Love Jail

I finally bit the bullet and talked with someone about situations that have been presented in my life, especially some of the more recent instances. In the last few months alone, I:

  1. Had to deal with the death of my beloved Grandma – my role model and one of the great loves of my life.
  2. Left an extremely stressful and hostile job that provided no work-life balance.
  3. Grew my Transcendent Inc. business and made new connections with consultants and clients.
  4. Started working for a new company.
  5. Started getting our house ready to be sold (to be on the market this spring).
  6. Lost my dad suddenly who died of completely unknown causes AND had to deal with family fall out from those who didn’t like that asked for donations to help me pay for my dad’s funeral.
  7. Got tangled up with more family drama that was caused in part to having to re-connect with toxic family members.

These are some pretty heavy and stressful events in life, and I know I’m not the only one who lost loved ones over the holidays or had to deal with major stress.

…and don’t get me started on the news and what’s going on in Washington D.C. That’s enough to burn anyone out.

Over the years I’ve become increasingly resistant to stress and resilient (which I credit to my practice of Transcendental Meditation), but the last few months have hit me like a ton of bricks. I needed help, so I went and found someone who could help me.

Her name is Lisa, and she’s a counselor of sorts – more of a spiritual counselor than your run of the mill therapist. The one thing that has been kicking me down lately is the continued brokenness of my family. They want to talk about baking cakes when the whole house is on fire. They want to practice willful ignorance instead of being brave enough to lay all the puzzle pieces on the table and work on a solution. I’m dealing with people close to me that seem to be perpetually lying and living incredibly destructive lives – physically, emotionally, and spiritually. For one person in particular, I’ve been trying to get through to her for about 20 years. I’ve offered to go to therapy with her, I’ve encouraged her to learn meditation to help with stress, I’ve purchased a self help book for her, I’ve taken her out to bond and tried to be there when she was down. In return, she has consistently lied about me, robbed my home, left me hateful voice mails and emails, and on and on. She has also has made a point to kick me whenever I’m down, despite my efforts of trying to lift her up.

I haven’t lifted her up recently, mostly because I need to keep space between us. Whenever she lies to me, it ends up in another fight. It’s never productive. It’s an unbroken cycle. Whenever she falsely accuses me of ruining her life, I have to firmly remind her that I have nothing to do with her ruining her life. Whenever she accuses me of “embarrassing her” when I talk about what she’s done to our family, I have to remind her that her actions embarrass herself. She points a finger at me, and I point a mirror at her.

Lisa gave me the straight talk last night, and I think it’s exactly what I needed. She explained the concept of “love jail” which I think is incredibly brilliant and wanted to share it.

Basically, it goes like this:

  • There are people in our lives who hurt us either intentionally or non-intentionally.
  • People who hurt us are deeply hurting within themselves and so they use us to feel better about their own pain.
  • Don’t take it personally. It’s not about me, it’s about them.
  • We need to communicate to people that their behavior is unacceptable and we won’t continue subjecting ourselves to their behaviors.
  • We love them and we pray for them.
  • They go into love jail.

…and they stay in love jail until they can stop behaving in a way that dismisses your personal boundaries.

Interestingly, I’ve had certain people in love jail for years, but never really had a word for it until yesterday. What I know for sure is that I want to be around people who are nourishing and nurturing and treat others with respect. I don’t want to be around people who lie, deceive, mislead, drink or use drugs excessively, or are co-dependent or abusive in their words or actions. I don’t like people who blame others for their own personal choices or self destructive tendencies. Because I strive for authenticity in all the things that I say and do, I want to be around others who are also working hard to be as authentic and truthful as possible.

That does not mean that I don’t forgive these people. It does mean I unconditionally love these people. It also means that I have to love them from an arm’s length – a safe distance. It does mean that they stay in love jail until they decide to approach me with words and actions that are loving, kind, compassionate, and nourishing. Anything less keeps them in love jail.

Lisa also reminded me of some other straight truth:

  • My problems usually always self created. If I want fewer problem people around me, allow fewer problem people around me.
  • People’s opinions of me are their opinions and are not reflections of me – they are reflections of the creator of the opinion.
  • Don’t let stress take me out of the game. Just get through it.
  • This is all just noise and a distraction that keeps us from being the best version of ourselves.
  • If someone regularly drinks and uses drugs until they lose bodily functions, I can’t do anything to help them. I’m not their mother, and I’m not their savior.
  • Everyone is in a different stage of their spiritual evolution, and even if someone is killing their self with drugs and alcohol, it’s not for me to worry about. I’ve said my part, and I need to let them go into love jail.

As the oldest child of my family and someone who had the responsibility as a breadwinner and parent when I was still a kid, this advice is a hard pill to swallow. I was groomed in early childhood to be responsible for myself and everyone around me. I was literally programmed by my parents and other family members to take on the responsibility of others.  However this is another pocket of bad programming that I’ve stumbled upon, and now it’s my responsibility to fix it. In a recent Amanda Hoyle Show, a guest speaker reminded me that, “we repeat what we don’t repair.” I need to lay my puzzle pieces out on the table and create a solution for my life. I don’t want to repeat the cycle of thinking I can or have to do anything to fix anyone else’s lives except for my own (and the obvious job of parenting my children).

If you have people in your life that can’t be kind, try love jail. What do you have to lose besides pain, stress, hurt, and tears? Remember that people always have the opportunity to come back into your life when they can respect you, and you are the judge and the jury.

Wishing you a happy spiritual journey through life and evolution to enlightenment!

The Guru Girl










Dreams of Dad – Conversations in the Afterlife

Butterflies and Dancing

My dad passed way on December 15, 2017. In numerology, this date is a 10 – good job, Dad. I’m a numerology nerd, and dying on a master number day is an auspicious thing. The number 10 resonates with the numbers 1 and 0. The number 1 is about new beginnings and 0 is the number of God. How perfect is that?

My dad was a 6 like me. People with a life path number of 6 are compassionate, reliable, sacrificing, unselfish, harmonious, generous, charismatic, and charming. We are also committed, protective, nurturing, domestic, community conscious, and family oriented.

Basically, my dad was a powerful force on this earth for good, and he went out on a powerful day.

Father Ben, the priest that performed my dad’s funeral mass, also reminded us that my dad died during Advent. He beat all of us to the Christ-mass of Christmas. My dad wasn’t one to wait around – he was a man of action. If you don’t believe me, ask his nurses and the staff at the Littlefork Care Center or The Hardwig House!

I’ve always seen my dad through my own glasses, and none of us knew or saw him in the same way. He was multi-faceted, and like a very rare and carefully cut and polished stone viewed from an outside perspective, we all saw him differently. Some saw a saintly man. Some saw a guy with a reactive temper. Some saw a mentally ill person, the best friend they’ve ever known, love manifested on Earth, an impoverished outcast, a deplorable, a teacher, a counselor, a brother, an uncle, the life of the party, a movie star, a dad. I saw him as God’s perfect design – part of the body that is both completely unique and wonderfully necessary for my life and the lives of all those who knew him.

My dad was one of only a few people who I could relate to when it came to matters of the heart and spiritual gifts. When I was a very young girl, you might say I had the somewhat painful realization that the way I saw the world was very different than others I knew. While everyone else was drawn out deep into the experience of this seemingly secular life, I spent my energy drawn into myself to understand the divine. I asked questions about God and existence, and while everyone looked at me like a crazy little girl for asking things like “if God made all of us, then who made God,” my dad was happy to answer that question. “God just IS – infinite and nothing, and to truly know God is beyond human comprehension.” *ahhhhhh* What a perfect answer. God is beyond the intellect. God is to be experienced, not to be thought about. You see, I was born with the veil of ignorance already lifted – blessed with celestial perception in the areas of seeing, feeling, and hearing, and it was only my dad that actually understood what the heck I was asking about, and he was the only one that was deep enough – transcendental enough – and soaked in the spirit enough to definitively answer those greatest questions of life.

He also checked me on my life when things were out of balance by reminding me to structure my day like this: God, Family, Job.

He regularly reminded me of the importance of prudence, justice, temperance, and fortitude.

“Keep your pants up and your nose clean,” didn’t make any sense until I understood it early in my adult life. This was also good advice.

And at the end of nearly all our calls, he would say “Keep the faith, Jess,” which was usually followed by, “Love you, hunny.”

About a year ago, I was in a meditation and I saw my dad in the astral plane. His body looked like it was breaking down – changing. I remember calling one of my sisters and telling her that I didn’t think Dad was going to last very long. Although he was in reasonably good health, I saw him beginning to transition. I didn’t know when he would pass, but I felt I needed to emotionally prepare for it.

About two weeks ago I had this horrible feeling that could best be described as feeling like a caterpillar trapped in a cocoon. My body felt like it was almost dissolving and changing – eating itself and transforming, but I also had a distinct and intuitive knowing that I was going to end up like a butterfly. The experience was so overwhelming I called my husband and told him I probably needed to talk to someone about it. Through that process, I kept reminding myself that whatever was happening within my body would work out. I just stayed focused on my regular two hour daily practice of prayer and meditation.

The day before my dad died, I was driving home from the office and while at a red light a picture flashed into my head. It was a photo I had taken about 10 years ago – a selfie of me and my dad and we looked so much alike. I smiled at the thought of our likeness, and it made me feel happy. Then a thought popped into my head and it said, “I need to go find this picture for Dad’s funeral.” I checked myself on the thought and reminded myself that Dad is just fine and I need to stop thinking about his death and focus on the fact he’s still here with us. That same day I noticed the uncomfortable feeling went away, so I knew that whatever transition I was going through was coming to an end and my new life was beginning.

The next day I received the call that no daughter wants to receive. I really only heard the first minute when the officer told me my dad had passed. I was in shock. I was shaking and feverishly started contacting family to let them know. That night I sobbed with sadness. Before bed, I sat in stillness and asked my dad “Why? Why are you leaving so soon?” I went to bed, had black out sleep from the physical exhaustion of the day, and woke up the next day feeling super depressed.

The next night I prepared for sleep by sitting in stillness and asking from my heart, “Dad can you just let me know you’re ok?” I drifted off to sleep where he appeared to me in a dream.

He was young, and lean, and strong, and shirtless… No surprise. My dad was quite the free spirit, and didn’t like the bulk of clothes unless it was freezing in the winter. He was showing me his hairy but buff belly! “I don’t have that big belly anymore, Jess! Look at me move Jess! Look at my back!” He started dancing with such huge moves, they probably needed their own zip code. “Come dance with me Jess,” he said! He and I danced together. We were moving and smiling and having a great time. I don’t even remember any music or any noise other than our laughter. Then I looked down and saw a twin sized mattress on the floor and before I knew it he laid across it the short way so his arms and legs were dangling off and he was doing the crawl stroke. “I’m gonna really be able to swim the poles on Rainy this year! Look how my back moves,” he said as he made motions of rhythmic arms and flutter kicks. I looked down and saw his back still had the huge scar from his back surgery and I said, “but you still have the scar on your back.” He said, “It’s ok, because look how my back moves!” He kept twisting and moving – showing me his new, lean, young, strong body. He wasn’t in pain. He was a strapping young man without any of the injuries from 40+ years of manual labor. He was happy. He was free.

I woke up that morning without a lick of sadness or depression. This was the butterfly moment I was waiting for. I was transitioning because my dad was transitioning – that’s how close we were. I realized that he did his time on Earth, and now it’s time for him to party – and that’s exactly what he’s doing. Well, at least dancing and pretending to swim with his perfectly flexible and painless spine.

…and now it comes full circle because I’m finally living my life structured around his advice of God, family, and job. If you know me, you’ll know that I’m firm in my commitments to prudence, justice, temperance, and fortitude. Also, my pants stay up and my nose is very clean! HA!

Most importantly, I’m keeping the faith.

I know now that I don’t need to pick up a phone or fly to Minnesota to see my dad anymore. He’s closer to me than he’s ever been because he’s right here in my heart. If I need him, I just need to think about him and call on him, and I know he’ll be right here with me.

I love you, Dad. See you in my dreams!



How NOT to Get Sick and Lose Your Hair This Winter

Winter is the season of colds, flu, and hair loss. Its cold and drying effect on the body leaves you susceptible to viruses and harmful bacteria, not to mention, many people complain about excessive hair loss. However, I’ve found a surefire way to prevent those aches, ills, and stresses by following a few really basic guidelines.

Here’s the secret:




Remember the letters MLH, and you’ll be on your way to a healthy winter. Let me break this down for you.

In the winter the whole body gets cold and dry. Inside, you end up with these little pockets of stresses that are the perfect breeding ground for disease causing germs. A seed can only take root in stable soil, but if there’s erosion or the soil is not fertile, the tiny sprout dies because it has nothing to support it’s growth.

In that same way, imagine a virus trying to take root in your body when there’s no natural cleansing and erosion taking place. Let’s say that your nose is dry and congested – something that happens in winter even without an infection. Instead of the mucus in your sinuses forming a smooth, protective coating and constantly moving and draining, there are dry spots, and some spots not protected by the mucus. The role of the mucus is to protect and cleanse the areas of your body that are susceptible to disease. If it’s not working properly, the virus has direct access to your cells, starts making copies, and pretty soon you’re stuck with two weeks of miserable snot-filled sleep or the full on flu.

In the same way, your hair needs proper nourishment to grow! If your skin is dry and cracked, and if nutrients aren’t flowing to your skin and scalp, you end up with hair loss.

Your entire body relies on the healthy movement of bodily fluids for healthy functioning. If blood can’t get to the heart, you have a heart attack. If nutrients can’t get to the cells, they don’t function optimally. If your joints don’t have proper lubrication, you end up with damage and pain in the joints. And like the example above, if mucus in your lungs and sinuses don’t move, you end up sick with a cold. Even your colon and kidneys rely on daily movement to function optimally!

So, here’s how we’re going to get ready to be healthy this winter. Let’s start with M: Moisturize.

When I think about moisturizing, I’m thinking about adding water. The only real way to add water is to literally consume or apply it. However, things get tricky in the winter because water absorbs into the body more slowly when the body is cold and/or the water is cold. Also, applying too much water to the outside of the body can literally wash away necessary oils that will help protect and nourish the body. In order to make sure you are adding appropriate moisture, you’ll want to make sure the water is prepared properly. We know that boiling water before drinking it help to push it into the tissues faster. If you don’t like sipping on hot water throughout the day, you can always boil it in the morning, let it cool to room temperature, and sip that throughout the day. Personally, I like to make a big thermos of warm, spiced, decaffeinated tea, and sip on that throughout the day. Not only does that ensure my body is getting enough water, but it also guarantees that it will absorb quickly to provide the moisture my body needs for proper functioning.

Here are a couple of nice, warming teas you can add to your winter routine. In addition to warming the body, they also contain herbs that calm the nerves and prevent anxious feelings:

Vata Tea

Relaxing Tea

Or you can make the tea yourself: Make Your Own Winter Tea

Next up: Lubricate! Your body has a natural way to lubricate itself, but it relies on you for help! The winter can make us feeling cold and stiff with aches in our joints in the morning. This ISN’T just a symptom of getting old unless you allow it to be. The reason why young people don’t wake up with aches and pains in because their body is more efficient at lubricating itself, and they are moving and playing which brings that lubrication into much needed parts of the body. I’ve found myself in the habit of doing some very relaxing morning yoga (12 rounds of sun salutation) when I get out of bed, but any kind of movement will work. Here are a couple of videos to demonstrate easy ways to get your body moving and lubricated:

Sun Salutation

Yoga for Mobility Training

Of course any exercises will work to get your joints warmed up and lubed up! If you like high intensity, go for it!!

Lubrication isn’t just for the inside of the body! It’s also for the outside and the parts that get exposed to the outside elements. I’m talking about your skin and your sinuses! These are two major entry points of germs that can get damaged during the winter, but it’s easy to protect them with proper lubrication.

Each morning before waking up, I’ve started the practice of Abhyanga which is a gentle oil massage for the whole body. It feels soooo good to rub my whole body down in the morning, and it really wakes me up. You perform this massage upon waking in the morning – before your shower. It protects the skin and supports the natural lipid barrier so you don’t get dry, cracked skin in the winter. Pay extra attention to your feet!

If you need extra help in the hair retention area, applying oils to the scalp and sleeping with a cap at night will both bring needed nutrients to the hair and scalp, and prevent fall out and breakage. I use organic caster oil on my hair, eyelashes and eyebrows. My sister Gina is a Monat consultant, and they have an amazing hair oil that would be perfect for winter: Rejuvenique Oil Intensive.

Also, at least once a day I recommend nasal oil to ensure proper lubrication in the sinuses. I like this one: Nasal Oil, but any kind of organic, cured sesame or olive oil will do. Note to allergy sufferers: this also prevents allergens from triggering your mast cells! Since I began using a nasal oil 2 years ago, I’ve been booger and sinus infection free. In fact, in a previous MRI of my head, I had chronic sinus inflammation from years of sinus infections, and in my most recent MRI there was no evidence of inflammation. My breathing is clearer, and I spend a lot less money on Kleenex! HA!

Finally, don’t forget that you need to hydrate. Hydrating doesn’t mean just drinking water. It means you find a way to retain the water that is lost from a dry winter. For the skin, I look for products that are water based and/or contain humectants like glycerin and hyaluronic acid. I recommend safe, organic, and vegan brands including Beauty Counter which makes Countermatch Recovery Sleeping Cream! My friend Katie Britton is a rep for this company, and you can find out more information at her Facebook group here: Katie Britton – Beautycounter.

Hydrating your sinuses can mean using a neti pot which uses a saline solution to dry more moisture into the sinus cavity. I know it’s uncomfortable, but it’s definitely key to keeping dry sinuses hydrated.

In the winter, the body dries out from the inside, so for proper hydration make sure you cook lots of warm soups and stews or pastas that contain a little extra natural salt (sea salt or Himalayan salt) and healthy oils (organic olive, sesame, sunflower, coconut, or avocado) and contain foods with gelatin and sea veggies. This is one of my favorite winter dishes if you’re in a dinner rut and can’t stand another day of soup: Winter Pasta for Vata. There’s something so yummy about the bright lemon with the fennel, carrots, and soothing, salty oil on top of warm pasta. It’s satiating, vegan, and will brighten any dull day.

Now, that I’ve shared the secret to health this winter, you can apply these in your life and expect to get measurable results! As long as you remember M: Moisturize, L: Lubricate, and H: Hydrate, you’ll be well on your way to conquer the winter!

I wish everyone a happy and healthy holiday season filled with lots of warmth, comfort, and joy!

With all my love,

The Guru Girl





The Story of My Nude Photos in the Age of Transparency

Today’s post is incredibly fitting given the civil rights issues surrounding women today. Society has created an environment where women are suppressed, and only the strongest can fight their way to the top. Many men at the top have firmly established their masculinity in the suppression of women, and they program this into people at all levels using marketing, the media, cartoons, movies, newspaper articles, fashion, and yes, even schools. Even women are infected with this horrible programming, and they try to overtake other women. Starting at the age of 2, little girls underwear are scratchy, thin, uncomfortable and usually are trimmed with lace versus little boy underwear which often provide significantly more coverage, are made of thicker material, and don’t have scratchy lace. From there, it all goes downhill.

So, in order to understand this story, I need to take you back to my early 20s. I was a very different person than I am today. I wasn’t engaged, I wasn’t married, I didn’t have children, I didn’t have a career or any kind of serious profession, I hadn’t finished college, I didn’t know that women were allowed to have boundaries on their bodies, and the internet wasn’t what it was today. There was no Facebook, Twitter, and smartphones were a twinkle in someone’s eye. Growing up in a rape culture environment where I was groomed from early childhood that I wasn’t allowed to have boundaries on my own body created a young adult that thought my whole worth was in my sexual desirability. From the age of 5 uncles would hold me down, one in particular used to put my head right between his legs and fart until I was vomiting, and no one stepped in to stop him and save me. I was a kid who got spankings and soap in my mouth for disobeying, reinforcing that adults were allowed to hit me when they didn’t like what I was doing. When I heard about sexual assaults in town, my family members would immediately blame the woman and say things like, “well, I heard she runs around,” or another line was, “well, look how she dresses.” These were things I specifically heard in response to a woman being attacked at the Holiday gas station. Although the attacker had a past criminal history and he admitted he did it, people I loved and trusted still blamed the victim. When I was brave enough to tell people about my own sexual assault, I was accused of lying, and then I was heckled through email, text, and disgusting, harassing voicemail messages – from family.

There was a popular website that my boyfriend used to frequent because of its random and funny content. Once a year they would have this internet boob contest. Basically, women would submit their pictures, they were judged by people on the website, and the winners would get cash and prizes. I loved the way my body looked, and I realized that I had pretty amazing breasts using current societal standards, so I had him take pictures of me, and they were uploaded for submission. I won first place in the contest that year by a pretty wide margin. I got some cash and prizes out of the deal, and then I went on my way through life.

For the record, I’m not ashamed of these pictures. I’m proud of them. They are a beautiful snapshot in time illustrating my life at a certain point. I loved the way my body looked then in the same way that I love the way it looks now. These pictures are a reminder of who I used to be, and they are absolutely part of my life journey.

…and now let’s jump to today…

This morning I woke up to a text message sent by a woman named Michelle that lives in Florida. Not so ironically, I made a post on Facebook about my frustration with people who are cyber bullies, and I used an example from Michelle in the post. Whenever Michelle is angry at me she likes to throw out threats. She has told me that I deserved to be raped. She regularly calls me an idiot, a liar, tells me I spew shit out of my mouth, and if she doesn’t like my factual responses, she tells me to “just go suck some dicks in a parking lot.” This morning she sent me a text message that says, “P.S. (Name of sister’s ex boyfriend) has all your nude photos from the internet on his tablet.” I didn’t respond (because I was sleeping), so she continued with, “Do u realize that (ex-boyfriend) has those photos of you on his Ipad? The nudes, you posted on the internet?? Wants to make 1,000 copies, and circulate. At your local stores? Office… now do you see.” These texts were part of an overall blackmail attempt. She wanted me to take her abuse and shut up about it, or she’ll unleash my sister’s ex-boyfriend with my nude photos. Whatever.

Here’s what I learned from these texts:

  1. If Michelle is telling the truth, my sister showed her boyfriend how to find these nude pictures. Believe me when I say you have to really search and know exactly what you’re looking for to find them. I would consider it strange if my sister would want her boyfriend to see these pictures, but whatever. Different strokes for different folks, right?
  2. The fact that Michelle knows about these is because my sister is using her friends to try and shame me as a deflection and diversion technique to take the spotlight off of her.
  3. Michelle is programmed with rape culture, and she actively uses it in a predatory way as a weird negotiation technique to get me to do what she says/be on her side.
  4. Michelle is attempting to assassinate the character of my sister’s ex-boyfriend because she doesn’t want him talking to me about current events in my family’s life.
  5. Although Michelle is accountable for her own actions, she has been manipulated to contact me with this information because the person hiding behind Michelle doesn’t want to admit that she’s directly related to these text messages.
  6. The United States could probably include Michelle as part of a torture protocol, and it would be significantly more effective than the programs they have now.
  7. Cyber bullying is an epidemic problem, and people like Michelle are so full of stress, fear, anxiety, and pain that they try to make others feel as low as they do. This is also called “leveling.”

In some conversations with Michelle, I have reminded her that she doesn’t need to scream at me over the phone. She usually apologizes and just admits that she’s angry, and I tell her that her anger is her own, I’m not responsible for her feelings of anger, and she needs to work on redirecting it to the place it came from. I also remind her that the lowest common denominator to her severe stress is the person who’s sending her to harass me. Michelle allows herself to be USED as a phone and keyboard gangster – a full fledged cyber harasser.

I’m sure many of you have experienced people just like Michelle. They come to try and break your natural state of happiness and bliss by trying to create chaos. They gain power by destabilizing their victims, and that temporarily makes them feel better about their own problems without actually addressing or fixing their problems. Besides the fact that blackmail is illegal, this whole slut shaming and rape culture stuff has to stop. Trying to use photos someone took 15 years ago to illustrate who we are today is exceptionally short sighted. We grow and change dramatically between our early 20s to late 30s. The best response to blackmail is complete transparency and honesty, because it shows predators that there’s nothing they can do to block out our sunshine. As the information age continues to evolve, I believe we’re moving into an age of transparency. The webs of lies that people spin will be dissolved, so if you don’t do your work, you’ll be left with a some really bad feelings and sensations.

Here’s my advice (and believe me when I say, I take my own medicine):

Do your work. Clean out your closets. Wash your dirty laundry. Hang it all out to dry. Be authentically who you are and have been. Own it. Take responsibility for it.

…and ultimately, accept who you have been, who you are today, and get excited for who you hope to become tomorrow.

With all my love,

The Guru Girl



New Year’s Resolutions – No More Alcohol

Staying Healthy and Bringing Awareness of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

I have a short list of resolutions that I’ll be making this year, but the first one is the easiest. I’m dumping alcohol from my life completely. I wouldn’t say that I have any kind of a dependency on alcohol in my adult life, and I don’t drink daily or even weekly (unless I’m nursing a bottle of wine over a week at the rate of 3 ounces a day). However, during my life, I have become awakened to the way alcohol is used in our society, and I’m going to stand firm as someone who has decided it’s not for me.

My relationship with alcohol started as a very young child – second grade to be exact. I had it at church, but we called it the Blood of Christ. I was served a sip of white zinfandel at least twice a week. It felt warm in my mouth and belly, and knowing that I was receiving this blessed sacrament brought me great comfort. As I’ve been thinking more about this first encounter with alcohol, it’s undeniable that this pattern sowed seeds that led to my alcohol dependence in high school. Receiving this sacrament was telling me that this warmth and comfort from alcohol is good. No matter what sins I had committed or how bad I felt, a little wafer of gluten and a sip of wine makes it all better.

I have a lot of addiction in my family. I grew up among people who are alcoholics or have alcohol dependencies (we call them “big drinkers” or just “drinkers”) or are addicted to drugs, toxic food, bad relationships, and gambling. A few years ago I found out that an uncle had molested his children too, so sex addiction is also likely. The truth is that humans are not perfect. We make a ton of mistakes. Addiction has roots in both nature and nurture, and in my experience with addicted family members,  they often feel deep shame that they either deny for purposes of self-preservation, or they keep it all hidden to prevent others from finding out. In some cases, they just don’t give a shit. They drink and drive (sometimes even getting caught and shamelessly blaming others), post pictures of themselves drinking on social media, do things that are dysfunctional, dangerous to themselves and society, and do things they wouldn’t do unless they are drinking. Some family members have walked away from their entire family to seek out relationships with someone they believe will give them more love than their spouse or children, only to wind up with an abuser. Some spend all their money on gambling and go into huge debt. Some are very ill from being overweight because they seek food for comfort instead of using tools to comfort themselves from within by exploring and exposing those wounds with a therapist.

If someone is an addict, it’s easy to feel ashamed or afraid, but from a logical perspective, shame and fear don’t produce right action. Shame has a basis in fear, and it only perpetuates the cycle of addiction. If an addict can recognize these feelings of shame and fear, they can begin the process of acceptance and understanding. That’s how they can move to right action. When people acknowledge their problems, they become receptive to finding resources to help them live without hurting themselves or endangering those around them. I don’t mean to oversimplify addiction, because I know it’s very complex. With most addicts, they have to hit some sort of a rock bottom to realize that they don’t want the life they are living, and in that, they recognize their life is made worse because of their addictions. Even after a family member was caught drinking and driving multiple times, lost her marriage, family members and full rights to see her child, she still hasn’t hit rock bottom, so I know that these things are complex.

Our house was dry growing up. As a rule, we didn’t have alcohol in our home. It was only in my early teenage years that my dad would have some beer around, and it wasn’t much. Maybe he’d show up with a six pack here and there because they were damaged cans from work. My parents only really drank alcohol at our grandparents’ houses, and that was usually limited to a cold beer on a hot summer day or holiday festivities. Man, did my family throw some wild parties! My parents rarely went out drinking. When they did have a rare date (like literally going years between dates), it was usually for a wedding or other family event, or maybe an outing when certain family members came to town. There were a handful of times my dad came home slobbering drunk, which I found completely repulsive and disgusting when he couldn’t stand up straight and was throwing up in the only toilet in the house, but again, that was extremely rare. He didn’t know his limit because he wasn’t a well-practiced drinker, and he was also on medication that didn’t mix well with the alcohol. For the most part, daily life was dry.

I’m glad our house was dry because from the perspective of modeling good behavior for us as children, I think this is where my parents did an excellent job. They were forced to deal with daily life without using drugs or alcohol, and I think we had much better care than some other children I know that didn’t grow up in a dry house.

As I came into my late teen years and was packed with compounding adult problems I was forced to carry, I began experimenting with alcohol. Honestly, between my use of alcohol and caffeine pills, I’m pretty sure that’s the only way I was able to graduate. I was in ballet, I was learning and playing four instruments, I was in three choirs, and I worked as a professional singer while taking college courses full time and working a job at McDonalds. I tried out for the cheerleading squad, but dropped out after being unable to attend practices because of my crazy schedule. In December of 1999, I sang for 17 funerals, I had just gotten out of an abusive relationship, my dad was out of the house, my mother had disowned me and turned my family against me for breaking up with my boyfriend, and I was taking some of the most difficult classes in school. White zinfandel became my coping mechanism. When I drank it, I was pacified physically and spiritually, and the more I drank, the more I didn’t care what pressures I had. White zinfandel turned into beer and shots. Pretty soon I was drinking at least 4 days a week, and at least two of those days I was having more than 3 drinks a day.

Moving to D.C. was the best thing I could have done for myself. Although I was going from one stressful situation to another, I didn’t know anyone here besides my boyfriend’s family, so I had plenty of time to catch up on sleep, read my bible, and abstain from alcohol. I worked three jobs: I was a substitute teacher for the Loudoun County school system, I had a part time job at a bank in the evenings, and on weekends, I worked the front desk at the Sheraton Hotel. I ate healthy again. I exercised. I didn’t have to be around dead bodies while trying to keep my shit together singing for people who were in the depths of despair and mourning. Leaving my hometown and family was the end of my major problems, and thus, I didn’t need to use alcohol. Although I continued to drink in a social way, I didn’t do it daily.

Skipping forward to life today, I’ve become much more aware of alcohol and its effects on humans. First and foremost, alcohol is toxic to the human body. After three years of doctor appointments, voracious reading post-car accident, and learning about alcohol’s extremely toxic effects on the brain, I’ve become a quasi-expert this area. Here’s the short story: there’s no human need for alcohol, and we’re not going to suffer alcohol deficiencies if we don’t drink. We can argue about resveratrol in red wine, and I can give you Japanese knotweed which has more resveratrol without the toxicity. You can say that it’s used as medicine to calm your nervous system, and I can give you magnesium rich foods which will calm your nervous system without damaging it. You can tell me that you like how it cleanses your palate with creamy pasta, and I can give you sparking water with lemon or lime. You can tell me that your baby is still feeding from the yolk sack so downing a box of wine in your car while driving won’t hurt your baby, and I’ll tell you:

  1. Once alcohol is in the bloodstream it can diffuse into nearly every biological tissue of the body – including your unborn child.
  2. Drinking and driving is not only illegal, but it has the potential to kill YOU, YOUR UNBORN CHILD, AND OTHER INNOCENT PEOPLE.

I CAN ALSO TELL YOU THAT THROWING YOUR BOX OF WINE OUT ON THE ROAD IS LITTERING. But if you cared about yourself, your unborn child, or the people on the road, you wouldn’t be the littering type anyway, so I digress.

So I have a couple of confessions to make. First, during my three pregnancies, I had about the equivalent of 2.2 glasses of wine. That means I consumed some alcohol during two of three pregnancies. I remember those times clearly. Once I had a drink of my sister’s wine while on a double date (she was dating Sean Banks the now imprisoned Christian Mingle Rapist). …talk about a horrible experience… The second was when I had nearly a full glass of wine during that same pregnancy during a Valentine’s Day dinner. Then when I was pregnant with my third child, and I had a glass with Thanksgiving dinner.

The second confession is that I’m not only writing this blog to talk about what I’m going to do in 2017, but I wanted to explain why I’m giving up alcohol in 2017. It’s to compensate for my complete helplessness watching someone drown their unborn child in alcohol nearly every day. That whole drinking and driving story above? Yeah, I’m compensating for her.

“Why are you so obsessed with my life,” she asks? It’s because I care. I care about the child you say you want to mother, but you choose alcohol over every day. I care about the one you’re supposed to be growing in your body, but you binge drink while driving regularly. I CARE ABOUT YOU, AND AT THIS POINT, I FEEL LIKE I’M THE ONLY ONE WHO DOES BECAUSE I’M THE ONLY ONE WHO GIVES A SHIT TO TRY AND GET THROUGH TO YOU.

So, I’m going to be a dry mom the same way my mom was a dry mom. I’m going to do this so that I can make damn sure I’m dealing with my problems like a grown-up instead of turning to something that could make me feel less pain about what you’re doing to your life and your children. I’m not going to regress by making the same mistakes like when I did with an immature teenage brain. As an adult, I have the tools to do it like a grown-up – without alcohol or drugs or food or gambling or any unhealthy compulsions. I challenge you to be adult enough to quit too.

In times like these, I often dive back into my roots and look for comfort and confirmation in the bible. If we were created in God’s image, shouldn’t we honor God by taking care of this temple that houses this Holy Spirit? If you are a manifestation of God’s divinity, don’t you have a responsibility to honor this manifestation? For me, that answer is yes. That means I protect myself from toxins, and I definitely protect my children (born or unborn), as well as those around me.

I’m not going to make lame excuses like “relaxation” or “resveratrol” or “palate cleansing” because I know there are non-toxic alternatives. I’ve given it up to set an example to myself and to my kids that Mama can get through life without alcohol, and that’s a point that I’ll be making regularly so they understand why I’m dry. Although I don’t have a dependency, I know that I’m taking all this pain that I feel for those innocent victims of alcoholics, and using it to be sure my own house is in order.

Please keep in mind that this blog is about my experience, and yours may be different. You may have an occasional glass of wine or beer, and it may not affect you. However, if you drink to unwind from the day, or to compensate for feeling bad, or you have more than one drink a day, you may have a dependency. Emotional drinking can creep into dysfunction really quickly, so if you find yourself pouring something to ease negative emotions, check yourself and see if there’s something non-toxic you could use instead of alcohol.

I’m going to end this blog in a different way because my intention is to communicate directly to those who still believe they need to hold onto their addictions, specifically to alcohol, and specifically while pregnant, to get through life. The links below contain resources to  help you understand what you’re doing and how you can get better. I’m here to support you in your journey, but the first step is acknowledging you have a problem.

Alcoholics Anonymous

National Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

This Mother Drank While Pregnant – This is Her Child at 43

Please stop drinking. If you can’t do it for yourself, do it for your children.





I Am Worthy

“Lord, I am not worthy to receive You, but only say the word, and I shall be healed.”

Does that sound familiar to you? If it does, you’re probably Catholic, and recognize that line as something we recite prior to receiving the Eucharist. I heard this line in my meditation today, and then I clearly heard a voice tell me, “Don’t believe the things you have said. You are worthy. Take this. Eat this. Drink this. It has been given up for you. You are forgiven. This is the covenant I have with you.”

When you tell yourself and a WHOLE congregation that you’re not worthy, how does it make you feel? Small? Sinful? Less than? Why in God’s name (pun intended) would we recite that we’re not worthy to receive something that the New Testament – humanity’s new covenant with God – tells us we already have?

If God loved the world so much that He gave His son to carry the burden of our sins, AND take them to the cross to be sacrificed for all the wrongs we have done, than why would He want us to confess that we’re not worthy?

Because he wouldn’t. Men have made us confess that. Not God.

How can we become pure of heart when we are sin conscious and constantly burdening our heart with the guilt and shame of our ignorance? How can we know that we are forgiven when we constantly confess that we’re not worthy unless God wants to forgive us. God has already forgiven us. The real hurdle is forgiving ourselves and those around us.

Christ Consciousness is a state of consciousness where your kundalini energy reaches the fourth chakra – the heart chakra. Many people who experience Christ Consciousness witness Christ appearing to them, and their heart begins the expansion process to move into the space of unconditional love for themselves and everything in creation – humans, animals, plants, and even a plastic baggie you use to wrap a sandwich. How can you experience Christ Consciousness and open your heart when you believe that you should be burdened with constant guilt and shame? Here’s a hint. You can’t. You can’t both be burdened with guilt and have a clear channel in your heart chakra. Guilt creates physical blockages to the microchannels in your physiology, and like a bad wi-fi signal, you don’t get to experience love in the fullest way.

Do you know what else clogs your heart chakra? Bad food (like cooked honey, animal products), polluted air, alcohol, drugs (even some herbal supplements and vitamins if taken incorrectly), toxic relationships, and lack of self love. These create physical and spiritual barriers in your heart. When someone’s angry at you, do you ever feel that contraction in your chest? When you think of something you’ve done wrong, do you feel that guilt in your heart? Sometimes, people experience asthma from emotional stress. Sometimes, in severe cases, it manifests as congestive heart failure or breast cancer. When you’re feeling emotional, where do you feel it? In your eyes? In your hands? No. You feel it in your chest – the seat of your heart chakra, and the home of your physical heart.

I remember when Christ Consciousness touched me. Jesus manifested before me directly out of the ether, and asked so very sweetly, “Will you follow me?” His love penetrated my being, took me to my knees, and although I felt so unworthy of His love, I just cried and whimpered back, “Yes, yes, I will follow you.” Then He was gone. I have completely oversimplified this experience trying to use the grossness of language to describe this amazing event, but it’s the best I can do. I will never forget that love. It’s something I strive for and practice every day.

Ever since that day, my heart has been expanding in a greater and greater way. My meditations bring me deeper into those little stresses from life and phrases that I was expected to recite at mass. I recited my unworthiness thousands of times over two decades of my life until I realized I was called to leave the church and follow a different path. I was led to follow my own spiritual path where I found all knowledge was within me.

…and I’m still a work in progress. I’m still undoing the failed parenting strategies and patriarchal and stifling society that tried turning me into someone who felt undeserving of love. Just the other day, I realized in a meditation that the anxiety that I experience each night before I sleep is related to hundreds of days sleeping alone in a dark, creepy basement. Once my adult brain was able to grab that memory, I was able to comfort myself into a space where I only felt complete love and protection. It took me 20 years to find this memory and work on healing that emotional wound, and each night since that meditation, I’ve felt more comfort and safety before I drift off to sleep. I’m sure this will only continue to grow as I mother myself to wellness in this area of my life.

I’ve been done with this whole “I’m not worthy” business for a long time, but today was the day I needed to write about it. Today is the day that I’m being called to share this with anyone who needs this in their life. I’m here to tell you that YOU ARE WORTHY. You always have been, and you always will be.

Lord, I am absolutely worthy to receive You, and through Your work, I am healed.

The Guru Girl