Cutting Cords with Love

2017 has been full of A LOT of change for a lot of people!  It seems things are coming up to be dealt with that have been dormant for some time for lots of people in my life.  As I enter my birthday week and my personal new year, I am reflecting on where I have been and where I want to go.  It’s been a particularly tumultuous 12 months…  I have divorced, moved twice, got a new full-time office job, lost friends, gained friends, started a band, lost a band, started another band, legally changed my name, lost co-workers, gained co-workers… There’s just been A LOT going on!

My last divorce was finalized in February but my ex husband and I were getting together regularly to watch Dr. Who on Sundays.  When the season ended, so did the 12th doctor (Peter Capaldi … swoon…my favorite actor ever!!!) and so did the last thing my ex husband and I were sharing in our lives…at least for now.  The regeneration of a Doctor is always emotional but the timing of it made it even more so for us.  We both grieved pretty heavily.

A short time after the end of the season, my ex husband packed up the remaining items of mine and asked me to remove them from his house.  He asked that if I didn’t want any of it, I still figure out something to do with it.  Once everything was out, I handed over the key to his home I still had in my possession.  It was a necessary boundary and a necessary stage but it was painful.  It drove home what I already knew but didn’t quite accept… our marriage was really, really over.  I wasn’t going to get away with just abandoning the things I didn’t want to look at; I had to face them and decide what to do.

Last night, I unpacked a painting I had made for him of a tree created on two separate canvases that lined up together to make a complete piece. There was a heart with our initials that spanned the base of the tree and into the roots.  I signed it on the back and wrote “To the most beautiful man I have ever known”.  It hung in our home until, ironically, the year our marriage started to come to a close.  I meant those words when I wrote them.  I still think he’s a beautiful man; I just don’t want to be married to him anymore and he doesn’t want to be married to me.   I also unpacked wedding gifts, souvenirs from our honeymoon taken at our five year anniversary, a piece of artwork he made for me that used to hang in our bedroom, a plaque with the definition of love and engagement photos.  There are more boxes to go through but that was enough for one night!

I am feeling a bit raw today…  I am grateful he loves me truly and deeply enough to let me go.  I am grateful for all the good times we shared.  I am grateful we are both better people now than we were when we got together.  I am grateful to have been with such a beautiful, wise man and always will be.  I am grateful our split was so cooperative and peaceful.  I wish him to find someone who matches him in ways I couldn’t while encouraging him to be the BEST version of himself as I did.

As I think about my failed marriages (yes, I have had 2), I did a lot of things right, I did a lot of things wrong and there’s SO MUCH I want to do better in the future.  I was still a teenager when I got married the first time.  I was trying to make my mark on the world and did what I thought all ‘good’ women did…. get married and have children.  Our incompatibility and my son’s special needs were just too much to bare.  We split when I was 25 but did a pretty smashing job co-parenting.  My second marriage was between two people trying to fill voids within themselves.  Our hurts and strategies for masking those hurts were compatible.  We were/are extremely mentally compatible and polite to each other.  Too polite… So polite we avoided conflict for almost a decade and when it came up, we weren’t committed enough to our marriage to get through it.    I see now I was trying to create a successful 2nd marriage to prove the end of the 1st one ‘wasn’t my fault’…  Yikes!  The truth is, in any relationship, it takes two to make or break it.  If it’s ending, it’s partially due to what I brought, or didn’t bring, to the equation.  The same is true if it’s continuing.

In all my relationships, I am learning how important it is to speak my truth with kindness and respect even if it’s uncomfortable.  I need to express what I am okay and not okay with but not try to control what other people do.  The only things I can control are my thoughts and my actions.  Everything else is outside of me.

I am committed to making this next year one of my best yet!  My home is already the most beautiful place I have ever lived in and I am excited to have a music room to share!  My relationships in my inner circle are strong.  Healing is happening with those that I’ve been apart from for some time.  I am in the process of getting back on track with my eating and exercise habits.

Life is a journey, not a destination.

Cheers to the next phase of life!

 

From my heart to yours,

 

Thanks for reading

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My Baby is 18 Today

My Facebook feed is currently full of heart warming baby photos. Several of my peers are just starting families. Babies laughing. Babies sleeping. Babies on their tummies. Babies on their backs. Babies doing baby things.

My baby is 18 today. I always wanted to be a mom but I certainly wasn’t ready when I became one. The most common comment I get when I talk about my son is “I didn’t think you were old enough to have an 18 year old”. Watching peers starting families now when mine is almost full grown, I realize nothing can ever fully prepare anyone for for facilitating another human being entering the world. You are never “old enough” to be ready. You get what you get when you get it.

Every child is a gift.

Parenting isn’t all fun and games. In the beginning, my only job was to keep him fed, make sure he got enough sleep, wasn’t too hot or cold and had a clean bottom. Those were the good ‘ol days, and also some of the hardest. I remember being completely exhausted. I remember discovering I put the milk in the cupboard and the cereal in the fridge. My breast leaked. My crotch was sore. My back ached. But the way he looked when he let go of my nipple nursing, his bottom lip still quivering, his arm over his head, eyes closed, completely at peace…. that made it all worth it.

His first belly laugh was inspired by the sound of the zipper on my favorite sleeper of his. I remember it being a blue/turquoise color, thick fleece, full footed with knit trim around the wrists, Carters brand. After a diaper change on the bed, I zipped him up and he giggled. I unzipped and zipped it again and he giggled harder. Again, a little faster…more laughter. Once more, with a dramatic face…Belly busting giggles in response. I don’t know how long we played that game that day but it was the only “first time” he belly laughed that way and I remember it like it happened earlier this week.

When he got to be a toddler, there was no denying he wasn’t developing like his peers. If I wasn’t actively playing with him, he wouldn’t do much other than jump off things repeatedly or run himself into the wall. He started talking in complete phrases he heard from other people or television instead of forming his own sentences. I feared I fucked up my baby….

Much therapy ensued. I feared I would never be able to have a meaningful conversation with my son. I feared for his future, worried he wouldn’t be able to make friends or support himself. It was extremely important to me that he be held to the same standard of behavior as his typical peers. I had watched way too many smart but challenged children get away with poor behavior because they were excused for it instead of being guided to better choices at a level they could handle. I asked all teachers and therapists to help give him tools to succeed instead of dismissing his shortcomings. It was ESPECIALLY important to me that he not be asked questions that weren’t questions (such as “do you need a tissue” while snot is running down his face) and practice asking for the accommodations he needed from the very beginning.

Years went by…. and now I have the honor of being mother to a young man who I am GRATEFUL is very little like most of his peers. He helps me around the house without being asked. He’s a safe, conscientious driver. He’s highly responsible and gets good grades in school because he works until he gets it done, however long it takes. Never have I met a more determined human! He has a job he likes and saves most of his money. The most common comment I get from anyone who works with him is “he’s such a sweet soul”…

I realized I am not nearly as responsible for how he turned out as I wanted to believe I was when he was little. He has a lot of things more together than I ever did at his age. He came to me with his own abilities and gifts. He’s helped me grow. I have done the best I could to help him be a fully functioning member of society and a kind human. It looks like he is off to a great start!

I thought I would feel THRILLED to see him reach this age and be this capable. I didn’t expect tears to fall down my face when I think about him moving out on his own someday. I didn’t expect to be hoping I was a ‘good enough’ mom he will want to keep visiting me once he has. I didn’t expect to miss him as his schedule fills with activities and responsibilities that’s don’t involve me.

I have regrets. I wish I could have been less cross with him. Less critical. More accepting. I wish I could have been happier when I found out I was pregnant and done a better job celebrating all his milestones. I did the very best I could with all I had at the time and I know he knows that. My son has the biggest, most forgiving heart of anyone I know.

He can self soothe. He ‘fact checks’ and doesn’t let other people tell him how to feel. He asks for what he needs assertively and respectfully. He strives to protect the vulnerable from threat. At the end of the day, I couldn’t ask for more.

May his path be ever blessed with safe, supportive people on his journey

Living in Alignment

I have spent most of my life preoccupied with being happy “when _______”… When I have more money.  When I am out of debt.  When I lose weight.  When I have a better job.  When I don’t live here anymore.  When I catch up.  When I get more organized…  If I wasn’t thinking “I’ll be happy when…”, I was thinking I would be happy ‘if only’.  If only that person wasn’t in my life.  If only that person was still in my life.  If only my son didn’t have special needs.  If only I had been born into a different family.  If only I looked like her…

This past year has been one of the most painful and joyous of my life.  Many things have worked out perfectly and many things have felt like they were going terribly wrong.  I’ve faced fear on a level I never knew before.  I’ve also experienced love, acceptance and a sense of belonging on a level I never knew before.  I’ve grown more than I ever knew I needed to.  I’ve felt the greatest joy and the deepest sorrow of my life.  I recognized most of my suffering boiled down to wanting something to be different than it was.  The roller coaster I’ve been on was created by pretending things were the way I wanted them and then being crushed when reality reminded me they weren’t.

Today, I felt something new… I am happy to be here.  HERE… NOW…. The future is full of promise but it’s uncertain.  None of us know how many days we will have breath on this planet.  Everything we think we know can change in an instant.  But none of that has happened yet!

There’s a chant we sing in a women’s circle I regularly attend with the line “now is the only moment”.  Truly… NOW is the only moment.  Happiness isn’t found in the next thing.  Happiness is right here, right now.  Contentment.  Peace.  Being.  Belonging… It’s all RIGHT HERE, RIGHT NOW.   Like Dorothy in the “Wizard of Oz”… “if I ever go looking for my heart’s desire again, I won’t look any further than my own backyard; because if it isn’t there, I never really lost it to begin with.”  I GET IT NOW!

I survived for a long time by suppressing unpleasant feelings.  Distracting myself from them.  Pretending they weren’t there (I’m VERY good at that!).  Sadness, loneliness and anger still aren’t my favorite feelings to feel but I’m learning if I block them, I miss out on a big part of life.  I block my growth and I ultimately sabotage myself from being able to have the life I desire to live.  I keep myself from feeling fully joyful too…

I like to think I have no problem being outspoken or going against the grain.  Sometimes I have been caught being contrary just to prove it to myself (blush).  I am often described as “strong” and “free-spirited” but…. I’ve had trouble speaking my mind in my most intimate relationships.  I didn’t want to risk losing the person I loved.  I thought my last husband and I had it figured out, having difficult conversations instead of avoiding them.  We DID do a good job having tough conversations but… we avoided the toughest one for over a decade.  When we finally had it, we decided to end our marriage.

It’s through our breakup that I realize how much he loves me and how much I love him.  True, pure love.  Not romantic.  Not the kind for selfish interest… The kind that wants the very best for the other person.  Friendship love.  Familial love.  I feel sad thinking about the good times we shared in the past.  We had some really GOOD TIMES… But they are over now.  In a lot of ways, I missed out on all they could be, worried they would end… but when they did, it was for the best.  Go figure!

I was reminded at a recent conference in order to have a healthy life, our hearts, heads and hands need to be in alignment.  If our heads are acting in conflict with our hearts, or vice versa, we experience stress.  If our heads and hearts are in conflict with what we are doing, that’s addiction.  I’ve done all three…

So, friends… I’m working on living in alignment.  My heart is strong and knows exactly what it wants.  My head is smart and watches out for potential trouble but it’s not as wise as my heart.  And my hands will do whatever I choose… May they bring blessings to everyone I touch.

 

From my heart to yours,

 

Thanks for reading

Creating My Own Space

I started dating my son’s father (first husband) when I was barely past puberty at 17 (he was 27) and married him when I was 19, giving birth exactly 9 months and 3 days later.  We were both in a strict, patriarchal religious system where choices in partners were limited and women only had a voice if they were married.  I was trying to get on the proverbial ‘map’ and really wanted to get laid.

Looking at my son now, who is the age I was when I was writing love letters to his father, I realize how much of a child I was then.  I distinctly remember a conversation I had with my son’s father in Java Joes coffee house when we were on the verge of breaking up forever… I asked him what first attracted him to me and he said “you smiled a lot and had nice boobs”.    Yep…. You can see why that marriage didn’t last.

However, I am grateful we have been able to co-parent for the last decade.  Despite our differences and anger with each other at times, we have always put the well being of our son first.  Our kid is turning out to be a responsible, sweetheart of a person and his father is a big part of that.  When I was nursing my son watching daytime TV, Judge Judy said often “love your children more than you hate each other” and I took that advice to heart.

I was married again within 2 years of my first divorce being final.  I thought I got it right the 2nd time and, in many ways, I did, but we are better as friends than husband and wife.  I am aware the statistical likelihood of future marriages lasting goes exponentially down with every one.  I’ve learned a lot about what destroys relationships and the shadow parts of myself in the past year.  I am hopeful I will find the love I am looking for in a partner but my mission for this next year is to find my voice without one.

It’s requiring me to set and keep emotional boundaries with people in my life.  It’s making me set aside time to be completely alone doing things that connect me with how I understand spirituality now.  I am practicing saying what I think and how I feel with kindness even if it’s not convenient at the time for the other person to hear it.  I am back in the saddle of hosting workshops, enjoying exploring my potential with music, and trying new things with new people.

The trickiest thing about romantic relationships with me is staying true to myself while in one.  I can adapt to anyone but that’s not always good for me.  And if it’s not good for me, it’s not good for ‘us’.  I am a hellava lot more than someone who smiles with nice boobs!  It’s time I prove it to myself, for reals.

 

From my heart to yours,

 

Thanks for reading

All I Need to Know I Learned from “Sorry”…

This Christmas Day was the first my son and I have ever celebrated with just the two of us. After breakfast and gifts, we started playing board games.  One of our favorites is Sorry.  I loved it as a kid and it’s one of the few I can enjoy as an adult.  We had a couple of riveting rounds of close calls and several times one of us came up from behind to win it all. It was exciting enough I realized how much I learned about life from playing the game as a kid.

There is no single card in Sorry that is always good or bad.  It all depends on where you are positioned at any given moment and where the other pieces are on the board in relation to you.  ‘Backwards 4’ can be a terrible thing if it takes you out of the ‘safe zone’ right before the other person gets a SORRY card they can use.  But it can also be a golden ticket if you have a piece in start and pull a ‘2 draw again’ card right before it.  The exact same card can mean being taken out next turn or closer to ‘home’ than you’ve ever been.  It’s not the card itself that makes the difference.  Such is life.

There is an itty bitty bit of strategy to the game but most of it isn’t controllable.  How much the cards got shuffled between rounds, who went first, what colors were chosen to play, etc. all add their own element of chance.  Every little detail impacts the end result but none of the details really matter that much.  Everyone playing with enough knowledge to understand the rules has the same chance of winning.  Such is life.

The high numbers of 10, 11 and 12 are WONDERFUL if you are trying to get around the board but they are worthless if you are almost ‘home’.  The ‘Sorry’ card is WONDERFUL if you have a piece at the start and the other person has a piece close to your safety zone but it can mean losing the game if you have all your pieces in play and the next card is exactly what the other person needed to win.  Only a few decisions are clearly ‘right’; everything else is just your best guess with the knowledge and understanding you have at the time.  Sometimes it works out in your favor; sometimes it doesn’t.  Such is life.

Today, my son and I had a game where I went through almost an entire deck without getting out of ‘start’.  I couldn’t use card after card after card.  I remembered how panicked I would get when that happened to me as a kid.  I hated losing.  I hated being stuck.  The thought of it was emotionally traumatic (can’t say I have completely overcome that (Ha!) but I’m much better at coping than I was as a child).  In the end, after some cards ended up in my favor and some cards held my son back, I won that game with a significant margin.  There was no way to tell at the start of the game how it would end up.  Such is life.

The last round we played inspired this post because I realized every moment we draw a figurative card.  None of those cards are inherently good or bad.  We all just make the best decisions we can with what we see at the time.  Sometimes what seems like a setback is actually setting us up for a win and sometimes what seems like a sure thing won’t be.  The best chance we have at living the lives we want is to let go of what we can’t control and do our best to position our energy in the direction we want to go.  Whatever this moment brings, another moment is on it’s way immediately following.  If life doesn’t seem to be going our way, let’s not stress. Let’s just breathe through it and pull the next card, it might be exactly what we are looking for.

Please affirm with me: I am open to receiving the best I can imagine and anything better.

Wishing you all a peaceful and joyous Winter!

 

From my heart to yours,

Thanks for reading

Real Can Be Messy

Do you know why I create a roller coaster? Do you know why I withdrawal and tune out when someone is trying to be close? Do you know why I sabotage myself?

I do.

I say I want real and authentic. I do. Because anything less than isn’t satisfying.

But…..

I want “real and authentic” packaged in a pretty little box with a perfectly tied ribbon. I want just the good, sweet, fun parts. I want sunshine and rainbows and kittens to be real all the time.

But it’s not.

Sometimes life sucks. Sometimes it hurts. Sometimes all of us are less than stellar in our thoughts/behavior…and that’s real too.

Real isn’t ever going to be as convenient as plastic. Real isn’t predictable. Real isn’t controllable.

I don’t get to pick which parts of real I want to feel any more than I get to pick which feelings I feel. It’s an “all in” or “missing out” proposition. Any attempts to numb the uncomfortable or prune away the inconvenient, comes at a steep price… it also numbs the good.

Same as I don’t get to feel happy all the way unless I feel sad all the way….. I can’t get the rewarding, euphoric,
wonderful parts of real unless I am willing to experience the messy, hard, painful, miserable parts of real. Denying the latter doesn’t make it go away, it just blocks me from the bliss that’s possible.

Much of what I thought needed to be fixed isn’t actually broken. It just isn’t fun or convenient. Much of what I question if I can live with are things I am going to experience with anyone being real…. at some point, anyone being authentic and true to himself/herself is going to do something I am not happy about. The parts I don’t like in others are parts I don’t like in myself. I can break up relationships but I still have to live with myself.

If my last husband couldn’t figure out how to make me happy all the time, no one can. He learned how I operated so intimately, he could side step conflicts before they could even start. He knew exactly what to do so I always felt safe. His only mission in life was to support me and make me a happy wife. And you know what? That wasn’t enough for me…. it wasn’t satisfying any more than aspartame gum.

Shit……

That’s why I want catch phrases and “rules”. That’s why I try to dissect meaning out of every little thing…. I want to try to figure REAL out so I can genetically modify it into just the part that’s pleasurable to experience. But then all I get is the equivalent of a Stepford husband. It’s not real anymore.

(Sigh) ……..

I want to learn how to speak up for myself when responses aren’t guaranteed. I want to learn how to be unconditionally loving and accepting. I want to give wholeheartedly from a pure place.

It ain’t always going to be easy…but I believe it’s worth it.

 

From my heart to yours,

thanks for reading

Belonging

It is impossible to make someone else feel as if they belong. The best one can do is provide an environment where it is safe to accept one’s self, where it safe to have the full gamut of feelings, and model how it’s done. Because true belonging only happens when we present our authentic, imperfect selves to the world, our sense of belonging can never be greater than our level of self-acceptance (Brene Brown in “Daring Greatly…”) .

Louise Hay, Brene Brown and many others have expressed the same concept of being ‘hard wired for love and connection’ using slightly different words. We do not have to earn the right to breathe and we do not have to earn the right to be loved. Both are necessary for our survival and they are our birthright. I truly believe at the core of all dysfunctional relationship issues in the world is a lack of self acceptance with one or both parties.

At this moment of life, I feel the most loved, appreciated and in sync with the world I have ever felt. Last weekend, I finished writing a song with a friend and was part of making music with some very talented musicians all evening. I had more than one moment of “Wow! I am SO GRATEFUL FOR MY LIFE!”. My band mates tell me my enthusiasm is infectious and I tell them they make it possible!

My home is coming together. My work is coming together. The relationship with my soon to be ex husband is better than I could imagine. My son is getting his life figured out. There is even hope of mending estrangement with my birth family. Every single thing on that list has been a HUGE stressor over the years. I worried about every single item because I couldn’t see how I could make it work out.

But I started living in a new way. I started believing the best is coming to me. I started believing the world is a loving supportive place and I belong in it just as I am. I started believing I have a purpose as me in this world. I started letting go of other people’s perceptions of me so I could be myself all the way.

I gave myself permission to daydream. I allowed myself to imagine an existence where all my relationships are supportive, I live in a beautiful, cozy place surrounded by trees and have access to all I need to live comfortably with enough to share. I set the intention to trust spirit, love myself, do the next right thing and embrace the process.

It’s happening, folks! And it’s not because I “made” it happen. It’s because I have been working on releasing the blocks I put up to protect myself but instead kept good out. It’s because the world is full of loving, supportive people when I believe it is! It’s because the universe conspires in my favor when I believe it does! It’s because I accept who I am in this moment, knowing mistakes are part of learning.

I am grateful for the people in my life who don’t approve of me because they have taught me about true compassion. When surrounded by people who agree, it’s not nearly as easy to work on my shadow side as when I encounter contrary people. We are all characters in the play of life. Every person has a role and everyone can choose how to portray themselves. None of us are the director of all but we each get to write our own character’s story.

May we all remember as long as there is breath, there is love and there are choices.

From my heart to yours,

Thanks for reading

Out of Crisis

Most of my life has been in some sort of crisis mode. Sometimes personal, sometimes relational, sometimes professional. It’s been something almost continuously since I was around 8 years old.

Today, there are many unknowns in my life but no crises. Everything is working out and falling into place. So many things I worried about in the past are either resolved or no longer a concern.

The few times in my life when someone’s life has been on the line in my hands, I was calm and rational until help showed up and then I completely fell apart. Every emotion, every fear, every pain, came flooding through all at once. As mentioned in previous posts, I have historically been better at thinking about my feelings than feeling them. Now that I am on the other side of crisis, I have space to feel fully and it’s intense.

Unresolved issues from many stages of my life are getting triggered in one form or another for processing. I am practicing all the things I encourage other people to do in my coaching and workshop practice and uncovering my own hang ups. I can easily say to myself “I love you” “I approve of you” “Everything I touch is a success” but…… If I try to say “I am a success” in the mirror or looking at another person, waterworks fall. And I am not talking about trickling tears, I am talking about tears big enough to form a puddle in my lap. So much of my life has been merit based. “Notice me!” “See how good I am doing?!”…. But inside, feeling completely insufficient and inadequate.

I share my struggles because there is something therapeutic about saying it aloud and to encourage others who are facing similar challenges but keeping it bottled up inside, feeling alone. My drive to heal the world stems from my desire to heal myself. Maybe when the whole world is healed, I will be too….. But that’s a bit backwards. The more I deal with and process my own junk, the more powerful I can be in the world helping others do the same.

We are all connected. No one suffers alone. No one rejoices alone. We all feed into and pull from the collective energy force we all share.

There is nothing wrong with feelings. They are what they are. There is shadow whenever there is light. Every experience has a lesson and a blessing, whether joyous or painful. May we all be open to learning the lessons and receiving the blessings.

From my heart to yours,
Thanks for reading

Allowing

Today was a breakthrough day. When I arrived at yoga class, my teacher questioned me on what was going on with my handstand attempts (or lack thereof). I told him I don’t jump up when I feel something is off and I know it won’t go well. He gave me a look that said “why are you telling yourself that bullshit?” and I realized the real issue. My problem was believing I couldn’t. My problem was not allowing myself space to fail. By not allowing myself space to fail, I wasn’t allowing myself space to succeed.

Handstand for me is all about trusting the unknown, seeing things from a different perspective and confidence. I was raised not to trust “the world” and close people in my life proved themselves untrustworthy. I have taken responsibility for things that aren’t mine, held on to them tight and refused to let go. I have put myself down, believed I couldn’t, and bailed instead of continuing to show up and do my best. That caused tension and pain I am still processing out.

I have been going through a lot of changes in my life and allowing myself to feel my way through them. My emotions have always been intense. To manage them, I learned how to shut myself down, lock my feelings up tight, and pretend they weren’t there or be big, loud and stir the pot. One can put out a fire by depriving it of fuel or dousing it with so much lighter fluid it can’t burn. In the past, I felt more powerful, more in control, adding lighter fluid but it occasionally cost me my figurative eyebrows.

Today, I practiced feeling my feelings without them running my life. I got through my entire yoga practice even though I started with tears blocking my breath. I reminded myself my emotions are like the weather, I am the sky. I just kept breathing. An intuitive little fairy brought me tissues and I kept going. I have bailed on my practice for much less in the past but, today, I allowed ‘what is to be’ instead of forcing anything. I let myself feel while not allowing myself to quit.

I now aim to float somewhere between the two extremes of exploding or shutting down. There is a time for action and a time for inaction. There is a time to speak up and a time to be silent. There is a time to put myself as an individual first and there is time to care for myself while putting the good of others ahead of what I want. I am learning how to identify those times on a level I have never experienced before. I am giving myself space to try new things and see life from a different perspective.

I escaped from a shaming, toxic environment many years ago. I know what it’s like to have a guilt trip laid on so thick I feel like I can’t breathe. I also know the person laying on the shame is coming from a place of unworthiness and feeling threatened. That doesn’t make the behavior acceptable but it does provide an opportunity to practice compassion. True compassion. It’s easy to love people I like. It’s an entirely different matter to find a way to love someone who attempts to attack me on the most personal level and suck the life out of people I care about.

Feeling hatred sucks away my confidence. It stems from unresolved issues within me and feeds the false belief I am a victim of circumstance. I can find a way to justify my actions as much as someone with a diabolical, opposing view. I can also see how every single person I encounter, including the toxic ones, are reflections of me. The person opposite me is the flip side of my same coin.

I need to remember I am a force more powerful than my emotions. Feeling hate or fear in any given moment doesn’t define me. Love is stronger than hate or fear, always. I have the power to choose thoughts that nourish my soul, forgive, and free myself from anything that happened in the past. Life flows in cycles. Experiences repeat until I learn what I need to know. Today, my heart is filled with gratitude and I easily make changes that serve my highest good.

From my heart to yours,

Thank for reading

 

SIDE NOTES:

When I started writing, I thought this post was going to be about believing “I can’t”. Turns out I wrote about that 4 years ago! https://powerfrominside.com/2012/05/12/the-power-of-i-can-by/

If you are interested, here is a link to an article I liked about choosing nourishing thoughts http://thespiritscience.net/2016/06/24/this-native-american-story-of-the-two-wolves-will-change-your-life/

Hold Space – Aim for the Horizon

I heard the phrase “holding space” several times but didn’t grasp what it meant until recently. I am grateful for all the loving people who hold space for me to realize what I am subconsciously doing, how I am feeling and my potential in life. I am learning to hold space for myself now.

Space to feel. Space to grow. Space to change in ways that serve my highest good. Space to be uncomfortable.

It’s both terrifying and liberating to be where I am in life. I see how much I have defined myself by my relationships. I rushed into two marriages and they didn’t last. I forced intimacy with friends only to lose them later. No matter how they turn out, relationships provide opportunities for me to see both the best and worst qualities within.

I am starting to see my relationship issues stem from trying to maintain a feeling of comfort. A fully present, conscious life isn’t always comfortable. In my experience, sometimes it’s excruciatingly painful.

I am practicing applying a concept learned on my yoga mat. When it’s uncomfortable, I am on my way to new territory. When I focus on the process (the muscles I need to flex, the movements I need to make on my way into position, my breath… keeping my gaze steady and my fingers wide) progress happens. When I get too obsessed with the destination (ultimate pose) or start to define myself by the progress I have made, I get off track. I aim for the pose I am working towards like a pilot aims for the horizon. I believe the ultimate pose is possible for me with time and consistent practice.

When it’s uncomfortable on the mat, I have learned to relax into the discomfort. Sometimes I remind myself I am not going to die. My body won’t go too far if I am relaxing into it while being fully aware of where I am in space and time (gaze and breath). I tried straining through it and stalled. Relaxing into the discomfort of life is a bit more daunting but I have faith it will work just as well eventually.

I have started journaling again. It’s helped me immensely in the past and it’s helping me again. Reading through old entries, I see how although I still struggle with some of the same issues, I have grown. I have peeled back layer after layer and keep going deeper.

Personal growth isn’t for the faint of heart but it’s been worth every heartache I have experienced. When faced with discomfort, I can run, fight or lean in. I now choose to lean in and learn…hold space and aim for the horizon.

 

From my heart to yours,

Thanks for reading