Why oh why?

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Why oh why do we not do the things that bring us the most joy more often?  Why do we put off the things that energize us, that inspire us, and that make us smile?  Why do we spend our days longing to spend even just a little time following our bliss? Why do we insist on filling our days with only the things we have to do, leaving no time for the things we most want to do?  Why do we not love ourselves enough to say yes to seeking joy?

I’m pretty sure if I could come up with the answers to all of these questions I could radically change my life.  Or at least get closer to clearing out the things that block me from saying yes to me.  And as I get clearer I could spend more time each day seeking joy.

Tonight I rode one of my horses, Karoly, for the first time in 6 to 8 weeks.  Now the silliness of it is that I own/manage the horse boarding farm where I keep him. I see him at least 5 days a week.   I could be riding for even a little while everyday I am there. But I don’t.

My heart filled with this singing kind of peaceful joy as I rode him bareback tonight. I felt the stress I’ve been feeling melt away a little bit more with every step he took.  My breath slowed and deepened as I allowed myself to drop into sync with him. I laughed and chatted with my student as she rode alongside of me.  I allowed myself to just simply and very profoundly be in the moment for a good hour.

What if I did this everyday?  Would I be able to flow better through the rest of my life by giving myself permission to ride everyday? Would I maybe get more done by fueling myself first?  I’m betting I would experience a great deal more peace and joy if I spent more time on the back of a horse.

I am feeling very grateful that I had this gift of time with Karoly tonight.  I begin my settling into sleep with a smile on my face thinking of this lovely time.  Oh what a gift!

Flying to Wonderland

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If someone came to me inviting me to race dragons in the moonlight I would laugh with glee and race out the door ready to fly away.  I would barely stop to take a breath before jumping onto a dragon’s back.  Oh the wonder and joy at just the thought of this!

Dragons and imagining them as real is part of Wonderland for me – the place where all things of joy, hope, peace and wonder are possible.  Wonderland is the place of dreams come to life.  It is the magical place of walking, and flying, as a whole, healed person.

Wonderland is the opposite of Cuckoo Luckoo Land. Cuckoo Luckoo land is the place of dark and twisted paths. It is the place I dropped into when Russell entered the hospital and still travel into at times as I heal from his death.  In Cuckoo Luckoo Land up is down, in is out, left is right, nothing is as it should be.  There is much wisdom to be gained while traveling in this place but the drops into it are truly like stepping into a rabbit hole and sliding down a windy slide with the speed of light.

Wonderland is the place of light, open skies, peaceful winds and freedom.  Just today in reading this lovely dream of a picture I have named that place I go inside myself where I feel at peace and feel ready to fly on a dragon.  Wonderland it is; the place where I believe dragons are real and I picture myself riding one to healing. All things are possible here and I believe that I can transform my life into one of Joy. Ahhh Wonderland.

I’m going to play with creating a picture board of what Wonderland looks like to me, calling in all of the magic of that place to me.  I want to invoke the light, laughter, love, healing and joy I imagine as I picture myself flying on my dragon under the moonlight.  I may also as I play with what the wisdom of Wonderland holds for me create another board revealing what Cuckoo Luckoo Land means to me.  There is wisdom in the dark paths I travel when I am there.

I cannot, in all honesty, have one without the other.  They are both part of my dance; the light and the dark, the grieving and the healing.  For tonight, I will go to sleep dreaming of someone coming in the moonlight with my dragon.  Oh do I want to fly to Wonderland!

Present moment

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Here I am at Day 7 of my commitment to myself to write on my blog every day.   And I find that I am stuck.   What to write about?   Why did I want to do this?  Do I really want to do this everyday?  How do I write if I don’t feel inspired, compelled to write as most of my blog posts have been?  What’s the point of it all anyway?  Would it really matter if I didn’t write everyday?

Today I find myself tired, unmotivated to do much of anything and simply wondering what my real purpose in life is, beyond being there for my kids.  I’ve thought of starting several different things today – creating flyers for some workshops I want to offer this fall; returning a good dozen emails; reading my new choices of self-reflection books; planning for a couple of upcoming events at Avalon; lining up some lunches with friends; and a bunch of other ideas.  None of those things happened.    Instead I’ve spun my wheels most of the day just flitting from thing to thing.

I can end up on days like this feeling very rudderless and get super down on myself.  I start over thinking everything, wondering if I will ever just be able to get my shit together and stay motivated.  It’s like moving through quicksand on these days. The more I try to move with any speed the deeper I sink.  It’s kind of crazy making as I try to rebuild myself and my life, finding meaning and passion for life again.  I know the things that will make me feel better – movement, being outside, writing, etc. – but on days like today I just can’t get myself going.   I know just taking baby steps forward towards some goal I’ve set will be good, but I can’t settle my mind on just one thing to throw myself into.  Crazy making!

Then, as I was scrolling through articles I’ve saved to read, trying to find something to spark my interest enough to at least write a little bit today these words jumped out at me.  Written by Carolyn Moor the founder of the Modern Widows Club, these words named a truth for me that rang with a clear “Ah Yes” in my head.           “I may change my opinion a thousand times before next week because my mind never (never) shuts down. I think about my past, present and future constantly. I’m trying my very best to learn the gift of being in the present moment (I wish I knew why this was so hard?)”

I spin my wheels, making myself feel rudderless and stuck , because I am over thinking things way too much.  Too much thinking and not enough action.   Over and over again, every single day, I need to call myself back to staying in this time, in this moment.  When I do that my entire being clears and I find myself able to move forward. Even if some days it is just tiny baby steps forward that is progress!

Writing here is one of those small, consistent steps I can take that pushes me out of just spinning thoughts.  It is doing something. Walking outside barefoot in my front yard is doing something.  Reading a few paragraphs in my current book is doing something.  Reaching out to just 1 person is doing something.  Celebrating each of these little successes is doing something.  They don’t have to be big, long steps forward.  All of them are important.

I may keep changing my mind 1000x each week about what I want to do or not do or be or not be and that is okay.  I have no doubt I will keep feeling both rudderless and stuck at times.  I also know that I will keep calling myself back day after day, minute after minute to living in this time, this moment. When I stay in the here and now I am good because I trust that I can handle it.

I’m feeling very grateful for others sharing their wisdom along their own journeys.  I love how other people’s stories can help me along my own path.

Happy to be feeling settled in this time, this moment!

Time Outs P.S.

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Sometimes, just sometimes, my time outs are a chance for me to separate myself from the crowd so I can just vent. I go somewhere alone and let it all loose.  I allow myself to have a great, knock down, full on temper tantrum – yelling, cussing, feet stomping, the works. I let it all out in a safe place that doesn’t impact others.  Then I take a few deep breaths, ground it all out and clear the air of negative energy.

There’s nothing wrong with momentary releases of pent up frustration as long as we don’t take others down with us.  Safely release and then let it all go.

 

Time Outs

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Sometimes there can be no words. Or at least no adequate words to say to someone when a curve ball of life has been thrown at them.  Especially if it is someone who’s black and blue already from trying to dodge a lot. In those times when yet one more thing has happened all we can do is be there, give them a hug, and walk alongside them.

I’m also learning that during these times of dodging and weaving I need to step away for a while to regroup and re-center myself before I try to engage too much with people around.  Take a quick time out isn’t just for little kids who’ve done something they weren’t supposed to do.  Time outs give us a chance to say to the world “I just can’t right now. Give me a few minutes to reset my brain, my heart, and my body.”

As adults we often think we need to just suck it up and keep moving.  Allowing ourselves to take a time out can leave some of us (me for sure sometimes) feeling weak and ineffective.  However I’m coming to realize that time outs are one of the easiest, best ways for us to put our self-care and our health first.  It is 100% okay to say we need to focus on our own needs first.  If we don’t do it, no one else will for us.

I’m doing a bit of dodging and weaving this weekend as is Kateri and a few others within our Avalon community. I’m betting there are a lot of folks out there dodging and weaving things being thrown at them quickly and out of nowhere.  I am encouraging us all to take time outs when we feel our inner stress level rising.  Stop, go to a quiet place, take some deep cleansing breaths, and let go.  As we allow ourselves to just settle into the moment, not trying to figure out the future in any way shape or form, perhaps we can settle into a calmer, more grounded space,  At least that is my hope my myself and all of us.

All will be well and all is well!

Out Loud

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I’ve learned a valuable lesson in the past several weeks. Well let’s just say it’s a lesson that has sunk into my head a little bit deeper.  It’s something I’ve known for a long time but I’ve been given lots of opportunities recently to practice putting it into action.

The lesson is this – People can’t read my mind and if they can’t ready my mind then they can’t possibly help me do the things I need help with.  Just because it maybe screaming inside my head “I can’t do this alone. I need help.” it doesn’t mean anyone but me can hear that screaming.  I know that I am surrounded by lots of people who are more than willing to help me; I just have to ask OUT LOUD.

Another level of this learning is that just saying I need help without clear times, tasks outlined, and tools that are needed isn’t enough for many folks.  Without all of the information requests can feel vague and borderless.  People’s hesitation to say yes isn’t necessarily because they don’t want to it can be they just need more info.

I am learning I need to live my whole life out loud, not just my grieving/healing journey.  Why do I stop the words from tumbling out of my mouth?  Maybe because they can be so jumbled in my mind.  I worry it will come out in such an incoherent way that no one will understand me.  Or I worry that if I start the tumble I won’t be able to stop it.

I (we?) so often feel overwhelmed by all that we need to do. That to-do list gets longer and longer and longer feeling more daunting as it grows.  I wish other would help me. I can even feel resentful as I run around like chickens with my head cut off, wishing others around me would just help me. But the busier I get, the quieter I can become and then no one knows that I need help.

I have to ask for help in specific ways.  When I do it’s amazing the response that I usually get.  Every time I have asked for a specific need for help at specific times with specific parameters, I have received lots of replies of “Yes I can do that.”   Or, I’ve received replies of “No I can’t help with that. Would this help?”

 

My commitment to living out loud in every time, every moment is a habit I am working to entrench deep within my entire being.  When I do I least give myself a fighting chance to get all the help I need. And I give others a chance to be there for me as they can.  It seems so simple when I write it out.

Vague request = Vague or no response

Specific request = Specific answer

Pretty simple equation isn’t it. Then, why is it so hard?