Tuesday, May 21, 2013

My "Stuck" Problem

It started as it often does - a vague nagging sense that something is missing, a growing sense of frustration, stuckness, and the self-judgement that usually follows. "Really Shelly? Are we here again?" And, I feel what I think is resistance to something, but I don't know what.

I hear my own words, those I ask my clients. "Are you thinking you're having the wrong experience? Could you allow yourself to just be where you are right now?" And my answer is, "Hell no. I'm stuck. Again. And I shouldn't be." So I pull out my tools and I do the best I can. And yes, I find myself trying to fix it. I meditate. I give myself some compassion, as best I can, but I still don't like it. Finally I pray and ask for help. And I watch and wait. Nothin'. Nothing happens.

And then . . . I express my feelings to my partner. Turns out he has some feelings too and next thing you know we have ourselves a relationship problem. So we go to work on it. We go back and forth. We mirror each others' feelings. We hear the unloved parts of ourselves and each other. We do our best to take responsibility for our respective feelings and for this co-creation we call a relationship.

I get my buttons pushed. You know, the big ones - the ones that make me look and feel like a raving lunatic, like I'm on the brink of being annihilated or abandoned. But, as the buried feelings come up and out, the relief comes too. For my heart has been blasted open. And in that moment I'm reminded, once again, that it was the closure that hurt. And that's why I felt stuck and unfulfilled.

Once my heart had cracked open I could hear, with compassion, the truth, and what this issue had been all about. A wounded part of me still questioned her value, felt unloved, and wanted my partner, or something in my life, to fix it.

Once I acknowledged this truth, I settled into sort of a compassionate awareness, and thought, "OK. I can handle this. Knowing this truth is enough for now." So I went through my day feeling a little lighter, like a fog had been lifted. And while running some errands, I heard a man singing, at the top of his lungs, from a bench, in front of TJ Maxx. I stopped and listened. I told him he sounded great. And with the passion of an evangelical minister, he approached me and told me his story. He said he spent most of his nights, sleeping on that bench and eating what he found in the trash cans. But, "I am blessed. The spirit has blessed me," he declared. He said his family had deserted him, that they had had enough. "But that's OK," he says, "because I am blessed. I am a living, breathing blessing. And so are you." He showed me the needle marks on his arms. He said sometimes people gave him clothes or food and he was blessed. Over and over he said, "I am blessed. The spirit has blessed me. I am a living blessing and so are you. We are blessed by a God that loves us all the same. Yes, we are truly blessed."

I felt a little silly after that - about my "fight" with my boyfriend and for my "stuck" problem. But, then I realized that it doesn't really matter whether it's a beloved partner, a homeless person, or news of a tornado ripping through a community that could be my own. The God that's in me uses whatever is here, right now, to answer my prayers. And, I realized, once again, that whatever I'm praying for, can always be found, in the love and compassion of my own broken-open heart.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Today's Church

I was thinking of you all today as I had "church" by myself. To use our friend Sonja's words, "The wind was the choir, the sunshine gave the sermon, and I tithed an apple."

Today the horses gave the sermon. One stood at the fence and pined for the greener grass on the other side. Another made herself happy, finding the best grass where she was.

I recognized in myself, that there is room for both - the one who dreams of what can be and the one who is content with what is. And as I sit with both, allow myself to hold and embody both, I feel a sort of delicious tension.

Within that tension is a knowing and a promise, that if I can simply be with it, breathe with it, its energy will fuel my decisions and inspire my steps. And that the Force of it, the stirred up, unknown, creative potential of it, will deliver me exactly to where I most want to go.

And I find myself smiling, in utter gratitude, to be part of such a dance.

Missed you all today and hope to see you soon.

Much love,


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Monday, February 4, 2013

Women's Gathering


The Kingdom of Heaven is Within You
Monthly Women's Gathering

Beginning Sunday, February 17th, 2013
at 11:30 a.m.
in Pickens County, SC

What it is: We will experience firsthand, in our bodies, the truth of who we are. We will know ourselves as love, as peace, as freedom. We will talk less and feel more, because this knowing is not of the intellect. Instead, it is a felt knowing - in our bones, in our bodies, and in our hearts.

What it is not: This is not therapy. Although, it may be very therapeutic.

What will happen: We will reconnect with those aspects of self we tend to ignore - our bodies and our emotions. As we reconnect with our bodies, they will tell us what we really feel. Once we know what we really feel, we can learn to open our hearts to ourselves and the truth of our emotional experience. It is through this process of opening to ourselves and to the feelings we tend to suppress, that we learn to open more deeply, and deeper still. And, it is through this depth of opening that we uncover that which has been there all along - the love and compassion and peace that we are.

How we will do this: Through very natural, practical, and easeful means, in a beautiful, peaceful setting.

Logistical Information: If you need directions, please contact me at 864/933-8000 or email me at shellyascoach@gmail.com. We will meet on my property in Pickens County. There are no restrooms, but there is a Port O'John on the premises. Please dress comfortably and in layers. Rain Dates: At times, we may need to cancel due to inclement weather or poor site conditions. Rain dates will typically be the following Sunday, the fourth Sunday of the month. Please subscribe to my mailing list by emailing me at shellyascoach@gmail.com and simply typing "subscribe" in the subject box. That way you will receive notice about cancellations or other news.

If you have any furthur questions, please do not hesisitate to contact me.

I hope to see you very soon,



Tuesday, January 1, 2013

My New Year's Wish For You

On this New Year's Day, may your every wish come true. May you be blessed with financial prosperity, radiant health, and loving relationships. May peace be your constant companion and may love be the guiding force of your life.

May you be filled with a knowing that no matter what happens, you are eternal, you are love, and that which is love never dies. May you know in your bones that every kindness, every act of compassion toward yourself, a feeling, or another, grounds you more deeply in who you are and reconnects you with the Source of infinite possibilities.

You are that which you seek. You already are that which you can imagine.

Dream big. You are the stuff from which whole worlds are born, from which light comes, from which radical transformation takes place in the blink of an eye.

Make your list. Check it twice. And make sure you're asking for enough for yourself.

Like my good friend's beloved grandmother once told her, "The very very best that you can imagine, is barely good enough for you," I am here to remind you that you deserve all that you wish for - and more.

So love yourself. Love your dreams. And know that I am here with you, cheering for you. But not just for the granting of your wishes, but for the inherent beauty of your wishing. For within your wishing, your asking, is a declaration of your own love and an acknowledgement of yourself as deserving creator.

And when you own your own particular dreams, those that are unique to you, you give the rest of us permission to do the same and you add a vital and precious piece to our collective dreaming.

So dream big. Don't be shy. And know that when you dream, you dream for us all.


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Friday, December 21, 2012

Your Light

In this season of the winter's solstice, may you find light amidst the darkness. May you be filled with a quiet knowing that, that which you fear, that which you resist, that which you see as dark about yourself or others, contains within it your path to illumination.

Darkness cannot thrive in the light of your compassionate awareness. It cannot fester when held in loving kindness.

There is nothing so dark in you that I have not acknowledged within myself. I've known terror. I've known rage. I have known self-hatred and pain so great that I just didn't want to be here anymore - in a body or on this planet.

And yet amidst all of that darkness there was light - ever present, always in me, waiting for me to learn how to access its transformative power to heal all that was and is not love.

In this season, may you birth forth the light that is in you, the light that is you. Regardless of your spiritual tradition, you can take a hint from the one that is said to have been born in a stable, amidst the animals, and animal poop, and all things earthy. 

Birthing the light that is in you doesn't usually happen under sanitary, already light-filled, smooth sailing conditions. It often happens when you're alone and in the dark and when it smells so bad that you're finally humbled enough to let go and ask for help.

And when you do, know that I am here, that I know who you are, and I know the way home.

I love you,


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Sunday, December 16, 2012

A Heart of Compassion

Whatever it is that you think is the problem, is really just a call for more love.

When you have a problem you try to figure it out, analyze it, and strategize your way into fixing it. In solving the problem you believe you can return to a place of peace and preproblem ok-ness. But what if the real peace and ok-ness you seek doesn't lie in the temporary solving of a problem or in the successful manipulation of outer events? What if the real peace and ok-ness you seek lies deep in the inner recesses of your own heart?

Your desire to solve a problem is driven by your need to feel better, to feel solid again, and like everything is back in its rightful place. But haven't you noticed that these good feelings are temporary and sooner or later there is a new problem or at least a new version of the old one?

Underneath the desire to conquer the problem lies the desire to quell the feelings that it stirs up - feelings like uncertainty, frustration, helplessness, and a lack of control. These are scary feelings. And, it's all too human to want to do something to fix them. But what if there was something you could do with the feelings that was deeper and longer lasting than just fixing the problem so the feelings would go away?  And what if feeling better wasn't dependent on whether you fixed the problem or not? What if you could use the problem and the resulting feelings as a way to take you closer to home - as a way to reconnect you with the peace and well-being that's who you really are?

The answer lies within your own heart and in the bottomless well of compassion that waits for you there. Unlike other feelings that come and go, compassion is hard-wired into your heart circuitry. It is a constant. It is always available to you and contains within it the capacity to transform all negative feelings

If you have the courage to confront the scary feelings that your problem evokes, then you are one step closer to real freedom. When you can allow yourself to simply be with yourself and acknowledge the truth of all of your feelings, you acknowledge your own humanness. You might notice some self-judgement. You might notice some resistance to the unpleasant feelings, but that's human too. Whatever you feel, whatever you notice, see if you'd be willing to extend to yourself and your feelings a little compassion. When you knock on the door of compassion it always opens, for compassion never goes away. It never vacillates. It's always there for the taking. It's who you are.

So celebrate your problems. Celebrate the feelings that come up. They are calling you, beckoning you. They say, "Love me. Listen to me. I want to go home."


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