I have been thinking it was retirement that has taken the pressure off. The pressure of no longer entertaining the belief that I’m not as smart or as worthy as everyone else…mentally living in my head believing that because I didn’t pursue a college educated career I wasn’t as good as or as worthy as others. That’s not it! I jumped out of bed this morning searching for pen and paper in order to get this most recent download recorded.
I’ve always known that I was raised by common parents…common being dad graduated from high school, enjoyed being with himself fishing or hunting, worked a “job” to make a living. Because of his job choice, he was able to take his art to work with him and create who he was on the job while hourly walking around pushing buttons and checking gages. I have no doubt I’m over simplifying his job. My mother didn’t graduate from high school but spent many of my growing up years taking sewing classes and living the life of a secretary for a lawyer. She always called herself a legal secretary and while I knew that “legal secretaries” were probably credentialed…she was theoretically a legal secretary.
I married into a cerebral family which didn’t help my self esteem at the time …. I just knew I was different than they were and did not fit into this family who I assumed looked down on me because I didn’t know “stuff”….I knew street smart stuff, I knew life stuff but I didn’t know the right stuff. The comparison that I always made was an illusion of my own making….if I had only known then what I know now.
I have always been exactly what I was meant to be…it was the ancestoral or familial blocks that had to be excavated, discarded so that I could understand I was a vital part of the whole of humanity. I contributed but I did not understand my part in the big picture was as important as the next person. So when I woke this morning with this knowing. There is nothing I need to do physically, mentally or spiritually to be who I thought I could be…These are just soul blocks that I’m in this lifetime to work through and remove. Being me is not something I need to aspire to …. it is what I AM.
Or at least I think its Friday…quite frankly, I really have no idea what day it is anymore. COVID quarantine on the heels of retirement joined together with a personality that was always busy living my job and filling my day’s off with sanity recovery, chores and rules. One would think having no rules, no need for sanity and time on ones hands, one might do all of those things I complained I couldn’t get done while I was working. I frequently go to bed and have stress filled organizing dreams because I don’t really want to go to bed…I have things I want to do… I work harder in my dreams that I do during any other time of the day.
Some might say these unstructured days are good for the soul and I don’t argue that point. The difference is when I fail to do the things I want to do because I have an overactive mind and the glimpse of something shiny has me googling, shopping and looking for books to read on Amazon or scanning Twitter and Facebook, watching YouTube videos and in the blink of an eye clicking on my next second of unstructured entertainment.
Today while doing the recommended “homework-exercises” from my Heartmath.com class from Saturday mornings, I was able to go within using a technique “Heart Math Point 0”. Asking my heart “What clearing for a mental, emotional or physical healing would be fulfilling to invest my energy at this time”. Writing down my hearts intention became this blog post. I will endeavor to go within and listen to myself on a daily basis. Listen within to quiet the monkey mind and fill my day with intentional joy rather than being controlled by the next sparkling thing that passes before my eyes into my ego mind.
I have no idea exactly where I was or what I was doing but a fellow that looked very similar to the one pictured above was running ahead of me through the timber. Opening my eyes I thought….well, I wonder what kind of day I should anticipate!
I am holding on tightly to a sentence in Rev Erin’s talk this morning. “Most often the world around me is a projection of the world within me”.
and a line in the anti-apartheid protest song by Peter Gabriel – Biko
“You can blow out a candle, But you can’t blow out a fire, Once the flame begins to catch, The wind will blow it higher”.
Apparently running through the timber following an orangutan was indication that my options were completely open depending where my monkey brain would take me!
Snowing again…below 0 temps again tonight…I was a non believer when I heard a polar vortex was going to include us here in Missouri….looks like we should be climbing out of it this week…I try to see it as nature, as beauty but it is hard for me …. the frigid temps especially. We had been having such a mild winter. The geese had stayed and the pond had not frozen…. but…..
The Easter cactus has its first blooms on.
….and I have His latest creation to remind me to be patient….the sun will come out! (And I’ll be bitching about the heat)
What I scribbled out was “has the pandemic made me lazy or has it been a gift of contentment and getting to know who I am?” While I’ve had those days of total boredom … screaming in my head that I want to take a trip somewhere…Key West, Italy, Walmart… the gift I’ve received is being locked up in my house rather than my mind for nearly a year and having the opportunity to get to know what I want and what I think minus all of the key turns of the ignition of the car.
I near the anniversary of my retirement which is also the day He and I left work, loaded up 5 cats, 3 large dogs and our last bits of our life in Iowa, drove 4 hours to our new life in Missouri. The emotions were raw…the excitement, the fear, second guessing if we were doing the right thing, realizing its too late to turn back now, sister, we are doing this! I remember feeling such relief…anonymity awaits. I could wear sleep pants and forgo makeup to go shopping because I will not know anyone. No small talk will be required at the grocery store because I won’t know anyone.
So it would seem pandemic quarantining is exactly what I had been craving. I’ve had the opportunity to just be. To sit on the couch all afternoon and play Words with Friends, to read novels and self help books, to binge watch TV shows. I have groceries delivered, dishes may sit overnight in the sink, I may eat popcorn at 2 in the morning. Isn’t this what I craved since I became a responsible adult with a career!
I woke up this morning and before I realized that today was supposed to be different, I had the same “basic” thoughts I did in all the days before. There have been a few of my many, many mornings that I’ve jumped out of bed to music, doves and sunshine. But for the most part, I am grumpy….of course as life would have it, I married a man who wakes up throws the sheets aside and yells “it’s a new day, nothing has gone wrong yet”. A mild exaggeration there because remember, he wakes up next to me who is always on her first and last nerve.
Today is New Years Day….that day when everything begins anew. Today is the day that we are full of new hope for a new body, new health regime, new personality, new job, new relationships, new life. My question this morning is what happened overnight that makes us believe we have finally “fixed” the list of the things we do not like about our life….finally the miracle. For me, the list includes the very same things I have not liked about my life for the last 20, 30, 50 New Years mornings. The message is: We don’t have to make the seeming impossible changes in our life, we just have to change our thinking moment by moment. As a friend of mine reminded me recently…each new breath gives me the opportunity to change the way I think….the decisions I make….and the trajectory of my life.
Hindsight is 2020. I don’t have to make plans to change so that I’m magnificent with the perfect life and friends and body. I have that already. I just need to change the way I think….replacing displeasure and dislike with gratitude and love. The love for myself that I want to receive from everyone else. Nothing outside of myself really changes anything. What matters is how I think…right in this moment. Not with plans for the future or discomfort with the past. Stop right now and ask yourselves 5 things each do I hear, feel or see…this exercise brings us into the present moment….and then ask right here and right now is there anything wrong…right in this moment AM I OKAY!?
Being vulnerable is not a sign of weakness or the enduring fear that there is something wrong with me. Allowing authenticity and vulnerability to surface is actually an indication of knowing who I am and making no apologies for who I am. In fact, by being authentic, I save myself that inner discomfort that someone outside of me can define me!
By working through some (childhood into adulthood) triggers in my life, I know I have often hidden who I am with defensive behavior by going on the attack before I am attacked. We live our life assuming that everyone but me has it all together. We see the weakness in someone else which feeds our ego and that sense of being superior bolsters our self esteem by searching and/or finding vulnerability in others…. manifesting unkind words/actions or irrational anger.
By healing the victim mentality within ourselves and by understanding that nothing outside of ourselves has anything to do with our divine nature allows us to be genuine and authentic in our relationships. One moment, one interaction at a time!
The bottom line for me is the quote from the pen of the Maya Angelou: “Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better”
I’ve joined a zoom Strength Builders class that meets on Monday and Thursday mornings. For the last two weeks, I’ve been walking with a slight bend at the waste. I believe this 1) is not natural for most women my age; and 2) this evidence that I accepted the invitation in the nick of time!
After class I opened the door and
He’s getting his exercise too and actually has also been walking with a slight bend. He’s been putting a ceiling in our downstairs family room.
It’s nearly completed….just a few pieces left on my end of the basement then he can begin the reorganization of his art studio. He thinks he can make it cat free….He’s such a dreamer!
While everyone else will be in their warm cars tonight driving through the many Christmas light venues around us, we are meeting the Missouri family at Powell Gardens and losing ourselves in the beauty and mystery of the decorated Christmas wonderland!
It’s really hard to believe the 2020 version of Christmas is a week away.
Sadly I think the geese are getting ready to leave the pond. They’ve all been sitting around on a thin layer of ice today…..I’ve been sending them messages to stay awhile longer…the rest of the week will be warmer
This reads more like a Dear Diary entry but that is where I am in my head…holding myself close, appreciating the friendships and the love and the beauty all around me.
After a particularly emotional, loving and safe UVC Zoom group this morning, I spent some time in thoughtful meditation allowing the gratitude to settle in my bones.
In the 8 months since the COVID-19 virus was officially discovered (announced), we have all had to adapt to this new normal. We’ve been forced to slow down, pay attention and figure how to live 6 feet from each other. After the first few months or since the science based guidelines have been established…wash your hands, social distance and wear a mask…AND my personal rule DO NOT LET YOUR GUARD DOWN, I’ve not been overwhelmed by fear for myself. That’s not to say some days boredom hasn’t been an issue and often finding myself down in the rabbit hole with sadness and grief not being able to see my kids and grandkids. When our granddaughter was born at the end of March, not being able to see her in person brought me to my knees.
The bright light in this pandemic experience for Phil and me has been finding our balance on zoom outings with our tribe of friends at Unity Village Chapel. Meditations, prayer, arts and crafts, discussions with New Thought leaders. Book studies .. reading together and discussing, we meet for game nights, we talk, talk, talk. Just like the zoom gathering this morning…9 of us came together to discuss a food train for a Unity Village family with COVID, each of us sharing our personal pandemic feelings, fears, sadness and blessings. Supporting one another in Love and Wellness knowing that anyone in the group would wipe away the tears of another if we had been physically together.
It is not necessary to attend Unity Village Chapel or even live in the Kansas City area to find yourself in a “Brady Bunch”square most days of the week and especially Sunday mornings for the talk by Rev Erin and the after church discussion she hosts. All that is necessary is an internet signal along with a phone, tablet or computer. There is always room.
My friend, Terri, posted this on Facebook this morning
The author understood what so many of us are learning….
I look back at my life and realize how exhausted I have been fighting for everything! I really thought that was how to be successful. Never satisfied, I always felt I needed to do better, to be better. Now I know it was fear. Fear that I would never be good enough instead of understanding that I just need to BE everything I AM.
I used to joke (ok…not really a joke) that the best way to eat chocolate (like those chocolate stars that used to be available in movie theaters but now may be bought in bulk from a buy-your-stuff-in-bulk-store) was to stuff my mouth full of that melty chocolate until it began to seep out of the corners. I now believe that this theory…while I still believe it to be true…was really just an analogy of the way I lived my life.
Everything was either really good or really bad and I did not have much desire to just float along. I either had to go full throttle to love it/fix it or ruminate. I either really liked someone or something and enveloped my whole being in that comfort or really disliked it/them and then was disappointed when life didn’t play out the way I could accept.
But with age, therapy and embracing spirituality rather than organized religion, I’m realizing that my years of angst had everything to do with my expectations and the stories in my head. Those stories on replay…those stories queued to play my favorite tune when I needed justification for my opinions or behavior. Once I had the “discipline” to stop, drop and roll, I loosened my grip on my need for black and white, hate and love, yes and no.
With every breath we have the ability to change the way we think. We don’t need to breathe in the very same air we just exhaled. We are not preprogrammed to pass or fail depending on what “happened to us” the last time we tried. Changing the way we think changes our life. It’s not how someone reacts to us, it is how we react to our own thinking.