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

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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/

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

 

Building an Inner World – My Feelings are Gifts

It has come to my awareness that I have lived most of my life off the energy of those around me, in their worlds, not mine.  A little like a well meaning parasite, I haven’t developed much within myself to give without somehow first receiving.  Because of that imbalance, I have constantly felt like I’m not enough.  There’s no way that someone else’s energy is ever going to be enough for me and there’s no way I can ever be enough for someone else if my own tank is empty.

I realized that part of the reason I had so much trouble feeling like I belong is because I hadn’t spent time or energy making myself a home within.  If I am not at home inside, how could I ever think I could find a home outside?  I am capable of thinking positively and sending out positive vibes all over the place but I’m deluding myself if I think that can make up for a core full of untended wounds.

I have been accused of living in my own world and not ‘reality’ numerous times.  I recently deduced that accusation comes when I have been living in the accuser’s world and decide to leave.  They notice.  They see me as having left reality because I left their reality.

I have taken that feedback personally and used it to feed my dark wolf. I have spent my energy fighting my feelings, trying desperately to control them, only to have them burst out at the most inconvenient times.  I have analyzed them, judged them, shamed myself for feeling them, distracted myself from noticing them and tried to convince them they aren’t real…all to no avail.

I am grateful to have recognized the real issue has been a lack of a self sufficient inner world.  I am building one now!  It’s a place where I am safe and only the people I want to join me are allowed in.  It’s a place where I make the rules and can change them any time I choose, with complete, unconditional acceptance.  It’s a fantastical place for me by me!

My feelings are gifts.  They are indicators of what I believe in my core.  Although they are not facts, they come from a place that knows the truth even when I’m telling myself lies.  They can be wind in my sails if I work with them.  They can be the waves that take me to new levels of self-understanding and self-awareness if I allow it.  And… they can be fun!

No one has ever accused me of being boring. 🙂

From my heart to yours,

Thanks for reading

Grateful for Autism

I’ve spent so much energy worrying about my son’s condition, I have missed what a blessing it is in many ways.

He gives me absolutely no attitude.  If I ask him to do something, he does it, period.  Understanding how difficult it is for him to adapt to change, he works very hard to keep himself under control.  When I say, “I need a minute,” he leaves me alone.  He cooks, he cleans, he loves animals.  What more can a mom ask for?!

I’ve had a few dreams recently where I had autism.  It was like I was experiencing life as my son does and it was extremely stressful!  Much of the time, I didn’t understand what was going on and didn’t know what was going to happen.  I started wanting to hum and flap to keep myself from throwing a tantrum.

Yesterday, after the rest of the family left, my son and I started cleaning his room.  His last guinea pig recently died and he’s come to the conclusion he does not want another pet that needs liter (horray!).  As we were going through old papers, he knew exactly what he wanted to keep and what he wanted to throw away.  Some grown ups I know have difficulty determining that.

After we cleaned his room, we went for a run.  Running is one of the few things we have in common.  I try to learn about his favorite superheros and Greek mythology characters but they aren’t really my thing.  I don’t like to play video games.  I try to support him in his sports but if he wasn’t playing them, I wouldn’t be at the games.

My son is growing into a man!  This blows my mind.  I remember holding him as a baby and wondering what kind of man he would be (At only 19 years old, I was arguably still a child myself).  So far, I see a very honest, kind, hard working, determined man who is going to be a blessing to everyone who takes the time to let him into their lives.

Time flies and if I don’t reflect on and appreciate what I have, I miss out on it completely.

John Lennon said it best with :”Life is what happens while you’re busy making other plans.”.

I am grateful for my life!

 

From my heart to yours

Thanks for reading

My Truth About Relationships

At a few times in my life, I felt like I only had one friend.  Looking back, it was not as much of a friendship as a desperate plea to be accepted.  I didn’t accept myself.  I looked to someone else for that and it made me an extremely possessive, jealous person who couldn’t maintain a friendship.  Thankfully, most of those people are now true friends I am extremely grateful to have in my life!

I am continually amazed at how easily connections come when I am grounded and at peace with myself.  When I look into someone’s eyes, I see a heart, a soul, a spiritual person having a human experience.  Sometimes they seem to glow with white light, those are the ones I connect with the most.

Last night, I was at a party with a lot of people I had not interacted with before.  The environment was one of unconditional acceptance (a lot of genuine theater people).  At first, I felt uncomfortable, not quite sure what to do with myself.  I didn’t want to gorge on the food a few feet away but I didn’t really know what to do either.  So, I asked my higher power what I should do.  I stood around until the answers started coming.  A conversation here, an interaction there, a photo, a game, a song, a dance… It all summed up into a GREAT night!

I think I may have made some new friends!

Relationships are not static.  They change over time.  People change. If people change at a rate or direction beyond what the relationship can adapt to, it ends.  Recognizing this fact liberates one from agonizing disappointment if a relationship does not last “forever”.  It makes me be able to cherish the individual moments of connection with other people, no matter how long I have known them.

I am married to a wonderfully sweet and supportive man.  Our relationship now is not the same as when we got together.  It’s deeper, more trusting, and we do not spend as much time together as we did early on.  Both of us need “alone” time in a quiet space to hear our own thoughts or we go insane.   Thankfully, almost 8 years into our partnership, our relationship has been able to adapt at the pace of our changes as individuals.

I was married once before and as I changed, my husband stayed the same.  The relationship could not withstand our differences.  I wanted it to work out, I tried to do my part, but when I realized I did not like him when he was being true to himself  (not trying to please me), it was time to go.  That was one of the most painful and best decisions I have made to date.

My son is now a teenager.  Our relationship has changed over time too.  I used to be his primary caregiver and now I am more of a cheerleader and guide.  He can pretty much take care of himself and I am proud of the man I see him becoming.

I worry about whether or not he will be able to make friends but then I realize I’m trying to define what friends are to me for him.  He interacts with people he has never met easily.  I’m embarrassed at times but his “autistic quirks” but he does not seem to be.  I am continually touched by how kind people are to him and how they honor his tender heart, deeper than his differences.

One of my favorite times of the year is coming.  Winter…. A time to go inward, reflect on the year behind and look forward to the year ahead.  In this blog, I will continue to share what’s in my mind and on my heart.

 

From my heart to yours,

Thanks for reading

Jumping Fleas

A few weeks ago, my Saturday morning group run started with a story I’ve been thinking about since I heard it.  I wanted to share it with all of you:

An experiment was once done using a handful of fleas and a glass jar.  The researcher placed several fleas in the container and they quickly, easily jumped out.  This was repeated numerous times and each time yielded the same result.

Then, a lid was put on the jar.  The fleas kept hitting the top until, eventually, they started jumping as high as they could without hitting the lid.

When the researcher removed the lid, they didn’t jump high enough to get out of the jar as if there was still something blocking their way.

Curious, the researcher heated up the bottom of the jar.

Now that staying in the jar was unbearable, they jumped out.

The fleas had not lost their ability to jump out of the jar when the lid was put on but when the obstacle was removed, they behaved as if there was no other option.

____

There are many, many reasons this story speaks to me but here are a few I find most moving:

  1. In order to change, where you are needs to be more uncomfortable than the discomfort of changing.
  2. It doesn’t matter if something is really there or not.  If it’s perceived to be there, it’s as real as anything!
  3. Fleas suck. Blood. Literally. But they can jump 100x their own height (world’s 2nd most powerful jumper).  If even annoying pests have something they are good at, so do you! If you don’t know what it is, don’t give up looking until you’ve found it!

For more of this story and other inspirational stuff, see Nick’s blog at  http://thinklikeyour6.blogspot.com/
From my heart to yours,
Thanks for reading