Skip to content

Three

Thankfully my early years were peaceful and trauma free. I consider this my saving grace considering the future that was ahead. Sure, there were undercurrents of tension between my Mom and Dad but they both played their roles perfectly. My Dad was passive and my Mom was always in control. Partially due to the power and control dynamics in our home, my Mom was the primary caregiver. I became much more bonded with her. And then there was just the natural pull towards my Mom. She was warm, nurturing, spontaneous, creative and fun. Children gravitated towards her. There were many times I became jealous because Mom was so good with other kids, and they liked her too. I was also always with her. Even when she worked, I often got to join her. For a while she worked at a preschool which I attended with her. And when I was school age, she worked as a summer camp counselor for a few years. I was fully a Mommy’s girl. We were bonded like a Mother and Daughter hope to be. I loved my Dad, too but he was more of a mystery to me.  It wasn’t until the divorce that Dad and I forged a stronger bond than we had ever shared before.


Mom’s employment had become more and more sparse. It seemed she couldn’t keep jobs for long. She went back to school for a semester or two, but didn’t stick with it. She also tried opening up a gift shop at Flower Power. She had creative ideas, but lacked the business sense and ability to ground her ideas into reality.

Dad had become more and more resentful of her inability to keep a job, as well as not keep up with normal responsibilities in the home. My Dad was by no means traditional, but since Mom was not working he expected her to do her part with keeping the house tidy. We didn’t have a dishwasher and Mom would keep dishes at the sink for weeks. Dad would try to help, but she insisted that she was going to get around to it. The lack of tidiness became less of a nuisance and more of a concern. It became obvious that there was much more going on than simply Mom not wanting to clean.

Dad would stuff his feelings until he couldn’t take it anymore and then blow up. I don’t remember them fighting while married, but I do remember the fight that changed our lives forever…

It was the summer between third and fourth grade. I was eight years old. We had just arrived home from a trip to Gulf Shores, Alabama. My Mom was obsessed with trips to the beach, so we usually went a couple times a year. These trips always stressed Dad out because he felt we couldn’t afford them. They began fighting in the car on the trip home. My memory fails to remember what the fight was about, but I remember the energy being intense. When we arrived home I went to my play room. To cool down, Mom decided to go for a walk in the woods. She often went on walks, and often if she needed to clear her mind. This time Dad wasn’t willing to wait on her to apologize. As my Mom walked, Dad began hurriedly packing things into the back of his little blue Toyota Tacoma. I watched from our front porch. I realized exactly what he was doing and was fully aware that his intention was to leave before Mom arrived back from her walk. After packing, Dad came to where I was sitting on the porch. Initially he tried to keep his composure, but that quickly dissipated and tears began to stream down his face. It was the first time I ever saw my Dad cry. It was also the first time I remember connecting with him on a deep emotional level. As he cried, I cried. I wasn’t mad. I felt like I understood why my Dad was leaving.  The only thing I remember Dad saying is ‘This is the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do’ and he apologized for leaving me. The rest of the memory is fragmented. I remember he felt full of guilt and complete exasperation. It was as if he was carrying the weight of the past 10 years of marriage on his back and all he wanted to do was break free. He had reached his limit and wasn’t willing to carry it any longer.

I watched as my Dad drove away, knowing that my life would never be the same. I felt an overwhelming sadness, and then went numb.

Two

‘Nobody said it was easy. No one ever said it would be this hard. Oh, take it back to the start’. –The Scientist, Coldplay


The movie ‘My Girl’ was playing on HBO as I watched it for the hundredth time. I was 7 years old and wanted nothing more than to be Anna Chlumsky and Macaulay Culkin’s best friend. It was while watching ‘My Girl’ that I decided I wanted to be an actress. Nothing seemed more fun and thrilling than getting to play pretend for a living. We didn’t have HBO or any cable channels at home, so I always took full advantage while at my Grandparents’ house. Mom, Dad and I lived next door. Well, as next door as we could get. The two houses are separated by a forest, about a mile wide. Granddaddy Walt and Granny bought 111 acres in an unincorporated town, Fernvale, located just outside of Franklin, Tennessee. They bought the property a few years before I was born, when my parents were still basically newlyweds (must have been 1985). After buying the property, they built a house. Never one to be conventional, Granddaddy Walt built their home in the shape of a circle. He found the home in what was basically a mail order catalog. He ordered it, and with the help of others, built it from the ground up. It served them well and it still stands today.  As a child, the circle house was whimsical. I loved having friends over so I could show it off. Granny and Grandaddy lived on the highest hill on the land. If there were no tress, they would have been able to see everything from their little bird’s nest, including the log cabin my parents and I lived in.

This little log cabin came along with the land my Grandparents purchased. It’s nestled up on a small hill, completely secluded in the middle of the woods. At the bottom of the hill rests a small pond where we would often canoe, fish, and (when we were feeling courageous), swim.

My parents moved into the two bedroom, one bathroom cabin when Mom was pregnant with me. They had been married almost two years. Dad was working as a landscaper at Granddaddy Walt’s nursery business, ‘Flower Power’. Grandad opened Flower Power in the 70s and since then it had catapulted into a thriving nursery and gardening center in the heart of Franklin, Tennessee.

Mom and Dad met in college, at Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU). Both ended up dropping out. My Mom returned a time or two in an effort to complete her teaching degree, but never finished. Dad wanted to go to art school, but his parents were not supportive of  this idea and insisted he needed to get a business degree before pursuing any type of art career. Like many parents who want the best for their children, they feared he would be poverty stricken for the rest of his life if he were to take the route of an artist. They also grew up poor themselves, so they knew what living in poverty was like and did not want that for their son. But Dad was not the business type. He was a hard worker, but creatively inspired and he yearned to express himself through artistic means. Landscaping ended up feeding his desire for creative expression in many ways. Plus, he loved nature and being outside. In the early years at Flower Power, I imagine he did not have much creative freedom since they had a landscape design person on staff, but once Grandad retired and closed Flower Power, Dad ventured out on his own, opening his own landscape company ‘The Art of Nature’. It was during this time that he discovered a particular niche for himself in doing stone work and building ponds. He was naturally gifted at these beautiful creations and most of his work still stands today, in the backyards of many in and around Franklin.

So there my parents were, basically newlyweds; my Mom pregnant with me and my Dad working hard to make a future for us. Their intention was to leave the cabin after a year or so. Granny’s original plan for the cabin was for it to be a gathering place for our family on holidays and special occasions. But this plan was put on hold when my grandparents allowed my parents to move in. And it was put on hold for much longer than anyone ever anticipated. Mom worked on and off throughout the years but had difficulty keeping a job for very long. And even though my Dad worked very hard, there was never enough money, so we never moved out. Thus, the little cabin on the hill became the only home I knew for 19 years.

One

Perspective. It’s amazing how much can change within us by having a shift in perspective. Healing can occur. And after the shift, we realize the answer was always right there inside of us.


There I was crying on the bathroom floor with the sharp edge of a corkscrew opener pressed against my wrist. Death by wine opener; how dramatic and painful that would be. I felt like I wanted to die, but all I really wanted was for the deep ache of emptiness that was currently engulfing me, to engulf itself and disappear.

Pushing the wine opener against my skin gave me a brief reprieve from crying and more importantly, from the empty ache. All my attention was on what it felt like pressed against my wrist and I was able to focus, and with that I felt an inner calm.

Fortunately, I have always been squeamish when it comes to blood. The harder I pressed, the more intrigued, but also the more scared I became at the idea of seeing my own blood seep out. As I pushed harder, and it became more painful, I began to contemplate what it was I wanted to get out of this. Death? A release? Then I noticed the tattoo I had engraved on my wrist at the age of 20, merely 4 years ago. The tattoo reads ‘WPP’ in a whimsical, cursive font. ‘WPP’ are my father’s initials.

I dropped the wine opener, placing it next to an empty wine bottle that I had eagerly consumed a mere hour prior, and I returned to sobbing on the bathroom floor of my tiny apartment in Los Angeles, Ca.

Three Steps to Lasting Transformation Via The Daily Love

I started off March with the intention to write one blog post a day (maybe that was overzealous?), but I hit a wall last week and it has been one week since I posted. Tonight I found this video inspiring, so why not share it? I am re-igniting my blog posting by posting something that inspired me to post!

Enjoy! The website is http://www.thedailylove.com

 

Much Love,

Heather Jade

hspace_smaller2

My Vulnerability Experience In 7 Steps

This week has been all about vulnerability for me.

This is what happens when we are honest with ourselves and want to grow spiritually: we are  placed in circumstances that will cultivate our growth, and that often put us in a position of vulnerability. Actually, we are always placed in these circumstances, but once awakened spiritually, we are much more aware and able to recognize these opportunities for growth.

The difference in my reaction to vulnerability compared to years ago is that now I recognize it. And when I recognize it I realize that instead of running (which is my knee jerk reaction and what I want to do so badly in the moment) I stay present with it. Often my vulnerability is calling me to action. I look at why I am feeling vulnerable, and then decide what action my higher self is guiding me to take in order to step further into that vulnerability.

Here is my experience of feeling the call to be vulnerable broken down into 7 steps:

1. Slight discomfort. The feeling that something is off. Something small happens that makes me a little uncomfortable, but I push through it- trying and hoping for the feeling to pass.

2. Ego chatter. My mind starts to rev up and distract me from the call to be vulnerable. My ego picks at the situation and often places me in the victim role. My ego does whatever it can to distract me from stepping into my vulnerability.

3. I feel confused. What is going on? Why am I feeling this way? Why won’t my mind shut-up?

4. I go within and look beyond the noise to see what it is my higher self is calling me to do. It is often something very obvious, and the thing that I most don’t want to do in that moment.

5. Recognizing what I’m being called to do, I want to run and hide.

6. I own up to my vulnerability- to whatever task my higher self/God is calling me to and JUST DO IT.

7. VICTORY! In the aftermath, I still feel very vulnerable, but also as though a weight has been lifted. I purpose to be extra kind and gentle with myself for the rest of the day. I also need time alone to process the event. Afterwards, I feel free and powerful.

Does this resonate with your feelings of vulnerability? When you feel called to vulnerability what is your process like?

Much Love,

Heather Jadehspace_smaller2

St. Patrick’s Day Angels

On this day, I used to celebrate by going out drinking, if I celebrated at all. And during my childhood days, I was sure to wear green to avoid getting pinched.

But now I know that the entire foundation of this day is based in spirituality! Which is why I am excited to share with you this article from The Huffington Post: The Spirituality of St. Patrick’s Day. It was written by an Irish woman, Lorna Byrne, who sees angels, and describes the special angels she sees on St. Patrick’s Day along with explaining the unique spirituality of the Irish.

“The angels have told me that Irish spirituality is different from others and this is one of the reasons why so many Irish people have chosen (or been forced by circumstances) to leave Ireland and intermarry in different parts of the world, mixing the unique Irish spirituality with other spiritualities.”

I’d also like to dedicate this day in memory of my Dad. His name was Patrick. Thanks to him, I’ve got some Irish in me. 😉

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Much Love,

hspace_smaller2

Heather Jade

Shutting-Up The Chatter

The past few days my inner critic has been louder than ever. Things were coming up that I needed to deal with, and I didn’t like that I had these issues. I’d like to think that I’ve worked out all my ‘serious’ issues, but I find that I am still able to mess up frequently and consistently. I guess that’s called being human.

I was feeling angry at myself for these mistakes. And then it spiraled into thinking about past instances when I’ve made (totally unrelated) mistakes. On good days I am able to let go and show myself forgiveness, but these last couple of ‘bad’ days I became really critical of my every word and action, past and present.

When we get entrenched in self critical thinking, it’s important to acknowledge it and then release it. I was having a hard time releasing it. I did some meditation and that helped for a while. Then I went for a run and the mind noise got louder. As I ran, I visualized myself running away from my thoughts. But I realized that’s not helpful because then they’re still right behind me. So instead I pictured myself slashing the thoughts with a huge sword… That was much more effective.

The rest of the night has been much more peaceful. Writing always helps me as well.

Do you ever get incessant mind chatter? What techniques do you use to quiet it?

Much Love,

Heather Jade

hspace_smaller2

What Is Your Addiction?

I’ve been on a vegan cleanse for the past four days. Normally I’m a vegetarian but lately I’ve been really lax-eating sushi a lot and I even had some beef a couple months ago.

To detox my body I chose eating vegan because I always feel my best when I eat vegan. I feel much more connected spiritually when I’m eating clean and not eating animal products. My thoughts are clearer and my connection during prayer and meditation is steadier.

I have cut out alcohol. I am off caffeine, but I am still weaning myself off decaf lattes. Next I would like to give up sugar. That’s gonna be a doozy for me! All of these have been addictions, but especially sugar!

I have experienced my life getting better and better with each of these addictions I gave up. Even with that knowledge, I’m still not ready to give up sugar! Addictions are sneaky and conniving. It’s so easy to put off dealing with them for another day. But life gets so much better when we acknowledge them and free ourselves from their hold.

Are there any addictions you would like to break free of? Or ones you have already let go of? I’d love to hear from you!

Much Love,
Heather Jade

hspace_smaller2

Understanding Shame

Today I am sharing a clip of Brené Brown discussing shame (with Oprah!). Shame is something everyone of us carries around. It can be activated seemingly out of nowhere and will often disguise itself as other emotions, such as anger or pride.

And as Brené wisely states, “The less you talk about it, the more you got it.”

It’s only 4 minutes. If you watch until the end you’ll discover the antidote to shame. Well worth the 4 minutes!

 

Spirituality in the South: Fearing Rejection

I grew up in the Bible belt where going to church was more common than not and an inherent part of social relationships.

I accepted Christ into my heart at the age of 12, and from then on was a radical Christian. When I say radical what I mean is by the book (literally, the book being The Bible). I believed in very black and white concepts, including that the only way to heaven was through accepting Christ as savior.

As I grew up I realized that my views were not as radical. For a while, this rocked my world and I wasn’t sure what I believed.

After going through my spiritual awakening three years ago, I was finally able to reconcile my old beliefs with my new understanding of spirituality. It was a long process that had been germinating for years, but once my ideas were finally reconciled, I felt free! I had been carrying the burden of guilt because I no longer identified fully with my old beliefs, and that took time to accept.

I still consider myself a Christian, (although some Christians would not like that based on the fact that I do not believe you have to accept Christ as Savior to go to heaven) but I don’t see things as black and white as I once did. In my mind, there is no heaven or hell. I believe in the afterlife-but not really heaven and hell with there being God vs. the Devil.

I believe Earth is our school and we choose to learn certain lessons by reincarnating and living out different lives. I have past life memories so I believe in this very strongly and it is my truth. If you are a subscriber to Heart❤Space, it is likely that my beliefs do not seem strange or odd. However, growing up in the south these concepts (such as reincarnation, and Christ not being the one way to Heaven) are considered blasphemous to some.

The biggest struggle for me in my new-found spirituality is feeling like I am disappointing my family. I love Jesus and think that he is a wonderful teacher and example of Love, but some of my perspectives are fundamentally different from those of my family members.

However, I find that the more I love and accept myself, the more open and unafraid I am of being unaccepted by others.  It’s only natural for us to care what our family members think, but it’s most important to stay true to ourselves and remember…they don’t have to like it!

Have any of you had a similar experience in your own family or social circle? How do you handle it?