These past few weeks I’ve felt like a piñata. Trying to meet deadlines and a launch date and it all kept going wrong. So many stressful little things kept happening and then came the 2x4s. From my computer giving out (whack) to my new computer being defective (whack). In the course of one week, I accidentally poured freshly boiled water over my hand (whack), got the worst food poisoning I’ve ever had - resulting in 20 consecutive hours of vomiting - (whack, whack, whack), and my car decided to stop working in the middle of the interstate, needing a tow that took 4 hours to arrive, and over $700 in repairs and expenses (W-H-A-C-K). That was the blow that finally did it. I retreated. I’d had enough. My nerves were shot and my guts were starting to spill - and they weren’t candy.
Over the course of a few days, I went through a few stages. First, I was the victim - life, god, the universe, whatever it is, was beating the crap out of me. Why? How many beatings was I supposed to take? Why did I become the punching bag? What did I do to end up on the universe’s shit list? I noticed a lot of deep resentment and dread - what’s next? How far will this go? Will I be pushed past my breaking point?
Then, I got mad - furious, actually. I went from being the piñata to holding the proverbial stick and I started swinging. Of course there was no piñata for me to hit back since god/source/universe is such an abstract construct. I was just swinging into empty space - hurling my frustrations and curses into nothingness. It was so exhausting and, frankly, even more infuriating.
Next, I decided I was tired of the game. I didn’t want to play anymore. Bills, responsibilities, my project - all got pushed to the side as I binged Kdramas and chocolate. Reality was really sucking and I needed a break. It’s easy to get sucked into distractions, especially when you’re in a state of sheer overwhelm. I let myself disconnect, but I also knew I had to deal with it all sooner rather than later or I’d just be making things a lot harder on myself.
“It could be worse” - I really hate it when people tell me that. Of course it could be worse, but the situation at hand isn’t so swell either. When someone tells me that ‘it could be worse,’ it feels like they aren’t acknowledging how challenging and hard it already is; like they’re dismissing or discounting my experience and my feelings around it. What would be helpful is someone saying, “Wow, that’s awful. Is there anything I can do to help? I’m just glad the situation's not any worse.” ‘That’s awful’ acknowledges the experience and how I feel about it. ‘Can I help?’ can feel like a lifeline even if there’s nothing they can do. ‘I’m glad it’s not any worse’ allows for some space to open up in order to hold gratitude that it isn't any worse. The way we word things really does make a difference.
I don’t like being a victim, being the person trying to hit an invisible piñata isn’t satisfying either, and just taking myself out of it all by burying my head in the sand with distractions can only work for so long. I decided I needed a new way to look at things. If my suffering is connected to my thinking, to my perceptions, then that’s where I have to shift. I think it begins with curiosity. I find it curious that so many challenges came up one after the other and then some of them completely stopped me - the food poisoning kept me in bed for days, the car left me stuck - all at a time when I needed every hour in order to launch. What message was I not getting that those cosmic 2x4s had to come in? Needless to say, the universe has my attention. I guess it’s time to turn off Netflix and figure out what it’s been trying to say.
It’s been nearly four years since I last posted in this blog. After writing weekly for three years, I decided to take a break. I didn’t realize that my hiatus would last this long. A lot has transpired since I last wrote, both in the world and in my own life. To catch you up a bit on where I’ve been and what I’ve been up to, I’d like to share about my time living and working at a Tibetan Buddhist retreat center pertaining to the Dalai Lama.
For several years, Menla, known as Tibet in the Catskills, became my home. It’s a peaceful and beautiful retreat center nestled in a valley, high up in the Catskill mountains in New York. I love this place for so many reasons: the nature, the people, the quiet, and its mission as part of Tibet House US to help ensure the survival of Tibetan culture. For an empath, it was like medicine for mind and body. There’s a special energy there that’s similar to Sedona, except it’s not as intense and is more embracing and nurturing.
I worked in the Dewa Spa on property. Dewa Spa is distinct in that there’s a focus on Tibetan medicine and healing. I highly recommend the KuNye massage by the way. I still worked with clients doing my Emotional Blockages Release sessions, but I mainly worked as a spa coordinator and assisted in keeping the spa running - from booking appointments to stocking treatment rooms to picking the flowers that would go into the special baths that we ran for guests. Ironically, the job was far from relaxing, but the space itself, and most especially the people, are what made it great. I have never seen so many talented massage therapists under one roof. Healers in their own right, the before and after differences in the guests said it all. My co-workers were more like family. Some of the biggest-hearted, most wonderful people I’ve ever met.
Hiking was literally steps from my back door. There are multiple trails on property from easy to challenging. The water, sourced from a mountain stream, is the only water I’d ever drink straight from the tap - it’s that good. There are phenomenal gardens which source flowers for the arrangements found around property and veggies, greens, and fruit for the kitchen. A true farm to table with no toxic chemicals used. The mainly vegetarian kitchen prepares some of the most delicious food. Who knew that watermelon salsa tastes so good on black bean tacos?! Hiking up the mountain, I could feel where the wifi would drop off. There’s no cell service or TV at Menla which provides the perfect opportunity to connect with yourself and with Nature.
Probably my favorite part about Menla is the wildlife. I felt like I was inside a show of Animal Planet. On my 8 minute walk to work, I could encounter a group of wild turkeys, deer, black bears and or snakes - all up close. The deer would show up at the spa and wait patiently for us to bring them a treat - usually apples. The bears were hilarious - napping in the apple trees, hanging from the enclosure door while trying to access the trash bins, rooting through the compost pile, or just chilling wherever.
Though Buddhist by nature, Menla is a place where you can connect to that aspect, but it isn’t forced. Michael, the co-director, would generously lead classes for staff that would dive deeper into the practices and teachings - which I appreciated. I always enjoyed hearing Bob Thurman speak. Bob is a scholar of Indo-Tibetan Buddhist studies and friend of H.H. the Dalai Lama. Side note: Bob and Michael created the graphic novel Man of Peace: The Illustrated Life Story of the Dalai Lama of Tibet which is a very good read. Isa Gucciardi, a Buddhist shaman, is a definite favorite. I had some amazing shifts and insights due to her journeys and teachings when she would lead retreats at Menla.
As with anything, life changes and chapters come to a close. Menla, and most especially the people I worked with there, will always hold a special place in my heart. I was able to learn new skills, immerse myself in nature, and my EBR sessions continued to evolve as I met new clients. It was a challenging time, it was a healing time, it was a time and space for me to connect with my true nature. As John Muir aptly stated, "and into the forest I go to lose my mind and find my soul."
Heart Hugs, Adrienne :)
I refuse to be defined as racist, misogynistic, sexist, etc. just because the man who was elected as president appears to represent these traits. I am not my government. I am a human being. I am a human being who does her very best to break down the social filters and see my brothers and sisters with love. I don’t care what color you are, what sex you are, what religion you practice, what country you’re from, or who your partner is. I accept you for you. I've had the amazing opportunity to have lived in other countries and experience many other cultures. What I learned is that we may look different and act differently, but essentially we’re all the same. We all want to be loved and accepted for who we are. What I hold dear about the U.S. is that we're this beautiful melting pot. I love our uniqueness and our differences. Think of how boring it would be if we were all the same. How would we ever learn and grow from each other without our differences? Having lived in NYC, I can tell you that peaceful co-existence between people from every culture on this planet is not only a possibility, it is a reality.
As a woman, who has had enough experience with living in a yanged-out (over masculinated) society, I can join the bandwagon and lament how the outcome of this election sets us back. Or, I can allow it to make me stronger. The president does not represent me. I represent me. If I want to find peace on this planet then I will start with myself. I will do my work. I will commit to my own healing. Trump may be an elected official - but he does not represent or define me as a human being. One of my biggest peeves traveling abroad was that I was automatically judged and criticized for being an American. I had to remind myself - I am not my government. I couldn’t understand how people, who did not know me or bother to get to know me, could look at me and treat me with hatred just because of my nationality. Fear does that you know, it divides and it conquers - if you allow it.
I recently read a great description about fear that I feel is very important to share. "Fear is the baseline negative state. Not just some of the time, or even most of the time. All the time. (...) Fear is nothing. It's a parasite. It has no core, no life force of its own. It feeds on life, so when its stories don't take you in, and you don't react to them, but instead just observe it, you deny fear a place to feed. And when it has nowhere to feed, it begins to dissipate. Every time. So each time you look fear in the face, it will weaken, shrink and finally disappear." (Book 3 of The Grandmothers Speak, Sharon McErlane). Simply, fear is just a parasite - it’s your choice whether you will feed it or not.
It’s time for we the people to rise up and BE the change we want to see. Stop looking outside and blaming others. Take our own responsibility. There is so much fear in the world - it is projected on a daily basis through ignorance, anger, rage, hatred, you name it. You always have a choice to feed that fear or not. It’s your choice to buy into it and allow it to grow -or to see it for what it is, not participate and allow it to weaken. It's time we stop pointing fingers and do our own work.
I’ve seen a lot of comments about 'what will I tell my daughter?' You tell her the truth - there are people out there who are confused. They only see the surface of someone and act from a place of social conditioning that is no longer acceptable (and never should have been in the first place). This does not change her worth. She is not less than just because someone else says so. Eleanor Roosevelt hit the nail on the head: No one can make you feel inferior without your consent. Encourage her to step into the beautiful person that she is and to see others through the same loving, respectful eyes that you ask her to see herself.
This election actually provides us with the amazing opportunity to really make this world a better place. We know what we don’t want, so let’s focus on what we do want - love, acceptance, joy, community. Be loving and accepting of yourself and share that energy with everyone you meet. Some may not be that open to it as they’re too entrapped in the fear and ego game. That’s o.k. You send them love anyway - they really need it. We are only set back as a country if we the people allow it - it comes down to our own individual actions. So as it goes with free will, you have the choice to perpetuate fear, ignorance and division or BE the loving Soul that you are. It doesn’t come down to Trump, it comes down to you.
Love, Adrienne :)
"Success requires the emotional balance of a committed heart. When confronted with a challenge, the committed heart will search for a solution. The undecided heart searches for an escape."
Hello! I'm Adrienne Almamour, an empathic intuitive conduit. I assist people by detecting and clearing their subconscious emotional energy blockages. This blog is a commentary and reflection of life from an intuitive standpoint which also incorporates ways that allow us to be from our heart.