hitting bottom: when the monster comes

I’ve been reading a book called The Antidote: Happiness for People Who Can’t Stand Positive Thinking, by Oliver Burkeman. It’s fascinating, especially for people like me, long-steeped in the The Secret brand of optimism so pervasive in the metaphysical world.

First, to be clear, positive thinking is great! I love a good affirmation as much as the next person. This life can be a joy and I pretty much live there most of the time these days. But then there are the other days where, from our human perspective, awful things happen, where sorrow blows up out of nowhere, or the sucker punch of grief lays us low.

Here’s Burkeman:

At the root of all suffering, says the second of the four ‘noble truths’ that define Buddhism, is attachment. The fact that we desire some things, and dislike or hate others, is what motivates virtually every human activity. Rather than merely enjoying pleasurable things during the moments in which they occur, and experiencing the unpleasantness of painful things, we develop the habits of clinging and aversion: we grasp at what we like, trying to hold on to it forever, and push away what we don’t like, trying to avoid it at all costs. Both constitute attachment. Pain is inevitable, from this perspective, but suffering is an optional extra, resulting from our attachments, which represent our attempt to try to deny the unavoidable truth that everything is impermanent. …

Non-attachment need not mean withdrawing from life, or suppressing natural impulses, or engaging in punishing self-denial. It simply means approaching the whole of life ~ the inner thoughts and emotions, outer events and circumstances ~ without clinging or aversion. To live non-attachedly is to feel impulses, think thoughts, and experience life without becoming hooked by mental narratives about how things ‘should’ be, or should never be, or should remain forever. …

“Without aversion … non-attachedly.” Do I really want that? To live in some always-centered state where I’m unaffected by anything? Would that be numbing? dull? Possibly. Coming out of one of life’s periods of chaos, it could have an appeal. A lot of days, though, that doesn’t even sound like living. 

But wait! He suggests “to live non-attachedly is to feel impulses, think thoughts, and experience life,” the whole of life, only without being hooked by shoulds, nevers, or always.

Good stuff there, I think. In my view (which I wrote about here), we come here for the wheeee! of it, for the hard stuff that our human selves mostly hate, but our souls find divine. We had perfection before we came down the chute. We didn’t come here to live perfect lives. We are always already That/THIS/The All of It. We wanted the human adventure in all of its mud and glory.

So what does this mean, this non-attached living? Meditation is supposed to lead us to peace and happiness, some mystical place of neutrality, but again, why even do earth life again if we’re not going to embrace the human experience, which includes wanting things, attaching to things, and so much more? Doing human is troublesome. We have to develop a script, a persona, stitch together a costume, and an ego to go with it. That ego insures that I will want things. It’s in the rule-set.

Personally, I want a lot. Good friends, family, knowledge, experiences, travel, music, enough money to be safe, tasty food, wild places, meaningful work, excellent coffee, dogs and cats and other critters, and so much more. Even waking up, a spiritual delight, was on my list of wants from before I knew what to call it, that nagging sense there had to be (had. to. be.) something more.

I’m living a human life. I attach and cling. I especially attach to the wish to have none of the rough stuff, though fat lot of good that’s done.

Burkeman goes on to talk about attachment and clinging and how even the most subtle spiritual practices can be that, as in “I want more peace,” so let me meditate for another 15 minutes. “I want to be happy,” so let me tap tap tap on my forehead and hands. “I’m scared and worried,” but a mantra will fix that. To be clear, I am not at all downplaying these wonderful practices. I love all of these useful tools ~ and a lot more. I use them and they work to realign with the truth of who we are.

But maybe the point is to learn how to not attach, how to not clench onto or against anything and, especially (I say, attaching to the avoidance part of this), how not to flee the things we don’t like. What if we were to settle in to non-peace, to non-happiness and allow it to swirl around and through us? What if, absent my resistance, those unwanted states then just flow on?

My I-don’t-want-this is an attachment and a clinging, and in the clenching that comes when I reject what is, there is a binding up and stopping of the flow. I get stuck in what my most beloved spiritual teacher, Suzanne Giesemann, calls “an eddy.” The eddies in the flow of life can be temporary swirling diversions, or they can become violent, sucking whirlpools that keep us trapped. What if we were to just boldly swim into the eddy, drift in those circling waters, experience it, and flow on? Is that even possible? (Was that so bad?)

Burkeman suggests this, quoting a zen Buddhist and psychiatrist, Barry Magid:

“… the quintessential point, Magrid told me, is that if you flee it, it’ll come back to bite you. The very thing from which you’re in flight ~ well, it’s the fleeing that brings on the problem. For Freud, our whole psychology is organised around this avoidance. The unconscious is the repository of everything that we’re avoiding.”

“The founding myth of Buddhism is practically a mirror-image of all this. The Buddha becomes psychologically free ~ enlightened ~ by confronting negativity, suffering and impermanence, rather than struggling to avoid it. … Buddhism’s path to serenity began with a confrontation with the negative.”

This is a whack on the noggin of a culture where a relentless focus on the positive is proposed as a solution to everything from cancer to a stubbed toe. And yes, there is a balance to shoot for here. As I said, I love positive thinking. It feels great. I adore counting my blessings, because gratitude feels so delicious and making a daily list of ten good things (about my younger, wretched, miserable self) changed my life, a slow motion STE over a decade or so of relentless writing. I relish the surge of heart-opening love that happens when I think of dear friends, family, and pets. I suspect it’s pretty close to heaven.

Is it possible to want and enjoy those things to the exclusion of the other stuff?? “I will allow only sweetness and light and nothing else will touch me.” Can you hear the clinging in that? The resistance to anything not sweet, not light? And it’s human time down here. Promise, something’s going to touch me. All of us.

But what if the objectively horrible, by human standards, not-sweet, not-light thing is really, truly here? A monster has arrived and it’s sitting over there across the room in a chair comfortable enough to sink in to. It’s slowly stirring a cup of tea, calm and quiet and settled, clearly planning to stay for a while. On the face of it, the objectively horrible thing, I see serious illness, death, disaster of every kind. It’s got a tote bag and it’s chock full of worry. “Will this work out? When will I know? Can I survive this? Will he live, my love?” What-ifs of every kind reside there, along with all of life’s great sorrows. But. It. Is. Here.

Can I ignore it? Maybe. Perhaps with a certain strength of mind, with extensive training, I can simply ignore it and go on with my life unaffected.

But I am not particularly strong, trained, or able to ignore things. My human story includes this particular brain through which I view the world (and it’s a little on the OCD side, so take all of this with a grain of salt, you left-brained cognitive disciplinarians). What has worked for me, and the reason why I so resonated with the Burkeman book, is to look at the monster.

It’s already here.

Surprise! It’s always here, just not always in our conscious awareness. It’s human life. All possibilities are flowing in and through us at all times and, dummies that we are, we really did come here for all of this.

So why not look at it, the bad thing, the wretched possibilities, the worst that could happen? I will never forget the tremendous sense of relief my friend Brenda felt and expressed when, about ten days before she died, she admitted that her physical healing from cancer was not to be. “Can we stop pretending I’m not terminal?”

Yes, yes, please. It was such a relief to give in to what we knew was true. And yes, there was stunning transformation and deep childhood wound resolution in a healing she’d experienced two weeks before, but she was still going to leave this human life. In saying “I’m terminal,” she could take a deep breath, admit the truth, and enjoy her last love-filled days, free of the tension of denial. Knowing ~ or fearing the onset of ~ dreadful things but not being able to say them out loud can be a very lonely place to live.

At the lake where I spent most of my childhood summers, there was a swimming hole which was mostly sandy bottom. At the deep end, though, where we couldn’t touch down, it was typical lake mud: layers of rotted moss and dead, decaying things. I was terrified of hitting bottom there. But that little lake, 99 Springs, was heaven and none of us could stay out of the water.

As a hello to the lake for the summer, I would run as fast as I could down the swimming hole dock and fling myself off of the diving board feet first. Then I’d panic and frantically kick-kick-kick to the surface because the fear of the nasty, muddy, child-sucking ickiness on the bottom of the lake was overwhelming. I was sure if I touched it, I’d be sucked down and down and down. For years I was able to avoid that bottom because of my size and height. And then one day, a bigger me couldn’t kick hard enough and there it was.

The mud slithered between my toes. The water immediately clouded. But wonder of wonders, ankle deep in the surface yuck, my feet found a hard bottom. Under that surface nastiness was something solid. It didn’t clutch my ankles and suck me into the center of the earth. It was gross and slimy, but it wasn’t anything like the horror I’d imagined.

Burkeman — and the Buddha — say look at the awful stuff, therein lies freedom. And my toes agree that, at least in a spring-fed lake in southwestern Kansas, what lies beneath isn’t nearly as bad as my uninformed thoughts about it. What if I’d touched that disgusting stuff with my five year old toes instead of my ten year old ones? Nothing would have changed, the bottom was the bottom. It was there all along.

Oh, but I’d have missed out on five years of anxiety and fear. I’d still jump off the board and swim fast to the top, but not in panic. Just with a preference to not touch the mud.

The horrors in our imaginations are often much worse than reality. I’ve learned this over and over. There was a time when my husband’s death seemed the most terrible thing possible. When he became ill, I affirmed his health, bargained, ranted and raved at God, and tried everything to make it not true, even pretending it wasn’t with mantras and affirmations. And then another prospect arose of an emaciated Mike confined to a nursing home, unable to communicate, bedfast. His last breath freed him from what would have been a hell for that beautiful, vibrant man. Death — the worst thing — became a gift.

There’s a big difference there: the denial of terrible things (for me) glosses over a simmering panic and fear. I had it throughout most of Mike’s illness. Looking at the ugly that’s here can release the clench of aversion and allow all of that simmering possibility to just flow on. I’m left with a fully informed preference. “I’d rather have another outcome, but that awful thing is definitely possible.” There’s peace in that.

When my friend Raven* and I drove to San Diego for death doula training, she’d just been diagnosed with a severe, life-threatening illness. Metaphysical / spiritual people almost universally suggest embarking upon a program of affirming health, positive-outcoming the diagnosis, looking for the sunny side, silver-lining it. (That’s after they look down their noses at you because surely you brought this on yourself. “Haven’t you heard of Louise Hay?”)**

Instead, we spent a week talking about dying and how it feels to face death sooner than expected and with more immediate certainty. We admitted that even knowing life is eternal, the thought of dying could be scary when it becomes a real and present possibility. We listened to every podcast by Kate Bowler, author of Everything Happens for a Reason and Other Lies I Have Loved. Kate was living a charmed life when she was diagnosed with Stage IV colon cancer at the age of 34.

“The prospect of her own mortality forces Kate to realize that she has been tacitly subscribing to the prosperity gospel, living with the conviction that she can control the shape of her life with “a surge of determination.” Even as this type of Christianity celebrates the American can-do spirit, it implies that if you “can’t do” and succumb to illness or misfortune, you are a failure. Kate is very sick, and no amount of positive thinking will shrink her tumors.”

So we talked about the ugliness, about death in all of its potentialities. The monster took up residence in the back seat as we drove to California. It was heartbreaking and hard and honest, and truly, being sick to #%@!@#$% death of losing people, I was feeling nearly as over and done with this life as my friend. “Let’s just go. It’s too damn hard, this human thing.” We both felt so intensely through with this life.***

But there was also something freeing in refreshing the monster’s cup of tea and settling in with it, in touching the sucking, slimy, nastiness of what had shown up and sinking down into it. Just being able to say the truth out loud was a a relief, and it allowed the fear and sorrow to expand and thin, to dissipate and blend back into the flow again as just one part of the All.

Fear stopped being the whole thing as when panic surfaces, and it was no longer the never thing, as when we fight to keep the ugly at bay. It was just life. In that is everything. All things. Embracing the whole is liberating. It’s so hard to remember that our souls count all of this life as joy, even the mess of it.

And once I know what I’m dealing with, the monster loses its power. I may not want what the monster brings, but I know its parameters. It’s not sneaking up on me. What’s the worst that can happen? Whatever the answer, there’s freedom in it. Now I can use all of my tools to come back into alignment with the never-changing nature of my soul. Now I can look for the good, holding a happier outcome in mind, tap out that tension and more.

Talk of death in our oh so positive world is verboten. Death itself is one of our greatest (probably the greatest) fears. It certainly was mine. Speak openly of this absolute, and people will sidle away, searching for some happy talk to smooth over the top of the truth that we are all going to clear out of here, some sooner, some later, but ~ in other ugly news from the monster in the back seat ~ we have no idea when.

It helps in this to be one of the lucky ones who knows that we don’t die, that this human life isn’t all there is. Being able to view this life with the eyes of my soul or Lynette’s makes all the difference. We’ve “gone off on a little journey” of experiences but all roads lead Home again.

Embracing the mess, the ugly, frees me to move on. Trying to put icing on a dirt cupcake doesn’t help me. It’s still a dirt cupcake. There’s a time and a place for focusing on the positive, but that can only come after I really know what I’m dealing with in all of its potential outcomes.

This is a reallllly long post and if you’ve read this far, thank you. I’d love to hear your thoughts too, so tell me how it strikes you and whether or not you’ve found a way to ignore the heavy-breathing monster back there. I’m all ears and wide open to evolution. It’s what we’re here for, yes?

*You can hear the beautiful healer, Raven Valencia, on Suzanne Giesemann’s Messages of Hope radio show here.

**Not knocking Louise. She was a great teacher. Good stuff there.

***Raven is alive and well, remarkably so. She’s vibrant and shining, a treasure to those who love her.

Post magic: as I was rethinking whether or not to actually hit publish or to consign this to draft mode forever, I came across this sweet thing. Never forget we are purely made of love and that never changes, no matter the monsters of human life.

43 thoughts on “hitting bottom: when the monster comes

  1. Dear Lynette, thank you for this oh so refreshing exploration of attachment, non attachment and how it’s been
    So distorted in our understanding. As a teacher said recently to me, take everything on the path. Because it IS all on the path. As a grieving person, a certain kind of positivity is toxic, not helpful. I KNOW I’ve been blessed, I also know that these monsters, are often terrible portals, agony and all. And, to me, are meant to be faced. Eddys, yes, but they also spit us back out again. So thank you for this knock on the noggin and your courage in pushing publish.


    1. Dear Nora, YES, it is ALL the path. I find that incredibly comforting. It’s true that we won’t miss out on the difficulties in life (but I am convinced that’s what we came here for). But neither will we ever be lost, adrift, cast out, abandoned. It is ALL the path. Every bit. There’s nowhere to be or to experience but this, here, now, aware, awareness being (as Suzanne says). Thank you for your very thoughtful comment.


  2. Lynette, Your post is one of the most beautiful and profound pieces of spiritual literature I have ever read. Monsters drinking tea and dirt cupcakes, indeed! Thank you for making this treatise public and not keeping it to yourself. You are beautiful! And Brenda is so proud of you!


  3. Oh my gosh! I loved this. First thing I read this morning. It touched my soul and brought tears to my eyes. Thank you for this. The cartoon said it all!


  4. I read to the bottom and loved every word. Thank you for taking the time to write and share with us. It was a good and relevant lesson for starting my day.


  5. O Lynette, a thousand times THIS. Thank you for articulating this so beautifully. I call it toxic positivity. That insistence that if you just affirm it enough it will be so and if it’s not so then YOU must be doing it wrong. Along my path I have survived and thrived because I’ve been willing to embrace the monster. The monster is me and that part of me is most deserving of Love. 🙏🏼🤍🦋


    1. I thought of writing a post today, just 100 repetitions of “I am not damaged. I am not broken. I am already whole,” and asking people to just look in the mirror and read it. It’s me, it’s you, it’s we, it’s us. The One of us and all deserving of love. Thank you, my soul sister. xoxo


  6. Thank you. Said so eloquently and in terms I can understand. Sometimes I do think I’m in denial and just trying to sugarcoat. And when I FEEL, I think I’m feeling sorry for myself, or need to be more spiritually enlightened. I am already enlightened, born with it. And I love that I can feel, flow with it, and come out the other side. This IS freeing.


    1. Hi Molly, denial is a protective mechanism for our brains / psyches / us. It’s not a conscious choice either. It comes. What I”m hoping people will listen to is the little bit of tension that comes when we *intentionally* try to pretend something we know to be true isn’t. That’s putting frosting on a dirt cupcake. Feeling is what we came here for, honey. There’s no feeling sorry for ourselves in that. YES, we are ALREADY everything we think we’re missing here, that we run around chasing, trying to study / buy / acquire what we need to make us better.

      But we are already that. It’s EXCAVATION ~ uncovering all of the BS we tell ourselves about who we are so that we can see the truth again. It’s not ACQUISITION. We’re already enlightened, born with it~ just as you said. Yes. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I bow to you Lynette – to find the words to explain the paradox and also to put positivity in its proper perspective. This has been eye-popping! I don’t think I’ll ever view the monster in the same way again when it comes a-calling because I’ll understand a little more its purpose in being. Thank you and huge hugs xx


    1. Catherine, thank you for reading and for this lovely comment. It’s so hard for us from our human view not to judge the monster, to scream and run from the room. But it’s just what it is and eyeball to eyeball, not as scary as when we’re screeching and running away.

      Did you ever watch horror movies? The ones where there’s something in the house, but where, and what is it? The tension leading up to seeing the thing is worse than when the actual encounter takes place. To me, it’s unbearable not to know what’s hiding in the basement. I’d rather the monster sit down by the fire with that cup of tea and let me get accustomed to it. Great big hugs back. Together, I think we can all muddle through this life and maybe figure it out in the process. xo


  8. Thank you, Lynette! Thank you for shining your light and sharing your gift as a wonderful story-teller. Thank you for being the courageous soul who hit “publish” when doubt was nudging your psyche. Thank you for the stark and gentle reminder of why we chose this path. Thank you for reminding us all of the opportunities, experiences and camaraderie available in the flow, just on the other side of doubt and fear. #Grateful


    1. And thank YOU for this beautiful comment, Tim, and for reading this monstrous (lol) thing. It was a lot. It means much to me that anyone would take the time to read let alone leave a note like yours. Thank you.


    2. This is a great essay and one I’m sharing with many people. Not only do I appreciate the content but I appreciate your metaphors and examples, your conversational diction that make it so engaging and readable. I frequently ask myself why I am not experiencing the Satori that is promised if I only believe a little harder, a little better, more totally. One of my favorite lines was Brenda saying “can we stop pretending I’m not terminal?” We are a terminal and I guess the way we “Be” in it is how we will gauge how the trip felt. Loved this article as well as the cartoon at the end. I’d add one more panel though. After everybody’s over for dinner, “back down the chute” or maybe “now climb up and try this new SuperSlide!”


  9. Thank you, Lynette! Thank you for shining your light and sharing your gift as a wonderful story-teller. Thank you for being the courageous soul who hit “publish” when doubt was nudging your psyche. Thank you for the stark and gentle reminder of why we chose this path. Thank you for reminding us all of the opportunities, experiences and camaraderie available in the flow, just on the other side of doubt and fear. #Grateful


  10. Dear Lynette: I now feel braver about that Monster. Knowing that you see him and are able to tolerate him makes me want to be brave too. After reading your post, so many things click… like puzzle pieces falling into place.

    I’ve heard about surrender and I feel like that’s the place where we can shed the attachments and launch off into the flow. Eddies may not be avoidable, but we can always enjoy the water after briefly feeling the icky mud squelching between our toes!

    Thank you for publishing this… you have such a gift!!


    1. As Raven said above, we are the Monster and the Monster is us. Can’t be any other way, all of this EVERYthing we see being constructed of the only fabric there is, THIS, the energy of the Universe. I need to figure out why that is so deeply comforting to me. I think it’s because I lived in fear of hell for so long and there being only One Love here is absolute safety. No casting out, nowhere to go. Just here, now, always. Thank you for reading. It means a lot to me.


  11. I look forward to your posts very much Lynette, and this one is no exception.
    Really accepting the wholeness of life: it’s misery, it’s joy and everything in between makes so much sense to me, and is the source of the greatest Peace. There is so much (mostly unconscious) cruelty in the idea that if we just think the right thoughts there will be no pain, disease or death (or taxes 🤣). It isolates people often when they need Love the most and is based squarely in fear. Loved your thoughts and thanks for the suggestions, can’t wait to listen to Raven’s interview with Suzanne. Glad you didn’t keep them to yourself. 💛💚


    1. You nailed it. It isolates us when we need love the most. How lonesome to think that we are damaged, that we caused every bit of our own suffering, that we don’t measure up to the people around us, so many of whom (at least on the outside) do not appear to be suffering at all. Life is just the ALL of it. Every bit of it. To accept that brings such peace for me, and in that peace is more of the joy that I prefer.

      I prefer no mud, but if my feet sink down into it, I know there’s a bottom to it and I can do it mostly without fear. That’s a relief in itself. Thanks for your insights. Just ordered the book you mentioned below.


  12. I remember finding the work of Tsultrim Allione, female Buddhist teacher, and her book Feeding your Demons, which is about exactly this. It has some great practices for engaging with the kinds of attachment that amplify the avoidable suffering that you described so perfect in your story about fearing the mud monster.


  13. Lynette, how to express the depth, clarity and truth you have shared with this piece. Tears running down my face, my heart overflowing with ‘the knowing of this truth’. So eloquent! I will share this with my children to help them face the future with knowledge not fear…..what a beautiful gift you have shared with so many. I don’t know you but I feel such love and gratefulness to you.
    Thank you from my heart to yours!


  14. Hi Lynette
    Thank you for sharing. As tears stream down my face. Many similar feelings and thoughts. As I continue to grieve the loss of my love… my relationship to positivity and healing and efforting is floating all around me without any desire to grasp onto any of it for long.
    My husband and i were having a romantic weekend away celebrating his birthday and his 50 years of practicing Buddhism when he first felt gut punching pain that revealed itself as his ticket outta here only 5 months later. Lots of questions about spiritual practice, purpose and “wtfs” were had. And of course many attempts on my part to slap the icing on that “dirt cupcake”. Thank you for sharing your experience and I hope we have that opportunity for shared time.
    P.s. per this weeks mentoring it seems that flame we see is our husband’s soul.


  15. I find buddhism — all forms of buddhism — to ultimately be an unredemptive form of stoicism. At best, it is a psychologically astute way of observing the mind. I know about satori. Have experienced it. That’s special. It can happen. Meditation is powerful. But buddhism in its fundamental premises amounts to mere stoicism, or highly intellectual, abstract and agnostic philosophizing (“no beings exist, but we have to save them”) or a western pursuit of a phony eastern simplicity that harkens to our ancient agrarian, communal past. You don’t need a western buddhist “lama” or “zen master” (I have met many of these highly intellectual mystical types) to dress up essentially Judaic and psychotherapy principles into eastern mysticism to know that it’s helpful to accept difficulties as they are, or to learn how to enjoy “just washing the dishes” etc.


    1. Hi Mike, I think I’m a much less shining intellectual light because all of that “highly intellectual, abstract and agnostic philosophizing” just makes me yawn. I do think buddhism is a step up from the kind of restrictive and terrifying christianity I was brought up with, but when I figured out that karma and reincarnation and working our way off the wheel was just a lesser version of christianity’s sin and punishment, I kind of gave it up. Plus all the hair splitting. But we’ve all got our paths, yes? All leading to the same mountaintop and Home. Thanks for reading.


  16. Great post, Lynette!  I agree with every word.  I get pretty tired of the gurus who teach that a positive attitude means you don’t have to suffer.  It makes one feel inferior when unavoidable suffering comes, and it makes it harder to understand, accept and endure suffering when it cannot be avoided.  We can play God and pretend we control our own destinies, but like Suzanne teaches, there is a realm in which we exercise our agency, and there are whole realms that we cannot control.  It is meant to be that way.  Maybe we chose all of these trials before we were born, maybe many of them were the rules of the game that we accepted before we were decided to come, and maybe many are the fruits of agency misused by ourselves or others.  We can repent of our mistakes, but we cannot always escape their outcomes entirely.  I think you propose the only approach/solution to human suffering that actually works.  Great thoughts! Best Regards, Lori Parkinson (Second June W-holy You Retreat at Unity Village)


    1. Lori! How nice to hear from you. I’m with you on that positive attitude thing. The implication then if you buy into the teaching is that any suffering that befalls us is our fault. We failed. You just didn’t try hard enough ~ again, failure. It’s ridiculous and very, very hurtful. I’ve heard from so many people since posting this who’ve told me how wounded they were when someone suggested their loved one died because of x, y or z ~ all of which were personal failings. I think the wish to blame people for what befalls them (not that it isn’t our fault at times) arises from fear. If I can figure out what that person got cancer, died young, was raped, etc. etc. etc. then I can be safe because *I* would never do those things. I’m just glad to know. It seems you do too. Yay. Hugs.


  17. Dear Lynette , thank you so much for these words, for the wonderful way that allows our human soul to put letters out of the alphabet together in a way that you stop breathing and live truly in the moment. I read this and will have to read it again and again, to remember and let go, to be surprised and prepared, to fail and to win and to cry. Tears of love for the ones that are gone and tears of happiness for the others that are still around and are able to touch me the way you and Suzanne can. Very glad we met in this existence and always ready to have a cup of tea with the beautiful monster called life.


  18. You’ve been able to articulate the sense of calm I achieved after last night’s mentoring session. I realized I could observe all the current negativity in our country, without getting so caught up in anger & frustration. I reminded myself that all is well and we are “one.” Attaching is human; awareness is freeing.


    1. Isn’t that the best thing? Where coming to know the truth about who we are really creates freedom and peace. I love it. And yep, I slip back and sometimes rant and rave, but now that I know the truth, I can’t un-know it, so knowing sits there like a safe harbor I can always return to. Isn’t that interesting. 🙂


  19. This is wonderful Lynette. I do think that we have the ability to create some of our reality by our choices as well as by our thoughts….but I also believe that we chose to have certain experiences before we came here for our soul’s growth. Some of us (me included) chose some pretty challenging experiences to have here on earth. I often wonder what I was thinking! Why did I sign up for this? lol. But I can see where my challenges have propelled me on my spiritual journey. It’s really refreshing to read what you have written because no we are NOT failures for having challenging experiences. I like to think it’s the opposite…we’re the warriors! I think it’s a combination of what we chose before we came, and what we choose while we’re here. Thank you once again for your beautiful writing.


    1. Hi Victoria, yes! I think we can create any reality. At the big whoppin’ One-Of-Us level, we created ALL of this. And I’m with you. I think the ancient, crusty old souls are the ones who push repeat and have the wildest rides. Who would send a toddler into a knife fight? No one … instead, it’s the scarred, battle-tested warriors who take on the tough stuff. That’s the opposite of what we’re told. When our souls, silly things, think it’s ALL fun, they’re not judging hard life v easy path. They’re looking for the excitement, the interesting twists and turns, the tough stuff. We are the warriors. You said it. And thank you for reading, dear one.


  20. Dear Lynette. Thank you for hitting “publish”. I recently stuck my own neck out (I offered practice readings on Suzanne’s Facebook page) and it was the scariest yet most liberating thing I’ve done in years!. I actually let my toes touch the mud and SURPRISE it didn’t suck me down!! I didn’t always knock it out of the park (some readings were a total bust!!), but I found I was only met with compassion and grace. And even if the worst happened and I was met with criticism I know I can reach love and compassion myself for myself. I have spent years writing in my gratitude journal and it is a beautiful reminder of why I am here but I also feel writing my innermost dark and scariest thoughts or ideas about myself also a beautiful reminder of why I am here. A few years ago, I hit a moment when I was so sick and tired of these self hatred and self loathing thoughts that would arise out of seemingly nowhere and stop me in my tracks…it was paralyzing! So that day I faced my fear and sat and wrote down all those “negative” thoughts (fearing of course if I write it it makes it true!!) well…nothing could be farther from the truth. The more I wrote those words that would make you want to cringe, hurl, curl up and die the more I felt the untruths of it all. And surprise surprise when you start writing what you think you hate about yourself more seems to bubble up But I didn’t stop! I let myself GO THERE! When I felt there was nothing more I could possibly say I reflected on it all and instead of descending into more self hatred I felt a massive wave of grief, then compassion and ultimately love!! Unconditional love!!! Next… time to properly close this “ritual” so I decided to take these pages to my paper shredder. As I was watching the little teeth gnawing and shredding these lies to bits …I hit a RAGE that I didn’t see coming! I screamed!!! I realized in that moment how I meticulously built a life of false evidence based on this f#%#%@%$ BS that was a projection of everything I ever thought I was or what anyone else ever thought I was!! What at a pile of poo and a colossal waste of my time and my life! MY life!! I gave up dreams because I thought I wasn’t worthy of it…I even stopped dreaming altogether!!! This “monster” was steering my life!! When I finally felt done …spent..wrung out….an unexpected series of miracles happened! All validating I had done the work and I can start anew!! While I was watching these “hate” pages being torn to shreds, my cell phone pinged and my husband sent me a video of a 50 year old house being torn down by an excavator …you know the ones with teeth! The message was not lost on me!! I tore down my own foundation of BS in minutes!! Well Hallelujah I thought this deserved a treat so I left my building to get a latte only to reach the curb when an entire apartment building was being torn down infront of me!! A building that had been in my neighbourhood for over a decade was being levelled to the ground! Thank you Universe once again!! A realized what self love actually is …it was seeing what I didn’t hold in love!! A “lightworker” or “Earth Angel” or “Saint” is not one who has never experienced the dark its a being that illuminates their dark. Thank you for inspiring my telling of my monster and how LIFE really does love us in the light and the dark. (I didn’t expect all this to emerge!! I think I needed to remember!!)


  21. Jeeze, Safena, I enjoyed your reply as much as this blog post! Thank you for sharing your wonderful experience and evolution.


  22. Thank you for this most beautiful and deeply reflective post Lynette. I just discovered that you have a blog via Suzanne’s Nov2022 Monthly Mentoring. So much resonated with me here AND with the sharing I listened to last night. The roller coaster and the squirrel cages we are at times presented with, here in then”earth-school”, can seem overwhelming. I seem to be in the squirrel cage at the moment so your words (even though posted over a year ago)…are “perfectly on time”. Although very much a work in progress I invite you to take a peek at my website and blog.
    Kind regards,


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