On Avoiding Toxic Relationships and Making Amends

The more I clear away internalized negative beliefs about myself and feeling states that accompany these beliefs (e.g., “I’m not good enough”), the more I clearly understand how vital it is to minimize and, where possible, avoid spending time around anyone who relates to me from a place that reinforces these negative beliefs. I will not automatically return to any past relationships tainted with emotional toxicity. I would need the other party in question to indicate some significant changes having happened in themselves, demonstrated by them freely admitting to any hurtful statements and actions they had said and done to me and expressing remorse over these. I would then gladly admit to any I had said and done to them and apologize. That would be a healthy start.

Initiating the making of amends is a courageous act. Over the years, I have made it a point to do this where and when I can, when doing so would clearly not cause any harm to the other party. This has been very healing to do, even when the other person has received my amends with some reservation. It has still felt like the right thing to do.

My Life’s Work, In Brief


I know all too well what it’s like to survive sexual and mental-emotional predation, which saps the spirit at its core. Far too many of us in the world have endured such abuse in one (or more) form or another. It is my life’s work to help others leave and heal from predatory behaving people, avoid falling into exhibiting such toxic behaviors then often learned from said individuals, and live lives more filled with peace, love, joy and healthy reciprocal relationships. So mote it be!

Brief Note to Self About Narcissism

Note to Self: Narcissistic people are everywhere, living from a deeply self-centered “I above everyone else” frame of mind. It’s so important to give this way of thinking as little validation as possible while doing whatever you can to genuinely value the whole person(s) before you as (an) equal(s), neither above or less than any of us. Mindfulness around actually practicing/applying this view is key. Please remain aware and alert as best as possible. Enjoy and nurture genuine reciprocity (true connection) with others wherever you can, like the precious life resource that it is.

On My Mild, “Normal” Envy and Social Media Exacerbating It

I’ve been reading about how social media fosters a culture of envy and over-emphasis on external validation. I’m reflecting more on how this has personally affected me and how I’ve witnessed others being affected by such a culture we’re all living in. Apparently, some degree of envy of others these days is “normal,” so long as it’s not constant and at the forefront of one’s thinking and feeling. I have admittedly not been completely immune to feeling envious of a few people I know, such as of someone’s nice big home in a prime location, their history of family stability, and someone else’s success at being a published author and also having a history of family stability that I didn’t know growing up. (And, indeed, both of these people have more money than I.) These preoccupations flit in and out of my psyche from time to time like pesky mosquitoes, nothing more, with Facebook and Instagram certainly, primarily exacerbating them. Fascinating. I am learning more deeply, however, that material possessions, fame, and long done past history don’t determine inherent value/worth of or happiness for me or anyone else. This flies in the face of what a materialistic, fame-obsessed, and “always think only positive” culture pushes for. Steadily, superficiality has less and less of a hold on me the older I get. It both saddens and outrages me to witness how it has such a strong hold on so many people, though. A true way to fulfillment is cultivating an inner life, of which there are many paths into that possibility.

On Arriving Into Open-Heartedness

This noticeable opening of my heart has happened before. I’ve briefly written about it on at least a few occasions over past years, including over on Facebook. This time, there’s much more conscious awareness accompanying the process. I’m observing where this is coming from and how myself and others— including dear friends from much earlier times in my life— are connecting so openly and deeply of late. Emerging from over a year of enduring the COVID-19 pandemic has something to do with this, but there’s much more to it than that. Now well into middle age, I think I’ve finally turned a corner in emotional and spiritual development. Better late than never. I’m clearly, acutely aware now how I have discernment ability and choice around when and where to have my heart wide open and when it makes sense to briefly shield it, be that partially or completely so. This is akin to pulling a thick covering over someone or something that requires protection from nature’s harsh elements until one can bring the vulnerable being or object into safety again. I finally trust my own judgment around when to do this with my loving heart and when such action is not necessary. I have admittedly been too over-protected/closed-hearted much of the time, due to being far under-protected during a lot of my childhood/youth. I have been fortunate to live long enough to experience a steady development of conscious awareness, familiarity of heart-centered relating, and how those two can and do work naturally, even gracefully, together.

I am practical and realistic. I know that I need to and shall develop a practice to maintain this open heart consciousness way of living. Over on Facebook, I asked people to refrain from giving me suggestions concerning my spiritual practice. I ask the same of readers here as well. I’m fine with deepening my own familiar practices and exploring more additional options. I can and will ask certain people I know if and when I want suggestions. Please honor this request.

I am grateful to all of my dear loved ones who have helped me along the way with arriving here in this more awake and open-hearted place. Wherever I can, I will continue to be thankful and say how I love them.

Brief Thoughts on Religion/Spiritual Paths and Exclusion

I notice how some people use their religion/spiritual practice as a way to distance from people, including to affirm a belief and practice of categorizing those, or many of those, not within their religion/spiritual group/path as inferior. I think this is very easy for us as humans to do and something to be mindfully watchful of and avoid slipping into doing.

Healing as a Form of Magic

It’s been said elsewhere that magic is a change in consciousness. Healing is one such form of magic. Also, magic equally involves both the recipient and the initiator of it, whereby both parties are directly affected.

I am so grateful to be doing healing work, which truly often feels magical. I’m healing while my clients are too. Thank the gods for this calling I’m in (trauma psychotherapist) whilst so much of the world around us is scarily out of control. I may not have much effectiveness directly out there. But, more up close in my life, I’m reminded that I wield good healing power, which I handle with utmost care and respect.

Shamanic Journey (5th One Posted)

With the intention of inquiring about how I can participate in feeling and being more united with the All, late last month I journeyed deeper down into the Lower World. I flew over hills covered for miles in assorted large hostas, like what grow on one side of my house. Soon, I reached a valley, then mountains, then islands in the sea, all of these lands lushly carpeted in plants and trees.

Eventually, I rose to the Upper World, joined by L_________________, Her peacock feather pattern eyes filling the star-filled cosmos, as if this were Her gaze reflected back from a dark pool. She psychically guided me into a dim forest of trees and ferns, where I’d been with Her before. “Treat others the way you wish to be treated,” She said out of the silence and background drumming.

In my relaxed wandering among this verdancy, I came upon the Green Man, Who stood behind a tree. His form had just solidified into a human shape covered in ivy-like leaves, which also grew like a beard down His chin. He took my hand. I enjoyed noticing the dirt under His leaves, His skin a mix of wood and soil.

I resumed journeying in the air over more landscapes of forest and jungle. At the very end, I arrived at the edge of a city at night, countless lights stretching far and wide below. I then sensed clearly that it is through focusing on engaging with plant life around me how I’m steadily growing more grounded and connected on both Earth and within my body. From there, I can and will focus more on heart-open connection with people and, hence, being more united with the All, of which there are so many layers, domains, realms.

Crescendo of Spring; My Full Cup

Today, on my walk through the neighborhood, I felt a crescendo of the season, which began when I spotted some lavender lilacs in bloom. Finally, I thought, they’re here. Now, May and springtime seemed complete. Turning a corner, there were more lilacs, then more a little further on. I took a picture of a select bush of them standing tall under a clear sky. Further on, trees gently shook in the breeze.

I grew full from all the verdancy around me, such thriving, joy-provoking leaves and blooms everywhere. And the sorrows lingering inside my mind and body welled up, folding like a wave into a stronger, confident fount of thrill and gratitude. Not for the first time, I thanked the trees and plants for their bountiful splendor; the cared-for homes all about (including my own); the big-hearted, gentle man I have for a husband; the meaningful job I have; and on and on. I was not dismissing the mountains of pain in this present, uncertain world or sad and anguished moments strewn over the path of my own past, some of which still overly-inform certain relationships for me to this day. Rather, I felt like a vessel with room inside to hold all of this. I was a container fashioned of gratitude and awareness of the present, beauty-filled moment, soaking in the richness of my surroundings. All of this became like a substance spreading out from the edges into the depths inside me, my bones, my heart. This could and would sustain me now and in the days ahead, this here-and-now sense of presence, a wealth beyond measure.

“Remember this day, these moments,” I said to myself as I gazed upon a Japanese maple, its almost burgundy and rust-red leaves shimmering in the sun.

I wistfully wished I could share this time with some others in my life in addition to my husband. I walked along in this paradox, a sense of joyous unity with everything around me yet awareness of prolonged separation from particular people with whom I share strained histories. Such is life for many of us, perhaps even everyone to some extent these days, this happy moment of clear connection in which we find ourselves that also holds lingering sad ones of disconnection. That is what it is. But, again, all of this was folded into me, bathed and held by an ocean of gratitude, a sense of aliveness, and then, also, I realized, hope.

Today, finally, I understood more clearly a truer, deeper meaning of “My cup runneth over.” And my cup is part of an ever-larger cup.