Vision

I was sitting in silence when I had a vision that I was standing on the edge of a cliff in a grand dark underground cavern.

With an expression of total peace and knowing, I step off the cliff and fall into the endless dark abyss below. As I descend, I feel all of the criticism, hate, uncertainty, and negativity I have faced and known pass through me, slowing my fall and purging my soul of the poisonous dark thoughts.

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I slow my speed to that of a falling feather, carefree and slowly I descend into the unknown depths of my subconscious with a sense of purity and adventure. Finally, I reach the bottom to find myself on the rocky shore of an underground river.

Though I am surrounded by darkness, I realize I can still see. I look around to realize there is a golden light coming form with in me, shining bright enough to light my way on this path of self-discovery.

Wow, the power of dual thought. I think the cement has broken off! Let my Golden Buddha shine.

I think it also interesting to note that I recognize this cliff. I have been here before 11 years ago when I decided to have my surgery. The only difference is, last time I took the leap of faith, but never made it all the way to the bottom. I instead faded way, lost in the abyss.

Strange that the bottom is up like the path to success lies with in, not with out. All my life I thought I was backwards. It turns out, backwards is really in.

 

 

 

 

 

Photo Credit: Power of Positivity

Illustration Credit: Kajean Secord-Bennett

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Week 17 -Epiphanies

I found myself shaking my head and saying, “Yes!” while on the call this last Sunday. A couple of points really stood out to me. One, what are you waiting for? I sit here as an observer to myself and my actions and ask myself that very thing when I fumble an opportunity or don’t act in accordance to my DMP. “What are you waiting for?” What am I so afraid of? Though the conscious me wants to change, I am still refusing the call at times. Why? What if I am afraid to succeed?

Sitting with that in my head a moment, it doesn’t feel right. I have succeeded before and I know I like it. I know that I desire to succeed again, in different areas. I’m not afraid of success. Maybe I’m afraid of falling out of success? If I don’t achieve it, then I can’t fall out of it. That makes sense in a subby kind of way, but I still don’t think that’s it. At this point I realize I’m listening to myself, not Mark on the call, so I tune back in and listen to him to talk about permission.

Wow. It hit me. All this time and I hadn’t given myself permission to do anything good for myself. I flashed back through my accomplishments and realize that I never really gave them as much value as they deserved. Why?

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It was because I did them and then I realize that everything I have ever done, I have internally criticized it as not being good enough. Where does that voice come from and why even after all of these years of mindfulness does it still happen? I never gave myself permission! I have never given myself permission to love myself, to see and utilize my full power and potential and most importantly, permission to be happy and content with myself. With out permission and acceptance that I am god’s greatest gift, all my efforts have been lacking just enough to see the vision of a better me… that’s just out of reach.

I did what he said and gave myself permission out loud like he said and it felt great. Now that I am aligned with the proper perspective, I have a whole new sense of enthusiasm about my journey and feel like I can aim toward the stars. I give myself permission to succeed, to be great, to be myself to unleash the power within and follow my DMP. I will keep giving it my all and know that I am building the habits needed to direct my subconscious to manifest my dreams and desires into reality.

Week 16 – Kindness Matters

You are lucky to get a double dose this week…

I have been so inspired since I have started taking this course. I am starting to feel empowered and confident like I did before my world was taken over by mini humans. I am focused and determined on coming to Kauai and completing a circle in my journey. This is no easy feat for a family of five on a single income. So to help fund the expenses and manifest this as a reality, I commissioned a calendar of my photographs and offered them for sale on my Facebook page to support my teachings and travels. I was beyond humbled to sell six right off the bat to family and friends. Then, a very popular mentor photographer of mine chimed in and donated some money also, but declined the product with the message to shoot for your dreams and continue learning along the way.

Wow, that hit me like a ton of bricks. First of all, I had no idea this rising star of a photographer even followed me, let alone to comment and give me money to keep educating myself in the arts. It blew my mind and brought me to tears. That woman will forever have me as a follower because of that gesture. She built a bridge to my heart and I would purchase any workshop she was hosting because she showed me how genuine, compassionate and passionate she is in that one simple gesture. It wasn’t a huge amount of money, but it was powerful and affected me on so many levels.

I now see that it’s those simple but powerful acts of kindness that bring us together, strengthen bonds and build bridges to both personal and professional abundance.

As instructed, I have been noticing kindness all around me and been more grateful for everything I have in life. What I have found was that once I focused on noticing the kindness, it seemed to be everywhere and even magnify or grow. Even the small gestures like holding doors for people would lift me up and put a smile on my face and often theirs too. I found that the affect of it lingered and it made me feel more connected with the people and world around me as I went about my day. It seemed that as I did more for others, they did more for me. Our whole family had one of the most connected and harmonious weeks ever.

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Week 16 – Bumps In The Road Are Just Part Of The Ride.

I awoke eager and excited for my appointment to meet with the Director of Public Works for my county. I had contacted him after hearing him on NPR Radio talking about waste and how they have pledged to reduce our dependency on landfills by 90% by 2030. Wow, that was quite a big goal for a local government run municipality. After months of sitting on the idea, I contacted him to set up an appointment and learn more.

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I was so proud of myself for following through and finally making that call. When I spoke with him on the phone, I had my calendar up and ready to enter in the appointment time and did when we sat a date. I paid special attention to this as I have a tendency to not do the details and forget important things. Not this time. I was ready.

Finally the day came. I opened up my calendar early that morning to double-check the time of my appointment and it wasn’t there. The calendar only had and untitled event with no details. What the heck?! I know I typed it all in while I was on the phone with him. Was there an error in the software? Was it my old blueprint trying to rear it’s head? It didn’t matter. I wasn’t going to let this stop me, so I called him up to confirm the time. 1:30pm was really standing out in my head. I left him a voicemail and waited for him to call back. He called me about 10:30am and I explained what happened. He said, “Well, we’re supposed to be meeting now.” Face palm.

I apologized, he understood and we rescheduled for the following week.

At first I was pretty upset with myself and started to get that old blueprint attitude again, but then I realized that I know I put the date in. The fact that it wasn’t there was out of my control and happened for a reason. And sure enough it would turn out that I had to take my daughter in for her allergy shot for that week and it was the last day with in our time frame to do it.

I also learned a valuable lesson of double checking/confirming your appointments the day before. I was happy that I was able to just roll with it and make it all work out in the end. I didn’t let it bother me or get me down and even was open to learning a few lessons along the way.

Week 15 – The Catalyst

I’m noticing a change. A simple change in how I perceive things and how I respond to those around me, but one that is already having a profound effect on me. I am more confident. I have a deep respect for myself and how far I have come. I truly believe that I am great and can do great things. I am able to catch a negative though and stop it, to change my perspective on my situation. Where as a year ago I was focusing on my set backs wallowing in my own self pity.

I am rejoiced to have finally finished my DMP. It feels great to have a vision, a path to follow. There were times I would open my email to find more revisions and simply close it and walk away. I would do every other task possible, while simultaneously scanning the depths of my inner being for answers. After about a week, I finally opened the email again and read the suggested direction. I re read my DMP and I realized it made more sense to me and fit better to rearrange a few sentences and add a couple more descriptions. Then suddenly it came together and clicked. Oh happy day!

I think it’s interesting the small change I did, was the missing link. This type of thing seems to be commonplace in my thinking. I’ve always been a little dyslexic or backwards in just about everything I do. I find that it goes beyond reading and writing. I’ve just always been a little different. I like to say I dance to the beat of my own drum.

Being backwards can be a state for all of us. Sometime we can be backwards in our thoughts and perspective and need to simply rearrange a few things to focus our thoughts appropriately to attain the outcome or mindset we want.

That is what the Master Keys have done for me; it has given me the tools to help me train and control my mind. To redirect when I get off coarse. I feel so much more at peace with myself and eager to achieve me Dharma. Mahalo!

Hawaii Bound

We arrived at the airport, which for someone of my size, was always cause for anxiety. I was no stranger to how a heavy person gets treated on a plane. Still, I was excited. The wedding was finally over and I was off to embark on the great adventure. This was what I was waiting for. I had already checked the tickets for roughly where it was on the plane and if one of us would be sitting next to another person. I wanted to have a plan to make it to my seat and sit down as quick as possible. I also wanted to be first, so I could chose the seat, which would be the window if possible. Then my husband would have to sit next to the other person. Once I sat down, I tried the seat belt. You may not know this, but fat and skin can sometimes be squeezed in a way that will allow you to buckle such things and hold position until the seat belt on light turns off. After trying every move I knew, I quickly realized that I was going to need a seat belt extender.

This is a sad and important milestone for a heavy person. It’s one of those instances where you can not turn a blind eye or try to convince yourself there is an explanation for it. No, it’s black, white and in your face. This wasn’t my first time down this road. I carefully assessed my next move and tried to ask the stewardess as discreetly as possible, but she looked at me with utter loathing and disgust and said in a very loud and annoyed voice, “Excuse me? Did you say you needed a seat belt extender?” I felt like I was being talked to like a disobedient child. I was humiliated, embarrassed and my husband said and did nothing. About a quarter of the way through a 6 hour flight, the lady in front of me put her seat back, which would push on my knees and make my legs tingly. I asked her at least 3 times to please put it up and she wouldn’t. I asked to stewardess to please ask her to do it as it was affecting my circulation or to find me another seat, but she wouldn’t and said their were none available. Funny, I looked around and spotted at least 5 empty seats on the plane.dscf0056_1

By the time we landed, my legs and feet were so swollen that I could hardly walk. My first day in paradise was not going to go as planned. We rested that day, instead of exploring like planned. A day behind, we finally made it out to Volcano National park. It was beautiful with lush rain forests, waterfalls, lava tubes and beautiful beaches. We even saw an extinct lake of lave with in an ancient volcano crater. It was amazing. I was inspired to hike down to the bottom where a trail led the way to the hardened lava lake. It was a long trail that zig zaged down the lush steep hillside of the extinct volcano. It took me over an hour to hike down to the bottom. Once at the bottom, we were met with large jagged pieces of hardened lava that jetted out at all angles from the cooling process and waves of molten lava on the other side. Once we climbed over those, we finally were able to walk on the smooth surface. In the distance, you could see the rim all around you as well as pillar of rock from active steam vents that reminded you of the unpredictable power of the earth. I was exhausted, but proud of my accomplishment, especially for someone of my weight. Then it was time to hike back up…

This is where I would be forced to face reality yet again. I was already tired from the hike down the mountain and out to the hardened lake of lava and totally unprepared for the hike back up. My feet had blisters; I was out of water and out of breath. My body was heavy with exhaustion and I had to stop several times and rest on the way back up. People would stop to ask if I was ok. I waved them off as if I just needed to rest more, but in truth, I was afraid I was going to have a heart attack or something and was on verge of calling in for help. But I didn’t. I would not, could not go down like that. It would make everything everyone has ever said about my weight true, and I wasn’t going to let them be right. I wasn’t going to let it have control of my life.hawaii2

After what seemed like several hours, I finally made it back up. My muscles were ready to collapse and I was physically unable to explore the rest of the park that day. Luckily we had already gone on a couple smaller hikes that allowed us to see a massive waterfall and lava tube, but I didn’t get to do or see so much that I wanted to. I was really disappointed. Deep down I knew that my weight limited me and for the first time I saw how much I was missing in life because of it.

These past memories are part of another blog I want to write called My So Called Bariatric Life, where I talk about my journey through self discovery and losing 210lbs.

https://mysocalledbariatriclife.wordpress.com/2017/01/05/hawaii-bound/

My Awakening – Part I

I originally forgot this story came first…

One cold but sunny morning I found myself working at the gas station I had worked at all through high school and college. I was working on my art project in between customers, when a woman walked in and b lined it for the candy bars. I took notice as she scoured the shelves, picking out a few and coming up to the counter. I rang them up and told her the price, while she ripped one open and took a ravenous bite before looking for some money. By this time, I was annoyed on a few different levels. First off, pay for your stuff before you eat it. Second, I don’t want to see you binge a candy bar right in front of me. I’m by no means tiny, but I’ve been on the Atkins diet and lost 74lbs. I was thinking to myself, “I’m not sure I can control myself much longer, I haven’t had sugar in months and can’t be held accountable for my actions if this stupid chick keeps eating that thing in front of me!”

After a couple of bites in, I could tell she had more for me and she proceeded to tell me she has had this wonderful surgery that only lets her eat small amounts of food and lose weight. She can eat what ever she wants. I congratulated her between gritted teeth and she was gone. She left as quickly as she came. For a moment, I had to ask myself did that really just happen? Who is this chick to take the easy way out?! She clearly hasn’t learned anything. Damn, I hated her.

Life went on… Days. Weeks. Months. I thought about the incident on occasion as I slowly packed back on the pounds I had lost. I loathed deep down that she would gain the weight back and I did. Little did I see that deep down, she represented a part of me that I hated. A part of me that had no control of that was trying to bury the past and pain into the pit of my stomach. I couldn’t make her go away. Even with diet and eating right, she was still there. I couldn’t see it at the time, but it was much more complicated that just eating right and exercise. I was missing love. Love for appreciation for this most precious gift of life and for myself. I knew something was wrong deep in my core, but I had no idea the hold it had over me. I went about my life, trying to be open and perceptive to the universe, looking for a sign, asking myself if I was happy and living the life I wanted to live.

The more I stepped back and observed, the more I saw my life and the people around me differently. I noticed how controlling, critical, and manipulative my mother was. How my grand parents always were trying to feed me. How my fiancé, was kind of a manipulative asshole. Sometimes I would acknowledge to myself that he didn’t make me feel good about myself, but soon as the thought would pop in my head, I would quickly dismiss or discredit it. That was too much. I had no one else; I didn’t want to be alone. So I told myself that it would be better after I graduated and after the wedding. I didn’t know how, but some how those two things were going to make it all better. I’d put too much in to turn back now; this was 10 years in the making.

That woman was a message, a mirror. Our Dharma calls to us. It sends is signs. We have to be wise enough to listen. I was not yet that wise…

These past memories are part of another blog I want to write called My So Called Bariatric Life, where I talk about my journey through self discovery and losing 210lbs.

https://mysocalledbariatriclife.wordpress.com/2017/01/05/hawaii-bound/

My Awakening Part II

Formerly Part I…

I remember it like it was yesterday. I was at my Doctor’s office for my yearly check up. Things were going great. I was 24 years old, about to graduate college and get married. The doctor came in and did her exam. As she finished up, she told me I was morbidly obese and asked if I had ever considered having bariatric surgery. She then talked about the RNY Bariatric surgery and how it would be a good choice for my condition. I was kind of stunned. I couldn’t believe that she said that. Morbidly obese? That’s an opinion! I thought to myself as she described the term.

I looked at the information and said, “you want me to get my stomach cut out?” “That’s a bit drastic don’t you think? I was hurt, offended and betrayed. Even worse, it was truth and I didn’t want to face reality. I mean sure, I just recently had gained the 74+ lbs I lost while on the Atkin’s diet, but I told her that I could lose the weight if I really wanted on my own and would get there someday.

It was when she said, “Kajean, you have to lose over 200lbs to be at a normal BMI. That’s going to take a drastic lifestyle change and still could take many years to come off… and with your family’s risk of breast cancer…” She went on to list all of the other conditions that are related to obesity and the benefits of losing all the weight. She seemed genuinely concerned for me though her words pierced me like a sword.

I always knew I was heavy or even fat, but when she said I had to lose 200lbs, it became staggering. I had no idea I had let myself get that big. She called me morbidly obese. I had never heard that term before. How could I not see what I was doing to myself? I was in denial. And at that moment I had to face the truth.

I didn’t want to face it. I had too much going on. I was going to graduate, get married, then it would all be better. That’s what was holding me together. There couldn’t be a bigger underlying problem. I was doing everything you were supposed to do in life to attain happiness. Why wasn’t I happy? What was wrong? I didn’t know it then, but I wasn’t following my Dharma and I wasn’t letting go of the past.

By this time in my life, I had already manifested myself into what I thought of myself. I was not even aware that I was planting nightshade. Our subconscious is powerful. You are what you think. This is why the mental diet and other work is so important. It helps change that deadly nightshade into a lush garden of plenty. It won’t happen overnight and you have to work at it. If you don’t tend to it often enough, the Nightshade slowly takes over again.