Change Is Hard… But that Shouldn’t Stop Us from Making Changes in Our Lives

20190707_144022_HDR (1)Yesterday my husband Michael and I walked our 10-acre property saying goodbye to many of the beautiful tall pine trees that cover most of it. You see, we made a decision to have our property logged for the health of the forest, fire safety, and to protect our home from trees that could fall on it.

My head absolutely knows that it’s the right thing to do.

But this morning, when a ginormous, scary machine rolled on to our property at 7:00 a.m., I started to panic and second-guess our decision.

OMG! I thought. So many of our beautiful trees are going to be cut down and our property is going to look so different! YIKES! I’m not ready for this!

My heart hurt as I felt the loss of the trees before a single one was cut down.

I love the trees on our property, and have enjoyed watching them grow tall and strong over the 14 years we’ve lived here. Their presence makes me feel protected and safe, somehow buffering the harshness of the world outside our property lines.

Their beauty awes me, especially when their branches are weighted down with freshly fallen snow or when they dance in the breeze.

I love the shade they’ve provided for us and how the deer rest beneath them on hot summer days and find safety in them from the weather on stormy days.

But so many of these trees are now too tall and pose a risk to our safety and our home.

Knowing this should make the process easier, right? Unfortunately, it doesn’t, at least not for me.

While Michael is at peace with it, I’m struggling as I listen to the machines outside cutting the trees down then hearing the big thud they make as they hit the ground, and the rumbling of the huge tractor dragging the trees to our pasture area where another huge, loud machine strips them of their branches and bark before cutting them into smaller pieces.

It’s a violent, disruptive process that shakes the ground, making me feel sick to my stomach and weak in my legs.

So to keep my mind occupied, I decided to write this post about change.

If you’ve read THE SPIRIT FACTOR, you know it’s about creating exponential change in our lives and in the world so we can live to our full potential individually and collectively.

So you might think it’s strange that I find change challenging.

But I’m in no way ashamed to admit that I do. I think it’s completely normal and natural to feel this way, and it is important for all of us to understand this.

I feel too many people in the self-help and personal development worlds have been remiss in covering this point because they’ve sold people on easy and effortless philosophies that promise bliss in every situation, setting them up for disappointment and failure.

But THE SPIRIT FACTOR is different from these philosophies! We will never tell you that change or transformation is easy or that your participation or action is not required.

Make no bones about it, change is hard physically, emotionally, and spiritually, even when it’s good or necessary.

Change is scary, noisy, disruptive, uncomfortable, and also sweaty, snotty, and messy, as I say in our book. In addition, there will be people who will get mad at you for making changes in your life if they feel they will be affected by them.

Even when change has a positive effect on us and our lives, we can still grieve for how things once where or for what we’ve let go of or lost because the energetic shift created by change can leave a tangible void that feels awkward and unfamiliar.

This is why many times we will avoid making changes in our lives at all costs. It’s why so many people stay in unfulfilling jobs or relationships, and so much more.

When I look back at the times I’ve made major changes in my life—ending a 13-year-long abusive relationship, leaving the security of a job I had been at for over a decade to pursue my creative dreams, and when Michael and I sold almost everything we owned and moved from Southern California to our current home in northeastern Washington 1,200 miles away—I remember how scared I felt, how out of control things seemed, and how I desperately longed to feel the comfort of a familiar routine and environment again.

What I tried to remember today, as the energetic shift took place on our property, is that what I’m feeling is only temporary and is just a part of the process of making positive changes in my life.

If you are in the middle of creating change or getting the courage to make changes in your life, I hope you remember this and find strength and courage in knowing it.

I am honored to share this journey with you, fellow traveler, and know that we are on our way to creating better lives for each of us and a better world for all of us.

Intuition: The Highest Form of Intelligence

Intuition: the ability to understand something immediately, without the need for conscious reasoning.

The link below is to an interesting article and video on the subject of intuition. The incredible moment Michael and I had on the evening of February 20, 2008 that inspired THE SPIRIT FACTOR was definitely an intuitive experience.

In an instant, we gained amazing insight into and clarity on life’s biggest questions and problems, somehow knowing their answers and solutions, not intellectually but in every cell of our bodies.

The scientist in this video mentions that these “strange thoughts” can come out of nowhere and we “know they are correct.” And they did … and we knew.

After that moment of inspiration on February 20th, Michael and I made it our purpose to understand what we’d experienced and put into words what we suddenly “knew.”

It took us 9 years to accomplish this, but we feel THE SPIRIT FACTOR will give the people who read it the same “knowingness” we experienced that night and help them create moments like the one we had by removing the eleven obstructions to spirit we identify and explain in our book.

Yes, these moments can be created, and the more we individually and collectively create them, the better our lives and world will become.

THE SPIRIT FACTOR is available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle formats.

 

The Power of Our Environment to Change Us Now … and for Generations

Below is a link to a fascinating little article about how our environment has the power to effect us genetically, and how that environmental genetic change is passed down through generations. This is called “environmental epigenetic inheritance.”

While we truly are a “product of our environment,” it turns out we are a product of our ancestors’ environments, too.

I talk about the importance of environment in Chapter 15 of THE SPIRIT FACTOR–how it is the deciding factor in whether something lives or dies, grows or withers, evolves or stays the same, and how it can literally change the shape of our entire physical and emotional beings–but this article goes beyond its immediate impact on us, showing that our environment has a generational impact.

Take a moment to think about all the possibilities and pitfalls of that.

Think about the descendants of Holocaust survivors and slaves, children of rape victims and domestic violence survivors, etc.

I’m sitting here a bit speechless, not quite able to fully comprehend how this new information will change my perception of me, others, and every living thing on our planet.

I love when I’m exposed to research and data that does this! We should never be afraid to expose ourselves to new information that challenges our beliefs and perceptions.

This is how we grow as human beings and evolve as a species.

sciencealert.com/scientists-observe-epigenetic-memories-passed-down-for-14-generations-most-animal

FREE YOUR SPIRIT Seminar!

We are happy to announce our first seminar for THE SPIRIT FACTOR called “FREE YOUR SPIRIT!” Please see the flyer below for more details.

It will take place on Saturday, April 20th from 10:00 am – 1:00 pm in the Bayview Lodge at the Pinelow Park & Conference Center on the shores of beautiful Deer Lake.

The cost is $25, which includes the seminar and a copy of THE SPIRIT FACTOR

We will have an event page up on Facebook shortly that you can buy tickets directly from. Until then, you can reserve your space by emailing us at tynercreative@gmail.com.

Space is limited and an R.S.V.P. is required! You can email us at tynercreative@gmail.com or call us at 509-998-3934.

We look forward to seeing you at this inspiring and transformational event!

Free Your Spirit Flyer Different Pink and Smaller

Celebrating the Anniversary of the Birth of THE SPIRIT FACTOR!

tsf new book cover front only 7-16-2018

Eleven years ago today, our book THE SPIRIT FACTOR was born. Well, at least it started Michael and me on the road to writing a book about spirit.

At the time, we had no idea that it would take us almost 9 years to write and edit the book. We also never could have imagined the many challenges we would face over those years that would almost derail us and this project, or the amazing journey we would go on because we asked one question: What is spirit?

THE SPIRIT FACTOR could never have been written on a deadline nor could I have prepared an outline for the book when I started writing.

The bits and pieces of the book came to me slowly, over the years I wrote it. I would have to digest the information then try to explain it in writing in a easy-to-understand way.

I included a quote from Joseph Campbell at the beginning of the book that describes perfectly how THE SPIRIT FACTOR was written:

“Anyone writing a creative work knows that you open, you yield yourself, and the book talks to you and builds itself.”

This is truly what happened with THE SPIRIT FACTOR, and it was one of the most magical things I have ever experienced!

THE SPIRIT FACTOR became the book I needed but had not been able to find in my decades-long search for something that would help me understand every aspect of life and live it to its fullest potential.

Below is the Introduction to the book that explains what happened on this day 11 years ago, and how, in an instant, the trajectory of our lives was changed.

INTRODUCTION: A BOOK IS BORN

On the evening of February 20, 2008, between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 2:00 a.m., as a total lunar eclipse was taking place, Michael and I experienced a moment we had not planned on or that either one of us had ever imagined.

It was a moment of absolute clarity: clarity as to why the two of us were in pain, why so many others were in pain, and why the planet was suffering.

This moment started out as a conversation between Michael and me that began from a place of pain—deep pain—that we were both feeling but that neither one of us could explain or un-derstand.

Looking at our lives, we had so much to be grateful for. We had a loving relationship; we lived on one of the most beautiful pieces of property on the planet, surrounded by nature and peace; we had ideas and dreams that we were working on together; and we had three amazing dogs that brought complete joy to our lives.

Life was pretty darn good!

Over the years, Michael and I had worked hard to improve our lives on our own, and continued to do so after we met. Because of this, we were, at the time, in a place we had once dreamed of.
So, according to the numerous self-help books we had read over the years, the self-help speeches we had listened to, and the current onslaught of self-help movies we had watched, there was absolutely no good reason why we weren’t in “bliss” every moment of every day.

Since we weren’t, we felt there was something wrong with us that needed to “fixed” by affirming, acting as if, doing steps, being grateful, not watching the news, not getting involved or speaking out, or whatever else the latest self-helper was preaching as the way to this ever-elusive bliss.

If they were right, the pain Michael and I were feeling was all in our heads and could easily be “fixed” for the price of their latest book, CD, or seminar.

Unfortunately, we had believed this for years and tried to “fix” ourselves with these types of products, but we always ended up feeling like failures for not experiencing the results and sustaining change that had been promised.

On the night of February 20, it became clear to us why we— and so many others—were suffering.

You see, the pain Michael and I were feeling was not just in our heads; it was in our hearts and in every fiber of our beings.

Even though we had improved our lives, we could still feel the pain and suffering of so many others on the planet—and the suffering of the planet, too.

And even though our home was filled with love, peace, and respect, the moment we walked out our door, turned on the television, talked to a friend, neighbor, or family member, or basically did anything that involved being in the world, we could feel the pain and suffering that existed.

This pain no longer lives beneath the surface where it can be denied; it has reached the point where it is in clear view for all of us to see—and feel.

It can be seen in our addictions, illnesses, and disorders; in our broken homes and neglected children, elderly, and animals; in our prejudices and lack of compassion; in our apathy and pursuit of money and “things” at all costs; in our greed and separation and segregation; and in our words and in our wars.

On this night, Michael and I felt the collective pain of the people and our planet at a level that was beyond what we thought was humanly possible; we felt it at the level of spirit.

Feeling pain at this level is much different than feeling pain on an individual level—it is a depth of pain that can swallow you up and leave you in such despair that you could disappear in it forever.

When most of us feel pain, any pain, we try to avoid it or do something to stop it.

But on this night, Michael and I bravely sat together with this unbearable pain and looked it straight in the eyes.

When we did, we understood the pain, and realized it was telling us something very important—something we would have missed had we tried to avoid or stop the pain we were feeling.

Because we sat with this pain and listened to it, information, answers, and our purpose flowed freely from a place of spirit that was so present it was palpable.

This information was not separate from us; we simply knew it with every fiber of our beings, even though we had never been taught or told it.

There was no thought of doing anything other than completely surrendering to the moment with no judgment or distractions.

Actually, there was no thought involved in anything that happened that night—we transcended from thought to knowingness.

It wasn’t just an experience of being connected to spirit—we were spirit!

Every answer we had been searching for, we knew. All the pain the world was feeling, we felt.

This moment brought us to the purpose we had been searching for our entire lives.

But, to be perfectly honest, it wasn’t the warm, fuzzy place we’d expected or that we had been promised in those aforementioned self-help books.

Actually, it was quite the opposite.

It’s not what we would have chosen had our decision been based on riches, relaxation, or a comfortable life.

But it is something we know we must do.

This purpose runs so deep, we feel that our survival depends on it.

It’s a purpose born out of the suffering and pain we are all feeling, yet have not been able to understand or express.

Even though there is no road map to follow, we know with absolute certainty, if we allow spirit to guide us, it will take us in the direction of healing—not just for the two of us, but for all of us.

Marie Kukula -Tyner & Michael Tyner

Somewhere Between Heaven and Earth

Somewhere CD Cover

Since moving from Southern California to the mountains of eastern Washington over 13 years ago, I have experienced so many moments of incredible beauty in nature.

While I love each of the four seasons the Pacific Northwest offers, I especially love the winter months because of the snow.

I don’t care who you are, when the first snow of the season arrives, you feel like a kid.

Yes, by the end of the winter I’m ready for the snow to go, but there is nothing more beautiful and magical than watching snowflakes gently fall from the sky, swirling about before they land on the ground or find their places on the branches of the trees.

Snow creates a silence that we seldom experience in our lives, and it turns everything it touches into a piece of art, softening the sharp edges of the world as it does.

I have taken countless walks through the forest we live in on many a snowy days, and there is no other experience I’ve ever had that compares to the silence and beauty of those times.

It truly feels like you’ve been transported to a place somewhere between heaven and earth.

On one of those walks, surrounded by stunning beauty, words came to me that turned into the poem “Somewhere Between Heaven and Earth.” (The forest is where most of the inspiration for THE SPIRIT FACTOR came from.)

I sent this poem out in our Christmas card that year. Joe Rozum (joerozum.com), who is a talented pianist and composer, was one of our friends who received it.

Years later, Joe and his friend, gospel vocalist Stephen B. Steward, turned that poem into a song. Actually, they turned it into the most beautiful song I’ve ever heard with truly inspired vocals, music, and arrangements that brought a life to my words that I never could have imagined.

With no budget, we put together a video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iEdIhTuP-gc), which includes Joe and Stephen performing the song and me walking on the same forest path where I wrote the poem.

Please take a moment to watch the video, and let it transport you to that place where beauty, peace, and possibilities live … somewhere between heaven and earth.

Martin Luther King, Jr. – A Light that Continues to Remind Us that We Still Have Darkness to Fight

mlk-day-lives-begin-meme[1]

I took a walk with our dog Amber this morning.

After a week of dreary weather the clear blue sky filled with the sun’s warmth was a welcome companion on our walk.

Amber, who turns 13 years old in a few days, had a little extra skip in her step because of the weather and was in no hurry to return home.

We took our time walking to the lake and around our neighborhood.

I was happy watching her sniff and collect valuable data from the tracks and pee and poop left in the snow by the critters who had wandered the path before us during the night and early morning hours.

But I found myself pondering some things, too.

Before we left on our walk, I was watching a TV show while bundling up for the 20-degree temps outside that persisted in spite of the sun.

I was lacing up my snow boots when, in honor of the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday today, the show played part of an interview with Dr. King from decades ago.

What he was saying and how he was saying it made me stop what I was doing, sit still, and listen, even though Amber was making it clear she was ready to go for a walk.

Dr. King’s words were so pure they seemed to come directly from the heart of spirit, where truth and beauty live, and were communicated without being exposed to or distorted by any limiting or judgmental human beliefs.

And they were spoken with a passion and grace that so few in history have possessed.

Literally, my breath was taken away and tears streamed down my face as I listened to him speak.

Every fiber of my being has missed and longed for words like his and for the spirits who so courageously speak them.

I suddenly became aware that subconsciously I am constantly searching for this kind of substance, depth, power, and truth in the world yet seldom find it.

Our world is filled with mediocrity, and with many false prophets who are out to further their interests and fortunes at the expense of others, willing to lie, obstruct, and deceive to accomplish their self-serving and self-preserving agendas.

To be honest, watching these people and the pain and suffering they’re inflicting day in and day out has affected me—to what extent I’m not sure of.

But I do know that I have been struggling.

I know many of you have been struggling, too.

When we are starved of substance and light, literally and figuratively, we often forget that they exist and end up settling for emptiness and darkness.

When this happens, we can fall into a state of despair, believing that they are gone forever.

Only when we once again feel their nourishment and embracing warmth do we realize how terminal the darkness felt.

It is a dark time in our country.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve had many moments when I’ve felt that goodness and light might not stand a chance of surviving let alone flourishing.

But today, not just because of the beautiful sunny weather but also because it’s a day that we take time to remember and honor Martin Luther King, Jr., I’m reminded of the power of light, and character and substance … and for standing up for what’s right and the possibilities that exist when we do.

Listening to Dr. King speak this morning, reminded me of the privilege I’ve had because of the color of my skin.

I’m a second-generation American.

Both my maternal and paternal grandparents immigrated from Europe to this country in pursuit of better lives.

Because of the fairness of my skin, I am considered to be “white.”

I am truly fortunate to have no idea what it feels like to be judged and treated differently because of the color of my skin; and I am privileged to not have to face discrimination due to my skin color on a daily basis.

I know this.

With that said, I do have people (white people), many of whom are complete strangers, make assumptions about who I am and what I believe based on the color of my skin.

Many feel safe to openly and unapologetically express their racism to me, believing that I share their views simply because we have the same skin color.

I can’t count the number of times these people have used racist names and made derogatory comments when they’re talking to me about people of color, including Martin Luther King, Jr. and former president Barack Obama.

Each time this has happened, I’ve been stunned not only that so many people still have such racist views but also that they believe that simply because I share the same skin color with them that I share their beliefs.

I’ve confronted some of these people, but I’m ashamed to say there have been other times I’ve remained silent.

I’m not proud of this.

Martin Luther King, Jr. said: Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.

For me, I know the times I’ve stayed silent when something “mattered” have chipped away at my spirit.

Conversely, the times when I’ve spoken up, I am proud of and have never once regretted.

Even though I’ve been scared the times I’ve done this, I remember feeling a deep internal peace assuring me that I was, without a doubt, doing the right thing.

Unfortunately, the United States doesn’t have a great track record for “doing the right thing.”

The times when groups that have been discriminated against or marginalized gained rights, it’s because they, and many others, have fought long and hard for those rights.

While we’ve come a long way as a country, we still have a great distance to go.

This is evident in our politics and in our lives.

In “Standing Up for Spirit,” which is Chapter 34 in my book THE SPIRIT FACTOR, I talk about how important it is for us to individually and collectively stand up for spirit—in other words, for what’s right.

I start this chapter with the following quote from Dr. King: And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but one must take it because it’s right.

standing-up-for-spirit.jpg

Today, as we are reminded of the sacrifices Dr. King made and the change that happened and continues to happen because he did, let’s begin to find the courage to stand up for what matters and for what’s right because it IS and always will be the right thing to do.

Thank you Dr. King for continuing to remind us to dream big and to fearlessly pursue that dream with every fiber of our beings!

I’ll end this post with the quote from Dr. King that I ended the “Standing Up for Spirit” chapter with: Never, never be afraid to do what’s right, especially if the well being of a person or animal is at stake. Society’s punishments are small compared to the wounds we inflict on our soul when we look the other way.

Marie Kukula-Tyner

THE SPIRIT FACTOR is a completely new and revolutionary philosophy — based on the simplicity, intelligence, and wisdom of nature — that provides us the tools to tap into the limitless potential of the human spirit.

THE SPIRIT FACTOR helps you identify, understand, and remove the eleven most-common obstructions to spirit.

THE SPIRIT FACTOR is available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle formats.