Freedom To Quiet Childhood Messages And Choose Your Own Way.

 

“What then is Freedom? The power to live as one wishes.” ~Marcus Tullius Cicero

We’re all products of messages we hear and absorb growing up. “Do this…Don’t do that”…etc. Those messages influence who we think we are and the way we live our lives. But some people break loose and answer the call they hear way deep within…the call to be who they are and choose how they will live. Which one are you? How free are you to make your own choices and follow your own way? A few years ago, I wrote a very short whimsical story about a young woman wrestling with her messages and making a decision about her future. I hope you enjoy this story. It could be you.

 

SPRING CLEANING


I slushed through soapy puddles across the kitchen floor, doubled up my fists, and kicked the empty mop bucket as far as my bare foot could sling it. I heard my mother’s voice from my teenage years. “You should be more careful. Spring cleaning doesn’t need to be a chore.” My mother’s voice was grounded in my head–from all my ages. Sometimes I wondered if I even had one of my own. Her voice echoed from the past with phrases like, “Nice girls sit with their legs together,” “Take a quick shower, so you don’t waste water,” and “Too much sugar isn’t good for you.” I remember how she hovered over me at mealtime to make sure I cleaned my plate. I still feel guilty when I turned away from brussels sprouts.

 

Yes, my mother taught me some valuable lessons and gave me some good advice, but wouldn’t you think I could do something now without cringing to chatter from an old phonograph wound too tight? Where was my own self in my life? I’d wanted spring-cleaning to be painless, but I always wrestled with my inner drill sergeant spouting orders. I knelt down and sopped up water with the big towel I usually took to the beach where I heard my mother tell me not to go out too far in the ocean. “Even good swimmers drown, you know.” Calm down, I told myself. Keep it simple. I knelt down and squeezed the last bit of water into the pail, threw the towel across the room and sat back on the tile floor. It’s time for a break.

 

 

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I wiggled my body into a comfortable position in the recliner chair on the patio. The morning air smelled clean and fresh. A big gulp of iced tea cooled my throat, and I grinned like a defiant child escaping out the back door when it’s time to help with the supper dishes. Escape sounded good. I took a deep breath, closed my eyes and coaxed my mind to quiet. There’s power in quiet.There must be ways to stifle old messages, free to express my own voice and reflect my own personal style.

 

I turned off the alert button in my head and allowed new plans to flood my mind. First I’d go to the beach, feel the cool breeze between my bare legs, and swim far out into the ocean, looking back at the shore from very deep water. I’d run along the beach as fast as the wind would carry me and feel the warm sand ooze between my toes. Then I’d come home, take a shower and bask under the welcome spray for as long as I wanted. And that strawberry cheesecake that’s been in the freezer too long. It’s time to smack with each bite.

 

My grin widened to a full smile, and I felt a strange sense of power begin to stir, a feeling I’d only glimpsed in the past. A sense of resolving gnawed in my head. I’d get back to spring-cleaning, I mused, but wait ’till I’d done some inside cleaning and practiced being a new me. I could hear my mother saying, “Everything begins with a first step.” That one I’d choose to keep.

 

 

I wish you successful intention, follow through, and freedom

 

Marilyn Fowler,  Author of  “Silent Echoes” on Amazon.

 

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How To Discover Who You Truly Are And Live In Harmony With Yourself. Part 2. Taming Your Ego.

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“The spirit is the true self, not the physical figure which can be pointed out by your finger.”  ~Cicero

We generally think of ourselves as having one identity and that personality and individuality are the same entity. But they are quite different. Personality is our ego self, the reality we created with false beliefs while growing up. This external changeable part of us is influenced by the environment, and we cultivate personality by listening to voices outside of ourselves. Individuality is the inner or real self that never changes its identity, and it expresses spiritual qualities. We cultivate our individuality by listening to the still small voice inside and following it. Therefore personality is the sum total of all your changing opinions about yourself. And individuality is your Self.

Ideally, our 2 parts, the ego self, and true self will function together in harmony and peace, and the ego will express in our material world who we truly are. But many people believe their personality is who they are, and this is who they identify with. Even those who know better sometimes have difficulty living from their true self. But if we want to live authentically, we must gradually transform our reality. This transformation is our spiritual journey back to our spiritual source.

“What is necessary to change a person is to change his awareness of himself.”   ~Abraham H. Maslow

Transformation to decrease negativity in your life and develop more positive and fulfilling experiences…to live from your true self…will take increased awareness and understanding of both your personality and your individuality. You experience both selves, but you must pay attention and become aware of your thoughts, feelings, and behavior patterns in order to distinguish oneself from the other.

Step back and become the observer. At first, just practice observing and learn to recognize the impatient, demanding voice of your ego and the patient, loving voice of your true self. Question…how are they different, how do they feel, what is each saying to me with words, feelings, and actions, what does each want for me? Etc. Get to know them as you’ve never known them before. And as you become familiar with each one, learn to identify them with, “This is ego, or this is me, my true self.” With this awareness, you can learn ways to decrease expression of your ego personality and increase expression of your true self-individuality. When you see the bigger picture, you see with the eyes of the soul.

ego

“Ego is just like dust in the eyes. Without clearing the dust, you can’t see anything clearly. So clear the ego and see the world.”  ~ Unknown

Even with all its troublesome ways, the ego self is not our enemy. It’s like a misguided child who needs guidance and healing to think and behave in ways to benefit the whole person. Ego feels fearful and insecure and uses deception and control to survive. So reassure it you’re not trying to eliminate it but to understand and incorporate its valuable traits into your life in positive ways. Your ego self is strong and resourceful, and you can teach it to listen to the voice of truth and lead you in choices that redirect your life in positive ways instead of disruptive ways of the past.

“Every experience of love, bliss, belonging, inspiration, and insight provides a stepping stone back to your true self.”   ~Deepak Chopra

Your ego wants the control and will resist change, but it can be tamed and integrated as a positive part of the whole person. And once you learn to identify the ego state as it arises, you have the power to allow your true self to express in its place. As you go through each day dealing with your ego self, practice expressing more of your true self’s divine qualities of love, kindness, understanding, and compassion. As these qualities increase, negative ego will lose its need to control and will decrease. And positive changes will come.

Transformation is a lifetime endeavor, but as we begin to know ourselves as souls, we gradually release attachment to our false identity, and we embrace our wholeness. As our ego self and true self-function together in harmony, our life will have a deeper meaning and will reflect the love and peace we long for.

I wish you happiness as You.

Marilyn Fowler, Author/Writer  ~  Visit My Amazon Author & My Books

 

What To Do With Regrets From Your Past That Live In The Present …


Do you ever think of your past and find ‘what ifs’ running around in your mind? What if I hadn’t done that, what if I’d done something different? Mistakes and Regrets. And you spend your whole life agonizing about how different life would be had you made wiser choices in the past. Everyone goes through it, but you don’t have to live with it.

One day, perhaps, you will see for yourself that regrets are as nothing. The value lies in how they are answered.  ~Steven Erikson, House of Chains

What kinds of feelings come up when you think of your mistakes…anger about what you did or failed to do, sadness at how things turned out, guilt, stupidity, disappointment in yourself or feeling others disappointment in you? We can be pretty hard on ourselves for being imperfect. I’ve never known a perfect person. But I have known some pretty great imperfect people. So you don’t need to keep beating yourself over the head and getting into ‘what ifs’ because you stumbled in the past.

Getting stuck in regret, self-criticism or blame can rob you of confidence and clear vision and then sabotage what you may want to create now. You can harbor your regrets, and stumble through life, but every decision you made was based upon your knowledge at the time. And maybe the path you took was necessary to move you to creating something better. Louise Hay says, “Every experience I have is perfect for my growth.”

When I worked in the jail with a Mental Health Team, I counseled homeless inmates incarcerated for trespassing, stealing food, yelling at police officers, etc, some with mental illness and some without a mental disorder. And many came from dysfunctional homes with physical and/or mental abuse. I heard a lot of ‘what ifs’ from them with poor self images and memories of one mistake after another. They saw few worthwhile qualities in themselves and no hope for a positive future. But as I worked with them I found many bright minds with potential for a better life, and many learned to see their mistakes not as reasons for blame, but as learning tools to turn their lives around.

Cut away the nonsense, the drama, the regret, the scars of the past, and make a decision to no longer let them govern your happiness and freedom. ~Steve Maraboli

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Awareness: Sometimes we’re not aware of what’s churning in our subconscious robbing us of the freedom we need to grow on our journey. If you have a sense of something holding you back, look inside and see what’s in there. Any guilt and self-condemning thoughts? Any memories you’ve hidden somewhere so you don’t have to re-live them? Bring them up and begin your road to freedom.

Forgiveness: You’re not your mistakes. You’re not stupid or incompetent. So you don’t need to forgive yourself for being who you are. You need forgiveness for doubting yourself and allowing your mistakes to create a false image of you. Deal with your mistakes and feelings from your true self. Affirm your positive qualities often, acknowledge who you are, and claim your true identity–a beautiful person who goofs up sometimes.

Confrontation: There’s power in thoughts and more power in words. So when any self-condemning thoughts come up, talk to them directly, out loud when possible. Tell them you’ve had enough, and you’re letting them go … goodbye! Refuse to let them hang around.

Comfort: Comfort that inner child part of you who’s been suffering for too long. Give her/him lots of hugs with love and approval. And when you make your next mistake–and you will–do the same with that mistake and all the others that follow. You’re the caretaker, and your inner child needs you.

I can’t count the times I kicked myself in the rear end with regret, and it always took a while for those thoughts and beliefs to give up and go away. But each time it was a new step forward. And I wish those steps forward for you.

Let the past go and enjoy your freedom.

Marilyn Fowler, Author of Silent Echoes

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My Chosen Path ~ A Poem To Ponder

Hello Friends and Welcome All Visitors,

A Poem For Us All To Ponder . . . . .


I chose a path when I was young.
I saw it in my mind.
And the way was clear for me to find
The wonders of my world.
I saw the years that lay ahead
With eager arms outstretched.
And in my trusting heart was etched
The vision of my life.

But than, as I began my walk,
Clear and bright and sweet.
I felt strange boulders neath my feet
Begin to change my path.
I tried my best to stay on track,
To keep my footing true.
But then great strong winds blew,
And tossed me in the air.

I didn’t know which way to go.
I got confused, and angry too.
What was a helpless child to do
On such a road as this?
I kicked and screamed, but I was lost.
How could my chosen way be gone?
How could I have been so wrong
To miss my rightful path?

Did faulty judgment change my steps,
And take my dreams from view?
Or was there something else there too
That stole it all away?
And then one day in deep despair
When hope was all but spent.
I saw a glimpse of truth that lent
A quiver in my soul.

A still small voice from deep within
Said look with wiser eyes.
Turn from the appearance, and realize
The truth of who you are.
I pondered over these strange words.
And stretched my mind to see.
Could there be yet a path for me
To be myself again?

I reached down deep to find the faith
I’d lost in younger years.
And raised my glance through drying tears
To see the other side.
When suddenly I saw it there
Beyond my tangled web.
Shining in a wondrous light that said
Come walk again.

I saw the place, my chosen path.
Clear and bright and sweet.
And I felt a breeze beneath my feet
That set my path anew.
I slowly smiled with careful step
To move on this new ground.
And started now to move around
Those pitfalls in my way.

Now I meet the boulders on the road.
They’re always there, you see.
But knowing now the truth of me
Protects and guides my course.
So now I rise above the storms,
Or dodge the puddles in their place.
To be a master of my space.
On this, the path where I belong.

I wish you happiness on your path.

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Author, Marilyn Fowler

http://www.amazon.com/Granmama-Hill-Country-Marilyn-Fowler-ebook/dp/B00QFUJPX2

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Validation. Do You Allow Other Opinions To Determine How You Feel?

Validation–that sense of self as unique, worthy, and valued, with a connection with others and the universe. Validation, with no judgment, is vital for inner peace and happiness, and without it you may feel you don’t matter. You may even feel invisible. In other words, validation requires unconditional recognition, acceptance, and appreciation for the whole person you are.

You may remember when someone lifted your spirits, and you felt good about yourself. And you may remember when some put you down, and you felt like a nothing inside. So others have the power to validate positive and negative, and you go through the ups and downs of how others make you feel.

Most of us get some positive validation from others, but there are those who live their whole life with a self-image of nothingness. When I worked in the jail, I counseled the homeless mentally ill. Sometimes I told them I saw their bright mind and good heart, and they could do something with their life. Their reaction was always the same. They’d pause, overwhelmed with tears, and say, “Nobody ever said that to me…nobody.” Then they’d wipe their tears on their shirt sleeve and smile. Validation gave them some meaning in their empty life.

We need to let each other know we’re important and appreciated, but in order to gain dominion over our own feelings we need to learn self-validation from within. What would it be like if you validated yourself, and didn’t need it from anyone else? You would have dominion over your feelings, and it would prevent opinions by others from invalidating you. And you’d be free.

“The only permission, the only validation, and the only opinion that matters in our quest for greatness is our own.”   -Steve Marboli

“Darn right I’m important. And nobody’s gonna convince me I’m not. So there.”

Self-validation is a life-long process, and our experiences teach us what we need to know about ourself. We become less critical; we gain more understanding and tolerance of our total self; and we free ourself to be who we truly are. We don’t create a new person. We simply allow our true Self to emerge.

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So how do you learn self-validation with strength to maintain it?

1.  Assume the role of observer, and think about how you really feel about you. Sad, wounded, pretty good, could be better, disappointed, etc. No judgment. Just observe and let it be.

2.  You don’t have to like every feeling you have, but you do need to own all of your feelings. They’re yours. They belong to you. And you can do whatever you want with them. Throw them in the trash, hang them on the wall, get a refund. Notice when you’re feeling judgmental, and decide you’re done with that feeling. Take judgment and criticism out of your life forever.

3.  Identify and list what you consider positive and negative about you. Decide what you want to keep and what you want to release.

Example:  I interrupt people when they’re talking. I can release that one.
I let dishes pile up in the sink. It’s okay to do that. (Smile) etc.

4.  Start being kind to you, and know you deserve it. Give yourself what you missed as a child; begin giving yourself what you seek from others; when you feel unhappy or stressed, ask what you need, and when possible provide it for yourself; watch for success and praise yourself.

5.  Accept mistakes and shortcomings as part of your learning process, and everyday look in the mirror and say, “This is me, warts and all. And I’m absolutely amazing.”

As you move along, practice relating less to your human self and more to your higher Self, that part that transcends human pain and knows the truth of who you are. Take back your dominion over how you feel, and let that higher Self shine with love and peace in your heart. You are beautiful.
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May you always be true to your special Self.

Marilyn Fowler, Author
Of Silent Echoes

 
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Revisiting Your Inner Child

“The reluctance to put away childish things may be a requirement of genius.”
~ Rebecca Pepper Sinkler ~

Smiles contain powerful energy, the kind that transcends pain, dries tears, and heals wounds. Children know this, instinctively. They haven’t yet learned to dwell on regrets from the past and miss today’s blessings. Some have pain and sadness in their lives, but they’re ingenious, and they find ways to survive through laughter. And that little girl–that little boy–will always be a part of who you are. But how often do we get so busy, we forget that wonderful part of our self?

Lately I’ve become more aware of my sense of self when I laugh and when I frown. It’s like laughter brings out a part of me that frowning can’t touch. Laughter expresses from the heart, while frowning is from the human mind. And each provides a very different perspective of self. Laughter reminds us of our true self as we were created, and when we frown we lose sight of that beautiful truth.

I remember when my own children were growing up expressing their curiosity, creativity, humor and forgiveness. Our home wasn’t always a happy one, and sometimes they cried. But they made airplanes from scraps of paper, or fought with playmates one day and laughed together the next. In winter they flew on the sled, in summer they swam the ocean in the kiddie pool, they read stories and said their prayers, and gave me hugs everyday. They created the happy times. And I miss those times.

One time I was behind a family in the checkout line in the grocery store, and a little girl about 3 years old sat in the basket ahead of me. She found the child in me, and we had a great time. We waved, blinked our eyes, and giggled together. It reminded me of the little child in each of us–that part that needs to laugh and play–that part that has not forgotten what is truly important and enduring in this human condition.

“The kid in you holds the key to living a full and rich life. Let him or her out to play.”
~ Cheryl Richardson ~

When times are hard, or any time, look to your inner child who remembers how to turn a painful challenge into a time of hope. And learn to smile again, even when you feel the situation doesn’t deserve one. Try it, and watch a grin become a smile, a smile break into laughter, and your heart find peace and joy. You are not your illness–you are not those bills you can’t pay–you are not the crises in your life. Those are challenges you’re dealing with. You are beautiful. And your inner child can show that to you.

“Release your inner child. Be a little wild.” ~ Laura E. Brusseau ~

I do silly things once in a while, but now I intend to let my child out more often. Of course, due to physical limitations, I can’t stand on my head or walk five miles to the old swimming hole like I used to. But I can still play music and dance around the house, or play in my yard in the rain, or laugh at myself in the mirror instead of moaning at what I see. And I don’t have to eat brussels sprouts if I don’t want to. Then when someone shakes their head and says, “You must be in your second childhood,” I’ll grin and say, “Absolutely.

I wish you joy in your many second childhood shenanigans.

Marilyn Fowler, Author/Writer
http://www.amazon.com/Granmama-Hill-Country-Marilyn-Fowler/dp/1505288134/