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

Advertisements

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

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

Time to Fly

I often told people my husband held my kite string so I could fly.  What I didn’t realize I was saying at the time is I felt I needed holding down.  I didn’t feel safe being all I could be, letting go, riding the winds.  I feared if I did that, I would lose control and everything in my life would potentially fall apart.

As I sit on my new bed in my new location, I no longer have that fear.  I am here, sitting with myself and quite content with that.  Everything I am not is crumbling away but I am here as centered and at peace as I have ever been.  I am learning to fly.

When I was around ten, I was taken on my first flight in a little two seater airplane.  I remember looking down in awe as ‘big’ buildings started looking like toys and people were nothing more than little specs.  We didn’t go that high because it was such a small craft but it was high enough to get a different perspective than I had ever had before.  I remember thinking perspective changes everything.  I have a better understanding now of how true that observation was than I did then.

My pilot explained the controls on the dashboard and how he watched the horizon to make sure he was straight.  I had no desire to learn to operate a plane but I thoroughly enjoyed the experience.  It was exhilarating to experience something so new!

I don’t know exactly when it happened but, at some point, new things became scary instead of exciting.  I tried to make things as much the same as possible.  I started being addicted to control.  I trained people in my life not to surprise me.  I built relationships with impressionable folks.  The older I got, the more power I sought.  Eventually, I realized I didn’t want to try and control others but I still tried to control what happened to me.  I still braced myself for any pitfall that may come my way.  That created tension in my body… a lot of it.

I am in the process of letting go of all of that now.  The personal work I need to do in order to coach is teaching me more about myself than I ever imagined.  My client’s lives mirror mine and the more work I do in my own life, the more present I can be for them.

Here is my understanding of life today… The secret to making progress without creating tension is to keep my eyes on the horizon and do the next right thing.  There isn’t much use in writing a script for how things are going to go.  My ‘law of attraction’ work has taught me the best way to create the life I want is to imagine it already here and let go of trying to figure out ‘how’ it will happen.  I tune into what I call ‘spirit’ and take action steps in the direction I want to go.  One small step at the time, enjoying the process along the way.

I have a good life.  Almost everything outside of myself I used to identify with has either changed or gone away.  I am grieving the loss of a marriage I thought would last forever but I haven’t lost the memories of wonderful times spent together.  Life is in the moments.  Forever is a series of ‘right nows’ strung together.

 

From my heart to yours,

Thanks for reading

 

Storms Pass

I have known for some time now that life continues in cycles. No matter how long I have practiced mindfulness or how many personal growth exercises I have completed, there is always another layer to explore. The more aware I become, the more I recognize patterns in my relationships. When I say “relationships” I am referring to all kinds (family, friends, romantic, professional).

In my last post, I spoke about my illusion of control. I say illusion because even if I do successfully influence someone else, it’s only because he or she allowed me to. If someone influences me, it’s only because I allowed it. I am responsible for my thoughts, feelings and actions. I always have choices. Any time I think I don’t, I have the option to stop believing that.

My coaching practice is showing me how certain concepts work universally. Whether it’s deciding on a job, romantic relationship, or raising teenagers, the strategy is similar…decide what makes investing my energy worth it and ask for what I want clearly. Own my power and speak truth with kindness, outlining consequences of options… If I put blinders on and go for a goal without being mindful of the current moment, I get off track. If I try to control anything outside myself, it doesn’t work well. If I give my power away to someone else by thinking too much of his or her opinion, losing touch with my inner knowing, I fall and wonder “how the heck did I get here?”…

When I fall, I get back up. I have rebuilt my life, almost from scratch, more than once. Every time, I intended to learn from my mistakes, owned my part of whatever went wrong and planned to make fewer mistakes going forward. Every time, some of the same problems appeared with completely different people in a completely different environment. Huh…

In the past, I blamed people and circumstances outside myself for my emotional condition. Sometimes it is necessary to leave a person or place but it’s never completely the other person’s issue. I know first hand circumstances repeat until I learn the lesson. Each time, I recognize and address it more quickly than before. Practicing gratitude and self-love help me navigate through the rough patches. Beating myself up about ‘failing again’ isn’t helpful at all. Eventually, I avoid the issue entirely (once I have fully learned the lesson).

In the past, I let emotion run my life… ‘Self control’ was modeled for me by people who shut their feelings off. I didn’t learn how to process my feelings in a healthy way or use emotion as a barometer growing up. I am practicing both now.

Emotions are like weather patterns, constantly moving with varied intensity. There isn’t good weather and bad weather… People only say that because sometimes the weather makes it uncomfortable to do what they want to do.

I am learning it’s important to check my internal ‘weather’ every day. When I am on the right track, I have peace. When there is something I need to learn, I have a storm. Neither lasts forever. No matter what the weather, the sun rises and sets. There is a certain level of stability and peace available no matter what storms may come.

Any time I notice myself forgetting that, my mind racing and/or my heart hurting, I can focus my attention on my breath. I can remind myself all is well and I am safe in this moment. I can tune into spirit for guidance and strength, do the next right thing and embrace the process. I can and I do!

From my heart to yours,

Thanks for reading

 

image

Embrace the Unknown

It’s been said “life is a journey, not a destination”.  I am living that reality these days.  I am recognizing how focusing on the destination (end result), without appreciating the process, leads to heartache.  When I live in the moment with a spirit of gratitude, I experience peace amongst chaos.

I have been thinking about this blog post for several days and debated about how much to share.  I have a few special followers who sometimes believe I am talking about them even when I’m not.  Understanding the ripple effect of my words and actions, I have been taking care to be particularly mindful of what I write.  I would like my readers to take what they  like and leave the rest.  If it hurts or offends, I promise that was not my intention.

I write to grow myself and, in so doing, believe I give others permission to show up, be vulnerable, take chances and grow too!  If my words inspire anything other than growth, please let them be.  At the same time, for what it’s worth, I have learned the most from the things that were the most uncomfortable.

Talk about discomfort!  I process and integrate personal growth work quickly but I have been on some kind of uber-superhighway growth cycle the past couple of months.  It’s been quick and intense, even for me!  I have experienced both the highest elation of my life and the greatest heartache, sometimes within 24 hours!

It has come to my attention I have spent most of my life to this point either working to recreate good feelings or running away from uncomfortable ones (mostly running away).  Early on in my yoga practice, I recognized how much I avoid discomfort and have been practicing sitting with myself wherever that may be.  My practice has taught me all discomfort is temporary and sometimes the best thing to do is lean into it.  If I just keep showing up and practicing, focusing my energy on each breath and my physical center, everything else falls into place.

I remember when I couldn’t reach my hands straight above my head or touch my toes.  I can now put my chest on my knees at the end of my routine.  I didn’t get there by focusing on being able to put my chest on my knees (In fact, I didn’t think my body would ever do that!)… I got there by showing up, doing my best and letting go a little bit more every time.  I have learned that if I always avoid what’s uncomfortable, I plateau.  If go just a little past what I am used to, I improve a little bit at a time.  Almost every new pose has scared me and my first step is believing the pose is possible for me.

My yoga teacher says that ‘how you do one thing is how you do everything’.  I believe he’s right.  I have certainly seen the correlation between my practice and my life.  Most recently, it’s given me insight into the difference between integrity and control.

Integrity is a tenant of Adamantine, control is not.  Integrity brings stability.  Control brings tension.  I have confused the two in the past… Abounding in my illusion of ‘control’ but lacking integrity (oops).

Recently, I have taken a good, hard look at what I did to get my marriage to the place it’s in today.  I played a role… Lacking integrity, I lost touch with who I am and got caught up in the status of having a “good marriage”.  There were flags that all was not what I wanted it to be but I ignored them.  I held back my opinion on some little things when I could have just mentioned my preference in the beginning.  My husband did the same and here we are…

I consider myself a very loving person and I am for the most part.  However, I also have a shadow side when someone is ‘in the way’ of what I want.  By not getting what I want, I am learning how to be more compassionate and love unconditionally.  It’s not a challenge to love people who are how I like them… it is challenging to love fully when things aren’t going my way.  It’s uncomfortable… But I am learning how.

I have learned I can either be angry and hurt that good times had to end or I can rejoice and be grateful they happened.  The latter is much more joyful.  Gratitude always takes the edge off my suffering and puts my attitude in a better place.  I believe occasional pain is a mandatory part of human living but suffering is truly optional.  I choose my thoughts and my thoughts create my reality.

I am learning just because something feels good and I CAN do it, doesn’t mean it’s good for me.  That’s a BIG ONE!  Every since my father preached having “a quiet and mild spirit” is a virtue and pleaded with me to ‘get control of my emotions’, I have rebelled against anyone or anything I perceived as trying to control me.  By doing so, I made a lot of choices that were not in my best interest.  I lived life as if there were only two modes, being in control or being controlled.

I now see there is an ideal space in between I call ‘allowing with intention’.  It’s a place where I get clear on what I want and believe I deserve it.  If I can imagine it, I believe the universe can provide it and lots of things better!  It’s a place where I live in accordance with my highest truth (integrity) without trying to control anything outside of myself.  It’s a place where I decide what is important to me and don’t settle for anything less.  It’s a place where I embrace the unknown for the adventure of living!

 

From my heart to yours,

 

Thanks for reading