now I must confess that the ant is not one of the animals I tend to spare when I encounter them in my house, so I did my best to thank the universe while I sent the messengers down the drain with a good dose of that element water.
It’s likely the message here was multifaceted. The ants were lured to honey – a sweet substance of life (and there may be an indirect message from bee here too, see below). Ants, as most people are aware, are quite industrious. They work in a complex social unit of cooperation and order. Andrews writes in his book: “The ant is the teacher of how to build, how to become the architect of your own life. It can show you how to construct your dreams into reality. It will show you that the greatest success comes occurs with persistence.” (pg. 336). I can safely say I have a few dreams I’d like to manifest into reality, some of which are directly related to writing.
Now let’s side-track a little and look at the bee, because we really should consider the lure of honey. Andrews states that “Bees are long-time symbols for accomplishing the impossible.” (pg. 337). Of course one might say that the impossible is only impossible inside the confines of our minds. Could it be that I am being called to actually enjoy, and find the sweetness inside, the process of manifesting my creative endeavors into reality (yes, there is a tone of irony here)? Sometimes we do forget that life is supposed to be fun and filled with light and joy.
There’s just one more messenger I want to consider before I end this blog. The catbird. I seem to have a resident catbird outside my home that likes to make itself seen in my presence at the most telling of times. The catbird, with its talent for a wide range of songs, is a messenger of communication. This morning, when my friend the catbird appeared before me, I was quite literally thinking about my own communication blockages (related to the throat chakra in particular).
And so, it seems, spirit is calling me to the two chakras in most need of my attention – the 2nd and, and also the 5th. Two chakras I feel are intimately connected. For when we manifest our creative gifts, we want to be sure we sing them in the clear, beautiful and enduring voice of our truth.
Last night, before bed, my son asked me, “Mom, do souls ever die?” Had he asked me this question six years ago, I may have given him a different answer. My own journey of spirit in this lifetime began with a childhood of doubt, and the silencing of my inner voice. Many of us begin our lives (in this incarnation) this way. Few, I suspect, have had the gifts of nurtured guidance from our caregivers, for our world has yet to fully embrace the untethered spirit.
I was born into an unhappy marriage between two young, hippie parents. The hippie lifestyle outlasted the marriage, but it was not a free, loving lifestyle. My “spiritual” edification was early and short-lived. When I was two, my mother fled with me and my sister to live on a series of Hare Krishna compounds for 6 months. Other than the comic books my mother kept, and a few other relics, nothing remains of this early life. It was a mode of escape and of hiding, a journey based on fear and not the quest to find spirit.
When I was growing up, my mother and step-father shunned organized religion, and I had almost no knowledge of biblical stories, or other religious texts. Mine was an agnostic household at best, tending toward atheism. Yet, I do recall my mother speaking about the possibility of reincarnation – a “concept” I secretly embraced, as it felt “true” to my soul.
When I prayed, I prayed silently to an unknown, untouchable God inside the muffled walls of my mind. My prayers were desperate and laced with my childhood fears of death and loss. When I thought of death, and my body and “mind” disappearing forever, my heart would leap into my throat.
This way of living went on for many years, well past the time I left my childhood home, despite the nudging of my spirit, which wanted to be heard. A spirit that struggled for the full-bodied voice of Truth. Despite fear’s best attempts to close my third eye, I was an empathic child with psychic gifts. Everywhere I went, I felt the imprint of energy. Unfortunately, I absorbed fear and and pain more than anything else.
My parents labeled me as a “moody,” “overly-sensitive” child, not realizing that I was an empath, and was absorbing and feeling their own fears, as well as the fear-energy that permeated my environment. This is not to say that I didn’t feel love and joy too, I did, and often I shared in the joy of others. Somedays, I would find my mind open to this energy. While sitting in my classroom, there were moments when I connected with a classmate’s inner joy. These were blissful, unexplainable moments for me, as my cells hummed with unexpected joy.
And, I had dreams. Prophetic visions that played out in the ensuing days that I learned to doubt. When I left home, the voice of spirit called louder, urging me to leave the path of ego I was following. In the summer before I began graduate school for a doctoral degree in the biochemical sciences, I was plagued with these visits, which I found terrifying at the time. As I drifted off to sleep, many a night (or day), I would wake suddenly to a loud voice, calling my name into the hollow of my ear. This desperate call to be heard went unheeded, I followed the path of ego for one more year.
It was a miserable year, of which I’ve written about to some degree in other posts. Had I not taken this path, though, I would not have learned its lessons. I would not, perhaps, have known how much it contrasted with my inner truth.
Yet, still I was lost. That 5-year-old girl who secretly knew she was born to write and help the world with her gifts, was still hidden in the cage of fear. It took, in fact, motherhood and IBS to bring her out into the light.
When we have our own children, we are given an opportunity to see a new perspective that extends beyond the limited view we may be used to. We also see the world through our children’s eyes. Again, the nudge of spirit came back to me with urgency.
Before my daughter was born, I knew she would be one of my big teachers in this life. About six months before her birth, she appeared to me while I slept. I saw her full round face, framed with the same brown hair as mine. My blue eyes were mirrored back at me, their shape larger and more pronounced.
My daughter learned verbal language early, and by the time she was two she was asking me some tough questions. While her father was at work, she would peer into my eyes, “If daddy is a doctor, what are you?” she would ask. “But, what are you?” she persisted when I told her I was her mommy.
Her words lingered and probed the recesses of my mind. What was I? Her questions dug under the detritus of fear.
By then, I had both of my children, who are less than a year-and-a-half apart in age. My life was consumed by the joys and stresses of motherhood, and it was laced with holes. I could not deny that I was, in many ways, miserably unfulfilled. Yes, I had always yearned for the time I would be a mother, but this was not a role that completed me. There were huge, undeniable gaps.
Still, I ignored them. After all, I had young children to raise, a busy, working husband, and the idea in my head that I would not let anyone else be the primary care-giver to my son and daughter.
Welcome in a new night-time messenger, this time in the form of IBS, which began suddenly and in painful earnest. Let me take a moment to talk about IBS and how it relates to fear and empathic tendencies. When we spend a great deal of our time feeling and absorbing energy from our surroundings, this energy often gets trapped inside of us, lingering and growing into a dark mass of fear that blocks our inner-light, and creates an energetic imbalance inside of us. The result is often a disease or dis-ease of some sort.
I was a child plagued by stomach ailments, so it should have been no surprise that I developed IBS (a common dis-ease of empaths). My mother (who is in the medical profession) was the first person to suggest this was what was causing my adult ailments – episodes of such intense intestinal discomfort, that I would be up for 3-5 hours during nights when it flared.
I shunned this diagnosis, which I found both embarrassing and unsatisfactory in its inability to be medically “cured.” Two years passed, during which I made trips to doctor’s offices, tried various antacids, had tubes shoved down my throat and blood tests, and passed many a day feeling completely depleted of energy, which made me unable to properly care for my children.
Then, on Mother’s Day of 2008, I had my last episode. You can read the story someday in my memoir (when it’s published), but for now, let’s just say, I had had enough. I was ready to heal. Healing from a dis-ease such as IBS, or any energetic imbalance, comes from a deep-soul-level desire for health. The mind, body and soul must sync in this desire and embrace the truth that we each, inside of us, hold the capacity to be healthy and balanced – that, in fact, this is our natural, steady-state. For more on this, you might want to read Deepak Chopra’s book Quantum Healing.
I may have not known, intellectually, why I was ready and able to heal then, but I knew I had made that determined choice. A change inside of me had occurred – I had decided to heal, and in the process, to finally, heed the desperate, loud calling of my inner voice.
Within a matter of weeks, I was looking at graduate schools with creative writing programs. And, painfully, for it was a struggle, I began to write – really write. That voice that was so deeply buried was starting to emerge. At the turn of the New Year, I packed my suitcase with a week’s worth of clothing, snacks and various other necessities, left my two young children in the primary care of their father, and headed two hours north to a small town in Vermont.
Goddard College, was, in so many ways, the doorway to my voice. Here, for the first time, I was in an environment that felt like home. I quickly found 5 soul-sisters, and a setting where my spiritual and creative voice could sing without fear. Those two years, filled with the challenges of balancing motherhood and being a full-time, low-residency student, were the happiest, to-date, years of my life. There was no turning back. I had embarked, finally, with eager and unwavering feet, along the path of my soul’s truth.
When we find the bliss of our soul’s truth, how can we turn back? I can’t say that after I left Goddard, and the structure of regular deadlines, which “forced” me to write, that I have maintained a steady forward trek. Everyday life has a way of taking over when we let it. Now, though, I stop to listen, take inventory, and find a way to get back on the path.
When I look back at what where I have been in the last five years, I can hardly say I’ve been sitting still, or going “back-wards.” I have not only written many lines, I have nurtured and grown my spiritual calling and path. To help heal others, I have learned, we must heal ourselves. This isn’t to say that we have to be completely “healed” of fears, for this takes most of us many lifetimes, but we need to have an understanding and acceptance of the fears that have a tendency to make a home inside us, and we need to work at healing and letting them go.
Along with Goddard, and the many individuals and gifts I encountered by being there, I have met, and continue to meet wonderful healers, teachers and fellow soul-travelers. This part of my journey began with conversations with a friend, whom I met while our daughters were in preschool together, and gradually grew to include various energy healers, gifted intuitives/psychics and teachers of spirit, and soul-travelers who have merged into my life. When we open ourselves up to our spirit’s truth, doors open to the teachers and companions we need and seek. The world, suddenly, becomes unbounded and filled with the magic of discovery and joy. There is no looking back, except for remembering how far we have come, and the lessons we learned to get here.
May you, if you have not, find your own way to travel your soul’s truth, for it is the only, “true” path, to bliss.