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.
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.
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.
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.
I love the idea of "becoming" instead of a mid life crisis.
I am in the process of becoming. It started right on schedule prior to my 40th birthday. As much as I like to fault my body for failing me and falling apart, I need to admit that I am a well oiled machine.
I adamantly did not want to have children or be a mother until about 4 months into being twenty-eight years old. My biological clock went from ticking to tocking to gonging to full on glocking like the Munich Glockenspiel, with music, dancing and spinning! Within two months, I was pregnant.
Right before 40, I realized I had neglected my body during my mommy haze. I started walking, then I started very slow running. As things started to thin out, I added weights to add strength & definition to my emerging Goddessness!! You can do an awful lot of thinking when you are out running.
I started reading again in the evening instead of vegging out to tv. Suddenly my mind was filled with new ideas and thoughts and I went searching for people of like minds (or at least people who don't choose to turn every conversation into a debate) to share my new knowledge with and to learn from. Then miraculously, I figured out how to run at a very slow pace and talk to people.
I was very, very happy for a while with this new ability. I started running with friends several times a week. I was blossoming and becoming. It was glorious!
Then I realized that my becoming was not conducive to my marriage.
He didn't want to continue to "become". He was done with becoming and was happy with how he had turned out. I believe that "becoming" is an on-going process, that it does not stop, that we repeat this process every decade or so because we have to and because we want to.
I believe that you can stop at any point on a path, no matter how far you have gone and how long it has taken you, and change direction. I believe that it is important to stop from time to time and really look around to see if you are happy, to see if you are where you thought you'd be, to see if you still even want what started you on this exact path months or years ago.
I believe that when we stop and listen, we get either the confirmation to continue on or the nagging, pit of the gut feeling that signifies that we are not happy.
I also didn't view failure the same as he did.
We tried, and then we didn't try, but in the end it was clear that I didn't want to be required to stay the same person he felt he had known for 17 years. I didn't feel required to stay the same. I didn't feel I was changing as much as remembering who I was. I am not sure we ever truly knew it each as it came as such an awful surprise that we wanted such different journeys.
So, long story short (for once), I stopped on my marriage path, listened with my heart and soul and came to the conclusion that I needed to take a different path to continue blossoming into my most full Goddessness and to live the life that I was dreaming of. I realized that I needed the wide open space to grown unencumbered and without having to defend or debate my choices and thoughts.
I think some people can continue to "become" and stay in their existing relationships, but I think that it requires both people to have interest in continuing to move forward in life, in learning new things not only about the world, but about themselves. Not everyone in this world is interested in evolving and personal growth and that is ok, unless you are married to them.
I believe it is worth trying to drag them along for a period of time to see if they are just hesitant, which is very human. Few people actively embrace change. Most of us need a very personal reason to willingly change.
If after dragging and pulling and including, they still don't want to come with you, then you need to stop and get quiet and figure out if you feel you can continue "becoming" on your own, but tied to them. I have seen this happen and with the right person, they will watch you become and love you through every step. Love is funny like that. You meet those couples who seem so different with seemingly nothing in common, but some very strong love, respect and admiration. It is rare and bewildering to watch, but I do believe in this very special kind of love.
If after dragging and pulling and including, they still don't want to come with you, and they are asking and pleading or demanding you to stop becoming, then you have choices to make.
I wanted to find and live forever with my prince charming. Then at the time of my becoming, I realized that I don't believe that everyone meets that one person and stays with them forever. Maybe some people are only supposed to be in your life for a while, for a portion of your journey.
Maybe people who start "becoming" way earlier in life are better prepared to find someone they can stay with forever. I remembered who I was going to become when I was a child, but I was too scared to take the chances. I didn't stop and listen, I was too busy rushing and living. I let life happen to me instead of trying my hand at creating. I was so scared and I put off "becoming" for fear that I would fail.
Now I know you can't fail at becoming, there is no way to fail at being you because "once you become Real, you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand." And people who don't understand, can't matter.
If you stay on your journey to "becoming" you will meet people who are well worn, loose jointed and shabby chic'd, introduce yourself, as this is your tribe!
I have spent my life playing it small.
Fear has been a constant companion and a crazy mistress always pulling me aside at the party to tell me that my dress doesn't fit properly and is too tight, or that my makeup looks gaudy, or that everyone know I never went to college. She reminds me of where I am from, who my parents are and when I get too big for my britches. She asks me what is so special about me that I deserve happiness. She asks me why anyone would bother reading what I write, when there are real people with degrees and such who write big important books. She asks me who I think would come listen to my stories when the world is already full of self-help writers, with worse sad stories, and real success in lifting themselves out of the shit. She whispers her truths in my ears and her voice echos in my mind, even when she is not walking beside me.
I listen to her because so much of what she has told me has come true. She has foretold the end of all of my relationships. She has watched me jump from so-so job to crappy job. She has laughed at my attempts to pay my bills with what I make. She made sure I felt too stupid to get a real job when I was cleaning houses.
Unbeknownst to most, I make hard choices and decisions all the time. Life presents me with these options, forks in the road, and obstacles damn near weekly. Even when I make the right decision and everything seems to go alright, she is there with a smirk on her lips and rolling her eyes that it was "luck", not really anything I did. Sometimes she forecast that the success is only temporary, it certainly won't last.
She wears a crown that makes her the "What if" Queen and she likes to engage me in this game. It is difficult for me to break up with her, because she has been right about a lot. She has kept me on my toes when I was fighting for my children and my life. She reminds me not to get lazy or comfortable in my life. She has kept me always alert for the next shoe to drop.
I listened to Elizabeth Gilbert tell Oprah that she has spoken to her Queen and that she had to finally "mother" that part of herself by telling her inner child that it is ok, she can relax now, because grown up Elizabeth has got this all under control. I loved hearing this way of taking care of that scared inner child who has taken over the role of grown up in your head to keep you safe. I love the idea of comforting them and putting them to bed, tucking them in and reassuring them it is all ok so it is safe for them to relax and go to sleep. And as much as I have wanted to fire my inner child, in reality, she has kept me safe and she has done her best to protect me from the scary things out there in the world. She has remembered every time I got hurt and is in constant touch with the life line to reminding me of how awful it hurts.
Being able to see my inner child as a child playing mother, doing the best she can, was powerful for me. It made me realize I need to remember that I got this shit! I am a real mother and have done and continue to do a really good job as a mom, protector and provider. I have had enough small successes behind me now to not live in fear. It is so wonderful to realize that I am not broken and don't need to be fixed. I just need to put that scared inner child to bed, all tucked in and draw from my strength instead of reaching back for her fears.
I have been collecting women into the tribe that lives in my head for several years now. Kind of a panel of truly strong souls who get me deep down to my core, women of my choosing. Very different from my Queen who reminds me that playing small keeps me safe. My tribe are my constant cheerleaders and they keep a list of my successes handy at all times to remind me that I have a great success record to continue building on.
Several of my mental tribe were speakers at Emerging Women Live 2014. I was blessed that the event which costs a small fortune to attend, was streamed live for free. It was one of the best weekends of 2014 for my emotional self. The messages were so powerful and the energy was truly large.
Several months ago, I fell in love with the poet, Dominique Christina, after listening to her piece on her period. If I had just read her poem, well it stands on it's own, but to hear her speak it was unbelievable. She is so strong and on fire. She is in your face and unapologetic. She is truly fierce.
While she spoke she said, "I am absolutely all of my families unsaid shit." Dominique Christina at Emerging Women Live 2014
I am my families unsaid shit too! I am the holder of memories and mementos for my family. I am the remember-er of how things went down, colored through my young eyes. I am a survivor of abuse and neglect and while it is ugly to look at, it happened. While I still battle the worry of what my family will think of me telling my story, what price will be extracted by my ex husband, what the school and scout parents will think of me and what will future employers think of me, I hear the voices on my tribe panel reminding me it is my right to live my truth and to live my passion.
During this event Danielle LaPorte spoke, "Who has to get out of the way for you to shine?" Danielle LaPorte at Emerging Women Live 2014
My inner panel was screaming a hallelujah chorus of "Your damn self! Girl, get out of your own way." Stop playing small. Stop hiding. Stop being shamed into submission. Stop worrying about being found to be a fraud and not worthy. Stop being your own worst critic. Stop creating problems that don't exist because you are being supported in living your truth. This is what you were born to do. Literally, the pain and hurt I have endured has given me the platform from which to share.
My passion is to connect with others who have been hurt or are still being hurt so that they can see I am making it out and they can too. My passion is to stand as a guide and support and light beacon for those who need a better tribe panel of people in their head.
"There is no passion to be found playing small - in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living." Nelson Mandela
I am done with living a life with no passion. I am done with my children being the only proper and palatable outlet for my passion. I am settling into the most wonderful time of my life where I can carve out time to create my life passion, my Melissa passion. I am putting my own oxygen mask on so I can lean over to assist others.
I am done. I don't want to play small or settle for less than the dream that has sat on the sideline since I was a young girl. That young girl dreamed of being a writer and a reporter. The grown up in me wants to be a writer too, so I am reaching down to lift her up into my arms so we can do this together.
I have woken from my slumber and have remembered why I am here. Though my voice will quiver and my hands will shake I too find courage when I stand and say, "This is who I am."
On Twitter, Oct. 18, 2014
"Change is inevitable. The trick in life is not to try to avoid change, but to create the change. Then it's the change you choose." ~ Neale Donald Walsch @NealeDWalsch Author of Conversations with God
This is such a heavy thought to carry in my head. Choosing to create the change is scary, but it always feels better than the waiting & fearing. I have been known to wait afraid to make a decisions in hopes of life just forcing the issue out of what appears is my control.
At several points in my life, it felt safer, easier to see what change everyone else would create for me, rather than me just doing what I felt was best. Sometimes, I felt I just didn't know really what outcome I wanted. Other times, I just didn't want to expose myself for wanting a specific outcome that might not be too popular or the grown up expected outcome. It is hard to admit that sometimes what I want is the selfish option, that only serves me.
Choosing to create the change or an outcome means you have a 50/50 chance of success. It also means that if you make the wrong decision, then you are held accountable for your failure. Failures are typically very public, painful and defeating. I listened to a brief video posted on Facebook of Oprah explaining that she feels there are no bad decisions, no failures.
" You may think it's the "wrong track" you've chosen, a mistake, but they all lead to the right path. There are no wrong paths." ~Oprah Winfrey
I really like this concept of everything is as it is supposed to be to get you where you need to be. When I look back at the big decisions I had to make or that I allowed to be made for me, I do feel they took me exactly where I needed to be, each time. Even the times life took me meandering through the mountains and valleys and all seemed lost, I still ended up right where I needed to be to meet the next idea, person, or path.
Like most, I resist change, although life has given me very little consistency. Preacher's kid to military brat, change every two years or so has been status quo for as long as I could remember. "Change" and I have been close friends for over 40 years. It is time for me to accept "change" as one of my longest held friendships. It is time for me to embrace her as my partner even though she has weathered so many storms at my side. If I can see her as part of my life's journey and not as my enemy, maybe I will learn to enjoy her visits a bit more. If I could just accept that there are no wrong paths, I would enjoy each day so much more.
I think one of the first Ah-ha moments or enlightened moments most of us experience is when we realize that change is the only constant in life. I have to repeat that to myself like a mantra, "Change is the only constant in life." We hear it and it resonates, but then we spend the next decade fighting truly accepting this into our being.
I know time never stands still, and that each second that ticks by ushers in change after change, after change, but I spend way too much time clutching the door frame with hands and feet clinging to moments that have already passed me by. I need to surrender to change. I need to make peace with change.
I love the idea that my failures, and my victories are not permanent. That takes a little of the pressure off as I become an active participant in creating my life.