The Box That Is Not You

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Photo Credit: Pixabay 

You are not the box, you are what’s inside of it.

At 46 years old I am feeling more limitless than I ever have before. Even as a young child. You see, I never had the freedom of a child unbounded by constraints. And, that is okay. One cannot change the past, and nor does one have to. The freedom to allow the self to break through the barriers of restrictions is not conditional to time, place, or age.  It is, simply, you allowing yourself to be you. To really get to know the you that resides inside the outer representation of the self, and come home to that realization with joy.

“Whatever you’re doing. Keep doing it. You look good. I can tell you feel good,” were the words of a friend of mine as she left my morning yoga class. She also heard my words filled with fear one month ago.

“Do you fly a lot in your dreams?” another friend asked me a few days ago after she heard about my latest flying dream.  There was a wistful note to her words, and I could see the look of longing in her eyes when I told her, “Yes.”

Many adults can remember flying in their dreams at night when they were  children. I don’t. My flying dreams came later, in a steady regularity, after my own children were born. Their births, you could say, birthed my own inner child. But, it’s a been a slow birthing. It has not been smooth and effortless, and it certainly has not happened over night.

I chose the picture I did to introduce this post because to me it is symbolic of the myriad boxes we can choose to carry around in our lives and try to fit ourselves into. There’s not just one, but for most of us there are many. The box of the perfect child. The perfect spouse. The perfect mother, father, sister, brother, grandparent, student, athlete, coworker, employer…you get the picture. So many boxes to contain the essence that is you. Shaped not by your own will, but the will you have given away to another.

Yet, we are not meant to live inside the confines of a box, nor are we meant to jump from one box into another depending upon circumstances. Although we reside in a physical body for a limited amount of time, we are limitless beings here to experience the essence of our truths. We are here to grow and evolve into being. To love and to move, ever more freely into the breath of joy.

The boxed self might conform to a specific ideal, but it is never your truth. When we close in the sides and seal the edges, the light inside is trapped. In an effort to constantly please and conform to a false ideal that is not our own, you not only suffer, the world suffers. Herein lies the irony of the “perfect” self. Although we may believe otherwise, no one is served by the confines of limitations. The free soul living in truth shines with a brightness that ripples through time, space, and age. It is never too late to become it. It is never too late to step out of the box and fly.

Go ahead, give it a try. Imagine your self as a limitless being. Feel it, see it, know it. Joy is yours to find. Reach inside and grab ahold of it. Then, let it go. Feel the expansion that is you. Wholly and completely. Let self limiting believes slip away with the breath. Let old restrictions free their tangle until only you remain. Breathe into that light that is you and know it as truth. Take a good look at you and remember who you are, so when you forget, you can bring it back.

A Dream of the Free Soul #Dreams

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Photo Credit: Pixabay

I had one of those dreams I love, again. The ones where I lift, without effort, my feet off the ground and fly unburdened through the landscape. This one, though, was different. Normally, I wake from my flying dreams feeling frustrated. Lingering inside of me is an almost desperate desire to turn the dream into reality. To somehow master the actual art of levitation and fly around during my waking hours. It sounds somewhat absurd when one considers it in a literal sense. Why fly when you have feet?

Yet we all have inside of us the memory of wings. Our soul, condensed into a physical form to live out a life, knows the freedom of boundless existence and pure, unfettered joy. This is why we dream of flight. To return to this truth. Before this morning, I would wake from my flying dreams feeling weighted by reality as soon as my feet moved off the bed and found landing on the ground. Back to a reality that could not compete with the marvelous freedom of my dream, I would consider it a teasing escape from the here-and- now of existence.

This morning, my dream woke me before it felt complete. I was still flying when it nudged me to wake up at the precise moment I needed to. I don’t use an alarm, and it was 6:10am, time to start the morning and call the teenagers out of their beds. Yet, although I was rather in love with the scene I was living in my dream, the feeling it had instilled in me lingered in a different way than previous nights’. Clarity developed as the vivid display of the dream landscape slowly faded. The gift was inside of me. Not illusive and intangible. It was, simply, me.

I have been grabbling with some of the larger issues of life these days. I will not go into them, as they are private matters, but suffice it to say, they have weighed upon me. Most nights I go to bed and dream of the struggle. Last night, though, I found the release.

It was one of those rare dreams (at least for me) where the seemingly tangled complexity vanishes into the pure truth of life. As I flew from scene to scene, facing the inner demons that I had externalized into my life, I exorcised them. Sometimes literally. I filled my lungs and blew light into the darkness of a haunted basement filled with festering “life.” I flew back to childhood and laughed energy into absurdity. The worry of words not being read turned trivial inside a bookstore that could not contain my flying body. I was vast and limitless. Without weight, I flew into the open air and breathed light to the children surrounding me. I knew they saw the wonder of it, and that was enough. I didn’t linger to prove it, instead, I realized, it was their choice to join me. They had their lives. I had mine. To live. Individually, first and foremost.

You see, as I flew, it became clear that I was flying for no reason other than for myself. What may seem as a selfish revelation, became a selfless truth. The tangle of need to please another, or gain another’s approval disappeared with each scene I flew through. Let them live their lives, so you can live yours.

About a year or so ago, while holding my hands above another person in the transmission of energy that is Reiki, I saw inside the lens of the inner eye, the birth of her soul. It was so profoundly beautiful, I kept it to myself. Until now.  Imagine a star coming into being in the cosmos. A billion particles of light exploding into being. Together, their size dwarfs the planet we call home.

Her soul was all souls. No different than mine, or yours. The magnitude of this weightless revelation coalesced into the truth of my dream upon waking. The vehicle of this human body in which I reside no longer felt like a burden — limited and weighed down — as I realized that the light of my being was a truth that superseded any false notions of reality I chose to cling to. I could hold onto the burden of worry and doubt; of fear and disbelief, and that long held need to live through another’s approval, or I could let it all go and be me. Wholly and completely. Just me. Living this life uniquely designed for my growing and learning back to pure limitless existence.

The Light Behind our Story #ChooseLove

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Today’s messenger calling for transformation and the return to the unfettered soul

If you choose to, you can see an outer world filled with terrible things. A world on the brink of, or perhaps even over-flowing, with chaos. A world where fear, and all its ugly faces, rules each action and reaction.

Or, you can see a world whose essence is love. A world that, despite pockets of darkness dominated by fear, has at its core only light. If you breathe into the core of Earth, the mother of your body and your home for this life, deep through the multilayers of soil, stone, and water, you will reach a core of light. If you breathe into the layers of your own body, through the skin that sheaths your essence, through the tissue and the bone, you will reach your core of light. A light that is a seed of the very same light in the core of Earth, and of the very same light that exists in the core of each being. Its essence is love. The energetic vibration of creation.

Yet, the mind and body that would encompass this essence easily traps fear. Fear that nestles into tissues and creates the density of disease, distrust, hatred, and paranoia. Along with the false belief that the “me” is separate from the “all.” A fear that breaks apart the light so that its vast web looks as though it is filled with darkness.

We are each so much more powerful than this fear we like to hold onto. This fear that creates separation in a struggle for self-survival. It is but a mere shadow of our true self. And, like all shadows, it is a mere illusion of the truth. Fear looks for separation, love is defined by union.

Instead of holding onto fear, and losing oneself in the shadow of its darkness, why do we not reach inside to find the light of truth? That pure essence of love that threads through each and every one of our beings? Why do we fear who we are? Why do we fear love itself? Why do we fear the true, vast, and limitless expanse of our being that continues on past the death of the layers that would contain it?

Why do we fear the free, unfettered soul?

Perhaps the why is not as important as the habit it has created. Overtime we develop a pattern of holding onto traits and behaviors whose origins we cannot always fully recover. Instead, we simply adopt without consideration of why we are continuing in a pattern that is destructive of the self and the whole. It becomes comfortable, like a tattered and worn blanket we refuse to give up from our childhood. Or, an old coat we’ve worn for so long, we cannot imagine stepping outside the comfort of our home without it. Even though the coat, like the blanket, is no longer of service to us.

Do you ever dream of being naked? Or of lifting your feet into weightless flight? Do you fear one and not the other? It’s a funny thing, this holding onto what our soul calls us to let go of. This returning to the unfettered essence of love that we are is so simple, yet complex in the unraveling it requires and all the letting go of habitual patterns and behaviors. False beliefs dying to the one truth that is you.

Why am I writing these words, calling for love? For the simple turning inward instead of outward as we try to navigate our way through the layers that appear to trap us in density? Because we are in the midst of an age of upheaval. The repetition of the old patterns of fear have repeated to a level of accumulated density in this world that we choose to share, causing a hold of fear that is seemingly tighter than the love that binds.

The Earth and each one of her children is crying out for reunion. For the return to love and unity. It is not my intention to talk of the ephemeral. Of some ideal that will never be achieved. My words are simple, their truth not complex. Nothing is ever gained by fear and hatred, but more fear and hatred. We can cower and ring our hands in dismay, or we can start turning inward to the truth and allowing that reflection to mirror back to us each time we turn our eyes outward. We can simply be, each day, ever more present to the truth of our essence, or we can move that truth into action, rippling the energy of love through our words and movements. Righteous indignation is still fed by fear, even if the outward display of it is for a greater good. Fear feeds fear. Anger feeds anger. Love feeds love. It’s simple math and physics.

Years ago, I found myself lying on a couch for three hours halfway in another realm as I listened to the words of my essence. We all have this voice within us, and it behooves us to listen to it, at least now and then. The words that stayed with me, that haunt me each day are these: “You can always find the light behind the story. Find the light behind each story.”

As I looked through my lives and the greater life around us and ahead of us, I realized these words were not intended for my survival, but for the survival of each and every one of us. If we choose to hold onto our collective fears and all the trappings that have bound us and harmed us, we will get more of the same. There is always light behind the shadow. There is always that core of essence that is love, waiting to be seen, grown and illuminated.

 

 

The Box of Fear & Why I Believe We All Must Find Our Own “Religion”

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I  have recently received an email from a friend I met years ago at a metaphysical class. We were both searching and seeking a deeper understanding of life, like all who are drawn to unravel the mysteries. Now, she has turned to religion, following the urgings of a man she loves. I am not surprised, but there is a sadness to her desperation to be loved and accepted into a secure form of life.

In her email, my friend urged me, and the rest of the group of friends to which she sent the email, to follow her path as a born-again Christian so that our souls, like hers, could be saved. She has labeled us as “New Age,” a label I have never tried to own.

I don’t care for labels, and this one I find offensive and incorrect. Although I cannot speak for the others in the group, I consider myself a spiritual being who seeks, in each moment, to heed the inner voice of truth that aligns with the core Truths of being. I do not follow one guru, or worship within the confines of one sect. I simply try my best to live a life in alignment with love.

If that makes me a sinner in some eyes, so be it. Yet, it troubles me that is should be so. Perhaps, in some ways, I am fortunate to have not been raised in what feels like the confines of a particular set of beliefs. As the child of agnostic parents who leaned toward atheism, I had to find my own spirituality in my search for inner peace and wellbeing.

I can recall many sleepless nights lying in bed wondering if my last breath would lead to my oblivion. I would wonder if my life was meaningless as a mere conglomeration of cells adhered into a body with an intelligent brain that allowed me to think both rational and irrational thoughts.

It was only when I started to think beyond the confines of my brain, and stepped into the realm of the heart, that I found a home that stretched beyond walls into the vast expanse of being. My path has lead me to explore many teachings, which all possess the same core of truths. The yoga sutras, which predate all religions, echo the words of the oldest Egyptian texts. The furthest back you go, the more threads of common truths you find. This, to me, feels like home.

Yet, it is not my place to judge another’s beliefs, nor to where they feel most at home. We are, in essence, all searching for belonging. But, do we have a right to label others as incorrect and ask them to follow the way we have chosen? This troubles me. It reminds me that we are still fighting wars and killing each other because of our spiritual beliefs, the color of our skin, and the sexual physiology and orientation of our bodies. This is not okay.

The need to destroy and convert are premised upon fear, not love. At the core of all religions and spiritual teachings, from what I have found, is Love. That is all. Love. It is a calling to find home in the knowing that we are all born from and a part of Love, which unites all life. When I breath into the stillness of being that is what I find. It fills me with a connection not only to myself, but to all life. It reminds me that I am not above or below anyone else, I am simply a part of all life. That, to me, is enough. It is a coming home.

Wanted: Middle Graders for Online Book Club #warriorsoflight #thelabyrinth #middlegradebookclub

Online Book Club for Middle Graders
Join the journey at https://warriorsoflight.club/ 

 

When I began writing The Labyrinth about six years ago, I had one central question in mind, “How can I help kids and teens live their truths without fear?” As a child who lived in fear of speaking her truths, I have experienced the physical and emotional effects of not living in alignment with your inner truths. I believe the greatest gift we can give our children is the gift of empowerment through unconditional love. When we open up to the realization that our children are here for their own unique purpose, and that it is our job as their caregivers to help honor and nurture their inner gifts, we allow them to bloom into the light of their true selves.

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The six main characters in The Labyrinth are young teens who are at that pivotal point in their lives when their sense of self is being developed. They are learning who they are and how they fit into the larger world around them. As each young warrior of light works through their fears and insecurities inside a magical labyrinth filled with light shadowed by darkness, they begin to unlock the gifts of their true selves. Realizing, in this journey of self-discovery, that they are not only powerful, but a necessary part of the web of light that connects all life.

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The characters from the Warriors of Light series are featured as teen teachers of life on the site warriorsoflight.club 

The Labyrinth is available worldwide in print and Kindle formats, and I have developed a companion website for readers who seek to explore its themes for self-empowerment and personal growth. As I work to enhance and expand the teachings of the book series, I am looking for input and engagement from its targeted readership. I’d like to bring together a group of kids & teens between the ages of 10-14 who are interested in exploring life through The Labyrinth in an online book club. Over the course of 7 weeks, we’ll read and discuss the themes and passages from the book that have the greatest impact on them.

Empowering Youth Through The Labyrinth

Some of the topics that are explored in The Labyrinth include:

  • Intuitive guidance
  • Yoga, mindfulness & meditation
  • Working with crystals & stones
  • Animal & spirit guides
  • Energy balancing & protection
  • Overcoming fear
  • Finding & embracing one’s gifts

Our discussions will be used to help develop games, workshops and interactive tools, some of which will be hosted on the warriors of light club website, for kids and teens to explore freely.  In exchange, I will send participants a signed copy of the book, and a uniquely designed chakra pendant. Unfortunately I can only ship within the U.S. due to international shipping costs, but if there is a reader outside the U.S. who wishes to join the book club I’d be happy to reimburse the cost of the book ordered off of Amazon.

If you know a child or teen who might be interested in being a part of this online bookclub, which will be hosted via Zoom, please share this post with their caregivers. I’d like to begin soon after the New Year and hold the online gatherings on Sunday evenings around 7pm EST.

More about The Labyrinth & the Warriors of Light Club

About The Labyrinth:

Six young teens find themselves drawn inside a mysterious labyrinth. They have been told they are the chosen ones, tasked with a mission to repair the broken paths of light in the planet. A darkness, they discover, that is driven by a fear that is as much outside of them as it is inside of them. In order to save themselves and the planet, the young warriors must find the strengths of their inner gifts. Becoming, in the process, warriors of light bound together on a journey of discovery that will take them to hidden places in Earth and within themselves.

Reviews of The Labyrinth from readers: 

“This is a beautifully written book that can be enjoyed by anyone who appreciates adventurers who work to improve themselves and their situations with courage and intelligence. As characters the youngsters show up well in the various situations they find themselves yet not without having to battle their personal demons. I enjoyed it that the violence was not out of proportion to the story, and that there wasn’t a lot of silly “teen age” behavior. Best of all, I felt was the interesting way the author presented nuggets of he Ancient Wisdom, those principles that guide us to our best selves. I can’t wait to see the next book!” — Tasha Halpert

“The Labyrinth is a beautiful metaphysical journey that will appeal to kids who like fantasy and magic. It has at its core an exploration of our relationship with the Earth, and how we each have a shadow side (our fears) that we must be willing to face in order to understand how we can heal ourselves and our planet. The language is beautiful and accessible, the characters diverse and engaging, and the story invites kids to ponder their place in the larger web of life, without being “preachy”… I deeply appreciate the author’s mission to help kids dive below the surface in an age where it’s easy to get lost in the technological and material world.” — Carol Goff

Warriors of Light.Club:

Warriorsoflight.club, a companion website for the book series, was created to provide children, teens, and their caregivers a free, accessible, and safe environment to explore a deeper awareness of self. A monthly newsletter is offered via the website for youth who seek a community where they feel accepted and honored for embracing their true, unique selves.

 

Alethea Kehas, MFA, RMT, RYT200, owner of Inner Truth Healing & Yoga, works with people of all ages to discover, heal, and realign with their inner truths. The Labyrinth is her second published book, and she is in the processing of writing book 2 of the Warriors of Light series. 

Take these broken wings

The red-winged blackbirds started appearing in my neighborhood about a week ago. In the eleven years I have lived here I have never seen red-winged blackbirds near my home. Now they seem to follow me everywhere. The pair flies across the crossroads of intersections and alights from trees at the edge of the forest. The female looks ordinary and unassuming. She wears the colors of camouflage, like a cloak of decaying earth.

It was the male who appeared in my dream many months ago. Opening his wing of night to reveal the power of red blended with yellow, which he formed into a ball of flame and threw for me to catch.

And now he is here again, with me in physical form. Over the last two days, he has left me three broken wings. Not his own, but those of moths. Night butterflies. Remnants of a feast left behind.

The first wing appeared in the field where I will soon be teaching summer yoga classes. The hindwing of a Cecropia Silk Moth.  I heard the song in my head written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney before I saw the blackbird.

 

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The fire-rimmed eye of the hindwing of a Cecropia Silk Moth

 

Yesterday, a wing from the same moth appeared. A forewing banged up perhaps from traveling the fifty yards or so from the location where I found the hindwing. A little distance away, a nearly invisible white wing of what may have been a Fall Webworm lay like a fairy’s wing on the pavement.

 

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The Three Broken Wings of Moths

Last night was a fitful night of sleep. The left side of my head was congested as though all the turmoiled thoughts in my mind had settled there to block rest.

“Blackbird fly into the light of the dark, dark night.” (lyrics from “Blackbird” by Lennon/McCartney) 

We all have our broken wings. Life has a way of breaking them, and the breaks can deepen through past-life wounds we may not even remember. Wings that were, perhaps, meant to be broken so that we may find the true, free soul. The light in the dark, dark night.

I have realized, these last few days, that I have let myself stray from the path of the true self. I have allowed myself to be disempowered and voiceless at the expense of another’s ambitions that do not feel in alignment with my true self. The blackbird has appeared as a reminder of the strength of the soul aligned with Truth. He has left me the wings to fly into the Light.

 

 

The Raven Spirit

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Image courtesy of Pixabay.com

Since my visit to the Nest, I have felt haunted. There is a restlessness inside of me; one which my rational mind has tried to reason with. If you were meant to be there, you’d be there. You have work to do here, it tells me. The work often seems illusive as I try to focus past the longing and stay in the moment of present time and space. The tears of frustration, I allow to escape when I am alone. I tell myself I am content to stay in a place that has never felt like home, but it comes with the condition of  purpose. I have learned a lot about myself in these three weeks. For one thing, I quite like the idea of having a clearly defined purpose. A purpose that I can act upon at any moment, unwavering and steadfast. Being idle and directionless does not appeal to me, and so I am in the midst of a great test.

The raven, though, is ever-present. This guide who has come into my life, and who has perhaps been there much longer than I have noticed. When the mind becomes quiet, though, the raven appears. It tells me, Open your eyes. Remember. The land is alive everywhere. The only division is inside of the mind. There is magic everywhere. Find it!

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Image courtesy of Pixabay.com

The curved black beak of the raven opens to eat doubt and fear. Its head turns to look, making sure I see how the flesh is stripped from the bones of the dead until only the core remains. It is ruthless in its devouring. The raven holds no mercy for the weak and wavering. Death, to the raven, is a necessary passage to Life.

Don’t be ridiculous, it tells me. Of course you know why you are here. You’ve always known. 

And so I relent. Allowing its fierce beak to devour the skin of the old self, while my cells stir into rebirth. Death is rarely a pleasant event, but the more one relinquishes the hold on the old, the easier it is to endure.