Saturday, November 20, 2010

things I'm grateful for - day 2

And the list goes on....
  • smiles - from anyone
  • having a roof over my head
  • clean drinking water
  • my fireplace
  • my grandparents
  • my sight (it used to be that I couldn't read the big E on the eye chart)
  • alone time
  • fresh air
  • the warmth and coziness of a down comforter
  • C being a great cook

Friday, November 19, 2010

friday gratitude

With Thanksgiving around the corner, I thought I would share a few of the things that I'm feeling grateful for.

friendship ~ my life is full of amazing women, and I feel honored to know each and every one of you. At yoga yesterday, there was a beautiful reading from "Anam Cara - A Book of Celtic Wisdom" by John O'Donohue, the title translates to soul friend. Today I'm feeling inspired to share a quote with you.

"Love allows understanding to dawn, and understanding is precious. Where you are understood, you are at home. Understanding nourishes belonging. When you really feel understood, you feel free to release yourself into the trust and shelter of the other person's soul." John O'Donohue - Anam Cara

retreats ~ I haven't shared that in March I'm going to attend Creating Stillness a retreat with Kate Swoboda, and her lovely retreat assistant, and my dear friend Darlene Kruetzer. I am so excited to be going! I have spent the year with these two amazing women online and via the phone - I can't wait to spend some face to face time with them and the other lovelies who will there, and have some time for me. It's in Northern California (in the Monterey area) and there are 3 spots left. Here is how Kate describes it:

** A weekend spent on the Monterey Peninsula in Pacific Grove, CA, where you’ll be surrounded by the smells of cedar and eucalyptus, with the ocean just a ten-minute walk away.

** Writing, photography, and stillness practices that are all geared towards one thing: slowing down, and getting courageously present.

** A queen sized bed loaded with pillows–and a pillowtop mattress calling your name.

** Plush towels and jacuzzi jets in the full-sized tub.

** A fireplace to sit in front of, while wrapping your hands around a mug of hot cider.

** Quiet. Presence. Sinking into you.

I'm hoping that this is going to be the first of many retreats that I treat myself to in the coming years. Girl time with heart. I l o v e it.

yoga ~ I felt the call and I resisted. For years. When I moved past all of my fears and excuses, I fell in love. It centers me. It puts me in positions (literally and figuratively) that challenge me. It calls me to make the time for myself and my practice. It's changing my body in ways that I can't explain. And now I cannot imagine life without it.

I'm also feeling so thankful for my C, my chocolate dog (who is curled up next to me right now), for my health (last year I was so sick at Thanksgiving that I wasn't able to eat!), for boots, and striped socks, oh and boysenberry pie (I've been indulging a bit). I think I'll leave it here for now...

Do you have a gratitude practice? Journaling, meditating, or any other expression of gratitude that you do on a regular basis? I'd love to hear about it.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

someone I need to let go, or wish I didn't know.

Day 10 - someone I need to let go, or wish I didn't know.

I've been thinking a lot about friendships that aren't working. It's interesting to look at them from where I'm standing now, versus when I was younger...even just a few years younger. I have a much better idea of who I am now. And have a clearer picture of who I've always been. I have certainly had friendships with people who thought that I should be different. That if I did this or that, I'd be better, stronger, smarter, more grown up. I used to take that in, and I know it fed into my stories.

I had an interesting experience with an old friend a while back. We were reconnecting, spending more time together, and sharing with each other. One day she told me that she really appreciated my input. She said she thought that I was so level headed and fair (libra), and then she proceeded to say that she thought that I had changed so much. My first thought was....really? I have always been that way, maybe you have changed and now you can finally appreciate me (hello ego). I let it go. There is some deep truth in that feeling though. This is a friendship where I have never been accepted as I am. And in that moment of feeling approved of, and liking it...I got an icky feeling.

Approval from others is not what rules my life. It did for a long time. Now that I appreciate myself for the person that I am (flaws and all), it's easier to see whether a relationship is healthy or not. This is where I'm at, and what I'm considering these days. The friendships that aren't authentic, loving, and mutually supportive are the "someones" I need to let go of. Feels good and scary, all at the same time.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

someone I didn't want to let go, but just drifted.

Day 9 - someone you didn't want to let go, but just drifted.

I moved in across the street from her just before I turned 7, she was two years younger than me. I don't know that the age difference was ever apparent. Of course throughout school, we had other friends at school that were in our own grades, but we were like sisters. Always. Throughout life, we shared everything. Secrets, stories, fun, and heartbreaks. I moved away, and she was with a boyfriend who treated her like shit. She was the maid of honor at my wedding. I didn't even know that she married the "boyfriend" at the courthouse. Over time we drifted.

It hurt me to see her with him. To hear the stories. To see her hurt. I was newly married, and I slinked away from our friendship. We talked recently and I had the chance to apologize for that. I was able to tell her that I have been carrying guilt for not being there for her. For walking away because I was uncomfortable (it stings to even write that). She said she understood. And we vowed to be better about keeping in touch. Our lives have changed greatly, and we don't have the time to be inseparable. But the bond is still strong and I intend to keep that promise. She's a beautiful person, her friendship means the world to me, and I can't say I've known any other friend that long.

30 days of truth

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

something I need to forgive myself for.

Day 3 - something I need to forgive myself for.

I need to forgive myself for running. Running from things that scared me. Things that felt too huge to handle. I ran when my Grandma was dying. I ran from my step daughter when my marriage ended. I ran when my ex husband died – I ran straight to distraction. Away from reality, and straight to the internet, and television. I left my new love to handle everything in our real everyday life. I left. Period. Physically I was here, but it wasn’t the same. It’s taken years to return home. Home to me.

Part of this is forgiving myself, and part of it is letting go of the story that I am a runner. A quitter. An abandoner. A person who hides from things. Because the truth is, I have also done my fair share of brave things. Big things. Scary things. And I’ve stayed and faced things head on. So there it is. Forgiveness and letting go. I think that it’s equal parts…you must be able to let go to forgive. I wish it was as easy as writing a permission slip. *here you go…forgiveness granted.

The good news is that my story is revealed. It’s out in the light, exposed and seen by me and now by you. Once it’s out there, all lit up, it’s easier to spot again. To see the truth. And that’s when the real forgiveness can begin. The story can be let go of, and the truth can be claimed.

Today I am thankful for the people in my life who listen to my stories, and who see my truth.

30 days

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

something I love about myself.

Day 2 - something I love about myself.

I’m struggling with writing this. Not because I can’t think of things that I love about myself (which makes me smile wide)…but because I am just plain struggling to write. So I am going to just cut to it, because participating in this 30 days is important to me.

The thing that stands out to me is my capacity to love. Through the good, the bad, and the ugly. For me this means that, I can still see someone, through pain and hurt, through fucked up circumstances, through joy, and through everyday life. There is a part of me, a very deep part of me where love is so strong, that it sees through the shit that we all have, and is able to see the purest part of someone. I don’t know where it comes from. And I can’t say that others always understand it. In fact, it’s been questioned many times.

As my first marriage came to an end, I was asked time and time again, what I was thinking? What was wrong with me? How could I choose love for someone that had caused me so much pain? All I can say, is that I just did. The truth is, that he was a beautiful person who was never able to understand that he was amazing. He was tortured, charming, sensitive, complex, funny, loving, and more. Yes, he made choices that caused me immense pain, but he also made choices that cost him his life. It was during this time that I not only chose love for him, I also began to choose it for myself. It was back then, that I began to fall in love with me.

I’ve been in situations, over and over, where the person that someone really is…speaks to me more than the actions they are choosing. Not because I am letting them walk all over me, or I’m allowing them to behave badly. In fact, I have been known to begin the conversation when I’ve been hurt. There is just something that takes over…and the only way I can explain it, is my capacity to love. And I have to say, that I really love that about myself.

Today I am thankful for the right to vote. And have my voice heard.

30 days

Monday, November 1, 2010

something I hate about myself.

Day one - 30 Days of Truth - Something I hate dislike about myself.

As I sit immersed in learning to accept myself for the person that I am, I'm finding it hard to write about something that I dislike about myself. Not that there aren't things, because I could easily get going on a list of things that I feel I should be, or be doing differently. I find that I sit in judgement about a lot of things when it comes to me, and this question makes me feel like I could easily slip into a little self bashing. So with that awareness, I will truthfully and gently share what comes to mind...

I suffer from analysis paralysis. I gather information, and more information, and then a little more information, and then maybe just a little more before I act. And then often, I am acting because I get to that shit or get off the pot moment (either deadline or self imposed). I've also called this procrastination. When it was suggested to me that this may just be my exact words were - if that's true I'll kill myself. Dramatic? yes - really kill myself? no. The thought of laboring over decisions for the rest of my life seems unbearable. I choose to accept that this is part of my process at the moment; I'm learning to trust myself and my inner voice. I remind myself often that I have permission to experiment, to fail, to succeed. Permission granted. Period.

And one thing I've discovered is that my inner little girl is still suffering from a life that was out of control, didn't feel very safe, and had very little certainty. I'm learning that I need to take her by the hand and give her some of the things that she was missing back then. A little guidance, some assurance, and lots of love. Getting in touch with her has been a real gift; it's empowered me in ways I can't explain. As we heal together, the trust is slowly building. The two of us will make one amazingly powerful woman, who stands firm in who she is and the decisions she makes. And when I waiver and waffle (because let's be real, I will) I'll remember the permission slip that allows me to be human.

So yes. I dislike the analysis paralysis, and that I do it. It's uncomfortable, and frustrating. And since running from the discomfort hasn't helped much up to this point, I sit with it, until I can move through it.

*Just for fun - the visual running through my head: me, and me as a little girl walking out of smoke with a fire blazing behind us...with our hands joined and raised victoriously. And possibly a celebratory jump into the air - feet kicked out to the side. Dramatic? yes. And silly? of course.

I think as part of my 30 days of truth, I'm also going to add one thing each day that I'm grateful for. Today it's being in touch with my playful side.

30 days

30 days of truth.

I was over at my friend dar's blog and saw that she is going to take part in "30 Days of Truth" during the month of November. I am thinking of taking this challenge on...speaking my truth is a practice I'm actively engaging in, and I could certainly use the prompts. Since I have been away from blogging for the most part, I'm gently stepping in. With the intent of doing the full 30, while also giving myself the space to do what I do.

Here is the list in case you would like to join in the truth telling ~

Day 1 :: Something you hate about yourself

Day 2 :: Something you love about yourself

Day 3 :: Something you have to forgive yourself for

Day 4 :: Something you have to forgive someone for

Day 5 :: Something you hope to do in your life

Day 6 :: Something you hope you will never have to do

Day 7 :: Someone who has made your life worth living for

Day 8 :: Somone who made your life like hell, or treated you like shit

Day 9 :: Someone you didn't want to let go, but just drifted

Day 10 :: Someone you need to let go or wish you didn't know

Day 11 :: Something people seem to compliment you the most on

Day 12 :: Something you never get compliments on

Day 13 :: A band or artist that got you through some tough days (write a letter)

Day 14 :: A hero that has let you down (write a letter)

Day 15 :: Something or someone you can't live without, because you've tried living without it

Day 16 :: Someone or something you can definitely live without

Day 17 :: A book you've read that changed your views on something

Day 18 :: Your views on gay marriage

Day 19 :: What do you think of religion? Or what do you think of politics?

Day 20 :: Your views on drugs and alcohol

Day 21 :: (scenario) You've gotten into a fight with your best friend and an hour later, she's in a car accident. What do you do?

Day 22 :: Something you wish you hadn't done in your life

Day 23 :: Something you wish you had done in your life

Day 24 :: Make a playlist to someone and explain why chose those songs. (Just post the titles, the artist and letter)

Day 25 :: The reason you believe you're still alive today

Day 26 :: Have you ever thought about giving up on life? If so, when and why?

Day 27 :: What's the best thing going for you right now?

Day 28 :: What if you got pregnant, (or got someone pregnant), what would you do?

Day 29 :: Something you hope to change about yourself and why.

Day 30 :: A letter to yourself. Tell yourself EVERYTHING you love about yourself.