Mojo Monday ~ What if…

by Michelle Fairchild

What if…

Your purpose was simple?

What if…

Love is all that matters?

What if…

Our collective purpose on this planet was Love?

“Love Thy Neighbor” by Kay Smith

What if…

All we really had to do during our time on this planet was to love one another?

What if…

After Love, everything else about having a purpose was secondary?

What if…

We discovered that living and breathing animals all want to live as much as we do?

What if…

We began to live our lives as if Love is all that matters?

What if…

We didn’t take things personally?

What if…

We realized we are perfect as we are?

What if…

We forgave yourselves…and everyone else too?

What if…

We gazed into the eyes of our former five-year-old selves?

What if…

We set anything painful from our past down and give it a loving kiss goodbye?

What if…

We all released our fears?

What if…

We took exceptional care of ourselves?

What if…

We took exceptional care of our planet?

What if…

We loved ourselves?  Really, really, really loved ourselves?

What if…

We had only a year to live?  A month?  A week?  A day?  An hour?

What if…

We realized that we are all connected?

What if…

We finally understood the mysteries of our world and the universe?

What if…

It was revealed that every single one of us on this planet is a part of God?

What if…

Mojo Monday ~ Healing Wounded Hearts

Necklace made by Michelle Fairchild while healing her wounded heart.

Many people are familiar with the term “aha moment.”  We Cosmic Cowgirls refer to them as “awe ha!” moments.  I had my own shift recently after attending the latest Cosmic Cowgirl Hodown member conference.  My realization was that I don’t feel wounded by the old stories of my life anymore.  This was a truly beautiful realization for me, as in fairly recent years I went through some significant life changes and also experienced some difficult life challenges.  

In fact, I am not being overly dramatic when I describe the period as the dark night of my soul.  My personal struggles led me to retreat from some long held relationships. Thankfully, instead of going down a completely self-destructive path, I chose to dig in deep and accomplish some incredibly cathartic soul work.  I underwent a period of the unburying of the old hurts with the guidance of two therapists, and my husband and I also went through counseling together.  During this time frame I had questioned my lovability and likability. Anger and rage that I had stuffed also needed to be addressed and processed in healthy ways.  There was a point where my natural sunshiny ways of spreading love were dampened and I questioned deeply what love meant to me. This proved to be a profound experience.  I now see that making it through the dark times has led me to a lighter place, one where the love is deeper, the grace so much more profound and the forgiveness so much more freely given. I have also seen my spiritual wings grow stronger and more sure of themselves as I look at the world with awe and wonder.

I agree whole-heartedly with the brilliant author and motivational speaker leader, Iyanla Vanzant, that in order to heal our pain three things to need to happen, we have to feel our pain, we have to deal with it (really deal with it) and then we can heal it.  Feel, Heal, Deal.

I also must add that one of the gifts of belonging to the tribe of Cosmic Cowgirls is the way we are encouraged and even challenged to open our minds and think about things in new ways.  In courses I have taken with Cosmic Cowgirl University I have continually been reminded of our ability to write our own Legendary story however we choose.   I have been going through the process of doing this work with Cosmic Cowgirls for the past four years and there were initially times where my story made me sad.  There were parts that brought up pain and old losses and I would get stuck and just stop.  There was a time frame when I realized that the rose-colored glasses I had been wearing for years had developed some serious cracks in them and I couldn’t go on.  

Now I see so much more clearly how everything that has occurred in my life has contributed to who I am, and I really truly love who I am.  My Legendary story is a big adventure with plot twists, exciting heart-stopping drama, exotic adventures and whole-hearted love because of the joys, the losses, the love, the lows and the highs.   

In the eight years I have worked for a private non-profit fost-adoption agency I have learned a great deal about special needs children, wounded hearts and souls, and the therapeutic process.  My knowledge and understanding of how wounds affect behavior and our choices expanded ten-fold during those years.  

Then with my most recent “awe ha” moment it became even that much more transparent how many people are living lives as the walking wounded.  While I will not allow others to intentionally hurt me and I have learned a great deal more about healthy boundaries in relationships, I also have compassion for others, knowing that how some people respond or act is due to their unhealed wounds, which in most cases I have nothing to do with at all.  For example in best case scenarios those who are wounded, but haven’t dealt with it, do things like living life reactively, being blind to why things push their buttons, acting defensively, when they would really prefer to act lovingly.  

In the worst case scenarios the walking wounded can cause others grievous harm and pain. These are the situations that lead to violence, cruelty, and committing crimes.  One way of viewing those who are wounded and then act out by hurting others can be through the lens of a quote by buddhist Thich Naht Hahn, “When another person makes you suffer, it is because he suffers deeply within himself, and his suffering is spilling over.  He does not need punishment, he needs help.”  Iyanla Vanzant goes more in depth about all the things stuffing and masking our pain can lead to, such as addictions (ie drugs, alcohol, food, sex, gambling), criminal behavior, as well as such things as low self-esteem, depression and lack of direction in life.  Iyanla also shared during her live show with Oprah about how people can also become addicted to their story of pain.  She tells one man who had been addicted to drugs and alcohol for twenty years, and after ten years of being sober and is still unhappy and has been thinking about using again, that he has become addicted to his story.  She challenges him on what he would be doing if he was to really choose to be happy and move forward with his life, instead of living in the past.

One of the events that helped push me over the hump and firmly into a new  awareness took place at the most recent Cosmic Cowgirl gathering.  During the closing ceremony, beautifully directed by a member, each woman went around the circle and one-by-one, linked arms with each woman and while looking into one another’s eyes said these words, “I see you.  You are my sister.”  It was a very moving, and at times emotional exchange, for those participating.  Days following that event, when I was asked by someone, who I had described the experience to, if saying those words was difficult, and my response was “Not at all.”  I shared that when those exchanged took place it was about really seeing a person and their inner soul.  In my spiritual practice it was also about seeing that God essence that exists in all of us and is that which connects us all.

Do you feel wounded?

Are there things in your past that still feel left unresolved?

What are your thoughts about healing?  

What are the stories you tell yourself about events that were hurtful?

How do things from the past affect you now in the present?  

What if you decided to start telling a different story?

What would happen if you were to heal and move on?  What would you be doing?  Who would you be?  

More to explore about healing the wounded heart:

There is a documentary called The Dhamma Brothers.  It is about an Alabama prison, known as “the house of pain,” that allowed a Buddhist meditation practice to be brought within its walls and taught to some of the prisoners, most of whom will spend the rest of their lives behind bars.  It is eye-opening and moving to hear some of the prisoners share their experiences with the meditation course and the changes it brought to their lives.  One of the prisoners in the documentary shared how he was more a prisoner when he was out on the streets, acting out all his pain in hurtful ways.  He will be in prison for the rest of his life, but the meditation practice led him to finally feel his pain and then deal with it, which finally allowed him to heal.  He actually stated that he feels more free now then he did prior to being in prison.  The reality is that he was in a prison of his own making, as are others out living lives in which they are hurting, unhappy, addicted to alcohol or drugs, which they use to dull the pain.  

Here is a brief video with the director presenting at a TED talk about the making of The Dhamma Brothers.

One other great show to watch is the first episode of Oprah’s Lifeclass the Tour.  In the first episode Oprah meets with Iyanla Vanzant who talks about “Stopping the Pain.”  You can watch the full episode by going clicking on this link: 

Mojo Monday ~ Forgiveness

The dictionary defines forgiveness as the process of concluding resentment, indignation or anger as a result of a perceived offense, difference or mistake, and/or ceasing to demand punishment or restitution. 
Author Don Miguel Ruiz wrote The Four Agreements, The Fifth Agreement, The Mastery of Love and The Voice of Knowledge.  One of Don Miguel Ruiz’s thoughts on forgiveness is featured in the image above.  The art and writing is from one of the cards from his Mastery of Love deck.  One of his other quotes about forgiveness is as follows: 

The supreme act of forgiveness is when
you can forgive yourself for 

all the wounds you’ve created in your own life.
Forgiveness is an act of self-love.
When you forgive yourself, 
self-acceptance begins and self-love grows. 

Ruiz was even recognized by an organization called The Worldwide Forgiveness Alliance.  Many of his training courses incorporate the act of forgiveness as one of the tools that teach people how to overcome their destructive behaviors and move to higher, more effective levels of consciousness.  

You can learn more about the inspiring Worldwide Forgiveness Alliance and their brilliant mission by visiting this web site:

Ann Frank is another individual who exhibited an amazing ability to forgive and perhaps see a bigger picture.  This excerpt from her diary is especially inspiring:

    It’s a wonder I haven’t abandoned all my ideals, they seem so absurd and impractical. Yet I cling to them because I still believe, in spite of everything, that people are truly good at heart. It’s utterly impossible for me to build my life on a foundation of chaos, suffering and death. I see the world being slowly transformed into a wilderness, I hear the approaching thunder that, one day, will destroy us too, I feel the suffering of millions. And yet, when I look up at the sky, I somehow feel that everything will change for the better, that this cruelty too shall end, that peace and tranquility will return once more. 

Another organization that is doing amazing work regarding forgiveness is The Forgiveness ProjectFounder Marina Cantacuzino shares that “Forgiveness is an inspiring, complex, exasperating subject, which provokes strong feeling in just about everyone. Having spent all of 2003 collecting stories of reconciliation and forgiveness for an exhibition of words and images which I created with the photographer, Brian Moody, I began to see that for many people forgiveness is no soft option, but  rather the ultimate revenge. For many it is a liberating route out of victimhood; a choice, a process, the final victory over those who have done you harm. As Mariane Pearl, the wife of murdered journalist Daniel Pearl, said of her husband’s killers, ‘The only way to oppose them is by demonstrating the strength that they think they have taken from you.'”

The exhibition tells some extraordinary stories – stories of victims who have become friends with perpetrators, murderers who have turned their mind to peace building.  I read in awe the story about Linda and Peter Biehl and how they found it within their hearts to forgive and befriend the young men who murdered their daughter Amy, an American Fulbright scholar working in South Africa against apartheid.  They started a foundation in their daughter’s name and two of the young men even went to work for the foundation.  Linda shares how she came to “believe passionately in restorative justice. It’s what Desmond Tutu calls ‘ubuntu’: to choose to forgive rather than demand retribution, a belief that “my humanity is inextricably caught up in yours.”

Within our lifetimes we will all need to ask for forgiveness or find it within ourselves to forgive another.  Sometimes you forgive people simply because you still want them in your life.
Consider creating an art piece about forgiveness and what it means to you.   
Here is a beautiful rendition I found on-line by a woman named Ramona.  She combined a Scrap Therapy Layout on Self-forgiveness with a Hopes for the New Year Layout and created a beautiful journaling art piece.  Here is the journaling excerpt from the image: 
For this new year, I would like to be free.   Free from feeling bad or obsessing about when the next time the blackness will come.  Free from feeling like I am never good enough. Not smart enough, thin enough, nice enough, whatever enough. I would like to be free from feeling like a bad mother when I am simply too tired to cook, or clean, or check homework.   I want to honor the light within me that longs to shine brightly.  For the whole world to see that I am good enough.  Simply because I am me.  To do this, I need to begin to practice forgiveness, and change my internal dialogue.  To a dialogue of love, light truth and peace.
What are your thoughts about forgiveness?
Do you have any stories of forgiveness to share?  
If you create an art piece or write a poem about forgiveness please share it.
To the right is a simple art piece I did for forgiveness.

Looking for more inspiration regarding forgiveness?  Here is a video on the subject.

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