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Monday, December 31, 2018

Break Your Own Cycles- What I Learned in 2018




2018 taught me a lesson I'll never forget. It's something I want to share with you. You see, I wonder if you're operating under the same stumbling block. And this stumbling block could be the one thing holding your life back. 

Here's what I know, every time I found myself repeating the same old patterns, there was something deeper within me that I wasn't willing to confront. It was my unwillingness to confront it that was keeping me from achieving my hearts desires.

What I realized is that our negative cycles revolve around a stopping point- a point where our current wounds won't allow us to continue until they are healed. Our deepest wounds will only allow us to lose a certain amount of weight, go after a certain level of success, live a certain lifestyle, accept a limit of love, and reach a certain point of happiness. When we begin to grow to a level that requires expansion, the wounds that hold us back have to be acknowledged, resolved and healed. Otherwise we stop ourselves from growing. We shrink or sabotage ourselves back to where we were, thus creating the cycle. Until we heal, there will always be a cap on our joy.

Why do we stay in the cycle? Because expanding beyond the comfort of our normal stopping point induces growing pains and nobody likes pain. We fail to recognize that pain means that we are touching a wound and that wound needs attention and care before we can move on. To me, running away from pain is like running away from a crying baby because it hurts your ears. The baby- your wound- needs comfort, compassion and unconditional love.

Pain isn't supposed to be normal. It's common, and most people live with a certain level of it, but I don't believe we were meant to live in pain. To me pain means that there is something we need to pay attention to. Unless we attend to our discomfort and sit in our pain long enough to understand it, we will never get past our stopping point.

I broke so many cycles in 2018. Before this last year, my life felt like the movie Groundhog Day. It seemed I had been living through the same cycles over and over with different faces and circumstances. I was almost able to predict where a relationship would end, or when I would have to get a new job. There were more restarts than accomplishments and it got to the point where I became energetically sick- like that feeling you get when you want to throw up but your body is just hanging on, nauseous with toxins and suffering rather than breaking through and letting it go.

In order to break free of those toxic cycles, I had to face the fact that I ran away from so many good things because I was afraid to address the wounds that kept me from living a good life. I didn't want to feel the pain of expansion. I lived the majority of my life more afraid of living my dream life than I was of staying stuck in my cycles.

My breakthrough came when I realized that the pain of holding onto the cycles was more than the pain of expansion.

Breaking Through.

I realized what I was missing out on and this became more painful than staying comfortable. Things became black and white; I could keep my wound protected or I could poke around at it until I understood why it was there and heal it, thus allowing me to move on!

The best thing I personally did was commit to being single for the year. My romantic life had become nothing but a series of bad cycles. So, I resisted the urge to distract myself with another guy and went to God instead. I brought to Him my broken heart and over the course of the year He did what He does best- He restored my dignity, and helped me to forgive the past so that I could trust myself again. I broke the cycle of running to relationships for comfort and instead focused on strengthening myself. I turned codependency into self reliance!

My career was another area that would cycle out of control. But instead of hitting the want ads again, I brought to God my fears of being successful. Once again, He did what He does best. He became my provider, CEO of my life, and constant muse. He taught me that when He puts a desire in my heart, to follow it. No matter how crazy that desire is, it will always lead me to where I am supposed to be. He taught me how to trust that I will always be taken care of, and has never let me down. I turned doubt into faith!

Instead of making desperate decisions, I began bringing all of my insecurities to Him. And you guessed it, He continued to restore and rebuild my confidence until I was finally able to break through my stopping point. He guided me out of other cycles I had been born into and helped me to forgive my family and society. I turned corners I never thought I could!

By the end of the year, I was brought to the point of no return, a place where there were so many brand new experiences coming at me, I hardly recognized my life.

Every time I arrived at my usual stopping points, I would become scared of the unknown. I trained myself to get on my knees instead of running. I would bring the pain to Him. A light would turn on, and I would be able to see again. I developed more bravery and strength to consistently break out of my comfort zones that had previously held me back. I tried so many new things last year that I began to feel like a whole different person. Suddenly my entire environment changed when I moved my family from the mountains to the desert over night in the last month of the year. This was the final cycle that had to break, as I had sabotaged moving out of Utah for over a decade due to an unhealed wound that kept me stuck.

I'm sure that while reading this, you are wondering what cycles you need to break. When it comes to breaking your own cycles, here are some things you may want to consider. These are the questions I asked myself in order to see where my pain/wounds were. These were the things I brought to God.

What wound would you have to heal in order for change to happen in your life? What would you have to address to get from the point you are now to where you want to be? What would you have to develop within you (example: strength, perseverance, compassion, self love, forgiveness, "badassery") in order to break out of a cycle? Are you willing to be patient with your healing process? What if it takes years to heal, could you still commit to your healing?

These are all questions I will continue to ask myself as I enter into this new year. Looking back to the way I was behaving last December, I can see a substantial amount progress within myself. I have become more comfortable in the face of intimidating new challenges and fresh starts. My threshold has been stretched, my tolerance has been broadened, and my drive for adventure has increased. My prayer for the new year is based upon my experience over the past 12 months: May all beings dare to push through the tendency to shrink back into old patters so they can see the gift that awaits them on the other side. And may we all have the strength to sit in our pain long enough to understand it, give it to God, and allow it to be healed so that we can indefinitely move beyond it. Blessings of expansion, growth and cycle breaking for 2019!

Photo credit: Anthony Turner

Monday, December 17, 2018

Undefinable


I'm used to being misunderstood.
I'm undefinable.
And I'm okay with that.
Because I made a decision that changed my life.
It's a decision I make every day.
That who I am created to be is more real than who others think I am.

The path of the Mystic will lead you into your true and ultimate liberation.
You can stay bound by the limiting beliefs of others, or you can free yourself through the limitless possibilities your Creator offers.
The choice is yours.

The next 6 Week Mentorship begins March 3rd.
Enter the path of the Mystic here:
www.crystaldoty.com

Thursday, November 22, 2018

When Holidays Aren't Happy



If your life is perfect this year and you have no qualms, you may want to stop reading this right now. I'm not writing this for anyone who is on top of their game. If you are surrounded by loved ones, and no one has died or left you, if you have more than enough food and you are joyfully plotting your black Friday shopping without a worry of how you'll pay for it all, move on to the next post- this one is not for you. However if you are grieving right now, if you feel like you're a mess and you're about to fake smile your way through the holidays, stay. Read on. I have something for YOU.

I've been there. I've held my breath while driving past houses filled with family and craved whatever drama good or bad they had going on just so I wouldn't be alone. I've ducked out of parties feeling overwhelmed by the very crowds people told me to "get out" in. I've shamefully showed up on Christmas morning with a fake smile and a bleeding heart, hoping and praying that my children wouldn't see anything but the facade so that they wouldn't feel neglected. Yes, I've heard the music and cried, ate the food and resented it, and I've been in the thickest part of mourning during a season that flashes bright lights, jolly elves, cheerful feasts and felt the indignity of it all. For so many, the holidays can bring up more stress, memories of suffering and reveal past and current grievances. If that's you, my heart is with you. I get it.

As I sit here writing this on Thanksgiving morning, watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, I am reminded of something that has helped me through this season during hard times. Simplify. I remember one Thanksgiving my kids were both at other families and I was alone. I made a "Thanksgiving Day Self Care To Do List" filled with ideas from nature walks and painting to giving myself a rose petal salt bath and pedicure. I took one small step of the list at a time and by the end of the day I felt like a million bucks! It actually ended up being the best day I had experienced in a long time. Way better than laying around watching the Hallmark channel feeling sorry for myself.

Because no matter what you are going through, some things will still have the ability to pull the little child from your broken heart and bring a sense of hope again. Even through my own traumas, I've realized that some things never change; I cry every year when Santa shows up at the end of the parade(literally the only man to remain consistent in my life. Without fail I tearfully whisper, "he came.") Regardless of what I've gone through, I find it comforting to allow certain things to move me. I still have to sing along to certain Christmas songs, peppermint hot chocolate will always bring me back into my body, book stores bring comfort, and I will always dreamily lose myself in the magic of a sparkly city street. I've learned that by allowing the simple little things about the season to touch my heart, it can bring my mind out of big negativity.

So if you are grieving, angry, resentful, sad, or just not having a happy holiday season, one thing is certain, you are not alone. More people experience hardship during the holidays than you can imagine. What you are going through right now will help you to recognize others who are also suffering. Let's keep that in mind as we are demanding service from the barista who is battling depression or a store manager who his having to work on a holiday away from his children. With everything that goes on with people, my prayer every year is that compassion reigns the holidays. My heart is holding yours with compassion now and always, my friend. I want you to know that someone is praying for you, lighting a candle for you, and that you are surrounded by angels. As you move through your pain, I have full faith that you too will one day see that no matter how hard things get, there is always something even just one simple little thing you can hold on to and be grateful for. Hold on to what you can. Plant those things like seeds so that they grow. Eventually, the frosty pain gives way to warmer times and those little things will become treasures among the many new and wonderful things that are waiting for you. The good thing about seasons is that they eventually pass. Your life WILL move forward.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

How To Call Forth Divine Intervention

But don't you see? Now that you've said no to that thing that you are no longer wanting to experience, you have proven to yourself, others, and to the Universe that you are finished with it-  you are complete. Getting what you want out of life is not always about what more you can put onto your plate. Sometimes it's about what you need to remove from your plate.
Saying no wasn't easy. You had hope, attachment, and disappointment all wrapped up in it. But something within you was inspiring you for more- telling you that you deserve better. And so you put your foot down. You said no, fully expecting something better to fill it's place. And something better will. God and His Universe respond boldly to the bold and faithfully to the faithful. You want Divine intervention? Stop agreeing to things your soul is directing you to say no to.

Friday, November 9, 2018

To Everything There Is A Season


This is the season of the last harvest. Long ago, our ancestors would be cutting through the last of their crops and preparing large celebratory feasts with what they had all harvested. In the spirit of gratitude they would be appreciating the fruits of everyone's hard labor. There might have been a feeling of relief that the hardest part of their work was over and they could finally reap what they had sown. However, their work was never truly finished, there would also be talking and much planning for the darker colder months ahead. I am constantly in awe of the cycles in nature and how those cycles mirror themselves still in our own modern lives. It may not be crops you are tending to, perhaps it's a dream, goal, or something of a different nature. Still, some things never change. The lessons our ancestors had to learn in order to survive are the same in today's world. You can't expect your life to flourish without your hands getting dirty, so here are the stages of our life's cycles illustrated in a garden analogy. As you read through the different stages of growth, abundance, death, and rebirth, see if you can try to find out where you are in your own life cycle. This might give you clues as to why you may be stuck, and what your next steps might be.



The First Stage: Clearing

In order to have a flourishing garden, you must make the time and effort to clear the land and till the soil. This can be the most difficult part of your journey because it means that you have to be willing to let go of what has died, what no longer works, and what might get in the way of new growth. This includes letting go of things like unhealthy relationships, negative thinking and pessimism, constricting obligations and bad habits. This first step is the most crucial to a healthy cycle. You must let things die if you want things to be reborn.


The Second Stage: Seeds

Once you have cleared away anything that will not promote your absolute success, it is time to plant seeds. Dream big! Begin to put your desired outcomes down onto paper or a vision board. Do research, and talk to the right people about what you want to see bloom in your life. It is a time to imagine, create, and think positive affirming thoughts. The beginning phase is always exciting, new, and fresh. You have a support system, you have your tools, you have what it takes! Plant it!


The Third Stage: Tending

This is the part of the cycle where you can start to narrow down a step by step process and track your progress. It involves checks and balances. You may need to prioritize and make adjustments and changes as you figure out what strategies work. You learn the power of consistency, dedication, and flexibility. It feels good to feed and nourish the things in your life that are truly important to you.


The Fourth Stage: Patience

Every life cycle goes through a stage where you are working really hard and it seems like there are no results. This is the most common place the gardener (you) will either quit or go digging, (this is the equivalent to a gardener digging up his seeds to make sure they are growing, only to prematurely pull them from the ground, killing his crops.) Stage four is not pretty, and honestly most people don't make it past this point. There is a restlessness that overcomes most people when they don't receive instant gratification for their work. We can start feeling resentful and jealous of those who’s gardens are in later stages. Impatience causes frustration and self doubt. We may start pointing fingers and blaming those around us for our perceived failure. I have come to learn that patience is the hardest of all virtues, especially when it comes to our dreams. We start out with such high expectations and we want nature to bend to our will “right now!” However just like a garden, there is a time to all growth. You cannot expect to be harvesting in stage four. No, in order to pass this point, you must master patience and continue doing the work and tending to your dreams. Stage four is where faith is built, it's where heroes are made.


The Fifth Stage: Breaking Ground

Nothing in this world compares to finally seeing results from all of your hard work and patience. You know you’ve broken ground when you can finally start to relax. Things may not be in full bloom yet, however there is a feeling of relief that replaces the anxiety when you can finally see how the garden is going to look. You are confidant, your systems are all working in sync. Your consistency has paid off, and you can breathe a sigh of relief. You have security in what you see coming.


The Sixth Stage: Tending

Yes, it’s back to tending and being patient again. However, your mentality will have matured now that you've mastered what it takes to reap results. As your dreams and goals start to blossom, your strategies may need reevaluations. Your perspectives will change due to your growing experience and wisdom. You may have new and different people in your life that you relate to who also made it past stage four. You know what works and what doesn’t work, and you may have developed a different way of tending than when you did at stage three.


The Seventh Stage: The Harvest/The Sharing

You are now receiving the full benefit of all your hard work! Abundance is yours! There is much to celebrate as you fully reap what you have sown and in the spirit of gratitude and prosperity, you begin to share and take care of those around you. You become a way shower for those stuck in previous stages. You are in a place to speak from experience, wisdom, and a deep understanding of what it takes to enjoy the fruits of your labor!


The Eighth Stage: Reviewing & Planning

If you think you have arrived at the promised land at stage seven, you are very wrong. Your garden, aka goals, dreams, projects, and desires, can die at anytime so it's imperative that you to plan your next course of action. You must review what you have learned and who/what you can count on to be a continuing part of your blossoming garden. Most of all, you will recognize that as your garden blooms, so do you. All of your results are a direct reflection of how you do life internally. If you get stuck at any previous stage, it will be an opportunity to look within and recognize limitations that need healing. We all want to believe that our lives are compartmentalized - that one part of our lives wouldn’t affect the others. However, just like in a garden, if you allow weeds to grow in one part, they can easily take over other areas. How this relates to your life is the saying, "how you do one thing, is how you do everything." If you neglect your health and get sick, this will affect your ability to work. If you are unhappy in your relationship, this will drain your energy and life will become heavy, making it harder to accomplish anything. By the time you are at this stage, you are VERY aware of this fact. Perhaps with this wisdom, you will begin to understand why the gardener needs just as much attention as the garden. Each cycle you complete takes you deeper and deeper into your own blossoming.

Think of it this way: The gardener must do what few people are willing to do in order to have the garden that few people can even dream of. In other words, if you want the life you dream of in stage one, you must be willing to become someone who will make it to stage nine. (Develop habits, work ethic, and the necessary mentality.)


The Ninth Stage: Clearing

In ancient numerology the number nine represents the end because every number after nine is a combination of the first nine. And so, since this is a cycle, we must end where we once began and where we will begin again. Just like the seasons, while the cycle never ends, your dynamics will. You will clear different things at each passing of this point in the cycle. As you become a seasoned gardener, your garden will excel at flourishing and from this point, new seeds will sprout in your mind and heart. Our ancestors would most likely be burning down their crops at this stage in an effort to get rid of anything that would stand in the way of next seasons new seeds. New ideas and a fresh outlook on life will cause your cycle to come full circle and then you will be ready to begin again!

To every thing there is a season,
and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
A time to be born, a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to get, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
A time to rend, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
A time to love, and a time to hate;
A time of war, and a time of peace.
-Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Ancestors




From October 31 to November 2, the veil between the world of the living, and the world of  those who have passed on is very thin. Many traditions and cultures recognize these days as a time to honor their ancestors and deceased loved ones. If you are going to enter the world of mysticism. it is inevitable that you will also enter the unseen worlds. At some point in your spiritual journey, you will run into your family and ancestral issues. This is because you are here to heal them and to break cycles.

As we pass through this very sacred time, it is best to remember something I learned as I went through my own ancestor healing. Your families hold many many stories. Some of them are stories of hardship and struggle. But many stories are of their victories and accomplishments. There are some stories that are passed down by mouth or by DNA but it is up to you to decide which stories you want to honor and carry on. At the end of the day, I think it is important to acknowledge that regardless of the stories, you are the result of thousands of years of love. You must remember that your life comes from an endless stream of love stories. Whether your ancestors fell in love with each other, or their countries, or their life's purpose- you can tap into the lines of love streaming to you down throughout the ages and feel an immense amount of joy from your bloodlines. You can liberate your ancestors by believing in their best stories that manifest in your own life. If you really want to know who your ancestors are, look in the mirror. You are the result of their tenacity and will to live. Doesn't that make you feel grateful?

This morning I set up my Dia de Muertos alter. I think that this has become one of my most favorite celebrations. As many of you know, my children's father died and beyond celebrating his birthday, November 1 has become a beautiful day of honoring him, grandparents, friends, and others who have passed on. I decorated the alter with crystals, wine, tea, fruit, bread, flowers, pictures, and a lovely candle that will burn through the night. I also added a list of names of my great grandparents for as far back as I can remember. Throughout today, anyone can come to the alter and write a name on the list, or place a photo of a deceased loved one upon it and take a moment to give thanks for that persons life. We can also ask our ancestors to help us heal family issues like addictions, drama, or cycles of poverty and hate. Each time I pass the alter today, my heart feels full. My home feels blessed with the sweet memories and sacred presence of my ancient to recent ancestors and a promise I make to them each year; To make them proud, to help them to see that they did not live in vain. To show them that the struggles and hardships they endured to give me the life I have today were victorious still. And more than anything to allow the love throughout the ages to fill my heart, my soul, and my own life with the silent stories of my past.   

Sunday, October 28, 2018

No Ordinary Girl


I stopped mid step the moment I heard my name. They didn't know I was just down the hall and their voices seemed to waft through the air, heavy in their own secret conversation. 

"I suppose we won't be seeing your daughter in church then?" I recognized the older stern tone in her voice realizing it was the lady who lived down the street. Was she grilling my mother about my church attendance? I frowned. The truth was, I hadn't been to a church since I was a child. I squared my shoulders ready to walk in and defend myself when I was taken back again by my mothers own sweet melodic voice. 

Addressing the lady politely, she said, "Crystal, she is no ordinary girl. She's been raised all over the world and she has very different views than what is taught in church. I don't worry, her connection to God may be unique, but it is there nonetheless." 

Immediate tears stung my eyes and I had to quickly move away from my position in the hall as I heard them approaching the door. I suddenly didn't want to be seen. In a few swift strides, I found myself in a bathroom with my hands over my mouth. I had never heard my mother speak of me this way. I had always assumed I was a disappointment to her because try as I might, I never fit in with religion. Regardless of how she truly may have felt about me, in that moment she had defended my freedom and no matter what twists and turns our relationship has taken, her voice is forever lovingly burned into my memory, "She is no ordinary girl." 

No mama, I'm not. Thank Goddess!