Lonely or Nice

The holidays….they can go either way..

I have heard my friends lament about the sadness they feel especially when viscerally injected with holiday cheer bouncing off every wall, ceiling, music speaker and Christmas tree. It doesn’t really matter whether you are a reason for the season person; your ethnicity doesn’t matter, sleeping on the streets or in a mansion…you are either living through or celebrating the holidays.

I especially mourn with people when a loved one transitions around the holidays. I don’t think I’m hanging crepe when I say that The “holidays” will never be the same for them. This happened to me…my dad had a heart attack on Christmas Eve and passed the day after New Years. Moving forward when the holidays roll around the reference is always that day, month, year before dad passed and after dad passed.

A good friend of mine told me that I should accept the holiday feels by feeling the emotion, letting it pass through and if you feel like a thorough holiday sob, just let it happen. Stop fighting it.

There really are no rules…the holiday is the holiday…one hour, one day you may feel festive and full of love and joy…and the next hour or day, you may not.

Namaste

Get off that anxiety train

For the last couple of years, I’ve immersed myself in the study of learning to live in the moment. The past is done. There is nothing that can change it…and the past we recall is our illusion of events and interestingly, every time we try to bring the past back in our thoughts, its probably not the same memory from the last time we thought about it. Regardless…it is the past. It is not who we are or what we are right this moment. The future we agonize over and plan down to the last detail is also an illusion. I’m not referring to the weekly calendar or event future, I’m speaking of the worry and planning of our lives such as what happens if I run out of money, what happens if I get sick, What happens if we lose the house, what happens if all the chickens die…FEAR OF THE FUTURE…These thoughts are just a destructive cycle in our thinking that keep us from living right now.

How many times do we miss what is going on in the pleasant, present moment because we are focused on something from our past or fear of what might happen in the future (usually won’t happen in the future). I’m learning to recognize when I have these life robbing thoughts. I recognize when I’m starting to feel anxiety about “something” and to just STOP and get off that thought train. What are 3 things I see right now, 3 things I hear right now, 3 things I can physically feel right now. This exercise which might take 10 seconds will bring me back to where I am right here and right now.

My anxiety, morbid thinking, fear of the unknown and anger about the past is becoming less likely to ruin my day.

This has been a “lesson” I wanted to share today because I woke up with some fear based thinking and writing it down always helps me to retain the information!

Until next time…..

Fear

In my spiritual journey, I find there are so many topics, themes, opinions, beliefs that are universal among new thought books/authors, teachers and gurus. As I have drilled down on these topics, I have found that this stuff makes total sense as opposed to the fundamental beliefs of the preachers, teachers, opinionated male dominant hierarchy teachings that have been used to control the multitudes for thousands of years. The bottom line is that we…as in everything on this planet…are connected. Each human being is connected as one and is reliant on all of nature to keep the balance. Everything is connected.

All of our angst, feelings of superiority, insecurity and hate…everything that isn’t love…is fear. And fear comes from that little voice in our head that is constantly talking to us…we can call that little voice…the ego. All of our fear thoughts originate from stories we tell ourselves. I’m ugly, I don’t fit in because I have a big nose, I don’t like someone because they looked at me a certain way…on and on and on. These stories we tell ourselves are not the result of what someone has DONE to us but actually is that “something” buried deep within us. So we revolt. Often, those things about ourselves that we recognize and “don’t like” are exactly the behaviors in someone else that causes us to be locked and loaded when triggered into an angry response and behavior. A simple example…the friend who thinks they will be safe from everything by having rules for everything….built in protection…if I can control it with rules, it can’t hurt me. If this friends behavior crosses your invisible line of acceptance of your rules and he/she irritates you, is it because you have very fixed rules for the perception of safety and you are triggered. The friend that doesn’t wear makeup….do you judge her because you are insecure about the way you look and never leave the house unless embellished? Is she wrong or do you need to examine the insecurity within yourself that she triggers? In general we judge or dislike someone who brings out the insecurities we are hiding.

The illusion of the need to protect ourselves comes from a long history of experiences in our life that may have hurt our feelings, damage us physically/mentally and made us feel unsafe or not good enough. We attached emotion to those “things” and initiated protection alerts for our hearts. It all seems so complicated but is actually very simple. If it is not love based, it is fear based and we have the capacity to change the way we think.

Namaste

Most tricks in a minute by a pig

That would be Joy who is proudly in the Guinness Book of World Records…

We have been away from our “Home Town” for nearly 6 years. It seems to be the perfect amount of time needed for me to forget about the things that irritated me about small town living; but, enough time that I can embrace what delighted me.

Since we have been gone, old buildings on the square have been refurbished, new traffic lights down the main drag and the movie theater has been updated. The new theater owners have a pig named Joy who lives her life on display in a store front next to the theater.

Under the heading, “you can’t make this stuff up”, Joy appears to have an idyllic life. She does tricks for gawkers passing on the square. I only stayed around for her twirling trick so I didn’t witness anything else she does…

It’s just a precious snapshot of small town life. We stood in sprinkles at 35 degrees to watch Joy and the hometown parade which brings Santa to town following the courthouse lighting and tour of the trees on display at the courthouse…which includes a massive 3 story tree.

Thanks for the memories Newton, Iowa.

Happy Holidays!

I can remember staying in hotels that provided HBO

A part of me was so attracted to the idea of watching HBO all day and all night in the room because we didn’t have it at home…. I recall after looking at the little paper pamphlet left on the desk that listed all the shows playing on HBO during our stay, I was totally irritated because actually there was nothing I thought was worth my time…just a shiny little distraction.

I can remember when staying in a hotel was fun! An adventure. That was before I started paying attention to how dirty the floor might be, how filthy the remote had to be because I saw it on Facebook. Are the glasses really clean or do they just wrap them up?no doubt…you get the picture.

Seeing an HBO pamphlet in our hotel tonight, I had to looks to see if there was anything that piqued my interest even though we have HBO at home now. For some reason, I flashed back to a memory of a Florida trip in 99. It was the week John-John Kennedy was killed. Our oldest daughter had graduated high school and this was our last “family” vacation together. The night in question we had a hotel room in a perfect location to see a space shuttle launch. Of course, not really the launch but we would see something. So He and I and our youngest daughter sat in the parking lot behind our hotel waiting…waiting…waiting….waiting. The 18year old stayed in the room because nothing could drag her away from the continuous news loop about John Kennedy’s death.

Finally, dejected, we went back to our room and as we opened the door she turned and announced ….oh…something happened and they had to scrap the space shuttle launch. At the time, I remember voicing my displeasure that she did not come out and tell us..WE SAT OUT THERE ALL THAT TIME. It seems like something so insignificant now…I wonder if the other 3 would have the same recollection of that night? Memories are not always accurate but when they result in a snicker and love in my heart…I am thankful and feel so blessed!

Until next time…

I think I can narrow down my emotion to…

Embarrassment.

This picture brought it to a head this week.

I looked at this creation for a long time when it popped up on my FB feed. I was first attracted to the vivid colors…I’m a color person…then the design..I wanted to look through it because I was sure there was something I couldn’t see…and there is the little details of color within the color…I felt like something was being protected.

I’m red faced in realizing the person I used to be….several times at museums and art centers, I would arrogantly avoid the “modern” art areas with a pfft of my hand because I did not understand why anyone thought this was art…it did not fit into my preconceived beliefs about art and paintings…where did these beliefs come from?

I’m certainly not saying that I am without opinion.

Noun. A view or judgement formed about something, not necessarily based on fact or knowledge.

I am saying that in this prejudice about what I thought paintings were supposed to look like, I missed some real beauties..some experiences…how many things in my review of life can I check the mark beside ..missed it …because of my inability to see past my personal opinions and judgements?

it’s another layer of my personal onion!

Whoever created this painting I say well done. Bravo….You made me think.

Until next time…

This idea of having boundaries….

It’s a concept I’m just learning to actually HEAR. On this incredibly personal journey I started so many years ago, I stopped at every crossroad in order to re-evaluate right, left, forward or often screaming NO and running back from where I had come. The thought of creating boundaries was always the one thing causing me to retreat…..

I was raised an only child by older parents with completely different personalities. My parents (who did the best they could do) used me as a child of about 8 and onward to be the glue in their relationship…talking to me about their problems in and out of their relationship and teaching me quickly to be a problem solver and a people pleaser. They sent me out into the world incapable of setting up personal boundaries.

I frequently step or run forward to do the things I want to do but I’m usually dragging someone or something else with me, not in my best interest, because I’m just afraid to say no.

This morning two memes mentioning boundaries popped up on my FB page….my spiritual soul grabbed on …. holding tightly as if I had never before heard the concept. And just like that…I know where my awareness will be focused.

Until next time…

How they made me feel

I had one of those moments this morning…I liken it to a sparkling dust of wisdom falling from the sky and gently landing on my shoulder. It’s those ah ha moments that gently ring your bell of recognition and it feels like….like….a thunder shirt for a dog. It was just ANOTHER small glimpse of a moment that I’ve been able to see through the peep hole of who I am.

Quite a while ago I seized on the Maya Angelou quote, At the end of the day people won’t remember what you said or did, but they will remember how you made them feel.

Jeff Foster, in the book Deepest Acceptance touched on removing the story you have told yourself about difficult people in your life and see them without your story, without your pain or whatever emotion you have attached to them. See them new and fresh…see them just as they are. I immediately looked in the corner and saw my memory image of my mother as just a person I did not know. I really looked at her…I understood the lesson.

…..and then this morning the little poof of sparkle. Yes, in fact, we can love everyone as human beings…as ourselves….even those folks that make themselves hard to love by their behavior…..I have to remove the story I tell myself about them…good or bad….by knowing how they made me feel. It is often nearly impossible to forget the event, to forget what they said, to forget how they literally crumbled your heart or your self esteem. The reason is the emotion I attached to them how they made me feel. I may not remember the story just right…I may not remember exactly what was said…I may not even remember why I can’t stand them…but I’m always attached to them by emotion…by the way they made me feels. Releasing the emotion may not be easy, but realizing that this is my story, my emotion, my path gives me ownership. I am seriously tired of all of the angst balled up in my chest because of my perceptions of past transgressions but I have the choice to close the door and not rent space to them in my head from this moment on.

Until next time….

Mansplaining. (not for the faint of heart)

For 6 decades I have endured conversations with men who were hell bent on explaining things to me about things I know more about than they do. Like woman things or let’s say folks on the other side of my profession aka the other side of the radio explaining my job or just things in general like explaining down to me as if I were just a potato? I always protected myself and them by just thinking to myself…ahhh, small dick.

Over the years, He has mansplained to me and quite frankly, I have also talked AT him the nuances of life. It’s just what couples do…at least we do. For the most part one of us will just glaze over…or if a nerve is hit, there could be some raised voices and hurt feelings.

Today, I received a phone call from a woman who was a manager at Orkin…she wanted to come out and review our appointment with them last May…mostly about how well they served by eliminating our insect problem. Sure…at least I don’t have to fill out a survey on line because quite, frankly, on a scale of 0 to 10 surveys has become a 2nd career for me. I told Him that the person coming out was a woman…he said, great…somebody who won’t mansplain. After that comment, I realized yes, I would marry him again.

We are doing a lot of ego work in the book studies we do at Unity. We are ripe with recognizing when our ego is controlling us. That’s not to say we are enlightened but it does mean, in this situation, that He…the man…helped me to understand what mansplaining really is…not to bash on men because we all have tremendous egos that need recognizing…but mansplaining may just be a symptom of insecurity and protection because they may be feeling unloveable, inadequate or not measuring up?!?

I hope I can recognize the beating drum of fear we all experience instead of judging someone as pompous or arrogant with small genitalia. I’m learning….

You know you don’t have to be an asshole!?!.

I was exiting a parking lot onto a frontage street…there were cars trying to merge into the line…so thinking everyone else would do the same thing, I allowed a car in….hoping the car behind me would do likewise. They did. The guy behind the car I allowed to merge was so desperately offended that I didn’t yield to him also that when he got behind me, he opened his window and yelled f**king C**t. Oh my!

I watched a guy in an old pickup stop for an elderly woman in the right of way crossing between the store and the parking lot. As soon as she had passed his right bumper he gunned his big loud machine so she would know how totally injured he was for having to be courteous.

So many damaged people who don’t have the tools (or, perhaps, someone that cares about them) have a tendency to make hurtful and disrespectful comments in order to hurt someone else so they feel bigger and better about themselves. It doesn’t work. Those damaged people just come off as assholes and their intended victim must learn to let it go and not attach any emotion or self confidence to the behavior.

It’s hard to remember that when we come across someone who is hurting for whatever reason, that we do not need to feed their bad behavior, but to love that person as you love yourself…because we are all connected. What we put out there is what we get back.

Until next time…