Today I opened the book Miracles Now by Gabrielle Bernstein and flipped to #30 Backpack Meditation. The reason I love this book is because it introduces bite size tools I can use daily without having to sort & sift through the big books of yoga I have purchased over the years. The meditations she presents are for when you are freaking out, when you are stressed and when you need to recharge. Fast & easy to find and she has videos when I am not sure if I am doing something right.
Miracle Message #30 "If my environment dictates my mood, then my life will feel like a roller coaster. The way to steady ground is through my breath."
I feel like I have been on a roller coaster for years. I am ready to get off, like now. It is so easy for me to forget my breath and how it can take me from crazy tense to "I can handle this."
The first thing I added to my life to become steady was meditation.
I lean towards an active practice which means, that what I do allows me to feel control in my experience. I like a Mantra to think on when I meditate which is why I have really enjoyed the 21 Day Meditation Programs Deepak & Oprah have been putting together for the last year or so. Whenever I find myself getting attached to thoughts again, I can repeat the Mantra they have presented and focus on saying that silently in my head. I am certain there will be a day when I will have enough practice under my belt that I don't need to feel control, but until that day, there is no shame in using active practice tools.
My monkey brain gets the best of me quite regularly. I wish I could say that I only pull out the elephant gun tools once a week or so, but the reality is that I added Affirmations to use like Mantra's to snap me back into the moment.
The second active tool I have learned is to add affirmations to my day.
Some days I start my day writing on a sticky note, "I surrender this problem/situation so that it can flow as it should." or "I surrender my day to the Universe/God." or "I surrender my obsessive thoughts about (insert any number of stressors)." I like the sticky note that travels with me as it reminds me that I have already let the stress go.
The beautiful thing about an affirmation is that in that awful moment when stress knocks me to my knees, and I can't suck in air or think because I am so overwhelmed, I can simply just stay down on my knees, lift my head and whisper "I surrender."
Then I was told by a yoga teacher I don't breathe correctly. I didn't learn this in school, nor did my parents teach me the importance of breathing. It was just assumed that I had mastered this skill. It seems I hold my breath and when I do bother to take the time to breath it is all upper chest, not belly breathing. Anxious people breathe shallow small chest breaths. Relaxed people expand their belly's out and keep their breath low. I am an anxious person when I don't pay attention to my breath.
The third active tool I have learned is breathing techniques. Most of the yoga classes I have taken over the years focused on the stretching and poses. While I would feel relaxed and in touch with my body immediately after a class, I could not take that feeling with me.
My favorite go to breath is The 8 Stroke Breath for Stress Release: 8 breaths in (like 8 sniffles) to one breath out (push all out), all just your nose. Repeat this for 1 minute if that is all you have or 11 minutes. The hand mudra is pointer finger & thumb together and relaxed on your knees while you sit in easy pose. You can do this anywhere, although be prepared for someone to offer tissues for you to blow your nose.
This really is an easy quick way to reconnect to your breath. Why is that important? Stressful, shallow breathing sets your body into a state of reaction and fear and starts your stress response.
Restful, relaxed breathing changes the chemicals released into your body so you aren't flooding our system with fight or flight chemicals which over prolonged periods hurt your body.
My favorite three Get Me Off the Roller Coaster Breaths are:
If you are new to the breathing start practicing every day when you aren't feeling stressed, like when you are doing dishes or cooking to get comfortable with them. If you drive during rush hours, it takes just a moment to notice if your breathing is up in your chest or down in your belly. Each time you notice it is in your chest, drop it down and expand your belly.
Since my work environment (property management) & my personal life (divorced parent) is so charged with daily drama & intrigue & monumental bloody battles it is very important that I have an active program in place to help me ground throughout the day so I am not whipped around on those too tall, too fast, so scary, wish I had a 5 point harness to keep me from falling out roller coaster rides.
These three tools are keeping me as sane as is possible!
Other resources for Yoga Breathing:
There are tons of articles on the "how to" and the downsides of loving a writer, but most were written by the unhappy significant other.
So here is my version of So You Think You Want to Love a Writer.
Loving a writer is no easy life. It is messy and frustrating and very boring at times. Only you can decide if you can withstand the scowl long enough for her to gaze off the screen and notice you trying to get her attention. Can you fill your own life with enough joy to make it through the quiet nights when throughout the house all you can hear is the keystrokes. Can you love her when you know she is deep inside her head when she is just supposed to be relaxing. Can you live with being written about, even when you feel you aren't being portrayed nicely or accurately? Can you be responsible for your own happiness and know you are loved, even when your lover is distant. Do you have the fortitude to know in your heart that you are loved and not the cause of the silence?
It would be fabulous if you can, because she loves you very much.
This photo has made me smile for two months, since I first stumbled upon it. Thanksgiving seemed so far away then, and then boom, now it is here.
While many of us will be racing around town purchasing last minute forgotten items or prepping for tomorrow's gatherings, I hope that each of you stand still for just a minute or two and breathe. Breathe in the things you are grateful for and exhale peace. It doesn't take long, but will make sure you aren't filling your home with anxious energy.
After I get home tonight, I will relax & try to settle my crazy monkey brain.
Tomorrow I will be listening to guided meditations while I prep and wash dishes. Maybe a walk if the weather permits.
Happy Rump Day!
The news last night was very scary. Even my chocolate was telling me to Take a Deep Breath!
Years ago I stopped watching the news before bed so that I didn't have to fill my head with the pain and suffering in the world before I tried to close my eyes. I forget that people share "news" on Facebook.
I am sad for the family that lost their son.
I am sad for the officer who has killed someone's son.
I am sad for the community that is hurting and suffering so deeply.
I am sad for the business owners who have lost their places of business, their inventory, their safety & security and their livelihood.
I am sad for the employees who have lost their jobs due to their employer's being burned down.
I am holding love in my heart for everyone that is hurting.
I flipped open Miracles Now by Gabrielle Bernstein this morning and it opened to #31 Be A Lighthouse. This chapter was written after children died in Sandy Hook, CT. Gabrielle was in a class with others on meditation and her teacher told them "You must not be the victim, you must be the lighthouse." To feel the emotions of sadness and grief, but to not dwell there. Instead to fill their hearts with love and to pray.
That is what I am doing today, filling my heart with love and sending out prayers of peace. I don't have to understand what each person is feeling that has lead to the violence. Truly, I don't have to. I am not being asked to justify what is going on. I am being asked to send energy of love and peace to that town.
I pray for the violence to end.
Another day of stay the course, you are on the right path, just keep trusting and moving forward. Man this scares me to death.
Trying to trust.
I am a whole lotta lost right now on the woulda, coulda, shoulda highway. I am leaning into the curves as best I can while keeping all four wheels on the road.
Just keep going.
Just keep swimming.
I keep getting out of bed each day, super excited to write, which is probably why I keep getting out of bed every day. I come to work and fix what I can and document what I cannot. I answer all of the emails and respond to most of the phone calls. I am ready for a new work. I am putting my feelers out.
Until it finds me or I stumble upon it, I will keep putting one foot in front of the other each day. All I know to do is to keep moving mostly forward.
My Angels will keep giving me the Steady Progress card to keep gently reminding me that even though the progress is not as fast as I would like it to be, that I am in fact moving forward.
I am a writer. I am working towards being a published writer! Each day I am taking small steps that are creating the life I desire.
I will keep looking for new work that will support me having time to write.
I will work Melissa's 12 Step Program (which Jason pointed out actually has 13 steps) as featured in A Bad Case of the Sundays and practice as much self care as I can to keep myself moving forward. I need to sleep. I need to laugh. I need to fill my head and heart with art & words & emotions that move me to empty my brain by writing.
As Joan Didion so perfectly said, " I write entirely to find out what I am thinking, what I'm looking at, what I see and what it means. What I want and what I fear."
I am embracing being a writer & storyteller. I am loving how it feels to settle into the future where I have several books written and out of my head.
Time to buckle up and just keep going.
Good Morning All! This morning was going to be a quick one card pull until I pulled the Be Honest With Yourself card. That always freaks me out. There are too many layers of things bubbling in my life right now.
Be Honest With Yourself
You received this card as a gentle confrontation because the Angels know you've been hiding from your true feelings.
You've been afraid if you admitted how you honestly felt you'd be overwhelmed with feelings & faced with some necessary changes you feel unprepared for.
THEN I pulled New Partner.
Someone new has (or is about to) to enter your life as an answer to your prayers.
Allow other people to help you.
THEN I pulled Steady Progress.
This is my Angels reminding me that even though it is doesn't feel like I am on the right path or that things aren't happening fast enough, that they are.
Each day take one small action step on a project you are passionate about.
Seeing all three cards allowed me to exhale. When you see it in the bigger picture that first card isn't as scary. I am very much in a phase of change and there is so much uncertainty right now.
I am reaching out for to those in my life for help & guidance.
I am trying to be patient with my progress and enjoy each moment. I do get caught up in wanting things to happen faster, but I am able to remind myself that I can feel the rightness in what I am doing and am willing to allow it to all unfold in the right time.
Getting the Steady Progress card is that gentle reminder, every couple of days to stop beating myself up and enjoy the process, to breathe.
I feel like obnoxious Sponge Bob chanting "I'm Ready. I'm Ready. I'm Ready."
Breathe; inhale, exhale, inhale, exhale.
Even though I have been on my own now for over 3 years, I latched on to life preservers who provided me moments of safety while I got my see legs under me. This safety was so enticing, until I realized it was merely an illusion. After my eyes adjusted and I saw my new reality, I clutched the life rings even tighter. As soon as I could, I kicked to shore. I have been living and working from the safety of the shore ever since. I have flirted with the dipping my toes into the ocean again and have even allowed the water to crash on my ankles, but I run back to the shore each time.
Even though it appears I am all better, and making the progress that I felt required me to leave my marriage, what is really happening is I have been recreating life as I have known it, over & over.
I left my old life, but with no map to show me where to go, without a book on what it would take to create my new life or directions on how the creation process would exactly look. Hell, I don't even have a decent tool kit and have been using my son's pocket knife as my go to tool of choice. It has been useful in prying shit apart, opening wine bottles and cutting cords but I can only go so far with it and at some point he will ask for it back for camping.
I have been collecting new tools, but many of them are still in their plastic packaging. With these tools I keep building my refuge castle in the sand and each night I scream in terror as it is washed away. I watch the tide edge closer throughout the evening, while I hold my breath, that maybe tonight my structure will be strong enough. Each night, I realize I am not strong enough and that I am scared and feel ill prepared to swim away from the shore.
What we resist will persist. That is the saying that should be tattooed on my forehead. I saw my chance and I took it, but that was such a big scary change that it took all that I had to lift my foot to take that first step. With each decision that didn't turn out so well, I got more scared. Scared of the dark, scared of the unknown, scared of the possibilities, scared of the probabilities, scared of my own shadow.
While at the beach this summer, I looked up the stars from the safety of the shore and I heard whispers. Lately I find myself awake in the wee hours of the morning looking out at the stars and knowing they are beckoning me to step out into the dark, one more time.
One more time.
There are so many fabulous writers, who are so capable of describing the hold pattern so many of us find ourselves stuck in. Christina Rasmussen is one of those wonderful writers who is holding our hands, talking us through it and reminding those of us who need to reenter the world, how to do it & that it is worth doing.
I found this beautiful poem on her Facebook site and wanted to share it with you.
No matter the tragedy that is in front of you. Let the fairytale world whisper to your ear little things of life.
No matter the dreams that were destroyed. Look up and see the beautiful blue skies fill your world.
No matter the pain you feel in your heart. Let the ache you have for living, be felt.
I want you to feel this hand on your back, gently pushing you forward. With the force of life.
Fear or bravery. Choose to believe.
Rain or shine. Choose to live.
Pain or pleasure. Choose to feel.
The day I realized I had a choice to make was the day
my life changed.
It was up to me to re-enter life.
Nobody was stopping me from finding the door.
I had bitterness for what happened to me.
I felt intense jealousy of the rest of the world for having what I did not have.
I was the one preventing me from finding life again.
If this is you then know this.
The sail boat you are on has a steering wheel.
The captain’s hat bares your name.
Start steering yourself out of the storm.
But listen up, rest at every shore.
Have fun while at sea.
And know that your boat has one of the most powerful engines.
The engine of grief.
It comes with sparks, explosives and a drive that can rock your world.
Choose to drive it.
You hold the keys.
Christina Rasmussen www.facebook.com/secondfirsts
A lot of things are coming to focus right now. I am being pulled in so many directions. It is most definently a freakin Monday. My daughter called for me to come get her due to a stomach ache. I don't have time for multiple trips up the mountain today, but this is what being a parent is about. Reprioritize, shuffle, do a little dance, raise my fist towards the sky and exhale with emphasis.
I am sure there is a name for people like me who have songs attached to damn near every feeling, and I hope it is a nice name!
Driving back down to town with my little girl, my song for the overwhelm I felt started in my head.
This is my theme song for today, minus the "just being a woman" bullshit.
I am digging deep, back to the days when I was a very young child, when my family was seemingly normal and I believed with all of my heart. Back before my world became unsafe and unstable.
It is crazy how most of the answers I am now praying for were taught to me in song as a child. I come from a family of singing storytellers.
One day at a time. I can handle today. Inhale, exhale...
I won't lie, I have a really bad case of the Sunday night fever. It started Saturday night. I woke up at 3 :33 am and couldn't get back to sleep. I was already thinking and stressing about Monday.
I don't feel good. I feel exhausted. I can't believe my weekend is almost over. It wasn't enough time. I did get most of my to-do list done, but my soul list did not get done. I don't feel relaxed or ready to tackle the oncoming week. I didn't get any exercise or mediation done, none at all. As always, I keep so busy there is no quiet.
How does this happen week after week, after week.
Is it the impending holidays that are making me feel frantic? There is so much to do and so little child free time to get it all done. It's less than two weeks until I put my Christmas Tree up.
Do I have unrealistic expectations on how many hours there really are in a weekend? Why am I already starting to worry about how this week will go?
Because I am not being present. My number one goal this week is to take 30 minutes each morning and meditate. Just 30 minutes.
It is day 14 of the 21 day mediation and I have only listened to day 1. I haven't written anything in days because my head is too full of anxiety about the future.
I need a relaxation/be present recovery program to check into. It is too easy to slip and have just that one small drink, and then wake up two weeks from now uncertain what has happened. I keep losing months to being busy.
I need to stop borrowing trouble from tomorrow. I need to stop carrying guilt and fear. I need forced quiet time, so I can hear only my voice and my inner voice. I need to only focus on my life. I need to unplug and unwind and breathe. I need to get quiet, get still and listen.
Can I call a grown up time out? Can I get a nice intervention at a quiet little bungalow with a hot tub and room service? I am thinking it would need to have zero cell service or I would fill that time with more nonsense and busyness.
I have another child free weekend in two weeks. I need to make a plan to unplug, unload, unwind and just listen. Crap that is the weekend after Thanksgiving, which is no time to relax, right?!
Melissa's 12 Step Plan to Not Being Busy:
1. 8 Hours sleep each night.
2. Eat healthy real foods, small amounts of quality.
3. Meditate 30 minutes a day.
4. EFT tapping~I still have the tapping meditations from the 2014 World Summit
5. Journaling & writing & creating
6. Sleep routine, bath, aromatherapy, Epsom salts.
7. No caffeine after 9 am. Hot lemon water to unwind.
8. Walking 30 minutes a day, building up to jogging again.
9. Physical touch
10. Electronics off after 7 p.m. No weighty conversations either.
12. Pray, affirmations, talk to my Angels & God.
That still sounds pretty busy. Might need to just lay on the floor, wrapped up in a blanket and be quiet for a full 72 hours. Maybe the intervention is needed before I start the 12 steps?!?
As for tonight, I will do my best to relax and sleep. It will probably be pill induced for tonight.
"It can't actually be about someone else, because it's your life." Terri Cole Are You the Common Denominator
After reading Terri's piece, I have to answer, "Yes, I am the common denominator in my life." I can't keep thinking the answers are outside me, because it is my life.
Do you know how bad it really sucks when you acknowledge that it isn't about everyone else. Everyone else has moved on but you. I am the one retelling the story.
I am not the way I feel because of the things and people who have happened to me. I am the way I feel because I keep telling myself the stories.
So if how my life is playing out is my choice, why I am choosing to poorly for myself? Why would I keep choosing to assist and manage and coordinate and push every one else's dreams, goals and pursuits instead of mine? Why have I chosen to join forces on someone else's grand day dreams versus trailblazing my own. I have always had day dreams and plans.
When I look back at my life at what choices & chances I have taken for myself, I can count on two hands the amount of effort and care I have taken for my own good, things done purely for my happiness.
I met my first husband in high school in VA. He told me he was going to go to college in FL. He asked me to marry him and follow him there. I did. It was awful. I moved us back home to VA. Leaving my first marriage was me focusing on me, briefly. There was still too much drugs & alcohol at that point in my life to consider it a time of self care or self focus. That was still me avoiding sitting still with me.
Getting my first office job was me focusing on me. It was after getting myself clean and mostly sober after a year of indulgence. I had to quit my job, move out of the house I was living in and end a lot of "friendships". But I did it, I got my first office job. I left behind my old life and started a really good new one. The job was as a corporate travel agent for a big corporation. The perks were fabulous. I got my first two store credit cards so I could buy fabulous outfits to wear when the company flew me from DC to Dallas several times a year. The men in my life were complete disasters, complete fuck-ups, but I got to escape to work every day and except for a couple of times my work and my personal life did not mix.
Traveling abroad was just for me. I love traveling so much. I love planning a vacation. I love researching what out of the way cool things to go see and do. I love the freedom of being in a country where I don't speak the language and sitting back being a foreigner. I love sitting on a side walk people watching. I love meeting new people. I get homesick fast, so I can't stay gone too long, but I could travel several times a year and never get bored. I was blessed to travel to Europe three times and would willingly go back at a moments notice. I have a huge bucket list and several trips already planned in my head.
Then I met my next husband and he asked me to move from VA to CO with him. I left my great job and jumped off the cliff with him and moved 1400 miles away from home.
My leaving a high stress job full of insanity was my choice. I was working 60 hours a week, juggling which vendor got paid and firing or laying off people every month or two, making poor food choices, smoking, and taking sleeping pills to force myself to sleep each night. We were ok'ish financially so I was able to work some temp agencies for a couple of months until I stumbled upon the most perfect job which would morph with me over the next three year as I became a mother.
My choice to have kids was my own. It was powerful and so grounding. I was absolutely scared as shit. Who really chooses to have children? Most people I know at least "accidentally" got pregnant with their first child. After accepting and coming to terms with choosing to be "child free" until 28 at mile marker 4 1/2 years of my marriage, then focusing on hearing that very scared, faint voice inside me whisper, "Please let me be a mom. I can do this, I promise. I won't fuck it up like my parents did."
My choice to leave my second marriage was my own, after having an emotional affair while married. Ok, so that wasn't initially my own choice. I met a man, was swept off my feet with emotions I hadn't felt in over a decade. I was so drunk in the emotions and feeling of being connected to someone again that I didn't want the good feelings to end. I was so thirsty and needy that it didn't matter that there was little to nothing real to the relationship. I just wanted to keep feeling wanted and desired. He wanted me to move out to be with him. Until that moment, it had never dawned on me how unhappy I had been for so long.
I had been unhappy for such a long time.
I know I had spoken those words easily a million times to my husband, but when he asked me what would make me happy, I didn't have any idea that what I was asking for was to be wanted, needed, desired, chosen, heard, seen and valued. I know I would look at him and try to find the words to what I wanted, but after a decade of marriage it feels kinda weird listing out that you want to be wanted & valued. The minute you can really say that to your spouse, is too often the minute you are walking away because you can't believe you have to ask the person who gave your heart to love you.
It was a crazy & meandering path that took me from the neglect of over a decade to being able to give a voice to the nameless feelings of the sadness that I harbored for so long.
After leaving my marriage, I did not end up moving out and staying with the man who I had the affair with. Like so many people, I needed a catalyst to prod my ass into forward movement.
But then all of a sudden my whole life was about me and that is freakin scary as hell to someone who has always had a partner and followed their partner.
I have a couple of false starts behind me on creating my new life. I have had a vision of what I want in my life, I just keep sidetracking myself on other people's ideas. I had a very difficult go of finding employment due to my need for a flexible work schedule two & a half days a week because I have to take my kids to school and pick them up from school. It was an awful blow to keep hearing that I was asking too much of employers to work with my schedule. It was painful to accept that with everything I bring to the table experience and skill wise that so few employers would even consider me for work. So I found my niche and hitched my wagon to a friends small business and their growth. After months of being told what I had to offer and my schedule didn't work, it was fabulous to find the flexibility and opportunity this job offered.
Then I started dating the owner and his dream became my hustle. Two and a half years later and I have hit a wall with this work. It is not my dream. It is an overwhelming day job. It is not something you just leave at the end of the day. It hit me hard this summer that I was putting someone else's dream above mine again.
This summer I started writing, blogging and I heard the click in my head. I felt the joy in my heart. Writing is for me. Storytelling is for me. Sharing and creating a community is for me. Each day that I write, another piece of me becomes clearer. Each day that I write, my world seems brighter, even when the subject matter is grim and bleak. Each day that I write I feel a huge sense of accomplishment. Each day that I write, I feel like I am making the small steps necessary to creating the life I dream of. I dream of being a writer. To be a writer, I have to write. Crazy how simple that is.
Beginning to write feels as right as when I decided to become a mother. I have heard that same voice whispering for acceptance and telling me it will be all right.
Now I feel anxious on the days when I cannot find time to write. I wake up ready to see what comes out and excited to start.
I am the common denominator in all of my failures and each of my successes. If I stay focused on my dreams and goals, I have to believe I will succeed. I have coached and supported and guided so many others to their success and I can say that I have watched and grieved with some who just couldn't take those needed steps, steps I couldn't make for them. I am asking my Angels for guidance and courage to help myself. If I can put an ounce of the effort I have so freely given others to my own focus, then all of my dreams will come true.
I am ready to write the story of my future. I am ready to focus on my dream. I am ready to be my own public relations manager, life coach, social media manager, cheer leading squad.
Each time I lean into my desires and focus on me, my world opens up and new possibilities appear. Each of the choices I have made on my own, purely based on my desires has felt good and right.
My life, my story is all about me. Everything that is created in my life is at my doing and I need to create better options for me to choose from. I want my common denominator for every day to have more creativity, laughter, and passion. I am willing to take steps forward every day to create the life I envision for myself. I am willing to notice and search for my feeling of success every day, no matter how small to remind myself I am on the right path.
Every choice counts, so every day I will wake up choosing joy.
My very dear friend Mary, who is neck deep in year 4 of my life transition, just posted this image and the link to Elizabeth Gilbert's post on her greatest lesson from the Oprah's The Life You Want Tour.
"During Oprah's speech at the Life You Want Tour, she quotes Glinda the Good Witch from The Wizard of Oz, in that fabulous moment when Glinda banishes The Wicked Witch of the West with this line: "You have no power here."
Oprah was talking about how important it is in your lives to be cognizant of where you have power, and where you do not. She said that so much of the stress and pain we bring into our lives comes from trying to interfere in other people's energy fields — trying to meddle in domains where we simply have no power."
Elizabeth goes on to talk about having "a history of getting deeply, profoundly, aggressively over-involved in other people's energy fields — losing sleep and peace over my worry and judgment about other people's lives. (Or, rather, I should say, losing sleep and peace over MY PERCEPTION of other people's lives.) Getting involved where I have no power. Neglecting my own growth and development because I'm too busy minding somebody else's business. Making myself sick with anger or disappointment or sorrow or frustration over how somebody else has behaved. Often destroying relationships because I go around messing where I have no right to be messing. (I don't care if it's out of love and concern — I still have no right to be making myself crazy by getting involved in somebody else's energy field.)"
"But now I have this new mantra in my head, one of the best lessons of the whole Oprah tour: YOU HAVE NO POWER HERE, LIZ."
I have been writing for weeks about surrendering and accepting life as it is. Reading that this was such a big message from the tour makes me feel not as alone with this problem. It feels good to know I am not the only one who has a history of "getting deeply, profoundly, aggressively over-involved in other people's energy fields."
I have made my life a big co-dependent mess of getting so involved in other people's mess that I neglect my own. It is a coping mechanism for sure, but I truly do care about people and I want to help people.
I don't feel that it has always veered towards martyrdom, but in this moment, I will own that it has been easier to focus on others than to focus on all of the fear, anger, disappointment, neglect, abuse, hurt and loss that I have stuffed into my Mary Poppin's travel bag.
I am spending time with the emotions hidden in my bag so I can really feel each of them and understand each of them, so I bring them into the light and heal them. Each time I pull out an emotion, it has less charge than the last time. Each time I pull out an emotion, it feels more like an old friend instead of a scary monster.
The ending my old life and starting this new one has been a blessing in that I no longer have anyone who can make me remain who I was, who I thought I was, who they want me to be.
Those around me know that I have a real aversion to being called my boy friend's wife. It gets really ugly, when this happens. Usually I blurt out loudly, "uhm, fuck no." I am always mildly embarrassed at my strong reaction, but the truth is I don't have good connotations with being someone's wife. It isn't because he isn't a fabulous man who I proudly recognize as my partner, but I am don't trust myself to not slide back into wife role which I haven't completely redefined in my own head yet.
I accept that along with getting over involved and taking on other people's problems as my own, I also give away my power without even being asked to. I acknowledge that the men in my life have not asked me to submit. I have done that on my own. Almost as an offering that maybe someone will choose to keep me.
I have zero experience with marriage being a good partnership. Marriage in my experience has required me to define myself once, and stay that person. To define my choices and stand on issues and not budge. To make my choices and be prepared at all times to defend them. To accept my partner as is and be happy with not having my needs met or even acknowledged. Marriage to me means swallowing my hurt so as to not start another fight. Marriage to me means not being able to cry, even in the privacy of my own home. Marriage to me means burying my emotions and thoughts so that my partner doesn't have to be uncomfortable.
Until I am certain I can hold my line in keeping my power, I won't even joke about marriage. Until a time comes when I feel solid in my definition and expectations of my partner and what marriage looks like, I want nothing to do with it. It makes my bowels go into overdrive and my gut gets really fucking loud when marriage is mentioned. The noise and my facial clenching usually kill any further discussion of marriage.
Right now my bowels are very happy with my freedom and ability to make a hard line and hard decisions if I need or want to.
I had to be the most selfish mother ever and choose to put myself first, above the perceived comfort and pretend security of my children. I gave up and lost an awful lot to gain my freedom. I am proud of myself that I no longer take my needs lightly.
Elizabeth reminds us that we have no power in anyone else's domain, energy field, or over their choices. Even when we know we are right ( ha ha ), we have no power in their lives.
I am finding that as I focus on myself, I have less interest in trying to have power in other's lives. It takes me forever to untangle myself from some of the mess's I find myself in. But it feels so strange to hear someone's problems and know I could help them fix it and force myself to keep my mouth shut. I am practicing asking, "How can I help you?"
I am finding that the people who I get most sidetracked by rarely have an answer to this question. They just want to vent, not brainstorm the problem.
I have to have tools to learn. Asking "How can I help you?" is a good tool.
Next, I have to take a deep breath and accept that they are not listening to me even when they say they want to brainstorm. Acknowledging this helps me to not be disappointed when they choose a stupid option that from experience I know will not work. Or after for-e-ver, they accept the option you suggested in the first place. In my experience it takes someone hearing a new concept or radical idea two or three times before their brain can even really "hear" it.
Another tool is learning the art of distancing myself from the outcome.
Another tool I am learning is to feel that "gut feeling." For the first time in my adult life, I can now feel when my "gut feeling" is speaking to me. It feels like anxiety and panic. That feeling in my life means I am compromising who I am or that I am taking on someone else's problems and stress.
I don't get anxiety or panic when I am true to myself. I get these feelings when I am not focusing on what is in my control. I get these feelings when I am trying to sort through my stress and I can't make myself set aside the parts that "aren't my problem" from what I really have control over. I am having to do a lot of quiet time to hear my gut and not my guilt.
I have a core group of friends, that I now call without hesitation when I need their time & brains. When I can feel myself losing my power or when I have become so focused on someone else's problem that I have claimed it as my own, I turn to these very trusted friends. They know I am not asking them to tell me to be heartless, but they know I have a difficult time separating what is my part of the problem and what is totally out of my control. These friends do not judge me or the situation. They just help me sort the mess out. With help, I can lay it all out, identify what is under my control and what I have to let go of as it is not mine.
My hope is that each time I walk through this process with my friends, that I am learning the skills to do it on my own. I feel like I am also learning to spot the traps I fall into with regularity. One of those traps is not being
"cognizant of where you have power, and where you do not." Oprah
Learning where I have power and where I don't is huge to me creating the life I want to live. Learning to focus primarily on my power without feeling guilt is a big work in progress. It is a lesson that I believe will get easier the more this "muscle" is used.
I know that part of my life purpose is to share information and guide others, so I am sure I will have plenty of opportunities to practice being kind, sharing what I have learned, and then stepping back and allowing people to find their own power, in their own time, or not.
Thank you Mary for sharing Elizabeth's post with me!
Happy Rump Day!
I just made the snowy & icy journey to take my kids up to school in the mountains. I am safely back down in town and am warming up in the office! Down here in town, most school districts have a two hour delay, so I hope that my local friends are enjoying a little more time with their kids this morning!
I woke up thinking about the emotional house cleaning I need to do.
Beside letting go of the stories I keep telling myself about who I am and what I came from, I started thinking about my forgiveness list again. A couple of weeks ago I started thinking about all of the people I need to forgive. People who have hurt my feelings, broke my heart, disappointed me and people who I want to forgive me for hurting their feelings, breaking their hearts, and disappointing them.
I reached out to a few people. One of them reached out to me and said that they had no idea I was still carrying this anger. This is what I was thinking about this morning.
I didn't know I was still carrying that anger either. I made my peace with the situation years ago, and while I have not actively thought of them, I realized that it is actually kinda weird that I still had them mentally blocked in my life. I realized that I still have an emotional energy cord to that situation that is holding me back.
It made me start thinking what other old situations and old relationships am I still tethered to? I found a lot of great healers who will "cut cords" for you, but being the emotional person I am, I need to be able to do this for myself as I attach myself and allow myself to be attached to frequently. I found a website where the healer made it very easy to understand how I can cut the cords.
Amanda Linette Meder, Clairvoyant Medium - Author - Spiritual Educator
"You can tell if you have an energy cord if you are preoccupied with an issue, situation, conservation, belief system, judgement, or attitude that belongs to someone else. Can't 'get over' something? Chances are, there's a cord linking you to this person, place or thing. You can also tell if you have a cord if you have a great amount of love, affection, and compassionate feelings for another."
There are some cords you want to keep because cords can be beneficial. Many of us are blessed to have loving cords with someone that allow us to know when our loved one is feeling down or needs us. But if a cord is "inhibiting the growth of you as a soul or preventing you from ‘moving forward’ in your life," then it is time to cut it.
I like to think of the cord cutting having more to do with the emotion or situation than cutting all ties with the person. I am sure I have some people I need to do a final cutting with, but I have found that most of the cutting I need to do is over situations assumed or real that keep me emotionally bound to someone long after I have given or received forgiveness.
Here is what I pulled from Amanda's How To. Click here to see the full article.
1. Identify it.
2. Examine it.
3. Cut it. This is the one I needed. Amanda says that once you have identified which cords need to be cut, then you choose how you will cut the cord. Will it be with a knife, a huge pair of scissors or with the help of your Angels or Spirit Guides? Once you decide on your cutting tool, then cut the cord.
"Then, set the intention that the energetic exchange between you and X now, whole, complete, and is ended in the past, present, and for the future."
4. Follow up. Amanda says "While they may not consciously realize anything happened - their spirit will know." She says to be aware that if the other person is needy or co-dependent and wanted to keep the cord, they will try to reattach it.
"They can think about you (and in turn, you will think about them), they could text or call you, send you a message, or get a friend to contact you. If you’d like to keep the cord cut, you’ll want to resist interacting with this person in any way until they ‘get the hint’ that you aren’t interested in engaging and being attached to their energy."
For me it is very easy to be drawn back in and to have the cord reconnected. Amanda says that this isn't always a one time deal. With some people, you will need to keep cutting the cord after each attempt is made to reconnect.
After the cord is cut, Amanda has the sweetest final ritual. She send pink healing and loving light to seal the cut. She says to, "simply visualize whitish pink light shining down on them from above, as though a spiritual window has opened from the Other Side (Heaven), and sending it’s love down to them."
I have an awful lot that I am avoiding dealing with right now, so having this diversion to focus on for a couple of days is much needed.
I am going to spend my meditation or quiet time on thinking about who I still feel connected to that isn't serving me, on what emotional ties I need to let go of on anything that isn't allowing me to move forward.
I love how easy and quick this whole ritual is. I love that I now have a "closure" for the forgiveness process.
How to Cut Cords with Someone, Amanda Linette Meder
On Twitter: Jack Kornfield@JackKornfield Oct 20, 2014 at 5:55 am
The Path Is Not Linear but Circular and Continuous - http://goo.gl/hlEzET
How can this be?
I grew up believing that grown ups got jobs, worked hard, found a partner, got married, bought a house, had children, set aside money, retired, gardened & played golf & traveled and then died.
There was a starting point, a middle point and a end.
That life map was simple & clean to understand. I could measure where I was on the path by checking off my accomplishments. Until I derailed my life train.
My derailing was my divorce. We had worked hard, bought the house, set aside money and then due to unemployment, the money all got spent, we almost lost the house, and the we killed our partnership.
Then my life became about starting over. Looking back this has been the fatal flaw of the past few years for me. I thought I was supposed to start over on the original path. Like a board game, I thought I was supposed to go all the way back to the start point and work my way back up. I have been beating myself up with all of the "shoulds" based on where I was supposed to be based on the original life map.
If you haven't read my piece A Nasty Case of the Shoulds, please do!
After my derailment, I started back at square one. It took forever for me to find a job. Because of my kids school schedule and location, my hours 3 days a week are limited. I have been shocked at how much of a problem employers see this as. You get my 20 plus years experience for $12 an hour tops but my having early two days a week when I can work 16 hour days the other two days a week doesn't fit your acceptable model.
I found a job that worked around my children's school schedule and could use all of the skills and experience I have collected in my 20 plus years working.
I found the partner. I had created a list for my searching and he met all of the important qualities I wanted.
I found the house. I moved out of my girlfriends basement and into my huge 3 bedroom old victorian rental with a fabulous porch & large back yard, within minutes of jumping on the highway to get to my kids school.
My children and I settled back into our rhythm and life was normal again.
I felt like I was really doing a good job checking off items again. Now I was on the path to being able to start saving and boom I would be totally back on track for my 40's. Right?
Then my ex husband stopped paying me. That was a huge financial hit.
Then my soul crushing job and the stress it created made me very, very sick and put me on very, very expensive daily medicine.
Then the company I worked for took a huge loss. I took a pay cut.
I was renting my little dream home, but it is not mine. It is tied to my job. If I leave the soul sucking job, I leave my sweet little house.
You know that moment when you find yourself sitting, confused and lost? That is where I am. Confused and lost. Kicking myself for all that I should have done that would have been better than what I did.
Why didn't I go back to school so I could get a better paying job to provide for myself? Then I remind myself that I didn't go to school because I have barely been able to scrape by financially and with time as it is. If employer's are not accepting of needing a flexible work schedule I have lead myself to believe neither will college. Sorry Mr. College but I can't take classes after 2 on Monday's & Tuesday's and every other Friday because I have to go pick up my kids from school in the mountains. Then I only have them on Monday & Tuesday evenings, so I can't take classes then or I would miss out on being with them. As you can tell this is a big one I keep kicking myself about.
I am ready to succeed financially. So much of my stress (and most people's) is just trying to make ends meet each month. But I think I am going to have to wait on the school plan until my kids are grown up. I am trying to convince myself that I will catch the school train on one of the next go rounds.
So, why did I get back on this damn path. It didn't work for me the first 20 years, but it is all I know, and I reached for the security of it. The reality is that there is no security in it at all.
I really don't like the idea that life is not a straight path, but "circular and continuous" as Jack Kornfield suggest. I don't like it, but I know he is correct.
Even before my first derailment, things were starting to spiral out of control.
Several lay-offs, draining of the retirement funds, almost losing the house because we couldn't pay the mortgage and the healthcare payments. We would have years of barely scraping by, followed by a year or two of great success and stability and then another cycle of lay-offs and loss. This was repeated several time over my 16 year marriage. Crazy how I forget that. I like to look back and see that we were on a steady track to retirement, but we weren't.
So I have found that I have been kicking myself for not having made it farther down the path of success, when I should be reexamining why I am so anxious to return to the life map? This map has not worked for me yet. When does one accept that the traditional model is a lie? And even if I accept it as a fallacy, what do I replace it with?
How do you live on this kind of life map once you acknowledge that life is not a destination. How do I get back in line, work hard,when realistically I will lose some huge portion of it again and have to start all over? What I need is a new concept that helps me to accept the ebb and flow that is life.
I both love and hate the impermanence that I am learning about. I love the idea that even though things are very difficult right now, that they won't always be. This is the hope I cling to. I don't love the idea that when I get everything in place and I feel successful, that it could all go away again. I so don't like this part of the cycle.
I have had my couple of good years and am fearing heading back into the instability and financial difficulties again. I keep hoping that as I grow older and smarter that each down swing will be smaller and shorter and less costly, but I don't have evidence of that yet.
MENTAL NOTE FOR LATER THINKING: I am guessing this is one of those limiting beliefs I keep hearing so much about.
So I am spending too much time being confused and lost and ignoring that I need to pay attention.
Yesterday at work my maintenance man staged a low level intervention. He told me he has noticed that I don't breathe a lot at the office, that I hold my breath. Then my admin, turned around and brought up my teeth clinching and endless head scratching (eczema). That they took the time to come up with ideas to help me is a huge testament to how very kind they are. However it also makes me pause and notice how much I am ignoring because I don't know how to fix it all. I have been burying my head in the sand.
It seems that I am fully capable of ignoring my body announcing that is is overly stressed. I cannot allow my health to become a part of this cycle. I am blessed that my friends took the time to tell me I am starting to scare people. But, how embarrassing to be that person who everyone is watching implode.
My goal this weekend is to create an idea of what a new life map looks like for me. What do I want to accomplish as milestones? What will success look like to me? Can I define enough of it in small daily moments that I don't ever feel like I am failing again? How do I redefine my life map to have more of the milestones be things that help me ride through the low cycles?
Time to start thinking about what small steps I can take to take care of myself and to help myself dig out of this hole I find myself in again. Time to pull my head out of my ass and start taking care of myself.
Step one to think about what I want my life to look like so I can see if anything I am currently doing supports the life I want. I am ready to go from surviving to thriving! I am going to end it here and get my notebook out and meditate before the morning gets away from me.
It is the weirdest thing when you turn the card over and know or feel the card.
I cringed a little bit when I flipped it over. Another hard card. I feel like I get the same 12 or so cards over and over again, but this week has been full of new cards. Truly relevant cards with the specific focus that I need with the chaos whirling around me. Every card I have received this week has been a first time card for me.
While I battle with who or what I think my higher power is or isn't, I wholeheartedly believe in Angels. I have since I was a little girl. I believe that the people's physical bodies die but I do not believe that is the end of it. I don't know that I buy into the winged celestial beings, but I do believe we are always energy, in this life and in the next. I believe some Angels choose to stay with people and that they help us if we will let them.
"You may have been afraid that if you did admit how you honestly felt, you'd be overwhelmed with feelings and faced with making some necessary changes that you feel unprepared for. Yet, the Angels assure you that it's healthiest to face this situation with honesty. They will help you with your emotions, relationships, and any support you need to make positive changes. However, the Angels remind you to focus only upon your desires and not upon your fears so that you can attract the former and not the latter.
The situation will improve when you face it squarely. You deserve better.
Trust your own feelings even if others don't agree. Don't give away your power to others. Avoid getting caught up in the illusion that 'this is the way it is'.
Don't give up." Additional meaning from the accompanying book Doreen Virtue Angel Oracle Cards
I have received some very pointed guidance this week from my Angel Cards. I know I keep portraying them as screaming at me, but the reality is they are being direct. It just feels like screaming because I am resisting reality right now.
Listen, Daydream, Be Honest with Yourself.
That sums up what is happening. As I have said this week, I can feel the change coming. I can feel the buzz, energy, pull, and the weight of this shift. I think I have been so frazzled the past four months that I am so tired and weary that I am being more receptive to what is happening around me.
I am very good at pretending that everything is ok. I have been caught up in believing that if I just keep working hard and keep making small steps forward that given time it would all fall into place.
The message that I feeling from today's card is so easy & true, I have been afraid to admit how I feel because in doing so, I do have to feel things and make changes. Trust your own feelings is hard for me when decisions involve people you love. It is so easy to forget what your gut was telling you as you talk and listen to other people.
It is still very stressful for me to stand firm in my feelings, because while feelings are not facts, they are as real and powerful as it gets. I am still very new to just stating my feelings and not feeling I have to open them up to discussion or dissection.
My power is in not defending and arguing my feelings.
As the weekend rolls in, I will be spending some time inside my head listening, meditating, and trying to be honest with myself.
I was listening to Jessica Ortner on Hay House Radio yesterday while she talked to a listener about how anxious this woman felt trying to figure out what to do next in life, how to deal with change. Jessica lead a great EFT Tapping Meditation. I jumped right in an started tapping.
I couldn't write down what she was saying and participate, so participation won out, but a one point she said, "On top of everything else I am already doing, having to do, I am shoulding all over myself." I had to stop and write that little beauty down.
Holy shit, me too. I thought, wow, there's a name for this? I have been shoulding all over myself for about 4 years. Shoulding all over oneself is very messy.
I should be making more money at this age. I should be higher up on the corporate ladder by now. I should have dropped this last 15 pounds by now. I should have found my soul mate by now. I should have a book written by now. I should have gone to college. I should have gone back to school. I should have a savings account for emergencies. I should be farther along paying off my debt. I should have Christmas money sat aside to purchase my gifts. I should have known better than to trust her. I should have gotten a raise. I should have left him sooner. I should have called her more. I should have eaten better. I should have worked harder. I should have taken more photos. I should have hugged him more. I should have told her I loved her. I should have called a cab or friend to take me home. I should have said no. I should have put my phone down and enjoyed his company. I should have rolled over, snuggled up to him and said I was sorry. I should have told him to never speak to me that way again. I should have told him to fuck off. I should have stood up for myself. I should have stood up for my friend. I should have told her I was proud of her. I should have told him even though I didn't bring him into this world, that he will always be my child. I should have told her how much it would mean to me if she came. I should have just cried and took comfort in her arms.
Should and more is repeated in most of those sentences. I should do more. Which translates into I am not enough and I am not worthy.
Shoulding is very harmful to your life. It makes you believe you failed and that there is no chance to try again; game over you are done. The more I learn and accept about the constant change life presents us with, the more I know I have to stop shoulding all over my own life.
First, I have to stop comparing myself to everyone else. I know I am doing the best I can with what I have; financially & emotionally. My success and happiness is just about me, not about measuring up next to those around me. We all want such different things and have different definition of success and happiness.
Second, I need to take a deep breath and exhale and sit in this moment of happiness and contentedness. I am very blessed. I live in a country where I have rights, choice and a vote in my future. I need to spend more time noticing and celebrating all of the small successes and blessings that are in my life. In this present moment I am truly full of peace and joy. In this present moment is where I need to strive to stay. No guilt over the past and no worry about tomorrow. Just focus on the now.
Third, I need to remember that I can change any of my should's to DONE's! This story, my story is no where near done. I can revise and edit right up until they are tossing dirt into my grave. If I am blessed, I will be able to channel my unearthly thoughts to some divine medium and will get some last minute edits for my tombstone! :)
Of all of the things I totally rock at, doing a "do-over" is something I have found great comfort in. Screw asking if I can do a do-over, I just do it. There is such power and peace in changing your mind or actions. There is such beauty in realizing your error and making the proper corrections. There is such mental peace at allowing yourself to start anew with the rising sun. Even when those around you look at you like you have lost your mind, go ahead and change your mind until your thoughts and actions align with your heart.
Fourth, remember that it has to be in your own right time. No one else can set your time limits and time frames. Screw those that say you are wishy-washy. Don't be rushed into making the wrong decisions to meet someone else's deadlines. Keep evaluating things, situations, and people until you can sit in the rightness of your choices.
It is very easy to look back and think about what you should have done. It is very easy to beat yourself up once you reach a point where you can look back with a different view of the options you had available. Successful people do not get stuck here, they re-evaluate and move on. They view each failure or missed moment as a chance to try something new or to try the same thing again with more gusto!
I want to be a successful person who keeps working at my life each day to make sure I am doing what makes me happy and brings my life peace and joy! Each day, I find an odd peace in accepting that I alone am responsible for my life. Things are going to happen to me and around me, but I get to choose how I react and if I allow them to be defining moments in my life.
Angels can scream and they are being very direct with the cards I receive from my Angel Cards.
Yesterday my Angel card was Listen.
"You received this card because the Angels wish to get their message through to you. "
Wow, sorry Angels, no need to get snotty, right?! I get it, "through to you!"
"If it seems they are not answering, it's because you're not listening to their answers. Retreat to a quiet place with the intent of listening to your Angels."
Again, wow & sorry Angels. Fine I am not listening. I am too scared to listen.
Today my Angel card was Daydream.
"You will more easily hear & receive our messages if you daydream regularly."
When the hell do I have time to freakin daydream? Guess I could have yesterday either of the two times my car wouldn't start and I have forced down time.
I remember being 11 or 12 and our minister was at our house, and was talking to me about my upcoming baptism. I asked why God didn't just clearly talk to me. He has the power to and has chosen to. I asked why when I prayed for direction didn't he just make the mobile hanging from my ceiling move. The minister told me That God didn't do things like that because it would scare the crap out of us if things started moving & if I started hearing voices.
OK, so that makes sense, kinda.
Yes it would freak me out, for a while & would probably lead to me getting irritated with the constant interruptions & I would probably get pissed at the lack of free will, but damn it would make the hard, scary, anxious days easier and it feels like their are so many more hard uncertain days than there are the easy ones where I am not asking for direction.
The two evenings I don't have the kids would be perfect "get quiet" times, but I seem to fill those nights quickly with extra hours at work to make up for leaving early the days I have the kids. Or I fill them up with errands I don't want to run with the kids. Or best yet, I piss them away being exhausted & going to bed before 9 p.m.
I have been so out of alignment with my soul for so long that I think I have come to fear being quiet & listening because I grew weary of listening to the hard things/choices I should have been making and didn't want to. Now getting quiet & listening feels like bad friend torture where you have to endure hours of "I told you so's" and "you should have's".
I need to make peace with quiet again so I can hear the answers I am praying for.
I heard Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love tell Oprah that one way to know if the guidance you are receiving is from God or your ego, is that God or the Divine is not about judgement. How weird is that to believe that when God talks to us it isn't in judgement. Boy that feels so contrary to the messages I got growing up. She says that the voice we hear that judges us or makes us feel bad for mistakes is our ego.
I love the idea that God is only love and only wants love & joy for us.
I love the idea that the hurtful, angry, judging voice that makes me feel wrong & bad & stupid is my ego, not God.
If I really want guidance, then I need to make getting quiet a big priority right now. Kinda sucks to spend so much time praying and asking for guidance, and then keep myself so busy and sick that I can't hear the answers I was asking for. I love starting mornings out realizing that I am my own biggest problem, not.
I know that when life is spinning out of control and the pressure is on that this is the most important time to stop and listen, but it is very hard to quiet the horrid inner dialogue to hear the guidance I am requesting. I am worried that like the past few years, I will not like the answers that come. That I will not want to heed their wisdom. That they will be the hard decisions that I have not wanted to make.
I am going to be practical and choose to set aside 30 minutes of quiet per day. Maybe as I get a few days behind me, I won't be so fearful of listening and daydreaming. Maybe the messages won't be as bad as I have feared. Maybe even if there are hard decisions ahead, I will make them because I know they are the answer to my prayers.
My question to all of you is, how do you hear God or whomever your higher power is speak to you? When you pray or meditate or get quiet to receive guidance, how does it come to you? How do you receive the answers to your prayers?
She is a sneaky little bitch, my Sophie.
She is 12 years old Jeep Cherokee and she has some miles on her. Like me, she has a very delicate system. She also has a few quirks, one of which is showing me who is in charge by not starting when I have a very busy day planned.
Today we took the kids up to school. On the way back down, I stopped to get a couple of drinks for the office. I got back into the car and she wouldn't turn over. No click, click, click, no nothing. I take out the key and flip it around and insert it with the flip side facing forward, nothing happens. I try both sides of the key again, this time with my foot pressing in on the brake, nothing happens, I try both sides of the key again, pressing my foot on the brake and turning the steering wheel, nothing happens.
I am trying to figure out why today? She knows it is a Wednesday morning which means I can get to work early and get a couple hours in before I have to open the door. She knows this and today she decides I need to get stuck in the Safeway parking lot in the mountains in flip flops, brrrrr.
Then it hits me, she knows it is Day 3 of Deepak & Oprah's newest 21 Day Meditation. I am already two days behind on my meditation.
I tell her that if she will turn over and let me get rolling again, that I promise to listen to Day 1 on our drive back into town, nothing happens. I ask her again, sweetly repeating the key flipping, brake pressing, steering wheel turning routine and still nothing happens.
Jason is down in town dropping off his kids to school so if he has to come fetch us, he is 40 minutes from getting to me. "Fine" I scream, "I will put the damn meditation on." As it turns out, that would be easier said than done as the phone that is already set up to connect to the online mediation has 10 percent battery life on it. I grabbed my other phone and tried to log on. Of course I cannot remember my password and it won't let me log in using Facebook, so I have to reset my password.
I try not to mutter out loud so I don't piss her off more, but I am irritated at having to create yet another password that I won't be able to remember next month. Finally I get logged in and start my freakin meditation.
Exhale, inhale, exhale, centering thought, "My life moves forward through desire.", mantra Eecha Shakti Namah. Eecha Shakti Namah. Eecha Shakti freakin Namah.
Exhale, inhale, exhale, inhale, blah, blah, blah.
Then my shoulders relax, and the breathing relaxes too. Exhale, inhale, exhale, inhale, calm. I really enjoy meditating. I enjoy the quiet and calm. Quiet and calm is very lacking in my life.
Exhale, inhale, exhale, inhale, peace...
Then I peek and see if she is looking and I take the keys and try the key flipping, brake pressing, steering wheel turning routine and she starts!!!!!
Using only the one open eye, I put her in reverse and ease out of my parking space. I start calmly chanting, Eecha Shakti Namah, over and over. I keep inhaling and exhaling steadily and we pull back onto the highway. I finish Day 1 of 21 day mediation.
I made it to work. I am saddened that I cannot call Click and Clack and describe this situation to them so they can diagnose my sweet girl.
Now to tackle my busy day.
As you know, I love to listen to Hay House Radio on my cell phone while I am driving to and from picking my kids up from school in the mountains. I have about a 40 minute drive both ways. I lose signal for about 10 minutes each trip, and one day I will purchase myself satellite radio so I keep the signal. Until then, I schlump my shoulders when the signal ends, and drive as fast & safely as I can to get through the mountain pass where my signal resumes.
Tuesday's after dropping off my kids I listen to David Ji and he was speaking about fear. He had several listeners on to talk about what they fear. He had a listener on who has been blogging and was talking about her fear of taking her blog from safe subjects to exposing more about her real self. As this is a fear of mine I listened intently.
Everything I write will be out there forever, like for-e-ver permanently. Each time I write something and push post, I freak just a bit. My stomach tightens, my throat feels restricted and my facial muscles tense & set. But I hit "post". Then it is done and out of my control. I know I have a message to share and I can't keep being afraid of what people will think. I can't keep being afraid of what my friends and family will think.
Initially each time I write something that really exposes what I feel my life was like growing up, I feel that panic. I don't want to upset my mom and dad and sister. I am not trying to get them to deal with my shit. I am not trying to force them to wade through this with me. I make peace with my mom, sister and dad each time I press "post" because I know that they love me and see me!
They really know me and in doing so know that so much of what has gone wrong in my life stems from trying to suppress all of these words and feelings inside. Trying to keep it all in and boxed and organized has kept me anxious, worried and fearful. Secrets will do that to you.
So, while I am not actively discussing my writing with my immediate family, I know that they support me and that they know that my hope in sharing my pain is to connect and help others. What I write everyday is my testimony. I share it because I am ready to connect.
For the rest of my extended family in a very small southern town where shame is passed from generation to generation, I have to exhale as loudly and forcefully as I can through pursed teeth & lips and remember that they were witnesses who chose not to get involved. I am an adult now and I will not be silenced to keep the peace and comfort of those who turned their eyes from children in need.
Anyhow, I digress. To the listener who called in unsure of how to start sharing more personal parts of her life, David Ji told her to just "blurt something personal out to the coffee server, next time you are in line." I am so not kidding when I say I loved hearing the rawness of that. How fucking true to knowing if you are ready to share than to just tell someone who you don't know and who's opinion of you truly doesn't matter.
Now, he went on to adjust that thought by asking her to start sharing information with friends and see what their reaction is and how you feel about their reaction. But before he made the adjustment, the thought was put out there.
There is always a struggle with what you want as your end result or what journey you are here to take. Some people blog anomalously so that they can share and interact but from the safety of no one knowing who they are. I can so understand that process and I know from talking to others that the anonymity of blogging can allow so many people to work through and work out their problems. No one ever need know who you are in the real world.
While my blog started with anonymity, I realized that I want to be able to speak with people without having to hide behind a wall or without having a blurry dot put over my face. I want to write books and meet the people who like and connect with my thoughts. My journey needs to be one of visibility. Even knowing that I want and am choosing to be open about my journey still scares the shit out of me.
Hearing him advise this listener to test the waters was good for me today. It was a reminder that I am getting more comfortable with what I am writing. I don't want to feel shame about my life and the things that shaped it. Not all of what has happened in my life is pretty, but it all happened and hiding it and denying it has created the fear monster I share my life with.
As he continued to talk about fear, he said that he loved a quote by his good friend Terri Cole, "If you are struggling, flip over and float."
Again, I love me some syncronicty in the morning. This was another perfect message being brought to me personally. I am very much struggling right now. I am stressing what I am doing, how I am doing it, what is the next step, am I still on the right path, and as always, am I doing it fast enough.
The message my Angels whispered this morning, was "Flip over and Float."
I so much believe in this message and have been teaching it to kids learning to swim for years. I am a swimmer. My children were born and raised in a pool. Summer to me means the smell of chlorine and sunscreen. When your children first learn to put their face under the water and to relax with having their face under the water, they stand in that accomplishment for about a three days. Then they stare longingly at the other side of the rope that separated the baby pool from the big kid pool.
After the whole face under water thing, teaching them to swim is easy. Time for lessons. Every morning for weeks they splash and kick and learn the technique and movements that are swimming. Then the last few days of swim lessons, they have your kids take the swim test. This test allows them the freedom they have eyed from the safety of your arms when you took them into the big kid side. They are so ready to pass this test and spend the rest of the summer being a big kid! For swimming families this is a huge first big kid milestone.
Both of my kids passed their swim tests and my easy summers of sitting by the edge of the baby pool chatting with moms changed to playing life guard and keeping a motherly eye on how tired they appeared to be getting with their new found freedom. This is when you see if they were listening to your lessons. I taught both of mine to flip and float. We practiced it every day. There is a lot of trust that goes into relaxing your body and trusting the science that keeps your body afloat. You can't do it and crane to keep your face out of the water. You really have to surrender and relax.
We would be at the pool for several hours every day and inevitably I would see one or both of them take a little time out and flip over to relax those tired little arms and legs. Much to my "mom" anxiety, I also witnessed them flip and float when they found themselves too far away from the safety of the side of the pool. I was never far away or unable to reach them in two strokes, but I had to force myself to stay still and watch to allow them opportunities to use the safety skills you teach them. It should always be in a safe environment, but children have to learn to save themselves because we want them to grown up and start their own lives.
The best skills we can teach our kids is to take care of themselves, self care. As a mom, I need constant reminders to take care of myself so that I can take care of my family. Weekly I remind myself that they rely on me and I have to find the time to nurture and replenish myself.
It is in these moments when I am so riddled with stress and doubt that I have to remember to flip over and float for a while. This very much ties in with my on going thoughts this past week to stop and listen for what the next step it. I am fighting and resisting surrendering to the unknown, the change that is here, even though I know that my battle is only making it worse.
I will try to surrender to this moment and float for a bit. I will try to relax and listen. I have to admit that yesterday's plan to listen to Day 1 of Deepak's 21 Mediation Program did not happen. I had big plans to listen to the first meditation twice yesterday and didn't even create the time to listen to it once.
I am going to create the time to listen to yesterday's meditation. I am ok with being a day behind.
Maybe in the 10 minutes or so while I wait for my kids to finish school and make it out to the car, I will soak in the warmth of the bright sunshine and close my eyes and float for a few minutes. I will feel the sun on my face, smell the chlorine and sunscreen, feel the water float in and out of my ears, and relax my neck.
Stress & germs took me down hard yesterday. Stress is the gift that keeps on giving. I keep telling stress that I am all good and don't need another visit, but she shows up at my door several times a year to catch up on old times. She finds me no many how many times I move.
I haven't written anything since Thursday, which makes me feel really weird and out of sorts. I had hoped to write Sunday, but nothing that has been going through my mind seemed worth writing. I just wanted to lay on the sofa and breathe.
I can feel that change is coming. I can feel that change is needed. I have fought it for so long now. I just wanted a little more normal & stable, but this is not where I am supposed to be. I like being comfortable and the repetition of my days. The more I resist this change the harder & more stressful my life becomes. I am trying to see this challenge as a "tremendous gift" as Nick Ortner suggest, but it just isn't feeling very Christmas like.
Back in July I received an email from a life coach that talked about her "longest night" and how she realized that she had spent her life supporting & living someone else's dream. She realized she had never invested in herself the way she had invested in her partner's dreams. I find myself in a similar boat. I am an excellent team player. I am an excellent support person. I have the skills to organize & choreograph anything & carry out a small invasion or take over, but I don't use these skills for my own life, I save them for everyone else.
The one time I did use them for myself was my divorce court. I ran out of people who could afford to give me money after $25k and had to represent myself for the final court date. With the support of some very knowledgeable friends, I prepared every document, every report, and every argument. Between the good ole boy bullshit in the very small town I was living in and just not accepting that a non lawyer can never win against a known accredited lawyer and his highly paid expert witnesses. I lost, and that was crippling, but I brought a mighty fine "A" game with me that day.
Other than that day, I don't represent myself or promote myself like I do my partner's dream. I wish I could say it is because they need me and my help more than I do, but that is not true. I have played small for all of my adult life because I do not want to fail. I do not want to be told that I don't have what it takes to fulfill my dreams. I don't want to hear that I am not good enough. It has been safer to team up with someone and push their dreams rather than mine.
Like the quote that started my brain down this path, "What part of part of me needs to be healed?" "What part do I need to understand/heal/forgive about myself?" Nick Ortner Facebook 11/2/2014
Only life is now showing me that it isn't safer to push someone's dream. When I truly scream out "why me?" & "What have I done to cause this?", which I am currently screaming with my raised fist shaking in the air.
Life is screaming back at me, "because you are hiding behind someone else. We are going to ask you one more time to step out from behind that other person and show up everyday to do one thing that moves your dream forward."
I am sitting as still as possible with the question "if I am supposed to do something different, what is it?" I have children to support and I can't just jump off the fast track to sit at home writing my days away. I have to find something that keeps my energy high, not stressed and frazzled and crazy! I just need a day job, that can be left at the door when I get home.
I am anxious and tired and I am finding sitting still very difficult, but right now I need to have some serious time each day devoted to listening.
"Regardless of how hard, challenging, frightening, or difficult an experience may seem, everything is just as it needs to be in order for us to heal, grow, and learn." Iyanla Vanzant Facebook 11/3/2014
Everything right now seems hard, challenging, frightening and difficult. I cannot figure out what I need to heal and grow. I cannot figure out if I am making the progress I need to be making fast enough. It is really challenging to be a Type A personality when you know you are trying to slow your life down, just a little bit.
Today is the first day of Deepak's & Oprah's new 21 Day Meditation Challenge. I will be listening to day one today while making dinner and I will probably need to listen to it again before going to be tonight. I love these 21 day deals. They make it very easy for me to stay on task each day.
Sorry if this seems like a repeat of several other days I have had the past two months. My life really does feel like two steps forward, one step back and while I love a good Cha-Cha, I am tired of standing in the same spot on the dance floor. I am ready for a big sweeping foxtrot that keeps me moving!
Shit, note to self, no more dancing analogies, I am supposed to be sitting quietly listening for guidance and meaning.
Sit Melissa, assume the position and quiet your busy monkey brain.
Happy All Saints Day!!
My Angel card today is Opportunity to Forgive.
When I look back over my days & months in my journal, a lot of my cards deal with Forgiveness. I truly get why this theme is so pervasive in my readings. In my heart, I have a lot of people that I need to forgive. I also have a long list of things I need to forgive myself for.
The meaning to the Opportunity to Forgive card says that "the Angels sent you this card because they see that you've grown weary of reoccurring negative patterns in your life."
Yes I have. Weary so describes how I feel.
"To break this cycle, it is important for you to release old toxic thoughts." "You can do this by breathing deeply & on each exhalation give your fears, worries, anger & other painful emotions to the Angels."
I adore this Angel Card deck! All of the cards are beautiful and uplifting, no doom & gloom. Each morning I am given a beautiful idea to consider as I move throughout my day.
Then in my daily random flip to a page in Miracles Now, by Gabrielle Bernstein, I landed on #57 Surrender It All. It seems I have another day of forgiveness and surrender in front of me.
"Try not to pray for a specific outcome--instead pray for peace. Accessing a perfect state of peace of mind is really all we need." MM#57 I surrender it all.
So, I am going to work on forgiveness this month.
I know I will be working on it for way longer than a month, like daily for-e-ver, but I need to get some of the smaller, easier to release old emotions out of my head & heart. A couple of days ago I saw a name flash across my phone that I haven't actively seen in a very long time. It is someone I have cared deeply about. Her connecting even in such a small way started the wheels turning and I know that today's release of old toxic thoughts will be to her (and him).
I am also sending out a special prayer to a good friend who is taking part one of the bar exam today! She doesn't need my prayer because she will kick ass today, but prayers help us stay connected to those we love.