This Is Where I Live

This body, life has left some marks. These last few weeks I’ve been poked and tested but, it is the only one I have. It’s my living space. I have to treat it in the way that helps it work best. If I overstress it with high expectations or overwhelm it with too many activities, it will start throwing alarm switches until I listen.

This last week my body has started reminding me that while frugality is admirable, stinginess is cruel. Pushing myself again past my limits for my job and staying up too late, this creates pain in my muscles, and a massive headache.

A couple of years ago my washing machine quit so I had been “making do” until I could save enough to buy a new washer. While that sounds admirable, I wasn’t frugal for a purely financial reason. There was a massive chunk of ego that wanted to boast of how worthy I was! Quite a laughable thing once I realized what a tricky thing our psyche is. After taking a step back and looking at the situation, I went to a local home improvement store and financed a washing machine. Yes, I could have waited, but it was stressing me unnecessarily.

Have you ever tried to push a shopping cart with a broken wheel? That’s how it felt. I kept going, kept working because that’s what I do. I keep pushing because I know I can. I’m active and capable, right? But, when I took care of my needs, I realized how tired my enduring had made me. When I stopped trying to push the broken cart down the aisle, I could release the burden I was carrying.

Real

I have unrealistic expectations of myself, and I frequently don’t allow myself to live in the moment.

  • I choose not to kill my soul with harsh criticism and unrealistic expectations.
  • I choose to let joy and life flow through me so that when the time comes, I can also bring joy to others.
  • I choose to be a part of life in the now and not above it. The future is sometimes frightening, and I don’t want to face it, but there is always a way. There is still a simple step. It’s not always the boastful, shiny, impressive way, but there is a solution.
  • I choose to glean the joys of yesterday, and like seeds in the garden, I will sprinkle them with honor and watch them blossom.
  • I choose to honor myself, as I am, even all the jiggly parts.
Advertisements

Dare To Be Great

One of the tendencies I find most troubling in contemporary culture is that of mistaking cynicism for critical thinking. – brainpickings.org

It takes effort to be strong. Conscious thought and awareness are needed to bring out the good in others, but if you can do it some of the time, most of the time, try. Because not trying, not even bothering to show up, is inexcusable. And turning bitter is usually the result.

Anger, resentment, sadness, grief are the leftovers of loves unfulfilled. Unplayable songs, words we held inside a moment too long.

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat… Roosevelt’s Writings

Scarred But Not Dead

I loved frogs and toads when I was growing up. I’d capture them and hold them in my chubby hands. I loved their exotic skin and long legs, but mostly it was their soft underbelly where I could feel the beat of their tiny hearts.

We’re drawn to babies. Kittens, puppies, and youngsters of all varieties. Kittens pounce and attack, batting at fluff. Their playfulness can make even an old crank of a person smile. Because somewhere inside that cranky person there’s still a child. Life wore him down, and he forgot how to play.

accept yourself

as you were designed

– rupi kaur, Milk and Honey

I was driving home today and stopped at a red light, my hand automatically went to rub my neck. Tight muscles. When my fingers touched my pulse, I jolted with a thought. I’m alive. Corny. But the thrill was the same as touching the tiny animals, the frog’s pulse. I rubbed it again, and yes my response was the same. I’m thrilled to be alive. And to feel my pulse. Is this crazy?

Life is a strange and fragile moment. You can take machines apart and put them back together without causing much damage. Tinker with it until you get it running. But people and critters are not as easy to piece together again. We do surgeries, but we are hesitant because if the life goes out, we haven’t learned how to retrieve it. So, no, I don’t think I’m crazy for being overjoyed or even ecstatic about being alive. Being alive is fantastic and beautiful. And I don’t want to forget about the beating of life in all of us.

You have scars, wounds, and bruises. Don’t let them keep you from living. It’s possible you might need help or therapy, don’t give up on yourself. Don’t let anyone else bring you down. Be your best. Live.

image from Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur

Neuroticism on Board

I sat at the kitchen table and listened to my mom, the same one who ripped at me since I was a child about my friends and my clothes, were they too big or should I by a size larger because I could shoot up a couple of inches in height this year.

There was a time she’d read the letters from my friend in Wyoming. Janie had moved at the beginning of 9th grade. Her parents divorced, and she’d decided to move north with her dad. Not quite a Twilight story since there were no vampires involved and Wyoming has skiing. Janie and I kept in touch throughout our high school years by writing letters every week. It was the thrill of my day when I’d go to the mailbox and run back with an envelope in my hand. My mom would ask, “Is that a letter from your friend Janie?”

Yep. And being the teenager that I was, I’d go into my room to read it away from prying eyes. Janie would tell me about her classes and friends, about her guys and her after school job. I never thought there was anything different about her. She was me but with different parents. Well, she was able to do things I couldn’t. School dances, dates, and she had a real job. I never thought about it until my mom said one strange comment. “Your friend Janie seems a little wild.”

What? Of course, I was surprised. I never talked about Janie or read the letters aloud. I realized what had happened, and I didn’t have a lot of options. There wasn’t a damn thing I could do about it. She’d read my letters because I had left them out. And I didn’t understand the wild girl accusation. So, I dismissed it and hid them all away and anything else I didn’t want her to find.

The years passed, and many incidents like that one. I’ve put each aside. I didn’t give them a lot of weight other than thinking, Mom is strange, or where does she get these ideas? My mom believed particular women, like Kim with the red hair, were going to steal my husband. Then she felt my mother-in-law was actively plotting to take our money. The list goes on. It’s been a constant battle for me to shield myself from her jabs. They’ve felt like accusations. As if I couldn’t see the evil in others.

Here’s the truth: she stripped me of my self-confidence. I was always defending myself against the person who was supposed to nurture me.

I saw her last night when I was back at the kitchen table. I was doing some financial planning with her, my brother and dad. This time the neuroticism was not directed at me. I saw the blood red eyes of the monster. I saw my mom rip into my older brother, and it disgusted me. It was ugly, and I want nothing to do with it ever again. I’m not toying with it anymore.

No more putting it aside. I call it what it is. My mom is insecure. She is high in neuroticism. It’s a personality trait, yes. Even that can’t be excused, though. I’m glad I saw the monster.

I have warm memories of my grandparents. They were an extension of the family I had close to me every day, and the promise of more. More love. More cookies. The extra part I didn’t know consciously extended into the linage and the hint of longevity. These people made it through hard times. Lined faces and crinkled smiles told their stories. Grandma’s mole was duplicated on my mom’s face just as I had inherited my dad’s small pinky toenail. So, I’ve wondered what other characteristics were passed on to me.

Below I have an article from The Girl God. We’ve forgotten much of our family ties but it’s never too late to remember.

“As you move through these changing times… be easy on yourself and be easy on one another. You are at the beginning of something new. You are learning a new way of being. You will find that you are working less in the yang modes that you are used to.

You will stop working so hard at getting from point A to point B the way you have in the past, but instead, will spend more time experiencing yourself in the whole, and your place in it.

Instead of traveling to a goal out there, you will voyage deeper into yourself. Your mother’s grandmother knew how to do this. Your ancestors from long ago knew how to do this. They knew the power of the feminine principle… and because you carry their DNA in your body, this wisdom and this way of being is within you.

Call on it. Call it up. Invite your ancestors in. As the yang based habits and the decaying institutions on our planet begin to crumble, look up. A breeze is stirring. Feel the sun on your wings.”

Message from the Council of 13 Indigenous Grandmothers

Photo by Joey Lawrence

Live Now or Never

Live Now

We don’t have a promise that tomorrow will be here. It’s easy to put every fun event off until we can give it a big push. I’ll go on vacation when I have enough money saved to fly to Europe, we say. Then we don’t go anywhere. And we cheat ourselves out of life. We die bit by bit.

In our culture, snails are not considered valiant animals – we are constantly exhorting people to “come out of their shells” – but there’s a lot to be said for taking your home with you wherever you go.- The Power of Introverts

Friend or Foe

I tend to live wide open, full blast and today I find I’m exhausted. I don’t regret this. My only angst is trying to relate to those who are unavailable to my affection. This is how my heart gets broken, and my life goes haywire for a while. Yes, they sometimes warn me, like in the most recent drama. “Like you, a lot, but don’t love you,” were the words. But anyone who has feelings knows that doesn’t stop the rage or the tears after they are gone, even if they have warned me.

Many of my choices are not wise. Downloading the entire Justin Timberlake album while at work instead of waiting until I had wifi available, that’s not sage economics. Will it crash my bank account? Probably not. Did I benefit from the music therapy? Freakin’ yes! I do the ratio game in my head, pro vs. con and the emotional reward is worth it.

This moment

We make decisions. We live with them, which is why it’s impossible to advise someone on careers or marriages. Who am I to make a decision which could affect someone’s happiness? I ask questions. Poke around in the answers, and usually, we know the answer.

But honestly, heterosexual relationships are my nemesis, my dark curse it seems.

Make peace with your life however you can and be good to yourself. Show kindness to those around you. Namaste.

 

 

I Will Pray For You

Prayer. It’s awkward. There was a time when it was easy to pray. Today I pause. It’s not the words. I can craft a good Our Heavenly Father, as well as any preacher man does on a Sunday morning. Nope, I hesitate because I want to be honest with you. And I’m not sure of who I’m praying to. So I hesitate.

Maybe you understand my problem. I’m sincere, and I wish for people to be well. I want their families to be safe from harm and sickness to leave their bodies. Well, I’ve found a prayer that works for me, and it’s simple. First is a short version and easy to memorize. The longer one is second. I hope this helps you.

One more thing, to anyone who has been in my life, but I have offended or thinks I am angry with them, please know I do ‘pray’ for you. I hold no grudges. It’s important to keep the prayer channels clear. And by prayer, I mean something closer to a positive affirmation.

If you are Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu or of any other religion, I am not saying you should switch to my ways. This is my way of handling an uncomfortable situation.

Here is my abbreviated version Metta Loving Kindness Prayer.

May all be happy

May all be at peace

May I be happy

May I be at peace

Loving Ourselves

We begin practicing this love meditation on ourselves
May I be peaceful, happy and light in body and spirit.
May I be safe and free from injury.
May I be free from anger, afflictions, fear, and anxiety.
After that, we can practice on others (he/she)
May he/she be peaceful, happy and light in body and spirit.
May he/she be safe and free from injury.
May he/she be free from anger, afflictions, fear, and anxiety.
After that, we can practice including our selves with others (we),
May we be peaceful, happy and light in body and spirit.
May we be safe and free from injury.
May we be free from anger, afflictions, fear, and anxiety. – Thich Nhat Hanh

Respect Yourself

I am angry

I want to be seen and heard. Noticed. Jump up and down, throw a tantrum like a small child in the grocery store. I want others to act as if I matter. As if I am an appointment that can’t be missed. A craving. An addiction. But sometimes people aren’t capable.

It’s not always in their DNA to respond in the way I want. I’m not saying it’s alright for others to abuse me, I’m stating a fact. My expectations are misplaced, and I need to change. My truth, I’m asking someone else for validation. To respect me. Tell me I’m important. Tell me these things.

  • I matter
  • I’m important
  • I’m valuable
  • I’m impressive
  • I’m irreplaceable
  • I’m undeniable
  • My needs are pressing
  • I am a priority

I don’t want to be second or to not even be chosen at all. I’ve been there. It hurts. The stabbing pain of feeling abandoned is gut-wrenching, especially when it’s from your loved ones. But I can’t be a child throwing a temper tantrum. It’s selfish. Nor do I want the bitter anger building inside of me anymore.

I am the love child of the universe.

I am loved. I’m important. Esteemed. Undeniable. I am heard. Valuable. I rate here. This is my territory. The universe hears my voice and respects me. Blessed. I am home in this world. But, I cannot wait for someone, anyone else to tell me. It’s my life and my responsibility.

Woman’s Inhumanity to Women by Phyllis Chesler

karusellcarousel
Painting by Elisabeth Slettnes

6. Learn to Ask for what you want; Learn to Move On If You Don’t Get What You Want.
A woman must be encouraged to put what she wants into words, to ask for it directly rather than waiting for someone to guess what it is she wants. If a woman cannot get what she wants, she does not have to blame herself, give up, disconnect, or become enraged. She must learn that she can get what she wants another day or at another job or with another person. Women must be encouraged to move on as well as to stay the course. – The Girl God 

P.S.

Don’t forget to support each other. We all need to hear that we are loved and valuable. It’s life-changing. It will rock your loved one’s world. Better yet, show them. Make someone a priority.

Today, you are loved.

You might want to read Expectations vs Reality or Pajamas are For Wearing All Day Long or Am I Expecting Too Much?

My People

We all have fears. Deep inside all of us is an ache to belong. It’s as old as our tribal root system. Rejection, being cast from the tribe, even that glance letting you know you don’t belong here.

If you feel lost, find an activity or place, something to anchor your being to the present day. My own anchor was the sunrise and sunset. I paused daily for this. It was my sanity.

You can make your own tribe. Find people who support you who understand who you are as a person. Also these are people you enjoy being around. This is your life. Create it.

Don’t get lost in the pain of the past. Go forward and make a new life. Yes we need to heal. Just be careful to not get stuck in the quicksand of self pity. Lick your wounds and be done. Your future is more grand than the past.

Namaste.

The Good Life

“We’re on the go for love to open our lives to walk tasting the sunshine of Life.”

It’s getting cold up north and I don’t like the cold. I’m never ready for wintertime. The chill. The ice storms. I’m summer’s girl. Give me the beach, some sun, and a book. That’s my good life.

It’s the oddest things that make us smile. Our favorite songs. A good hot dog. Popcorn at the movies. Hugs from our grandparents.

Life is lived in the small moments. What do you enjoy?

Walk through life

Beautiful more than anything

Stand in the sunlight

Walk through life

Love all the things

That make you strong,

be lovers, be anything

For all the people of

Earth

You have brothers

You love each other, change up

And look at the world

Now, it’s

Our’s, take it slow

We’ve got a long time, a long way

To go,

We have

Each other, and the

World,

Don’t be sorry

Walk on out through sunlight life

and know

We’re on the go

For love

To open

Our lives

To walk

Tasting the sunshine

Of Life. – Amiri Baraka, Answers in Progress from Brain PickingsSelected Plays and Prose of Amiri Baraka