Thursday, December 31, 2009

To me, New Year's Eve and New Year's Day are about New Beginnings. It reminds me of a quote from my amazing Mom, "The woman you were meant to be will be born again, again, and again." What a hopeful interpretation of a Spirit-filled life.

Not everyone sees this Holiday in the same way. I was perusing through my "crack" as I call it, (i.e. Celebrity Gossip Magazines), and I came across this quote by Robert Downey Jr. "I've actually run out of things to give up. I don't know what to do."

Realizing that he knows first hand what it means to have a multitude of addictions, I found myself laughing out loud. Then, I stopped to think. Hmmmm....What will I give up for the New Year 2010? What are my addictions? Here is my list:

In 2010, I Cora Poage, will let go of...

1. Guilt that I am not "doing" enough, being enough, or making enough progress in my life.

2. Self-judgment around the way I look or don't look.

3. Playing Small. (Watch Out World!)

4. Waiting to feel happy, content and blessed....if not now, WHEN?

5. Taking life so seriously. (I'm going to play, take risks, and laugh more!)

6. Taking other people's actions and words so personally. (It's NEVER about me anyways!)

7. Putting my dreams on hold.

8. People-Pleasing

9. The illusion that I am in control. (Let Go, Let the Divine)

10. The past...I am honoring my Story, and the amazing, beautiful characters who have blessed my life in so many ways. AND, I am facing forward with hope, joy, enthusiasm, and immense GRATITUDE.

Next year, maybe it will be me announcing that I have run out things to Let Go. However, as my amazing teachers at USM remind me, "Growth is an ongoing process, NOT an event."

Here's to the Year 2010, and to New Year's Eve, the Holiday that represents New Beginnings, Letting Go of the Past, and the realization that that the Person, the People, we were meant to Be, will be born again, again, and again.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Food poisoning unleashed it's wrath on my unsuspecting body last night, ALL night. Shivering in a winter coat and pajamas, I sat at the dining room table fending off waves of nausea until I was forced to sprint into the bathroom, tripping over kittens and unwrapped Christmas gifts, getting to know the toilet seat VERY well.

That being said, Ben and I made the decision to stay in Manhattan this Christmas, the two of us. We decided it was not a smart idea to drive to Buffalo to be with family, as is our usual tradition. Normally we are surrounded by family, parents, church outings, trees, games, children, and music. Most holidays we are on the plains of Kansas or the rolling hills of up-state New York. This Christmas we are surrounded by sky scrapers and yellow taxis.

At first, I wondered how this was going to work. Would Christmas still take place? Would Baby Jesus still be born? No stockings? No lights? No tree? No family...No Nativity Scene with the Shepard, Wise Men, Mary, Joseph, and and empty manger waiting for the King.

One of my favorite games as a child (and okay, still to this day) is searching for the Baby Jesus on Christmas Day. The adults would hide him somewhere in the house. There was so much excitement when I found him, placing him in the manger, feeling the power, the magic, the beauty of this tiny baby and the LOVE that he brought to the world. How could we celebrate Christmas without all these traditions?

But wait, I am warm and cozy in my little Manhattan abode. My amazing husband is in the kitchen baking Christmas cookies as I write. We have presents for each other stacked around our apartment. Christmas music is dancing through the rooms. AND, if we look out our bedroom window, there is an INCREDIBLE Christmas tree across the street in the lounge of another apartment complex. Christmas Spirit is everywhere.

Maybe we are missing some of the usual characteristics of this holiday. However, we have Love for each other and for our lives. We are full of Gratitude for the incredible blessings we receive each and every day. We ARE with family: Ben, Cora, Finn, and Sawyer (our kittens)

Finally, we don't have a model manger scene that we are both accustomed to seeing in our parent's homes. I don't get to search for the baby Jesus in the same way as past Christmases. So I close my eyes, and search for Him, just like I did as a child. I don't even have to get up out of my chair to find Him this time. His beautiful spirit, hiding where I can always find him, within my Heart.

Yes, the King of Kings is in our Hearts, where the story of Christmas, of Birth, Hope, Faith, and Unconditional Love lives on and on. Reminding us that we are never alone, there is always hope, the reason for the season is always a breath, a prayer, a wish away. (with or without a tree)

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Yesterday, at Grand Central, I was approached by a 60-something year old man in a business suit. He looked harmless, however, after some interesting pick up lines,(model scout? Sure Buddy, and I'm Santa Claus) asked for my number. When I answered, "Um, I'm married", he didn't flinch and responded, "Yes, but are you HAPPY?"

Whoah! At first, I was flabbergasted. How could he ask that? I mean, of course my marriage is HAPPY. The nerve!

And then, Tiger Woods flashed into my brain...and Leanne Rimes, Brittany Spears, Okay so most of Hollywood. To be honest, I even thought of some of my own acquaintance, friends, and family members, and MYSELF. Is everyone ALWAYS HAPPY in their marriage? No, no we are not.

I think that one of the differences between marriages that last and those that don't is the MOTIVATION for getting hitched. If one is searching for wholeness, to be complete, to be given happiness from a partner, then sorry to say, but failure is imminent. If a person is looking at marriage to MAKE them happy, then I truly believe a disaster awaits.

My grandparents, Tutu and Grandad were married for over 50 years. They have since passed on, but in a conversation with them a few years back, my grandfather said, "Cora, the only way you know you are ready to be married, fully committed to another, is when you know you would be COMPLETELY great on your own." Then he turned to my Grandmother and said, "Liz, I know you would have been Great on your own." She took his hand, and said, "Only HALF as great."

It was a beautiful moment, and I love the sentiment. However, my grandmother WOULD have been great on her own. My Grandfather too. And that, friends, is the key. (in my humblest of opinion) To be Great on your own. To be HAPPY on your own. And then, to SHARE that amazing wholeness, Divine love, and internal Joy with another Soul. How beautiful! What a gift!

"You complete me." The line from Jerry McGuire literally makes me throw up a little in my mouth. Tiger Woods, Hollywood, friends, family, let's all complete ourselves...find our own sense of Wholeness. Be our own Soulmates. Let's be HAPPY inside ourselves FIRST, and watch our relationships with others flourish.

So Mr. Grand Central, YES! I am happy, but not BECAUSE of my marriage, I am JOYFUL to be alive, to be ME, in love with life, and my marriage is stronger and more fulfilling because of it!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

"So do it. If you win, you win, and if you lose, you win."-from the movie "Raging Bull"


Today, I showed up at a cafe, ready to do a Vision Boarding workshop with 7 other women (took a risk). I was there by myself for 30 minutes and no one else came. At first, I felt a bit awkward sitting there with my pile of magazines, scissors, glue, and just me.

Then I noticed the paintings in the cafe and how beautiful they were. A young woman wandering by stopped, and lovingly asked me to tell her more about Vision Boarding. The East West Books Cafe was filled with amazing sacred music and the energy from the other customers was vibrating at a beautiful level that made me feel like dancing. My Moon Cycle tea was incredibly comforting and empowering. A woman, who was a Medium, and I struck up a beautiful conversation and we are getting together soon. Oh, and the man behind the counter gave me my Vegan cornbread for free.

I took a Risk to host this get-together, to show up, be vulnerable, and let go of the outcome. At first the outcome seemed "wrong". Where was everyone? Should I take this personally? I felt a bit rejected. Then, with an energetic shift, I realized that I was EXACTLY where I needed to be.

Letting go of "expecations" and "outcomes". Taking the Risk of surrendering to the Divine Timeline. Remaining open to the Blessings of the Universe. Realizing that what I truly needed this afternoon was time to connect with my soul, an alone moment to just "Be".

I looked down at the "fortune" on my tea tag. "Honor yourself and your beautiful soul", it read.

So munching on my cornbread, sipping my tea, and relishing in the love and light of the cafe, that is EXACTLY what I did.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

The morning of my Awakening, I decided to do a Tarot Reading for myself. My decision was to draw just one card. As I closed my eyes and allowed my left hand to brush over the shiny surfaces, I turned off the chatter of my brain and just Listened. I touched the card that spoke to me, turned it over, and read the title, "Soulmates".

Whoah. Intense. SOULMATES? What did that mean? I was in the midst of a transformational trip to Costa Rica with classmates from The Institute of Integrative Nutrition. Was someone on the trip my Soulmate? I had recently met and interacted with an incredibly wise spiritual guide. Was he my Soulmate? And what about my beautiful husband at home? Of course, he HAD to be my soulmate, right? This card HAD to be telling me that I had met my SOULMATE. Oh, my goodness, was I confused!

I took a few deep breaths and decided to head to the place where tension is released, my heart warmed, and my dreams realized...a Fitness Facility.:) I walked across the road to the one gym I had found in Nosarra, Costa Rica, and began to get my sweat on.

As we all know, the Universe works in beautiful ways, and I opened up a book that my good friend and angel Christy had felt moved to lend me, "Soul Psychology", by Joshua David Stone. The chapter was on Self Love and Acceptance. "Oh, I totally understand this," I thought to myself. Self-love and acceptance is something I've practiced forever! Heck, I TEACH clients about these concepts. However, I was moved to read more.

The words touched me in a way that is difficult to describe. They crawled under my skin and into my Heart. The author talked of Self-Love as UNCONDITIONAL Divine Love. Hmmmm...I knew how to love myself, when I was being "Good". When I was receiving promotions at work, affirmation from others, or staying busy with "doing it all". However, UNCONDITIONAL Self-Love was a whole new concept for me. I wondered if I could love myself if I stopped playing all the "Good Girl" roles, if I was just Me, just BEING. Could I love myself separately from the opinions of others and the Outside World? That sounded amazing and freeing to me...and a little scary.

Suddenly I felt a warm, yellow/white light all around my head, gushing into my body, literally infusing every one of my cells with this Unconditional Love and Acceptance.

I listened, and the words came..."YOU ARE YOUR OWN SOULMATE."

I cried. I bawled in that tiny little gym in Costa Rica.

The Prodigal Daughter learning to love herself for the FIRST TIME.

"You are your own soulmate."

I cried, healing so many hurts, so many feelings of inadequacy or lack of worth. I cried, and I let go of playing Small, and other Martyrdom acts that do not serve me.

I cried and then I came Home to me, My Soulmate.